Source: Google Maps
After years of delays and millions of dollars over budget, Marine Park residents are still without a much-anticipated community center. And the project is now one of the most notable in the city as an example of the Parks Department’s waste and inefficiency.
The community center, located at the northern end of Marine Park at Fillmore Avenue was touted in a new report by New York City Comptroller John Liu that blasted the Parks Department for “not carrying out and overseeing capital construction projects in a timely and cost effective manner.”
According to the report, which audited Parks projects conducted in fiscal year 2010-2011, the agency was late on delivering 47 percent of the 315 capital construction projects completed. On average, the projects were 218 days late, nearly double the estimated time for completion.
And it’s not just a matter of delays keeping parks closed from the public. They’re racking up a price tag. Thirty projects combined to run up a tab of $10 million in cost overruns. And bungling by consultants and designers cost the city an additional $4 million to correct, an amount the agency failed to recoup despite clauses in contracts that require contractors to return the money to taxpayers.
The Marine Park Community Center, though, remains particularly galling. Its numbers are not included in the tally above – as Liu’s team only looked at projects completed during the audit period – though it earned some honorable mentions.
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The King’s Chapel. Source: kingschapelnyc.org
It has long been the belief that the best way to effect positive change in your community is to get involved. To that end, the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association is hoping to inspire residents to get involved during its first meeting of the season, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. inside the King’s Chapel, corner of Quentin Road and East 27th Street.
The civic group will be hosting a panel, which will examine the topic: “Trying To Find New Ideas And New Blood To Address Neighborhood Issues.” The panelists will be comprised of the following:
- Erik Engquist, Assistant Managing Editor, Crain’s New York Business
- Chris Owens, Democratic State Committee Member, 52nd Assembly District
- Rev. Michael Perry, Pastor, Our Lady of Refuge Church
- Jumaane Williams, New York City Council Member, 45th Council District
- Moderator, Jim Ivaliotis, President, Marine Park Civic Association
According to Ed Jaworski, president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic, “Brooklyn has seen a lot of political turmoil and change recently, and this part of the borough has many concerns. The underlying, essential thought of our forum is the question: ‘Who can we trust to open the windows and let in some new ideas, bring in new blood to address the problems and the tilted system?’”
Captain John Chell, the new commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, will also be introduced.
The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, call (718) 375-9158.
Kings Chapel. Source: Google Maps
Find incredible bargains on clothes, furniture, kitchen items and more during a yard sale hosted by the Kings Chapel, October 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the chapel, corner of Quentin Road and East 27th Street.
Funds raised from the sale of table and lawn spots will be used towards critically needed repairs of Kings Chapel’s roof and foundation.
Vendors: Reserve a seller’s table by October 5 for $15. Lawn spots are $10. In the event of rain, the yard sale will be rescheduled for October 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For more information, contact Jason at (917) 207-4048 or email email@example.com.
Source: Google Maps
The in-construction senior center at Fillmore Avenue in Marine Park that was supposed to open in 2009 is still not ready. Local leaders and residents are frustrated with the time this project has taken and the soaring cost.
Currently, the building is costing three times more than the original projections, reports the Daily News. Residents blame the green building initiatives for the delay and rising rate.
The Parks Department and elected officials first put the building price at $5.5 million in 2004. Then raised the budget to $11 million in 2008. Now, the cost is at $16 million.
“It’s aggravating and frustrating,” Marine Park Civic Association president Jim Ivaliotis. “The feeling is we didn’t need this fancy building. It was bad budgeting and bad planning.”
The center is situated in Marine Park and is set to feature a geothermal energy system that heats and cools the building by pumping water through it. The building will also have solar paneling and a living green roof.
The geothermal green technology is said to be the costliest of the building’s additions.
A Parks Department spokesperson stated that the building will decrease energy use by almost 45 percent compared with another building of that size, which pays out in the long run.
Local politicians want to see the center open, but have doubts that it will meet the proposed winter opening deadline.
“We’re doing our best to hold their feet to the fire,” said John Quaglione, spokesman for state Senator Martin Golden. “This has been hanging around our neck.”
The hipster DMZ line. (Source: DieHipster.wordpress.com)
Breaking news from the New York Times: there are hipsters in Brooklyn. Oh, and Southern Brooklynites exist, and, shucks, even have opinions.
