WRBA Recaps 2011

The Woodhaven Residents Block Association (WRBA) capped off what it called “an extremely successfully year” by giving police information this December that led to the capture of two students who vandalized the freshly painted subway line over Jamaica Avenue.

Members of the WRBA celebrated its year of community service this week and sent out a statement outlining some of their successes in 2011.

At their last town hall in December, members announced that police had arrested two Franklin K. Lane High School students police said were responsible for the defacing.

Two new members were added to the organization’s board of directors. Longtime Woodhaven residents Martin Colberg and Steve Forte, signed on to help lead the group.

“I’m very pleased to be part of an organization that is accomplishing so much for our neighborhood,” said Colberg. “The Block Association has done a great deal to make it a better place to live. I encourage all Woodhaven residents to join and get involved with the WRBA.”

Forte expressed a similar sentiment, saying, “This has been a busy year for the organization, but there’s still a lot to be done. We might be just volunteers, but we’re working hard to tackle the challenges facing the neighborhood. I’m confident that 2012 will be an even busier and more exciting year for us.”

The WRBA was active throughout all of 2011 and gave a recap of just a few of the things it accomplished through the year. In response to the blizzard in January, the WRBA restarted its Block Captain program that provides contact networks to centralize information about what blocks need city services.

In March, dozens of Woodhaven residents joined the WRBA joined to rally behind the CCNS Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Senior Center, which was on the chopping block because New York State budget cuts would have eliminated its funding. The center was ultimately saved.

In June, the WRBA worked with the Richmond Hill Block Association to organize a rally to save Engine Company 294, which was threatened with closure by a plan proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Over 200 people showed up at the rally, and the fire company was spared.

The WRBA also has some ongoing projects. In November, the Block Association announced the launch of a committee to advocate landmarking the Forest Park Carousel, which has been defunct without an operator for years.

“The carousel is a true historical specimen that has brought joy to generations of Woodhavenites, and the Block Association is determined to see it reopened,” the WRBA said in a statement.

The WRBA’s first town hall of the new year will occur Jan. 21 at 1 p.m., at the Woodhaven- Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps., at 78-15 Jamaica Ave.



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