Heather Lubov: new Executive Director of City Parks Foundation

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From the new Executive Director of City Parks Foundation:

I am enormously excited to be on board working to support the hundreds of programs that City Parks Foundation provides to dedicated fans and supporters like you.  As a born-and-bred New Yorker, a culture consumer, and an avid walker who takes advantage of the many fantastic opportunities our city offers, I have attended countless SummerStage concerts over the years and have benefited from many of our City’s parks and green spaces.  So I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the City that I love and to an organization from which I have directly benefited.

As Executive Director I will work tirelessly to raise awareness for and money to support the work of City Parks Foundation, work that helps to transform our City’s parks into active spaces for healthy and vibrant communities.  We want to see more golf clubs and tennis racquets put into the hands of children who will learn the discipline of a sport while gaining self-esteem.  We want more young people to participate in environmental education programs that help develop an appreciation for science and teach them to become stewards of our City’s precious natural resources. We want more communities to experience the energy of live performance — be it music, dance, opera, or the spoken word.  And we want to provide more neighborhood volunteers with the tools and resources needed to help foster change within their own communities.

Each year City Parks Foundation presents programs of the highest quality to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers across the city.  In 2015, we’ll be celebrating the 30th anniversary of our iconic festival, SummerStage. I look forward to meeting you at a concert, at a track meet, or at a neighborhood visioning program. See you in the park!

Heather Lubov

Executive Director, City Parks Foundation

 

Job Training Fair November 24, 2014 6-8pm

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Senator Daniel Squadron Testimony before City Council this morning:

DANIEL SQUADRON SENATOR, 26TH DISTRICT THE SENATE STATE OF NEW YORK

Prepared Testimony of State Senator Daniel Squadron to New York City Council Committee on Parks and Recreation Regarding the Parks Department’s Community Parks Initiative November 5, 2014

My name is Daniel Squadron, and I represent the 26th District in the New York State Senate. My district includes the Manhattan neighborhoods of Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, SoHo and the East Village and the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, DUMBO, Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens. I thank Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine for convening today’s hearing on the Community Parks Initiative, and for the opportunity to testify.

The Community Parks Initiative’s focus on local, neighborhood parks goes to the heart of what it means to talk about equity in the parks system. Real credit is due to the Parks Department for identifying the neighborhoods to begin CPI, including some in my district: Luther Gulick Park, and Sol Lain and Henry M. Jackson playgrounds on the Lower East Side.

But, today, CPI is still only in 35 parks. We know the Parks Department has identified more than 200 additional parks with a real need.

It is critical that the Parks Department expand upon CPI’s important and impressive foundation, with a goal to reach even more parks and communities in need over time. Doing that successfully requires keeping the parks equity push going. It requires a continued focus on inequities in the system, as well as a greater overall investment in the public parks budget, which commands just over one half of one percent of the City’s budget.

As I have long said, the way to do that is to continue to change the dynamic around the way parks are funded. This year’s discussion of parks funding and equity has been robust, with real leadership from the Mayor, Commissioner Silver, Chair Levine, and the City Council.

But we must create a dynamic that will continue over the long term. In 2001 we had the 1% For Parks campaign, but it died out and wasn’t really replaced until last year, an inadvertent consequence of the success of some of the wealthiest conservancies. In some of the most powerful and wealthiest parts of the city, the local parks are doing better than ever – to the great credit and generosity of donors and the effectiveness of the conservancies. But as a result, the disinvestment in the parks system is invisible in some of the most powerful parts of the city. It’s hard to get excited about a campaign to nearly double the parks budget to one percent when your local park is doing so well.

I am continuing to work with the Mayor, Commissioner Silver, Chair Levine, advocates, and the conservancies to expand the structural impact of the Community Parks Initiative, by ensuring the conservancies play a meaningful role long into the future, which the conservancies have expressed a real openness to.

