Spotted At The North Brooklyn Boat Club: Butt Tossing

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North Brooklyn Boat Club July 1 2014 1030 pm nys

Last night the Mister and I decided to have dinner in Long Island City. Since the weather was (somewhat) amenable we decided to walk home. As we were crossing the Pulaski we spied signs of activity at the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Intrigued— because, as we all, a great deal of “educational outreach” is conducted at 10:13 on  a Tuesday night— we decided to hang around see what gives. Clearly they were wrapping up for the night. And then the Mister saw something interesting. VERY INTERESTING.

THIS GUY nys

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This fellow placed an object to his mouth (a kazoo? cigarette?), pulled a drag and proceeded to walk to the floating dock. There he tossed it into the creek. The Mister was flummoxed:

Did you see that? He just tossed a cigarette into the creek?!?

Me: Yes, I saw that. Did you know the North Brooklyn Boat Club was recently awarded Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund money so as to educate bar patrons about how cigarette butts thrown onto the street enter our sewer system and eventually end up in the creek?

The Mister: Really?

GCEFnbbcNYS

 

Really. Perhaps the point they are attempting to make is rather than putting your butt in the street you should simply go directly to the creek a deposit directly? That way you are cutting out the middle man! In all seriousness folks:

  1. With “environmentalists” like this, who needs enemies?
  2. I fail to see why bar owners cannot, will not fund such an initiative out of their own pockets? I mean, it is not like they’re not experiencing a downturn in business or anything. Bars must be doing a nice clip of business. Why else would north Brooklyn have so damned many of them?
  3. I am certain those who were engaged in the lawsuit from whose settlement the North Brooklyn Boat Club received funding for this sterling endeavor are gonna be thrilled to see this.

 

From The York Shitty Inbox: No, Just HELL No….

June 20, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

Laura Hofmann, board member of the Newtown Creek Alliance, writes:

Here’s a few photos I took today at the Nature Walk (on the premises of a sewage treatment plant — ed. note).  didn’t get my camera out in enough time to catch the young man wading. But I did catch the young man throwing a stick out into the water for his dog to catch. People (and pets) aren’t swimming in the creek when they see agency boats around. But it is indeed happening as these photos show. Therefore, USEPA & NYSDOH and other involved agency documents and processes should be reflecting that this activity is happening. And in addition those agencies should raise the bar in terms of water quality expectations.

wheres levin NYSTo wit, T. Ellis Wilkins  (who reputedly maintains the NCA’s website) replies:

I also see a discrepancy in that the EPA survey boats (Anchor QEA) are out on the creek a lot – but almost exclusively M-F 8am to 4pm. But most people interact with the water on the weekends or after 5pm on weekdays – so they are not really seeing the full scope of use. With the boat club, for instance, many people who regularly paddle (right by the Anchor dock no less) may never see the surveyors out on the creek because of this, and vice versa.

So there have you. I can hardly wait to see what the “‘boat club” does at 51 Ash Street The Broadway Stages Boatyard tomorrow. Perhaps they’ll throw a keg or two into the creek to chill? Maybe someone will see Levin and ask him what he has to say about this?

UPDATE, June 22, 2014: For those of you who are wondering, the Nature Walk being being pressed into service as a dog run is not a new problem. I blogged about this phenomenon on May 5th, 2013.

New York Shitty Video & Photos Du Jour: On The Waterfront

Today since the weather is amenable, I decided to see what’s happening in far north ‘Point. After revisiting my favorite urban artifact (as seen above, she can be found on Commercial Street not terribly far from the kitty condoplex) I swung over to the Manhattan Avenue Kayak Launch.

First, I encountered this. I do not know when this happened. But it did.

I was stunned at how many boats were moored, illegally I’ll add, on the Queens side of the creek. I have it on excellent intelligence that yes, some of these boats are being pressed into service as residences. Residences on Newtown Creek. Please take a moment to mull this one over, gentle readers.

I do know when this happened: June 9th, 2013. As you can see it has yet to be repaired. No one seems to know if, much less when, this will come to pass. That seems to be the “Greenpoint Way” nowadays.

I was rather distressed to see this: a tree in a clear state of distress. Onward I walked.

No exploration of the utter absurdity that is the Greenpoint waterfront is complete without a visit to the North Brooklyn Boat Club.

Lest any of you are wondering what this is, it is the “Ed Shed”. The “NBBC” (via Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn— remember the latter handles money for the previous) secured a $25,000 grant for this educational facility. Yes, you just read me correctly. This structure will feature a “Sewer In A Suitcase”, material/date about water quality and various art projects for the edification of school groups.

