Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6 
  January 2014, Vol 5, issue 1             
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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.  

 

 

Happy new year!  Some thoughts and hopes for the new year...

 

Buy local, buy American. These days it seems it isn't good enough to simply buy local. We love our Mom and Pop stores. We love the "main street" feeling we get when we walk down the avenue and stop to chat with our favorite merchants. We don't want to see our neighborhood commercial strips turn into strip malls. But it doesn't end there. The New York Times recently reported that the Federal government, one of the world's largest clothing purchasers, is spending $1.5 billion at overseas factories. Why isn't that money being spent here? We may end up paying more for our goods and services at first, but isn't reinvestment in our country's economy worth it? It doesn't end with clothing, or the Federal government alone. Government spending in general, Federal, State and City, should be strategically invested locally to concentrate wealth at home. There ought to be a law.

 

Use less packaging, conserve resources. We've been talking about it since the mass introduction of municipal recycling programs decades ago. And we've made a little headway - like shorter bottle caps, tagless clothing, and the current push to ban or restrict plastic shopping bags. We can do better. What about the really pernicious stuff like plastic utensils (2/3 of the world's population doesn't use forks), styrofoam containers (completely unnecessary), paper labels on canned goods (you can cheaply print directly onto the metal), plastic wrappers and address labels for periodicals, and those mountains and mountains of disposable baby diapers? Consumers pay a hefty tax on gasoline at the pumps, why not impose an equally hefty tax on manufactured petroleum-based products? That could be one way to encourage the use of alternate, sustainable materials and reduce the waste.

 

Invest in people, our most precious resource. We love our neighborhoods. They're how we identify where we live. What makes them special places are the people in them. Some who grew up here and helped build community. Some who ended up here and decided to plant roots. Even some who have to sacrifice to be able to stay. With homelessness, hunger, mental illness and other social challenges confronting us we need to take a serious look at how we're responding to these conditions and what we're doing about them. It isn't good enough for us to reactively house, feed and treat people. We need to focus more on preventing homelessness, providing education that prepares our children to succeed in the workplace and inculcating a culture of good mental hygiene. Feeding our neighbors today isn't good enough; we need to teach more people to fish.



Get involved. Stay active. It's our community!

 

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!
"A New Look at 4th Avenue"
Forth on Fourth Avenue, Committee of the Park Slope Civic Council presents

A New Look at 4th Avenue:
Action Planning for a New Administration

Tuesday January 14, 2014, 7:00pm
The Old Stone House, Park Slope

Working in partnership with Council Members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin and with local community organizations including Boerum Hill Association, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Fifth Avenue Committee, Gowanus Alliance, Park Slope Neighbors, Park Slope Street Safety Partnership, and others (full list still in formation), FOFA invites you to join in a discussion for next steps to improve 4th Avenue for residents, businesses, community organizations, and our nearby neighbors.

FOFA has prepared a short six question survey to gather community concerns and ideas for future 4th Avenue projects. Take the survey now!
HOPE for the Homeless
On January 27, 2014, the City's Department of Homeless Services (DHS) will conduct the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE). DHS needs thousands of volunteers to canvass parks, subways, and other public spaces to count the number of people living unsheltered in the city. Just one night of your time will assist with the collection of vital information that is used by outreach teams to help homeless people leave the streets for a better life.
  
The information gathered by volunteers during HOPE 2014 is critical to the City's ongoing efforts, but they need our help to make it possible. DHS needs more than 3,000 volunteers, who are 18 years-old or older, to give just one night of their time to help count the number of New Yorkers living on city streets. They will provide you with all the training you will need to conduct the survey on the night of HOPE plus a quick, convenient online orientation when you register to give you the basics.Sign up to volunteer for HOPE 2014 today!
  
For more information or to register to volunteer go to www.nyc.gov/dhs or call 311.
Red Hook Bus Access Improvements
NYCT Service Alert
Beginning on January 26, 2014, NYC Transit will reroute the eastbound B57 and southbound B61 service in Red Hook, discontinuing bus routing via Bay Street.
  
Due to the disjointed street network in Red Hook and the limited connections across Hamilton Avenue, buses on both routes currently must travel an additional four blocks to cross Hamilton Avenue.
  
The Department of Transportation had extended the Mill Street intersection across Hamilton Avenue, and reversed the traffic flow on a small portion of Garnet Street between Court and Hamilton to facilitate a more efficient movement for the buses and provide additional vehicular access to Red Hook.
  
Bus travel time savings have been estimated at 2 minutes and 25 seconds during the AM peak hours, and 49 seconds in the PM, as a result of this change.
  
These changes were recommended by the Department of Transportation, reviewed and supported by CB6, and are being implemented by NYC Transit as a result of the Red Hook Transit Access and Mobility Improvements which were developed as a followup to the Red Hook Streetcar Feasibility Study that was undertaken with funding secured by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.
  
