Sunday, March 28, 2010

2 for 1! Community Roundtable & CHA Happy Hour

April 7th, the Cobble Hill Association will have two separate events running. As usual, the first Wednesday of the month means it's drinks discounts at Watty & Meg for the Cobble Hill Happy Hour from 6-9pm.  And we encourage you to go on the early side so you can head then walk up Kane street to Christ Church at 7:30pm for the next session of our Community Roundtable Series, this time with newly elected city council member Brad Lander as our guest.

Wednesday, April 7th
6 - 9p, CHA Happy Hour @ Watty & Meg (corner of Kane & Court)

7:30p - 9p, Community Roundtable with Brad Lander @ Christ Church (corner of Kane & Clinton)

Happy Hours at Watty & Meg offer five dollar glasses of wine and three dollar beers to Cobble Hill residents at reserved tables up front. 

The Community Roundtable series provides an opportunity for residents to meet directly with elected officials to discuss any issue or concern directly.

Also, coming up....Senator Squadron invites his constituents to the second annual 25th Senate District Community Convention, on Sunday, April 11th at 2:00 p.m.  Last year, more than 400 people came to talk about their thoughts and ideas on legislative and community priorities.

Sunday, April 11
2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers Street (just west of Greenwich)

For more info and to RSVP, click here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Earth Hour is on the horizon!

Notice the icon at the top right corner of your screen? What's Earth Hour all about?
Well, in less than two weeks, The Cobble Hill Association wants to see the skyline go dark.

On March 27th, from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, a world wide event will take place called Earth Hour. It is a simple yet bold way to acknowledge climate change: turn off your lights.  In 2009, nearly one billion people in 4,100 cities in 87 countries in each of the seven continents turned off their lights to observe Earth Hour.

The Cobble Hill Association is a full supporter of this epic event, and urges everyone to take part. Local landmarks like the Empire State Building have already agreed to participate, and our State Assemblywoman Joan Millman is sponsoring a resolution that would officially recognize Earth Hour in New York. This legislation would also make the state an active participant by turning off all nonessential lights at the Executive Mansion and Capitol.

Read more in Assemblywoman Millman's press release and be sure to check out the official Earth Hour website

And if this whets your green appetite, stay tuned for more details on next month's electronics recycling event in Cobble Hill set for April 25th at PS29. Save your old electronics till then and read the recap of our previous success.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park Closer to Reality

On the heels of Superfund victory in the Gowanus, comes a positive step in making Brooklyn Bridge Park a reality. Our state senator Daniel Squadron led our community to a first step victory that will bring the park under the city's control, rather than the state's, with more funding and a better chance for active recreational amenities over luxury housing on parkland.

Many more details are in Senator Squadron's press release below.

Brooklyn Bridge Park:
Promises Made, Promises Kept
Squadron-Millman-Mayor MOU Fulfills Senator Squadron’s 2008 Campaign Pledge
New York—State Senator Daniel Squadron announced today that he and Assembly Member Joan Millman—with the support of the Governor—signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of New York that will, for the first time, win the City’s commitment to complete Brooklyn Bridge Park, mandate serious consideration of alternatives to housing and include plans and funding for additional year-round amenities in the park—all changes on which Senator Squadron insisted.  In the agreement, the City will take over responsibility for completing and managing the park.  The Memorandum of Understanding represents a significant step toward realizing the 5-point plan for a “real, world-class Brooklyn Bridge Park” that Senator Squadron laid out in August 2008.

Senator Squadron said, “Today’s agreement is a great victory for the community and the city.  We get a commitment to complete the park, a path to find alternatives to housing, and increased year-round amenities.  I want to thank the local community leaders who have fought so hard for a real, world-class park, as well as Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson, Assembly Member Joan Millman, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Borough President Marty Markowitz and Council Members Brad Lander and Steve Levin for their work on making this park a reality.  It’s a win for our community and our city, and a significant step toward achieving a true Harbor Park—a Central Park for the center of our city.”

