Monday, April 30, 2012

Update from E-waste event

Despite an unfortunate combination of pouring rain and unavoidable construction at P.S.29, the Cobble Hill Association had yet another successful electronics event last weekend with the Lower East Side Ecology Center and the PS29 PTA.  Nearly 150 households came to drop off over 5,120 pounds of electronics!
With 4 years of e-waste events now on the books, we may have finally cleaned out the bulk of the neighborhood's unwanted electronics. However, if you happen to find additional items that need to be safely disposed of before our next event, be sure to visit the Lower East Side Ecology Center's new permanent drop off location here in Brooklyn!

Their warehouse sits at 469 President St (at Nevins) in the Gowanus area and is open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10am-5pm; on Wednesdays, noon-7pm; as well as Saturdays, 10am-4pm. They accept household e-waste such as computers, monitors, printers, scanners, TVs, VCR's, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, video games, cell phones and PDAs. All collected materials will be responsibly recycled or reused, so please do your part in helping keep electronics out of our landfills.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Annual Spring Plant Sale - Sat 4/28

Though its been warm for weeks already this year, it is just now time for the Cobble Hill Tree Fund's annual Spring Plant Sale. Come pick up fresh plants at Cobble Hill Park, Clinton Street between Congress & Verandah, this coming Saturday.

There will be a wide variety of annuals, herbs, and perennials to choose from as well as a selection of geraniums and hanging baskets.   You'll also be able to gather information about the Cobble Hill Tree Fund's other activities, composting opportunities, and the Cobble Hill Association in general. Due to the tremendous response last year, they will once again be setting up the Plant Identification Treasure Hunt in the Park. Bring the kids, it's fun for all ages! Winners will receive a free plant!

If you have any interest in volunteering at the event, please contact the Tree Fund directly.

Spring Plant Sale benefiting the Cobble Hill Tree Fund
Saturday, April 28, 2012 
(Rain date: Sunday, April 29) 
10:30 am to 2 pm @ Cobble Hill Park

Friday, April 20, 2012

REMINDER - Squadron's Community Convention

REMINDER - This Sunday, April 22nd Cobble Hill's local State Senator, Daniel Squadron, is holding his 4th annual Community Convention. This is a chance to raise concerns and make certain he knows what local issues to prioritize with his colleagues in Albany.

Additionally, MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota will join as a keynote speaker to share his thoughts on NYC's transit system and how riders can engage to make it work better today and help plan for its future.
Fourth Annual 25th Senate District Community Convention
Sunday, April 22, 2012, 2:00PM to 5:00PM
High School of Economics and Finance
100 Trinity Place (between Cedar Street &Thames Street)
New York, NY 10006 

RSVP below, at 212-298-5565 or

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Year round recreation for BK Bridge Park!

The Cobble Hill Association has long advocated for a true park along the east river, to serve as a year round recreational amenity for our residents. Brooklyn Bridge Park was to have been a year round active and passive recreational park. When the community plan for Brooklyn Bridge Park was replaced by private high rise condos with landscaping surrounding commercial buildings, the CHA worked hard to restore the year round recreational amenities that were taken out by the presence of condos.
Today, after 30 years of planning and 7 years of strenuous advocacy by the Cobble Hill Association and the coalition of neighborhood associations united under the Brookyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, we are very pleased to announce that a donor has come forward, offering to build a year round recreational facility at the south end of Brooklyn Bridge Park. This donor, Joshua Rechnitz, is proposing to build a $40 million year-round recreational center for public use. And while details about the facility will emerge in the coming months, we hope area residents will celebrate this generous donation by Mr. Rechnitz and tune in as plans coalesce. His generosity, initiated completely on his own, is a big statement for philanthropy in NYC today and wonderful news for area residents!

To read the full press release, check the links after the jump.

Electronics Recycling Event - April 22th, 10a-4p

With Earth Day right around the bend, the Cobble Hill Association is proud to again take part in a neighborhood electronics-recycling event. Despite the construction in the school yard, the collection will still be held at the PS29 and run by our good friends at the Lower East Side Ecology Center.

Find all those broken gadgets in the house and remind your friends that when electronics are simply thrown in the trash, dangerous wastes and metals seep into our soil and waterways. This event makes it simple to safely dispose of electronics – simply drop them off.

