Thursday, August 27, 2009

‘Get Yr Fix’ this Saturday in Williamsburg

The economic and climate crises have inspired in many a desire to reuse and repurpose old household objects, making them last longer, in order to use and spend less. But sometimes things break, prompting feelings of helplessness in those who aren’t sure how to fix them.
It’s this helplessness that the Brooklyn-based Fixers’ Collective tries to combat. It was started in March as a way for people to come together with their broken things and discuss how best to fix them. At Thursday night meetings, people come to art gallery/reading room Proteus Gowanus and put their broken objects on a communal table, sharing ideas with each other.
“We fix most of the stuff that comes,” artist David Mahfouda said. “We have a really high success rate.”
The collective is an idea that grew out of MEND, a year-long exhibit at Proteus Gowanus, where old tools were on display and one artist set up a station at which to fix books.
Mahfouda was one of the contributors to the exhibit, repairing a giant American flag that had been destroyed during celebrations in Union Square after President Obama was elected. “People were so excited that they made headbands and capes out of the flag,” he explained. Half of the flag was left after that night, and during MEND, Mahfouda was able to repair it, with donations and new fabric.
Some interesting challenges have come through the Fixers’ Collective. At last week’s meeting, Mahfouda said someone literally came in off the street and taught participants how to diagnose a stereo. Once, at an earlier meeting, someone brought in their iPod and an old rotary phone, their objective being to pick up the phone to hear music on their iPod. “It totally worked,” Mahfouda recalled. “It was pretty amazing.”
Fixing Fair
Fixers’ Collective meetings are usually small and low-key, with between five and 10 people at a time, all contributing $5 to participate. But this Saturday, the group will host its first major event, called “Get Yr Fix,” at VOD Space at 99 S. Sixth St. in Williamsburg.
The Collective has partnered with Sewing Rebellion and NYC Resistor for the fixing fair. Sewing Rebellion was started by a woman who calls herself Frau Fiber, Mahfouda said. She used to make clothes but decided instead to teach people how to sew and fix clothes for themselves. NYC Resistor is a Downtown Brooklyn-based group of tech designers who meet to share knowledge and build projects.
Attendees will be able to compete in individual fixing competitions, kind of like hot potato, said Mahfouda. Pairs will be given two objects to fix, with each person spending two minutes on one before passing it to their partner. The object is to be the one who actually fixes the object in the end.
“It’s kind of a faux competition,” Mahfouda explained. “Fixing can seem pretty mundane, we wanted to think about ways to popularize it and make it exciting.”
There will be a larger group competition — “kind of like Iron Chef or American Idol,” Mahfouda says — in which Fixers’ Collective will be pitted against Sewing Rebellion and NYC Resistor in front of a panel of judges.
“There will also be a barter auction, where people can auction their things off not for cash but for other people’s things,” Mahfouda said. The event, which is free, will feature live music from bands Band Practice and Too Big To Fail, will provide food and beverages for sale throughout, and will offer soldering, sewing and umbrella-fixing workshops. “It’s a fixing picnic with beer and hot dogs,” Mahfouda said.
He said that concern for the environment influenced the Fixers’ Collective, noting, “We’re going to be better off if we can consume a bit less.”
“Get Yr Fix” is this Saturday, Aug. 28 at VOD Space at 99 S. Sixth St. from 2 to 10 p.m. For questions and to RSVP, e-mail

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Williamsburg Faux Chicken Sandwich Named One Of Top 10 in Country

