Portraits by Gail Comes Opening Tonight in the Manhattan Borough President Gallery

October 7, 2015

The work of Gail Comes, a native Manhattanite and Upper West Sider is the October exhibit in the Manhattan Borough President’s Gallery in the Municipal Building; the opening reception is tonight, Wednesday, October 7, 2015, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Ms. Comes’ (pronounced CO-mez) portraits are characterized by large faces, a boldly applied brush, and distinct colors-- often on a dark ground.

“I’m thrilled to be hosting Gail, who is my neighbor and friend and who I’ve watched grow up,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “She cites her influences as everyone from Van Gogh and Bacon to Coltrane’s jazz and R. Crumb’s comics—and it shows in her work!”

Comes graduated from the High School of Music and Art and studied at the Art Students’ League, the Studio School and Pratt Institute. She has exhibited in New York and Amsterdam.

Tonight’s reception takes place at the Gallery of the Borough President’s office, which is in the Municipal Building at 1 Centre St. on the 19th floor.

Promoting Neighborhood Composting With a Visit to Chenchita's Community Garden in E. Harlem

B.P. Brewer joined Citizens Committee for NYC and Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board to highlight resident-led composting projects helping the city achieve their “Zero Waste" goal

For Immediate Release: October 7, 2015

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer joined representatives of the Citizens Committee for New York City and the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board toured Chenchita’s Community Garden in East Harlem and held a press conference highlighting the Community Composting Grant Program’s success in promoting neighborhood composting programs in Manhattan and around New York City.

Chenchita’s Community Garden is a first-time grantee, and their grant will support the garden’s “waste sorting challenge” public education project, as well as the purchase of a new compost tumbler to collect food waste for expanded composting in the community. By spurring the creation and expansion of local composting programs, the grant program helps hasten everyday New Yorkers’ adoption of composting and waste-diversion habits that are crucial to the One NYC Plan’s goal of zero waste going to landfills by 2030, set by Mayor de Blasio earlier this year.

Through the Community Composting Grant program, schools, community gardens, urban farming programs, tenant associations, and other grassroots community groups can apply for micro-grants of up to $750. The awards are used to purchase equipment or materials in support of composting programs in local neighborhoods.

By borough, 12 of this year’s grantees were located in Manhattan, with 12 more in Brooklyn, four in Queens, and two each in the Bronx and Staten Island. More than $22,000 in grants were awarded through the program this year, which has expanded to award grants to dozens of organizations across the five boroughs since its inception five years ago.

“If zero waste to landfills is the goal, a major increase in composting is a key part of getting there,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Working together, we are empowering grassroots organizations to help lay the groundwork today for more composting tomorrow.” Read more...

Announcing the Fall 2015 Community Board Leadership Training Series

The Fall 2015 Community Board Leadership Development Series is beginning this month with two-hour classes on topics important to Community Board members. All sessions will be held in the Northern Manhattan office at 431 W. 125th St, and will give registration priority to Community Board members who have not yet taken courses. Sessions are also open to the public, but all must RSVP. View a complete schedule of classes and register today.
Civil Rights Attorney Norman Siegel, Brooklyn B.P. Eric Adams, and Manhattan B.P. Gale A. Brewer Issue Report on Improving Police-Community Relations

For Immediate Release: September 29, 2015

Download the complete report: Improving Police-Community Relations.

Today, civil rights attorney Norman Siegel joined Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer unveiled a new report with recommendations for improving police-community relations, based on a series of community forums held by Mr. Siegel and Borough Presidents Brewer and Adams in both boroughs, involving more than a thousand total participants, as well as four online “digital dialogues” with youth conducted by Adams’ office.

“Hundreds of people from all walks of life – including NYPD officers – came together at our police-community dialogues in Washington Heights, East Harlem, and the lower East Side. We sat together and had real conversations about increasing understanding and trust between police and the neighborhoods they protect, and the ideas in this report are the result of their conversations,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The recommendations in this report are the fruit of those conversations – and they give us an agenda for action.”

Among the report’s recommendations are:

  • Ensuring the NYPD Patrol Guide and training materials concerning “stop and frisk” procedures clearly guide officers on compliance with the Supreme Court’s standards for “reasonable suspicion”
  • Establishing a permanent Statewide Independent Special Prosecutor to investigate allegations of misconduct
  • Strengthening the Civilian Complaint Review Board system with increased budget, staff resources, and disciplinary authority
  • Lengthening Police Academy Training from six months to a full year
  • Offering “sabbaticals” at partial salary to NYPD officers
  • Reforming “Broken Windows” policing by decriminalizing many non-threatening behaviors such as bike riding on the sidewalk, jaywalking, or taking an extra seat on a subway or bus.
  • Implementation of body cameras for patrol officers once proper protocols are in place.

