From The New York Shitty Inbox:

September 17, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Culture War, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 


Choice quote/teaser:

“You know what? Change the laws, because nobody came along and said there were rules and regulations that would allow people to stay in place in their homes in the Polish community here,” Olechowski said. “Nobody’s regulated the rents in this community. Market-rate rents are legal but they’re affecting peoples lives.”

You don’t say, Mr. Olechowski? Speaking as a resident of north ‘Point I have seen a great many people priced out of this community. The Latino population, in particular, has taken a drubbing. Don’t take my word for it— a simple comparison of the 2000 and 2010 Census statistics say it all.


To favor one part of the community above all others is not only illegal*, but it strikes me as craven political pandering. I would also like to note that by designating housing for a specific group/demographic, one is effectively precluding others access. Thus the discrimination being exercised is actually two-fold.

Of course you can’t say I did not see this one coming. I wonder who will administer this special Polish-specific housing? North Brooklyn Development Corporation, perhaps? Yes sir: those ULURP hearings were essentially co-opted by local organizations whose interest is getting a cut of the action be it in the way of parks, affordable housing, etc. The overall health/well being of this community is immaterial. I’ll refrain from using the unseemly word “extortion”. Whoops, I just did.

You can (and should) read this tome in its entirety by clicking here.

*The man doesn’t give a flip about Community Board One’s By-laws or Parliamentary Procedure, so why should this be surprising? Really?

New York Shitty Day Ender: And Now A Few More Words From Chris Olechowski

(And his “friends”*)

Courtesy of a mailer sent to Chez Shitty!

How many folks do you recognize in the following group photo, 50th Assembly District Democrats?

Speaking as someone who calls Mrs. Klementovicz a neighbor (and a friend— the above footage of her being awesome hails from a meeting a few months ago. A meeting, I’ll note at which Mr. Olechowski was not present.) I really have to wonder if she is aware of the claims Mr. Olechowski has been making in terms of his role in the fight against the TGE plant. I doubt it.** In any case, I found the following endorsement fascinating:

I am proud to support Chris because he has always shown the extraodinary ability to bring our community together. — NYC City Councilmember Stephen Levin.

Behold Mr. Olechowski’s “community building” rhetoric for yourself.

(No Comment)

**As of today, August 22, she is. Here is a rundown of what happened:

…just came back from shopping on Manhattan Ave and Irene was strolling by, (For those that don’t know Irene was an activist from at least the 1970’s, she’s 83 now and was one of the leaders that eventually got the Greenpoint Incinerator shut down.) I told her the story that “some one”, leaving Chris’ name out, who was running for political office was taking credit for the TGE battle. She raised her eyebrows only as Irene can and at the end I told her it was Chris and her brows went up another notch. …she told me this story about supporting Chris. Chris approached her for support on environmental issues and Irene asked, “but what did you do?” Chris answered, “I supported you.” I’ll leave it at that…

So there have you.

*For example, this other mailer we received today.

New York Shitty Day Starter: Au Contraire!

As some of you might recall, I posted the above letter a couple days ago. In it Mr. Olechowski asserts that he had a leadership role in the fighting the TGE power plant here some time ago. Simply put, gentle readers, this does not “jibe” with my understanding of how things went down. Wishing to get the skinny on exactly what Mr. Oelchowski’s role was in the fight against the power plant, I decided to post his tome on a few listserves. The responses were almost immediate. The following comes from a very nice, very dedicated activist for our community: Kate Yourke. She has been kind enough to grant me permission to post it here. It pretty much speaks for itself. Enjoy!

Reading this campaign letter from Community Board #1 Chair Chris Olechowski, I am shocked to discover he claims to have “led a coalition to fight against a proposed power plant on the waterfront on the Bushwick Inlet.”

The only power plant proposed for the Bushwick Inlet was the 1100 MW Trans Gas Energy plant, which was opposed by a phenomenal, comprehensive coalition, known as the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Task Force.

The work of organizing this coalition to oppose the TGE plant required the committed focus of a great many community members for over 2 years. From its inception, I served on both the Steering Committee and the Outreach Committee of the GWWTF. I do not recall even meeting Chris Olechowski during this effort.

I also served taking notes and writing minutes for nearly all the GWWTF meetings. Reviewing my notes, the only references I see for Chris Olechowski are as described below.