For many, the word “vegan” does not invoke mouth-watering temptation. Jeff Blanchard (above), one of the owners of vegan fast food restaurant Foodswings, often sees passers-by look at his menu and grimace when they read the word.
But this Grand Street eatery has perfected a faux chicken sandwich that tastes just like the real thing. In fact, its “Chick’n Caesar Club” was chosen by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as one of the top 10 meat-free chicken sandwiches in the country.
The sandwich is made of grilled mock chicken with romaine lettuce, tomato and black olives with Caesar dressing on Italian bread and is the brainchild of Foodswings’ original owner. Blanchard bought the place nine months ago with Melody Henry and Eric Gershick, and they decided to keep the sandwich when they reinvigorated the menu.
Blanchard explained that the “chicken” patties are made from soy protein, wheat gluten and vegetarian spices. But what really sets the sandwich apart is the dressing. “The Caesar dressing gives it the great flavor,” he said, noting that all the dressings are made from scratch at Foodswings using vegan ingredients.
“[The sandwich] is fantastic,” said PETA spokesperson Ashley Byrne. “It tastes and looks like a chicken patty ... I really do think that most people couldn’t taste the difference.”
Many people who are meat eaters try the dishes at Foodswings and keep coming back. “I encourage everybody to try it once even if you’re not vegan,” Blanchard said. “We’re constantly coming up with new recipes. We love food and want to be satisfied by it. We want everybody to enjoy it.”
Customers at Foodswings can choose from a wide variety of options on the menu. There are mock chicken nuggets, mock fish sticks, mock steak, soy salami, soy cheese and soy milk shakes. The “No Turkey Club Hero,” for example, is made of peppered soy turkey slices, crispy soy bacon, romaine lettuce and tomato with soy mayo or mustard on Italian bread.
Blanchard, a vegan himself, used to frequent Foodswings as a customer. A resident of Bay Ridge who is part-owner of the bar Lucky 13 in Park Slope, he had always wanted to open a vegan restaurant, and jumped at the chance when Foodswings was up for sale.
While he has been a vegetarian for 10 years, Blanchard has only been vegan for less than two (he had a difficult time giving up pizza). For him, it’s an ethical issue, and while he doesn’t judge people who choose to eat meat, he says, “it really disgusts me what we do to this planet and how we treat other beings on this planet.”
“The meat industry is taking a devastating toll on the environment,” said Byrne. “Choosing a vegetarian option for one meal will make a tremendous impact on the environment.
“It’s great that places like Foodswings are catering to all the people who are turning away from meat products,” she continued. “It’s a perfect place for people who want the taste and texture of chicken while avoiding the cruelty.”
Visit for the menu and hours.

All photos by Mike Plotz

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Progress in Reducing New York City Emissions

The Eagle received the following press release:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced three developments in the City’s use of alternative fuel vehicles, part of the PlaNYC effort to reduce the amount of carbon emitted by municipal government 30 percent by 2017 and to reduce the entire City’s carbon emissions 30 percent by the year 2030.

The Mayor announced that the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will use two new hybrid electric diesel collection trucks, a hybrid hydraulic collection truck and a hybrid rack truck, the first in the country designed for heavy-duty applications; that the Parks Department and the Street Conditions Observation Unit (SCOUT) will field test ten all-electric MINI E vehicles on loan from the BMW Group; and that the Administration has launched a study to understand the electric vehicle market in New York City and how that market can be developed.

“Through PlaNYC, our vision for a greener, greater, New York, we’ve been dedicated to reducing pollution and improving the air quality in our City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We are encouraging people to leave their cars at home by making mass transit more accessible and attractive, but no matter how much we modernize our public transportation, there will still be trips that have to be made by car. So we want the vehicles driven in New York to be more energy efficient and use cleaner fuels. I am proud to say that City government is leading by example, with the help of good corporate citizens such as the BMW Group.”

DSNY Hybrid Collection Trucks are First in the Nation

The DSNY has added to its fleet three new first-of-a-kind hybrid refuse collection trucks and one diesel-hybrid electric rack truck. The collection vehicles, which will soon be picking up residential garbage in the city, and the rack truck, which is used for lot cleaning, snow operations and for hauling of heavy materials, are the first such vehicles to be used in the country.

These vehicles will reduce truck emissions, decrease fuel consumption and truck noise, and help collect some of the over 11,000 tons of garbage and recycling DSNY picks up every day.

SCOUT Inspectors Drive MINI E Vehicles as Part of the BMW Group’s All-Electric Vehicle Development Program

SCOUT Inspectors, part of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, drive every City street once per month and report conditions that negatively impact quality of life to 311. The SCOUT team will use the MINI E vehicles to complement their current vehicle fleet, which includes the three-wheel Interceptor scooter and city-owned sedans.

The MINI E travels about 100 miles on a single charge and provides the agility and handling of a MINI Cooper. It is powered by a 150 kilowatt electric motor with the equivalent of 201 horsepower. The energy supply comes from a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The MINI E SCOUT vehicles are among 450 currently in the U.S., as part of a year-long field test. The City will provide important feedback to the BMW Group about the cars.

The MINI Es will be charged at DSNY garages and Department of Transportation facilities in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. MINI is installing a special wall box in each facility that can fully recharge a completely drained battery in about two-and-a-half hours.

