The attached article by BCCA President Rich Hellenbrecht, first appeared in Action News in March of 1992 and was reprinted in February 1999. While several of these issues have been addressed since 1992, we still think it is an important reminder for community residents, old and young, that their actions are critical to our neighborhood.
I love Bellerose. I’ve been saying that for twenty years, now. But, its becoming a little more difficult to say and a little more difficult to really believe. Age is starting to settle into this comfy little neighborhood, and with it a little less caring, a little less concern for neighbors and a little less attention to keeping things nice around our houses.
It seems like a little thing to let a candy wrapper fall to the ground, or to forget about the newspaper that started to blow around the neighborhood. It seems petty too that people constantly walk their dogs over by the parkway and never bother to clean up.
But, its these little things that leave a lasting impression on our children and neighbors that its really not important to be considerate of others or of how our little town looks.
Well, folks, we’re beginning to see the legacy of these little things in several ways. First of all, take a look along the CIP southbound exit at Hillside Avenue. It is a disgrace. It is easy to say it’s those outsiders getting off the parkway…butt I’m not so sure. The northbound service road has also been a problem for many years. We’ve seen cans, newspapers, washing machines, cars, etc. over there.
A more serious problem has been surfacing for a long time now, too. Our children, that’s right, the good little kids from here in middle class Bellerose, are very aware of the slipping attitudes of many older residents.
We can all see the result every day on the wall of the Library [since cleaned and well maintained], on the ghetto gates on Hillside and on Jamaica Avenues, on the abutments of the parkway overpasses. Virtually every stationary piece of concrete or brick is becoming a target to this mess. And its a vicious circle. Seeing the mess causes others, parents included, to care just a little less.
Another outcome of the general demise of neighborhood pride is the presence of annoying, noisy dirt bikes and ATVs, kids ripping up the lawn at St. Gregory’s school with the ATVs, raucous parties almost every Friday and Saturday night at 87th Avenue near St. Gregory’s [since subsided].
Carelessness leads inevitably to lawlessness. As reported here before, on two separate occasions there have been gun shots through the doors at PS 133. And recently there was a break-in at St. Gregory’s School during which a fire was set.
Its Not Everyone
I’ve got to say its not everyone in Bellerose doing these things. There is a large number of concerned Bellerose residents. And there are a great many terrific kids in Bellerose. But the bad ones really hurt it for everyone else.
The critical message is that adults have to be more cognizant of the subliminal messages they send to children. Parents have to be more observant of the activities of their children. I have never heard anyone say they have seen a graffiti artist in action. Even the ambulance drivers who are out at all hours said they’ve never seen one, but the evidence is there, and growing every week. This suggests that graffiti is done very late at night. Parents must insist that their children be in at earlier hours.
Our churches and schools must have more structured and attractive youth activities to keep kids off the streets. Our children must be taught to respect their property and their surroundings, they must learn to think of the future. Can you imagine how you would feel if you caused this damage and saw it twenty years later? I’m sure much of this graffiti will still be visible when the “artists” are adults.
Lot to be proud of…
Hey, folks, there is still a lot to be proud of about Bellerose. In order to keep up our spirit, not to mention our property values, we have to be constantly interested in keeping Bellerose clean and attractive. This Civic and all of our neighboring Civics will continue to sponsor programs to help out, like park clean-ups, etc., but we hope to get a lot of help from every house in Bellerose.