Friday, September 9, 2016

Protected Views...Justice Gone Wrong

 Justice Gone Wrong!

                                            
Hello from CORD

Here is some important information and a request from our friends and neighbors at Save the View Now: http://SaveTheViewNow.org

Danielle Cyr has asked all of us to read up on this situation and help them to fight what they rightfully call "justice gone wrong"

Ms. Cyr, an eighteen year resident of Carroll Gardens and a volunteer board member for Save The View Now is reaching out not only to raise funds but to raise awareness.

Please read what she has to say.

Dear CG CORD,

(someone) "just forwarded me your post about Brad Lander's Magic Show. You wrote about a complex issue with many moving parts and made it easy to read and comprehend the b.s. that is taking place.  Well-done!"

"I am attaching our recent fundraiser post to explain our newest issue with The Pierhouse blocking 5 protected public views in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  (The attached is only part of the story - we have 2 lawsuits going at this time.)"

"If you know anyone who might want to write a story about our issue/the attached, please let me know.  Sadly, we cannot seem to get much press about this illegal taking of 5 of the public's views for the millionaires who will be buying condos in The Pierhouse."



Thank you, Danielle Cyr!

We encourage you to send your comments to cgcord@gmail.com.
We will only reprint if YOU specifically request us to do so.  We will never print your comment without your permission. Don't be shy...this is YOUR neighborhood!

CG CORD

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

More Reaction to Brad Lander and His Inaction

Another community member is not fooled by Brad Lander's  BG (Bridging Gowanus) sleight of hand:  our CORD post: Brad Lander's Magic Show, Brilliant Sleight of Hand--- And Slight to the Community....has inspired our readers to share some of their thoughts and experiences.  Please read on and see what Jenny Dubnau has to say:

 
Dear CG CORD,
I work with the Artist Studio Affordability Project (ASAP):  
http://www.artiststudioaffordabilityproject.org/. We work against over-development citywide, particularly trying to save what remains of our manufacturing zones, where many working artists have their studio spaces. As many of you know, the influx of hotels, self-storage units, and restaurants (not to mention the occasional rezoning to include residential development) into manufacturing zones has caused rents to skyrocket, and threatens the very existence of jobs-producing manufacturers and artists, all of whom depend upon affordable rents. 

ASAP is fighting to preserve and indeed tighten the manufacturing zoning restrictions to keep those areas viable for industry and working artists, and in addition we are fighting hard for the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), a bill in the City Council that would offer lease protections to ALL commercial renters. This bill would protect mom & pop stores in all of our neighborhoods, as well as artists and makers in industrial zones. The bill is not commercial rent control, but would guarantee the basic right to renew, and would mandate mediation and then binding arbitration if the rent increase was felt to be too high. 

This is in fact a very mild bill, and is a common-sense first step to easing the commercial rent crisis in our city. In 2009, Council member Lander supported this bill. But now he opposes it, saying that it is "unconstitutional." How on earth is it "unconstitutional" to simply offer lease protections to struggling small businesses and artists in our city? And why the sudden turnaround on Landers part? The bill is essentially unchanged from 2009, when he, along with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill deBlasio (who have also made a cowardly about-face), supported it. Naturally, NYC real estate lobbyists loathe this bill: they are making a killing from soaring commercial rents. 

Many of you know about the recent mass eviction of artists and small manufacturers from the building on 9th Street, near the Smith/9th St subway station. If the SBJSA were in place, the landlord would not have been allowed to simply refuse to renew the leases of dozens and dozens of commercial tenants in good standing. The building is being emptied, to make way, most probably, for a gut renovation and a lease to a high-end retailer or higher-rent-paying "creative/tech" firms. 

This is a concrete example of how our manufacturing zones are being gentrified. Though Council member Lander came to our rally and press conference against the mass eviction of the artist building on 9th street last fall, he has disappointed us by refusing to support the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA). He promised to meet with us to discuss this further, but after much pressure, he wouldn't meet with us in person, and we spoke to two of his aides instead. 

Very, very disappointing. We will not stop pushing for this bill. 
If anyone wants to work with us on this locally, please email us at artiststudioap@gmail.com.

