Quicklink: G Is For Give Us Shuttle Bus Service!

Lincoln Restler, the co-author of this petition, writes:

In the wake of an unprecedented natural disaster, we are greatly appreciative of the MTA’s remarkable restoration of 84% of subway service. Yet we are extremely concerned about the lack of mass transit access for residents along the L and G subway lines. These trains are not redundant – but essential lifelines for hundreds of thousands of Brooklynites.

As we await the draining of these subway tunnels, we hope the MTA will swiftly expand bus service. We strongly suggest implementation of temporary shuttle bus service along the L and G routes to connect stranded residents to active subway lines.

Speaking as someone whose husband required three hours to get to work today*, I wholeheartedly concur. Sign it and share it, Greenpointers!

As opposed to our Mayor: his “commute” was a mere 25 minutes.

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Presenting PollWatch

A lady named Alexis writes:

Hey Ms. Heather,

I thought you’d be interested in this awesome new app being developed for election day and beta tested tomorrow in Lincoln Restler’s race. We need to get the word out, and I thought NY Shitty readers (myself among them) would be just the target audience to take advantage of this 21st century solution to the antiquated election process which can turn off voters. Common Cause/NY (my client), really wants to engage people to use the crowd sourcing tool and help us perfect the technology for a full launch on November. We’re beta testing in only two races: Lincoln’s and the 31st Senatorial District in Upper Manhattan.

Here’s the deal: ordinarily I eschew pitching products on this site. However (and as we have all borne witness), the race between Mr. Restler and Mr. Olechowski is anything but ordinary. So what does this product do, you ask? Well here are two of the most interesting:

  1. Report any/all problems irregularities at polling stations.
  2. Learn where you polling station is located.

Those who are interested (or simply curious) can learn more about this app does by checking out this City Room article. Otherwise you can download this application by clicking here. Regardless, get out and vote tomorrow north Brooklynites!

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Endorsed!

That’s right folks: our Assemblyman Joe Lentol has come forward to endorse Lincoln Restler! Those of you who have the opportunity to do so (and given this is last minute, I suspect there will not be many) should swing by Jerzy Popieluszko Square today thank Mr. Lentol for doing the right thing— and of course show Mr. Restler your support!

Rally For Lincoln Restler
Today, September 6, 2012 at 12:30
Jerzy Popieluszko Square 
Brooklyn, New York 11222 

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Dispatch From 400 McGuinness

As I indicated in an update on this post this “open house” was not, in fact, open to the general public. The reason for this given was (presumably to those who were turned away) that the email I received was incorrect and this was by invitation only. Go figure.

In any case, I know someone who was invited and she was kind enough to tell me a little about what came to pass. A lady named Laura writes:

Hi Heather!
I couldn’t attend the open house, but Mike did. The “open house” was not open to the public. It was by invitation only. Mike took notice that only two elected officials were represented at this open house.  Rami (Metal, Community Liaison for our City Councilman — Ed Note) attended for Steve Levin. And of course Lincoln (Restler — Ed. Note) attended.  No other elected officials attended or were represented. If it hadn’t been for Rami and Lincoln talking to the director, the people who showed up  wouldn’t have been able to get in. That’s including the local business owners. So they aren’t being community inclusive at all. In fact, since Meredith Hoffmann from DNAinfo was late, and didn’t have Lincoln or Rami with her, she couldn’t get in. She was waiting outside when the tour was over.

The things that stuck out to Mike were that this will be on average, a 21 day assessment facility, where clients come after they’ve been to the 30th & 1st intake center. After 21 days of being at 400 McGuiness, clients will be place in permanent shelters. There will be shuttle buses running for clients that will let them off at 21st in LIC, as to not “impact” the community. There will be an advisory board which folks can become part of, only by calling the main #(212) 803-5700 at BRC. You can provide your name and need to make reference to 400 McGuiness. Attached are the handouts that Mike received.

You can view these above-mentioned handouts by clicking here.

TONIGHT: A Drink To Linc

Here’s the 411 per this event’s Facebook page:

Lincoln is facing an exceptionally tough reelection race as State Committeeman / District Leader for Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Fort Greene. Vito Lopez and the Brooklyn Democratic Machine are doing everything they can to defeat Lincoln on September 13, 2012.

He needs your help to raise the resources to get our message out and ensure that every independent minded person comes out to vote. We can win this race, but we can’t do it without your help.

Join us in the beautiful backroom at Bellwether in Williamsburg.

