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Bayside Hills Civic prez tackles ‘apathy’

TimesLedger Newspapers

Community Board 11 gathered in Bayside Monday night, as it does almost every month, with Chairman Jerry Iannece at the helm.

But this time the group started its meeting with a standing ovation and applause for its chairman, recognizing his efforts after he lost in the Democratic primary Sept. 13 while running for state Assembly.

“Thank you,” Iannece repeated graciously.

But the support visible Monday night was not strong enough last month to put Iannece’s vote total above his opponent, Nily Rozic, of Fresh Meadows, who ultimately won the primary with 56 percent of nearly 4,000 votes, according to the city Board of Elections. Iannece’s vote totals were part of what drove Bayside Hills Civic Association President Michael Feiner to address the community board in its October meeting.

“I’m here to talk about public apathy,” Feiner said. “We have tried recruiting people. Membership is not what it is supposed to be.”

The civic released a letter after Iannece’s primary loss asking voters, “Where were you?” to address what Vice President Armando Cortino called voter apathy in Bayside Hills.

Feiner said the group would be canceling important monthly meetings out of protest as it explores its current “state of flux.”

“We are not happy with what has been going on the last couple of months,” Feiner said.

CB 11 granted three variances Monday night for Little Neck’s Gulf Gas Station, at 260-09 Nassau Blvd.; the Citgo Gas Station, at 184-17 Horace Harding Expwy.; and for the Bayside Veterinary Center, at 204-18 46th Ave. in Bayside.

Before the meeting began, Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik addressed the board, providing awards to three CB 11 members for 10 years of service. Joann Ferrari of Douglaston, Lauren James of Little Neck and Dennis Novick of Hollis Hills each received the commendations from Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

During the public participation portion of the meeting, Bayside activist Mandingo Tshaka asked the board to recognize the need for sound barriers to protect area homes near the Long Island and Clearview expressways. Iannece, however, said CB 11 had looked into the issue, to which the city Department of Transportation said action would not be likely unless there was a major capital project involved.

Also during the public participation session, retired Bayside businessman Jack Oshier said he had been working with Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) to address crime and illegal activity inside Bayside Manor Park apartments. Oshier said owners who refuse to lock their doors have allowed trespassers to gain access to vacant apartments.

Closing out the public participation, Lucy Tinari, of Bayside’s Party City, near the intersection of Bell and Northern boulevards, asked the board to help address growing concerns regarding food trucks near the intersection.

Because of the regularity of food trucks operating outside Party City, Tinari said she worried about an increase in unsanitary conditions and odors, unwanted animal activity from birds or rodents and parking spaces being taken away from shoppers.

“This has been a major problem throughout the entire city,” Iannece said. “We need regulation.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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