Red Hook StarªRevue
SOUTH BROOKLYN’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
LICH UNRAVELING CONTINUES
by Kimberly Gail Price
tracts are set to expire at the
this month, hospital staff’s WARN notices are still pending, and now SUNY DMC is pulling the plug on LICH’s residency program – or as one doctor called it, the “backbone” of the hospital. Meanwhile, the lawsuit filed by Long Island College Hospital (LICH) against State University of New York Downstate Medical Center (SUNY) has been postponed indefinitely. And SUNY’s new Sustainability Plan submitted to the state on June 1 excludes LICH almost entirely - except for the dollar sign on their property value. Despite
SUNY is continuing to unravel the threads holding LICH together. By withdrawing their closure plan, they have been able to quietly cease operations at LICH. They have delayed LICH’s lawsuit by changing attorneys in the eleventh hour, claiming a “conflict of interest,” pushing the date beyond the original closure date of June 18. Most crippling of all, they have recently taken action of removing every resident doctor away from LICH. Dr. John Romanelli calls LICH the proverbial “carcass picked apart for assets and then left to die.” In 1860, two years after the hospital was opened, LICH introduced the idea of bringing medical training to bedsides. LICH was the first medical institution in the world to implement this sort of training. Today, the program has been instituted worldwide. After completion of medical school, every future doctor must complete and be certified through a residency program similar to LICH. Although residency students are still under the authority of the doctors they work side by side with, they are capable of diagnosing and treating a patient, just as a doctor does. Residents are paid
by the hospital they train with; the hospital is also paid by the state to train them. LICH currently has 42 resident doctors who not only are receiving training to practice medicine in the future, A hospital directory posted on a wall at LICH. but they are also valuable and create a much greater workload for assistance to doctors by filling in gaps. attending doctors. They take on extra patients and provide Residents ordered out of hospital extra hands for a certified doctor, allowOn June 23, 2013, the very last resiing more patients to be cared for than dency class of LICH finishes the proa standalone doctor. “They are an exgram and graduates. On June 30, 2013, tension of the attending medical staff,” SUNY has mandated that the residents Dr. Romanelli explains. “The residents who have yet to complete their program help manage the patients on the hospiat LICH be moved back to the SUNY tal wards with the attending staff supercampuses and finish training at UHB. vision. Without them, LICH would be less profitable, provide less patient care (continued on page 3)
Superfund Project moves on - a PRIMER L by George Fiala
ast December the EPA published their proposed plan for remediation of the Gowanus Canal. A public comment period lasted through April 27th. For the next few months the EPA team will evaluate the comments and by the end of the summer, they will issue a formal response. The EPA has received approximately 1,400 comments. This does not count names signed to petitions. All of the points raised by the commenters will be collated and responded to. The questions and the responses will be posted on the EPA website. Red Hook will be looking specifically at (continued on page 6)
The look of the Gowanus CAG - taken at a recent monthly meeting which took place in Wyckoff Gardens (photo by George Fiala)
Also in this issue:
WE GO TO THE RED HOOK FEST photos page 12
The Red Hook Star-Revue 101 Union Street Brooklyn, NY 11231
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Red Hook StarªRevue
SOUTH BROOKLYN’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
VOLUME 4 NO. 7
SUNDAY, JUNE 9
Table of Contents
Big Bang productions presents the first weekend of their annual Red Hook Jazz Festival (RHJF). The show runs from 1-6 pm in the Urban Meadow, a community garden on the corner of Van Brunt and President St. RHJF is a home grown jazz festival featuring mostly local talent. A $10 suggested donation is requested for all adults; children are admitted free of charge.
Happenings....................... 2 Crossword................... 9 Red Hook West TA............. 5 Ware on Fashion........ 15 SUNY/LICH Sustainability.... 7 Seen Around Town.... 17 Letters....................... 8,9,19 Calendar.................... 18
THURSDAY, JUNE 13
“Tell Your Story, Red Hook,” a short documentary chronicling experiences of Red Hookers during Sandy, will premiere at A Black Tie Benefit for Red Hook from 7-10 pm at Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com
Kimberly G. Price.......................................Editor/Publisher George Fiala.......................................... Graphics/Publisher Brian Clancy....................................................Theater/Arts
SATURDAY, JUNE 15
The 4th Annual BWalk will leave the steps of BAM at 10:30 am and walk 3 miles to their Red Hook location with a few art stops along the way. The walk is a fundraiser supporting BWAC. To get involved, contact Jon at email@example.com. Puppetry Arts is hosting their annual Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn from 11 am-3 pm on 4th Street and 5th Ave along the park at the Old Stone House. In addition to puppet shows, the festival also offers a workshop, craft activities, rock climbing with Brooklyn Boulders and a raffle. The event is free and open to the public.
Eric Ruff............................................................... Calendar Alliyah Leocadi .........................................................Intern
Jenny Belin, Mary Anne Massaro, Mary Ann Pietanza, Aleks Gilbert, Stacey Nieves, Leslie Ware
THUR - SUN, JUNE 20-23 Member @RedHookStar
718.624.5568 - Editorial & Advertising 917.652.9128 News Tips 101 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 firstname.lastname@example.org
Star-Revue Community Calendar COMMUNITY BOARD 6: ALL MEETINGS AT 6:30 PM
Wednesday, June 12, General Board Meeting, John Jay Educational campus, 237 Seventh Avenue, Auditorium Monday, June 17, Economic/Waterfront/Community Development & Housing, P.S. 32, 317 Hoyt Street, Auditorium Thursday, June 17, Transportation/Public Safety Committee; Presentation and discussion with representative for the Office of Emergency Management on emergency preparedness including a review of the City’s new hurricane evacuation map, and developing a general household plan for hurricanes/storms, fires, utility outages, water main breaks and other emergencies. Presentation and discussion with representatives for Forest City Ratner Company on the effectiveness of the Barclays Center Transportation Demand Management plan. 78th Police Precinct, 65 6th Avenue, 4th floor Court Room Wednesday, June 26, Youth/Human Services/Education Committee, Presentation and discussion with representatives for the Red Hook Initiative on the programs and services they provide to our local community Red Hook Initiative, 767 Hicks Street at West 9th.
The North River Historic Ship Society is hosting the Historic Ship Festival featuring Red Hook’s Waterfront Museum. Free boat rides, and tours. Boats will be at Hudson River Park, more activities back in Red Hook. Check websites for times and specific locations.
SUNDAY, JUNE 23RD
Gowanus Canal Conservancy is hosting a tree stewardship event to work on tree pruning, removing pavers from tree pits, amending soil with compost and spreading mulch. We will also build our 4th compost windrow of the year with approximately 8,000 lbs of food waste. Meeting Location: Salt Lot at 2 Second Ave and the canal. Please sign-up to volunteer, spots are limited: email@example.com; 11:00am - 3:00pm
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26
Brooklyn Greenhouse Initiative’s annual summer benefit, New Views 2013: South Brooklyn Surf + Turf + Earth, will be held on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 from 6-9 pm at Liberty Warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Open bar, live music, dessert and after-party at Hometown Bar-B-Que are included. Festive summer attire suggested.
Help Wanted at the Red Hook Star-Revue Reporters needed for news coverage in Red Hook and her environs. Enthusiasm more important than experience. Learn on the job. Full and part-time positions available.
OTHER MEETINGS Monday June 10th, NYCHA Meeting with tenants. Discussion about progress towards disaster readiness. Miccio Center, 6 pm.
Call Kimberly Gail Price
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 11th, Red Hook West Tenants Meeting, 428 Columbia Street, 4A (TA office). 6 pm Saturday June 15th, Friends of Carroll Park is hosting a Volunteer Reception. Currently involved? Interested in helping out? A volunteer alumnus? Come by for eats, drinks, and mingling with Friends of Carroll Park! Carroll Park is located at President Street and Smith Street in Carroll Gardens. 6 - 8 pm Saturday June 15th, Red Hook Summit, time, details to be announced. For more information, Reg Flowers (646) 385-6118 or email email@example.com. Wednesday, June 26, Red Hook East Tenants Meeting, Miccio Center, 6 pm Wednesday, June 26, Red Hook Civic Association Meeting, PS 15 Auditorium, 7 pm
Page 2 Red Hook Star-Revue
SUNY DESTROYS LICH RESIDENCY PROGRAM (continued from page 1)
The 42 residents will be replaced by 20 physicians’ assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (LPNs). But Dr. Romanelli estimates that the hospital will need at least 60-100 to replace the residents. Dr. Romanelli explains the burden this will place on the remaining doctors of LICH. PAs and LPNs cannot substitute the place of doctors. PAs cannot diagnose and treat patients, although they can render care by way of doctors’ orders. The doctors must also sign off on an LPN’s diagnosis and treatment. If the LPNs make a mistake, the doctors are liable. SUNY has also hired Pitts Management Company to run and facilitate hiring and operations of the hospital. When John Burns, the acting Chief Operating Officer (COO) of LICH “essentially had no contract and was let go,” Dr. Romanelli said, James Karkenny of Pitts Management took over. James Karkenny has been the interim Chief Operating Officer since early May after Burn left the hospital. At a recent meeting, he addressed the doctors and attending physicians, saying “clearly this month has been one of transition.” He described his role “to plug the majority of holes in administrative, clinical leadership as well as nurses.” When addressing the residency plan, he said, “I understand the challenge. I’m not sure if there’s anything else I can offer. The plans are in place; the decisions have been made. We’re doing our best with many of [the doctors] to fill the gaps and the holes. The last thing we can do is put our patients at risk and infect the quality of patient care.” Meetings of the medical leadership – or chief doctors at LICH - began the day the decision the end the residency program was handed down. According to Karkenny, LICH’s administration is working towards “[re]staffing on a daily basis.” “What’s the cost of this?” asks Dr. Romanelli. “Significant,” replied Karkenny. “Do you have a number?” “We have some numbers. It’s a huge amount. Obviously.” “More than one million?” “Yes.” “Six million, ten million?” “It’s in that range.” “Great answer.” “It’s the best information available to us today.” “We committed to a full court press to get these folks in, vetted through the interview process credentials and in place by the time the residents are gone,” Karkenny promised. “We still have a hospital that’s open, it’s open for the foreseeable future, and we’re committed to bringing the resources in to maintain excellent care.” Letters dated Monday, May 20, 2013 were sent to the heads of all three existing residency programs from Stephen Wadowski, Associate Dean for
Red Hook Star-Revue
Graduate Medical Education (GME) at SUNY. In a copy obtained by the Star-Revue addressed to Mary Fatehi, the Program Director for Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) at LICH, the letter states, “According to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Institutional Standards, residency programs accredited by the ACGME must be operated under the authority and control of on Sponsoring Institute.” SUNY is currently the “Sponsoring Institute.” The letter goes on to read, “A motion of voluntary withdrawal of ACGME accreditation for the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn – Long Island College Hospital Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology was made and approved by the Committee. Withdrawal of the accreditation is to become effective at the end of the 2012-2013 Academic Year and no later than June 30, 2013.” The letter gives three days for the program directors to “appeal this determination,” and submit “in writing to President John Williams before noon on May 23, 2013.” The program directors of Radiology and
“Now we suddenly are losing the residents, and I don’t think this hospital could work without them. I would like to know why we lost the residency program,”
Internal Medicine received the same letters. The ACGME’s mission is to “improve healthcare by assessing and advancing the quality of resident of resident physicians’ education through exemplary accreditation.” They were established in 1981 based on a consensus in the medical academic community calling for an independent accrediting organization. In the academic year 2010-2011, there were 8,887 ACGME-accredited programs in 133 specialties nationwide. As of July 1, 2013, LICH will no longer be one of them. “Now we suddenly are losing the residents, and I don’t think this hospital could work without them. I would like to know why we lost the residency program,” pressed Dr. Marwin Attalah However at a June 3 meeting with the medical staff, SUNY Chief Medical Officer, Michael Lucchesi, claimed that residents filed letters of complaints with the ACGME. Lucchesi could give no further information on how many complaints were filed, the nature of the complaints or any other pertinent information regarding the issue. Lucchesi also said ACGME visited the hospital on May 29, 2013 and decided the residency program needed to be shuttered. However, two weeks before
An empty nurse’s station on the third floor.
