Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6 
    October 2013, Vol 4, issue 8          
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Welcome to The Sixth Sense - the monthly email newsletter of Brooklyn Community Board 6, serving the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens/South Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Columbia Street Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook.

 

  
We are approaching the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy when high tide and severe storm surges combined, flooding Red Hook and Gowanus under as much as 14-plus feet of water. Our community is still not whole but we are getting there. We still do not have sufficient protections in place but should another catastrophic event strike our experiences will make us better prepared. What do we need to do now? What lessons have we learned?
  
First and foremost, we learned that in a crisis we can rely on each other. The acts of volunteerism and generosity of spirit displayed was an indominable force. When anyone makes a contribution to the civic life of a community--whether you attend a meeting, vote, sweep your sidewalk, greet a neighbor or somehow put some positive energy into the community--they strengthen it. It is up to each of us to tighten the weave of the fabric of our community. It is not beyond our ability to make a contribution, big or small, every time we interact with our community. What did you do today to make your community a better place to live, work and visit?
  
Second, we learned that government works best when we partner with it. I was fortunate enough to accompany PortSide NewYork earlier this year when they received a "Champions of Change" award from the White House for the role they played after the hurricane. Craig Fugate, the Director of FEMA, told us the most valuable lesson they learned was to not get in the way of organized citizens helping their communities, but to support them. This was a paradigm shift for what had traditionally been a take-charge-of-the-situation agency mentality. We have many valuable government assets, whether they be the police officers who keep us safe in crisis, or sanitation workers who tirelessly haul off debris enabling us to rebuild, or administrators who can help us with forms needed to access assistance. It is up to us to work with them and them with us. Together, we are stronger.
  
Lastly, a most valuable lesson, we were humbled. We found humility in the face of the forces of nature which are far greater than us. Water has the power to carve the Grand Canyon. It can toss about vehicles like they are toys. It can move so quickly and with so much force that it can forever change our lives in an instant. How arrogant are we to think that nature will bend to our will? We must learn to respect its power. We must accept that future events are inevitable--it's a matter of when, not if--and we must factor that into how we live. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
  
Imagine what would happen if every one of us made even a slight increase in what we contribute to our community, the compounded impact would be palpable. If every one of us asserted that the primary mission of government is to protect and serve its citizenry, not to govern autocratically (a notion seemingly forgotten by our Federal government leadership at the moment). And if every one of us remembered that even though we live in a dense urban setting--the epitome of a man-made environment--that the powers of nature are stronger than the constructs of man. At least we can then start making more sense out of the tragic aftermath of Sandy.
  
  
Enjoy our newsletter and please let us know what you would like to see in future editions.
     
P.S. If you like what you see here, please use the "Forward email to a friend" link at the bottom of the page to pass this email along to a friend or two.  There are over 104,000 residents and thousands of businesses in our district.  We'd love it if they would all sign up! Click here for links to archived newsletters.
Gowanus, Gowanus, Gowanus! 

Which Brooklyn CB6 neighborhood has seen an 84% increase in property values since 2004?

 

Which Brooklyn CB6 neighborhood has seen its businesses grow by 44% since 2000, in large part due to the resurgence of wholesalers and craftmakers/artisans? 

 

Which Brooklyn CB6 neighborhood did the divine Bette Midler recently visit to formally re-open a community garden that features high-performance storm water infrastructure?

 

Gowanus has been all over the news lately. And why not? With all the wonderful things happening we deserve the positive attention. Superfund stigma? Puh-lease.

 

Here are some highlights: 

> The Department of Environmental Protection announced that plans for the Sponge Park are moving forward. This will result in the creation of an 1,800 square foot street-end park treatment at the 2nd Street dead end.

 

> DEP and the New York Restoration Project just re-opened the Gil Hodges Community Garden which was transformed into a neighborhood oasis that will improve the health of the Gowanus Canal because of the high-performance green infra-structure systems designed to manage 150,000 gallons of storm water a year. Bette Midler was on hand for the ceremony!

 

> The New York City Economic Development Corporation recently published a profile of Gowanus showing through-the-roof economic indicators. Property values are up, business growth is up and the area has become a hotspot for women-owned businesses, artisans, arts and entertainment, and new manufacturing.

 

> The Environmental Protection Agency released its Record of Decision for the Gowanus Superfund project which provides a clear direction for the long-term cleanup of the canal. The EPA has said they will not pursue a Confined Disposal Facility in Red Hook and they will include measures for more aggressive Combined Sewer Overflow reductions. This project is valued at over $500 million making it the largest public works project for our district since the construction of the Brooklyn-Battery (now Hugh L. Carey) Tunnel over half a century ago.

 

> Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc. and Starr Whitehouse recently launched a comprehensive guide to Federal, State and City programs for the development of brownfields and industrial properties as part of their continued work on the New York State Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant.

 

Find out more about what we're doing with our Gowanus BOA grant at the next meeting of the Brooklyn CB6 Economic/ Waterfront/Community Development & Housing committee meeting at 6:30pm, Monday, October 21st at P.S. 58, 330 Smith Street (entrance on Carroll Street).

