The below photo says it all about a few Jamaica folks who are FUCKING PISSED about how Jamaica gets shit on from the Mayor & Queens BP to city agencies, like DOT, and elected officials. Forgot about the hood rats, they thrive because of the powers that be who DO SHIT and constantly DUMP SHIT in the community of Jamaica.

Doesn’t matter your ethnic background, your religion, your political affliation or if you are PC or not, we all have the same goal, TO CLEAN UP JAMAICA & FORCE THE POWERS TO BE TO DO SOMETHING and by that I don’t mean another fucking useless study on shit we already fucking know.

ORGANIZE FOLKS, GET MAD, GET VOCAL, just DO SOMETHING, unless you love living in a garbage strewn, community with poor leadership, fucking nonsense and a major poisonous polluter, Royal Waste and all their goomba fucking trucks.



From Queens Press:

Frustration Boils Over at Jamaica DOT Meeting


Photo by Trone Dowd
Constituents and community leaders told the DOT that they are not happy with the lack of immediate results to a more than year-long study. 


Southeast Queens residents sick and tired of not seeing substantial results after months of studies conducted by the city Department of Transportation along Jamaica’s most congested traffic corridors made their voices loud and clear on Monday evening following a presentation of proposed short term, traffic reducing solutions for the neighborhood.

The two-hour presentation took place at the Harvest Room, located on Jamaica Avenue and 161st Street. The presentation was proposed as the latest stop gap in the long-term plan to overhaul Jamaica’s severe traffic problems that have caused lengthy backups of drivers, dangerous conditions for pedestrians and strained bus lines that run through the neighborhood. The plan has been a continuous back and forth between the community and the DOT since November 2015.

“We are here to report back to you what our studies found, and generate specific recommendations of improvement measures to address some of the challenges we see in downtown Jamaica,” DOT Deputy Director Michael Griffin said.

But what the DOT found was a number of problem sites throughout the catchment area, which included everything from Linden Boulevard to Union Turnpike and 130th Street to Farmers Boulevard. The agency looked at land use, pedestrian safety, public transit usages, traffic and more, identifying key aspects contributing to the long-standing issue. Solutions included converting 150th Street between Hillside and Archer avenues into a two-way street, installing an Access-A-Ride stop along Union Hall Street, converting 91st Ave between 146th Street and Sutphin Boulevard to an eastbound street to address congestion and a number of other small improvements.

Despite these proposals, residents who have been awaiting substantial change to the area rejected the minor upgrades that are scheduled to be implemented this summer, saying that real issues such as illegal commuter vans and mismanagement of bus routes were going completely over the heads of DOT members.

“Nowhere in [this presentation] did I see MTA mentioned,” said lifelong resident Vanessa Sparks. “It would seem to me that you can’t have a conversation about transportation without the MTA being at the table, especially since this is such a huge bus area.”

Sparks said that the dollar vans used to alleviate the demand for better bus service were “a disaster waiting to happen.” She added that, this week, she witnessed four fire trucks with alarms blaring getting stuck in Jamaica rush hour traffic.

“That is a death sentence and it is all because of the illegal dollar cars,” she said. “I think you may want to reopen this up and get some more current data that already exists and get the MTA at the table for us to do this again because this is not going to work. Short from a miracle from God, this is not going to work.”

Michelle Keller, who is the transportation chairwoman of Community Board 12, said that she was disheartened by Saturday’s presentation.

“Other than six or seven new slides, this is the same presentation that you showed us in December and February,” Keller told the DOT. “I’m not seeing any resolutions. I thought I would hear something about pedestrian plazas. You’re studying this thing to death and you’re singing to the choir. You came to myself, the chairwoman and the district manager [of CB 12] when we asked to meet with you and the commissioner and I still don’t see a comprehensive plan. We don’t even have renderings of what Downtown Jamaica would look like after these changes you’re talking about.

CB 12 District Manager Yvonne Reddick and CB 12 Chairwoman Adrienne Adams, who both attended the presentation, said that they stood united with constituents and fellow board members.

