July 2014

Deepest thanks, congrats & good luck to NYPD Deputy Inspector Mike Ameri

The thanks of a grateful community – and very heartfelt personal thanks from me – go out to NYPD Deputy Inspector Mike Ameri, who has been promoted from his position as Commanding Officer of the 78th Precinct (Park Slope) to become the new chief of the NYPD Highway Division, which includes the recently-expanded Collision Investigation Squad and other essential Vision Zero work. 

Inspector Ameri has been a great overall commanding officer, keeping the neighborhood safe (we’re down 30% in every major category in year-over-year crime stats), working closely with community groups, and managing the expansion of the 78th Precinct to include responsibility for Barclay’s Center. 

Mike has especially been a true champion for safer streets, even before Vision Zero was official NYPD policy.  He worked together with us to launch the Park Slope Street Safety Partnership, and established monthly community meetings to focus on street safety  Read more »

Planning for the future of Gowanus

When we launched the “Bridging Gowanus” community planning process a year ago, we knew we were taking on a big challenge. 

We’ve seen (and smelled) the fetid water after a rainfall.  I was there when it flooded its banks during Hurricane Sandy.  And we knew these toxic waters might seem still compared to asking Brooklynites to debate too-often-polarizing questions about development, density, infrastructure, industry, and housing. 

But deciding not to engage seemed worse.  Should we just wait and let developers make plans of their own (or pretend that they won’t)?  Should we allow hotels, big-box stores, and self-storage facilities (all currently allowed “as-of-right” throughout the Gowanus) overrun the whole area?  Should we miss the opportunity to frame the community’s priorities for the new mayoral administration? Read more »