Friday, April 30, 2010

CENSUS TAKERS START VISITING TOMORROW

Census takers for the U.S. Census Bureau will start going door-to-door tomorrow and continue through July 10th. They'll visit you if you received a form and didn’t mail it back. Even if you did mail it back, it might have arrived too late to be processed, and you might be visited.

They'll also visit people who didn’t receive a form.

If someone comes to your door and tells you that they're
a census worker, make sure that they're telling you the truth.
  • They must show you their ID badge. The badge has a Department of Commerce watermark on it and an expiration date. They may also be carrying a black canvass bag with a Census Bureau logo.
  • They must provide you with information about how to contact their supervisor and/or the phone number of the local census office, if you ask for it.
  • They must ask you only the questions that appear on the census form.
  • They must not ask you for your social security number, your bank account number, or your credit card number.
  • They must not ask you for money.
  • They must not contact you by e-mail.
Census workers are authorized to try to interview you up to six times. They can leave you three notices that they tried to visit you. They can then try three times to reach you by phone to either interview you by phone or schedule a visit.

If they aren't able to talk with you, they're allowed to talk to your neighbor, your rental agent, your building manager, or anyone else who knows your household in order to obtain as much basic information about you as they can.

All census takers have had an FBI background check that includes a name check and a fingerprint check. They took an oath for life that they'll protect the information they collect, and they were told that they can get
fined up to $250,000, put in jail for up to five years, or suffer both penalties if they disclose any personally identifiable information about anyone they've interviewed.

By law, the Census Bureau can't share your answers with the IRS, the FBI, the CIA, or any other government agency.

The 2010 Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Information is used to
  • determine how many Congressional seats each state will get,
  • distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds to state and local governments each year until the next census in 2020,
  • and make decisions about which community services to provide.
More than 72% of households across the country have returned their census forms. In Kensington, the percentage of returns is only in the 50s and 60s. If people in our neighborhood don't participate in the census, we'll lose representatives in Congress and lose funding for services that we need, such as schools, roads, hospitals, and emergency services.

For more information about the census, please read these posts on the KARMA blog:
Be Counted in the Census, Lower Your Taxes--Mail Your Census Form, and You Probably Know by Now That the Census Is Here.

BEWARE OF FRAUD BY ENERGY COMPANIES

Protect yourself from fraud! If anyone rings your doorbell and tells you that he or she is from an energy company and they can save you money on your electric or gas bill, DO NOT open your door, even if they show you their identification.

If you do open your door, DO NOT show them your Con Edison bill or your National Grid bill. If you do, they might switch your account from Con Edison or National Grid to their company without your permission. DO NOT sign anything. Call the police to report the person. Describe the person to the police, if you're able to. If the person touches you or curses at you, tell the police.

Representatives of a company named Just Energy have been going to homes in this area. They were in our neighborhood as recently as last night. Just Energy has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau. Just Energy is NOT accredited by the Better Business Bureau. 541 complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau against Just Energy. The Better Business Bureau says
Complainants allege they were subject to misleading sales practices, such as unauthorized enrollment in the program offered, and/or misrepresentation of contract length, and/or guarantees of savings, and/or ability to cancel the contract after the initial three day period.

Consumer complaints also allege that the sales representatives from US Energy Savings...[are] misrepresenting their identities.

Additional complaints allege that consumers who did not speak and/or understand English were likewise solicited and their signatures were obtained, enrolling them into US Energy's five year contract, despite these individuals' failure to fully understand what they were signing.

Other complaints allege that upon signing up with the company on the premise of savings on gas, consumers' bills did not decrease, but instead increased substantially.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

COMMERCIAL LEASE NEGOTIATION FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS AND MICROENTREPRENEURS

Wednesday, May 12th, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Commercial Lease Negotiation
for Small Business Owners and Microentrepreneurs

Kevin Drakeford of the Drakeford Group, PC will present an overview of the legal rights of small business owners and microentrepreneurs when it's time to negotiate for or sign a commercial lease.

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so call (718) 368-6790 to register or go to http://bedc.org/Commercial_Lease.htm.

Location:
Brooklyn Public Library Business Library
280 Cadman Plaza West (at Tillary Street)

Sponsored by Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation, Brooklyn Public Library Business Library, City Bar Justice Center Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project, and New York State Small Business Development Center.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

OXYGEN FOR KENSINGTON

We're delighted that a few of the hundreds of street trees KARMA requested for the neighborhood have been planted. The trees are on Church from Beverley to E. 2nd, E. 2nd from Church to Beverley, and both sides of Beverley from E. 2nd to Church.

