[Hpn] urbanoutdoors: Armchair Activists Issue

dave lutz dave lutz <dave.lutz@treebranch.com>
Fri, 14 Feb 2003 14:39:20 -0500


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--Boundary_(ID_4tyPehMpUjkmgQA7wOjVjw)
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Urban   Outdoors         =20
No. 90 - February 15, 2003=20
Armchair Activists Issue -Make some phone calls and help improve your =
environment.

Join NOSC for its March Forth! benefit on Tuesday, March 4, 2002
Scroll to bottom for more info.

FAT AMERICA MAKES THE NEWS
"An overweight America is killing itself with excess, and all that can =
save it is a major cultural transformation led by individuals and =
families", the U.S. surgeon general told more than 1,000 educators, =
doctors and public health officials in San Diego. The San Francisco =
Chronicle reported that Dr. Richard Carmona called obesity the fastest =
growing cause of illness and death in the United States and said it =
deserved more attention than any other epidemic. The Washington Post =
chimed in that being obese at age 20 can cut up to 20 years off a =
person's life, with the biggest impact on black men, according to yet =
another study that underscores the long-term dangers of being =
overweight. The obesity and diabetes epidemics continued to escalate =
during 2001, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease =
Control and Prevention. Newspapers around the country have been sounding =
the alarm about an increasingly overweight America and what the =
resultant ill health will cost in medical care, lost productivity and =
reduced life expectancy. The solution is proper diet and exercise, and =
the public space of our populated areas is the primary infrastructure =
for physical activity for almost all Americans.

While the NYC Department of Health released statistics that showed that =
the diabetes epidemic hits low-income neighborhoods the hardest, a local =
judge, to the cheering page 1 headlines of a NYC tabloid, quickly =
dismissed the "McDonalds Made Me Fat" court case. Not yet attracting the =
eyes of reporters is the role of an under funded park system or the =
almost total disregard for physical education in our public schools. A =
generation or two ago, every park had at least one staff person, a =
generalist who was responsible for organizing activities at the park and =
basic maintenance. The kids called him the "Parkie". Parkies are an =
endangered species. Parks budgets will most certainly be cut again this =
year. Parks is the only agency that has consistently seen flat or =
declining budgets, leaving this agency alone at record low spending =
levels. (This is budget time at City Council; time to notify your =
council member that city parks are important to you.)

By the Way... NOSC's Take a Walk, New York! program, partnered with the =
NYC Department of Health, is a direct response to early warnings about =
this dangerous trend. For more info about the need for physical activity =
visit www.walkny.org and www.Nyspac.org.

THE BIG BROKEN BRIDGE
After the Second World War, America's highway designers began an era of =
roadway design that disregarded the needs of walkers and cyclists. Thus =
the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, as well as countless other bridges became =
pedestrian dead ends that discouraged people's natural desire to explore =
new places on foot. The end result of bad design, that made it =
impossible to walk to some places and dangerous to go to others, has =
been an increasingly sedentary population, one at risk for heart =
disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma etc. Now one Congressman has an =
opportunity to make a difference for New Yorkers. Congressman Fossella =
sits on the House Transportation Committee and can respect a significant =
local consensus that retrofitting the Verrazano Bridge would be good for =
health, local tourism, foot transportation, and even homeland security =
(allowing people to get away from trouble without swimming). Call =
Congressman Fossella (718-356-8400) and ask him to provide funds for a =
"Verrazano Lifeway."   =20


DOT TO BROOKLYN WATERFRONT GREENWAY: DROP DEAD
A lone jogger hugs a bleak winter sidewalk at the edge of the Red Hook =
Container Port, attesting to the value of sidewalks without street =
crossings as infrastructure for physical activity. Local residents want =
to landscape that harsh still-industrial port-edge to encourage jogging, =
as well as cycling, skating and other muscle mobility options. NYC =
Department of Transportation (DOT), in a "final" meeting with a tired =
community board subcommittee, rejected that option and instead announced =
that they were going ahead with plans to widen streets in the =
neighborhood "because they were unsafe as presently configured." (DOT =
engineers have ignored Government statistics indicating that these =
streets are among the safest in the city.) To widen streets and =
accommodate the Department of City Planning's Greenway Plan, they will =
paint a stripe in the street as a bike path and cut neighborhood =
sidewalks to six feet (and less in places) in width, curb-to-fence. =
Without the painted on-street bike path, there would be space for the =
greenway. Presumably, kids on tricycles will be safer in the street with =
passing truck traffic than they would be on a landscaped greenway =
buffered from the road. =20

