Friday, March 30, 2012

Participatory Budgeting - Vote Now!

Alex Moore at Councilmember Brad Lander's office reports that over 1500 people have pledged to vote in the participatory budgeting process.  Let's help ensure that the effort is a success - Voting locations for the weekend:

Saturday, March 31

Windsor Terrace Library
160 East 5th Street
10:00am - 4:30pm
PS 58
330 Smith Street
10:00am - 6:00pm
Old Stone House
336 3rd Street
10:00am - 7:00pm

Sunday, April 1

Beth Jacob Day
Care Center
1363 46th Street
10:00am - 5:00pm
Old Stone House
336 3rd Street
10:00am - 5:00pm
Carroll Park
Carroll Street between Court and Smith
10:00am - 5:00pm

Ballots listing the projects and more information is available at

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Voting Near for Participatory Budgeting

Voting for the 20 projects on the Participatory Budgeting Ballot commences March 27 and ends April 1 at various locations around the District.  Please visit Councilmember Brad Lander's Participatory Budgeting site for more detail about the projects, a sample ballot and voting locations.

This is your chance to influence how approximately $1 million of capital funds will be spent.  The projects are spread throughout the district and target parks, education, transit as well as other needs.
Sample Ballot

Friday, March 16, 2012

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative Open House

  BrooklynGreenway Initiative (BGI) is thrilled to announce the opening of our new storefront office space at 153 Columbia Street. To celebrate this milestone, we are hosting an Open House on Thursday, March 22nd, 5:00PM-8:00PM.
BGI is grateful to the many local businesses and volunteers who have contributed their time and expertise to help renovate and outfit our new office space, and we are especially thankful for capacity-building funding from the Lu Esther T. Mertz Advised Fund of the New York Community Trust and the Brenner Family Foundation. BGI's office move would not have been possible without their generous support.

BGI’s new office features reclaimed antique flooring from The Hudson Co., installed by local carpenter Rob McBride with finishing by Red Hook Flooring; reclaimed windows from Alma Viva Restaurant and modern furnishings designed and built by Pickett Furniture. Additional contributors include A-One Locksmiths, Inc.; Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition; Film Biz Recycling & Prop Shop; Franke, Gottsegen, Cox Architects; Beth Kenkel; Ohm Acoustics Corp.; O’Lampia Studio, Inc.; Pro Electric Corp.; Peter Raymond; Vincente Painting and Waterfront Kitchens. In addition, BGI extends our sincere thanks to all of the enthusiastic and tireless volunteers who went above and beyond the call of duty to get our new office space into tip-top shape.

To officially celebrate our new home and to acknowledge everyone who helped build out and equip the space, BGI invites all greenway supporters to our Open House on Thursday, March 22nd, 5:00PM-8:00PM. Thank you to our event sponsors: Waterfront Wines & Spirits at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Brewery, Nine Cakes, Denise Fasanello Floral Design, and Fairway Red Hook. Special thanks to The O’Connell Organization for ongoing support.

To RSVP, email your full contact information to Space is limited, so please RSVP by Monday, March 19th

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Keeping Our Eyes on the Port

From Councilmember Brad Lander:
Meeting the new stevedore

Two weeks ago, many of you joined me for a meeting with the new operator of the Red Hook Container Terminal, the piers along the Columbia Waterfront and northwest Red Hook. At the meeting, Greg Brayman of Phoenix Beverage Company introduced residents to the staff and operations of the new Red Hook Container Terminal operator, which replaced American Stevedoring last fall as the operator of the port (a.k.a. "the stevedore"). Greg gave an overview of port operations and of some of their plans for the future. He provided the following two e-mail addresses for ongoing communication:
  • For general information regarding port operations:
  • For complaints about truck traffic -- especially when trucks are on Columbia Street south of Degraw, which is not a truck route -- residents should send the truck number, truck type and location to
A big resident concern at the meeting was about trucks using local streets, as opposed to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which Phoenix Beverages agreed to use at least for the duration of the Van Brunt Street Reconstruction Project. We are still going to need a longer-term solution to keep trucks off local streets after the reconstruction is finished. Another issue raised was the conversion of Phoenix Beverages' truck fleet from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG) to reduce air pollution in our community. Phoenix has begun converting its fleet, and remains committed to converting all its trucks to CNG within seven years, which is what they promised to do when they moved in.

Residents also expressed their support for the passage of the federal Clean Ports Act [see here -ed.], which would give ports across the country the tools to curb diesel emissions and promote fairer labor practices. Residents also stated their interest in keeping the Customs Inspection Station at the port open. I agree that both measures are important to an active, clean and safe waterfront.

Thanks to the community organizations and elected officials with whom I worked to organize the event, including the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Councilmember Sara González and Community Board 6.

Shore power

Since the meeting, you may have heard that the Port Authority Board of Commissioners has raised questions about the cost of bringing shore power to the Red Hook Cruise Terminal -- something that they committed to by a vote of their board last year. Shore power is vital, so that the enormous cruise ships can plug into an electrical grid, rather than keeping their diesel engines running at the terminal and emitting dangerous fumes for hours at a time. I am joining together with other local elected officials to insist that the Port Authority live up to the commitment that it made to us last year, and that shore power move forward without delay.
CoWNA is grateful to Councilmember Lander -- and his trusty district director, Catherine Zinnel -- for their hard work in putting together the meeting. We appreciate the elected officials and the stevedore staff who took the time to attend. Thanks also to the many community residents who contributed to the lively and worthwhile discussion.

Please don't hesitate to email Phoenix (, Councilmember Lander ( and State Senator Squadron ( if you see a Phoenix Beverages beer truck on a part of Columbia Street where it's not supposed to be!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Neighborhood Study Seeks Participants

Transportation Alternatives is reaching out to our community for volunteers to participate in a study about how residents perceive and use their neighborhood.  Please contact if you are interested.