One day F.I.B will go back to it's original, whimsical format but until then yet another fight against over-development is going on....
From Freddy's Bar & Backroom on behalf of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn
If you Dig Freddy’s, hate thieves, Love Old Bars, Hate Billionaires, respect community and question miss use of power ......
July 29: SAY NO TO ATLANTIC YARDS - PROTEST Against Ratner’s Rip-off
Wednesday. July 29. 2pm.
Start Gathering at 1pm.
Outside Klitgord Auditorium of NYC Technical College
285 Jay Street, Near Tillary
(A/C to Jay St./Borough Hall. 2/3 to Borough Hall)
The Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC, which is the state agency overseeing the Atlantic Yards proposal) is holding a public hearing on the Atlantic Yards project on July 29th.
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn urges you to join a protest against Ratner’s destructive project outside the hearing and then to testify at the hearing.
This is it! There will be no more public hearings on Atlantic Yards or protests like this one.
This is the community’s chance to tell ESDC and Ratner:
We Don’t Want Atlantic Yards.
We Want Development That Works for the Community!
Not at the Expense of the Community.
Atlantic Yards Must Be Scrapped!
Join DDDB, other community groups, residents, clergy, union members, and elected officials for the 2pm protest. Please start gathering at 1pm.
(**Protest will start up again at 6pm.)
The hearing is scheduled from 2-5 and 6-8. The protest will start at 1. Then DDDB asks the public to sign in and testify against the project. (If you are unable to come for the afternoon protest and hearing, DDDB urges you to come for the late afternoon/evening hearing; we will be there from 1 until the end at 8 or later. Look for us.)
Bring Protest Signs.
Speak your mind about the project.
Atlantic Yards is a rip-off for taxpayers,
A rip-off for straphangers,
A rip-off for those in need of affordable housing,
A rip-off for those in need of employment.
A rip-off for Brooklynites and a rip off for New Yorkers
It is a boondoggle for Bruce Ratner...
No More Bailouts for Billionaires
For up to the minute details go to Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn .
On the case again exposing all the wrongs going on in Brooklyn - Sabine and Steve over at Freddy's Brooklyn Roundhouse have made this video and sent these words about the tragic war to save Coney Island.
"Save Coney Island had a press event July 26 to update the public on the city council vote on July 29th and to encourage another round of phone calls to the Speaker Quinn and all of the City Council members to keep Coney Island for amusement. The current city plan cuts most of the zoned amusement acres and rezones for high rise buildings. With Kevin Powell, Dick Zigund, Angie Pontani, Savitri D, Famous Bob, Rev. Billy, and other notables who want to enlist your help to Save Coney Island. Wednesday the Council votes to cut amusement zoning from over 60 acres to less than 9, spelling the end of Coney Island as the peoples' playground."
The City Council votes on Wednesday on this, go to Save Coney Island to find out up to the minute details.
Following up Tuesday's City Counci Land Use Committee hearing regarding the rezoning of Coney Island - basically the Mayor's plan is being continued to be pushed through. The only council member to vote against it was Tony Avella. They want to expand the amusement area but also put residential and also hotel towers amongst it. Most folks who are against it are all for the expansion of the amusements but they want the high rises moved out of the immediate area. They also may move the Wonder Wheel!!!
I give you the response from the folks at Save Coney Island.
Council Fails to Request Needed Changes to City’s Coney Island Rezoning Plan
"Local activist group Save Coney Island is disappointed by the failure of the City Council’s Land Use Committee today to make necessary revisions to the City’s flawed rezoning plan for Coney Island.
The City’s flawed plan will now proceed to the full City Council for a vote, without the needed revisions having been made to ensure Coney Island’s future as a world-class amusement destination.
Save Coney Island, the Municipal Art Society, The New York Times editorial board and Coney Island’s unofficial “mayor,” Dick Zigun of Coney Island USA, had all urged that the proposed open-air amusement park be expanded and that the four high-rise hotel towers currently proposed for the south side of Surf Avenue be removed. Coney Island’s Community Board 13 also requested that the high-rises be relocated.