The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway could have been the first significant =
piece of the 350-mile NYC Greenway System built outside of parkland. =
Disagreements with DOT could easily be resolved with a compromise =
involving just a few square feet of land. Unless elected officials step =
in now, it will be another opportunity lost by an unresponsive transport =
agency that is more interested in fast cars and trucks than safe =
pedestrians. Greenways are the most successful physical activity =
infrastructure in America, bringing out 50% of local residents as =
regular users. By contrast, swimming pools reach about 7% and golf =
courses 3%. To help get the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway back on track =
please call Council member Bill DiBlasio at 718-854-9791.

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME
Residents of the Columbia Street Community have asked for other =
considerations during a long deliberative process with a recalcitrant =
DOT. While DOT has consistently denied that streets were being widened =
for additional lanes of traffic, they have refused to consider making =
pedestrian crossings shorter and safer with bulb-outs at corners. On the =
wider streets that will be left after the Columbia Street =
reconstruction, parking lanes could be easily converted to travel lanes. =
Some residents are suspicious that their streets are being prepared for =
major traffic diversions from elsewhere. Traffic on Columbia and Van =
Brunt Streets has dropped by 20% over 10 years, reflecting a more =
environmentally conscious port operation which ferries freight to New =
Jersey. Recent talk of waterfront "big box" stores have left residents =
asking whether their neighborhood is being prepared to be the highway. =
(Neighborhood Open Space Coalition is holding a Walkable NYC Workshop in =
the Columbia Street Community on February 20th. If you wish to attend =
call 212-352-9330).

UNMAPPING AN UNBUILT HIGHWAY
More than thirty years ago, the late Congressman William Fitts Ryan took =
a walk with members of Staten Island's Protectors of Pine Oak Woods =
along the proposed route of the Willowbrook and Richmond Parkway. At the =
end of the walk the Manhattan Congressman noted that the place that he =
walked through was unique in the City, a self-sustaining native forest =
that should be preserved. For all of the years since, the highway right =
of way has been a bureaucratic never-never land. It has become clear =
that the highway will never be built, but it has remained mapped as a =
highway. Now Assembly members Straniere and Cusick and State Senator =
Marchi have filed legislation that will transfer the land to park =
agencies.

In response to the filing of the legislation Staten Island's Community =
Board Chairs have issued a joint statement opposing the transfer to =
parks. Since the Boro Board is a creature of the Boro President's =
office, that rare joint statement is presumably in line with that of =
Boro President Molinaro. It is clearly out of line with almost every =
local civic organization.

Congressman Ryan noted that although the land that was to become the =
Staten Island Greenbelt was not in his district it was important to the =
City and the region. That importance has only intensified as suburban =
sprawl has peopled most local land. Now the region's state legislators =
have the opportunity to honor all the people who have worked so hard for =
all these years to create a great "natural" park in NYC. Call your =
Assembly member and Senator and ask them to sign on.

NEW VISITOR CENTER FOR WILDLIFE REFUGE
For anyone who has been crowded into the temporary buildings that =
comprise the present Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center at =
Gateway National Recreation Area, the prospect of some breathing room =
and better interpretive exhibits will be most welcome. The National Park =
Service, noting that the present structures are no longer economically =
repairable, has released an environmental assessment for a state of the =
art, sustainable design visitor center that will enhance views of the =
natural landscape. "Visitation has increased from 30,000 a year in the =
1970's to over 100,000 and the present building was not built as a =
visitors center," noted Dave Avrin, Acting Superintendent of the Jamaica =
Bay unit. "If everything goes well, construction will begin in spring of =
2004."=20
=20
JAMAICA BAY SHOPPING CENTER IS DEAD
In our last issue, we reported on City efforts to buffer Jamaica Bay =
with shopping centers instead of green space.  Two weeks later, and =
according to Fred Kress of the Rosedale Civic Association, thanks in =
part to phone calls from Urban Outdoors readers, the plan is dead. Now =
efforts must begin to move the property to NYC Parks.=20
           =20
GOVERNORS ISLAND RETURNED TO NEW YORK
At a Washington DC ceremony attended by Governor Pataki and Mayor =
Bloomberg, the key to Governors Island was returned to NYC for the price =
of one dollar. Preliminary plans for the island include a City =
University unit and public parkland. We look forward to jumping on NY =
Water Taxi and Taking a Walk, New York! on the island. =20