The tree-planting was done through New York City's MillionTreesNYC initiative.

DELI/RESTAURANT OPENING ON CHURCH AVENUE

In about two weeks, Soho Cafe and Grill--a combination deli and restaurant--will open at 215 Church Avenue, between E. 2nd and E. 3rd streets, next to Rich Frog Toys.

We'll tell you more when we know more!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PLANT SALE AT COMMUNITY GARDEN

Sunday, May 2nd, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Plant Sale

A variety of reasonably priced flowering, herb, and vegetable plants will be for sale at the East 4th Street Community Garden, with all of the proceeds earmarked for the upkeep of the garden.

Located on E. 4th Street between Caton Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway, the garden has had a presence in our community for over thirty years.

5K RUN/WALK TO BENEFIT BROOKLYN PTA

Saturday, May 1st, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Brooklyn PTA 5K Run/Walk for Schools

The Brooklyn PTA 5K Run/Walk for Schools raises funds in support of local public schools.
Last year, more than 300 people participated!

After the event, there will be parent organizations, face painting, music, and other community-building activities.

The registration fee for participants is $15 per person or $25 per family.
You can run as part of a school team or sign up as an individual and be assigned to a group.

You can also raise money through sponsorships (prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers). Profits from the event will be split among the participating schools: 50% of the total will be divided evenly among all participating schools (those who recruited 20 or more participants) and the other 50% will be divided among schools based on the number of students in the school.

If your PTA isn't already involved, they just need to sign on and recruit 20 participants in order to share in the proceeds.
You, your school, or your PTA can contact the organizers at either contact@brooklynpta.org or PTArunfortheschools@gmail.com.

The registration forms and additional information are on the Brooklyn PTA website. You can also register on-site on Saturday morning.

If you'd like to coordinate a group from your school or be a volunteer on the day of the race, send an e-mail to Jessica Turner
at jturner@council.nyc.gov. Jessica is the Community Liaison for Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Borough Park for our New York City Councilmember Brad Lander.

Meet at Prospect Park at the Bartel Pritchard Square entrance near Prospect Park West and 15th Street.

Race, walk, stroll, or toddle with your neighbors!

LOCAL ARTIST MAGGIE TOBIN FEATURED AT RICO GALLERY


Beautiful, inspirational new works by Kensington artist Maggie Tobin will be featured at the Rico gallery beginning this Friday, April 30th. The opening reception will be held that evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Maggie writes "My new paintings are of trees painted from my imagination.
I aim to reflect the timelessness of nature in a fleeting moment."

Rico
384 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
(718) 797-2077
Gallery hours: Monday through Friday, noon to 7:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Monday, April 26, 2010

SHOP BROOKLYN SURVEY FOR CONSUMERS AND MERCHANTS

Shop Brooklyn is an awareness campaign that unites, promotes, and supports Brooklyn merchants and showcases their quality and individuality. This "shop local" campaign champions local small businesses and features a "Brooklyn Bonus" to entice shoppers to purchase from Brooklyn merchants.

The Brooklyn Bonus is offered by stores that sign up (at no charge) and agree to offer it on any day (or days) of the week during special shopping seasons. The bonus can take the form of a major discount, offering, free item, or special experience.

Merchants are invited to evaluate Shop Brooklyn's efforts by filling out a survey by May 10th at 9:00 a.m.

A survey for consumers
is ongoing. In it, you're asked to rate the importance of these issues to your shopping behavior:
  • Supporting locally owned,"mom-and-pop" businesses
  • Finding the best price or deal
  • Location to home
  • Location to work
  • Friendships with businesses in your neighborhood
  • The presence of store-front banners/window displays
  • Cleanliness and aesthetic appeal of retail area
  • Diversity of local businesses
This is followed by several questions about Shop Brooklyn and one that asks "Are you willing to increase your support of local businesses in your neighborhood?" The answer to that one, of course, is YES!

Filling out the information on the "Communication" page (the final page) isn't required, but it would be helpful if you would at least write the name of your street and your zip code. Shop Brooklyn says that your privacy is ensured and that your contact information won't be shared.

HOW BUSY ARE YOUR SUBWAY AND BUS LINES?

The MTA's 2009 statistics for subway and bus ridership rank the amount of use for each subway station and local bus route. The charts also include each station's and route's Annual Total, Average Weekday, Average Saturday, and Average Sunday ridership.

