Fireworks, drugs, gunshots, bass. Welcome to the warm weather Bronx. Homeowners in Clason Point, Bedford Park and University Heights met recently to demand police action. They’d rather not suffer the noise and crime. They’d rather not endure another summer of homeowner discontent.
On warm nights, Michael Pimentel of University Heights would rather not return home. At a Community Board 7 on Tuesday, June 17, Pimentel, a CB7 member, asked the 52nd Precinct to step up.
The Bronx has added a new baseball stadium and a new shopping mall, but day-to-day life has deteriorated, he said.
CB7 member and Father Zeiser Place resident Carlos Cortez is fed up with gambling and noise at Devoe Park in Fordham. Calvin Ramirez of Pond Place urged the 52nd Precinct to seize a pair of portable street basketball hoops at the corner of E. 197th Street and Pond Place.
CB7 member and Creston Avenue resident Waleska Roldan heard twelve gunshots at 9:40 p.m. on Friday, June 12. Juan Jerez, 15, was shot and killed at the corner of Creston and Minerva Place. Teen boys and young men play basketball, bump music and deal drugs in Bedford Park at night.
When police stop by, the music dies. Not enough, Roldan said.
On Saturday, June 13, police arrested Daikwan Giles, 17, also of Creston Avenue, in connection with the murder.
Two women reported drugs, public urination and noise at the corner of Tryon Avenue and Gun Hill Road. Gates Place is a danger spot, a Norwood resident said. Illegal barbequing is popular on Mosholu Parkway and in Devoe Park. Thumping bass in Washington Heights is the bane of Fordham Hill. On Tuesday, June 16, CB7 decided to send a letter demanding that the Parks Department install “no barbequing” signs immediately. CB7 will host a public hearing on quality of life in August.
A borough away, in Clason Point, Gus Dinolis is indignant. Dinolis has lived at the end of Gildersleeve Avenue for 16 years; he helped turn the neighborhood dump into a fruit and vegetable garden. The view from Gildersleeve Avenue is stunning: a green Ferry Point Park, a bright Whitestone Bridge, a blue Long Island Sound.
But not even Clason Point is immune to summer trouble. Motorbikes and coupes race up Gildersleeve to White Plains Road. The Waterfront Garden Homeowners Association – Dinolis is president – wants the Department of Transportation to install a grate on Gildersleeve. DOT has denied a stop sign and a speed hump request.
In 2006, new houses sprouted on Betts Avenue. When the houses didn’t sell, renters arrived. Some of the renters are loud and block the street, Dinolis said. On Saturday, June 13, some 60 people attended a Waterfront Garden Homeowners meeting.
“We hold nothing against renters,” Dinolis said. “But if you rent here, you need to respect the neighborhood. I grew up in the south Bronx. Gildersleeve Avenue is not the south Bronx.”
Councilwoman Annabel Palma, who attended the meeting, will schedule a neighborhood walk-through with DOT, she said. The homeowners plan to launch a patrol to engage new residents, vice president Carmen Tapia said.