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The monthly BPC CB1 meeting was uneventful and poorly attended, by design, since they relocated the venue to 49 Chambers. Anthony Notaro chaired it, but he announced that he would not be at the next meeting because he is getting married, and did not clearly answer someone who asked if he was ever coming back.
The clueless Notaro summoned the State DOT to give an update on Route 9A, mainly to address the weeds on the land adjacent to the highway. The DOT spokesperson reiterated the agreement whereby the BPCA would take of the landscaping. However, the median strip in the middle of the West Side Highway is still a jungle. BPCA spokesperson Robin Forst said that they would be contracting this work out, but gave no date.
Sergeant Phuchong Srisuro of the city parks department gave an update on crime. There were a few arrests for drunken behavior. No one on the CB1 seemed to care. When I asked where the incidents took place, he said that it was near the South Cove, but he seemed to be stretching this to be careful not say that the drunks had come from Pier-A. The Sergeant also ignored the problem of rampant marijuana smoking in the park.
The issue made public by BatteryPark.TV of the yacht helicopter taking off from the marina was discussed. The FAA was invited to the meeting but did not reply. A representative from Congressman Nadler’s office was there and explained that the law is murky and that the FAA was not cooperating. The Nadler rep circulated copies of yet another letter signed by all of the local elected officials, which the FAA and City’s EDC have been ignoring.
The topic of the West Thames grass field was next. The CB1 passed a resolution supporting the conversion to artificial turf. Two dissenters, Kathleen Gupta and public member Justine Cuccia, were concerned about the dirt, heat, and lead metal toxins found in artificial turf.
Mr. Notaro, clearly acting on behalf of the BPCA which wants to do the project and not on the behalf of the community, defended the safety of the turf on the larger ballfields now. He conflated matters by saying that his committee worked hard years ago to get safe turf. He was referring to the “organic” coconut-husks-instead-of-rubber pellets that the first ballfield turf used, which was so poorly installed by Stantec that it had to be replaced by ground up rubber pellets.
I then spoke up to explain why the grass field cannot handle the activity. I said that the Tully construction company rushed the job of creating the grass field many years ago, and basically built it the same way they would make a highway, with ground stone only a few feet below the surface. I was explaining how a properly made grass field with irrigation would hold up. Then, as I was talking, Mr. Notaro began intentionally muttering loudly to Noah Pfefferblit next to him, rudely displaying his lack of interest in what I had to say.
I replied, “Excuse me Anthony. Did you get that? You cannot even pronounce the name of West Thames properly. It is “Tims” as in the river. And you did not know the details of the gate either”. He then tried to blame his lack of knowledge of the pronunciation on his cancer surgery of his tongue, in a despicable obfuscation.
The design of the changes to the West Thames grass field have to be approved by the Public Design Commission. Mr. Notaro rolled his eyes and told stories of how the PDC had not allowed certain designs they had in mind the other spaces.
If you oppose the pork project that the BPCA wants to give to some construction company friendly to Governor Cuomo, and think that BPC should be a green community free of rubber pellet artificial turf, then send a message to the PDC.
Interestingly, attending the meeting was the Chairwoman of the CB3, Gigi Li. She is currently running for election to be District Leader, but her real goal seems to be to get chosen as the anointed one to fill Margaret Chin’s shoes in City Council in 2017. Sadly, she does not realize that the Sheldon Silver machine, which got her on the CB3 in the first place, is falling apart.