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Re: Proposed School Opposed by Queens Community Board 11

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  • Ellen
    I was surprised by the accusation of too much traffic. What I saw on the news (I am not from Queens) showed a lot of traffic and double parked cars in front
    Message 1 of 7 , May 12, 2013
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      I was surprised by the accusation of too much traffic. What I saw on the news (I am not from Queens) showed a lot of traffic and double parked cars in front of the florist. And surely, even though I am not of this mindset, denying these fellows the right to sell the property to whomever they want to sell it to seems to be in direct opposition to the idea of a free market economy. What would the Tea Party-ers say about that? <grin>

      --- In nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com, "Jane Reiff" <jesnik@...> wrote:
      >
      > Not in my backyard is really what it comes to. All the issues you discuss are factors of every school. PS130 is not your answer its what you want and the schools in D25 are overcrowded but like EC242 we saw a need for our families and squeezed in a school the community needed. We saw the same issues you complain about in that neighborhood as we do in all our school neighborhoods. I remember a 5 year old girl getting hit by a car there on Francie Lewis too and many other accidents. Communitites need to work together and if there is a need for a school accept this and create it together. For some reason it always beoomes about 130 yet there has never been room there otherwise it would have been open to your District.Dont forget that right down the street is a D25 middle school and 6-12. If D26 needs the space that location can work if you allow it too. There seems to be a habit of fighting what can work and what is needed instead of looking for the positives and working for a positive change.
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Marge
      > To: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 2:14 PM
      > Subject: [nyceducationnews] Re: Proposed School Opposed by Queens Community Board 11
      >
      >
      >
      > Mel:
      >
      > Thanks for the info. As I said, I don't know CB 11, but I have seen Community Boards in Queens oppose new schools again and again. One time, a bunch of senior citizens from Maspeth got on buses and went to a City Coucil meeting to say that they really wanted a Staples store in their neighborhood instead of a new primary school because they needed a place to buy office supplies!
      >
      > In D24, we have a number of schools which abut 2-story homes, and we have multiple schools within a couple of blocks of each other (in Maspeth we have an 1,800 seat middle school, 1,000 seat primary school and 1,000 seat high school in close proximity to each other). My impression is that there is traffic congestion around drop-off and pick-up but this is for only about 15-20 minutes and only happens 180 days of the year (less than 50% of the calendar). I am all for the local police ticketing parents who do not follow traffic regs. when coming to the school. A flurry of tickets will go a long way toward teaching this minority of parents to behave properly.
      >
      > With the population of Queens and NYC increasing, we need to build schools - sometimes they may cause some inconvenience, but how much worse if there are insufficient seats for our children? Compared to the size of the schools I am familiar with in D24, I feel that 416 seats is a very small school...
      >
      > Incidentally I have plenty of criticism of the SCA overall for their frequent lack of preparedness at public meetings, but that's not a reason to deny the community a new school. Neither is the idea that some community members may enjoy the existing business located at this site (which seems to be implied by the article).
      >
      > Marge
      >
      > --- In nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com, melmeer1@ wrote:
      > >
      > > Marge,
      > >
      > > I'm a member of this community board (CB11Q) and was the founding chair
      > > of its education committee. For some time, we think, it was the only
      > > community board education committee in the City. It is true that our
      > > elementary schools are overcrowded. Still I voted against this
      > > particular site. As you are not, I think, from this community (which is
      > > very devoted to its public schools) let me give you a bit of explanation
      > > and some facts that may not have been clear in the article you sent along.
      > >
      > > The site is a garden nursery. A small section of it is on the avenue
      > > running almost from street to street. Most of the site, though, doesn't
      > > face on to a street; it is surrounded by modest homes, attached on one
      > > side of the property and detached on the other. The detached houses have
      > > about 20' - 25' of front footage. These people are not wealthy; what
