Sunday, May 31, 2009

Moving Pictures: Filming in the 35th District

On Monday June 1, 2009 the television show “BORED TO DEATH” is scheduled to shoot interior and exterior scenes at 32 S Portland Ave and 4 S Portland Ave btw Dekalb & Lafayette Aves.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Moving Pictures: Filming in the 35th District

On Wednesday May 27, 2009 the television show “BORED TO DEATH” is scheduled to film interior and exterior scenes at the following locations:

•Fort Greene Park at S Portland Ave / Myrtle Ave
•1 S Elliott Place @ Dekalb Ave
•89 Lafayette Ave @ S Portland Ave


On Friday May 29, 2009 a short film is schedule to film interior and exterior scenes at the following locations:

•219 DeKalb Avenue between Adelphi Street and Clermont Avenue


Friday, May 22, 2009

A Message from Council Member Letitia James

The following is a letter Council Member James sent to CUNY affiliates who contacted her concerning the CUNY budget.

Dear New York City Resident:

Each year, the City University of New York (CUNY) enrolls more than 450,000 students City-wide within eleven senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education- equaling almost half of all college or university students in the City of New York.

In the past, CUNY has had to make difficult financial and academic decisions in order to continue to provide higher educational opportunities. Prior to the 1970’s, a CUNY education was free to New York City students, a system referred to as ‘open admissions’. Under open admissions, Black and Latino attendance rates grew substantially. Facing a fiscal crisis, the CUNY system began imposing tuition fees on students. By the 2000’s, to meet the still-evolving academic standards of today’s working world, CUNY raised admission standards following reports that students in the four-year colleges were not meeting competitive standards. Throughout these changes, the University has remained true to its legacy of providing low and mid-income individuals with quality educational opportunities.

Today, CUNY enrollment is at its highest level since 1975, a 4.8% increase over 2008. The Macaulay Honors College, which graduated its first class in 2005, is currently serving 1,300 high-achieving students. Students admitted to the program had an average SAT score of 1400. A Macaulay student was one of the 32 Americans awarded a 2009 Rhodes Scholarship (CUNY’s third Rhodes student in five years). Additionally, many of CUNY’s senior colleges are recognized as some of the most rigorous in the country.

However, with the current fiscal crisis now affecting our national and local governments, the University is facing budget cuts that could potentially weaken its structure and operations as well as hinder the education of students who attend it. CUNY has sustained $82 million in reductions in City and State support in the current year alone. According to a statement issued by the Office of the Chancellor, “The State Executive Budget recommends $1.9 billion for CUNY’s senior colleges, reflecting a decrease of state support of almost $65 million, offset by more than $115 million from additional tuition and fee revenue. This revenue is based on tuition rate increases of 15 percent, or $300 per semester, for resident full-time undergraduate students and 20 percent for graduate students…The Executive Budget proposes a $20-million University-wide reduction to [our] senior colleges in non-core activities and a reduction on community-college base aid per full-time equivalent (FTE) by $270 for the current year that would continue into FY2009-2010. For CUNY, this equates to about $4 million in the current year and $18 million in 2009-10.”

Fiscal year 2009-2010 represents year four of CUNY’s innovative multi-year financing approach- called the CUNY Compact. This strategy offers an economically efficient way to finance CUNY by delineating shared responsibility among partners and creating opportunities to leverage funds. To integrate Governor Paterson’s proposed budget policies, CUNY Compact has been adapted for the fiscal year. CUNY is requesting the implementation of a State and City Philanthropy Matching Program in which three dollars in public funds are provided for every dollar the University raises through philanthropic sources.

The effects of such a program would help insure that no CUNY student would be denied the ability to continue their studies as a result of the proposed tuition increase, and establish a new student financial assistance program. The FY2010 College Investment Program totals $90.6M and includes:
• $38.0M for academic and faculty support;
• $26.0M for improved student services;
• $5.3M for upgrading infrastructure.
Capital priorities, which include critical maintenance of properties and the Decade of Science initiative (which focuses on expanding research opportunities in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields), incorporate green standards of development and would create local job opportunities.