Jenny Dubnau, ASAP

Thank you, Jenny Dubnau!
We encourage you to send your comments to cgcord@gmail.com.
We will only reprint if YOU specifically request us to do so.  We will never print your comment without your permission. Don't be shy...this is YOUR neighborhood!
CG CORD

For More Info Please See:
Brad Lander's Magic Show, Brilliant Sleight of Hand--- And Slight to the Community...
http://carrollgardenspetition.blogspot.com/2016/08/brad-landers-magic-show-brilliant.html 
Not Fooled by Brad Lander's Bridging Gowanus Sleight of Hand, Another Attendee Speaks  
http://carrollgardenspetition.blogspot.com/2016/08/not-fooled-by-brad-landers-sleight-of.html

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Not Fooled by Brad Lander's Bridging Gowanus Sleight of Hand, Another Attendee Speaks

Another community member is not fooled by Brad Lander's  BG (Bridging Gowanus) sleight of hand:  Monday's CG CORD post Brad Lander's Magic Show, Brilliant Sleight of Hand--- And Slight to the Community....has inspired our readers to share some of their thoughts and experiences.  Please read on and see what S. L. Yung has to say:

Dear CG CORD,

The politicians we have in City government are jokesters and contrarily seem to work against the local community people by dividing us into class differences and infusing the community with 700 units of luxury new dwellers onto the canal. This new influx will determine the future with explosions of further polluting the neighborhood with car fumes & noisy gridlocks; increase sewage problems; school & park overpopulation; garbage overflows; etc. All this increase before the Gowanus Canal's cleanup will cause further delayed infrastructures.

I attended "Bridging Gowanus" event at Bell House and felt helpless as I put 10 tix in nebulous labeled jars and sticked post-its on a priority chart that did not have enough columns for amount of attendees present. Even reading the text can make anyone a slow reader due to deciphering the double wordings and overlapping nonessential or irrelevant choices i.e. increase public transportation to (Park Slope). I even tried to talk to the smiling young interns that these choices have nothing to do to prevent gentrification and expedite Superfund cleanup. These interns like robots smiled and gave no educated input or response to my inquiries. They just insisted to use the tix and pre–printed post-its to express my opinions. This only took 5 mins to do and then what? Go to the bar and celebrate with alcoholic drinks and be sociable with neighbors. A simple hard day's work done. However, I felt uncomfortable, disappointed and unsociable with a crowd of executives, family members, workers, homeowners and just a few artists, so I left

I really felt I am being channeled into making bad decisions on behalf of city gov't priorities rather than expediting and solving better solutions in Carroll Garden's community. I had witnessed the same operation that occurred in Chinatown Working Group's attempt to prevent gentrification guided by Pratt Center for Community Development. In the long run, CWG were duped into researching population concensus and submit a bill that got rejected by the City Council anyways. This did not prevent the ongoing gentrification of Lower East Side with further developers increasing building heights. Thus, this parallelism is occurring in Carroll Gardens. Here is further information of Brad Lander's connection to Pratt's Community Development founded in Wikipedia which explains how 4th Ave's gentrification.

Brad Lander, a graduate of the Pratt Community Economic Development Internship Program and Pratt’s Masters’ in City and Regional Planning, and director of the Brooklyn-based CDC Fifth Avenue Committee, became director of the organization, embarking on a strategic plan that led, in part, to renaming the organization the Pratt Center for Community Development. The strategic plan identified three initiatives for the Pratt Center — Helping Communities Build, Planning for Equitable Development, and Sustainability and Environmental Justice.

Thank you for publishing my pitiful thoughts.
S. L. Yung

And thank you, S. L. Yung!
We encourage you to send your comments to cgcord@gmail.com.
We will only reprint if YOU specifically request us to do so.  We will never print your comment without your permission. Don't be shy...this is YOUR neighborhood!
CG CORD

For More Info Please See:
Brad Lander's Magic Show, Brilliant Sleight of Hand--- And Slight to the Community...




Monday, August 29, 2016

Brad Lander's Magic Show, Brilliant Sleight of Hand--- And Slight to the Community....


Brad Lander's Magic Show, Brilliant Sleight of Hand--- And Slight to the Community....


The furious race to ensure that the forthcoming Brad Lander/Department of City Planning/Let's Build 'Em Big Vision of the Gowanus is compatible with the community's "input" continues.....

