Friday, January 30, 2015

Cobble Hill Park Tree maintenance

Snow has fallen several times this week and that means added weight sits on the branches of our trees in Cobble Hill Park. A healthy tree can handle the load but weak limbs are likely to fall and injure those below. Thankfully our parks committee has taken special interest in tree maintenance and coordinated with the forestry division of NYC Parks Department to ensure the health of our neighborhood's green oasis. Last week, a crew came to stabilize the crown of a seventy year old wounded elm by the Verandah Street entrance to the park. Check out the video and images below to see how effortlessly NYC Park's green team scaled the enormous tree to give it much needed TLC. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Brooklyn Bridge Park - Pier 6 Townhall

Rendering of POTENTIAL towers that will dominate the foot of Atlantic Avenue
Though winter is in the air, many people in the neighborhood are already thinking about outdoor park space. In particular, the space at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 in which potential high-rise waterfront condos may soon emerge. Local advocacy groups, including the Cobble Hill Association, have long been opposed to an element of the Park's General Project Plan that dictates housing is the only viable remedy to its mandate that it be a financially self-sustaining entity. Recently residents of 1 Brooklyn Bridge and a new 'Save Pier 6' litigant group have picked up this fight and taken aim at stopping further development. While the Park opposes their claims of faulty math, the housing issue is being out front and center this weekend. Come join the meetings listed below to get loads more info on the housing that might soon inundate the neighborhood.

- Town-Hall style forum will be held this Saturday, Jan. 24th at 3 PM the Zion Lutheran Church on Henry Streetbet. Clark and Pierrepont in Brooklyn Heights (see flier, below).
UPDATE - click here to see the full presentation if you could not attend in person.

- Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Meeting, on Tuesday, Jan. 27th at 6:30 PM at Mt. Sinai Temple, on Cadman Plaza bet. Clinton and Clark St, also in the Heights.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

CB6 Landmarks/Land Use Committee Meeting this Thursday

This afternoon, Community Board 6 released the agenda for its upcoming Landmarks/Land Use Committee meeting this Thursday, 1/22 at 6pm. On the docket are three items all within the Cobble Hill vicinity. First is a variance to get ground floor retail in to the coming development that will overtake the current Shell gas station, and second is a proposal for a new construction to replace the now defunct parking lot at the corner of Congress and Amity Street. If you have thoughts about either one, this is the place to come and speak up to ensure your concerns are fully heard. For more info, contact the CHA directly at
  • Discussion and formulation of a recommendation on an application submitted to the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA Cal. No. 258-14-BZ) on behalf of Henry Atlantic Partners LLC for a variance of Section 22-10 of the Zoning Resolution to permit the construction of a 4-story mixed use building with commercial use on the first floor in an R6 zoning district at 112 Atlantic Avenue (Block 285, Lot 6), southeast corner Atlantic Ave/Henry Street, pursuant to Section 72-21 of the Zoning Resolution.
  • Presentation and review of a Certificate of Appropriateness application submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a new 2-story (30-feet tall) commercial building to be erected at 178 Court Street (northwest corner Court/Congress Streets), Cobble Hill Historic District.
  • Presentation and review of a Certificate of Appropriateness application submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a new 2-story rear yard extension with deck at 310 Clinton Street (between Baltic/Kane Streets), Cobble Hill Historic District

Friday, January 16, 2015

The future of Atlantic Avenue & Henry Street

Last week, a drunk driver slammed his car through Henry Public. Thankfully no one was severely injured and the culprit has since been arrested. However, one aspect of the crash was especially shocking - it occurred mid-block. In NYC, crashes typically occur at intersections and so improving those tend to be the key focus of city agencies and advocates alike. This mid-block crash was possible because of the open, unimpeded corner at Atlantic Avenue and  Henry Street (as well as the driver's neglect of course). In the coming months however, this corner will be dramatically changed.
Where a Shell gas station now sits, soon a 50 foot building will rise with ground floor retail and 8 residential units above.  This blog covered the Landmark's Preservation Commission decision to demand some changes to the original plan. Now, the Cobble Hill Association has finally gotten new copies of the modified plan and presents them above. Take note of the renderings of just how different both Atlantic Avenue and Henry Street will soon look. Even for a drunk driver, it will be difficult to crash a vehicle mid-block in the future - though we hope to continue working with the Department of Transportation and the 76th precinct so that no one crashes in our neighborhood at all, for any reason.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

City Council Hearing on Film Shoots

New York City is a hub for all facets of the entertainment industry and our city streets are regularly used as background for countless film shoots. This week, the City Council introduces legislation to begin counting them. While some enjoy seeing our own residential block make it to the big screen, others are frustrated by the temporary headaches a film crew can cause on the street. If you would like to make your own opinion on the topic heard, consider attending this upcoming hearing.

What: City Council’s Committee on Technology will hold an oversight hearing on filming and community impacts.
When: Wednesday, January 21st at 10:00 AM,
Where: 250 Broadway, 14th Floor, the

The committee will consider legislation requiring monthly and annual reports concerning film shoot permits. If attending and hoping to speak, it is typical practice to bring 20 copies of written testimony to submit to the city council.

