ATTORNEY CLYDE VANEL DROPS OUT OF SENATE RACE: SMITH, COMRIE, SEMPLE & MUNIR LEFT

cleanupjamaicaqueens:

Earlier when I wrote this, I stated there were only three candidates left, Smith, Comrie and Bernadette Semple. I mistakenly left out Democratic operative Munir Avery, who as far as I know is still in the running. Although I would go with Semple, either her or Avery would be so much better than the “good ol’ boys club” of Smith & Comrie, who really have done little for the community of Jamaica considering the many years they have put in as elected leaders. Time for change, new faces and fresh blood instead of the same old useless hit. Very disappointing about Vanel dropping out. So what is the deal with that? Time will tell on that one.

Originally posted on cleanup jamaica queens now:

Attorney Clyde Vanel is the most recent candidate to enter the race for State Senator Malcolm Smith's seat.

Attorney Clyde Vanel drops out of senate race.

We are down to four candidates to choose from for the Senate race for Malcolm Smith’s seat. We are left with the Crook, The Lifer and the Fresh Bloods.

Attorney Clyde Vanel, who I feel has promise in Jamaica politics,  has dropped out. He made the following statement:

In an effort to unite the party and after conferring with my family, friends, Senate Democrats, and others, I am withdrawing my candidacy from the senate race.
I will continue to work on the many issues raised in my campaign namely, jobs, improving education and quality-of-life issues.
I truly appreciate and would like to thank all supporters, donors, and volunteers for believing in me and my candidacy.
OUR WORK CONTINUES!
Clyde
____________________________________
Clyde Vanel
Candidate for NYS Senate, D. 14
219-16 Linden Blvd., 2nd Fl
Cambria Heights, NY 11411
Tel: (646) 483-2343
Fax: (646)…

View original 180 more words

FROM ILLEGAL PARKING SPACE TO A GARDEN IN JAMAICA BUT………

88-23 170th St

88-23 170th St

Illegal parking

Illegal parking

Here is a somewhat bright spot in Jamaica. The apartment building at 88-23 170th which for years was using the sidewalk and side of the building for illegal parking spaces while no one did anything about it (till Sgt Cedillo and The Untouchables from the 103rd precinct stepped in) has made a complete turnaround.

Illegal parking

Illegal parking

gardengardenInstead of a shitty-looking illegal parking space which destroyed all of the grass and just made a mess of this area, it has instead been transformed into a garden with a variety of vegetables and complete with a white picket fence. Nice, something that rarely is seen in these neck of the woods because the powers to be allow people here to do whatever the hell they want without consequences.

Kudos to Sgt. Cedillo and The Untouchable for enforcing the law, a round of applause for the owner of the building (shitty that is is) for putting something desirable in this spot and a big fuck you to the elected leaders and community board #12 for constantly doing so little with these types of issues that go on all over Jamaica. And now for the  BUT…………………………

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Garbage plus a broken sidewalk that has not been taken care of since reporting to DOB three times beginning in 2011

Garbage plus a broken sidewalk that has not been taken care of since reporting to DOB three times beginning in 2011

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????But on the other hand, two vacant lots (89-28 170th St, which now has a totally out of place three story apartment building going up in the spot where a one family house once stood and 169-13 90th Ave, the vacant lot which has an unlicensed commercial truck in it for years surrounded by high weeds, do you think this would fly in Forest Hills), still tend to be a source of garbage/litter dumping and high weeds, a great combo for the summertime. This has been going on for years, with little being done to remedy the situation. Thrown in the damaged sidewalk, which was reported back in 2011 and reported several times to DOB, which to this day has not been fixed and we are back to square one with Jamaica shit.

89-28 170th St. Who gave the go ahead on this monster.

89-28 170th St. Who gave the go ahead on this monster.

Across the street sit this nice two family house, which a similar house was torn down to put the above monster. If the owner is not taking care of the surrounding area what the hell is going to do when this place is ultimately filled with Jamaica slobs, which it no doubt will.

Across the street sit this nice two family house, which a similar house was torn down to put the above monster. If the owner is not taking care of the surrounding area what the hell is going to do when this place is ultimately filled with Jamaica slobs, which it no doubt will.