While the online "survey" is still available until September 15th, for those who are more interested in a less electronically controlled, more hands on approach, there are a series of smaller Bridging Gowanus events to attend and allegedly express your opinion.
LINK
 
We say allegedly, because this method of gathering community input is no less complicated, convoluted or crooked than the currently proffered online "weigh in". LINK

Two of these events have already taken place and this post will concentrate on them and their outcome. The first was held at the Bell House, 149 7th Street. The second at the Fifth Avenue Committee Headquarters at 621 Degraw St. 

We were presented with some poster boards exhibiting the "Overarching Goals" of Bridging Gowanus, where each goal was conveniently color coded. We were then given some corresponding colored post it notes and shown another poster board with multiple vertical columns. 

 



















The mission was to choose a blank vertical column and claim it (temporarily) as our own and then position the appropriately colored post it paper in our vertical column, making sure that we were listing our favorite goals in order of preference from top to bottom.

Somewhere in the room Catherine Zinnel, Brad Lander's assistant and our neighborhood liaison to the Councilman, is "photographing" the board periodically--although we were never really sure what determined when it is photographed and how the sticky "data" is kept pure. After all, if three people fill three different columns simultaneously--click goes the the camera. Fine. Now two more come along--more columns filled--click--click--click. The entire board becomes filled--click--click--click--click--Then someone comes along and needs to remove one whole column of data so they can position their post it's---click?--again--click?--again--click--click--click










































Catherine was very busy multitasking at the Fifth Avenue Committee function. Data collection accuracy at best was probably less than mediocre.

But, we were given another opportunity to refine, sort of, our choices. There were another series of poster boards with the goals and their sub-category goals, just like the online weigh in.

The sub goals were represented by clearly marked large glass jars. We were provided ten (10) tickets. We were presented with thirty nine (39) jars. and  instructed to place the tickets into the jars that most reflected our views of importance/preference.




Now let's think about this for a minute.

Although presented with multiple choices, you could not address each one. In fact, you were limited to preference just barely above 25% of them. Essentially,, you could not effectively express disapproval of any kind for any of them since even an empty jar did not necessarily reflect disapproval---just that there simply were not enough tickets for you to make complete choices.

This is not a weeding out/refining process--it's just  more meaningless busywork, a magic show that determines nothing--not to mention a complete waste of several types of paper goods.

So because this exercise is supposed to glean some kind of information....we were informed that both the Bell House (held on August 9th) and the Fifth Avenue Committee (August 19th)  events resulted in the hands down winner being....drum roll please...

A COMPREHENSIVE CLEAN UP OF THE GOWANUS CANAL.


NEWS FLASH!  This is already underway--thanks to the EPA's listing of the Canal to the National Priorities List years ago and the EPA Record of Decision issued in September, 2013. LINK

So, a thoughtful interpretation of this "data" so far, would indicate to any reasonable person that BEFORE any further development of the area proceeds CLEANUP must be insured.

So, now let's look at one of the first obstacles to EVER achieving this...

The City of New York and the EPA have entered an agreement whereby NYC does not have to site one of the two required retention tanks on the already owned City property suggested by the EPA. In fact, they have sought and have been granted several years, to use an alternate location----sites that are not city owned. LINK

The City wants and will pursue seizure of these private properties through eminent domain---a costly and time consuming legal process--where municipalities claim that the seizure of this private property is for the "greater good". LINK 

The extended time that the City has agreed to accomplish this seizure within presents our community with according to EPA Director, Walter Mugdan, a two to eight (2-8) YEAR DELAY between the actual cap and clean of the canal and the construction and implementation of the retention tank.

What does this have to do with the posters and the color paper -- the jars and the tickets?? Exactly---the whole point of sleight of hand is to distract you from what is real and true--to make you believe you are seeing something else.

In simpler terms, the bacteria and toxic laden gook that currently collects at the bottom of the canal--in some places at the rate of nearly 2 feet per year will continue to pile up at the bottom of the cleaned and capped canal from anywhere from 2 to 8 years.

You need no poster boards, no cute little pieces of sticky pretty color paper to realize that 2-8 years of collecting infected, contaminated toxic waste at the bottom of the cleaned canal equals total obliteration of even the possibility of the number one preference in the Bridging Gowanus  process from ever becoming a reality.

