Tag Archives: sanitation

LIC residents say sanitation tickets are a means to evict them


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

A resident of “the neatest block in Long Island City” is fighting a sanitation ticket, issued, some say, as part of a plot to push low-rise occupants from prime real estate.

Ann Leggett, an artist who has lived on Jackson Avenue since 1979, was issued a $100 ticket for trash surrounding her home at 8:22 a.m. on August 22. When she went outside to retrieve the newspaper at 8:30 a.m., she saw the ticket, adjacent to her immaculate sidewalk.

An employee of Argon Management Corp., the taxi company next door to Leggett’s home, saw his neighbor eyeing the ticket and was puzzled by the violation. The worker had finished sweeping the walkway minutes before the sanitation agent surveyed the property, as someone from Argon does every morning.

“There are many people around here who believe the owners of small buildings are being harassed because the powers that be would really rather have us go away and be replaced by great, towering edifices,” said Leggett. “They want to be rid of us.”

Jackson Avenue, zoned for both low and high-rise buildings, is targeted heavily by developers in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

Leggett said any mess near her home is created by the taxi drivers and the Sunnyside Railroad Yard across the street from her house. While the taxi drivers sweep up their used coffee cups and bits of paper that spill over into Leggett’s property, swaths of litter accumulate around the MTA-owned plot. There are also three bus stops, a state office building and a subway stop in the immediate vicinity of her home, generating garbage.

Upon contesting the violation, the judge admitted there was a double standard by sanitation, where small properties seem to be targeted and tickets are not issued to MTA-owned properties, state buildings or high-rises where sidewalks are much dirtier. However, the judge allowed the ticket, stating Leggett failed to indicate through photographs that she had in fact cleaned the sidewalk.

“If there is somebody who wants this particular plot of land and is getting the help of the city to harass us out, now that’s corruption,” said Leggett.

George Avdoulos, owner of Argon Management Corp., allegedly wrote a letter on behalf of Leggett to Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, explaining that the ticket was unfounded and Leggett’s sidewalk is constantly clean. He has yet to hear back from the official.

Avdoulos, Leggett and other nearby tenants frequently receive phone calls and letters from realtors and developers, offering money in exchange for them to vacate their properties. Leggett said she often sees people scanning the block holding clipboards and taking measurements. While the letters generally refrain from offering an exact figure, they indicate the ability to get her a “big fat price” for her house.

Leggett believes that by obtaining several contiguous properties, a developer could stand to make a great deal of money.

“It’s a shame about Long Island City. It’s becoming more and more unwelcoming to the people that lived here a long, long time.”

Calls to sanitation were not returned as of press time.

 

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Homeowners say trash rule is rubbish


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Homeowners and one state legislator in northeast Queens are trashing the city’s sanitation department over fines and enforcement rules they say are rubbish.

“This is a money-making thing. They want to make some money, so they make these laws that no one knows about — and they get you,” said Whitestone resident Raymond Jansson. “That’s all it is. It wasn’t to protect the neighborhood or anything.”

Jansson, 59, said he was issued a $100 fine by the city’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) on December 8 of last year when he took out his garbage 45 minutes before the allotted time of removal. He said he put his trash cans out on the sidewalk at 3:15 p.m. and was slapped with a ticket 12 minutes later. Enforcement agents told Jansson his receptacles were also blocking the sidewalk — a claim the homeowner heavily disputed but lost.

“I was on the way to pick up my daughter. I just never thought about it. I’m almost 60 years old. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. That was my job. I’d come home from school and I’d put the garbage out,” Jansson said.

“Nobody on the block knew [of the rule],” he continued. “They never heard of it.”

Flushing resident JoAnn Kelly was also given a $100 ticket last September by DSNY enforcement agents, when her ailing 68-year-old husband — who has since passed away from lung, brain and spine cancer — put out the household trash too early.

Kelly, 65, said she’s waiting for her fourth appeal after contesting the ticket and being told by a judge each time she didn’t “present a meritorious defense.” She said the trash could only be put out when someone else was around to help.

“I don’t know what could have been a more meritorious defense. A person was dying,” Kelly said. “I’m really upset because my husband always considered himself a law-abiding citizen. He passed away feeling like he almost committed a crime. They could have given him a warning. We’ve been living in this home for 40 years and never had a situation like this before. It just seems ludicrous to give someone a $100 fine.”

According to the DSNY’s rules and regulations, residential units may place receptacles out for collection on the sidewalk, right by the curb, no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before their scheduled collection and no earlier than 4 p.m. from October 1 to April 1. Receptacles must also be removed from their collection place by 9 p.m. on collection day. If collection occurs after 4 p.m., receptacles must be removed by 9 a.m. the next day. Failure to comply could result in a $100 to $300 fine.

State Senator Tony Avella blasted the DSNY, saying the policy was not established under the necessary rulemaking procedures established in the City Administrative Procedure Act (CAPA), which he said requires public comment on proposed rules.

“Unfortunately, Ms. Kelly is not the only one affected by the issuance of significant fines based on this void policy,” Avella said. “[DSNY] has ignored all of CAPA’s requirements in establishing and implementing this policy, resulting in the issuance of significant fines against many alleged violators.”

