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Open Thread

Here is something that is worth a shot trying… an Open Thread (open conversation).

Comment below about anything you want to bring up, to discuss, or want GerritsenBeach.net to cover.

63 comments to Open Thread

  • trainman

    GB.NET great idea.

    I would like to discuss the upcoming mayoral race here in New York City.

    As someone who voted for Mr. Bloomberg in the last two elections, I like to voice my very strong objections for the way he is circumventing the will of the people (twice) to limit the mayor’s and city Comptroller’s office to two terms. By doing so, he essentially stripped of us of our voting rights as residents of New York City.
    Because of the recession, while most people are feeling a pinch in their wallets, our mayor, who apparently lost touch with the working class people in the city, solution is to keep raising taxes for the working class like parking meters, sales tax, tolls and real estate essentially compounding the dire straits many people are in, at the present time.

    I for one will not vote for any incumbent officeholder who voted to extend their term limits to three terms. I would also like to hear from anyone who disagrees with my points of view and is willing to explain to me why we should not be upset about how Mr. Bloomberg in conjunction with the city Council, is refusing to respect the will of the majority of New York City voters.

    • anon

      @trainman, I agree 100%!!! most people will vote for him anyway but I know my family will not!

      • neighbor

        @anon, I don’t think the problem is that people like us will vote for Bloomberg, it is that they will not vote at all.

    • @trainman, Ive been noticing alot of concern over this election… you are not alone.

      I was thinking about doing something local here with the race for the city councils 49th, there are a few people running in for Lew Fidlers seat. I was thinking about having some sort of debate. Maybe just what they submitted to the voters guide. Maybe something more… maybe a quick video interview. What do you think about that?

      • trainman

        Thanks for the replies.
        I think the more information we as voters have the better prepared we are to choose the people who will best represent us as voters.
        I also agree with anon that most voters will vote for Mr. Bloomberg anyway but that’s because, generally speaking, most people have a short attention span and that’s why we need to talk about these issues all the way up to the election. We should not let people forget the appalling behavior our politicians have been demonstrating lately, not only in this city but in Albany as well.

    • LQuinlan

      @trainman, Good topic, trainman. I’m in agreement that Bloomberg needs to recognize that his time is up. Unfortunately, the media is in his pocket and you don’t get to hear much about those who are dissatisfied.

      The mayor claims to have made such great strides in education with mayoral control when, in actuality, he and Klein have manipulated the statistics to make them look far more impressive than they really are. It’s never been as ridiculously expensive to live in this city and it’s the working class bearing the brunt of it. Bloomberg cuts essential personnel like the NYPD and the NYFD but his “consultants” flown in from England and Australia make $200,000/ yr. plus living expenses. The News and the Post are full of glowing endorsements yet the average New Yorker, particularly in the outer boroughs, has had enough.

      Let’s not settle- there *is* a choice. I’ll be doing my research on both Tony Avella and Bill Thompson and I hope others will too. We need to encourage the people that we know not to accept the status quo.

      • GBProud

        Bill Thopson is worth a long look. Mayor Mike has given it bad to labor in NYC. He would not let Rudy stay for 4 months after 9/11, why should he have another 4 years?

      • bagels

        @LQuinlan, I have to agree with most of the above comments. My real estate taxes have increased by $800 for the year 2009 which makes the my RE tax almost $3500 per year for a 20 X100 piece of property in Marine Park Then, there’s the increase in the water bills. But I guess, in Bloomberg’s world, it’s all good because the tourists can smoke their cigars while lounging on a lawn chair in the middle of Broadway.

      • Andy

        @LQuinlan, Bloomberg has been forcing the Middle Class of this city leaving it it to the very rich and the very poor. Enough is enough.

    • Kate

      @trainman, A Bloomberg pollster came to my house last week & said I would absolutely not vote for Bloomberg. (I was also a huge supporter.) The pollster asked my reasons. Besides what you have all already stated, there is the danger of the 911 Universal Call Center.

      In the past when you called 911 & stated you had a fire or fire-related emergency, they put you through to a Fire Dispatcher in the borough you were calling from and the Dispatcher (trained to be familiar with the borough and the fire companies in the area) would ask relevant questions so that they could send an appropriate response.