Would this be acceptable in Forest Hills? So why is it acceptable in Jamaica?

Would this be acceptable in Forest Hills? So why is it acceptable in Jamaica?

Ignorance is NOT bliss here in Jamaica folks. Got that elected leaders and Community Board 12.

Jamaica, a completely out of control community, where no one is driving the car, but a shit load of useless folks are in the backseat and the vehicle has no license. Because that is how we roll here in Jamaica.

THIS TIME IT IS KING KONG & GODZILLA THREATENING OUR PARKS, NOT THE USUAL SLOBS

From Times Ledger:

‘King Kong’ and other monsters threaten Jamaica parks

By Juan Soto

Greg Mays (r.), poses with the five summer youth program employees who set up the movie screens at the Jamaica parks. Photo courtesy A Better Jamaica

Greg Mays (r.), poses with the five summer youth program employees who set up the movie screens at the Jamaica parks. Photo courtesy A Better Jamaica

Get those lawn chairs, blankets and snacks — it’s summertime and that means the tradition of family and classic free movies at southeast Queens parks is back.

The film ritual returns and parkgoers this year will enjoy flicks like “Monsters Inc.,” “Star Trek” and “Jurassic Park.”

The initiative is led by A Better Jamaica, a nonprofit that promotes cultural activities. This is the seventh straight summer that Family Movies in the Park will take place.

Greg Mays, the organization’s executive director, explained that he got the idea of bringing free film to the community when he was with a family member back in 2006 watching “The Wizard of Oz” at Forest Park in Forest Hills.

“I had a great time there, so I decided to do the same in our neighborhood, in Jamaica,” said Mays.

That first year, the summer of 2007, he showed two free movies.

Depending on the day of the week, the five-week screenings will be held at different neighborhood parks. The movies will be shown on a 25-foot-wide inflatable TV screen with four speakers and two subwoofers. Movies begin at dusk, between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

On Mondays, the summertime activity will conquer Cambria/Cabbell Park, at Francis Lewis Boulevard and 120th Street. Neighbors enjoyed the first showing on Monday. The next one will be July 21. In this case, residents will enjoy “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion,” starring actor Tyler Perry.

On July 28, the dinosaurs are back in town. “Jurassic Park” will begin at 8:16 p.m. sharp.

On Tuesdays, the action moves to Brookville Park, at Brookville Boulevard and 144th Avenue. Among the screenings between now and mid-August, parkgoers will watch “Transformers.”

On Wednesdays, moviegoers will be at Baisley Pond Park, at Foch Boulevard and Long Street. One of the featured films is “Back to the Future,” which will be screened July 30 at 4 p.m.

And on Thursdays, the action will take place at St. Albans Park, at Merrick Boulevard and Sayres Avenue.

The family movies give way to classic movies on Fridays.

“Last year we had five James Bond movies for the classic, and this summer we will have monster movies,” said Mays, who works at Columbia Pictures.

The classic series will be shown at Rufus King Park, at Jamaica Avenue and 153rd Street. Last Friday, the series opened with “Frankenstein,” and this Friday the Empire State Building better watch out. “King Kong” will be screened at 8:24 p.m.

“Hopefully, in 10 or 20 years, people that saw the movies will share their experiences,” Mays said. “That’s what a community is all about.”

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Kudos to Greg Mays, who would have made a good Councilman as opposed I. Daneek Miller, which is just more of Leroy Comrie.

On another note, the only thing that threatens our parks is not King Kong or Godzilla, but the slobs that have so little respect for them and just toss litter and garbage everywhere.

Show some damn respect folks for you community. You live in a community not a garbage dump.

 

 

DEMONSTRATION HELD IN DOWNTOWN JAMAICA FOR GUN VIOLENCE BUT WHAT ACTION IS GOING TO BE PUT IN PLACE TO DEAL WITH IT

Dozens of people lie in Sutphin Boulevard as part of a rally to protest gun violence. Photo by Nat Valentine

Dozens of people lie in Sutphin Boulevard as part of a rally to protest gun violence. Photo by Nat Valentine

A “lie down” demonstration in downtown Jamaica was held on Saturday, June 12th, which included mothers and relatives of many victims of gun violence in the community of Jamaica, in which this year alone have been 67 victims. That is a huge number, HUGE.

