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Locust Point Civic Association elects new president

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For the first time in years, the Locust Point Civic Association will be having new leadership.

Al Belfiore was elected president of the organization at a LPCA board meeting on Tuesday, December 6. Belfiore will replace Jerry Landi, the LPCA president for much of the past eight years, on January 1, 2012, Landi said.

Belfiore will be joined by newly elected vice-president Kristen Harty, and has lived in Locust Point for about 17 years, Belfiore said. He is a retired school bus driver, a Vietnam-era veteran, and a drummer in the Just Nuts Band.

“I have been a board member for the past 10 years, and I thought that it was now time to step forward,” Belfiore stated. “I know that Jerry Landi is involved in the movie-making business, and he sometimes goes all night and part of the day. I have more time now that I am semi-retired.”

Many people know Belfiore from his music school at 3602 E. Tremont Avenue, Just Nuts Music, where he provides drum instruction to people of all ages. His experience as a musician means he works well with others, and his service overseas in the armed forces during the Vietnam-era turned him into a great listner, Belfiore said of his leadership skills.

“I believe that the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts,” Belfiore stated about his philosophy.

During his time of service on the board, Belfiore has forged good working relationships with elected officials Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca, he said. The biggest concern facing the community is preserving its small-town-in-the-city feel by protecting the area from any out-of-context development, Belfiore said.

“This is a little bit of the country in the big city,” Belfiore said. “We are not overcrowded here yet. It is a place where kids run around without their socks and shoes in the summer, we overlook the Throgs Neck Bridge, and it is just a beautiful area.”

The lack of congestion and plenty of parking makes Locust Point a place that needs to be preserved from overdevelopment, Belfiore stated. It’s easy to get out of Locust Point, even though there is only one access road. This separates Locust Point in a good way from the rest of Throggs Neck by making the location community oriented, Belfiore said.

The Locust Point Civic Association, with its clubhouse located at 3330 Tierney Place, will continue to partner with other civic groups and organizations, including those in Silver Beach and Edgewater Park, he stated.

Upcoming projects for the civic include the construction of a new playground on its beachfront recreation area, which is scheduled to begin in the spring. He plans on continuing to have many community events at the LPCA clubhouse, including the annual Breakfast with Santa at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 17. Every summer, Belfiore hosts Dancing Under the Stars at the LPCA, which includes a DJ and barbecue.

The civic also intends to continue to go green, with environmentally-friendly activities like mulch making and electronic recycling, the new president said.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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