From The New York Shitty Inbox

Per a tipster.

A tee for Greenpoint600

It would appear Brooklyn Industries is either unaware that GWAPP ain’t what it used to be— or is shilling the same old t-shirt with the same old premise:

We fought the power plants and won!

If GWAPP was/is “winning”, why did this come to pass? And why does someone charged with appointing new board members behave in this manner? (start watching at 5;00)

I harbor a downright Darwinian attitude when it comes to “community orgs”. Simply put: if GWAPP is failing it is because the leadership has failed the community. GWAPP failed, shuffled the deck and now GWAPP 2.0. (which should not be confused with its predecessor), in its infinite wisdom, is going to charge former board members to appoint new ones. Exactly how this is going to create a different outcome is a mystery to yours truly. In any case GWAPP or whatever one wants to call it) is a one trick pony. They fall back on the power plant fight because, quite frankly, that’s all have.

And of course my personal favorite:

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You gotta love this kind of hypocrisy. Be sure to thank GWAPP— Adam Perlmutter, Esquire— in particular, when they start piledriving at Greenpoint Landing. That should work wonders for the air quality ereabotus. Is this worth a t-shirt? Really?

P.S.: Melinda Katz, you took a shit on my community. I have returned the favor— via a snow globe!

Queens id for lovers 600

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Dissent

The ball is in your court, GWAPP…

Quicklink: Williamsburg Greenpoint News + Arts

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Please take a moment and give this tome a read, gentle readers. It is well worth the time!

Quicklinks/From The New York Shitty Inbox: Smoke & Mirrors

February 5, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

QCSCsomethingstinksMany of you who read this site are undoubtedly aware that my post (dated January 29th, 2014) announcing the new location of the Greenpoint Boathouse (51 Ash Street versus the proposed and approved location at the Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center) has precipitated quite a reaction online. Follows are a few of the latest— in chronological order:

Queens Crap’sSomething reeks at Newtown Creek (and it isn’t the water)!” was posted January 30th, 2014.

GWAPP (Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning) saw fit to post a tome on January 31st, 2014.

The North Brooklyn Boat Club followed suit in an eerily similar fashion February 1st 2014.

And lastly A Walk in the Park tendered their two cents February 3rd, 2014. This can be read here.

The previous is probably (hopefully) “old news” to many of you, gentle readers— but it makes for an excellent introduction/segue to the content of this post. Read on: you will undoubtedly find it fascinating.

In the elapsing time since I shared the “good news” about this endeavor I have been asking myself a lot of questions. Foremost among them: exactly who comprises “GWAPP” nowadays? Perhaps we should first look at their member organizations? I was advised to do this by a tipster.

He/she wrote:

…In short, there may be 10-12 actual small organizations on that list.

This may very well be the case. But let’s review a few I have highlighted in yellow. FIRST UP: Greenpoint Property Owners Inc. This is their listing per the New York Department of State’s Corporations Database.

No registered agent is listed. No worries. That’s when the Department of Buildings comes in handy! Here’s what I found looking up 173 Meserole Avenue:

Christine Holowacz.* Now let’s proceed to the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Here’s their registration per the New York Department of State’s Corporations Database:

Once again, no registered agent is listed. But the address listed was helpful. Thanks ACRIS!

Now we have Dewey Thompson.

And to make three: the North Brooklyn Development Corporation. Here’s their listing per the New York Department of States Corporation’s Database:

As you can see there’s no registered address or agent for this corporation. So the Department of Buildings and ACRIS are not helpful. No worries: I know who the Executive Director is— because he loves to talk to reporters!

Alas, all I can offer (as a lowly blogger) is a handful of comments which (because I demand registration) appear to be authored by the “owner” of the email address for GWAPP: GWAPP (at) aol (dot) org:

The “author” is “RICHM”. Hmm.

Now let’s proceed to the present Board Members of GWAPP. Hang on folks— I am getting to something!