      Now, 911 operators (in one central location & probably unfamiliar with your area) answer the call, take whatever address & phone number are given, and enter them in a computer with whatever shorthand version of the caller’s story they decide to enter.

      You can ask, “How much training does someone need to enter an address in a computer?” But it is more than that. A fire dispatcher in the Bronx will be familiar with the streets and areas of the Bronx, but a 911 operator who lives in Staten Island and works at the UCC in downtown Brooklyn probably will not. There are different kinds of fire engines. Depending on the building itself they may need to send appropriate vehicles & personnel.

      It is a danger to the public and it is a danger to the fire personnel.

    • Anonymous


      • trainman

        While I consider myself an independent and have heard and agreed with many points of view of third party candidates, unfortunately the only choices we have are between Republicans and Democrats. They seem to get the lion share of campaign funds. My concern about voting for a third party at this time will allow the front runner, in this case Mayor Bloomberg, to receive the majority of votes and insuring a third turn. I am not familiar with Mr. Thompson’s campaign yet but I plan to continue to research his campaign platform further. With all honesty, the way I feel now, I would vote for any candidate that has a chance at defeating Mr. Bloomberg. By allowing Mr. Bloomberg to be reelected would only encourage more of this kind of hypocrisy.

  • ann

    Want to register my daughter for Starz dance center, but have been hearing mixed things? Can anyone make any recommendations?

    • Jim

      My daughter went to” Dance With Me” on Quentin Rd and East 35 St (?) and had a great time. Nice owners
      and the dance recital was done very well.

    • Anonymous

      @ann, I would check out Dance With Me on Quentin Road an E32nd or so, My daughter danced there for 2 years (we moved) and they were excellent. They also have a nice summer program, you may want to give them a call.

    • Anonymous

      my daughter was in starz i have nothing good to say about it. the owner/teacher is a nasty woman and at the recital my child was mistreated back stage! was told by several backstage moms! not to mention the school they have the recital in is not air conditioned. i did then go to dance with me and had a GREAT experience there, they have better teachers, more classes and all their dance steps aren’t the same thing repeated over and over! and they hold their recital in Kingsborough, very comfortable and air conditioned!

  • pc

    Since I live out of state, but grew up in GB, I just wanted to say thanks to this forum for always keeping those of us not in GB up to date on what is happening.
    I still want to know if the grammar of the wonderful mural at P.S. 277 will be corrected? Has anyone noticed it is grammatically incorrect?

  • American for a non-socialist America

    Obama’s embrace of Socialism is disgusting. Just how many thousands of people died fighting for this country, defending freedom? Do you think any of them thought they were defending a future Socialist America?? His Health Care reform, his Government Mandated Health Care Plan, is the definition of socialism to a tee. Do you wanna pay for everyone else in this country who chooses to not have a normal responsible, hardworking life? Redistribution of Wealth. The definition of Socialism. This country, and the ideals and beliefs it was founded on, is taking a serious turn for the worse under this guy.


    • LQuinlan

      @American for a non-socialist America, I’ll go along with this health care reform as soon as Obama and all members of Congress agree to have the exact same coverage as the average American will have. Why is what’s “good enough” for us not good enough for them?

    • trainman

      @American for a non-socialist America,

      I think it would be impossible for any politician, local or national, who would satisfy everyone’s interpretation of what’s good for this country. You talk about socialism as a new phenomenon in America . I think if you talk to anyone over the ages 65 and receiving Social Security, would take except to that statement. We have been drifting into a socialist state for decades under the guise of free enterprise. Some examples are:

      96% of the TV and radio stations are now owned by six people/corporations.

      Where is the free enterprise?

      Four corporations control over 90% of the food production in this country.
      They also control the ingredients in the food we eat.

      Where is the free enterprise?

      Since the year 2000, through mergers and acquisitions, we went from 15 oil companies doing business in this country to 7.
      We all witnessed the extreme hikes in oil prices since the mergers.

      Where is the free enterprise?