This is all good to have this type of demonstration, but I don’t think awareness needs to be raised, we are totally aware of how Jamaica has become the Wild Wild West. The BIG question is what kind of action is going to take place in this community and other American black communities  like it. There was not one mention of that, not even by two leaders of Jamaica who attended, Senator Malcolm Smith and Leroy Comrie, who is running against Smith. You mean neither, who have been dealing with this issue in the community had nothing to say or was this just another publicity stunt for them, since it is election time. But I am not surprised, both have been leaders in this community for a very long time and this community is still dealing with the exact same problems be it shootings, killings, crime, garbage, etc. So you have to ask yourself, what are they doing and are they doing enough? And please don’t bring up the very weak Gun Buy Back program, a teeny band-aid of a huge gaping wound.

If no action is taken to deal with this problem, this will just continue over and over again. So the black community  here in Jamaica and other places in the country, really need to look themselves in the mirror and be honest about this major problem that is decimating many of their young people and innocents who are caught in the cross-fire. Unlike crazy ass white boys who walk into a school or on  a campus and open fire with automatic weapons killing large numbers of innocent, the situation here in Jamaica and other black communities has become a normal way of life with shootings happening on pretty much a daily basis. This is not a twice a year thing  or a once in awhile thing, this is a everyday occurrence, day after day, week after week, month  after month, year after year.

Time for action and solutions, not talk, we have talked this subject to death over and over again. Talk is cheap. Whether it be bringing back a better version of “Stop & Frisk”, more police presence or some other type of action, something needs to happen. But when an America black community in  New Jersey makes a make shift memorial for an ex-con ( http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/person-interest-arrest-jersey-city-killing-article-1.1866138) who was killed by police when the ex-con assassinated a young police officer in Jersey City (and yes, it was a cold-blooded assassination) and his lunatic wife says “he should have killed more cops”, something is majorly wrong within certain American Black communities, where killers are held up high and something to be proud of, it is time to hold a huge mirror up and stop placing blame everywhere else and look at yourself. Take a good hard look at the American Black Community and be honest to what is really go on and why. The time for a million excuses is over.

From Times Ledger:

Jamaica parents demand an end to gun violence

“Enough is enough” was the message of dozens of relatives who have lost loved ones to gun violence in Jamaica Saturday afternoon.

The National Action Network, a civil rights organization with chapters nationwide, held a “lie in” demonstration in downtown Jamaica to commemorate those lost and to raise awareness of the issue.

“It is a shame that on a beautiful day like today, we have to be out here in our communities, telling our own people to stop the gun violence and to stop shooting and killing each other,” said Victoria Pannell, 15, president of NAN’s New York City youth chapter. “It is not the answer to settle beef or to solve arguments. All gun violence is going to do is get you 20 years to life and make some poor family go through the trials and tribulations of burying a loved one.”

Demonstrators lay across the road Saturday, temporarily blocking traffic on Parsons Boulevard in between Jamaica and Archer avenues. Among them was Kevin Livingston, founder of 100 Suits for 100 Men, an organization that helps convicted felons re-enter the job market.

“We’re tired of being reactive,” he said. “If we have to disrupt Jamaica’s economic engine to bring attention to the issue, it’s worth it.”

There have been 67 victims of gun violence in Queens South precincts this year so far and 658 shooting victims citywide during that time, according to NYPD statistics. This was a 9.5 percent citywide increase in the number of shooting victims from the same time last year.

Parents, siblings, aunts and uncles cried out countless names of those they knew who had died from gun violence.

“Since I lost my son, unfortunately, my circle of friends has become mothers that have lost their kids,” said Shenee Johnson, whose son, Kedrick Morrow, was gunned down in 2010. “The real question is not when are we going to stop the violence. The honest question to ask today if we don’t continue to do more, is who’s next?”

Morrow was killed following a dispute at a Springfield Gardens party, a month before he was going to graduate from high school.

Taylonn Murphy, whose 18-year-old daughter Tayshana was shot and killed in a Harlem housing development in 2011, attended the rally to show support for Queens parents who had lost children to gun violence.

“We don’t want anyone else to join the messed-up club we’re in,” he said.