  • We have established that former/non-extant “member organizations” of GWAPP are still listed on their site.
  • Yet new “members” have been added. One example is Jen Aull of the Greenpoint Reformed Church. She is presently on GWAPP’s Board. So it is logical to presume some updating of this site is being conducted.

This brings me to the second tipster email I received. This person (whose anonymity I had to assure so as to get the “low down”) advised me to look at the by laws for GWAPP. They do not offer them on their web site— or much of anything in the way of information after 2005. But being the daughter of an accountant, whose father was also an accountant (it runs in the family), and a little help from a friend, I did find them! One need only look at this tax return, enter the “EIN” (11-3627884) here and hit enter!

Among the allegations this tipster made are:

  1. This person was not aware of what was happening regarding the “Boathouse “Project” until it was brought to his/her attention by a third party. Via my site.
  2. This same person was not advised of GWAPP’s “position”/”involvement” regarding The Greenpoint boathouse. Rather funny given this person is a GWAPP board member.
  3. “GWAPP” has not been compliant with its own by laws. For years. For example, they’re supposed to have quarterly meetings (open to the public) and board members are supposed to be voted upon each and every year. Do any of you, gentle readers, recall this happening? I do not. It is one thing to keep the “hoi polloi” in the dark about one’s activities— but GWAPP’s own board members as well? That’s rather shitty.

NOW let’s look at who is on the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund Community Advisory Committee. The members who have the ability vote for a project to receive Exxon Mobil “settlement” money. Did I mention this “process” is being managed by the North Brooklyn Development Corporation? Well, I just did.

Note Gina Argento is on this panel. She was added last summer:

Other Business. CAP Recruitment. Filip Stabrowski, NBDC, announced the addition of four new CAP members: Gina Argento of Broadway Stages, Heidi Shea Springer of Greenpoint Gardens, Joanna Micek an Independent Consultant, and Ronald VanCooten of LaGuardia College. This brings the total number of voting CAP members to 15.

Don’t take my word for it: read it for yourself,

Now let’s consider a few things. First this. It comes from GWAPP’s very own web site:

So they fight against the processing of waste/garbage— IN GREENPOINT. Then why, may I ask, are they/the North Brooklyn Boat Club (hard to tell the difference) “partnering” with folks who were on the business end of a rather damning decision by the Business Integrity Commission on May 13, 2013? Among BIC’s fascinating findings were:

  1. Luna Stages (which was discerned to be owned by Tony, Gina and Angela Argento— mind you, they did not offer this information freely and openly) was operating as an illegal “trade waste” facility.
  2. Same-said folks owe six figures in Federal tax liens. (It was originally seven.)

So now our “community leaders” are going to entrust state money, the result of an environmental law suit/settlement, to folks who were found guilty by a coalition of agencies

of— ONCE AGAIN—  operating an illegal “trade waste” station— in GREENPOINT.

Am I missing something here?

P.S.: Happy belated birthday, Alice Cooper!

*whose daughter, Monica, apparently owns a company called “Lights on Brooklyn”. At least that was how she represented herself to me:

Campaign finance records and “local intelligence” say otherwise.

How can an office assistant afford a $4,000 campaign donation? “Lights on Brooklyn” wanted exposure. They just got it. For free.

UPDATE, February 8, 2014: Barge Park Pals/Friends of Newtown Creek Barge Park has since been removed as a member of GWAPP’s “member organizations”. Apparently the person “managing” that “blog” learned this through a “blog”. She closed her “acknowledgment” with (and I quote):

Have a good day.

Passive aggressive much?

New York Shitty Videos Du Jour: And The Vote Is In!

September 9, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Greenpoint Landing

  • Note the Community Board 1 members who trickle in as the proceedings commence. Rabbi Neiderman is one of them.
  • One board member (whose name eludes me) asked about “density”. A very good question— one which was not answered in any meaningful fashion whatsoever.
  • Esteban Duran, Education and Youth chair, asks about the school which will be built. It will be pre-K – eighth grade, but it is ultimately the city’s call.
  • The motion is carried with 4 votes against and 1 abstention.

