Parks Department ‘Miscalculation’ makes Principe Park (formerly Maurice Park) Flooding a Reality Again

By maspethblog

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This picture was taken on September 18th. Principe Park renovation is a mess.

According to a statement by Steven Fiedler, chairman of the community board’s parks committee, at last week’s community board meeting, the Parks Department engineers ‘miscalculated’ the amount of rain that would flood the western end of the ball fields at the brand new $7 million baseball and soccer field renovations at the Maspeth park.

We were told (off the record) that they might look to fix the problem by putting in a bigger drain line from the park to the main line. So now the sidewalk and street might be torn up.

Note: 30% of the $8 million project goes to the design of Parks Department projects. 30% of 7 million is $2.1 million.

You would think for $2.1 million, a miscalculation like this could be avoided?

Just ask the hundreds of people who live near the park – they would tell you – “whatever size drain you were thinking, double it, because it has flooded after every rain since 1965.”

 

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Handy Personal Finance Hacks Every Homebuyer Should Know 

By Brittany Fisher

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Owning a home is a major milestone, but it doesn’t come without its share of immediate and long-term responsibilities. The first step is obviously the buying process. When obtaining financing, keep in mind that there are several different types of mortgages (loans), so make sure that you have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each based on your financial situation. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t fully understand the terms.

You’ll want to thoroughly research home prices in your area. For example, the average sale price for a home in Jackson Heights, NY, is $730,000. Another aspect to consider is the down payment, so conduct some research to determine the average percentage in your area.

Once you’ve acquired your property, that’s just the beginning. Ahead, personal finance hacks that every homebuyer should know.

Establish an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is an absolute must in every household, as you have to prepare for the unexpected, whether that means repairs, an addition, or job loss. While many financial pros advise that you have three to six months of expenses in an emergency savings account, with today’s fickle job market, it’s wiser to have six to 12, with an additional 1 to 2 percent for repairs. A good way to beef up your cushion is by depositing your tax return into this fund each year. The best place to keep this cash is a high-yield savings account as it’s federally insured up to $250,000, the money earns interest, and you can withdraw funds quickly.

Set Up an Escrow Account

Whether you get an escrow account is a personal decision, but considering the average American pays $2,127 in property taxes each year (more than 10 times that amount in certain parts of the country), it can help you save cumulatively versus scrambling each time there’s a payment. Here’s how it works: homeowners’ insurance and property taxes are infused into mortgage payments via an escrow system so when it’s time to pay insurance and taxes, the money is ready to go. If you prefer to pay both on your own, make sure you budget accordingly so you’re not thrown off when these larger payments roll around.

Borrow Against Your Home’s Equity

If there comes a time when you need extra cash, it can be better to borrow against your home’s equity (the difference between your entire mortgage and the appraised value of your home) since you’ve already been approved for the mortgage — this makes the loan process a lot less complicated. Added bonus: Interest payments on home equity loans are usually tax-deductible. This is not the case for personal loans. While it’s unlikely that you’ll get an amount equivalent to your entire amount of equity, up to 75 percent is a possibility. Keep in mind that if your home is worth less than your mortgage — or you’ll be moving in the near future — you should avoid going down this path.

Make Energy-Efficient Home Improvements

Making simple energy-efficient improvements can save you hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars per year. Examples of such improvements include installing low-flow water fixtures to reduce consumption, making sure your home is sufficiently insulated, swapping out regular bulbs with fluorescent ones, upgrading to a more modern dishwasher, installing a programmable thermostat, adding weather stripping to prevent air leaks, and investing in a tankless water heater.

While you may have to tweak it from time-to-time, make sure you have an established budget and stick to it. Try to keep your expenses less than 50 percent of your take-home pay and allocate 20 percent to your financial obligations. Set yourself an allowance with the remaining 30 percent, which may need to be altered if you have substantial debt to pay down.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Bill to create zip code for Glendale passes House

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Once again the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a measure to give Glendale its own zip code.