the site visit, SUNY called the department heads of Internal Medicine, Radiology and OBGYN and demanded that they voluntarily withdraw their residents beyond June 30. The phone calls happened at 9:30 pm on a Monday night – May 20 – and the letters were sent out Tuesday morning. Dr. Millicent Comre, OBGYN Clinical Assistant Professor and Chief of Service, and Dr. Fatehi appealed the decision in a letter to Dr. Williams dated May 23, 2013. They “formally appeal the determination” for “voluntary withdrawal of ACGME accreditation,” citing the program is “in full compliance with all standards required for successful education of residents in our specialty.” The doctors provide a list supporting their cause including, “a full and stable complement board-certified faculty;” “adequate numbers of patient volume and procedures;” and “adequate resources to support continued education.” The letter continues, “In addition, we await your response concerning our request made in writing May 9, 2013 to maintain an independent residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at LICH […] A plan to offer uninterrupted care for our patients in the absence of house staff must be outlined and adequate staff secured.” Romanelli said, “SUNY is controlling the process before it goes to ACGME. SUNY initially told our program directors that they were merging our residency programs into their programs. Earlier this week, a late night phone call to the LICH program directors by the GME director, Dr. Wadowski forced them to voluntarily withdraw their respected residency programs under ACGME. He then had a public meeting with medical and attending and resident MD staff telling them that as of June 26, there will be no medical residents at LICH, essentially crippling our hospital.” In response to pulling the plug on the residency program, Head of Nursing, Catherine Gallogby-Simon submitted a letter of resignation effective July 1, 2013. Her protest of the withdrawal was described by Romanelli as the “final nail in the coffin,” because it is impossible to
for her to run the nursing department in the manner SUNY is proposing to operate the hospital. Dr. John Romanelli said the complaints were in regard to the residents not having enough attending doctors to run the program. Those attending physicians were pulled from LICH – by SUNY, of course – earlier in the year. Many critical doctors that teach residents were not replaced by SUNY, causing the hospital to become deficient in its training process. Romanelli also stated that reversing the process and allowing residents back into the residency program is “very extensive” and would take many months, as well as being extremely costly. Dr. Toomas Sorra, President of Concerned Physicians of LICH, said “SUNY has FORCED [us] last week to withdraw its residency program for the first time in history, and are thereby trying to convert LICH into the equivalent of a walk-in clinic/hospital, instead of the full service hospital that it is at present. This is a major assault on LICH by SUNY.” Many questions remain about the employment gaps LICH now faces. Who is going to supervise the PAs? How will LICH get the PAs recruited, certified and trained in less than 30 days? And how will the hospital be able to afford such an enormous expense at this point? Karkenny could not answer these questions. SUNY officials offered no response. And the medical staff of LICH is left to deal with the consequences. The lawsuit filed against SUNY and the Department of Health is in response to SUNY violating a temporary restraining order (TRO) from early February. The TRO, which was extended indefinitely by Judge Johnny Lee Baynes on February 21, barred SUNY’s Board of Trustees from even discussing the closure plan with the Department of Health. The TRO specifically states that the “Defendants-Respondents are hereby TEMPORARILY RESTRAINED and shall not take any action in the furtherance of the closure plan for Long Island College (continued on page 11)
June 2013 Page 3
Page 4 Red Hook Star-Revue
Fear and questioning at Civic Association meeting
t the May 29th Red Hook Civic Association meeting, John McGettrick alarmed attendees by informing them of steep insurance hikes. Residents affected by Hurricane Sandy could soon face large increases if they fail to come into compliance with new flood resilience guidelines outlined in a proposed amendment to city zoning laws. McGettrick relayed information received at an earlier meeting about the proposed amendment and took question. Many residents were confused by the potential effects of the lengthy amendment - which would have an outsize impact on this waterfront community - and attempted to assuage concerns about the insurance hike, which he estimated could be as great as $16,000 per household. The forty six page amendment, proposed by the Department of City Planning, would relax zoning regulations that normally restrict the height of homes to allow residents at risk of flood damage to either elevate their homes or build upward to compensate for the loss of their ground floors, which the amendment mandates now be used only for storage or parking, and cellars, which must be filled. These standards, created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), would apply to those homes identified as facing a 1% annual risk of flood on the most recent FEMA flood maps.
by Stacy Nieves Many Red Hook residents would find it difficult or impossible to elevate their row houses. The main concerns were alternatives to expensive construction,
“Flowers inquired as to the workings of the Civic Association - including how its leadership is chosen - and asked if a plan existed for the establishment of new leadership.” other than simply accepting the insurance hike. McGettrick suggested that residents move boilers or heaters commonly found in basements to the roof, or place them in the backyard on stilts, recommendations met with scoffs from the visibly agitated crowd. “All these years we could’ve been putting our boilers and heaters on the roof, and they didn’t tell us until they could make money off us?” one woman asked, reflecting the attendees’ shared attitude of suspicion toward the insurance companies that stand to profit from these new safety regulations. In response to the residents’ fiscal concerns, which included loss of rent from
tenants of ground floor apartments, McGettrick informed them that owners of homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy could expect a notice of reduction in the value of their homes, which would necessitate a corresponding tax decrease. Residents were hardly pleased by this compensation, prompting McGettrick to remind them that he was simply repeating what he’d been told. Michael Haggerty, an instructor of sustainable development at Pratt Institute, announced that the school is running three student studios based in Red Hook over the summer to focus on housing, green infrastructure and community planning. The school plans to hold a forum at the end of the summer to share their findings with Red Hook residents. In addition to the inflammatory issue of the new housing regulations, the meeting also touched on the establishment of regular ferry service between Red Hook and Manhattan, the possible implementation of the new city-wide bike share program, Citi Bike, in Red Hook and the status of the clean-up of the Gowanus Canal. The free ferry service will continue to run, on weekends only, until Labor Day. McGettrick alluded to the possibility of expanding the service to involve more stops in the future, in response to a level of ridership that has surpassed expectations. At the close of the meeting, Reg Flow-
John McGettrick presides over the Civic Association meeting, held in May at the Justice Center. (photo by George Fiala)
ers, founder and director of Falconworks Artists Group, interjected with a list of questions for McGettrick. Flowers inquired as to the workings of the Civic Association, - including how its leadership is chosen - and asked if a plan existed for the establishment of new leadership, prompting McGettrick to ask whether Flowers were nominating himself for such a position. Flowers, somewhat flustered, denied this and attempted to move on with his interview before other attendees lost patience and suggested that he save his questions for after the meeting.
Red Hook West tenants discuss bad locks and barbecue crimes
he monthly meeting of the Red Hook West Tenants Association was held on May 14th at the Tenants Association (TA) office, 428 Columbia Street. The meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month and are chaired by TA president Lillian Marshall. The Tenant’s Association consists of members who pay $2 dues annually.
by George Fiala
spoke about crackdowns against illegal tenants, who often made noise and bothered their neighbors. The addresses he gave for this were 80 Dwight St. and 442 Columbia St. There are problems with front doors not locking. Someone from the audience mentioned 40
The meeting began with some good news for seniors, as Miss Marshall announced that the former Headstart center, PAL Miccio, wouldl now house the seniors displaced from the Senior Center on Walcott Street since Hurricane Sandy. Lieutenant O’Malley, from the police annex at 80 Dwight Street, spoke next. He said that the Gowanus and Wyckoff Houses had more criminal activity lately than the Red Hook Houses. There was since a “big takedown” last March. He warned against outdoor barbecues in the Houses. Barbecues are often set up close to people’s windows, and the fumes are offensive, as well as dangerous. He said the only place for barbecuing will be in Coffey Park on Family Day. Illegal barbecuers will be given a summons. He went on to say that extra police had been brought into the Houses and were responsible for many “quality’ arrests.” If anyone sees something suspicious, they are urged to call the satellite office at (718) 237-8444. The assistant superintendent, Tom
Red Hook Star-Revue
done with the help of Added Value, who maintains a farm in front of IKEA. Bea Byrd got up to speak about the Addabo Center. They have been operating from the upper floors of their building on Richards Street. This is the old South Brooklyn Health Center. The first floor renovation work is almost finished and there will be a grand re-opening in June. She urged residents to take advantage of the facility, saying that if someone needs insurance, he or she can sign up there. Dan Wiley from Nydia Velazquez’s office arrived and spoke of the new home of the Senior Center. His office was very involved in this achievement. He spoke against the privatizing of parking lots that is being proposed for some public housing in NYC. He was excite
Danielle Johnson speaks about gardens as Miss Marshall looks on. (all photos by Fiala)
Centre Mall as another building with a faulty front door lock. Mold problems at 38 Bush St. were mentioned. A tenant at 442 Columbia complained that their closet had been fixed by NYCHA workers, but remained unpainted.
No worries - we have it under control - Lt. O’Malley of 80 Dwight Street. The center hair is of Phaedra Thomas, paid consultant to concrete magnate John Quadrozzi.
to pre-announce the expansion of ferry service that was to be announced the following morning. After the meeting, a nice hot dinner of chicken, rice, beans and fruit salad was served - as is customary.
He said the only place for barbecuing will be in Coffey Park on Family Day. Illegal barbecuers will be given a summons.
Danielle Johnson spoke about her work resuscitating the community gardens. The first addition was to be planted the next day in front of the old Senior Center. Eventually there will be a garden in front of every building. This is being
Past President Bea Byrd gets up to talk about the Addabbo Center.
June 2013 Page 5
Superfund PRIMER (continued from page 1)
the portions of the December proposal that deal with the disposition of the dredged material as well as the dewatering process. The EPA has proposed to ship all the sludge from the upper two thirds of the canal to an offsite disposal facility. An option to create landfill from the less contaminated lower one third - the five feet of mud under the canal south of Hamilton Avenue - was subject to public approval. This is the infamous Confined Disposal Facility (CDF), so opposed by local groups such as No-Toxic Red Hook as well as many residents of the Red Hook Houses. Red Hook will also be affected by the method the EPA chooses to remove water from the mud being dredged from the bottom of the canal.
Dewatering process up in air This “dewatering” process has created some confusion, as most Red Hook citizens have only a layman’s knowledge of how the EPA handles contaminated waterways. An EPA report on removing sludge from the Great Lakes reveals three types of dewatering - passive, mechanical and active evaporative. Passive dewatering is described as “natural evaporation and drainage to remove moisture.” The document goes on to explain that this procedure usually takes place at CDFs. Mechanical dewatering uses machines to squeeze out the water. This can be done on-site in a facility erected for this purpose, or - as Walter Mugberg mentioned at a recent public meeting - right on the barge as the material is lifted from the bottom. The December report is unclear on which process the EPA prefers. Mugberg himself suggested that they haven’t really figured out which option they will choose. It will be decided during the Remedial Design Stage - a three year period following the release of what they call “The Record of Decision (ROD).” This is the final plan that will appear in late summer and will also include the responses to the public comments.
deemed most responsible for the canal’s pollution. In addition, at least 29 other companies have been sent letters by the EPA indicating their designation as possible PRP’s. Under strict supervision by the EPA, the PRPs must choose and pay for the actual contracting of the work. Once everything is in place, the actual work begins. The EPA calls this period “Remedial Action,” which is expected to take another ten years. The end of the public comment period is not the end of the EPA’s interest in what our community thinks. “My phone number is on our website,” said Natalie Loney, EPA’s Community Outreach Director. “I will always be available to the public.” The EPA may hold public meetings as issues come up. These issues are generally fine tuning. For example, a community might protest about noise created in the process. Then the cleaning might then just be done during the daytime.
