City Councilman Lew Fidler, Assemblyman Alan Maisel and three other pols from around Brooklyn filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the city’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) and its commissioner Robert Doar, claiming that the city’s decision to limit emergency distribution of food assistance was “arbitrary and capricious,” and violated law.
City Councilman Lew Fidler. Photo by Erica Sherman
Residents in the 46th Councilmanic District and beyond, who suffered property loss or damage from Hurricane Sandy, are invited to attend a public meeting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be participating in.
Citizens affected by the superstorm can gain more information and have their questions answered during the session organized by Councilman Fidler in cooperation with Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and State Senator John Sampson, at the Kings Bay Y, Wednesday evening, November 14, at 7:00 p.m. The Kings Bay Y is located at 3495 Nostrand Avenue between Avenue U and Avenue V, across the street from Perry’s Diner.
“We live in a coastal area so our community was directly wounded by the recent storm. Therefore, I am absolutely dedicated to bringing in every resource possible to help our community fully heal. Since the storm, I’ve secured generators, clothing, trucks of food and needed supplies and continue to work hard to see the restoration of basic services. But information on available aid is also needed, which is why these meetings are so important.”
Another meeting, also organized by Fidler, will be held outside of our area tomorrow night, November 13 at 7:00 p.m., in cooperation with Assemblyman Alan Maisel and State Senator John Sampson at the Canarsie HES, 9502 Seaview Avenue, at the corner of East 95th Street, near St. Jude’s Church.
For additional information, contact Fidler’s office at (718) 241-9330. The councilman noted that, due to high call volume, busy signals may be encountered, but he and his staff remain available to help.
Who gets the bugs out? (Department of Health, Health, Health). What get’s the bugs…
Okay, I’m done. The point is, the Health Department will spray pesticide from trucks to reduce risk of West Nile virus activity in and around our coverage area tomorrow, August 23, between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., weather permitting.
The areas to be sprayed are:
Parts of Canarsie, East Flatbush, Flatlands, Georgetown, Marine Park, Mill Island, Mill Basin, Paerdegat Basin, Spring Creek and Starrett City.
The boundaries of spraying are Linden Boulevard, Rockaway Parkway, Ralph Avenue, Flatlands Avenue and Greenwood Road to the north; Nostrand Avenue and Gerritsen Avenue to the west; Belt Parkway to the south; and Spring Creek and 78 Street to the east.
The zip codes affected are 11207, 11208, 11210, 11229, 11234, 11236 and 11237.
The Health Department recommends that people take the following precautions to minimize direct exposure to the pesticide:
Stay indoors during spraying, especially if you have asthma or other respirator conditions.
Air conditioners may remain on, but you should close the vent or choose the re-circulate function.
Remove children’s toys, outdoor equipment, and clothes from outdoor areas during spraying. If outdoor equipment or toys are exposed to pesticides, wash them with soap and water before using again.
Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water.
In case of bad weather, spraying will be rescheduled for Monday, August 27 during the same hours.
New York, December 20, 1909. "S.L. Clemens." Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, aboard the Bermudian after a trip to Bermuda, four months before his death. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. Source: Shorpy
“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” ― Ray Bradbury
BETWEEN THE LINES: About 18 months ago, a debate took place at a Canarsie elementary school over a book of poems, when parents objected to some content, such as an anti-war poem with a line that President Bush “loves war so much he gets an erection,” and another about a crack-addicted hooker performing lewd acts.
City Councilman Charles Barron, who wrote the forward to the 2006 collection — which was authored by his goddaughter, Tylibah Washington — defended the book, noting it “speaks to the experiences and struggles of inner city youth,” though he subsequently acknowledged portions of it might be inappropriate for pre-teens.
Councilman Lew Fidler took to the microphone at a mandatory hearing on the impending closure of Sheepshead Bay High School last week, slamming the Bloomberg Administration’s proposal as an example of failed education policy and arguing instead that the school should become a testing ground for a new high school improvement model.
Students and administrators of Sheepshead Bay High School (3000 Avenue X) decried the closure plan and the Department of Education’s assertion that it’s failing, saying the school has made major strides in its success rate despite having a higher rate of non-traditional students.
They emphasized the school’s strengths: dedicated teachers, diverse students who come from all corners of the globe, and celebrated mock trial and track and field teams. The city should improve the school, not close it, they argued.
“Our parent coordinator accepts children, families almost every day who are not in any school system in this country, and we gladly show the families around this wonderful school,” said Thaddeus Russell, a School Leadership Team member and the father of three graduates and a current student.
Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg acknowledged that the school has had “some success” graduating English Language Learners in four years, and can count its slowly climbing graduation rate among its strengths.
Fidler added to those arguments – which focused on the school’s strength in extracurricular activities and its ability to serve a unique student population of ESL children and kids from broken homes – noting that the successes have been made in the face of continuous Department of Education interference.
