Archive for the tag 'bay improvement group'

While organizers of the not-so-Great GoogaMooga reneged on their “rain or shine” billing in the face of Sunday’s drizzle, hundreds of Sheepshead Bay residents flocked to Emmons Avenue to prove what the phrase really means.

Bay Improvement Group’s 22nd Annual Bayfest went forward despite a day-long downfall that appeared to come in from all directions. Attendance was surely hampered by the weather, and even several of the sponsors bailed (Sheepshead Bites set up table, but, without a tent, was forced to say our goodbyes after our materials took on too much water).

Organizers plowed ahead anyway, keeping good on their promise, with music blaring from two main stages and a handful of performance areas. Inflatable rides amused kids – and also provided brief refuge from the rain, and sponsors like Investors Bank kept in good spirits, cheering to the music with their teams and handing out goodies.

Aside from all fun – soggy or not – the group’s president, Steve Barrison, took a moment before the festivities to honor the  Department of Sanitation with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Barrison and the group thanked the department for lifting, carting and removing countless tons of debris in the months after Superstorm Sandy.

See the photo gallery.


The Bay Improvement Group boogied down and gave props up last Thursday night at their annual Oscars gala, when it celebrated a pack of heroes who went above and beyond to help neighbors during Superstorm Sandy.

Learn about the honorees, and view photos from the event.

With spring break for many schools just weeks away, community organizers throughout Sandy-affected neighborhoods are preparing for a flood of student volunteers to bolster recovery efforts across the region – and they’re warning the Sanitation Department to be ready.

“It’s pretty much a consensus that the boom time for volunteers is spring break, because [students] organize through their churches, or their sororities or fraternities,” said Laura McKenna, acting executive director of Bay Improvement Group, who is involved in the Brooklyn Long-Term Recovery Group, a coalition of organizations working on Sandy recovery. “Students are brought in to do this work wherever a disaster may be, and right now that’s here. They’re going to come in from all over the place to Brooklyn, Staten Island, New Jersey and they’re going to be helping, and we need to be ready.”

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Photo Provided By Bay Improvement Group

Coney Island Hospital’s Mobile Medical Unit is back on Emmons Avenue, this time near Nostrand Avenue in front of the Best Western Hotel, providing free flu shots, tetanus shots, respiratory checks and more.

The van will be there until 5 p.m. today, and returns tomorrow, Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Community Board 15 helped clear the way for a new storage facility on Knapp Street, voting in support of a waiver to existing zoning restrictions at their meeting last Tuesday despite objections from community groups.

The proposed location. Click to enlarge. (Source: Google Maps)

Metro Storage NY came before the Board in a process to repeal a “restrictive declaration” on the property at 2713-2735 Knapp Street, a wedge of land that juts into Plumb Beach Channel at Voorhies Avenue. The 28-year-old declaration prohibits any use other than a retail and marina development, a clause that has caused the land to stay desolate since the original plans fell through years ago.

“It’s derelict. What do I see here? I see some trucks, I see some cars,” said Metro Storage’s attorney, Howard Goldman, before the Board.

Goldman said the restrictive declaration and the lot’s proximity to the Coney Island Wastewater Treatment Plant means that few plans can get through the process to make use of the property. In 1996, an application was submitted for a two-story retail development was squashed, and, in 2005, a plan for a residential development was opposed by the Department of Environmental Protection.

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Source: Kalexanderson / Flickr

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the lasting repercussions from Superstorm Sandy, the Bay Improvement Group (BIG) will be partnering with Project HOPE to offer a 90-minute support group session with professional counselors for Sheepshead Bay residents impacted by the storm.

The session will be held behind closed doors from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., on Thursday, January 24, in a conference room in BIG’s Mobile Command Center (Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol), just west of 3031 Emmons Avenue.

If you feel you would benefit from the opportunity to share your frustrations and, in the process, help others, please attend. There is no requirement to sign up or give your name — just show up. According to BIG Founder and President Steve Barrison, “If enough people show, we’ll set them up with Project HOPE,” which conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.

If you feel you or someone you know needs to speak to someone immediately, contact (800) 543-3638.