An email establishing who would receive what level of information, dated 1/1/2002

categories are described as follows:

  • “first-rung email list, based on ongoing involvement and responsiveness to decision-making”
  • “people who have shown consistent involvement in the issues” and
  • “General Task Force email list… (which) receive a monthly update”

Chris Olechowski’s name appears on the third category.

In Steering Committee minutes from 1/27/03 (the following year) the formal structure and committees were reviewed and finalized Chris Olechowski’s name does not appear.

The only places I could find reference to the participation of Chris Olechowski were in a list of targets for outreach, and as a potential volunteer.

The volunteer effort this struggle required was overwhelming. Those who made the commitment to see this fight to the end made tremendous sacrifices to prevent another environmental degradation of this community. I am OUTRAGED to find Chris Olechowski claiming to have “led” this effort.

I would like to salute those members of the GWWTF who did contribute their time, energy and intelligence to the successful defeat of the TGE power plant.

So there have you. I have requested copies of the above documentation from Ms. Yourke. These I should hopefully receive later today. When I do I will post them here. See gentle readers, politics can be fun! In closing (and in the interest of giving credit where it is due) Mr. Olechowski has (albeit fairly) recently spoken up on an issue with serious environmental ramification hereabouts: this being the proposed siting of an incinerator in our community. Skip to 5:52 and see for yourself. It took a little “help”, but Mr. Olechowski did manage to muster the word “incinerator”.

In addition to having a faulty memory it would appear this fellow is also afflicted with the opposite of charisma. But I suppose these qualities are considered to be “leadership caliber material” in some circles. In any case, if you thought watching this video was hard just imagine filming it. If anyone reading this tome is wondering to whom the unseen woman’s voice belongs who said “incinerator” before the Chairman of the Community Board did, it was yours truly. Yup.

Quicklink: Registration Cards?

July 26, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11211, 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Officials from the City Council, the State Assembly, the NYPD, the Brooklyn DA’s office, and the lifeguards’ union joined community leaders at the McCarren Park Pool last night for an under the radar meeting concerning the violent incidents that have marred the $50 million facility’s grand reopening. A well-placed source tells A Walk in the Park that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Assemblyman Joe Lento(l), and Councilmember Steve Levin convened the meeting, during which a proposal was floated to require registration cards for all those who would use the pool… (You can view this article in its entirety by clicking here.)

I wouldn’t exactly call this meeting “under the radar”. I got a tip about it the evening of the 24th. After doing some asking around (and not getting any answers) I decided to email the 94th Precinct yesterday morning.

I never received an answer. Hey, I understand the police have a lot on their plate— but wouldn’t a little transparency on the behalf of our elected officials and public servants be nice? This is a public matter and such a forum should have been, well, public.

UPDATE, 7:17 p.m.: Apparently our Community Board 1 Public Safety Chair was present— among others. Mr. Burrows (chair of said committee) writes:

There was a meeting that started with Steve Levin and Joe Lentol chairing and then Chris Quinn arrived. The sign in sheets were from the Speakers office. The Community Board was represented by the Chair (Chris Olechowski who, it should be noted, is running against Lincoln Restler for 50th Assembly District Democratic Leader), the District Manager (Gerry Esposito) and the Chairs of the Parks (Phil Caponegro) and Public Safety Committees.

Apparently the 50th Assembly District Democratic Female leader, Linda Minucci, was present as well. Notably absent were representatives of OSA (Open Space Alliance), the pool administrator and our Parks Administrator, Stephanie Thayer. The latter was apparently fired from OSA last week. OSA, as well as the Parks Department, are in no hurry to announce this. Perhaps this is because the previous’s contract with the latter expires this fall? Hmm…

New York Shitty Day Ender: Cognitive Dissonance

June 21, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway at Morgan Avenue.

From the Jefferson Street stop of the L train.

P.S.: For those of you who are keeping track this is what this homeless encampment looked like as of May 31, 2012.

On June 8th I was personally assured by our City Councilman, Steve Levin, that it has been taken care of. Taken care of = the homeless have been rousted and the Department of Transportation has added admonishments via neon orange spray paint that trespassing is prohibited. In other words: the homeless problem in our community has not been solved.