Embattled state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and his challenger, former Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie, attended the rally and participated in the lie in.

“We are out here trying to stop the gun violence the way our ancestors fought segregation — only this time, we are doing the damage to ourselves,” Victoria Pannell said. “It is time for us to let young people know that picking up a piece of steel is not going to solve anything.”

 

$1.27 MILLION DOLLARS SPENT ON LIC PLAYGROUND/PARK, WHILE JAMAICA GETS SHIT, BUT THERE IS A REASON

Murray Playground in Long Island City is open again following a $1.275 million makeover. Photo by Daniel Avila/Parks Department

Murray Playground in Long Island City is open again following a $1.275 million makeover. Photo by Daniel Avila/Parks Department

1.27 million dollars certainly seems to be majorly excessive for restoring Murry Playground, a very small playground/park in Long Island City (http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2014/28/murrayplayground_tl_2014_07_11_q.html). Since for many years I lived right across from it, it was never in bad condition, so to me spending 1.27 million dollars seem totally ridiculous while that kind of money certainly could help out shit hole Jamaica.

Major Mark Park, one of the smallest in Jamaica  and one of the filthiest, thanks to our low-class folks.

Major Mark Park, one of the smallest in Jamaica and one of the filthiest, thanks to our low-class folks.

Major Mark Park

BUT, then I thought about it, why would $1.27 million dollars be spent in fixing up one of Jamaica’s several parks (Rufus King Park, Major Mark Park, Roy Wilkins) or anything else for that matter. All one needs to do is look at how the low-class garbage (and I mean human garbage) in Jamaica treat everything. They are total fucking slobs at the bottom of the bottom of the barrel. They trash everything, sidewalks, streets, property and yes parks. Major Mark Park, one of the smallest parks, is continuously filthy with all kinds of garbage and homeless people, no matter how many times Parks & Recreation cleans it up. It is totally disgusting and by far the worst park in Jamaica. Rufus King Park ( the Mexican park) does fair a little bit better, but not much. At any given time, besides all the drunk Mexican men sleeping all over the ground and benches, litter is everywhere, even tires sometimes (I mean how does a tire get into a gated park). Roy Wilkins Park, one of the better (though St. Albans it the best in terms of cleanliness), has it’s share of litter, overflowing garbage cans and once in awhile you will see a dirty diaper on the ground of the parking lot.

Just another drunk Mexican in Rufus King Park sleeping it off.

Just another drunk Mexican in Rufus King Park sleeping it off.

Rufus King Park, doesn't quite look restored to its original beauty.

Rufus King Park, doesn’t quite look restored to its original beauty.

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See, some people do not deserve to have nice things, because they have no respect for anything and they trash everything they come in touch with. And since our wonderful community has so many of these types of low-class bottom of the totem pole people, most everything is trashed and disgusting, so yeah, why would anyone spend $1.27 million dollars fixing up a park in Jamaica, when the bottom of the barrel folks will just turn around and trash it. It would be a major waste of money.

Garbage in St. Albans Park, one of the nicer areas of Jamaica.

Garbage in St. Albans Park, actually the nicest of the parks in Jamaica.

Bottom line, you want Jamaica cleaned up, somehow remove these low-life folks.

GENTRIFICATION! Yeah, that is the ticket, otherwise, there is no hope for this mess of a community.

Here is the test: Move everyone in Long Island City (but not the Queens Bridge Project folks, that area sucks) to Jamaica, move everyone from Jamaica to Long Island City. Within months, Jamaica will look fantastic and in a few days, Long Island City will become trash and a ghetto. No fucking doubt about it and if anyone thinks otherwise, you are a fool. Face reality. Communities are a mess because of the types of people in them.

TV REPORTER GETS SUSPENDED FOR SPEAKING THE TRUTH ABOUT INNER CITY MENTALITY TOWARD POLICE OFFICERS

TV Reporter Suspended After Rant About Fatherless ‘Young Black Men’ . Although I would hardly call it a rant, he was speaking his mind on an issue that is too much ignored.

TV Reporter Suspended After Rant About Fatherless ‘Young Black Men’ . Although I would hardly call it a rant, he was speaking his mind on an issue that is too much ignored.

