Community Board 13 is demanding the Department of Education begin taking toxic chemicals in schools more seriously.
Responding to recent reports that some Brooklyn schools contain the toxic Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), the board wants the city to host public hearings on the issue and improve communication with parents and educators about the substances.
PCBs were recently found in area schools including Sheepshead Bay’s P.S. 52 (2675 East 29th Street) and P.S. 288 in Coney Island. The chemical was used in construction materials, especially around windows and door frames, before being banned in the 1970s. It has the potential to cause cancer, as well as a variety of other adverse health effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system.
“It is in the best interest of everyone if the Department of Education takes a proactive approach to keeping everyone informed and addressing the concerns of students, parents, teachers and members of the general public,” boardmember Brian Gotlieb wrote in a letter to schools Chancellor Joel Klein. Gotlieb is the chairperson of the board’s Education, Library and Youth Services Committee.
The fence to this mess fell down, giving access to children from nearby P.S. 52
We railed last month against the owners of 2820 Avenue Z, a stalled construction site in such deplorable condition that it threatened the safety of local schoolchildren. On February 9, the city declared the site in “Emergency Condition.” This means the property owner must repair the construction fence immediately or the city will do it for them. This is done to ensure public safety.
The ruling came after a February 1 inspection spurred on by complaints about the site’s fallen fencing, which gave access to children from P.S. 52 on the same block. In addition to the broken fencing, the inspection found that the existing wood and steel frame was below grade.
Though there is no exact time frame for the repairs to be done before the city steps in, it’s assumed the property owner has a few days to make repairs. If the city repairs the fencing they put the cost on the property tax bill and charge a premium.
We passed by on February 12 and the fencing was still down. If this is along anyone’s daily route, please send us updates if anything changes.
Thanks to Community Board 15 for the information.
This is NOT how you build a treehouse
Three years ago, workers began demolishing 2820 Avenue Z to make way for a new building. The problem is, it never had permission to do so. The resulting mess is a portrait of Department of Building’s inefficacy that is now putting schoolchildren across the street at P.S. 52 in danger.
After making your way past the fallen fencing and through garbage and jagged debris, you reach a 7-foot drop into a partially excavated foundation, which the DOB forced property owners to re-line with cinder blocks. In the middle of it all is a pile of loosely standing splinters that could generously be called the construction’s frame.
Beer bottles, junk food wrappers, spray paint cans, and the graffiti on the walls show that teenagers have been messing around in here. A crossing guard for the school across the street says she chases the school children out of there on a daily basis. She’s tried calling the number on the side – a general contractor – but gets no response.
Continue reading about the violations, and DOB’s inability to take action
The site of the proposed mosque at 2812/2814 Voorhies Avenue
Opponents of a proposed mosque in Sheepshead Bay came before the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association last week to rally support for their fight, but instead found little sympathy for their struggle.
A handful of neighbors came to the Tuesday night meeting to present their case against the mosque, which may soon be built at 2812 Voorhies Avenue and will also include a school and community center. But board members of the civic association and Community Board 15 chairperson Theresa Scavo bristled as the opposition turned towards race-baiting and ethnic fears.
“On what grounds are you opposing them?” said Scavo. “You can’t turn around and say ‘Oh they’re Muslim.’ Who’s going to look like the bad guy?”
Though initial statements from the mosque’s opponents emphasized potential traffic, parking, and noise problems as the cause for their concern, racist undertones began to bubble to the surface of the debate.
Read more about what happened at the meeting and to see documents from the mosque’s opponents