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CB 11 to Dedicate Plaque for Joseph Hellman Overlook on Aug. 15

Ceremony will honor Douglaston activist who fought for creation of Old Oak Pond.

will hold a dedication ceremony for Joseph Hellman Overlook in Douglaston on Aug. 15 to honor the late community activist after whom the piece of property will be named.

The board will dedicate a plaque at Douglaston Parkway and 243rd Street, where the city's Department of Parks and Recreation will , who died at age 70 in May 2010. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m.

"He was a good friend and a great civic leader," Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said. "He was the type of person we liked to have as a member of the community. It's about time he had a piece of property named after him."

The is not yet completely funded and will not likely be completed until next year, CB 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld said. The city will put up a fence, split wood railing and benches bearing Hellman's name at the site.

Hellman, who was an engineer by trade, had fought to prevent the construction of a nine-story building at the site of the overlook. He then convinced the city to create a half-acre park at the site known as Old Oak Pond.

The community activist was also an advocate for Douglaston Hills to become an historic district.

Hellman was a member of the , and Community Board 11. He was also active with .

"He was an all-around lovely, decent person," Seinfeld said. "He was very active in the community. Right to the very end, he kept coming to our meetings. He pushed himself to keep going."

Iannece said the estimated cost for the overlook is several thousand dollars.

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