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Morris Park lot a blot

Bronx Times

Bad fences make bad neighbors.

It’s a twist on the old saying that attorney Kevin Kohn is familiar with as he’s close to skirting the law so he can erase the graffiti scrawls on the side of his building according to community leaders.

The building abuts a gated lot whose owner, according to community leaders, has ignored pleas by Kohn, the local community board and an elected official to gain access to clean the tags.

As it stands, an enormous padlock fastens the chain-link fence that keeps trespassers – but apparently not grafitti taggers – out of the unkept lot at 1206-1214 Morris Park Ave.

Rodents have been spotted at the grassy lot at Tenbroeck Avenue near Einstein Medical Center.

Several years back vandals breached Kohn’s property, marking the side with big, bubble-size letters visible to Morris Parkers.

The building’s become an unfortunate stain for the largely low-key residential neighborhood, with community leaders believing it misrepresents the area.

Kohn said he has made little gains in trying to convince property owner Marion Schainberg to let workers enter her property.

He, like others, simply want to re-paint the siding to get rid of the scrawls, a quality of life issue that’s also hit a nerve for those at Community Board 11, where chairman Tony Vitaliano seethes each time he takes a gander at the colorful tags.

“You have to be blind not to see those tags,” said Vitaliano, a retired NYPD homicide lieutenant tempted to dispense a little street justice for the sake of cleanliness.

“I know what I would do twenty years ago, but I don’t do that anymore,” hinted Vitaliano. “That was a thought, but I’m not going to condescend myself.”

Be that as it may, Vitaliano has sought legitimate ways to resolve Kohn’s issue, reaching out to Sen. Jeff Klein, who’s sponsored a well-respected graffiti clean-up program.

Klein also wrote directly to Schainberg, plainly describing Morris Park as a neighborhood where locals “pride themselves on keeping their neighborhoods a clean safe place to live and raise their families.”

Klein and Vitaliano have spent the last four months working the phones on the hopes of connecting with Schainberg, though she’s been tough to reach.

Schainberg deferred questions to her husband, who was unavailable to speak.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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