Tuesday, August 21st, 7:00-8:30pm
594 Union Avenue at Richardson Street
L to Bedford Avenue
Suggested Contribution Levels:
$25 – Fan
$50 – Supporter
$100 – Ally
$250 – Partner
$500 – Diehard

Contribute online at http://www.lincolnrestler.org/donate or send check payable to Lincoln Restler for State Committee to 168 Engert Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11222

Special thanks to owners of Bellwether (and Calyer, Anella, Jimmy’s Diner) Blair Papagni and Josh Cohen!

Closing on a (somewhat) related note, the idea has been floated— to a rather enthusiastic response, I’ll add— that a debate be conducted between Mr. Restler and his opponent, Christopher Olechowski. Mr. Restler has gladly acceded to this request. An answer from the latter’s camp has yet to received.
Nonetheless, if/when a date and location are set, I will share it here. If this strikes any of you, gentle readers, as being a good idea why not drop Mr. Olechowski’s an email? You can do so by clicking here. Otherwise, it has been brought to my attention that an online petition has also been created in the hope of making this debate happen. This you can sign by clicking here.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Pedestrian Struck?

A person we’ll call “T” writes today, August 2nd, 2012:

Hi Heather. Do you know where to find a police blotter for S. Williamsburg? Last night, at around midnight, a livery cab hit a pedestrian. Right in front of Legion, Metropolitan & Humboldt. I live across the street and heard the impact. He didn’t move at all (and I thought he was dead) but when the ambulance showed up 5 mins later and he was loaded on the gurney, he woke up and started screaming. I’d like to know if he’s OK and what happened. It sounds like the cab blew the light and nailed him in the crosswalk (I overheard the Legion witnesses giving statements to the police.)

Per “T” the victim was only 3-4 feet from the curb (using the crosswalk) and was thrown into oncoming traffic— on his face, no less— upon impact. This sounds really bad folks. I suspect I speak on the behalf of everyone reading this when I write that my heartfelt support goes to his family and loved ones and I hope he makes a full recovery.

I have contacted our wonderful 50th District Democratic Leader, Lincoln Restler, and am pleased to announce he is looking into what happened. If/when I hear something, I’ll share it here. In closing, I’d like to note this makes the third accident hereabouts in as many weeks. It is the second involving a livery cab. At what point are the powers-that-be going to acknowledge that we have a problem?

UPDATE, 10:21 p.m.: I have been told by an unidentified (but reliable) source that the individual struck was riding a skateboard the wrong way down Humboldt Street and, as a result, was struck by a livery cab. He was (obviously) injured, but survived. That’s good news if you ask me. Whether or not the livery cab was, in fact, running a red light (as alleged) has yet to be determined.

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: McGolrick Park, Worse Than Ever?

In an email addressed to Assemblyman Joseph Lentol’s office, the 94th Precinct’s Community Affairs Office, Brooklyn Parks Commissioner (Kevin Jeffrey), Community Board 1’s Parks Supervisor/Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn’s Executive Director (Stephanie Thayer); City Councilman Steve Levin’s office and 50th Assembly District Democratic Leader (Lincoln Restler), among others a lady named Holly writes today, July 2nd, 2012:

I am writing this as a follow-up to the December 9, 2011 meeting concerning conditions at McGolrick Park.  While it was said that a subsequent meeting would be held in April 2012 to readdress the issues presented, that of course never happened.  And now seven months later, McGolrick Park is in worse shape than ever.

I will try to keep this letter as brief as possible, because I am very tired. . . tired of constantly volunteering and fundraising for a park that is continually destroyed, tired of continually pointing out problems that need to be addressed only to have those concerns fall on deaf ears, tired of being forsaken by the Parks Department and local politicians (with the exception of Lincoln Restler) who obviously do not care about the well-being of the park itself and the community that surrounds it.

I am attaching pictures I took today of the degenerating conditions of the park, and they should speak for themselves, but I would like to make the following important points:

1) The middle entrance on Monitor Street between Nassau Ave. and Driggs Ave. has become a residence for local drunkards.  The area reeks of urine and alcohol and there are copious amounts of garbage and liquor bottles strewn about the area.  They have literally lived in that unmaintained, isolated “meadow” for the past two weeks.  It is disgusting and absolutely unacceptable. (Photos attached. I have taken the liberty of assembling them into a slide show which graces the beginning of this post. — Ed. Note.)

2) The benches at the center of the park have been destroyed for probably the tenth time since the December meeting.  Graffiti is rampant. The Belgium stone surrounding the Monitor statue has been vandalized. The bulletin board has been broken – again.  Garbage is openly thrown around the center of the park by the group of destructive and abusive teenagers that continue to haunt the center of the park.  (Photos attached.)

