BP Adams Encourages Preservation of Kensington Stables As Iconic Amenity
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams is encouraging the preservation of the Kensington Stables as part of a proposed development in Windsor Terrace.
Last week, Adams announced his Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) recommendation to approve with conditions a land use application submitted for a nine-story, mixed-use building set to rezone a portion of a block bounded by Caton Place, East 8th Street, and Ocean Parkway.
Adams, who last April re-directed $500,000 of Brooklyn Borough Hall’s capital budget to help purchase the stables, encouraged the applicant to actively engage with the new owner of Kensington Stables in discussions for a permanent solution that envisions a newly-constructed horse stables facility on a portion of the Ocean Parkway frontage across from Prospect Park, providing a convenience for horseback riders seeking to use the park for equestrian activities.
The current home of the riding academy was sold last December by its longtime owners, and its new management has expressed intent to maintain the stables in that building for at least five years in its current form.
This is the Borough President’s latest effort in helping to preserve the historic institution that has been a hallmark of the local community since 1917, providing an enhanced quality-of-life for local residents as well as equestrian training for avid horseback riders from across the city, including children’s programs, lessons, pony rides, teen horsemanship, and trail rides.
“I believe that the Kensington Stables are such a unique asset to Brooklyn, especially because of their close proximity to Prospect Park as well as the area’s excellent transit connections. These ULURP recommendations were crafted in pursuit of broader community considerations, in particular the preservation of an invaluable resource that is one of our borough’s most treasured amenities,” said Adams.
The application will now be considered by the City Planning Commission (CPC) as part of their public hearing on Wednesday, July 11th.
Donovan Calls For Increased Security Measures In Wake of Statue of Liberty Protester
Congressman Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) is looking to reduce security vulnerabilities at the Statue of Liberty in the wake of a public protest last week.
Last week, Donovan sent a letter to Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Department of the Interior, regarding the protest incident that occurred at the Statue of Liberty on July 4 in which Therese Patricia Okoumou — a 44-year-old immigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo – scaled the statue in an effort to protest the Trump Administration’s immigration policies. The incident shut down the park for several hours and and put first responders at risk, according to Donovan.
Okoumou told investigators she climbed up to the feet of Lady Liberty to protest President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration and the separation of families at the border, according to initial reports.
Donovan’s letter asks what protocols can be put in place to reduce security vulnerabilities, prevent future incidents, and support preparedness efforts of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the National Parks Service officers at the Statue of Liberty.
“Ensuring the safety and security of our monuments and infrastructure is critical to protecting our communities and the American people. Regardless of the protestor’s motivations, her actions endangered her life and the safety of first responders. There are many avenues to peacefully protest, but those rights don’t extend to illegal actions, breaching security perimeters, and threatening police officers. I hope by addressing certain vulnerabilities we can prevent future incidents and better secure Liberty Island,” said Donovan.
Brannan Demands Answers On Future of Brooklyn VA
City Council member Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) is demanding answers regarding the future of the Brooklyn Veterans Affairs hospital.
In a letter to the Brooklyn Campus of the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System, sent last week, Brannan called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to issue a clear statement on whether or not the Brooklyn campus will continue offering inpatient care for the foreseeable future.
Recent events have raised concern among local veterans and advocacy groups that the VA plans to eventually close the facility, which is the only of its kind in the entire borough of Brooklyn. In particular, SUNY Downstate recently announced that they would be discontinuing their doctors’ residency at the VA facility’s ENT clinic – effectively shuttering the clinic unless the VA can find another program willing to staff it with doctors.
This development, and the lack of clear communication from the hospital surrounding it, stirred fears among Brooklyn-based veterans that they may lose their hospital and be forced to travel to Manhattan for care. While the ultimate truth behind the rumors remains unclear, Brannan says that veterans in his district and borough deserve clear information about their continued access to quality care in the borough.
“I am extremely thankful to our nation’s veterans, and I am proud to represent a large veteran community in South Brooklyn. Those who have risked everything for our country deserve easy access to the care they need. To put it simply: they were there when our country needed them, so we must now be there when they need us. I strongly urge the VA to commit clearly and publically to keeping the Brooklyn Campus open,” said Brannan.
Lander Announces IDNYC Pop-Up
City Council member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) announced the start of an IDNYC pop-up in Kensington this week.
IDNYC is New York City’s free identification card. All New York City residents 14 years and older are eligible for the ID, regardless of immigration status. The pop up van is a great, easy opportunity to apply, and is open even to undocumented immigrants, who are struggling without photo ID.
The program came under attack after Trump’s election November 2016, when many immigrants feared their information would be used to deport undocumented immigrants and families under the new Presidential Administration. Under a legal clause, set-up at the time IDNYC cards were created, the city is allowed to destroy the personal data of the over 1 million people who signed up for IDNYC, if an anti-immigrant administration came to power in Washington.
The municipal identification program grants card holders access to city services, buildings and schools, including libraries, attractions, zoos, concert halls and museums and can be presented as proof of identification when interacting with police and opening a bank account.
“I hope you’ll drop by one of the pop up enrollment sites and apply for IDNYC. It can make a real difference in your life,” said Lander.
The event is slated for July 9-13 at two locations:
IDNYC Pop Up Enrollment Site – Kensington (G/F Trains to CHURCH AVENUE)
Site Hours: 10 a.m. -5 p.m.
Monday, July 9 – Tuesday, July 10 parked in front of 471 McDonald Avenue
Wednesday, July 11 – Friday, July 13 at Avenue C Plaza (across from 552 McDonald Avenue)
What to bring: The IDNYC interactive Document Calculator will explain what you need to apply. IDNYC accepts a wide variety of documents as proof of identity, including the New York State DMV Driver’s License, your New York City employee ID, U.S. and foreign passports, and many, many more.
If you have any questions about the pop up enrollment site in Kensington, please contact Shahana Hanif at [email protected]