Monday, December 15, 2008

Donate Blood

There is still time to donate blood. This is a special gift which is often in short supply at this time of year so think about making a donation. You can donate blood at the following locations on the following dates:

Thursday, December 18
- South Shore Rotary Club, 141 Mansion Ave 10308
- Fred Limeri 718-227-0808

Monday, December 22
- Richmond County Criminal Court, 67 Targee Street 10304
- Andrew Hassall 718-390-8410

Friday, December 26
- 123rd Precinct, 116 Main Street 10304
Andrew Hassall - 718-390-8410

Sunday, December 28
- JCC Bernikow Center, 1466 Manor Road 10314
- Janice Salerno 718-475-5214

Monday, December 29
- NYPD School Safety, Petrides HS, 715 Ocean Terrace 10301
- Vivian Russo 718-816-0681

Wednesday, January 7
- Richmond County Civil Court, 927 Castleton Ave 10310
- Maria Emmanuel 718-390-5425

- Richmond University Medical Center, Bayley Seton Campus,
75 Vanderbilt Ave 10304
- Jennifer Sammartino 718-818-2100

Thursday, January 8
- Richmond University Medical Center, 355 Bard Avenue 10310
- Jennifer Sammartino 718-818-2100

Friday, January 9
USCoast Guard, Fort Wadsworth - DLA Building 203 NY Avenue 10305
- Lt. Nasif Gordon 718-354-4163

Give the gift of life.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CERT - Looking for Volunteers

The NYC Office of Emergency Management is currently seeking motivated individuals to start up the Staten Island Community Board 2 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The CERT program, run by OEM, is part of a national initiative to prepare individuals on a community level to better respond to emergency situations. The CERT members are trained in various methods of disaster response, including light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, fire safety, and terrorism awareness. After the 11-week training concludes, the CERTs are tasked with not only responding to events but also getting out into their community and teaching their neighbors about the different ways they can prepare at home for any sort of disaster that they may face.

Training is free. It consists of 11 sessions once a week, each lasting roughly three hours long. The location for the training is always within the boundaries of the community board in which the team exists. As of right now, Staten Island Community Board 2 does not have a CERT, and as part of OEM’s mission to ensure optimal response across all five boroughs it is a priority to establish a SI 2 CERT. Training is set to begin on Wednesday, March 11 2009.

Interested individuals can give us a call on the CERT hotline at (718) 422 – 8585 or send an e-mail to This is a great, cost-free way to give back to your community by helping yourself and your neighbors prepare for an emergency. Don’t hesitate to get prepared!

Monday, December 1, 2008

S S S S & V

I just wanted to mention a few things for your consideration:

1. SI Ferry. A new book on the history of the SI Ferry entitled - The Staten Island Ferry: A History - will soon be available. On Wednesday, December 10 at 6pm at the St.George Branch of the Library there will be a discussion of the book and book signing. The talk and discussion are free. Call 718-727-1135 x123 to register and the book will be available for $22. Need a nice gift to give for the holidays?

2. Smoking Study. The NYC Department of Health is doing a study on families with both smokers and non-smokers living in the same household. For their time and effort, family members who are eligible and participate will receive $50. To learn more about the study and find out about your eligibility, contact Kari Lundwall by phone at 212-676-2369 or by email at

3. Snow Shoveling. Where-to-Turn's snow shoveling program is still looking for volunteers who will help shovel snow for seniors during the upcoming winter. To learn more about the program go to If you are a senior or know a senior who would like to apply for help with shoveling, call 718-966-6531.

4. Stigma. The Family Diversity Project has created six award winning traveling photo-text exhibits that tour communities. The Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family exhibit is currently on display at the South Richmond Mental Health Clinic located at the South Beach Psychiatric Center and will be available for the community to view on December 6, 2008. It features photographs and interviews with families whose lives have been affected by mental illness. It is a moving and worthwhile exhibit.

5. Vision for Staten Island. This not-for-profit group is holding public brainstorming sessions to glean residents' wisdom, impressions and aspirations for an Island at the crossroads. Afterward, ideas from those in attendance will be posted online at The session in New Dorp will be Monday, December 8 from 7 to 9pm in New Dorp high School.

Those are just a few things for your consideration.