Spotted On Manhattan Avenue: Chris Olechowski

June 6, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

(Sort of)

New York Shitty analysis: to my knowledge not too many registered voters in the 50th Assembly District— be they Democrats or otherwise— patronize gumball machines. I fact I can only think of one: yours truly. And let’s just say this fellow will not be getting my vote.

Greenpoint Photos du Jour: Vito Rises

It would appear our Community Board Chair’s run against Lincoln Restler for 50th District Democratic Male Leader has not gone unnoticed by some mischievous soul. Sadly (but not surprisingly) the flier gracing the corner of Green Street and Manhattan Avenue (as seen above) has since been removed.

No worries, someone has seen fit to carpet bomb the bejeezus out of West Street with them!

Go see for yourself, they’re a HOOT!

UPDATE, April 17th, 2012: This person has been VERY busy indeed!

Greenpoint Avenue between West and Franklin Street.

India Street between Franklin and West Street.

India at West Street.

Along the India Street Mural.

Entrance to the India Street Pier.


New York Shitty Day Starter: Dispatch From The Transportation Committee Meeting

I did not attend last night’s meeting. But I received copious correspondence as to what came to pass— and the flood abatement plans (seriously) ended up being the most contentious. Simply put, the peeps at Parks want to plant storm water management gardens (among other things) so as to prevent flooding. This would be fine and dandy if the plans they presented did not obstruct trucks providing wood chips to the adjacent dog run.* But of course it does— and a number of questions followed. Among them:

1. Marie, a stalwart employee of Community Board 1 (and amazing woman), noted that this should have been accounted for in their plans. E.g.; the size of the trucks needed to maintain the dog run’s wood chip needs should have been taken under consideration. But, alas, they were not. Thus, the Transportation Chair herself is going to visit the intersection* in question personally. Which dovetails to…

2.Why hasn’t our Parks & Waterfront Committee stepped up to the plate? This was question was raised. And no clear answers were tendered other than the lack of awareness-raising about the meeting being tossed on the Transportation Committee’s proverbial doorstep and this being considered a “transportation matter”.

I suppose it is to a certain degree— but park space is also implicated. Thus, it is also a “Parks & Waterfront” matter. So why this wasn’t this material being perused by them as well? Perhaps it is because this body’s Chair does not like to listen to… people complain? Nonetheless, other members of Community Board 1 have shown interest in getting involved with this item so I suspect we’ll be seeing some revised plans soon.

While I am tangentially on the subject of parks, I’d like to share the following email:

…I had the opportunity to visit the “No toilet left behind” queen bee toilet seat at the park house. The good news is that it’s still there. The bad news is that the hardware and hinges are damaged because there is a blatantly obvious leak or mini flooding occurring with each flush. If someone gets a video to me, I’ll be glad to attach it to my online complaint form. I attempted to take a video of it, but it failed. But attached is a photo of the seat and some water under the tank. I also attached my 311 complaint for you. It would be a shame for the money & effort to go to waste because of poor maintenance issues.

I designed this toilet seat with a despondent expression on purpose. I mean, would you like the following to be your home?

Nonetheless, I am pleased to report the leaky valve problem has since been addressed. I field-tested the toilet in question personally yesterday. I do not leave my toilet (seats) behind!

P.S.: Other (thrice confirmed) gossip from this convocation: our very own chair of Community Board 1, Christopher Olechowski, is going to run against Lincoln Restler (the latter of which was present at this meeting, the previous was absent) for 50th Assembly District Leader. Mr. Olechowski kicked off his campaigning last weekend when Carolyn Maloney had a meet and greet at McCarren Park (so as to welcome us to her constituency which apparently includes Michael Bloomberg himself— we have arrived!). Here’s how a tipster put it to me:

At today’s meet & greet with Maloney, I learned that Chris O. is going to run against Lincoln. Chris seems to think that I’ll vote for him and had a conversation with others, in front of me, about how Lincoln doesn’t come from here, isn’t one of us, doesn’t understand our needs, and so on. It was very interesting to say the least…

Given Mr. Olechowski seems to require constant coaching from our District Manager (who appears to be sorely out of touch with our needs— or simply passes the buck), this should be interesting.

*Had Parks, say, bothered to actually walk by the dog run they would have noticed this problem. As well as the sign across the street which has added-value in the way of “Penis Pump” and what appears to be a crude rendering of male genitalia. As noted on this site previously and this post.


Live From Community Board 1: Much Ado About Rats!