Gowanus CAG gains stature Another important tool that the EPA will use to stay in touch with the com-
Page 6 Red Hook Star-Revue
Superfund process.” The document continues, “CAG’s respond to a growing awareness within EPA and throughout the Federal government that particular populations who are at special risk from environ-
“The end of the public comment period is not the end of the EPA’s interest in what our community thinks. ‘My phone number is on our website,’ said Natalie Loney.” munity is the Community Advisory Group (CAG). Many - but not all - Superfund sites have associated CAGs. These are groups initially set up with the help of the EPA, but are independent entities. EPA officials will often attend CAG meetings. A neutral facilitator paid for by the EPA leads the groups. CAGs are composed of representatives
The EPA held numerous meetings over the past two years to introduce the plan and answer community photos. This one took place in March 2012 at the Miccio Center.
For the three years following the ROD, implementation of the report will be planned by the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs). These are companies designated by the EPA as being responsible for the pollution. National Grid and the City of New York were
In ten or fifteen years, the Gowanus will be as clean as it can look beautiful, as in this Star-Revue photo.
from community organizations and interested individuals. An EPA document entitled “Guidance for Community Advisory Groups at Superfund Sites,” published in 1995, defines a CAG as “another mechanism designed to enhance community involvement in the
mental threats - such as minority and low income populations - may have been overlooked in past efforts to encourage public participation. CAG’s are an effective mechanism to facilitate the participation of community members, particularly those from low-income and minority groups, in the decision making process at Superfund sites.” The Gowanus CAG was formed in 2010. In addition to the at-large group, there are several committees. They include: Outreach, Archaeology, Real Estate and Water Quality & Technical. The executive meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of each month. The Gowanus CAG has no chairman or executive director, however there is the facilitator. The facilitator is responsible for directing the CAG, helping them fulfill their mission, leading executive and occasional committee meetings, helping to maintain contact with government, and keeping and publicizing the minutes. The contract for the CAG’s original facilitator, Jeff Edelstein, was not renewed. A new facilitator is on the verge of being chosen. According to a recent request for applicants, a facilitator is important because he or she would “likely be very successful in providing an avenue for community input into site decision-making.”
Current CAG members include representatives from CB6, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Cobble Hill Association, Fifth Avenue Committee, Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG), Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Gowanus Houses Tenants Association, Proteus Gowanus, Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, and the Park Slope Civic Council. Out of a total of 29 community organizations, only 3 are from Red Hook - Red Hook East Tenant Association, Red Hook West Tenant Association and Red Hook Civic Association. Of these, only John McGettrick of the Civic Association regularly attend meetings. In addition to representatives from community organizations, there are 23 “At-Large” members, representing themselves. Of these, eight are listed as being from Carroll Gardens, seven from Gowanus, four from Park Slope, one from Cobble Hill, and none from Red Hook. At the April 23rd monthly executive meeting, six more members were accepted. Two represent organizations: Reg Flowers, of the Good Shepard Services and Harriet Hughes, of the Warren Street Houses Tenant Association. Four new At-Large members were added - Phyllis Argento and Valerie Bell of Wyckoff Gardens, Rafael Kapoluna from Gowanus, and Trudy Milbern, of Carroll Gardens. The Gowanus CAG operates under its own charter. Their mission statement includes the following goals: “Disseminating information to the community”; “Gathering information from the community and various sources”; “Discussing and assessing information”; “Adopting and voicing positions”;” Problem-solving issues relating to the clean-up and the community” and finally, “Providing input and guidance to EPA and others.” As the only official public comment period has passed, the role of the CAG becomes more important as a means for the community to let the EPA know it’s thoughts on the clean-up.
LICH is not a priority in SUNY’s Sustainability Plan
n May 28, 2013, State University of New York/ Downstate Medical Center (SUNY/ DMC) released an overview of their sustainability plan to the general public. The plan, which requires the State Budget Division’s approval, was submitted on June 1, and could be commence as early as June 15. And SUNY’s Sustainability plan has already decided how the money from LICH’s real estate will be spent. SUNY held a town hall meeting for a public discussion of their sustainability plan at their Downstate Medical Center on Monday, May 20. Carmen Pimentel, a register nurse at LICH began her testimony by saying, “This town hall meeting is not a substitute for meaningful serious consultation with stakeholders.” She also added that, “Our three minute comments today are not the consultation with stakeholders required by law.” Herdley Hill, a psychiatric nurse at LICH testified, saying “Instead of seeking meaningful input, SUNY is holding this so-called town hall meeting, which by no means fulfills SUNY’s legal obligations.” Later in the day, SUNY followed the meeting with a council meeting for an update on the sustainability plan. All talk about LICH as a part of the plan was averted, citing the TRO prohibiting SUNY from further discussing the closure of LICH. In the overview they define “What is at stake?” for their struggling medical institution. “SUNY Downstate matters even more in the current environment, and it is therefore essential to safeguard the future of this academic enterprise,” because “the significant weakening of the SUNY system and SUNY Downstate Medical Center” would be “catastrophic for Brooklyn, and the City and State of New York.” The SUNY “Situation” is described as the “current state can no longer be maintained. The challenges are immense, the complexity of the State system is overwhelming, and many of the solutions that could be utilized to protect the enterprise from insolvency and achieve a successful rescue of the enterprise, such as bankruptcy, are not available for consideration.” On page 3, SUNY identifies the problem as University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB). UHB’s “pressing financial difficulties […] have reached the point where they imperil the future viability of Downstate’s academic enterprise.” LICH is mentioned only twice and is largely ignored as a teaching facility in the 18 page document. However, on SUNY’s Downstate website, UHB is defined as “the only academic medical center providing patient care, education, research, and community services for the nearly 5 million people living in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.” Page 8 outlines “The SUNY Plan” calling for the state to create a new “Brooklyn Health Improvement Plan public benefit corporation” to support “the formation of a Brooklyn-based provider network;”
Red Hook Star-Revue
by Kimberly Gail Price “serve as a strong academic network” for SUNY; and “allow UHB to become a smaller, more efficient hospital,” despite its need to serve the 5 million people of Staten Island, Queens and especially Brooklyn if LICH cannot be resuscitated. On page 13, the report provides a timeline for SUNY through 2017 with projected costs per year. LICH is mentioned for the first time in the document as a footnote. “SUNY will review all responses received to the request for information and determine the most expeditious and financially responsible course of action to enable Downstate to exit from the operation of the Long Island College Hospital facility.” The implications of SUNY’s actions to allow LICH to fail before a suitor is found may indeed by the fastest way for SUNY to “exit from the operation.”
Starving the hospital But SUNY isn’t waiting for a new operator to before taking strong actions to ensure the hospital’s closure. Slowly, they are removing every vital ingredient the hospital needs to survive, despite a temporary restraining order issued by Judge Johnny Lee Baynes earlier in the year. Most recently, SUNY has mandated that the residency program at LICH be terminated effective June 30, 2013. Even thought the decision to remove residents from LICH had already been put into process, nothing was mentioned to the general public. Nor has anything concerning the exit of the program been mentioned at any public meeting to date. Dr. John Romanelli describes LICH as “a carcass picked apart for assets and then left to die.”
Dr. Sorra said, “Not one community voice has been listened to. Not one ounce of concern has to be considered about the value for the community if LICH shuts down.” Mc Call also testified that “stakeholders” have been consulted constantly about necessary services in the community. However, no one involved at LICH has been consulted by SUNY. LICH has not been involved in any development plans, nor are they privy to any information regarding new operator negotiations. Senator Eric Adams hammered SUNY/ DMC with questions regarding LICH. He asked if SUNY would “keep the lights on” at LICH while negotiating the transfer. SUNY could not guarantee that they would. Michelle Green writes, “SUNY was also required to consult with stakeholders in creating this plan – NYSNA has requested a meeting with SUNY, but have yet to receive a response.” Adams also reminded SUNY trustees that LICH needs to be maintained as a hospital, not just a “healthcare service.” Dr. Sorra writes, “We do not accept that ‘healthcare services in the community around LICH’ is a viable alternative to a full service hospital.” Executive Director of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), Jill Furillo, RN said, “We need to hold SUNY accountable to its commitment to keep LICH open as a sustainable community hospital with a responsible operator. And patients, care givers and the community need to have a voice in developing a sustainability plan and finding a
new operator.” SUNY’s Sustainability Plan is mainly a proposal to expand Downstate by transforming UHB and building primary care centers in central Brooklyn – to be paid for by the sale of LICH. Most of LICH’s property would be sold off at market rate and the existing facility would be housed in a smaller building and be a standalone emergency center. SUNY officials requested the subcommittee’s assistance to transform LICH into the same type of facility that St. Vincent’s in Manhattan has been converted to.
LICH remains at major risk Julie Semente, registered nurse at LICH writes, “LICH remains at risk. All eyes are still focused on the lucrative value of LICH’s real estate, and we must remain vigilant. The threat to LICH remains very real.” In their Sustainability plan, SUNY claims they will be out of money by July 1, 2013 without state support. However with the past two months, they have broken ground on a new building on their campus. Information posted at the construction site reveals the building will be the New Academic Building of Public Health and is projected to be completed by February 2015. Tutor Perini Building Corporation is listed as the contractor for the new structure located at 450 Clarkson Avenue, adjacent to SUNY’s campus on Lenox Road. The plan is expected to be approved or denied by the State Division of the Budget and DOH by June 15, 2013. If approved, SUNY must begin taking initial steps immediately.
Page 17 summarizes the necessary funding needed from New York State for the proposed restructuring plan. Costs for LICH for the fiscal years ending in 20142017 total $129 million. At a meeting to discuss the overview, SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall explained the money was need for the transfer and/or sale of LICH to a new operator. After unanimously approving the plan, SUNY officials submitted their formal proposal to the Department of Health and Governor Cuomo’s budget aides. The plan calls for a network of healthcare providers to be created to help financially stabilize SUNY. The plan would also establish a new government agency to oversee the new health-care network. If the plan is approved, SUNY would receive $435 million in funding from the state over the next four years. However, the plan does not guarantee that LICH will remain open. Julie Semente said, “Just keeping the doors open isn’t enough. LICH needs to be restored and revitalized to reach its fullest potential.” At a New York Senate hearing on June 4 in Albany, the Subcommittee on Higher Education discussed the Sustainability Plan. McCall testified that LICH will be closed if discussions with new operators do not work out. He also stated that SUNY cannot guarantee that they will be able to keep LICH open during negotiations.
320 ATLANTIC AVE
Suggested minimum donation is $50 pp - at the door 100% of the proceeds will go to fight for our community
THIS FUNDRAISER IS TO PAY FOR THE LEGAL CHALLENGE organized by: THE CONCERNED PHYSICIANS OF LICH
718-834-0100 www.lichmedicalstaff.org Food, Beer/Wine, Location and Entertainment are all included and donated by caring local residents
June 2013 Page 7
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
(send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our last issue produced more conversation than usual, both online and directly to us. The following is taken both from emails sent to us, as well as online postings - Editor.
Thinks we’re peachy keen!
Hi - I just wanted to say thank you so much for the great articles --in this issue in particular...which deal with some very tough and contentious neighborhood issues. For those of us concerned about the CDF, and all of the weird and underhanded dealings...it’s appreciated to have everything laid out in an understandable, cohesive way. It took guts to do,...and we can’t thank you enough!! Thanks. Your current issue is fantastic Proud of you guys. Great newspaper. Alexandra Grablewski
Welcome back library!