Subway stations are arranged alphabetically by borough.
Out of 422 stations, Church Avenue (F and G) ranks as the 153rd most used and Fort Hamilton Parkway (F and G) as the 289th.

Bus routes are arranged numerically by borough.
Out of 194 local routes, the B67 ranks as the 123rd most used, the B35 as 6th, the B16 as 111th, and the B69 as 168th.

Not included are figures for how many other commuters are pressed up against you at any given time.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

GREENWOOD PLAYGROUND FLEA MARKET A SUCCESS

Yesterday's Flea Market and Tag Sale at Greenwood Playground was a huge success. Congratulations to Friends of Greenwood Playground!

I staffed KARMA's table and also walked around handing out our all-day pass for a 20% discount at participating local independent restaurants. I met many wonderful adults and their children, babies, and dogs. Everyone was enjoying the festivities.

A big thank-you to everyone who
used the 20% discount pass at these businesses: Brancaccio's Food Shop, Maria's Pizzeria, Mr. Tong, Thai Tony's, and The Oak & The Iris. Your patronage was appreciated.

Friday, April 23, 2010

CANCELED - NYPD UNITY SHOWCASE FESTIVAL

The NYPD Unity Showcase Festival scheduled for Sunday, April 25th, has been canceled because rain is predicted for that day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ROAD REMILLING AND RESURFACING SCHEDULE

To find out when road remilling and resurfacing will interrupt parking and reroute traffic, see the Department of Transportation's Weekly Resurfacing Schedule for Brooklyn The current week's work schedule is posted there. If you can't connect to that page, go to Traffic Advisories & Safety Information and click on "Brooklyn Milling & Resurfacing Schedule."

Next week, on Monday, April 26th, and Tuesday, April 27th, work will be done in the daytime on Avenue C from Dahill Road to E. 7th Street.

TRANSIT SERVICE CUTS REVISED

The transit service cuts proposed in January were revised in March and will go into effect on Sunday, June 27th. The B16, B35, B67, and B69 buses are all affected.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle article "Goodbye B75, B77; Hello Longer B57, B61" details the changes that will affect the B67, B69, and other bus lines:
"the B67 route between Downtown and Kensington will continue to operate on weekdays but on a reduced schedule, alternating trips with a rerouted B69 along Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, 19th and 20th streets and McDonald Avenue, to a turnaround point for both routes at Cortelyou Road."
On page 7 of the Transit Service's report (page V of the document) is a summary and index for all local Brooklyn buses. A fuller description starts on page 57 (page 47 of the document).

FEDERATION OF BROOKLYN BLOCK ASSOCIATIONS MEETS TONIGHT

Thursday, April 22nd, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Ninth Annual Assembly of
Federation of Brooklyn Block Associations


Meet your city leaders and discuss your communities.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Deputy Borough President Yvonne Graham will host the ninth annual assembly of the Federation of Brooklyn Block Associations. This is an opportunity for all residents to meet representatives of city agencies and discuss issues and concerns that are facing their blocks and their communities.


Presentations and workshops will be offered on
  • Social Security online pension services,
  • postal services and solutions for residents,
  • volunteer services and skills exchange,
  • Census 2010: next steps,
  • assistance for community building projects,
  • saving money and protecting the environment, and
  • SafeStart, the New York City banking program available to all residents.
The meeting will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall at 209 Joralemon Street, between Court and Adams streets in downtown Brooklyn.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

VIETNAM VETERANS PICK-UP AT FLEA MARKET

The Vietnam Veterans of America pick-up service will be at the Friends of Greenwood Playground Flea Market at the end of the day to accept any leftover items as donations. They'll accept anything except upholstered furniture.

Entertainment will be presented for the whole day, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The schedule is posted on FoGP's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5178079&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=10150115193735727&aid=-1&id=590592517.

A list of businesses offering raffle prizes is also posted there.

For other information about the flea market, please see our blog post at http://karmabrooklyn.blogspot.com/2010/04/all-day-fun-event-at-greenwood.html.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

FREE OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ADVERTISING

Local business owners, artisans, and makers, here's a great public relations/advertising opportunity for you!

Friends of Greenwood Playground (FoGP) is looking for people to participate in their programming this summer at Greenwood Playground. They're not able to pay you, but they can offer you an opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition as a community-minded business and give people a chance to sample your services.