It would have been much more truthful to put a line through this choice--and say why right there on a poster board all its own.

As for the greater good or not, just in case you were unaware of what the EPA had suggested as the preferred location for this one retention tank, there is a park. It is the Thomas Greene Park which was basically built on one of the old gas manufacturing plants--The site is contaminated with a dangerous chemical by product of the gas manufacturing era and industry--coal tar. 

This black, mayonnaise consistency toxic goo is under the ground--forever oozing beneath the surface usually making its way in a downhill direction--which keeps it heading for and entering the Gowanus Canal. It is deeper and denser in some areas more than others--no area more so in the park  than right under the Thomas Greene in-ground pool. 

Since the EPA cleanup of the canal does not permit any further re-contamination of the canal from the uplands--measures will be taken to block the coal tar that cannot be completely removed from re oozing into the canal. So, in comes the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to clean those uplands, under the supervision of the Feds at the EPA.

In order for the park to be cleaned appropriately, parts of the park must be dug up and cleaned out---including under the pool---where a small lake of coal tar lurks.

During the clean up process, naturally parts of the park and the pool itself will not be able to be utilized. The pool must be dug up--the area beneath it cleaned out. Then and only then can the pool be replaced and open for use. This is admittedly an inconvenience but a very necessary one.

So, the EPA thought it was in the best interests of the community and we taxpayers to suggest that the retention tank could be safely and cost effectively placed within the park--already City owned land. It was possible, even preferable, according to the engineering experts at the EPA to build the tank underground and place the pool on top of the tank--what would be left would be an underground working facility with a brand new in-ground pool above it- providing a cleaner, healthier overall environment as well as-saving time and money for the City which is responsible for a great deal of the entire cleanup cost. Win all the way around--right?

The Park would probably be closed for use by the community for a couple of years, making use of the pool impossible for that time.But  it would certainly be within the City's ability to provide some kind of temporary pop up pool at another location nearby for summertime use. (The Thomas Greene Park Pool is essentially opened approximately 9-10 weeks per year) and eventually the pool could be replaced with something even better than what was there prior to the cleanup.

Instead, the City chose this opportunity to make a grab for some key land parcels at tremendous financial cost and precious Canal clean up time lost under the guise of protecting a necessary amenity to an under served community. This will NOT prevent the park from being closed nor the pool from being dug up.In fact this will probably delay the park and pool use even longer than the EPA's proposal. 

Some of our local elected officials were appalled at the idea of siting the tank in the park under the pool--by far the most logical, cost and time effective proposal.

Assemblywoman Jo-Anne Simon, for example, in a telephone conversation with a CORD member expressed her resistance to the idea by saying that this proposal would essentially remove an amenity to this under served community for a "generation".

Where in the world did that idea come from? The EPA had already proved time and time again that they could do things effectively while sticking to and at times, even exceeding their own time line expectations.So what was the problem?

No sleight of hand here---let's now look at real cost...

EPA projected cost for both (that's 2) of the required retention tanks at seventy eight million dollars ($78,000,000). Let's be fair and say costs could vary up to 20% either way--that puts the projected cost for the two tanks somewhere between $62,400,000 and $93,600,000.

EPA projected cost for the entire cleanup of the Canal (including the two tanks) was approximately $504,000,000. (take the 20% differential into consideration) and total cost could range from $403,200,000. to $604,800,000. 

Although that cost is the responsibility of NYC--we all know that means all of us are the ones eventually footing the bill.

New York City's estimated cost for one (1) of the two required tanks? Five hundred and ten million dollars ($510,000,000.) This is, of course, largely related to the cost of the privately owned land seizures and the legal fees that come along with such actions.

Don't know about you but I am not seeing that elusive greater good yet...

You do not have to be a genius to see that if the City of New York had utilized the land under the pool (remember it is being removed anyway) for the retention tank, they would have saved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Surely, if the City can come up with this 510 million dollar appropriation, for a project that should not have even cost 100 million, they could come up with a few million dollars to replace that pool with a truly spectacular amenity--maybe something indoor and suitable for year round use. And wouldn't that have been a wonderful way to provide jobs for people in the community as well as recreation and respite?

By the way, this half a billion dollar appropriation, even more than the EPA estimated cost for the ENTIRE cleanup, by NYC Department of Environmental Protection from OUR tax dollars was enthusiastically tweeted out by our magic man, Brad Lander. 


