From The New York Shitty Inbox: Failure To Communicate

March 14, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

D writes (again):

Hi Heather,
Thanks so much for working to keep the community updated! The signs said the detour would start on/about March 12, today, but nothing seemed to be different this morning. Would be nice to know exactly when the change will happen.

Well, the word on the street is construction is set to commence March 19th. It is interesting to note our Transportation Chair, Karen Nieves, was not alerted to this rather useful piece of information until last night. Not only did she voice her displeasure with this turn of events at last night’s Community Board meeting, but she is planning on organizing a public forum next month which will (hopefully) include our local elected officials. When I get the date/deets I will post them here.

Photo Credits: Special thanks go out to Holly Wilson for giving me permission to use these photos.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Changes…

March 11, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A person we’ll call “D” writes:

Hi! Have you seen the detour alerts by the b48 bus stops? It wasn’t able to snap a picture this morning, but it looks like they will be repaving Nassau Ave and detouring the b48 to Norman Ave from March 12- Fall 2012 – yikes!

Have you heard any details about this plan? thanks!

This project has been in the works for some time. In fact I attended a presentation regarding it some time ago. However, I wanted the most up-to-date information and to this end asked our the Transportation Chair, a very dedicated lady named Karen Nieves, for the more information. She delivered. The following material will (hopefully) clear up any confusing regarding:

  1. The scope of the work is being done.
  2. Why it is being done.
  3. Who is doing said work. And most importantly of all…
  4. Who to complain to!

Without further ado here we go!

 

NOTE: a number of my fellow citizen have voiced interest in a hearing being conducted so as to gain a better understanding of this project and voice their concerns. If and/or when one is scheduled I will post the details here. In the meantime I hope this was helpful, D!

An Update Regarding The Proposed Reconstruction Of Nassau Avenue

April 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

It took awhile to upload, but here it is: footage from this week’s meeting regarding the proposed overhaul of Nassau Avenue set to commence this upcoming spring. While this may of limited interest to many of you, dear readers, I strongly encourage you to pay attention to the last two videos. These are in regards to proposed traffic calming measures at the intersection of Nassau Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard. Among other things you will learn our very own “Boulevard of Death” is in the 99th percentile for pedestrian accidents/fatalities. Without further ado, here we go!

Video I: Introduction & Presentation

Video II: Conclusion of Presentation, Question & Answer Session Commences

Video III: Q & A Session, Continued

Video IV: Q & A Session, Continued

Video V: Q & A Session, Continued

Video VI: Q & A Session, Continued

Video VII: Q & A Session, Continued

Video VIII: A Presentation From A Representative Of The Department of Transportation

Video IX: Presentation Continued

New York Shitty Analysis/Commentary:

I will refrain from making any statements regarding the reconstruction of Nassau Avenue as I feel the attendees of said meeting did a pretty good job on that front. However, I will tender a few observations regarding the proposed traffic calming measures for the intersection of McGuinness Boulevard and Nassau Avenue.

1. What seems to have been lost by the Department of Transportation is the woeful lack of enforcement of speed limits (30 M.P.H) on the entirety of McGuinness Boulevard. A pedestrian refuge, however nice it may be, is not going to fix this problem or make McGuinness any safer.

2. Stating rather chirpily that you have lived in Greenpoint for five years is NOT going to go over well with a room full of old-school Garden Spotters.  I have lived here for 11 years and speak from a great deal of experience when I write this.

3. The allegation that the traffic counter was spending more time watching the ladies as opposed to 18 wheelers might have more substance to it than I initially realized. Here is how it was put to me by a New York Shitty reader:

…I saw the guy, he was ogling the bikes darting around delivery trucks and beat up minivans. The young lady with the glasses actually counts persons/vehicles.

What can you say? The Garden Spot does have more than its fair share of fetching females! In any case, here is the aforementioned proposal for those you who are interested in learning more about it. You should as this was brought to my attention by Ms. Nieves:

Just want to point out in DOT’s presentation “Alternate Routes” SB Left turn from McGuiness they have Left turn on Meserole Avenue you can not turn left on Meserole. It is Calyer Street that you can turn…

Nice.