BRONX SPEAKUP
This year's Bronx Speak-up for Parks (on the afternoon of Saturday, =
February 22nd) will feature Chat rooms to encourage networking by local =
activists. Chat room facilitators will include: Dart Westphal, Samantha =
Stone, Paul Sawyer, Elizabeth Cooke and Dave Lutz who will bring =
Neighborhood Open Space Coalition's PowerPoint slide presentation on =
Bringing the East Coast Greenway through NY. To participate write to: =
BxSpeakup@aol.com or call 718-367-3200 (Ask for Roseanne.)

GRAPHING PROGRESS ON GREENING NYC
Automotive High School's Tree-Times Newsletter reports on the progress =
of their slice of Friends of Gateway's Gateway Greenhouse Education =
Center tree stewardship program. "We planted trees to improve our living =
environment. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other air pollutants giving =
us better air quality. Also, we thought it would look nicer." Thirteen =
high schoolers worked with the NYC Council on the Environment on the =
project to plant trees on the school grounds in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A =
graph inside the newsletter showed better than 50% growth on some =
planted saplings in less than a year.

CASTING CALL...
NOSC's Treebranch communications program includes a half-hour of prime =
time public access television time devoted to urban environmental =
programming. We invite organizations and readers that are on this list, =
that have access to 28 minute video tapes that would be of interest to a =
general audience, to give Toby Brandt a call at 212-352-9330.    =20



TAKE A WALK, NEW YORK!
Saturday, March 15, 2003. 10 AM. The "Left Bank" of the East River from =
Long Island City to Williamsburg. In these communities art, residences, =
light manufacturing, and open space compete for land abandoned by big or =
heavy industry. This walk has it all: skyline views, humble working =
class homes, bridges, parks, ethnics, yuppies, new glitz, old schmutz. =
Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, urban geographer and specialist in property =
information at the NYC Dept. of Finance will lead. Meet at street level =
of the 21st St./Queensbridge station of the F train. Bring snacks

Precipitation or temperatures below 30 degrees cancels.=20

MARCH FORTH, AGAIN
It doesn't take a lot of street smarts to know that 2003 will be a =
difficult year for small non-profit organizations. Traditional funding =
sources are tighter, and the 9-11 disaster continues to focus attention =
away from the neighborhoods. The NOSC board of directors, recognizing =
the challenges, is again organizing a "fun raising" party, (this year at =
the Seaman's Church Institute overlooking New York Harbor, to honor some =
urban environmental heroes and raise some rent money so that we can =
continue our work.=20

Honorees will include Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for his outstanding =
commitment to NYC's community gardens, long time Gateway National =
Recreation Area supporter Marian S. Heiskell, and East Coast Greenway =
Alliance's executive director and former NYC planner, Karen Votava. We =
will feature a short slide show about our successful programs and hold a =
silent auction. The event will include soft music, drinks, lots of great =
finger food and opportunities to meet, greet and schmooze. Invitations =
are to be sent by mail or email, so call 212-352-9330 to register your =
address. The March Forth! event is on March 4th, and tickets are $100 =
each.

Neighborhood Open Space Coalition/ Friends of Gateway
356 Seventh Avenue  -  New York, NY 10001  -212-352-9330
www.treebranch.net   *   www.walkny.org

URBAN OUTDOORS is the monthly newsletter of Neighborhood Open Space =
Coalition and Friends of Gateway. It reports on citywide public space =
issues and the work of hundreds of local civic groups that take an =
interest in the spaces. To be removed from the list reply with "remove" =
in the subject header.  To add someone to URBAN OUTDOORS list: visit the =
subscription area of www.treebranch.com.=20