In the interest of promoting the continued success of CUNY, ideally, the New York City Council should take a stand to reject the City cuts that force CUNY to adopt a budget model that includes any tuition increases, including the $36.3M in cuts to CUNY's operating budget, and $4.3M in reductions in City Council-sponsored programs for CUNY students. However, if we cannot do that, it is imperative that we support CUNY’s Compact budget request plan, which includes a Philanthropic Matching Program that limits those tuition increases and allows CUNY to restore their programs.

I believe that together we can ensure low and mid-income individuals continue to receive quality education at CUNY institutions. I join you in requesting CUNY's budgetary needs be met.

Letitia James
Member of the City Council

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fort Greene's MS 113 Closes Following Student Sicknesses


May 21, 2009

Fort Greene's MS 113 Closes Following Student Sicknesses

Department of Education and Department of Health close Fort Greene’s MS 113 following student sicknesses

(Brooklyn, NY)—MS 113- The Ronald Edmonds Learning Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn was closed today after 18 students were sent home with flu-like symptoms and temperatures of up to 100.4 degrees; an additional 145 students were absent. After communicating with Principal Khalek Kirkland, the Department of Education in conjunction with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has decided to close the middle school until Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Students will return following the Memorial Day holiday.

The measures are precautionary, and fall in line with the Department of Health’s recently-established criteria for suggesting the closure of schools—which include factors such as whether closing a school could reduce the spread of infection, spikes in absenteeism, and the existence of high temperatures and other flu-like symptoms among students and staff.

Council Member Letitia James states, “I am working with the Department of Health and the Department of Education to ensure that MS 113 is properly sanitized as soon as possible. I urge all in the district to take careful measures against sickness as outlined by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I am confident that all agencies will be able to coordinate with MS113, and that the school can soon resume their normal schedule.”

Currently, no one affiliated with MS 113 has been diagnosed with H1N1 flu. An updated list of school closings can be found at

Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081


We weren't a minute too soon with this post, apparently. Again, if you have flu-like symptoms accompanied by an abnormally-high temperature, please seek medical assistance as soon as possible. We encourage all residents to adhere to personal sanitary measures.


United Way Offers Working Seminar To Provide Non-Profits With Fiscal/Management Advice

Hands-On Tools for Managing through Tough Times
Two free high-impact, interactive learning events for staff and volunteer leaders of community based human service organizations in New York City.

The United Way of New York City is pleased to present two free learning events designed to provide non-profit leaders with hands-on practical fiscal and management tools they can quickly implement in navigating the economic storm. Each day will provide participants with an opportunity to learn from experts in the fields of non profit financial management and organizational planning. Participants will also benefit from facilitated small group discussions where they can share and generate ideas that can be taken back to their organizations and implemented immediately.

Who else will attend?
Professionals working with community based human services providers in New York City in the capacity of:
*Executive Directors
*Chief Financial Officers
*Board Members

Why attend?
*These are working meetings- not passive workshops. You will actively engage with other nonprofit leaders who have faced similar challenges.
*The tools you will acquire are proven effective.
*Content and discussions will be structured so they are relevant to organizations of all sizes.
*You will learn about additional resources available to you and your organization
*You will return to your organization with concrete strategies you can use immediately
*There is no charge to attend

* Leadership & Decision Making
May 21, 2009

* Fiscal Management
May 28, 2009

The William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus Conference Center
Baruch College
55 Lexington Avenue (at 24th Street)
14th Floor
New York, NY 10010

About each day:

Leadership & Decision Making - May 21
Facilitated by Community Resource Exchange

* Learn, share and generate effective strategies, ideas and resources for limiting the impact of the recession on your organization and the people it serves
* Learn about contingency planning, partnerships and collaborations, strategies for preserving talent and how to work with your board
* Return to your organization with at least one actionable strategy for meeting recession related challenges

Fiscal Management - May 28
Facilitated by Fiscal Management Associated and Nonprofit Finance Funds

* Get familiar with nonprofit financial management concepts essential for successful scenario planning
* Learn specific tools that can help your organization navigate severe economic turbulence
* Return to your organization with an initial plan of key areas to success, as well as the key stakeholders to include in the process

You may visit one or both events.
Both days are free but you must register in advance.