But without Senate action, it’s doomed to fail like it did in 2016.

Congresswoman Grace Meng has been spearheading the effort, which is part of a bipartisan bill requiring the Postal Service to create new zip codes across the country.

Glendale residents have long suffered mail service-related problems because they share the 11385 zip code with Ridgewood.

New From Glendale Blog

“5K RUN FOR A CHILDREN’S SMILE”
Children’s Smile Foundation and Polska Running Team under the honorary patronage of the Consulate General RP in New York invite you to:
“5K RUN FOR A CHILDREN’S SMILE” and 1K for kids (5-12 free),
October 21, 2018 at 10:00 – Forest Park, Woodhaven Blvd, NY.
We invite all our friends and supporters to take part in this charity run. This great event gathers hundreds of participants every year and raises funds for children in need. This year, the proceeds will be donated to cover medical treatment for them. Registration is available now at www.childrenssmilefoundation.org or in the office of the Foundation at 60-43 Maspeth Ave, Maspeth, NY 11378. Please call 718-894-6443 or email at info@childrenssmilefoundation.org for any further questions.
Donation per participant is $40 (cash, check) $42 PayPal
*1K (5-12) is free
Help us bring a smile to children in need!!!

Children’s Smile Foundation zaprasza do wspólnego maszerowania po 5 Alei podczas tegorocznej Parady
w niedzielę, 7 października 2018. Spotykamy się o 1:30pm przy East 36th Street, pomiędzy 5 a 6 Ave. Do zobaczenia na 5 Alei!
Children’s Smile Foundation invites you to participate in this year’s Pulaski Parade on Sunday, October 7, 2018. We meet at 1:30 at East 36 Street, between 5 and 6 Avenue. See you on the 5th Avenue!

JPCA to honor hometown hero at October meeting

BY CHRISTINA M WILKINSON

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How about this for an act of heroism: Middle Village son Chris Gaulrapp, a member of FDNY Rescue 1 in Manhattan, saved a drowning man on August 30th.

He tells it like this, We got an alarm for a person in the water at 43rd Street and the Hudson River which is only 2 blocks from our firehouse. When we arrived on scene, I saw civilians and NYPD Patrol Units leaning over the rail advising us that there was a person in the water trying to stay afloat, slowly drifting underneath the pier, and becoming very fatigued. On the way to the call, I had already put on my dry suit, life jacket, and fins, so at that point the rope was clipped to my harness and I jumped 12 feet into the water. I used a flotation device to keep the patient afloat until Engine 54 and Ladder 21 arrived with the ladder. The patient was very appreciative and kept saying thank you. This is all part of the training we go through. Everyone worked together as a team and that is the biggest part of any operation that we do. I was glad I was able to help.

We are glad you were there to help, too. God bless you. Chris will be the recipient of the Hero Award at our October 18th meeting. Please join us in recognizing his service and heroism.

New Ridgewood youth art program aims to find creative uses for vacant storefronts

By Ryan Kelley/ 

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A group of Ridgewood youth will help showcase local artists while raising awareness about the vacant storefronts on the neighborhood’s commercial corridors this weekend at the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District’s (BID) Fall Street Festival.

The Sept. 23 festival will feature “The Ridgewood Art Extravaganza,” an exhibit showcasing work from local artists through a partnership between the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council (GRYC) and the Myrtle Avenue BID. The exhibit is the second phase of a $5,000 grant awarded to the GRYC by Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that fosters collaborative action between community development organizations.

The grant — one of only 10 awarded nationwide — was written and is led by local urban planner Wylie Goodman, who said the group is working locally to highlight a citywide matter.

“The issue of vacant storefronts and the lack of affordable space for artists and small entrepreneurs is one that nearly every neighborhood in New York City is facing,” Goodman said. “My hope is that by bringing stakeholders together, among them youth, artists, building and business owners and civic leaders, we can brainstorm solutions tailored to our community.”

