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Thread: The Gowanus Canal

  1. #31

    Default The Gowanus Canal

    Sorry, I lost track of this thread, but I did speak to the USACE field engineer about 10 days ago, and he verified what I posted *above. If contaminated material is dredged, it must be properly disposed of. Dredging will only be done as a last resort.

  2. #32

    Default The Gowanus Canal

    As I had stated previously, dredging should be performed as primary option for solving the pollution and navigation problems of the Gowanus Canal. Naturally environmentally safe disposal of the silt would have to be looked into.

    By the way, which individual at the USACE did you contact about this issue? I'd be curious to speak or call him/her.

    Thanks!

  3. #33

    Default The Gowanus Canal

    I haven't contacted anyone at USACE. A friend of mine, Steve that I've mentioned in this thread, works for them. *He is not on the Gowanus project, but I've asked him for info on various projects. *He had no access to data on Gowanus, but he said the general direction of a study of this type is to find the least disruptive method of cleanup.

    So hope for the worst.

    If you want to contact someone officially, the project manager is:

    Thomas Shea
    26 Federal Plaza
    212-264-5570
    email: thomas.shea@usace.army.mil

  4. #34

    Default The Gowanus Canal

    Thanks!!

  5. #35
    The Dude Abides
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    From the New York Post

    SAVING THE GOWANUS

    By RICH CALDER

    July 17, 2006 -- One smells like fresh-cut grass and the other like an open sewer, but now Central Park, that breathtaking urban oasis, and the long-polluted Gowanus Canal have something in common - their own conservancies.

    Activists in southwest Brooklyn recently announced the creation of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy in hopes of ensuring a brighter future for an industrial waterway once dubbed Lavender Lake - for its chemically altered hue.

    "Everybody agrees the canal has to be cleaned," said Thomas Chardavoyne, head of the nonprofit Gowanus Canal Community Development Corp., which formed the conservancy. The group will raise money and seek volunteers to convert the canal - which opened in 1866 and was once hailed as one of the world's most important waterways - for dual recreational and industrial use.

    Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

  6. #36
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    Fume-Free (for Now) and Looking to the Future

    By JAKE MOONEY
    Published: April 8, 2007

    TEN years ago, the idea of worrying about the future of the land around the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn would have seemed a little strange, especially in hot weather. An underground tunnel designed to circulate the canal’s water had been out of service for decades, and as a result, sewage from nearby houses and storm drains overflowed regularly into the canal, emitting a formidable stench.


    “There are so many possibilities,” a community leader says of
    the Gowanus Canal area.


    The sewage overflows continue, but with the tunnel reopened since 1999, the water circulates better — at least for the moment. The gradual return of fish and birds to the canal has enticed widely known developers like Shaya Boymelgreen and the Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers, drawn to the neighborhood’s proximity to Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. These developers have proposed projects that could involve rezoning parts of Gowanus and adding hundreds if not thousands of residents to the area.

    In response, staff members of the Department of City Planning are meeting this month and next with the local community board to evaluate the neighborhood’s needs and chart its future. Their goal is a framework for land use decisions that could allow manufacturing and residential development to coexist and maybe even open up some recreational space.

    “There are so many possibilities that people have let their imaginations run wild, and that’s a good thing,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of the local Community Board 6. “We just have to make sure that we can tether the possibilities to probabilities that are out there.”

    Marlene Donnelly, a member of Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, a neighborhood group, says her organization’s priority is addressing the persistent drainage problems.

    “At the end of our block, we had one of the sewer caps geyser about 10 feet up in the air during one rainstorm,” Ms. Donnelly said the other day. “People have permanently installed pipes to pump the combined sewer flow out of their houses.”

    New construction can aggravate the situation, she says, especially when it involves new paving, which creates more runoff.

    The area faces other challenges, Mr. Hammerman says: Because of its 200-year history as an industrial zone, no one fully understands how many contaminated lots there are in the area, although they definitely include the 11-acre property west of the canal known as the Public Place. Both Mr. Boymelgreen and the Toll Brothers applied to have their projects made part of the state’s brownfield cleanup program; the Toll brothers withdrew their application this year.

    In addition, sometime in the next few months, the city plans to shut the flushing tunnel for 18 months of repairs, and that could bring back the smell of the bad old days.

    Members of the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, a business advocacy group, are taking part in the meetings with city planners, lobbying for the area to remain one of the city’s last industrial zones. Phaedra Thomas, the group’s executive director, says, however, that she is open to a mix of light industry and residential use in some areas where residential construction is inevitable.

    Still, Rachael Dubin, the group’s policy and planning manager, worries that even discussing land use can fuel speculation. “As soon as you start talking about Gowanus as that neighborhood sandwiched between the brownstone communities, as soon as you put it in the framework, it really becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” she said.

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    Rachael Dubin, the group’s policy and planning manager, worries that even discussing land use can fuel speculation. “As soon as you start talking about Gowanus as that neighborhood sandwiched between the brownstone communities, as soon as you put it in the framework, it really becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” she said.
    So ... go with the flow.

  8. #38

    Thumbs down Why must we live this way?