According to Chief Keith Mellis, spokesperson for the DSNY, the statutory mandate, as per the New York City Administrative Code, goes back many decades and states that “refuse must be stored in the building and not placed out until the time for removal by the department.”

“Using common sense and as a courtesy to New Yorkers, the Department has exercised discretion in enforcing the law and [has] not required citizens to place their refuse out beginning at 6 a.m. which is the time when department collection generally begins,” Mellis said. “Instead, the Department has reasonably allowed residents plenty of time to place out their refuse in the late afternoon and evening on the day before scheduled collection. In so doing, the Department is reasonably enforcing the statute which is critical to protecting public health.”

Homeowners unsure of their collection schedules can visit www.nyc.gov/dsny.

No garbage, recycling collection on Memorial Day


| brennison@queenscourier.com


In observance of Memorial Day, there will be no garbage or recycling collection or street cleaning on Monday, May 28.

Those who normally receive garbage pickup on Mondays should place their trash curbside after 5 p.m., the Sanitation Department said.

Residents who usually have recycling collection on Monday will have it picked up on Monday, June 4.

 

No garbage/recycling collection on January 2


| brennison@queenscourier.com


In observance of New Year’s Day, garbage and recycling collection will be suspended on Monday, January 2.

Alternate side parking rules, street cleaning and mail delivery will also be suspended.

Residents who normally receive Monday garbage collection can place their trash out on Monday after 4 p.m. for pickup.  Those who receive Monday recycling collection will not have their recycling picked up until Tuesday, January 3.

For questions about Sanitation services and holiday schedules, contact 3-1-1 or visit the DSNY website at www.nyc.gov/sanitation.

No Garbage or Recycling Collection on December 26


| brennison@queenscourier.com


In observance of Christmas, there will be no garbage or recycling collection on Monday, December 26.

Alternate side parking rules and street cleaning will be suspended.  Post offices are also closed.

Residents who normally receive Monday garbage collection should place their trash out Monday after 4 p.m. for pickup.  Those receiving Monday recycling collection will not have their recycling picked up until Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

Man shot in Queens while sitting in car, then drives it into house in Jamaica


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Man shot in Queens while sitting in car, then drives it into house in Jamaica 

A 50-year-old man was shot while he was sitting in his car Monday and then drove it into a Queens house three blocks away, cops said. The man, whose name was not released, was in the driver’s seat of a Nissan Altima at 172nd St. and Hillside Ave. when he was blasted in the groin around 5:40 p.m., police and fire officials said. He then started driving and slammed the sedan into a house on a residential Jamaica street at the corner of 171st St. and 89th Ave. Read More: Daily News

 

Arrest made in attempted shooting of officers

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the arrest of Antonio Olmeda, age 53 of  Manhattan, in the attempted shooting of two New York City police officers on December 2nd in Jackson Heights, Queens. “Our officers miraculously escaped injury when their assailant fired at extremely close range, narrowly missing them,” Commissioner Kelly said. “Olmeda’s arrest was bittersweet in that it came this morning as the family of Police Officer Peter Figoski prepared for his funeral.” Read More: Queens Courier

 

Suspect cleared amid cop’s lie

A Queens man was acquitted of gun charges yesterday — after prosecutors admitted they withheld evidence involving phony police testimony. Prosecutors told jurors that Deon Davis, 21, placed a loaded weapon on the ground in front of a cop, then escaped by squeezing through a fence, only to be nabbed a few blocks away. They didn’t say arresting Officer Ronald Martiny had admitted to the prosecution that his description of the alleged escape wasn’t true, that there was no fence. Not only did prosecutors fail to mention the “mistake” to the defense, but when Martiny took the stand, he repeated the lie. Read More: New York Post
Trash Can Tickets In Queens

A Queens man is very upset after trying to put his trash out for collection and ending up with a ticket. He, and others, are getting snared in an enforcement of a law that few people even know exists. The scrooge award goes to the New York City Sanitation Department for the $100 tickets. Read More: Fox News

Smart Move: Cornell University coming to Roosevelt Island

Just days after the upstate Ivy League school received a $350 million gift from an anonymous donor, Cornell University was selected as the winning bid to bring an applied science school to the city. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cornell University President David Skorton and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology President Peretz Lavie announced a partnership on Monday, December 19 to build a two-million-square-foot applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island as part of the Applied Sciences NYC initiative. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Francisco Signs Amazin’ $12 Million Deal

Pitching reliever Frank Francisco has signed a $12 million, two-year deal to play with the New York Mets. Francisco played 54 games with the Toronto Blue Jays last season with 17 saves on the mound. The 32-year-old right-hander has 368 strikeouts in his seven year career with Toronto and Texas. Read More: NY1

Queens Community Board Renews Push For High Line-Style Park

An effort is now under way to bring a park similar to Manhattan’s High Line to a stretch of the old Rockaway Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. Read More: NY1

Queens judge’s landmark decision in Howard Beach case still reverberates today

Critics said this Queens judge was setting the Constitution back 200 years. One lawyer wondered if an infamous Nazi war criminal was on trial whether Jews would be allowed to sit in judgment. “If you were Adolf Eichmann, would you want a Jew on the jury?” lawyer Ronald Rubinstein observed. Little did they know that Justice Thomas Demakos — by insuring black participation on the Howard Beach jury — had a clear view of the future. Read More: Daily News