Instead of questioning this seemingly irrational decision and championing responsible, intelligent, cost and time effective spending of our money, our Representative applauds a plan that holds up the clean up for years while we wait for the City to seize what must surely be prized properties while simultaneously permitting the continuing contamination of the newly cleaned and capped Canal.

Doesn't it make you wonder why? What does Brad have up his sleeve? Doesn't it make Brad's widely promoted Participatory Budgeting Public Relations event, suddenly seem like another part of the magic show.

In Participatory Budgeting, the Community is permitted to have a "say" in one million dollars ($1,000,000) worth of our collected tax dollars to spend on projects that are normally covered by a multitude of city funded agencies and sometimes even not for profits.

Garbage pails? Sanitation. School bathrooms? School Authority. Lines in the streets? Department of Transportation. Library improvements? You would have to check with the Mayor on that one. He got $30,000,000 to spread around the city's libraries for turning a Brooklyn Heights branch into luxury housing.

The PB is a magical idea. But when push comes to shove, we at CORD would have preferred a Representative who stands up and delivers fiscally responsible decisions rather than letting us sort of play with his spare change.

So as we continue to watch and even participate in the Brad Lander Magic Show we are reminded of that Penn and Teller show--"Fool Us" where different magicians attempt to fool the expert magic men while the rest of the audience is just simply entertained.

In our community, we sit in the audience--sometimes we are even brought up to the stage to "participate."

As we watch the show we should all be aware that our tax dollars are literally disappearing down a very deep drain for reasons that we are apparently not permitted to fully understand. 

The "greater good" seems to be more like some developers' dream of waterfront housing in what was, in a previous Gowanus "framework" rezoning plan, left as property for manufacturing use.

And to be fair, Brad is not the only magician performing. We should not forget to acknowledge all of our electeds as well---not a one of whom objected to any of this waste and abuse.

Next up....we'll be talking more about more Bridging Gowanus goals....
Stay tuned!
 
CG CORD

We encourage you to send your comments to cgcord@gmail.com.
We will only reprint if YOU specifically request us to do so.  We will never print your comment without your permission. Don't be shy...this is YOUR neighborhood!

 
For More Info Please See:
Brad Lander's Bridging Gowanus:  Semantics or Some Antics?
http://carrollgardenspetition.blogspot.com/2016/08/brad-landers-bridging-gowanus-semantics.html

Solution to a Problem or Problem to a Solution? Community Left Wondering About EPA's Gowanus Canal Settlement Agreement with New York City
http://pardonmeforasking.blogspot.com/2016/04/solution-to-problem-or-problem-to.html 

CORD says: NYC Seizing Personal Property Through Eminent Domain is Unnecessary, UNFAIR, and Fiscally Irresponsible!
http://carrollgardenspetition.blogspot.com/2015/11/cord-saysnew-york-city-seizing-personal.html 

Eminent Domain is Unnecessary, UNFAIR, and Fiscally Irresponsible! (Part Two)
http://carrollgardenspetition.blogspot.com/2015/12/eminent-domain-is-unnecessary-unfair.html 

"Stop Eminent Domain From Closing Our Studio!" Eastern Effects Asks Community for Help in Fighting City's Plan to Seize 270 Nevins Street
http://pardonmeforasking.blogspot.com/search?q=the+americans 

Monday, August 15, 2016

More Comments from Our Readers Re: Brad Lander's "Bridging Gowanus:" Semantics or Some Antics?

CG CORD has received a number comments on our recent blog post, Brad Lander's "Bridging Gowanus:" Semantics or Some Antics?  


Please read what your neighbor, Patricia Constantino, has to say:
"I totally agree with you. I started to fill in the "Survey" and then stopped and got out of it. I felt like it was not looking for community input but enforcing Lander's and the developers' plan. I don't remember details of the "Survey" only that something in my gut told me not to fill it out."

"Maybe we can make city government changes for the better in the next election."

Patricia Constantino 


We encourage you to send your comments to cgcord@gmail.com.
We will only reprint if YOU specifically request us to do so.  We will never print your comment without your permission. Don't be shy...this is YOUR neighborhood!

