A QUICK LOOK AT JAMAICA IN 2013

As the end comes to a close, and we welcome 2014, let’s take a quick look at Jamaica happenings (the real deal, not the bullshit stuff) for 2013 in no particular order.

Huntley & Smith "Oh, Happy Days!

Huntley & Smith
Disgraceful

1.  Crooked Politicians Galore. Every other week it was another corruption, scandal involving the majority of our local leaders, you had a hard time of keeping track. The big ones were former Senator Shirley Huntley going to prison on corruption charges and Senator Malcolm Smith more than likely on his way soon for him and his buffoon buddies trying to rig the mayor election.

CityRib at 89-04 Parsons Blvd, Downtown Jamaica

CityRib at 89-04 Parsons Blvd, Downtown Jamaica

2. CityRib Restaurant/Bar Finally Opens. After months of “Coming Soon” in 2012, the very  hip and stylish restaurant/bar finally opened their doors this year, making it the first high quality sit-down restaurant in downtown Jamaica (sorry Applebee’s does not cut it for high quality). Time will only tell how if more quality sit-down restaurants, bars or cafes will appear on the scene or how well CityRib will do in this area.

A common site, vacant lots that have become garbage dumps.

A common site, vacant lots that have become garbage dumps.

3. Major Garbage Problem Still Plagues Jamaica. The major and horrendous Jamaica garbage problem continued to plague Jamaica and all the surrounding area, with little relief in sight. Although there were a few victories (none due to our local elected leaders), the problem continued to get worse with little enforcement from city agencies and local leaders who as usual kept their eyes wide shut.

NY1 VIDEO: Residents of South Jamaica who have said they have dealt with illegal dumping their area for several years took to the streets on Saturday to demand more action from city officials. As last seen on NY1 last month, the Department Of Sanitation tried to address the garbage issue by working on cleanup efforts and assigning undercover sanitation officers to problem areas, but residents say the city isn't doing enough. A DSNY spokesperson said the agency is still working on addressing the issue with its enforcement patrol and also by doing community outreach regarding clean-up responsibilities. - See more at: http://queens.ny1.com/content/top_stories/184748/south-jamaica-residents-say-their-streets-are-still-littered-by-illegal-dumping/#sthash.7b1EH7Q3.dpuf

Jamaica Garbage Protest

4. Media Coverage Galore on the Garbage Problem. While we had to endure yet another year of a garbage/litter problem, garbage strewn vacant lots, illegal dumping and a lack of enforcement, the media came out in full force this year to publicize the horrendous conditions. From WPIX-TV, Greg Mocker, Queens Courier, Queens Times Ledger, Queens Press, Queens Chronicle and of course NY1, who did several stories on the issue, including the great 4-part series by Ruschell Boone  on the problem which really got people talking and people pissed off, you could not avoid hearing or seeing this major quality of life problem that is killing Jamaica.

Fellow community activist Pamela Hazel, myself, Everly Brown, Senator Tony Avella and others.

Fellow community activist Pamela Hazel, myself, Everly Brown, Senator Tony Avella and others.

5. Senator Tony Avella Takes a Quality of Life Walking Tour With CleanUpJamaica. Our own local elected leaders proved to be pretty much useless in dealing with the garbage problem, but Senator Tony Avella steps up to the plate and walks around the community  (with NY1) and other activists to take note of various violations and contact all the various agencies involved with some results, including an impressive fence finally put up by Metropolitan Lumber around an eyesore of a lot.

Inside Premium House

Inside Premium House

6. The Quick closing of One High End Retail (Merci Boutique) and the Opening of Another (Premium House). With the exception of a few places on Jamaica Avenue, choices for nice clothing retail stores sucks. Cheap clothing, dirty stores and poor customer service. A big surprise was the opening of Merci Boutique on Jamaica Avenue (169th & 170th) with it’s fancy store and high quality fashion clothing. Alas, most people were not even aware of it (the location was not the greatest) and it closed in six short months to be replaced by a Nail Salon (like we don’t have enough of those shit places). But in August saw the opening of a fancy quality boutique, Premium House at Jamaica Avenue and Sutphin Blvd replacing both a crappy nail salon and crappy bakery. Hopefully this will have more staying power than Merci Boutique.

