Monday, February 28, 2011


Notes on Public Hearing
about Board of Standards and Appeals Application for 42 Kermit Place
Meeting held 2/9/11

by June Reich
Chairperson of the Education Committee of Community Board 7

Community Board 7 held a public hearing on February 9, 2011, about the BSA (Board of Standards and Appeals) application by the owner of 161 East 7th Street (aka 42 Kermit Place) to build a 17-unit, 4-story apartment building under the old R6 zoning. The Land Use Committee met after the meeting and unanimously voted not to support this application. At last week's Community Board 7 meeting, the full Board voted unanimously to not support the BSA application.

We don't know yet when the BSA will meet about this application, but it could be soon. They meet on Tuesdays at 10am and 1:30pm. (Their website is not very user-friendly and they only seem to post the agenda for the upcoming meeting.) I encourage everyone to send in written testimony if you cannot attend the hearing. The BSA needs to know how the community feels about this application. I feel very strongly that the owner should either develop the property under the current R5B contextual zone or sell the property to the School Construction Authority, who wants the lot as part of the proposed new school on Caton Ave.

Here's the CB7 Land Use Committee Report. Someone will post info about the BSA hearing as soon as we learn when it is scheduled.


Community Board 7  Land Use & Landmarks Committee Report
February 16, 2011

After the Public hearing held on February 9, 2011 the Land Use Committee recommends that the Community Board vote not to support the Appeals (A) Application #223-10-A regarding the property located at 161 East 7th Street – a/k/a 42 Kermit Place, Block 5321 lot 73.

The committee reviewed the history of the site and the relationship of the owner and the community and found the evidence or the lack of evidence presented at the public hearing offered no valid reason to support this appeals application to allow the prior zoning of R-6 to be vested in this property. The change in zoning did not stop this building from being built.

History of the site:

There was work conducted on the site from 4/4/2008 to 5/18/2008 when a Stop Work Order was put in place.

The Stop Work Order was lifted in October 2008 – no further work took place on the site regarding the completion of the foundation.

The Zoning changed on 3/11/2009 to R 5 B.

On 3/28/2009 a DOB inspection found that only 20% of the foundation was completed and the site was not considered Vested.

At the public hearing an Attorney for the Owner made a very competent presentation, claiming that a significant portion of the building had been completed at the time the new zoning was approved and substantial expenditures in fees and purchase of materials had been made. 

The Attorney also stated that the Owner was considering changing the design of the building.  The new plan was for a 4 story building reducing the height from 6 stories, however the number of units - all one bedrooms would remain at 17. The Attorney started that the owner was going to place one level of parking underground and eliminate the floor that was designated for a community facility.

However, there were no plans for the New Design presented nor were the any solid financial figures presented to support the contention of the owner that there was substantial completion of the building at 42 Kermit.

No one spoke in favor of the proposal.

The sense of the Committee was that this application was not a bona fide effort on the part of the owner to in fact go forward with any building on the site and this application was most likely an effort to enhance the value of the property for sale at a later time. This site is adjacent to the proposed school and is included in the actual site plan.


Three felonies were reported to the 66th Precinct for Kensington during the week of February 21st through February 27th:
Robbery: At the corner of E. 2nd Street and Cortelyou Road, a woman of unknown age was approached from behind by an unknown perpetrator who grabbed her pocketbook from her arm, knocking her down and causing pain to her shoulder. The victim doesn't have a description of the perpetrator. No arrest was made.
Assaults: On the corner of Avenue C and McDonald Avenue, an eighteen-year-old man and a nineteen-year-old man were hit with baseball bats by unknown perpetrators. The victims were uncooperative with the police. No arrests were made.
The police didn't provide us with the dates or times of the crimes.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Sean Casey Animal Rescue's Adoptable of the Day is Henessey. A terrier/pitbull mix, she's been spayed, dewormed, treated to prevent fleas and ticks, and is up-to-date with vaccinations. Her adoption fee is $50.00, and she'll get one free exam at our vet's office, one free month of pet health insurance, and a microchip.
"Poor Henessey has been with us for over a year now, which makes us very sad...she loves people!  Henessey would be a great dog as the only dog in a household.  She would flourish in a house with a yard, where she'd get lots of exercise and not have to meet other dogs.  She is quick to connect with people and would be a loyal companion.  And P.S...she likes belly rubs :). 