Unfortunately, the Land Use Committee ignored these calls.
Save Coney Island is heartened, however, by suggestions made by Council members that the issues we have raised will be addressed by the City before they council renders a final vote on the plan. Should the City succeed in its negotiations to purchase Thor Equities’ land in Coney Island, it will gain greater control over how that land is eventually used. The City must expand the size of its proposed amusement park, work to keep high-rises out of the core amusement area and protect the historic buildings that line the south side of Surf Avenue.
“The City Council’s Land Use Committee unfortunately failed to back the zoning revisions needed to prevent the destruction of Coney Island as a world-class amusement destination,” said Save Coney Island spokesman Juan Rivero. “There were, however, suggestions that these issues would be addressed before the full City Council’s final vote on the plan. We hope that the council’s final approval of the plan will be made contingent upon the Bloomberg administration offering concrete assurances that will guarantee the future of Coney Island’s famed amusement district.”
Save Coney Island would like to thank Council member Tony Avella, chair of the council’s Zoning & Franchises Committee, for putting forward a proposal urging the City to expand acreage for amusements and remove the high-rises proposed for the south side of Surf Avenue. These proposals were based upon the recommendations of the Municipal Art Society, which were endorsed by The New York Times. Unfortunately, the zoning committee rejected these proposals."
OK. I apologize for being so last minute on this. Bottom line is the city wants to close the amusement area in with high rise hotel towers. Save Coney Island thinks the amusement area should be expanded and the hotels moved OUT of the amusement area. There is a meeting today, Tuesday July 21st, at City Hall where The Zoning and Land Use Committees are now scheduled to vote on revisions to the Coney Island rezoning plan so, If there was ever a time to fight for your right to Save Coney, it’s now. The City Council’s Land Use Committee is expected to vote on the rezoning plan this week. The full Council vote is scheduled for July 29. In a last ditch effort to save the People’s Playground, Save Coney Island is asking New Yorkers to call their elected officials and request changes to the City’s plan.
Here is what YOU can do:
Two Phone Calls to Save Coney Island.
The Bloomberg administration’s plan to shrink Coney Island’s amusement district and to block it off with four high-rise hotel towers is now before the City Council. There isn’t much time left to request changes to the City’s plan.
If you want to save Coney Island, PLEASE CALL your City Council member TODAY (the sooner the better!).
To find your City Council member and their phone number, plug in your street address and borough here.
Call their LEGISLATIVE OFFICE number first. Try calling during the workday.
* Tell them you live in their district.
* Tell them that you’re calling about the plan for Coney Island currently under review by City Council.
* Tell them Coney Island is an issue of CITYWIDE concern and that the current plan would RUIN Coney Island forever.
* Tell them that the area for open-air amusements needs to be EXPANDED and that the proposed high-rise hotels need to be MOVED out of the amusement area.
* Tell them to urge the Department of City Planning and Coney Island Councilmember Domenic Recchia to FIX the City’s plan.
* Tell them your address and tell them you would like to know what their position is on this issue.
* Tell them to check out Save Coney Island for more information.
Be polite. Be brief. Be passionate. Leave a message if nobody answers.
AND I know it's raining this morning but if you can your presence is needed at City Hall TODAY!
As per the Save Coney Island website:
WE NEED YOU TO ATTEND AND MAKE OUR PRESENCE FELT!
When: 10:30 am
Where: City Hall Chambers.
PLEASE, GET THERE EARLY TO GET THROUGH SECURITY.
Bring a sign! The last time, they gave us a hard time about anything bigger than 8.5 x 11. You can download one no bigger than that here(pdf).
The vote by the Land Use Committee is the last chance for the plan to be fixed. If council members choose to vote on the plan without significant amendments dealing with the amusement area, we will know that they ignored your calls and that they are indifferent to the destruction of the “People’s Playground”. The vote by the entire City Council is scheduled for July 29th.
Summer half over and you still haven't been to the beach? Why travel when you can stay local? The Shore Hotel in Coney Island is recession friendly! $170 a week or $40 for a "short stay".
