Tomorrow: VOTE

A number of people have brought this to my attention* and even though I think this “process” is a dog and pony show, here it is anyway. Given the manifold issues extant at our parks and playgrounds currently, I cannot believe the Open Space Alliance is endorsing (of all things) a boat house on Newtown Creek. My buddy over at Queens Crap— after I brought the above wretchedly comical item to his attention— made a very prescient point:

…it’s highly inappropriate for a group purporting to be looking out for “north Brooklyn” to endorse any single project on the list.  They should support all of them.

This (once again) illustrates exactly how out of touch this organization is with the very “public” it purports to serve. Do yours truly a favor: take the time to vote tomorrow and make it known we should be spending this money on maintaining and/or upgrading our current facilities. Or better yet: projects that will benefit everyone in the community, not a select few.

DEC Vote on Funding Allocations
December 2, 2010 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.
P.S. 43
131 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

*To cite an example:

You probably have this. I hope you will write about it so people will vote. The peanut gallery certainly needs to be heard from , because there is no way that evil doers will not be stuffing the ballot boxes in any way they can. How the fuck did bathrooms NOT get worked into the 5o million McCarren pool renovation already? And why attach that proposal on with a super slide that is handicap accessible? I don’t get it. Also, how is the estimate so high on the field house bathroom reno and WHY add tennis court lighting onto this proposal along with the field house, and path lights? If it was just the field house , I might say yes. OR  just field house and pathlights. But not all 3. Very greedy. None of the McCarren ideas got my vote for that reason. They overshot.


15 Comments on Tomorrow: VOTE

  1. Diamond Joe on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 1:56 pm
  2. Why does everything have to be about class warfare? It’s a public boat house, not a yacht club, and I for one think it’s a good idea. Greenpoint has waterways on two sides but almost no public interaction with them at all (except for maybe dipping your feet in at East River Sate Park). There could be boating instruction, watercraft rentals (sunfishes, jet skis, kayaks and rowboats), tour boats, ferry landings(!), water taxis and more right on Newtown Creek – taking steps towards turning this polluted liability into a community asset for recreation and transportation. And I think it would send a strong message that this creek better be cleaned up because we intend to utilize it! What a fitting way to spend the compensation money from the toxic spill into that very same creek.

  3. missheather on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 2:02 pm
  4. Because this is about “class”. As far as I am concerned the boat house, water taxis, etc., can wait until we rehabilitate/upgrade our existing facilities (which are deplorable). This “boat house” concept, to use a metaphor, is like a putting solitary golden crown in a mouthful of rotten teeth.

  5. Diamond Joe on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 2:29 pm
  6. Hey, I’m with you Heather that we need to fix what we got before we start putting in new stuff, and decent restrooms in McCarren would be tops on my list… but the recreational use of our waterways doesn’t have to be about “the snobs versus the slobs” a la Caddyshack. We may have enough money to do some fixes AND put in one or two new amenities as well, and some of us average Joes wouldn’t mind a little access the all the water surrounding us

  7. missheather on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 2:42 pm
  8. Until the city/our parks wizards can demonstrate they can “manage”/rehabilitate what is currently under their watch then— and not a moment before— we can initiate new projects. As for “snobs versus slobs”, while it could be argued that a boat house could be considered recreational use for everyone, the sad fact is if/when implemented it will not be. It is a well known fact this boat house is the pet project of one OSA board member: Dewey Thompson. Sorry but I cannot in clear conscience back this project.

  9. Diamond Joe on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 3:05 pm
  10. I get that Dewey Thompson is a board member and someone who likes to kayak the East River or whatever, so that’s where the push for this idea is coming from. If you want to call it a “pet project” – ok, but he’s not the only person in Greenpoint who might like to see some waterfront access around here. That’s what the vote is about.

    I also agree the current status of our city’s parks funding and standards for maintenance are embarrassing and abhorrent, particularly in outer boroughs where there are no conservancies, etc… but it’s nothing that is going to be solved by a one-time payment of $7m . I assume this money is “use it or lose it” and it’s not for operational maintenance – that is a separate problem with a completely different solution set than what is on the table here. Maybe they could establish some kind of trust or local maintenance entity because the Parks Department is only going to continue to fail us as the funding gets cut no matter what we have. Government’s M.O. is to build and replace, not maintain – just look at the McCarren Park pool. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ever ask for new stuff tho because unfortunately this is the system we are working in

  11. Halden on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 4:37 pm
  12. I disagree (respectfully, as always) – funding for the “waterfront” is an existing City commitment. There is a big difference between incremental projects and substitutional projects, and we shouldn’t let the city get away with using this money for substitutional projects. This money is mitigation by the City for the environmental impact of the sewage plant on the neighborhood, and any money from this settlement should be in addition to what the city should already be doing. The boathouse provides waterfront access (which is not just a boathouse – it includes a new esplanade/bulkhead connecting Manhattan Avenue street-end park with the (someday) waterfront esplanade to the south) where there isn’t any and (more importantly) where none is currently planned. If we spend this money on Bushwick Inlet, Barge Park, etc., we’re letting the city off the hook – they’ve already promised those things!