CG CORD

Friday, August 12, 2016

Comments From Our Readers re: Brad Lander's "Bridging Gowanus:" Semantics or Some Antics?"

CG CORD has received a number comments on our recent blog post, Brad Lander's "Bridging Gowanus:" Semantics or Some Antics?  LINK

Please read what your neighbor, Margaret Maugenest, has to say:

"The Bridging Gowanus survey has been carefully engineered. Surveys can be skillfully designed to manipulate the desired results. The respondent is forced, one way or another, to give the answers and results desired by the survey maker. This is done by cunningly restricting the questions and choices (and plus and minus rules on top to boot???)"
  
"And by participating, you are not really given the opportunity to “weigh in” at all - but rather you give the survey makers the opportunity to say you had a chance to participate (according to their rules of content and response etc). In other words, your participation is part of their strategy to give you what they want and say you asked for it."

"I, for one, have no intention of participating in the survey and becoming part of their tool. I don’t care how many people endorsed Bridging Gowanus in the newsletter sent out by Lander’s office – that being another part of the manipulation."

"The only transparency is that Brad Landers wants to deliver the goods to the developers for their Gowanus land grab. Everything else is lip service and theater. We’ve been through these “ envisionings" before. No matter how people responded, the results reported were always the same and played right into the hands of what the developers wanted."   Margaret Maugenest

We encourage you to to send your comments to cgcord@gmail.com.
We will only reprint if YOU specifically request us to do so.  We will never print your comment without your permission. Don't be shy...this is YOUR neighborhood!

CG CORD 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Brad Lander's "Bridging Gowanus:" Semantics or Some Antics??



                                                                         
As many of you already know, Brad Lander's office has recently sent out via a wide email net, the "next step" in the reshaping of our neighborhood.

OUR neighborhood?? This is a Bridging Gowanus survey!--as many of you may cry....What does this have to do with us??

The answer is simple....EVERYTHING.

Realtors and developers may have discovered  some time ago that renaming places and branding certain streets within an area as one thing or another---or even calling them different names, was a great marketing tool. 

Truthfully, some of us liked it too. Suddenly there we were on "Cool in Your Code" or maybe our street or  business featured on that show that takes place on a stoop. Suddenly, it was very important to define EXACTLY what "area" our street was part of.... what absolute and utter nonsense.

Let's take a human  look at what a community really is. Communities are made up of people, businesses and homes that share things in common. Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, BoCoco, Cobble Hill are all just names. WE are the ones that are sharing common spaces, common places, common experiences.

If you have any doubts about this, just take a look around you. Carroll Gardens and Gownaus, especially, share all of the following spaces, services and facilities---transportation, education, sanitation, recreation, religious observation, shopping and the very streets we walk on each and every day.

We are all affected when the train and bus service is inadequate.
We are all affected when there is not enough room in our schools for our children and grandchildren.
We are all affected when our streets are perpetually littered with large household refuse because of poorly considered sanitation protocol.
We are all entitled to a generous amount of green, open, recreational spaces that offer the opportunity for year round diversity of activities----including  educational programs--and we all suffer together when these needs are unmet.
And when our streets flood and our friends and neighbors basements and/or homes are imperiled, or our quality of life is endangered--we are all in trouble, together.

So let's get back to the "Survey". The Bridging Gowanus site has a little button on top labeled, 'WEIGH IN"---this is not an accident since your opportunity to weigh in can hardly be called a survey at all. In fact, the definition of the word, "survey", is to examine or look at comprehensively; to inspect carefully, to scrutinize.

Indeed, this is NO SURVEY. Instead you are expected to respond to a series of suggestions with either a + or - response. Unfortunately, you are only allowed three (3) plusses (+) and one (1) minus (-) and you cannot enter a minus (-) anywhere unless you also enter at least one (1) plus (+) somewhere. Did I mention that there are many categories and pages and ideas lumped together and  that you are restricted to use only your pre-determined (by them) amount of plusses and minuses?

Are you confused yet? That's  too bad because before you even can begin you must click on the 'UNDERSTOOD" button, which explains the rules before you even see the entire format. To be fair, you are able to go back and forth and re-read the instructions, etc and there are reminders as you proceed that you are either plus or minus deficient/excessive.

