The heat around a proposed barbecue ban on Manhattan Beach continued to intensify this week, this time at the Community Board 15 meeting. But the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation said they have no plans to halt one of America’s favorite pastimes.
Parks Department Brooklyn Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey listened intently to arguments for and against the ban at the Wednesday night meeting, but appeared unmoved by the opponents’ concerns. And, according to a statement from his office, no ban is likely in the near future.
“Commissioner Jeffrey has been in touch with the Community Board regarding their concerns,” a Parks Department spokesperson told Sheepshead Bites. “At this time there are no plans to eliminate barbecuing at Manhattan Beach.”
In an unusually frank 45-minute speech in front of neighbors, Manhattan Beach Community Group President Ira Zalcman dished on the group’s three-year feud with the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association, including a “sabotaged” attempt to reunite the two civics.
“We have been sabotaged in almost all of our efforts by one elected person in particular, and some other people,” Zalcman said. The politician went unnamed. On the city and state level, Manhattan Beach is represented by City Councilman Michael Nelson and State Senator Carl Kruger.
The Department of Transportation is implementing several new traffic safety initiatives in Manhattan Beach, but the neighborhood’s community groups still say more needs to be done.
The agency has agreed to add a speed bump on Oxford Street, and permanent stop signs have already been installed at each of Kingsborough Community College’s entrances. The city also approved a plan to increase “daylighting” – the removal of parking spaces from corners to allow more visibility for drivers making a turn – along all Oriental Boulevard corners where a southbound street meets the avenue.
Despite the concessions, both of the community’s civics are asking for more to be done to protect the neighborhood from reckless drivers.
Thirteen old men, to be exact. And they’re not really that old.
On Sunday, October 24, warriors from the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association will take on the spry youths of Kingsborough’s softball team. But it’s a win-win for the school, who is hosting the match at noon, since they’re getting paid regardless.
Each of the Manhattan Beach players has doled out at least $100 to be on the team, and they’ve been raising additional funds from friends, family and neighbors as well. A final tally of funds raised is not yet available, but the number will be announced at the game on Sunday.
Anyone interested in making a contribution to the school to be presented at the game can contact Edmond Dweck at firstname.lastname@example.org or (917) 747-5863. And, of course, the game is open for anyone to come and watch.
The Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association revealed a laundry list of traffic safety proposals at their meeting last night, and lambasted their rival community group’s efforts for “patting themselves on the back.”
Executive members of MBNA and Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo met with representatives of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office on Thursday, July 29, to present their ideas. According to the group, the advocate’s office gave a warm reception to the suggestion and is now issuing letters to relevant agencies to spur action.
“I’ve got to say the Public Advocate’s representatives were extremely attentive,” said Scavo. “They questioned why DOT, why Parks, why [there hasn't been] reception from these various agencies.”
MBNA President Alan Ditchek is optimistic about the plan.
“[These are] very good ideas and certainly will go a long way to rectifying the situation in Manhattan Beach that’s happened here over the last few years,” said Ditchek. “I think we’ve got a very good list compiled and if we implement just some of these things we will certainly see safer streets.”
The Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association praised the 61st Precinct’s Memorial Day response, but requested ways to enhance coordination with the community for a more orderly summer season at last night’s meeting.
In the past, the 61st Precinct dispatched officers to direct traffic on Oriental Boulevard near the beach parking lot and in other locations in the community. But MBNA members said that “pockets” of traffic backups still exist.
“In a scenario like that, how does one advise the police that are there, without calling 911, without calling 311?” MBNA public relations director Edmond Dweck asked Doyle. “Could we possibly have access to advising whoever is in charge on the beach that day?”
A sergeant is always in the beach area, coordinating the precinct’s response. Dweck asked for a phone number to call or send texts to in order to instruct them to deploy officers to clear a problem area.
Manhattan Beach's private security forces are hampered by economy, selfishness, and politics(Photo courtesy of davidsonscott15 via Flickr)
Manhattan Beach’s private security force needs to see commitments from at least 150 more households if it expects to continue service in 2010, officials from the non-profit told Sheepshead Bites following Monday night’s Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association meeting.
But though the patrol’s fate may be clear, reasons for dwindling support among neighborhood residents remain murky. Some supporters point to the city’s faltering economy, others believe their neighbors aren’t interested, and at least one City Councilman points the finger at a long-standing feud between two Manhattan Beach civic organizations.