What: Electronics recycling
When: Sunday, April 22th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Schoolyard at P.S. 29, 425 Henry Street, entrance on Baltic between Henry and Clinton

All of the following will be accepted in either working or non-working condition:
-Computers and monitors
-Printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers
-Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
-Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, etc.)
-PC components (hard drives, cd-roms, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.)
-Television sets, VHS and DVD players
-Radios and stereos
-Phones of all sorts, answering machines, pagers
-PDAs and games
* They CANNOT accept :
- home appliances (microwaves, refrigerators, etc),
- Media (floppy disks, cd's, VHS tapes)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Making Safer Neighborhoods

In February, NYC's premier advocacy group for walking, biking, and mass transit Transportation Alternatives, met with parents from the Cobble Hill/Columbia Waterfront/Carroll Gardens/Red Hook area to begin a study on street safety. This Wednesday night is a follow up meeting at the Carrol Gardens to have a community conversation on the project's scope as it seeks families with children ages 6 to 11 who can walk and who have a parent/guardian also able to walk.
Wednesday, April 18, 6-8 pm
Carroll Gardens Library - 396 Clinton Street at Union Street

light dinner will be served  

Those who do choose to participate will be asked to take pictures of streets and public spaces in their neighborhood and adults will also complete a short survey. Each family will receive a $25 gift card in thanks for their time, but more importantly will help advance all neighborhood's shared goals of safer streets.
Additional details are available on the flier above, and follow up questions, as well as an RSVP (requested, but not required) can be sent to Stephanie Kneeshaw-Price.
Phone: 646 873-6039

Walkable Cobble Hill

This article already made the rounds last week but it's worth sharing here now too far all who missed it.  We all know NYC is a pretty walkable place and even with an inadequately funded mass transit system and a still growing bicycle infrastructure, its density still allows many people to regularly rely on two feet rather than two wheels. WalkScore is a system that rates and promotes that ability because
  • People in walkable neighborhoods weigh 6-10 lbs less.
  • Walkable places make you happier and healthier.
  • Short commutes reduce stress and increase community involvement.
Cobble Hill and the adjacent neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, both reached the city's highest scores - 98 out of 100. Congrats Cobble Hill!

To read more check out the L Magazine's write up... and visit Walk Score's website & breakdown.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Become a leader with the Cobble Hill Association!

Since its inception over fifty years ago, the Cobble Hill Association has been a strong, effective community organization that works with local residents and elected officials to ensure the highest quality of life in Cobble Hill. From creating and maintaining our coveted Cobble Hill park to preserving the historic character of our brownstone buildings, from supporting our local elementary school P.S. 29 to envisioning new connections to our waterfront, the Cobble Hill Association unites the neighborhood and now welcomes your fresh ideas with an open call for nominations to form its new Executive Board of officers for the 2012 - 2014 term.

The Cobble Hill Association's Nominating Committee invites all interested residents to join an open meeting on Monday, April 
30th at 7pm in the Cobble Hill Community Room at 250 Baltic Street, just off Court Street. Come with questions and ideas, so that the committee can discuss your potential for filling one of the seven positions on the executive board. 

President -- leads meetings & represents the CHA in an official capacity at civic meetings, hearings, etc.

First VP 
-- serves as chief of staff for President

Second VP
 -- heads up events and social activities
 -- controls the CHA's finances
Recording Secretary
 -- keeps meeting minutes
Corresponding Secretary
 -- responsible for the general correspondence and the meeting notices of the organization
Membership Secretary
 -- encourages new members, & maintain database of existing membership

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about becoming a leader of the Cobble Hill Association's executive board, please send them to:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Squadron's Community Convention

Local State Senator for our 25th District, Daniel Squadron, is holding his 4th annual Community Convention next weekend, Sunday, April 22nd. Though many decisions affecting Cobble Hill are made at the state level, this is a chance to raise concerns and questions face-to-face and make certain your elected rep knows what issues to prioritize with his colleagues in Albany.

Additionally, MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota will join as a keynote speaker to share his thoughts on NYC's transit system and how riders can engage to make it work better today and help plan for its future. Last year, more than 250 community members attended and offered valuable input on everything from school overcrowding and park planning to ethics reform and tenant rights.  The great ideas discussed in these small group sessions shaped Daniel's work over the last year and will continue to do so next year.

Fourth Annual 25th Senate District Community Convention
Sunday, April 22, 2012
2:00PM to 5:00PM
High School of Economics and Finance
100 Trinity Place
(between Cedar Street & Thames Street)
New York, NY 10006 
RSVP below, at 212-298-5565 or

Discussions at the Community Convention will include:

Education: Pre-K to College
Senior Citizens' Concerns
Zoning, Neighborhood Preservation, and Quality of Life
Neighborhood Issues: A Spanish Language Conversation
Neighborhood Issues: A Chinese Language Conversation
Jobs, Workers' Rights and Economic Development
Open Government: Election Access, Ethics, Redistricting, and Budget Reform
Mitchell-Lama, Section 8, and Public Housing
Social Services and Health Care
Rent Regulation and Tenants' Rights
Marriage Equality and LGBT Civil Rights
Arts and Culture
Environmental Sustainability
Parks and Open Space
Streets and Transportation

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Police Captain in Cobble Hill

Cobble Hill is protected by officers from the 76th precinct of the NYPD, which just announced a change in commands yesterday. Capt. Jack Lewis had led the precinct for just one year but is now moving over to the 71st in Crown Heights, while Jeffrey Schiff takes the reigns. A former Impact Unit Commanding Officer for the 67th Precinct near Church Avenue, this is Schiff’s first post as a precinct commander. We wish departing Capt Lewis luck in his new neighborhood and look forward to working with Capt Schiff to keep Cobble Hill safe and secure.