September 14, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Since I posted this flier on September 3rd I have received a number of missives from residents regarding the rat situation in Greenpoint. Follows is a comment on the aforementioned post from someone who has been personally afflicted by these creatures. We’ll call her “B” and she has killed 36 rats. She writes:

My neighbor put these up–she lives on Calyer near McGuinness. But the problem is rampant for at least a three block radius. There is a network of rat colonies running in between the yards,and it is almost impossible to control since it extends between properties,and goes unchecked in the vacant lots. I live on Leonard btwn Meserole and Calyer–we killed 36 in our yard last summer (we are ok this year, post-an embarrassing Rat Busters appearance, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time). Our neighbor two doors down, next to an empty lot, killed 57 since last summer. The woman who put up the fliers has killed over 20.

At least on our block,ground zero seems to be an empty lot at 689 Leonard Street. Eckford St has a giant lot that is also a problem,and the lovely rat hotel ( As noted by New York Shitty— via a reader— on October 21, 2010– Ed. Note.). I’ve lived here 8 years and last year was the first year we had any trouble–I’ve wondered if some of the recent construction projects kicked up a dormant colony? Not sure,but the strangest thing is the appearance of giant white rats mixed in with the regular Norways (one of our neighbors has pictures).

Despite numerous 311 complaints,nothing changes. I’ve tracked many of my own calls,and they are listed as “resolved,”but I know full well the inspectors never came,or did an extremely cursory job inspecting the property (e.g. if my complaint is about an infestation in a back yard,how can you claim you inspected the property if you never rang the doorbell and don’t have access to the yard??).

But it appears flurries of 311 complaints are our best defense. This is the only thing that the Community Board seems to respond to. So if I might make a plea to your readers–if you do have a similar situation,make many,many 311 complaints. The owners of the property will receive notices and tickets to clean up and seek treatment. Track the numbers and send unresolved/poorly resolved complaints to the community board (info on the flyer above).

And if you have a backyard,please take a look around. I was extremely unpleasantly surprised when I learned that the rats were burrowing underground,with a runway going between our yard and our neighbors,behind some bushes. Look for droppings or suspicious holes and clean up any debris,nesting materials,etc. And whack anyone who puts loaves of bread outside over the head.

Sorry for the long post. Rats make you crazy….

Then came the emails. Most were from reporters wanting to know if I had heard from people afflicted by these varmints. The answer is a resounding “Yes”! A lady we’ll call “A” writes:

Hi Heather,
Thanks so much for posting the rat flyer on your excellent bog New York Shitty.
My boyfriend and I moved to Greenpoint last June. At that time there was no rats that I saw. It was not until August of last year that an infestation began to occur. The problem was so bad that large rats were seen scurrying down the sidewalks—during the day. We caught 28 rats last year–that lasted from late August until the cold hit (October-November). My neighbor caught over 30 last year and the guy two houses down caught over 50–all in the months of (August-November). Some of these “little” fellas have infiltrated neighbors houses. This spring I caught so many I lost count, my neighbor kept a log. I do not recall how many he has caught thus far but the number is substantial. I was away for the entire summer…my boyfriend is scared of rats, so he just kept out of our lovely little yard this summer. We have called the city numerous times.  The response has been minimal at best.
We have been working as a community to try and rid this area of rats. It is difficult though. The beauty shop on the corner of Calyer and Leonard sweeps away daily doses of excrement left behind by these vermin. These lil bastards are smart. They quickly learn how to maneuver traps and are virtually immune to bait. People need to keep the streets clean and dispose of their garbage in receptacles that are rat proof.
Thanks for your post.

Then I received correspondence from a lady named Jeanette Mocko (who provided me the “visual aids” and “rat log” which grace the beginning of this post). She made it known to me that she was going to speak at this evening’s Community Board 1 meeting. Naturally I made it a point to attend. And speak Jeanette did; albeit after providing Chairman Olechowski and his fellow board members with some rather impressive dossiers documenting her Greenpoint rat experience!

So now I suspect you, gentle readers, are wondering exactly what is being done to treat this problem. Chairman Olechowski did— and 50th Assembly District Leader Linda Minucci gave him the low-down.

So there have you. You call the city to complain about rats. They send out an inspector. If the inspector finds evidence of rats on your property you get fined. Nice…

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