Another constituent brought up Royal Waste, a waste plant in Jamaica that processes approximately one-fourth of all the trash in the city, and said that its trucks that are often seen traveling the streets of Southeast Queens damage roads, cause pollution and block roadways.

“Trucks are a big disaster in this area,” said community activist and resident Joe Moretti, who added that he was flabbergasted that the DOT hadn’t identified the kind of issues that most residents see every day on their daily commutes. “That horrible neighbor we have, Royal Waste. I don’t know what idiot allowed that place to be put there, but it should have never been put in a downtown area right near residential. Until that place disappears, we will continue to have a truck problem.”

Councilman Miller ensured constituents that he would get the MTA to come to Downtown Jamaica to discuss transportation reform in greater detail sometime in the near future.

Councilman Miller ensured constituents that he would get the MTA to come to Downtown Jamaica to discuss transportation reform in greater detail sometime in the near future.

Three weeks ago, the Press of Southeast Queens reported that Royal Waste has been ruining the quality of life for nearby residents along Liberty Avenue, which is a longstanding issue that local leaders and elected officials alike have been combating.

“DOT and local law enforcement need to address that local truck situation,” Moretti continued. “Why you would have Merrick Boulevard and 168th as a truck route is beyond comprehension. Would you see a street in Forest Hills in their little downtown section have trucks going through it? Everything gets dumped on in this neighborhood.”

Moretti was just one of many residents who brought up longstanding issues that were not mentioned in the DOT’s study. Others expressed frustration with the lack of involvement from the MTA during the meetings. Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) told frustrated constituents that he would make sure that the MTA meets with residents in the near future, so that they can hear the qualms directly from commuters.

Griffin ensured the Press of Southeast Queens that the comments made during Monday’s meeting would make its way back to the DOT’s office for consideration. He also said that while he understands that residents are frustrated, they should understand that these short-term goals are meant to set the groundwork for bigger changes to come once the long-term study is completed.

“They seem to be most frustrated with transit,” he said. “They may not be getting the best out of us as a result.”

As of this writing, the DOT is looking to start making short-term changes this summer and long-term changes that involve construction projects and manpower well into 2026.


You heard my take on this bullshit presentation (https://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/downtown-jamaica-transportation-study-public-meeting-a-big-fucking-crap-of-nothing/), so let’s hear one of the local media, Queens Chronicle’s take.

Kudos to Councilman I. Daneek Miller (one of the better local elected officials) for this line, which sums up much:

“They’re spending money on ferry ramps in some neighborhoods, and $3 billion on streetcars for communities that don’t exist yet,” Miller said. “But our transportation system here is 50 years old.”

YES, that says it all about places like Jamaica and this administration under de Blasio, he of the “Tale of Two Cities” and making that tale grow even WIDER.


From Queens Chronicle:

DOT gets an earful on Jamaica traffic

Residents unimpressed at halfway point of major transportation study

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2017 10:30 am | Updated: 1:00 pm, Thu Mar 23, 2017.

One of the stated purposes of Monday night’s presentation on the Downtown Jamaica Transportation Study was for the city’s Department of Transportation representatives to obtain feedback from the public at the project’s halfway point.

Mission accomplished, as Jamaica residents and members of Community Board 12 repeatedly called the 25-page update insufficient, lacking in several key areas regarding traffic congestion and safety.

Michael Griffith and project manager Carren Simpson made their presentation before more than 40 people in the Harvest Room on 160th Street. Begun formally in fall 2015, the study’s primary area is bordered by Hillside Avenue to the north, 183rd Street to the east, Liberty Avenue to the south and the Van Wyck Expressway to the west.

A secondary area goes from Linden Boulevard to Union Turnpike and from 130th Street to 193rd Street-Farmers Boulevard.

“And for things like buses we take into account those coming from Nassau County,” Griffith said.

The study to this point has included feedback from several public meetings, footage from time-lapse cameras at major intersections, police and DOT accident statistics and engineering studies, among others.

Among the things Griffith said the DOT was seeking input about on Monday were proposals such as adding crosswalks on Hillside Avenue; adding signs and retiming traffic lights at various places; dealing with narrow streets; on- and off-street parking availability; reclassifying some one-way streets and redesigning some intersections.

