Friday, June 15, 2018

STATEMENT: Council Member Menchaca on Fire Damage to Historic Red Hook Bowne Storehouse

DATE: 6/15/2018
CONTACT: David Estrada
(718) 439-9012 | mobile: (646) 305-5224
For Immediate Release:
STATEMENT: Council Member Menchaca on Fire Damage to Historic Red Hook Bowne Storehouse
The two alarm fire last night at Red Hook’s historic S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse, on Smith Street is highly suspicious.

It occurred after the Red Hook community raised alarms about recent, potentially illegal construction activity on the roof and after my office and community leaders took steps to start land marking the building. The red brick structure was built in 1886 and is a prime example of the Gowanus area’s rich maritime history.

No one was injured last night and I thank the firefighters on land and water who risked their lives to protect the building and neighboring structures.

While I’m reassured that there is an active fire investigation, I also call for full public disclosure of its findings about the cause of the fire. I am also calling on the Department of Buildings to make a thorough review of permits and violations at the site and to hold the owner accountable for a long series of irresponsible activities there.

The owner of this property, the Chetrit Group, has willfully neglected it and created a local nuisance for many years. Before the fire, my office was engaged with issues like sub-standard fencing, decrepit sidewalk sheds, unpermitted construction and demolition, and illegal dumping there. I also place the owners of this property on notice: I will not allow demolition by neglect or fire to prompt zoning changes that allow residential or other non-manufacturing uses at this site in Red Hook’s Industrial Business Zone.

As the Bowne Storehouse stood abandoned and unrepaired, a vital part of Red Hook’s history was threatened. This fire highlights the urgent need to land mark this part of Brooklyn’s history and I will work with Red Hook Community Activists to continue our efforts for preservation.

Copyright © 2018 Office of Council Member Carlos Menchaca, All rights reserved.
This press release or advisory is from the office of City Council Member Carlos Menchaca

Our mailing address is:
Office of Council Member Carlos Menchaca

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

DEP’s application for the Gowanus CSO Facility is moving through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process

DEP’s application for the Gowanus CSO Facility is moving through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process.

CB6 held a land use hearing on the application 10/26 and voted to approve with conditions. The application now goes to the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and they will be holding a public hearing on Monday, 11/27 at Borough Hall. Please see the notice above.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Coming this Thursday night! Gowanus Superfund Town Hall; Public is Invited!

Gowanus Superfund Town Hall 
Thursday, November 16
6:30 - 8:30 PM

The Gowanus Canal was designated a federal Superfund site in 2010, which initiated a complex, multi-year clean-up. Dredging has started this fall in the 4th Street turning basin and will continue in 2018. 

Come to this public meeting for information about the canal clean-up, timeline and what to expect. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez will give a keynote, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will present an overview and timeline. An audience Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Hosted by the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group (CAG) 
The Gowanus CAG has 50+ representatives from civic, environmental, business and community organizations, as well as individual members from Red Hook, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and Park Slope.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

"A New School Trains Artists to Be Politicians"

This looks interesting and hopeful!
From Hyperallergic:

"A New School Trains Artists to Be Politicians"
 "The Artist Campaign School, a new initiative from Fractured Atlas, will train artists in the practical skills necessary to successfully run for elected office."

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

DEP's Gowanus Canal Superfund Page and More Info

Here are links to the DEP's Gowanus Canal Superfund Page and the dEIS for the CSO Tank Project:

Final Scope of Work and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Gowanus Canal Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Facilities Project Environmental Impact Statement

CEQR No. 17DEP040K - New York City
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as lead agency, must prepare an environmental review to disclose potential adverse significant ...

Katia Kelly proves Citizen Journalism/Activism is Key!

Our good friend and fellow community activist, Katia, is one amazing blogger. She caught Paul Manafort right here in Carroll Gardens!

If this does not prove Citizen Journalism/Activism is KEY in our democracy then what does?

Above:  This new sign was added by an unknown person to the Paul Manafort House in Carroll Gardens today.

"The Best Reporting on Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and, Of Course, George Papadopoulos
Manafort’s dodgy deals, Gates’ work and Papadopoulos’ emailing with Russian officials — reporters have dug into it all" 

"The Brooklyn Blogger Who Helped Catch Paul Manafort
How a dilapidated Carroll Gardens brownstone led a woman to uncover Manafort’s alleged money laundering."


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........