Friday, July 8, 2016
Ghost home haunts neighbors
From the Times Ledger:
Two abandoned vehicles full of newspapers left behind by hoarders at a house in Flushing have drawn the attention of residents and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who held a news conference to call upon the city to remove the fire hazard posed by the contents of the cars.
Avella said Stella Beckman, the deceased owner of the brick bungalow at 50-19 175th Place, is still receiving violation notices in the mail at the abandoned property a decade after her death. Beckman’s son, a hoarder, according to one neighbor, filled not only the house but both vehicles in the driveway with stacks of New York Times issues dating back to 1992. The newspapers are packed so tightly into the back of one of the vehicles, a Hyundai Excel, that moisture has caused them to expand and shatter the back windshield.
The house has been sealed up with concrete by authorities following a small fire in 2014, according to neighbor who has lived in the area since 1990.
“This is probably one of the best examples I’ve come across while I’ve been in government of how stupidly the city operates,” Avella said. “Here you have a situation where there were numerous violations. The owner, unfortunately, passed away, I guess it’s 11 years now. And yet, every time there’s a violation the city keeps sending the dead person notices... Anybody who walks through this block sees what a nice neighborhood this is. The homeowners pay attention to their property, they keep it nice, and yet they live next to this eyesore. The city has to step up, demolish the building, level the ground, fence it off and sell it.”