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.
The New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life. Their meritorious service to our nation deserves the special recognition that only a Hall of Fame can provide, as a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration.
This year Corporal George Broadhead, President of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners was inducted into the Hall of Fame who Senator Golden selected for induction into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame this year. Corporal Broadhead, of Gerritsen Beach, served during the Korean War. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Naval Unit Citation and campaign awards.
George Broadhead USMC Korean War, with past years NY State Senate hall of fame honoree's Rubin Pratt USMC vietnam, Ralph Mottola USMC ex POW WWII
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.
A clean, family friendly establishment is the aim of the Kiddie Beach Cleanup that will be held Sunday, April 10 and continuing every weekend as part of preparations for opening day.
Cleanup organizer, Diane Sullivan, hopes Gerritsen residents will volunteer some of their valuable time to collect rubbish and help with maintenance. The event is being organised by the Gerrittsen Beach Property Owners Association.
Every year this event, has seen dozens of volunteers and community group members do everything from garbage collection to painting.
The off season drops a lot debris on Kiddie Beach, and this is a chance to remedy that.
Organizers are hoping the number of volunteers donating their time this year will help make the 2011 Kidde Beach season a great success.
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?
Gerritsen Beach paid their respects to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 yesterday at Larry Veling Field. The memorial went well into the dark with everyone sharing stories, tears, and prayers.
A 50 + year battle to get a traffic signal at Channel Avenue has come to an end – thanks to the Gerrittsen Beach Property Owners and State Senator Marty Golden.
State Senator Martin J. Golden is today announcing that he has received notification from the Department of Transportation that a flashing yellow light has been approved for installation at the intersection of Gerritsen and Channel Avenue.
A flashing yellow traffic light indicates that there is a congested road or dangerous intersection ahead. The signal means motorists should slow down and approach with caution.
The corner has long been one of much concern for the entire Gerritsen Beach community as well as the school community of P.S. 277. Senator Golden has met with DOT officials and the Gerrittsen Beach Property Owners Association on site at this location to observe the traffic study, and has repeatedly contacted the Transportation Department and requested traffic calming measures be considered for this intersection.
A date for installation has not been scheduled.
Senator Marty Golden stated, “This is a great day for the community of Gerritsen Beach and for the safety of all residents. This is a day that has long been wished for by parents, teachers, and students of P.S. 277, as
well as the residents of the neighboring streets throughout the community. Finally, after continued efforts and support from the community, including the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association, we have been able to get approval for traffic safety enhancements at this intersection. With the new school year set to begin next month, this news could not have arrived at a better time.”
Golden concluded, “I am hopeful that the installation of this traffic signal will be completed soon. The community of Gerritsen Beach has waited long enough to feel safer and more comfortable when driving along Gerritsen Avenue at Channel Avenue. We thank the Department of Transportation for approving this signal
and for their continued attention to this intersection.”
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.