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Nolan Wants De Blasio to Create Task Force to Address Quality of Life Issues on the LIC Waterfront

Aug. 26, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan is calling on Mayor de Blasio and city and state agencies to create a task force to combat crime and anti-social behavior along the Hunters Point waterfront.

The lawmaker said that people have been flouting the law at Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park this summer and the area has become hazardous for residents and visitors.

Nolan wants the city to convene a task force to address residents’ concerns, adding that action on the problem is long overdue. She is opposed to a plan by a group of residents to hire a private security firm to combat the problem– saying these quality-of-life issues are best left in the hands of city and state agencies.

“I have been in communication with the Mayor’s office over the summer and I am calling on Mayor de Blasio, City and State Parks departments, Community Board 2, the 108th precinct, and the Patrol Borough leadership of Queens North to immediately convene a task force that will ensure coordinated efforts to keep residents and visitors safe and secure,” Nolan said in a statement.

Nolan called on the Hunters Point Park Conservancy, a local volunteer group that oversees the parks, to lead the task force.

Nolan said she has witnessed some of the vandalism first-hand and said she shares residents’ concerns.

“Loud noise at night, along with illegal fireworks is happening far too often,” Nolan said.

“There are many food trucks with no social distancing, all-terrain vehicles riding within the park and on public sidewalks, and broken glass and drug paraphernalia from illegal parties and pop-up after-hours ‘clubs,’” she added.

Empty alcohol bottles and plastic cups left over from a party (Photo provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page)

The call for the task force comes as tension among residents in the area mount.

Some residents have formed a group and hired a private security firm to start patrolling the walkway outside both parks. The security firm will starting patrolling the area Thursday.

The group said that the security will act as a deterrent to crowds gathering at the parks when they close at 10 p.m. They said they have been left with little choice but to hire a security firm because the NYPD isn’t policing the area enough and they feel unsafe.

However, a separate group of residents slammed the move and launched an online petition opposing the private security initiative.The opponents say that the initiative is racist arguing that minorities who come from outside of the area will be targeted.

Nolan said the creation of a task force is a better way to address the problem.

“I recommend this approach before any efforts to secure private security, which I personally would not recommend at this time,” Nolan said.

Advocates of the security initiative have welcomed Nolan’s call for a task force but said it would take time to set up and they are continuing with their plans to bring on a security team Thursday.

“As a community, we are proceeding with security efforts and again, it’s going to be added support to the community to help deter the disruption, encourage constructive activity and encourage the well-being for all,” Yolanda Tristancho, a resident and organizer of the security initiative said.

Tristancho said the security firm’s approach will not be aggressive and her group wants a peaceful solution to the problem.

“We want a safe waterfront for residents and visitors alike,” Tristancho said.

Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page

The Hunters Point Park Conservancy said that it is also concerned about crime at the parks and said that it is committed to working with all stakeholders to rectify the current problems.

“The Conservancy is extremely upset when we see the parks littered with empty liquor bottles, fireworks residue, and the results of fires that have damaged park infrastructure,” the HPPC said in a statement.

“Additionally, we, like many people living in the Hunters Point South neighborhood, have been woken up repeatedly throughout the night by loud music, fireworks and drag racing on Center Boulevard.”

The organization says that it has been in contact with the NYPD 108th Precinct and various agencies throughout the summer looking to address the problem.

“We believe more effective enforcement of park polices are required, especially during the night and on weekends to stem these disruptive problems,” the HPPC said.

“The Conservancy is committed to working with all concerned stakeholders to solve the problems we collectively face.”

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36 Comments

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Elaine

Why do some people keep claiming that hiring a security firm is racist??No one ever claimed the perpetrators are any particular race or even of any specific income level. The parks close at 10pm so one should be after 10pm.

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Anonymous

I recently had an extended conversation with the CO of the 108th precinct, Deputy Inspector Michael Gibbs, who told me point blank that short of a felony, we are basically in our own. So what are we supposed to do?

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Proud NYC

Private security for a city park that all ny paid for it’s not Long Island city private park its everybody park and when us old farts where inour late teens we where partying and hanging out long before you transplants happened get a grip And welcome to NYC

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Merman

It’s a State Park.

And if the 108tj precinct did it’s job there would be no need for private security.

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CH

Try again. See the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy website: “Gantry Plaza State Park (managed by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation) and Hunter’s Point South Park (managed by New York City Department of Parks and Recreation)”.

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C Cheuk

Who care which jurisdiction the parks fall under! The point is, for years we had a nice park and a nice community to live in. We don’t anymore, and it is because the local authority waited too long to do anything. Hiring private security may not be the best idea but at least it’s an attempt.
Mr. Proud NYC, I have lived here since before the park, and it’s delusional for anyone to want to return to the LIC 30 years ago when you were partying and hanging out.

