Excessive trash near Frank Principe Park affects quality of life

Tractor trailers parked there every day, residents say

By Jessica Meditz


The trash-filled tractor trailers park along Borden Avenue morning, noon and night. (Photo: Lance Lovejoy)

Residents of Maspeth say their quality of life has been negatively impacted since at least the summer – due to the presence of excessive waste material trucks.

Locals say that tractor trailers filled with waste garbage park along the service road of the Long Island Expressway by Frank Principe Park.

The vehicles usually park on Borden Avenue in the morning and remain there all the way up into the evening hours, leaving the liquids to drip onto the street, smells to waft into the air and parking spaces to be taken away from local drivers.

Lance Lovejoy, a Maspeth resident who lives right up the block from the park, feels that the situation is a lost cause unless the signage along the road is changed to make it no standing for commercial parking.

According to the current signage, vehicles cannot park there from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. There is also a three-hour commercial parking rule, prohibiting commercial vehicles from being parked at one location in a residential area for over three hours.

“The whole park is almost like a garbage dump over there. It stinks, and it was worse during the summer when it was hot, but it’s still going on,” Lovejoy continued.  “They’re waste material trucks, garbage and dripping liquids onto the floor. I guess the drivers, when they do come back, they sit in them for a while and they’re throwing all their garbage on the sidewalk.”

Liquids ooze out of the trucks. (Photo: Lance Lovejoy)

He added that some of the neighbors have even told him that they’ve seen truck drivers publicly urinate in the vicinity.

“Nobody is happy right now, over there,” he said.

Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, Commanding Officer of the 104th Precinct, has sent officers to the site to issue tickets to these vehicles.

However, Lovejoy feels badly that police resources are being used for this issue, and wishes it could be handled in a more direct way, as there are more pressing issues in the community that need to be addressed by police.

“Police could be doing other important things than worrying about a garbage truck,” he said.

Councilman Robert Holden is aware of the issue, and has taken steps to address it – including visiting the site last Friday with multiple agencies and civics. In addition, they visited the location at Cypress Avenue between Cypress Hills Street and Vermont Place in Liberty Park – which is facing a similar quality of life issue.

A task force was convened with the 104th Precinct, NYPD Transportation, The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

According to Daniel Kurzyna, Holden’s Chief of Staff, the police will increase enforcement of commercial vehicles parked at that stretch.

“Council Member Robert Holden believes that quality of life is paramount, which is why he convened a task force to tackle illegal parking of tractor-trailers and waste haulers in residential areas, particularly a park,” he said. “His constituents deserve a good quality of life, and he is committed to fighting on their behalf to ensure they have that.”

Maspeth Lions host First Annual Bocce Tournament

All proceeds from event go to charity

By Jessica Meditz


Lance Lovejoy, Jack Leone, Vincenzo Gattoni, Joe Cucchiara, Mike Vastarelli & son, Joe Papavero.

Cigar smoke and Frank Sinatra songs were in the air in Frank Principe Park last Sunday.

The Maspeth Lions Club gathered on the court in anticipation of their First Annual Bocce Tournament.

The game of bocce that folks know and love today stems from Italy, hence why you may hear exchanges of “Come stai?” on the court. 

The game involves eight colored balls, typically red and green, and another smaller white ball, called the “boccino.”

At Sunday’s game, a younger player asked about the rules — to which another player replied, “You throw the ball and hope it gets closer to the other ball.” 

“We chose bocce because anybody can play the game. Young, old, you don’t have to be in the greatest shape; you can play outside on a nice day…it’s nice,” said Joseph Papavero, president of the Maspeth Lions Club. “A big thank you to Councilman Bob Holden and the Parks Department because the courts were redone just in time for the tournament.”

Aside from the game itself, another highlight of the event was the food donated by local establishments, including Frank’s Deli, Mario’s Meats & Deli, Iavarone Bros., Rosa’s Pizza, 69th Street Beer Distributors and Jim Von Eiff State Farm Insurance.

In addition, the bocce tournament was sponsored by Maspeth Federal Savings, Papavero Funeral Home, Maspeth Contracting and E3TECH, LLC.

All the proceeds from the event went to charitable causes both near and far — from the St. Stanislaus Sports Program to the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund.

In addition to raising funds for charity, the Lions took the time to enjoy the day and see it as a bonding experience.

“I used to play bocce all the time when I’d go upstate in the Catskills for 20-something years and we always had a tournament. It’s something I play with my kids too,” said Mike Aylward, a member of the Maspeth Lions Club.

“I’ve been a proud member of the Maspeth Lions Club for 30 years and I love it,” said Robert Marchese, membership chairman. “This is a fantastic turnout and to raise money for charity, this is a great event and project.”

After all was said and done, only one team walked away victorious from the tournament — this time it was the father-son duo of Jack and Mark Leone.

“We’re thankful to be a part of the Maspeth Lions Club, and we hope to be here again next year.”

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