They're looking for businesses, local artists, and makers who can conduct weekly classes and/or a one-time special class or event.
Those who are able to conduct weekly classes will be given priority. All ideas will be considered--the more creative the better. Classes and events can be aimed at children, adults, or anyone in between.

The benefits to you of offering classes or other events are
  • great free public relations by associating yourself with an award-winning organization,
  • free advertising on FoGP's website and on their banner,
  • a free listing of your class or event on their summer calendar, which goes out to over 1,000 families at P.S. 130, 230, and 154 in Windsor Terrace and Kensington,
  • a free opportunity to promote your services or products (although you can't sell anything in the playground itself),
  • FoGP fills out the permits and handle all of the logistics to make sure your event is legal.
The summer season runs from Tuesday, June 29th, through Friday, September 3rd--a full 10 weeks! The summer calendar is currently wide open.

If you're interested in partnering with FoGP, e-mail this information to them at friendsofgreenwood@gmail.com:
  • your name and a description of the classes, class, or event,
  • potential dates and times (If you give them several options, it's more likely that they'll be able to accommodate you.),
  • whether or not you need to request donations,
  • if and how you would need Friends of Greenwood Playground to support you,
  • your phone number,
  • your logo.
Please note that classes will have priority over one-time events and that FoGP might not schedule you unless you choose to offer an ongoing class.

Also, Friends of Greenwood Playground will be holding their HarvestFest this October, with the date yet to be determined. Last year, over 1,000 people attended and enjoyed Cynthia King's Dancers, Namaste's Belly Dancer, The Ballooniac's (Mike Gold) hand-made balloon creations, Dari Litchman's painted faces, lots of local singers, and much more. If you'd like to be put on the tentative calendar for this event, let them know!

NAMASTE YOGA AND ZUMBA SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM

Namaste Yoga of Kensington will hold special summer classes in yoga and Zumba (aerobic dance set to South American beats) for all children, pre-teens, and teens.

Yoga classes: July 1st to August 31st, Mondays and Thursdays, 10:45a.m. to 11:45 a.m., $10 a class.

Zumba classes: starting July 3rd, Saturdays only, 12:46 p.m. to 1:46 p.m., $10 a class. Classes will be ongoing as long as attendance is sustained throughout the year.

Namaste Yoga of Kensington
482 Coney Island Avenue, 2nd floor (The main entrance is on Church Avenue. Walk up the the red staircase with the red door, behind the corner pizzeria and next to the car wash service center).
(347) 533-6226 or (347) 533-6227
http://www.mynamasteyoga.com


SUPPORT LOCAL INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES!

NYPD UNITY SHOWCASE FESTIVAL AT PROSPECT PARK


Sunday, April 25th, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
NYPD Unity Showcase Festival

Brooklyn South's police precincts--the 66th, the 70th, and the 72nd precincts as well as many others--will present their annual
Unity Showcase Festival at Bartel-Pritchard Square, 15th Street at Prospect Park West.

The Community/Precinct Unity Showcase will feature entertainment (including dance and martial arts performances), food, games, and refreshments for children and adults.

For more information, contact: Detective Thomas Nihill at (718) 675-7521.

Monday, April 19, 2010

INPUT WANTED ON THE CITY'S NEXT BUDGET

Our New York City Councilmember, Brad Lander, is asking for our input on what the upcoming city budget should focus on.
________________________________________________

From Brad Lander:

We all know that this is a tough time financially for our city and our state. This year's budget is likely to be one of the leanest in recent memory, with many services and institutions on the line for potential cuts. At the same time, it is our responsibility to explore options for increasing revenue to maintain essential services and a strong city.

The City Council plays a role in negotiating the City's final budget, and before we take on that task, my colleagues in the Council's Progressive Caucus and I would like to hear what you have to say. Follow this link to make your voice heard on the choices the city should make in these tough economic times.

Your input can be a valuable part of this process, and we want you to weigh in on the options we have for making cuts and raising revenue. I hope you will join up with interested New Yorkers from around the city to fill out this survey. And once you are done, please forward the link to your friends.

Thanks for your participation, and look out for a report back on what we learn from this survey in a few weeks.

Councilmember Brad Lander

P.S. There is another opportunity to give your input this week, when the New York City Charter Revision Commission holds its Brooklyn public hearing tomorrow (Tuesday, April 20) from 4-7 PM at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street. Like many others, I am concerned about the lack of transparency displayed by the commission to date, but Tuesday evening is one of the few opportunities for the public to take part in the process.