      > > assets they have are likely tied up in their properties. Many people
      > > move here and accept limited housing space because they have faith in
      > > what the local schools will do for their kids.
      > >
      > > The SCA came to the hearing without a plan for a building, without even
      > > an artist's rendering of a possibility or two. What the SCA is
      > > proposing is that the school property would abut these residents'
      > > property lines without any intervening space. Certainly I have not seen
      > > all the school property in the City, but I have seen a lot and I have
      > > never seen school property in a residential area like this abut private
      > > property lines without a street in between. These people are afraid,
      > > and rightly so.
      > >
      > > The article also made much of the traffic issues. Across the street
      > > from theback of this property is MS 158, a school of over 1000
      > > students. Two blocks from there is PS 31. With schools come parking
      > > restrictions and the need for parking for faculty. When you say that
      > > the kids will walk to school, you don't know our neighborhoods. Large
      > > numbers of kids ride the yellow bus or are driven to school. In the
      > > morning and after school there are traffic jams at all the local
      > > schools. 48th Avenue in front of the site has only one lane in each
      > > direction if parking remains. Two major bus routes travel there, back
      > > and forth. The side streets are so narrow that when you drive there and
      > > another car approaches, you duck yours into a driveway letting the
      > > oncoming car pass. In other neighborhoods in the City these would be
      > > one way streets.
      > >
      > > Recognizing the overcrowding in the local schools members of the Board
      > > and of its education committee made several alternative suggestions for
      > > alleviating the problem. Foremost among them is the return of PS 130 to
      > > District 26 use for the children that currently live in its zone.
      > >
      > > PS 130 is a school in District 26 not far from the proposed site. It is
      > > a former District 26 school, that is currently used by District 25 as a
      > > magnet school. Kids are bused to it from all over District 25, while
      > > local kids who could walk to that school are bused out to PS 31, PS 159
      > > and PS 162 helping to cause overcrowding at these schools. It is that
      > > overcrowding that is the rationale for a new school proposed in the
      > > article. In addition, the cost of all this busing is enormous and
      > > unnecessary, and is a blight on the neighborhood.
      > >
      > > The use of PS 130 by District 25 derives from an old and temporary
      > > demographic condition, and should come to an end. Some years ago when
      > > our community board looked into this we did a study that revealed two
      > > things. The schools to which the District 25 kids would otherwise go
      > > were less crowded than the schools to which the kids living near PS 130
      > > were bused. Also, the cost of all this busing approached the entire
      > > budget of PS 130 itself, about $1 million at the time. Noone though
      > > cares about busing costs.
      > >
      > > I hope I've shed some light.
      > >
      > > Best,
      > >
      > > Mel
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > On 5/10/2013 12:38 PM, Marge wrote:
      > > >
      > > > http://www.qchron.com/editions/north/city-eyes-keil-bros-for-new-bayside-school/article_bb2572c6-9f2a-55e6-9fd1-3f6de4fdbafc.html
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Honestly, I am so tired of Community Boards in Queens putting up
      > > > opposition to sites proposed by the SCA. Does this happen in other
      > > > boroughs? I have heard - "don't put a school in a residential area"
      > > > (too much noise and traffic) and "don't put a school in a commercial
      > > > area because it takes away commercial opportunities." Where do these
      > > > people want the schools located? I don't know anything about CB 11 in
      > > > northeast Queens, but the three CBs I've been to meetings of - CB2,
      > > > CB4 and CB5 - seem to be comprised either of older members who most
      > > > likely don't have kids enrolled in school or young members who don't
      > > > yet have children. When the SCA comes to CEC meetings, Queens parents
      > > > tell them to take sites by eminent domain or do whatever they have to
      > > > to obtain land - that's how desperate we are for new schools, yet the
      > > > Community Boards seem to be oblivious.
      > > >
      > > > Here we have a case where the SCA seemingly approached a land owner
      > > > out of the blue to build a 416-seat K-5 school (only 416!) and the
      > > > cranky CB members are complaining about the supposed bus traffic that
      > > > will ensue. First of all, a school this small will probably have no or
      > > > very little busing since most children will live within walking
      > > > distance. Second, as Queens becomes more and more built up, it is hard
