Monday, June 29, 2009

CoWNA voices concerns over Phoenix Beverages move to Piers 7 and 11

As plans for Phoenix Beverages to take over piers 7 and 11 seemed to materialize, CoWNA wrote a letter to the Economic Development Corporation voicing our concerns, which primarily are:
- a speedy conversion of Phoenix' truck fleet to CNG
- truck traffic on local streets
- traffic volume on the BQE ramps
- cold ironing to reduce pollution

To read the letter the CoWNA Executive Committee wrote to the EDC and the EDC's reply, please download CoWNA-EDC.pdf.

Venetia Lannon, VP of the Economic Development Corporation will present their plans for the Atlantic Basin on Wednesday, July 1st, at CoWNA's General meeting held at 7 PM at Jalopy (315 Columbia Street). This is an issue that will impact all of us, please attend.

CoWNA Executive Committee supports Squadron's BBP plan

At our General Meeting on Wednesday July 1st, State Senator Squadron's office will present his plans for the future of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Executive Committee of the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association finds that the Senator's proposal for Brooklyn Bridge Park will benefit the neighborhood in many ways when completed. CoWNA supports the plan for the following reasons:

1. The addition of a bubble for year round ball fields/courts, a pool and an ice rink would get significant additional use out of the Brooklyn Bridge Park than the current proposal while only increasing costs by a small amount. Improved recreational and cultural facilities will also increase the appeal of our neighborhood and help create new business opportunities.

2. A ferry landing at Pier 6 would connect the southern end of the park to the rest of New York harbor using a mode of transportation that impacts the environment less than cars or buses. The increasing population of Brooklyn will also benefit from having more options than subway, bus or car for commuting or other travel between the boroughs of New York City.

3. We find housing in a public park undesirable. We therefore believe that PIRC is a better way of financing the maintenance of the park. Senator Squadron’s plan proposes keeping One Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Pier 1 Hotel, so the amount of money needed to fill the operations and maintenance budget is only about $7.5 Mio/year, which is an achievable amount, considering the potential for rezoning in the .4 mile radius he proposes. PIRC is neither a new tax nor an increase of current taxation, rather it redirects a % of property tax revenue increases on rezoned areas and properties to finance the Park’s operations.

We would like to know, how our neighbor's feel about this plan. Please attend Wednesday's presentation (7 PM Jalopy, 315 Columbia Street).


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Public Hearing Regarding Rezoning

The CB6 Landmarks and Landuse Committee will hold a public hearing regarding the Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street Contextual Rezoning plan. There will be a discussion and formulation of a recommendation based on the application submitted by the Department of City Planning to contextually rezone Carroll Gardens and a significant portion of the Columbia Street District neighborhoods to protect the existing built form environments. The hearing will take place at Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks Street, at 6 PM on June 25.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New date for CoWNA General Meeting: July 1st

Jalopy accidentally double-booked their venue for Wednesday and was not able to reschedule the other event, so we are rescheduling our General Meeting for Wednesday July 1st. We apologize for the inconvenience.
- The salt pile on ASI's piers
- A presentation by the NYC Economic Development Corporation on plans for Atlantic Basin
- A presentation of Senator Squadron's plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park
New Date: Wednesday July 1st
Time: 7 PM
Place: Jalopy, 315 Columbia St (between Woodhull and Rapelye St.)

Postponement of General Meeting

We were just informed by Jalopy, that they double-booked their venue for Wednesday and are unable to move the other event. We are trying to find a new date and post an update here as soon as we have it. Our sincere apologies.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

EDC to present at CoWNA General Meeting

Phoenix Beverages taking over Piers 7 and 11 and the future use of the Atlantic basin have been very contentious issues for our neighborhood. So, we are excited to announce that Venetia Lannon, VP of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, will be giving a presentation and be available for questions at our next General Meeting, held on Wednesday June 24th at 7PM at Jalopy, 315 Columbia Street. If you have an opinion re. these issues, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fix The Ditch

The New York City Economic Development Corporation has released a Request for Qualifications for a Brooklyn-Queens Expressway study ("Fix the Ditch") that would look at ways of mitigating some of the impacts the BQE highway trench has had on the adjoining South Brooklyn communities of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and the Columbia Street District.

