Watchtower to Soap Box Derby: NOT ON OUR HILL!

soapbox.jpg John Mejias the organizer of the annual Paping Soapbox Derby that has wowed spectators on the steep Columbia Heights hill for the last couple of years, tells BHB that it will not take place in Brooklyn Heights this year.  The organizers of the race, which features homemade racers bearing names like "The Armoire", attempted to go through proper channels for the 2007 running, applying for a block party permit, presenting to CB2 and finally approaching The Watchtower for their permission to race on the hill. The Watchtower has denied their request, preventing Brooklyn Heights from hosting one of New York's most exciting and inclusive events. Mejias tells us that the race will happen later this summer in the Bronx.

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  • Bklyn Native

    Words can not begin to do justice to this.

    Since when does anyone need to ask the Watchtower (or any other private, tax exempt organization) permission to use the public streets and sidewalks?

    Does the Watchtower ask permission when they step on my private stoop to ring my bell to ask if I’m satisfied with my relationship with God?

    What and who gives the Watchtower ANY say in what happens on a public street? Especially an event that would benefit the community with some fun?

    How about the Watchtower gets some input into what happens on “their” street when they start paying some taxes?

    This taxpayer and lifelong Brooklyn resident is appauled that someone is giving the Watchtower veto power over public permits.

    This should be escalated to our district City Councilman.

  • Jo Ann

    Amen ‘Native. I’m with you!

  • Tim N.

    If this is supposed to be an “outlaw” even, then they should hold it anyway, Witnessess be damned. Make them call the police. Make them shut it down.

  • MadeInBrooklyn

    since when does the jehova cult have any say over the streets in front of their factories?

  • hoppy

    The worst that can happen is that they will all come out and beat you with their pamphlets.

  • GHB

    When are they gonna finally move their whole operation upstate? They have no business telling us what we can and cannot do in our own neighborhood. WE actually pay taxes!

  • nabeguy

    I think they’re just concerned about how many accidents they may have to “faith heal” that day.

  • john mejias

    John here, I organize the derby. Just wanted to say thanks for the support. We are not happy either but we felt we were pushing our luck with those parked car collisions and also some participants cannot afford to get arrested (again). We would like to try and hold it again there in the future though and anyones help would be appreciated.