Home Up




Our meeting began at 8:00pm with the opening ceremony.  Minutes from the previous meeting were read by Elva Grimes in Kelli Singleton’s absence and were accepted.  

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Jeff Dawson reported that the association had a current balance of $8,078.94 with $627.44 in outstanding checks and an available balance of $7,451.50. A motion was made to accept this report.  

Financial Secretary’s Report:  read by Velma Terry in Donice Redding’s absent. The last general meeting held on 3/9/06 produced income of $280.00 for dues, since that date an additional $1320.00 was received bringing the total dues income to $1,600.00. The mailing to our inactive members is proving to be quite successful. This accounts for most of the dues money received. Members who paid in 2005 have until April 1, 2006 to make their current year payment. Those who have not paid by April 1 will receive a mailing to renew. This mailing will be completed by the end of April.  

The returned mail is significantly reduced and members are encouraged to contact Ms. Redding if they are not receiving their Reporter newsletter. A motion was made to accept this report.  

Committee Reports: Elva Grimes reported on the Educational Committee’s progress with the schools, having visited with several  PTA’s, the last being Math & Science at Campus Magnet, where the PTA sponsored a presentation on gang violence awareness and safety in the schools.  

Ann Wilkinson 2nd VP, on behalf of the police committee mentioned that the Councilman helped to disseminate the information regarding parked cars left for extended periods of time which was recently featured in our monthly newsletter. She also mentioned that Chairman Leonard Joseph, Hazel Rollins, another Police Committee member attended the 105th PCT Council meeting on March 29th.   

President’s Report:  President Kevin Jemmott shared information regarding 234th Street , there are currently two proposals based on review of DOT maps.  There will be a public hearing at our next membership meeting on April 13th, DOT Director, Constance Moran will return and be our guest speaker.  

Fire Hydrant concern, DEP has two projects currently running, Mr. Jemmott is still looking into this and is awaiting further information.  

Guest Speakers:  

City Councilman Leroy Comrie: The government is not giving up the money needed for New York City schools. Eight new schools slated to be built are being held up as well as much needed repairs.  On Tuesday March 13th, Alliance for Quality Education is having a rally in Albany to lobby the legislators. New schools in this area will relieve overcrowding in P.S. 176 & P.S. 147.  

It is difficult for seniors to maintain real estate taxes due to property values increases.  With the Star Credit, the $400 rebate will continue and there may be something in the works for an additional $600 rebate. CHCA members can call the Dept of Finance for an application.  

Regarding Self Certification, City Councilman Comrie will return to another membership meeting and give a longer presentation on this. However, there is a bill being sponsored by the Housing and Buildings Department to stop self certification (i.e: builders certifying there own work).    

The Mayor has set aside 3 million for pension benefits to maintain quality of life.  

Barbara Brown, Eastern Queens Alliance :  invited the CHCA to become a member and distributed handouts which listed the mission and purpose of EQA. She mentioned that we can accomplish more when we work together. The Eastern Queens Alliance is a federation of civic associations within South East Queens and their website is  www.easternqueensalliance.org.  

Brian Winbleberg, Crime Prevention Officer, 105th Precinct: gave an update on crime in the area, There were a total of 17 crimes in the Cambria Heights area, burglary and stolen cars are the biggest problems. However, there have been no murders. The membership was advised to call him at 718-776-9207 if we are interested in him coming to our homes for a safety and security evaluation.  

Stanley Gill and Norman Morgan: gave a very informative presentation on Reverse Mortgages and disseminated handouts to the membership. This is a government sponsored program and applicants must be 62 years or older in order to participate. However, the program is not for everyone even if you are 62 years of age. Counseling is provided by the government for those who are interested in applying. It is important to note that our civic association is not promoting Reverse Mortgages. This presentation was made for information purposes only.  

Membership Concerns: There is still a big hole on 115th Avenue & 232nd Street . The association is still waiting for an answer will have one by the next general membership meeting and along with information regarding garbage collection. 

Submitted by Elva Grimes, Corresponding Secretary



Photos by Bill Mouzon

Our meeting began at 8:10 PM with the opening ceremony.  

Minutes from the 1/12/06 were read by Recording Secretary Kelli Singleton and accepted.


Recording secretary Kelli Singleton reviews minutes from previous meeting.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Jeff Dawson reported that our current balance as of February 9th, 2006 is $9,990.43. 


Jeff Dawson reviews the civic finances

Fundraising Committee Update:  Chairperson Marilyn Huggins mentioned the Atlantic City trip to Caesar’s Hotel from February 22nd through 24th. She encouraged everyone to support the association’s fundraising events and solicited volunteers to join the Fundraising committee.  

Board member Marilyn Huggins discusses the importance of fund raising.

President’s Report: President Kevin Jemmott reported on the following:  

The Importance of Fund Raising: As a community, we need to support the civic fund raising events if we want to take our organization to the next level. We would like to open an office on Linden Blvd so that there would be a place residents could bring their concerns.  Marilyn Huggins does a great job with her committee fund raising by bringing in about 40% of the civic revenue. The problem is that 80% of the people that participate in the fund raising events are from outside of Cambria Heights . If members like what the civic is doing they should support the civic fund raisers. Our houses are our biggest investment and the work of the civic helps to raise the value of our homes. Please support us with your dollars or see Marilyn Huggins to volunteer for the fund raising committee.  

Concerns regarding the former illegal conversion on 120-53 Springfield Blvd :  Construction has resumed but the contractor has withdrawn his application to build an additional house on the property. Instead he will extend the current house to the limit allowed by the rezoning and construct a deck. We will watch this closely.  

The Cambria Heights Development Corporation (CHDC): has been formed to work with merchants to revitalize our commercial strip. The board members consist of Earl Simons, 1st VP, Leonard Joseph, 2nd VP, Jeff Dawson, Treasurer, Kelli Singleton, Secretary and Kevin Jemmott, President. On January 20th, 2006, President Jemmott met with Robert P. Pauls Consultants Company and the Queens Economic Development organization to request a Linden Blvd survey of the Cambria Heights commercial strip.  The CHDC board requested recommendations regarding what type of stores (i.e: upscale franchises) are missing from the strip and what businesses would do well within our community so that we can attract them to the Cambria Heights area. The survey area requested extends from Linden Blvd and Francis Lewis Blvd up to the Nassau County Line.  Two draft surveys have been created so far. Additional information regarding the requested survey is as follows:  

·        We would like the document to be created in a polished format with statistics on area income levels that could be presented to businesses.  

·        The survey should list suggested blocks that represent a model that can developed and used to encourage other CH blocks to participate.  

·        Survey drafts we have received listed vacant buildings available on the commercial strip. In one of the draft surveys, President Jemmott found a 17,900 sq ft warehouse with a parking lot at Linden Blvd & 207th Street . President Jemmott then contacted Matthew Major, a representative of LLC (owner of the warehouse), and suggested that the HIP center be located there and he agreed. President Jemmott also contacted City Councilman Leroy Comrie to enlist his help in making this a reality. Approximately one week later, the Councilman replied and stated that the HIP center would be located there. He and President Jemmott will be conferring with HIP in the near future. Further information regarding this will be forthcoming soon.  

President Kevin Jemmott resolves civic member's concerns.

Education Committee Update: Chairperson Elva Grimes gave remarks about Chancellor Klein’s meeting at I.S. 192 this evening…she attended and represented the civic association along with civic member, Ms. Doris Bodine. She also gave a brief update regarding our recent appreciation dinner sponsored by the civic association for the principals of the Cambria Heights public schools. Of the 6 principals within our community, 4 were able to attend the dinner.  Chairperson Grimes encouraged the membership to get involved with their children’s education and thanked the civic association on behalf of P.S.176 for their consideration.  

Education Committee Chairwoman Elva Grimes gives her report.

Police Committee Update: Committee Chairperson Ann Wilkinson, our 2nd VP, encouraged members to attend the 105th committee meetings held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 8pm (the next meeting will be held on Feb 22nd). She also solicited volunteers for the Police committee.   

