Friday, December 31, 2010

"Stop Choking Brooklyn" Rally

As soon as the new year starts, so do the efforts to get our waterfront ports leans and green. Read below for details about a rally for "Shore Power" led by our local Councilman Brad Lander and State Senator Daniel Squadron. In spite of a gimmicky 'surgical mask' idea to highlight the current pollution, the matter is serious and could go a long way to making Cobble Hill and it's neighboring communities much cleaner.


Photo by Joshua Kristal, http://bit.ly/g9E3Or
Switching to shore power — so that ships can hook up to the electric grid instead of idling their engines in port — would stop tons of unnecessary and life-threatening pollution, which is equal to thousands of cars idling.
The Port Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency have obtained $15 million in funding to build the necessary infrastructure. However, for shore power to become a reality, the Economic Development Corporation, which operates the cruise terminal, Carnival Cruise Lines which uses the terminal, and New York Power Authority, which delivers electricity to the terminal, need to come to a final agreement about the price of electricity.
Join us on Monday to rally for an agreement now, so the work needed to bring shore power to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal can begin and idling cruise ships stop choking Brooklyn!

  • What: Tour of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
  • When: Monday, January 3rd, noon
  • Where: corner of Van Brunt Street and Pioneer Street
Councilmember Lander and Senator Squadron
For more info, check out a comprehensive post on the topic at A View From the Hook as well as this article from the South Brooklyn Post.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cobble Hill Congresswoman shines

Amidst the rush of the holidays, we never got to post this little gem....
I caught a tweet from @SailorX, a Capitol Hill producer for NBC News, who said Fox News was reporting Cobble Hill's own congressional rep Nydia Velaquez was the very last member to come in and vote on the 9-11 first responders' health care bill. Why wasn't our rep one of the very first to come and vote for such a critical NYC issue? Was she simply taking her time for no reason? Absolutely not...

"Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) was the last member to come in and vote....just before they closed it around 5:38 pm. She was wearing sweat pants and New Balance track shoes, no coat and crying. I asked her why it was so important for her to come back.

"I was torn between two important things that I care about," Velazquez said fighting back tears. "My mother and the 9-11 responders."

Velazquez says her 90-year-old mother is in San Juan and suffering from bleeding ulcers. Velazquez said her plane landed at 5:20 pm and she came directly to the Capitol to vote. She will return to Puerto Rico tomorrow morning." (Read more: http://gretawire.blogs.foxnews.com/i-want-you-to-see-this-rep-nydia-velazquez/#ixzz19evE3XJn)

If you'd like to reach out and thank the Congresswoman directly, visit her website for contact info.
http://www.house.gov/velazquez/contact/index.html

Mulchfest 2011 at Cobble Hill Park

Christmas is over but you can still put your tree to good use. Recycle it!
The citywide Mulchfest is just around the corner...

HOLIDAY TREE RECYCLING
@ Cobble Hill Park (Clinton Street at Verandah Place)
Saturday, January 8
Sunday, January 9

9:30  am – 1:30 pm
Wreaths and garlands cannot be accepted. Please remove lights and decorations. No artificial trees!
 
Mulch bags will be available for those wishing to take mulch for their gardens or tree pits.

Sponsored by: Cobble Hill Tree Fund, Cobble Hill Association, Friends of Cobble Hill Park, and Boy Scout Troops 213 & 815

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Three Quick Links

Reminder... tomorrow is Cobble Hill Caroling at Christ Church.

Monday... is a public meeting on housing at BK Bridge Park. The public is invited, though no testimony will be taken.

And unfortunately, from here on out it seems one of Cobble Hill's most unique treasures will be closed off - the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel. The Cobble Hill Association enjoys the Tunnel's history and looks forward to a day when it is re-opened.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cobble Hill Caroling

It's holiday time again... and no matter what you're celebrating this year, our local church welcomes you to join in spreading some cheer for the
ANNUAL COBBLE HILL COMMUNITY CAROL SING!

Sunday - December 19th @ 4:00 p.m.
Meet at Christ Church, corner of Kane and Clinton.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

PS 29 Holiday Toy Drive

PS 29 is hosting a community-wide toy drive to make sure all children receive an age-appropriate gift during this holiday season. The Cobble Hill community can make a tax deductible donation by dropping a new, unwrapped gift for a school-aged child (grades K through 12th) in the PS 29 lobby.

This toy drive will be benefit two local community centers; the Warren Street Center for Children and Families (a community center in the Cobble Hill/Gowanus neighborhood serving 150 low-income and immigrant children and their families) as well as The Red Hook Community Service Center (providing an array of services to children and adults living in the Red Hook neighborhood, including training, counseling and job placement).

Donations can be left in the main office of PS29, 425 Henry Street, by December 20.

Atlantic Ave Tunnel's Screening Derailed

Yesterday's planned film event in the Cobble Hill treasure known as the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel was unexpectedly shut down. Brooklyn Historic Railway Association head Bob Diamond was working with Rooftop Films, who recently announced this statement (via Gothamist) 

"We received a phone call from Battalion Chief Martorana of the New York Fire Department telling us that they were insisting that we cancel this weekend's events in the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel. The Brooklyn Historic Railway Association has been running tours in the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel for years....Unfortunately, the FDNY has informed us that at this time they do not feel that it is not safe for any number of people to have access to the tunnel."
In addition to this special Rooftop films event, the tunnel offered monthly tours and was soon to be filmed in depth for national TV when its founder, Bob Diamond, said just last week "National Geographic TV is going to start shooting the one hour Atlantic Avenue Tunnel documentary this weekend! It's expected to air in November, 2011." Not sure how FDNY's new opinions affect all of those decisions but the CHA will offer any updates it can. 

