Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Open letter to Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr.


I am a life-long resident of Astoria, New York. It was a place I used to be proud to tell people I was from. Under your control, however, this neighborhood has been converted into a dirty, crowded and unhealthy place to live.

As residents of this neighborhood, we now deal with the worst of the city. First there is the huge Con Edison factory down by Astoria Park. Next there is LaGuardia airport, which riddles the air with both air and noise pollution. Then there's Riker's Island and the constant flow of traffic that results from having to transport both inmates and workers to and from the island. Lastly, we are forced to live with a water treatment plant that spews sewage into the air we breathe, creating a feces smell that can last for hours.

But on top of all this, an enormous smokestack appears one day on 37th street and 19th avenue. Did you think that we weren't going to notice a random power plant showing up in our neighborhood? Did you think we wouldn't discover that it was built outside the country and quickly assembled here so that no one could have the time to argue its arrival? Did you think that we would not realize that it only emits toxic air on cloudy days so that no one notices? This means that, all day and night, we get the privilege of listening to the rumbling of a smokestack whose purpose is unknown.

On top of all this, you are now allowing residents to build up to 6 stories high on residential blocks. The beautiful brick row houses that defined the neighborhood are being replaced by makeshift apartment buildings. And while the rest of the neighborhood hopes that the power doesn't go out for another 6 days in the middle of the summer, you're allowing absentee landlords to build more apartments and further drain the energy supply.

Your family has been leading Astoria for years and I am ashamed to have you as a leader. A few weeks ago when the smokestack emitted a deafening noise for forty minutes on a Saturday, where were you? I bet you were in a neighborhood that doesn't have the garbage that you and your family have allowed into Astoria. You just sit in your office on filthy 31st street doing nothing except dodge numerous phone calls from life-long residents.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself and what you and your family have done to a once beautiful neighborhood. Any resident with a shred of common sense is moving out and I think you can see the shift if you would open your eyes. Ask yourself what the neighborhood will be left with once these people are gone? You are slowly turning the area into a ghetto. I am spreading the word in the hopes that you will not be reelected simply because you show up to do nothing every day. Congratulations Vallone; you have done a wonderful job keeping your belly fat at the expense of the neighborhood. At least you're keeping the tradition alive.

- Grant Brandeis

The good news is that Vallone can't be re-elected to the Council. The bad news is that he's running for borough president, and apparently hopes to do for the rest of the borough all that he's done for Astoria. (Oh yeah, and his bro is running for Tony Avella's seat.)


Anonymous said...

If Vallone actually suceeds in destroying Astoria, then someone better stop him. If he becomes BP of Queens, then we, the citizens of Queens, are absolutely finished. I would hate to see my peaceful neighberhood of Middle Village destroyed... But then again, would we, the citizens, be stupid enough to elect such a person? I think not.

Anonymous said...

The Valones
were political opportunists from day one,
beginning with "Saint" Charles (judge) Vallone!

Their Astoria fiefdom is their bread and butter,
where they've skillfully managed to steal
from the mouths of its residents and feed their faces well over the years!

Now that the neighborhood is being ruined
by unplanned rampant over development
and Don "junior" Vallone's political local
meal ticket has been canceled by term limits,
he's got his eye on a fatter prize .

Running for borough president offers him
a veritable banquet of favors, kickbacks etc.
that this office has traditionally guaranteed
since its inception.

He'll get fat off that lamb, as Manes once did,
while the entire borough will become
that same sacrificial animal !


Recognize this family for what they really are
and DON'T VOTE FOR this political mafioso !

It's time that the Vallones left the stage.
Queens will certainly be far better off for it !

Anonymous said...

His replacement is Gianaris, another smiling hack from the same clubhouse.

Another eight years of the same crap.

Anonymous said...

How about Pissstilli, his friend, the slumlord mutilator of historic buildings that tries to position himself as the savor of Steinway Street?

How about two of the worst civics in Queens, the politically connected Dutch Kills and UCCA, one that is busily destroying their community with upzoning, and the other that gets attention grabbing headlines every year on the same topics - and nothing gets resolved.

Anonymous said...

You forgot that other civic, Astoria Civic.