And remember, if you have an issues in the New Dorp community, make sure you bring them to our attention at

> Joe Markowski

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PS41 Schoolyard Update

I was able to attend the PS41 PTA meeting Tuesday night. During that meeting the final design for the new schoolyard was displayed. In most ways it resembled the designs presented a few months ago. However the omission of the gazebo already makes the tightening city budget a reality.

The overall design should please most people. The children will see the design elements they wanted. And very real steps have been taken to minimize the factors that might be disruptive to the neighbors. Many trees breakup the open spaces. What was most surprising - and wonderfully so - was the inclusion of a butterfly garden. How unique! The first of its kind to be built in the city schoolyards.

Construction will begin on or about November 3. It will run from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. No night construction. No weekend construction.

The plan is to have the new schoolyard completed by May 2009.

I hope they can meet that commitment. It will be a beautiful thing for the school and the community.

> Joe Markowski

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meetings & Mournings

Wednesday night the 122 Precinct Community Council gets together at the 122 Precinct on Hylan Blvd. at 8pm. Have a concern? Need some guidance? Plan on attending. Hear about the concerns of your neighbors.

Thursday night is our regular monthly meeting. We get together at 8pm at the Kells-Grennie American Legion Post at 2750 Amboy Road. Come join us and your neighbors as we work to make our world a better place.

Lastly, we mourn the passing of Marie DeFazio, a longtime NDCCA member who played an active role in our Association for many years. We will miss her.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Columbus Day Parade - October 5

Borough President James Molinaro will be sponsoring the 17th Annual Columbus Day Parade up New Dorp Lane this Sunday. This is a special tribute to our community and deserves our support and attendance.

The parade starts at 1pm at New Dorp High School and then marches up the Lane to the railroad tracks where the reviewing stand will be set up.

This is a wonderful event for our community and I encourage everyone to make sure you attend. Plan now on spending some time on the Lane, meeting your neighbors, visiting the merchants, and then watching this wonderful spectacle. Bring your friends, your relatives, your neighbors.

The Grand Marshall this year is Nicholas Scoppetta, the Commissioner of the Fire Department of New York.

There are numerous good vantage points all along the Lane. So make sure you join the members of our Association along the parade route, cheering on the marchers.

I hope to see you there Sunday.

> Joe Markowski, President, NDCCA

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Germans Came !!!!!

After talking about it for over two years the magic day finally arrived and it went by in a flash. 78 Minutes to be exact. But a wonderful experience was had by all. And a special thank you to the Boy Scouts for hosting our little get together...

... they were wonderful hosts and performed an inspiring flag ceremony. Also, a thank you to the Borough President for the proclamation we were able to present to our guests celebrating today - September 17 as "Staten Island/Duisberg-Neudorf Sister City Day"...

... as Joe Markowski, President of the New Dorp Central Civic Association presents the Borough President's proclamation to Harald Jeschke, President of Burgerverein Duisberg-Neudorf e.V.

Want to know more? to see more photos? Attend our meeting tomorrow night - Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 8pm at the Kells-Grennie American Legion Post, 2750 Amboy Road.

And we will also talk about other things effecting our community. However this was one special day. Wow!

> Joe Markowski
President, New Dorp Central Civic Association

Monday, September 8, 2008

Back to Work - 10 Items to Discuss

With the summer vacation season now over and the season of autumn just two weeks away, it is time to focus on issues/items involving our community. So lets chat briefly about a few things.

1. The Germans are coming. Yes, you've heard me talk about their upcoming visit. Well they are due to arrive here the afternoon of September 17. Are you available? Then meet us at the New Dorp Train Station at 3:15pm. They will be arriving at 3:30pm and need to catch the 7pm train back. So we will share about three hours together. We will stroll around the neighborhood and then meet for a snack and some talk... but more on this over the next few days.

2. The primary elections are tomorrow - Sep 9 - followed by the general elections in November. People who represent our neighborhood are asking for your vote. Take the time to learn what each person can and will do for you and then cast a meaningful vote.

3. NationalGrid (aka Keyspan) has dug up many trenches throughout our community. Have they repaired your street in a smooth manner? Let us know if they have disappointed you in what they did. (Of course, you may also compliment their work.)

4. Ah... the Flea Market. Are you enjoying it? How do you feel it contributes to the neighborhood? What would you like to see there?