Greg Mays, founder of A Better Jamaica.

Greg Mays, founder of A Better Jamaica

7.  The Jamaica Ball. The Jamaica Ball, an extravagant gala to help benefit various local non-profits, was held at the gorgeous Jamaica Performing Arts Center (which is not used enough). Great food, great music, dancing and stylish beautiful people make this event a winner in an area that disparately needs it.

Queens Royalty.jpg28. Jamaica Revealed & Queens Royalty Bust. Jamaica Revealed was to be a a way to bring quality businesses to Jamaica and Queens Royalty website, which is relatively new and highlights the positives of Jamaica, really did nothing to help improve the situation in Jamaica. While both are very good ideas, they just are not working as long as our community looks like a garbage dump and Jamaica Avenue is pretty much low end retail. You cannot put the cart before the horse. Clean the area up and then introduce such initiatives, otherwise you just look foolish and it is embarrassing.

Apathy.jpg29. Lack of Pride and Apathy. These two things alone are killing Jamaica. How can you have any type of pride, when the so many residents and visitors treat Jamaica like one big garbage dump. Throw in the apathy factor and who gives a shit attitude and you have a recipe for disaster which continues to keep the Jamaica community down.

THANKS, FOR FUCKING WHAT?

THANKS, FOR FUCKING WHAT?

10. Lack of Good Leadership. Another major problem in Jamaica, so many elected leaders and community leaders but all pretty much coasting, doing nothing, not stepping up to the plate or a total lack of vision that is needed to push Jamaica forward toward the future.

D'aja Robinson who life was taken by some punkass with a gun.

D’aja Robinson who life was taken by some punkass with a gun.

12. Murder. Bloomberg might shout how the murder rate overall is down, but here in Jamaica it seems like every other day there is another senseless shooting and killing. In the wake of the totally senseless shooting of young D’aja Robison while riding the bus by some knucklehead gang banger, people were in an uproar and demanded something be done, but as time passed, it was back to the status quo and more shootings and killings.

Let’s see if 2014 is better for Jamaica.

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CAN JAMAICA BE SAVED OR IS IT PAST THE POINT OF NO RETURN?

As we say good-bye to 2013 and enter 2014, the big question for Jamaica, which you keep hearing “revitalization”, “Jamaica Revealed” and other political catch phrases, is can it really be saved or is it past the point of return and hopeless?

This is a fucking sidewalk, not a garbage dump.

Unfortunately this is a very typical scene in Downtown Jamaica

Well considering that in my 3 short years living here and not seeing any revitalization, no new quality businesses (with the exception of CityRib), a garbage problem that has continued to get worse, a very poor quality of life, more destruction of 1-2 family homes to put up cheap shitty 3-4 story apartments with slumlords, a so-so community board (#12) and pretty much lame local elected leaders, which really isn’t going to change in 2014, it does not look good for Jamaica. Sure it can still happen, I mean it has happened before in parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island City, but there was strong support for change in those places, strong community bonds and leaders who were stepping up to the plate, all which is missing in Jamaica.

This type of cheap shitty problematic apartment buildings have replaces nice 1-2 family homes in Jamaica.

This type of cheap shitty problematic apartment buildings have replaces nice 1-2 family homes in Jamaica.

One thing is for sure, the various look of some neighborhoods in Jamaica have been destroyed by cheap housing and cheap apartment buildings and those neighborhood esthetics are gone and this was due to poor zoning, a community board and leaders who did not step in and say NO.  Several blocks of my neighborhood has seen the destruction of nice 1-2 family homes replaced by garbage strewn vacant lots that sit for years or worse out of character cheap shoddy 3-4 story apartments filled with 20 low class families and landlords that do not give a shit or take  care of the property. Almost every single one of these types of buildings have had various violations right front the beginning when they were being built. Illegal construction, illegal conversions, electrical violations, garbage violations and other quality of life issues. Most of the fires that happen in the community (and they seem to happen every other day) are caused by these types of places.

A common site, vacant lots that have become garbage dumps.

A common site, vacant lots that have become garbage dumps.