--Boundary_(ID_4tyPehMpUjkmgQA7wOjVjw)
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<body lang=3DEN-US link=3Dblue vlink=3Dpurple =
style=3D'tab-interval:.5in'>

<div class=3DSection1>

<p class=3DMsoNormal style=3D'tab-stops:1.5in'><b =
style=3D'mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'><u
style=3D'text-underline:double'><font size=3D6 face=3D"Eras Bold =
ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:24.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras =
Bold ITC";
text-effect:outline;text-shadow:auto;font-weight:bold'>Urban<span
style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Outdoors<span
style=3D"mso-spacerun:
yes">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; =
</span><o:p></o:p></span></font></u></b></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>No. 90 &#8211; February 15, 2003 </span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>Armchair Activists Issue -Make some phone calls and help improve =
your
environment.</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoBodyText><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt'><span =
style=3D'mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt'>Join NOSC for
its March Forth! benefit on Tuesday, March 4, 2002<br>
Scroll to bottom for more info.</span></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoFooter style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<h3><font size=3D6 face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span =
style=3D'font-size:24.0pt;font-family:
"Eras Bold ITC"'><span style=3D'mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt'>FAT AMERICA =
MAKES THE
NEWS<o:p></o:p></span></span></font></h3>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>&#8220;An overweight America is killing itself with excess, and =
all that can
save it is a major cultural transformation led by individuals and =
families&#8221;,
the U.S. surgeon general told more than 1,000 educators, doctors and =
public
health officials in San Diego. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that =
Dr.
Richard Carmona called obesity the fastest growing cause of illness and =
death
in the United States and said it deserved more attention than any other
epidemic. The Washington Post chimed in that being obese at age 20 can =
cut up
to 20 years off a person's life, with the biggest impact on black men,
according to yet another study that underscores the long-term dangers of =
being
overweight. The obesity and diabetes epidemics continued to escalate =
during 2001,
according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Newspapers around the country have been sounding the alarm =
about an
increasingly overweight America and what the resultant ill health will =
cost in
medical care, lost productivity and reduced life expectancy. The =
solution is
proper diet and exercise, and the public space of our populated areas is =
the
primary infrastructure for physical activity for almost all =
Americans.</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>While the NYC Department of Health released statistics that =
showed that
the diabetes epidemic hits low-income neighborhoods the hardest, a local =
judge,
to the cheering page 1 headlines of a NYC tabloid, quickly dismissed the
&#8220;McDonalds Made Me Fat&#8221; court case. Not yet attracting the =
eyes of reporters is
the role of an under funded park system or the almost total disregard =
for
physical education in our public schools. A generation or two ago, every =
park
had at least one staff person, a generalist who was responsible for =
organizing
activities at the park and basic maintenance. The kids called him the =
&#8220;Parkie&#8221;.
Parkies are an endangered species. Parks budgets will most certainly be =
cut
again this year. Parks is the only agency that has consistently seen =
flat or
declining budgets, leaving this agency alone at record low spending =
levels.
(This is budget time at City Council; time to notify your council member =
that
city parks are important to you.)</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>By the Way&#8230; NOSC&#8217;s Take a Walk, New York! program, =
partnered with the
NYC Department of Health, is a direct response to early warnings about =
this
dangerous trend. For more info about the need for physical activity =
visit <a
href=3D"http://www.walkny.org/">www.walkny.org</a> and <a
href=3D"http://www.nyspac.org/">www.Nyspac.org</a>.</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>THE BIG BROKEN =
BRIDGE<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>After the Second World War, America&#8217;s highway designers =
began an era of
roadway design that disregarded the needs of walkers and cyclists. Thus =
the
Verrazano Narrows Bridge, as well as countless other bridges became =
pedestrian
dead ends that discouraged people&#8217;s natural desire to explore new =
places on
foot. The end result of bad design, that made it impossible to walk to =
some
places and dangerous to go to others, has been an increasingly sedentary
population, one at risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma etc. =
Now
one Congressman has an opportunity to make a difference for New Yorkers.
Congressman Fossella sits on the House Transportation Committee and can =
respect
a significant local consensus that retrofitting the Verrazano Bridge =
would be
good for health, local tourism, foot transportation, and even homeland =
security
(allowing people to get away from trouble without swimming). Call =
Congressman
Fossella (718-</span></font><font face=3DArial><span =