UPDATE!!! Just got word from Bob Diamond that there may not actually a Fire Chief Martorana at FDNY.  Did someone impersonate a city official? Gothamist explores the question a bit here... http://gothamist.com/2010/12/11/diamond_speaks_out_about_tunnel_clo.php
Image via http://www.undercity.org/photos/AtlanticAve/index.htm

Friday, December 3, 2010

Support your school = EAT SOME PIE!!

Eat Pie and Shop at PS29’s Annual Holiday Fair/Pie Social
****Pie! Shopping! Movies! Crafts!****

Brooklyn, NY – On December 5 from 11am to 5pm, PS 29 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, will host the second annual “Eat Pie and Shop” Holiday Gift Fair and Pie Social, to benefit the school. Proceeds from this family-friendly Holiday event will support the school’s PTA.

The Pie Social is sure to be a delicious and entertaining afternoon event with local bakers – both amateurs and professionals – supplying a wide array of pies. For a $5 tasting ticket the public can sample a piece of pie of their choosing. Be assured this event is not only for those with a sweet tooth, the pies will cover all categories including fruit, creamy, savory and nut, so shoppers can come to shop, eat lunch and get dessert!

The pie competition will be an afternoon highlight. Bakers are invited to bring pies to be judged by parents and a panel of celebrity judges. The panel will include Gail Simmons, Food & Wine and “Top Chef,” Dannielle Kyrillos, “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” François Payard, co-owner of François Payard Bakery, François Chocolate Bar and Payard, Jeff Lederman, owner of Bocca Lupo, Strong Place and Nectar, and Brooklyn’s own Borough President, Marty Markowitz. The winner will receive a gift package from Food & Wine, a Payard Gift Box and Silver Pie Server donated by Fork & Pencil and bragging rights for the year! Judging will take place at 1pm.

The Gift Fair will highlight local artisans, craftspeople and merchants, and promises to provide a huge variety of handmade, local and sustainable gift-giving choices, from jewelry, to clothing from Half Pint Citizens to hand made and classic toys from Fork & Pencil. More than twenty different vendors will be displaying and selling their wares.

And while you shop, Rooftop Films will show a selection of independent short films for kids continually throughout the day. Tickets to the movies are $2. In addition, children can make free holiday crafts – perhaps an ornament, sachet or a frame as a present for Mom and Dad. To quench their thirst, kids and adults can both enjoy delicious and refreshing egg creams from Brooklyn Farmacy. There will also be plenty of Stumptown coffee on hand!

Eat Pie and Shop will have a donation bin for Toys for Tots hand collected by our US Marines! Consider purchasing toys for donation from Fork & Pencil (net proceeds go to PS29). Donation guidelines: Unwrapped, new and no stuffed animals or military toys. Visit toysfortotsnyc.org. Big Apple Circus will also be on hand with giveaways and a FREE raffle of a family four-pack of tickets to this season's all-new show, Dance On!

Melanie Raneri Woods, Principal of PS 29, said, “We are thrilled to host the second annual Eat Pie and Shop event. The event was such an amazing success last year and I am positive this year’s will be even bigger. It’s refreshing in the midst of all the holiday craze to have an event where children and adults can spend some time together and at the same time support the fabulous efforts of our school community.”

Eat Pie and Shop will be held on Sunday, December 5, from 11am to 5pm, at PS 29, 425 Henry Street, between Baltic and Kane Street. For more information on the event, including a list of all vendors and information on how to enter a pie, please visit www.eatpieandshop.org.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cobble Hill Speaks out AGAINST Housing

This NY1 news report gave less than a minute to a project the neighborhood's been working on for over 20 years. Despite the brevity, they've got the point. Cobble Hill Association is firmly AGAINST plans to include housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
http://brooklyn.ny1.com/content/top_stories/129844/brooklyn-bridge-park-condo-plan-draws-fire

For more background see the CHA blog's previous post here, or check out coverage from our A Walk in the Park, or our friends at Pardon me for Asking in their post with video of several speeches "Public Park Or Private Enclave? Last Night's Public Hearing On Alternatives To Housing In Brooklyn Bridge Park"

Gowanus Toy Drive

Word just came in that our neighbors at the Gowanus Neighborhood Association, in partnership with Councilmember Stephen Levin, are launching their 1ST ANNUAL TOY DRIVE.

Gowanus is an economically strained community and most of the children in the development are from low income/ at-risk households and unfortunately may not get any presents this year. In today's economy everyone's finances are limited, but we're asking all who can, donate or contribute at least one gift to an underprivileged child, boys & girls aged 1-12 years old. All gifts should be safe, unopened, & dropped at the councilman's district office at 410 Atlantic Ave at Bond St, M-F, 10a-5p. For more info contact Betty Lester at bejay919@yahoo.com or 718-243-1252.

- - - And while we're sharing news from Cobble Hill's neighboring communities, check out the Brooklyn Eagle's update on our friends in Boerum Hill in their pursuit for landmark status to their district. The CHA fully supports their efforts to preserve a historic feel and keep development limited to the appropriate pedestrian scaled 50 foot limit we all enjoy.
http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=31&id=39767

Monday, November 29, 2010

Park YES! Housing NO!

For over 25 years, the Cobble Hill Association has worked to secure a park along the waterfront. We are pleased that residents are finally able to access the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park, but our job as a community is not over.

The city is still planning to build 5 more luxury condo & hotel towers inside the park’s borders, with two buildings at 20 and 30 stories high planned for Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue. And despite what some may think, these luxury high-rise towers are not needed to fund the park’s maintenance. There are many solutions to “pay” for park maintenance. When condos came into the park all year round recreation came out. Landscaping replaced the two pools, the indoor recreation center and ice rink that the community had worked so hard for decades to get. Landscaping sells condos while baseball fields do not.

We now have a unique opportunity to regain the recreational facilities our children need at the same time tell the city planners that we do not want more housing inside the park’s borders. Residents are asked to come to two public comment meetings on Tuesday, November 30th at 6 PM at Long Island College Hospital and again on Thursday, December 9th at 6 PM at St. Francis College on Montague Street.

