Archive for the tag 'manhattan beach park'

Source: NYC Parks Department

Source: NYC Parks Department

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Chaim Deutsch:

New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn), in an ongoing effort to improve parks in the 48th District, will host a Town Hall Meeting at PS 195 Thursday, April 3rd at 7 PM, inviting community members to share their thoughts and propose upgrades for Manhattan Beach Park, a major recreational park and popular destination.

This is the second in a series of Town Hall Meetings Council Member Deutsch will host in an effort to involve residents in plans to improve our local parks.

“I am working hard to improve our community’s parks,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch. “I invite all area residents to attend this important Town Hall Meeting, share their vision of the park, and take a hand in shaping its future.”

Manhattan Beach Park, located off Oriental Boulevard between Ocean Avenue and Mackenzie Street, is home to baseball fields, beaches, playgrounds, sprinklers, and a dog run, in addition to basketball, tennis, handball and volleyball courts.

Council Member Deutsch’s Town Hall Meeting will give park goers an opportunity to weigh in on the future of Manhattan Beach Park. Those in attendance are encouraged to share their knowledge of the park, best usage, and point out facilities that may require repair or maintenance. In addition, community members will be given an opportunity to propose capital projects, which Councilman Deutsch will discuss with Parks Department officials for funding consideration.

“Take advantage of this opportunity to make Manhattan Beach Park a better place,” said Councilman Deutsch.

The Town Hall Meeting will be held in the auditorium at PS 195 [131 Irwin St. between Shore and Oriental boulevards] Thursday, April 3, at 7 PM.

Image via nycgovparks.org

All The City’s Wi-Fi Hot Spots: Green=free, White=Limited, Grey=Partner (Image via nycgovparks.org)

The city expanded the availability of Wi-Fi to parks across Southern Brooklyn in a deal made with the region’s top cable providers. Business Week is reporting that a form of free Wi-Fi is coming to places like Manhattan Beach, Marine Park and Steeplechase Park in Coney Island.

The city’s plan adds Wi-Fi to 32 parks in all, boosting the total amount of hotspots in Brooklyn to 14. Business Week described the specifics of the deal:

The service is part of the city’s 2011 franchise agreement with New York-based Time Warner Cable, the second-largest U.S. cable provider, and Bethpage, New York-based Cablevision, the fifth largest. As part of the contract, the companies agreed to maintain the city’s WiFi system through 2020 in parks and public spaces, mostly outside Manhattan. The cable providers created a $10 million fund to pay for it, according to the city.

Soon enough, people with laptops, smart phones and other specialized mobile devices will be able to catch a free signal in five locations at Gravesend Park, six locations in Marine Park, 15 locations in Manhattan Beach Park and one location in Steeplechase Park. The access to to the Wi-Fi is partially dependent on cable service the user has. For instance, only Cablevision customers can get full free access to any of the Wi-Fi spots in Southern Brooklyn parks. If you aren’t a Cablevision customer, you can only use the service three times in a 30 day span for only 10 minutes at a time.

Across the city, certain select locations will have full free Wi-Fi, regardless of cable service affiliation, like in Prospect Park, McCarren Park and many places in Manhattan including Central Park. If people aren’t Cablevision customers, they can purchase WiFi access for 99 cents a day per device.

For more information on the availability of free hotspot coverage you can visit the Parks Department website by clicking here.

As Memorial Day nears, the Parks Department is working to get Manhattan Beach Park back in shape for the summertime. Replacement picnic benches and tables for the ones destroyed by Superstorm Sandy were delivered months ago and are now in storage.

However, one of the partially destroyed fences, which separates the beach and picnic area, has also been removed. My question is why do need it and should it be replaced?

Its purpose was to keep visitors from entering the grassy area. Some people do not like the sand and would prefer to sprawl out on the grass, but this is not allowed. Many other city parks allow visitors onto the grass. You are even allowed to walk on the grass in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and lay down a blanket.

I would like to know what makes Manhattan Beach Park so different that the grass is so holy that it cannot be stepped upon? Why should you only be able to view the grassy areas and not be able to use them?

It seems to me that the money to replace the fences that have already been removed could be put to better use. We already have a large grassy area right in front of the park on Oriental Boulevard that is fenced off. Why should the smaller area near the sand also be fenced off? How much more maintenance would be required to keep it open? Wouldn’t the enjoyment that opening this area would bring far outweigh the additional maintenance, which would just involve some occasional cleanup?

Should we not  be able to enjoy our parks? Do you think the small, previously fenced off grassy area near the sand by Ocean Avenue should remain closed?

Source: Jim Henderson via Wikimedia Commons

The iconic parks of Southern Brooklyn damaged by Superstorm Sandy will remain closed for months while the city focuses its resources on higher priority disaster needs according to a report in the New York Daily News.

Parts of the famed Coney Island Boardwalk, nearby Coney playgrounds, the Red Hook Recreation Center, and all of Manhattan Beach park will remain closed indefinitely until clean up crews and repairmen get to them. The clean up and repairs themselves are expected to take months, and there is a possibility that they will be closed through the early part of the coming summer.

