Tuesday, December 30, 2008

get involved: police precinct council meetings

At our recent meeting with Deputy Inspector Michael Kemper, the commanding officer of the 76th Precinct, and other officers about public safety issues, we all thought it would be a good idea to remind the public that the 76th holds monthly Precinct Council meetings on the first Tuesday of every month.

I have attended meetings in the past, and I can tell you that these are information- and dialogue-rich occasions when the public and the police can share knowledge and concerns. Did you know that the police provide a free service of visiting people's homes to tell them what measures they can take to minimize the likelihood of burglary? It's true. Find out more by attending a meeting.

The next three meetings will be on these dates at the precinct house, 191 Union Street, at 7.30 p.m.:

January 6
February 3
March 3.

Christmas tree mulching: January 10 and 11

Please hold on to your Christmas trees until January 10 and 11. Our annual tree mulchign weekend will be held on January 10 and 11 in Cobble Hill Park from 9.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Please be sure to remove all ornaments, garlands, and anything else that is not part of the tree. Bags of mulch will be given to community members who want one.

What: tree mulching
When: January 10 and 11
Where; Cobble Hill Park

memorial bicycle ride: January 4

The city has commendably added bicycle lanes around the city, but there is still plenty of room for improvement, particularly in matters of safety and enforcement. CHA Green Czar Paco Abraham writes in with sad news of a memorial bike ride:
With the holidays upon us and New Year just around the bend, its a time for reflection of all that has happened over the past 12 months. Unfortunately this includes the passing of our neighborhood's own Alexander Toulouse, an eight-year-old who attended P.S. 29, and was tragically struck while riding his bicycle just a few blocks away. He, along with all the other NYC pedestrians and cyclists fatally hit, will be honored on a memorial group bike ride on Sunday, January 4.

At approximately 2:45 p.m., we'll gather at the intersection where Alexander Toulouse was hit, Livingston and Boreum, sharing thoughts and prayers for him and his family. If you can join us, please do.
There will be a citywide bicycle ride to remember everyone killed while cycling in the past year. The whole day's schedule is available at Ghost Bikes. The 2.45 p.m. time is for the portion of the ride devoted to Alexander. Here is the entire Brooklyn portion of the ride:
Brooklyn/Lower Manhattan Ride
12:45-1:00 gather top of Sunset Park hill (6th ave btwn 41-44th sts)(subway: R to 45th st.)
1:15 Pedro Fernandez-Pacheco 54th st and 7th ave.
2:15 Jonathan Millstein President st. and 8th ave.
2:45 Alexander Toulouse Livingston and Boreum
3:30 Jian-Lan Zhang Hester and Allen sts
We look forward to a safer future for all cyclists.

Friday, December 19, 2008

HOD rally: January 6

The STOP BHOD folks have announced a rally for the occasion of the next court date in their suit to stop the City's plans for the House of Detention. From their blog:
Our lawsuit against the City has taken a big step forward, and we will have our day in State Supreme Court on January 6th. Stop by our rally to show your support that morning between 9 and 10 AM in Cadman Plaza Park, just in front of the courthouse. We will be joined by elected officials, local neighborhood associations, and urban justice organizations.

If you’d like to attend, please contact Jamie at jamieevansbutler@gmail.com so that we can get you involved and help us organize for this important event.
We will be there and we hope everyone in Cobble Hill will turn out. We can all agree on at least two things: opposing the City's plan to double the HOD's capacity and opposing the reopening of the facility without a proper public process.

What: HOD rally
When: January 6, 2009 at 9 a.m.
Where: Cadman Plaza Park

inside the HOD

For all of those who want to see the inside of the Brooklyn House of Detention without doing what it takes to be a detainee, there is a new self-published book of photographs. Here is a link to some of them.

The book is called The Brooklyn House: Inside the Brooklyn House of Detention by Cal Cary.

Fix the Ditch update: RFP coming soon

The study on how to remediate the problems caused by the BQE trench south of Atlantic Avenue—how to Fix the Ditch—is moving forward. EDC, the City's Economic Development Corporation, will launch its RFP (request for proposals) in early January 2009.

EDC and Dan Wiley of Representative Nydia Velázquez's office expect the study to take one year and to produce designs for unifying the neighborhoods divided by the trench, greening the area, and creating pedestrian and bicycle access. Stay tuned for announcements in 2009 of public 'visioning' sessions and charrettes.

what were they thinking?

At their December 10 meeting, the members of Community Board 6 voted me the board's second vice-chairman. As always, I will do whatever I can to make our part of Brooklyn as great a place to live and work as it can be.

400 yards from Brooklyn

Governors Island is only 400 yards from Brooklyn, yet the only way to get there is by ferry from Manhattan. That's not surprising when eleven of the twelve board members of GIPEC, the state development corporation overseeing the island, are from Manhattan.

Community Board 6 voted for a series of resolutions at its December 10 meeting to bring the island closer to Brooklyn administratively. One resolution called for ferry service to the island from Fulton Ferry Landing, Pier 6, and the Atlantic Basin. Another called for half of GIPEC's board to be from Brooklyn.

How can you help? The next time you see your elected officials, tell them you want Brooklyn to have its fair share of representation on the board, i.e., no less than half the seats. Half the board members are appointed by the mayor and half by the governor, but in real life the appointments are made in consultation with local legislators. 400 yards is too close for representation to be so far away.