Guest Speaker: Lee Fiorino, Department of Finance:   Ms. Fiorino discussed the following:  

bulletProperty tax exemptions (Veterans, Senior Citizen, and People with Disabilities) have a deadline of March 15, 2006. For further information, please call 3-1-1 or call her office at 212-232-1776.
bulletNotices of property value were sent in January---encouraged the membership to read and understand the notice and submit minor changes to her office. If people have serious problems with the information in their notice, the Department of Finance will host a briefing on 2/15/06 to discuss taxes and property value updates (at the Finance Business Center-2nd floor-Sutphin Blvd and 94th Avenue ).  
bulletSTAR is the School Tax Reduction Program which reduces taxes by $200 and for seniors, it reduces taxes by $300. There is no age or income requirement, the only requirements are that you own a 1, 2, or 3 family home, condo, and cooperative and you must live in it. People who don’t enroll in STAR will be charged an additional 25% in taxes after March 15th
bulletThe Absentee Landlord Surcharge is scheduled to start again as of July 2006. To avoid this surcharge, enroll in the STAR program by logging onto www.nyc.gov/finance to enroll. This is a one time enrollment unless you move to another residence.
bulletPeople who have tax abatements are not eligible for the STAR program.
bulletExplained that people should pay attention to the assessed value and not the market value listed on the property value statement and then divide the assessed value by .06 to determine the amount of taxes you’ll have to pay.
bulletBriefly mentioned that they have a lien sale every year (people who owe taxes for 3 years)---people who have been placed on the sale and received notices should pay the amount due as soon as possible to avoid higher charges. She and her co-worker do outreach on this in partnership with City Councilman Leroy Comrie.  

Department of finance representative reviews Star program and real estate taxes.  

Guest Speaker: Richard Hellenbrecht, Chairman, Community Board 13:  

Mr. Hellenbrecht gave an update on the house on the corner of Springfield Boulevard and 121st Street . The owner revised his building plans and received a permit after an audit from the Buildings Department which was accepted (meaning he has meant the rezoning criteria). The owner added a slight extension on the back of the house and seems to be building a deck on top of it. He is concerned that the owner may build a room under the deck and has filed a complaint with the Department of Buildings and awaiting an update. The architect has been filing several self-certified permits throughout the city (many are labeled revoked- pended). He feels more money should be dedicated to resolving these types of issues throughout the city. He encouraged the membership to mention to City Councilman Comrie that self-certification should be curbed.  

President Jemmott encouraged the membership to remain vigilant regarding illegal conversions and if we see something that is questionable, report it to the Department of Buildings.  

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:57pm.  

Respectfully submitted by,  

Kelli M. Singleton, MPA

Recording Secretary

Cambria Heights Civic Association  


Our meeting began promptly at 8:00am with the opening ceremony.  

No minutes were read since the December meeting was a Holiday party and no business was conducted.  

Financial Secretary Donice Redding reported the following:  

bulletThe dues collected at the December meeting are $920.00 bringing the civic association’s paid membership to 521 families;
bulletWe have 16 paid Reporter ads to date, funds received were $849.50;
bulletWe are continuing efforts to get the balance of our advertisers enrolled for the current year, phone calls have been made and she will make visits with the hopes of obtaining renewals;
bulletThe returned mail is significantly reduced. However, efforts must be continued to update our records; 
bulletShe encouraged all who paid their dues but didn’t receive a Reporter to speak with her and solicited volunteers for the Membership committee---interested persons should speak with her or 1st VP Earl Simons.

Financial Secretary Donice Redding gives civic financial report.

Treasurer Jeff Dawson reported:  Our current balance as $7,823.72 with outstanding checks of $742.73 making our available balance $7,080.59 per Bank Activity report dated 1/12/06. A motion was made to accept the report and was seconded.  

Fundraising Chair Marilyn Huggins announced: an upcoming trip to Atlantic City from February 22nd to the 24th going to the Caesar’s hotel. The cost is $135 per person for double occupancy, $125 per person for Triple & Quad, and $195 per person for single occupancy. Please contact her at 718-481-9237 or Chairman Lenny Joseph at 718-723-7459 for further information.  

President Kevin Jemmott gave the following report:  

2005 Accomplishments:  

bulletThe rezoning of Cambria Heights was completed within nine months. This preserves our community and protects us against illegal conversions.
bulletImprovement has been noted in our failing schools, double digit increases in both Math and English PS 147 and PS 176. Much needed repairs completed at both schools. We also have established an excellent rapport with the School Chancellor.
bulletBy presenting the statistics to show that our 105th Precinct was under staffed in July, we received 23 police officers double the allotted police officers we would have normally received.
bulletAddressed low water pressure concerns
bulletThese improvements have been made possible not by just talk but by the actions of a dedicated and strong civic association that is about getting the job done.

Work is not complete yet. We still have milestones to reach in 2006.  We have focused committees targeting improvements in Education, Illegal Conversions, Police, and membership.           

bulletThe Education Committee- Met last weekend and developed and began implementing plans to work closely with the principals of our schools and use the partnership we have established with Chancellor Klein to bring about more improvements to our schools. I.S. 192. Encouraged members to see Elva Grimes to join.
bulletThe Membership Committee- Met last weekend and developed and began implementing plans to increase our membership and turn out. They are looking into a family day during the summer. Encouraged members to see Earl Simons to join.
bulletThe Illegal Conversion Committee- Met last week with the Buildings Dept to go over reported Illegal Conversions that threaten the character of our neighborhood. Committee convinced the buildings dept to follow up on offenders that paid their fines to make sure they also converted their house back to single family. Encouraged members to see him to join.
bulletThe Police Committee- Developed plans to improve police community relationships. Two of the members Kelli Singleton and Andrea Martin attended Senator Malcolm Smiths Operation Safe SE Queens meeting…no CH news to was discussed. Encouraged members to see Ann Wilkinson to join.

We must remain vigilant to preserve and improve our community. We just can not go to work, come home and eat, sleep, and start all over again. If we do that, while we are sleeping  we might wake up and find an expanded prison next door, or a 24hr Walgreen’s next door, or maybe a HIP center next door. We must not be caught sleeping or our community will become rundown.  

Guest Speaker, Constance Moran, Borough Commissioner, Department of Transportation:  

bulletDiscussed the traffic congestion problem at 234th and Linden Blvd.
bulletReviewed the current problem (major one being from 4pm to 6pm rush hour) and found that the dollar vans are the major cause of the congestion and the MTA buses may need to consider changing their lay over location.
bulletProposed making 234th a southbound street and 233rd a northbound street (both one way) with parking on both sides of the streets which means the MTA buses would have to be rerouted down 233rd St.
bulletAlternative proposal would be to change 234th St back to a two way street with parking removed from the West side of the street.
bulletIn either case the lights must be synchronized on 234th , 233rd , and 235th Streets.
bulletAsked Recording Secretary Kelli Singleton to follow up with the 105th Precinct regarding enforcement of the “No Standing” law in front of the school on Linden and 234th between 7am and 4pm as well as a” No Standing” enforcement for the area where the dollar vans are parked on Linden.
bulletSuggested that our community come to a consensus before any proposals are voted on and encouraged the membership to voice their concerns to the civic association who will then follow up with her.

DOT Member Concerns:  

bulletHole in the street on 235th and Linden ---DEP started working there and never finished presenting a hazard.
bulletTraffic at 223rd between 121st and Francis Lewis.
bulletTraffic at 120th Avenue and Springfield toward 231st Street to the Cross Island Pkwy ; cars are speeding—using the streets as a highway---need DOT to do a study---traffic lights or stop signs are needed. Kelli Singleton will mention at the upcoming 105th precinct meeting. Police should be reporting the approximate 15 accidents that occurred in this area to the DOT.
bullet232nd and 115th Road has a major crater in the middle of the street. Per Constance Moran, a dual study will be conducted by the DOT and DEP.
bullet231st and Francis Lewis Blvd has a high speed curb banner and the residents do not want it taken away because it has been stopping the numerous accidents that were previously occurring. Constance Moran said she will not have it taken away.
bullet 118th Avenue has become a major thoroughfare for speeding buses, tractor trailers, and trucks. Constance Moran mentioned that the Police Department can give summons to the speeding trucks since they have a truck enforcement unit. Kelli Singleton will also report this at the 105th Precinct meeting.
bulletConstance Moran informed the membership that all DOT related dangerous conditions can be reported in writing to the DOT.

President Jemmott mentioned the HIP center proposal and gave the membership an opportunity to voice their concerns. The majority of our membership does not want a HIP center in the residential portion of our community. As of today, there are no plans for a HIP center. However, HIP wants to meet with the civic association leadership to discuss membership concerns.  

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 10:03pm with over 100 Cambria Heights residents and guests in attendance.  

Respectfully Submitted by,  

Kelli M. Singleton, MPA

Recording Secretary




Civic members celebrated with a holiday party. No business was discussed.


The opening ceremony began at 8:05pm.  

Recording Secretary Singleton read the minutes from the October 13th, 2005 membership meeting which was accepted and seconded by the board.  

Fundraising Chairwoman, Marilyn Huggins, announced the upcoming shopping trip to Woodbury Commons scheduled for December 3rd, 2005.  

Treasurer Jeff Dawson reported that CHCA’s balance is at an all time low (a current balance of $5,538.01) and encouraged the membership to pay their dues on time and to support our fundraising events. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report and was seconded.  

