Open Thread Wednesday

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  • StudioBrooklyn

    From the presidential arrival the other day

  • Jorale-man

    I’m curious if anyone knew what the scuttlebutt was with Red Gravy. It looks like it’s officially closed now. A victim of Italian restaurant competition in the Heights?

  • Kathryn

    New garbage cans on Henry/Joralemon that hopefully won’t leak/overflow like the old ones. Just in time for Spring/Summer season when pedestrians come for Smorgasburg – oh wait!

  • alyssabereznak

    Hi OTW friends!

    This week’s BK HeightsCast is out, this time with a special segment on the school zoning proposal. We had a local reporter who’s been attending all the meetings come on and chat about it.

    http://bkheightscast.com/7-literally-a-living-hell/

    Thanks for listening!

    Alyssa from Pierrepont St.

  • Willow Street Watch

    Re; the upcoming public hearing on the PS 8/307 mess: I’m tempted to hand out intro packets on how to home school OR how to set up a private low cost academy. The idea of small or micro private or quasi public schools based fully and securely in the Heights is an idea who’s time has certainly arrived. Why expose our children any further to the low standards and dangers of the general public schooling system?

    At the Atlantic Frantic, I and two associates got to speak to a few NYC /State elected and appointed officials. We focused our remarks on the increase in population without exanding public safety issue, the non safety levels of a lot of the new construction AND the increasing erratic/ failures of the 911 system. Needless to say, our messages were not cheerfully received….

  • StudioBrooklyn

    As a parent, I think it’s important to take a very careful, qualitative look at a school before arriving at such conclusions as “low standards and dangers”. For a variety of extremely complicated reasons, a school with very high quality teachers might still produce low test scores or look a certain way on paper, and vice versa. I’d be more concerned about things like the schools’ willingness to be innovative and responsive to the science of learning.

    Meanwhile this PS8/307 thing is being spun in the national media in a way that paints our neighborhood as wealthy racists, elitists, and segregationists (who, if they were to take WSW’s advice, are scurrying to pull their precious darlings out of the integrated schools so they can study privately with three or four other privileged little brats). Where the media is more balanced, it paints the Farragut Houses parents as poor reverse-racists who don’t know what’s good for them.

    I’m not enjoying being portrayed this way and I really don’t like my neighbors in the projects having mud thrown at them either. It’s unhelpful. More importantly, this is extremely damaging to the kids, who are the ultimate victims here if the grownups can’t work something out and stop attacking each other with charges of classism and racism. I don’t know if they’re well founded but if they are they need to cut it out immediately, get over their prejudices, and arrive at a pragmatic solution geared toward the children.

    The two schools are in reasonable proximity. One is overcrowded and one can accommodate many more students. I’m confident both schools have excellent teachers, amenities, and other resources from which a diverse mix of students would benefit, and I’m frustrated that this is even a debate.

  • Bk_Heights

    Any word what is going in to the Eamonn’s location? Looks like b.good is going into Grand Canyon and TMobile is moving next to Equinox on Joralemon (booo)

  • Bk_Heights

    Any idea what is going in to the Eamonn’s location? Looks like b.good is going into Grand Canyon and TMobile is moving next to Equinox on Joralemon (booo)

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Just to clarify: my second paragraph (“Meanwhile this…”) contains what I perceive as characterizations, not my impressions.

  • Brixtony

    There’s no such thing as a ” private low cost academy” in this city other than really awful storefront rip-offs, mainly in low income neighborhoods. Teachers, supplies, books and most of all, real estate are what costs. You wouldn’t want to cut corners now, would you?Yes, school systems everywhere need improvements – it’s the nature of the beast – but if you did your due diligence, you’ll see that what really correlates are poverty and parental engagement (and especially their educational experiences).

  • Andrew Porter

    18 Cranberry Street is a Building-of-the-Day today on Brownstoner.com. Here’s the link:

    http://tinyurl.com/nc92u3q

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Re the correlation between poverty and parental engagement:

    I’ve observed (and to some extent experienced) that poverty exists in a cycle: when you’re very poor, it’s difficult to make or stick to long-term goals, or to do things for long-term benefit. Paychecks and welfare checks are immediately cashed and spent on rent, inexpensive and unhealthy food, and on products that provide immediate gratification. Money isn’t saved or invested, and the same goes for attitudes toward eating, reading, etc. (consumption). And the cycle isn’t just learned from one’s environment, it’s inherited. I’ve heard of studies that show how the stresses associated with poverty can embed themselves in genetic makeup and affect various cognitive functioning in offspring. Or something like that.

    What if there were a way to break this cycle? I had one idea, and although it would be very costly it might pay for itself if it works: what if families got a monthly stipend according to evidence of their involvement in their children’s educations? That stipend could be fixed, or it could vary according to some percentage of the average household income within their bracket or something, enough so that parents working two or three jobs would be able to clear enough time in their schedules to spend on their kids, and if parents don’t have work this would incentivize them to invest that extra time in their children. In order to collect this stipend they would need to show evidence of having done things like attending PTA meetings, and of improvement in their kids’ performance in school. In a generation or two I bet we’d see the poverty rate plummet, welfare expenditures could be slashed, and a generally smarter and better-informed populace could flourish. Maybe overthrow the oligarchical corporatocracy? :)

    Just an idea. I’d run for office but although I’m no prude, I’m married and my wife would leave me if she heard I’d slept with a whole corporate leadership board in order to raise campaign funds.