I normally stick to topics concerning Jamaica Queens, but the recent killing of  Jersey City police officer, 23 year old Melvin Santiago, by an ex-con, 27 year old Lawrence Campbell (who was eventually shot and killed by officers) and the inner city attitude that makes the ex-con a hero and the slain officer a bad guy reminds me way too much of some of that twisted attitude in Jamaica and the whole anti-cop mentality that exists in inner cities among many black people (American Black) whose own communities are riddled with shootings, crime, killings and poor quality of life issues. From the lunatic ranting of the wife of the dead ex-con to the unbelievable make shift memorial for this killer with no conscience, says so much about the American black inner city community and what is so very very wrong with it.  You can read the article at http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/person-interest-arrest-jersey-city-killing-article-1.1866138

When  News 12 TV reporter, Sean Bergin, made a statement of truth regarding young inner city black men with no fathers around, he was suspended. The video can be watched below:

It is also interesting to read the comments of this article (https://tv.yahoo.com/news/tv-reporter-suspended-rant-fatherless-young-black-men-225200189.html), many which make sense as opposed to the usual idiotic rantings you see in the comment section.

What does honoring an ex-con who pretty much assassinated a police officer in cold blood and then demonizing a police officer say about a community in shambles with major violence, crime and killings. Something is so very wrong with this picture, something that could also be said to a certain extent about parts of South Jamaica as well.

Let’s face it, if one has so little respect for the life of a police officer, what kind of respect do you think someone would have for an ordinary Joe (no pun intended). Very frightening.

As I have said many times before, THE TRUTH HURTS and most people do not want to face it.

 

WHY ISN’T THE PRESS & MEDIA GRILLING JAMAICA LEADERS ABOUT THE GARBAGE PROBLEM IN THE COMMUNITY?

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I am very grateful for all the coverage that the press and media does on the Jamaica garbage problem and they have certainly done much coverage on it, BUT, and you knew there would be a BUT, why isn’t the press and media grilling all of the local Jamaica elected officials and leaders as to WHY this situation is so bad and out of hand, WHAT are they actually doing as far as any type of action plan and WHY after all of the documentation that has been going on for a few years, WHY isn’t something being done and WHY does it continue day after day, month after month, year after year over and over again, some which are the same problematic areas. Why aren’t these questions being hammered at our local leaders and getting an answer that is not some lame ass excuse?

WHY? It seems to be simple questions to be asking of these so-called leaders. As journalist, you all should be grilling these individuals,  especially considering all of the documentation that has been going on in the past three years.

Although NY1 did question then Councilman Leroy Comrie, Councilman Ruben Wills and  former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall in Ruchell Boone’s 4-part garbage series (which none said anything substantial) and the Queens Chronicle did an editorial on all the documentation and leaders ignoring the situation, but for the most part the press and media have rarely grilled (and I mean grilled) any of the Jamaica elected officials and other leaders in regard to this horrendous problem in Jamaica that to this day still continues. They seem to cover them for some photo-ops with some lame street naming ceremony or some ribbon cutting event, that no one really gives a shit about, but where are all of you in digging deep and holding these high paid leaders responsible for the poor quality of life conditions in Jamaica, a community that they oversee

James Fobb place at 107-58 164th St. Taken June 2014. A constant problem.

James Fobb place at 107-58 164th St. Taken June 2014. A constant problem.

As of today (July 16, 2014), this still exists.

As of today (July 16, 2014), this still exists.

Guy Brewer & 108th. A Major Garbage Ghetto mess constantly.

Guy Brewer & 108th. A Major Garbage Ghetto mess constantly.

???????????????????????????????

Before

So I will ask again, WHY? And who is going to really step up to the plate and begin to answer the questions to Katz, Comrie, Miller, Cook, etc.

 

AN OH WHAT THE FUCK MOMENT: MASTER BIG DADDY LEROY COMRIE CAN’T CLEAN UP JAMAICA YET HE PLANS ON CLEANING UP THE PLANET

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller & Deputy President Leroy Comrie

Leroy Comrie saves the planet. His buddy and predecessor Councilmember I. Daneek Miller hugging it out.