Miss Heather

 

REMINDER: Update On Nassau Avenue Construction Project

April 24, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Although I have already posted this item I feel behooved to remind everyone this upcoming Tuesday, April 27, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m. there will be a meeting regarding the proposed upgrades on Nassau Avenue and the surrounding environs. Yes, this includes Monitor Street. A presentation by the Department of Design and Construction is promised. Check it out!

Presentatation by the NYC Department of Design & Construction regarding the Nassau Avenue Reconstruction Project
April 26, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
St. Cecilia’s Church Gymnasium
84 Herbert Street (entrance at 24 North Henry Street)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Update On Nassau Avenue Construction Project

April 11, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


Given the rather acrimonious proceedings regarding this project in the past (lack of communication and the prospect of having one’s stoop lopped off tends to facilitate this kind of thing) I feel compelled to pass along that our inimitable Transportation Chair, Karen Nieves, has arranged a Town Hall Meeting with the Department of Design of Construction April 26, 2001 at St. Cecilia’s Church. At this meeting a presentation will be given apprising residents of any progress/changes made to said project (which as some of you recall now includes the city buying back the demapped strip of Monitor Street between Greenpoint Avenue and Nassau Avenue). Yours truly has little doubt this forum will prove to be no less provocative than its predecessor. Mark your calendars, folks!

Presentatation by the NYC Department of Design & Construction regarding the Nassau Avenue Reconstruction Project
April 26, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
St. Cecilia’s Church Gymnasium
84 Herbert Street (entrance at 24 North Henry Street)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

LAST GASP: All The News Fit To Steal!

I am seriously considering adding this as a byline to my humble blog after having the following turd brought to my attention by buddy across the creek: Queens Crap.

The Crapper writes (in regards to the above colossal piece of crap):

You mean January 25th comes before February 3rd? Damn.

Not according to CBS 2. Follows is a time line of my coverage of this story. Read it and weep.

January 24, 2011: I am tipped off by a reader and compose a blog post to go up at 5:34 EST January 25th. I follow up with Community Board 1’s Transportation Chair, Karen Nieves, to get her take later in the day. She is kind enough to clue me in on the situation and I update my post accordingly. This post was linked to by Brownstoner on January 25th at 8:30 a.m.
January 28, 2011: I am informed of the Community Meeting about said project by Ms. Nieves at 12:38 p.m. I gladly post it at 1:39 p.m.
February 2, 2011: I attend said event, film it and blog it. If you skip to 1:23 in this video (which was uploaded February 2nd) you can see the cameraman from CBS setting up the microphone for the representative of the Department of Design and Construction. The audience asked if it was a public mike. It was made clear this was for CBS. My post was linked to by Brownstoner on February 3, 2001 at 8:30 a.m. and by A Short Story at 10:54 a.m.
February 11, 2011 at 11:37 a.m.: I announce the plan has been tabled and update my post as I learn more details. I made my final update at 3:23 p.m.

And then CBS 2 “breaks” the news (once again) at 7:08 p.m. I have taken the liberty of bringing CBS 2’s “blog amnesia” to their attention via comments.

This has yet to be approved. I doubt it will.

If the wholesale and flagrant editorial vandalism (as coined by Bucky Turco at Animal New York)  of “neighborhood blogs” by mainstream media outlets offends you, gentle readers, I would very much appreciate it if you would follow suit. Seriously folks, this is downright laughable.

Lastly, had CBS 2 actually cared about the facts instead of generating hype (READ: page views) they would have, should have, mentioned the houses on Monitor Street (and the stoops which accompany them) would have been assessed on a case-by-case basis. That’s the general impression I had after attending and filming the meeting on February 2, 2011. In fact, I find most of CBS 2’s “reporting” in this feature questionable. Then again, the truth doesn’t generate page views. Distorting the truth and sensationalism does.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Thanks for reading, CBS 2! I am really enjoying the comments you have seen fit to approve (as opposed to mine). For example, Annie’s charming missive as highlighted below.

It would appear “hate speech” passes muster, but calling your organization out on a crime of the pen, if you will— that being blog poaching— merits censorship. I want to personally thank you, CBS 2,  for providing the final nail in the coffin which contains my contempt for and distrust of televised “news”.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Monitor Street Reconstruction Postponed!

February 11, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I have just received word from Lincoln Restler, our 50th District State Democratic Committee person, that the much-maligned “reconstruction” of Monitor Street has been (and I quote) “indefinitely postponed” by our fair city.