Whatever final form it takes, participation by the conservancies must fundamentally link them and their patrons, to the overall system. This year we had the parks equity push. In 2001, we had the 1% For Parks campaign. It is critical that the stakeholders and this committee work together to ensure that the parks equity push is not something that comes up every twelve years, but something that comes up every year until the crisis is solved.

This year’s conversations, including those with the conservancies, have helped to change the dynamic, and I am hopeful that, at the end of this year, we will have a fundamentally different structure that ensures the dynamic is changed going forward.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

NYC Parks Commissioner Silver

Free talk by Commissioner Silver on:

The Future of New York City Parks

PRATT INSTITUTE | MEMORIAL HALL AUDITORIUM
200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 20146:00 PM — 8:00 PM PrattPresents1112

Forsyth and Canal Streetscape and Plaza Project

Bowery Boogie covered the proposed redesign of the Canal/Forsyth Streetscape and Plaza Reconstruction Project – Dept. of Design and Construction (DDC) will present. Item 2:

Transportation & Public Safety / Environment Committee
Thursday, November 6 at 6:30pm — University Settlement at Houston Street Center – 273 Bowery.


1.    Approval of previous month’s minutes
2.    DDC: Forsyth Streetscape and Plaza Reconstruction Project 
3.    Request for support of proposal for WTC pediatric follow-up study
4.    Bridge deck rehabilitation at Houston St over the FDR
5.    Request for loading zone for Howard Johnson Inn, 5 Allen St
6.    Request for support for traffic calming measures at the North East corner of Gouveneur Slip West and Water Street, and South West corner of Gouverneur Street and Water Street 
7.    Support for state legislation A5355-This will amend the procedure for siting of electric substations to provide for Public Service Commission Review, which includes environmental review and public hearings 
8.    Request for state legislation to address the K2 legal/enforcement problems
9.    Follow up analysis of intercity bus mapping and potential recommendations

 

The Village Voice on Rivington House

A recent article in the Village Voice on Rivington House. Electeds sent letter to state urging them to allow Rivington House to operate as a nursing home especially for low-income neighbors who’ve already lost Cabrini and Bialystoker.

Michael Chavez Reilly who wrote a moving Op-Ed about his father’s experience in Rivington House standing with Bob Humber (Coordinator of the Elizabeth Hubbard Memorial Garden and Co-Head Gardener of M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden).

 

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Community Board 3 passed a resolution in support of a nursing home facility (unanimously):

7. Update on Rivington House sale
VOTE: Title: Community Board 3 Resolution to Support Converting Rivington House to a General
Nursing Home with Maximum Beds, Accessible to All in the Community

WHEREAS, Community Board 3, Manhattan values its community facilities that serve our
community, especially the underserved who are most vulnerable, and

WHEREAS,in the last few years, CB 3 has lost its nursing homes, namely Cabrini with its 240
beds and Bialystoker with its 95 beds, comprising a total of 335 nursing home beds lost, and

WHEREAS, Community Board 3 appreciates Rivington House’s (“RH”) service to patients with
AIDS needing skilled nursing services in a skilled nursing facility, but has learned from RH that
it is closing its facility, which will result in the loss of an additional 219 beds in our community,
and

WHEREAS, Community Board 3 believes that people without the financial or other ability to
receive home care, and in need of both short term and long term care, should be able to
remain in their community, supported by friends and family, and

WHEREAS, CB 3 believes that nursing home care should be available to all in the community in
need of such care, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status or any other reason, so

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that CB 3 supports the conversion of RH beds to general nursing
home beds available to those needing nursing home care, including people with AIDS needing
skilled or specialized care, and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CB 3 also supports allowing the maximum
number of nursing homes beds (219 beds) in the new nursing home facility that will replace
Rivington House, and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CB 3 supports all nursing home beds being made available to all in the community in need of such services, regardless of their ability to pay,
insurance status, or any other reason.