Correction (January 29): The original version of this article stated that HOPE stood for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere. The was incorrect. Health Opportunities for People Everywhere is a different Project HOPE, and is an international program. The Project HOPE discussed in this article is not an acronym, and is a New York State-funded program. 

Photo Provided By Bay Improvement Group

Flu season is upon us and the good people at the Bay Improvement Group will be sending out their Mobile Medical Unit into the local community to provide free flu shots and free tetanus shots with a doctor on sight. Here are the details:

The Bay Improvement Group, in association with Coney Island Hospital, will be providing a Mobile Medical Unit to the Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach community.

Location: 3075 Emmons Avenue, corner of Brown Street
Dates: Thursday, Jan. 17; Friday, Jan. 18; Saturday, Jan. 19
Times: 9am-5pm

The Mobile Medical Unit will supply FREE flu shots, FREE tetanus shots, and have a doctor available.

We’d like to thank Councilman Nelson’s office for providing support in bringing this needed resource to the community, and the Department of Transportation and the 61st Precinct for their cooperation.

Bay Improvement Group

(UPDATE [February 4, 2013]: Beginning February 4, all FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers will operate 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. All centers have stopped offering service on Sundays.)

More than two months after Sandy devastated the Sheepshead Bay waterfront, FEMA has finally established a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) on Emmons Avenue, providing a one-stop shop for recovery services within walking distance for many hard-hit residents.

The DRC kicked off a “soft opening” today at 1:00 p.m., using space offered by the Sheepshead Bay Yacht Club (3076 Emmons Avenue). It will have a regular opening tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Representatives for FEMA did not respond by our deadline to a request for more information, including complete operating hours or a list of services. Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein’s office, though, tells us the DRC will operate until January 28.

DRCs offer services, including:

  • Guidance regarding disaster recovery
  • Clarification of any written correspondence received
  • Housing Assistance and Rental Resource information
  • Answers to questions, resolution to problems and referrals to agencies that may provide further assistance
  • Status of applications being processed by FEMA
  • In-person application for Rapid Repairs
  • SBA program information if there is a SBA Representative at the Disaster Recovery Center site

Bay Improvement Group and Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association have been advocating for a DRC to be established in the heart of Sheepshead Bay for weeks, recruiting local pols including Councilman Lew Fidler and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein to champion their efforts. FEMA informed leaders on Monday that they had secured a location and would begin seeing applicants today.

“It took a lot of time and effort to get FEMA and other government agencies to recognize the need for a Disaster Recovery Center in Sheepshead Bay. But we’re happy they’re here now and will do everything we can to get the word out before deadlines like January 12, when displaced residents must leave FEMA hotels; January 14, the deadline for registering IN PERSON for Rapid Repairs; and of course January 28, the last day to register with FEMA,” said Laura McKenna, BIG’s acting executive director.

According to FEMA’s website, other local DRCs have been operating in Gerritsen Beach (2901 Gerritsen Avenue), Brighton Beach (3300 Coney Island Avenue), Coney Island (1904 Surf Avenue) and Gravesend (10 Bouck Court).

UPDATE (1/3/2012 @ 9:30 a.m.): FEMA just informed us that normal operational hours for this Disaster Recovery Center are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. A spokesperson emphasized that FEMA’s final deadline is January 28.

If you’re still digging out from Superstorm Sandy – and we know many residents and businesses are – there’s a town hall meeting tonight in Gerritsen Beach following up on Sandy recovery efforts.

Folks, realize that these opportunities are quickly petering out, so if you have forms you need to file, appeals you need to make, or any questions in general, get to this town hall!

To make doing so easier, the good people over at the Bay Improvement Group have finagled a school bus out of Councilman Michael Nelson. The bus will make eight stops around the hardest hit areas of Sheepshead Bay before going over to the 7:00 p.m. meeting in Gerritsen Beach.

The meeting, organized by State Senator Marty Golden, will feature officials from FEMA; the New York City Departments of Health, Finance and Buildings; the NYC Rapid Repairs Program, and the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Here’s the bus schedule, with approximate times and stop locations:

The following is from our friends at the Bay Improvement Group:

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