Read more ...

Street Closures During the Pope's Visit

September 23, 2015

Thursday, Sept. 24 through Saturday, Sept. 26, Pope Francis' visit to our city will come with a number of street closures and traffic changes around Manhattan. The New York City Department of Transportation has made a PDF file available with traffic changes sorted by neighborhood -- you can download or view it here.

ABC7 has gone a step further, organizing a comprehensive web page with information on the Pope's visit, and a separate page with all the traffic changes sorted by chronological order. I hope this information is helpful to everyone trying to get around Manhattan during the Pope's visit to our city.

Fresh Food for Seniors Program Expands to Roosevelt Island

September 23, 2015

Borough President Gale A. Brewer is pleased to announce that her office’s Fresh Food for Seniors program is expanding to Roosevelt Island! The program currently makes pre-packed bags of fresh, locally-sourced produce available to seniors every two weeks in the West Village, Chelsea, Clinton, the Upper West Side, Upper Yorkville, East Harlem, and northern Manhattan for just $8 per bag on a pay-as-you-go basis.

“It’s amazing what we’ve been able to do with this program in just three short years,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, who started the Fresh Food for Seniors program on the Upper West Side in 2012, when she served as that neighborhood’s councilmember. “For just $8 a bag, this program pays for itself while delivering healthy, fresh produce to seniors right in their neighborhoods at a tremendous value.”

The Roosevelt Island Senior Association will partner with the Borough President’s office, collecting and distributing orders at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center, located at 546 Main Street. The Fall 2015 order and pickup dates for the new Roosevelt Island program are as follows:

Place orders Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 12-13, 1pm-3pm
Pick-up Wednesday, Oct. 21, 3pm-6pm

Place orders Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 26-27, 1pm-3pm
Pick-up Wednesday, Nov. 4, 3pm-6pm

Place orders Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 9-10, 1pm-3pm
Pick-up Wednesday, Nov. 18, 3pm-6pm

The produce for the Roosevelt Island program will be purchased through Greenmarket Co., the wholesale division of GrowNYC, and will be packed by volunteers at the Fulton Senior Center in Chelsea, before being transported to the Roosevelt Island Senior Center. Read more about the Fresh Food for Seniors program, or watch NY1's recent coverage.

Brewer to hold Urban Agriculture Symposium on Oct. 14

For Immediate Release: September 22, 2015

NEW YORK – Borough President Gale A. Brewer announced her office will sponsor a symposium on urban agriculture on October 14, to exchange knowledge, experience, and best practices for growing community-based urban agriculture programs.

Brewer has made urban agriculture a focus for her office, releasing How Our Gardens Grow, a report on expanding urban gardens, farms, and other agriculture projects that followed nearly six months of surveys, interviews, and site visits. Brewer has also committed $1 million in capital grants in the coming year for Manhattan public schools to invest in equipment and renovations to establish or expand urban agriculture programs.

Urban farming projects run the gamut from hydroponic and aquaculture labs to greenhouses, community gardens, rooftop gardens, and more. Schools, senior centers, community groups, and NYCHA developments across the borough host a range of these programs.

Brewer’s Urban Agriculture Symposium will be held at the American Museum of Natural History on October 14, 2015. The program will start at 2 p.m. and conclude at 6 p.m. Read more...

Public Hearing on Manhattan Congestion

September 17, 2015

While the City is currently conducting an extensive study on the effects of for-hire vehicles on city traffic, we all know that traffic congestion occurs for many reasons – and there are many possible solutions. On September 17, 2015 at 10:00 am, I held a public hearing do discuss the complexities of Manhattan's congestion problem.

Watch the entire hearing below via livestream, or tune into Manhattan Neighborhood Network’s cable channels in the coming days. You can also follow the online conversation on Twitter by searching #NYCongestion.

A full range of experts and interested parties were invited to the hearing -- as well as the public at large. Below, you'll find time stamps for each panel, so you can watch and hear the panelists' testimonies for yourself. I invite you to share your comments in the section provided.

If you would like to submit written testimony, you may do so by emailing [javascript protected email address] with the subject line "Congestion Comment."

Panel 1: Transportation Agencies and Regulators – 00:19:30
Panel 2: Mass Transit Advocates – 00:42:16
Panel 3: For-Hire Vehicles – 00:57:41
Panel 4: Vehicle-Based Businesses – 01:13:13
Panel 5: Alternative Transportation Advocates – 01:27:41
Panel 6: Professional Drivers – 01:39:14
Panel 7: Congestion Solutions – 01:46:49
Councilmember Rodriguez' Testimony – 02:03:26
Public Testimony – 02:08:50


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