2004-09-23 / Top Stories

Civic Group To Form A Task Force For Canarsie Pier Fixup

By Eric Goodman

Officials of the United Can-arsie South Civic Association, which covers the area west of Rockaway Parkway and south of Seaview Avenue, last week call-ed for its members to form a task force to try to urge local politicians to address a number of problems at Canarsie Pier.

At the meeting, which took place at the Hebrew Educational Society on September 14, Lenny Fogel, vice president of the active civic group, said he hopes the task force will be “free from any politics or other hidden agendas.” Fogel said the group would urge local elected officials to address the problem at the pier, which at one time featured Abbraciamento On the Pier Restaurant and Sun-set Landings, another restaurant that highlighted a paddle wheel boat. Both restaurants have since closed and the empty building has deteriorated.

“We can’t just sit back and watch our pier fall apart and be-come infested with rodents,” said Fogel.

Among those in the audience who agreed with Fogel was H.R. Clarke, a political science professor and four-year Canarsie resident, who announced that he will run for Congress on the Republi-can ticket against incumbent De-mocrat Ed Towns in this year’s elections.

Clarke, a professor for 15 years at Pace University, said that it is time for a change in Canarsie and he hopes to unseat Towns, who has held Brooklyn’s 10th Con-gressional District position for 22 years.

“It is time for a new voice in Brooklyn,” said Clarke.“If Can-arsie can gain a strong voice in Congress then it could really mean a difference in this community.”

Clarke welcomed any suggestions residents might have and asked that they also visit his website at www.clarkeforcongress.- org.

Eric St. Bernard, first vice president of the Parent Advisory Board for Community School District 18, suggested that the gifted students of Canarsie have more programs within the public school system.

St. Bernard explained that the board, which is affiliated with the Community Education Council for District 18, would lobby for charter schools for gifted students as well as for school uniforms.

“We need to start rewarding our children for doing well at school by providing them with the opportunity for a better education within this community,” said St. Bernard.

Among other issues that were discussed at the meeting was the proposed 10-story building for former homeless people to be built by a non-profit organization at the corner of East 105 Street and Farragut Road. Fogel prom- ised that the association would

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fight hard to make sure that Canarsie doesn’t become what he called a “dumping ground” for these types of programs.

The Canarsie citizens were also determined to thwart the current trend of homeowners renting apartments from their three-family homes to upwards of five different families.

“Everyone knows that it is illegal to rent to more than three families because it puts a tremendous burden on this community; especially the sanitation, police department, fire department and the school system,” said Fogel.

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