Visit for more information.

Briefing Update: What You Need To Know About H1N1 ("Swine" Flu)

We wanted to make you aware that the New York City Council recently held a briefing to discuss the H1N1 Flu Outbreak (also known as "Swine Flu")

As of earlier this week:
* 3 schools in Queens, New York had closed, in addition to the 10 closed previously.
* 1 school in Brooklyn, New York had closed last week.
- These schools are all being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and are expected to reopen. So far, there has only been one death in New York, that of a Queens assistant principal

On the closing of schools:
* When deciding whether to close a school, a number of factors are looked at-
-Absentee rates
-Amount of students going to see the nurse, showing flu-like symptoms
-Size of school
-Number of children presenting at local hospitals showing flu-like symptoms

FYI about the "swine flu" (and how to keep safe):
* The method of transmission is the same as seasonal flu, so similar precautions should be taken (i.e. cover mouth/nose when coughing and sneezing, practice good personal hygiene).
* The H1N1 strain of flu seems to be very new, meaning that the public has not had a chance to develop an immunity yet (as some have done to seasonal flu).
* As with seasonal flu, the young, sickly, and elderly are at most risk.
* Information for the public will be passed on through 311, City department/government statements and press releases, and letters to schools and school officials.
* There have been no recommendations as yet to close summer camps, as it is hoped that the H1N1 flu rates will drop over the summer months, as is normally the case with strains of flu.
* A child should only see the doctor if as well as flu symptoms they also have a fever (1040F or above) and/or breathing difficulties.

If you are a looking for more information and updates on H1N1 flu, please see the Department for Health and Mental Hygiene website here.

BCAP Recognized by President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities!

We've mentioned the Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program (BCAP) in the past, and we just wanted to share their great news- BCAP has been named a 2009 Coming Up Taller semifinalist by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its partner agencies (the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities). The program recognizes "successful work in youth after-school and out-of-school arts and humanities learning...BCAP's selection distinguishes it as one of the top arts and humanities based programs in the country serving youth beyond school hours."

For more information, see here.

Interested parents: We're also told there's still time to register for upcoming summer classes. Please see here for more information:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Moving Pictures: Filming in the 35th District

On Thursday May 21st, 2009 a Feature Film Production entitled “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” will be shooting interior scenes at the following location:

7am– 9pm
1579 Bedford Avenue btw Union & President Street

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Moving Pictures: Filming in the 35th District

On Wednesday May 20th, 2009 a Feature Film Production entitled “Michael & Michael have Issues” will be Rigging at the following location:
1579 Bedford Avenue btw Union Street & President Sts.


Monday, May 18, 2009

CM James Holds Press Conference To Address Student Safety Issues At JHS 117; 5/19; 3:30PM


May 18th, 2009

Contact: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191

Council Member Letitia James and Schools within the JHS 117 /Francis Scott Key Building will hold a press conference on Student Safety Issues this Tuesday, May 19th at 3:30 pm

Incidents of harassment/violence have become a common occurrence for students attending school at 300 Willoughby Avenue; student safety is of urgent concern for parents and the community

(Brooklyn, NY) Over the last 2 years, students attending the five schools located at the JHS 117/Francis Scott Key school building have been victims of consistent harassment, jumping, and robberies, as they travel to and from the school building towards the G-train subway stop at Classon and Lafayette Avenues, as well as when taking surrounding buses.

This violence came to a head on Thursday, April 30th, when one student was first jumped, and then two students who defended him were attacked by 9-10 neighborhood residents. The assailants did not hesitate to follow the students in the school building, resulting in school staff and school safety injuries, broken glass doors, and a shaken, vulnerable school community.

While the NYPD has always been responsive in making reports and doing cursory investigations, the schools located at 300 Willoughby believe a sustained approach to creating a “safe, secure and supervised corridor for travel is needed, such as a police, or school police presence on Franklin, DeKalb and Classon Avenues, to and from the G train where the majority of incidents take place. Further, the schools want to immediately create a safe corridor through Pratt Institute if possible (similar to what was established with Brooklyn Preparatory High School years ago).