Electric Vehicle Study

Automotive manufacturers have made it clear that they will be producing electric vehicles in significant numbers in the next five to 10 years. The City has launched a study to understand who would be among the first to buy these vehicles and what the City could do to help accelerate their adoption.

Electric vehicles can contribute to the PlaNYC goal of reducing transportation emissions by 44 percent by 2030.

The study will examine New York City driving and parking patterns. Most New Yorkers do not own a car and even those who own cars may still rely on mass transit for daily commuting purposes. Many New Yorkers also park their cars on the street or in commercial parking garages, rather than in driveways or their private garages. All of these characteristics are important in identifying how to make electric cars a visible option for more New Yorkers.

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Green Brooklyn Conference Details

When the upcoming Green Brooklyn... Green City conference, held by the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC), was announced, all the details weren't set in stone yet. Here are some updates:

There will be three workshops throughout the day, not four as previously reported. "The State of the Climate" workshop will be from noon - 1 p.m., "Green Your Business" will be from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. and "The Future of Food" will run from 3 - 4 p.m. All workshops take place in the Court Room inside Borough Hall.

CENYC is looking for volunteers for the conference, to assist with day-of logistics and on-the-ground marketing the week before the event. One or two event interns are also needed in the next few weeks to help with the final phase of planning. If you're interested, email Caitlin Shann at

A sculpture demonstration by artist Derick Melander will feature him (with a group of volunteers) racing against the clock to create a four thousand pound structure entirely made from carefully folded second-hand clothing,a rranged by color. If Melander and team make their goal, the sculpture will be five feet wide and seven feet tall. Bring your old clothes to contribute! Wearable Collections will collect what's not used.

The upcoming conference will be at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Thursday, September 24, from 12 - 6 p.m. with opening remarks at 11:30 a.m.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Brooklyn Heights Solar Panels, Before and After

This month, a roof on Columbia Heights in northern Brooklyn Heights was retrofitted with solar panels. At left, workers are seen beginning the installation. At right, a few days later, the installation is complete but the sun has not risen high enough to eliminate the shadow from a taller building across the street, not shown here. However, the sunlight has still reached part of the mansard roof to the right of the solar panels. The roof where the panels have been installed will receive sunlight for much of the day, but many brownstones don’t receive sufficient sun to cover the cost of putting in solar panels.

Photos by Henrik Krogius

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Green Courses at City Tech in Downtown Brooklyn

NYC College of Technology in Downtown Brooklyn is offering several green-themed courses through its continuing education program in the upcoming semester:

Photovoltaic Installation
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-9 p.m., from 11/3 - 12/5, for $600
Presented by the Center of Sustainable Energy of Bronx Community College. Learn the basics of solar photovoltaic technology and how it is installed and maintained. Course includes four all-day Saturday lab sessions at Bronx Community College (11/7 - 12/5).
For more information click here.
Prerequisite: a professional background in engineering, architecture, electronics, building construction and related areas.

Solar Hot Water and Heating Systems Workshop
Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., October dates TBA, for $290
The course will cover solar thermal systems (introduction, types and applications); solar thermal collectors and system components; solar thermal design and system sizing; installation of solar hot water systems; solar control strategy; system startup, maintenance and trouble-shooting; and solar savings and performance estimates.

Introduction to Green Roofs and Living Walls
Thursday, 6-9 p.m., from 9/24 - 12/3 (no class on 11/26), site visits: Saturdays, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., 10/3 & 10/7, for $470
This course offers an introduction into green roof and living wall construction, installation and maintenance. Topics include green roof benefits and incentives, reviews of green roof products, water-proofing, roof membranes and drainage. An introduction into green roof horticulture and irrigation as well as two site visits to local green roof projects. Can be taken in preparation for the Green Roof Professional Accreditation Test which will be offered in 2009.

Green Roof Professional Accreditation Test Prep
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., 10/10, for &70 plus a $20 registration fee.
Intended for those students interested in preparing for the Green Roof Professional Accreditation Test offered by the independent non-profit organization Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, which will be offered for the first time in October. The course will cover topics anticipated to be on the test and will help students come up with a study plan. Will review basic green roof design, engineering and installation. Students planning to take the test prep should have som eprior knowledge of green roofs including the different kinds of green roof systems, green roof plant and soil types, and general design and installation details.

