Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Con Ed Diggs Up Ditmas Despite Its New Blacktop

Kensington residents are once again putting up with torn up streets only weeks after the Department of Transportation spent many days repaving and painting parts of Cortelyou Road and Ditmas Avenue this past summer.

Con Edison has a permit to dig up Ditmas
Two Con Edison crews had no qualms tearing up large swaths of Ditmas Avenue in order to make emergency repairs.  One crew was responding to a report from a neighborhood customer about electrical problems he was having while the other crew was making emergency repairs to a set of “high voltage lines” that bring electricity to the whole neighborhood.

Spokesman for Con Edison, Alfonso Quiroz said, “We had to take them out and replace them,” referring to the wires that were in damaged cables they found underground earlier in the week.

Con Edison has a permit for the work they are doing, but many utility companies often do not bother with acquiring permits before they come and dig up the streets. Since 2010, when fines for failing to get a permit to do work on the streets doubled, the city has been collecting large sums from the companies.

The fine for tearing up a street without a permit is now $1,500, bringing millions of dollars into the city treasury. But that income has not made residents any happier.

“I just don't understand what the problem is,” fumed Miriam Sanchez, 58, who owns the hairstylist store on East Third St. “What have they been fixing for so long? The noise and construction is such a nuisance.”

Inspectors are constantly on the lookout for violators, finding many. In 2012 construction firms were fined 2,033 times. In 2011 that number was only 516.

"We would not be digging unless there was a permit," said Quiroz. He added that the work will be completely as soon as possible.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Senator Felder Delivers Funds to Six Branches of the BPL

Six branches of the Brooklyn Public Library are the recipients of a $140,000 funding boost made possible by the work of State Senator Simcha Felder and Senate majority Leader Dean Skelos. An oversized check was awarded to the President and CEO of the BPL, Linda E. Johnson in a ceremony that took place on October 24th at the Kings Highway branch of the library.

Senator Felder, who is a Democrat representing the Borough Park-Midwood District and is the chairman of the New York City Education Subcommittee and the Children and Families Committee, explained how important libraries are to communities, and his own personal lifetime affection for libraries.

“Libraries have always held special meaning for me, ever since I was young boy. They play such an important role in shaping children’s education, their thinking and their personalities,” Felder said.

Sen. Simcha Felder Handing Check to Linda Johnson
Felder added that students use libraries as places to do schoolwork, and seniors use libraries as meeting places, recreational centers, and even places to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Johnson expressed her appreciation for the allocation, which will benefit the six branches found within Felder’s district: Kings Highway, Borough Park, Kensington, Mapleton, Midwood and Ryder.

“We are deeply grateful to Senator Simcha Felder for awarding BPL $140,000. We will use the money to support children’s services at six of our branches,” Johnson said.

“In many neighborhoods, our libraries are the only places where families can attend developmentally appropriate programs with their young children. Thanks to Senator Felder’s very generous allocation, we will be able to help ensure that every child has the early literacy skills they need for success,” she added.

“While I know this funding will not resolve all of the library’s budgetary issues,” Felder said. “I hope you will accept it as a small token of the appreciation of all New Yorkers for the wonderful services you provide."