Finally, the schools within the Francis Scott Key building educate many students who live in the surrounding community, including residents from Lafayette Gardens Houses; they look forward to establishing a partnership, and working on community projects with Lafayette Gardens’ youth, as these schools have with other community groups, educators and professionals.

Who: Council Member James, education & safety advocates, parents and community members

What: Press conference to address safety and harassment issues for students

Where: In front of JHS 117- Francis Scott Keys School Building, 300 Willoughby Avenue (between Kent and Franklin Avenues)

When: Tuesday, May 19th, at 3:30 pm


Kings County Hospital Center Presents Annual Health Fair; 6/20; 10AM

Kings County Hospital Center and Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Annual Health Fair- Changing Your Health in 2009

When: Saturday June 20th from 10am-4pm.
Where: Clarkson Avenue btwn E. 38th St. and Albany Ave.

-Health information booths
-Free health screenings:
-Blood pressure
-Diabetes & vision
-Women's health screenings
-Men's health/Prostate check-up
-Smoking cessation
-Children's health education
-Children's fingerprinting/Photo ID

There will also be concession stands, vendors & a flea market, entertainment and health insurance information and enrollment (MetroPlus, Healthfirst and HHC Options).

United Coalition of Block Assns Presents Community Forum; Crown Heights; 6/4; 7PM

The United Coalition of Block Associations presents a Community Forum

When: Thursday June 4th, 7pm
Where: Crown Gardens Community Room
1185 Carroll St.

With special guests:

Hon. William C. Thompson Jr., Comptroller of NYC and Democratic Candidate for Mayor
Will challenge the Republican Bloomberg's record and agenda, and present democratic solutions to the problems facing New Yorkers.

Hon. Letitia James, Council Member, 35th CD
Will introduce a field of candidates that will further define and clarify the issues for the coming November election.

Hon. Hakeem Jeffries, State Assemblyman, 57 District
Too many guns on the street, too many black boys in jail! How the second chance program and Obama's stimulus plan will help our youth.

Come, ask questions and get answers, bring a neighbor!

Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

CM James Awards Grants to MS113 To Provide Air Conditioning for Summer


May 14, 2009

The Ronald Edmonds Learning Center / MS 113 and Council Member Letitia James host a Press

Event to Announce the Turning On of Air Conditioning Units this Friday, May 15, at 9:30 am

Ronald Edmonds Learning Center/MS 113 is one of the top performing arts middle schools in New York City. Students are able to major in Dance, Theatre Arts, Vocal, Band, Art and Technology. In addition, the students outperform all, if not most of the other schools in the district on both the NYS Reading and Math exams. Principal Khalek Kirkland serves as proud principal of a school he describes as “a good school on its way to greatness.”

Recently, Council Member James provided a grant to MS 113 to provide air conditioning units for the entire school. Before the grant, the spring and summer brought temperatures to the classrooms that were not suitable for instruction. Now students and teachers will be able to get back to their precious instructional time on warm days; in the past, teachers were forced to leave the classroom due to risk of health concerns.

The entire Ronald Edmonds Learning Center community is appreciative for the continued support that Council Member James is able to provide to the students, teachers and staff of MS 113.

Who: Council Member Letitia James, Principal Khalek Kirkland, Teachers, Staff, Students

What: Press event to announce air conditioning turn-on at MS 113/Ronald Edmonds Learning Center

Where: 300 Adelphi St, Brooklyn, (between Dekalb and Lafayette Avenues) - (718) 834-6734

When: Friday, May 15th, at 9:30 am

Contact: Khalek Kirkland at (917) 318-4345, and Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CM James On Appointment of Banker John Rhea to Chair of NYCHA


May 13, 2009

Statement by Council Member Letitia James on Appointment of Banker John Rhea to Chair the New York Housing Authority

(Brooklyn, NY) – “The appointment of John Rhea as Chair of the New York City Housing Authority causes me and my constituents great concern.

I applaud the Bloomberg Administration for attempting to address the lack of diversity in their administration. But, the appointment of an African-American man, who has no experience in managing a low-income public housing authority of this size and scale, and whose experience may be limited to private equity financing is troubling, and should not serve as a substitute or a panacea for the lack of diversity at City Hall.