City Tech is also offering a free, green-related community program:

Urban Energy: Incentives for Solar, Wind and Energy Smart Savings
Saturday, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., 10/24
Will discuss how you can benefit by switchign to renewable energy. Presentations by representatives from the Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College, the NYC Economic Developoment Corporation, the Pratt Center for Sustainability, Future Green, Con Edison and Aeon Solar.
Free, but registration is required.

Visit for more information about these and other City Tech continuing education courses, and how to register.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Green Job Workshop Tonight

The Brooklyn Public Library is hosting a green job workshop tonight at its main branch. Attendees will learn about the next generation of jobs that will have a positive impact on the environment, find out which types of businesses need green workers, and what skills and training is needed to land a great job.

The program runs from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at the Central Library, at 10 Grand Army Plaza in the second floor meeting room.

Register online here or call 718.623.7000 (select option 4).

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Brooklynite Turns Job Loss Into Green Opportunity

With all the recent talk about job loss and unemployment, it’s easy to get discouraged. But for one Boerum Hill resident, losing her job was an opportunity to follow her passion.

Jessica Pichardo grew up in the Bronx and moved to Brooklyn four years ago. She worked as an investment banker for 10 years after she graduated college, but was laid off last year. She decided not to look for another job in a field she wasn’t passionate about.

“I always saw myself opening up a restaurant... you know, after I have children, once life is a little calmer, kind of as a side project,” she said. But after losing her job, she said she realized, “I had nothing but an open opportunity to chase my dream. I still have youth on my side, and I said, ‘Now’s the time to do it.’”

So she set to work on a concept, found a location, and after about a year of planning, Pichardo opened the Linger Café and Lounge last month.

Linger is “first and foremost a really cozy neighborhood spot for people to feel that they can come here throughout the course of the day,” Pichardo explained. During the week (except for Monday), she opens at 9 a.m. for morning coffee and pastries, offers lunch and then small plates for dinner, closing at 10 p.m. On the weekends it is open until 1 a.m. and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

She saw a need in her own neighborhood (she lives four blocks from Linger, which is on Atlantic Avenue between Third and Fourth avenues) for a place to go that was relaxed and familiar, to hang out or have a drink. “I’m offering a really chill, sort of comfortable environment for you to just unwind and relax.”

Pichardo didn’t just want her new endeavor to be welcoming, she also wanted it to be as low-waste as possible.

“I’m doing my best to run a green operation here. We have energy-saver equipment, low water usage in the bathroom, all of our packaging is biodegradable and fully compostable,” she explained. She also arranged with a trash company that picks up food scraps to compost them off-site.
“We have a minimal waste kitchen. The only things we throw out are rubber bands and maybe some wood from crates. Everything else is either recycled or composted.”

Everyone who works at Linger lives in Brooklyn, all the artists to be featured on the walls are local, and live music on Saturdays is provided by local bands. Pichardo purchases produce from farms upstate, tea and coffee that is fair trade and organic, and only offers local wine and beer.

“If there are little things I can do, why not? You want to make a positive impact on the world, it’s important to pass down some good information, because otherwise what’s the point?” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s really important to me to leave this world a better place than when I entered it.”

Because the food is local, the menu changes often, and Pichardo (who cooks all the food) wants to be flexible. “One of the most important things that I’m doing is remaining adaptable: getting customer feedback, interacting with people, hearing from them what they like, what works and what doesn’t work,” she said. “If people want more of something, I’m going to do it and I’m not going to stick with something if its not working.”

Pichardo is confident that this adaptability and the absence of anything like Linger in the neighborhood will ensure its success. Her concept is symbolic of a larger trend: The fast-paced attitude in the country has become slower now that so many people are forced to re-evaluate their lives.

“In the last few years you have all this corporate greed, the whole economy basically coming to shatters because of the financial industry — it forces people to really stop and realize, ‘Hey, why am I chasing the dollar? What is that getting me at the end of the day?’” Pichardo said. “It’s definitely time to stop and smell the roses.”

Pictured above, left to right: Jessica Pichardo with Jessica Waterman, Melissa Detroy and Janessa Williams, three of her staff members.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Green Art Show Donates to CENYC

Eagle reporter Harold Egeln attended the opening of a new art gallery in Clinton Hill, a 19th century brownstone that was converted into an arts venue. The first exhibit at the gallery is focused on the environment. Comprised of works of art by Jonathan Levy, the solo show entitled "Style of Nature" encourages people to look at the natural world around them and separate themselves from their everyday lives.

