Howard Beach Strong

Howard Beach Strong

On Monday evening, dozens of Howard Beach residents took to the streets to witness what was an alarming display of non residents, clogging the streets, trespassing on private property, urinating on lawns, using lewd and vulgar language and making inappropriate and threatening comments to families gathered outside their homes and standing with their neighbors.
For several hours there were cars, with 4-6 people in each vehicle, some double-parked, some blocking driveways. They were seen along every street from 91 st to 86 th street between 162 and 163 rd Avenues as well as all along both 162 nd and 163 rd Avenues.
This group of individuals would not have been welcome by the residents of any neighborhood, be it Howard Beach or Flatbush. But that has nothing to do with any other factors but their behavior and their actions while “visiting” our neighborhood.
A house party, which took place on the corner of 89 th Street and 163 rd Ave, was the reason this episode unfolded. The owner of the house listed it on Air B&B and rented his unoccupied home to people who in turn hired their own security and proceeded to send invitations via online sites and chat rooms to a paid party where, for an admission fee, you could have access to a pool and liquor. We have seen the consequences of these illegal events in this community before and heard about their prevalence in many other neighboring areas as well.
Their presence here and the feeling that pervaded the entire community is something that we would hope, we will never experience again.
But despite the gravity of what could have amounted to a totally chaotic and dangerous melee on the streets of Howard Beach, once again this community rose above its formerly ill-conceived reputation and rode the situation out without one resident involved confrontation.
Instead of reacting to frustration and numerous provocations, homeowners watched as the 106 th precinct handled the situation and diffused and dispersed the troublesome crowd. And when they left en masse and transferred themselves to the streets surrounding Charles Park and inside the park itself, our precinct was right there to do the same thing again.
At a time when the entire NYPD has been abandoned and demoralized by a mayoral administration that has clearly established itself as totally unconcerned with what is best for this city and what it means to stand behind the men and women who risk their lives to protect it every minute of every day, our community is immeasurably blessed and fortunate enough to have police who are still willing to do their job.
The residents of Howard Beach and the 106 th Precinct and the swift action of the Howard Beach/Lindenwood Civic and its president Joann Ariola-Shanks, were the silver lining of the dark and ominous cloud that loomed over the community Monday night and they should be commended and respected for behaviors and actions that resulted in an end to the situation and the maintenance of safety and order.
Also to be commended are the administrators of Howard Beach Moms who removed inflammatory and irresponsible commentary from their site. We should all be aware that verbal and written rants do only harm to this community and solve nothing.
As for those who think that the formation of a group to “Take back the Neighborhood” or “Save Howard Beach” is the means to an end for situations like this, we strongly suggest that they THINK AGAIN. Even the suggestion of those “group names” suggests that Howard Beach has lost something. That could not be further from the truth.
We are today, as we always have been, Howard Beach Strong.


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