Click image to begin slide show
Carol Lacks and State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. Click image to begin slide show


The 101st Annual Meeting of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, on May 7th, attracted a modest turnout of homeowners, but for those who attended, and for the invited guests, the evening was well worth while.

The Association’s Hospitality Committee, chaired by Betty Francullo, with Anthony Milburn assisting with the preparations and on-premises baking, provided a splendid repast of cheeses, fruits, and desserts. Bill Wisnewski, one of our homeowners and a professional musician, was at the piano, and Brooks Borden and Kris Monaco served as bartenders.

City Council Member Karen Koslowitz summarized the balloting results for the $1 million worth of Participatory Budget items for which members of the community had voted earlier. Voters favored, among other local items, street security cameras, wiring for air-conditioning at PS 99, and electronic billboards at the Union Turnpike subway station that will announce the arrival of trains. All these and other items still need the approval of the City Council.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. called KGCA “the classiest civic that I know,” and then went on to address an important issue in the community that had been brought to Albany legislators’ attention by the Association’s Executive Chairman, Murray H. Berger. Under current State law, the Sanitation Department may no longer collect electronic waste -- the fine is $100 if items are left on the curb -- leaving many homeowners without a practical way to dispose of old television sets, computers, etc. When Mr. Berger brought this to his attention, Mr. Addabbo said, he got behind a bill in Albany that would reinstate curbside pickups, hopefully in the near future.

Participants in the evening’s event also got to meet our newly-elected State Senator Leroy Comrie, who spoke about rent control issues and the current debate over the controversial 421-A real property tax relief program for developers, which apparently has not been providing the affordable housing supply in new buildings that had been envisioned when the program was originally passed.

The keynote speaker of the evening was Debby Kuha, Forest Park Administrator, who outlined upcoming costly plans for improving the Park, especially at the Overlook and at the Sobelsohn Playground. Although the projects will take 12 to 18 months to complete, they will provide new walkways, a better equipped playground, and an upgraded green for playing baseball and other games. A flood control project will also help eliminate the collection of rainwater throughout the Overlook area.

Other highlights of the evening included the presentation of awards to non-members of KGCA: Carol Lacks, Cheril Alexander and Rosemary Sherman. Ms. Alexander’s community work has included organizing young people in clean-up and beautification projects. Ms. Lacks and Ms Sherman have been active in community projects, including getting the DOT grant that made possible the murals along the Onslow Place LIRR overpass. They are now working on a similar project that would provide murals along the 80th Road LIRR overpass. Ms. Sherman could not be present and received her award in absentia.

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