On October 29, 2012 Red Hook had suffered a very bad Hurricane called Sandy, and the storm itself wasn’t long at all but the aftermath felt like we were just went through a boxing match with this Hurricane Sandy and Sandy was left standing. We lost a lot in Red Hook and some of the places were Fairway, a senior center and the Red Hook Library. When the doors of the Red Hook Library was closed for months it felt like Red Hook had a big frown on its face and like crying for there wasn’t any life in the air. Red Hook isn’t a big area in the first place to do things and just to stay out of harms way, and there also isn’t too many places one can go to and make bonds with people and ask the person by name for help instead of saying excuse me but can you please help me, but in the Red Hook Library one can find all of that you can make bonds with the librarians and they will help you in any assignment you might have or if you have paper work or books you might need to look up they are there to help you and after while the Red Hook Library really starts to feel like your home away from home. When the library was closed and we had the mobile van come around I tried my best to hand out flyers and get the word out about what’s going on with the library. Now that the doors are open again you can feel and see a difference in Red Hook for you can see that Red Hook is starting to smile again for we are starting to come alive again better and stronger and you can feel it for the air is starting to feel friendlier again and not so fridget and scared for there is nothing like having the Red Hook Library open and striving to serve the community once again. - Lisa Gonzalez
No NY Times
You know you’ve done something write [sic] when the local paper comes after you for PRODUCING A PLAY. I guess I can join the ranks of every artist I’ve ever respected for creating controversy. What was it Albert Einstein said about certain spirits encountering violent opposition from mediocre minds. Not saying I’m so great a spirit (probably fishing). The Red Hook Star-Revue is no New York Times and for their questionable journalistic practices are not anyone’s first choice for news. I’m posting this
Page 8 Red Hook Star-Revue
to help them out. From what I gather, reposting this may actually be doubling their circulation. I totally understand the outrage at George and Kimberly and it’s upsetting to feel like I am suddenly forced into position against people in my community. I have to remind myself that it’s not so much that they are behaving in a way I consider foolish, it’s that George is intentionally sending a message through his paper that anyone who disagrees with him will become an target and that he fully intends to use his privileged position as owner of a newspaper (however questionable that status of that paper may be amongst some people now) to defame them. I don’t need a pity party or anything like that, but to think that the time I could be working on something to benefit my community—an event that brings people together, reading up on an issue that impacts my neighbors, offering free workshops for community youth— I’m spending trying to put out fires that George has been carelessly starting in a neighborhood that has enough fires to put out. It just seems so selfish an anti-community. We have enough people crapping on us. Really George Fiala and Kimberly Price and Red Hook Star-Revue... enough! I’m also aware that sometimes people take pleasure in causing strife and getting to be at the center of something that otherwise they wouldn’t be able to play any role in or effect in any way. I’m happy to move on if you guys are. Reg Flowers
Greetings, I’d like to try to clarify some of the misinformation in The Red Hook Star Revue’s article “GBX’s win at all cost strategy backfires”, that to me seems like the result of irresponsible and lazy journalism. Before The Red Hook Star Revue or anyone else labels me as a shadowy operative of some vested interest, let me first make it clear where I stand on the Gowanus Bay Terminal (GBX) controversy; I am not a member of No Toxic Red Hook, nor am I with the GBX camp. To be very short, although I am against the creation of a Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) in Red Hook, I was also quickly turned off by the knee-jerk NIMBY-ism I sensed from many who opposed it. Now that that is out of the way, I am writing to address the insinuation made by The Red Hook Star Revue that Reg Flowers has been secretly working for Quadrozzi to galvanize support for the “Red Hook Option.” As your main evidence for this claim, you present RedHookVision.com, a website that Reg Flowers created in the Spring of 2012, not long after folks in the neighborhood first began to get wind of the possibility that Quadrozzi could fill in some of the underwater land with the material the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be dredging from the canal. I first found out about the GBX and their plans for the dredged material in the Spring of 2012 through Occupy Red Hook. I and other group members, although we knew few details about the plan at that point, thought it seemed like an excellent opportunity for ourselves and other community members to engage in a visioning project of what our waterfront might be used for. It is very important to note here is that it
was understood (by members of Occupy Red Hook, at least), that Quadrozzi was in support of a participatory process to guide the decision of what would be done with this space regardless of whether or not he received the dredged material to fill in his underwater property. During that spring, a number of community leaders, some of whom were members of Occupy Red Hook, were approached by GBX and told about their hopes for the space. Some shared with us what they knew, but aside from mentioning a possible park and some creative uses for Quadrozzi’s ship, the M/V LouJaine, there wasn’t much detail. This was long before the EPA’s plan was released so by that point we had very little understanding of what was actually being proposed. Although we had little information about the plan at the time, we thought it would be beneficial for us to start to brainstorm ideas for this space (with or without a Confined Disposal Facility), and to use that discussion as a catalyst for folks in the community to think about what they would like for the future for Red Hook as a whole. We imagined by being proactive about this visioning process, we might be able to develop some interesting and thoughtful proposals that we could eventually bring to the table down the road. As a result of those discussions, Reg Flowers created the RedHookVision website, which he hoped would become a place where visions for Red Hook’s waterfront might be shared. Additionally, I facilitated an Occupy Red Hook meeting on July 5th, 2012, during which we discussed the Gowanus Bay Terminal. Both Matt Graber and Abby SavitchLew of The Red Hook Star Revue were
“The Red Hook Star Revue also claims that the April 16th community meeting, held by Reg, was an underhanded ploy to garner support for the ‘Red Hook Option.’ This is, at best, a misguided conclusion based on flimsy evidence. “ in attendance, and the majority of the meeting involved Graber and SavitchLew answering our questions about the EPA’s plan and GBX’s hopes. Not long after that meeting, Occupy Red Hook dissolved, and with it our plans for developing ideas for this waterfront space. As one can easily see from visiting the Red Hook Vision website, not much has changed on it since it was first created. For instance, the most recent letter posted on the website from the EPA on the status of the project is dated May 2, 2012. The point is that the creation of the RedHookVision website and Occupy Red Hook’s visioning discussions were not intended to galvanize support for or against the “Red Hook Option,” nor were they coordinated with the folks from GBX. They were guided by our shared belief that community members should have a voice in the direction of their neighborhood’s development, and our understanding that GBX—with or without a CDF—was an opportunity to engage community members in what the
renowned activist and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs calls “visionary organizing.” The Red Hook Star Revue also claims that the April 16th community meeting, held by Reg, was an underhanded ploy to garner support for the “Red Hook Option.” This is, at best, a misguided conclusion based on flimsy evidence. As anyone could clearly observe at any of the community meetings regarding the EPA plan, there was an incredible amount of misunderstanding of the proposal due to misinformation. For instance, it was clear that many people were unaware that the EPA’s proposal included not only the option of a confined disposal facility on Quadrozzi’s property, but also included a completely separate option of a temporary dewatering plant along the Red Hook stretch of the canal. The April 16th community meeting was designed to be an opportunity for folks to ask questions and get clarification on such issues before the end of the comment period. If anyone knows Reg or has seen him facilitate a community meeting, they know how important it is to him as a facilitator that as many voices are heard as possible. The Red Hook Star Review asserts that Reg Flowers was left unsmiling due to the many comments in opposition to the Red Hook Option. I, too, was also left unsmiling, as were many others I spoke to after that meeting. This was not so much due to the content of what people actually said, but due to people’s behavior. I, for one, was thoroughly disgusted by what I saw at that meeting at South Brooklyn High School; the disrespect towards the facilitator, to the representatives of the EPA, and to people whose viewpoints went counter to the majority in the room, was immature and shameful at best. Is it really a surprise that the facilitator was left unsmiling after being shouted down for trying to follow some sort of fair process? Or after individuals managed to jump the stack of folks waiting to speak, just because they were the loudest and most relentlessly obnoxious? Additionally, The Red Hook Star Revue suggests that the Falconworks production of Henrik Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People” (of which I was a part) was just another ploy by Reg and Quadrozzi to promote the “Red Hook Option.” If anyone from the Red Hook Star Revue had actually come to see the play, they would have found that the play was not in any way presented as being in support or against the “Red Hook Option.” Amongst the cast there was a diversity of viewpoints regarding the EPA proposal and the “Red Hook Option,” and judging from what I heard during the talk-backs following each performance, it was not received by audience members as being clearly in favor of any particular side. For me at least, the play was more a commentary on how authority, fear, and ignorance so often silence minority viewpoints, prevent important truths from being brought to light, and shut down dialogue. The play, being on Quadrozzi’s property, also provided an opportunity for folks from the community to engage with this space in a way few had been unable to do previously. I applaud journalists who call out people for being dishonest, who uncover hidden truths, and who confront those in power. Unfortunately, that’s not what the Red Hook Star Revue did in this case; (continued on next page)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
(send yours to email@example.com)
it presented a misleading case against an individual based upon hunches, not actual evidence. That is not journalism. It makes me wonder if the Red Hook Star Revue ever asked for a comment from Reg Flowers following that meeting or regarding the RedHookVision website. Just like Hector Amistad, the editor of The People’s Messenger in the Falconworks version of Enemy of the People, The Red Hook Star Revue’s behavior has been “damnably shameful.” Oh that’s right, I forgot—you didn’t come to see the play. Warm regards, - Corbin Laedlein Editor’s note - Our regular theater reviewer, Brian Clancy not only was at a performance but spoke to Mr. Flowers afterwards, identifying himself as a reviewer for the paper. His review appears this issue.
Response from Occupier
I was at the Occupy Red Hook meeting you mentioned. I recall a discussion about possible uses for a community shared space, a space that could hold a theater and a catering hall. I was told there might be room for ‘experimental’ housing. Now, I know Falconworks could benefit from a theater, and some of their friends (our neighbors) are caterers, and at the time I was living in an ‘experimental’ structure... So it did seem fishy to me. I didn’t think freedom to continue squatting on a brown field was much incentive to join their ap-
“Now, I know Falconworks could benefit from a theater, and some of their friends (our neighbors) are caterers, and at the time I was living in an ‘experimental’ structure... So it did seem fishy to me.” parent view point. .. And between that and the group’s unwillingness to associate with other occupiers, as well ORHs tendency to question me as a potential bomb thrower, I left. ORH had two more meetings. I haven’t picked up the paper yet, but I would suggest that the core group of ORH was always a stalking horse for the establishment. Reg first and foremost, as he was the RHI employee to start ORH and record the meetings, and underline projects without group consensus, and divvy out punishment for opposition. And not too long ago, my last communication with the group was an invitation for me commit a crime that I had avoided and still avoid, even though I’ve been severely underemployed and am homeless... It’s business as usual, and that’s why I speak out from time to time. That’s also why I sleep on streets with cameras. Just got back last night and read the article. It doesn’t mention you [Corbin]. Why you’re tying yourself to jerks I have never understood. You could be doing so much more. Either way, what I said
Red Hook Star-Revue
still stands, even if it doesn’t appear on fb open to everyone. Furthermore, Reg’s silkscreen guy threatened me the other day, and then again. Reg’s groupies at Hope & Anchor still have me banned for opposition, and I think the case the paper put forth was right on! Shadowy stuff is going on. I say. Again, you can be better than that. That article was right. Organizers are not always doing so for the good of the community... And I had expected better from you all. - Tucker Sabath
They were late to the game because they realized too late that the “Back” now has political power that threatens their strangle hold on the neighborhood. Their opposition to the CDF has nothing to do with the project itself, and everything to do with a knee-jerk reaction to realizing that there are other residents of Red Hook getting things done without them. It’s really sad that Ray Hall and his cronies chose to play the “race card” on this one. - FrontBackWhoCares
Missed the real story
I’m disheartened that the reporter of this article chose to focus on the quarrels between local personalities instead of reporting on the consequences of the EPA’s full plan for the Red Hook portion of the Gowanus clean up. I would have hoped to read a report by the StarRevue detailing the numerous health
and environmental risks posed by both the CDF and the dewatering facility (the latter of which will be constructed in Red Hook since we unwisely spent the bulk of EPA meetings only speaking out against the CDF). The Star-Revue missed the real story here, and sadly, it looks as though Red Hook will be the site of yet another environmental injustice. - C.Nash
benefit a private citizen and how that would work - what limits there should be on the use of that land, for example were never fully discussed. How we as a community could possibly benefit from the project was never discussed because we acted as if the EPA was trying to take advantage of us rather than negotiating with them to get what would benefit the community most.
Editor’s note - We wrote an editorial that mentioned many of the environmental points back in our March 27th issue. It can be seen on our blog: www.redhookstar. wordpress.com. Just click on the Gowanus Canal category.
