Friday, November 20, 2015

The passing of a tireless community activist, Betty Stolz

CORD is grieving today. 

Our friend, partner, collaborator Bette Stoltz has passed.

It is with a truly heavy heart that we inform that our wonderful mentor, champion and dear friend, the irreplaceable, Bette Stoltz, has passed.

Bette was a tireless crusader--whether it was breathing life back into a Smith Street that was drowning, turning a slab of concrete into a beautiful garden, or bringing a program to our local schools--she took an idea and ran with it until that idea was a reality.

Bette is the reason there is a Second Place Transit Garden. She was presented with a kernel of an idea and with her energy, sensibility, drive and cheerful go-gettedness--and  beautiful garden was born.

Bette worked with CORD from its inception--her advice, her wisdom her willingness to share these things with us helped us in so many ways.

When the Gowanus Canal was first named as a possible site to be Superfunded, Bette eagerly became part of our South Brooklyn Coalition---probably the largest group of volunteer organizations ever put together---Bette representing the only not for profit group in the bunch.

Bette could do it all. She could make the connections needed to begin a project and then, bring in those who could make the whole thing even better. 

She was so competent you just felt that she could do the whole job completely with her "roll up your sleeves" approach to everything she did, but yet, she made you happily want to help out too.

Mostly though, Bette was just so genuine--there was no guile, no false smiles. She was a doer, an inspiration and a true friend.

Bette was warm, honest, generous and reliable. She was fun and funny, wise but not hardened and always willing to give more of herself ---all you had to do was ask.

We will certainly be thinking of Bette every time we are on Smith Street and each time we see the Transit Garden--- she did so much for our community in such a humble and non grandstanding manner.

We will remember all of those things and take them as a lesson in how to live a truly civic minded, concerned, compassionate, well loved and fruitful life.

The Transit Garden stands there-- a real, live, warm,welcoming place you can count on—is just like the lady Bette was herself.

So, whatever you believe, whatever your custom---keep Bette and her family close to you today. 

Goodbye, Bette. You will be sorely missed.

CORD Co-founders, 
Lucy DeCarlos, Rita Miller, Triada Samaras

There are no services or memorials that we are aware of at this time. 


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........