By Brooklyn Reader

March 27, 2015, 8:56 am

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Bklyn Bridge Park Financing Debate Continues

State Sen. Daniel Squadron
State Sen. Daniel Squadron

Downtown Brooklyn State Sen. Daniel Squadron is calling for a new study to see exactly how much money is needed for the upkeep of the 3.1 mile Brooklyn Bridge Park running along the Brooklyn side of the East River waterfront from the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Avenue, according to a long Daily News story.

Originally created under a deal in which the state gave the city the land under the Bloomberg Administration, the $370 million park was conceived of as one of the most spectacular and expensive in the city’s history.

But the plan also called for the park’s annual upkeep to come from funds from commercial and residential developments at the site — including a former Jehovah’s Witness building that was rebranded One Brooklyn Bridge Park, the two new Pier 6 towers, and three additional condo projects.

This immediately drew a wave of protest from a vocal group of local residents that felt the park was created for these real estate interests, and they now say the park is so successful that the revenue currently being received is enough to sustain the park.

But Brooklyn Bridge Park officials and other argue the park needs the continued private development to sustain the many park amenities – thus Squadron’s call for a new study.

“Since the initial proposal for the park was put in place, the real estate market has transformed completely and there needs to be a clear accounting of what the existing financial needs are,” Squadron told the media outlet. “With this new (de Blasio) administration in place, it would be appropriate to take a fresh look at alternative revenue models.”.

Cumbo Stumbles On Asian NYCHA Tenants Comments

Fort Greene City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, yesterday, drew criticism after she raised concerns during a city council meeting about ‘blocs’ of Asians moving into the NYCHA developments in her district, the Observer reported.

Cumbo’s comments came during the council’s public housing committee hearing in which she questioned New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye.

“We have a very large Asian population in our district, which we love, and they add something very valuable to our community and our district, and they are welcomed in our district,” she said. “But we want to understand, what the tenants want to understand is how is it—because the way they’re understanding it is that people from all ethnicities could be moving into the district, but that’s not actually the case.”

“They are having challenges in terms of understanding how one particular ethnic group, that speaks the same language across the board—I know that there are many different languages and many different dialects—but how is it that one specific ethnic group, has had the opportunity to move into a development in large numbers,” she continued.

Cumbo later in the day put out an emailed statement to reporters clarifying her comments.

“It was not my intention to offend the Asian community or any other cultural group that calls NYCHA home,” Cumbo stated. “The question I posed to commissioner Olatoye was focused on bringing transparency and clarity to the randomization process outlined in the Tenant Selection and Assignment Plan Policy.”

Hamilton, Adams, Simon & Cumbo Hold Excellence Awards

First Lady Charlane McCray is the main honoree tonight as Flatbush State Sen. Jesse Hamilton launches the Inaugural Shirley Chisholm Women of Excellence Awards with Borough President Eric Adams, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, and 43rd Assembly District Leader Shirley Patterson.

The awards will also honor eight women who have done outstanding work in the community including Angela Cooper, Assistant Director, Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; Carmen Torres, Paralegal, Legal Aid Society; Dr. Esmeralda Simmons, Executive Director, Center for Law & Social Justice at Medgar Evers College; Judith Villaroel, Director, St.Gabriel’s Senior Center; Lisa Kenner, Tenant Association President, Van Dyke Houses; Maria Bartolillo, Director, St. Francis School for the Deaf; Nadia Lopez, Principal, Mott Hall Bridges Academy; and Nancy Tong, District Leader, 47th Assembly District.

“As ranking member of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee in the New York State Senate, I am particularly pleased to be able to honor the work of New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray,” said Hamilton. “Women’s history month serves as an opportunity to highlight the many contributions women like New York City’s First Lady and these honorees are making to our community. Each woman is working to advance the well-being of our neighborhood, our city, and our state.”

 What:  The Shirley Chisholm Women of Excellence Awards

Date:   March 27,2015

Time:   6 p.m.

Place:   First Baptist Church, 450 Eastern Pkwy

Jeffries Bill Passes House

A Rep. Hakeem Jeffries sponsored bill extending the tax deadline for individuals making charitable donations to organizations supporting the families of assassinated New York Police Department (NYPD) Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos passed the U. S. House of Representatives.

Under current law, individuals contributing to organizations that provide financial support to the families of the slain detectives were required to make their contributions by December 31 of last year to qualify for a tax deduction in connection with a 2015 filing. This bill extends the date of eligibility.

“Detectives Ramos and Liu were courageous individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving our community,” said Jeffries. “In the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy, we must stand behind the families these heroes left behind. Passage of this tax incentive legislation in the House is an important step in that direction.”

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