They do bike races and give out a scholarship.

Astoria needs a new civic that keeps the politicians and developers at arms lenght.

Anonymous said...

The problem is only a tiny minority of the community is noticed - those people that live near Ditmars.

Oh its ok for the rest of Astoria to get too much development, but boy oh boy let them propose UPS facility on their big empty streets and everyone goes ape-shit. Meanwhile, its ok for 30th Ave and Broadway to get chocked in traffic.

Someone wanted to put some tennis bubbles so that people can play tennis in Astoria park all year, and they went crazy (who is going into our park they say) meanwhile they ok our waterfront being turned over to developers and the rest of us getting cut off.

Now they want downzoning for the only area in Astoria that can take more develpement, while they overbuild in the rest of it.

Mr Vallone, take care of your entire district, not just your little clique that lives up there.

Anonymous said...

I like them blaming Con Ed for the blackout, as they continue to add to the population - big time. That is smart, dont you think?

Meanwhile, they don't tell you the reason the power grid went to hell is they are focusing all their attention on the waterfont letting the rest of the community fall apart.

My favorite is all the tiresome cafes filled with grim looking people from the island who flock back here and not only hog our public sidewalks with all those damn tables, but also take off the walls and pump airconditioning into the open air.

Nice for a fragile power grid, dont you think?

Anonymous said...

Community board 1, the communtiy board from hell.

Anonymous said...

Don't bring up that blackout. Everyone, from the politicians, to the community board just fell off the map - for days.

No wonder Con Ed drove around trying to get info. There was no one in the community they could talk to.

Remember when the subway gets flooded? The same thing. Mass confusion.

This should be looked into. What the hell would happen if there was another disaster. This is a public safety issue and it is not being addressed.

Anonymous said...

Public safety? ha ha ha ha.

The number of residents per cop, per fireman, per hosipital bed, has dropped dramatically in Astoria, as the population has jumped.

The only thing they are effecient in doing in our community is putting up more crap.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster, I think you mean the number of residents per cop etc has jumped dramatically.

Interesting if someone could do some numbers on that going back decade by decade to 196o.

Anonymous said...

"My favorite is all the tiresome cafes filled with grim looking people from the island who flock back here and not only hog our public sidewalks with all those damn tables"

Funny, but those tiresome cafes, are actually thriving mom and pop business in the community. Would you prefer another dollar store? Or maybe another starbucks that everyone on here loves so much. The sidewalks are big enough for people to pass by, I have never had an issue where they weren't. Leave the mom and pop shops even if they are tiresome cafes.

Anonymous said...

Is there any area of NYC or the world for that matter that is not building their neighborhoods up and increasing the population? Mr Brandeis lives in a dillusional world where he expects Astoria to maintain forever the same small community feel of his youth. Oh that it were so, but time to leave fantasy land.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Any area in an historic district. You'll find those are primarily wealthy communities.

Anonymous said...

Is there any area of NYC or the world for that matter that is not building their neighborhoods up and increasing the population?

Yes, the the gated communities most of the developers live in and the summer retreats of most of the politicians.

Anonymous said...

"My favorite is all the tiresome cafes filled with grim looking people from the island who flock back here and not only hog our public sidewalks with all those damn tables"

There are worlds out there unexamined by the tiresome local talent. As Alpha Astoria discovered when they did the cafe review, the cafes are pretty much the same from their desserts to their decor.

I repeat again, the entire scene is tiresome. When people complain at the community board, you get the owner looking clueless, his compratiot in a store next door saying he is a fine fellow, and yet another compratiot saying that the clientale is upscale.

Again, the community that has to breath in the smoke, listen to the noise, is ignored.

Places should open up catering to the community.

Anonymous said...

Is there any area of NYC or the world for that matter that is not building their neighborhoods up and increasing the population?


Hey nitwit, you think we are stupid? Most of the f$%#^ city is trying to downzone. You only get idiots like Dutch Kills that upzone and look how they got it up the @#%&%.

Typical western Queens. They may live across the river from Manhattan, but their leadership might as well be on the dark side of the moon for knowing whats up.

Anonymous said...