GiorgioLIC

Finally some leadership from an elected official. Meanwhile, our term-limited Mr. Van Bramer sends out press releases hectoring residents instead of taking the problems on the waterfront seriously.

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Tyrod O’Diss

The concept of tagging or deserting public spaces is abhorrent. The Police that refuse to do their jobs need to go, especially at the Management level. The 108th Precinct has failed the population from the endless lack of response to illegal fireworks to the failure to keep the Parks safe after closing hours. Is the quality of life of the existing residents not important, or contingent upon not antagonizing people involved in criminal activity, we are in very deep trouble, and should really require a “Residency Requirement” for the NYPD then they might have a bigger stake in the City’s safety. We should be entitled to “Equal Justice” under the protection of “Rule of Law”. If the NYPD fails to provide the necessary protections, then they should just “Step Down”, this City needs new leadership, the current Administration has failed the residents.

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no name

Maybe if we stop cleaning the park on Friday Saturday and Sunday and let all the slobs sit in the garbage that they left they will stop coming and ruining it for everyone else. We can clean the park Monday through Thursday for the local community to enjoy. You make the mess you sit in it.

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JaimeB

Thank goodness for politicians like Cathy Nolan, who just won her millionth primary BTW, taking a stand for local residents. Reasonable people can disagree about the usefulness or appropriateness of private security, but it sure has gotten everyone’s attention. Reasonable people also can agree that the *mixed-income* LIC waterfront has been ceded to lawlessness, which will only get worse if action isn’t taken. The 108th precinct and Jimmy van Bramer should be totally embarrassed. And let’s not forget that part of this area is a state park, meaning that the state troopers and parks workers can step in too.

As for the petition opposing private security: it’s gotten only tepid support, and lots of the commenters on the petition don’t even live in LIC or, for that matter, Queens. Some of them even agree that the park has gotten out of control. I sense that change is in the air. Hats off to LIC residents for their activism.

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Linda

Hiring security or inviting police presence is to invite racism in our community. This is a free world and it’s only a park people. White fascists are continuously trying to oppress those with less wealth and opportunity. Shows how racist America remains. There are bigger issues that we should all be worried about like covid19 and climate change but keep focusing on the petty stuff…

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JaimeB

“inviting police presence is to invite racism”

luckily, nearly everyone with firsthand knowledge of this situation disagrees with this assessment

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Merman

Way to play the race/wealth card, Lynda. It’s exhausted and few take it seriously at all anymore.

This is about laws and the breaking of laws. Unless you just moved to America from some impoverished, lawless nation you should understand the systems of a developed nation.

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Lets get real

The petition in opposition to the security may have a point. Personally I don’t care who the offenders are, I just want the neighborhood to go back to quiet, but it’s true that they aren’t from this area. This neighborhood does have some 1 percent flavor and it’s likely one of the best parks in the city, so tension will obviously go up when hundreds of people start showing up overnight. Yes, a lot of the people coming here now are probably from low income areas, but the point is this isn’t their neighborhood, so they don’t care who lives here or how it looks the next morning, and kids under 24 don’t care about anyone, it doesn’t matter where they’re from or how they look.

Eventually our area will go back to some semblance of normal but it will be awhile. They are here because they can’t go to the clubs or show off their cars on the East Side. Club kids and car heads don’t hang out in some whitebread park because they want to, it’s all they have right now.

The only solution is for the 108th to get back to work. Whether you support the police or are as angry with them as you probably should be, there’s no way around the idea that they are deliberately not helping. The solutions are very simple and cost effective:
• Enforce parking laws and start towing – Bike lanes aren’t parking spots and at least half those food trucks are illegally parked in intersections
• Patrol the area – I can’t remember the last time I saw police doing anything legitimate in this neighborhood, especially at night. July 4th was just embarrassing, they were completely absent while people triple parked cars and blew up the neighborhood.
• Be Present – It’s the wild west in the city right now. Look, we need you guys, no one over the age of 30 believes we don’t need police, but you need to get it together, take a hint and just change your mindset; this is New York, everyone is from somewhere else, you have to do a better job being fair and de-escalating conflicts. Force vs. Force doesn’t work.

As far as the security goes, maybe it will help to have people that at least look like an authority figure walking around and calling in reports, but I foresee trouble and violence if they try to interfere with anyone. Personally if I’m in the park at night and some private security tries to get in my way, there’s no scenario where I don’t tell them where to go and what to do when they get there, and lord help them if they try to physically challenge anyone.

We need the police to get back to work. We’re all pissed off right now, but someone has to make the first move towards reconciliation and it has to be the police. They are organized, they take orders and more to the point, THEY TOOK AN OATH. If they go back to work, get better interpersonal training and act like the heroes we need them to be, I believe the people will be back on their side over time. Their job is to protect us, we’re supposed to want them around. That’s what I want personally, act like people whose bravery I can admire. Suck it up and step up, be as tough as you want us to believe you are by taking the hits and keep going.