These public meetings are critical to demonstrating yet again the importance of our parks, the real value they provide to the livability of the city, and to the actual dollars they “put back” into city coffers. The rise in DUMBO values since their part of the park opened is evidence enough of a park’s tax value. A recent proposal offered by community members – to negotiate a deal with the Jehovah Witnesses to develop their soon-to-be-abandoned buildings close to the park, for the benefit of park financing – is gaining traction. Other park funding models, including Senator Squadron’s park increment recapture proposal (named the PIRC plan) also offer relief from the draconian condos inside park borders plan.

But you need only come out and say no to housing, and yes to recreation! Please make sure that your voice is heard at the two public hearings:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 6pm – 8pm
Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks Street
Avram Conference Center, 1st floor

Thursday, December 9, 2010, 6pm – 8pm
St. Francis College*, 180 Remsen Street
Founders Hall Auditorium, 1st floor

Monday, November 22, 2010

Submit Fix the Ditch ideas by December 1st

Last week, consultants presented some great ideas in the final meeting for the 'Fix the Ditch' project to reconnect the neighborhoods divided by the BQE trench at Hicks street. The final report will be ready sometime in January, but public comments need to be submitted now. If you weren't in person for the workshop, you can still weigh in using the online survey.

Follow this link to NYCEDC's website to review the final presentation and take the opinion survey. It will only be available until December 1st, 2010.

For your reference, read the recent press covering the project's most recent ideas.

Rooftop Films go underground in Cobble Hill

Cobble Hill is rich with history and Bob Diamond regularly showcases one of the neighborhood's gems - the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel. Though his tours tell the amazing tale of its century old past and its odd rediscovery... this time the Tunnel will be home to very different scene cause NYC's beloved Rooftop Film series is going underground, using the tunnel as a venue this Demeber 11th.  More info below, excerpted from the Rooftop Films website...
  • Rooftop Films is best known for showing underground films outdoors, but in December we will be taking some of those films back where they belong: UNDERGROUND, into the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel in Cobble Hill. On December 11th and 12th, Rooftop will take two programs of short films from the dark underbelly of the independent film world and screen them deep inside the oldest subway on earth.  Prior to the screenings, urban spelunker Bob Diamond will be conducting a tour of the tunnel, and his recounting of the history of this historic treasure is not to be missed. So buy your tickets now and we'll see you on the other side of the street.
And following the screening, we'll all head over to Last Exit Bar and Lounge at 136 Atlantic Avenue for complimentary drinks courtesy of Sailor Jerry.

For full line up of films, check out the original post at http://www.rooftopfilms.com/2010/schedule/70-trapped-in-the-tunnel

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Community Discussion w/ State Senator Dan Squadron

State Senator Dan Squadron recently announced  a round of community discussions where any topic you'd like is on the table. Details are below for the Cobble Hill meeting next week, but start thinking now about the issues.... fighting housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park, making sure the redesign of the BQE doesn't plague our streets with traffic, and so much more!

Senator Squadron writes:
In April, more than 350 community members joined me for the Second Annual 25th Senate District Community Convention, where I received valuable input on issues as diverse as school overcrowding, nightlife concerns and pedestrian safety.  In this community discussion, I will update folks about progress we have made on topics raised at the convention, as well as take new questions and comments about issues in Albany and in the neighborhood.

Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Columbia Waterfront
Sunday, November 21st   Time: 4:00 - 6:00 PM  Location: Long Island College Hospital  Avram Conference Center, rooms F & G
339 Hicks Street (between Amity and Congress Streets)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lennonyc: A Benefit for PS29

PS 29 is one of our neighborhood's greatest strengths, so come on out and support the school with a great event - a special screening of LENNONYC. 

The PS 29 PTA & Strong Place Cordially Invite You to LENNONYC
A Special PS 29 Benefit Evening

Tuesday November 16th @ 7 PM

A Private Preview of LENNONYC at Cobble Hill Cinemas
Featuring a Talkback with Film Director/Writer Michael Epstein
(an Academy Award-nominated PS 29 Dad)

Immediately Followed by a Reception at Strong Place
$30 ticket price includes the screening, talkback, beer or wine & hors d'oeuvres
Sponsored by Sixpoint Craft Ales
Click for tickets: TinyURL.com/29Lennon
Proceeds Benefit PS 29!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Final Meeting for BQE Enhancement project

The third & final community workshop for the BQE Enhancement project has been scheduled!

When: Monday, November 15th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Long Island College Hospital (LICH), Conference Center, Rooms A &B, 339 Hicks Street, Brooklyn
What: The project team will present finalized alternatives and preliminary cost estimates, and discuss next steps for the project.

Please see EDC's website to view prior presentations for the project, including:
http://bit.ly/BQEEnhanceFinal

1)presentation and summary from the 5.4.10 meeting
2)presentation and summary from the 7.20.10meeting

We hope to see you on November 15th.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cobble Hill Halloween Parade!

It's Halloween and everyone is all dressed up. Check out a few pics of this afternoon's Cobble Hill Association sponsored parade below, and see the full set on the CHA's Flickr Page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/35037635@N03/sets/72157625157943327/

Did you snap some photos too? Upload them and add them to the set by adding the tag "Cobble Hill Halloween 2010" (use the full phrase in quotations so all they all stay together) so everyone can see all the amazing costumes. Big thanks to Melissa Glass for her tireless efforts decorating the park and leading the parade with CHA President Roy Sloane. Kudos also go to our elected officials Assemblywoman Millman, State Senator Squadron, and City Councilman Lander who all came in support, as well as Jerry Armer and the 76th precinct for keeping everything safe, and the Jah Pan Steel Drum Band for keeping the beat!

Also be sure to check out some of the great photos Judi Franci took on her photostream too http://www.flickr.com/photos/9050783@N04

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ghouls, Ghosts & Goblins

The Cobble Hill Halloween Parade is this Sunday!