style=3D'mso-bidi-font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>356-8400</span></font>) and ask him to provide =
funds
for a &#8220;Verrazano Lifeway.&#8221;<span style=3D"mso-spacerun: =
yes">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
</span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>DOT TO BROOKLYN =
WATERFRONT
GREENWAY: DROP DEAD<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>A lone jogger hugs a bleak winter sidewalk at the edge of the =
Red Hook
Container Port, attesting to the value of sidewalks without street =
crossings as
infrastructure for physical activity. Local residents want to landscape =
that
harsh still-industrial port-edge to encourage jogging, as well as =
cycling,
skating and other muscle mobility options. NYC Department of =
Transportation
(DOT), in a &#8220;final&#8221; meeting with a tired community board =
subcommittee, rejected
that option and instead announced that they were going ahead with plans =
to
widen streets in the neighborhood &#8220;because they were unsafe as =
presently
configured.&#8221; (DOT engineers have ignored Government statistics =
indicating that
these streets are among the safest in the city.) To widen streets and =
accommodate
the Department of City Planning&#8217;s Greenway Plan, they will paint a =
stripe in
the street as a bike path and cut neighborhood sidewalks to six feet =
(and less
in places) in width, curb-to-fence. Without the painted on-street bike =
path,
there would be space for the greenway. Presumably, kids on tricycles =
will be
safer in the street with passing truck traffic than they would be on a
landscaped greenway buffered from the road.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:
yes">&nbsp; </span></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway could have been the first =
significant
piece of the 350-mile NYC Greenway System built outside of parkland.
Disagreements with DOT could easily be resolved with a compromise =
involving
just a few square feet of land. Unless elected officials step in now, it =
will
be another opportunity lost by an unresponsive transport agency that is =
more
interested in fast cars and trucks than safe pedestrians. Greenways are =
the
most successful physical activity infrastructure in America, bringing =
out 50%
of local residents as regular users. By contrast, swimming pools reach =
about 7%
and golf courses 3%. To help get the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway back =
on track
please call Council member Bill DiBlasio at =
718-854-9791.</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>BUILD IT AND THEY =
WILL
COME<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>Residents of the Columbia Street Community have asked for other
considerations during a long deliberative process with a recalcitrant =
DOT.
While DOT has consistently denied that streets were being widened for
additional lanes of traffic, they have refused to consider making =
pedestrian
crossings shorter and safer with bulb-outs at corners. On the wider =
streets
that will be left after the Columbia Street reconstruction, parking =
lanes could
be easily converted to travel lanes. Some residents are suspicious that =
their
streets are being prepared for major traffic diversions from elsewhere. =
Traffic
on Columbia and Van Brunt Streets has dropped by 20% over 10 years, =
reflecting
a more environmentally conscious port operation which ferries freight to =
New
Jersey. Recent talk of waterfront &#8220;big box&#8221; stores have left =
residents asking
whether their neighborhood is being prepared to be the highway. =
(Neighborhood
Open Space Coalition is holding a Walkable NYC Workshop in the Columbia =
Street
Community on February 20th. If you wish to attend call =
212-352-9330).</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>UNMAPPING AN =
UNBUILT
HIGHWAY<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>More than thirty years ago, the late Congressman William Fitts =
Ryan
took a walk with members of Staten Island&#8217;s Protectors of Pine Oak =
Woods along
the proposed route of the Willowbrook and Richmond Parkway. At the end =
of the
walk the Manhattan Congressman noted that the place that he walked =
through was
unique in the City, a self-sustaining native forest that should be =
preserved.
For all of the years since, the highway right of way has been a =
bureaucratic
never-never land. It has become clear that the highway will never be =
built, but
it has remained mapped as a highway. Now Assembly members Straniere and =
Cusick
and State Senator Marchi have filed legislation that will transfer the =
land to
park agencies.</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>In response to the filing of the legislation Staten =
Island&#8217;s Community
Board Chairs have issued a joint statement opposing the transfer to =
parks.
Since the Boro Board is a creature of the Boro President&#8217;s office, =
that rare
joint statement is presumably in line with that of Boro President =
Molinaro. It
is clearly out of line with almost every local civic =
organization.</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>Congressman Ryan noted that although the land that was to become =
the
Staten Island Greenbelt was not in his district it was important to the =
City
and the region. That importance has only intensified as suburban sprawl =
has
peopled most local land. Now the region&#8217;s state legislators have =
the
opportunity to honor all the people who have worked so hard for all =
these years
to create a great &#8220;natural&#8221; park in NYC. Call your Assembly =
member and Senator
and ask them to sign on.</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>NEW VISITOR =