Fifty percent of the sales of Levy paintings sold from this exhibit will be donated to the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC).

Pictured above is Levy with a "Humming River" painting. Read Harold's full story here.

Photo by Harold Egeln

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Mayor Bloomberg on Reducing GHGs in New York City

In response to Governor Paterson's goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in New York State by 80 percent below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050, Mayor Bloomberg issued the following statement:

"I applaud Governor Paterson for taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. The Governor and the Public Service Commission are already important partners with the City on PlaNYC, including our initiatives underway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York City. I look forward to working with them and the new Climate Action Council as they create a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide and then implement initiatives to achieve it."

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Monday, August 10, 2009

When to Visit the Waterpod Project in Brooklyn

The Waterpod is currently docked at Brooklyn Bridge Park (pictured above). It will be open to the public at Pier 5 Friday through Sunday this weekend: August 14, 3:00pm – 7:00pm; August 15 and 16, 11:00am – 7:00pm. Visiting is free!

Photo by Don Evans

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New From DUMBO-Based Dynomighty Design

DUMBO-based company Dynomighty Design has released its popular — and 100 percent recyclable — Mighty Wallet in seven new patterns, such as an old postcard, a diner menu, or a world map. Also just released is the design pictured here, with a helpful (and sometimes much-needed) reminder.
Check out Dynomighty's web site here.

Image courtesy of Dynomighty Design

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Driving Cars Off the Streets To Make Way For Summer Fun

This Saturday, seven miles of New York City Streets will be absent their most frequent users: cars. It marks the kick-off of Summer Streets 2009, a three-Saturday event held by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in which cars will be replaced by people biking, rollerblading or walking along a route from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park.

Since the Summer Streets route is in Manhattan, biking advocacy group Transportation Alternatives (TA) will hold round-trip rides from the outer boroughs and Inwood to the event. The ride from Brooklyn will begin at Grand Army Plaza and will be a safe, escorted trip. Participants will meet under the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch.

Noah Budnick, TA senior policy advisor, says bikers can expect a lot of fun from these rides. “It’s a nice quiet route into Manhattan,” he said, noting that the ride will travel along streets with bike lanes or light traffic. “We’ll ride at a really comfortable pace.”

TA’s rides will depart at 8:30 a.m. from Grand Army Plaza all three Saturdays of Summer Streets. Riders will reconvene at noon at the rest stop at Lafayette and Spring streets in SoHo, to return to Brooklyn.

This is the second year for Summer Streets and for TA’s connecting rides. “We do it to invite New Yorkers to come out to this really special event,” said Budnick, “to show them the experience of riding through city streets with no cars and to see how much public space there is.”

Budnick went on to say that TA hopes participants in their rides will experience Summer Streets and want something like it in their own boroughs.

Though TA’s rides leave at 8:30 and end at noon, the larger event will be from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The route stretches from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park via Lafayette Street, Fourth and Park avenues, and 72nd Street.

“The idea behind Summer Streets has always been simple: create an appealing public space for people to enjoy, and New Yorkers would do the rest,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “Thanks to the incredible response from New Yorkers, Summer Streets has already become a real New York tradition. Some 50,000 people came out to the streets on each of the three Summer Streets weekends last year, and with hundreds of new activities from salsa lessons to junior tennis lessons to bike share, there are even more reasons to come out for free fun this year.”

Highlights of the Summer Streets will include: bicycle valet parking by TA, bicycle helmet fittings offered by DOT, classes and tutorials about bike riding and safety, Latin dance classes, games and activities for families, a photo contest, and classes by Crunch gym.

This year, Summer Streets has been complemented by nearly 50 other smaller-scale street events in 13 communities citywide known as Weekend Walks — temporary pedestrian areas on weekends ranging between one and seven blocks in length.

These events, which began in June and will continue through September, have been sponsored by local BIDs and community groups throughout the city and have been a real boon for local businesses, which see a major increase in foot traffic.

