Gerritsen Beach residents and business and community members turned out for the annual tree-lighting ceremony at St. James.
The lighting is a volunteer effort led by the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association. During the ceremony, guests enjoyed a visit from Santa, and music from the Gerritsen Beach Community Marching Band and Resurrection Children Choir.
Unlike last year there was no yelling. There was no screaming. Just regular property owner business.
61 Precinct Report
1 Stolen Vehicle.
Halloween was successful because of the Help of Gerritsen Beach. Thank you to George and Gerritsen Beach for making this successful. St. James opened their doors to the officers to use the facilities. We will be doing this every year to make sure this will not be a problem again. There were two arrests and summonses written.
There was some question about the boundary line and why sometimes there is a jurisdiction problem. 61 Sgt Carty explained that we need to get the boundary line out of your minds and that no matter the emergency the police department will have to handle these jobs. He was given two specific examples. 1) A four car accident where there was a very long response time. 2) The GBCares containers were burglarized again. They had a 5 hour response time with the 61 and 63 passing the responsibility as someone waited for a response.
Green Water in Creek
Everyone that lives on the water and in the area saw a very strange Green in the water. Someone who used to work at the plant said it is very possible that a green dye was used to trace a line.
Little League Walkway
GBCares on behalf of the little league sent out a letter requesing money & support to repair the walkway before the September 11th memorials. When Parks was asked after the letter was sent out, Parks denied their request to do the work unless an architect drew up plans. This did not allow the completion on time. There was some discussion about why the PO was writing out checks to GBCares and not the Little League. The PO has a $250 limit on checks they can write to organizations. There was some confusion and discussion about two separate $250 checks to gbcares about the walkway that have no been delivered and another third unwritten check for Halloween festival.
Proposed ByLaws Changes
Voted against lowering the meetings from 12 to 10 meetings a year
Voted against lowering the requirement for officers from 6 to 3 meetings.
Community Tree Lighting
December 3 @ 6pm Rain Date: December 4 Resurrection Children’s choir will perform
From the reports of last years Halloween, it looks like we might need to buy, umbrellas, or riot gear! I vote for neither. How about you?
The Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association is requesting volunteers to walk around Halloween afternoon and night. They are counting on supportive members like you to help us all have a safe Halloween. Can you help?
Your time and effort will not only help us keep the neighborhood safe but also help us build a better image of our community!
The association is also requesting that everyone remain vigilant and calm. No one should take matters into their own hands and anyone walking around trick or treating to be follow Halloween safety and to call 911 if they see any mischief.
If you are interested, have questions, concerns, or just want more details call George at 917-538-4415
G.G.R.M.M.B.B.R. - Great Gerritsen Round Mau Mau Barrell of Beer Race.
We haven’t done a Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association roundup in a while because there hasn’t been anything to talk about. So here are the cliff notes.
Kiddie Beach is wrapping up the season, congrats to all.
Racoons - are overwhelming some areas of the beach. Especially the areas with an abandoned lot or home. The city does not acknowledge a raccoon problem nor do they have any actionable plan or advice. The responsibility is on the home owner. However, if you see “rats” in an empty lot or abandoned home the city will come in clean it up a bit and bill it to the property. Call 311.
Hurricane Irene- Rumor is they shut down the Knapp sewer plant which could be to blame for the sewer backups into homes. People were opening sewer caps, sewer manholes to try and get rid of water with no success.
17 Lacon Court (aka Jemal) – The DOB has already issued $13,300 in violations with three more about to go into default judgment. They are on top of the situation but they do not know who the owner is, as their violations notices are being returned. There is A LOT of stuff going on there, expect an update soon.
Dangerous & Damaged Utility Poles – No one is having luck getting action dangerous or damaged utility poles as each company Verizon, ConEd, and NYC passes the blame to each other. Some have reported it reported it to 311, others the 61 precinct, and one has gone to every city office ten times to demand action.
Little League Walkway, Scoreboard, Containers - GBCares sent out a letter on behalf of the Gerritsen Beach Little League asking for $500 monetary donations from organizations to repair the cement walkway, paint the scoreboard, paint the containers, and plant flowers around the flag pole in time for the 9/11 ceremony. Everything is done except the cementing, which is awaiting an architect plans to be filed with nyc parks. GBPOA plans on donating the full amount.