Henessey just had her 5th birthday...and I bet the best present she could ever want is a home."
Sean Casey Animal Rescue
153 E. 3rd Street (between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue)
(718) 436-5163

Friday, February 25, 2011


This seems like an appropriate time to return to an issue we wrote about in October--Community Board 12's website. The site still has nothing on its Announcements page, nothing on its Calendar, and nothing in its Resources Directory. It still doesn't announce the dates or agendas of general meetings, public hearings, or committee meetings. 

The Open Meetings Law requires all meetings of public bodies to be open to the public, but CB 12 doesn't make it easy for the public to be aware of when it's meeting or what it's doing.

At CB 12's meeting last September, we asked the Board to add announcements about upcoming meetings, agendas, minutes, and information about the issues its committees are discussing. They explained that their staff doesn't have time to do that, so a Kensington resident volunteered to work on it.

At the Board's October meeting, a Midwood resident mentioned that no work had been done on the website. A Board member said that several people have offered to work on it and that "it's currently in the works."

When will the community see results? When will we be given the opportunity to know what our Community Board is doing so that we can more easily participate?

A Twitter and/or Facebook page, a Google or Yahoo group, or any other online presence would also be appreciated, but let's take one step at a time.

The boundaries of CB 12 are 61st Street on the west; 8th Avenue, 37th Street, and Caton Avenue on the north; Coney Island Avenue, 18th Street, McDonald Avenue, and the Long Island Rail Road on the east; and Avenue P on the south.


"The 66th Precinct Crime Prevention Officer is offering FREE security Services for your home, office or business.  Security Surveys are confidential surveys conducted for burglary, robbery, larceny and other types of loss.

The Lecture Program is a crime prevention lecture dealing with street crime and property crime and can be arranged for your business, civic or social organization.  If you have any questions, please call Police Officer Vitella, the Crime Prevention Officer at 718-851-5620"

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Performance by Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts
Saturday, February 26th, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

To mark International Mother Language Day, students and teachers of Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts (BIPA) will perform for about two hours. The free performance will include recitation, singing, and a dance by four young students.

Note that although the entire performance will be in the Bangla language, people of all backgrounds will enjoy it. BIPA delighted the audience at the Kensington World's Fair this past October.

Annie Ferdous--a choreographer, teacher, performer, co-founder of BIPA, and Kensington resident--will direct.

The performance will take place at Khan's Tutorial at 188 Dahill Road (between Church Avenue and Louisa Street), on the 2nd floor.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Last night's Community Board 12 meeting was totally chaotic and horribly uncivil. Residents and Community Board 12 members who dared to speak out against the District Manager's misrepresentation of the Board, against the expansion of a supermarket, or against tax breaks for that expansion were shouted at, shouted down, derided, and vilified by a loud chorus of voices. 

The issues leading to this bad behavior are
  • an application by Moisha's Discount Supermarket to the city's Industrial Development Agency (IDA) for close to $2,000,000 in tax breaks so it can double its size and
  • CB 12's District Manager Wolf Sender telling IDA that the Board supports the tax breaks when, in fact, the issue had never been presented to the Board. (It wasn't presented because the expansion is "as-of-right" and no variances are required, so the Board's approval isn't needed.)
Despite neither issue being on the evening's agenda (which the Board never got around to discussing) and despite the Board having no authority over the matter of Moisha's application, testimonials on behalf of Moisha's owners, booing, and yelling were allowed to continue unabated far past the one hour allocated for Board meetings.

When asked about the issue of Mr. Sender's testimony to IDA, residents were told that it would be discussed by the Board. That will take place behind closed doors.


Every neighborhood within a community board's boundaries should be fairly represented on a board. A variety of nationalities, religions, etc. should also be fairly represented. The deadline to apply for membership on a board is February 25th--the day after tomorrow.

City Councilmember Brad Lander, whose district includes Borough Park, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Kensington, Park Slope, and Windsor Terrace, is encouraging people who live or work in any of those neighborhoods to apply.