Update: Read about the history of the Shore Hotel at the great Jerimiah's Vanishing New York/
Update: Read about the history of the Shore Hotel at the great Jerimiah's Vanishing New York/
One of FROGG's Fabulous Founders, Linda Mariano, shown on the Carroll Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal, is campaigning for the Superfund.
This wonderful article is reprinted from yesterday's Daily News. Please do not forget to comment on the EPA's website, there is only 2 days left to do so!
It's the battle for the Gowanus Canal.
The controversy surrounding the polluted waterway has inspired great passions on both sides in Carroll Gardens, complete with posters, buttons, flyers, marathon meetings and YouTube videos."I've never seen a campaign like this ever, anywhere," said federal Superfund Director Walter Mugdan. "I've never heard of one ever, anywhere."
In the past few weeks, the Bloomberg administration has held two public meetings with residents and business owners in its campaign to stop the Gowanus frombeing designated a federal Superfund site.City officials have also put together a voluminous 100-page comment to submit to the federal Environmental Protection Agency by Wednesday's deadline, with a final decision not expected until at least September. Superfund supporters, meanwhile, have been going door-to-door with their "Superfund Me!" posters and buttons.
At a meeting with business owners, Bloomberg official Cas Holloway said a Superfund designation for the canal would drive away development."There is in fact a stigma attached to a Superfund listing," said Holloway. "Property values decline and they generally don't bounce back. . . . There is difficulty refinancing, securing loans and obtaining insurance."
But Mugdan said the city's appeals to locals rest on claims that range from "a little bit misleading" to "just point-blank wrong."
At an earlier meeting with homeowners, most weren't buying the city's cleanup plan, which hinges on getting congressional funding for a cleanup and convincing past polluters to voluntarily help pay for it."Why is the city expending our money trying to talk us out of what we're being given by the EPA?" said Rita Miller, 54, who owns a home on Second Place. "They want to clean it up, let them clean it up."Kevin Duffy, 42, brandished a city flyer with anti-Superfund talking points and said, "It's a lie. It's spin."Some business owners were more receptive to the alternative plan. Daniel Tinneny said two of the 10 commercial tenants at the property he owns along the canal have already threatened to leave because of the Superfund listing and rising taxes."They were leery of it from the beginning," he said. "I'm lucky if I can hang on to my tenants."
A group of businesses and developers called the Clean Gowanus Now! Coalition has collected hundreds of postcards to send to the EPA opposing Superfund, according to local activist Buddy Scotto, a coalition member.
"You designate it a Superfund site and every private developer along the canal is going to hit the panic button," he said. "How are they going to sell apartments next to a Love Canal?"
On the other side, more than 600 people have signed a petition supporting the Superfund listing.
Linda Mariano, a founder of Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, has gone door-to-door passing out the "Superfund Me!" posters that have popped up in windows of homes and businesses in the area. The pro-Superfund faction also sports buttons touting its cause and has posted videos on YouTube.
"The Gowanus Canal has always been stigmatized," Mariano said, adding that city officials "have no real plan."
"It's a question of contaminated water or clean water," Mariano said. "Who would choose contaminated water?"
Please submit your comments here!
In the spirit of the 4th of July and democracy I am reposting a most fabulous comment from a native Brooklyite in response to the Superfund nomination.It could not be more opposite from the Toll Brothers rep who I understand is also a native Brooklynite (he really should be ashamed of himself)his comment does not mention the community only the development community anyway this comment is long but worth the read...please comment yourselves, click on the whale to the right.