Time: 4:00PM
Date: Sunday, October 31st
Place: Cobble Hill Park
Music: Jah Pan Steel Drum Band

Every year this holiday children's parade grows and grows. Come join the celebration as we take over Cobble Hill Park, shut down Clinton street, and march through the neighborhood in amazing costumes. For a complete viewing of pics from last year's event, check out the CHA Flickr page.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35037635@N03/sets/72157622744191714/with/4079905860/

Monday, October 25, 2010

Special Screening - "Arranged"

Late notice, but on Tuesday, October 26th at Kane Street Synagogue, there will be a special screening of the film "Arranged" followed by audience discussion.

This film has gotten a lot of publicity because of its fascinating story of how two young women -- one Orthodox Jewish and the other Muslim -- meet and become friends, as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn, and see how much they have in common.

Light dinner will be served at 6:30 with the movie beginning at 7:00 pm. There is no charge for the event.

For more information, go to http://kanestreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/2010_Arranged-Final1.pdf.

Kane Street Synagogue is located at 236 Kane Street, between Court and Clinton Streets.
If you plan to attend, RSVP to Barbara Gringer at bzzg[at]aol.com by Sunday, Oct. 24th

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cobble Hill Halloween Parade

Noticed the Halloween Parade sign up in Cobble Hill Park? Well thanks to Trudy Whitman at the Brooklyn Eagle for beating me to the punch and already writing up the details for the Cobble Hill Association's annual Parade.   She wrote:

It’s Cobble Hill’s biggest social event of the year, and it’s right around the corner. The Cobble Hill Park Halloween Parade sponsored by the Cobble Hill Association brings out hundreds of elaborately costumed pint-sized revelers, who first gather in the park to admire each other’s getups and then march through surrounding blocks, so neighbors can admire them too. The streets are made safe — closed off to traffic — and guarded by police officers from the 76th Precinct.

The parade takes place on Sunday, October 31, beginning at 4 p.m. and will be led by the merry Jah Pan Steel Band. The event’s success always depends on the work of volunteers, who are needed at noon to decorate the park and at 9 p.m. for clean-up. To volunteer, please drop an email to cha@cobblehillassociation.org.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cobble Hill Park - Past and Present

Friday's New York Times has great coverage of NYC's parks; not Central, or Prospect, or Battery Park.... none of those big ones, but rather all the small pocket sized parks that fill in nooks and crannies, breathe life into neighborhoods, and raise both property values and happiness. Our very own Cobble Hill Park gets a worthy mention of praise, with a tidbit of its history.

Cobble Hill Park, on Verandah Place in Brooklyn, a 0.585-acre site where a neighborhood petition drive in the 1960s defeated plans for an apartment building. Two-family town houses there have sold in recent years for $2.2 million or more.
 
For another nugget on the park, check out the David Ansel Weiss's trivia column which notes the site of Cobble Hill Park was "the site of Brooklyn’s Second Unitarian Church, often affectionately called — because of its shape — the Church of the Holy Turtle? Its first minister was Samuel Longfellow, brother of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow."

Regardless what came before, Cobble Hill Park is now beautiful and well cared for by resident Barbara Krongel and her devoted team of volunteers. Want to get your own hands dirty and keep the park pretty? Come join us every Tuesday morning at 7:45am, weather permitting. For more info email sublte116[at]gmail.com

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cobble Hill Book Swap

The Cobble Hill Association is sponsoring a free Book Swap on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) Sitting Park located at Henry & Pacific Streets in Cobble Hill, from 11 AM until 3 PM.

The idea for the Book Swap is simple: bring a book & get a book. LICH staff members will also be on hand to meet the community, conduct free blood pressure screening, and offer asthma information at the park. Books will also be available for sale at $1 or less. All proceeds and remainder books will be donated to the Hospital by the Cobble Hill Association.

UPDATE: This event is now perfectly timed to also be a warm welcome to SUNY Downstate who will now acquire LICH from Continuum Health Partners. This new partnership is not just a great way fix LICH's financial troubles, it will breath new life and a new commitment to stay open and expand its programming for the Cobble Hill Community. The official announcement was made yesterday afternoon by Governor Paterson himself. More detailed info on the story can be found at the following links.
http://www.downstate.edu/news_releases/2010/news_release_full39.html
http://cobblehillblog.com/archives/3456

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tuesday WATER, Thursday BLOGS, Saturday BOOKS!

 
On Tuesday is the last chance for public input (in-person, at least) for the Vision 2020 Plan to make NYC's waterfront more tangible for all New Yorkers. A View from Brooklyn has a great write up on the draft proposal.

And on Thursday is the Cobble Hill Association's Fall General Meeting that host a panel of local bloggers to discuss how blogs have transformed neighborhood news. It will include Rich Calder of the NY Post, Tobey Grumet of Bococaland.com, John Loscalzo (aka Homer Fink) of Brooklynheightsblog.com, and Katia Kelly of Pardonmeforasking.blogspot.com

And on Saturday, October 16th, the CHA is sponsoring a free Book Swap at the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) Sitting Park located at Henry and Pacific Streets in Cobble Hill, from 11 AM until 3 PM.

The idea for the Book Swap is simple: bring a book and get a book. LICH staff members will also be on hand to meet the community and will conduct free blood pressure screening and an asthma information table at the park. Books will also be available for sale at $1 or less. All proceeds and remainder books will be donated to the Hospital by the Cobble Hill Association.

This low-key, neighborly event is the perfect time to meet neighbors and support our local hospital, too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy 60th Birthday Promenade

Next Thursday, October 14th, The Cobble Hill Association's Fall General Meeting will host a panel discussion on the role blogs have in shaping local news. Former CHA president and NYU professor Jeff Strabone will moderate several local Brooklyn Bloggers for a great discussion. In addition, We'll have brief updates on two neighboring projects, the massive reconstruction of the BQE Triple-Cantilevered Roadway as well as the 'Fix the Ditch' workshops which seeks to re-unite neighborhoods divided by the highway trench on Hicks street.