Hey nitwit, you think we are stupid? Most of the f$%#^ city is trying to downzone. You only get idiots like Dutch Kills that upzone and look how they got it up the @#%&%.

Good point. LIC, Flushing, Forest Hills to name a few are all downzoning. Those areas are returning to the days of the 1920s, with no big apartment buildings and commercial centers.

Anonymous said...

Lets see how long this takes to get posted to I bet they will ignore it and focus on really really important things like the latest restaurant opening or how bored they are at work.

You know, kids that are temporarily slumming it out of school until they can meet, mate, and move.

Then they would never put up with the BS the think is so cute.

(roti boti take out!!!!
ohhh ahhhh ooohhh)

Anonymous said...

Hey Grant,

Peter Vallone Jr. here. Let me first give you credit for having the guts to place your name on the recent post about me, unlike those annoying bloggers who love to take cheap shots but are too chicken to place their names. That’s where the credit ends, however, because the rest of what you mention is “crap”.

You appear to blame me (and my family) for LaGuardia Airport, Rikers Island and Astoria’s power plants. Somehow you forgot to blame me for the recent cold weather as I have about the same amount of control over the weather as I do over the other entities. They are State controlled and local officials have virtually no say on their placement or existence (and I probably should point out that almost all existed well before any of us were born). That being said, no one has fought harder against the power plants in Astoria than the Vallones (Google it). It was my father that led the first protest for Con Edison to move from coal to natural gas and I helped start the law suit to help close the filthiest power plant, New York Power Charles Poletti Plant in 2010. Regarding the new generating station you mention, you are probably referring to the relatively new Astoria Energy Plant, which was again rammed into our neighborhood over our objections by the Pataki Administration. You might recall that I called the process “corrupt” but again, your anger should be directed against the State.

I share your concerns about the over-development of Astoria and again you somehow missed the fact that I am the ONLY elected official that is working hard to get City Planning to downzone many areas of Astoria. This is a process I began almost two years ago, and in fact spent two hours at City Planning last week working to move it forward. Again, I can only request that this rezoning be studied by City Planning but do not have the power to require it. Since I am the only elected official to ever attempt this, it is clear that once again your anger is misdirected.

Grant, I have no problem with your disagreeing with me on many controversial issues that I take, whether it be the toughest graffiti laws in the nation, ban on trans fats, less homework for kids, ban on new pit bulls, or secession from New York State, or even not liking me or my family, but a modicum of effort to get your facts straight would be appreciated. I am used to being attacked on a daily basis but have no problem defending positions I have actually taken and things that I am actually responsible for. I have spent virtually every day of my life in Astoria and could not disagree more with you about your assessment of our beautiful neighborhood as ”becoming a ghetto”. If you really feel that way, you should move into some non-ghetto area and make room for one of the many who are clamoring to live here.

Peter Vallone

Anonymous said...

yes, Pete, many are clamoring to live in Astoria in one of the many new bland brick buildings that have been springing up like weeds on land once occupied by nice old homes, like those I suppose your ancestors lived in. Don't you have any sense of connection to the past and loyalty and respect for preserving at least a portion of it? Revenue isn't everything you know. So come down from that wainscotted office of yours, on occasion, and take some good long walks about the community and see for yourself what is happening to it, while thinking back to your youth about how splendid it once was and ideal for raising a family.

Anonymous said...

The fun continues. You can follow it on:

Anonymous said...

Listen Don Pete junior,
methinks that you're trying too damn hard
to convince your constituents that your family
has been doing a great job all these years.

The proof is in the pudding and in the neighborhood.

You and tutti di su la famiglia ,
has done "A JOB" on Astoria!

It's pure and simple!

You may attempt cover up your balding pate
with an obvious rug like your daddy's,
but you can't pull the wool over our eyes !

This site is where you're going to hear the real truth
about what us residents think of you.

I guessed that's why you're so pissed off
and find the need to respond.

Well, never mind !

Anonymous said...

Time to go Vallone! His term will finally be over. We need new politicians in Astoria. Peter Vallone did nothing for the neighborhood! He only cared about taking a good picture in front of his office during campaign time. We would see him in the neighborhood right before election time. Thanks for nothing! Vallone.