This appointment further raises questions, particularly at a time when private equity firms are purchasing under-performing housing developments, and converting them to luxury housing throughout the City. These purchases are displacing low and moderate income families, which continues to disproportionately affect persons of color.

I do look forward to meeting Mr. Rhea, and I cautiously await our first exchange.”

Contact: Council Member Letitia James (718) 260-9191


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Become a Notary Public!

Become a Notary Public
One day training- NYS Notary Association approved

Enroll yourself (or one or more of your colleagues) for our one day (totaling 6 hours) training.

Guarantee: repeat class free if you fail the exam (less than 1% fail rate).
Includes latest NYS regulations manual, practice testing, study guide, test scheduling & certificate.

Weekday sessions to choose from:

Holiday Inn
524 Rt. 9/I-84
Fishkill, New York
[Fri. June 5th
Fri. Aug 28th
Fri. Nov 6th
Fri. Jan 15th]

Crowne Plaza
104-04 Ditmars Blvd
E. Elmhurst, Queens
[Fri. Jun 12th
Fri. Aug 7th
Fri. Oct 16th
Fri. Feb 5th]

New York City
Holiday Inn
440 West 57th Street
New York, NY
[Fri. May 29th
Fri. Jun 26th
Fri. Jul 24th
Fri. Aug 21st]

Crowne Plaza
66 Hale Ave.
White Plains
[Fri. May 15th
Fri. Jul 31st
Fri. Oct 2nd
Fri. Dec 4th]

Long Island/LIE
Holiday Inn
215 Sunnyside Blvd
Plainview, LI
[Fri. May 8th
Fri. Jul 3rd
Fri. Sept 11th
Fri. Nov 13th]

Continental Breakfast
Check-in- 7:30AM/8:00AM
Class- 8:00AM-2:00PM

Call toll-free (887) 484-4673 to register.
You may pay by faxing credit card or mail check/money order payable to:
Soren Legal
P.O. Box 586
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

ATTENTION: BK Bar Assn. Hosts Discussion On Dealing With Unemployment

Unemployment: A Guide to Benefits and Moving Forward
May 18, 2009- 6PM-8PM
The Brooklyn Bar Association's Meeting Hall
123 Remsen Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201

By subway: 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall
A, C, F to Jay Street
M, R to Court Street

Members of the public who are unemployed or facing unemployment are invited to attend.

Reservations are encouraged but not required.

To reserve a seat or for more information, please contact Avery Eli Okin, Esp., CAE
Phone: (718) 624-0675

Speakers will include:
Jessica Spiegel, Pro bono coordinator, BBA Volunteer Lawyers Project- Moderator
Anne Marie O'Donovan, Esp., Staff Attorney, MFY Legal Services Workplace Justice Project- Unemployment Insurance Benefits: The Basics
Goethy Guareno, Pro bono liason, NYS Unemployment Appeals Board- What you need to know about unemployment benefit appeals and hearings
George Berry, Community Outreach Specialist, Brooklyn Workforce One Career Center- Approaching the job search and moving forward.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ask Team Tish Round 4: Ask Your Friendly Neighborhood Staffers

First of all, thanks for participating if you voted in our recent poll (right there on the side) of what you'd like to see Council Member James sponsor over the summer. We are considering all of these ideas, so feel free to comment or email us (collectively) at if you have any ideas.

Secondly, we're again encouraging you to Ask Team Tish about anything we discussed- or haven't discussed- on this blog. We're considering a 'new direction' of sorts for the blog (we'll post soon about it), so ANY and ALL feedback is most illuminating.

The way this works- just leave your question in the comments section here, and we'll answer it as best we can.