CENTER FOR
WILDLIFE REFUGE<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>For anyone who has been crowded into the temporary buildings =
that
comprise the present Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center at =
Gateway
National Recreation Area, the prospect of some breathing room and better
interpretive exhibits will be most welcome. The National Park Service, =
noting
that the present structures are no longer economically repairable, has =
released
an environmental assessment for a state of the art, sustainable design =
visitor
center that will enhance views of the natural landscape. =
&#8220;Visitation has
increased from 30,000 a year in the 1970&#8217;s to over 100,000 and the =
present
building was not built as a visitors center,&#8221; noted Dave Avrin, =
Acting
Superintendent of the Jamaica Bay unit. &#8220;If everything goes well, =
construction
will begin in spring of 2004.&#8221; </span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><span style=3D"mso-spacerun: =
yes">&nbsp;</span></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>JAMAICA BAY =
SHOPPING
CENTER IS DEAD<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>In our last issue, we reported on City efforts to buffer Jamaica =
Bay
with shopping centers instead of green space.<span =
style=3D"mso-spacerun:
yes">&nbsp; </span>Two weeks later, and according to Fred Kress of the =
Rosedale
Civic Association, thanks in part to phone calls from Urban Outdoors =
readers,
the plan is dead. Now efforts must begin to move the property to NYC =
Parks. </span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><span style=3D"mso-spacerun:
yes">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; =
</span></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>GOVERNORS ISLAND =
RETURNED
TO NEW YORK<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>At a Washington DC ceremony attended by Governor Pataki and =
Mayor
Bloomberg, the key to Governors Island was returned to NYC for the price =
of one
dollar. Preliminary plans for the island include a City University unit =
and
public parkland. We look forward to jumping on NY Water Taxi and Taking =
a Walk,
New York! on the island.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; =
</span></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>BRONX =
SPEAKUP<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>This year&#8217;s Bronx Speak-up for Parks (on the afternoon of =
Saturday,
February 22<sup>nd</sup>) will feature Chat rooms to encourage =
networking by
local activists. Chat room facilitators will include: Dart Westphal, =
Samantha
Stone, Paul Sawyer, Elizabeth Cooke and Dave Lutz who will bring =
Neighborhood
Open Space Coalition&#8217;s PowerPoint slide presentation on Bringing =
the East Coast
Greenway through NY. To participate write to: <a =
href=3D"mailto:BxSpeakup@aol.com">BxSpeakup@aol.com</a>
or call 718-367-3200 (Ask for Roseanne.)</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>GRAPHING PROGRESS =
ON
GREENING NYC<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>Automotive High School&#8217;s Tree-Times Newsletter reports on =
the progress
of their slice of Friends of Gateway&#8217;s Gateway Greenhouse =
Education Center tree
stewardship program. &#8220;We planted trees to improve our living =
environment. Trees
absorb carbon dioxide and other air pollutants giving us better air =
quality.
Also, we thought it would look nicer.&#8221; Thirteen high schoolers =
worked with the
NYC Council on the Environment on the project to plant trees on the =
school
grounds in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A graph inside the newsletter showed =
better
than 50% growth on some planted saplings in less than a =
year.</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>CASTING =
CALL&#8230;<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>NOSC&#8217;s Treebranch communications program includes a =
half-hour of prime
time public access television time devoted to urban environmental =
programming.
We invite organizations and readers that are on this list, that have =
access to
28 minute video tapes that would be of interest to a general audience, =
to give
Toby Brandt a call at 212-352-9330.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:
yes">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoFooter style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoFooter style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoFooter style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoFooter style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>TAKE A WALK, NEW =
YORK!</span></font><font
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span style=3D'font-family:"Eras Bold =
ITC";mso-bidi-font-family:
"Courier New"'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-weight:bold'>Saturday, March 15, 2003. 10 =
AM. The
&#8220;Left Bank&quot; of the East River from Long Island City to =
Williamsburg. </span></font></b>In
these communities art, residences, light manufacturing, and open space =
compete
for land abandoned by big or heavy industry. This walk has it all: =
skyline
views, humble working class homes, bridges, parks, ethnics, yuppies, new =
glitz,
old schmutz. Dr. Jack Eichenbaum, urban geographer and specialist in =
property
information at the NYC Dept. of Finance will lead. Meet at street level =
of the
21<sup>st</sup> St./Queensbridge station of the F train. Bring =
snacks<span
style=3D'mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<div style=3D'border:none;border-bottom:solid windowtext =
.75pt;padding:0in 0in 1.0pt 0in'>