      > > > to find sites big enough on which to build schools. Here, seemingly,
      > > > the SCA is being proactive (for once) in looking to buy a property
      > > > that the Community Board didn't even know was for sale and it is
      > > > getting slammed for that? Unbelieveable...
      > > >
      > > > from Queens Chronicle:
      > > >
      > > > City eyes Keil Bros for new Bayside school
      > > >
      > > > The School Construction Authority came before Community Board 11 on
      > > > Monday night with a proposed new 416-seat school, pointing to what it
      > > > calls a strong need for more classrooms in one of the city's
      > > > high-performing education districts.
      > > >
      > > > The agency ran headlong into the gaping maw of Northeast Queens' ire,
      > > > fueled by the potential school's incredulous neighbors, who claimed
      > > > the city did not look hard enough for a better site.
      > > >
      > > > CB 11 voted 25-3 against the creation of a kindergarten-to-5th-grade
      > > > school at what is currently the site of the Keil Brothers Garden
      > > > Center and Nursery at 210-11 48 Ave. in Bayside.
      > > >
      > > > The meeting at points devolved into shouting and accusations the SCA's
      > > > site selection manager, Christopher Persheff, intentionally came
      > > > bearing little information beyond a Google Maps image. Members of the
      > > > public said he needs to "look someplace else."
      > > >
      > > > "This is not an easy thing to find, 3,000 square feet to build a
      > > > school," Persheff said. "It just doesn't happen. It's very rare."
      > > > Most present at the board meeting weren't buying it.
      > > >
      > > > "This particular proposal is the most illogical thing I've ever seen,"
      > > > said Michael Feiner, president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association.
      > > > Community activist Mandingo Tshaka, who lives close enough to the
      > > > proposed site to be affected by the school, said the influx of school
      > > > buses and parents dropping off their kids during rush hour would tax
      > > > strained city resources.
      > > >
      > > > The site rests along two major bus routes, and is next to a large
      > > > thoroughfare in an area made up mostly of narrow residential streets.
      > > > "This whole area is saturated with schools," Tshaka said. "We can't
      > > > stand anymore."
      > > >
      > > > But all the bluster and board's vote may be for naught. CB 11's role
      > > > is purely advisory. The proposal's fate largely rests with the City
      > > > Council, where the district lacks a viable legislative champion as
      > > > Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) battles corruption charges and
      > > > faces a diminished role.
      > > >
      > > > Principals from various schools from within the 26th Education
      > > > District spoke of increasing student populations that their
      > > > institutions cannot handle. But the hearing devolved into smatterings
      > > > of hearsay and rumors.
      > > >
      > > > Chief among them was the assertion the building would be four to five
      > > > stories tall, which Persheff said would be "anathema" to any plans.
      > > > The land, he said, would allow for the creation of a cellar below
      > > > ground, diminishing the need to build a tall structure.
      > > >
      > > > The SCA was ill-prepared to address questions of environmental and
      > > > infrastructure impact, as it had yet to conduct a study on the
      > > > school's effects. The point of the gathering, Persheff said, was to
      > > > feel out the community and hear its concerns.
      > > >
      > > > "In this case, we want to hear from the community in detail about the
      > > > site," he said, adding "We're running out of sites and with this one
      > > > site we have a chance to build a pretty decent school."
      > > >
      > > > The SCA is also running out of chances, according to Persheff. The
      > > > agency's capital plan and funding is amended every year, and the
      > > > turnover at the mayoral and Council level means next year's dollars
      > > > aren't promised today.
      > > >
      > > > Persheff said the SCA began searching for sites on April 15, which
      > > > some blasted as a surprisingly short period.
      > > >
      > > > The agency's land-search process, as described by the selection
      > > > manager, consists of cold-calling potential landowners and assessing
      > > > their willingness to sell.
      > > >
      > > > The selection of Keil Brothers' land surprised many, as the
      > > > neighborhood institution was not known to be up for sale.
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • melmeer
      Jane, Forgive me for flying the local flag, but I don t understand how anyone can seriously justify spending at least many hundreds of thousands of dollars
      Message 2 of 7 , May 12, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        Jane,