5. Construction is beginning at the PS41 schoolyard as they work on their new play area. Check out their progress. We will be reaching out to the school to see the final approved plans.

6. Did you notice the tables and chairs atop Ariana's catering hall on New Dorp Plaza? Yep, on the roof. We've been told that is against the zoning for this area... yet the tables and chairs remain. What gives !?!

7. New Dorp author and journalist Jack Sampson - who will be celebrating his 100th birthday this month - will have his collection of papers, articles and writings on display at the College of Staten Island on Wednesday 9/10 at 1:30pm. If you can, check it out.

8. The building at 58 New Dorp Plaza is being demolished. At this time we have not learned what will replace it.

9. There is still time to donate blood as part of the Borough President's 9/11 Blood Donor Drive. Call Joanne Nuzzo at 718-816-2133 to find the next location and schedule your appointment.

10. The John M. D'Amato Athletic Field will be built in New Dorp Beach Park at the foot of New Dorp Lane overlooking the beach. Construction on the artificial turf field is scheduled to begin this fall.

So... there are ten things we can begin working on now that the summer vacation season is gone.

What are your thoughts?
Your concerns?
Reach out and let us know.
Get involved.

Comment on this blog. Send us an email at or

> Joe Markowski

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Flea Market

OK... most of you have heard about the flea market scheduled to open this weekend in the former Waldbaums/Franks property.

What do you think of the idea? do you hope its permanent? temporary?

What do you think should be built there?

What worries you about the prospect? What pleases you?

We still think a big box store would be preferable...

... but what do you think?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

PS 41 Update and Upcoming Presentation

On Tuesday morning I met in Councilman Oddo's office with his Chief of Staff Steve Matteo and Marie Carmody-Lafrancesca.

Ms.Akily Shenoy -the Senior Program Associate managing this project for the Trust for Public Land - joined us.

Ms.Shenoy shared one of the potential designs for the renovation of the playground.

The design incorporated many features requested by the students at PS 41.

Based on a review of the design the playground would include:
- creation of a garden area
- a stage with seating area
- a gazebo
- continued use of the existing playground with removal of the fences
- additional play equipment
- three half-court basketball courts
- a small track
- a small soccer area surrounded by trees
- a handball court.

A second design would include all those elements but in a different arrangement.

There is no space for hardball or softball. No place for use by organized leagues.

I was impressed by the design and the commitment of the Trust for Public Land to be sensitive to the needs of the young students and the school's neighbors.

I can understand the neighborhood's nervousness following years of pain prior to the installation of the playground. No one wants to go back to those days.

The current plan will not be a return to those days.

Lastly, at PS41's next PTA meeting there will be a display of the two preliminary designs for the playground. The meeting will be held on Tuesday May 27 at 7pm in the PS41 cafeteria... and you are invited to attend !

You will have an opportunity to view the designs, learn about the Trust for Public Land Playground Program and share your suggestions.

Concerned? Curious? Come to this meeting and put your fears to rest.

- Joe Markowski, NDCCA President

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Our Monthly Meeting & PS41 Playground Plans

At our meeting tonight a number of neighbors from the PS41 vicinity came to express their concerns about the plans to change the PS41 schoolyard. They are particularly concerned about the short timeline between when they heard about it - and we heard about it - and the planned display of the "final" proposals... in just 12 days!

To our chagrin we have not yet been contacted by the organization planning this work - the Trust for the Public Land (?). Why the secrecy?

We need feedback from anyone who has had experiences related to that schoolyard.

We also need to hear what you think would be appropriate for that location.

Speak up !

Comment here... or send an email to

We need for you to get involved... now!