On The Legislative Front

It's been quite a while since we've done a legislative update, so here is a list of the legislation that Council Member James has introduced since September 2008:

Res. 1700-2008 – Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the governor to sign A.10258, which would provide that no applicant for, nor recipient of, child care assistance shall be required to pursue a court order for child support as a condition of eligibility for child care assistance. The text may be viewed here:

Res. 1701-2008 – Resolution supporting the Department of Education’s health education programs and urging the Department of Education to ensure that all middle and high school students have access to an appropriate health education curriculum, and encouraging the Department of Education and the Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene to provide regular status reports on teen pregnancy rates. The text can be viewed here:

Int. 883-2008 – Local Law to amend the administrative code of the City of New York, in relation to the J-51 tax abatement and exemption program. The text can be viewed here:

Res. 1724-2008 (with CM Mendez and Mark-Viverito) – Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation amending the Public Housing Law to forgo Payments in Lieu of Taxes on New York City Housing Authority City and State Projects. The text can be viewed here:

Res. 1810-2009 – Resolution calling on the New York City Police Department to refrain from using tasers on the mentally ill and disabled. The text can be viewed here:

Res. 1811-2009 – Resolution calling on the New York City Police Department to expand enforcement efforts for private sanitation vehicles that drive, park, or idle on New York City sidewalks while loading garbage. The text can be viewed here:

Int. 937-2009 (with CM Gonzalez and Martinez) – Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to requiring the commissioner of the department of correction to report on census data and security indicators involving adolescents in city jails. The text can be viewed here:

Int. 938-2009 – Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to requiring the department of correction to develop a discharge plan for adolescents leaving city jails. The text can be viewed here:

Res. 1830-2009 – Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to enact and pass and the Governor to sign legislation amending the Family Court Act by changing the juvenile status age to include sixteen, seventeen and eighteen year olds. The text can be viewed here:

Res. 1851-2009— Resolution calling upon the Bloomberg Administration to discontinue the practice of defunding child care centers mid-year and thus closing desperately needed child care services throughout the city. The text can be viewed here:

Int. 970-2009 – Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting the sale of menthol cigarettes. The text can be viewed here:

Int. 971-2009 – Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to notice of fires caused by underground street electrical infrastructure. The text can be viewed here:

This is not a complete list of introduced bills/resolutions.

Friday, May 8, 2009

CM James Supports Green FG and CH Initiative, "Greening Business & Community" Project


May 8, 2009

Council Member Letitia James and Attorney Jed Marcus Support the Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill Initiative, a ‘Greening Businesses and Community’ Project Underway within the 35th Council District

Council Member James joins Jed Marcus, coordinator of the Fort Greene Association’s Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill (GFGCH) spring greening initiatives, for a press event on Tuesday, May 12th, at 2:30 pm, in front of Marcus Attorneys, located at 13 Greene Avenue (near Fulton St.)

(Brooklyn, NY) - The FGA’s Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill spring greening initiatives are in full swing, and next Tuesday Council Member Letitia James and Attorney Jed Marcus will be discussing the importance of reducing our community’s contribution to global warming, as well as our use of non-renewable resources. Green Fort Green & Clinton Hill is a volunteer organization, which is helping to make our neighborhoods more environmentally friendly.

Next Tuesday will begin with volunteer students from the Academy for Young Writers working with Jed Marcus to distribute the “green business survey” to local businesses. These high school students will join the press conference, along with other elected officials and representatives from the eco-eatery Habana Outpost, New York’s first solar powered restaurant located in Fort Greene.

Other subjects that will be discussed at the press conference include recycling in parks: this project is taking place on a pilot basis in Fort Greene Park, Cuyler Gore Park, as well as Underhill Playground. Bins will be placed first for paper, and then for bottles and cans later this month. Lawn Litter Act signs: GFGCH is distributing free waterproof signs to prevent unwanted paper waste and to encourage businesses to promote themselves in a more green way, such as through their websites. Tree bed expansions: in order to maintain the health of trees that line the streets of Fort Greene/Clinton Hill - GFGCH with Council Member James want to expand tree beds to 50 square feet. This project called Take Back the Pavement will create longer living trees and more shade, safer sidewalks, as well as jobs for the community.

Who: Council Member Letitia James, Attorney Jed Marcus, and Academy for Young Writers students

What: Press Conference highlighting the Green Fort Greene & Clinton Hill spring greening initiatives

When: Tuesday, May 12th at 2:30 pm, in front of 13 Greene Avenue - near corner of Fulton Street

Contacts: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191, and Jenna Payne at (718) 643-6555




Larry Dobbins- (718) 797-1038
Nora Martinello- (888) 639-2982


The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the most comprehensive study of the health and nutritional status of Americans gets underway in the Brooklyn Borough beginning on April 11, 2009.

