Tag Archives: rats

Rising rat problems on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons/Mira (on the wall)

Aw, rats!

Residents of Himrod Street on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border in Brooklyn have noticed an increase in the number of rats they have seen on their block and are looking for a solution.

Pauline Bruscarino, a resident of Himrod Street for 39 years, says she has seen rats roaming the neighborhood almost every night.

“Every night before I go to bed, I look out my window and I see them,” Bruscarino said. “At first I called 911 because I didn’t know who to call.”

“The thing is, we have a lot of kids on the block,” Bruscarino continued. “Yesterday morning, I was outside at six o’clock doing the garbage, when all of a sudden I see this rat. Four times it passed me. Then it jumped…so something has to be done before it bites somebody.”

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Photo by Anthony Giudice

After going through 911 and 311, Bruscarino said that she was told that she had to wait before someone could get down to the area to inspect the problem.

“See, what we’re afraid of is that they’re going to start getting into the houses,” said Marie Lekoski, a resident of Himrod Street for 10 years.

Lekoski, and several other residents of Himrod Street, have also called 311 and logged complaints about the rats.

“Now I just called again this morning,” Lekoski said. “The woman said the status was that the Department of Health had to determine what to do about it.”

On Friday morning, Bruscarino said that a city inspector was seen on the block, investigating the problem.

Himrod Street (Photo by Anthony Giudice)

Himrod Street (Photo by Anthony Giudice)

After going through the area, the inspector told Bruscarino that the landlords of the residents complaining about seeing rats are responsible for getting rid of the rats. If nothing is done by the landlords, then the city takes its own action to wipe out the vermin, then sends the landlords the bill.

“[The inspector] said she would send a notice to the landlords because she checked and there were some droppings,” Bruscarino said. “She said she would send a notice and if it is not done in a certain time, the city would do it and they will bill the landlords.”

Now, residents have to wait and see if the landlords take action before the city sends out notices.


Pan Am Hotel homeless shelter infested with vermin: report

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Residents at the emergency homeless shelter located at the former Pan American Hotel are being visited by unwanted guests that have been munching on trash left piled up behind the site, according to a published report.

Members of the community surrounding the homeless shelter, located at 7900 Queens Blvd., captured a pack of rats in the act of looking through the garbage for a meal on April 17, according to the NY Daily News.

Business owners and local residents reportedly say that the garbage, which at first was being put inside a dumpster, has since been piled up in the lot behind the hotel.

Along with the reports of the rats, residents of the homeless shelter said they have issues with cockroaches inside their apartments, which in some cases hold four to five people, the Daily News said.

The former Elmhurst hotel houses over 700 residents, made up of families, many of which have small children.

The city had previously been seeking approval for a five-year, $42 million contract with the nonprofit Samaritan Village Inc. to operate the location as a permanent shelter.

Officials from the city’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) told the Daily News that as of April 18, Samaritan Village “has been working with the community and is purchasing a garbage compactor that will address these garbage concerns.”

“We are currently working with Department of Sanitation (DSNY), which has provided the specs for the compactor and will provide containers with lids. The garbage will then be compacted. We hope to have this remedied as soon as possible,” the DHS said.

In the past, the shelter has also had a large number of violations such as failure to provide hot water or heat for days, reports of bed bugs, peeling of lead paint in one unit, and garbage left sitting in front of the entrance to the children’s play area, according to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Last November, the grassroots organization Elmhurst United, which has been voicing its opposition to the shelter since day one, said the conditions at the site violate city laws.

The group claims the shelter violates the NYC Administrative Code, which states, “No homeless family shelter shall be established which does not provide a bathroom, a refrigerator and cooking facilities and an adequate sleeping area within each unit within the shelter and which otherwise complies with state and local laws.”

According to the organization, the site does not have kitchens in every unit, which was why initially DHS did not consider the site to be a “permanent family shelter.”


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Wednesday: Cloudy with occasional rain during the afternoon. High 43. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Wednesday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 31. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Bayside Business Association presents – Grow Your Business with Social Media

Enjoy a fun workshop on social media, email marketing, and ask questions on how to grow your business with social media. A highly interactive workshop not to be missed. Light refreshments will be served. Starts at 5 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Restaurant data: Rats really like Upper East Side and Queens Village

New York City Health Department numbers show many restaurants on the Upper East Side, surprisingly, have been cited for rat control problems. Read more: Fox New York

Shovel shuffle: Proposed NYC law would charge lazy homeowners for clearing snow

Don’t feel like shoveling your sidewalk? Under a proposed law, New York City would shovel it for you — and then stick you with a $250 bill. Read more: New York Daily News

This is New York City’s second-snowiest February

Another quick-moving winter storm dumped a mix of rain and light, fluffy snow on the tri-state area Tuesday, securing this month’s place as New York City’s second-snowiest February on record. Read more: NBC New York

NY eighth-graders’ math scores trail peers in Japan, Russia

New York students trail their counterparts in several Asian countries and Russia on math tests — and their competitiveness on science exams is even worse. Read more: New York Post

Milk could go up 60 cents a gallon

Dairy analysts estimate store milk prices could go up 60 cents in March, reaching their highest ever. Read more: NBC News

Survey sees ‘good,’ ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ of subways

| brennison@queenscourier.com

For those heading into the subway, a can of paint and a light bulb may be of more use than a MetroCard.

In its inaugural “State of the Station Platforms” survey, the Straphangers Campaign found subway stations with peeling paint, graffiti and cracked floors — but the findings were not all negative.

“We found the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Jason Chin-Fatt, the Straphanger Campaign organizer who oversaw the survey.

The non-profit surveyed 12 platform conditions, including the presence of garbage cans (the good); rats (the bad); and broken light fixtures (the ugly).

Among the good were garbage cans at every station and none were found to be overflowing. Only six percent of platforms contained large garbage bags.

Many seasoned straphangers may be more familiar with the bad and ugly, however.

Rats have long been associated with entering the depths of the subways, and the rodents were found during the survey, but at just 11 percent of stations. This still landed it in the bad category, which was any condition found at between 10 and 50 percent of stations. More bad included graffiti at 20 percent of stations, exposed wiring at 28 percent and cracked floors on a third of platforms.

The ugly — conditions found at more than 50 percent of platforms — consisted of broken lights seen at half the stations assessed, substantial water damage at 53 percent of stations and the most frequently observed condition, substantial peeling paint at 79 percent of stations.

The MTA stated that improving the appearance and cleanliness of the system’s stations is among its top priorities.

“We have deployed more personnel and resources to remove trash from stations in a timely manner while we continue the station component program, which targets specific repairs and improvements at more stations around the system,” said an MTA spokesperson.

The non-profit’s survey was based on observations at 120 randomly-selected subway stations — including 17 in Queens — between July 11 and September 24, 2011.