Serving the neighborhoods of Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens,
Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, and Kensington


456 5th Avenue, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11215 * (718) 499-1090

Sunday, April 18, 2010

YOU PROBABLY KNOW BY NOW THAT THE CENSUS IS HERE

You probably know by now that the census is here. If you haven't completed and sent in your form, please take one minute to look at some statistics that we hope will change your mind....

*Windsor Terrace and Kensington have a response rate of only 51% - 70%, depending on where you live in our community. That means that 30% - 49% of the Federal funds that should be coming here to pay for our schools, police, roads, etc. will be sent elsewhere. Our communities lose $3,000 of potential funding each year, for ten years, for every person who doesn't return the form. If you have ever complained about any of these services, now is the time to take ten minutes to do your part.

*Total cost to taxpayers to follow up on people who have not responded is $1.5 billion. Every additional 1% of households who do respond now saves taxpayers $80 - $90 million in follow up costs.

*The form is short and easy. It really does take around ten minutes.

Questionnaire Assistance Centers offering free help filling out the forms:
  • NPI Computer (401 Church Avenue at E. 4th Street)
  • The Church of Gethsemane (1012 8th Avenue at 10th Street)
  • Prospect Hills Senior Center (283 Prospect Avenue between 5th and 6th avenues)
Telephone assistance: 1- 866-872-6868

Brought to you by
Windsor Terrace Alliance, Inc.
Kensington Area Resident/Merchant Alliance (KARMA)
KWTneighbors
The PTA of PS 154 Brooklyn, Inc.

Friday, April 16, 2010

PUBLIC HEARING ON BUSINESS OWNER'S BILL OF RIGHTS

Wednesday, April 21st, 11:00 a.m.
Business Owner's Bill of Rights

The New York City Council's Committees on Governmental Operations and Small Business will hold a public hearing about Intro. 118, a bill to create a Business Owner's Bill of Rights. The bill of rights will list the rules that inspectors must follow and the steps that business owners can take if they feel they have been treated unfairly.

City Council meetings are open to the public. Before going to the meeting, check the City Council's calendar
to make sure that the date and time of the hearing haven't been changed. If you want to testify, register with the sergeant-of-arms before the hearing begins.

16th Floor Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, directly across from City Hall

ALL-DAY FUN EVENT AT GREENWOOD PLAYGROUND

Saturday, April 24th, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(rain date: Sunday, April 25th)
Greenwood Playground Flea Market and Tag Sale

E. 5th Street,
between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Greenwood Avenue,
just steps from the Fort Hamilton Parkway station
on the
F and G trains.

Treasures! Joyous Junk! And ev-er—y-thing in between!

SEE! Amazing goods made by hand right here in Kensington and Windsor Terrace.
MORE THAN 40 VENDORS!

~ original artwork, homemade baby clothes, wire wrapped rings, mosaic pieces, table tops, block-printed greeting cards, books, strollers, vintage jewelry, clothes, jewelry, small electronics, handmade ceramic jewelry, LPs & 45s, incredible stoop sale finds, vintage fused glass animals, kids' stuff, Avon products, photography, household items & decor, fabric, arts & crafts, homemade t-shirts, and
MUCH, MUCH MORE!

~ See some examples of people's work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/papismami, http://kareninajewelry.com,
http://www.etsy.com/shop/etnoart,
http://www.etsy.com/shop/corico,
http://www.bugst.com,
http://www.sherryginsbergdavis.com, and
http://www.blue-eyed-baby.com.

HEAR! Sweet, sweet music made by very local musicians, most living within a ten-block radius of the playground.

Jazz, country, Haitian roots jazz, indie folk, fiddles, and some kids' music.

Marje Wagner, Debbie Deane, Markus Schwartz & Lakou Brooklyn, Merle “Misty” Jones, Katie “Miss Katie” Mullins, Gina Samardge, Fiddleland… Also – CYNTHIA KING DANCE!

GET DISCOUNTS! From local restaurants ~ sponsored by KARMA (Kensington Area Resident/Merchant Alliance, http://KARMABrooklyn.blogspot.com). Also, merchants may provide discounts to YOU, our flea market attendees, at our community tables.

LEARN! About great organizations at our community tables.
  • KARMA will help you shop local.
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden teaches you about worm composting.
  • The KWT-CSA (Kensington/Windsor Terrace Community Supported Agriculture) will give you the opportunity to get farm-fresh food every week.
  • Parents for Climate Protection will teach you how to fight global warming.
  • The East 4th Street Community Garden will give you a place to relax.
FEEL! How great it is to live in Brooklyn as you shop at a neighbor-run event that will generate money for playground programming. There will also be a book swap table benefiting the library. Bring books!