Reg Flowers is now publicly insulted because he refused to take a stand against the CDF. He never once advocated for or against it, either. Reg Flowers, a person who has devoted his life to facilitating dialogue is called out for not taking a side. It’s just stunning that everyone has missed the point.
This is easily the most incisive article you have written since the brilliant monorail monorail monorail article. Mike Mowze
Missed the point?
Finally the Red Hook Star Review is being honest that the real opposition to the CDF was that it would benefit John Quadrozzi, not that it is toxic. If we had started with this conversation in the first place, we might have had some very different community meetings. Now that the comment period is over, this article calls the mud at the bottom of the Gowanus a “public good” and compares the potential landfill that would come of it to the landfill at Battery Park City (a place I hate, but that’s a different story). The issue of whether this landfill should
Red Hook StarªRevue
I feel strongly that our community has been manipulated into thinking they are standing up to pollution. CDF or no CDF, that is not a step forward for Red Hook. Should you care to take a stand against pollution in Red Hook, I suggest you start with http://aviewfromthehook. blogspot.com/ and complain to the city that the Port Authority has not converted the pier 11 to a cold ironing port yet. Another step would be to ask the EPA, most effective agency for remediating toxic material, to clean the ballfields and Valentino pier of PCPs and lead. Had we all gone into this with clear and open minds, we might have found a way to get a new public park and get the (continued on page 19)
STAR-REVUE PUZZLER #29 by George Fiala ACROSS
1. “Taking Care of Business” band 4. Palm Pilot, et. al. 7. Pick 11. Cost of a ride 12. Kind of opera 13. Dostoyevski book (with The) 15. Professors 17. Hair dye 18. Gooden or Pomus 19. Potato style 21. CIA predecessor 22. Tonsil doctor (abbr) 23. Local yoga chain 24. Film _____ 27. Hard working insect 28. Put the cake back in? 30. Achieve 33. Oxen joiner 36. “That is to say” 38. Trudge 39. Under the Princess’ mattress 40. Digital chunk 41. “_______ for Fears” 80’s band 43. These can be loose 45. Wealthiest Congressman 46. Montages 48. Goes with Tic 50. Stop! 51. Eve’s buddy 53. Con Ed needs this (abbr) 56. Swab 58. Bagel topping 60. Norma ___ 61. Can go up or down 64. Household helpers 66. French River 67. Part of (2 words) 68. Man with a brogue 69. School orgs. 70. Bo Derek was one 71. Mightier than the sword
1. Breakfast meat 2. Term for land 3. British word book (abbr.) 4. Skill 5. Russian summer home 6. Church area
7. Scientific govt. org. 8. George or lemon 9. Sad songs use these 10. Bunches of time 11. Kind of buzz cut 12. Pants go with 14. Prof. assts. 16. Arabic name meaning faith 20. Sometimes used referring to blackboards (abbr). 25. Jedi master to Luke 26. Like much old poetry 27. Bocelli or Mitchell 28. Perused 29. Consumes 30. Baby’s first test, maybe 31. Pub fares 32. Pest control device
34. 35. 37. 42. 44. 47. 49. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 59. 62. 63. 65.
Unlocks, poetically Knowledge Government culture funding org. Long runing TV show (abbr) Flower part UFO crew Iowa city In sync (2 words) Runyon or Matt Star-Revue editor Little Richard’s hometown Word in 30 down Delivery service Above Fix copy Retirement instrument Can be lo or hi, with Recipe meas.
June 2013 Page 9
Bike program begins
The CITI Bike program began Monday May 27, 2013. They are allowing their annual members exclusive access for one week before daily and weekly members start. Annual members paid a $95 fee for unlimited rides of 45 minutes or less. Daily and weekly members are also be available. Membership costs $9.95 for one day and $25 for one week, and allow unlimited rides for up to 30 minutes. Bikers will be able to travel through Manhattan below 59th Street, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and parts of BedfordStuyvesant. There is a bike stand by the Key Foods on Atlantic and Hicks.
East River Ferry Expands
The expansion of the free Red Hook ferry service began on May 25, and runs from Pier 11 in Manhattan to its new stop on Van Brunt Street then to IKEA. For now it only runs weekends. Fairway Market celebrated the launch on May 25 and 26 with food, music, and balloon animals.
Senior Center at Miccio
The RAICES Red Hook Senior Citizens Program has found a new home at a vacant community facility not far from its previous location. City Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John B. Rhea announced on May 24th that the program will be moved to 120 West 9th Street. This is the PAL Miccio Center, which until last year had housed the Head Star program. The City Council is expected to contribute $1.8 million to renovate the program’s new home, allowing it to effectively provide the 125 seniors it serves with counseling, meals, and exercise programs. The exact movein date has not yet been determined by NYCHA. PAVE Academy Charter School had their petition to use the Center to house a new pre-K program rebuffed in favor of the senior citizens program. According to Ali Donavan, PAVE is looking for an alternate space in Red Hook for the pre-K classes.
Fairway Market has reopened their patio grill on the waterfront, offering watermelon, cupcakes, and cold drinks in addition to standard barbecue fare such as burgers and ribs. Customers will be able to buy meat within the store and have it cooked on the grill at no additional cost. The grill will be open Saturdays and Sundays through September, from noon to 8 pm.
Happy Birthday, Mary!
PortSide New York, a non-profit based in Red Hook that sponsors programs related to waterfront issues and history, celebrated the 75th birthday of its oil tanker, Mary A. Whalen, on May 21. The celebration was held at the Atlantic Maritime Terminal and began at 1 pm. PortSide calls Mary A. Whalen “the world’s only oil tanker cultural center,” and holds tour, houses offices
Page 10 Red Hook Star-Revue
and hosts cultural activities on board. The ship was first launched in 1938 and used to deliver oil and gasoline until 1993. It became PortSide’s base of operations in 2006.
Top Brooklyn Women Honored
At the second annual Top Brooklyn Women in Business Networking Awards Dinner, to be held on June 20, The Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator will honor forty women whose achievements in business and contributions to the community have had a major impact on the borough. The dinner will take place at the New York Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge in Downtown Brooklyn from 6 to 9 pm. Among the honorees is Elizabeth Demetriou, deputy director of Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, which serves and advocates for businesses in Red Hook, Gowanus, and Sunset Park. The corporation also assists local residents with finding employment at industrial businesses.
Red Cross Grant
The American Red Cross held a press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall on May 29 to announce a $1.9 million grant award to the Brooklyn Community Foundation. The foundation’s president, Marilyn Gelber, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and John Lockwood, CEO of the American Red Cross Greater New York Region spoke about the grant and plans for its use. The money will be used to fund recovery initiatives for victims of Hurricane Sandy in Red Hook, Canarsie, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, and Sheepshead Bay. It will be distributed through the Brooklyn Recovery Fund, jointly managed by the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Five Sick Days
New York City Councilmember Brad Lander joined 44 of his colleagues in voting in favor of the “Earned Sick Time Act,” which will require employers with more than 19 employees to provide five paid sick days per year. Lander represents Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, and Boro Park. Workers not guaranteed paid sick days by the act will be protected from being fired for taking time off due to illness. The Council estimates that the act will benefit one million New Yorkers, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg has threatened to veto it, saying that paid sick days could be called “vacation days” because “people will take those days whether they’re sick or not,” and warning that small businesses may fire workers to avoid falling under the new regulations.
The Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize will be launched at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on
Andy Zuletta and Eric Sneddon of Fairway present a check to members of ReStore Red Hook, a non-profit group dedicated to rebuilding and re-opening businesses forced to close by Hurricane Sandy. Fairway raised $15,000 by selling t-shirts and taking donations at the cash register, then matched the funds to reach a total of $30,000. Monica Byrne, co-founder of ReStore Red Hook, called Fairway “an extraordinary partner in our rebuilding efforts.” From Left to Right: Andy Zuleta,(GM of Red Hook Fairway) Eric Sneddon (Floor Manager of Fairway) and ReStore Red Hook members - Denise Carbonell, Mary Dudine Kyle, Ron Kyle, Monica Byrne, Leisah Swenson (photo courtesy of Fairway)
June 7. The event will feature readings by award-winning poets Nick Laird and Catherine Barnett, as well as New York State Poet Laureate Marie Howe, who will decide the prize’s winners. The prize is sponsored by the Ballymoe Cookery School, located in Ireland, and the competition will be run in association with Irish international arts and literary magazine The Moth. Winners will be invited to read at the Ballymoe Literary Festival of Food & Wine in May 2014, and have their poetry published in the spring 2014 issue of The Moth, and receive cash prizes of about $13,000, $2,600, and $1,300, in Euro.
Navigant, a global consulting firm, held a popular vote to decide which five of the charitable organization that attended its Community Connections Day would receive $5,000 donations. Voting was open on Navigant’s website until May 24 and results were announced May 28. Locally-based charity Puppetry Arts competed for the donation, but lost to Caring Hands Soup Kitchen, Verona Public Library, Impact Lives, Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, and Cradles to Crayons. Caring Hands Soup Kitchen is housed in a Methodist church in Kingston, and offers GED programs and Narcotics Anonymous in addition to meals. Impact Lives is a Minnesota-based nonprofit that provides leadership training and helps humanitarian organizations form partnerships. The Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, based in Philadelphia, promotes awareness of ovarian cancer and advocates for early testing. Cradles to Crayons is an academic center in Brighton, Massachusetts that educates students below six years old. Verona Public Library is located in Wisconsin. Puppetry Arts produces shows featuring original puppet characters targeted at both children and adults. The charity also hosts events and carnivals in Brooklyn focused on celebrating puppetry.
CB 6 approves DOT proposals
At its last two meetings, Brooklyn Community Board 6 considered proposals advanced by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and produced several
resolutions. The Board’s Transportation Committee voted unanimously to support Atlantic Basin/Red Hook Greenway project designs presented by DOT. The committee also produced a resolution calling for DOT to seek input from the community, particularly from local businesses, on the potential conversions of Conover Street to a one-way northbound from Beard Street to Sullivan Street, Beard Street to a one-way westbound from Van Brunt Street to Conover, and Reed Street to a one-way eastbound from Conover to Van Brunt. The committee approved a DOT plan to extend the Union Street eastbound bike lane and the new westbound Sackett/Degraw Street bike lane. But the committee suggested that the department consider a narrower bike lane than the five feet it originally proposed for the Union Street block on which the 76th precinct is located, and repeated a request for a permanent industrial carpet-like surface for the bike lanes on the Union Street and 3rd Street bridges. A proposed bike corral for 787 Union Street was approved, but a corral planned for 153 Columbia Street was rejected, due to sufficient existing bicycle parking.
Library closes for a month
The Carroll Gardens Library will be closed for one month for the installation of self-check out machines and other changes to the circulation desk. The branch will be closed from June 8 through the end of July 7, opening as usual on Monday, July 8.
Cobble Hill History Walking Tour
Join Francis Morrone, director of the CHA Cobble Hill History Project, on a walking tour of Cobble Hill history and architecture. The tour is Sunday June 9th from 2 pm 4 pm. This year’s tour will focus on the landmarks and history of the southern Cobble Hill. So, even if you have been on other Cobble Hill History Tours, you won’t want to miss this one! Travel + Leisure magazine named Francis as one of the 13 best tour guides in the world.The roughly twohour walk begins at Clinton and Kane Streets in front of Christ Church. $10 for CHA members and $20 for nonmembers Please RSVP: CobbleHillAssociation@gmail.com
LICH (continued from page 7)
3, six Operating Room (OR) nurses resigned. As a result, the OR had to be downgraded from 10 rooms to 8 due to lack of staffing.
Hospital submitted to the DOH.”
Councilman Brad Lander said, “We’re worried time is not on our side.”