Then you have the many owners of homes that have destroyed any green grass and yards to be replaced by complete illegal paving of everything, illegal cut curbs and illegal parking pads that bring down the quality of the neighborhood to low-class ghetto, not even counting the flooding issues that are caused by this type of reckless action.  And many of these homes have various violations the same as those cheap shitty low class third world looking apartments. When I reported 27 illegal driveways and curb cuts within 2 blocks of me, all of these places have had serious past violations.

Illegal driveways, parking pads that destroy sidewalks and the esthetics of the community.

Illegal driveways, parking pads that destroy sidewalks and the esthetics of the community.

Illegal curb cuts, illegal driveways and complete cementing over green space has destroyed many Jamaica neighborhoods

Illegal curb cuts, illegal driveways and complete cementing over green space has destroyed many Jamaica neighborhoods

So when outsiders see this type of community, with a shitload of shitty, cheap looking apartments with garbage all over the property, meters on the front of buildings, cheap balconies used as storage or home yards completely cemented over with no grass and blocks that look like used car lots with cars parking wherever the hell they want, what quality people would want to come here. And if quality people will not come here, neither will quality businesses, so then we are stuck with the same shit, dirty fast food joints, shitty retail with cheap clothing and poor customer service, 99 cents stores galore, nail salons, beauty supply stores on every block and dirty disgusting delis, which have young black men with nothing to do hanging out in front acting like buffoons.

Jamaica littered with dirty delis for criminal element to hang out at.

Jamaica littered with dirty delis for criminal element to hang out at.

Then there is the matter of a lack of enforcement of quality of life issues here in Jamaica. Department of Buildings, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation and even the 103rd precinct which just does not enforce laws and issue fines and violations for even the most blatant issues. The same excuses from these city agencies are the same, “budget cuts”, “not enough workers”, “not at the top of the priority list”, “not our issue”, just one lame excuse after another. Of course not having proactive, dedicated elected officials in the community makes matter worse. It says a lot about our local leaders when an outside leader, Senator Tony Avella, has to step in to address quality of life issues that people like Comrie and Wills refuse to deal with.

So as we enter 2014, the future of Jamaica is again very questionable and we will pretty much be stuck with a garbage strewn community with low-class ghetto people who do not give a shit about their community, the same old leaders who have not done shit in the past and an overall apathy and “who gives a shit” attitude even with our so-called “quality” people. So unless people finally step up to the plate, voice there concern and say ENOUGH, Jamaica will keep going down hill.

Even I have pretty much lost hope on this community, which means it is time to move on to better pasture.hope

 

 

SHITTY JAMAICA LOOKS LIKE A USED CAR LOT WITH ALL THE ILLEGAL DRIVEWAYS AND ILLEGAL PARKING

***By the way with the exception of two of the properties listed below, they were all reported to DOB back in 2004-2005 in regards to illegal cutting of curbs/illegal driveways and they all had some kind of illegal conversion apartment issue.*******

Jamaica not only looks like one ghetto garbage dump, but many blocks are looking like used car lots where cars are parked in spots that are not made for parking or being parked in illegal driveways with illegal curb cuts or just right up on sidewalks.

Not only is this huge major issue (which is not being addressed at all) a total eyesore and brings down the property value, there are many underlying problems with this. One is the water run off and flooding which is caused by cementing over every inch of grass and then no where for water to be captured, so it pours out into the streets.  One block on 89th Avenue alone between 168th Pl & 169th Street has not one piece of green since all of the houses have cemented over the small green space in front of their property and created illegal driveways.

Then you have the destruction of sidewalks and curbs from cars going up over sidewalks into these “illegal parking pads” where there is no driveway. And of course every time an illegal driveway is created a public parking space is taken away.

Will  any of this get resolved, who the hell knows (our local leaders seem to not give a shit). I reported today 25 of these violations just within  three blocks of my place and as the Department of Buildings told me, “I have to tell you this is not at the top  of our priority list”. Hell nothing is on the top of anyone’s priority list, Buildings, Sanitation, Transportation,  so just what the hell is on these agencies priority list. It is always the same story, our budget has been slashed, we don’t have enough people, we will see about getting to it, blah, blah, blah. In the meantime, people can pretty much do whatever they want when it comes to destroying a community, especially one like Jamaica, which has looked like shit for decades.