This study is being funded by a $300,000 grant that was secured years ago by Congressmember Nydia Velázquez, with the support and encouragement of Brooklyn Community Board 6 and all the area's major civic groups.

Responses are due by July 8, 2009.

For more information click this link:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

City of Water Day Festival - Call for Volunteers

On Saturday, July 18th thousands from the Tri-State region will float, ferry, paddle, row, splash, canoe, and kayak their way to beautiful Governors Island for the 2nd Annual City of Water Day Festival, presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA).

In addition to a breathtaking flotilla of hundreds of human-powered boaters converging on the island from launch points throughout the region the region, this unique and free festival celebrates all that our waterfront could be.  Festival highlights include delicious food from local vendors, exciting bands, harbor tours on a variety of historic and educational vessels, kayaking and fishing opportunities, car-free biking, water-themed children's activities, a Waterfront Action Information Fair, and more!

Last year over seven thousand people took part in City of Water Day.  This year they expect even larger crowds.  To make the day a success, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance needs close to 200 enthusiastic volunteers to help with everything from greeting attendees as they arrive on the island, to organizing our Waterfront Advocacy Teach-In, to helping wrangle in canoes and kayaks as they arrive.

On Thursday, June 11th at 7pm the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance is hosting an Information Session for prospective City of Water Day volunteers.  Please join them, bring your friends, and be a part of this one-of-a-kind celebration!

What: City of Water Day Festival Volunteer Information Meeting

When:  June 11, 7pm

Where:  457 Madison Ave. 4th Floor, NY, NY


The City of Water Day Festival takes place on Saturday, July 18th, 2009 from 10am to 4pm, but some volunteer tasks begin as early as 8am and end as late at 7pm. Follow the City of Water Day Festival at:

BQE Rehabilitation: Scoping and Public Information meeting

The New York State Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, is initiating an environmental review for Rehabilitation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York (PIN X730.56). The project limits are the approximately 1.5-mile portion of the BQE between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street, including the triple cantilever section of the roadway that supports the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The need for the project is to address the structural deterioration and operational deficiencies affecting this segment of the BQE, which is characterized by narrow lanes, lack of shoulders, and short merge/weave distances near on-/off-ramps that do not meet current highway design standards, and vertical clearance constraints.

The combined Public Information Session and Scoping Meeting will be held on Monday, June 22, 2009 at the Dibner Building’s Pfizer Auditorium, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, 5 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201 between 3.00PM and 6.00PM (afternoon session) and between 7.00PM and 10.00PM (evening session), during which the public will be provided with information included in the DSD and an opportunity to comment on the scope of the Draft EIS (DEIS). NYSDOT personnel will be available at the Scoping Meeting and Public Information Session to answer questions concerning the project and proposed scope of the DEIS.

Please contact Adam Levine ( of the New York State Department of Transportation for general questions regarding the project.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Next CoWNA General Meeting

Please mark your calendar, our next General Meeting will be on Wednesday June 24th.
When? 7pm 
Where? Jalopy, 315 Columbia Street (between Woodhull & Rapelye Streets). 
Some of the items on the agenda are:
- The salt pile on ASI's piers
- Phoenix Beverages taking over Piers 7 and 11
- Senator Squadron's proposal for Brooklyn Bridge Park

A more detailed announcement, including guest speakers, to follow soon.

Brooklyn-Governor's Island Ferry Launch this Saturday

From State Senator Squadron's office:
I am writing to share some exciting news- this summer there will finally be free ferry service between Brooklyn and Governor's Island!
This ferry is something that Senator Squadron has long requested to better connect the Brooklyn Waterfront with the rest of New York Harbor, and we hope that you will be able to celebrate with him at the ferry's innaugural launch this Saturday, June 6 at 11:00 am, at Fulton Ferry Landing.
The ferry will leave Fulton Ferry Landing every hour, every Saturday when there is programming scheduled for Governor's Island.  It will stop at Governor's Island and Battery Park in Manhattan.  Please visit for a full schedule...
...and please join Senator Squadron and other community members to celebrate the first launch this Saturday at 11:00!
Ellen Whelan-Wuest
Brooklyn Office Director
State Senator Daniel Squadron