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Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance elects board

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The Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance formed in response to crime but plans to address many more issues soon. The new group held its first official meeting on Wednesday, January 13 to St. Dominic’s School. The alliance introduced its executive board and discussed problems in the neighborhood.

“This was the first step for our neighborhood,” Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance president Shradhanand Pirtam said. “We were neglected for a long time. We formed the group so that when you have a problem you have someone to turn to. We’re here to listen to your concerns.”

49th Precinct Captain John Greeley was the guest of honor.Other invited guests included 80th Assembly District Democrat district leader Kenny Agosto, Robert Ruggiero of the Morris Park Alliance, Hazel Miura of the Neighborhood Initiative Development Corporation and a representative for Senator Jeff Klein.

The alliance presented Greeley with a plaque and acknowledged the hard work the 49th Precinct has put in to reduce crime in Van Nest.The Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance was born when several residents met with Greeley and Community Board 11 to discuss crime.

Several residents and alliance board members noted quieter streets and fewer out-of-area residents hanging around at odd hours.

The potential closure of the Van Nest post office, the potential establishment of a bank in the neighborhood and potential changes to Van Nest Park toped the January 13 agenda.The alliance also discussed flooding in the neighborhood, potential traffic study requests to address speeding, vacant storefronts and sanitation.

Ruggiero also welcomed the alliance. He hopes it will help his own new group to better the Morris Park Avenue business corridor.

“This was a great idea,’ Ruggiero said. “We needed new blood. I want to work with the alliance.”

The Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance will meet the third Wednesday of each month at St. Dominic’s School at 7 p.m. and hopes to see new members join each week.

Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at 718 742-3394 or amarinaccio@cnglocal.com

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