You have a duty, decide if that means something to you.

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SV40

Police forces are facing attrition over coronavirus-imposed lockdowns by the mayor & governor, and some 4100 cops may receive pink slips October 31st if the City Council gets its way – in addition to the 1 BILLION dollars the NYPD has already lost so that a new recreational center can be built in South Ozone Park haha
You want police to babysit when bullets are flying left and right? Pffffffft get a clue

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Anonymous

PETITION FOR A PEACEFUL PROTEST TO REMOVE JIMMY VAN BRAMER:
1) His rhetoric was so strongly against them that he made it clear he didn’t want to partner with him during his tenure. In not having a plan for a productive dialogue where a negotiation could have taken place, he was grossly negligent for the community in pushing away opportunity for both ~25k Amazon jobs and small business growth (and jobs there). Further, he turned a blind eye to those citizens and businesses who thought this would be good for the area without offering an alternate plan for growth.
2) He has turned a blind eye to every resident on the water who has complaints. That forced them to consider a private security because they felt abandoned and, before even opening public discussions about race, he has already painted this private security decision as being a race issue. He’s grossly negligent for stirring the race pot without hearing from the people complaining.
3) He is constantly MISSING IN ACTION and has chosen not to lead.

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Cs

How hard is it to have a cop car assigned to the park every night?
Once people realize the party is over they will stop Coming..
108 should be embarrassed, what a joke, in their own backyard..

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Hector Rojas

I seen this disturbing parties happening in the park, the drinking, the jukas, the DJ’S with speakers, this peoples don’t have any respect for our community, I have videos and pictures to prove and about the other neighbors groups the are talking about race, this has nothing to do with race is more to respect each other

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james edstrom

If you look at Jimmy Van Bramers statement, he basically says we are a bunch of spoiled rich people that have problem with people of color. Meanwhile it seems this petition was fake. How can Lamer Bramer say this about the people he works for? He is helping to create a race war when all we want is to be safe from every color that is doing the crimes. Reporters for this publication and others have searched high and low for this person that started the petition. AT least 25 Comments in favor of this petition have disappeared except 2, one from a reporter and another from a resident who supports security. This appears to be a attempt to divide the community by fake persons. We have joined forces on the Hunters Point Waterfront Residents page and in a matter of days we have almost 600 members. We will not sit down, we will fight till the end to get our community back a community for every color and every race but not for the criminals who think this is their new playground to do drugs and damage to our waterfront. Comment as you see fit!

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Linda

Stop seeing color from your ivory tower. White silence is white guilt. We need major change in this community as not everyone has inherited generational wealth. Praying this November that the redlining starts so people of less opportunity can assimilate into archaic patriarchies. We must learn to come together and nobody will stop our progress!

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JaimeB

The above comment was very difficult to comprehend. Though, I would bet that very few renters on the mixed-income LIC waterfront have “inherited generational wealth.” They’re just normal people who want other people to behave respectfully.

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james edstrom

Many reporters have been looking for this petition writer. She seems to be a fake.I plan on putting in a complaint with the FBI as this person seems to want to create a race war and is not even a real person as far as we know. All your publications have been unable to find her. It seems this was a perfectly executed plan to smear the good people of Hunters Point South and Jimmy Van Bramer not only fell for it, he called the residents horrible names for which he will never be elected to office again. We will not forget Lamer Bramers action against this community. For him to fall prey to this kind of scam and to use it against the people of our community will not be stood for. Jimmy Van Bramer for years has been told and shown photos of many of the crimes in our park and ignored us. Shame on this elected official who has been hiding out for 6 months now in Westchester when he is being paid to be here. He left us during the protests and covid because he was scared. He has only been able to be reached on Instagram. He left this community when we needed a leader. And he still collects his paycheck. I am calling on the city to investigate Lamer Bramers actions as he is elected on the premise that he lives here.

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Chris

My question is, AS ALWAYS, where were these assembly people 3 months ago when we were begging for help? It had to get so out of control we had to hire an outside security company (at our own expense) , and only then did we catch anyones attention? And I never saw any of these people complaining at any of the neighborhood meetings. Only when we did something did they start their Facebook tirades. Maybe they should try real activism.

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Chas

Only because the local city politicians are the ones that should address the issue and HATE when the state gets into their backyard.

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Anonymous

Thank God someone is speaking out. How is it possible that this happens and politicians just stay quiet? The same guy that was so vocal for opposing Amazon stays quiet when it’s convenient? JVB has literally failed at everything he’s been doing the last 2-3 years. People that are just advocates shouldn’t be elected to positions where they’re supposed to problem solve and make progress for the community at large (everyone).

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