I don’t know who has the bigger balls, Senator Malcolm Smith for staying in the race for his seat despite having a trial coming up in January for corruption charges or Leroy Comrie gunning for his seat who is attempting to clean up the planet, yet his former district in Jamaica is a huge garbage dumping ground of trash, tires, diapers, discarded furniture and every other piece of shit garbage you can think of. Comrie must be wearing a steel jockstrap to hold up those heavy balls.

Katherine James brought this latest Comrie bullshit to my attention:

While areas in his former council district remain deep with trash, New Yorkers for Leroy Comrie wants to clean up the Planet. He couldn’t even  clean his district but now he wants to clean the Planet by  raising funds (asking folks to bring .05 cent bottles/cans to his campaign headquarters for Recycling for Education “Fundraiser”. However all proceeds go to New Yorkers for Leroy Comerie.  So will records of the contributions be properly recorded?  The info is posted  on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/comrieforqueens/photos/a.405059299609161.1073741826.404961846285573/604421953006227/?type=1&theater)

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Totally amazing. His district was one of the worst for litter and garbage dumping while he was council member for twelve years while he did absolutely SHIT in regards to the problem, yet the mighty Comrie is going to take on Planet Earth and clean it up.

Here is a sample of Comrie’s district, which today still looks like shit, so I guess his predecessor, Councilman I. Daneek Miller learned the art of ignoring quality of life issues, not addressing them or finding solutions from the master. Master Big Daddy Comrie whose motto should be “Keeping the Colored Folks Down”.

And this is who you Jamaica folks want for your leader in the senate.  WAKE UP FOOLS and wake me when it is over because I really think I have been dreaming for the last couple of years.

By the way this s hit still has not been cleaned up as of 7.14.14

By the way this s hit still has not been cleaned up as of 7.14.14

James Fobb place at 107-58 164th St. Taken June 2014.

James Fobb place at 107-58 164th St. Taken June 2014.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Flake

More typical South Jamaica. As of 7.14.14, pretty much looks the same.

More typical South Jamaica. As of 7.14.14, pretty much looks the same.

December 2013

December 2013

Comrie's own backyard of St. Albans.

Comrie’s own backyard of St. Albans.

Our illustrious leader, The Dishonorable Leroy Comrie. SHAME ON YOU!

Our illustrious leader, The Dishonorable Leroy Comrie. SHAME ON YOU!

 

 

ATTORNEY CLYDE VANEL DROPS OUT OF SENATE RACE: SMITH, COMRIE, SEMPLE & MUNIR LEFT

Attorney Clyde Vanel is the most recent candidate to enter the race for State Senator Malcolm Smith's seat.

Attorney Clyde Vanel drops out of senate race.

We are down to four candidates to choose from for the Senate race for Malcolm Smith’s seat. We are left with the Crook, The Lifer and the Fresh Bloods.

Attorney Clyde Vanel, who I feel has promise in Jamaica politics,  has dropped out. He made the following statement:

In an effort to unite the party and after conferring with my family, friends, Senate Democrats, and others, I am withdrawing my candidacy from the senate race.
I will continue to work on the many issues raised in my campaign namely, jobs, improving education and quality-of-life issues.
I truly appreciate and would like to thank all supporters, donors, and volunteers for believing in me and my candidacy.
OUR WORK CONTINUES!
Clyde
____________________________________
Clyde Vanel
Candidate for NYS Senate, D. 14
219-16 Linden Blvd., 2nd Fl
Cambria Heights, NY 11411
Tel: (646) 483-2343
Fax: (646) 417-6515

 

So, that leaves the crook Malcolm Smith (who I still cannot believe this ass has not dropped out with his upcoming corruption trial), life long politician and totally ignorant of quality of life issues former council member Leroy Comrie and newcomers Navy veteran Bernadette Semple and Democratic operative Munir Avery.

My vote goes to Bernadette Semple based on the fresh blood theory.  Malcolm has proven worthless and a crook and the very popular Leroy Comrie is just more of the same old shit from the “Jamaica Good Ol’ Boys Club. I mean really what has he done in his 12  years of city council to help improve the quality of life in Jamaica. Just look around, it looks like shit, smells like shit and feels like shit. Keep putting the same leaders in Jamaica over and over again expecting different results equals insanity and guarantees NOTHING will change.