> Joe Markowski, President

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chit Chat in May

OK… we actually did believe that someone would speak at our meeting last month about the Greenbelt Rec Center. However we received a call the afternoon of the meeting saying they could not make it. And they didn’t. Well, now we are told that some one will attend our meeting this month and give us an update on the Center so make sure you attend on Thursday May 15 for an update on the goings-on at the Greenbelt Recreation Center on Brielle Avenue… The cell phone tower that is now situated behind Neuhaus Realty is a “first responder” cell tower dedicated to those services and ensuring they have the bandwidth needed to do their job effectively. No commercial entities should be utilizing that tower… We have not heard back from our German friends since our last correspondence with them. In that message we had informed them that we could not commit at this time to a “town twinning” as they were hoping. That certainly disappointed them and may lead them to alter their plans. We shall see… And we wonder whether Detective Maria Gilsenan will continue in her role as Community Affairs Officer now that she is a Detective?... Also, who will be our new regional librarian now that Theresa Myrhol has moved on to Manhattan? I guess only time will tell… As for the Franks property, aside from the approved demolition work there is still no indication of what will be happening in that space. Admittedly the current real estate market makes all these decisions more challenging but we are certain that such prime real estate will sooner or later be back in play. Our concern is whether the new occupant of that space helps make our neighborhood a better place… Hey, did you see that we are going to be getting a new park down at New Dorp Beach. Wow, first the park with the walking paths and sprinkler and now swings and slides (?) for our kids. That is a terrific change for that space in such a short period of time. Hopefully we can get some information on exactly what is planned for exactly where… And speaking of parks, the playground at PS41 will be undergoing some changes. We have not yet seen the specifics of those changes but we have already heard from some of our neighbors in that vicinity who have some concerns about what those changes could mean for them. We invite those neighbors to come to our meeting and share their experiences and concerns with us so that we can work with them to maximize the benefit of these changes… And we have heard from a former neighbor who is looking for pictures of the original New Dorp train station to help him as he looks to re-create that facility in a model he is building. If you have any such photos, give us a call at 718-979-6011 and we will make sure those photos get to this creative neighbor… In the meantime, if you have something you would like to share with us – leave it on our telephone line at 718-979-6011 or email us. We welcome your insights and observations…Want to get more involved with your community and our organization? You can make a difference. There are a number of other ways you can contribute by joining or chairing a committee. Call 718-979-6011 and let us know that you are interested…

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cop Calls and Cell Phones

Cop Calls
If a cop calls for money, it's not a cop. It's a con. The NYPD never solicits charitable donations. If you receive a call, write down as much information as possible, ask for written material and report them to the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau at 212-741-8401.

Cell Phones
Here are some hints about your cell phone that we learned from our Community Board:

5 Things You Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do

For all the folks with cell phones. (This should be printed and kept in your car, purse, and wallet. Good information to have with you.) There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies.

Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out the things that you can do with it:

FIRST Emergency

The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an Emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.


Have you locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other 'remote' for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

THIRD Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370#. Your cell phone will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell phone next time.

FOURTH How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: *#06#. A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe.

When your phone gets stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

FIFTH Free Directory Service for Cells

Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial: (800)FREE411, or (800) 373-3411 without incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nini's, Neuhaus, Keyspan, Parks and Franks

So whats been happening? We had our 45th Dining through New Dorp experience last week as we dined at Nini's on New Dorp Lane. We were treated wonderfully and the food and company was terrific! You should plan on joining us the next time we dine. Hey... you gotta eat!

Neuhaus Realty has a large cell tower sticking up on their property at the intersection of Rockland Avenue and Richmond Road. Actually its one of the new towers that are being placed throughout the city and are dedicated to carrying traffic for the city's first responders. We have been assured that no commercial traffic will be using that facility... and it can be erected on commercial property as of right.

Meanwhile Keyspan - soon to be known as National Grid - has been digging up many of the streets throughout our community... digging long trenches along many of the streets south of New Dorp Lane. We have reached out to Councilman Oddo's office looking for his help in making sure that they put our streets back together when they are finished. As you are aware, Councilman Oddo is one of the City Councilmen proposing legislation that will require that our streets be put back together following any excavation.

And it seems that our Borough President is proposing to construct a park in the New Dorp Beach area. That is wonderful news for our community... and it's completion should not be that far away.

Lastly, the old Franks property has seen some excavation on that property recently and it is all part of a demolition permit that was granted for that property. As to what will happen there... no news yet.

So thats a quick synopsis of the goings on in the neighborhood.

What news do you have for us? Come on... share it and let us hear what you have to say !!!!

> Joe

Monday, April 14, 2008

Our Meeting is Thursday Night

Our meeting is Thursday night. Plan now on attending.

Our speaker will talk about the Greenbelt Recreation Center.

We will talk about the possibilities for the PS41 playground.

And what about what Keyspan is doing to our streets?

Come share your views and insights.