Mr. Lander's office is at 456 5th Avenue (near 9th Street), on the 3rd floor. Phone: (718) 499-1090. E-mail: lander [at]

Mr. Lander writes
I hope you'll consider applying for a seat on one of our neighborhood community boards. There will likely be a few vacancies on our local boards, and we want to encourage as many interested applicants as possible.

Community boards are the most local body of government, and they play a role in many issues that affect our neighborhoods. The community boards weigh in on land use and zoning matters, local infrastructure needs, municipal service delivery and many other neighborhood issues.

My City Council district overlaps with three community boards:
  • Community Board 6 (covering Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, and Park Slope)
  • Community Board 7 (covering Windsor Terrace and Sunset Park)
  • Community Board 12 (covering Kensington and Borough Park).
Each board consists of up to 50 volunteers — people who live or work in the area — appointed by the Borough President and City Council Members. Community boards meet once each month (except for the summer) and have a range of committees. There are always many more applicants than there are slots, but applications also stay on file from year to year, so we are encouraging anyone who is interested to apply.

If you would like to submit an application, or to learn more, please contact me at lander [at] or 718−499−1090 and we will send you the materials that you need.

It's a great way to be involved in making our communities even better places to live.


At last night's meeting of Community Board 12, Chairperson Alan Dubrow read a letter of apology from the Board's District Manager, Wolf Sender, to the members of the Board. Mr. Sender apologized for "misstating the support of CB 12 when, in truth, I was speaking on behalf of individual members of the Board."

If Mr. Sender had shown up at the Board meeting (the District Manager is expected to attend), some residents and Board members would certainly have pressured him to respond to charges that he misrepresented the Board during his testimony to the city's Industrial Development Agency about an issue the Board had never discussed and had never had brought to its attention.

It's worth noting that Mr. Sender didn't speak "on behalf of individual members of the Board" who oppose his position, just those who support it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Mayor Bloomberg has proposed establishing a new category of livery cars that can make on-street pickups outside of Manhattan. Yellow cabs are already allowed to do this. The goal is to improve the availability of taxis in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island that will offer the amenities of yellow cabs, such as metered fares and credit/debit card payment.

Click here to read the description of the Five-Borough Taxi Plan by David Yassky, Commissioner of the Taxi & Limousine Commission, then fill out the Taxi & Limousine Commission's online survey about your use of taxis and car services. You can fill out the brief online survey here.

El cuestionario está disponible en español en nuestra página web. Oprima aquí

Опрос на русском языке размещен на нашей веб-странице. Нажмите здесь.


PS 230
Sip into Spring
Wine Tasting & Silent Auction
The PS 230 PTA
cordially invites you to attend the
first annual Sip into Spring Fundraiser
to benefit enrichment programs at PS 230.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
7:00 PM
The Chapel at Historic Green-Wood
500 25th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Mingle with friends while bidding on great silent auction items.
Wine, coffee, tea, and light hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Live music provided by jazz pianist & organist Don Militello
Tickets may also be purchased online at 


Sip Into Spring RSVP- Please return this form and payment (checks prefered) to the attention of the PS 230 PTA no later than Thursday, March 10th, 2011. Please note: There will be no paper tickets given out. Your name will be on a list at the event.

I/We wish to reserve (please check all that apply):
O  General Tickets at $40.00 each or $75.00 per couple
O  Contributor Tickets at $60.00 each or $110.00 per couple includes a listing in the auction booklet
O  Sponsor Tickets at $80.00 each or $150.00 per couple includes a listing in the auction booklet, signage, and website
O  I/We are unable to attend, but wish to make a contribution in the amount of $_________
I’d like ___________ ticket(s). Enclosed is my check for $___________ made payable to PS 230 PTA.
Tickets may also be purchased by credit card online at
Name: (Please print as you wish to be listed) (Required)
Email: (Required)
Address: (Required)
Telephone: (Required)
City: State: Zip:
Names of additional guests (if known):