President Kevin Jemmott gave the following report:  

·        According to police the young man shot on 224TH between 116TH Ave and Linden Blvd was a personal dispute over a girl. There are presently no leads. Residents can report information anonymously to the Police. Robberies have increased in Queens Village and Rosedale but decreased in Cambria Heights . The Sacred Heart Robbery could have been prevented. Blinds were down and the secretary did not look to see who was at the door. The 105th Precinct Crime prevention officer will give a free crime prevention audit of CH residents’ homes if they call the precinct to request one at 718 776-9090.  

·        Discussed article in Times Ledger that stated residents saw illegal construction at Springfield Blvd and 121st Ave and complained to each other instead of calling 311 or the civic association. Residents must take meaningful action instead of complaining to each other.  

·        After several calls to the project manager street paving to cover raised manhole covers were completed on 116th Ave near the Magnet School.  

·        Water Pressure is back to normal and DEP continues to monitor the pressure in the community.  Encouraged members to call 311 and then the civic association if there is a change in water pressure.  

·        As a result of the meeting with the Chancellor PS 147 Scaffolding (damage to front near 3rd floor) Repairs to begin in the Spring/Summer of 2006. To correct electrical problems DOE will break up circuits in the library, remove teachers personal microwaves, toasters etc. Repair 16 Air conditioners.  PS 176 copy machine will be replaced

·        Presented Carman Grau with community award –called her a woman of relentless action.  She will be missed in the community and we wish her the best in her new home.  

·        Board Retreat-scheduled for Oct 22nd, 2005:  Mr. Jemmott challenged 12 civic members, 8 board members and four volunteers to brainstorm on ways to improve Cambria Heights .  They were asked to

·        Determine problem/challenges

·        Develop solutions

·        Create timeline to implement solutions. Time frames are between now and June 2006.  

Board Members are commended for the plans they developed.  

Retreat committee reports were given by Mary Lamberth on Illegal Conversions, Doris Bodine on Education, Kelli Singleton on Police, and Donice Redding on Membership.  

1st Vice President Earl Simons discussed the highlights of his trip to New Orleans and Mississippi . He mentioned that FEMA is working on strategies to implement if a similar catastrophe were to happen in New York City or Southeast Queens from the Rockaways.  

Guest Speaker: Mr. Sidney Co from the American Red Cross  

·        Discussed preparedness in the event of disaster (emergency)

·        Defined a storm surge

·        Encouraged the membership to log onto www.nyc.gov/oem to see what precautions and hazards are in our area

·        Explained the difference between a hurricane and a tropical storm.

·        Mentioned a variety of possible disasters that can happen in New York City

·        Discussed evacuation strategies (i.e.: packing “To Go” bags—small for short evacuations or large for longer evacuations)

·        Distributed information packets  

We conducted the Thanksgiving Raffle: the 5th prize was a Turkey , 4th prize was a Fruit Basket, 3rd prize was $100, 2nd prize was $150, and 1st prize was $250.

President Jemmott announced a Gospel Celebration held at Maranatha Baptist Church on 11/12/05 at 7:30pm.  

President Jemmott also mentioned that Assemblywoman Clark and the Community Care Development Project, Inc.’s Christmas and Kwanzaa lighting and singing ceremony at the Freedom Rock on 12/1/05 at 6:00pm. Members can contact 718-465-7677 for further information.  

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 10:07pm.

Respectfully Submitted by,Kelli M. Singleton, MPA, Recording Secretary


Meeting began at 8:05pm with opening ceremony.  

Recording Secretary Kelli Singleton read minutes from the 9-8-05 meeting minutes which were approved and seconded.  

Financial Secretary’s Report: Financial Secretary Donice Redding reported that CHCA obtained 7 new members as of last month’s meeting. We currently have 478 paid members. Ms. Redding mentioned a suggestion to have board members attended the block association meeting within the CH community in order to increase membership. She also mentioned that she needs correct telephone numbers and addresses from members.  She will be sending a renewal contract to CHCA’s commercial members.  

Treasurer’s Report: Ms. Redding gave the Treasurer’s report in the absence of Treasurer Jeff Dawson and stated that we currently have an available balance of $7,273.64.  

Announcements: Recording Secretary Singleton announced the Southern Queens Elected Officials and Clergy’s benefit concert to help families affected by recent hurricanes. The concert is to be held on Sunday, October 30th at 3pm at the Andrew Jackson Campus Magnet High School . All checks should be made payable to NOAH-F which is a fund established by the Southern Queens elected officials to aid hurricane survivors. Members should contact Pamela Moore of Assemblywoman Barbara M. Clark’s office at718-479-2333.  

Fundraising Committee Chair Marilyn Huggins announced that tickets are available for the aforementioned concert and can be purchased from her. She also announced the following events:  

·        October 25th, 2005: Atlantic City, NJ-Showboat-Tickets are $30

·        November 10th, 2005: Thanksgiving Raffle-1 ticket costs $1-1 book costs $5. The grand prize is $250.

·        December 3rd, 2005: Woodbury Commons shopping trip-Tickets are $30-leaving from Springfield and Linden Blvds.

·        February 22nd-24th, 2006: Atlantic City , Caesar’s Hotel  

Chaplain Boston announced that the Alpha Phi Alpha seniors will be marching on Saturday, November 19, 2005 at 10am from their former meeting place to the new complex on the corner of 220th Street and Linden Blvd. The building dedication will began at 10:30am- all are welcome to attend.  

President’s Report: President Kevin Jemmott reported that there was an increase in crime from May through July. Our crime rate has been decreasing since then. However, there was a recent homicide on 224th and 116th Ave at 6:30pm, 105th Precinct officers request that anyone who has information to contact them.  

The special membership meeting held on 9/28/05 with Chancellor Klein and Superintendent Chin: District 29 ranked 4th citywide for 1 year gains in grades 3-8 with double digit increases at both Cambria Heights elementary schools on state and city wide math and ELA tests; Much needed repairs were made at P.S. 176 and possible additional air conditioners for both schools; the Dept. of Education is proposing to spend $1.6 million for improvements at P.S. 147 as  part of a five year $13 billion capital spending plan citywide; The Chancellor has been to 3 civic meetings and promises to keep coming back with progress reports.  

Posters on Linden Blvd : should be taken down. Members can contact the Sanitation Department at 718-525-7812 and speak with Phil Marinazzo.  

Guest Speakers: Doug Greeley, Deputy Commissioner of Operations and John Burns, Engineer, from the Dept. of Environmental Protection discussed the status of Cambria Heights ’ brown water and water pressure issues and mentioned the steps that are being taken to remedy both. The membership was encouraged to contact 3-1-1 to report water complaints.  

Senator Malcolm Smith mentioned that there are 371 people from New Orleans staying in Southeast Queens who need permanent housing and jobs.

He discussed Operations Southeast Queens meetings which are held monthly to discuss/identify illegal activity in our community and potential strategies to combat it.  The meetings are held on the 1st Wednesday of each month at Thomasina’s and is open to the public.  

Senator Smith says his biggest goals for the CH community is to improve the educational system for our children, improve public safety, and improve our commercial strip (shopping and services).  

Membership concerns mentioned:  

·        Hole in street on 228th Street between 119th and 120th Avenues. Doug Greeley said he will take care of it.

·        Status of the traffic on 234th Street and Linden Blvd.

·        Water backup on 226th Street and 119th and 120th Avenue and 229th Street and 120th Avenue . Storm drains are needed. Doug Greeley recorded this information and will investigate.

·        Raised potholes from Francis Lewis Blvd and Linden Blvd to Springfield Blvd. The city started the work but never completed it.

·        Need speed bumps in the road to curb speeding in blocks off of Springfield and Linden Blvd.

·        Need activities for Cambria Heights youth since as an after school program at P.S. 147.  

With no further business to discuss the meeting was adjourned at 10:10pm.  

Respectfully submitted by,  

Kelli M. Singleton, MPA

Recording Secretary

Cambria Heights Civic Association 11/10/05


Meeting began at 8:15pm with the pledge of allegiance and prayer.  

Recording Secretary Kelli Singleton gave a briefing of the June CHCA business meeting and mentioned important updates pertaining to the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.  

Treasurer Jeff Dawson reported that the association has an available balance of $9,900.21 as of September 8, 2005.  

Financial Secretary Donice Redding reported that we currently have 972 members and encouraged everyone to continue paying their membership dues timely. She needs members’ telephone numbers and email addresses in order to update membership records. She mentioned that businesses (merchants) also need to pay their dues timely. We have 195 commercial listings but only 50 of these merchants have paid their dues.  She also reported that 612 of CHCA’s newsletters have been mailed.  

Board Chairman Leonard Joseph mentioned that Deliverance Baptist Church is accepting donations of non-perishable food and toiletries for their Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. He also mentioned that it was brought to his attention that the residents of 222nd Street and 115th Road would like Barbara DeCosta Waldon’s name added to the block’s street sign. This will be discussed by the civic association board members at the upcoming meeting.