77 Commercial Street

In news of not the terribly surprising variety, the Community Board (at least the majority of the 37-ish members* who elected to show up) voted in favor of the Land Use Committee’s recommendations. This is not to suggest no one had anything to say. Estaban Duran certainly did. In fact, I’d go so far as to say he asked the question which was on the minds of a fair number of citizens in the room:

Why aren’t we rejecting it outright?

Ms. Teague’s answer was as follows:

I believe if we reject them outright the city will give them what they want.

Conclusion: As is usually the case, much was made about affordable housing. Let’s put it this way, gentle readers: the reason I film this stuff is 1, 2, 5, 10 years down the line folks can go back and watch it. Speaking for myself, I will be very, very interested to see who ends up administering said affordable housing. Especially that at 77 Commercial Street.

If I was a betting woman (and I am not) I’d place my money on Peoples’ Firehouse. As some of you might recall, they were among the neighborhood organizations of whom Ms. Teague mentions as attesting to the need for affordable housing (at the prior Land Use meeting, which can be viewed here). I suppose it is sad that I harbor this level of cynicism— but history lends my prognostication some credence. A great many of the community organizations here, while certainly founded for laudable reasons, seem use these proceedings not so much to reflect the sentiments/interests/needs of the community they represent. Rather, they are a means of getting a “cut” of the action. Thus time is spent debating how many angels can sit on the head of a pin instead of examining “the larger picture” in any meaningful fashion.

And that’s exactly how they want it.

*As opposed to the twenty who answered roll call at the beginning of the meeting. If my memory serves me correctly, this is a new low. For those of you who are wondering, Community Board 1 has 49 members. Yup, we have a chronic absenteeism problem. Perhaps this should be brought to the attention of the:

You can always leave it to good ol’ Community Board 1 for a healthy dose of Kafka— with an Orwell chaser.

P.S.: You can view the Oh-Es-Aye minute by clicking here. It would appear the monetization bubble for the McCarren Park Tennis Courts has been tabled until next year.

Quicklinks: More Coverage Regarding The Rally

September 5, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

pierson

Choice excerpt from the latter most:

…So, how can the 40-story towers in Greenpoint be stopped? The only way to reduce the height and density of the 2005 rezoning is rezone the rezoning. But that is a process that would be extremely difficult assuming that you had a sympathetic administration, and would take years of committed community activism to achieve. A “dezoning” would be fighting against billions of dollars of vested development rights and the entrenched interests of labor unions and affordable housing advocates. These are exactly the forces that came together to make the 2005 rezoning happen in the first place (and others–Domino, for instance). Certainly with the right mayor in office, a waterfront zoning redo is not completely out of the question, but even in that perfect-world scenario, it is a huge lift.

But then there is the question of time. In this best-case scenario, going through the environmental reviews and public review process for such an action would take at least two to three years. More likely, it will be a years-long fight to get to that two- to three-year process. Meanwhile, Greenpoint and Williamsburg will continue to develop, and the community will continue to suffer from growing pains (and, while the 40-story towers make nice lightning rods, the bulk of the density impact of development comes on the 150 or so blocks that are not on the waterfront).

Another idea that has been floated is to challenge the 2005 rezoning using Article 78 of the civil code. Article 78 petitions allow people to challenge administrative decisions made by government agencies–in effect to argue that an agency either exceeded its procedural bounds or refused to act when it should have. But Article 78 is not going to stop towers from coming to the Greenpoint waterfront for the simple fact that the statue of limitations for such petitions ran out almost 8 years ago (7 years and 359 days, but who’s counting?). Even if such a challenge could be mounted, it would be expensive ($100,000 or more), and would be at best, a delaying tactic.