WIN! Imagine – you could be the winner of: Pavilion Theater tickets, Yoga Sole classes, Hair Care by Yolanda, services by Mike Gold (The Ballooniac), t-shirts by Papi’s Mami, the book Next to Mexico by Jen Nails, kitty cash at Sean Casey’s Hamilton Dog House, toys from Rich Frog, and
MUCH, MUCH MORE!


All proceeds will be used to fund programming in the park. Past programs have included Studio in the Park, large family-oriented events, sing-a-longs, and more.

~ SEE YOU AT GREENWOOD PLAYGROUND!~

Sponsored by Friends of Greenwood Playground
http://www.friendsofgreenwoodplayground.bbnow.org
GreenwoodFriendsFunds@gmail.com
347-497-3490

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING ABOUT CRIME: UPDATE

Monday, April 19th, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
DNA and WKAG Neighborhood Meeting

An update to our April 7th post about the WKAG/DNA meeting: the new commander of the 66th Precinct
will be at the meeting. Bring Deputy Inspector John Sprague your ideas on how our neighborhood can be cleaner, safer, and quieter.

You can also pick up a copy of a free Kensington Info Sheet that has important websites, phone numbers, and addresses.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

NEIGHBORHOOD STORES PRAISED IN THE DAILY NEWS

"Savings in Brooklyn: Kensington Treasures," published in today's Daily News, explores businesses on Church Avenue from Dahill Road to Ocean Parkway in pursuit of variety and good prices. The article covers everything from paninis, pancakes, and pastries to perfume, pedicures, and perms to plumbing supplies, paint, and pool-playing.

Kensington is described as "a vibrant community." Nice!

SUPPORT LOCAL INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES!

PROPERTY TAXES DISSECTED AT ANA MEETING

Thursday, April 22nd, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Albemarle Neighborhood Association Meeting

Is it possible for you to get your property taxes lowered? Do you qualify for any homeowner exemptions? Or for any tax abatements? How is the value of your house, co-op, or condo determined?

Learn the answers to these questions and more from speaker Lance Abrams of the New York City Department of Finance at the next meeting of the Albemarle Neighborhood Association.

ANA members as well as non-members are welcome to attend.

The meeting will be on Thursday, April 22nd, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Flatbush & Shaare Torah Jewish Center, 327 East 5th Street (corner of Church Avenue). Enter the building by way of the ramp, and then use the stairs or the elevator to get to the meeting room on the lower level.

Refreshments will be provided by Foodtown and ANA after the meeting.

Monday, April 12, 2010

NOT A MURDER

An autopsy has revealed that the death of a man at an SRO on Dahill Road on April 6th was accidental, not a murder.

CHILDREN'S PLANTING WORKSHOP FREE AT COMMUNITY GARDEN

Saturday, April 28th, 10:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.
Planting Workshop for Children

The first public event this season at the East 4th Street Community Garden will be a free planting workshop for children this Saturday.


Each child will pot-up a plant cutting and be taught the basic needs of a plant by taking the plant home and caring for a living thing. The workshop is aimed at children ages 4 to 12, but everyone is invited to join in.

The workshop will run from 10:00 a.m. to either 10:20 a.m. or 10:30 a.m., depending on how many children attend. Plan to arrive at 10:00 a.m. or slightly before.

East 4th Street Community Garden
E. 4th Street, between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue
http://eastfourthstreetgarden.wordpress.com

WINTER ENDS, COMMUNITY GARDEN REOPENS

This Saturday, the East 4th Street Community Garden will reopen for the spring, summer, and fall seasons. The garden is open to the public from April through October on Wednesdays, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Sundays, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The garden is located on E. 4th Street, between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue. Keep up with the garden's news and events on its blog at http://eastfourthstreetgarden.wordpress.com.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A NIGHT OF MUSIC, FEATURING THE ASTRONOMICAL KID AND NON STOP TO CAIRO

Friday, April 16th, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
A Night of Music


Cub Scout Pack 187 presents "A Night of Music" at Immaculate Heart of Mary School, 3002 Fort Hamilton Parkway (between E. 2nd and E. 3rd streets).

The Astronomical Kid and Non Stop to Cairo will perform in the gym. (The acts are subject to change.)