3) There are trip hazards throughout the park.  My group, The McGolrick Park Schools Alliance, donated and laid 1 ton of new top soil in the spring, filling in several of the larger trip hazards, but many remain.  The other day my 2 ½ year old son was running through one of the lawns and suddenly fell directly on his nose.  It was a large hole obscured by grass that made him fall.

4) Many people of this community blame the seasonal workers for the poor maintenance of the park.  It is true that you can often see these workers sitting in the shack or on the benches.  But let me be clear that the park workers are NOT to blame.  If they are not working to their full potential then it is only because they are not receiving sufficient supervision and guidance.  Moreover, after volunteering with some of these workers I was appalled to discover that they don’t have one functioning pincer and no work gloves – they have to buy their own safety supplies, and that is a travesty.  So I gave them a bag of work gloves which is apparently more than their employer is willing to do.  Also, I want you to be aware that these workers are verbally abused by aggressive teens and drunks on an almost daily basis.  These workers, who literally have to clean the shit of the park, are treated as such, and they are given no support or power to improve their working conditions/our park.  There should be a protocol put in place whereby workers are given the ability to call for police support at even the inkling of being threatened, or as soon as they see vagrants or vandals.

5) As has been true for years, the bathrooms of McGolrick Park are absolutely disgusting.  Parents resort to allowing their children to relieve themselves on the perimeters of the playground rather than risk exposing their kids to the horrible bathroom conditions.  This of course presents another set of health and safety issues.  Moreover, urine and feces from resident drunks can still be found/smelled throughout the park.

6) The center pavilion is in absolute disrepair.  Bird nests have destroyed the woodwork and so much graffiti has been haphazardly painted over that it looks atrocious.

7) I feel it should be known that following the December 9 meeting, and announcing that I would be starting a community group for McGolrick Park, I received a call from park officials “encouraging” me to work with The Friends of McGolrick instead of starting my own group (which would target children and families of our local schools).  In addition, I was told that any police reports concerning the park should be left to Morgan Pehme (Mr. Pehme is the head of the Friends of McGolrick Park Group— Ed. Note) to make.  So essentially, I was being asked to give up my fundamental rights as a citizen to accommodate the needs of others.  Thankfully, I stuck to my guns and refused to work with “The Friends” as I clearly knew from the start that the group was impotent.  To my knowledge they have not held one clean-up or community event within the park, and what is more infuriating is that they were handed $2500 from Exxon Mobil that has not been used or accounted for.  This is money that should have been used for the benefit of our park and community and no one knows where it has gone.

This will be the last time I will reach out to those civil servants who are responsible for maintaining the health, safety, and beauty of our local park.  I no longer wish to see my hard work and energy go down the drain because the people in charge just don’t care.  However, if you are a community member reading this letter and are as outraged as I am, please forward this to others, and contact those officials that this email is addressed to.  Tell them that you agree with these words – maybe then, someone will be held accountable and our park and neighborhood can change (back) for the better.

Holly

Here’s the deal, folks: Holly is not the only concerned citizen who is disgusted with the deteriorating state of this park. It was brought to my attention after last week’s Public Safety Committee meeting by a life-long Greenpoint resident and yet another parks patron has seen fit to do some documentation of her own. Her focus was on public defecation. Without further ado, here are her findings.

I honestly do not know what I can say that I have not said many times before— but I will do so (again) anyway. Until we as citizens, our civil servants and elected officials take up the matter of the homeless (and addiction) problem here honestly and realistically, I do not see anything changing. I was both saddened and disgusted when I happened upon a man who was clearly in need of medical help today in plain view of the McCarren Park Field House and the recently (re)opened pool. The latter of which, not surprisingly, has been receiving a great deal of police attention the last two days.

UPDATE, 6:51 p.m.: There appears to have been another incident at the McCarren Park Pool. Click here for Gothamist’s take.

UPDATE, 7:47 p.m.: Holly gets a response— and responds!

Reader Contribution Du Jour: Saturday At The Park

Stefano Giovannini, who took the above photograph yesterday afternoon, writes:

someone should do something about this… these are the porta potties near the track at McCarren Park. i could not believe. i’d rather pee in the bushes

And, as he later noticed, one parks patron elected to do just that…

This is inexcusable folks. Really.

P.S.: While I am on the subject of north Brooklyn’s crappers it is with sincere displeasure that I note that the Jamie Campiz Playground “ladybug”(which some of you might recall is part of my “No Toilet Left Behind Project”)  isn’t faring very well…

Upon closer examination I noticed the hinge is not broken.

Rather the nut had come loose and instead of, say, simply placing it back it was thrown away.

