A crowd of about 30 people huddled into the small basement meeting room at Mary Queen of Heaven Church, located at 1395 East 56th Street, for the April 18th meeting of the Mill Basin Civic Association, which focused on updating attendees on events and issues in the community.
Local teacher, parent and soon-to-be Mill Basin Civic board member Christina Caputo announced the upcoming P.S. 236 Community Carnival, which will be held on Saturday, June 3rd from 2 to 5 p.m. The carnival will feature a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses, snacks donated by William’s Candy Shop in Coney Island, a dunk tank, bouncy houses and more. Admission is open to everyone in the community and is free, except for a $5 wristband for kids to get into the bouncy houses.
“We just want this to be successful because it’s to the public,” Caputo, a co-chair of the carnival committee, said. “We want everybody to come. We’re all past COVID; we all see each other in the parks and neighborhood. We just thought it would be nice to have a carnival open to the public in the school and fundraise while we’re at it.”
Sixty-third Precinct Sector C Neighborhood Coordination Officer (NCO) Felicia Grant introduced her new partner, Officer Alexander Castilla. He worked previously in Sector D, which focuses mainly on the Glenwood Houses, but is now the permanent replacement for former Sector C NCO James Saintil, who is now working elsewhere.
“I look forward to working with every single one of you guys from now on,” Castilla said.
Grant also listened to community complaints regarding crime and abandoned vehicles. The monthly tow operation was set for April 19th, so many of the cars discussed were likely towed away by the NYPD the very next day.
The most concerning complaint, however, had nothing to do with cars. One attendee said that she was accosted by a young 5’7” man with a knife on the block of the church while walking home from work. The officers took a formal statement after the meeting and told all attendees to be sure to report situations like this to the precinct.
Christina Armieri, Neighborhood Library Supervisor for the Mill Basin Branch, shared an online petition being circulated by the Brooklyn Public Library. The mayor’s proposed budget will cut $56 million from the city’s public libraries. Anyone who wants to sign the petition opposing the cut can visit bklynlibrary.org/standup.
Marine Park Pickleball Club Co-Founder Bob Spieler announced that there will be eight new permanent pickleball courts coming to Marine Park soon.
Mill Basin Civic Board Member Terri Cadet-Donald also announced new things going on within the organization. Membership dues will now be used for donations to local organizations, such as the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Mary Queen of Heaven food pantry. The board will be bringing back its newsletter on a regular basis starting in September.
Mill Basin Civic President Paul Curiale also brought up the recent National Grid construction that has resulted in deep craters being dug into the asphalt of Avenue U at the corners of East 53rd and East 64th Streets. “There must be 30 guys with helmets and they’re all looking down a hole,” he said with a laugh. “I almost stopped my van to get out; I wanted to see what was down the hole!”
Community Board 18 District Manager Sue Ann Partnow said that she reached out to every city agency to find out the purpose of the construction, but none of the departments contacted could give a response.