The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

daylight around

with 2 comments

The 2018 Riverkeeper Sweep on Newtown Creek.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last Saturday, everybody’s friends at Riverkeeper organized an estuary wide shoreline cleanup event in which groups from all of the bays, harbors, rivers, lakes, ponds, and especially the Creeks brought their volunteers together to remove garbage and junk from the shorelines. Along Newtown Creek, there were multiple efforts underway. Pictured above is the group that HarborLab, based at the Vernon Avenue Street End in Long Island City, brought together.

HarborLab worked on the area of Newtown Creek between the East River and Pulaski Bridge, and removed hundreds of pounds of garbage from the shoreline.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

HarborLab worked out of canoes, and from the water. I was on foot, personally, and had a couple of friends walking along with me. After getting shots of HarborLab gearing up for the day, we shlepped eastwards to the next gathering.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s Gil Lopez and DNA from Smiling Hogshead Ranch with a few of their volunteers in the shot above, who were cleaning up the shore surrounding the Borden Avenue Bridge in LIC. There were others further down towards the water, and they also removed a significant amount of junk from the water. Metallic items, plastics, even a few empty suitcases.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The scuttling resumed, and my little group headed over the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge to attend the next event, which was organized by Newtown Creek Alliance and LaGuardia Community College.

The NCA motto is “Reveal, Restore, Revitalize.” I always say that I’m happy I’m on the first “R” side of the operation since the other “R’s” involve a lot of manual labor.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The NCA section of the sweep was at the Meeker Avenue street end, and the group there also removed hundreds of pounds of junk and debris which had either been illegally dumped or just ended up getting swept in by hydrological action during heavy rains. The kids from LaGuardia really pulled out the stops, I was told.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It’s a very, very cool thing – seeing the citizenry taking agency for our waterfront.

The government people who work for us should be doing this, of course, but they’re generally pretty busy finding new ways to either screw things up or completely ignore the problems they’ve created. Recent developments in this arena involve using tax dollars to fund places for junkies to shoot drugs, decking the Sunnyside Yards, and so on.

Upcoming Tours and Events

May 12th – Exploring Long Island City – with NY Adventure Club.

Long Island City is a tale of two cities; one filled with glittering water-front skyscrapers and manicured parks, and the other, a highly active ground transportation & distribution zone vital to the New York economy — which will prevail?

Tickets and more details

May 17th – Port Newark Boat Tour – with Working Harbor Committee.

For an exciting adventure, go behind the scenes of the bustling Port of NY & NJ on our Hidden Harbor Tour® of Port Newark! Get an insider’s view of the 3rd largest port in the nation, where container ships dock and unload their goods from around the world. See how the working harbor really works and learn about what all those ships and tugs do. See giant container terminals, oil docks, dry dock repair, and more! Tickets and more details here.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 7, 2018 at 11:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. It’s good to see people taking an active part in civic matters such as this rather than ineffectively whining to local government to do it for them until such changes come that will make local government really live up to it’s role as public servant.

    “The government people who work for us should be doing this…”

    The government people in fact do not work for us despite civic theory.

    My theory explaining this was in my last comment, last Friday’s post I think.

    Fair warning: it’s a long comment that’s not for those with adult ADD or have poor reading comprehension abilities.

    “…they’re [the government people] generally pretty busy finding new ways to either screw things up…”

    Yes, it’s usually more likely correct to attribute this to incompetence rather than malice but there are other possible explanations I’ll list presently.

    “…or completely ignore the problems they’ve [the government people] created.”

    There are three reasons this could be:

    Egotistical unwillingness to admit fault.

    The unintended outcomes are collateral damage that the political/bureaucratic establishment simply doesn’t care about.

    Or that these are not really unintended problems but the true intended results.

    Don Cavaioli


    May 7, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    • For those unduly concerned about the length of my comments: This post contains 189 words- 30 are direct quotes from our Humble Narrator with 6 words added in brackets for clarification and 153 words of my own cunning devising.

      Note that I have made liberal use of spacing to puckishly make the comment appear longer than it is to vex those critics jealous of length.

      In Service to the Pentacle
      Don Cavaioli


      May 7, 2018 at 12:31 pm

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