What is the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey?
A unique program that monitors the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population.
[-A valuable tool for developing effective health policies and programs.
-It is an opportunity to gain information about one’s health.
-The survey includes health interviews and health measurements.]

Each year, approximately 7,000 randomly-selected residents in 15 counties across the nation have the opportunity to participate in the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

“NHANES is very much like a ‘health exam center on wheels,’ that goes out into actual communities to get data on real Americans,” said CDC Director Julie L. Gerberding. “It truly is a unique resource for health information in this country, and without it we wouldn’t have data on a number of important health conditions.

Borough President Markowitz stated, “Brooklyn is one of the most ethnically and economically diverse cities in the country. If there’s a health challenge impacting the lives of Americans, you can bet we’re dealing with it head-on. The CDC is making the right call by using Brooklyn to take the nation’s temperature.”

NHANES has been conducted by NCHS for nearly 50 years and provides annual estimates on a range of diseases such as the number of Americans who have heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, respiratory disease, and other conditions.

The information gathered in NHANES is used by public health officials, legislators, and physicians to develop sound health policies, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation. In addition, NHANES data is used to create standardized growth charts used by pediatricians across the country to track children’s growth.

Individuals selected for the survey represent the U.S. population of all ages. Additional emphasis in the current NHANES is placed on the health of older Americans, African-Americans and Hispanics.

Respondents first participate in a health interview conducted in the respondent’s home. The health examination that follows takes place in one of three mobile examination centers that travel to different communities, large and small, urban and rural, across the country for data collection.

A team of health personnel, including a physician, nutritionists, and health and laboratory technicians using high-tech, state-of-the-art equipment, staffs the mobile examination centers. A team of specially-trained professionals conducts the household interviews.

All participants receive an examination by a physician, as well as a dietary interview, and body measurements that include height and weight. Some will be eligible for a hearing test, a scan to evaluate skeletal health, a breathing test, as well as a blood pressure test. The various tests and procedures depend upon the age of the participant.

No medical care is provided directly in the examination center, but a report on the medical findings is given to each participant along with an explanation from survey medical staff.

All individual information collected in the survey is kept strictly confidential, and privacy is protected by public law.

Participants selected to undergo the physical examination receive reimbursement for travel expenses and remuneration of up to $125 per person.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Things We May Have Neglected To Mention

So we're definitely behind in our updates, but here are some quick things we thought you might be interested in:

1). Helping Out In Your Community

Alliance of Resident Theaters (ART) and Food Bank for New York City have partnered to collect food four times a year at ART's South Oxford Space. Their latest drive begins today and runs through Monday, June 1st. Bring your donations to the 1st floor lobby at 138 S. Oxford Street during regular weekday office hours or between 9:30am and 1:30pm on weekends. Here's a helpful chart on what food groups are most needed:

If you have any questions, ART can be contacted at (718) 398-3078.

2). Maintenance In The Community

Flatbush Avenue is being repaved between Plaza Street and Atlantic Avenue. The project is scheduled to begin next Thursday, May 14, 2009 (weather permitting). The maintenance is scheduled as exclusively night work. Please contact our Urban Planner, Alfred Chiodo, at (718) 260-9191 if you have any further questions.

3). And Don't Forget Your Mother!

If you're still thinking about ideas for Mother's Day (shame, ya'll), the Prospect Park Alliance offers you to chance to give your mother a tree in Prospect Park.

Brooklyn Designs is also celebrating from May 8-10 at St. Anns Warehouse (38 Water Street, DUMBO).

