Thursday, February 24, 2011

A guest writer from Florida, who dreams of moving to NYC, speaks!

Hello from CORD!

Today we are very pleased to feature a guest writer, Krista Peterson, from Florida, who is dreaming of moving to New York City one day! We include her brief bio before her piece. Enjoy!

"My name is Krista Peterson. I am currently living in Florida but dream of moving to New York. I am an aspiring writer with a passion for the health and safety of others and our environment. I am an advocate for the Go Green movement and love to help spread awareness & the benefits of this lifestyle to society. I am 23 years old & working on getting my bachelors degree. I enjoy doing hot yoga in my spare time."

"Community Preservation in the Face of Chemical Hazards"

"As workers wipe the final traces of the former HYPERLINK "" Deutsche Bank building from the New York Skyline, residents in the Manhattan area can rejoice in the removal of this painful 9/11 reminder and continued threat. Besides reiterating the obvious global dangers our nation faces from terrorists, the presence of this building, shrouded in protective plastic, also reminded residents of the environmental dangers resting just below the surface of some of New York’s structures. Besides finding the remains of 9/11 victims scattered over the room of the damaged building, crews also found toxins like asbestos, lead and mercury, delaying the cleanup of the structure as leaders decided how to remove these toxins."

"With the HYPERLINK "" EPA’s addition of the Gowanus Canal to the Agency’s Superfund National Priorities List, neighboring areas might experience a similar level of protective action. Besides the well-known toxins present in the canal itself, including industrial and sewage runoff, buildings in the surrounding area present a constant threat to citizens, especially as improvements are made that can release previously contained toxins."

"Asbestos, in particular, represents a great threat when disturbed, which allows its fibers to release in the air to be inhaled or swallowed. Leading to a lethal cancer, HYPERLINK "" mesothelioma symptoms can lie dormant for up to five decades. Furthermore, these symptoms generally appear relatively mild, mimicking other illnesses like pneumonia, which allows the disease to progress into its later stages before treatment is sought."

"Learning about the specific risks, like mesothelioma, these chemicals pose gives residents greater influence over the nature of renovation taking place in a community. In an area with such a unique character, like Carroll Gardens, preservation of those characteristics is undeniably essential to both its history and identity. However, like any successful community movement, without knowing the issues developers and leaders will use to justify their actions, the HYPERLINK "" voice of citizens deserving the greatest share in the discussion over development will be drown out by approaching jackhammers. Indeed, city leaders and developers respect and recognize detailed petitions detailing the drawbacks of proposals and alternative suggestions."

"One useful strategy is to point out the problems brought on by the demolition of older structures, as exemplified by the Deutsche Bank building. Dangerous materials, like asbestos, can permanently be contained through enclosing or encapsulating the product, providing a permanent barrier between the toxin and the outside air. As a cheaper and safer alternative, residents can point to the numerous economic and safety benefits of renovations that seek to improve the community through minor safety adjustments that don’t threaten the unique fiber of the community. By pointing out the high rate of disease, including HYPERLINK "" mesothelioma symptoms, seen throughout New York after the 9/11 attacks, city legislators are sure to be open to discussions regarding how to safely restore communities while simultaneously preserving their historical integrity."

Krista Peterson


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........