By Paula Katinas
There’s good news for residents living near Shore Road who routinely hunt in vain for parking spaces.
Spots are opening up once again on Shore Road between 86th and 88th streets, according to Councilman Vincent Gentile, who said he worked with city agencies to make it happen.
A recent construction project by the Department of Parks and Recreation in Shore Road Park also involved the reconstruction of the sidewalks outside the park, Gentile said.
The project took away two entire blocks of parking, he said.
Gentile met with officials from both the departments of parks and transportation to see if he could convince them to stop blocking the parking spots.
The officials agreed.
Instead of waiting for the entire construction project to be completed before permitting parking, the officials decided to open up the spaces as the work moves along, Gentile said.
Ten parking spaces are expected to be restored this month and another 10 will be restored in May. The construction project is slated for completion in June.
“My utmost concern is public safety, yet, when and where that can be assured, we should look to restore as many parking spots as possible,” Gentile said. “It’s no secret that parking comes at a premium around here. We tried to make the best compromise possible to maintain a safe pedestrian passageway while restoring needed parking spaces.”
Speaking of Gentile, the councilman is reminding constituents that Sunday, April 22, is Earth Day.
Each year, events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the earth’s natural environment, the councilman said.
This year, Gentile is sponsoring a community cleanup to mark the day. Volunteers will be asked to pitch in from 65th Street to 101st Street along Third and Fifth avenues and on New Utrecht Avenue between 70th and 86th streets.
Members of Community Boards 10 and 11 as well as the Bay Ridge Food Co-op will be participating, and the cleanup is open to all residents. The cleanup will begin at noon.
If you are interested in volunteering, email your contact information to jbrannan@council. nyc.gov.
Don’t be cruel to animals.
State Sen. Marty Golden said he is co-sponsoring legislation to establish a registry of people who are convicted of animal cruelty.
The registry would be similar to the sex offender registry currently in use in New York state. Under state law, convicted sex offenders are required to register with local authorities when they move into a community. Residents can also find out if a sex offender is living in their community by visiting a state website.
Under the new bill, people convicted of animal cruelty would be required to register with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The information on the registry would be shared by the state with law enforcement authorities, district attorneys and humane societies, as well as pet stores.
People on the registry would be prohibited from owning an animal, or working at an animal shelter or pet store.
“There is no place in our society for cruelty or abuse of animals. It is my hope that this registry will prevent such reprehensible behavior and will help to bring an end to violence against animals,” Golden said.
Councilwoman Sara González watched proudly as Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill she sponsored into law during a recent City Hall ceremony. González said her bill is designed to preserve rent-stabilized apartments in New York City.
“By extending these rent protections until 2015, we are safeguarding the homes of hard-working families who represent the fabric of their communities and historically represent the people who have helped our city flourish.
We must continue to do everything we can to ensure that they are not pushed out of their homes. Failure to do so would result in our city becoming a city of the very rich and the very poor,” González said. “New York can be a very expensive city, but the key to getting by here begins with good, clean, affordable housing in decent neighborhoods. With a proper rent, families can devote more resources to proper nutrition, better clothes and other benefits for their children. As they thrive, so does our city.”
Do you hate bullies? So does Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.
The D.A. is sponsoring his Second Annual Anti-Bullying Video Contest. Students from fourth through ninth grades are eligible to enter a video in the contest. The deadline for submissions is June 1.
Students are required to create a 90-second video on the topic of bullying.
“The goal of the contest is to raise the consciousness of not only children, but teachers, administrators and parents to the reality of bullying and how each of them has to step up and be a part of solving the problem,” Hynes said. “If more young people were to take a stand against bullying, then the phenomenon would likely diminish over time.”
The videos will be judged on creativity and students are encouraged to use music and dancing.
The winner will serve as district attorney for a day and will take part in a press conference with Hynes. The winner will have the opportunity to attend meetings and conferences with Hynes.
If your cell phone is stolen, you have to live with the worry that the thief is making calls on your phone. But not anymore!
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that the major cell phone carriers in the United States and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have agreed to their call to set up an integrated database of unique cell phone identifiers, known as International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, to allow cell phone companies to permanently disable stolen cell phones.
The announcement is part of an effort led by Schumer and the NYPD to crack down on the growth of cell phone theft and its related crime by making stolen cell phones worthless on the black market.
“Our goal is to make a stolen cell phone as worthless as an empty wallet,” said Schumer. “By permanently disabling stolen cell phones, we can take away the incentive to steal a cell phone in the first place and put a serious dent in the growing rates of iPhone and smart phone theft.”
“With the press of a button, carriers will be able to disable phones and turn highly prized stolen property into worthless chunks of plastic,” Kelly said.
According to the Police Department, 42 percent of all property crimes of individuals in New York City in 2011 involved a cell phone.
Cell phone robberies in New York are being fueled in large part by the fact that stolen phones, like the iPhone and Android phones, are easily resold on the black market, Schumer said.