Items to be Auctioned

Original Artwork
Metropolitan Museum of Art Stationery Basket
Cartoon Network Star Wars Basket
Superman v. Muhammad Ali - signed by Neal Adams
Metropolitan Museum of Art Book Basket
Cartoon Network Basket
Belgian Craft Beer Assortment Basket
Suzi Music package which includes 2 CD's, DVD, t-shirt, hat and autographed poster.
Autograph Copy of George Washington's America - Biography Through His Maps
Suzie Shelton Birthday Party Package
Kids yoga classes
Funflix Movie Package Including the upgraded 21' Inflatable Movie Screen, Popcorn machine, supplies and service for up to 75 guests
NWT Small Paul designer PJ's
NWT 2 Boys designer button down shirts
Gift Certificate to Brooklyn Children's Theatre at St Savior's Church
Gift Certificate Cynthia King Dance Studio
Gift Certificate Mark Morris- Dance Lessons
Star Wars Jedi Force Trainer Game
Sterling Silver handmade Bracelet
Glamor Girl Party (day of beauty) for 10
Wine Dinner for 6 at the home of Cory Hill and Megan Mardiney
Bario Restaurant gift card
Cooking Class for 4
One Gift Basket (Food)
Back to the Land gift card
Jack Rabbit Sports gift card
Gap Gift Certificate
Natural Healing for Women - Consultation
Jaya Yoga adult yoga classes
YMCA Armory Sports Complex- One Year Family Membership
90 Minute Massage
Brooklyn Boulders Certificate (Learn the Ropes for 2)
Treatment at Wild Lotus Ayurvedic Spa
New York Health & Racquet Club one year membership
Whitney Museum of Art- Passes
Free admission to and highly idiosyncratic tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for six, by an employee
Brooklyn Children's Museum pass for 2 kids 2 adults
Liberty Science Center Pass for 2
Tom Roemischer Photography Session
Irwin Simon $50. Gift Certificates for photographs
Photo Organizing Solutions Party (up to 10 people)
4 tickets to Staten Island Yankees
Portrait commission by Josh Adams

Monday, February 21, 2011


A concerned neighbor sent us the e-mail below. See our blog post "A Problem for Community Board 12" for more information about what's been going on.

And please attend Community Board 12's meeting tomorrow night from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Amico Senior Center, 5910 13th Avenue, between 59th and 60th streets. Take the elevator to the 3rd floor. If you use public transportation, take the B16 bus to 56th Street.
Tomorrow night's Community Board 12 meeting may be one of the most important meetings you ever attend.  Finally, the corruption of CB 12 is getting attention.  

The Daily News published an article today ("Board member's in hot soup: CB 12 angry over supermarket tax-break lie") describing the current situation regarding almost $2,000,000 in tax dollars being used to expand a supermarket. The article, quoted in The Yeshiva World News, ("Community Board Angry Over Supermarket Tax-Break Lie") speaks about our CB's District Manager lying to city officials. The Daily News article appears in the Brooklyn Section, page 25, February 21, 2011, and was written by Erin Durkin.
The supermarket (Moishe's Supermarket) has been distributing a 4-page flier asking for their customers' support at tomorrow night's CB meeting.

Let's remember that some will try to divert the attention away from the corruption and make it about other issues. The real issue is corruption, and we all should stick to this topic. They will try to hit a nerve and try and cause controversy, so please remember that we will not stoop to their level.

I am urging you to come and support us and be a part of making major changes in our community that will affect us all. Bring your neighbors and friends.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


"88th Precinct Increases Foot Patrols in Response to Crime Stats." Good idea. It makes sense that the precinct added officers to the foot patrol. After all, the precinct's crime statistics were thirteen percent higher in 2010 than they were in 2009.

Let's compare the 2010 crime statistics for the 88th, 66th, and 72nd precincts.

FELONIES                     88th   66th   72nd
Murder                           6        -          7
Rape                             8        11       20
Robbery                      237      178      251
Felonious Assault          133      170      189
Burglary                      184      384      244
Grand Larceny              477      391      372
Grand Larceny Auto      101      135      119

It turns out that the 66th has more crimes than the 88th in four categories, and the 72nd has more than the 88th in six categories.


The Windsor Terrace Library (160 E. 5th Street, corner of Fort Hamilton Parkway) is closed through Saturday, March 19th, so that self-check machines and book return slots can be installed. The branch is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so it'll reopen on Tuesday, March 22nd.