Senator Squadron’s 2008 5-Point Plan is reflected in the agreement announced today:
1) Housing in the park
•  2008 Plan:  No new housing within the park’s boundaries.
•  Promise Kept:  A newly created Subcommittee on Alternatives to Housing will conduct an open process to consider alternative financing mechanisms to housing in the park.  The City cannot pursue housing at the John Street site before July 2011 or at Pier 6 before July 2013. Both local state elected officials, Senator Squadron and Assembly Member Millman, hold vetoes over the construction of housing at those sites.
2) Park amenities
•  2008 Plan:  Create year-round recreation (e.g., swimming pool, ice skating rink, field house, cultural presentation/performance space, affordable waterfront concessions).
•  Promise Kept:  The new Brooklyn Bridge Park Operating Entity will provide $750,000 toward a recreational bubble on Pier 5, issue an RFP for an ice skating rink in the park, build 2,200 square feet of indoor community space and rooftop tennis courts as part of the planned Maintenance and Operations building, and pursue a permanent floating pool for the park.
3) Designation as a park
•  2008 Plan:  State legislation to designate the area as parkland.
•  Promise Kept:  As a part of the transfer of Brooklyn Bridge Park to the City of New York, the City and State have agreed to support legislation to designate the area as parkland.
4) A linked harbor park
•  2008 Plan:  A multi-borough commission on linking Governor’s Island, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Hudson River Park and the East River Waterfront.
•  Promise Kept:  Last year, Senator Squadron successfully pushed for direct ferry service from Fulton Ferry Landing to Governors Island. He also advocated for a ferry landing at Pier 6, now part of the park plan.  The new agreement represents another step toward creating a unified Harbor Park linking Brooklyn, Manhattan and Governors Island.
5) A public review of park finances
•  2008 Promise:  An immediate public 30-day audit of projected costs and revenues.
•  Promise Kept:  Senator Squadron successfully petitioned the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation to conduct an immediate review of projected costs and revenues, and hosted a public meeting in January 2009 to present the updated projections to the community. The new agreement requires an annual audit of its financial statements by an outside accounting firm.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gowanus Superfund VICTORY

Crowning months of lobbying efforts by a coalition of civic groups including the Cobble Hill Association, the EPA has announced that it will be adding the Gowanus Canal to the National Superfund List of Hazardous Waste Sites. It is expected that the clean-up will take 10 to 12 years and will cost $350 million to $500 million. Thanks to US Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery, NYS Senator Daniel Squadron, NYS Assemblywoman Joan Millman and NYC Councilman Brad Lander for their support. 
The EPA will also be hosting a meeting this Thursday, March 4 at PS 58 at 7:00 pm. The meeting will focus on next steps in the Superfund process.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
in the auditorium of PS 58
located at 330 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY
(entrance to the school is on Carroll Street) 
Here are some highlights of statements released yesterday:

 "....designating this waterway as a Superfund site is simply the most reliable way to ensure we have the dollars and the coordination to undo years of environmental damage.  I commend the EPA not only for its conclusion but for its commitment to transparency and participation throughout the process."
                       - State Senator Daniel Squadron

"I am very enthusiastic to hear about Superfund designation of the Gowanus Canal, which was announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Previous EPA studies have confirmed that the Canal is highly toxic and requires comprehensive cleanup.  I am convinced that Superfund designation is the best approach for getting it done - to bring the substantial resources necessary, provide for optimal coordination between all interested parties, and best insure that the community is well-informed and involved.  Over time, I believe that Superfund designation will turn the Gowanus Canal area from a toxic remnant of mistreatment of the environment into a sustainable community resource for decades to come.
                     - Councilman Brad Lander

The clean-up of the Gowanus Canal has been the environmental challenge of our time and the Cobble Hill Association has been proud to stand together with all of our South Brooklyn neighbors and local elected officials to fight for Superfunding the Gowanus.

Congratulations to all of us!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cobble Hill Happy Hour - THIS WEDNESDAY

All that melting snow making you thirsty?
The Cobble Hill Association Happy Hour is back again -  this Wednesday, MARCH 3rd.

Pull up a chair at the specially reserved tables to share great drink deals and delicious food with fellow Cobble Hillbillies at at Watty & Meg, corner of Kane and Court Street.  See event flyer for full details.