And while the presentation included mention of studies of things like truck traffic, dollar vans and poor bus service, residents remained largely unimpressed. Vanessa Sparks was one of those who said the report is lacking.

She took issue, for example, with the contention that peak afternoon rush hour is between 4:45 and 5:45 p.m. Griffith did say that is only the peak hour of a peak period that extends for about four hours.

“And there’s no mention of the [Metropolitan Transportation Authority],” Sparks said. “How can you get anything done without the MTA at the table?”

One proposal to relieve a lack of direct north-south routes between Jamaica and Hillside avenues is converting 150th Street from its current one-way southbound designation to a two-way street between the two major thoroughfares.

But Michele Keller, the transportation committee chairwoman at CB 12, said the narrow street already gets backed up.

“There is a school on 150th, and you’re going to make it two-way?” she asked, referring to PS 182, the Samantha Smith School, which sits across 150th Street from Rufus King Park.

Resident Joe Moretti found the existing recommendations totally inadequate for dealing with truck traffic, both legal and otherwise.

“I’ve been fighting this for years,” he said. “This doesn’t account for trucks in my neighborhood. Why does the DOT still allow truck routes on Merrick Boulevard and 168th Street? It is truly beyond comprehension.”

“And without enforcement, nothing is going to change,” CB 12 Chairwoman Adrienne Adams said, referring largely to truck, parking and dollar van problems.

Several people alluded to or stated directly that the plan thus far seems to be just another Manhattan-based solution to be imposed from afar.

“You don’t come into my house and tell me what I need,” she said. “I tell you.”

Sparks called the combined actions and lack of action over the years “transportation apartheid,” saying what may be needed is Jamaica residents coming out “with pitchforks and lanterns.”

Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) concurred, saying that people need to keep turning out with the numbers and passion of Monday night.

“If you don’t, it’s all going to be bike lanes,” Miller said.

“We hear the same thing year after year after year after year,” Adams said.

She and Miller also faulted the MTA, and the city and state governments.

“They’re spending money on ferry ramps in some neighborhoods, and $3 billion on streetcars for communities that don’t exist yet,” Miller said. “But our transportation system here is 50 years old.”


The problem has been that this issue was allowed to fester for so fucking long (like every other damn quality of life issue), especially in places like Jamaica and SE Queens. Knowing that this is such a MAJOR issue in Jamaica, why didn’t Councilman Miller’s predecessor, fat slob Leroy Comrie do something about this, I mean Jabba the Hut was in office as council member for 12 fucking years and never stepped up to the plate on this issue.

Just maybe some folks in Jamaica are finally getting fed up with so much nonsense and are hounding Miller. I mean elected officials just don’t do something good for the community all on their own.

This is a fucking no-brainer, so just pass the fucking legislation, but of course there will be some city council-members on the payroll of trucking companies who will come up with some excuse not to pass it, you know someone like dickhead Ruben Wills, the poster boy for ghetto black leaders who don’t give a shit about black communities.Trucks6.19.16 005


From Queens Courier:


With the rise in commercial trucks illegally parking on local streets throughout Queens, one Council Member is looking to help local residents get their streets back.

At the Feb. 15 City Council meeting, Council Member I. Daneek Miller introduced a new piece of legislation called Introduction 1473, which would cut the time that commercial vehicles can park in residential communities in half.

Currently, commercial vehicles can park on residential streets for three hours. If the legislation is passed, that time will be cut down to 90 minutes. Police are making efforts to crack down on illegal commercial vehicle parking, but Miller recognizes how difficult this can be to complete.

“Allowing these vehicles to park for three hours weakens enforcement efforts, particularly when officers’ shifts change and cannot truly account for how long a commercial vehicle has occupied the same spot,” said Miller.

Miller cited airport traffic and the recent reconstruction projects throughout Queens to be a part of the problem.

“This hardship will only be augmented as truck traffic increases from our nearby airports, and from the ongoing construction of new residential projects,” said Miller. “The trucks also remain illegally parked and idling overnight, blocking fire hydrants and creating environmental hazards.”

Introduction 1473 is already gaining support from leadership in Community Boards 12 and 13.