For more background on those projects check out the Brooklyn Eagle's fascinating article on just how the BQE and Ditch came about... and wish the Promenade a happy 60th birthday tomorrow.

FALL 2010 General Meeting

How Blogs Are Transforming Local News
A Panel Discussion with Local Bloggers
Moderated by Jeff Strabone

Time: 7:30 P.M.
Date: Thursday, October 14, 2010
Place: Long Island College Hospital, Conference Room A
Enter at main entrance 339 Hicks (at Atlantic)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NYC DOT Greenway Workshops, Round 2: Route Selection

Cobble Hill is just steps away from the water's edge, and our Columbia Street neighbors at the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative have been leading the charge on creating a full 14 mile greenway in our borough.
And this Thursday, September 30th kicks off the second round of community planning workshops for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, led by NYC Department of Transportation (DOT). At each workshop, DOT will present route options and gather feedback as to the community’s preferred alternative. Route options will reflect information gathered at DOT’s first round of community planning workshops, which were held in March/April 2010.

These planning workshops will continue to inform DOT’s master plan for constructing the greenway, so please mark your calendars and tell your neighbors. Four workshops will be held, one in each broad geographic area along the planned 14-mile route. Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and Regional Plan Association are co-sponsoring the workshops.
Please RSVP to brooklynwaterfrontgreenway@dot.nyc.gov. Make sure to specify which workshop(s) you plan to attend:

Downtown Brooklyn (CB2)
Thursday, September 30th, 6:30-8:30pm
Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street

Sunset Park (CB7)*
Thursday, October 7th,  6:30-8:30pm
St. Michael’s Church, 352 42nd Street
*UPROSE is also a co-sponsor of the Sunset Park workshop.

Red Hook (CB6)
Thursday, October 14th, 6:30-8:30pm
Red Hook Recreation Center, 155 Bay Street

Greenpoint/Williamsburg (CB1)
Thursday, October 21st, 6:30-8:30pm
Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N. 11th Street

Monday, September 27, 2010

Electronics Recycling - TWO locations on Saturday

With the PS29 School yard under construction the Cobble Hill Association cannot run an electronics recycling as it has so successfully in the past (here and here). So, this year we are encouraging residents to bring any unwanted e-waste to either of TWO spots just outside the neighborhood, both collecting at the same times.

Saturday
October 02, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Furman Street between Old Fulton and Doughty St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Saturday
October 02, 2010 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
The New New York Green Street Festival, Bond Street between 3rd and 4th Street Brooklyn, NY 11231

Full details on what can and cannot be dropped off are available on the Lower East Side Ecology Center's website.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plaza Design at the Barclays Center

UPDATE: Streetsblog now has images and excellent commentary on the Plaza design here.

Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, with Council Members Letitia James, Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, Empire State Development Corporation, Brooklyn Community Boards 2, 6 and 8 present a

PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING for the Plaza Design at the Barclays Center
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 6:00pm-8:00pm 
Brooklyn Borough Hall 209 Joralemon Street (at Court Street)

Representatives will be present from Forest City Ratner Companies to brief interested residents on plans fo the public plaza in front of the arena. There will be a Q & A session.

Downloadable event flyer available at: http://bit.ly/AYPlazaDesignflyer

Atlantic Antic this weekend

New York City has plenty of generic street fairs selling tube socks and boring snacks. Thankfully the Atlantic Antic isn't like that at all. It's a wonderful stretch of 600 local shops and vendors offering eclectic food, fun, and music for jam packed crowds on Atlantic Avenue from Hicks all the way to 4th avenue.

Check it out and enjoy the neighborhood on September 26th.
http://www.atlanticave.org/antic2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Alternatives to Housing Meeting

This Wednesday, the Cobble Hill Association urges its residents to attend a public meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Committee on Alternatives to Housing.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at approximately 11:00 a.m.
City Hall, Blue RoomNew York, New York 10007
http://www.brooklynbridgeparknyc.org/about-us/public-meetings

As the CHA has argued before, we are staunch advocates of non-privatizing ways to fund park maintenance. When 1250 units of luxury condos in 6 buildings were proposed, all recreation came out of the plan, replaced by costly landscaping to help sell condos. And while the landscaping is still a costly burden of the park's current design, we have secured the commitment to look at alternate means to fund this park without more housing inside its borders. Senator Squadron and Assemblywoman Millman will also have veto power over future housing, if it again rears its head in 2011 or in 2013 (milestone dates for funding decisions).

This meeting is yet another opportunity for the public to come out and speak out on their desire for a park, a true park... one that does not include private housing within it. The CHA prefers year round recreational facilities such as a pool, ice rink and indoor field house which could offset costs the City  cannot burden.

State Senator Squadron has been extremely helpful bringing our desires to the Governor and to the Mayor and brought in another strong supporter in Assemblywoman Millman. Councilmen Lander and Levin have also played a positive role and now we hope you, the Cobble Hill residents and neighbors of the Brooklyn Bridge park, now is another opportunity for you to speak out against housing in a public park.