To: Docket Coordinator
HeadquartersU.S. Environmental Protection Agency
CERCLA Docket Office - Mail Code 5305T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20460
Via email: email@example.com
I am writing in response to the EPA’s Federal Docket Number EPA HQ SFUND 2009 0063. I am a Brooklyn born woman raised in Park Slope. I now live in Boerum Hill, approximately 5 blocks away from the proposed Superfund Gowanus project site. I’m also a Producer of a local Brooklyn Community Access TV Show, called Freddy’s Brooklyn Roundhouse (FBR). FBR provides a non-commercial, unsubsidized voice for community leaders and organizations from Brooklyn to address local & national issues threatening everyone’s civil liberties. Issues range from the use of eminent domain at places such as Brooklyn’s historic Underground Railroad site at Duffield street and Atlantic Yards, to Brooklynites helping to save the homes of displaced residents of New Orleans, to the growing immigrants rights movement; we bridge borough, city-wide and national topics that infringe upon constitutional rights and threaten our communities, and we support the Superfund nomination because we believe it will address the environmental threat looming over our Borough.
Along with my letter today I am submitting several links to You Tube episodes of the Freddy’s Brooklyn Roundhouse Show that highlight the communities support for this nomination and some of the outrage expressed at the tactics being used by one of the nation’s largest developer’s, the Toll Brothers, and the City to oppose the Superfund designation. Such ploys include distribution of misleading mailers regarding the Superfund, frightening local home owners into thinking their property values will plummet if Superfund designation is given, to the Toll brothers providing a dock to the Gowanus Dredgers, a community group of boating enthusiasts, in exchange for their not supporting Superfund and even putting unknowing visitors at risk by offering them canoe rides on this toxic waterway. Public parody has also been made out of this process by the City proposing their own convoluted clean up plan which neglects the fact that they have had years to take action to clean up the canal and now are only making a show since the Feds are trying to come in, diverting resources that could be used to clean up other toxic parts of the city not on the Superfund list yet still in serious need of clean up.
As a person who grew up here, I have watched the character of Gowanus, Boerum Hill, Prospect Heights, Fort Greene and Park Slope develop in an organic community driven way that has far exceeded all my childhood expectations. In the 70’s and 80’s Brooklyn was a very dirty and environmentally unsound place and everyone knew the Gowanus was toxic, you could literally smell it. We have all seen the DEP signs by the Canal for years, advising that sewage outfalls should be reported, and everyone saw and smelled these outfalls regularly and very few people called because no one ever believed it would make a difference. Those were the real times of blight in Brooklyn, and for any study to deem an area in this present day wealthy, trendy set of neighborhoods a super toxic waterway, we know to take this message seriously, especially as the area becomes more and more populated with young families. It is an insult to those of us who grew up here and a false pretense for another landgrab for one of the nation’s largest developer’s, the Toll Brothers, and the City to oppose the Superfund designation.
A lot of our parents were pioneers in the local revitalization movement choosing to live and work here during the genuinely blighted years of industrial waste, crack and crime. Their contributions, along with so many others that I know personally, grew and culminated in the reduction of criminal elements, restoration, beautification, proliferation of diverse and successful small and locally owned businesses, and the fabulous street fairs we know and love. All these activities slowly coalesced over time and brought local communities together, entire neighborhoods that remain together thru several generations now and are the reason for which most people I grew up with here have never left. It is with great pride that we cherish what has been developed locally and organically as a vibrant mixed use and cultural diverse set of neighborhoods, all unique yet sharing the same seeds of social development; placing priorities on safety, the environment, healthy public school education, museums, art, access to our wonderful open spaces and parks, and supporting local merchants blending of old and new world traditions and sustainable urbanization. All of these attributes have created Northern Brooklyn’s distinct neighborhoods’ character that compliment each other and encourage cohesion and pride. For the EPA to come in and clean up, in a comprehensive manner, something that all of us are unequipped to manage is a true gift. For the city and the Toll brothers to oppose this and just continue to build their corporate monstrosities at the junction of these toxic waterways, with projects that are out of scale and diametrically opposed in proportion, design, and socio-economic character to these neighborhoods is to insult and negate all that the people and communities have independently accomplished for the past 40 years. To impose one developer’s and mayor’s political vision and will over the EPA and the thousands that live here is irresponsible at best, criminal at worst. They clearly demonstrate over and over again that they will put profit over people and the health of our eco-system.