“I completely support the legislation being introduced . . . restricting commercial vehicle parking to 90 minutes on New York City streets,” said Yvonne Reddick, Community Board 12 district manager. “Eighteen wheelers and other commercial vehicles have become a serious nuisance for residents of southeast Queens, parking overnight and during daytime hours on our local streets.”

“There are too many instances when trucks – both box and 18-wheelers – are parked overnight within the confines of Queens Community Board 13,” said Mark McMillan, Community Board 13 district manager. “Our streets are not built to accommodate truck parking, and it constitutes an infringement on the quiet enjoyment of the homes in our communities.”Trucks6.19.16 006



Image result for more bullshit

This article was from back in October 2016, but for some reason I seemed to have missed it. BUT anyway, more hotels being turned into homeless shelters under very shady ways.

How can the powers that be talk about the “revitalization” of Jamaica when every other day, another homeless shelter or supportive housing or drug clinic gets dumped into this community, where the majority of the people going into these places are not even from the community.

JAMAICA: Going from GHETTO to Homeless Shelter Village, either way this community is CRAP and gets more crappier as they talk more about “revitalization”

 A new hotel in Jamaica is currently used by the city to house homeless families.

A new hotel in Jamaica is currently used by the city to house homeless families.View Full Caption


From DNAInfo New York:

Homeless Put in Jamaica Hotel Before It Gets Certificate Of Occupancy: Docs

By  Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska and Katie Honan | October 7, 2016 5:06pm | Updated on October 9, 2016 2:04pm

 A new hotel in Jamaica is currently used by the city to house homeless families.

A new hotel in Jamaica is currently used by the city to house homeless families.View Full Caption

DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — The city violated housing regulations by rushing homeless families into a new hotel on Jamaica Avenue before the necessary paperwork was completed, documents posted on the Department of Building’s website indicate.

The Department of Homeless Services confirmed to DNAinfo New York that it is currently renting rooms to house homeless families with children at the brand-new building at the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and 183rd Street which does not have any logo nor a reception area.

But neighbors, who said they were never informed that the building would be used to house the homeless, said that the city started placing families there before the building was even completed, they said.

 The hotel received its Temporary Certificate of Occupancy on Sept. 28, according to city records.

However residents said they first saw families being placed at the hotel on Sept. 11, and number of complaints about the issue that pre-date the certificate of occupancy were also posted on the DOB’s website.

On Sept. 19, one person called the city and said “people are moving in but front entrance is not open, people are going through the side entrance” and another reported “load of [SIC] buses of children” at the hotel.

On Sept. 22, still another person claimed that “there is a hotel with people living on the premises and there appears to be no certificate of occupancy.”

According to the DOB’s website, “no one may legally occupy a building until the Department has issued a Certificate of Occupancy or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy,” which states “a building’s legal use and/or type of permitted occupancy.”

The city downplayed the issue saying that the life safety systems at the hotel had been inspected and signed off before Sept. 28.

The owner of the property did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Neighbors and local officials complained that they felt ignored by the city.

“If I knew before that the shelter was going to open here I would do something,” said Fillah Kazi, who bought a house in the area four years ago.

In September, the operator of a Maspeth Holiday Inn slated to be converted into a homeless shelter backed away from his agreement with the city following ferocious opposition from the community.

Local Councilman Daneek Miller was also upset about the decision to house homeless families at the Jamaica Avenue hotel.

“My office remains opposed to any new shelters being placed within the district, particularly the disingenuous way this one was opened without any public notice,” he said. “Whether it is temporary or not, transparency is critical to ensure our goal of equitable housing for homeless across the City.”

Yvonne Reddick, district manager for Community Board 12, told DNAinfo that the DHS is supposed to inform community boards before using hotels for housing. However she only found out about the changes to the Jamaica Avenue building after the community began complaining about it.

She went to say that the board has “nothing against homelessness because at the end of the day any of us could be homeless, but everyone should get their fair share.”

To Reddick’s knowledge CB12, which includes Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans and Springfield Gardens, currently has 11 shelters and eight hotels that are used to house homeless people, “the most in the borough of Queens.”

