New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Parks

The City PARKS DEPARTMENT MAY SHRINK COSTLY BATHROOMS TO SAVE CASH by Yoav Gonen

PARKS DEPARTMENT MAY SHRINK COSTLY BATHROOMS TO SAVE CASH

The Parks Department is looking to curb the cost of constructing new public bathrooms — by making them smaller.

Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver Tuesday said the agency is exploring stand-alone units tested in other cities, such as the Portland Loo and trailer-like bathrooms in Boston.

Upper East Side Patch New Esplanade Bait Station To Aid East River Anglers In Harlem by Brendan Krisel

New Esplanade Bait Station To Aid East River Anglers In Harlem

EAST HARLEM, NY — The men and women who fish off of the East River Esplanade have a vital new resource in the form of an ADA-accessible bait station on a stretch of the East Harlem waterfront.

The station — where fishermen and fisherwomen can prepare bait, inspect catches to see if they require release and clean catches to take home — was funded by the group Friends of the East River Esplanade through a $15,000 grant from Sea Grant New York, according to the organization's board chair Jennifer Ratner. In addition to serving as a useful tool for East River anglers, the bait station is outfitted with public art depicting sketches of the types of fish that call the urban river home, Ratner said.

Upper East Side Patch Yearlong Project To Upgrade Carl Schurz Playground Breaks Ground by Brendan Krisel

Yearlong Project To Upgrade Carl Schurz Playground Breaks Ground

For City Councilmember Ben Kallos, renovations to the playground are personal. The local lawmaker played in Carl Schurz Park while growing up in the neighborhood and now takes his daughter to the playground, he said Thursday.

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"A lot of parents have brought concern about the condition of the equipment — at one point there was actually plywood up," Kallos said. "Thankfully that is now down but this park has been desperately in need of an upgrade."

Kallos and the City Council allocated $2.5 million in funding for the project. Another major backer was Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, whose office allocated $775,000.

Upper East Side Patch John Jay Park's New Ball Courts Result Of UES Dad's 4-Year Fight by Brendan Krisel

John Jay Park's New Ball Courts Result Of UES Dad's 4-Year Fight

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — The basketball courts at the Upper East Side's John Jay Park were bustling with activity Thursday. Neighborhood kids flocked to the courts after the first day of school to practice their shots, play one-on-one and partake in one of the park's largest games of knockout in history.

Our Town Finally, Sutton Place Park — almost by Leida Snow

Finally, Sutton Place Park — almost

You could practically hear the neighborhood’s sigh of relief. “I’ve lived near here all my life,” one woman exulted, at the unofficial opening of Sutton Place Park (SPP) overlooking the East River. “I was brought up here. And there were times I thought the construction would never end.”

The Guardian The unseen carcinogenic danger lurking in New York City's public parks by Ben Kallos

The unseen carcinogenic danger lurking in New York City's public parks

Parks are New Yorkers’ oasis. They’re where we escape the crowds, the din of traffic, and our often tiny apartments; where we play with our children, walk our pets, and relax in the sun. Parks should be a place where New Yorkers can relax and play without being exposed to dangerous chemicals. So why is a herbicide believed to cause cancer being sprayed in our parks?

The New York City parks department is a prolific user of Roundup, a popular weedkiller sold by Monsanto. Yet research by the World Health Organization has linked the active chemical in Roundup, glyphosate, to cancer – a finding buttressed by several major civil suits recently brought against Monsanto.

You may not hear about the dangers of Roundup from the Trump administration or the various agencies that are supposed to protect the American public from dangerous toxins. Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled that there is no risk to public health from glyphosate if it is used in accordance with label instructions. The EPA even went a step further, adding that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.

The problem with this assertion by the EPA – now helmed by a former coal industry lobbyist – is that the evidence Roundup may be unsafe is rapidly mounting. Three recent lawsuits brought against Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, have resulted in the company paying nearly $3bn to people who have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after years of using Roundup.

The EPA, ostensibly tasked with “reducing environmental risks based on the best available scientific information”, is at odds with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization. The IARC identified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen” in 2015, leading to the chemical being banned in some cities in the United States and many countries around the world.

New York City has 1,700 parks spanning 30,000 acres, most of which are dedicated for public use and the enjoyment of residents, tourists and most importantly children. There are currently no restrictions on the use of glyphosate, and according to the city government’s own data, the Department of Parks & Recreation continues to generously deploy Roundup. In 2017, city workers sprayed over 500 gallons of glyphosate, including in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, which receives 8 million visitors a year. And we don’t even know how much glyphosate is used in parks like Central Park, which are managed by private conservancies that haven’t shared the data.

 

The Villager Rev. Billy ratchets up pressure to ban RoundUp by ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH

Rev. Billy ratchets up pressure to ban RoundUp

Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping want the City Council to “cast out” Monsanto’s demonic spawn by passing Councilmember Ben Kallos’s bill banning chemical pesticides and herbicides in the city.

Upper East Side Patch New Stretch Of East River Esplanade Opens After $15M Renovation by Brendan Krisel

New Stretch Of East River Esplanade Opens After $15M Renovation

In addition to financing the $15 million renovation, Rockefeller University is creating an endowment to maintain the esplanade section and contributed $150,000 to the conservancy group Friends of the East River Esplanade, Kallos said.

"When I got elected the waterfront was crumbling, which is why I set a goal of involving local institutions in public-private partnerships to rehabilitate the East River Esplanade," Kallos said.

Upper East Side Patch UES Councilman Proposes Pesticide Ban In City Parks by Brendan Krisel

UES Councilman Proposes Pesticide Ban In City Parks

"Parks should be for playing not pesticides," Kallos said in a statement. "All families should be able to enjoy our city parks without having to worry that they are being exposed to toxic pesticides that could give them and their families cancer."

Kallos added that he doesn't allow his newborn daughter to play on the grass in city parks out of fear that she may be sickened by pesticides.

The legislation would force city agencies to switch from synthetic pesticides to biological pesticides made from naturally occurring chemicals. These natural pesticides are generally accepted as less toxic and break down more rapidly, the bill's sponsors said. In addition to banning pesticides in city parks, the bill would also prohibit spraying pesticides within 75 feet of a body of wate

Crain's New York Hospital for Special Surgery to revive FDR Drive project by JONATHAN LAMANTIA

Hospital for Special Surgery to revive FDR Drive project

Hospital for Special Surgery is moving ahead with a $300 million project to add patient rooms and physician offices by building above the FDR Drive. The plan is more than 10 years in the making and has been saddled with lawsuits from neighbors opposing it.