I found this rather large vessel moored to the west curious— but not as curious as…

this one which is affixed to the premises of the Department of Transportation directly under the Pulaski Bridge. Is this legal? No, it probably is not. While we’re on the subject of questionable legality, 51 Ash Street (the premises of the North Brooklyn Boat Club and the new location of the Greenpoint Boathouse) appears to have an al fresco kitchen…

… replete with a barbecue pit…

and “kitchen sink”.

Note that this fixture does appear to be fully functional— and begs a number of questions:

  1. Where is the water coming from? (Educated guess: 49 Ash Street).
  2. Were the proper permits filed to do this? (Educated guess: No.)
  3. How is it that an “educational facility” located on private property (which is under lock and key) can receive a $25,000 grant (and assistance from our local parks conservancy group) and public park whose fence was seriously damaged ten months ago is seemingly not worthy of attention— much less the funding— required to conduct repairs and routine maintenance?

Anyone?

Mark You Calendars: Newtown Creek Environmental Benefits Progress Meeting

April 4, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

I have no doubt there will be many questions asked at this meeting. If I may take the liberty of suggesting one, it is as follows:

Why did I have to find out the Greenpoint Boathouse (“Boatel”) was relocated from a blog?

Live From The GWAPP Meeting*

Spoiler: the “vote” was eighteen for and seven against. What I found particularly intriguing is one person purporting to represent three different “member groups” of GWAPP (Barbara Vetell, a veritable “army of one”) was allowed to vote three times. That’s “democracy” Greenpoint-style, folks! It makes yours truly yearn for the “old school” methods of Tammany. E.g.; before election day, you grow a beard. You vote sporting said beard. You go home and shave it down to a mustache. Then, you vote again. Then you go home, shave your face entirely and vote a third time. In the clarity of hindsight (and this evening’s convocation), this is downright quaint— and dare I say “cute”— by comparison. It should also be noted that neither Steve Levin nor Joe Lentol (or their representatives) were present at this meeting. I stand corrected:

Part I:

Part II:

  • The matter of GWAPP’s finances are discussed. Pay careful attention to their anticipated funds. They include GERF grants (remember who is in charge of this, readers?)  and money from Councilman Levin.
  • Christine Holowacz announces that a lease is being procured for the Greenpoint Boathouse. Presumably this would be 51 Ash Street.
  • Barbara McGlamery touts that GWAPP’s website got 2,000 a hits a month as of November 2013 but has fallen since.

Part III:

Part IV:

Part V:

  • Del Teague speaks against the new by laws.
  • Barbara Vetell speaks on the behalf of three organizations (and was rewarded accordingly by giving three votes regarding changing these by laws).
  •  At 5:38 you can watch Jens Rasmussen (who later voted on the behalf of the North Brooklyn Boat Club, an ostensible not-for-profit organization**).

Part VI:

  • Two words: WATCH THIS. (The lady who speaks starting at 1:19 kicks ass!)

Part VII:

  • Dewey interacts with a couple of fellow citizens while the “vote” is being conducted. The question being raised is over the addition of new member organizations. What follows is not pretty.

Part VIII:

Then the “transition “team” comes in: Rich Mazur, Barbara McGlamery (AKA: Mrs. Adam Perlmutter) and Trina McKeever will comprise the “selection committee” charged with picking members for a new board. That’s the bad news. The good news: they’ll have a(nother) public meeting later this month— and I have every intention of filming it. Thanks GWAPP 2.0! And oh yeah: those ostensible “member groups” who voted themselves out of a so-called “community organization”, in one case in triplicate, what are they going to get out of this?

UPDATE, March 6, 2014 2:52 p.m.: Looks likes the North Brooklyn Boat Club received not one, not two, but three “GERF” awards. My personal favorite is as follows:

I know. Shocking…

*Or: Darth Sidious manifests himself.

**The North Brooklyn Boat Club is registered with the New York State Attorney General’s Office Database of Corporations. The address listed is Dewey Thompson’s residence. However, as of 3/6/2014, the North Brooklyn Boat Club is NOT a registered charitable organization per the same-said Attorney General’s Charities Database:

Any/all donations to the North Brooklyn Boat Club are handled via Open Space Alliance. Of which Dewey is a Board member. Can you say eating your cake and keeping it too? At $150.00 a person and a two person minimum for a four hour workshop (which comes out to roughly $72.00 an hour) I cannot exactly say I do not understand Mr. Rasmussen’s “interest”. However, it is a conflict of interest. Some people have a problem with that kind of thing. What’s really interesting is the North Brooklyn Boat Clubs’s applications for Exxon Mobil money (“GERF”: which we have established is being handled by Rich Mazur— who will also be part of GWAPP’s “nominating committee”) money are via GWAPP. Once Again: the North Brooklyn Boat Club’s “fundraising” is handled by Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn. Guess what kids, Dewey Thompson is a chair on both GWAPP and OSA!