Flag Vandalism - Most of the flags at the Little League were vandalized breaking the poles and brackets those will be replaced.
Seba Traffic Light- No one knows when it is switching on. Seba will be a flashing red (aka a stop light), while Gerritsen will remain green.
9/11 Ceremonies - Marine Park at 5:00pm, Gerritsen Beach Little Leauge 7:00 pm
Halloween - Halloween is coming (again) some members of the GBPOA will be walking the streets. A few plan on attending the 61 & 63 council meetings to demand an actual response.
Installation has started of the flashing yellow traffic signal that was promised on Gerritsen Avenue. Yesterday, the Department of Transportation, ran the conduit for the power for the poles approximatively 150 feet away from actual intersection of Gerritsen and Channel Avenues.
This effectively kills any chance for a full (red, yellow, green) traffic signal at the actual intersection.
Last year, for the upteenth time, the property owners requested a new traffic study for Channel and Gerritsen to try and get a full traffic signal. At the time, it possibly could have been funded though Anthony Wieners “Green Streets” money. However, when the traffic study came back we did not qualify for the full traffic signal. The in and out (North/South) traffic was good enough but from Channel to Gerritsen (East/West) was not.
The association then proposed a flashing yellow signal, the thought being, that although it might help, it was more important to get the DOT to install everything: the power, poles, etc because then it would be a very easy switch for a full traffic signal.
Then without a community input or any type of presentation, the DOT started work 150 feet away from the actual intersection completely backfiring on the original plan. Now it seems like any hope for any type of full traffic signal at Channel has died.
The Gerritsen Beach Property Owner’s Association closed its normally public monthly meeting to the press and non-members last week, making good on a promise it made in the wake of a local blogger’s unflattering coverage of the neighborhood.
At last month’s meeting, outraged parents demanded the meetings be closed after local blogger Dan Cavanagh reported on their children’s Halloween rampage on Gerritsen Avenue, where a city bus, several cars, and passersby were ambushed by egg and potatoes.
“Cavanagh’s unscrewing the community,” said Renee Cullen at the meeting. “He makes the community look like garbage. He has all of us arguing with each other, and he just sits behind a computer screen and laughs at us.”
It was that attitude that led to this months lock out.
But the move didn’t sit well with association president George Broadhead, who said he couldn’t attend the meeting because he had a previous engagement, but who nonetheless was against the restriction.
“I’m all for transparency,” Broadhead told this paper. “But there is an executive board and it was their decision to close the meeting to members only. They’re within their rights.”
On paper, perhaps: because the group, which dates back to 1922, has never received public funding, it can legally close their meetings to the public. In fact at one time residents had to show membership cards before being allowed entry.
But meetings have been open to the public for at least the last decade — ever since the group began asking elected officials and the NYPD to attend so they can discuss issues of concern in the community.
Last week, the Association took a draconian approach to their invite list: the executive board wanted to lock out everyone who wasn’t consider an ‘A’ member, or a homeowner. The Association considers Gerritsen Beach residents who rent ‘B’ members.
Yet according to Gerritsenbeach.net — the blog who’s posts about the neighborhood prompted the Association to circle their wagons — the board ultimately opened the meeting to all members.
Gerritsenbeach.net was not allowed inside, noted Cavanagh, even though he’s a resident.
“Groups like this should do their business in public unless there is a compelling reason not to,” Cavanagh wrote in his post. “And an inability to be open when people are watching is no such reason.”
Speaking anonymously, a person claiming to be a member of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owner’s Association member said he expects the meetings will be open to the public in the near future.
“Many of the residents want to keep things to themselves, but they have to realize that with all the information that’s on the Internet, it’s impossible to do that.”
Besides, a meeting just isn’t a meeting without a visit from Councilman Lew Fidler!
“I don’t know if [keeping the meetings closed to the public] is a permanent policy change … at least I hope its not,” Fidler (D-Marine Park) said. “When you close your meeting room and say you don’t want videotaping inside, it means you say one thing in public and another in private.”
Gerritsen Beach residents and business and community members turned out for the annual tree-lighting ceremony at St. James.
The lighting event, on Dec. 11, was a volunteer effort led by the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association. During the ceremony, guests enjoyed a visit from Santa, and music from the Gerritsen Beach Community Marching Band.
