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:

NYDNsc

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

Mark Your Calendars: Stop The Towers

November 30, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Stop The Towers

NYPOscreencapNew York Shitty has a counter-proposal/suggestion:

Why not remind Steve “I often spend a half-hour or more looking for a parking spot in Greenpoint [where he lives], and at this point, I think I’m just going to pay for a garage.” Levin that his parking troubles are only going to get worse when those towers go up.

Quicklink: Live From The Department Of City Planning

October 16, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Wed Oct 9 Public Hearing

Those of you who missed last week’s hearing at the Department of City Planning regarding Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street, do not despair. It’s online! Point and click your way here. And download this:

screencap

Start at 6:08. Here’s a general outline:

  • Jack Hammer of HPD outlines the affordable housing component. A Q & A session follows.
  • Melanie Myers, representing Greenpoint Landing Associates, speaks.
  • Lisa Gomez, a partner in this endeavor, speaks.
  • 34:59: Speakers against speak. I found Laura Hofmann’s and the most awesome speaker ever, Nancy, to be especially compelling. They speak sequentially starting at 1:02.06  .
  • Speakers in favor speak start at 1:11:43. Of particular interest to yours truly was the testimony of Adam Perlmutter. He was, after all, the attorney George Klein/The Park Tower Group hired to push for the 2005 Rezone in the first place. I wonder if he’s back on the “payroll”— so to speak?

 

Live From The ULURP Review Meeting: Greenpoint Landing Presents

September 18, 2013 ·
Filed under: 11222, Gentrification, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

It certainly took long enough, but here is the presentation and comments regarding Greenpoint Landing from last night’s hearing. Enjoy!

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.

Quicklink: BQ Brew

BKbrew

 

A compelling piece about the ten tower development slated to grace Greenpoint’s waterfront. Yours truly found it compelling that, for example, George Klein (the fellow behind this endeavor) made a$2,500 campaign donation to Christine “Bloomberg’s Fourth Term” Quinn’s Mayoral campaign. Do take a moment and give this a read!

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.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Helicopters?

Shashi writes:

know anything about those incessant helicopters over greenpoint from 6-7:30 in the morning? traffic copters? how does one complain about them?

Truth be told Shashi, I am not 100% clear on what your recourse is. However if you are writing in reference to the helicopters flying around the waterfront this morning methinks I can give you answer. I have it on very good intelligence that our very own Mayor was in the far north Garden Spot conducting some kind of dog and pony show which we will undoubtedly be subjected to in the near future. I am certain the message will (more or less) be:

Everything’s just great!

Had our fearless leader bothered to actually step out where the common peasants live he would quickly ascertain things most decidedly are not.

gunman

Looks like the natives are getting restless.

swastika

I hate Greenpoint Nazis.

Some of my colleagues amplifiers in the print media might have noticed I have given no indication whatsoever as to where either of the previous items are to be found. You can rest assured they are in Greenpoint and the lack of naming their specific locations was no oversight on my part. If you are going to earn your livelihood plagiarizing my work I’m going to make good and damned sure to make you work for it.

Now that I have undoubtedly sent a pack of hack reporters scurrying around the Garden Spot looking for Nazi lamp posts*, do you have any advice, dear readers as to how Shashi should handle her noise problem? My educated guess is she needs to call 311 and file a complaint with the Department of Environmental Protection.

Miss Heather

*Oh yeah— if think you’re being clever by referencing the comment Tony left on this post:

This is much better than the swastikas I’ve been noticing on lamp post bases lately… just saw another today on Nassau @ Russell.

You’re not. As of 3:00 this afternoon there were no swastikas whatsoever to be found at this location. My guess is (given the police presence I saw there) they had been made note of and removed. Happy hunting!

OSA Chief Faces Criticism: Rebuttal

Last week was a hectic one for yours truly. Pet-sitting, work, Photoshop phreakiness, life: the list goes on and on. But at long last I have the time and energy to share my thoughts about the following which hails from Brooklyn11211.

brooklyn11211

If you point and click your way to this post (which can be done by clicking on the above image) you will learn that Brooklyn11211 is addressing the recent reporting by Aaron Short of the Williamsburg Courier. What was of particular interest to yours truly is the embedded link for “Its (sic) not a sell out”; this directs the reader to the (admittedly rather vitriolic) post I wrote last Thursday.