If you cannot attend, we encourage you to call or email comments to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation:
Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation
tel: (718) 222-9939
brooklynbridgepark@bbpnyc.org


UPDATE: the Brooklyn Daily Eagle filed a report on the committee's decision to offer a Request For Proposals (RFP) for profit generating ideas that could potentially be pursued instead of housing.  To read it in full... click here http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=31&id=38247

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Invisible Dog, Visible Neighbor

Evan Sung for The New York Times
Though Cobble Hill's borders technically run down the middle of Court Street, many agree that we share the area between Court and Smith with our Boerum Hill brethern. And that's good news because over the past two years the Invisble Dog gallery has been an incredible neighbor, bringing art and vitality to the once dormant strip of Bergen Street. I worked with manager Lucien Zayan to get support for the dramatic sidewalk improvements at the Bergen/Smith intersection (now home to the wonderful corn installation) and this past weekend fellow CHA officer Derek Denckla worked with the gallery for the launch of a week long line up of Farm City events. While the kick-off was this past Sunday, there are more items this weekend and next - and a wonderful write up in the NY Times painting a bigger picture of who and what the Invisible Dog gallery actually is. Read up!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Farm City Festival

Just because we live in the city, doesn't mean we can't grow some of out own food. This weekend, Bergen Street will be completely transformed for a wonderful urban agriculture festival, co-curated by Cobble Hill community leader Derek Denckla, editor of thegreenest.net and founder of FarmCity.US.
 
Farm City: Where Are You Growing?
A Celebration of Urban Agriculture

Over three weekends, Farm City celebrates Urban Agriculture and explores the possibilities of a new agrarian future within the current urban reality. Components include: Farm City Fair, Farm City Film, Farm City Tour, and Farm City Forum, spotlighting the work of artists, farmers, activists, planners, architects, chefs, and foodies, all devoting themselves to feeding the city both culturally and agriculturally.

For all the festival info, check out it's full schedule:
http://www.fiaf.org/crossingtheline/2010/2010-09-ctl-farmcity-fair.shtml#series

*Farm City Films Sept 12 & 14     *Farm City Tour  Sept 18 & 19    *Farm City Forum Sept 25

Friday, September 10, 2010

Street Cars from the Past in Brooklyn's Future?

Brooklyn Historic Railway Association.
Just days after local papers and blogs spoke of Bob Diamond possibly leaving the borough and ending the not-to-be-missed Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours, the Department of Transportation finally announced they're beginning a "Study To Determine Feasibility Of Streetcars In Brooklyn." This is wonderful news for transit-starved Red Hook as well as all of its neighboring communities. Special thanks to Representative Nydia Velázquez and Brooklyn Street Car guru, Bob Diamond, for persistent years advocating for the innovative and sustainable form of transportation.

"Once again, we're looking back to the future with our transportation network," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "Once ubiquitous in New York City's streetscape, streetcars remain part of the transportation mix in cities from Toronto to Melbourne, and we need to consider all options to improve transit access in underserved neighborhoods like Red Hook."

The full DOT press release can be read here...
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/pr2010/pr10_040.shtml

and check out a related posts about it at the WSJ here, Streetsblog here, 2nd Ave Sagas here, and the NYT here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours back on Track

Cobble Hill may be full of life above ground, but it's also got a rich history below. Bob Diamond of the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association has been offering tours of the Atlantic Avenue tunnel he discovered in 1980 and resurrecting the notions of a Brooklyn Street Car system. Just a week ago he said "Feds have $280 million earmarked for streetcars, City blows grant" and decided to throw in the towel after many years of personal labor that secured dollars but did not yet bring an active street car system to the surface.

Thankfully, local pleas have persuaded him to stick with the project and he's now combined everything on the new streetcar plan onto one convenient webpage, with detailed subsections hyperlinked here: http://brooklynrail.net/new_brooklyn_streetcar.html

The Cobble Hill Association is glad to have Bob Diamond's dedication both preserving the borough's history as well as planning for it's future. For more info, check out links from our friends at McBrooklyn, the tunnel's Wiki page, and of course, the detailed info on the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association website.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Hour Wednesday & MORE!

The dogs days of summer are giving us one last heat wave, so cool off with a drink at the next Cobble Hill Association Happy Hour, Wednesday September 1st at Watty & Meg.  $3 beers, $5 glasses of wine from 6-9pm. Come with the friends you already know & strike up a conversation with the neighbors you meet for the first time!

Need some neighborhood news to fuel those conversations?
- CHA President Roy Sloane may have come up with an ideal solution to the BQE reconstruction that will eventually reduce excess traffic on our local streets! Read more.

- Notice the construction at the PS 29 School Yard? Big improvements are on the way, and pictures can be seen here.

- Got old computers and tv's to recycle, but missed the last CHA e-waste event? Not to fear... in just a few weeks there's be two more Electronics Recycling Events just a few blocks away, courtesy of our friends at the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Get all the details right here.

- Miss the old Cafe on Clinton by Cobble Hill Park? Well this Friday it's set to re-open as a brand new place called Breukelen. Read more.

- Had a dangerous ride on the new bike path between Pier 1 and Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park? You're not the only one worried to use that path! Read about it here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Planning for Livable Communities

This important survey just came in from our friends at the Heights and Hills Community Council. Though they provide vital services for older adults, the changes they seek to make will benefit quality of life for everyone young and old in the area.
Heights and Hills Survey
Is your neighborhood “senior friendly”? If you live in Cobble Hill, there is a lot of interest in the answer. Heights and Hills, a long established agency supporting Brooklyn’s older adults, has received a planning grant from the NYS Office for the Aging to identify what resources exist and what is missing that seniors want that would allow them to remain in their homes as they get older. In the process of developing livable communities for seniors, all ages will benefit.

What is unique about this project is that it is senior-driven grassroots model and not top-down imposed. The members of the Steering Committee, recommended by civic organizations and the two community boards in the neighborhoods of interest, are seniors themselves who are involved in their communities and think constructively and globally. They are the active working group and they have designed a survey that is ready to be distributed. The goal is to have as many residents ages 55 and older fill it out.

If you want to take the survey online, go to <http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5XRYTDQ> or to receive a hard copy for yourself, your neighbors or your club, contact the project coordinator Anne Perzeszty at anneper[at]verizon.net. Heights and Hills, through this planning grant, will use the voice of seniors themselves to inform community leaders in the target neighborhoods about what is needed to meet the definition of a livable community.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Backpacks for Back-to-School

Betty Lester of the Gowanus Neighborhood Association sent over word that some area students need help obtaining backpacks for the upcoming first day of school. One backpack can make a difference!