On March 8, 2013, Crains published an article entitled “Long Island College Hospital closing still on hold. An unnamed SUNY spokesperson was quoted, saying, “ ‘We will respect the process and await his [Baynes] ruling.’ “ In the press release announcing the withdrawal, SUNY President John F. Williams, Jr. said, “We are withdrawing the closure plan so we can work with the state and other stakeholders on a sustainability plan for Brooklyn’s only medical school and to ensure quality medical care throughout the borough. The current legal proceedings prohibit this dialogue.” Many have suggested that the withdrawal was simply a “bargaining chip” to trick LICH into dropping the lawsuit, while SUNY quietly took all measure to ensure that LICH would fall apart. Since the closure plan was formally withdrawn from DOH on April 26, SUNY has continued to take action towards causing the hospital to close on its own accord. Removing the residents from a hospital that has been a teaching institution since their inception in 1860 is as one doctor states, like “removing the backbone” of the LICH in a “very mean and stupid” way. Dr. Sorra writes, “SUNY/DMC continues to do everything possible to ‘de facto’ close LICH, despite all our efforts.” SUNY has taken equipment and supplies out of LICH’s hands. They have not provided adequate staff to keep many departments open. Several floors of the Hicks Street Location have been cleared and remain deserted. On June
In a report released by the American Medical Association (AMA) called “AMA Center for Transforming Medical Education and AMA Advocacy Resource Center,” predicts that the United States will face shortages of physicians by the year 2025. “To ensure an adequate physician workforce and better access to care, proper GME funding is a must.” SUNY has failed to provide LICH with that funding, and has created the loss of their residency program due to lack of staffing, resources and finances. LICH’s lawsuit against both SUNY and DOH is still pending, but the court date has been postponed indefinitely. “The problem is – is there enough money and legal willingness around to pursue this to its correct conclusion?” asks Dr. Sorra.
Town Hall Meeting SUNY held a town hall meeting for a public discussion of their sustainability plan at their Downstate Medical Center on Monday, May 20. Carmen Pimentel, a register nurse at LICH began her testimony by saying, “This town hall meeting is not a substitute for meaningful serious consultation with stakeholders.” She also added that, “Our three minute comments today are not the consultation with stakeholders required by law.” Herdley Hill, a psychiatric nurse at LICH testified, saying “Instead of seeking meaningful input, SUNY is holding this so-called town hall meeting, which by no means fulfills SUNY’s legal obligations.” Later in the day, SUNY followed the
meeting with a council meeting for an update on the sustainability plan. All talk about LICH as a part of the plan was averted, citing the TRO prohibiting SUNY from further discussing the closure of LICH. Even thought the decision to remove residents from LICH had already been put into process, nothing was mentioned to the general public. Nor has anything concerning the exit of the program been mentioned at any public meeting to date. Attorney for LICH’s lawsuit against SUNY and DOH, Hanna Fox of Arnold & Porter LLP sent a letter to SUNY officials on May 23. “My understanding is that you will send us a description of how the residency programs at LICH will be managed going forward, including how staffing will be managed to ensure appropriate patient care for any period during which residents are not present at LICH, and plans for resuming the residences’ presence at LICH. Although we did not explicitly discuss the fellowship programs yesterday, they are also an integral part of LICH and we request that you address SUNY’s plans with regard to fellows as well.” The email was sent under the announcement that residents at LICH would be temporarily sent to SUNY with the understanding that residents would be sent back to LICH after the ACGME’s May 29th inspection. Once all three departments had “voluntarily” withdrawn, SUNY announced the withdrawal was permanent. In addition to the RFI, SUNY opened a small window for questions regarding the request. The questions were posted online along with corresponding answers. Under Question #2, regarding inspection paperwork, seven certifications were listed as “not currently avail-
Dr. Toomas Sorra, President of Concerned Physicians of LICH, speaking at a LICH rally.
able,” including architectural, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, and elevator certifications, as well as service/preventable maintenance records for mechanical and biomedical equipment and flame spread documentation. Fire Stopping and Fire Alarm system information would available through “an appropriate due diligence process.” Most disconcerting, is a request for the emergency generator report. The response listed is simply, “There is no emergency generator.” According to Dr. Romanelli, every hospital is required by DOH to have a backup generator. This oversight on SUNY’s part is a strong indication that they are very unaware or unconcerned about LICH. If the hospital did not have a back-up generator – as SUNY has suggested – DOH would be forced to close down the hospital. Other questions that SUNY’s officials were unable to answer include asbestoscontaining material throughout the (continued on page 12)
Backyard in Full Swing!
Help Wanted at the Red Hook Star-Revue Reporters needed for news and arts coverage in Red Hook and her environs. Enthusiasm more important than experience. Learn on the job. Full and part-time positions available. Call Kimberly Gail Price
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Red Hook Star-Revue
June 2013 Page 11
LICH (continued from page 11)
building, square footage of individual rooms and much of the financial documents requested – which of course would also be provided after “an appropriate due diligence process.” Although Concerned Physicians of LICH and other of the hospital’s medical staff submitted questions to the inquiry, none of their questions were posted on the website or ever answered, according to Dr. Sorra. “Not one community voice has been listened to. Not one ounce of concern has to be considered about the value for the community if LICH shuts down.” One option for LICH is to operate themselves, if they can find “good leadership,” said Dr. Sorra. He also confirmed that LICH would be submitting a written response to SUNY’s RFI. However, they were derailed the same week with the prospect of losing their residency program. Despite the setback, the doctors still submitted their written proposal. “We haven’t had a board [of trustees] for 14 years; that’s what we want,” said Dr. Sorra. Dr. Romanelli says, “We can’t make a decision. The state owns us. They’re the ones that hold the purse strings.” At least three hospitals have expressed interest to SUNY’s RFI, possibly as many as seven. Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park has submitted to the RFI, but only for outpatient services. All existing in-patient services would be lost and the majority of LICH’s real estate sold for residential development. In her testimony, Pimentel also stated, “the RFI document offers very little insight into hospital finances, a tad more information about current operations, and a great deal of detail about LICH real estate.” Dr. Sorra said, “the process is flawed if there is no financial information avail-
able. SUNY has stated that their RFI presented for potential suitors for LICH is the only way that LICH will survive. And they have said in various statements that there are ‘one, two or five’ suitors who are interested in taking over LICH. But they have refused to give us information about these apparent potential suitors.” So many uncertainties lie ahead for the patients and medical team of LICH. And SUNY is leaving many questions unanswered. The situation they have created carries strong implications they are taking all measures to ensure LICH cannot survive, thus ending many months - or possibly even years - of sustaining LICH before negotiations can be finalized. “We all want to have some kind of answers. I don’t have one; I don’t think we’ll get one today,” said Dr. Attalah. WARN notices of termination dated for June 18 have yet to be rescinded. “Since the reason for the termination notices – LICH’s closure – no longer exists, we consider the termination notices to be null and void. We expect those notices to be rescinded,” said Semente. “It’s obvious to us that the termination notices must be cancelled if LICH’s closure was cancelled. Are they planning to terminate the employees on June 18th as part of their sustainability plan that must take effect by June 15th? Is this just another sneaky way to close LICH or severely reduced from a full service hospital?” In addition, contracts for all hospital employees end June 30. None have been renewed. According to Karkenny, the hospital is “looking at [their] options,” including month-to-month renewals. While SUNY declined to comment on the majority of the Star-Revue’s more detailed questions, Ronald Najman, Director of Communications and Special Projects, emailed a statement saying, “SUNY last week submitted to the governor’s Budget Division and the
View from a LICH hospital room.
NYS Health Department a sustainability plan that we believe will ensure the long-term success of Downstate Medical Center, its medical school and its other educational components, as well as create a blueprint for how to provide more health care partners in Brooklyn to put that plan into place.” LICH serves diverse communities across Brooklyn, especially Red Hook, Gowanus and Downtown Brooklyn. In 2012, LICH averaged a 90% occupancy rate. During Sandy, LICH took in patients who were evacuated from other hospitals. LICH is still in danger of closing as SUNY continues to take underhanded, out-of-sight measures to cause LICH to fail. “We have the history. We have the location. We have the medical school. We have the best staff. But unfortunately now we are for sale and being sold off,” Dr. Attalah sadly remarks. Will SUNY pull the pieces of LICH apart one by one until the whole operation is forced to crumble? Every day the picture changes a little bit as SUNY reveals more smoke screens
and mirrors from SUNY. Unless state officials step in and demand more consideration for LICH and the communities it serves, the hospital that has dedicated so many years and saved so many lives will be another waterfront property to lay claim to. Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor of SUNY, wrote in the 2012 Annual Financial Report, “Our university now serves as an economic engine for every region and the state as a whole.” “We take very seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of public dollars and will continue to be as efficient and creative as possible in managing our resources.” Like breaking new ground on a new building, while claiming the university system at Downstate will be completely broke by July 1, 2103. By running LICH into the ground to later reap the benefits of their real estate value. And of course by destroying LICH’s residency program, depriving the hospital of supplies and staff, as well as creating months and years of deception to gain nothing more than additional “public dollars.”
SUNY Downstate’s Board of Directors.
101 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 718 624-5568 email@example.com www.RedHookStar.com
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Dance Theatre Etc. gives Red Hook a fest to remember by Aleks Gilbert
ince 1993, the Red Hook community has kicked off the summer with a celebration of itself, the annual Red Hook Fest. Seven months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the neighborhood, this year’s Fest celebrated Red Hook’s resilience and recovery with food, music and dance. Also this year marks the return of the Red Hook Rebirth Parade. The parade started at 10 am Saturday June 1, by Coffey Park and passed through parts of the neighborhood most affected by Sandy. Led by the Hungry March Band, the parade meandered through the front and back of Red Hook. The parade included people sized puppets, colorful Mexican dancers, and even four floats. The motorized section of the parade was led by a decorated car from Channel 12, the Red Hook Star-Revue float, which featured three staffers tossing Mardi Gras beads; a colorful Quadrozzi cement truck, and Carlos Menchaca, running for City Council. The parade route ended up at Valentino Pier, which held the rest of the day’s activities. In addition to community displays and food vendors, there was a full day of music and dance on the stage set up at the back of the park. The Brown Rice Family, winners of WNYC’s Battle of the Boroughs Talent Contest, and Gangstagrass, from the television series “Justified” were among those appearing at this year’s Fest. The Fest T-Shirts were in full view all weekend. The photo above was snapped at the Friday BBQ at PS 15 (photos by Fiala unless otherwise noted).
Watching the entertainment, with Lady Liberty in the background.
The large contemporary dance lineup included performances from Nicholas Leichter Dance and Camille A. Brown & Dancers. And, in collaboration with Red Hook residents, the neighborhood’s own Urban Bush Women brought “the innovative model it developed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to Brooklyn to get Red Hook talking and singing and moving in response to their neighborhood.” Free kayak rides were available all day by the Red Hook Boaters. The Fest began Thursday, May 30th, with an original performance at PS 15 by teens from Red Hook and the Rockaways, two communities hardest-hit by Sandy. Friday evening’s activities were also at PS 15. Hamburgers and hot dogs were given out at the outdoor barbecue and dance party, led by activist/artist DJ Laylo Spins. Taking over the schoolyard, kids of all ages enjoyed face painting, water slides, beanbag throwing, not to mention freshly spun cotton candy. One of the goals of this year’s fest, according to founder Martha Bowers, was to reach 3,000 attendees. They ended up surpassing 4,000 guests. The Fest is organized every year by Dance Theatre Etcetera, one of three not-for-profits offered rent-free waterfront studio space by The O’Connell Organization, “in recognition of its contributions to the community.”
State Senator Velmanette Montgomery presents a government honor to Martha Bowers.
Friday night also featured face painting, T-Shirt drawing, bean bag throwing, and dunking in a tub of water.
A cement truck was brightly painted and shiny for the parade.
The stage at Valentino Park.
The Star-Revue prepared a float from which they threw Mardi Gras beads.
Kimberly G. Price poses with David Sharps of the Waterfront Museum. Sharps rode a unicycle for the parade, as did Dan Wiley.;
Red Hook Star-Revue
Onlookers catch the parade from Van Brunt Street.