BDE31609My colleague down south is right: the fact the Executive Director Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn (henceforth referred to as OSAnb) gets just over half her salary from the city is not a “sell out”. It’s a buy out. There is a difference. Prior to being put on the city’s payroll Ms. Thayer was one of the most vociferous parks advocates Williamspoint had. As I understand it, she was a real pain the city’s butt. So they made a move that was downright Machiavellian in its brilliance: they hired her. It’s much more difficult to bite the hand if it is (in part) feeding you.*

Do I think Ms. Thayer sees it this way? No. I believe she believes (just as Brooklyn11211 does) that by being a Parks Department employee and the Executive Director of OSAnb she can and will be an “inside player/spokesperson” on the behalf of our community. I, on the other hand, do not.

Before I proceed I want to make it clear my opinion is not informed by a degree in architecture or landscape design; experience in public administration (although I have considerable experience with facilities management) or by being a Williamspoint “power player”. It is grounded purely by observing human nature.

I do not blame Stephanie for not “thumbing her nose at the Mayor”, e.g.; limiting attendance to the Bushwick Inlet Park “groundbreaking”. Just like the rest of us she has bills to pay. To be overtly critical of her employer will jeopardize the roof over her head. Who in his (or her) right mind, in these times, would do such a thing? (All I can’t understand is why Steve Hindy was given a shovel— but we’ll get to that in a bit.)

But this doesn’t make the conflict of interest any less troubling. The fact of the matter is one person cannot serve two masters. In this respect I find the 51%/49% breakdown of her salary very instructive; as a Parks employee she is, in fact, working for us. The taxpayers.

It’s the other 49% I worry about. Aaron Short writes in this article:

After a long day of contemplating North Brooklyn’s open space problems and navigating the intricacies of city bureaucracy, a community leader could be forgiven for wanting an ice cold beer. And as neighborhood power players expressed their doubts about the purity of the organization’s motives, now might be a good time to grab one.

Fortunately, Open Space Alliance (OSA) Chairman Steve Hindy, also the owner of the Brooklyn Brewery, doesn’t have to go very far. He originally founded the Open Space Alliance (OSA) with Adam Perlmutter and Joe Vance in 2002 as a way to buy the Bushwick Inlet (North 12th and Kent streets) for public use. (Not the case: OSA incorporated in January of 2003. Here’s a jpeg of their paperwork. It lists the founders as follows: Joe Vance, Steve Hindy and Norm Brodsky. For the curious— or incredibly bored— here’s a jpeg of their Registration Statement on file with the State Attorney General’s office. It too dates to January 2003— and lists Joe Vance and Steve Hindy but now Adam Perlmutter is listed as OSA’s Secretary. Fascinating. — Ed. Note.)

Those plans stalled that year when Motiva, the company that owned the site, was reluctant to sell. So, Hindy and the board turned their attention to raising money to maintain McCarren and McGolrick parks and create new open space in North Brooklyn on street ends along the Williamsburg waterfront…

Let’s deconstruct this. You have a lawyer (Perlmutter) who is on record in this article from NY1, dated April 4, 2005:

…But protestors say the incentives come with no guarantees.

It’s not enough to just tinker with this plan, said City Councilman David Yassky. We’ve got to just start over and get a much better plan; one that’s for the neighborhood, not the developers.

So far, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and the local Community Board have voted down the plan, while the City Planning Commission voted last month to approve it. Now it’s moved on to the City Council, and all sides want to be heard.

Without rezoning we will have power plants, transfer stations and industrial uses that will forever close the door for our community to recapture its waterfront, said community activist (and hired representative of Greenpoint Landing LLCwhich would very much like to develop the Greenpoint waterfront*— be sure to watch NY1’s video to hear him say just this— it’s a HOOT!) Adam Perlmutter.

In the clarity that is four years hindsight I suspect most of us agree that David Yassky, Perlmutter, and Markowitz have done little for “the neighborhood”— but plenty for developers. As for Joe Vance, entrusting an architect to be a community advocate in neighborhood facing a radical residential re-zone is sort of like asking the fox to guard the hen house. From the New York City Campaign Finance Board Database:

joevance

And last, but hardly least, Steve Hindy:

HINDY

As you can see Mister Hindy, a resident of south Brooklyn, President of Brooklyn Brewery and “co-founder of OSAnb”, has seen fit to donate $100 to Evan Thies’s campaign. Which brings me to the following (as gleaned from the aforementioned article from the Williamsburg Courier)…

“So far OSA is not on a track yet, said one CB 1 member who wished to remain anonymous. “They’re negotiating contract deals for concerts and that’s not what an open space organization should be doing. This was always my fear as they were setting up the organization.”

