The Third Avenue side of the abandoned Gowanus Power Station, aka The Batcave, has new graffiti: “End Stop & Frisk” now adorns the building’s south-facing parapet, a reference to the New York City Police Department’s controversial increase of street stops in recent years, long a focal point of Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly’s regime that has recently come under fire. We’re not sure what “Hand” is a reference to, although it could be the artist’s tag.
The rainbow sheen that dances on the surface of the Gowanus Canal isn’t anything pretty, its oil! This oil comes from the streets and from manufacturing along the Canal. Some of the oil has floated in the Canal since the industrial revolution. Oil is one of the biggest problems for the Canal because of the whole oil vs. water thing. Water and oil don’t mix, but you can’t just sift out the oil as no technic has been able separate the two even though they don’t mix. It a conundrum or maybe not! Scott C. Smith of OPFELX Solutions shows how a simple product can remove oil from water. It’s almost like magic! The oil is pulled in by some green polyolefin foam that looks like the remains of a muppet. The product sucks up all the oil out of the water and then that oil can be strained out for reuse. It really sounds too good to be true. Check it out…
As a renter your always at the mercy of your landlord. Sometimes you have a fair landlord and other times…well, we all have our stories. For artist at 269 Douglas St. it was an unfair landlord…at least from their position of being evicted to make way for a charter school. After what was surely lots of yelling the artist banded together and took the landlord to court. Now, a full year later, a court decision has been made a decision on whether or not the artist were legally evicted. When we first wrote about this a year ago we said: “Once again an artist is displaced because real estate rewrites the rules”, which apparently is not true in this instance. The artist have been allow to stay at 269 Douglas St. at least for the time being. No word on whether or not the courts ‘landmark’ decision will help others who are facing the boot.
An excited response from one of the artist and more details can be found here.
If you weren’t aware a giant stadium called the Barclays Center is coming to Brooklyn! It’s not only bringing a new version of the Nets, but also a whole lot of people. Many residents in Brooklyn (in Gowanus in particular) have complannd that the stadium will put a strain on the area. Some are worried about the traffic, while others are worried about the sewage system, which they say will only increase flooding in areas where it already floods (Gowanus). Beyond these two issues there is one that seems really obvious, but may not have been addressed properly. According to a group that is very focused on stadium, the Atlantic Yards Watch, the sidewalks are ill-equipped for the increase in foot traffic from the stadium. The group posted this video that does the math for sidewalk space on streets near the stadium and it seems these streets, may not be made for walkin’:
The community has spoken and it says: “Gowanus place to reuse waste!”
The Preliminary Results for District 39 2012 Participatory Budgeting are in and composting near the Gowanus Canal is number 2 on ways to spend the District’s money. Lead by the Gowanus Canal Conservancy the composting program will take our food waste and process it right at the Salt Lot at 2nd Ave. and the Canal. The project will “help stop the harmful impact of transporting our food waste out-of state” (that’s truck pollution, yo!). After being processed the decomposed materials will be used on street trees, gardens, homes, window boxes, and parks. So, if you don’t already, start freezing your left overs and get ready to feed them to the team of do-gooders in Gowanus.
Here’s someone explaining the program more eloquently then we can write it:
Also, check out the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s video time-lapse of composting here mixed with theme of Benny Hill!
Bonus Your Face Off
Here’s a list of all the winners in the Participatory Budget for District 39.
- Renovation of two dysfunctional bathrooms at PS 124 ($150,000, 958 votes)
- Innovative community composting system near Gowanus Canal to turn 1 ton/day of food waste into soil ($165,000, 919 votes)
- Planting 100 new trees on blocks throughout the district with few or no trees ($100,000, 767 votes)
- New technology for PS 130 and PS 154 ($140,000, 758 votes)
- Repairing Prospect Park pedestrian paths to prevent flooding, and adding trash cans in the park ($205,000, 648 votes)
- Repairs and safety improvements at the dangerous Prospect Expressway/Church Avenue pedestrian crossing ($200,000, 606 votes)
- New books and equipment for the Kensington public library to enhance the branch’s use for meetings, storytelling, rehearsals, and small performances promoting Kensington’s cultural diversity ($80,000, 582 votes)
How would you like to swim in the Gowanus Canal? you know the Canal: the skinky, nasty, icky, super polluted, toxic, –did we say “nasty!”– waterway that runs through part of South Brooklyn? Well the Gowanus Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG) thinks you should be able to take a dip… or at least be exposed to the water and not be in danger.
In a meeting earlier this week the CAG passed a resolution that requests the reclassification of the Canal to a level that would “impose limits on pathogen levels, both coliform and enterococci bacteria.” Currently, the Canal is Class-SD (nasty class), which places no limits on pathogens in the water. This means no one should swim in the Canal or eat anything from the Canal, or be eaten by anything that lives in the Canal, and in our opinion, have any long term exposure to the Canal.
No word on what effect this resolution will have as of yet, but it will probably raise a few eyebrows and get people thinking… “shouldn’t the Gowanus Canal be as clean as possible?”
Here’s the CAG resolution in its entirety
The Gowanus Superfund Community Advisory Group hereby resolves that the water of the Gowanus Canal be reclassified from it’s current industrial standard, which is designated Class-SD. Class-SD only mandates a minimal level of dissolved oxygen be maintained in the waters, but places no limit to levels of pathogens present in the waterway.
The CAG requests that the Gowanus Canal be given a water classification that is protective of its current recreational uses which includes contact recreation for families and children. A reclassification that imposes limits on pathogen levels, both coliform and enterococci bacteria, is necessary to insure that children and others are not exposed to unacceptable health risks, including dangerous diseases, due to a simple act of coming into contact with the water while recreating in, on, or at the canal.”