During the first phase of the project earlier this summer, nine high school students in the GRYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) began documenting the businesses along Myrtle Avenue. The students learned about how “creative placemaking” can be used to make streetscapes more inviting, Goodman said, and they ultimately identified nearly 20 vacant storefronts between Fresh Pond Road and Wyckoff Avenue.

In addition, the students pointed out the most represented businesses along the corridor in an effort to suggest more diverse uses of the vacant spaces, such as pop-up shops and galleries. They also met with Myrtle Avenue BID Executive Director Ted Renz and Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano to learn how civic leadership plays an important role in their project.

“When we did our Myrtle Avenue Market Analysis three years ago, one of the goals was to get a better store mix and to match the needs of the community,” said Renz. “We’re therefore happy to collaborate with the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council on this venture.”

“The Ridgewood Art Extravaganza,” a name that the students came up with, will be located on Myrtle Avenue between Onderdonk Avenue and Forest Avenue during the festival from noon to 6 p.m. Along with showcasing local artwork, the students will be there to provide art activities for kids and engage the community in a survey and voting board where people can share ideas for the types of businesses they would like to see in the area.

“The SYEP participants enjoyed working on this innovative project,” said Janine Mahon, chief operating officer for education and programs at the GRYC. “They increased their understanding of the community in which they live, and experienced firsthand how working together can create positive change in their community.”

Artists to be featured in the exhibit include Raynelda Calderon, Mari Corona, Mica Miragliotta, Marco Valle and Nichole van Beek.

The ultimate goal of the grant program is to identify building owners who are willing to rent vacant storefronts to local artists or entrepreneurs for short- or long-term use. The third phase — a facilitated dinner and focus group for community members — is being planned for early November with support from the Ridgewood Savings Bank.

JPCA to celebrate 80th Anniversary on Sept 27th

BY CHRISTINA M WILKINSON

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The Juniper Park Civic Association was originally an organization called Residents of Juniper Park Homes, Inc., named after the enclave of row houses built along the streets surrounding Juniper Valley Park. In 1944, Residents of Juniper Park Homes merged with the Eliot Avenue Civic Association, which served the area south of Eliot Avenue, and the joint organization took the new name, Juniper Park Civic Association. At the time, the part of Queens surrounded by 57th Avenue to the north, Woodhaven Boulevard to the east, Eliot Avenue to the south and 74th Street to the west was part of Elmhurst. JPCA and elected officials worked together to successfully lobby the USPS, and the zip code for this area was changed in 2003 to 11379 ‒ and the area became part of Middle Village. The metes and bounds of the territory that the JPCA now covers is all of the 11378 and 11379 zip codes as well as Elmhurst south of Queens Blvd. We use this magazine to celebrate living here as well as bring you up to date on any issues that may affect our quality of life. Past battles have been detailed in prior issues of the Juniper Berry, in continuous publication since 1939. We thank you for your membership and for caring about our communities. To celebrate our continued success, we will be hosting a cocktail reception on Thursday, September 27th from 6-9pm at Villa Erasmo. We will have hors d’oevres, beer, wine, music and dancing all for $25/person. Please RSVP to info@junipercivic.com or call 718-651-5865 and pay cash or check at the door.

Juniper Civic

Community Board 5 meeting set for May 16

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Community Board 5 will meet tomorrow, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King High School.

The first item on the agenda is a public hearing for the proposed special permit for hotels built in manufacturing zones.

The Department of City Planning has proposed this permit to require hotels to undergo a public review process before they are built in a community.

There are two Zoning and Land Use Committee items that will be voted on. The first is the proposed Pet Admission Center at 66-78 69th Street in Middle Village, and the second is the proposed expansion of O’Neill’s Restaurant in Maspeth.

Both passed the land use committee.

Other committee reports include transportation and public transit, library, homeless issues and more.

From Middle Village Blog