It’s not a critique about the reporter. It’s just that I didn’t think the story merited citywide attention (though the issue does), and thought her efforts would be better spent elsewhere. I also didn’t realize we were speaking for quotation – I thought the reporter wanted background – but that’s more my fault than hers.
Honestly, though, my problem with the story is that I felt for the family whose home it is. I spent most of my conversation with the reporter trying to convince her that it wasn’t worth it to put this family in the spotlight. Apparently I failed.
Yes, it’s an ugly house and scars the block, in my opinion. But I highlighted it to spark discussion about the larger issue (the absence of aesthetic considerations in zoning laws), not to shame the family. And yes, I threw a barb their way for humor’s sake, but I do wish them the best of luck.
So, this is my open thread today – sharing my regret that the story brought so much attention to a family just trying to enjoy their home. So, if they’re reading this, I apologize. I do hope we, as a community, can have this conversation. But the vitriol and the spotlight shouldn’t be pointed at you.
Know someone who’s kickin’ butt for the community, using time, talent or charity? Let’s help get them paid.
The Brooklyn Community Foundation, a borough-wide charitable organization, is throwing the first-ever online Brooklyn Do Gooder Awards campaign to identify and honor local selfless heroes. But they need you to identify individuals who display an outstanding sense of giving back locally - nominate and vote for candidates online.
“The work of the Brooklyn Community Foundation is to encourage giving and service to our communities,” said Marilyn Gelber, the president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. “Through this effort we hope to recognize those Brooklynites who are giving back everyday to make our borough stronger and kinder.”
The organization is looking for do-gooders in the following categories: Arts for All, Caring Neighbors, Community Development, Education and Youth Achievement and Green Communities. Each of the five winning Brooklyn Do Gooders will receive an award as well as $5,000 to be used as a reinvestment in a recognized charitable entity working in Brooklyn.
Online voting will help determine 20 Brooklyn Do Gooder finalists, after which a distinguished panel of judges will choose the winners. Judges currently include WNYC’s Laura Walker, Freelancer Union’s Sara Horowitz, MoCADA’s Laurie Cumbo, award-winning author Peter Hedges and other local leaders.
Nominations are being collected through September 30. Online voting will be open from October 1 to October 15, 2010. The community celebration, “Brooklyn Does Good” takes place on November 3, 2010.
Down in here in our part of Brooklyn, where Bloomberg hasn’t fared well in elections anyway, the proposal reaches deep into the communities. It means you won’t be able to smoke on Sheepshead Bay’s piers, on Manhattan Beach’s sand, on Brighton’s boardwalk or in Marine Park’s fields – in addition to the existing restrictions on bars, restaurants and just about everyone else.
And the lines are blurry, too. It appears you can have a cigarette on Emmons Avenue, but can’t stray onto down the docks.
But maybe there’s a brighter side – a greater good story about ridding all of New York City’s air of at least one carcinogen. Or are we just another slip down our slippery slope? What do you think?
After taking flak for failing to attend a traffic safety meeting set up with representatives from Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office over the summer, embattled Manhattan Beach Community Group President Ira Zalcman received a welcomed show of support from some of his neighbors on Wednesday night at P.S. 195.
MBCG First Vice-President Bunny Fleischer dismissed the criticism hurled at Zalcman by rival Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association czar Alan Ditchek, saying that the two-term head of her group has “displayed continued integrity and depth of purpose as our leader.”
“You are not the one who is responsible for the formation of a rival group,” Fleischer read from a prepared statement. “You are not the one who is responsible for non-attendance at a recent meeting you were never told was taking place.”
Like many readers of Sheepshead Bites, Lisanne Anderson couldn’t believe that someother media outlets bought the Department of Transportation’s line about an erroneous parking sign being a prank. Lisanne used to work for a firm that gave her a first-hand look at the agency’s record-keeping, so the truth was obvious to her. Fortunately, Lisanne also has eagle eyes, and has noted a few other signage problems in the area, like the one above. She writes:
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz and Councilman Nelson hope to hamper illegal livery cab pickups by changing the south side of Sheepshead Bay Rd. to "No Parking Anytime."
Two local politicians are teaming up to battle livery cab operators on Sheepshead Bay Road, a long-time menace of the congested shopping strip.
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and Councilman Michael Nelson blasted the cabbies in a letter to the Department of Transportation’s Brooklyn Commissioner, Joseph Palmieri, saying the pesky motorists are creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians. The letter, sent in May and recently obtained by Sheepshead Bites, took issue with livery cars illegally jockeying for fares at the Sheepshead Bay subway station, and requested the agency take measures to discourage practices that put residents at risk.
I’ve been a long time reader of your great site and hoping you can be of assistance for our lost dog. His name is Bobbie and he is a white pure bred maltese, about a foot long. He ran away some time this afternoon at around 3-5pm. When I went around the neighborhood, someone spotted him on E 17th and Ave Y, near Doody’s.
Turns out Bobbie is his sister’s dog, and he’s watching it while she’s on vacation. Let’s help him out so we can avoid seeing some Cain and Able action when sis returns.
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning until 6:00 PM in Staten Island and Brooklyn. Immediately go indoors and/or to the lowest floor of your building for shelter. Stay away from windows.
The city is spending $7 million in taxpayer money on a state-of-the-art office building for a Brooklyn community board that has only two employees — state Sen. Carl Kruger’s girlfriend and sister, The Post has learned.
It’s a costly “giveback” to Community Board 18 and the embattled Brooklyn Democrat for his backing nearly two decades ago of a $357 million city sewage-overflow storage plant, which is just now being built at Paerdegat Basin, officials said.
“It’s a sweetheart deal for a community board run like a family-owned store,” said Dick Dadey, executive director of the government-watchdog group Citizens Union.
Dadey said the recently completed 4,000-square-foot office and meeting space is “so out of context” with what other local boards get that it will just open the floodgates to others asking for the same.
It’s rare for community boards to have dedicated city-owned office and meeting spaces. Most rent offices, are advised not to exceed 1,500 square feet of space, and host public meetings at larger spaces, city officials said.
But the city is paying the price now for a deal the Dinkins administration cut in the early 1990s, while Kruger chaired CB 18 and the Department of Environmental Protection project was up for approval by the board.
Kruger, however, said the city has only itself to blame for the high cost.
“It’s a disgrace that this project is 10 years behind schedule, so, of course, costs escalated,” said Kruger, the subject of an FBI probe into alleged influence peddling.
We weren’t able to get our videos of the Brooklyn/Bedford Park 9/11 Memorial processed on Monday, when we gave our coverage and photo gallery. Technical complications delayed it until now. Many of the songs played in between speakers, as well as inaudible speakers, were cut out to save time. But we left some of that local flare in when we could – especially in our final video. Enjoy.