The closest open branches are

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Community Board 7's Education Committee passed a resolution on Wednesday that supports the construction of a public school/intermediate school at 701 Caton Avenue.
Community Board 7
Education Committee resolution
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whereas there is demographic need for new elementary and middle school seats in School District 15; and

Whereas School Construction Authority and the Department of Education have published their intention to build a 750-seat, kindergarten to 8th grade, Elementary/Intermediate School at 701-711 Caton Avenue, Brooklyn and have the capital funding appropriated for the project; and

Whereas neighborhood residents are concerned about safety, traffic, and environmental hazards at the site selected by the School Construction Authority (SCA); and

Whereas the Stable Brooklyn Neighborhood Group worked very hard with Department of City Planning and others to create appropriate contextual zoning for the neighborhood; and

Whereas community groups and area nonprofits desire to participate in the planning of the new school; and

Whereas the community hopes the school will allow community use of the facility;

Therefore be it resolved that Community Board 7 supports the development of a 750-seat PS-IS at 701-711 Caton Avenue provided that SCA works with the community to address and resolve safety, traffic, and environmental issues on the site and around the property; that SCA works with the community to develop and build a state-of-the-art facility and outdoor space within the contextual zones of the properties, if possible; that the building achieve the highest energy efficiency and environmental standards.

And be it further resolved that community groups, neighborhood nonprofits and the community board participate in the SCA and DOE planning of the school.

And be it further resolved that the new school integrate with the neighborhood by allowing community use.

The public is invited to comment on the proposal by March 7th. Write to 
New York City School Construction Authority
30-30 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

Attention: Ross J. Holden
Or e-mail Mr. Holden at Rholden [at]

Specify that you're writing about the school proposed for 701 Caton Avenue, Brooklyn.

Previous blog posts:

Friday, February 18, 2011


Events in the neighborhood, February 20th to February 24th:

Sunday, February 20th
  • Chi Kung Workshop Series. The last workshop in Teri Gorbea's six-week series focusing on Health and Well-Being through Chi Kung (also spelled Qi Gong). 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Namaste Yoga of Kensington, 482 Coney Island Avenue, corner of Church Avenue. Pre-registration required. $25.
Tuesday, February 22nd
  • Community Board 12: general meeting. Open to the public. 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Amico Senior Center, 5910 13th Avenue, 3rd floor, between 59th and 60th streets. Phone: (718) 851-0800. Fax: (718) 851-4140. E-mail: Free.
Wednesday, February 23rd
  • Workshop: Tenants Rights and Housing. For Kensington's Bangladeshi Residents. 6:30pm – 8:30pm. PS 179, 202 Avenue C. Free.
Thursday, February 24th
  • Movie: "Dear John." Rated PG-13. 2:00 p.m. to 3:48 p.m. Kensington Library, 410 Ditmas Avenue, between E. 4th and E. 5th streets. Free.
  • Discussion: Community Listening Session for the Reconstruction of Dome Playground. 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. P.S. 179, 202 Avenue C. Free.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Yvette Clarke, the representative from the 11th Congressional District, got a 100% rating on the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard for her votes during the 2nd Session of the 110th Congress in 2010. See how Ms. Clarke voted here. On that page, you can read a synopsis of each bill by clicking on each one (written in green) listed under Name of Legislation. A fuller description of the bills is here.

A map of Ms. Clarke's district is here.


In addition to the $190.4 million that is allocated in the city's budget for filling potholes and repairing roads, the city has now allocated an additional $2 million for overtime pay for Department of Transportation (DOT) crews to fill the potholes and repair roads. Crews will be working longer hours on twenty weekdays and will also work on ten weekend days through April.

DOT filled over 50% more potholes from January 1st through February 14th than it did during the same time period in 2010. On Tuesday, February 15th, 3,859 potholes were filled, and yesterday, February 16th, 3,693 were filled.

Still, many more potholes need to be filled. The extended working hours will allow an additional 40,000 potholes to be repaired as well as approximately 30,000 square yards of strip paving (targeted paving work at locations that need more than just a pothole repair).

To report a pothole, use the form on DOT's website. To file a claim for damage to a vehicle caused by a pothole or other roadway defect, use the form on the Comptroller's website or call (212) 669-3500.


