Generally Speaking: Week of September 13

Homeowners responsible for sinkholes?

As a result of the gigantic sinkhole on 92nd Street, and a more recent one on 79th Street, there have been a flood of calls to Community Board 10’s district office about other, smaller sinkholes.The DEP has responded by saying that property owners are responsible for the water and sewer lines connected to their buildings and should bear the cost of repairs or replacement pipes.That’s all well and good provided the crack or broken pipe didn’t occur on the section of the pipeline that runs from the curb to the connection point of thecity sewer or water main.

Is it fair to hold the homeowner responsible when residential streets are subject to the strong vibration of heavy trucks almost on a daily basis? For example, every block, unless it’s a private street, has heavy New York City Sanitation trucks collecting garbage twice a week.

On a typical block and on the day recycles are collected, Sanitation has four trucks coming through — one for each side of the street for regular refuse, and then another for recyclables from each side of the street.

These mighty three-axle trucks running down our streets — which can weigh as much as 40,000 pounds, plus operating hydraulic machinery that crushes garbage — cause a lot of vibration which, in my opinion, over time undermines and/or stresses the water and sewer lines going into the street from homes and apartments buildings.

Add to this traffic from UPS, Fresh Direct, fuel oil tankers and furniture and appliance delivery trucks – clearly, our streets carry an unusualheavy burden which could easily weaken the pipes below the street surface. Then during the winter months when large plows are hooked up to sanitation trucks, you can literally hear them scraping and pounding the streets get as the trucks plow through.

Additionally, when a street is repaved, there is a process called milling where the old asphalt is removed with heavy dump trucks and milling trucks grinding the street. The street milling procedure causes a tremendous amount of vibration. I think you’ll agree this can also stress the integrity of property owner pipes.

Obviously, commerce can’t stop, streets need repairs and we do appreciate our hard-working Sanitation men and women. All I’m saying is let’s not force property owners to pay thousands of dollars to repair or replace pipes that were damaged as a result of constant truck traffic. And in the interest of full disclosure, I am a homeowner.


The 31st annual Great Irish Fair will take place on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Fairgrounds are located adjacent to the MCU Baseball Stadium, West 21st Street and Surf Avenue in Coney Island.

Robert BenyaTaylor Powers is the 2012 Colleen Queen. Benya is the president and CEO of iNDEMAND Networks. Powers is an award-winning graduate from St. Saviour’s High School in Park Slope who will be attending Manhattan College.

Other fair honorees includeFDNY Chief of Department Edward Kilduff; Robert John Emmett Murphy; Monsignor Dominick FinnertyEdward MullinsJohn J. Walsh; Professor Dr. Geraldine ChapeySean Crowley; Educator Rosemary Lombard; Sister Breige Lavery; and Michael Flynn.

Fair organizers say it’s an event for the entire family,and will include good refreshments, pubs, spirits, Irish music, Irish step dancing, shopping, children’s rides and family entertainment. Proceeds from the annual fair go towards the Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens. For further information on the performing groups, admission fees and special events go to


Get ready to tee off with the Cathedral Club of Brooklyn, as it holds its annual golf outing on Monday, September 17 at the beautiful Battleground Country Club in Manalapan, New Jersey. For dinner tickets or to reserve a foursome, call past club President and member of the Board of Governors Frank J. Keating at 646-591-1206.


The Bay Ridge Inter-agency Council on Aging holds its first meeting of the new season on Wednesday, September 12, at 9:30 a.m., at the Parish Hall of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 7420 Fourth Avenue. Susan Lavin is the council chairperson.


Tickets still available for the 46th annual Ragamuffin Luncheon on Sunday, September 16, at 2 p.m., at the Bay Ridge Manor. For reservations and additional information, call 718-307-7855 or email for a full sit down meal are $65 each.


There’s been quite a bit of concern by the Ragamuffin parade planners, about all the heavy construction equipment on Third Avenue near the big sinkhole on 92nd Street.The Ragamuffin Parade ends at 92nd Street but the children then go inside the HSBC parking lot to collect their prizes.

Reports that the repair of the sinkhole street may not be completed by the scheduled Ragamuffin Parade date of Saturday, September 29th have them worried. The hope is if the construction is still going on, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection can have some of the heavy construction equipment moved off Third Avenue at least for the duration of the parade and the distribution of the prizes.


Peter KillenJuan Batista who is affiliated with Lutheran Medical Center’s Surgical Weight Loss Institute.

The meetings — which start at 2:30 p.m. and are held in the Shore Hill Community Center, 91st Street and Shore Road — are open to the public. There is no charge for admission and free refreshments are served.


To reach Ted General via the Internet, his e-mail address is:

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