President Kevin Jemmott reported that as of July 27, 2005, Cambria Heights was officially downzoned in a record 9 months. This was achieved because the civic association was able to get over 800 residents to emphasize the need for downzoning within our community ( in order to preserve the quality characteristics of Cambria Heights ) at our meeting with the Mayor held in November of 2004. We partnered with the City Planning department to obtain an acceptable downzoning plan which is an excellent example of what communication, action and unity can accomplish. Mr. Jemmott thanked all the board members and civic members that accompanied him to the various meetings to make this a reality.  

President Jemmott also reported that Chancellor Joel Klein will be visiting Cambria Heights again on Thursday, September 28th at P.S. 176. CHCA will send notices to the membership regarding this meeting. There are still 31% of students not reading at grade level within our community. President Jemmott ended by encouraging the membership to remain vigilant.  

Remarks from Elected Official Representatives:  

Brian Simons, spokesperson for Congressman Meeks’ office gave the following remarks:  

·        Elected officials of Southeast Queens started a relief fund Hurricane Katrina victims and will use the funds received to adopt 30 families affected and have a proposal to house them on army bases. A benefit concert with Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams will also be held to raise funds.

·        Congressman Meeks made arrangements with St. John’s University to allow students of Louisiana and Mississippi to attend the university with free room and board. A meeting with the Clergy of Queens will be held to discuss the progress of outreach efforts.

·        Encouraged the membership to vote in next week’s primaries.


Mary Gilprin, spokesperson for Assemblywoman Barbara Clark, mentioned that Assemblywoman Clark will be hosting a Senior Forum in conjunction with the Queens’ Legislators’ 3rd Annual Senior Appreciation Week, on Wednesday September 14th, 10:30am, at the Police Athletic League/Foster-Laurie Senior Center in Hollis , NY . Presentations include Medicare Part D & the Low Income Subsidy, Reverse Mortgages, Predatory Lending, Fraudulent Building Contractors, and Utility Assistance Programs (HEAP).  

Adoma Johnson, spokesperson for Senator Malcolm Smith’s office, reported that gas stations are not allowed to change prices more than once per week. If anyone has experienced fluctuating price changes during a week’s time frame please contact the Senator’s office.  

Guest Speaker: Fred Riley, Community Coordinator, Department of Consumer Affairs  

The Department of Consumer Affairs handles the licensing of over 55 businesses categories in addition to investigation of service problems, outreach and education to the public.  

Mr. Riley discussed the importance of contract review and establishing terms and agreements before working with home improvement contractors (i.e.: asking for insurance, obtaining recommendations from other people who had the same type of work done by the contractor).  

He encouraged the membership to only work with licensed contractors (those licensed by the Dept. of Consumer Affairs). To check licensure, contact 3-1-1 and visit the Dept. of Consumers Affairs’ website which is www.nyc.gov/consumers. Contractors who say they are licensed and really are not can have their property confiscated by the Dept.  

Membership Concerns:  

·        Clothing donation boxes are eye soars

·        Low water pressure

·        Streets near the Farmbria supermarket are filthy

·        Children are too noisy on 220th Street between 116th and 117th Avenues.

·        Tree stump needs to be cut down and the catch basin needs to be cleaned on 232nd Street and 116th Avenue .  

After membership concerns were addressed, a motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 9:50pm and was seconded.  

Respectfully submitted by,  

Kelli M. Singleton, MPA

Recording Secretary

Cambria Heights Civic Association  10/13/05 




Civic members packed the MBU Bridge Home June 9th to celebrate the “Year of Accomplishments”. Several leaders of city agencies and local politicians stopped by to celebrate with the membership and offer words of congratulations and support. School Chancellor Joel Klein stated the successes of PS 147 and PS 176. On the City Math Test the number of students performing at or above grade level at PS 147 increased 16.8% over last year and increased 6.7% at PS 176. On the City and State English Language Arts Test the number of students at PS 176 reading at or above grade level increased 12% over last year. PS 147 increased 9%. The Chancellor stated he was impressed with the turn out of the civic association and he urged the members to continue to get involved and Mr. Jemmott to continue working with the Region Superintendent Judith Chin to improve the schools in Cambria Heights. Mr. Jemmott said the improvements in the scores at PS 147 and PS 176 were not a one shot deal. He said he would continue to work with the Department of Education until all students are at or above grade level.

Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott stated that he was proud of civic President Kevin Jemmott and said that he has taken the civic association and the community to a new level. He also stated that as Deputy Mayor he can help to bring the issues of South East Queens to the attention of the Mayor and was here for the community to use him.  

Commanding Officer of the 105th Precinct Steven Obrien said that despite the recent shootings in the area crime is down and asked if anyone has information about the shootings to please communicate it to the NYPD. He stated that Kevin Jemmott and Dennis Walcott have been pushing together to get more police officers for the precinct. Dennis has been working through the Mayors office and Kevin has been able to get the community out, pose the right questions to the decision makers in the police dept and apply the needed pressure to get more police officers for the precinct. He said if the precinct gets more officers a lot of the credit goes to Mr. Jemmott.  

Liz Erico from City Planning stated she was proud to work closely with the civic association on the rezoning plan and she said approval should be smooth sailing through the rest of the process. She stated the commission will approve the rezoning plan June 22 and send it to the City Council for final approval.  

Councilman Leroy Comrie encouraged the members to continue to come out and that when politicians see so many people turn out the way 800 people did for the Mayor’s meeting it sends a strong message. He said he is waiting for the rezoning plan to come from the City Planning Commission June 22 so that the City Council can give its approval. He will also give money to revitalize Laurelton West Park and Carbell Park aka Cambria Park. Construction on Laurelton West Park will begin 6 to 9 months after the money is approved.  

Queens Economic Development Corp. representative Michael McGaddy stated that he was going to work closely with Mr Jemmott to help revitalize the commercial strip on Linden Blvd and received thunderous applause.  

Assemblywoman Barbara Clark stated that it was the civic association that make things happen and to contact their local politicians when they have an issue.

Mr. Jemmott thanked the membership and the board for helping to make the past year a “Year of Accomplishments” but stated that there is still work to be done. He said that he is looking for more volunteers to work on committees and tackle community projects. Working a full time job and finding time to work with the civic to improve your community can sometimes be a tiring task but it is a good tired. When you sit back and see the positive effect you made in the community you will rest well.


Photos Courtesy of Bill Mouzon

President Kevin Jemmott  said the violence has to end and again called for the 105th precinct to get it's fair share of police officers.  The problem reached critical mass after a man was shot dead May 10 on 223rd Street and 118th Avenue

From left to right the Cambria Heights Community Service Scholarship winners Fabio Streets 2nd place $1000 winner, Cordell Davis 1st place $1500 winner, and Chante Purdue 3rd place $500 winner.

 Recording Secretary Kelli Singleton presents recent updates of the Medicare Modernization Act

Attorney John Bigler gives a presentation on Elder Law.

Adama Johnson from Senator Malcolm Smith's office makes a point about Elder Care.


Photos Courtesy of Bill Mouzon

Community Affairs Officer Nicole Dean and civic member Gwendolyn Barnes sign members up for the NYPD Block Watcher program.

Civic President Kevin Jemmott discusses members concerns.

Members listen to details of the 105th Precinct Block Watchers Program.

Father gives daughter a lesson in community civics.


Our meeting began at 8:05pm with the pledge of allegiance and prayer led by Chaplain Boston.  

Reading of Minutes from the 2/10/05 meeting: Kelli Singleton read the minutes from the February 10, 2005 membership meeting which were accepted and seconded.  

Announcements:  Marilyn Huggins announced our upcoming trip to Mohegan Sun on April 9th, 2005. The cost of the trip is $30 and the casino will refund attendees with coupons instead of a cash refund. She encouraged the membership to purchase tickets.  

Adoma Johnson from Senator Malcolm Smith mentioned a couple of community outreach events at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Queens Village and the New York Diagnostic Center in Brooklyn .  

Treasurer’s Report: Reported as of today, the CHCA has a current balance of $15,027.37 with two outstanding checks totaling $1150.29 and we now have an available balance of $13,877.08.  

President’s Report: President Jemmott reported on the following.  

Verizon Job Fair- As a manager at Verizon President Jemmott convinced Verizon to hold a job fair Sat March 5 at the St Albans Family Life Ctr. Over 400 job seekers attended. Assemblywoman Barbara Clark, State Senator Malcolm Smith, and Councilman Leroy Comrie helped to get the word out.  If your interested in a job or know of someone who is interested pick up Verizon info package at table.  

Police – There has been several shootings along Linden Blvd since Nov. The latest on 228th Street at club Creole Brassiere.  Ten civic members including Marilyn Huggins, Rosael Boston, and Carl Wharton, attended the 105th precinct meeting and I made the commander of the precinct Stephen Obrien know that we were concerned.  The club will receive extra monitoring.  