As groups and individuals, we (emphasis mine — Ed. Note) worked very hard (and largely in vain) to get the 2005 rezoning right-sized, and worked very hard (and largely in vain) to get the even-bigger 2010 Domino rezoning right-sized. Those experiences–and many others–have taught us a lot about the land-use process, and why we take a pragmatic (emphasis mine — Ed. Note) approach to the idea of undoing the 2005 zoning…

New York Shitty Analysis:

  • Exactly who/what constitutes “we”?
  • Exactly what constitutes “pragmatic”? I really want to know…

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: ULURP Hearing Regarding Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial Street

August 9, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

CB1sc

 

For those of you who are not in the know next Tuesday, August 13th, a ULURP (Land Use Committee) meeting will come to pass at Automotive High School regarding Greenpoint Landing. GWAPP has pretty good, easily understandable synopsis of the progress of this endeavor. Please give it a read, show up and speak up!

ULURP Hearing Regarding Greenpoint Landing
August 13, 2013 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Automotive High School
50 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Closing on a related note…

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  •  The following Tuesday, also at the Automotive High School, there will be a public hearing regarding 77 Commercial Street.

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  • The following evening, August 21, 2013, we have not only a meeting of the Executive Committee of Community Board 1, but also the “Battle of the Stephens”

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It is proving to be a lively August in the Garden Spot, folks…

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Community Workshop Regarding Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial Street

Given the major implications these projects have for our community, I feel compelled to pass along this missive I received this morning from the folks at GWAPP.

emailblastANNO

 

At a casual glance this seems all well and good, yes? This brings me to the mailing address for GWAPP which I have highlighted— and not too secret fact known by quite a few Greenpointer: the mailing address for this organization is, in fact, that of the very attorney cum community activist who was hired by the Park Tower Group (whose endeavor Greenpoint Landing is) to advocate for the 2005 rezone in the first place.

From NY1 on April 4, 2005:

Here’s another corker courtesy of Amanda Burden.

It provides opportunities for new housing, including affordable housing for a range of incomes, while respecting the scale and mixed-use character that defines these vibrant neighborhoods.

Um, in the clarity that is 2013 hindsight, it did not exactly work out that way— but I digress. Now the New York Daily News on April 29, 2005:

NYDNsc

It also interesting to note this same-said fellow is a board member of Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn— and the Park Tower Group was a “partner” at last year’s $150 a head fundraiser at the McCarren Park Pool.

bigsplash

 

Rather funny/sad/curious, isn’t it? In any case, any and all who are interested in attending this community forum can RSVP by clicking here.

Community Workshop Regarding Greenpoint Landing & 77 Commercial Street
June 27, 2013 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant Visitors Center
329 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

UPDATE, 4:57 p.m.: Oh, I forgot to mention this oldie but goody, also from NY1. It dates from July 29, 2002:

NY17292002hilite

You can read the rest here.

Quicklinks: More Ado About Greenpoint Landing

shitsandwichYou can read DNA.info’s take here (You, go Barbara Vetell!), Gothamist’s here and GWAPP’s (which includes a nice concise list of concerns) here. Do take time to give ’em all a read, Garden Spotters. This “city within a city” has some very severe consequences for our community.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Public Meeting Regarding Greenpoint Landing

shitshowThis comes courtesy of the folks at GWAPP. They write (in their monthly “newsletter”):

Last week, Community Board 1 (CB1) posted an agenda notice notifying residents of an upcoming public meeting on the Greenpoint Landing Project. The project, which will sit on 22 acres of Greenpoint waterfront, proposes ten residential buildings each reaching thirty to forty stories high. In order to begin development on this project, the developers must undergo the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Process) approval, which includes a period of public comment through our local Community Board. From CB1?s agenda posting:

Greenpoint Landing: Park Tower is proposing 4.2 million square feet of mixed-use development on a 22 acre waterfront site in Greenpoint. The City has been working with the developer on the plan, which includes the disposition of city-owned property. It is expected that the project will certify into ULURP summer 2013…

You can (and should read this rest by clicking here. Show up and speak up, Garden Spotters…

Community Board 1 Public Meeting Regarding The Greenpoint Landing Project
Monday, May 6, 2013 starting at 6:30 p.m.
The McCarren Park Recreation Center
Brooklyn, New York 11222

 

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