Things To Do Around the District 

   
Photo by Liren Chen

 
Friday, October 4, 6pm-8pm, Join Ground Floor Gallery for the opening reception for The Gowanus Show! featuring artists living and/or working in the Gowanus area. Organized in partnership with ArtsGowanus and the Gowanus Open Studios event, the exhibition will be on view from October 4-November 3, 2013 at 343 5th Street (off 5th Avenue). Free. Brooklyn CB6's own Sarah Nicole Phillips is one of the featured artists!

Tuesday, October 8, 6pm-8:pm, Join Build it Green for a workshop, "How to Design & Decorate with Salvage" at
Build It Green!NYC Gowanus, 69 9th Street. Suggested $5-10 donation. RSVP here
  
Wednesday, October 9, 6:30pm-9pm, Please join the Park Slope Civic Council Trustees for a tasting event, "Food for Thought" at the Prospect Park Picnic House. Cocktails, tastings, music & mingling. All proceeds support the Park Slope Civic Council's scholarships and other important community projects. Tickets $100.

Saturday, October 12, 1pm & 4pm. Dance Theatre Etcetera presents Dance on the GreenwayRed Hook marks the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy with a festival of site-specific dances created by five diverse choreographers whose works will explore the architecture, artifacts, vistas, nooks and crannies of the Erie Basin Park behind IKEA's Brooklyn store, 1 Beard Street. Free.

In between shows--from 3:15 to 4:00pm--there will be a panel talk moderated by architect Gita Nandan 
on Rethinking Red Hook: Pushing Towards a Sustainable Future
with waterfront stakeholders and urban planners focusing on efforts underway and planned to create a more resilient Red Hook waterfront as it faces future climate change related events.

Saturday & Sunday, October 12th & 13th, Annual Red Hook Film Festival, Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition's Screening Room, 499 Van Brunt Street. Visit the website for more details. 

Thursday October 17, 6pm-10pm. CUP's Annual Benefit. Center for Urban Pedagogy's (CUP) board and staff invite you to join us for an evening of conversation, cocktails, and CUPprojects! Please come out to support CUP's work and to meet other folks who are curious about the city, how it works, and how it can work better for all of its residents. At The Green Building, 452 Union Street at Hoyt Street.

  

Thursday October 17, 7pm-11pm.
Friends of Firefighters 6th Annual Gall Gala. The Gala is fast approaching and we are very excited to share a fun and special evening with you! Some highlights of the evening will include: Live Band, Photobooth, Outdoor Garden, Celebrity Appearances, Auction, 50/50. Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street. Tickets $100, purchase here.

Friday October 18, 7:30pm, Friends of Carroll Park presents a movie screening of
The Princess Bride in the park, Court-Smith, Carroll-President Streets.

Saturday October 19, 6pm-9pm, Friends of Carroll Park  presents their Fall Karaoke Party in the park, Court-Smith, Carroll-President Streets.

 

Saturday & Sunday, October 19-20, 12pm-6pm, The Annual Gowanus Open Studios Tour. Over 200 artist studios throughout the Gowanus neighborhood will be open on Saturday and Sunday. There is so much amazing artwork to see.  Come out and enjoy the art and enjoy the neighborhood's various locations in the Gowanus Canal corridor. See artist directory here. Free

Saturday, October 19, 10am-2pm
, The Park Slope Civic Council's Fall Civic Sweep  at Old Stone House/Washington Park at 5 Avenue between 3rd/4th Streets.
Put on your old clothes and join other volunteers in weeding and mulching street trees, picking up litter, and painting out graffiti. Bring your unwanted, electronics (TVs, computers, and home entertainment equipment) for e-recycling by the Lower East Side Ecology Center.  Refreshments, tools, supplies and entertainment provided.

Sunday, October 20, 11am-3pm
, The  Gowanus Canal ConservancyStreet Tree Stewardship and �Composting Gowanus! October Windrow Build volunteer day.  We will prune street trees, remove weeds, apply soil amendments, and pull blocks from street tree pits. We'll also receive our monthly drop-off of 8,000 lbs of food-scraps to incorporate into October's new compost windrow. Meeting location: Salt Lot, 2 Second Avenue, Brooklyn (between 5th St and the Gowanus Canal).


Saturday October 26, 11:30am, Friends of Carroll Park presents their annual Halloween Kids' Parade. Carroll Park between Court-Smith, Carroll-President Streets. Check website for more details.

Sunday October 27, 11am-3pm, Friends of Carroll Park presents their It's My Park Volunteer Day where The Friends of Carroll Park will be out pruning, planting bulbs and performing a general cleanup of the entire park. Carroll Park between Court/Smith/President/Carroll Streets.

