The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for November 20th, 2010

curious ears

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Newtown Creek Alliance HQ is hidden away somewhere on, near, or under the Creek- I’m not allowed to say where or which. I can tell you that it bears an astounding resemblance to the “Hall of Justice” that appeared on the 1970’s cartoon “Super Friends”.

We’ve got the whole thing- a hangar for the invisible (and intangible) jet, full garage for the Creekmobile, and several submersible vehicles equipped with advanced Riverkeeper technology (which they reclaimed from a sunken U.S.O.- an unknown submersible object). There’s a big red phone with a single button under a glass bell, and while it’s not the only place in these parts where you can get away with wearing a mask and cape it is certainly the friendliest. We have no wonder twins, however.

One day recently, whilst on duty at the Troublealert console, your humble narrator received word that the powers that be from the world beyond Newtown Creek would be gathering and had requested that a representative of NCA make a statement.

File:Hall of Justice.jpg

from wikipedia

The Hall appeared in the very first episode of the Super Friends series, which premiered on September 8, 1973. It was originally drawn by Al Gmuer, background supervisor for Hanna-Barbera for more than 30 years. Gmuer modeled the fortress after the famous Union Terminal in Cincinnati, Ohio, train station turned museum. The Hall, located in Metropolis, serves as the central meeting point for the Super Friends. The Hall contains the Trouble Alert, a computerized monitoring station that would warn the heroes of a new threat. The Hall also houses a giant computer that the Super Friends use to analyze clues.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Specific need for a certain grasp of the totality of the situation around the Creek, not the expert legal and environmental knowledge or community outreach and organization which the Newtown Creek Alliance normally shares with the powers that are, was requested. Since the big guns were out of town or otherwise busy, it was decided that I should go.

In this collection of Super Friends- I’m, of course, Gleek the super monkey.

from wikipedia

Gleek is a blue “space monkey” and the pet of Zan and Jayna, the Wonder Twins. Gleek is often used as comic relief for the series, as the character often gets into mischief. A joke involving Gleek often ends episodes of the Super Friends in which he appears. Gleek has a stretchable, prehensile tail which can be quite useful. Gleek is also highly intelligent, as he clearly understands spoken English, even somewhat complicated concepts such as the various stages of simple strategic planning. He communicates through the use of sign language, acting out scenes, and chattering in an unintelligible alien tongue. Gleek also helps the Twins when they need to travel: Jayna becomes an eagle, Zan becomes water, and Gleek produces a bucket to hold Zan while Jayna carries them both

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Luckily, my perennial and nervous need to arrive early paid off, and I was able to bend the ear of a member of the House of Representatives! Carolyn Maloney also arrived a few minutes early and we discussed the situation along Newtown Creek- during which I pointed out certain landmarks, quoted from a few official studies, and we both marveled at the enormous number of blue collar jobs which are provided by businesses along the waterway.

Rep. Maloney opened the event, invited me to the microphone, and I read the following prepared statement on behalf of the Newtown Creek Alliance:

“My name is Mitch Waxman and I am representing the Newtown Creek Alliance. We welcome Representative Maloney’s concern for Dutch Kills. The waterway is a major arm of Newtown Creek. A cleanup of the local waterways would be incomplete if this body of water does not receive full attention during the testing process.”

from wikipedia

Carolyn B. Maloney (born February 19, 1946) is the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, serving since 1993. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, popularly known as the “silk stocking district”, includes most of Manhattan’s East Side; Astoria and Long Island City in Queens; and Roosevelt Island.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Borough President of Queens, Helen Marshall next came to the microphones. The genesis of this event is a concern amongst the political leaders of Queens that a historical pattern which dictates that Queens gets a lesser share of Government allocations and funding, the “short end of the stick” so to speak, doesn’t repeat itself during the cleanup phase of the ongoing EPA Superfund process. This is no paranoid fantasy, incidentally, for despite being the largest borough with the most sizable population- Queens is often left with a half empty plate when the roast is carved up amongst the Boroughs. Manhattan and Brooklyn always seem to get the biggest portion, and the Bronx and Staten Island are going back for seconds, before Queens is even served.

from wikipedia

Helen Marshall was elected Queens Borough President in 2001 succeeding the term-limited Claire Shulman. Prior to being elected Borough President, Marshall served on the New York City Council from 1992 to 2001, an office she vacated due to term limits. Prior to being a city councilwoman, Marshall served for nine years in the New York State Assembly. In both the City Council and State Assembly, Marshall represented Queens.

As Borough President, Marshall has made marketing Queens as a tourist destination one of her priorities.In 2005 Marshall won a second term, defeating her Republican and Conservative challenger Philip T. Sica with 75% of the vote to his 25%. She was inaugurated to her second term as President of the Borough of Queens on January 3, 2006 in a ceremony held at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Marshall outlined her plans for the next four years including health care, education, housing and new park projects.

On July 1, 2009 she appointed Dennis M. Walcott to the reconstituted New York City Board of Education. The Board then voted to name Walcott as president of the board.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As the press conference proceeded, various political players filtered in. State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, as pictured above was the first to arrive.

from wikipedia

Michael N. Gianaris (born 1970) is a New York Assemblyman representing District 36, which comprises Astoria, Long Island City, Queensbridge and Ravenswood, among other neighborhoods located in the New York City borough of Queens. He is the first Greek-American to be elected to office from New York City. Gianaris has been mentioned as a possible candidate for New York’s 14th congressional district.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Also on hand were members of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, and in all the excitement I missed the name of the gentleman with the glasses and blue shirt but I can tell you that the fellow at the microphone is Gerald Walsh- President of DKCA.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan spoke next. This was the first time I met her, but she seemed nice.

from wikipedia

Catherine Nolan (born March 12, 1958) is an New York Assemblywoman, elected in 1984 to represent the 37th district (covering the Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Astoria, Woodside, Long Island City, Maspeth, Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills and Blissville neighborhoods).

A resident of the district for most of her life, she is a graduate of St. Aloysius R.C. School and Grover Cleveland High School. Ms. Nolan graduated from New York University cum laude with a BA degree in Political Science.

She was first elected to the Assembly in 1984. Assemblywoman Nolan is a member of the Democratic leadership in the Assembly and has served as Chair of both the Labor and Banking Committee during her career. Although no longer on the Labor Committee, Nolan has continued to push legislation which protects workers rights in New York State.In January 2006, Assemblywoman Nolan was appointed as Chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Education. Nolan is also a member of the highly influential Rules and Ways & Means Committee.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The press conference concluded after City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer spoke.

Note: I should mention that I’ve had a couple of instances, concerning Astoria business, that have brought me into contact with his office. Limited experience with both his staff and the Councilmember himself have left me a BIG Jimmy Van Bramer fan.

from wikipedia

Jimmy Van Bramer is a member of the New York City Council. He was elected to the New York City Council to represent the 26th district on November 3, 2009. He represents Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City, Astoria, and Maspeth.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm

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