It’s My Park Day

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We held a great IMPD – thanks everyone who helped out. We raked, pruned, painted cleaned the M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden with Bob, Debra, Diana, Kevin, Carol, Elizabeth, James, K, Jin Xiu, Steve, Jim, Joe, Turi, Ted, Kate, and NYU and many other volunteers whose names I don’t have! Thank you New Museum for donating the paint! (for chairs created by a New Museum project). Thank you Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition Prez and Vice Prez’s (K Webster, Debra Jeffreys-Glass and Jin Xiu Chen) for pre-organizing. Thanks Stanton Street CSA & Kevin and Diana for food donations.

We also cleared out the Hua Mei Bird Sanctuary South of Delancey Street with James, Jin Xiu, Steve and K (with a little help from Kirsti!).

Thank you everyone for helping make the day a success!

We were pleased to have a visit from City Parks Foundation’s new Executive Director Heather Lubov (far right) and Sabina Saragoussi, Director, Partnerships for Parks  (middle left) speaking with Debra Jeffreys -Glass Co-Chair of M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden (center) and her friend Laura (far left). They were invited by Kirsti Bambridge our local Partnerships for Parks angel…

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Food Drive, “Drive 25″, proposed Streetscape Forsyth/Canal etc.

“DRIVE 25″

The speed limit is changing to 25 MPH on November 7th, 2014

Drivers who drive 25 MPH or slower are better able to avoid crashes.

 Pedestrians who are struck by vehicles traveling at 25 MPH are half as likely to die as those who are struck by vehicles going at thirty MPH.

BOWERY MISSION – FOOD DRIVE

The Mission is in urgent need of: pasta, rice, condiments, pasta sauce, canned vegetables, beans.

Food items above can be dropped off at

- CB3 Office 59th Street M-F 9am-6pm Nov. 3rd – 21st

or Bowery Mission 227 Bowery 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

DDC: Forsyth Streetscape and Plaza Reconstruction Project:

CB Transportation & Public Safety/Environment Committee

University Settlement/Houston Street Center 273 Bowery

November 6, 2014 6:30pm

It’s My Park Day

Join the Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition and the M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden for
It’s My Park Day this Saturday from 12pm – 4pm. Meet at the Garden gate at Rivington Street (in the park)

 

Here is the list of things to do that we came up for IMPD:

IMPD 2014  Saturday 12pm -4pm on October 18th Jin Xiu, Bob, K

Activities and locations:

Rivington to Stanton:

Water and mulch newly planted trees

Aerate tree pit soil with a garden fork.

Garden:

Paint chairs in garden

Paint tables on west side of garden

Weed along west side of garden

Prune in garden

Sweep, rake and clean up garden

Hua Mei Bird Sanctuary (south of Delancey):

mulching, pruning, removing weeds and trash, planting bulbs.

Thanks all.

K

 

 

 

Harlem’s Flower and Chess Man forced to move

From the NYTimes:

Harlem’s Flower and Chess Man, Forced into an Unwanted Move

“Mr. Gibbs and his portable garden were such a presence that he was known as the Flower Man and residents still call the patch of concrete where he operated Sonny’s Corner. It was a bright spot in front of the Lincoln Houses, a public housing community where residents complain of mold in their apartments and the stench of urine in hallways.

But this spring, New York City told Mr. Gibbs that he had to pack up his roses, daisies and biggest sellers, his potted plants. As it turns out, for more than a decade, he had no legal right to be there. Mr. Gibbs — who is long on adages but short on paperwork, like a permit — got by for years with little trouble beyond the occasional summons. But the parks department began strictly enforcing a law prohibiting a business from operating on parkland without formal approval.”

Unbelievable.

We’ve removed entire parks so that stadiums filled with corporate boxes can be built in their place -all while giving huge tax breaks to wealthy owners. All ‘legal’. And please don’t speak of ‘lost revenue’ – it insults our intelligence.

Nike has entire offices filled with people who will file their permits and ensure their entree into our parks. Sonny Gibbs, being poor and Black may not have been afforded that  kind of wherewithal in this current society- but he does a hell of a lot more good with the wherewithal he has.

This man is bringing a bit of human goodness to that park. He is part of the resilient efforts we need more of in this city. Hands off.