March 7, Mr. Jemmott met with Police Commissioner Kelly at a community leaders meeting and requested more police officers at the 105th precinct.. 18% of the crime in southern Queens is in the 105th but they only received 6% of the recent graduating cadets. He said if those numbers are correct he will make sure that it is corrected and get back to me.  

Education:  School Superintendent Judith Chin – follow up meeting 3/16 to monitor progress of schools in Cambria Heights. Mr. Jemmott will be meeting with PTA presidents prior to this.  

Linden Blvd Revitalization:   Welcome to Cambria Heights Banners installed. 3rd VP Barbara Dacosta and President Kevin Jemmott worked hard to make this happen.  President Jemmott and volunteers from the civic will partner with the 105th precinct for a 2nd Graffitti clean up for the spring, Civic attempting to mobilize the merchants so that more can be done. That has proven to be difficult.  

234th St & Linden Traffic Congestion: Plans to convert 234th to a two way street put on hold by Assemblywoman Barbara Clark and CB13 Chairman Richard Hellenbrecht who asked DOT to consider comparing reversing the direction of the current one-way, changing it to a two-way or leaving it as  is and for DOT to recommend the best solution. Mr. Jemmott spoke to Queens DOT Commissioner Constance Moran today and she said she will not make another recommendation because she has already made a recommendation to the civic to convert the block to a two way with no parking on one side of the street. There will be a public hearing at CB13 in the near future.  

Problems with our Jewish Neighbors on 120th Ave :  In response to membership complaints at our Feb meeting President Jemmott met with Rabbi Abba Retson, regarding double parked buses, rats eating garbage, and garbage in the neighborhood left behind by visitors to the cemetery during their holidays.

Accomplishments of meeting with Rabbi

§   Had 105th precinct ticket buses for several days. Buses now park legally

§   Rabbi agreed to put down poison for rats and place garbage on platforms to make it difficult for rats to get to garbage. Old mattresses were also removed.

§  Rabbi agreed to hire four Cambria Heights residents for clean up during their holiday 4/20 and 7/10. two for the day and two for the evening. Contact me if you are interested or know of residents interested. It would be great if we could get someone from the immediate area.  

Guest Speakers: Mr. John Young, Commissioner and Ms. Elizabeth Erico, Asst. Commissioner, Department of City Planning

3 resident districts in Cambria , R2, R3, and R4. However, a new zoning district will be created and called R2-A---will be reviewed by the City Planning Commission and includes several public hearings before being implemented.

Rezoning Timeframe: 


April 11th, 2005. is the date for certification of the zoning proposal by the City Planning Commission.


Community Board 13 Public Review up to 60 days


Queens Borough President Review up to 30 days


Planning Commission to make final rezoning decision up to 60 days


City Council up to 50 days to act.

Rezoning should be complete between August and November of this year.  

Website: www.nyc.gov/planning to find out more information about city planning and rezoning. Also contains the agency’s strategic plan outlining initiatives for enhancing the city.



Our meeting began at 8:05pm with the pledge of allegiance and prayer led by Chaplain Boston.  

Reading of Minutes from the 1/13/05 meeting: Recording Secretary, Kelli Singleton read an overview of the January 13th, 2005 membership meeting with the Chancellor. A motion was made to accept the minutes as read and was seconded.  

Financial Secretary Report:  Financial Secretary Audrey Stewart gave the CHCA financial report and stated that as of February 9, 2005, CHCA has an available balance of $14,268.74.  

President’s Report: President Kevin Jemmott reported on the following:  

Downzoning: City Planning completed their study of the houses for down zoning Cambria Heights . On Jan 31 several board and civic members met with the Borough Commissioner for Queens Planning John Young, and Liz Erico, to review the plan. Adjustments were made and City Planning committed to present their down zoning plan to the membership at our March membership meeting.  

At the Civic Association’s request to the Mayor, Cambria Heights has been put on the fast track for down zoning. The process for down zoning is for city planning to submit their plan to the Planning Commissioner on April 11th, then it goes to CB13 for approval, then to the Borough Presidents office for approval and then the Planning Commission makes their final decision, after which the City Council acts on the decision. We are expecting Cambria Heights to be down zoned with a by the end of August (best case scenario) or by mid November 2005 (worst case scenario).  

Illegal Conversions: Recent fires that have resulted in the death of fire fighters and families because of Illegal Conversions emphasizes the need for the community to act before such a tragedy happens in Cambria Heights . Illegally converted basements into apartments are fire traps because there is only one entrance to escape (egress). Report any illegal conversions to the civic association or call 311.  

At President Jemmott’s request, the Buildings Dept. will give hands on training on the Building Information System (BIS) data base at the Campus Magnet High School located at 207-01 116 Avenue. Room 103, on February 15th, 7pm to 9pm. If members have access to the Internet they can use the BIS data base to: 

§   File illegal conversion complaints.

§  Determine whether there are complaints on a property and the disposition of those complaints.

§   Whether there are violations on a property and the status of those violations.

§  What types of permits are issued for a property, including when permit was granted, when it expires and contractor contact information.

·   Whether there is a Certificate of Occupancy for a building and if so download a copy.

·  All interested in taking the free class see me any board member at the end of the meeting.

Water Quality: President Jemmott met with the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Doug Greeley on January 11th and learned that the first phase of improving the water in Cambria Heights has begun. He also learned the following:

§  On January 13, Cambria Heights ’ water source was switched from the old Jamaica water company well 23 to NYC water.

§  Hydrant flushing has now begun and takes place from 8pm to midnight. Residences and businesses located in or near the area may experience discolored water and or low pressure at various times. If you have any concerns call 311 or Sara Pecker of DEP at 718 595-5487.

§  The second phase will be to replace the water pipes which will take approximately three years.

§ The final result of this program will be to prevent brown water and reduce the iron manganese in our water.

Laurelton West Park : Parks are an important part of any thriving community. President Jemmott, 1st VP Earl Simons, and Cambria Heights Sports Association President John Hopkins met with the Parks Commissioner, Barbara Lewandowski on Jan 10th at Laurelton West Park 238th St and 120Ave. They challenged the commissioner to develop a plan to make the park a family friendly park without basketball courts. The Commissioner has developed the following two plans to revitalize the park:  

§   Plan # 1  will cost $1.525 million which will include a new children’s park with spray shower, enclosed fencing for safety,  revitalize comfort station, repave park area, install new benches. Councilman Comrie advised he will support it with funds. On Feb 1st, President Jemmott and John Hopkins attended the borough presidents’ budget hearings to solicit funds also.

§   Plan # 2 will be to revitalize the walk way of the park along the Belt/Cross Island Pkwy to include repaving, park benches and lighting. This is area is state property so President Jemmott will ask Senator Malcolm Smith for funds.

§  The Commissioner also agreed to install a fence in the baseball field dug out and provide clay for the fields at both Laurelton West and Cabell Parks at a discount to the sports association. The clay will allow little league teams to still play on the field shortly after it rains.  

234th St Conversion to Two Way Street: Several complaints were expressed at the Sept, Oct, and Nov membership meetings regarding traffic congestion at 234th St and Linden Blvd. NYC Dept. of Transportation’s borough commissioner Constance Moran completed her field investigation of the area. Three engineers monitored the area during morning and evening rush hours and during the day. Constance Moran observed the traffic patterns during the morning rush hours with President Jemmott and VP Earl Simons and the evening rush hours. The borough commissioner recommended that 234th Street between Linden Blvd and 118th Ave be converted back to a two way street with parking removed from the West side of 234th St. A petition taken by a resident of the block Virginia Norvell was signed by residents of the block in support. CB13 Chairman Richard Hellenbrecht states that they are awaiting approval from community board 13 this month.  

Banners: In an effort to make our Linden Blvd commercial strip more attractive and the civic association more visible twenty-four 5ft x 2.5 ft  “Welcome to Cambria Heights” blue banners will be installed between Linden Blvd and the Cross Island Pkwy and Linden & Francis Lewis Blvd,  Springfield near Murdock and Springfield near 120th Avenue within the next few weeks. Financial support for these banners will be received from Bank of America, State Senator Malcolm Smith and Assemblywoman Barbara Clark. President Jemmott and 3rd VP Barbara Dacosta have worked hard to make this happen.  

Our New Newsletter Editor: Carl Wharton has enthusiastically accepted the position of editor for our newsletter. Carl has prior experience with newsletters he has produced for his block association and we look forward to an improved newsletter from him. If members have articles or events such as birthdays or anniversaries please see Carl at the end of each membership meeting.  