Also

  • entertainment for children in the children's playspace in the cafeteria,
  • a room for reading and quiet time, and
  • a babysitting room for children under the age of five.
Hot dogs, Izze sparkling juices, and snacks will be sold.

Raffles and 50/50.

Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the door.


Tickets are available online and at the IHM Rectory at 2805 Fort Hamilton Parkway, between E. 4th and E. 5th streets.

Proceeds from the event will support rebuilding the IHM School kitchen and the Cub and Boy Scouting program.

Maria's Pizzeria (located across the street from the school) is a local sponsor.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

WINDOW BOX KITS AT A DISCOUNT AT BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Greenbridge program is offering window box kits to block associations and neighborhood organizations at a discounted price of just $20. You can purchase an individual kit for yourself at that same price.

Included in the kit are a box,
a tray, a bag of soil, an instruction sheet, and your choice of either
  • flowers for sunny or shady locations,
  • plants for sunny or shady locations,
  • herbs, or
  • salad greens and edible flowers.
Order a kit by printing, filling out, and mailing the form located at
http://www.bbg.org/pdf/2010_windowboxkits.pdf. Check the "no" box under the question "Is your block entering the 2010 Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest?"

Your order, with an accompanying check for $20, has to be postmarked
by Friday, April 23rd. The pickup date for the kits is Saturday, May 15th.

Before you mail your order, contact KARMA at karmabrooklyn@gmail.com for a final instruction.

NYPD FREE ANTI-THEFT VEHICLE REGISTRATION

Monday, April 12th, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
NYPD Vehicle Registration

A joint "Crime Prevention Operation" between Astoria Federal Savings Bank and the 66th Precinct Crime Prevention Officer will register your vehicles by "VIN Etching" the windows and placing deterrent decals/stickers on your vehicle. This service is free.

Future free programs will include H.E.A.T. (Help End Auto Theft), Commuter Auto Theft, and Combat Auto Theft. These programs are used to help deter and prevent auto theft.

The event will take place at Astoria Federal Savings Bank, 101 Church Avenue (corner of McDonald Avenue).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING ABOUT CRIME

Monday, April 19th, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
DNA and WKAG Neighborhood Meeting

This is posted on behalf of two other neighborhood organizations.

================================================

Hi-
As you know, a woman was beaten and robbed in broad daylight a few weeks ago on Dahill Road. Yesterday, there was a murder at an illegal Single Room Occupancy (SRO) home on Dahill Road. SROs have become a real problem in our neighborhood, resulting in overcrowding of transient folks and fire hazards and destroying the essence of our "family" neighborhood.

Please come to our meeting to discuss how we can save our neighborhood!

Dahill Neighborhood Association (DNA)
and
West Kensington Action Group (WKAG)

Invite you to a neighborhood meeting
to discuss local issues and concerns.

Topics to be explored:
  • What we can do to help prevent crime in our neighborhood.
  • Local zoning changes and how they will affect us.
  • Getting more green space in our neighborhood.
  • Other issues concerning our immediate area.
The meeting will be held at P.S. 230, in the auditorium (1 Albemarle Road, between McDonald Avenue and Dahill Road).

EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

THE HIRING INCENTIVES TO RESTORE EMPLOYMENT (HIRE) ACT


The Hiring Incentives to
Restore Employment (HIRE) Act

Do you want to hire staff? Are you waiting for the economy to improve? Stop waiting. There are new tax breaks for employers who hire unemployed workers.

HIRE
Congress just passed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment, or HIRE Act, to help businesses begin hiring again. Businesses who want [to] hire staff need to:
  • hire people who have been unemployed for at least 60 days
  • hire new workers between February 3, 2010 and January 1, 2011
  • receive a 6.2 percent payroll tax cut (or their share of Social Security taxes) on wages paid between March 18, 2010 and December 31, 2010
The earlier a business hires, the more money they save.
Want a larger tax cut? the sooner you hire, the more you save. For example, if you hire a worker paid $60,000 in March, it will save your business $3,000 in taxes. The longer the person is on your payroll, the greater the savings. For each worker you retain for at least a year, your business may claim an additional general business tax credit of up to $1,000 per worker on your 2011 tax return.

This credit helps businesses get the skilled workers they need and puts people back to work, helping the nation’s economic recovery.

Who qualifies?
  • Businesses, agricultural employers, tax-exempt organizations, public colleges and universities
  • Hires for new positions, or people who fill an existing position vacated by a worker who left voluntarily or for cause.
Family members and other relatives DO NOT qualify. Household employers CANNOT claim this new tax benefit.