Congrats to Cobble Hill's Ken Adams

This week Governor Cuomo reshuffled some of his staff and with it, one of our homegrown heroes has earned a new notch to put on the belt. Former Cobble Hill Association President Ken Adams, son of another former CHA president Murray Adams, has been tapped as the commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Adams had been at the helm of many business groups in New York including the MetroTech Business Improvement District, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and most recently the Empire State Development Corporation.  To read more about Ken Adams' new appointment, browse the Brooklyn Eagle write up here...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Update from January's 76th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Last week the 76th precinct held its first meeting of 2015. Though controversial issues have thrust NYPD into the headlines recently, the vast majority of the agency's fine work goes under-reported and under-appreciated.  Thankfully, the packed room of attendees - including State Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilman Brad Lander, and representatives from both Councilman Carlos Menchaca and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz - made it clear the our community greatly appreciates the work of Captain Justin Lenz and his officers putting themselves in harm's way for our safety.

Recapping 2014 included many positive highlights within the 76th precinct including
- Crime is down by 1.6% when compared to 2013. (633 crimes in '14 vs. 643 in '13)
- The 76th had had the 5th lowest overall crime across precinct's city
- There was a 19% drop in robberies in the 76th precinct. (85 such crimes in 2014 vs 105 in 2013.)
- There were 5 local shootings in 2014 (including 1 homicide in Red Hook, where the community offered tremendous support and tips to detectives)
- The category accounting for the biggest share of local crime was grand larceny. This includes identity theft, fraudulent checks, scam emails etc. Without these incidents, the 76th would have had 150 less crimes.
- There were just 6 transit crimes in the Transit District 30 area.
- Public Housing areas saw reduced crime as well: 91 in Red Hook houses and just 40 in the Gowanus houses.
- Vision Zero focus key for Captain Lenz.  Both vehicle collisions and pedestrian injuries were down 10% when compared to 2013. Also more officers were trained to do speed enforcement and that meant there was 122% increase in speeding citations (288 in 2014). Capt Lenz also noted a 36% increases in failure to yield infractions, and overall more enforcement of bike lane blocking and double parking.
- What was especially interesting was hearing him say "I took away officers discretion to NOT get involved." They can use their judgement whether or not to issue the ticket but he said he wanted them to always get involved when they saw a potential hazard and so there were plenty more double parked cars that officers simply cleared away without stopping to write tickets.
- The precinct will only be getting 6 new officers from the newest class of recruits.
- This year will have 50 school crossing guards (over 47 last year).

Next month's community council meeting will again be at 7:30pm, February 3rd at the precinct.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Library Winter Line Up - Free Kids Activities

Check out this great line up of activities on the horizon at our neighborhood's local library.

Carroll Gardens Library: Arts and Craft with Kathleen the park lady 
Monday, January 12, 2015 - 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Age Group: Birth to Five Years, Kids

Book Adventures
Thursday, January 15, 2015 4:15 pm – 5:00 pm
Age Group: Kids
Transport yourself to different worlds with books and factual insights. This is a Read Aloud program followed by an activity, inspired by arts or crafts. Adventures, we will be exploring: Crime Scene Investigator, Secret Agent: Cracking the Code, Be an Illustrator, Shapes in Art, Simple Machines and the Impact on our Daily Lives, Doodle Diary, Flight and People in Flight
Ages 5 to 12 only. Parents, come see the magic of reading in action!

Duplos Stories for Preschoolers
Friday, January 23, 2015 11:00 am – 11:45 pm
Duplo™ Stories is a Storytime using Duplo to teach early literacy skills.
Limited Seating!
Ages 3 to 5yrs old only. Caregivers are encouraged to participate.

Lego Club Challenge: Build a Lego creation from a cup of Legos
Friday, January 23, 2015 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
Age Group: Kids
Are you a Legos wizard? Do you love putting things into Legos? Well, say no more? We are now having our own Legos club, with a challenge for each month. January month challenge: making a Legos creation out a cup of Legos.Are you up for the challenge?

Little ScientistsMonday, January 26, 2015 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Does your little ones love exploring and ask you a lot of Why questions about the world around them. Say no more! Little Scientists is here to uncover discoveries. Here is a special Storytime where we learn about different aspects of science through stories, songs, crafts and activities.
Limited Seating, For ages 3 to 5 years old please!
Age Group: Birth to Five Years

Thursday, January 8, 2015

MulchFest this weekend, Sat & Sun 10a-2p

The Cobble Hill Tree Fund already held a tree chipping event in Cobble Hill Park last weekend but there are still many more trees to recycle. This Saturday - January 10th - the park will again be the site of a tree chipping Mulch Fest with the NYC parks Department, both Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm. Strip the tree of ornaments etc and make sure its it responsibly discarded.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Blood Drive at 76th Precinct

Earlier this week was the 76th precinct's first Community Council meeting of 2015 and tomorrow is their first blood drive. On Thursday, January 8,  a NY Blood Center Bus will be parked in front of the Precinct Station House to accept blood donations from 12:30 PM, through 6:30 PM. Please take a few minutes to give some blood and save a life.

And remember, be sure to sign up for the community affairs electronic newsletters at this hyperlink as well as follow Capt Lenz and his hard working officers on their newly created Twitter account.

Monday, January 5, 2015

January meeting of 76th Precinct Community Council

This Tuesday, January 6th, will be the first of the 76th precinct's monthly Community Council meetings. Attending these is the best way to stay informed on local events and relay any concerns of yours to Captain Lenz and his officers. If you cannot attend in person, be sure to sign up for the community affairs electronic newsletters at this hyperlink. Also be sure to follow them on their newly created Twitter account.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Tree Chipping this Weekend

Reminder - this Saturday is the annual tree-chipping in Cobble Hill Park run by the NYC Parks Department and the Cobble Hill Tree Fund.  Don't just leave your tree out as trash... recycle it into fresh mulch!

Saturday, January 3
Cobble Hill Park 9:30 am – 1:30 pm