Sunday Aug 24 – Rockaway Pipeline alert (a day of events at Riis Beach, starting at 1 pm)

The Rockaway Pipeline is being built this summer – right now. Despite the best efforts of many of you, a trench is being run offshore from Riis Park/Fort Tilden, and the construction is spewing materials into the ocean. The pipeline will run right under the beach. You can see the staging platform from shore. Sadly, whales migrate through these waters at this time of year, birds summer in Gateway National Recreation Area, and Rockaway communities, still affected by Superstorm Sandy, are trying to make the best of the season.

But this story is not yet over. Please join the No Rockaway Pipeline folks on Sunday, August 24. We’ll have a tour (led by Ken Gale of Eco-Logic on WBAI), a discussion and training, and then rally our voices. Let’s keep speaking out. See you then – details as follows, from the Facebook event, Demonstration Against the Rockaway Pipeline:

1:00 – Tour of Jacob Riis Park, highlighting the ecosystems threatened by the pipeline and the social ecology of efforts to build autonomy in Rockaway since Hurricane Sandy.

3:00 – Visioning/coalition building discussion on adversarial community control of land/reclaiming space. Participatory art-making and locally grown food on the beach.

4:00 – Non-violent Direct Action Training

5:00 – Demonstration

Last month a demonstration of 70 people shut down construction temporarily. Let’s take action again, and also demonstrate the kind of world we want to see in place of the pipeline.

Fire in the hole!

Late breaking news – a fire broke out Thursday August 21 in a gas main on Flatbush Avenue near the Belt Parkway. Emergency notification system message follows. Does this inspire confidence?

From: Notify NYC <PHX-gwb@sendwordnow.com>

Date: Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 10:24 PM
Subject: Notify NYC – Notification

Notification issued 8/21/14 at 10:23 PM. Due to a fire cause by a gas main break at 2900 Flatbush Avenue (BK), please expect emergency personnel and road closures along Flatbush Avenue and the Belt Parkway.

The sender provided the following contact information.
Sender’s Name: Notify NYC
Sender’s Email: notifynyc@oem.nyc.gov
Sender’s Contact Phone: 212-639-9675

Thanks, Patti

Tonight we went to the reopening ceremony and celebration of Fort Tilden, closed almost two years (since Superstorm Sandy), We simply intended to distribute flyers and information on the Rockaway Pipeline to the crowd, and to let folks know that National Grid (for whom the pipeline was built) was one of the sponsors of the day. We thought that we’d also get to see Patti Smith and James Franco reading Walt Whitman. But there was more: we were so heartened to hear Patti speak against the project and express her hope that it would not be built! And as she spoke, clearly visible in the ocean was an enormous derrick ready to begin construction.

Thank you, Patti.

The song “The People Have the Power” brought the crowd together as one voice. With those words echoing in our ears, we made our way to the shore where the derrick squatted in the water, lights ablaze, preparing to dig the massive trench for the pipeline.

Who, indeed, has the power?

*************************************************************************************************

You do.

The people of the Rockaways and all who visit deserve to be represented on this issue.

Are you concerned about summer construction on the beach? Or have questions about the radioactive gas that will be pumped in? What about the industrialization of our National Park, a refuge for wildlife, a place that belongs to us, the public? Do you have concerns about building a high-pressure pipeline in a flood zone, indeed on a sand bar?

Here are the names, email addresses and phone numbers of those elected to represent us.

MAKE WAVES!!!!

In the US Senate:

Senator Chuck Schumer, https://www.schumer.senate.gov/Contact/contact_chuck.cfm; scroll down and select “Energy/Environment”, then write your comment, or call (202) 224-6542

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/, select “Energy” or “Environment” or call (202) 224-4451

US House of Representatives

Congressman Gregory Meeks, NY-5 (Rockaway, Broad Channel) If you are in-district: https://Meeks.house.gov/contact-me  (718) 327-9791

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, NY-8 (Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn neighborhoods on Jamaica Bay) If you are in-district: https://jeffries.house.gov/contact/email-me  (718) 237-2211 or (718) 373-0033

 In the NYS Senate:

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. District 15 (Rockaway, Broad Channel) addabbo@40senate.state.ny.us District Office in Howard Beach (718) 738-1111, Rockaway Satellite Office (718) 318-0702

Senator John L. Sampson, District 29 (Floyd Bennett Field, Mill Basin) sampson@nysenate.gov (718) 649-7653

James Sanders Jr. District 10 (Hammels, Arverne, Bayswater, Far Rockaway) sanders@nysenate.gov District Office in South Ozone Park (718) 523-3069, Far Rockaway Satellite Office (718) 327-7017

In the NYS Assembly:

Assembly Member Phillip Goldfeder, District 23 (Rockaway, Broad Channel) GoldfederP@assembly.state.ny.us (718) 945-9550

NYC Mayor & City Council:

Mayor Bill DiBlasio, http://www.nyc.gov/html/static/pages/officeofthemayor/contact.shtml, choose message topic Environmental Concerns or Quality of Life, or just call 311

Council Member Donovan Richards Jr. District 31 (Hammels, Arverne, Edgemere, Bayswater, Far Rockaway)Chair – Environmental Committee, mailto:drichards@council.nyc.gov (718) 471-7014

Council Member Eric Ulrich, District 32 (Breezy Point, Neponsit, Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park, Rockaway Beach, Broad Channel) a champion of community safety, eulrich@council.nyc.gov (718) 738-1083

Council Member Alan Maisel, District 46 (Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Floyd Bennett Field, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Bergen Beach, Paerdegat Basin) AMaisel@council.nyc.gov (718) 2419330