That is all I know at this time. Monitor Street residents, rejoice!

UPDATE, 11:59 a.m.: I have been told by a community liaison at Joe Lentol’s office, Amy Clearly, that the Monitor Street reconstruction project has been postponed for two years and is contingent upon the acquisition of the two demapped blocks between Greenpoint Avenue and Norman Avenue. A press release is forthcoming. Nonetheless, this is very good news indeed!

UPDATE, 3:20 p.m.: As promised, here’s the press release from Assemblyman Joe Lentol’s office!

Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Councilman Levin, Senator Dilan Announce Removal of Monitor Street from Nassau Avenue Reconstruction Project

Monitor Street will be removed until title can be acquired to Monitor Street between Norman and Greenpoint—likely at least two years—and then a comprehensive plan that takes into account the community needs and input will be developed that minimizes any impact on residents

Assemblyman Joe Lentol was just as shocked as the homeowners on Monitor Street between Nassau and Norman when a series of letters arrived at their doors informing them that parts of their homes, usually fences and stoops, didn’t belong to them and might have to be removed.  According to these letters, called “encroachment letters,” parts of these stoops and fences lay on city land and would potentially interfere with the upcoming reconstruction plan.

“It was really upsetting for several reasons, first, some of these fences and homes have been in place for a hundred years and in that time no one had ever been told that their home was encroaching on city land,” said Assemblyman Lentol.  “Second, this is the only block not on Nassau Avenue that is being done, people really felt that they were being singled out.  And lastly, this block just had a lot of improvement and infrastructure work done and doesn’t necessarily need to be torn up again at the cost of people homes, peace of mind, their finances and hundred year old houses,”  Assemblyman Lentol concluded.

Originally the project was supposed to include three blocks, Monitor between Nassau and Greenpoint but because the city doesn’t have title between Norman and Greenpoint it dropped down to one block. “I was gratified to learn today that they will be postponing the project until they can acquire the title to all three blocks which should take at least two years. I also have in writing that when they do undertake work on those three blocks of Monitor street, the work will be done with a plan designed to have as minimal impact on the residents as possible,” said Joe Lentol.  “This gives us plenty of time to come up with a plan that has full community input for the planning and accommodates the needs of the community and their houses.”

“I am thrilled that DDC has postponed their proposal to force residents of Monitor Street to dig up their stoops for street repair work. The residents of Monitor Street deserve all the credit for effectively organizing and convincing the city that the proposed construction changes were not necessary.  I also want to thank my colleagues, Assembly Member Joe Lentol and Senator Martin Dilan, along with CB1, for their leadership role on behalf of the residents of Monitor Street,” said Councilman Levin

Assemblyman Lentol was able to organize a meeting with the Department of Design and Construction and residents of Monitor Street and Nassau Avenue, Councilman Steve Levin, Senator Martin Dilan and District Leader Linda Minucci and CB1.  This sentiment was made very clear.  Assemblyman Lentol followed up with conversations with the Commissioners of DDC and the Department of Transportation expressing the views of the community.

“That block of Monitor Street is beautiful, and that is what I heard over and over again from the residents of that block.  They don’t want their block touched,” said Assemblyman Lentol.  “I am really pleased that we have gotten such a positive outcome and are now able to take our time to work towards a really great plan.”  In conversations with the commissioners of DDC and DOT Assemblyman Lentol was told that the process of acquiring the two additional blocks was likely to take two years, which is when a new Monitor Street Project would begin, but the focus would be on the two industrial blocks with deference  being given to the residential block and impact on homeowners being minimized.

“Also it will mean that we will actually be getting work done on the two blocks of Monitor Street that need it and the one block that is already beautiful we can plan carefully and with deference to the houses that exist.  I am proud to have been able to help these residents and to have worked with my colleagues Councilman Levin and Senator Dilan as well as Community Board 1 and District Leader Linda Minucci towards making this happen. Even more so, I am proud of all the residents of Monitor Street who came out to fight this haphazard proposal and stand up for their homes and their community,” said Lentol.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Live From The Community Meeting Regarding Construction On Monitor Street & Nassau Avenue

It was a full house at tonight’s community meeting— and man, oh Manischewitz what a meeting it was! Naturally I captured the fireworks on video. I’ve cracked open a bottle of wine (it’s much more fun— if less expedient— than aspirin) and have commenced uploading footage. I will be adding it to this post as it successfully uploads— so check back! Teaser: Joe Lentol beating on the table to get the rather angry audience to quiet down and quit shouting. Enjoy!

