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2002-05-09 / View From the Middle

View From The Middle

A (Possible) New Spirit Of Community Here
By Charles Rogers

View From
The Middle


Great to see what’s happening here lately. Not just in the city or borough, but in our local community.

Have you noticed? There seems to be more of a feeling of community, don’t you think?

Civic and block associations are proliferating and addressing tangible topics of interest; not just talking about them, but seeing that things are getting done.

Gardy Brazela’s Friends United Block Asso-ciation, which covers a great deal of the area north of Flatlands Avenue and west of Rockaway Park-way, has been in existence for a number of years now and has made an impact on the lives of residents there. At the same time, to the south, we have the Informed Voices Civic Association, which meets at St. Jude’s and always has a large attendance. In the same area is the United Canarsie South Civic Association, which covers that big section south of Seaview Park and west of Rockaway Parkway. These are close-knit Canarsiens we’re talking about; people who love the neighborhoods in which they live and want to see that they are improved at every turn. The UCSCA is helping toward that end.

We still have the South Canarsie Civic Asso-ciation, of course, headed by Mary Ann Sallustro. The meetings of that conscientious group have been too far apart and too few lately.

Oldest among the bunch, of course, is the 69th Precinct Community Council. This is the grandaddy of them all, having been around for decades. Their meetings had been sparsely attended for quite awhile, probably because they were held at the precinct stationhouse where there wasn’t a heck of a lot of elbow room. Lately, however, it seems the attendance is up slightly - perhaps be-cause the meetings have been taking place at the H.E.S.

For the most part, our elected officials are at least trying to pay attention, too, and have shown their faces at the meetings.

We can’t take anything away from the way De-puty Inspector Jeannine Jennette handled her job as commanding officer of the 69th Precinct until two months ago. She was here for three years and became almost part of the civic community by the time she left to take a position in the Brooklyn South hierarchy. While here, it was Inspector Jen-nete’s job to meld into our society and do what she could to help it. She was very active and was always visible at the civc meetings.

Now her position as commanding officer has been taken over by Captain Robert Johnsen and Executive Officer Captain Mark Novak, both seasoned veterans of the NYPD and both eager to show the fruits of their experience. They will, no doubt, handle things slightly different than In-spector Jennette - and that’s a plus. We don’t need things to get stale; what we do need is a fresh approach. The appearance of both gentlemen at the local civic meetings recently was refreshing in itself.

On an afternoon last week they held a meeting of local clergy just to discuss community issues.

"We’re here to meet you and have you meet us," said Captain Johnsen in his opening remarks. "We’re at your service. How can we help?"

That’s getting off to a great start!


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