Upcoming Brooklyn Weekend Walks are in September. “Move About Myrtle,” on Myrtle Ave. between Clinton Street and Emerson Place, sponsored by the Myrtle Ave. Partnership, will take place on four Sundays — September 6, 13, 20 and 27 — from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. “Pitkin Saturday Plazas,” on Pitkin Avenue between Strauss and Thomas Boyland streets, will be on three Saturdays — September 12, 19 and 26 — from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., sponsored by the Pitkin Avenue BID. “Montague Summer Space,” the last Brooklyn Weekend Walk, on Montague Street between Hicks and Clinton streets, will be on Sundays September 13, 20 and 27, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and sponsored by the Montague BID.

“Weekend Walks build on efforts to leverage streets as great public spaces that communities can rally around, be active and experience New York City’s streetscapes in creative, exciting and healthy ways,” said DOT spokesperson Nicole Garcia.

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Waterpod Comes To Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5

Brooklyn Bridge Park has announced the arrival of the Waterpod at Pier 5 (Furman and Joralemon streets) yesterday afternoon, one of several stopovers on its journey through the waterways surrounding the five boroughs of New York City. The Waterpod is a sustainable sculptural art and technology habitat where four artists will live, work, and hold events to further the artistic, ecological, scientific, and cultural richness of New York through October 2009.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lefferts Gardens Home to Greenest Block in Brooklyn

Yesterday Borough President Marty Markowitz presented the "Greenest Block in Brooklyn" award to Lincoln Road between Rogers and Bedford avenues in Lefferts Gardens. Eagle writer Phoebe Neidl was at the presentation, and she took some great photos:

Read Phoebe's story here.

All photos by P. Neidl

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Important Warnings About Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs, while saving money, can also be dangerous if they break, because they contain toxic mercury. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has issued the following advice on what to do if a low-energy light bulb breaks.

— Evacuate the room for 15 minutes, taking care not to step on the shards of glass littering the floor.

— Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clear up the mess as the machine's sucking action could spread toxic mercury droplets around the house.

— Put on rubber gloves and sweep the debris into a dustpan.

— Place the remains in a plastic bag and seal it.

— Do not put the bag in a normal household dustbin.

— Instead, place it in a municipal recycling bin for batteries which also contain mercury or take it to a cou9ncil dump where it can be disposed of safely.

— Try not to inhale dust from the broken bulb.

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Paterson Signs Executive Order to Reduce New York’s GHG Pollution

The Eagle received the following press release:

Governor David A. Paterson signed Executive Order No. 24 setting a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in New York State by 80 percent below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050.

The Executive Order also creates a Climate Action Council with a directive to prepare a draft Climate Action Plan by September 30, 2010. The Climate Action Plan will assess how all economic sectors can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, as well as identify the extent to which such actions support New York’s goals for a clean energy economy.

“Climate change is the most pressing environmental issue of our time. By taking action, we send a signal that New Yorkers will do our share to address the climate crisis and we will do it in a way that creates opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish,” said Governor Paterson. “One way we will achieve this goal is by focusing our efforts on a clean energy economy that will create jobs for New Yorkers.”

Governor Paterson has already taken a number of steps to address the climate crisis in New York through innovative, cost-effective policies and programs such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), stricter automobile greenhouse gas emission standards and the “45 by 15” program for expanding efficiency measures and renewable energy. State programs and incentives are working in concert with federal efforts to increase the use of clean energy technologies and to promote emission reductions.

Future climate change will impose significant economic burdens on New York. Heat-related mortality in the New York City metropolitan region could increase by 47 to 95 percent when compared to 1990 levels. New York’s public drinking water supplies may also be compromised by changes in temperature and precipitation. In addition, a warmer climate will adversely affect the state’s crucial dairy production and crops, including grain, apples and potatoes, resulting in a potential increase in the cost of food.

Though it is anticipated that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will be paramount, the Climate Action Plan will also include adaptation measures that will safeguard people, the environment and our infrastructure from expected climatic changes.

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Electronics Recycling in Gowanus

Through Sept. 30, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m, drop off your used electronic equipment for reuse or environmentally safe recycling, at 88 Ninth St. in Gowanus. For more information, e-mail or

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Stimulus Funds Given to 'Green' Downtown Brooklyn Buildings

U.S Representatives Ed Towns, Yvette Clarke and Michael McMahon recently announced that the United States General Services Administration (GSA) — an independent management agency of the federal government — has awarded the two historic federal Brooklyn buildings more than $62 million in Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus package) funds: Brooklyn General Post Office and Emanuel Celler U.S. Courthouse.

Read Eagle writer Liz Tung's report here.

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