  • Brixtony

    Excellent points – I’d vote for you. It is a huge problem, but this country can do better than we’re doing, but not with the “leaders” we have now or are likely to have – except for good ‘ol’ Brooklyn Bernie.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Ah, Sanders…a self-described socialist working within an oligarchical corporatocracy with no merit-based vetting process for either legislators OR voters, and while he’s been getting a lot of sound bytes I’ve yet to hear him lay out a concrete solution (sort of like the one I just laid out, for example) to any of the problems he has expressed his entirely valid and resonant disgust with. And if elected president he’ll still have to spend X amount of time (which, no matter what it is, is too high a number) fundraising. Oh and congress, who are all in the pockets of private enterprises, will be much more stubborn with him than they were with Obama.

  • Willow Street Watch

    This will serve as a reply/retort to both studio and brix;

    There is so much right and wrong with both your thinking densly interwoven, that it indeed serves as a topology and a tomography into what is going wrong with the thinking in our country currently.

    First of all, your analysis is overly complex in that while the elements you identify are indeed factors in the current situation, you have them at wildly inaccurate/wrong relationships to one another and very wrong orders of importance.

    No one is attempting to degrade or injure anyone here. In reality, what is needed for one group in society is simply different from what is needed in a place like the Heights. If you decide to treat all patients with the same medication, how scientific or responsible is that?
    You cannot restore the level of education by pretending one size fits all. This is a kind of attempt to go back to a pre-sixties system which unlike now, served children of a society with was from a basically concentric social, cultural, ethical-moral and sprituial standards /refrence points. All of the complex analysis both of you draw comes down to one reality; the Heights should not be allowing anything to threaten or hurt our children and…we should not be doing anything to hurt children tn surrounding communities. And, just because kids have advantages that does NOT mean I would want my loved ones in the kind of environment typical of say, St Ann’s. Or some elements in Packer. Why? because I object to the social/ethical in both.

  • Heightsman

    Think you might mean the Pope….

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Yeah I wasn’t clear on that. And remember, there were two separate presidential visits to the city in the last week. Lately the prez has been flying in with the following aircraftcade (or whatever the term is for an aerial motorcade): 2 Ospreys (the aircraft with the rotating nacelles) and 2 Blackhawks (the large helicopters with single dorsal rotors, as opposed to the Chinooks they used to fly in on), followed by another one of each. This procession happened identically the day the pope came in and a few days later when Obama came in separately, for the UN I think…and I’m still getting mixed reports as to whether Obama and the pope arrived together…

  • Heightsman

    I just remember coming over the B. Bridge right at the time the Pope was coming up the FDR (interesting timing bc you can’t plan it). Then I looked right again and saw the fireboat which you don’t usually see with Obama. Security was something crazy.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    You bet. Fireboat was also present (in “full squirt”, as I like to say as of this moment) during both arrivals by the way. I think it was last Tuesday or Wednesday, as well as this past Sunday.

  • Willow Street Watch

    Smaller education secure modules, fine tuned to the actual specific needs of a group being educated, with critical attention to the needs of individual students, would appear the only sane solution for the present set of (worsening) situation. Especially where you have the number of gifted children as the Heights has.

    The alternative is, what?, smoosching into one cultural and potential group into a larger, foreign mishmash of different, mostly lower, potential recipients with all the cultural and social disruptions…and resentments .that is going to cause?!? That’s sane? Or humaine? Really?

    This is EXACTLY what is driving the home schooling movement which is surging in mid America. Attention to the needs and wellbeing of our children. Small education modules CAN be very well mounted on a well controlled, modest cost basis.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    “the Heights should not be allowing anything to threaten or hurt our children and…we should not be doing anything to hurt children tn surrounding communities.”

    So what’s your takeaway? Should overcrowded PS8’s surplus be diverted to underused and homogenous [non-white, economically disadvantaged, underperforming] PS307? Why/why not?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I’m no expert but I have a vague notion that (a) schooling requires certain resources, some of which are expensive and therefore better to pool among a larger set of people, and (b) spending one’s entire childhood in such a small setting can cause a degree of social atrophy that can affect the ability to perform in a “real world environment” later in life.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    edit: those are Sikorsky SH-3 Sea Kings (helicopters) and Bell boeing V-22 Ospreys (tiltrotor aircraft)

  • Willow Street Watch

    No, as I said, a new better approach is needed. If you have a fire does it make any sense to run deeper into the fire? As with any dangerous disorder, the sane thing to do is to contain the condition while you rectify the condition. Heights children should protected from Ill effects while you improve conditions surrounding the Heights for all the area’s children.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    The only concrete solution you’ve suggested seems to be that the surplus students from PS8 should be homeschooled. Is that realistic? Are you certain that sending them to 307 would be so terrible, and if so, why?

  • Willow Street Watch

    There is no real evidence that, as generations of John Dewey types have falsely maintained, that small focused education somehow limits or disables later functionality. Actually, all the evidence shows the exact opposite. If the former were true, then why are products of home schooling some of the most stable, highest functioning adults they are?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Are they? I mean, how are we measuring that? And how do we account for the highly successful people who went to public school?

  • Willow Street Watch

    I suggest you actually read my observations Fully before responding. My basic advocacy is for SUBSIDIARY. We should be exploring other options than the huge increasingly dysfunctional education factory’s we are running deeper into the syndrome which increasingly fails to provide the level of services our children need and deserve…

  • StoptheChop

    It was the Pope. I had good binoculars. ;)

  • Willow Street Watch

    There have been several good studies of the results of home schooling and smaller localized education. Even studies by allies of America’s and Canadia’s entrenched education lobby show home schooled kids ahead of the norm. AND home school/smaller
    localized school kids are far, far less exposed to drugs and violence which has flooded municipal schools coast to coast.

    Just google:” home school results” and look the studies. But remember that several studies are done by education establishment
    types who hate the idea of any subsidiarity in education, so…..