The Times recently sent a reporter out to Brooklyn neighborhoods on the hipster-less side of the Die Hipster DMZ line to find out what we really think of the unending waves of trust fund-fueled square-state rejects redefining Brooklyn chic.
The verdict from our neighbors? “Meh.”
Or, as the New York Times puts it:
To many longtime residents in some of the borough’s unaffected corners — in the rough-edged and timeless Brooklyn that has endured in places like Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville and East New York — the renaissance is still being watched with amusement, nervousness and even dismay.
Among the many yuppie-hipster trends sneered at by those in our area, supermarket politics earned considerable ire:
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The yellow badge. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
It seems we have not yet seen the end of the recent spate of anti-Semitic vandalism and crime in Southern Brooklyn. The latest incident was uncovered yesterday morning, when a Jewish family found the words “G-d don’t like Jews” painted on their car’s windshield. Police from the 63rd Precinct responded and are investigating the vandalism.
The graffiti comes on the heels of two other local anti-Semitic acts of vandalism. On November 11, three cars were found burned, and two others damaged in the heavily-Jewish Midwood neighborhood. The vandals had spray-painted swastikas and “KKK” nearby. Less than a week later, someone spray-painted the Avenue J Brighton Line station sign, adding “EW” to make it read “Avenue Jew.”
Read a joint statement about the incident from local politicians and civic organizations serving Marine Park.
State Senator Marty Golden hosted his annual memorial event at Marine Park early Sunday evening, following suit with a day of remembrances and ceremonies around the city, the state and the nation commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The overcast sky was a dull shade of gray, but the atmosphere at the northern end of the park’s oval was pure patriotic – red, white and blue.
“We have always been together as a community at these events, because being together helps us to mourn and heal at the same time,” Golden said in announcing the event, which he has hosted on nearly every anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. ”We will join together again to remember the victims and pray for them and to support those who survive them.”
Find out what happened at the event, and view a photo gallery.
Just a reminder: The Manhattan Beach Community Group, in collaboration with several other Southern Brooklyn civic associations, will be hosting a town hall meeting tomorrow at 8 p.m. at P.S. 195 (131 Irwin Street). The group is bringing together residents, local politicians and representatives from several relevant agencies to discuss the problems Southern Brooklyn faced during the December 26 blizzard, and seeking solutions to ensure that our area will not be neglected in the future.
Though most residential neighborhoods across all five boroughs faced challenges, Sheepshead Bay and Southern Brooklyn communities were hit the hardest and left for the longest. This meeting, open to the public, is your opportunity to be heard by local authorities. Residents will be permitted to make statements about their experiences.
Also, the Brooklyn Delegation of City Council meetings will be holding a hearing earlier in the day at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Residents can provide feedback on the city’s management of the blizzard. It is one of six public borough-based hearings over the next two weeks. The meeting kicks off at 6 p.m. at 209 Joralemon Street at Court Street.
The second – and last – Brooklyn-based City Council meeting on the blizzard will be hosted in Southern Brooklyn, at I.S. 278 (Marine Park Junior High School) at 1925 Stuart Street.
A slew of community groups are taking aim at officials that they consider responsible for the city’s bungled cleanup efforts after the blizzard, hoping to hold their feet to the fire.
The Manhattan Beach Community Group has cobbled together a coalition of Southern Brooklyn neighborhood associations and is inviting local officials to a forum on January 19. The groups are demanding explanations for why buses and trains were out of commission and streets were not plowed in the days after the blizzard.
The groups mean business: if a citywide official fails to attend or send a representative, an empty chair will be placed on the stage with a sign bearing the official’s name.
“We’re going to have the empty chairs because enough is enough. They get to park wherever they want, they get cars, they get cell phones. But when you need them, they’re nowhere to be found,” said MBCG President Ira Zalcman.
Keep reading about the forum, and find out who will – and won’t – be there.
From State Senator Marty Golden’s office:
Brooklyn- State Senator Marty Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) this weekend will host the 2nd Annual Mid-Summer Festival in Marine Park which will feature rides, games, food, entertainment, merchandise vendors, public service information and more. All proceeds will benefit the Marine Park Civic Association.
The event will take place on Saturday, August 7, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 8, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The entrance to the event in Marine Park is located at Avenue U and East 33rd Street.