To be continued…

New York Shitty Day Starter: Live From The Polish National Home…

The Public Meeting Regarding The Newtown Creek Superfund Site

To preface: My footage/documentation of this hearing is truncated because;

  1. I left the battery for my digital camera at home. (Hey, occasionally shit happens at Chez Shitty!)
  2. This meeting, which was scheduled to last two hours, ended up being more or less redundant. E.g.; More or less the same complaints/concerns were raised followed by more or less the same answers. (Thus, I feel a lot less guilty for forgetting my battery.)

Nonetheless, I got the presentation in its entirety along with a few questions from the audience (which, it should be noted, became much more substantial after the conflicting meeting regarding the Nassau Avenue Reconstruction meeting was dismissed). Without further ado, here we go!

Parts I – VI: Introduction & Presentation

Part VII: The Q & A Session Kicks Off

Part VIII: Laura Hofmann Speaks

Part IX: A Bone Fide Old School Greenpointer (and all-around Garden Spot/environmental badass) Irene Klementowicz Tenders Her Two Cents

Part X: A Resident Of Oak Street Speaks

It was at this point I— and my electronics— gave up. However, I did take notes. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. It was asked by one citizen if they (being the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection) have considered posting notices at local fishing supply shops. They stated they were not aware of any. To wit, he replied:

There’s one two blocks from here.

This was met with surprise by the panel of experts present.

2. It was asked if there are any grants available (via the Department of Health) which would enable community groups to conduct a more comprehensive/focused study. The answer was (essentially) “not that we know of”.

3. It was pointed out by a member of the audience— at the Polish National Home (AKA: The Warsaw)— that little to no outreach has been made by either the Department of Health or the Department of Environmental Protection to the Polish community in Greenpoint, viz a viz, through its local Polish language newspapers. It was agreed by the officials present that this was a sterling idea and solicited information as to whom they could contact. Yours truly helped with this endeavor by giving them the contact information for a reporter at this newspaper.

4. Kate Zidar, Executive Director of the Newtown Creek Alliance, reiterated that these meetings are “repetitive” and advised the civil servants hosting said forum to “take notes” in the hope that— moving forward— these convocations (and health studies regarding the manifold number of toxins manifest in Greenpoint) can move forward. Ms. Zidar was advised notes were, in fact, being taken— and this was pretty awesome given the following:

We do not want a “perfect” health study. We want a health study.

Then she followed this statement up with the following bits of data:

  • In January of 2007 the Newtown Creek Alliance sent a letter to the Department of Health requesting a comprehensive health study of the Greenpoint Oil Spill.
  • After a meeting with the Department of Health in March 2008, the Newtown Creek Alliance (which will henceforth be called the “NCA” — Ed. Note) requested (among many other things) that a skilled Community Liaison be enlisted by the Department of Health. This has not happened.
  • After a meeting with the Department of Health in October of 2008 Ms. Zidar notes the map (and I quote) “does not include features agreed upon at previous meetings”. Which, as I intuit, would include a 1/2 mile radius versus a 1/4 mile radius (from which the Department of Health is operating currently) because…
    • a great deal of residential property is excluded by the current demarcations. Thus this current study is more an occupational/workplace study than one of long-term, consistent exposure.
    • Such a study should include/take into consideration other “hot spots” such as the “Greenpoint oil spill” and “Meeker Avenue Plume”. To date, it does not.

 5. The previous was not overlooked by our local politicians*:

  • Among them our City Councilman, Steve Levin (as seen above texting), noted:
    • He resides not only atop the “Oil Spill” but the “Plume” as well.
    • A half-mile radius study should be employed.
    • To merely focus on the creek is to focus on one part of a manifold number of environmental (and therefore: health-related) problems in Greenpoint.
  • Lincoln Restler (whose back can be seen at right) added his two cents. They were basically as follows: This is an ongoing problem. At what point will we get an honest, expanded study (and due process) so future generations of Greenpointers do not experience and/or are afflicted with what our predecessors— such as Ms. Hofmann and Ms. Klementowicz— have witnessed?

If the intransigence and “timetable” I witnessed last night— coupled with Ms. Klementowicz’s piquant observation:

By 2023, we (This being the people doing the complaining at last night’s meeting— Ed. Note.) will be dead.

this will be continued…

*It should be noted a representative of Joe Lentol’s office was present as well. I do not recall her name, but the DOH/DEP panel made note of her arrival.

REMINDER: Greenpoint Neighbors For Lincoln Restler!

May 15, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Just a quick reminder that this upcoming Thursday, May 17th, a rally to re-elect Lincoln Restler will come to pass right here in Greenpoint at Red Star Bar. Check it out!

Greenpoint Neighbors For Lincoln Restler
May 17, 2012 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Suggested Donation: (outlined above)
37 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Those interested in attending can RSVP by clicking here.

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