While everyone wants to enjoy the use of the public parks and spaces come summer, delays into their restoration is understandable given the priority of addressing the livelihoods of those lost homes, power, and vital services due to Sandy’s relentless destruction. Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey echoed this sentiment to the Daily News, stating that, “There are many issues at the moment that are larger than open space. You’ve got residents without heat or homes and major disruption of services.”

Still, business owners in and around the parks are worried that the delayed restoration will keep the large crowds away, forcing them to cut back on hours and jobs.

“It’s like a trifecta,” Stephanie Rodriguez, a ticker-taker for the Wonder Wheel, told the Daily News. “If we have a dirty beach and boardwalk the beachgoers will go somewhere else. The attraction owners will lose money — then they’ll cut the employees’ hours and we’ll be broke.”

As for Manhattan Beach Park, the Parks Department is hopeful that it will be fully open come summer, but that possibility is still subject to further storm damage assessment.

While the parks are low on the priority list, Jeffrey’s agency has tapped into federal emergency funds to recruit over 300 temporary clean up crew workers who are addressing the damage at Coney, Manhattan Beach, and Red Hook.

“Bullet Points” is our new format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles.

Boardmembers push to beautify Manhattan Beach, oppose aesthetic improvements at Knapp Street sewage plant: Parks Department’s Brooklyn Chief of Staff Martin Maher came before the Board last night to provide the community with updates on ongoing projects in the district – including at Bill Brown Park, Galapo Playground, Brigham Street Park and Emmons Avenue – but the presentation quickly turned to Manhattan Beach as members barraged Maher with questions and complaints (video above).

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On Wednesday, we told you all about the barbecue-hatin’ Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association’s Monday meeting, in which they presented a petition from the barbecue-lovin’ Manhattan Beach Community Group. That petition, drawn up in 2007, before the two groups split and when current MBNA leaders actually ran the MBCG (confused yet?), has included on it the signatures of the current leaders of the MBCG, who say they oppose the ban. According the MBNA, that shows that the MBCG are a bunch of hypocrites.

Our question? Why is one of New York City’s tiniest neighborhoods so freakin’ confusing?

Anyway, we couldn’t include the video with yesterday’s story because of technical problems. So here it is, in all its glory. Now you can see MBNA President Alan Ditchek look directly in the camera and talk to the “bloggers” (though a quick review of what we’ve written suggests he’s probably talking to the commenters). Oh, and there’s a doctor there, too. Around minute 6:30, when it turns political, he seems about as confused as we are.

Alan Ditchek, president of the MBNA.

The rhetoric between the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association and Manhattan Beach Community Group continued to mount this week, as MBNA President Alan Ditchek released a 2007 petition to ban the practice – a petition signed by the current proposal’s most vocal critics.

The petition reflects efforts from four years ago to ban barbecuing in Manhattan Beach Park, and the signatures of Manhattan Beach Community Group leaders – who now call the current attempt “racist” – casts doubt on their sincerity.

The proposal to ban barbecuing on Manhattan Beach is being pushed by the MBNA because they say it is detrimental to residents’ health, but the president of the MBCG, Ira Zalcman, believes that the MBNA is proposing the ban for all the wrong reasons. Zalcman previously argued before his group that the MBNA’s position is mired in racism and discrimination, as they have a “history of wanting to privatize the beach.”

More: Ditchek defends his arguments, slams the MBCG and

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.”

Despite the apparent defeat, MBNA leaders say they’ll continue to push for a ban. Keep reading to find out how.

Traffic safety, property taxes and public transportation all came up at last night’s Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association meeting, but the issue that had the membership most fired up was charcoal grilling in the Manhattan Beach park.

The group voted unanimously to send letters to city agencies demanding that barbecuing be banned and the charcoal pits uprooted from the park, a move that would eliminate one of the borough’s seven parks that legally allow grills, and one of only two in Southern Brooklyn.

The vote was made after the group’s president, Dr. Alan Ditchek, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist, brought up a recent study linking airborne particulate matter with elevated incidents of stroke.

“I would like to question the city, who wants to legislate against smoking at the beach or smoking outdoors, how could they possibly allow the continuation of barbecue grills here on Manhattan Beach, jeopardizing the health of not only the residents of Manhattan Beach, but everyone on the beach, and everyone in the playground, and everyone on the ballfield,” Ditchek said in front of an audience of about a dozen residents. “If this study mentions particulate matter and risk of stroke – proven risk of stroke – then the city better get down here and shut down these barbecue grills as soon as possible.”

Keep reading about Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association’s proposed ban on barbecuing, and weigh in on the issue.

We got this photo of the Rainbow Bandshell, circa 1930, from Michael Goldstein, the director of Alumni Relations at Kingsborough Community College.

Don’t know what the Rainbow Bandshell was? Neither did I. But many of the area’s older residents remember hearing stories about the fabled shows at the world famous venue.

“The shell was designed by a famous designer (don’t remember name) to provide the best sound possible out to the audience,” Goldstein wrote to us. “The shell would light up in different colors along the different rims at night – hence the ‘Rainbow Bandshell.’ Thousands would dance under the stars to music every week.”

Rainbow Bandshell was part of a private bath club founded by Joseph P. Day, which was called the “World’s Largest Privately Owned Playground.” Day is responsible for much of the residential development in Manhattan Beach after the hotel era ended.

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