* To protest the destruction of
a community garden on NYC Parks’ property in Coney Island near the Boardwalk, neighborhood garden advocates gathered
at Brooklyn Borough Hall on March 5th.
The land was turned over to a private developer for the construction of an
amphitheater in what protesters believe was an illegal alienation of parkland, ignoring the local Community Board’s vote to preserve the park. Sierra Club
members have been active in the Community Gardens movement and in this protest.
You can see more
about this struggle here.
For more information on how you can get involved, contact Irene Van Slyke.
* A lawsuit to stop development
of a proposed shopping mall in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens known as Willets West is being
brought by State Senator Tony Avella, the New York City Park Advocates, with
several community members and groups joining as petitioners. The
objective is to undo the approval of Willets West by the NYC City Council without
obtaining state approval and without following the usual land use committee
process. A permanent injunction against the shopping mall is being sought,
according to Anna Aulova, Deputy Chief of Staff of Senator Avella’s Bayside
office. Those backing the suit believe that the land cannot be used for non-park uses
since there was never state legislation approving alienation of the park
property. Those seeking the declaratory judgment claim that although
CitiField, has been allowed to use the park area for parking, if it becomes a
shopping center it is not being used as a public benefit and would be an irreversible
situation. For more information, see Thelma Fellows' testimony here.
we scare Governor Cuomo away? About 75
protesters showed up at the site of a political fundraiser at which Governor
Andrew Cuomo was to speak. Spirits were high and chanting by the demonstrators,
including a number of Sierra Club members, was almost continuous. However,
after about an hour, there was an announcement that the Governor was not
coming. So, why do you think he didn’t show?
19th Sustainability Series event featured two excellent speakers. Dr. James
Haklar of EPA Region 2 explained the dangers of PCBs, or chlorinated
hydrocarbons, widely used in the ballast of overhead fluorescent lighting in
schools. Over time PCBs vaporize and can affect immune, reproductive, nervous
and endocrine systems and are probable human carcinogens. The NYC Public
Schools settled a lawsuit, agreeing to replace ALL old PCB light fixtures by
the end of 2016. Then, Maureen Fairlie, founder and owner of Snappy Solutions,
Inc., a green janitorial and industrial supply company, described how indoor
air quality has actually declined due in large part to unnecessarily chemically
sophisticated cleaning products sold as "necessary" to clean
different surfaces. The products her firm sells, and similar ones we can
use in our own homes, minimize chemical exposure and are usually cheaper.
Look for Green Seal Certified products and if you cannot readily find any
try baking soda, vinegar and pine oil soaps!
* Coalition demands State Comptroller DiNapoli divest State
pension funds of fossil fuel holdings at a rally at Comptroller’s office on Thursday,
Mar. 27th. The Sierra Club participated as a part of a coalition of
organizations including 350.org, which presented DiNapoli with 11,000 petition
signatures calling for divestment. Irene Van Slyke, representing the Sierra
made the point that the Club is “organizing a statewide Grassroots Campaign to
transition to100% renewable energy in NY State by 2030” and that the national
Sierra Club is divesting all its holdings in fossil fuels. For more information about the issues,
check out Fossil Free NYC and our Alternate
Energy Page. To get involved in this campaign, contact Lisa DiCaprio.
Check out this recent post
on our Blog: A
Developer Destroys Coney Island Community Garden. And don’t forget to check
our calendar for events of interest to environmentalists in and
around New York City.
If you are interested in volunteering to work on
the NYC Group’s online and digital communications, please email Gary Nickerson
To make a donation to our conservation efforts in New York: