What’s Happening? (5/9-5/13)

Remember to check our calendar for even more events. And you can submit event, too!

♫ Social Media In Music Panel Discussion @ The Yard (33 Nassau Ave.) 7-9pm, Tatiana Simonian (Twitter), Benjamin Jacobs of (Fool’s Gold) Jonathan Pardo (Free Association Management), and Brandon Martinez (INDMusic)
♦ Drawings by Leszek Knaflewski @ Cleopatra Greenpoint (110 Meserole Ave) 7-9pm, the first US exhibition of drawings by Poznań based artist Leszek Knaflewski, part of an expanded series of works on paper produced during his involvement with the influential collective Koło Klipsa, More info

• Newtown Creek Monitor Committee Meeting @ DEP (329 Greenpoint Ave) 6:30-8:30pm, The committee works with DEP to address odors, noise, dust, and other impacts related to the facility, More info
♦ Cage Transmitted @ Triple Canopy (155 Freeman St.) 7pm, $5, Robert Whitman’s performs Inside Out and screening of John Cage’s An Alphabet, More info
♫ Rolling Thunder @ Manhattan Inn (632 Manhattan Ave) 11pm, a night of Country and Southern Rock
♫ In Honor of MCA: Beastie Bowl @ Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave) FREE, 8pm, In honor of MCA, we’re screening “Awesome! I F*ckin Shot That”, directed by Adam Yauch, on all screens with full concert sound.

♦ We Have Relocated To Our New Location @ Picture Farm (338 Wythe Ave.) 6-9pm, A group show of fine art editions printed and published by Kayrock Screenprinting, More info
• Improve Yourself with AJ Jacobs and Gretchen Rubin @ Word (126 Franklin St) 7pm, What does it take to become the healthiest person on earth, and how happy does it make you in the long run? Jacobs will also read from the book, and both authors will take questions and sign.
♦ Street Shadows @ One Stop Beer Shop (134 Kingsland Ave) 7-10pm, Chris Smith aka ‘subtexture’ is bringing the light and shadows of Greenpoint onto the walls of the One-stop Beer shop

* Brooklyn Food Conference @ Brooklyn Tech HS (29 Fort Greene Place) 9am-6pm, FREE, Food activists, local farmers, academics, restaurateurs and health advocates and all those interested in food justice will gather to discuss the global food economy and its impact on our lives.
♦ Queens Museum RIDGEWOOD Art Crawl, 3-10pm, You know that part of town you thought was Bushwick… well, Actually, It’s Ridgewood. Help us set the record straight by celebrating Queens’ newest art community with a little bit of history, a lot of art, and the perfect amount of drink, More info
♫ Third Ear Training @ Newtown Barge Playground, 2pm, Free, Welcome the warm weather as we bring you one more time their “Intelligent Electronic Music For Well Trained Ears”. Come with your family, friends, kids, dogs, fresbies, blankets or just your dancing feet, More info
♫ Red Hook Ramblers/Rob Kendt/Holler! @ Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St) 4-10pm, More info
♫ Pleasure Island @ Spike Hill (186 Bedford Ave) 8pm, Ghost Beach/Triple Cobra/Frogg/Lushes

Sunday – 5/13 – MOTHER’S DAY!

* Greenpointers’ Pick
♫ Music
♥ Pheremones Likely
♦ Art Event

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Superfunding The Newtown Creek

Over a year ago, on September 27, 2010, the EPA opened a new chapter on the ongoing saga of our polluted waterway by designating the Newtown Creek a federally recognized Superfund Site. This program, which allocates federal money towards research and remediation and aggressively pursues polluters for subsequent remuneration, is contentious because it carries a powerful stigma; however, being on the Superfund list provides our neighborhood with powerful tools for improvement.

A year later, on October 25th, the EPA invited members of the public to an information session to educate locals on the upcoming plans for the creek.  At the meeting I was told to keep an eye on the website, where data and announcements will be made public.   Officials also informed me that studies into the physical geography of the waterway are set to begin next spring, including bathymetry to determine the exact geometry of the waterway and acoustic studies to find sunken obstructions, among others.

Following these will be chemical analyses to determine the exact nature of the contamination and identify areas that may still be leaching pollutants into the waterway.  Interestingly – perhaps suspiciously – these studies will be conducted by firms hired and paid for by the polluters themselves, though this will of course be under EPA scrutiny and direction.

Perhaps the most interesting information I learned was that this process involves coming up with a general cost for the pre-remediation studies – in this case, 25 million dollars for the studies alone, only 5 million short of what the entire remediation effort costs at the average Superfund site – and then leaving it up to the identified polluters to decide amongst themselves who is responsible for what portion of that cost and to fund the studies themselves.  The degree to which individual companies are held financially responsible is based in part on their contributions to the pollution and in part on their ability to pay; the EPA avoids bankrupting companies in pursuing remediation funding.

This is a long process, and we shouldn’t expect remediation to begin for at least 5-7 years.  I was told – hesitantly, and in no uncertain terms that this was only the widest of estimates – that the cost of remediation would be around 500 million at the absolute minimum.  Ours is what the EPA terms a regional “megasite” due to the nature, extent, and history of contamination.  It’s a dubious honor, to be sure.

This process will prove pivotal to the future of our neighborhood, so be sure to keep a close eye on the EPA website for updates and future public meetings.  If you have additional questions, contact these EPA representatives for more information:

Caroline Kwan-Appelman
Remedial Project Manager – General questions
Phone: (212) 637-4275
Email: [email protected]

Michael A. Mintzer
Assistant Regional Counsel – Legal questions
Phone:  (212) 637-3168
Email:  [email protected]

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