Community Board Three Promotes a Healthy, Well-Informed Community

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Department of Sanitation Community Affairs Officer Iggy Terranova was one of many guest speakers to address Bed-Stuy residents during Community Board 3’s monthly meeting held Monday, November 5. “New York City is one of the greatest cities in the world,” proclaimed Officer Terranova. “It’s our job to keep it clean and healthy.”
In an effort to follow through on this mandate, on December 26, 2007, the New York City Sanitation Department will begin enforcing its new sidewalk cleaning laws that requires homeowners not only to clean their sidewalks but 18 inches of the street in front of their homes.  Inspection time for compliance has changed to 8 -9 AM and 6 – 7 PM with fines starting at $50.
The Department of Sanitation has also joined with the New York City Police Department in declaring war on graffiti. According to current city law, building owners of 6 or more family dwellings are legally responsible for removing graffiti from their premises. However, through Mayor Bloomberg’s graffiti waiver program, the
Sanitation Department will power-wash and repaint properties defaced by graffiti at no cost to the owner.   Property owners have 45 days to submit a waiver form once a complaint is registered. Those who fail to do such, face daily escalating fines starting at $150.00 
Other changes being enforced by the Sanitation Department include removal of illegal clothing bins; enforcement and raised fees for pet owners who refuse to clean up after their pets and enforced recycling practices. According to Officer Terranova, New York produces over 15 tons of waste a day, yet recycles less than 8 tons. For additional information on recycling, the graffiti waiver and other sanitation rules, visit online at www.nyc.gov
The recent death of 12-year-old Omar Rivera sent shock waves throughout the city. The Canarsie resident developed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a bacterium that is resistant to penicillin-like antibiotics, including amoxicillin, but can be treated by stronger antibiotics.
In an effort to sooth anxieties, CB3 Health & Social Service Committee invited local resident Dr. Dexter McKenzie to address the issue. With the help of visual aids and pictures, Dr. McKenzie assured the audience that with proper hygiene application our neighborhood and children is out of harms way.  However, with the arrival of flu season, Dr. McKenzie, who chairs NAACP Brooklyn chapter medical committee, stressed the importance of getting a flu shot. Influenza is the third leading cause of death in New York.
Other agenda items included a presentation from the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission.  Representatives from the 42-year-old division discussed the four types of city landmarks which are individual, interior, scenic and historic.  CB3 has only 10 designated landmarks.  Stuyvesant Heights, which is bounded by Stuyvesant and Tompkins Avenues to the east, and west and Macon and Chauncey Streets to the north and south, is the area’s only designated landmark district.
The Bedford District, which is bounded by Tompkins and Bedford Avenues east and west, and Gates Avenue and Fulton Street north and south, is currently being considered for landmark designation. During the 18th century half of this historic vicinity was owned by Brooklyn’s prominent Lefferts family. The area includes four designated landmarks which are – The Alhambra and Renaissance Apartments, and Boys High and Girls High Schools.
Keith L. Forest is a freelance publicist, writer and proud Bedford-Stuyvesant home-owner who lives and works in the beloved community.  His current blog space, mybedstuy.blogspot.com  seeks to celebrate the people and places that make up this great community while addressing issues such as gentrification, predatory lending and other ill norms that seek to exploit, discredit and harm the area and its people.