Julie Lawrence, a longtime Williamsburg resident and Neighbors Allied for Good Growth organizing committee member, believes that the relationship between OSA and the Parks Department has benefited the city (and businesses, including the Brooklyn Brewery, which are have received or currently have concession rights at the aforementioned events — Ed. Note) more than the community.

“It’s not about raising money for the parks. It’s about raising income for the city,” said Lawrence.

The nonprofit has not released an annual report or formed bylaws, (Not true: Ed. Note. You can read them by clicking here.) despite bringing in donations and revenues of several hundred thousand dollars per year and retaining two full time staff.** According to figures released from OSA board members, the largest contributor to OSA last year was Assemblymember Joseph Lentol (D, Williamsburg), who allocated $50,000 in state funds***

Councilmember David Yassky (Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights), also chipped in $10,000*** and Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office contributed $400,000 through OSA for renovations to Rodney Park.***

In terms of expenditures, the largest expense has been the stage built for the Pool Parties series that OSA co-sponsors with JellyNYC, a music promotion company. Last year, it cost $600,000 to put on shows at McCarren Park Pool, though the state and OSA will split expenses for the summer’s Pool Party series on the East River.****

OSA also pays for the salary of two full-time employees: Executive Director Stephanie Thayer, who makes $80,000 per year, and Julia Morrow, an assistant director as well as contributes to maintenance costs such as the resodding of park ball fields and refilling garbage bags and soap in comfort stations.

“We won’t spend money until receiving input from the community committee”, said Thayer, (BULLSHIT-***– Ed. Note.) who added that they are currently working on their first annual report. “We recorded a long list of complaints at last fall’s OSA general meeting.”

The primary role of the OSA Board is to raise money. Board members are expected to contribute about $3,000 each, making for a total of $35,000 per year, and help host fundraisers, such as a recent soiree held at a Williamsburg apartment tower that netted $1,300 $13,000.

“We’re working to build the board,” said Hindy, who would like to add eight more board members to the current 12. “I think the effectiveness of OSA will depend on the extent that the community supports it.”

What do you mean by “community”, Mister Hindy? The people who actually live here (the last I checked the median income for a family of four in Greenpoint was ~$36,000 a year) or business owners who can outlay $3,000 a year in dues? Methinks the type of “community support” you seek is a plutocracy.

Which brings me back to Brooklyn11211‘s post. He wrote in closing:

Happily, we have other groups that can fill the advocate role – and keep the City (and OSA) honest (NAG).

parksandrecTHUMBFirst off, why should we, as citizens, have to belong to/rely upon a community group to keep our civil servants honest? When I write this I mean no disrespect whatsoever for NAG— they are doing some great stuff. Rather, what I find most curious (and disquieting) is the omission of any mention of Community Board 1 in Brooklyn11211‘s post. Given that one of the writers for this blog is on CB1.

CB1’s members are ostensibly the representatives of this community. As you will notice in the screencap to the left they have a “Parks & Recreation Committee” and Evan Thies (who is running for City Councilman in the 33rd District) is member. I wonder what they have to say about all of this?

I for one would love to know. If anyone from Community Board 1 is reading this and would like to give his (or her) take on the previous please email me at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Whatever you tell me will remain anonymous.

Miss Heather

*Per the Village Voice article entitled “Super-sized Williamsburg on the Way” dated April 26, 2005:

“There is no way that you can say that 40-story towers have anything to do with the existing character of the neighborhood,” complained Stephanie Thayer, a member of the North Brooklyn Alliance, which has been battling to scale back the development.

And yet, four years later, she poses next to the developer poised to build a 40 story tower in Greenpoint and the City Councilman who enabled it. Because they gave chump change to make a mural.

**Why isn’t this org. being audited?

***These figures have since been revised. Upward. Check out the Williamsburg Courier for the 411.

****Which brings me to a tale of two dog runs. A donation was made with the expectation it would be shared. It didn’t work out that way. Although once promised— and much discussed—- the money was used for one. If McGolrick can get $13,000 for a new fence why has been McCarren been relegated to getting sloppy seconds from Sternberg? And $500 to be given to volunteers as “thanks” for assembling said fence— which has not, in fact, been assembled. One such volunteer is the Executive Director of OSA’s brother. His qualification(s): taking a welding class.


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