Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

GL Sunday Brooklyn TV

April 29th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Some new selections for a Sunday from the YouTube, including a couple of pieces on the Greenpoint Oil Spill and some just-posted vids of “UFOs” over Brooklyn. Click here if the player doesn’t cooperate.

Tags: Sunday TV

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Greenpoint Archive // Apr 29, 2007 at 8:31 am

    The oil story is 30 years old and was never hidden. The clean up has been going on since the early 90’s with regular annual public meetings in the community providing updates. Health data shows no abnormal spike in health related issues even after 50 years.
    VBS also conveniently leaves out the fact that:
1) More than half of the 17 million gallon spill has already been cleaned up. 
2) The remediation process has been going on, with the blessing of local elected officials, since 1992 and continues. 
3) The spill is almost entirely under the remote western industrial section of Greenpoint near the East Williamsburg industrial park. There are a few residential streets near Kingsland Avenue that are above the spill, but the vast majority of residential properties are not involved with the spill.

    The oil is not oozing up as the reports suggest. There are no vapors covering the community as the video suggests. The report never explains that Dorothy Swick’s problem arose because a neighbor decided to illegally drill for a well in his backyard thirty feet down to reach a contaminated aquifer. Her vapor problem was created by that stupidity, not by any oil bubbling up.

    Marcia Kramer reports that there is a potential cancer cluster in Greenpoint near the oil spill. However, the cancer survivor in her news clip never lived in Greenpoint. All of the cases of an extremely rare sarcoma cancer in the report are actually on a single block in Williamsburg on Devoe Street (nowhere near the oil spill, not even in the same zip code). One more case is five blocks away and even further away from Greenpoint and the oil spill. In fact, one victim got cancer after residing in the same apartment as an unrelated cancer victim and previous tenant. Sarcomas are a very rare form of cancer, and as reported in the Post article, “You don’t see three in one block,” Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a California expert on metal detoxification, said. “Someone should be paying attention to this.” Dr. Kanti Rai, chief of oncology at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, agreed that it was “worth an investigation.”

    Curiously, that same week Congressman Anthony Weiner and Senator Schumer stated that Greenpoint has a 25% higher asthma rate than the rest of the city. The only problem is that the two health studies done by the state and city show the asthma rate in Greenpoint to be between 25% and 50% lower than the rest of the city along with a 10% lower cancer rate. The State DEC is aware of toxic industrial sites in Willliamsburg near Devoe Street that could potentially be the cause of these rare cancers, but no one is calling for that study. “Instead, there seems to be a no holds barred attack on Greenpoint and a blatant disregard for the health concerns of the Willamsburg community”. Neighborhood Roots has reached out numerous times to Senator Schumer’s Washington office’s communications director Eric Schultz, and Bret Rumbeck who handles environmental issues for the Senator, with no calls being returned. One must question whether the recent support of massive residential development in Williamsburg and the historic resistance from Brooklyn politicians (including Borough President Howard Golden) to residential development along the recently rezoned Greenpoint East River waterfront (not near the spill) has anything to do with this dissemination of lies and the timing of these lawsuits.

    The news reports also include repeated clips of our notorious Laura Hoffman complaining and lying about the neighborhood. The video never mentions that she is one of only six residents who joined Riverkeepers lawsuit against the oil companies for the oil spill, or that none of the six plaintiffs live above the spill. It is a tragedy to be dealing with an illness in the family, but that does not excuse anyone from spreading hurtful lies about a community. She mentions the Greenpoint Incinerator even though there is no Greenpoint incinerator. The smoke stacks the camera zooms in on in one video are the Con Edison stacks in Astoria. Mrs. Hoffman has been a loud voice protesting the rezoning and waterfront development in Greenpoint. This may explain the purpose of her scare tactics.

    Tom Stagg, who is in one of the videos, claims to be living on top of oil even though Newell Street is not where the spill is. Even Riverkeepers own maps show his street is nowhere near the spill. What a sloppy fact checking job the reporters did with this. You see, Mr. Stagg’s property is adjacent to McGuinness Blvd which went through a major reconstruction including deep excavations to remove all of the old building foundations from the street. No oil was ever found during the project or any other of the countless excavation projects completed in the community. Mr. Stagg is not telling the truth. Greenpoint has lower cancer rates than Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and many other Bklyn neighborhoods. It also has some of the lowest cancer rates in all of nyc/nys. These stats can easily be seen at


    But of course the news never mentions this. Just exaggerations and lies about Greenpoint.

    I hope Marcia Kramer and Channel 11 news got a nice check for their work. What’s the going rate for slander these days? I wonder if they have any property investments in Williamsburg?