When issues like this do not get addressed or resolved, a community just continues to go to hell, where no one gives a shit. And some of our leaders have the balls to talk about the revitalization of Jamaica or “Queens Royalty”. Queens royalty, my fucking ass. Does this look like Queens Royalty to you????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? It looks like a FUCKING LOW CLASS GHETTO.

ELIMINATE ILLEGAL FRONT YARD DRIVEWAYS & ILLEGAL PARKING PADS

Illegal Parking Pads that litter Jamaica

Illegal Parking Pads that litter Jamaica

Came across this interesting article from the Woodhaven Block Association and you pretty much could exchange Woodhaven in the article for Jamaica. But here in Jamaica pretty nobody gives a flying fuck about anything and that is why we have so much nonsense.

Eliminate Illegal Front-Yard Driveways
by Alexander Blenkinsopp

Is it really too much to expect fellow Woodhaven residents to follow the law, and for New York City agencies to enforce the law? When it comes to illegal front yard parking, it seems so.

Across the neighborhood, some residents and homeowners have paved over their front yards and started to park cars there, although it’s against the law.

The result is that concrete has often replaced grass, drivers have been steering their cars over sidewalks even when there are no curb cuts (or, worse still, have been illegally cutting the curbs themselves), and some of these law-breaking drivers have even tried to prevent others from parking in legal street spots that block their illegal parking pads.

Turning a front-yard lawn or garden into a concrete patch is unsightly and might lead to street flooding when rainwater can’t escape into soil. Driving a car up and over a curb where there’s no driveway is dangerous and contributes to a sense of disorder in the neighborhood. Disallowing others to park in legal spots is selfish and reduces the amount of legitimate parking in the neighborhood. Most importantly, all these actions violate the law.

I’m familiar with the objections from those who believe they should be able to do whatever they want with their homes. That, however, is not the way it works in New York City. With so many people living in proximity to each other, what one person does can have a big impact on neighbors or even the community as a whole.

When you pave over your yard, you contribute to the destruction of the character of your block. You hurt the values of nearby properties. And you worsen the problems I mentioned above. The United States might be the land of the free, but that doesn’t mean you’re free to do whatever you want without regard for your community or the law.

Unfortunately, the New York City Buildings Department—the agency with authority on this matter—has been slow to enforce the law and to take action against those who create illegal driveways, carports, or curb cuts in Woodhaven. For instance, I called in one violation and even provided photographic proof. Three months later, the Buildings Department hasn’t even gotten around to taking a look.

I know that these complaints aren’t their top priority. They should, rightly, be giving precedence to imminent public safety hazards, like the building collapse on 79th Street near Jamaica Avenue last month. That building had more than 30 outstanding construction violations.

But the fact remains that three months is an excessive wait for an initial investigation into an illegal driveway. It diminishes residents’ confidence in the authorities, it sends the message that those who violate the law will get away with it indefinitely, and it’s unfair to the many residents who follow the law and take pride in maintaining their properties.

Moreover, these front-yard parking pads are often related to other, deeper problems requiring attention. For example, many homeowners create them because of a parking shortage stemming from another illicit behavior: illegal conversions that pack too many people into houses, thus straining city services as well as the stock of available parking spots. And some residents chop down street trees in front of their homes in order to make it easier to pull their cars into and out of illegal driveways, further adding to a less green, more concrete Woodhaven.

The streets of Woodhaven shouldn’t look like one big used car lot. Woodhaven residents should do the right thing, and if they don’t, the Buildings Department should step in and enforce the law.

Editor’s note: Blenkinsopp is member of Community Board 9 and director of communications for the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. For additional information on the WRBA, visit http://www.woodhavennyc.org.

POLICE AT 103 PRECINCT STILL NOT DEALING WITH ILLEGAL PARKING SITUATIONS

???????????????????????????????It amazes me how you report a violation such as ongoing illegal parking, in this case cars going up over the curb and sidewalk to park in front of or on the side of an apartment building and your complaint is closed several times as “no violation observed”. In the one case at 90-25 170th Street, not only is this a case of illegal parking in which the 103rd should be ticketing this vehicle, but it is a Department of Building violation as well as a NYFD violation since this vehicle is blocking the door of the apartment building.???????????????????????????????