Two years ago, when the board had 10 shelters, it passed a resolution requesting a moratorium on building or expanding homeless shelters in the area. There were 22 shelters in Queens at the time.

DHS was not able to immediately provide the number of shelters currently in the area.

The agency said it began renting rooms at the hotel to deal with growing numbers of homeless people in the city.

“Each day, we are tasked with determining how to meet the City’s legal obligation to house tens of thousands of homeless New Yorkers, including families with children, who would otherwise be on the street,” Lauren Gray, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services, said in an email to DNAinfo. “We are using commercial hotels as a bridge while we work to open new shelters across the city.”

There were nearly 60,000 residents in the city’s shelter system as of early October, the agency said.

“It used to be a quiet area, but now every day there is police, ambulances and fire trucks coming to this place,” said a neighbor who did not want his name to be used. He said he and his family lived and operated a small business in the area for about three decades.

“This is our neighborhood, we worked for this neighborhood,” he added. “They never even asked us if it’s OK to open it here.”


“Our voices matter, we matter……….As we continue to not  say anything, things like this will continue to come into our community and other communities”.

Michelle Keeler-Community Board 12 Member

Of course Senator Comrie and Councilman Miller did not show up for this first protest, guess they were too busy preparing the canned bullshit speech at the Rufus King Park Holiday Tree lighting that evening. You know, one must have priorities. And of course not a peep out of BP Melinda Katz, not one peep out of her on this whole homeless shelter dumping bullshit, NOT ONE PEEP. Remember that voters if you even give a shit. And nowhere to be seen was totally useless Assembly Member Vivian Cook, yet you folks voted this dumb do nothing bitch back in office for the umpteenth time, yet her opponent from the most recent elected, Rodney Reed was out in the freezing weather giving his support and speaking.

And this is why so much of Jamaica is the way it is and why so much shit gets dumped here, most residents don’t give a fucking flying. They can’t bother to come out to protest on a important issue, they can’t bother to file numerous quality of life complaints, they can’t bother to get involved and they continue to vote in the same old do nothing Southeast Queens Democratic Black Gangsters who have proven for decades they don’t give a shit about this community. When you had a chance to put in fresh Rodney Reed, you put in same old (and I mean OLD), do nothing Vivian Cook.

You get the community you deserve.


From Queens Crap:

Residents come out for South Jamaica hotel protest

At the corner of 115th Avenue and Guy R. Brewer Blvd, a developer is building a hotel which residents fear will become a hot sheets type place or a homeless shelter.

You can see in the video that this property abuts the LIRR trestle. A large MTA bus depot sits across the street.

A group of residents braved the cold weather yesterday to protest this project at this unfortunate location.

There is an advantage to being able to see the writing on the wall.


hillside-garbage12-4-16-006Just like the 12 days of Christmas, this 12 days of getting a simple answer about lack of enforcement (well in reality NO ENFORCEMENT) with auto body shops placing their junked and unlicensed vehicles all over public streets/sidewalks  will continue till, dah………………..the people get an answer and ENFORCEMENT of the LAW.

Of course the 2nd day produced this by one of the biggest do nothing politicians, Leroy Comrie, who for some unexplained reason, many in this community hold up high on a pedestal, my only guess, the standards are so fucking low:

Thank you for contacting me. Your concerns and questions are of utmost importance to me. A member of my staff or I will be in contact with you
shortly to discuss your issue. If you require immediate assistance, please feel free to contact my Queens District Office at 718-454-0162 or my Albany
Legislative Office at 518-455-2701. You can also feel free to come in and speak directly with a community or legislative representative. For office
hours and directions, please visit Office of NYS Senator Leroy Comrie. Again, thank  you for contacting me.


hillside-garbage12-4-16-005So still no answer from the powers that be on WHY there is no enforcement of the law regarding autobody shops placing junked & unlicensed vehicles on Merrick Blvd and surrounding streets in Jamaica and in other areas of SE Queens.