      Unless you are a civil servant and receiving medical coverage with taxpayer’s dollars, you have witnessed your health care premiums tripling in the last 15 years. During the last 15 years many of the health-care companies merged and went from nonprofit (under government oversight) to profit driven companies. A good example is Blue Cross Blue Shield, a nonprofit, purchased by a national conglomerate a little over 14 years ago and then applied for a for-profit status in Albany and received the go-ahead with little or no public announcement. The results was a $2 billion tax windfall for the state paid by raising Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s premiums which was then passed right along to you and me.

      Where is the free enterprise?

      In 1994 federal statistics showed that the average personal inheritance nationally was $39,000. In 2006, the most recent survey, showed that personal inheritance nationally is down to $29,000. Those statistics are the true barometer to what’s happening to the wealth and stability of US citizens because of the monopolization of American industry.

      • LQuinlan

        @trainman, I’m not sure if those inheritance figures have anything to do with monopolies or not. I do think that we’re seeing our parents living longer and the cost of living increasing which would tend to use up reserves. I don’t know if it really can be pinned on the monopolization of American industry.

        • trainman

          About a year ago the New York Times ran an in-depth piece on bankruptcies in response to Washington passing a bill curtailing the parameters of which people would be entitled to claim bankruptcy. The bill was said to be in response to many people spending and borrowing much more money than they could have a payback and I guess the banking lobbyists in Washington persuaded our legislators to pass a bill making it much harder to claim bankruptcy. The study went on to survey just who was claiming bankruptcy at the time and surprisingly an overwhelming amount of bankruptcies were because medical bills and not frivolous spending.
          I mentioned monopolization because it’s a proven fact that without competition there is no incentive to please the customer. Did you ever wonder why a box of cereal could cost over five dollars a pound? The reason is simple. Check the labels and you’ll see that over 90% of the cereals are owned by just three companies. Just imagine for a minute what the price of a box of cereal would be if there were 30 companies competing for your business.

          • LQuinlan

            @trainman, That’s what they said about the phone company too, way back when. Even with all of these new choices, our bills have dome nothing but skyrocket. It doesn’t matter how many companies you have, eventually, they’ll all be required to follow the same rules which cost everyone the same amount and in the end, the price difference becomes negligible.

            I’m going to look into those bankruptcy figures. It’s been my experience when helping family members with their bills that doctors and hospitals are more than willing to work with patients to reduce the bill and work out payment plans. I think catastrophic medical costs have been inflated for media purposes.

  • Anonymous

    Obama won, get over it. Bush was a disaster.

  • Anonymous

    My opinion is Social Security, unemployment insurance and workers compensation were all considered socialist in their day. The right to form unions also was and was even considered communist. Where would the working man be without these things? One day the health plan could be thought of in the same way.

    • LQuinlan

      @, Social Security didn’t preclude other pension plans as a means living after retirement. In fact, it was never meant to be the sole source of income. Unless I am able to opt out of the government’s health plan as are members of Congress, I’m not interested. Unfortunately, I’ll probably still be required to pay into it, which is yet another way of screwing the working class.

      Having the government decide which procedures are worthy of paying for and which patient deserves them rather than the patient and the physician is frightening. If you don’t believe me, talk to a diabetic in England who requires a kidney transplant- not cost effective. Women in Britain are not “invited” to have a Pap smear until they are 23 years old, long after they might have already been exposed to sexually transmitted diseases that cause cervical cancer. Just because everyone will be entitled to care doesn’t guarantee that it will be *good* care. Just look at how well Medicaid is administered.

      • trainman

        You mentioned health care in England as being inadequate. I have had personal experience with their medical system a few years back. A member of my family while on vacation spent five days in a hospital in Ireland (same universal health-care as England). The personal care was excellent but the technical side was lacking. We had to wait four days for a CAT scan and results and when I requested an MRI they told me it would be an additional eight days to run the tests. By US standards that would be completely unacceptable. But I think you’re comparing apples and oranges here. In Europe the health-care system is run by the government, owned by the government and staffed by government employees. Here it will be privately owned similar to the way Medicare/Medicaid is Run. The key to the success of universal health care here is competition. If we don’t have many companies competing with each other then the consumer suffers.