Bernadette Semple for Senate. Read more about her at http://queens-politics.com/tag/bernadette-semple/

Navy Veteran Bernadette Semple plans to challenge embattled State Sen. Malcolm Smith in the Democratic primary for his southeast Queens seat.

Navy Veteran Bernadette Semple plans to challenge embattled State Sen. Malcolm Smith in the Democratic primary for his southeast Queens seat.

COUNCILMAN DONOVAN RICHARDS: THE ONE STANDOUT OF JAMAICA LEADERSHIP

Councilman Donovan Richards, how a leader should be in the Jamaica community.

Donovan Richards, Jr. for City Council, District 31

Donovan Richards, Jr. for City Council, District 31

From Times Ledger:

Jamaica wants Albany to clean toxic waste sites

By Juan Soto

Photo by Juan Soto The project aims to clean up these sites by removing dangerous contaminants and then redeveloping them. Photo by Juan Soto

Photo by Juan Soto
The project aims to clean up these sites by removing dangerous contaminants and then redeveloping them. Photo by Juan Soto

Downtown Jamaica is one of the neighborhoods benefitting from a state program that redevelops underused vacant lots, home in the past to gas stations, auto repair shops, junk yards, factories and similar poorly managed waste operations.

Known as Brownfield Opportunity Areas, the project cleans up these sites, usually in low-income areas, by removing dangerous contaminants and then redeveloping them.

Now the City Council is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include a $15 million allocation in state long-term funding. The 2014-15 state budget “has inexplicably eliminated funding” for the program, said Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), chairman of the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection.

Emphasizing that the program plays “a vital role in restoring and revitalizing distressed communities and creating jobs,” the councilman insisted on the need to keep funding the Brownfield Opportunity Areas.

In Jamaica, the target area — mostly industrial and commercial — covers 40 blocks, containing a total of 616 properties, to the south of the Long Island Rail Road station, except for a stretch along Archer and Jamaica avenues north of the tracks.

“Community-supported brownfields reclamation is a sound investment towards public health, public safety and economic development,” Richards said.

In the last 12 months, two specific sites have been announced for redevelopment, specifically a hotel and a 400-unit building that includes 100 apartments of affordable housing and 80,000 square feet of retail space with underground parking.

The 24-story hotel will be erected at 93rd Street and Sutphin Boulevard.

Viral Patel, the Able Hotels chief executive officer, said last Thursday that the project “is still under planning.”

He added that the first hard hats are expected for some time next spring. Patel estimated that the building would be completed in late 2016 or early 2017.

Able Hotels operates two hotels, one in Plainview and the other one in Brentwood, both in Long Island.

Also, the Shops at the Station Plaza strip, at the Sutphin Boulevard underpass, was completed recently. The location used to be a dark loading dock under the LIRR Jamaica station. It was also the home for a print shop.

According to the report, “Jamaica Brownfield Opportunity Area Nomination Study,” the redevelopment of the target area will require collaboration from the “private sector, government and the nonprofit sectors, working with the community, to resolve issue where public concerns and private interests must be addressed.”

Carlisle Towerey, executive director of the Greater Jamaica Development Corp., pointed out that this funding “allow distressed communities to create economic vitality in areas previously abandoned by private investment.”

Jody Kass, of the New Partners for Community Revitalization, said funding for Brownfield Opportunity Areas is key for the “economic regeneration projects in weak market areas.”

Richards pointed out “the program is crucial because it helps attract private resources to weak market areas that will remove dangerous contaminants from out neighborhoods.”

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KUDOS to Councilman Donovan Richards, who I have always thought from the get go was the only leader of quality in Jamaica. He seems to have initiative, vision, an action plan and truly cares about the community and the constituents. Now this man is a leader compared to the other wastes in our community.

Funny, on such a very important issue, that Richards was the only elected speaking out on this. Where were the others (well some were defending themselves on corruption charges)?

And why did not that wonderful leader Comrie, whom every one puts on such a high pedestal, and was in council for 12 years, ever address this issue, considering his district is one of the worst when it comes to these places, especially with those awful auto body shops, which spews chemicals out all over the sidewalks and streets along Merrick Blvd besides leaving their junked cars all over.

Good work Councilman Richards!