We didn't know we would need such deep boots to wade through this and we quickly got  stuck in the muck.  And frankly, given the limited choices and the deliberately constrictive mode of responding, we were wary of submitting anything at all. So, we didn't.

Did we mention that it must be submitted by Sept 15th?? Wouldn't it allow for a broader response if its circulation and expiration dates were during the time of the year when most people are actually here to weigh in? Labor Day is the 5th. Neighbors returning from summer holidays are often very busy the first few weeks of September when so many things are beginning again once the summer is over. Sure, you can argue that an online survey allows you to participate no matter where you are, but is it really fair to distribute an exercise as convoluted, confusing and time consuming as this and expect people who are on vacation to respond?

What is the reason that the cut off date cannot be extended till the end of October, November or even December? This is so important--what's the rush?

Why wouldn't Brad, OUR Representative, want the most thoughtfully considered responses possible? 

Brad--you are either including the community in this process---or you are not. You do not get to have it both ways....

We have some questions and comments for you regarding these so-called "overreaching goals"-- below is just a small sampling:

Why is it necessary to build multi-story housing along the banks of the Canal when the Canal is the epicenter of the flood zone? 

Why are there no suggestions regarding a broader area of manufacturing/work/living spaces? 
The "weigh-in" talks about "strengthening"  manufacturing but does not talk about including, indeed, expanding more manufacturing and artist living space along with it.

Haven't we learned that people who live and work in the same place have a deeper investment in the area and enrich the fabric of the entire community?

Why are we stacking people up vertically to live cheek by jowl ahead of the necessary and thoughtful improvements to infrastructure when we know that it will not reap the best result? 

We have a chance here to try something genuinely unique, practical and exciting; Not to mention less taxing on our current infrastructure which we all know darn well will never catch up with Brad's plan!

Why is it necessary to add more and more stories to residential buildings in order for the CIty of New York to provide adequate transportation, education, sanitation, and recreational facilities to the people that are already here?

How does increasing an already densely populated area accomplish what cannot be accomplished now? The City of New York is not going to do any better---the only thing besides the population that will expand will be the inadequacies.

Why is it necessary for developers who are in the business of making money on the development that they create-- to receive tax abatements? Most times, they do not live here. They do not ultimately deal with the effects of their developments on the community. As a friend of ours in the construction business once told us, "...the cellar, the first floor and roof are your real costs--every single story you add to that is more and more gravy...".Yet whether their product(s) impact the neighborhood positively or negatively--they are given extended relief from paying property taxes.

Where is OUR relief? We are, after all, the ones who put up with the noise, the dirt the grime the inconveniences of their construction phases. And quite often, there are negative effects on the neighboring homes and businesses once their projects are complete. In spite of this--- good, bad or indifferent, our property taxes go up every year.

There is something wrong with that. Rising home values and our rising property taxes in our community tell me that we are more than helping to support NYC. The "some is good, more is better" attitude is sometimes true--and when it comes to money, let's be honest--its real.. But the "more and more" should not  have to come from us alone---those who wish to make money here should be willing to pay what it takes- or there is no deal. 

You would think someone who is supposed to represent US would be the most interested in US......It appears however, as though it's Brad's Plan's Way or the Highway-

We have provided a link here to the "survey/weigh-in":  LINK  No matter what you call it or how you frame it---whether you punch in plusses and minuses with whole hearted fervor or mild amusement---understand that this "exercise", just like the earlier phase of the Bridging Gowanus process, is skewed to obtain a desired result and it is  going to be used to justify that result. https://vote.d21.me/vote/EJe2M9eDvW

We suggest that you put your hip boots on--you might want to bring along a shovel too.

CG CORD/Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development.
Write to us at cgcord@gmail.com


For More Info SEE:

Proposal for Taller Buildings in Gowanus Gets Mixed Reaction From Locals

Brad Lander and His "Trade Off" Urban Planning for Gowanus

Take Back Gowanus Challenges Brad Lander's Shared Values

On-air 
The Brian Lehrer Show:  Taking Back the Gowanus Canal
WNYC story about Gowanus that aired recently 
Of Councilman Brad Lander, Pratt Center for Community Development, and the Final Bridging Gowanus Meeting Next Monday

Gowanus Residents Debate Future of Area

Disparate Factions Unite to Take Back Gowanus From Overdevelopment


CORD HISTORY:

With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?crlgrdns