        (Anonymous) suggest that the reason people have less money today is that there gambling it away. Recent federal statistics show that 50% of all personal bankruptcies are cause by medical expenses and many of these people claiming bankruptcy also had medical insurance at that time that was grossly inadequate either because their employer provided very poor coverage or the individuals could not afford coverage that included catastrophic illnesses. I’m not a fan of nationalize medical coverage I’d much rather have the medical coverage I had 15 years ago but because of the monopolization of the medical industry, thus lack of competition, good medical coverage is becoming too expensive for the average working family. We need to do something before we all go broke.

        • LQuinlan

          @trainman, Insurance companies will not survive to compete if there isn’t a profit to be made, leaving only those with a lot of money able to get quality coverage. If it’s anything like Medicaid & Medicare with the gov’t setting reimbursement rather than what treatment actually costs, there is no incentive for top students to waste their time in med school and pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of student loans. Other countries slide by with with lesser quality because they are able to learn from treatments and medications innovated and funded by US universities and pharmaceutical companies. Don’t expect that to continue if medicine is nationalized.

          I’d need to look up those statistics. I find it really hard to believe that HALF of all bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses but I suppose anything is possible. I have pretty good insurance, maybe not as good as 10 years ago and our co-pays and deductibles have certainly risen. We pay a pretty penny for coverage, even with some paid by my husband’s employer and we could have chosen a cheaper plan but I like to be the one making decisions regarding my family’s health and I’m willing to pay for it- within reason. I will resent having to pay into a national plan plus my own or possibly, not being able to afford my own anymore.

          Everywhere I look, politicians are trying to homogenize us into one entity. Let’s all have the same crappy coverage rather than those who work for it able to choose. The DOE wants to eliminate gifted and talented programs to have children perform at the same level, regardless of their potential. The media would like us to all think and say only that which is acceptable- free speech only if what you have to say is popular. I’m starting to feel that I’ve stepped into a 1950’s sci-fi film.

          • trainman

            A few years back the federal government passed a bill curtailing personal bankruptcies because they felt that too many people were using that loophole to avoid paying their debt because of frivolous spending. The New York Times ran a piece investigating bankruptcies and that’s where that statistic came from. You can check the New York Times archives, I’m sure those articles are still available.

            You agreed with me that 10 years ago our medical coverage was more affordable than it is today. What makes you think the cost of medical coverage has stopped rising? Who knows where it will be 5 or 10 years from now. I haven’t seen any evidence that the cost of medical care is peeking and the worst is over, have you? What percent of your income are you willing to pay before you would support national health-care? I certainly agree that this is not the best of solutions but unfortunately for too many people it will be their only option.

          • LQuinlan

            @trainman, I sympathize with those who have no insurance but in the big picture, they’re a pretty small percentage. Most citizens are eligible for some type of coverage, either public or private. Others actually choose not to have insurance in the hope that they’ll never need it. There is a group that is seriously underinsured- young adults too old for their parents plans but not covered on their own. Many are eligible for state insurance but some are not.

            Take a look at the education system. Each NYC public school student is allotted over $12,000! Education at many excellent private schools is less than that. Why aren’t public schools turning out super scholars at those prices? If most people knew the waste in the DOE budget, they’d understand that it’s usually a mistake to have the government run most things. Their reimbursements will drive quality physicians out of medicine.

    • Jeff

      @Anonymous (12:24 pm) You are so very right – Social Security, unemployment insurance and workers compensation, unions were all considered socialist in their day. IMHO, adherence to any strict economic philosophy can only lead to disaster. Now that the ‘invisible hand’ of the god all these wall street clowns worship smacks down their house of cards, they’ve begun the spin that union members have unfair and unreasonable pensions, universal health care (not their corporate greed) will bankrupt the country and lead it to the brink. At the same time however, some ultra liberals fail to acknowledge the positive results and demand for school choice.

      We need to have a third party because we’re being ruled by two extremes and a middle that is sold to the highest paying lobbyist.

  • Anonymous

    I think the inheritance of Americans is being gambled away in slot machines.



    • Anonymous

      @GBMOM, Did they win!? GB.net didnt post about it!

      • GBMOM


      • LQuinlan

        @, Lots of people were planning to leave on vacation last Friday. Maybe many on the other team had plans. Congratulations to the kids…hope they have a great summer.