It is not disputed that the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn has neglected sewers combined with a history of heavy industry that has never been properly cleaned up. When the Environmental Protection Agency nominated Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal as a Superfund cleanup site on its National Priority List there was a lot of excitement that this would be a real opportunity to transform this super sick waterway into a viable estuary for us and future generations. This waterway used to be known as Lavender Lake because it glowed psychedelic hues from all the oil, coal tars, heavy metals, lead, PCB’s, toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s), Benzene/Toluene/Ethylbenzene/Xylene in it. Beyond being a chemical dumping ground for all these years, the Canal is also a highly neglected sewage overflow system where Combined Sewage Overflow points (CSO’s) spill into the Canal depositing our fecal matter, condoms, tampons and anything else that get flushed into the Canal when we have a heavy rainstorm. Recently, strains of Gonorrhea and other venereal diseases were even discovered in Brooklyn’s “Love Canal”. Beyond neglect, there have been no comprehensive health studies done in the community to study the impacts of living near such an industrial toxic mess for the residents and the larger ecosystem of plants, birds and fish. We do know that 2 years ago, a 12-foot apparently healthy baby Minke whale died within two days after getting lost and swimming just outside the locks of the Gowanus Canal. The U.S. Coast Guard nicknamed the whale Sludgy because it appeared to be covered with oily sediment from the canal!
Many of us are thrilled with the announcement that the EPA is preparing to comprehensively clean up this waterway and help transform it into a viable estuary. However, we are shocked that certain city officials and real estate interests have come out against this nomination, instead promising to clean up the Canal in a piecemeal fashion that won’t stigmatize our Borough. We strongly feel that not only is our Canal full of crap, but so are they. They have had years to comply with the Clean Water Act and they have done little and now only when their development designs are at risk do they scramble to say they need more time to develop their own alternative clean up plans. It appears these corporate and political interests don’t care about the quality of life for folks living there, but only want to continue to use the area to turn mega profits. The City has successfully lobbied to have the comment period to the EPA extended until July 8th, so they can fight against the Superfund nomination, please do not allow them any more extensions to derail this nomination. A lot of the local community is outraged at such tactics and there has been much talk on the issue. FROGG, Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, has created a website for people to take action to let you know that we want the Canal cleaned by the EPA. Please go online and check out the petition to read what the community is saying (www.superfundgowanus.org). We are very unhappy that several City Council members and the Mayor are not supporting their constituent’s positions and only serving the interests of giant luxury real estate developers like the Toll Brothers.
We all have a big stake in seeing a comprehensive toxic cleanup happen in a holistic manner. Beyond the long term health effects from heavy industry poisons along the Canal we must address the issues of out of scale, unsustainable development throughout Brooklyn affecting the Combined Sewage Overflow points in the Canal, that in conjunction with flooding from global warming, with no operational Flushing Tunnel, poses a real threat to our beloved Borough. When Hurricane Katrina hit, New Orleans had neglected levees coupled with antiquated oil refineries that made for a deadly environmental disaster from which many communities have never recovered. Here in Brooklyn, unsustainable development, industrial and human waste, along with more forceful flooding, could create similar catastrophic consequences along the Canal that could turn Brooklyn into a giant toxic toilet bowl!
For all of the above reasons this Superfund nomination must be approved. We need experts to remedy the toxicity and seriously address how to environmentally repair and protect this area from real devastation. The City also says there is no danger in letting them try and clean up the area and if they are not successful then the EPA could come in, yes there is danger in delay, the threat is real and the time is now. We must learn from past mistakes and remember New Orleans.
Ms. Sabine Aronowsky
If you are a reader of FIB you know how this is near and dear to my heart. I firmly believe that the EPA should clean up the Gowanus Canal. The city has ignored us all these years and it is not until some condo developments might be delayed that they have actually taken an action and they are still scrambling for a plan, while the EPA is ready to go. Anyway please read the voice of the community NOT the developers and the people who love them here:
As the end of the public comment period rapidly approaches and all of the meetings have been held and a great deal of information disseminated, CORD is convinced now more than ever, that the nomination of the Gowanus Canal to the National Priorities List as a Superfund site is STILL the best thing that ever happened to our neighborhood.
