At the October monthly meeting of Community Board 14, the board voting unanimously in favor of the fiscal year 2013 budget priorities. Coincidentally, Comptroller John C. Liu was in attendance, and spoke about examining city agencies to make sure they utilize all their city money accurately.
The list of recommendations (which you can download as a Word doc here) will be sent to the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, and when it receives the agency responses, CB14 will hold a hearing where the public can comment.
Some of the recommendations include:
* Establish a new elementary school within CD 14 to alleviate overcrowding
* Restore funding for acquisition new site for 70th Precinct; Increase personnel in 70th Precinct; Fund additional Crossing Guards for 70th Precinct
* Fund Commercial Revitalization projects on Flatbush Avenue, Cortelyou Road, Avenue J, Avenue M, Church Avenue, Newkirk Plaza and the Flatbush-Nostrand Avenue Junction
* Fund rehabilitation of the Kings Highway Malls jointly with DOT; and to include pedestrian ramps
* Increase and improve “Operation Clean Stretch” basket collection routes on commercial strips within CD 14
If you experienced damage to your home or business due to Hurricane Irene, you may be eligible to receive federal disaster relief funds beginning today. The city’s Office of Emergency Management announced that state and federal Disaster Recovery Centers will open today and will remain open, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, through October 7.
Want to know what’s going on in the 70th Police Precinct? There’s an email list for that.
At last week’s Community Board 14 meeting, the new commanding officer of the 70th, Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, said that while he was previously in charge of the 68th Precinct, they had a large emailing list, and it was a good source of communication within the neighborhood. Here at the 70th, there are only about 20 people on the mailing list, and he’d like to change that.
Anyone who lives in the Precinct that would like to receive periodic updates–recent emails have been about shelters during Hurricane Irene and the potential threats of terrorism preceding September 11–can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list.
You can also use that email address for any other questions you might have for the Precinct, or you can call Community Affairs at 718-851-5557.
Additionally, tomorrow is the monthly 70th Precinct Community Council meeting. Stop by, it’s a good place to get your concerns heard.
70th Precinct Community Council Wednesday, September 21, 7:30pm
United Cerebral Palsy of New York City’s Community Room
175 Lawrence Street (between Ocean Pkwy and Seton Pl)
The Brooklyn College Faculty Council passed a resolution on September 13 that says they are, surprise, against the NYPD spying on Muslim student organizations. The Associated Press reports:
“The use of undercover police agents and the cultivation of police informers on campus has a chilling effect on the intellectual freedom necessary for a vibrant academic community,” the resolution said.
Though the police department denies it, NYPD Confidential has documents that show they had been monitoring Muslim Student Associations at seven New York City colleges, including Brooklyn College.
Now members of the Brooklyn College community have started an online petition to “oppose the presence of the NYPD and affiliated agencies engaged in covert surveillance activities on our campus and call upon the Brooklyn College Administration to issue their own statement opposing these practices in the name of the safety of students, the safety of the faculty, and the principle of academic freedom.”
We’ve reached out to the Islamic Society and professors at Brooklyn College to get a feeling about the current mood on campus, but have not heard back. Are any of you students or faculty at the school–if so, what has your reaction been, and what’s the general feeling at the start of this new semester?
Giuliani applied the broken windows theory to law enforcement in the 1990s. The theory went that, if broken windows were left unfixed and minor acts of vandalism are left alone, greater crimes will be committed because the area appears neglected. There’s a lot of debate over whether the city’s drastic reduction in crime was due to this theory or other factors. However, one fact is undebatable: broken fire hydrants are hazardous, like this one on Coney Island Ave:
If you see a broken hydrant, jot down the exact location and how it’s broken, and report it to 311 immediately. It’s a very short phone call that could well save a life one day. 311 will ask for a description of what is broken and where, and they’ll give you a confirmation number. Keep track of it, as reports have shown that the city doesn’t repair them quickly.
If it’s not fixed in a week or two, call back to check on the status of your report, and spread the word so that others will, as well.
“[The box] just came down and hit me,” said Rebecca Gomez, who was standing at Hillel Place and Flatbush Avenue when the freak accident occurred. “Every day I have pain. I wake up with pain. Even when I just walk around I have to take breaks.” She was eventually forced to move back to her hometown in California and now must decide whether she will undergo potentially risky back surgery as a result of her injuries. Naturally, Gomez is taking the Department of Transportation to court, claiming that the city was negligent by not having a regular inspection program for the signals.
Da Pride a Flatbush responded to a fire in an apartment building on Avenue H between East 12th and Coney Island Avenue this afternoon. Despite a lot of smoke and some smashed windows, the kitchen fire was out fast, and a firefighter on the scene said luckily nobody was injured.
Perhaps no area in New York City offers so good an example of how people of many different backgrounds can come together as ours does. Three religious organizations gathered at Our Lady of Refuge Church this afternoon for an inter-faith prayer service, providing a place for people of all faiths to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. And the message was the same from all: We need to focus on togetherness to exist in peace.
“In good times and in bad times, we’re still the same people who walk the same streets, take the same subways, ride the same buses,” said Father Michael Perry of Our Lady of Refuge Church. “And that same oneness must continue.”
Rabbi Dr. Alvin Kass, Chief of Chaplains for the New York City Police Department, said his East Midwood Jewish Center is open to all, and events like this should help remind us that we’re stronger neighbors when we join together.
“Life is ongoing. Tragedies of the past never end, they just take different forms,” he said. “The only thing that holds us together is the love we have for each other. It helps us transcend these events.”