Two felonies were reported to the 66th Precinct for Kensington during the week of February 7th through February 13th:
Grand Larceny Auto: On Saturday, February 12th, at the corner of Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway, an unknown person stole a 2011 Toyota Camry. No arrest was made.

Grand Larceny: On Sunday, February 13th, an unknown person removed rims and tires from a 2009 Honda Accord at the corner of Caton Avenue and E 7th Street. No arrest was made.


One felony was reported to the 66th Precinct for Kensington during the week of January 31st through February 6th:

Attempted Robbery: On Saturday, February 5th, a twenty-eight-year-old man attempted to rob Ali-Davi Check Cashing Associates at 713 Church Avenue, between E. 7th and E. 8th streets. The man was arrested at the time of the occurrence.


Creative Business Planning Workshop
Monday, March 7th, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

A one-hour workshop focused on planning for small businesses.

Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza
2nd floor meeting room



The City Council unanimously passed three bills on Wednesday that are intended to make it safer for people to walk, bike, and drive in New York City. The Daily News points out the need for these measures:
Out of the 770 pedestrians killed on city streets from 2005 to 2009, about 19% - or roughly 150 deaths - were people crossing at an intersection with the "walk" signal in their favor, according to the Health Department report.
One of the bills requires the Department of Transportation to explain its reasons for turning down requests for traffic control devices that are submitted by Community Boards or City Councilmembers. Be sure to let your Community Board and City Councilmember know where these devices are needed.


UPDATE: Change of hours at Crossroads Cafe. Now open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

From Suzanne Meeham, co-owner of Crossroads Café:
Hi Neighbors,

Crossroads is pleased to announce extended hours and new menu specials for the evening. We are now open in the evening until 8 p.m. so that you can stop by for a bite after work.

To celebrate, we are offering a dinner meal special for $9.95 (until March 1st): your choice of a Classic burger,turnover, or quiche and a glass of wine or beer. The Classic comes with chips, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and a pickle.
So stop by on your way home from work or on your way to the city!

With warm regards,
Suzanne and Yasmin
and the Crossroads Crew
Cafe: Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Take-out window: Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Crossroads Café
1241A Prospect Avenue, at the corner of Reeve Place
(718) 972-1852
xroad [at]

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Comments about the school that may be built at 701 Caton Avenue can be e-mailed to Ross J. Holden of the New York City School Construction Authority at Rholden [at] Mention in the e-mail that you're writing about the school that's been proposed for 701 Caton Avenue, Brooklyn.


UPDATE: E-mail can be sent to Mr. Holden at Rholden [at]

The Brooklyn Paper reports on last week's public hearing on the elementary school/middle school (pre-K to 8th grade) proposed for 701 Caton Avenue.
City officials proposing to build a school on Caton Avenue near E. Seventh Street in Kensington were blindsided at a public hearing when the owner of half the site said that he wants to finish his own stalled residential project on the same land.

"This is the first we have been aware of it," Tami Rachelson of the School Construction Authority told Community Board 7.

No residents spoke in support of the 17-unit apartment building, and the board’s land-use committee voted unanimously to advise the city to reject the zoning variance.

No one at the hearing questioned the need for a new school, but some residents said that the 750-seat, kindergarten-through- eighth-grade school would need its own zoning change in order to be built.
Send your comments about the proposed school to the School Construction Authority by March 7th. Specify that you're writing about the school proposed for 701 Caton Avenue, Brooklyn. Write to

New York City School Construction Authority
30-30 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

Attention: Ross J. Holden


Silent Auction: A PTA Fundraiser for P.S. 130
Saturday, March 12th, noon to 3:00 p.m. 

Everyone is welcome! 

Exciting auction items, free food,
musical entertainment, and activities for the kids 

Proceeds to benefit the children and teachers of P.S. 130

Silent Auction Items as of 2/15/11:
   1. New York Rangers autographed photo
   2. New York Giants memorabilia
   3. Museum of the City of New York – Family Membership
   4. Ann Taylor  (women’s clothing) Gift Certificate
   5. Marc Jacobs  Collection Fragrance
   6. Kiwi (women’s clothing) Gift Certificate
   7. La Maison de Puppy Dog Clothes Gift Certificate
   8. Original artwork by local artists
   9. Juice Box (wine store) Gift Certificate
  10. Dinner for 2 at OMEN Gift Certificate (fine Japanese cuisine)
  11. Da Nonna Rosa (Italian cuisine) Gift Certificate
  12. Bagel Market Gift Certificate
  13. Thai Yoga Massage 1-1/2 hour Gift Certificate
  14. Terrace Dance (dance school) Gift Certificate
  15. Face Painting Party by Sharon Enlow (1&1/2 hours of face, arm, hand painting for up to12 children)
  16. Amy Nails (salon) Gift Certificate
      ……….and more!

