PRESS POINTS

Ridgewood Savings closes bank branches

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The Chase Bank location in Knolls Crescent isn’t the only one closing. Ridgewood Savings Bank told customers this week it plans to close its 3899 Sedgwick Ave., location in Van Cortlandt Village by the end of October.

It’s one of two branches the bank is shuttering around the Jerome Park Reservoir, the other at 3445 Jerome Ave., in Norwood. But not all is lost — the services from both branches will be centralized at a new location at 320 E. 204th St., in Norwood.

Ridgewood Savings Bank was founded in Queens in the early 1920s, and boasts some 35 locations and $6 billion in assets.

 

Dutch garden already shut down

Victor San Andrés took a gamble when he decided to landscape a remote section of the Half-Moon Overlook in Spuyten Duyvil without consulting the city first.

But that gamble seems to have not paid off — at least for the time being.

The city’s parks department has informed San Andrés it would not open to the public the area he landscaped at the park, located near the intersection of Kappock Street and Independence Avenue that he named “Halve Maan Garden.”  If their point wasn’t clear enough, the parks department changed the lock on the access gate, keeping even San Andrés out.

And he’s not happy.

“I’ve been doing this for five months, man,” he said. “Now they’re closing it. It’s frustrating because I actually want to really bring up the property value around here, and they just want to say ‘no’ to everything.”

Parks officials fear its perch on a cliff above the Metro-North Railroad track is dangerous, and that the city would be on the hook if someone fell on the tracks and were hurt or killed.

San Andrés had happened upon the space before the coronavirus pandemic hit, and decided to make its cleanup and landscape his lockdown project. He cleared trees and brush, even building new benches out of reclaimed wood.

And while Halve Maan Garden may be no more, San Andrés is not abandoning plans to create his Spuyten Duyvil Parks Conservancy group he hopes will help keep parks clean in the neighborhood. He even recently gathered some volunteers to clean up Raoul Wallenberg Forest.

“There are still a lot of things that need to be fixed, that need to be cleaned up,” San Andrés said. “There’s a lot of trash in every park, so I want to make sure that that gets taken care of, because the (parks) department isn’t doing it.”

— Ethan Stark-Miller

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