        Forgive me for flying the local flag, but I don't understand how anyone can seriously justify spending  at least many hundreds of thousands of dollars busing kids from all over D25 into a school located in D26 and busing local D26 kids away from that very school they live near.  And if the past numbers prevail, we are busing these local kids to schools more crowded than the D25 schools from which the D25 kids come.  It's been a thorn in our side for many years and should be terminated.  It's bureaucratic inertia at its worst!

        It's very easy for people from afar to shout NIMBY.  But the location of a public school facility at a location that has nothing going for it except that the owner wants to sell is, as I noted in an earlier post, very poor public facilities planning.  There are better alternatives that the City refuses to consider.  They include (first and foremost) the return of PS 130 to its neighborhood kids, the use of available parkland that the community sees as serving no useful function, expansion of existing schools and condemnation of commercial property--often well located for schools.

        Mel


        On 5/12/2013 9:26 AM, Jane Reiff wrote:
         

        Not in my backyard is really what it comes to. All the issues you discuss are factors of every school. PS130 is not your answer its what you want and the schools in D25 are overcrowded but like EC242 we saw a need for our families and squeezed in a school the community needed. We saw the same issues you complain about in that neighborhood as we do in all our school neighborhoods. I remember a 5 year old girl getting hit by a car there on Francie Lewis too and many other accidents. Communitites need to work together and if there is a need for a school accept this and create it together. For some reason it always beoomes about 130 yet there has never been room there otherwise it would have been open to your District.Dont forget that right down the street is a D25 middle school and 6-12. If D26 needs the space that location can work if you allow it too. There seems to be a habit of fighting what can work and what is needed instead of looking for the positives and working for a positive change.
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Marge
        Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 2:14 PM
        Subject: [nyceducationnews] Re: Proposed School Opposed by Queens Community Board 11

         

        Mel:

        Thanks for the info. As I said, I don't know CB 11, but I have seen Community Boards in Queens oppose new schools again and again. One time, a bunch of senior citizens from Maspeth got on buses and went to a City Coucil meeting to say that they really wanted a Staples store in their neighborhood instead of a new primary school because they needed a place to buy office supplies!

        In D24, we have a number of schools which abut 2-story homes, and we have multiple schools within a couple of blocks of each other (in Maspeth we have an 1,800 seat middle school, 1,000 seat primary school and 1,000 seat high school in close proximity to each other). My impression is that there is traffic congestion around drop-off and pick-up but this is for only about 15-20 minutes and only happens 180 days of the year (less than 50% of the calendar). I am all for the local police ticketing parents who do not follow traffic regs. when coming to the school. A flurry of tickets will go a long way toward teaching this minority of parents to behave properly.

        With the population of Queens and NYC increasing, we need to build schools - sometimes they may cause some inconvenience, but how much worse if there are insufficient seats for our children? Compared to the size of the schools I am familiar with in D24, I feel that 416 seats is a very small school...

        Incidentally I have plenty of criticism of the SCA overall for their frequent lack of preparedness at public meetings, but that's not a reason to deny the community a new school. Neither is the idea that some community members may enjoy the existing business located at this site (which seems to be implied by the article).

