The Good News and the Bad News in Sara Roosevelt Park Grand Street to Canal

During our periodic walk throughs we take photos of how things are going in our narrow strip of park.

The community knows how to use resources: handball courts and basketball courts are filled. The redesigned Hester Street Playground is alive with families. Bathrooms are open to the public (more on that later).

The resting area near the Hester Street Park’s Building has people enjoying every inch of space. Green spaces are being maintained with sparse staffing. Cleaning is a top priority given the heavy usage.

The oval is used by everyone for enumerable activities: whatever can be imagined: sports, dancing, impromptu badminton,  volleyball (more on that later). Pace HS, MS 131, Emma Lazarus HS all use this field for necessary outdoor time.


The Bad News: Then there is the extremely hazardous sports field oval, parked cars taking up park space creating hazards, lack of nets for games that many girls want to play. Bathrooms are misused and impossible to maintain given current funding and staffing. See photos below.


M’Finda Kalunga Garden Ladybug Release! AND It’s My Park Day (IMPD) This Saturday May 20, 2017

It’s My Park Day May 20th from 1-4pm in Sara Roosevelt Park will be centered out of the M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden. (Gardens in other parts of the Park will be worked on as well). Stop by and get dirty!


And…help distribute ladybugs! (Flyers in Spanish, English and Chinese below).

Faith & Community Conversation with the NYPD

Editorial from Times Union: Oil Spill Protection Needed


The Senate should stop blocking a proposed law to hold oil storage facility owners accountable in the event of a disaster.”


“The dangers of mishandling highly flammable crude oil came into focus in 2013 with the explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people and caused $2 billion in damage after a tank car filled with highly volatile crude oil broke free, crashed and exploded. The small railroad company involved subsequently went bankrupt and its insurance only covered $20 milliona fraction of the damage the explosion and fire caused. It underscored the need to make sure companies handling explosive oil have adequeate financial resources in the event of a disaster.”

Like the gas industry, the oil industry seems happy to privatize profit and socialize risk…..The [NY State] Senate …is supposed to be looking out for the public’s interest. Passing the Petroleum Storage Surety legislation would do just that.



MFY Sues State Health Department for Information on Rivington House/CABS Closures


MFY Sues State Health Dept. for Information on Recent Nursing Home Closures

Alarmed that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) failed to protect residents of two nursing homes that were purchased, closed and then sold to luxury housing developers, MFY Legal Services, Inc. (MFY) filed suit in Supreme Court of New York County today challenging the DOH’s refusal to release documents related to its interactions with the Allure Group. Read more.

More from Ed Litvak and the Lo-Down: 

MFY Legal Services Sues State to Obtain Rivington House Documents

And WNYC’s Cindy Rodriquez:

Lawsuit Seeks to Shed Light on Controversial Nursing Home Closures

Persistence and Compassion. Hard to beat.

“Capital Project Delays are Stifling Growth and Hurting Communities”

From Gotham Gazette:

This has been an ongoing, ever-present debacle for NYC’s Parks Department.


“Why does it take a decade to build a dang playground in my district?”

SDR Park’s promised return of the Stanton Building since 1994

“As the city grows, New York’s ability to effectively and efficiently deliver public capital projects is diminishing. This is no secret. Efforts to improve the system are not bearing fruit; all the while excuses for the delays, cost overruns, and errors become more commonplace.”

“A good place to start would be where agencies like the Parks Department often place the blame themselves: right at the doorstep of the Public Design Commission. In the age of data-driven results, it is unclear what the PDC points to as a quantifiable success. To many in city government, it is simply a mysterious all-delaying entity that occupies secluded office space in the rafters of City Hall’s cupola, like a project-killing Quasimodo. All Council members have at least one anecdote about construction being delayed by the PDC. But much like the Hunchback, there’s a belief that it, too, may be a fictitious tale, and one which the Parks Department conveniently uses to account for any postponement.”

It is long past time for the NYC Council and the Mayor to do something about it.



How The City Gives Away 1,155 City – Owned Lots to Private Developers

From City & State:

“the Tax Lien Sale affects those with the most to lose and the least ability to recover after the Sale inflates their debts. The system shackles residents into cycles of debt servitude in communities with the greatest need for social resiliency.”


In less than two weeks, the New York City Department of Finance will bankrupt and destroy 349 nonprofit institutions, converting their properties into capital for private banks through a municipal policy tool called Tax Lien Sale – but city leaders still have a chance to save them.

On May 12, the agency will wrongfully include these properties and many others in the 2017 Tax Lien Sale. The move will condemn their owners to crippling financial burdens and then to foreclosure by a private bank — even though state law exempts these organizations from property taxes in the first place. Also on the chopping block: 1,155 vacant lots – spaces the city can develop as-of-right into permanently affordable housing, but will instead sell off for private development.

The ….solution is incredibly simple: the Department of Finance must categorically remove nonprofits and vacant lots from the Tax Lien Sale, starting now.

These properties are…free or nearly free parcels of land that the city can develop at cost and as-of-right for permanent social benefits and maintain in perpetuity. The 2017 Tax Lien Sale will kill every single one of them…

Nonprofit organizations are permanently tax-exempt under state law, but …the city …requires them to go through a byzantine annual process to maintain this status for their properties. Many don’t know that they need to do this, or don’t have the capacity to …. Debt and foreclosure by private banks follows.”

“Neighbors to Save Rivington House” Honored with LES Community Hero Award

From the Lo-Down:

“The awards recognize community members who are “unsung” heroes, in spite of their meaningful contributions to the life of the neighborhood….as part of LES History Month…”

Neighbors to Save Rivington House is one of the ‘heroes’ being awarded (use the link to the Lo-Down above for the other terrific people/organizations being honored).

From N2SaveRH Facebook page:

“We accept in the name of all of the evicted residents, all the elders who are not able to find a place to live that could provide the care they need now, and on behalf of the staff who, with the residents, built a beautiful home here.”

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.‘ – Vaclav Havel


Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou’s First 100 Days Press Conference!

Last week Firday April 28th


May Day Immigrants Rights: Foley Square Today Monday, May 1st at 5pm