> Joe Markowski

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Upcoming April Meeting News

Greetings. Spring is finally in the air… or at least it is supposed to be in the air. Just as Winter was not very wintry… Spring has not been very Springy… so far. But its early. Keep the faith. We know what April showers bring… and then what Mayflowers bring….

Last month we were fortunate to have a number of speakers update us on a number of matters. Police Officers Maria Gilsenan (check out chit chat) and Kevin Medifendt gave us a number of safety tips to remember as the warmer weather approaches. Doctor Dennis Blumfield representing the S.I.Heart Society spoke to us about the risk factors of heart attack – focusing on the things we cannot control and the things we can control. And Ron O’Loughlin informed us about some upcoming fund-raisers by Boy Scout Troop 24. And Yolanda Gleason told us about all the wonderful programs at the New Dorp Branch Library.

This month we will hear about the changes and new offerings at the Greenbelt Recreation Center on Brielle Avenue. Come hear about what is available to you at this location.

We will resume our Dining Through New Dorp program with our 45th visit to a wonderful neighborhood restaurant – Nini’s. Look inside for details and plan now on joining us for good food, conversation and good company. We will be dining out Wednesday, April 23. We have purchased over 1278 dinners from our neighborhood restaurants and spent over $31,300 since 1994. It is a program of which you can all be proud.

Our meeting this month is Thursday, April 17, 2008 at the Kells-Grennie American Legion Post at 2750 Amboy Road. We will begin promptly at 8 p.m. Come. Join us. And… bring a neighbor!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What's New???

Hey... New Dorp... how are things going in your neck of the woods? What's making you happy? What's making you troubled? What would you like to see done in our neighborhood?

Share your thoughts and comments.

> Joe

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sanitation and Presidents' Day

The Department of Sanitation has announced that on Monday - Presidents' Day Feb 18 - there will be NO garbage or recycling pickup or street cleaning.

Residents who normally receive a pickup on Monday should put out their garbage after 4pm on Monday.

They should NOT put out their recycling until next week when it will be picked up on the 25th.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Special Guest Speaker in February

This month we will have a very special guest speaker – Thomas W. Matteo. Mr. Matteo, a Tottenville resident, was named the fourth borough historian by Borough President Jim Molinaro. ( Mr. Matteo replaces Richard Dickinson who died last year. )

Dr. Matteo has written several books on Staten Island history and is working on several others. He is an Associate Professor of Business at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. In 2005, he retired from his position as Executive Director at Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home after spending seven years successfully turning around the troubled institution. Among other changes, he expanded the facility’s Alzheimer’s unit, extended the adult day health-care program’s hours, and increased training opportunities for staff members.

Prior to heading Sea View, Dr. Matteo held several executive positions in City government, including President/CEO of OTB, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, and First Deputy Executive Director of the Emergency Medical Service.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Meeting Thursday Night

We meet Thursday night, January 17 at the Kells-Grennie American Legion Post at 8pm.

Come join us as we kick off the new year,

Friday, January 4, 2008

Discovering New Dorp in the New Year

Greetings. The holidays are past and we are now into the new year. I hope the holidays were pleasant and gratifying for you.

I had the opportunity to stroll down New Dorp Lane this morning and I realized that it has been a long time since I did just that. Wow. What changes. So many places catering to hair and nails! And quite a few new places to get something to eat. Now that could be exciting. Then there is the new temporary location for a bank while its new office gets constructed on the corner of NDL and Edison. And to my great surprise - tattoos! Yep, you can get a tattoo on the Lane! Only, I'm not sure what that means for our community. Me? I'm unlikely to get a tattoo soon. Such is life.

I also was reminded of the fact that we all need to keep current with the technology that is being introduced into our lives. I watched a couple at an ATM on the Lane struggling to figure out how to use it. It was actually painful to watch. And they were no older than I. So don't be a Luddite. Change is coming. Try and keep in touch with it.

I also stopped in at our New Dorp Branch Library. Are you aware that it is now open 7 days a week! Wow. This is a wonderful change and make sure you take advantage of it.

I'll be reaching out for updates on many of the issues facing our community. And I encourage you to bring things to our attention. We all have a vested interest in keeping New Dorp a thriving, desirable community.

Enough for now. Stay safe and enjoy each day.

> Joe