Hear me, Conflict if Interest Board? Steve Levin? Joe Lentol? Anyone?

UPDATE, 10:02 a.m.: I love the smell of spam in the morning!

The Great Outdoors…

Yesterday yours truly received a most amusing piece of mail. Yes: MAIL —of the “snail” variety. Without further ado, here it is:

This comes from my comrade over at Queens Crap. I have to say it gave me a good laugh. For those of you who are not in the know, the following should explain why.

A fellow by the name of Jens Rasmussen was recently featured in both the New York Times and CBS Local. He conducts wilderness survival courses on the premises of the North Brooklyn Boat Club. This is where our “new and improved” Greenpoint Boathouse (whose plans have yet to be made public) is to be located. Follows are a couple screengrabs of solicitations this chap has seen fit to post online.

As you see the latter clearly states these come to pass on the premises of the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Something to consider: as a general rule, for profit endeavors are not permissible on the premises on non-profit organizations. I mention this because word on the street is Mr. Rasmussen has stated that the North Brooklyn Boat Club has filed paperwork so as to become a 501(3) c . I feel compelled to note a recent search of the New York State Attorney General’s charities database turned up nothing:

Hmm— but I digress. This afternoon, the weather being downright lovely, I felt the need to explore the wilderness of Long Island City. I decided to grab a few shots of the North Brooklyn Boat Club’s premises (51 Ash Street) en route. Seeing is truly believing.

Um, what is that smoke-stack looking thing? Anyone?

Nowadays Mr. Rasmussen is asking $150.00 a head for his wilderness survival course.

I trust another $50.00 will be forthcoming, Crappy? in any case, follows is my favorite excerpt:

…Head to Greenpoint and meet Jens for an intro and explanation to bushcraft tripping skills, including the most vital things to know and what you can do in a variety of disaster scenarios. Learn valuable tactics like making a signal whistle from an aluminum can…

My advice: save yourself $144.00, purchase a six pack of Budweiser and figure this out on your own. Preferably somewhere that is NOT a Superfund site.

P.S.: I have every intention of creating a “boat club” snow globe. However, in light of recent events methinks this has made it to the top of my list. Cheers!

UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: I appear to be lacking a suitable character for Ms. Nealis. One will have to be ordered, I am guessing. Nonetheless, I played around with my tentatively titled “Stray Cat Strut” snow globe’s contents and one dedicated to the absurdity that is 51 Ash Street/the North Brooklyn Boat Club. The latter I have entitled “Rockin’ the Pulaski!”

The Mister eventually wandered in and inquired as to what I was doing. Usually this disrupts my “creative process” Not this time. He first inquired:

Are those hobos?

Me: No, those are people learning valuable wilderness survival skills!

He looked closer and noted:

Oh, there’s the Commodore! Where’s Spaulding? SPAULDING GET YOUR FOOT OFF THE BOAT!

Here is Spaulding— and as you can see he has his foot on the boat!

Thanks Pookie Mister Heather!

UPDATE, 9:00 p.m.: Crappy notes:

More to the point of the shenanigans at the boat club, it’s a conflict of interest violation for a board member to be personally profiting from the tax exempt status of the organization. Therefore, if Jens is running his business on their property or using his connection with them to draw people to his classes, then that’s a big no no.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: From Reddit

February 20, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Now isn’t that interesting?

Quicklink: Queens Crap

February 18, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Newtown Creek 

queenscrapsc

You can (and should) read the rest here. On a (somewhat) related note, it would appear there is a tax lien on 51 Ash Street. This is of course the location of the “new and improved” boat house.

How/why does that sound familiar? Anyone?

From The New York Shitty Inbox: And Now Presenting Our “New & Improved” Boathouse!

February 13, 2014 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Per an anonymous tipster this is it! Note the six story excrescence in the background. Click here and especially here and see this post-Modernist atrocity for yourselves. I for one found it interesting/odd that this was supposedly going to be located at Bushwick Inlet and the architect is different than the one listed as filing the plans 12/30/2013. Hmm…

UPDATE, 7:41 pm: A fellow named Will writes:

Your tipster has misled you. The boathouse renderings you posted are ten years old, part of a 2004 design competition focused on Bushwick Inlet.

So there have you. Perhaps those in a position to do so would, at long last, actually reveal the plans for this facility? You know, in the interest of transparency and serving the public?

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?

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