As the summer ends, a new season begins, and so it was with the changing of the guard as new president Rob Mazzuchin replaced Bob Tracey at the first general Marine Park Community Association (MPCA) meeting held in their 96th year as a civic on Tuesday, September 20th at the Carmine Carro Community Center.
Guest speaker and Director of Recovery Services and Community Outreach at Phoenix Houses of NY/LI Shaun Willis gave a Narcan Training and talk about opioid overdose prevention. Everyone was offered a Narcan kit, literature and a safe drug destruction kit to dispose of unused medications safely.
Willis said that 108,000 people in the United States die of opioid overdose annually, equating to someone dying every four hours in NYC, especially with the increase in usage of the more deadly and cheaper fentanyl added to the list of known opioids.
“More people die of overdose than car accidents, regular accidents, things like that combined, so it’s the highest it’s ever been,” he said. “It’s a 40% increase over the last couple of years in overdose deaths.”
As he described how to use the kit, his assistant, Mona, provided a visual demonstration while lying on a yoga mat. Narcan comes in a spray bottle that is administered through the nose and is not harmful if used on someone who is not experiencing an overdose. “When in doubt, spray it out – it can’t hurt anyone, and always call 911,” Willis said as his two main takeaways.
After announcements were made by representatives of Assemblywoman Jaime Williams and Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse, community members were invited to speak about new business.
One resident thanked Narcisse’s Office for taking care of a problem with his catch basin as fast as they did and asked for additional help with loud noise due to amplified sounds that were coming from basketball tournaments held over the last three weekends in the park, stating that it was a big problem affecting the entire neighborhood.
Others mentioned problems related to park activity such as rowdy behavior, garbage, parking in private driveways, urinating on the streets and other issues that have been increasing since the recent retirement of Marine Park Director Margot Perron.
Mazzuchin advised residents to call 311 and contact NYC Parks Borough Commissioner Martin Maher and Community Board 18 District Manager Sue Ann Partnow. He said they should attend the CB 18 meeting scheduled for the following day to get their complaints out there. “The complaints are what drive the bus in this neighborhood,” he said.
Neighborhood Coordination Officer (NCO) Tricia Navarro-Caraballo said it was the first time she was hearing about the complaints. Residents also mentioned problems with event spaces, abandoned vehicles, noisy helicopters and a new issue raised about individuals “hanging out on the streets” with recliners and furniture that is left out on Flatbush Avenue near East 38th Street.
Navarro-Caraballo and fellow NCO John Triano provided their contact information and advised residents to attend the quarterly Build the Block Sector B meeting on Thursday, September 29th at 1894 Flatbush Avenue.
Narcisse is on the NYC Council Parks Committee; residents need to call her office at 718-241-9330 to address quality of life issues concerning the park. Requests should be put in writing; email email@example.com.
Many park events are listed on the Marine Park Alliance Events Calendar at marineparkalliance.org/events/.
The next MPCA meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 18th at 7 p.m. at the Carro Center, 3000 Fillmore Avenue.