→ Pre-sale tickets (through March 7th): $20.00 for adults, $5.00 for children

Purchase pre-sale tickets in person from February 16th through February 18th, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., in the cafeteria. Or submit an order form and money in a sealed envelope to the PTA mailbox by March 7th.

→ At-the-Door Tickets: $25.00 for adults, $5.00 for children

Questions? Email Rebecca rebeccarent [at]

In the cafeteria of P.S. 130, The Parkside School
70 Ocean Parkway, near Fort Hamilton Parkway and E. 5th Street


On Monday, February 21st, garbage collection, recycling collection, and street cleaning will be suspended for President's Day. If your garbage and recycling are normally collected on Mondays, put your garbage outside on Monday after 4:00 p.m. Your recycling won't be collected until Monday, February 28th.

Alternate side parking rules will be suspended.

Libraries will be closed on Sunday the 20th and on Monday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Seen today (and petted) at Sean Casey Animal Rescue
153 E. 3rd Street (between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Caton Avenue)
(718) 436-5163


UPDATE: The bills were passed.

The City Council is scheduled to vote tomorrow afternoon on three bills designed to make walking, biking, and driving less hazardous.

One bill will require the NYPD to provide data on traffic crashes and summonses, including where the incident occurred, the types of vehicles involved, how many injuries and fatalities resulted, and what contributed to the crash. The searchable database would be updated monthly and would be searchable by precinct and even by intersection.

Another bill will require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to compile data on bicycle crashes that are reported to city agencies.
The third bill will require the DOT to explain why it rejects a request made by a Community Board or a City Councilmember for a traffic control device. Devices could include traffic lights, green arrows for turns, stop signs, signs restricting speed, turns, parking, stopping, and standing, signs for buses, taxis, and car services, truck route signs, signs limiting vehicle size and weight, one-way signs, Do Not Enter signs, Yield signs, and road and curb markings.

Monday, February 14, 2011


February 21st is International Mother Language Day, a day dedicated to promoting all of the world's languages. Created by UNESCO in 1999, it has been observed annually since 2000. The purpose of the day is to "promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism."

The day holds particular significance for people in and from Bangladesh. On February 21, 1952, a general strike was observed in what was then East Pakistan (formerly known as East Bengal). Students from the University of Dhaka demonstrated for recognition of Bengali (also known as Bangla) by the Pakistani government as one of Pakistan's two national languages. The other language, Urdu, had been declared the national language in 1948; the majority of people in East Pakistan spoke Bengali. A total of five students and other demonstrators were shot to death by police. Bengali was subsequently granted official status, and East Pakistan, in 1971, became the independent nation of Bangladesh.

The above is a greatly-compressed version of the long and fascinating history of Bangladesh and the Bengali Language Movement. Much more information can be found in books and online.

UNESCO's interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger categorizes the 2, 473 languages that have existed in the world as

definitely endangered
severely endangered
critically endangered

The theme of this year's International Mother Language Day is "information and communication technologies for the safeguarding and promotion of languages and linguistic diversity."


Notes on Public Hearing
about proposed PS-IS at 701 Caton Avenue
Meeting held 2/9/11

by June Reich
Chairperson of the Education Committee of Community Board 7

This was the first step in the process of building a new pre-K thru 8th grade (PS-IS) school at 701 Caton Avenue and the adjoining lots on East 7th Street and Kermit Place (aka 42 Kermit Place).

The School Construction Authority (SCA) described their process in broad terms. They have just begun Phase I, the pre-schematic phase (no plans developed yet), which begins the public review process:
  • 45-day process beginning with public notice in New York Post
  • notice posted January 21, 2011
  • 30 days to hold a public hearing (hearing was held February 9, 2011)
  • Individual comments can be submitted through March 7 (see below)
Phase I includes public hearings with the Department of City Planning and the City Council. Until the site is approved the SCA does not control the property.