<p class=3DMsoNormal style=3D'border:none;mso-border-bottom-alt:solid =
windowtext .75pt;
padding:0in;mso-padding-alt:0in 0in 1.0pt 0in'><font size=3D3
face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt'>Precipitation
or temperatures below 30 degrees cancels. </span></font></p>

</div>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoHeader style=3D'tab-stops:.5in'><font size=3D3 =
face=3D"Eras Bold ITC"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Eras Bold ITC"'>MARCH FORTH, =
AGAIN</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>It doesn&#8217;t take a lot of street smarts to know that 2003 =
will be a
difficult year for small non-profit organizations. Traditional funding =
sources
are tighter, and the 9-11 disaster continues to focus attention away =
from the
neighborhoods. The NOSC board of directors, recognizing the challenges, =
is
again organizing a &#8220;fun raising&#8221; party, (this year at the =
Seaman&#8217;s Church
Institute overlooking New York Harbor, to honor some urban environmental =
heroes
and raise some rent money so that we can continue our work. =
</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:
12.0pt'>Honorees will include Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for his
outstanding commitment to NYC's community gardens, long time Gateway =
National
Recreation Area supporter Marian S. Heiskell, and East Coast Greenway
Alliance&#8217;s executive director and former NYC planner, Karen =
Votava. We will
feature a short slide show about our successful programs and hold a =
silent
auction. The event will include soft music, drinks, lots of great finger =
food
and opportunities to meet, greet and schmooze. Invitations are to be =
sent by
mail or email, so call 212-352-9330 to register your address. The March =
Forth!
event is on March 4th, and tickets are $100 each.</span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'margin-left:.25in;line-height:11.0pt;mso-line-height-rule:
exactly'><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span =
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoPlainText><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times =
New Roman";
mso-fareast-font-family:"MS Mincho"'>Neighborhood Open Space Coalition/ =
Friends
of Gateway<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoPlainText><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times =
New Roman";
mso-fareast-font-family:"MS Mincho"'>356 Seventh Avenue<span
style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>-<span style=3D"mso-spacerun: =
yes">&nbsp;
</span>New York, NY 10001<span style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;
</span>-212-352-9330<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoPlainText><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times =
New Roman";
mso-fareast-font-family:"MS Mincho"'><a =
href=3D"http://www.treebranch.net/">www.treebranch.net</a><span
style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>*<span =
style=3D"mso-spacerun:
yes">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><a =
href=3D"http://www.walkny.org/">www.walkny.org</a><o:p></o:p></span></fon=
t></p>

<p class=3DMsoPlainText><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times =
New Roman";
mso-fareast-font-family:"MS Mincho"'><![if =
!supportEmptyParas]>&nbsp;<![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=3DMsoPlainText><font size=3D3 face=3D"Times New Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times =
New Roman";
mso-fareast-font-family:"MS Mincho"'>URBAN OUTDOORS is the monthly =
newsletter
of Neighborhood Open Space Coalition and Friends of Gateway. It reports =
on
citywide public space issues and the work of hundreds of local civic =
groups
that take an interest in the spaces. To be removed from the list reply =
with
&#8220;remove&#8221; in the subject header.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun: =
yes">&nbsp; </span>To
add someone to URBAN OUTDOORS list: visit the subscription area of
www.treebranch.com. </span></font><font size=3D2 face=3D"Times New =
Roman"><span
style=3D'font-size:11.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times =
New Roman";
mso-fareast-font-family:"MS Mincho"'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

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