One of the colorful Mexican dancers who marched in the parade. (photo by Denise Carbonell)
June 2013 Page 13
Falconworks’ Production of Enemy of the People by Brian Clancy
he New York Port Authority Grain Terminal in the Gowanus Bay Terminal has always been an interesting landmark for me since I first noticed it towering over the ball fields in Red Hook almost a year ago. I could always easily pinpoint Red Hook from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway or the elevated section of the F train by looking to the Grain Terminal standing high above everything else in its environs. From here it seemed to loom every bit as large as the Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan. So, having learned that it would be the venue for Falconworks latest production I was immediately intrigued. I have seen a lot of site specific productions in the past year, particularly in Red Hook. The choosing of Ibsen’s Enemy of the People and this site is timely and likely designed to raise awareness in Red Hook about environmental and economic issues involved in relocating toxic sludge from the Gowanus Canal to Red Hook. Arriving for the only daytime performance of the limited engagement of this production, I missed the visual nighttime spectacle of the hundred or so lampshades that decorated the large rock mound on the approach to the Grain Terminal. This was a first introduction to the magnificent stylized set by DebO and Emily Gabler which included many areas and rooms that fell outside of the playing space. In fact, I could easily image myself in 19th century Norway as I wandered through the finely decorated rooms of the Grain Terminal’s disused administration building and looked back out over the vista of the already costumed performers walking up and down the pier, This, I assume, was an exercise in getting themselves into character and to prepare emotionally for their performance. I was certainly filled with anticipation, as I
Norwegian coastal town in the 19th century but Falconworks’ clever staging of this play could be then, now in 21st century Red Hook, or any time and place in between. Possibly the greatest strength of Ibsen’s play is that it could happen any time and the themes and debate it presents are universally true of all times and societies. The story revolves around the town’s bathing complex, which is their main source of income, whose drainage system has been contaminated. Dr. Stockmann, the town doctor and medical officer of the baths has concluded that the
“Reg Flowers has crafted a brilliant piece of theater in his direction of the play. The production moved with pace and was genuinely compelling as both a political thriller and
by the newspaper official, Billing who acted as rabble rouser. This served as a brilliant piece of interactive theater through audience participation. It was evident on the faces of the people that they enjoyed their active inclusion in the performance. In response to this, Reg Flowers as Dr. Stockmann delivers a emotional tirade where he denounces the will of the unprincipled corruptible majority, reminding them that it takes a strong man to stand up for what he believes in the face of the masses. The townspeople find this counter attack extremely offensive and brand him an enemy of the people. And so a good principled man becomes ostracized from the community. The play concludes with Dr. Stockmann resolving to stay true to his principles and to continue to defy the authorities who kowtow to self-interested factions within the town. Reg Flowers has crafted a brilliant piece of theater in his direction of the play. The production moved with pace and was genuinely compelling as both a political thriller and a family drama. My compliments to an excellent ensemble which includes the talents of Stephanie
Yeshwant Chitalkar, Reg Flowers and Rebecca Stabile. (photo by Carbonell)
Batchelder, Matt Behan, Robert Cole, Yeshwant Chitalkar, Christian Fletcher, Corbin Laedlein, Dannelle Johnson, Dontae McCoy, Henrietta Perkins, Rebecca Stabile and Chance Warren Dixon for giving me, and the residents of Red Hook, an afternoon of great live theater .
a family drama.”
baths’ drainage systems have been contaminated, and therefore detrimental to the health of the patrons. He, of course, feels morally obliged to make public his findings and protect the people from being exposed to the toxins that pollute the baths. Dr. Stockmann’s is shocked to find the town Mayor - his own brother - will not support him believing the closure of the baths will be the ruination of the town economically. Rather than being supportive, the Mayor implores the Doctor to withhold the information from the public. When the Doctor refuses, the Mayor attempts to play down the severity of the contamination and discredit his brother.
The setting for Falconworks’ production. (photo by Denise Carbonell)
What ensues is a compelling drama that divides a community, pitting brother against brother. One brother’s worldview is pragmatic Realism; the other’s principled Idealism. The townspeople and local newspaper initially support the principled idealism of the Doctor, but soon abandon this position with the realization of the personal sacrifice of being principled. They are willing to overlook the implications of the contamination the doctor warns of, and instead act in self interest by denouncing him as an enemy of the people.
Corbin Laedlein (photo by Denise Carbonell)
took my seat in the adapted auditorium that these characters I saw on the pier would soon be descending onto this lavishly designed playing space. The original setting of the play is a small
Page 14 Red Hook Star-Revue
In arguably the production’s best scene, Falconworks illustrates how the general population can be easily led by appealing to their emotions and prejudices. In this climatic scene, the actors while still in character, passed out notes with lines to audience members. Each audience member with lines was then in turn prompted to read their line on cue
Fashionable in Red Hook BY LESLEY WARE
Third Prom’s a Charm remember my first prom. It was my 11th grade year. I wore a glam off-white lace and satin mermaid-styledress made by my mom. I went with a guy BFF. It was a fun but odd evening. I remember my second prom. It was my 12th grade year. I wore an intense bright red evening gown that I selected at Gantos Bargain Boutique in a neighboring city to my Michigan hometown. To avoid the drama of having a dud date, I attended with three girls from class. We had a blast.
I remember my third prom. It was just a few weekends ago and was much better than past experiences. I wore a perfectly pink cutout petal dress with rhinestone embellishments and a sweetheart bustline that I found at a local vintage store. I went with my husband. It was a cool to-do. My third prom, The Red Hook Prom (for adults), was a benefit gala for Cora Dance. Cora is a Red Hook based company, school, and studio that believes that dance belongs to everyone and to that end offers a sliding scale for its services. The dress I wore, almost identical to Molly Ringwald’s in Pretty in Pink, was perfect for the 1980s themed event. The evening featured lots of surprises, fantastic food, a prom court, decade appropriate music by DJ BodyRock, and a silent auction where I bid and won a Lauren Merkin Clutch! There were several dance performancessprinkled throughout.The highlights were the 80s flash mob and excerpts from Cora’s emotionalchoreographed piece by Shannon Hummel, down here, which I saw earlier this year featuring, Katie Dean and Calia Marshall. Going to a grown-up prom was magical, festive, and for a good cause. This time I had my dream date - and fabulous dress, too! What else can I say? Third prom’s a charm. Lesley Ware tweets as @creativecookie
Tina, Victoria, Sachia, and Megan look stunning in these dresses that they nabbed at Vice Versa Vintage in Park Slope
Prom queen candidate Stella Dora wears a mother-of –the-bride dress ordered from Amazon.com that she bedazzled on her own
Megan wears a p e a c h satin party dress she purchased in Williamsburg with lace gloves
Photos by: kamau studios ©, 2013
Oh, and the shoes at prom… I could write an entire story --Shantaye wears studded stilettos from Shoedazzle
Erin wears vintage Valentino – work it girl
Hours: Noon to 10:30 pm Tues. to Thurs. Noon to 11pm Friday. 4pm to 11pm Saturday & 4pm to 10:30pm Sunday.
Red Hook Star-Revue
June 2013 Page 15
Red Hook StarªRevue SOUTH BROOKLYN’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
We are across from Coffey Park (718) 923-9880
Page 16 Red Hook Star-Revue
Red Hook StarªRevue
Seen around Town Mother’s Against Gangs is a Red Hook organization meant to empower youth and work with the police to help prevent gang violence. The group was started four years ago by Florence and Hal Brown. Their annual luncheon was held on May 17th at Liberty Warehouse, overlooking the Statue of Liberty. DA Hynes was honored as well as local police, of which there were several tables. Pictured to the left is Jerry Armer, former CB 6 Chair, whose birthday it happened to be. Below Jerry is Florence Brown, sitting with Wally Bazemore and Pat Reynolds. The event featured a fashion show, of which Paris (r), was a contestent. There was a huge spread of southern food, which was delicious.
Elizabeth Ehrhardt was crowned Queen of the Prom at Cora Dance’s May 11th event at the South Brooklyn HS. Alongside her is Cora Founder and Artistic Director Shannon Hummel, who conceived the notion of a 1980’s prom night for this year’s fundraiser.
Kentler International Drawing Space held their 100 WORKS ON PAPER BENEFIT on Saturday, May 18th. Everyone at the packed house received a piece of artwork donated for the affair. The works of art were distributed by MC Reg Flowers pictured below. Underneath Flowers is the honoree, Howardena Pindell, who spoke of her pioneering years in Red Hook. Pictured at the bottom are Red Hook publisher Kimberly G. Price and Lou Sones, community activist, actor and CB6 First Vice Chairman, recently honored for perfect attendance. Funds were raised for Kentler’s 23rd year on Van Brunt Street. Price is shown with the piece of art she selected.
PS 15 celebrated the reopening of it’s library.
Jay Tanner’s ambition for many years was to play on the stage of legends, at the Jalopy theatre in Red Hook Brooklyn. That was achieved recently at their open mike. He performed Tragic Romance, from the Lily Brothers, and Don Stover, and Little Sady from Clarence Ashley and Doc Watson. He played My Zia Americana Luna Guitar and my C Honer marine Band Cross Over Harmonica. He is currently visiting Colorado, where he has some bar gigs lined up. He is a frequent performer at the Legendary Thursday night jam at the Star Theater, 101 Union Street.
