Brownsville saw the start of the 6.8-mile-long pipeline’s construction in 2018, and the project quietly progressed toward North Brooklyn where local residents say that they were only recently informed of the plan.
Construction of a 6.8-mile natural gas pipeline stretching from Brownsville to North Brooklyn has hit a wall in Greenpoint, where community leaders and elected officials are vying to halt the project as it reaches its final stage.
The National Grid gas main — which has been in the works since 2017 — would supply fracked gas from Pennsylvania, where the extraction is legal. The controversial practice was banned in New York state in 2014.
On Saturday, a community coalition of environmental advocacy groups, schools, and social justice groups will host a rally at the pipeline’s latest construction site, the intersection of Moore Street and Manhattan Avenue.
“I am familiar with the history of environmental devastation in my neighborhood,” said Kevin LaCherra, a third-generation Greenpointer who is helping organize the rally. “We need our elected officials to be taking bold steps to bring renewables on now.”
The pipeline opponents are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to stop the project on the grounds that it goes against both the state and the city’s clean energy goals.
“This is not the kind of system we want any more,” Kim Fraczek, director of the Sane Energy Project, an environmental advocacy group, told THE CITY. “This industry doesn’t have the interests of the community at heart.”
Their claims are quickly gaining momentum: On Tuesday, Brooklyn’s Community Board 1, which includes Greenpoint, voted unanimously to stop any construction of the pipeline.
Advocates say they have the support of every single elected official who represents North Brooklyn at the state and city level, from City Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso, to State Sen. Julia Salazar and veteran Assemblymember Joe Lentol.
Levin, Reynoso and Lentol all confirmed to THE CITY they oppose the pipeline’s construction, Salazar did not return requests for comment. Continue reading →
More green roofs will be constructed in Greenpoint thanks to a state environmental fund. Today, North Brooklyn’s State Assemblyman Joe Lentol announced a $1.5 million state grant awarded to Broadway Stages in a partnership with Alive Structures to construct a total of 1.4 acres of green roofs at three of their local soundstages.
The success of Kingsland Wildflowers green roof, which opened in 2016, demonstrated a way forward for the North Brooklyn area to transform rooftops at a large scale. In a statement, Assemblyman Lentol said that the green roofs will provide many benefits for the natural environment.
“Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages was a great success and is the perfect example that shows the potential of this project. I am very excited that this grant funded such a great project right here in Greenpoint. It will add green space, improve the environment and provide a natural habitat for countless beneficial insects and birds.”
The Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund initially backed the Kingsland Wildflowers roof that was created through a partnership between the Newtown Creek Alliance, Broadway Stages, Alive Structures and NYC Audubon.
The name Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) is legendary in urban planning and in the last year of her life, Jacobs had a prescient warning about the future of our waterfront in Brooklyn. Her 2005 letter about plans to develop the local waterfront is so timely that it seems like it could have been written today.Jacobs was a revolutionary urbanist and activist whose groundbreaking writings championed a community-based approach to urban development and renewal. Although She had no formal training as a planner, her seminal 1961 work “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” is considered something of a bible amongst urbanists. In the book, Jacobs proposed novel ideas about how cities function, evolve and fail, that were groundbreaking then, but today seem obvious to generations of architects, urban planners, politicians and activists. Once a year in May, her contributions to cities are recalled on Jane’s Day when people around the world organize walks in cities.
In 2005, shortly before her own death, the legendary urbanist weighed in on the renewal of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront in a letter addressed to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She advocated for the adoption of a community-sponsored development plan that was ultimately not adopted. In her letter, she warned that developers outside the community would take advantage of the rezoning of the East River waterfront to serve their own interests by building high rises and by gentrifying the area so that working class people would be pushed out. Jacobs’ letter contrasted the local community’s plan for the area versus the developer-friendly rezoning that ultimately was adopted. 13 years later her warnings have proven valid. It is amazing how timely Jacobs’ letter still feels today. Continue reading →
Beginning at around 9:00 p.m last, night neon blue bursts of light turned the New York City skyline into a pre-apocalyptic backdrop while sending ripples of speculation and awe throughout the city. Con Ed initially said a transformer explosion at the Con Ed power plant in Astoria, Queens (known as the Astoria Generating Station) was the source of the flickering lights in the night’s sky and fortunately, no fatalities resulted.
ADVISORY: The lights you have seen throughout the city appear to have been from a transformer explosion at a Con Ed facility in Queens. The fire is under control, will update as more info becomes available. Follow @fdny, @NYPD114pct and @conedison. pic.twitter.com/fdzQKs1wVV
I love this time of year when Fall starts trickling in and warm sunny days are tempered with a little bit of crisp in the air. So last week, when Mother Earth granted us a couple of these perfect days, I decided to work outside and stepped into Transmitter Park, where I was met by a gargantuan illustration of a girl donning traditional Polish socks, in peaceful repose, holding daisies that have lost a few petals that are blowing away. The image though large, blends in unassumingly with the quiet midday scene of the park and is reminiscent of an idyllic innocent childhood. At times like this, it’s hard to remember that just a few years ago, this part of Greenpoint was slammed by Hurricane Sandy and we have been experiencing some erratic behavior with the weather since.
You don’t need to study scientific evidence to know that climate change is real. However subtle or extreme it is in the way it manifests itself in our daily lives, its presence is often like an elephant in the room and we carry on with the same habits even after being shaken up by a natural disaster. I wonder if Transmitter Park will recede with rising sea levels and the days of dipping out of the office to soak in the sun and enjoy the cityscape are numbered. I think about unusually warm winter days and how it felt unsettling. Appreciation of the moment’s beauty sinks in and I gain a renewed sense of urgency that something needs to be done. Continue reading →
It wouldn’t be a summer weekend without a whole boatload o’ stuff to do, now would it? Here are some music events to check out, plus we catch up with the latest songs, videos, and offerings from local artists. Continue reading →