FRIENDS OF NICHOLAS HEYWARD JR/GOWANUS PLAYGROUND
We are a group of local residents and parents, whose desire is to provide a clean, safe, open play space for children in the community. Our mission is to bring awareness to the park itself and reinforce the need to get involved.

Many/Most of the children that use the playground daily are from low income, at-risk households. We have sponsored several events throughout the summer to provide these children with recreational activities, as there are no affordable summer programs in their community. Operation Backpack is our last event of the summer, and is scheduled for August 27th from 2pm-6pm.

We were anticipating a donation of backpacks from Volunteers of America (VOA). However as the date draws near, we are being informed that their donations are for homeless children only. So we are in need of donations and/or contributions from our friends and neighbors. In today's economy we realize that everyone's finances are limited, but these children won't have school supplies through no fault of their own.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US MAKE A KID SMILE ON THE 1st DAY OF SCHOOL!
Need more info? contact BETTY LESTER @beejay919@yahoo.com or 718-243-1252

Thursday, August 5, 2010

LPC Hearing CANCELED

Regarding the hearing for 227 Clinton Street renovations, this just came in from CHA president Roy Sloane.  
"We have learned that the applicant has removed the objectionable elements from the proposed renovation of 227 Clinton Street... It appears that the applicant was unable to obtain a release from the historic easements that had placed on the three facades of the property. Therefore, the side windows and rear "glass box" extension are no longer part of the application."

Thank you to everyone in the neighborhood that supported keeping all planned renovations in line with the neighborhood's landmarked aesthetics.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Drinks, Music, and Meetings

Tonight is the first Wednesday of a new month and as always that means the Cobble Hill Association Happy Hour is in full effect at Watty & Meg. From 6-9pm enjoy $5 glasses of wine and $3 beers while enjoying a summer evening with neighbors.

Tomorrow night, Thursday, kick starts our summer music series in Cobble Hill Park. At 7pm, The Claremont Strings will play free classical concert for all to enjoy. The series continues every Thursday this month. Click here for the full lineup of musicians.

Then, next Tuesday will be a very important Landmarks Preservation Committee meeting for proposed changes to 227 Clinton Street, between Congress and Amity. While the Cobble Hill Association supports residents improving their homes as they see fit, the CHA strongly believes in preserving the character of our landmarked district. The application for 227 Clinton is to alter the roof and archway, enlarge window openings, and excavate the rear yard for a swimming pool.

Where that conflicts with the neighborhood aesthetic is that 227 Clinton is a Greek Revival rowhouse built in 1842-44 and the 60 similar houses in the area all have either blank facades, or simply one or two window openings. As quoted in the Brooklyn Paper, CHA president Roy Sloane notes 'It’s a very egalitarian style — [original residents] tried not to overawe their neighbors...This low-key character affords privacy. [It’s] the same character that makes people want to move to Cobble Hill in the first place!'

The Cobble Hill Association encourages residents to attend the hearing and give short 2-3 minute testimony.

Tuesday, August 5th
time TBD
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor Conference Room
Manhattan

Monday, July 26, 2010

Safety Improvements?

For weeks the Cobble Hill Association has been vocal about the need for dramatic safety improvements to the Columbia/Furman/Atlantic intersection that provides access to the the newly opened Pier 6 waterfront park.  The Dept of Transportation heard our concerns shared amongst many civic groups and electeds officials in the area and agreed to make short term changes and plan long term improvements.

Our friends at the Brooklyn Heights Blog caught a sight of this sign, one of the short term changes that should tame traffic and remind drivers they need to yield to pedestrians and cyclists.  But they also noticed driving behavior has remained the same. And realistically, does the 'NEW' text go far enough at all? The driving laws of NYC already require
  • When making a turn, yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk;
  • At a red light or STOP sign, come to complete stop before you get to the crosswalk;
  • Violation of these laws could cost you a $100 fine and 3 points on your license.
New York City already leads the nation in the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes and sadly over one-half of pedestrian fatalities occur at intersections with traffic signals. Perhaps this  cautionary message simply gets lost amongst the half dozen other signs posted. Bigger, bolder changes like visually bold textures or raised crosswalks are needed in the street, coupled with neckdowns on the sidewalks to shorten crossing distances.

The Cobble Hill Association remains committed to having a safe approach to our neighborhood's waterfront. We encourage all residents to contact Community Board 6 and area councilman Brad Lander about this problematic intersection. And if you have ideas or specific concerns you'd like to share with us, drop us a line at cha@cobblehillassociation.org.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fix the Ditch - Workshop #2

The kick off workshop for the BQE 'Fix-the-Ditch' was a tremendous success. Now it's time to bring that energy back for Round 2 when the project team will present initial conceptual plans and ask for feedback.

When: Tuesday, July 20th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Long Island College Hospital (LICH), Avram Conference Center, Rooms A & B, 339 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201

Please see two presentations that have been posted on EDC’s website for background on the project, including:
1)    The presentation from the 5.4.10 meeting on EDC’s website.
2)    A draft summary of the 5.4.10 workshop--we will refine and present it on 7.20.10

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cobble Hill Concert Series

Thanks to the work of organizer Rudy Kamuf, the CHA's annual series of summer concerts in Cobble Hill Park is about to begin again in August. The concerts are always free to the public and a great way to enjoy the park and meet your neighbors.
This summer's series will feature FOUR FREE CLASSICAL CONCERTS, all scheduled for Thursday evenings in August beginning at 7p.m (rain date for each is following night, Friday)

August 5 The Claremont Strings (Viola-Violin-Cello)
August 12 The Wadsworth Strings (Guitar-Violin-Cello)
August 19 The Gene Drop Ensemble (2 Violins- Cello)
August 26 The Cady Finlayson Ensemble (Guitar-Violin-Cello)

The "Music in the Park" concert Series is sponsored by the Cobble Hill Association & The Cobble Hill Community Fund with the generous support of Long Island College Hospital,  Ridgewood Savings Bank and Ted & Honey Café and Market.