Again, IT IS THE LAW, no placement of junked and unlicensed vehicles on public streets and sidewalk, PERIOD. So again, where is my answer. Just one simple answer from NYPD, 103 precinct, the heads of all the precincts whose areas are like this, Melinda Katz, Councilman Miller, Councilman Richards, Councilman Wills (I guess he is worried about going to jail) and all the other councilmembers in areas affected by this. Community Board 12, Community Board 10 and the rest. How about an answer from Assembly Member Hyndman or Cook. How about Senator Comrie, how about all the Jamaica religious leaders. ONE DAMN ANSWER FROM SOMEONE.

And hey media, Help Me Howard, WPIX, NY1, Greg Mocker, Times Ledger, Queens Courier, Queens Chronicle. WHY are you NOT digging into this and demanding an answer from NYPD and elected officials because this is one of the biggest scams going on. While WPIX did a story on the one auto body shop, Dynamic Collision,  on 147 Pl, there was never any questioning elected officials or NYPD on why this continues and why there is a lack of enforcement.

AND for you concerned residents of Jamaica, SE Queens and other areas affected by this, contact your local precinct, contact your councilmembers, contact your community boards and demand an answer to this question. Many of you complain about shit, but pick up the phone, send an email, do something. HOUND THEM.

This is a local issue that should be solved on the local level, no need to contact Mr. dickBlasio on this one.

Image result for so who is getting paid off



Merrick Blvd: The new Willets Point Junkyard.

Merrick Blvd: The new Willets Point Junkyard.

Dynamic Collision4garbage and trucks7.1.16 017garbage and trucks7.1.16 003garbage and trucks7.1.16 008garbage and trucks7.1.16 007garbage and trucks7.1.16 006garbage and trucks7.1.16 005garbage and trucks7.1.16 025jamaica8garbage 6.25.16 006garbage 6.25.16 002garbage 6.25.16 001Garbage and Trucks6.24.16 026Garbage and Trucks6.24.16 015Garbage and Trucks6.24.16 023AutobodyAutobody2

A Bonus. Car without plates sitting on weekend at NE corner of 168Pl and 93rd Ave

A Bonus. Car without plates sitting on weekend at NE corner of 168Pl and 93rd Ave

Dynamic Collision at 147 Pl at Archer Ave. 6.18.16

Dynamic Collision at 147 Pl at Archer Ave. 6.18.16

Garbage & Cars6.18.16 058Garbage & Cars6.18.16 070Garbage & Cars6.18.16 121Garbage & Cars6.18.16 120Garbage & Cars6.18.16 119Garbage & Cars6.18.16 117Garbage & Cars6.18.16 115Garbage & Cars6.18.16 114Garbage & Cars6.18.16 112Garbage & Cars6.18.16 111

This bus had to move into another lane due to auto body shop blocking the lane.

This bus had to move into another lane due to auto body shop blocking the lane.

Garbage & Cars6.18.16 107

Cant even remember where this one was, but in the vicnity

Cant even remember where this one was, but in the vicnity

Garbage & Cars6.18.16 105Garbage & Cars6.18.16 100Garbage & Cars6.18.16 081Garbage & Cars6.18.16 079Garbage & Cars6.18.16 075Garbage & Cars6.18.16 078Garbage & Cars6.18.16 068Garbage & Cars6.18.16 067Garbage & Cars6.18.16 061Garbage & Cars6.18.16 059Garbage & Cars6.18.16 060Garbage & Cars6.18.16 064Garbage & Cars6.18.16 009Garbage & Cars6.18.16 006Garbage & Cars6.18.16 008

Nice job of hiding his face. Asshole.

Nice job of hiding his face. Asshole.

Garbage & Cars6.18.16 012Garbage & Cars6.18.16 011Garbage & Cars6.18.16 013


Remember this folks, even though you may not live in South Jamaica, when homeless shelters are placed by the dozen in a community, neighboring communities get affected as it causes a snowball effect. I have to say I am surprised to finally see some passion and anger from Jamaica residents. It is about time! KEEP IT UP.

If you don’t speak up and start standing up, the future of SE Queens will be this.

MTA Moving Homeless Shelter

MTA Moving Homeless Shelter

The future of Jamaica

The future of Jamaica


Poster boy for the homeless.