The next Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association meeting will be closed to the public and only open to A members.
Because the group, which dates back to 1922, has never received public funding and is not a non-profit, it can legally close their meetings. However, actions speak louder than words. The group acts and intends to be a local civic organization and this is a dangerous slippery slope they are headed down. They intend to have the community come to them with issues that can be voiced and hashed out in public. If the meeting is closed the public will not be able to voice their concerns and be heard. Similar election meetings have occurred previously without closing the meeting.
Since Halloween subsequent meetings in the community are critical. There are other important issues that need to be addressed or discussed such as the traffic light, marine park having a possible high school, all of the homes currently under construction.
There is no reason for anyone to be less than candid just because the public is watching.
OK, rant over. Forgive me a little righteous indignation. I believe that the Property Owners is retaliating against the community and reporters because of a video that surfaced of last meeting. Despite promises of transparency and a member vote, they are closing the meeting. Groups like this should do their business in public unless there is a compelling reason not to. And an inability to be open when people are watching is no such reason.
Update: (12/2/2010 – After Meeting) Sticking to their guns the Property Owners half closed the meeting. They actually uninvited elected officials and the local precinct from the meeting. They have gone on the record saying that if elected and police were in attendance it is a public meeting. However they did not follow through as any one who wanted to was also to attend the meeting. Non-members as well as A and B members were in attendance in the meeting no one was asked to leave. It was discussed that GerritsenBeach.net – specifically – cannot record meetings anymore.
One interesting item was discussed but it’s like a tree falling in the woods. If no one is around to hear it – did it make a sound?
Seba Avenue Skate Park is expanding again.Parks recently held a meeting at Councilman Lew Fidlers office with George Broadhead of the Property Owners and John Douglas of GBCares. They were invited to see the new plans and offer their input.
We will be getting a new general asphalt field on the right side of the park more toward Lois. The new asphalt MAY end up being used for roller hockey WITH nets. That’s a huge maybe right now. This won’t be started until Spring of 2012.
Here is where we are now.
Right now as we speak – a Parks contractor is building the comfort station. Then after that is completed Parks is going to expanded the Tot Lot with sprinklers. This is nothing new.
As for the existing Asphalt which is the middle ground for the Skate Park and Tot lot – that will be replaced with swings: 8 Child 8 Young 1 Handicap. Project completion date: Fall of 2012
GerritsenBeach.net Epic Time-line
September 2006 – Construction Begins
October 2006 Groundbreaking Ceremony
June 2007 - Equipment Installed
July 2007 - Skate Park Being used by Kids
August 2007 - Park fences repaired
November 2007 - Seba Park Open
February 2008 - 12 Trees snapped. One Bench removed.
March 2008 - Comfort Station Announced
June 2008 - Trees replaced
July 2008 - Seba Avenue Park covered in graffiti.
August 2008 - graffiti cleaned up.
February 2009 - Drug problem at park peaks.
February 2009 - NYPD narcotics crack down.
March 2009 - Fire Destroys part of park
April 2009 - Repairs started
October 2009 - Sprinklers announced
December 2009 - 20 Benches stolen
December 2009 - Benches found. Newspapers call it biased incident.
January 2010 - Plans for phase II shown Swings announced.
February 2010 - Crackdown on vandalism. Fidler pushes for arrests.
March 2010 - Benches repaired or reinstalled.
May 2010 - Comfort Station construction begins
July 2010 - “Gun” used by outside kids to intimidate locals. Was a BB Gun
September 2010 - New Asphalt Expansion announced. Swings replaned.
After Beacon Court received dozens of parking violations for wrong way parking. Many people were angry and contacted GerritsenBeach.net who put the residents in touch with the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Assocation and Lew Fidlers office. After our story and subsequent phone calls the Property Owners personally invited the members of Beacon Court to the monthly meeting which happened to be on the same day.
The 61st (above) flat out said to Beacon Court residents – you’re parking in the wrong direction on the street.
However, They received outstanding support from Councilman Lew Fidler who wrote a strongly worded letter trying to help the residents with their the tickets. They plan on mailing them all together – we will keep you informed of their progress.
How to Park on a Dead End
(Let’s not get the traffic agents a free ride.)