“In 2008 you started picking on Sheepshead Bay High School,” Fidler said, referring to the DOE’s earlier attempts to shutter the school. “In spite of that fact, these very same teachers that you want to get rid of half of have improved the graduation rate even though you are telling them that you are coming for their jobs.”
The school’s overall grade dropped from a C to a D in the most recent progress reports. However, the school has demonstrated steady improvements over the past three school years in its first-year student achievements, graduation rates, regent diploma rates and attendance.
These achievements were made in the face of repeated threats of closure, as well as a public campaign to portray the school as failing. Administrators at the school testified that anxiety over the school’s future and its performance has kept strong-performing Junior High School students from applying, and gave the school a potentially weaker student body to work from.
Fidler suggested an alternative to closure – turn the school into a laboratory for high school improvement based on a model used at P.S. 114.
At the Canarsie-based elementary school, Councilman Fidler, Assemblyman Alan Maisel, other elected officials and community leaders rallied with parents and school administrators when city ordered the school shut down. Surprisingly, DOE officials reversed course, negotiating a compromise with school administrators and local elected. The facility would co-locate a small charter school, while the electeds directed more funds for after school programs, and administrators worked with parents and teachers to ensure deeper involvment.
Fidler told Sheepshead Bites that the turnaround has been a huge success. In terms of enrollment, P.S. 114 is now over-performing while the charter school can’t fill its seats.
“It’s an indication that parents want their kids in 114,” he said. “They liked what they saw.”
“I’m very confident that somebody like Lew would win any district that he has to run in, because he’s that kind of hands-on kind of guy,” said Seddio to Politicker NY. “I will be putting together a committee pretty shortly, probably focusing on 2013, but if it becomes open, I’m definitely running.”
This past weekend, he created a Facebook page for his campaign for the 46th District that serves neighborhoods like Bergen Beach, Marine Park, and Sheepshead Bay.
Seddio is a lawyer, former judge, and the leader for the Democratic party in the 59th Assembly District. And just like Fidler, he is also member of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, a powerful, local political organization.
Of possible contention come election time, Seddio is also a close friend of Kruger’s and defended him early on when corruption allegations emerged.
“I know Carl for 40 years. I’m astounded that this whole thing happened. In my wildest dreams, I never believed he would do something like this, but it’s happened. He’s now resigned and he’s not a factor anymore,” said Seddio. “It’s a sad thing. It besmirches all of us, but it’s not a factor anymore.”
For the proposed empty seat, Seddio will be up against his goddaughter’s mother, Mercedes Narcisse. According to her Facebook page, she is the CEO of Statewide Medical & Surgical who runs a shop on Avenue L.
“I’m the godfather of her daughter, so I know her pretty well. Mercedes always wanted to do this, she sees it as an opportunity,” said Seddio. “This is America, everybody gets an opportunity. Good for her.”
There’s an amount of pleasure to be taken from a conversation between a real Brooklynite and a yuppie, especially when the yuppie is grasping for – and not finding – a degree of authority on the subject of Brooklyn. You know what I’m talking about. Think about the last time you read the New York Times, with its Metro desk completely staffed by Northern Brooklyn hipsters, and they were forced to write that bi-monthly article about Southern Brooklyn. They always end up jumbling neighborhoods, screwing up demographics and local legends. You roll your eyes, but really, you wish they had said that in front of a local just so you can see them blush when corrected.
That’s why when a Park Slope writer interviews Howard Schultz, the founder and CEO of Starbucks, for the Financial Times, there was a lot to be amused about. First, writer John Gapper provides us with this sweeping assessment of Canarsie as “a rugged district between Coney Island and John F Kennedy airport” (cue eye roll), then when he tries to find some common ground with Canarsie-born Schultz, he gets hilariously shut down. And, irony of ironies, it comes from a Brooklyn boy who moved to a hipster nest (Portland) to show them how to properly launch and manage a business.
A message from your friendly DOT community Liaison to all Canarsie-area commuters. Yes, this is part of the Seven Bridges Project:
Beginning the week of April 19, 2010 the New York City Department of Transportation, Division of Bridges will begin major work on The Belt Parkway Bridge over Rockaway Parkway. This work includes installation of a water main, abutment and center pier work. During this work there will be one lane open on Rockaway Parkway under the Belt Parkway in both the northbound and southbound direction. The expected duration of this work is approximately three years. Vehicular and pedestrian and bicycle access to Canarsie Pier will be maintained at all times. During construction, traffic on the Belt Parkway will NOT be detoured onto local streets.
Questions regarding this project may be addressed to:
Enver Velovic, Community Liaison
(347) 702-6437 x 114 or SevenBeltBridgesOutreach@gmail.com