  • Anonymous

    I have an issue….now that it is summer (not that it matters the season) how about anyone young or old who drives ANY type of motor vehicle take notice of your speed driving down the streets of the neighborhood! It is totally uncalled for to be exceeding the limit. And I am not talking about the avenue. I mean the courts, I live on one and my street is crowded with little kids trying to play and people seem to be in some damn rush these days and feel the need to speed down it all day and night. It isn’t smart nor is it safe Think before doing this people, there is ALOT to lose and nothing to gain by doing so. I know I don’t wanna hear of any poor child trying to play getting mowed over by someone who just doesn’t have the sense to drive slowly.

    • Kate

      @, Hear Hear!

      • Beachwalker

        @Kate, Yes, and how about actually coming to a stop at the stop sign, before the sidewalk in the old section. Cars come shooting out of the courts, over the sidewalks. Please slow down and watch out for the kids!

  • Anonymous

    I have been seeing a group of 5 or 6 young black males around 19-20 years old who have been hanging out on Lois and abbey court , I have seen them at different times of the day,also in a large Expensive SUV parked on Lois Avenue late in the evening. I have seen a couple them as early as 7A.M. as far as I know I don ‘t believe that they live here and they don’t appear to be visiting anyone so …is this now becoming a hang out??

    • annonymous

      @Anonymous, I recently saw them pulling out of one of the new section courts onto Everett Ave. in the large yellow hummer. Didn’t look like the driver was too concerned watching where the truck was going or how fast it came out of the street onto that ave.

  • Anon-Anon

    Re: Open thread topic thought.

    I have something that I was curious about for years and years. Maybe there is someone out there that can help answer.

    The question is: How did the streets in Gerritsen Beach actually get their names? Were they named after people, places, etc., etc.? Just a thought to possibly open up a new discussion. Tx.

    • LQuinlan

      @Anon-Anon, That’s a great idea. I wonder if anyone knows the origins.

      I’d also like someone from the beach to clear up the pronunciation of “Devon” for me. I lived in Gerritsen Beach for about four years and I assumed it was Dev’on. A friend who was born there always said Dee’-Von. Which is it?

  • Anonymous

    Frank Dictum Florence Aster

  • Anonymous

    I have to say I love your pictures and news, more importantly your pictures of everything.

  • Anonymous

    I noticed that the Gerritsen Beach team was playing tonite on the Pony League field. Is there any way that you or someone could post a schedule of games. It’s a shame that the games aren’t more heavily attended and I would like to go out and root for the kids representing the neighborhood.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone remember PS 277 park in the 1970’s how bad it was, people were talking about how the kids are hanging out at the skate park now,smoking pot and drinking I lived near 277 park back than and I remember the needles in the kiddie pool , the cars and car service cars stopping there all night long with people getting out buying drugs, and jumping back in the cars and speeding away, how one night while walking my dog I saw one of our neighbors kids who was selling drugs hiding the drugs in one of the garbage cans by the park until someone wanted to buy. The all night parties,blasting music and building fires behind the school,sometimes right against the back wall of 277, how my barbecue grill was stolen for one of those all night drug and drinking parties. So when we talk about the skate park and the kids now growing up , how fast we forget how bad the kids were 30+ years ago.

  • Found Dog

    Found today, small tan dog, looks like Toto from the Wizard of Oz. Has a nice haircut, obviously loved. Great disposition. About 8 yrs. old. Hanging around Nova Ct. all day, lost. Please Call 718-891-3342

  • bagels

    I hate to resurrect the wood chip issue but is it legal for the public to take some of it for their own gardens? I have been battling english (aka evil) ivy for the last couple of years and if I put down a thick layer of mulch I may be able to control it.

  • bagels

    I don’t know about anyone else but I am being deluged with calls and mailings from Verizon about FIOS. Does anyone have this?

    • Anonymous

      @bagels, I am getting numerous calls and mailings about Fios and I am considering it some friends have it and they claim it costs less combined than the 3 separate companies I am using now for internet, cable and telephone. I would also like to know if anyone likes it.

  • Hello!

    I am new to this forum and look forward to making some new friends

    so how is everyone doing?? :)