    Yes, our existing facilities need to be maintained and upgraded, but that shouldn’t come from this pot of money. Likewise, I disagree with OSA that the money should be going to fund ongoing park projects – particularly projects in McCarren. OSA is raising a lot of money, and the city has promised a lot of money – that should go to existing parks projects. This should go to something new (and something closer to the point of environmental impact than McCarren Park).

    There are a bunch of other projects that are incremental, and (like the boathouse) close to the sewage treatment plant – we should vote for those (I think you get to pick 5). And, we should be fighting to get the city to live up to its past commitments.

  13. missheather on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 4:54 pm
  14. Ah, Halden! Well reasoned as always. You, Diamond Joe and I all agree that the city has been anything but stellar when it comes to maintaining the extant facilities here. One such example that comes to mind is the comfort station that once graced Barge Park. It fell into disrepair and was scrapped. Now we are looking at spending over $1,000,000 dollars and are still waiting for this to happen. As for the (rather modest) park at the end of Manhattan Avenue: it took about two years to make that happen (and by the way, the Parks Department did not open that park: someone (NOT ME) got VERY drunk and tore down the fence) and even then the railing is still not up-to-spec. It would seem to me then that we should not entrust any job of sizable scope (such as the Boat House) to our fair city. To expect the outcome to be any different this time around is insanity. I say we give the city a gold fish and if they can take care of that then we will discuss letting them have a puppy. In a manner of speaking.

    There are undoubtedly a number of very worthy and viable projects to be voted upon. I am simply not for this one. As for these funds being utilized at/near the affected area, what about Maspeth? I’ve strolled along the water front over there and believe you me it is NASTY! Just a thought.

  15. Diamond Joe on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 5:08 pm
  16. Talk about waterfront access that needs improvement – I wish they could widen the ped/bike path on the Pulaski Bridge with this money! Sorry to bring that one up again

  17. missheather on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 5:10 pm
  18. I’m 110% with you on that one! That is a very needed project which would benefit folks on BOTH sides of the creek!

  19. Halden on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 5:13 pm
  20. I’m honestly not sure who would “do” the boathouse – I don’t think that it would be the city building it. For what that’s worth.

    By the way – have you seen the Green Eggs project?

  21. missheather on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 5:14 pm
  22. Does it come with ham?

  23. missheather on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 5:37 pm
  24. In all seriousness, I know what they are Halden. (But thanks for sending me a link!)

    Otherwise, Diamond Joe you have actually helped me finesse/achieve focus regarding this whole affair: I want to see practical, utilitarian projects implemented. While expanding a ped/bike path might not be as sexy as a boat house, it is needed. BADLY!

  25. nobikesonfance on Wed, 1st Dec 2010 11:52 pm
  26. It would be cool if after I got back from work I was able to “get to the waterfront” in Greenpoint or Williamsburg for that matter.

    How much would it cost to be able to do that?

    Most the waterfront is fenced off and the existing few crappy tree-less “parks” they have close at dusk.

    In order to access any type of open park area after work you have to either walk to that park(ing lot) across from LIC or walk all the way to Grand Street in Williamsburg.

    I guess there’s always a wire or fence cutter.

  27. missheather on Thu, 2nd Dec 2010 12:51 am
  28. @nobikesonfance: It would be cool if after I got back from work I was able to “get to the waterfront” in Greenpoint or Williamsburg for that matter. How much would it cost to be able to do that?

    A lot more than $6,000,000. Yes, $6,000,000 because after the City Parks Foundation and OSA dip their respective hands into the cookie jar ($7,000,000) that is what will be left. Chump change.

  29. SpillConspirator on Fri, 3rd Dec 2010 12:52 am
  30. The boathouse is a good idea, because it’s part of a larger project to create an esplanade where there would otherwise be none. GMDC has been a very active and very necessary part of the Newtown Creek Alliance. I think it’s wonderful that they are willing to open up their property so the community can have some additional waterfront access.

    However, in my opinion, the better project is the Greenpoint Monitor Museum project. The Monitor Museum property is located on the Bushwick Inlet. As many of you know the Monitor Museum is in danger of losing property to the City by emminent domain. It’s the reason they havne’t been able to raise funds to create a Monitor Museum on the waterfront. By being a chartered Museum, that property belongs to this community, not the City.

    If the MM is able to make the property safe for public use, they would be able to start running events there and start working toward building the actual museum. Voting for the museum is like voting against the City and their greedy practices that have gotton this community nowhere in terms of open space. The MM got my first vote.

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