What a great model of persistence and teamwork. Big thanks to DOT and NYCT for making this happen and to Congresswoman Velazquez for getting the ball rolling!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle for the New Year!
Recycling Arrows
Here's a chance to start off your new year on the right footprint. Whether it's old clothes you've been meaning to get rid of, the old device you just upgraded, or even your Christmas tree, your trash is someone else's treasure. Here's a few local and easy waste management options for the new year.

MulchFest 2014 will be held on Saturday & Sunday, January 11-12, 10am to 2pm. Last year more than 26,000 Christmas trees citywide were recycled. We can do better! Bring your ornament-free tree to any of the following:
  

Chipping sites in the district include Cobble Hill Park (Clinton St. & Verandah Pl.) and Prospect Park (entrance at 3rd St. & PPW).

 

Drop-off locations in district include the Amazing Garden (Columbia & Carroll Sts.), Coffey Park (Dwight & Verona Sts.), and Summit Garden (Columbia & Summit Sts.);

MulchFest Gowanus hosted by the Gowanus Canal Conservancy will be held on Sunday, January 12, 11am to 3pm at the Salt Lot on 2nd Ave. Bring your trees, take away chips, learn about their composting programs and more.


e-Waste Recycling: Sunday, January 19, 10am to 4pm, Prospect Park West at 3rd Street entrance to Prospect Park. And if you can't make this event, you can always drop off your electronic waste at the Gowanus e-Waste Warehouse, 469 President Street, Tue-Sat;

Second Chance Saturdays Clothing & Textile Recycling: on Saturdays, 8am to 4pm, Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket and on Sundays, 8am to 2pm, Carroll Gardens Greenmarket, Carroll Street btw Court/Smith Streets.;

Rechargeable Battery & Cell Phone Recycling: many of the greenmarkets provide collection boxes. Ask at the Market Manager's tent for information and collection hours;

Take a Composting Class
: Offered throughout the year, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens host the NYC Compost Project's Brooklyn branch for compost education and outreach.

Stop Junk Mail: Sign up for free to opt out of receiving unwanted catalogs, credit card offers, phone books and more;


Harvest Rainwater: GrowNYC has built or trained others to build over 80 rainwater harvest systems in the 5 boroughs, like the ones at our very own Amazing Garden at 261-265 Columbia Street and Backyard Garden at 61-73 Hamilton Avenue;

Recycle Your Second Refrigerator: If you have a second fridge, Con Ed will pay you $50 to remove and recycle it. And when they pick it up, you can also get $20 for old air conditioners too;

Conduct a Home Energy Audit: You can easily conduct a do-it-yourself home energy audit for free using the Department of Energy's website to get you started; 
 
Cool Your Roof: The NYC �CoolRoofs initiative encourages building owners to cool their rooftops by applying a reflective white coating that reduces energy use, cooling costs and carbon emissions.

These are just a few things we can all do in the New Year. What do you do to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle? Tell us!
  
And while we're talking trash, the Department of Sanitation is planning to expand its pilot household organic waste collection into portions of our district in spring 2014.
  
Come learn more about these plans at our upcoming Environmental Protection Committee meeting at 6:30pm on Monday, January 27th at the 78th Police Precinct, 4th floor Court Room, 65 6th Avenue (between Dean/Bergen Streets).
Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc. 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 (Federal EIN 04-3780020).

Donations are welcome and are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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In This Issue
* A New Look at 4th Avenue
* HOPE for the homeless
* Red Hook Bus Improvements
* Reduce, Reuse, Recycle for the New Year
* For the next meeting
* Good & Welfare
* Quick Clicks
Next General Board Meeting
photo by Bryan Bruchman
6:30pm, January 8th
School for Int'l Studies, Auditorium 
(Court/Smith Streets)   
Brooklyn, NY 11201
  
(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
 

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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-in-Chief
Sarah N. Phillips,
Managing Editor
GOOD AND WELFARE
Congratulations to the Willis family for having New York City's first baby of 2014 at New York Methodist Hospital. Shannon-Lee Willis was born exactly at midnight, weighed 7 lbs, 3 oz, and was 19 inches long at delivery.
 
Congratulations to our good friend Dan Walsh, Director of the Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation, for being selected as Brownfield Renewal's Person of the Year for 2013. A strong leader and advocate for brownfield remediation for many years, Dan's always been an ardent supporter of our efforts in the Gowanus Canal corridor.
  
The U.S. Postal Service previously announced a postal rate increase for the new year. Effective January 26, 2014 the cost of mailing a standard letter (up to 1 oz) will be going up 3 cents to $0.49. Invest in "Forever" stamps now before the price goes up.
QUICK CLICKS

Snow means jobs. Know anyone 18 or older who needs work? Have them sign up with the City for Snow Removal Employment. Pay starts at $12 an hour.

 

Speaking of jobs, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President is looking for a planner/land use coordinator. Posting is available on the Borough President's website.

 

Know any excellent teachers at the Department of Education? Of course you do! Take a moment to nominate them for a Big Apple Awards: Recognizing Teacher Excellence in New York City. 10 outstanding teachers will be recognized in June. Deadline for nominations is January 17, 2014.

 

Surging Seas, Sea Level rise analysis by Climate Central, thanks for the tip, PortSide NewYork.

 

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