Most if not every car on a dead end in Gerritsen Beach is parking illegally – we checked.
Dead Ends are technically two way streets. Our streets happen to be very very narrow but they are still considered two way.
The easiest way to know if your parking legally is to have your drivers side door to the street.
If you are facing a dead end
Park on the right of the street – car facing down the block
Park on the left of the street – car facing out the block.
Just make sure a police officer does not see you driving in reverse – that’s a moving violation.
The August Property Owners Meeting was jammed packed full of topics to discuss.
Practically all of Beacon Court showed up about their parking tickets and that was heavily discussed – We will save that for a separate post. That was the bulk of the meeting – stay tuned.
61 Precinct August Crime Report
Bob Turner for Congress
Bob Turner who is running against Anthony Weiner stopped by gave a speech on why we should vote for him.
He is holding a Volunteer Meeting at Buckley’s 7:00 August 10 2010
GBCares donated $400 to Donna Davis, who spends thousands of hours maintaining the garden.
GBCares wants the GBPOA to make a matching donation to the garden. The Property Owners made clear that they will and are 100% supporting the gardens – but because it’s not their money to give away – there are procedures that need to be followed.
Apparently, what was happening was whatever supplies were needed for the garden – someone picked it up and submitted receipts to the GBPOA. The GBPOA had an arrangement with Donna to submit a yearly budget but they was never followed.
If you don’t know where the Community Gardens are. It is the lot to the left of the library on the Bartlett Avenue side.
George Broadhead, opened the meeting with an introduction of Eagle Scout, Matthew Conte. The GBPOA was one of the organizations to have honored Mathew’s having attained the prestigious recognition at the recent Eagle Scout ceremony, held at Resurrection.
Eagle Scout Conte, in his Scout uniform, led those assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Attendance was taken, and several officers and board members were absent because of health, death in the family and other reasons. To date this administration has had an exemplary attendance record.
The Chairman remembered Mrs. James Brandow (nee Margaret Snyder). Her daughter, Coleen Donnery is an officer of the GBPOA, and condolences were extended to her and her family.
Many senior members had called the President, George Broadhead, at home, to tell him they did not want to venture out in the extreme heat.
Sgt. Michael Doyle, of the 61st Precinct, gave a report about crime in Gerritsen Beach and nearby: The good news was that the burglar who robbed a home on Bevy Ct. recently was apprehended and jailed. He was traced to Brownsville, thanks to an alert citizen. He also explained the reason for escorting a group of young boys out of the vicinity of Seba Avenue park a few weeks ago.
The matter of a gun having been displayed at Skateboard Park was touched on, but not to everyone’s satisfaction. It had not been determined, but a pellet gun was found abandoned nearby.
City Councilman Lew Fidler told about the City Council having completed the budget on time; and he told that he was again giving money to GBCares, equal to what was given last year. He also had $ 7,500 fort youth projects to be under the guidance of the Millennium Development. He had the GBPOA and John Douglas, President of GBCares to meet with Paul Curiale of the Youth Group.
There were no questions about that, but Broadhead asked if the Councilman would weigh-in on the controversial (to some) inclusion of anyone from the “press” attending GBPOA meetings? The Councilman did not want to comment.
Two members who have persistently objected to the presence of the blogger, raised the matter again. One of them asked a young man across the room, why he was present, and if he had a camera? The Chairman advised him, he was out of order, and the young man in question was the son of a Board member who had briefly stepped out of the meeting.
Further to his argument, he showed a small article about Gerritsen Beach that appeared in “AM” the free paper distributed at subway entrances throughout the city. He does not feel our community should be publicized, and went on to include “Our News” since it is distributed in outlying neighborhoods. The “AM” article was only one of all of the neighborhoods in which there is a small feature article.
The GBPOA contributed money to the cause of a “care-dog” to assist Anthony Tuttoro. His mother was present, and expressed her appreciation.
Doreen Greenwood spoke on behalf of State Senator Marty Golden and announced upcoming events.
GBVFD Chief John Czap spoke to the need to turn off the pilot light on water heaters when flooding may occur in cellars. He offered to attend the August meeting and give a demonstration, in anticipation of hurricane season.
GBPOA meetings are held the 1st Wednesday of each month, at St. James