Three years ago, members of the Flushing community, including residents, business owners, civic leaders and politicians gathered in the Sheraton LaGuardia Hotel with the State Comptroller. The reason? The State Comptroller released data that said Flushing was one of the few neighborhoods in the state to be relatively untouched by the Great Recession.
It was a testament to the vitality of Flushing and its people.
But when visitors step off the train at Main Street, or board the LIRR, that vitality is not what they see. Instead they see piles of smelly garbage and damp cardboard boxes; discarded moldy carpets and rotting fish heads.
Is this how we take pride in our growing, vibrant, prosperous community? Is this how business owners thank the community that keeps them in business? By trashing it? It is disgusting and extremely disappointing to say the least.
There is plenty of blame to go around, from business owners themselves who pile the garbage on the street, to city agencies that don’t issue tickets, fines – or more serious penalties if needed. This paper is calling for an immediate formation of a joint city and local leadership task force to not just identify the problem but solve it with enforcement and education. Yes, we need to use both the stick and the carrot to get the results that are needed in Flushing. Next week the Flushing BID will be celebrating the accomplishments and long history of Flushing. Soon the US Open will be drawing tens of thousands of visitors to Flushing, what a shame it will be to have them witness the ugliness of our community and not the beauty and vibrancy that we all know is the real Flushing.
A densely-populated community such as Flushing will always have problems to grasp with, and that includes garbage, but there is no reason these problems can’t be dealt with in an effective matter. We expect better, not only from our leaders whose job it is to enforce laws and regulations, but from business owners, who must follow them and also take pride in the community they serve, and the community that is loyal to them. Shame on us if we do nothing!!