Are there other requirements?
You need to keep on file a signed affidavit from each new hire. The affidavit is their statement that they have been out of work for 60 days and have not worked more than 40 hours during that time. It is an IRS Form. Look for it on our home page: www.labor.ny.gov

How do I apply for the credits?
Businesses will claim the payroll tax on their quarterly federal employment tax filing with the IRS. Eligible businesses can claim the new tax incentive on their revised employment tax form for the second quarter of 2010. The IRS will post revised forms and further details on these tax provisions on their web site (www.irs.gov) shortly.

For more information, contact your local One-Stop Career Center to speak with a Business Services Representative.

PROTECT all Workers
ASSIST the Unemployed
CONNECT Employers and Workers

P486 (4/10) The New York State Department of Labor is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
www.labor.ny.gov

DAHILL ROAD DEATH

A man in his 30s was found dead yesterday inside an apartment on Dahill Road, between Albemarle Road and Church Avenue. His head showed signs of severe blunt force trauma. The few details available and a video are at http://www.news12.com/articleDetail.jsp?articleId=247462&position=2&news_type=news&rand=23955474.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ADOPT-A-TREE

Many of you have probably noticed the beautiful daffodils popping up along Church Avenue. We thank all of the volunteers who came out on Daffodil Day last October to plant them. Now these flowers and the trees that they're planted next to need your help to thrive.

Please consider adopting one (or more!) of the twenty trees on Church Avenue between Ocean Parkway and 36th Street. Adopting a tree is easy. Just send us an e-mail (karmabrooklyn@gmail.com) expressing interest, and we'll send you a tree pit care guide to get you started.

Taking care of your tree should only take about ten hours per year. KARMA will hang a laminated sign on your tree that reminds people to curb their dogs. The sign will list you as the tree's guardian. You can choose the name or organization's name to put on the sign.

Parents! This is a great way to instill civic responsibility in your young ones. It's also a great opportunity to teach them about life cycles and plants. If you participate in the Adopt-A-Tree program, you can do so as a family and put more than one name on the sign.

Once all of the trees are adopted, KARMA plans to surround all of the trees on Church Avenue with tree pit guards.

If we keep our trees beautiful, it's likely that we'll be able to get more trees planted along Church Avenue and other Kensington streets!

LOWER YOUR TAXES--MAIL YOUR CENSUS FORM

If you fill out your 2010 census form and mail it back to the Census Bureau, it only costs the government the price of a 42-cent stamp. But if you don't, it costs about $57 for a census taker to visit you and ask you questions in person. Where does the money come from to pay the census takers? From taxes!

To get as many people as possible to mail the form back, the Census Bureau began mailing second copies of the form last week to about 40 million households in areas with below-average response rates in the 2000 census.

In areas with a mail response rate of 59% or less in 2000
, second copies were mailed to every household--even those that have already returned their census form.

In areas with a mail response rate between 59% and 67% in 2000, second copies will only be sent to households that haven't returned their form yet.

The forms will arrive between April 6th and 10th.
If you don't mail back your form by mid-April, a census taker will appear at your door!

Let's get counted and get our fair share of political representation and federal funds from now until the next census in 2020!

Please also see our other blog post about the census.

Friday, April 2, 2010

BE COUNTED IN THE CENSUS


It isn't too late to fill out your 2010 census form and encourage your neighbors to fill it out. The Census Bureau will accept the form by mail through the middle of April. Starting on May 1st and continuing through July, census workers will be ringing the doorbells of households that didn't mail back their forms. Fill out your form and send it to the Census Bureau so they don't ring your doorbell!

54% of the nation’s households have mailed back their census forms. But participation by Kensington residents ranges from the low 30s to the high 40s. You can check the 2010 census website to see how much participation there has been so far in our neighborhood.


Census data determines how many representatives we will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, how much federal funding we're entitled to (out of the more than $400 billion available), and the extent of community services we'll be provided with, such as
  • hospitals and other healthcare,
  • job training centers,
  • public schools, education programs, and daycare services,
  • housing assistance for elderly, handicapped, and low-income homeowners,
  • senior centers,
  • transportation infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels, and other public works projects), and
  • emergency services.
We ourselves can use census data to point out the need for community initiatives concerning environmental legislation, quality-of-life issues, and consumer advocacy.

The 2010 Census form only has 10 questions that only take about 10 minutes to complete. Strict confidentiality laws protect the respondents and the information they provide. Please participate, and please encourage others to participate!