        Marge

        --- In nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com, melmeer1@... wrote:
        >
        > Marge,
        >
        > I'm a member of this community board (CB11Q) and was the founding chair
        > of its education committee. For some time, we think, it was the only
        > community board education committee in the City. It is true that our
        > elementary schools are overcrowded. Still I voted against this
        > particular site. As you are not, I think, from this community (which is
        > very devoted to its public schools) let me give you a bit of explanation
        > and some facts that may not have been clear in the article you sent along.
        >
        > The site is a garden nursery. A small section of it is on the avenue
        > running almost from street to street. Most of the site, though, doesn't
        > face on to a street; it is surrounded by modest homes, attached on one
        > side of the property and detached on the other. The detached houses have
        > about 20' - 25' of front footage. These people are not wealthy; what
        > assets they have are likely tied up in their properties. Many people
        > move here and accept limited housing space because they have faith in
        > what the local schools will do for their kids.
        >
        > The SCA came to the hearing without a plan for a building, without even
        > an artist's rendering of a possibility or two. What the SCA is
        > proposing is that the school property would abut these residents'
        > property lines without any intervening space. Certainly I have not seen
        > all the school property in the City, but I have seen a lot and I have
        > never seen school property in a residential area like this abut private
        > property lines without a street in between. These people are afraid,
        > and rightly so.
        >
        > The article also made much of the traffic issues. Across the street
        > from theback of this property is MS 158, a school of over 1000
        > students. Two blocks from there is PS 31. With schools come parking
        > restrictions and the need for parking for faculty. When you say that
        > the kids will walk to school, you don't know our neighborhoods. Large
        > numbers of kids ride the yellow bus or are driven to school. In the
        > morning and after school there are traffic jams at all the local
        > schools. 48th Avenue in front of the site has only one lane in each
        > direction if parking remains. Two major bus routes travel there, back
        > and forth. The side streets are so narrow that when you drive there and
        > another car approaches, you duck yours into a driveway letting the
        > oncoming car pass. In other neighborhoods in the City these would be
        > one way streets.
        >
        > Recognizing the overcrowding in the local schools members of the Board
        > and of its education committee made several alternative suggestions for
        > alleviating the problem. Foremost among them is the return of PS 130 to
        > District 26 use for the children that currently live in its zone.
        >
        > PS 130 is a school in District 26 not far from the proposed site. It is
        > a former District 26 school, that is currently used by District 25 as a
        > magnet school. Kids are bused to it from all over District 25, while
        > local kids who could walk to that school are bused out to PS 31, PS 159
        > and PS 162 helping to cause overcrowding at these schools. It is that
        > overcrowding that is the rationale for a new school proposed in the
        > article. In addition, the cost of all this busing is enormous and
        > unnecessary, and is a blight on the neighborhood.
        >
        > The use of PS 130 by District 25 derives from an old and temporary
        > demographic condition, and should come to an end. Some years ago when
        > our community board looked into this we did a study that revealed two
        > things. The schools to which the District 25 kids would otherwise go
        > were less crowded than the schools to which the kids living near PS 130
        > were bused. Also, the cost of all this busing approached the entire
        > budget of PS 130 itself, about $1 million at the time. Noone though
        > cares about busing costs.
        >
        > I hope I've shed some light.
        >
        > Best,
        >
        > Mel
        >
        >
        >
        > On 5/10/2013 12:38 PM, Marge wrote:
        > >
        > > http://www.qchron.com/editions/north/city-eyes-keil-bros-for-new-bayside-school/article_bb2572c6-9f2a-55e6-9fd1-3f6de4fdbafc.html
        > >
        > >
        > > Honestly, I am so tired of Community Boards in Queens putting up
        > > opposition to sites proposed by the SCA. Does this happen in other
        > > boroughs? I have heard - "don't put a school in a residential area"
        > > (too much noise and traffic) and "don't put a school in a commercial
        > > area because it takes away commercial opportunities." Where do these
        > > people want the schools located? I don't know anything about CB 11 in
        > > northeast Queens, but the three CBs I've been to meetings of - CB2,
        > > CB4 and CB5 - seem to be comprised either of older members who most
        > > likely don't have kids enrolled in school or young members who don't
        > > yet have children. When the SCA comes to CEC meetings, Queens parents