The sentiment was echoed by Imam Mohammed Sabir Hafiz of the Makki Mosque on Coney Island Avenue. Following 9/11, he and his fellow Muslims have been subject to some discrimination, and he says people like Father Perry and Rabbi Kass have helped build bridges in the community to overcome those feelings.
“These three religions are just like one family,” Hafiz said. “I ask for strength so that we can work together. We should love each other, and pray for peace together.”
Our local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), sponsored by the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is looking for new members. The CERT program provides a framework for citizen participation in emergency response and management. The CERT provides neighborhood assistance in the event of major emergencies such as hurricanes, floods, major fires, and electricity outages.
CERTs are groups of local, unpaid volunteers trained and organized by the New York City OEM as a supplement to professional first responders in the event of a major emergency. CERT volunteers are trained in a free ten-week course, involving one three-hour evening a week, where they learn basic self-help and mutual aid emergency functions such as disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical assistance, light search and rescue, traffic control, CERT organization, and disaster counseling. After graduation from the OEM training course, volunteers become members of their local CERT. Our local CERT serves Community Board 14.
These courses are given periodically. There will be a choice of two autumn courses in Brooklyn, beginning either on Tuesday, September 27 or Wednesday, October 5. In order for you to take the course, your name must be forwarded to OEM by your local CERT team after completion of a simple one page screening form and a short screening interview. Time to the next training course is short so act now!
Team membership is FREE. It only requires:
1. Completion of the basic OEM CERT training course.
2. The investment of your time.
3. Minimum age of 18 years (no maximum).
If you are interested in joining CERT, contact Glenn Wolin, Team Chief, at 718-284-5761 or by email at email@example.com.
Explaining the events of September 11, 2001 to children can seem like an incredibly difficult task. A former Midwood resident, Sid Weitz, says in a letter to the Asbury Park Press that the truth is the best route:
On Dec. 7, 1941, I was two weeks past my sixth birthday, with my mother in the Midwood theater in Brooklyn. The movie stopped running and the house lights were lit. The manager made the announcement about the attack on Pearl Harbor.
With school for me, my two older brothers, and thousands more the very next day, there was no time to figure out how to “protect” the children from being overwhelmed. Children, however, are very bright.
Hurricane Irene destroyed several trees in the area, which most people realize is sad news–fewer mature trees mean the air is not as clean, the streets feel hotter, and the neighborhood just looks a little less nice. But for one family, the loss of a particular tree was an answer to their prayers.
A mulberry tree on E. 27th Street between Avenue I and Campus Road was a bane to an observant Jewish family’s life, says the Brooklyn Daily. According to their faith, they could not cut down the tree that dropped its sticky fruit all over the sidewalk and cars. The tree’s life didn’t end without a fight, though–when it fell over, it took power lines with it, brought up a piece of the family’s home’s foundation, and smashed a parked car.
If only the family had made peace with the tree, and collected its edible fruit!
Take a short walk down East 12th Street and you’ll get an idea of the damage neighborhood trees suffered from Hurricane Irene. At least three between Avenue K and Locust lost enormous limbs, and countless large branches are still scattered all over the street.
Thankfully, the Parks Department is already out with massive wood chippers, making stops according to a list provided to them from the city.
If you see a fallen tree on city property that need to be removed, or if you see any dangerous limbs hanging from standing trees, call 311 to report them.
Roosevelt High School was one of the 90-plus evacuation centers set up by the city in preparation for Hurricane Irene. By Saturday afternoon it was filled with about 500 evacuees from Brooklyn’s coastal areas, including a NY1 reporter who needed a place to stay, and who filed a report while she was there:
We were fed meatballs for dinner, cereal for breakfast….When the National Guard arrived at midnight, they were told they were not needed….
Overall, the Roosevelt experience was a success story, so much so that Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a surprise visit Sunday morning. He championed the scores of volunteers who manned the food lines and kept a constant stream of movies playing in the school auditorium.
Did anyone volunteer at the shelter? How was your experience?
Now that Hurricane Irene has passed (and it’s a beautiful morning), have you had a chance to assess the damage? Seeing any downed trees, branches, store awnings, etc.? If your home or car suffered damage, here are some tips for filing insurance claims.
If you want a flashlight, you’re not going to find one at Target. Here’s what’s going on in the city for Hurricane Irene:
* The mayor has ordered the mandatory evacuation of Zone A flood areas, which includes our neighbors in Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Manhattan Beach. They need to be out by 5pm tomorrow.
* The MTA will shut down service at noon Saturday. Completely. That’s it. You’re not going anywhere, maybe not even by rush hour on Monday.
* If you live about the 10th floor of a building, authorities recommend you evacuate before the hurricane hits. High wind increases the possibility that windows might blow out.
* You want updates from the city? Fuggedaboutit. NYC.gov sites are all down due to high traffic.
* Dollar stores have candles. They also have flashlights, unlike Target.
* Lots of places still have plenty of bottled water. But why not consider storing some tap water now, in bottles and pitchers, while you have the chance.
The Department of Transportation is working on Avenue H from Ocean Parkway to Campus Rd through at least tomorrow.
They are milling the street (pulling up the top layer of pavement to prepare for paving, and the paving will happen at a later date). There is no parking or driving on those stretches during the work.
If your car was parked on Avenue H and it’s been towed, it’s most likely been relocated to another spot nearby. Call the 70th Precinct at 718-851-5511 for more information, but if they can’t help, just check the blocks surrounding your previous parking spot.