Wednesday, October 30, 6pm-10:30pm, The Red & White Ball: Red Hook Revival Portside Fundraiser at IKEA, 1 Beard Street. Your support will enable PortSide to roll out our flood preparedness programs for Red Hook (and other water-front neighborhoods), further our Sandy recovery work and showcase Red Hook's spirit, people, businesses and organizations. This color-themed event will feature food and beverages from local eateries, a Red Hook expo, local musiciams and a tantalizing silent auction. Tickets $90
Help Us Build a Photo Library  

Do you have images of life in the district to donate? We're collecting photographs to spruce up our website, publications and maybe even include in future issues of "The Sixth Sense." 

 

We're looking for all kinds of images depicting the many facets of our district life, including the mundane, the profane and the insane!   

 

If there are recognizable people in your images please ensure you have their permission for the image to be published. Email images to sarah@brooklyncb6.org. Include the photographer's full name and whether you want the photographer to be credited when the image is used.

Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc. (Federal EIN 04-3780020) was established in 2003 to support the work of Brooklyn Community Board 6 in improving the quality of life in the district.  Friends seeks to provide planning, advocacy, research and administrative resources to supplement the limited capacities and budget of the Community Board, thus enabling it to properly carry out its City Charter mandated tasks of evaluating the needs of the district and advocating on behalf of its communities.
 
Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Donations are welcome and are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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In This Issue
* Gowanus, Gowanus, Gowanus!
* Things To Do
* CB6 Photo Library
* For the next meeting
* Good & Welfare
* Quick Clicks
Next General Board Meeting 

Photo by Bryan Bruchman
6:30pm, October 9th
Public School 32 
(SE corner Union Street)   
Brooklyn, NY 11231
  
(Board members are encouraged to supply corrections to minutes.)

All posted Community Board meetings (general, committee, informational, etc.) are open to the public; however, participation may be limited.

Contact the district office for further clarification. 
Quick Links
 
Who's Who at Brooklyn CB6
CB6 2013 Officers:
● Daniel M. Kummer,
Chairperson
● Thomas Miskel,
First Vice Chairperson
● Lou Sones,
Second Vice Chairperson
● Gary Reilly,
Treasurer
● Elizabeth Shipley,
Secretary

CB6 Committee Chairs:
● Richard Bashner,
Waterfront/Community Development
● Paige Bellenbaum,
Human Services, Co-Chair 
● James Bernard,
Youth Services 
● Norman Cox,
Parks/Recreation/Cultural Affairs, Co-Chair
● Peter Fleming,
Land Use; Elections 
● Glenn Kelly,
Parks/Recreation/Cultural Affairs, Co-Chair
● Mark Kolman,
Education, Co-Chair
● Ariel Krasnow,
Housing
● Daniel M. Kummer,
Executive
● Robert Levine,
Landmarks 
● Sayar Lonial,
Transportation, Co-Chair  
● Rick Luftglass,
Budget; Economic Development 
● Thomas Miskel,
Transportation, Co-Chair
● Gary Reilly,
Finance/Personnel & Law; Permits & Licenses
● Mark C. Shames,
Environmental Protection 
● Matthew Silverman,
Public Safety
● Benjamin Solotaire, 
Human Services, Co-Chair
● Suzanne Turet,
Education, Co-Chair 

District Office Staff:
● Craig Hammerman,
District Manager
● LeRoy P. Branch, Jr.
Assistant District Manager 
● Liza Santiago-Sierra,
Community Associate 
● Sarah N. Phillips,
Special Projects Coordinator
● Helena Miskel,
Office Volunteer
● Mia Brezin, 
Planning Fellow
 
Newsletter Production:    

● Craig Hammerman,

Editor
Sarah N. Phillips,
Contributor
GOOD AND WELFARE 
Congratulations and welcome to Captain Justin Lenz, our new Commanding Officer assigned to the 76th Precinct. Captain Lenz is replacing (as if anyone could) Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff who has left big shoes to fill. Under Inspector Schiff crime continued to drop in the 76th. He personally implemented new police strategies like his revolutionary "Spot It to Secure It" program and expanded the Police Department's use of social media tools as a way of engaging and informing the community.

While we're at it, we also welcome Nado Sala as our new Sanitation BK6 District Superintendent, taking over for retired Super Jimmy Proscia.
 
Congratuations to former Brooklyn CB6 Board Member and former Red Hook Houses Tenant Association President Beatrice Byrd who was recently appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the New York City Housing Authority's Board as a tenant representative. Way to go, Bea!
 
Not to toot our own horn (but we will!), Brookyn CB6 was just awarded a $29,250 grant from the NYS Archives Department to digitze and create a searchable llibrary of our land use records. We would like to thank our friends at the Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) for all their guidance and assistance with the application process.
QUICK CLICKS

The school year has started! Plan for those days and half-days when the kids have off from school. Get the Department of Education's 2013-14 School Year Calendar.

 

New York State has $12 billion in lost money. Some of it could be yours. The NYS Comptroller's Office has an online searchable database for unclaimed funds. It's easy to check and even easier to claim. This is no gimmick.

 

NYPD recently launched a new recruitment website. Now anyone interested in joining New York's Finest, becoming a police officer or filling one of the many civilian jobs offered by the department, can find employment information all in one place. Visit the site today!


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