A special thanks goes out to Susan Jhun of cable TV’s NY1 for her outstanding work in helping to build community awareness of the safety issue of illegal fire hydrant use in Inwood Manhattan. Her report, which included an interview with Inwood’s own John Yianni Stamas, has had a powerful impact including a statement made by the mayor himself addressing the issue in his press conference in response to the NY1 airings. More details on the hydrant story can be found on NY1’s web site. Illegal fire hydrant use is an issue that the 34th Precinct takes very seriously. Lt. LoPresti of the 34th distributes a fire hydrant safety poster. LoPresti confirmed the 34th Precinct’s commitment to this very serious problem that is putting the lives of urban kids at risk. This strongly motivated force of New York’s finest are actively involved in various programs to keep the area safe and maintain a high level of quality of life.
In related news, they said it couldn’t be done. They said Northern Manhattan East of Broadway was the forgotten Manhattan – the Big Apple that the city seems to have an “unofficial” policy of “hands off”. And yet, the flooding was terrible – with every rain, every fire hydrant game – it was like a river on Academy Street. Numerous times residents had called 311 and the Department of Environmental Protection for help. And every time no results.
Enter “Inwood Manhattan” the website and community activist coalition bent on accountability. Through sheer persistence – including contacting the fire department, the 34th Precinct, the mayor’s office and even literally chasing after a DEP truck in the street – the Department of Environmental Protection finally came out and cleared the drain with their city equipment and staff. The result: no more river on Academy. Phew.