Lastly, we're going to try to make it to this Brooklyn Blogfest event, which sounds pretty amazing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009



Suspension is the first of three phases for neighborhoods in Community District 2

Effective Monday, May 18, 2009, Street Cleaning/Alternate Side Parking Regulations will be temporarily suspended in the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill sections of Brooklyn's Community District 2 for approximately six to eight weeks as the Department of Transportation (DOT) installs approximately 2,000 signs with new, reduced regulations. In most cases, daytime residential street cleaning parking restrictions will be reduced from twice a week to just once a week to ease parking for local residents. On commercial corridors, some streets will now be cleaned more often and regulations will be better coordinated to help ensure some curbside parking for local shoppers. The new rules were established by the Department of Sanitation at the request of Community Board 2. Changes for the rest of the district will occur in two additional phases, which will be announced over the summer.

Street Cleaning Regulations will be suspended within the following borders from May 18 until further notice:

North: Flushing Avenue (included) from Navy Street to Classon Avenue.

East: Classon Avenue (included) from Flushing Avenue to Fulton Street.

South: Fulton Street (not included) from Classon Avenue to Flatbush Avenue.

West: Flatbush Avenue (not included) from Fulton Street to Myrtle Avenue; Myrtle Avenue (included) from Flatbush Avenue to Navy Street; Navy Street (not included) Myrtle Avenue to Flushing Avenue.

The new regulations will take effect once sign changes are complete in the entire area, also indicated on the attached map. The changes do not affect 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. parking rules or meter regulations, or any other parking rules that are not street cleaning regulations.

The DOT will give advance notification before enforcement resumes, and the public is encouraged to check the DOT's Web site at and call 311 regularly.

Similar conversions and temporary suspensions of ASP rules will occur in the coming months in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, and remaining neighborhoods within Community District 2, affecting approximately 4,000 additional signs.

Regulations were similarly converted last year in the Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook neighborhoods in Brooklyn Community District 6. During that transition, DOT conducted a study, which found that the suspension of ASP regulations had minimal impact on traffic and parking conditions in the area.

For more information, please contact the Citizen Service Center at 311 or visit the Department of Sanitation’s web site at, or contact Brooklyn Community Board 2 at (718) 596-5410 or

ATTENTION: Department of Buildings Launches No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has launched their no-penalty retaining wall inspection program. The Department's inspections are free, and no violations will be issued for the properties being serviced during the No-Penalty Wall Inspection Program.

Private property owners with retaining walls are eligible. The program is being implemented throughout March 25- June 1. More information on DOB's inspection programs view here and here.

Please call 3-1-1- to request an inspection or visit .

NYT Neediest Cases Program Helps You Face Sub-Prime Mortgage

Are you losing your home as a result of a sub-prime mortgage?

If yes, then you may be eligible for up to $10,000 in financial support from the New York Times Sub-prime Neediest Cases Program.

The Fund is designed to help homeowners and renters secure stable and affordable housing if they are at risk of becoming homeless due to foreclosure proceedings. For more information, please contact any of the agencies listed below:

* The Children's Aid Society
Office of Public Policy and Client Advocacy,
105 E. 22nd Street, St. 902,
New York, NY 10010
Tel (212) 381-1194 Fax (212) 839-8935

* Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service
285 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 310-5649

* Catholic Charities, New York
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 371 1000

* Catholic Charities, Brooklyn
191 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 522-1034

* Community Service Society
105 E. 22nd Street
New York, NY 10010

* Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
281 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
(212) 777-4800

* UJA Jewish Federation
130 E. 59th St
New York, NY 10022
(800) 852-3337

We've posted information concerning options for individuals in danger of foreclosure proceedings. Please contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.


Moving Pictures: Filming in the 35th District

We posted a while ago about filming in the district. We haven't really stayed on top of distributing information on filming schedules, but we'll try to do better. In the meantime, we'd suggest checking out Filming in Brooklyn and other local blogs.

NYT's The Local got the info for Law and Order: Criminal Intent filming on Hanson Place, which is pretty awesome as we're big fans of Vincent D'Onofrio and Jeff Goldblum. Additionally, as Filming in Brooklyn notes, Kitchen Nightmares recently shot in the Clinton Hill area.

We want to remind residents that while we support the filming in the 35th District, we do want ensure that residential life remains relatively unobstructed. Please don't hesitate to call our offices at (718) 260-9191 or (212) 788-7081 (City Hall) if you have any further questions or concerns.