Phase II is the schematic or design phase. Design development takes approximately one year. There will be briefings during the design process.

Minimal details were offered about the proposed school:
  • Funded for 750-seat PS-IS
  • Site is approximately 39,000 sq. ft.
  • Planning for approximately 20,000 sq. ft. building
  • There is a program of requirements for PS-IS, including labs, etc.
Questions and concerns from the community board and neighbors who attended (not in any particular order):
  • Zoning: 701 Caton Avenue is zoned R6A; the lot on East 7th Street/Kermit Place is zoned R5B (this property was the subject of a 2nd public hearing that evening). The lots are owned by separate individuals.
    SCA tries to adhere to current zoning but does not have to—it can go over the designated zoning if the design of the school warrants it.
  • Traffic/safety: Caton Avenue is a major truck route; East 7th and East 8th
    Streets and Kermit Place are small streets. Concerns about traffic and safety of students on and around Caton Avenue; concerns about drop-off/pick-up. DOT will do traffic studies. SCA said it has backed away from sites where public safety is a problem.
  • Environmental: former factory site; appropriate tests will be done and reports will be made available.
  • Parking: will there be parking for teachers? What will be the impact of the school for parking in the neighborhood?
  • Outdoor space: Playgrounds are not mandated but desired.
  • Community space: possibility that there could be community use of school for neighborhood.
Councilman Brad Lander attended the meeting and spoke about some other issues:
  • Demographic need for PS-IS in district
  • Residents are enthusiastic; concerns must also be taken into account
  • School zoning questions
  • Relationship to PS 130
Community Board 7 meets Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at 6:30 pm. As chair of the Education Committee, I would like to propose a resolution that supports the SCA proposed site with neighbors’ concerns addressed (zoning, safety, traffic, etc.).

June Reich

Here is the text of the Notice of Filing.


Pursuant to [section] 1731 of the New York City School Construction Authority Act, notice has been filed for the proposed site selection of Block 5321, Lots 44, 64 and 73, and any other property in the immediate vicinity which may be necessary for the proposed project, located in the Borough of Brooklyn, for the development of a new, approximately 750-seat primary/intermediate school facility in Community School District No. 15.

The proposed site contains a total of approximately 39,000 square feet (0.9 acres) of lot area, and consists of three privately owned and vacant lots. It is bounded by Kermit Place to the north, Caton Avenue to the south, East 8thth Street to the west. Under the proposed project, the New York City School Construction Authority would acquire all of the lots comprising the site and construct the proposed new public school facility. Street to the east and East 7

Site plans and a summary thereof for the proposed action are available at:

New York City School Construction Authority
30-30 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, New York 11101

Attention: Ross J. Holden

Comments on the proposed action are to be sent to the New York City School Construction Authority at the above address and will be accepted until March 7, 2011.

For publication in the New York Post and the City Record on Friday, January 21, 2011.


Reprinted with the permission of the moderators of the KWT Neighbors listserv.

The following statement by City Councilmember Brad Lander is in response to a four-page letter the President of the MTA sent to him, Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Eric Adams, and State Assemblymember Jim Brennan.
Statement of Councilmember Brad Lander on MTA's Rejection of Requested B68 Extension:

This Valentine's Day, the MTA has once again spurned the unrequited love of Windsor Terrace and Kensington straphangers. Their rejection of the very reasonable plea from over 1,200 neighborhood residents for a modest extension of the B68 bus while the F stations at 15th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway are closed is heartless.

What's more, it is dissembling. They have inflated the estimated cost by 400% (by quoting a cost of $375,000 for an all-day extension, when only the morning rush-hour is needed). The true cost of giving we lovers of public transit a better option during the closings: $95,000, or just 0.003% (that's right, three-one-thousandths of one percent) of the $275 million Culver El reconstruction project. But I guess 0.003% is too much to ask from this relationship. Sadly, like many a careless lover, the MTA believes that we'll come back tomorrow all the same. And we probably will. But it is not the right way to build a long-term relationship.