Introduction by State Representative Joseph Lentol

Part II: Senator Dilan Introduces himself and a Representative of the DDC, Nitan Patel, speaks

  • Mr. Patel explains “Encroachment Notices”* and states that moving forward our elected officials will be notified of said notices.
  • He explains the role of the CCL: Community Construction Liaison.
  • Per Mr. Patel this is a “Federal Highway Project”.
  • Members of the audience are not impressed.

PART III: Mr. Patel rebuts angry Monitor Street residents and explains the surveying process.

  • Mr. Patel explains the ADA requirement and “room for flexibility”.
  • An audience member takes him to task.
  • Per Mr. Patel “We’re working around the stoops and some of the cellar doors— they’re coming out too.”
  • More dialogue about stoops and fences; and Mr. Patel states he has “walked the job”.
  • Why Monitor Street? Why not Kingsland Avenue? (This becomes the rallying cry as the meeting goes on— Ed. Note.)
  • Steve Levin warms up the audience with an informal survey.

Part IV: The Reckoning (Read: Do not F*ck with Monitor Street)

  • Senator Dilan and Mr. Patel go toe to toe regarding the role of contractors in this project.
  • Steve Levin explains why he was late; how this process will impact this community and points out the obvious: why is this “encroachment” a matter now.
  • A Monitor Street resident/expert points out that sewers were replaced 27 years ago. Among other things. (Ed. Note: I love this guy.)
  • The matter of Monitor Street between Greenpoint and Norman Avenue is brought up: it comes to light that this parcel is private.
  • MSR (Monitor Street Resident) keeps hammering away and Mr. Patel gives a visual as to what the fifteen foot curb means.

PART V: Assemblyman Joe beats the table & Steve Levin implores people to raise their hands and speak one at a time.

  • Assemblyman Joseph Lentol points out that Monitor Street between Greenpoint Avenue and Norman Avenue has been de-mapped (READ: not owned by the city) and suggests said stimulus money be used by the city to buy it back and make necessary repairs. This was greeted with much applause.
  • 50th District Female Democratic Leader, Linda Minucci, inquires of Mr. Patel as to whether the aforementioned stretch of Monitor Street was in the initial proposal. He says it was— but since it is not owned by the city they cannot work on it.
  • Mr. Patel shifts the blame to the Department of Transportation.
  • A Greenpoint resident inquires as to how the 11′ 9″ requirements for sidewalks on Nassau Avenue will apply to her mother’s house because it will cut off her stoop. Jeers and dark laughter from the peanut gallery follow. Mr. Patel assures everyone this will be handled on a “case by case” basis.
  • Another DDC representative steps forward and explains the “Encroachment letters”.

PART VI

  • The second DDC Representative continues explaining the “Encroachment letters” and acknowledges that it was not drafted property and distributed to our elected officials.
  • Karen Nieves, the Community Board 1 Transportation Chair, asks why this was not brought to their (her) attention, bemoans the lack of “transparency” and asks for a time-line for this project.
  • A discussion about sewers follows.

Part VII

  • A question about site inspections is raised. Mr. Patel beings up ADA requirements.
  • City Councilman Steve Levin asks Mr. Patel about curb cuts and the fifteen feet requirement. (Ed. Note: the body language in this segment is priceless.)
  • Monitor Street’s expert speaks once again. And Steve Levin once again implores the crowd to speak one at a time.
  • Mr. Patel reiterates that the DDC takes orders from the Department of Transportation.
  • A question is raised about Community Board 1’s role in this project.
  • A complaint is raised about the appropriateness of this project given budget cuts.
  • Taylor of the Brooklyn Kitchen/Meat Hook (and creator of the moniker “Shit Tits”) speaks.

Part VIII

  • Annoying ring tone.
  • A question about getting a stop light is raised. Hilarity ensues.
  • At this point the audience is rather subdued.
  • A fellow Greenpointer asks who will benefit from this project. Mr. Patel assures her she will be happy after the project is done.