        > > tell them to take sites by eminent domain or do whatever they have to
        > > to obtain land - that's how desperate we are for new schools, yet the
        > > Community Boards seem to be oblivious.
        > >
        > > Here we have a case where the SCA seemingly approached a land owner
        > > out of the blue to build a 416-seat K-5 school (only 416!) and the
        > > cranky CB members are complaining about the supposed bus traffic that
        > > will ensue. First of all, a school this small will probably have no or
        > > very little busing since most children will live within walking
        > > distance. Second, as Queens becomes more and more built up, it is hard
        > > to find sites big enough on which to build schools. Here, seemingly,
        > > the SCA is being proactive (for once) in looking to buy a property
        > > that the Community Board didn't even know was for sale and it is
        > > getting slammed for that? Unbelieveable...
        > >
        > > from Queens Chronicle:
        > >
        > > City eyes Keil Bros for new Bayside school
        > >
        > > The School Construction Authority came before Community Board 11 on
        > > Monday night with a proposed new 416-seat school, pointing to what it
        > > calls a strong need for more classrooms in one of the city's
        > > high-performing education districts.
        > >
        > > The agency ran headlong into the gaping maw of Northeast Queens' ire,
        > > fueled by the potential school's incredulous neighbors, who claimed
        > > the city did not look hard enough for a better site.
        > >
        > > CB 11 voted 25-3 against the creation of a kindergarten-to-5th-grade
        > > school at what is currently the site of the Keil Brothers Garden
        > > Center and Nursery at 210-11 48 Ave. in Bayside.
        > >
        > > The meeting at points devolved into shouting and accusations the SCA's
        > > site selection manager, Christopher Persheff, intentionally came
        > > bearing little information beyond a Google Maps image. Members of the
        > > public said he needs to "look someplace else."
        > >
        > > "This is not an easy thing to find, 3,000 square feet to build a
        > > school," Persheff said. "It just doesn't happen. It's very rare."
        > > Most present at the board meeting weren't buying it.
        > >
        > > "This particular proposal is the most illogical thing I've ever seen,"
        > > said Michael Feiner, president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association.
        > > Community activist Mandingo Tshaka, who lives close enough to the
        > > proposed site to be affected by the school, said the influx of school
        > > buses and parents dropping off their kids during rush hour would tax
        > > strained city resources.
        > >
        > > The site rests along two major bus routes, and is next to a large
        > > thoroughfare in an area made up mostly of narrow residential streets.
        > > "This whole area is saturated with schools," Tshaka said. "We can't
        > > stand anymore."
        > >
        > > But all the bluster and board's vote may be for naught. CB 11's role
        > > is purely advisory. The proposal's fate largely rests with the City
        > > Council, where the district lacks a viable legislative champion as
        > > Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) battles corruption charges and
        > > faces a diminished role.
        > >
        > > Principals from various schools from within the 26th Education
        > > District spoke of increasing student populations that their
        > > institutions cannot handle. But the hearing devolved into smatterings
        > > of hearsay and rumors.
        > >
        > > Chief among them was the assertion the building would be four to five
        > > stories tall, which Persheff said would be "anathema" to any plans.
        > > The land, he said, would allow for the creation of a cellar below
        > > ground, diminishing the need to build a tall structure.
        > >
        > > The SCA was ill-prepared to address questions of environmental and
        > > infrastructure impact, as it had yet to conduct a study on the
        > > school's effects. The point of the gathering, Persheff said, was to
        > > feel out the community and hear its concerns.
        > >
        > > "In this case, we want to hear from the community in detail about the
        > > site," he said, adding "We're running out of sites and with this one
        > > site we have a chance to build a pretty decent school."
        > >
        > > The SCA is also running out of chances, according to Persheff. The
        > > agency's capital plan and funding is amended every year, and the
        > > turnover at the mayoral and Council level means next year's dollars
        > > aren't promised today.
        > >
        > > Persheff said the SCA began searching for sites on April 15, which
        > > some blasted as a surprisingly short period.
        > >
        > > The agency's land-search process, as described by the selection
        > > manager, consists of cold-calling potential landowners and assessing
        > > their willingness to sell.
        > >
        > > The selection of Keil Brothers' land surprised many, as the
        > > neighborhood institution was not known to be up for sale.
        > >
        > >
        >


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