Poster boy for the homeless.

Is that Assembly Member Vivian Cook addressing her constituents.

Is that Assembly Member Vivian Cook addressing her constituents.

A homeless woman washing up. Does she look like she missed a meal?

A homeless woman washing up. Does she look like she missed a meal?

Homeless encampmenthomeless man with shit2

Jamaica Center E train. Does he look like he missed a meal and is skin and bones.

Jamaica Center E train. Does he look like he missed a meal and is skin and bones.

Jamaica's newest homeless shelter

Jamaica’s newest homeless shelter

Subway homeless2.2.15.jpg2


From Queens Chronicle:

Rally set for site of So. Jamaica hotel

Residents believe spate of hotel approvals could foretell of shelters


Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2016 10:30 am

Opponents of a hotel that is in the preliminary stages of construction on 115th Avenue will be staging a protest rally this coming Saturday to make their displeasure known to the property owner — and city homeless officials.

The property at 163-18 115 Ave. is on the southeast corner of the intersection with Guy R. Brewer Boulevard. And more than 40 people gathered just up the street Tuesday night to plan the march, scheduled for between 12:30 and 2 p.m.

“We can’t sit in meetings and ask ‘Why?’ anymore,” said Michele Keller, a member of Community Board 12 who led the meeting at the South Queens Multi-Service Center.

Southeast Queens has seen a marked increase in the number of hotels approved for construction. But residents, civic and elected officials believe those correspond only too well with increases in the city’s homeless population, and the city’s propensity to place supportive housing in CB 12’s area.

The district has more than half of the homeless shelters in the borough, and between 30 and 40 percent of its homeless population.

The South Jamaica residents had support in the room Tuesday night from Anthony Rivers and Donnie Whitehead from People from the Neighborhood in St. Albans; Phil Wong and Tom Lai of Elmhurst United; and Christina Wilkinson and Kim Caruana of the Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force.

All three organizations have fought or delayed homeless hotels and shelters with varying degrees of success in the last two years.

Caruana and Wilkinson’s group has led protests outside the Brooklyn home of city Human Resources Commissioner Steve Banks, the most recent one this past Saturday [see related story in some editions].

Keller and her group believe that even if the property begins as a hotel, it would be a short step from the owner believing he could make more money by offering it to the city as a shelter. The other groups said that is not an unfounded fear, as all three of them were hit with shelters overnight with no notice. All have accused the city of lying and using strong-arm tactics.

“You’ll be told you hate the homeless,” Wong said.

“You’ll be told you’re racists,” he said to the overwhelmingly African-American crowd.

Caruana said some of their members will attend Saturday’s protest.

“We have to stick together,” she said.

Rivers, whose group was able to obtain a court injunction and delay a shelter on Hollis Avenue for months, said signs are perfectly legal if not attached to sticks or poles.

“You can also use a bullhorn,” he said. Rivers also pointed out that once homeless veterans were in place, their pickets stopped, as it was city policy and not veterans in need whom they considered the problem.

Keller reminded Jamaica residents while the support is gratefully appreciated, ultimately any progress will come only from local residents keeping the pressure on.

“This is our neighborhood,” she said. “This is our fight.”

That aspect has not been neglected.

Since a meeting last month, neighborhood residents have researched the property owner, Harjinder Singh, using the corporate name Hillside Ave Hotel LLC.

Wong and Lai said once a hotel becomes a homeless shelter it is not going anywhere, and that it drives down nearby residential property values.

Rafael Vargas, who lives near the site, had not neglected that aspect, presenting some research he has done on real estate in the area surrounding the property.

He said residents of South Jamaica have more of an economic stake — and more economic power — than they might realize.

“There are 250 homes on the streets near there that have a value of $120 million,” he said. “If the average home is worth $500,000, and your value drops 1 percent, you lose $5,000; 5 percent and you lose $25,000. Twenty percent and you lose $100,000. … We need to use our economic power.”

A former Rochdale Village resident, Vargas said residents of the housing complex are a model for how more than 5,000 people can unite for a common economic and civic interest.

“[Politicians] campaign in Rochdale because it’s a large block,” he said.