S.T.A.R.S. Shine Neighborhoodforum COURIER
Thursday, July 18th, 2002 - page 16
Youth volunteers from S.T.A.R.S. joined Police Officers from the 106th Police Precinct for a graffiti cleanup this past Saturday morning, July 13, 2002. Bright and early several youth volunteers, as young as 10 years old, met with Sgt. Howard Kornfeld, P.O. Richie Bastidas, P.O. Frank Rainer, and P.O. Nick Lascio to paint over graffiti along Liberty Avenue, in Ozone Park. Numerous locations were painted over in an effort to beautify the area. Some were new sites, never painted before, while others were smaller spots where maintenance was needed. Each locale was documented and photographed for police records.
This collaborative cleanup effort between S.T.A.R.S. and the precinct is the fourth one of it's kind, however, both groups continue to do various cleanups on their own. P.O. Lascio had stated that at one time, cleanups of this nature occurred every weekend, weather permitting. "One of our very first events was the neighborhood cleanup held in Coleman Square, which continues to remain graffiti free," stated President/Founder of S.T.A.R.S., Frances O. Scarantino. "After that success, it has become second nature to continue to do what works for the community." Sgt. Kornfeld commented that he would like to see these endeavors carry through, however, finding willing volunteers is an ongoing issue. "If each civic organization in the area would donate one weekend a year on a rotating basis to assist in these cleanups, it would be much easier to maintain the character of the neighborhood without taxing the same volunteers," noted P.O. Bastidas. If your organization or you as an individual would like to volunteer for future cleanups, please call the Community Affairs number of the 106th Precinct at (718) 845-2228.