Red Hook Star-Revue
June 2013 Page 17
Art & Community Calendar Children
ACD funded Early Childhood education programs, family services, and Day Care services for the Gowanus Community Bethel Baptist Day Care Center 242 Hoyt Street (718) 834-9292 Sat 10:30-11:30am Story Time with Carol & Friends for Ages 4-6 at the Carroll Gardens Library with Carol Tronha of the Cobble Hill Playschool Carroll Gardens Library 396 Clinton St (Corner of Clinton & Union) (718) 596-6972 Tues 10am GoGo 1 Pre Crawlers & 11:30am GoGo 2 Creeping, Crawling &Pulling Up Element 518 Henry St (Union st.) 2nd floor studio (718) 6436064 Wed’s 6:15-7:45pm Carroll Gardens Library Chess Club. Improve your chess and learn from an expert chess player All-Ages welcome! Bring a Chess Clock For Blitz Class Carroll Gardens Library 396 Clinton St (Corner of Clinton & Union) (718) 596-6972 Mon’s 10:30am Babies and Books for Babies and Tots (infant-18 months) Books for babies, learn fun songs & Rhymes and meet other families in your neighborhood in this program - Meeting Room of the Library, Carroll Gardens Library 396 Clinton St (Corner of Clinton & Union) (718) 596-6972 Fri’s 1-2:30pm Arts & Crafts - Get Crafty with Bobbie the Volunteer Recommend ages 2 & + Meeting Room Carroll Gardens Library 396 Clinton St (Corner of Clinton & Union) (718) 596-6972
4:30pm Creative Movement with Courtney Ages 4-5, 4:45-5:45pm Modern II with Courtney Ages 9-13, 5:55-6:55 CYC (Cora Youth Company) Ages 9-18 Nadia & Guests (Invitation only); :304:30pm Big Fun Dance (Modern Technique with Jazz/Hip hop with Sarah B. Ages 6-9, 4:45-5:45pm Hip Hop Ages 9+ Sarah B & Solomon; :30-4:30pm Ballet I with Courtney ages 6-9, 4:45-5:45pm Ballet II** with Courtney Ages 9+, 7:158:15pm Yoga Teen/Adult with Jolene; 3-4pm The Works(Drama, visual arts, music, story-telling and more) Ages 5-8; 9:30-10:30am Zumba** Teen/Adults with Sarah F. Cora Studio 201 Richards St. (Coffey/Van Dyke St) (718) 858-2520
St (718) 395-3214
Every Monday Now Thru June3 8-9pm Banjo II Fingerpicking Taught by Hilary Hawke $245 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 3953214
Polar Light: Greenland photography of Rebe Bass Fotrman and the Greenland drawings of Zaria Forman. A climate change awareness exhibition held in conjunction with Al Gore’s “The Climate Project” Look North Inuit Art Gallery 275 Conover St Suite 4E (347) 721-3995
Now thru June 3 Harmonica 8 week class taught by Shaky Dave Pollack $245 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214 Now thru June 1 Guitar III taught by Geoff Wiley $245 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214 Now thru June 1 Fingerstyle Guitar I taught by Ernie Vega $245 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214 Now thru June 1 Fingerstyle Guitar II taught by Ernie Vega $245 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia
Now thru June 1 Fingerstyle Guitar III taught by Ernie Vega $245 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214 Now thru June 1 Fingerstyle Guitar IVOpen Tunings & Slide taught by Ernie Vega $245 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214
Thurs-Sun 1-8pm thru Aug 31st New Collections of Local Artists FREE Brooklyn Collective Gallery 212 Columbia St (Union/Sackett) (718) 596-6231
Thurs-Sun 1-8pm thru Aug 31st New Collections of Local Artists FREE Brooklyn Collective Gallery 212 Columbia St (Union/Sackett) (718) 596-6231 Polar Light: Greenland photography of Rebe Bass Fotrman and the Greenland drawings of Zaria Forman. A climate change awareness exhibition held in conjunction with Al Gore’s “The Climate Project” Look North Inuit Art Gallery 275 Conover St Suite 4E (347) 721-3995
Every Monday 8-11pm the Star Theater Acoustic Jam 101 Union St (Columbia/ Van Brunt St) (718) 624-5568 Wed May 22 9pm Roots & Ruckus ft Feral Foster and more. Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214 FREE! Thurs May 30 7pm Songs of The Sea: Banana Boat Songs and Sea Shanties FREE, Date Night at The Jalopy Tavern and Theatre$45, Date Night at The Jalopy Tavern and Theatre $45, 9:30pm The Chapin Sisters Sing the Everly Brothers $10. Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214 Fri May 31 8:30pm Tal Naccarato $10, 9:30pm Piedmont Bluz $10, 10:30pm Pat Conte & Joe Bellulovich $10 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214 Sat June 1 9pm M. Shanghai String Band & Friends $10 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214 Sun June 2 11am The Good Ms. Padgett Kids Show $8 per person,$25 for a family of 4 & kids under 2 FREE!, The Good Ms. Padgett (Family of 4) $25 Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214 Tues June 4 8:30pm Open Mic Night at the Jalopy Theatre Jalopy Theatre and
School of Music 315 Columbia St (718) 395-3214
Daily 10am-1pm A historical walking tour of Brownstones Brooklyn featuring the childhood home of Al Capone, the history of the Williamsburg Bank and the Revolutionary War battle site the Old Stone House, Real Brooklyn Pizza lunch included $40 A Tour Grows in Brooklyn 1212 64th St. (212) 209-3370 Every Sat 8-10am WalkNYC held in park area across from the recreation Red Hook Recreation Center 155 Bay Street (718) 722-3211
Every Mon-Fri 6:30am &7pm TRX Boot Camp (Advantages Package Required) Trainer: Nick, Tues 7:45pm TRX Strength Trainer: Nick, Wed 7am TRX Basic Robin & 7pm TRX Basic Robin, Thurs 7 am TRX Basic Robin & Rachel, Sat 9:45 am TRX Circuit Robin, Sun 11 am TRX Basic Robin & Rachel ; Body Elite, Body Elite & Fitness Center 348 Court Street (718) 935-0088 Mon-Thurs Fit For life Cardio & Strength Workout for all ages, Seniors 8-10 am, Adults 10am-2pm & Youth 4-6pm, Red Hook Recreation Center 155 Bay Street (718) 722-3211 Tues & Fri 9:30-10:30am Free Zumba Classes, Red Hook Recreation Center 155 Bay Street (718) 722-3211
Mon- Fri 9am-11:45am Lilli Pilli with Kathryn 2 ½- 4 Years, 12-2:45 pm Lilli Pilli with Kathryn 2 ½-4 Years; 9-11:45am Lilli Pilli with Kathryn 2 ½- 4 Years, Lilli Pilli with Kathryn 2 ½- 4 Years, 3:30-4:20pm Stir the pot Kids Cooking Class 2 ½-4 ½ (Limited to 8, ); 9- 11:45am Lilli Pilli with Kathryn 2 ½- 4 Years; 9- 11:45am Lilli Pilli with Kathryn 2 ½- 4 Years, 12- 2:45 pm Lilli Pilli with Kathryn 2 ½ - 4 Years Who’s On First 46 1st Place (Clinton & Henry) (718) 243-1432 Every Mon 10:30-11 am Romp & Stomp Red Hook Library 7 Wolcott St (718) 935-0203 Every Mon 11-11:30am Toddler FUNdamentals Red Hook Library 7 Wolcott St (718) 935-0203 Every Tues 11:30-11:45am Rock Rattle & Read: Lap sit Story Time Red Hook Library 7 Wolcott St (718) 935-0203 Every Wed 10:30-11AM Story Time Red Hook Library 7 Wolcott St (718) 9350203 Every Wed 4pm Spinning Yarns Knitters Red Hook Library 7 Wolcott St (718) 935-0203 Every Thurs 10:30-11:30am Homeschool Jamboree 10:30-11:30 am Red Hook Library 7 Wolcott St (718) 9350203 Every Sat 11am Go Go Club Red Hook Library 7 Wolcott St (718) 935-0203
Every Thur 6pm Choir Practice w/ Emiliana; in home Blessings and Masses, By appointment. Languages available: English, Spanish, Italian, Germen. Contact Lori Burkhard (917) 971-5522 Visitation of Our Blessing Virgin Mary R.C. 98 Richards Street @Verona
John Barnhart was a prolific Red Hook artist with who maintained a studio at Screwball Spaces on Lorraine Street. He passed away suddenly last year at the age of 53. A posthumous show “Sex and Turpentine” was presented by Kirsten Østhus at Screwball Spaces last month - these are some of the paintings that were exhibited there. Many of them were painted here in Red Hook, some of views from the Lorraine Street windows. There is a Facebook memorial page devoted to Barnhart. For more information about John Barnhart email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (323)309-5318.
Thurs 7:15-8:15pm Yoga in Red Hook $10 or pay what you can Cora Studio 201 Richards St. (Coffey/Van Dyke St.) (718) 8585-2520 Mon-Sat 4-4:45pm Children’s aikido (ages 4-5) 5-6 pm Youth aikido(6-13) 6:30-8pm Adult aikido; 7:15-8:15am Adult Aikido, 4-4:45pm Children Aikido (ages 4-5), 5:15-6:30pm Open Mat, 7-8pm Adult Aikido, weapons; 6:30-8pm Adult Aikido; 4-4:45 Children’s Aikido (ages 4-5), 5-6pm Youth Aikido (ages 6-13), 7-8pm Adult Aikido; -4:45pm Children’s Aikido (ages 4-5), 5-6pm (ages 6-13), 7-8pm Adult Aikido; 9-10:30am Youth Aikido (ages 6-13), 10:45-12:15pm Adult Aikido; Aikido of South Brooklyn 205 Columbia St (718) 612-6334 Now Thru June 9 (Mon-Sat) 3:30-
Page 18 Red Hook Star-Revue
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
(send yours to email@example.com)
(continued from page 9)
EPA to do both those things. Instead, some of the most devoted and civicminded citizens of Red Hook thought it was their civic duty to go yell at the EPA.- Stephanie Batchelder Editor’s Note - The EPA is neutral as to whether the CDF is built or not. In fact, as mentioned in the article, they almost wish they hadn’t brought it up. It was always just an option, subject to community approval.
Just an honest guy
Funny how you give props to Reg Flowers for the wonderful work he’s done with youth and Red Hook, then back hand him again with your claims he’s choosing sides. Reg is an honest person who works hard to do good for everyone. Crossing the aisle to get to know the other side and their intention, and open the conversation up more is not choosing sides. Shame on you, once again. You may not have chosen the players, but you chose your words and pinned those words against someone who’s been a strong supporter of both his community and of your paper. You can say you’re hopeful for all the good things Reg is wanting to do… but I don’t see any sort of apology or recognition for the foul light you tried to shine on him. Reg is fortunate to have many friends and neighbors who saw through it, but he’s still owed an apology by your newspaper.- Allison
CDF Reduces Pollution
The intent of the CDS [sic] was first most about environment and health. Keeping local dredged material local substantially reduces the carbon foot print for the work and that is good for Red Hook residents. Given the impact of climate change on Red Hook, that alone is a significant thing.
I hope no one is fooled by thinking this article is about the EPA issues we are dealing with, when it is really about character assassination. Shameful!
are like-minded on this particular issue, the editorial in question was written by reporter George Fiala
Reg, the show was spectacular, and your ongoing contribution to the community is profound. Please do not be discouraged by the ignorance and hate, those that love and appreciate you far outnumber the detractors! - Monica Byrne
Amazing piece of work that should be sent to every major news outlet in this city! Congratulations & thank you to Ms. Kimberly Gail Price! - Julie
No Opinions... Please!
Oy vey, Kimberly is on some high horse writing editorials now. She states “Since Sandy and before, Red Hook speaks with one voice” For one thing, WRONG. No community speaks with one voice. It is the diversity of voices that makes up a neighborhood. What’s more, I don’t believe Kimberly actually lives in Red Hook. She had the balls to write a response to a NY Times piece right after Sandy. She criticized them for using the term “victim,” saying that we are not victims, but survivors. Hell, I’ll call myself a victim! The Star Revue building had power and heat, yet sat unused after the storm. You’d think they could have offered the place for people to warm up or even sleep there. I know this because I went up there to see if they could pay me for writing for them, and they tried to weasel their way out of it. Ok- got a little off topic, but I’m glad Reg finally outed these jerks. - Mollie Dash Editor’s note - While the two co-publishers
On to our LICH coverage
SUNY’s Spending Spree
In explaining why brand new computers delivered to LICH where immediately diverted to Downstate, SUNY spokesperson Steve Greenburg says that “anything that is part of LICH belongs to SUNY.” EXCEPT the bill to pay for it. That belongs to LICH even though Downstate got the goods. It’s as if Downstate stole LICH’s credit card & is on a spending spree for themselves running up the bill that LICH has to pay. Did he mention that over $3 mil worth of meds were discovered to have been to charged to LICH – but were meds that are not even used at LICH? It was Downstate’s order for their pharmacy & it was charged to LICH. How many more million$ have been padded onto LICH’s expense spread sheets to make it look like its LICH that is the one bleeding money? - Nic
Any politicians or leaders hiding behind such an unscrupulous and scandalous act will sooner or later regret this. It will be better for them and for Brooklynites to save LICH now. - May Ng
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Star-Revue Classifieds HELP WANTED
Licensed Electrical Contractors Commercial • Residential • Industrial Free Estimates
And the community can only direct a plan if they participate. The EPA presented this plan in Red Hook more than a year ago. It presented it to the CAG in 2010. The Army Corp had an earlier plan for a CDF in the 4th st turning basin.
Violations Removed All Types of Wiring Emergency Service EMERGENCY SERVICE
But at a recent CAG meeting, a gentleman from NJ showed up, eager to have the Gowanus dredge material. It’s a free give away to someone, but it just won’t be to anyone undertaking any economic activity in Red Hook. - Go Figure
137 King Street Brooklyn, NY 11231 Fax: (718) 935-0887
Vito Liotine (718) 625-1995 (718) 625-0867 email@example.com
An appalling display of the most jaundiced of “journalism”... Weaving facts and myth to engage in an deceitful ad hominem personal attack on someone who contributes so much to our community is really reprehensible.... I don’t suppose the Star-Revue actually had the courage to attend the production, any more than they had the courage to actually speak to Reg, or attempt to verify any of their misinformation. Too bad, something might have been learned....
No job too big or too small
Toilets, Boilers, Heating, Faucets, Hot Water Heaters,
I really reject the personal level that much of this CDF conversation has sunk to, and think its [sic] really sad when we can’t engage in civil discourse, but for the “press” to do the same really is disgusting.
Red Hook Star-Revue
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June 2013 Page 19
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