Monday, July 5, 2010

LICH gets a little Greener

While our local institution, Long Island College Hospital, has been in the news recently for its likely merger with SUNY-Downstate, we didn't want to let this little green nugget go silent. After enrolling in the Energy Curtailment Specialists' (ECS) PowerPay! New York Program in 2008, the hospital has gotten a bit more eco-conscious and implemented a hopsital wide notification system that, among many benefits, helps reduce energy use during critical periods when grid supply is low.  When asked to shed 1200 kilowatss during a 'test period' LICH...
went above and beyond by curtailing 2120 kilowatts; 920 kilowatts more than expected.... When the doctors, nurses, and other staff are notified of the event, they may shut off lights when a room is not in use as part of their own commitment to reducing electricity.
"Long Island College Hospital is an ideal customer for our program because they are so motivated to help within the community all while taking the necessary precautions to assure patient safety," said Glen Smith, president, chief executive officer and co-founder of ECS.
The Cobble Hill Association is very glad to have LICH taking care of both the patients inside the building and the community's energy needs around it.
image courtesy of Ruby Washington/The New York Times

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pier 6 Safety Improvements on the Way

Many residents and park-goers have been worried about the incredible dangers of the approach to Brooklyn Bridge Park's new Pier 6. The Cobble Hill Association responded quickly, speaking with local elected officials to urge the Department of Transportation to implement changes immediately, and plan a safer approach for the future.
Word came through this State Senator Daniel Squadron's office that help is on the way because DOT has 'heard his and our constituents' cries for improved safety'.  DOT outlined the following steps in response.
-“Stop Here on Red” sign on Atlantic Avenue at the eastbound approach to the on-ramp, to communicate to drivers that they do not have a free left turn when the light ahead is red and the pedestrian indication across the ramp is WALK.
  
-“Turning Vehicles Yield to Pedestrians” sign on Atlantic Avenue at the westbound approach to the on-ramp, to emphasize  to drivers that  they must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  
- Conducting a traffic study to determine if further signal or regulation changes that will reduce vehicle-pedestrian conflicts at this location are feasible.  Additional recommendations will be shared publicly in near future.
  
- Evaluating medium term opportunities for more significant reconfigurations to the street network around Pier 6 that will assist with bicycle and pedestrian park access, including the intersection of Columbia Street and Atlantic Avenue, and Atlantic Avenue west of  Columbia Street.
The Cobble Hill Association appreciates DOT's response and feels the changes cannot come quick enough.  While the simple signage change may not be a game-changer, the "Stop Here on Red" adjustment could be significant now... and the future plans could prove immensely effective. Without a doubt we will stay on top of the situation.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hey Cobble Hill, How GREEN are YOU?

Even before the Gulf of Mexico became an oil swamp, Green was the new black. We've all got to be thinking sustainably and now here's a chance to flex your eco-muscle and prove you're doing your part for a cleaner tomorrow.
NYSERDA, ConEd and Councilmember Brad Lander Challenge You to Reduce Your Use in the 39th District!
There are many quick and easy things you can do to bring down your family's electricity usage - from switching to compact florescent light blubs (CFLs), to buying energy efficient appliances, to unplugging power charges when they aren't in use. We want to help as many people as possible to make these kinds of changes.

Our competition begins on August 1st
Simply fill out the online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/reducetheused39
Or, contact Michael Curtin at 718-499-1090 or mcurtin@council.nyc.gov
 
We will send you monthly updates with who has saved the most energy, and with tips to further green your home!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Double D pool will stay OPEN!

Last week we posted about an unfortunate pool closing in our neighborhood, the Douglas-Degraw pool. Fortunately, after local residents and electeds rallied support, the 4 pools which had been set for closure thus summer will instead be open for everyone to enjoy. The City Council and Mayor have agreed to a budget that may not be perfect, but does spare the much needed source of recreation for our residents.  The Brooklyn paper has the full story

Monday, June 21, 2010

CHA calls for safety improvements

At the base of Atlantic Avenue, sits the newly created Pier 6 playground with beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline and active amenities for Brooklyn children to run, jump, climb, dig, and play on. The waterfront spot could be a tremendous resource for our green-space starved borough – if only there was a safe way of getting there.
The Cobble Hill Association has long supported a completely public park with active recreation, and delights seeing neighborhood children using the brand new Pier 6. However, there have been many concerns from the community regarding access to the park. The Atlantic Avenue – Columbia/Furman Street intersection has long needed traffic-calming measures, and now the situation is severe.  Children dart across the swath of asphalt without any pedestrian refuge islands, and stroller moms must wheel carriages hurriedly to avoid speeding traffic from Furman’s excessive road width, while also contending with entering/exiting traffic on the BQE.

Representing the neighborhood’s concerns, CHA board members are pushing for immediate improvements. Association President Roy Sloane brought a motion to the Community Board 6 Transportation Committee asking NYC Department of Transportation to begin temporary safety improvements now, and pursue a long-term traffic plan that would ease crossing for all users.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund along with CHA officers Roy Sloane and Murray Adams met with Councilman Brad Lander to request urgent remediation of the dangerous conditions. He shares our concerns and asked DOT to design safer pedestrian routes from Cobble Hill to Pier 6 to navigate the trip down either Columbia or Atlantic, across the BQE entrance ramps, across their Pier 7 truck gate.  Thankfully, DOT is aware of the problem and working to design solutions.  They indicated they would have some designs within weeks.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rally to Save the B71

The MTA service cuts are just days away, and we'll be losing one of our vital lifelines connecting Cobble Hill to Prospect Park - the B71. Our good friends by the Columbia Waterfront are organzing a rally to keep support high and momentum strong for avoiding mass transit disaster.