Guest Speaker: Dr. Gloria Black, Civil Rights Activist  

Dr. Black gave an informative presentation on Black History- where we came from to where we are today—it was very inspiring. She encouraged the membership to be civically oriented; to work with the elected officials and to make them accountable for their needs; to be aware of the community’s needs; to organize block associations; to vote in all elections; to lobby and partner with groups to upgrade the neighborhood; and to attend school and community board meetings.  

Dr. Black mentioned there will be a meeting regarding the illegal buildings on March 10th at 7pm.  

Guest Speaker:  Mr. Aaron Jackson, Grand Council of Guardians, an African American Law Enforcement Fraternity  

Mr. Jackson spoke about the dangers of the Teen Curfew bill (no child 17 or under are allowed out of their homes without being accompanied by an adult).  

Guest Speaker: City Councilman Leroy Comrie  

City Councilman Comrie made announcements about upcoming community events. He also gave the status of the Teen Curfew bill, which won’t be lobbied. He mentioned that as of 11:45am today (2/10/05), the telephone cell phone antenna at Linden and 233rd Street was taken down and he will ensure that other antennas won’t be cited near schools. The cell phone company is willing to speak with the community to discuss appropriate sites for the antennas.  

City Councilman Comrie suggested that we do a petition drive in the spring to save the Q83 bus which is in jeopardy of being eliminated.  

Topic for the next CHCA membership meeting: “The bike lane on Francis Lewis Blvd and 227th. Is it beneficial to the Cambria Heights community?” Buses have been parking in the bike lane and blocking traffic although the bike lane was implemented to curb speeding. Mr. Jemmott will schedule a meeting with the Rabbi to discuss this problem and resident concerns.  

With no further business to discuss the meeting was adjourned at 10:07am.  

Respectfully submitted by,  

Kelli M. Singleton


Accomplishments of Chancellor Meeting & Partnering With DOE


Approximately 400 members, parents, teachers, administrators in attendance.  

bulletPS 147 Number of special Ed classes to be reduced through attrition. Repairs completed in girls bathroom, broken ceiling tiles fixed, burnt out lights in auditorium fixed, broken chairs in auditorium fixed.
bulletPS 147 & PS 176 Saturday and summer success academies have been set up, as well as additional training for teachers and intervention programs for students who need it most. Will follow up with Chancellor in six months to gauge results
bulletEstablished working relationship with Superintendent Judith Chin and local superintendent Leon Dash
bulletPTA’s will contribute articles to civic newsletter as partnership to help encourage parents to get involved in their children's school.

Photos Courtesy of Bill Mouzon

School Chancellor Joel Klein fields questions from the membership and explains he is willing to partner with the community.

Civic President Kevin Jemmott tells the chancellor that the dumping of Special Ed and unprepared students that are not from Cambria Heights must stop and these students should be spread equally throughout Queens.

School Superintendent Judith Chin agreed that seven Special Ed classes at PS 147 is too much and no more would be admitted. She said the number of Special Ed classes would be reduced by attrition.

Principal Arlene Bartlett of PS 176 addresses parent's concerns and lays out her plan to improve her school's performance. She said Saturday and summer success academies have been set up, as well as additional training for teachers and intervention programs for students who need it most. Principal Ann Cohen of PS 147 had similar remarks.

CHCA 3rd VP Barbara Dacosta asks the Chancellor questions submitted by the audience.

Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and DEP Director of Communications Sara Pecker confer before the meeting on solutions to water issues in Cambria Heights. The Deputy Mayor a former CHCA President in 1984 stated that, " Mr. Jemmott has done more for Cambria Heights as a  civic president in six months than any other civic president he has known during their entire term." 

CHCA Corresponding Secretary Esther Wiggins, Treasurer Jeff Dawson and newly appointed Editor Carl Wharton prepare to direct the over 400 attendees to the auditorium.

A full auditorium at PS 147 anxiously awaits the start of the meeting.

December Holiday Meeting 2004

At the annual Cambria Heights Civic General Membership Holiday party December 9th, President Kevin Jemmott gave a follow up report to the Mayor’s visit to Cambria Heights November 11. Holiday party attendees included local politicians Congressman Gregory Meeks, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Assemblywoman Barbara Clark, and Councilman Leroy Comrie. Mr. Jemmott stated that the civic association had begun a successful partnership with the Mayor and city agencies but the attending politicians were long time partners and always there for the community. Following is Mr. Jemmott's report and photos of the Holiday meeting.

President’s Report  

November Membership Meeting with Mayor Bloomberg Success

Approximately 600 Cambria Heights Residents, 50-75 visitors attended

Covered by media.

I will be dining with the Mayor at his home December 15th – as a thank you for a well run civic meeting

We are on the cusp of being a great community but we must not relax. Now is the time to get a second wind and continue working.  

Mayor’s Meeting Accomplishments/Established Partnerships

§        Illegal Conversions – 19 turned over to Buildings Dept. 7 fines issued ranging up to $50 per day until reverted back to a single family home. My request to end “two attempts no access-case resolved” will be honored in Cambria Heights .  Met with Robert LiMandri, commissioner of Buildings Dept., tonight to review progress.  

§        Downzoning – Cambria Heights will be downzoned by July 2005 as a result of Oct meeting with Assemblywoman Barbara Clark, Councilman Leroy Comrie, CB13Q Rich Hellenbrecht and myself . Mayor will get back to me to see if it can be expedited. Zonebusting race is on. Developer constructed a two family house at 219-27 114th Ave

§        Police – Crime in the 105th Precinct continues to drop. The Mayor stated there is no money for more cops. However, there was another shooting Nov 28 at 114Ave & 225th St not related to previous shooting on Linden and 225th St. A direct communication line has been established between myself and the 105th Precinct Commander Captain Stephen O'Brien.  

§        Education – Chancellor Joel Klein is confirmed to speak at our January civic meeting to discuss Cambria Heights education issues. In the interim the 1st VP , Earl Simons and myself met with SD29 Superintendent Judith Chin to discuss issues in Cambria Heights schools and develop solutions.  

§        Water Quality – Spoke to Deputy Commissioner of Operations - DEP - Doug Greeley regarding brown water and iron manganite in our water. He is working on by passing well 23 from the old Jamaica Water Co. Short term is to add 2-3 pressure valves that may allow us to get city water. This should be completed by early Jan. Long term remedy will be to build 48in water mains to bring in city water within 3 years. He will contact me when the short term plan is complete.  

§        Sanitation - Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, responding to residents’ complaints, had sanitation crews complete the removal of weeds growing on Francis Lewis Blvd ’s median between Linden Blvd and Murdock Ave. Other areas were cleaned as well. He will also target the area for the removal of posters and told me to call him if any work is not done expeditiously.  

§        Linden Blvd. and 234th St. - NYC Dept. of Transportation’s borough commissioner Constance Moran and her engineers met with myself and 1st VP Earl Simons on December 7th to analyze the traffic congestion and discuss ways to alleviate the problem.  

§        Parks: Parks Commissioner Barbara Lewandowski has agreed to work with John Hopkins, Councilman Leroy Comrie and myself to come up with ideas to revitalize Laurelton West Park located at 238th Street and the Cross Island/Belt Parkway ; other parks in Cambria Heights will be included. We will meet January 10, 2005.


Click the photo to enlarge, then click the back button on your browser to return.

Members enjoy good food and fellowship.

President Kevin Jemmott, Congressman Gregory Meeks and Assemblywoman Barbara Clark discuss community issues.

From left 3rd VP Barbara Dacosta, Financial Secretary Audrey Stewart, Editor Marie Reed, recruit member to become more active in the civic.



Mayor Bloomberg Is Welcomed As The Guest Speaker By Civic President Kevin Jemmott

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg speaks at the Cambria Heights Civic Association in Queens.


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg speaks at the Cambria Heights Civic Association in Queens.

 Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott addresses education concerns and promises to have Schools Chancellor Klein meet with the civic association

On November 11, 2004 Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the guest speaker at the Cambria Heights Civic Association General Membership Meeting. The Mayor along with 10 of his commissioners, deputy commissioners and Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott addressed concerns of the approximately 600 Cambria Heights residents in attendance at the Sacred Heart School Auditorium. Also attending were approximately 50 residents from neighboring communities.  

Civic president Kevin Jemmott led the meeting and called on the membership to partner with the mayor and his commissioners to change Cambria Heights from a nice community to a great community through communication, unity and action. Among the topics discussed were illegal conversions of single family homes into multiple dwellings, down zoning, sanitation, education and parks. President Kevin Jemmott raised the issue with the buildings commissioner of closing out as resolved illegal conversion cases after two attempts. The buildings commissioner stated that it would no longer happen on complaints in Cambria Heights. The Mayor said he would follow up in two months on the progress of fighting Illegal Conversions in Cambria Heights.  Head of city planning John Young estimated that Cambria Heights would be down zoned by July 2005. The Mayor demanded from John Young that he expedite the down zoning process of Cambria Heights and report back to him with an answer by the next civic meeting in January. 