We do not believe that the City of New York's "alternative" plan affords any tangible benefit to the community in terms of process, result or timeframe.
It is our understanding that the city’s plan is basically an attempt to provide the responsible parties (the polluters) with a deep discount by trying to have a good portion of the polluters’ tab picked up by a federal program known as WRDA. There is a waiting line for the money and long long list of projects that would be ahead of the Canal. And….did we mention?
THE GOWANUS CANAL IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR WRDA FUNDS AT THIS TIME.
The City is expending, by their own admission, a great deal of time, energy, effort (and therefore, money), to lobby the federal government to make the canal part of this program. In essence, the City is adding an additional layer of government , personnel and complications to the process while simultaneously adding additional financial burdens upon the already- strapped New York City taxpayer.
Where is the benefit to the community in the City’s plan? We can’t find it.
The EPA through the SUPERFUND program, has the clout to collect the money from the responsible parties, has the expertise and a time improved program already in place to handle situations like our canal. Why does it seem as though the City is trying to stymie it? We can’t figure it out.
For most of us, all of these acronyms, agencies, funding terms, the different phases of the process, the fliers, the meetings, the contradictory information turns all of this into a blur.
There are probably several different , maybe even better scenarios one could use as an analogy to explain the way we see this situation. But, this is ours…….
Suppose a couple of hundred people came to your block and ravaged it, caused incredible damage. Let’s further suppose that there is a government agency, already in place, that does precisely the required type of clean-up work you need, and they came to you and WANTED to help you.
This agency had the ability to identify these block wreckers, the experience to correct the damage and a mechanism, in the form of a legal hammer in place to do the work and collect the money from those block wrecking responsible parties whether those block-wreckers liked it or not. The agency handles this type of situation all the time and they are eager to begin.
How many of you would say, “No, thank you”, to this agency?
Now someone else comes along, let’s call him JOE and JOE offers you the opportunity to insert him and his friends into the picture.
JOE and his friends will be charging you while they see IF they can find a way to bring the block-wrecking responsible parties voluntarily to your block, and IF they can get them a very nice discount on the cost of the damages that they are responsible for. JOE will do this by going to another , outside agency, one that does not recognize your block as a candidate for any help and certainly has not offered or promised any help, to see IF he can get the money from them to help fund the block wreckers so they can fix what they did at a discounted price. And IF this does not work, you can always take the first agency up on their offer.
Now this certainly sounds like a great deal for those who are responsible for the damages, and it is not really clear why JOE and his friends are spending your money as they proceed in this direction, but the real question is…………..WHAT DOES THIS “BIG IF” PLAN DO FOR YOU AND YOUR BLOCK?
Which plan would you choose? The one in place, or the one in JOE’s dreams?
Back to the real world…………..
We have listened to the City very thoroughly on multiple occasions. Members of a number of local grass roots community groups, including CORD, took the opportunity to meet with City officials earlier this week specifically to discuss our deep skepticism in their plan and to implore them to join us and support the designation of the canal to the National Priorities List.
The City declined.
The City is sending their comments and their suggestions to the EPA. You should send yours. Please join us and proudly tell the EPA, “SUPERFUND ME!”
We all have the right, no, the RESPONSIBILITY, to demand that our environment be as healthy as possible! Superfund designation provides the will, the means ,the tools and the experience to make this a reality.
If you have not already done so, please go to. The comment period has been extended to July 8th. For instructions to submit comments go to http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/pubcom.htm or contact Dennis Munhall, Region 2 NPL Coordinator at (212) 637-4343 or firstname.lastname@example.org Note Docket #EPA-HQ-SFUND-2009-0063
You may have signed the petition at www.superfundgowanus.org , and that’s great….but your comments made directly to the EPA mean so much more! Please go there right now—take a look at some of the things your neighbors are saying--don’t be shy---speak up for our neighborhood ---beg the EPA to put the canal on the National Priorities List as soon as possible!