But as usual in Jamaica, anything goes, people can do whatever the fuck they want and there is no enforcement of laws and a blatant lack of effort on city agencies to enforce quality of life here.

I even received a phone call from the 103rd yesterday afternoon and explained the situation (I guess they were tired of all my complaints), yet still nothing done.

This is how a community gets unraveled, when legitimate complaints about quality of life violations are ignored and then nothing is done. People then feel that they can do whatever since there are no consequences. Hey, journalists, how about a story on this as opposed to bullshit articles about how great and wonderful Queens Borough Helen Marshall and Councilman Leroy Comrie have been in their long twelve years, when we know they were not, especially in the case of Marshall, a huge joke.

Here is the paper trail from 311 complaints that I made yesterday while these cars were parked illegally, know as illegal parking pad. They have been there since yesterday and as of this morning, still nothing has been done. Filed a complaint this morning, waiting to see what that one turns up.

Service Request #: C1-1-922051861
Date Submitted: 12/28/13 7:46:20 AM
Request Type: Illegal Parking
Details: Blocked Sidewalk

Your Service Request was closed.The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.

Service Request #: C1-1-922113191
Date Submitted: 12/28/13 12:33:37 PM
Request Type: Illegal Parking
Details: Blocked Sidewalk

Your Service Request was closed.The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.

Service Request #: C1-1-922104631
Date Submitted: 12/28/13 1:04:00 PM
Request Type: Illegal Parking
Details: Blocked Sidewalk

Your Service Request was closed.The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.

Service Request #: C1-1-922181891
Date Submitted: 12/28/13 9:05:34 PM
Request Type: Illegal Parking
Details: Blocked Sidewalk

Your Service Request was closed.The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.

Service Request #: C1-1-922260991
Date Submitted: 12/29/13 7:44:20 AM
Request Type: Illegal Parking
Details: Blocked Sidewalk

Your Service Request was closed.The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.

Now finally, the one illegal parked car received a violation (90-25 170th St).???????????????????????????????

Service Request #: C1-1-922258701
Date Submitted: 12/29/13 7:46:19 AM
Request Type: Illegal Parking
Details: Blocked Sidewalk

Your Service Request was closed.The Police Department issued a summons in response to the complaint.

But as usual just a half ass job, because the other one at 88-23 170th Street, nothing. Even though one car is gone the other is still there. What more evidence does one need.???????????????????????????????

Service Request #: C1-1-922260991
Date Submitted: 12/29/13 7:44:20 AM
Request Type: Illegal Parking
Details: Blocked Sidewalk

Your Service Request was closed.The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.

 

QUEENS BOROUGH PRESIDENT MARSHALL A TOTAL ASS

Whether the rumor is true that idiot Queens Borough President Helen Marshall has Alzheimers, one thing is for sure, this woman is one total asshole and horrible Queens Borough President. Who the fuck voted for this imbecile.

Queen Borough President Helen Marshall. "Dazed & Confused."

Queen Borough President Helen Marshall. “Dazed & Confused.”

According to The Daily News, Helen Marshall described Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz as “not very nice, not at all and he can be insulting”.  When asked why she does not try to be as flamboyant as Markowitz, her answer “I wouldn’t play with my borough the way he does. When I talk about this borough, I’m dead serious. I love it. It’s a great place and I want to give it all I can to keep it the way it is or better”.

REALLY, this coming from a woman who helped destroy Queens as much as possible in her 12 long years in office. A woman who has done very little as far as quality of life goes, who helped make Queens not only a laughing-stock but a nightmare due to over development. A woman who has totally ignored the horrible quality of life in Jamaica.

In the meantime, Brooklyn just keeps getting better and better (except for the price) and a borough that is truly diverse and vibrant and people who care about their communities.

So as usual this stupid ignorant woman opens her mouth and shit just pours out.

Good riddance Marshall and go FUCK YOURSELF while you are at it. You have fucked up Queens royally.Door hitting