Regarding the quality of education in Cambria Heights Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott said that the Schools Chancellor would attend the January membership meeting to address the issues.  Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lowondowski stated she would work with the civic association on ideas to revitalize the area parks. The head of the Sanitation Dept John Doherty agreed to trim the weeds on Francis Lewis Blvd between Linden Blvd and Murdock Ave within one week and to also target that area for the removal of illegal posters. 

At one point in the meeting Cambria Heights Civic member Bob Wilkinson  complained about receiving a $400 rebate check made out to the deceased previous owner of his house which drew laughter from the members and the Mayor who said he would make sure that it was resolved.  

Civic President Kevin Jemmott stated that the meeting with the Mayor was a success. There was a large turnout of Cambria Heights residents and a lot of good partnerships were established with the city. “The key to success is to now follow up on what was promised and to continue building partnerships to change Cambria Heights from a nice community to a great community.”  

Kevin Jemmott listens as members express their concerns



Treasurer’s Report:  In the absence of Treasurer Jeff Dawson, Financial Secretary Audrey Stewart gave the Treasurer Report

President’s Report: Mr Jemmott discussed the following

IMPORTANT TO VOTE THIS ELECTION - don’t take your vote for granted


§        Voters Rights Act of 1965 due to expire 2007

Empowered the federal government to oversee voter registration and elections to prevent poll taxes, literacy tests and other unfair practices that stopped minorities from voting.

          Act was extended in 1970, 1975, 1982

§        The next president will choose several Supreme Court justices. 8 of 9 Supreme Court Justices are currently over 65 yrs old

 $400 rebate mailing now through the end of November

§        Call 311 for your status. You will need your block and lot #

 Downzoning/Illegal Conversions

§        Large influx of people into NYC and they are attracted to Queens

§        Taxes the infra structure. Schools, sanitation, parking and other city services.

§        Rebuilding must be done in an orderly fashion.

§        Met with Assemblywoman Barbara Clark, Councilman Leroy Comrie, Liz Erico of City Planning and Richard C. Hellenbrecht Chairman of CB13. City Planning agreed to accelerate the process and have the Cambria Heights area downzoned by summer 2005

§        Turn in any Illegal Conversions to the civic so that they can be reported to the buildings dept and followed up by the Borough President.      

Guest Speaker 105th Precinct Commander Captain Stephen O’Brien:

·        Mentioned that it is an honor to work in the Cambria Heights community; pledged to give 110% of service to the community.  

·        Asked the membership to give specific information when making complaints about community issues.  

·        The 105th Precinct is divided into 13 sectors. Cambria Heights ranked 11th out of the 13 (only 1 sector ranked better than us).  

·        An elderly woman was mugged on 228th Street at 12noon. The precinct does not have a description of the assailant, they only know the person was driving a blue car.  

·        The predominant crime in Cambria Heights is car theft. Captain O’Brien mentioned that two of the car thefts were due to people leaving their car running with the keys left in the ignition. Captain O’Brien encouraged the membership to purchase “automatic starters” as a means of prevention.  

·        Special Note: Mr. Jemmott presented an award to police officer Michelle Antionadio for excellent police work within our community. She made a robbery arrest in Cambria Heights and retrieved a gun from a stolen car.  

Guest Speaker Geno LoPresti, Crime Prevention Officer, 105th Precinct

·        Mentioned that (Fall-Winter) this is the time of the year for burglaries. Cambria Heights statistics are currently minimal.  

·        Informed the membership to keep all windows, doors locked at night even when we’re at home. Encouraged people to purchase professionally installed alarm systems and motion lights (keep your home well lit).  

·        Discussed stickers and identification devices he has that will easily identify stolen cars (vin-etching) at the Rockaway Boulevard Motor Vehicles, Monday-Friday. This service is free of charge. Anyone interested can contact him at the precinct (776-9207). Over 800 cars have been vin-etched this year.  

Guest Speaker Community Affairs Officer Nicole Dean:

Discussed some of the 105th Precinct’s programs such as:  

·        Police Academy :  A free 2-week program for the community; the program will be available in the Spring  

·        Civilian Observer Program: Gives community residents an opportunity to ride with Police Officers to learn and experience their jobs. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.  

·        Block Watchers’ Program: A free, anonymous program wherein  residents/neighbors monitor any strange, potential criminal activity in the neighborhood and alert the precinct.  

·        Officer Dean also provided pamphlets on Identity Theft and Terrorist activity.  

·        Officer Dean can be reached at 718-776-9173 or 9176.  


Fundraising Report: Marilyn Huggins encouraged the membership to purchase Thanksgiving raffles (will be drawn at our next membership meeting on 11/11/04) and to attend the upcoming Franklin Mills shopping trip in Philadelphia being held on 12/4/04 (has more than 200 outlets).  She also mentioned another 3-day, 2-night Atlantic City trip coming up in January 2005.  

Other: Marie Reed, Chairperson of the CHCA Newsletter Committee, solicited volunteers for the committee and encouraged the membership to submit articles to be published.  

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:50pm.



Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Jeff Dawson gave a summary of CHCA bank activity through September 8, 2004. The CHCA available balance is $16,384.21.  

President’s Report: Asked membership to give the civic association any reports of illegal conversions so that the top 20 can be given to Borough President Helen Marshall to follow up. At a meeting with the owner of the Garden Supply property, Assemblywoman Barbara Clark and myself it was suggested that an assisted living facility be constructed on the site.  

President Kevin Jemmott held a meeting with the board over the summer to address many community issues including illegal conversions, police relations, revitalization of the Linden Blvd commercial strip and membership improvement.  Several committees were formed to address these issues.  

Cambria Heights is threatened with overdevelopment. The majority of Cambria Heights homes are R2’s which means single-family detached homes with a few R4’s.  R4s are potential two and three family homes. Areas of concern include the approximate area of 220th Street & 115th Rd to Springfield Blvd To Francis Lewis Blvd and up to 220th Street . He said he would be meeting with the head of NYC Dept of City Planning in the very near future to work on downzoning these areas to preserve Cambria Heights as primarily single family homes.  

President Jemmott also mentioned the possibility of building an Assisted Living Facility on the property of the present nursery located on 119th and Springfield Boulevard . The owner of the property declined the offer because the project will cost $7 million to build yet he would only receive $100k per year in revenues. 1st Vice President, Earl Simons, will investigate the possibility of having the land subsidized.


Guest Speaker Honorable Helen Marshall: Queens Borough President Marshall briefly spoke about illegal conversions and asked a staff member, Lisa Atkins, to give further information.  

Ms. Atkins mentioned that any illegal conversion complaints must be filed before enforcement can take place. Members can write a letter to elected officials, the Borough President’s office or contact 311. Violations can be as high as $2,500. An inspection will be scheduled if the address of the complaint property is correct and inspectors are required to make 2 attempts. The most difficult part of obtaining inspection is obtaining access into the property. Tenants are often intimidated by landlords and told not to allow access by inspectors. A warrant for entry can be issued if a complainant (can be an individual or organization) files for one. An article regarding Illegal Conversions will be published in the next CHCA newsletter. Log onto www.nyc.gov/buildings then click onto “Business Information Systems” for more information.  

Ms. Atkins also reminded the membership to enroll into the STAR program by October 15, 2004. The applications are available online, in libraries, and in all municipal buildings. They can also be downloaded from www.nyc.gov/finance.   

She also mentioned that the $400 rebate will be distributed as of November 2004.  


Guest Speaker Assemblywoman Barbara Clark’s remarks:  Assemblywoman Clark spoke about the results of a recent survey and asked if the Cambria Heights community is better than it was 10 years ago. She received 84 responses out of 144 stating no it is not better due to illegal conversions, double parking, tractor trailer parking, traffic (especially at 235th Street and Linden Blvd). 106 people out 140 stated that they feel safe in the community. She encouraged the CHCA membership to get involved and make positive changes in the community.  

She dutifully swore in the elected and appointed board members.  


Community Issues Mentioned By Membership:

·        Junk mail/flyers being left on people’s property

·        Brown water

·        Slippery sidewalk in front of the Car Wash on Springfield Blvd and Linden .

·        Too much traffic on Linden & 234th Street. Perhaps 234th needs to be changed into a two-way again.

·        Maintaining the community garden. A discussion will be held with City Councilman Leroy Comrie.

·        Consider making 233rd St  and 118th Avenue a one-way street to eliminate traffic. Cars should be prohibited from parking on the corners of this street as well because it blocks the Stop signs and causes accidents.

·        Need adequate bike lanes.

·        Need cleaner and safer parks in the community.

·        Need a remedy for water/ice near Cambria Park to prevent accidents and injuries.

·        “No Standing” signs need to be placed at 234th and Linden with specified timeframes such as 9am to 6pm.

