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2003-11-20 / Other News

Positive Vibes From Civic Group’s 11th Anniversary Meeting

By Eric Goodman
Positive Vibes From Civic Group’s 11th Anniversary Meeting By Eric Goodman

By Eric Goodman

Deputy Inspector Robert Johnsen, C.O. of the 69th Precinct, said crime here is down.

Local politicians, including Assemblyman Frank Seddio, City Councilman Lew Fidler, Community Board 18 district manager Dorothy Turano and Community Board 5 Chairman Earl Williams, were present at the South Canarsie Civic Association’s 11th anniversary meeting at the Hebrew Educational Society on Tuesday, November 12 to speak about the improvements made in Canarsie recently and plans to make the quality of life here even better in the near future.

Assemblyman Seddio pointed out that Canarsie has experienced so much improvement to infrastructure in recent years that areas west of Canarsie began to complain that they get too much help from the city.

"Our parks are being renovated for the third time in twenty years and that includes rebuilding Seaview Park." said the assemblyman. "But it’s not just parks; crime has gone down in many of the areas that affect our quality of life."

Deputy Inspector Robert Johnsen, commanding officer of the 69 Precinct echoed Seddio’s assertion that crime is down in Canarsie despite what the local media will try to have the public believe.

South Canarsie Civic Association’s President Mary Anne Sallustro speaks to guests.

When speaking to a concerned Canarsien about recent crime that has occurred around her Ave. L home, Johnsen assured her that crime in Canarsie "has gone down 60% from what it was 10 years ago."

Dorothy Turano also addressed the same resident who said that she was considering moving out of Canarsie after living here for over 15 years.

"The future of Canarsie is as good as you are," said Turano.

And the future will, of course, include the children whom Seddio and Councilman Fidler promised to fight for in both Albany and locally with plans for more after school youth programs.

"Teachers need supplies to help children learn better and education is number one on my list when I get up to Albany," said Seddio.

Fidler also realizes that the Canarsie community is becoming increasingly younger and programs for young families are vital for the neighborhood.

"Kids want to belong to something and we must make positive programs more readily available," the councilman said.

In addition to improving education, Seddio and Fidler also addressed the issue of the need for a "down zoning" law in Canarsie.

Both politicians are determined to get a law passed that would stop developers from knocking down good houses only to replace them with sub-standard housing.

Seddio also intends to push for mandatory tests for mortgage brokers which he claimed would hopefully cut down on the pestering brokers who offer to buy your house through telephone calls and flyers that you might find in your mailbox.

While most of the speakers addressed issues concerning the immediate area of Canarsie, Community Board 5 Chairman Earl Williams spoke about the area of Gateway near Starrett City, which he represents in addition to East New York and the southeast corner area of Canarsie.

Williams claimed that the shopping center helped revitalize the Gateway area where there will now be 1,400 one and two family homes to be built once they get everything sorted out with a developer and the city.

"As we begin to develop the area behind Gateway, we intend to also build an elementary and junior high school there and we hope that this could begin by the end of 2004," Williams said.

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