Part IX

  • An amusing anecdote about Jewel Street’s street sign is shared.
  • The “Lady in white” finally speaks.
  • State Senator Dilan speaks, Linda Minucci texts.
  • A tentative time-table for this project has been established: April 2011.

Conclusion

  • Senator Dilan and his fellow electeds concur that another meeting with a representative from the Department of Transportation is in order.

Until next time, Greenpointers!

Miss Heather

P.S.: The woman in the pink sweater is Linda Minucci. I recognized her as  the woman “on the flier”. And later as the 50th District Female Democratic Leader. I have lived in Greenpoint for 11 years, attended various and sundry community meetings and have never— ever— seen hide nor hair of this woman until last night. Maybe I’m dotty or when there’s a genuine Greenpoint Auto de fé in effect everyone joins in the fun.

*You can view the printed material available at this meeting— including the contentious “Encroachment Notice”— by clicking here.

From The New New York Shitty Inbox: Community Forum

January 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Remember the post I wrote regarding the widening of the sidewalks on Monitor Street? Well, thanks to our Transportation Chair Karen Nieves and Joe Lentol’s office a community forum has been scheduled for February 2nd! Here’s the 411″ :

ATTENTION: Community Forum on the reconstruction of Nassau Ave

Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, Councilmember Steve Levin, and Senator Martin Dilan will be hosting a community forum on the reconstruction of Nassau Avenue, Wednesday February 2, 2011 6:30PM at Lutheran Church of the Messiah (129 Russell Street) in the Community Room.

Representatives from the NYC Dept of Design and Construction and NYS Dept of Transportation as well as the MTA and 94th Police Precinct have been invited to respond to your concerns.

For further information, please contact Assemblyman Lentol’s office at 718-383-7474

Community Forum Regarding the Reconstruction of Nassau Avenue
February 2, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Lutheran Church of the Messiah
129 Russell Street
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Mark your calendars Monitor Street residents!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Monitor Street (de)Construction

January 25, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Jay (who sent me the above item) writes:

These flyers were distributed to all residents on Monitor St between Nassau and Norman. I’m just a renter so only got to hear about the plan from my landlord. There was an all-block meeting a couple of days ago and it sounds like the people who own property on this block are going to fight this all the way to city hall. I can’t imagine why the city would want to go through with this… if 5 feet of sidewalk are added on each side then the sidewalks will be wider than the street!

Here’s the deal: I do not profess to have any knowledge whatsoever about this kind of thing. However, this does strike me as being a wee bit ridiculous. Follows are two more avenues the folks on Monitor Street should consider:

  • Contact  City Councilman Steve Levin’s (who, it should be noted does not live too far away from the block in question) office. This can be done via email at Slevin (at) council (dot) nyc (dot) gov
  • Keep a watchful on the Community Board 1 calendar— both the public meetings and the Transportation Committee meetings (which are also open to the public!).
  • In closing, I would like it to be known that I have dialogued— albeit via email— with Ms. Nieves on a number of occasions. She is not only very dedicated to addressing the manifold number of transportation issues hereabouts but she’s a really nice lady to boot! Do not hesitate to contact her.

    UPDATE, 10:30 a.m.: Jay has been kind enough to provide some visual aids so as to help us understand what is being proposed.

    UPDATE, 11:39 a.m.: Here’s what our Transportation whiz, Karen Nieves, has to say!

    Dear (excised),

    Thank you for your email concerning the Nassau Ave/Monitor Street reconstruction project.  At my last CB#1 Transportation Community Meeting many of your neighbors attended and has shared your concerns.  We are working with Assemblyman Joseph Lentol’s office to get a meeting with NYC Department of Design and Construction(DDC) to go over everyone’s concerns for sometime in February.

    Please understand this Capital Improvement Project has been in planning stages for many years and the Community Board is not in charge of the project.  We are only advisory and try and mitigate the concerns of the community during the process.

    Although the Community Board does support Infrastructure Improvements in our community we do not support lack of outreach in which clearly DDC has not provided in your case.

    Please be assured we will do everything we can to have all your voices heard and try to get a meeting together with the appropriate agencies as soon as possible.

    In the meantime if you have any questions please contact Mr. Shane O’jar (718) 391-2358 at the NYC Department of Design & Construction regarding this project .

    Miss Heather

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