For more info on the changes, check out Lisa Collins' article in the South BK post.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Film Shoot in Cobble Hill next week

Just in from Community Board 6... a new film shoot will disrupt standard parking schedules in the neighborhood next week Wed & Thurs, April 18th and 19th. While it can undoubtedly be a headache to find parking when such a permit is offered, Julianne Cho, the associate commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, notes "There are typically anywhere from 50 to 75 productions in the city at any time. The industry brings in approximately $5 billion to the city’s economy each year". Just some food for thought...
Bullet Pictures lnc. is currently in production on a film titled “My Friend Vijay.” For purpose of staging equipment and parking production vehicles, Parking will be held in advance of filming on the following blocks:
  • Warren Street btwn Clinton St & Henry St 
  • Clinton St btwn Baltic St and Warren St 
  • Clinton St btwn Warren St and Verandah PI
  • Clinton btwn Verandah Pl and Congress St
"No Parking signs will be posted 48 hours in advance. We understand that filming can be somewhat disruptive, and we appreciate your cooperation. If you have special needs such as deliveries, moving, traveling, or construction, please contact the locations department. As guests in your neighborhood, we will make every effort to be respectful of the daily routine of the community. Please feel free to contact the Locations department @ 212-807-0108 with any questions or concerns, or you can visit one of us on site when we are filming."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

P.S. 29 Principal to Retire

There's a long list of charms that make Cobble Hill such a special place to live, but no family with kids can deny the top quality public school, P.S. 29, is at the top of that list of reasons to live here. Last week, P.S. 29 Principal Melanie Woods announced she will be retiring from the school after 10 years of tremendous work. Lisa Collins at the South Brooklyn Post summarizes her contribution to the community quite well.
Woods is known for her striking problem-solving abilities, her strong support for PS 29′s healthy food initiative in the cafeteria and its food garden, as well as for progressive educational policies. This September, when the number of kindergartners caused crowding, Woods found a way to secure funding to create an extra class after school started (each class had a teacher’s aid thanks to fast summer fundraising by parents and the PTA). Last year, when construction on the new schoolyard closed it down, Woods worked with the 76th Precinct to close off surrounding streets so kids could play outdoors.
On a personal note, though I do not have kids nor the pleasure of sending them to P.S.29 yet, Melanie Woods has always been fantastic to work with in coordination the neighborhood's annual Electronic Recycling Events and for that I am deeply grateful.  Even this year, as needed repairs to the building temporarily close the school yard and site of our E-waste events, she and other PTA volunteers have made sure to save space for us to hold yet another recycling event this Earth Day, April 22nd.


Participatory Budgeting Winners

Last weekend, more than 2,200 residents in City Council District 39 (which includes Cobble Hill) came out to vote for top choices amongst many great project ideas to be granted one-millions dollars from Councilman Brad Lander's discretionary funds. Though this 'participatory democracy' style of governing has been used in other countries before, this was the first time it came to NYC. In the end, seven projects chosen were selected:
    1.    Renovation of two dysfunctional bathrooms at PS 124 ($150,000, 958 votes)
    2.    Innovative community composting system near Gowanus Canal to turn 1 ton/day of food waste into soil ($165,000, 919 votes)
    3.    Planting 100 new trees on blocks throughout the district with few or no trees ($100,000, 767 votes)
    4.    New technology for PS 130 and PS 154 ($140,000, 758 votes)
    5.    Repairing Prospect Park pedestrian paths to prevent flooding, and adding trash cans in the park ($205,000, 648 votes)
    6.    Repairs and safety improvements at the dangerous Prospect Expressway/Church Avenue pedestrian crossing ($200,000, 606 votes)
    7.    New books and equipment for the Kensington public library to enhance the branch's use for meetings, storytelling, rehearsals, and small performances promoting Kensington's cultural diversity ($80,000, 582 votes)

To hear more about the result, listen to this interview the Councilman and several participants did on the Brian Lehrer show.

In addition to these initiatives which will be moving forward, in his summary statement Councilman Lander announced his "commitment to push forward on several other projects on the ballot that did not receive enough votes to qualify for a share of the $1 million, but around which community residents have coalesced:
    •    Getting "bus countdown clocks" at bus shelters.
    •    Working with Kensington's Bangladeshi community to create an "International Mother Language" monument as part of the renovation of Dome Playground.
    •    Address flooding and other issues at the Ft. Hamilton F/G subway station (we've already made some good progress here).
    •    Getting DOT to repave 50th Street in Borough Park.
    •    Facilitating more community access and WiFi at the Carroll Gardens library.

Also, get started thinking about ideas for next year's vote.  While we hope the Cobble Hill Association's 'Fix the Ditch' idea gets underway before then... if other funding sources don't come to light, perhaps this will be the way to kickstart out neighborhood's important project to improve physical connections to our neighbors on the waterfront.