A brief history lesson about the Jorissen Millstones, possibly the oldest surviving European artifacts in NY City, with voice over from Bob Singleton of the Greater Astoria Historical Society. The millstones were embedded in the pavement of Queens Plaza from 1920 to 2009. Currently, they are surrounded by heavy machinery and construction materials at the Queens Plaza reconstruction project site. One of them has in fact been removed from the pavement and crated onsite. Both have suffered deterioration in recent years. For more info and to sign the petition to move the millstones to an exhibit space at the Greater Astoria Historical Society or other suitable space in LIC, make viewing available to historians, students and the general public and to support efforts to have them designated official New York City Landmarks see http://licmillstones.wordpress.com/
The New York Daily News reported on February 18 that Community Board 1 “voted overwhelmingly to approve” the Department of City Planning’s new rezoning plan for the Astoria/Long Island City area at its regular monthly meeting and public hearing on the issue on Tuesday, February 16. True enough with the vote being 26 to 1 with one abstention. But the article, written by Lisa F. Colangelo, went on to create a view of the evenings proceedings that was heavily slanted towards those who either supported the plan without reservation or homeowners/developers who were apparently against any form of building regulations. One “homeowner” in particular complained that the new regulations would prevent his elderly grandmother from realizing “her dream” of building apartments for each of her 5 children in her Astoria home.
Ms. Colangelo did mention that 20 year Astoria resident, Brian Beard expressed deep concern over what he termed “crazy development, where you have 15 story buildings going up next to private homes.” But she also failed to point out that Mr. Beard identified himself as a member of the community group Long Island City Alliance and was just the first of approximately 8 speakers from the organization who all expressed concerns about overpopulation, overdevelopment and lack of infrastructure, hospitals, transportation etc. in Astoria/LIC. Additional speakers who did not identify as members of LICA also voiced similar concerns.
The word from the community grapevine is that Ms. Colangelo arrived late due to the snow and did not get to hear Mr. Beard or the other LICA members speak, which in all probability is true since the weather was awful on the 16th. But she certainly could have made more of an effort to get the facts and present a more balanced view of the opinions expressed at the CB 1 meeting.