    Quote Originally Posted by billyblancoNYC View Post
    This could be NY's venice - esplanade, shops, apartments, etc. *It would be great. *I'm not saying trash businesses, but if it's mostly derelict, it should be done. *Also, there should be a design comp to design the entire area - using only modern, glass-based architecture. *Make it a symbol of redevelopment, of taking back our waterways, and of cutting edge architecture and design. *

    They have been talking about fixing it up like this, any news?
    You know what I'm wondering... Brooklyn is a place for the strong and it should belong to people who love it...period... If you're the kind of person who has to change it and make it like some other bourgoise American city, in which there are endless amounts of, move out or better yet... don't come here at all and expect to alter it to suit your tastes! Real Brooklynites don't even notice what everyone from out of town is complaining about, I know because I grew up here and frankly... vacant lots...empty buildings... and stinky canals are just something we're used to! Personally, I'll take the colorful palette complete with one of a kind people as opposed to the pre fab ultra mod society intended only for the weakest of people who can't handle a little bit of real life and must block it entirely from their psyche. Not only that, when the waterways DID belong to someone, it was the industries that our very communities were built on that were sold out to other nations for cheeper labor so you tell me what those derelict empty factories mean! Without those, a good portion of the city would have NEVER come into existence and when they went that's when most of the people went. Talk about being chewed up, spit out, and then laughed at! Dumped and then pushed out like garbage. Before the industries, I don't think the waterways were exactly glistening streams for fairy boat rides off into the sunshine sipping pino grigio, if anything they were a way of life, I'm sure also the main exit for raw sewage and source of dinner. Stick together people! Keep Brooklyn clean and beautiful, keep Manhattan out and most of all... keep it real and tell it like is. Lachayin!
    Last edited by ladybean; July 18th, 2007 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Typos

  9. #39
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    As romantic as your argument may be, ladybean, empty lots and vacant buildings don't pay for schools, sewers, and subways.

    The factories weren't kicked out in the old days so much as driven overseas by the insane demands of the corrupt unions. Believe me, I grew up in a former mill town, and we would've given an arm and a leg to keep the factories, but they left anyways, so you can't really blame city policy.
    New York is better for it anyway...there's less pollution and newer, cleaner, high-tech businesses have taken over.

    The industrial pollution isn't just a problem of looks, either--leukemia and asthma don't afflict only the "weak" while leaving the "strong" intact.

  10. #40

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    I say they turn the Gowanus into a luxury gated community with private access to the ocean and walled off compounds.

    Just to piss off LadyBean :P

  11. #41
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    ... factories weren't kicked out in the old days so much as driven overseas by the insane demands of the corrupt unions ...
    Uh oh...

    Another "Unions Killed America" theorist ...

    Sure some individual union leaders were corrupt and caused damage. But so were some bosses, and some politicians and police chiefs and on and on. As if it were the unions who caused the polluting of the Gowanus and Greenpoint and the Hudson River ...

    In th ebigger picture business leaders (on both sides) played hardball and made decisions which in the long run were not good for the country and are coming back to haunt us now.

    But unions also gave protections to their workers.

    A prime example; Health Insurance. Without my union I would never be given health insurance by ANY provider. Ever hearrad of "denied due to pre-existing condition"? Well the insurance companies are broadening that term by the day. God forbid they should have to use some of the maoney that I, you, we pay them to actually provide medical coverage.

    But because my union has a group plan I have health insurance (and it still ain't cheap).

    Give me a country / state which allows workers the right to organize any day. When only the bosses make decisions the majority who work end up getting screwed.

  12. #42

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    ^ So you're a union man, huh, lofter? Used to be a Teamster myself.

  13. #43
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    In fact I'm a Multi-Union Man (which is in many ways ridiculous -- but not much I can I do about that).

  14. #44

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    Shop steward.

  15. #45

    Default People who fight with that argument never lived on the other side of the fence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamilton View Post
    As romantic as your argument may be, ladybean, empty lots and vacant buildings don't pay for schools, sewers, and subways.

    The factories weren't kicked out in the old days so much as driven overseas by the insane demands of the corrupt unions. Believe me, I grew up in a former mill town, and we would've given an arm and a leg to keep the factories, but they left anyways, so you can't really blame city policy.
    New York is better for it anyway...there's less pollution and newer, cleaner, high-tech businesses have taken over.

    The industrial pollution isn't just a problem of looks, either--leukemia and asthma don't afflict only the "weak" while leaving the "strong" intact.
    I am not talking about pollution, I am talking about the lame efforts to revive a community that everyone turned a blind eye toward 20 years ago when there was no glimmer of hope. "Ford to City: Drop Dead" Remember those days? Where were all the urban renewalists and upper middle class do gooders then? Thriving in the sprawling suburbs with their tailored shopping centers that had once been farms. My point, is that nothing being done to revitalize the hardest hit areas of the city actually benefit the true residents. Ask any burger flipper or midnight office maid how easy it is to get a job in a large glass office building where everyone who works there has a college degree and a long list of credentials. Ask them how great luxury living is when they can no longer afford to live there because of the rent increases and are forced to move to places like Pennsylvania, I am sure they aren't thrilled about their improved neighborhoods that include everyone but them; as poor uneducated ghetto dwellers. It's not as simple as the idealists from communities with a head start think it may be to just get up and start over in a society that locks them out with so many complicated rules and minimums. And by the way... how do art galleries, overpriced kitschy Euro style cafes, and more absurdely overpriced luxury high rise apartments pay for the schools and sewers? They don't, they go into the fat deep pockets of the property owners and the usual will be returned to the city through taxes, taxes that skyrocketed so high that the people who once needed the improvements no longer need since they are gone. And anyway, where does someone who grew up in a small mill town get off having such political opinions about communities they know nothing of? There is another point made that you apparently did not want to see.

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