·        Enforcement needs to take place with sanitation to take down illegal signs and fine the people who are posting the signs by $150.


Fundraising report: Marilyn Huggins encouraged the membership to support the upcoming bus ride on September 25, 2004 trip to Atlantic City tickets are $30. She encouraged the membership to purchase tickets for our Thanksgiving raffle and our Franklin Mills shopping trip to Pennsylvania on Saturday, December 4th.


Other: There will not be any primaries in the 33rd district (September 14th) and none of the polling sites will be open in the district. However, all polling sites will be open on Election Day.


With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 10:00pm.



CHCA Elections

The elections were held on June 10,2004 at the annual membership business meeting. Most of the unopposed nominees were current office holders who agreed to serve another term. New nominees for the offices of 3rd vice president, assistant corresponding secretary, assistant recording secretary/editor, financial secretary and sergeant-at-arms were also unopposed. The two nominees for the office of 1st vice president were Jack Thompson and Earl Simon. The membership elected Earl Simon to be the 1st vice president. Jack Thompson, was applauded for his work as he left office after eleven years as CHCA president. He will continue to share his great expertise and knowledge as an appointed board member.

For the full listing of officers  selected by the membership for 2004-2006 see below.

2004-2006 Executive Board

President Kevin Jemmott   
1st Vice President Earl Simons
2nd Vice President Ann Wilkinson  
3rd Vice President Barbara Dacosta
Chairperson Leonard Joseph
Treasurer Jeff Dawson
Corresponding Secretary Esther Wiggins 
Asst. Corresponding Secretary Lynette Torres
Recording Secretary Kelli Singleton 
Asst. Recording Secretary/Editor Marie Reed
Financial Secretary Audrey Stewart
Sergeant-at-Arms Carl Whorton



Meeting minutes from the 4/8/04 were read and accepted with correction to the 1st Vice President’s report. The last paragraph should include: “ All positions are available for nomination at the May 2004 membership meeting. Nominations for positions can take place from the membership, if vacancies are available at the June meeting”. A motion was made to accept the meeting minutes with corrections as stated.  

 Officer Wiesneski’s Report, 105th Report:  

·       Crime is down by 13% in the Cambria Heights community.  

·       The most popular crimes in the community are burglary and auto theft.  

·       Encouraged the membership to contact the precinct at 718-776-9224 if we have any complaints and answered a few questions from the audience.


1st Guest Speaker, Harriet Miller Diaz, Principal, I.S. 192:  

·       I.S.192 serves St. Albans , Cambria Heights , Hollis, and Queens Village .  

·       The school has 1,000 students with smaller class sizes.  

·       Offers a Saturday computer program for parents.  

·       The school also offers dance, tennis, reading, and math tutoring, and 6 computer labs.  

·       Ms. Diaz is looking for members of the civic association to be mentors to the students  

2nd Guest Speaker, Corrine Lindo, Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Buildings:  

·       The department issues permits for construction and violations for deficiencies.  They are responsible for 900,000 buildings and are currently short-staffed (although they just hired 8 new inspectors).  

·       The department’s website is www.nyc.gov/buildings and they can be reached at 212-566-3424.  

·       Ms. Lindo advised the membership to hire an architect for advice on t home structural changes before having them done. Illegal work costs 10 times the filing fee and come with hefty fines.

·       She provided handouts on how to resolve violations which also involves hiring an Architect.  

·       Permits are necessary for structural changes. People are also expected to check the zoning in the community before beginning construction.  

·       She also mentioned that the membership should contact 311 with any illegal conversion complaints. 311 will categorize the complaints received (A,B, or C) starting with the most severe and ending with the last severe.  

3rd Guest Speaker, Adoma Johnson, Representative from Senator Malcolm Smith’s office:  

·       Ms. Johnson mentioned the following upcoming events:

§       June 5th: National Cancer Day Parade

§       September 13th-19th Senior Appreciation week  

·       She encouraged the membership to call 718-528-4290 if anyone has questions.  

1st Vice President’s Report, Kevin Jemmott:  

·       Mr. Jemmott mentioned recent legislation introduced by Assemblyman Weprin (#INT230), which, allows council and community members to get a warrant for property inspection and gives the commission permission to impose fines for properties that have received notices.  

·       Bill # INT232 allows the Buildings Commissioner to deny permits to owners who have violations.  

·       On June 2nd, 2004 , an Illegal Conversions Rally will be held at the Queens Borough Hall at 3:00pm .  

·       Mr. Jemmott introduced Edna Howard, Chairperson of the nomination committee, discussed the nomination slate and accepted nominations from the floor.  Election for 1st Vice President will be by written ballot.  

Chairman’s Report, Leonard Joseph:  

·       Mentioned the souvenir journal for the upcoming CHCA Presidential Ball and asked the membership to purchase ads/journal pages.  

Community Board #13 Report, Representative Lloyd Hicks:  

·       Announced that there will be a Memorial Day floral wreath program on Sunday, May 23rd at 2:00pm at the St. Albans , Veterans Hospital and encouraged the membership to attend.  


·       Ms. Marie Afei, a member of the CHCA, offered her professional services (investment/taxes/loans) to the Cambria Heights community. For further information or assistance, contact 646-334-7005.  

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:45pm .



President’s Remarks:  

President Thompson mentioned the following: 

·       Jamaica Hospital Center is currently experiencing cutbacks in health services due to a decrease in Medicare funding. 

·       Encouraged everyone to purchase tickets for our upcoming CHCA Presidential Ball. 

Recording Secretary’s Report:

Recording Secretary Kelli Singleton read the minutes from the February 12, 2004 membership meeting, which was motioned for acceptance and seconded. 

1st Vice President’s Report:

Kevin Jemmott discussed the results of the recent Cambria Heights quality of life survey which are as follows: #1 Concern,Ilegal conversions, #2 More Police presence in our community, and #3 Too many Pot Holes in our streets. He encouraged everyone to contact Community Board 13 at 718-464-9700 regarding these issues.  

Vice President Jemmott mentioned that the Department of Buildings held a meeting last week and concerned residents are encouraged to contact the department regarding illegal conversions. 

Community Board 13 Report:

Richard Hellenback discussed the following: 

·       The artist who will decorate the new library will be showing her work at the next CB13 meeting on March 22nd. Invited the membership to attend. 

·       Progress is being made in the legislation regarding illegal conversions. A 5-step plan will be introduced to give more power/access to building inspectors to investigate the inside of homes that have been turned into illegal conversions. Plans are being introduced in Queens to save 1 family homes.  

Guest Speaker #1: Ms. Arlene Bartlett, Principal of P.S. 176:

·       Needs more people in the community to come out and participate in the school’s activities. She requested volunteers to help the students with reading or participate in various workshops on breast cancer and domestic violence.  

·       Encouraged everyone to fight for equity of funds, staffing, and supplies. They currently have 3,500 books and over 15 computers. 

·       She is working to reduce class sizes to facilitate classroom

      interaction.  They currently have 605 students although the school was built to accommodate approximately 500 students. 

·       The summer school program will be scaled back dramatically (will only be open up to 3rd grade) and only 9 schools will be open in our community for summer school. All other grades will not be allowed the opportunity to progress to the next grade level through summer study. 

Guest Speaker #2: Architects for the Walgreen’s proposal:

Presented and discussed their architectural displays of the newly proposed Walgreen’s to be built on Springfield and 119th Avenue in place of the former gardening nursery. Residents expressed their concerns. 

Guest Speaker #3: Assemblywoman Barbara Clark:

·       Stressed the urgency in developing a better strategy of finding out about property for sale within our community and determine what should be done with properties that are currently empty. 

·       Suggested that the CHCA invite the Commander from the 105th Precinct to a CHCA meeting to address the issue of insufficient Police presence in our community. 

·       Will contact DEP regarding brown water in the community. Richard Hollenbeck from CB13 will also discuss this issue with the Deputy Commissioner of DEP. 

·       Gave an update regarding the status of the New York City school system in terms of funding and cutbacks.  

·       Encouraged the membership to be aware of what is going on in our community, city, state, and country. 

Guest Speaker # 3: City Councilman Leroy Comrie:

·       Reported that work is in progress to prevent/curb illegal conversions through re-zoning. 

·       Announced that he will be hosting a series of not-for-profit workshops for people who are interested in starting their own business. 

·       Mentioned several other events he will be hosting during March and April. Please refer to the attached list of upcoming events. 

·       Discussed the STAR program and encouraged the membership to register. 

·       Going forward, all upcoming events sponsored by his office will be published in the CHCA newsletter. 

Guest Speaker # 4: Adoma Johnson from Senator Malcolm Smith’s Office:  

·       Gave remarks on behalf of the Senator and mentioned the upcoming dance at Antun’s on March 26, 2004.  

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 10:05pm. 

Respectfully Submitted By: Kelli M. Singleton