Today’s news:

A ‘concrete’ fact: Red Hookers don’t want cement plant near farm

for The Brooklyn Paper

Organic plants, not concrete plants!

That was the message that Red Hook residents delivered last Saturday, when about 40 neighbors donned face masks to protest the planned opening of a concrete plant next to the Beard Street Ikea — across from a community farm and near popular playing fields.

The neighbors, who carried signs reading “No More Pollution” and “Honk 4 No Cement,” said they oppose the plant because its fine dust would coat the organic pumpkins and eggplants at the Red Hook Community Farm.

“What ticks me off is that it’s next to an organic farm. I don’t think those vegetables would be organic any more,” said J.E. McKnight, co-chairman of the Red Hook Civic Association.

US Concrete, the Texas-based conglomerate that is putting the finishing touches on the plant, has said that 15-20 trucks would be based there, and one protestor said that could drive baseball players out of Red Hook Park one block away.

“We worked very hard to get a field for the Little League, but I don’t think we’d bring the kids here to breathe fumes,” said Pete Morales, commissioner of the neighborhood’s Little League.

The activists face an uphill battle. The site is zoned for heavy industry — a legal designation that permits even more noxious uses like glue factories, slag heaps and garbage incinerators — and the plant appears to be nearly ready to open.

Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez skipped the protest, but an aide to state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D–Red Hook) said his office would keep fighting the plant because the neighborhood has changed since the “heavy industry” zoning was put in place decades ago.

“I don’t think they appreciate the density of this area and how litigious New Yorkers can be,” said the aide, Jim Vogel. “If you’re opening a cement plant in an area with a 40-percent asthma rate, you’d better open your pocket book, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time in court.”

Kids who volunteer at the community farm agreed.

“Putting a cement plant right next to a park — how stupid can they be? They should put it in the desert so it doesn’t affect anyone,” said Matilda Armstrong, 11.

Concrete plants are often located in densely populated areas because the widely used material needs to get from the plant to construction sites within the five boroughs quickly or it hardens and becomes useless.has

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Dave says:
Waaahhhh

These are the same morons who protested Ikea because it would kill Red Hooks Manufacturing base..... "you can't please all of the people, all of the time" - but in NYC (especially Brooklyn) - you have people who are displeased all of the time, no matter what.
Sept. 14, 2009, 11:31 am
Fred from South Brooklyn says:
The whiney white folks of Red Hook strike again! If, instead of always playing the NIMBY card they put energy into building something like a top performing public school or better mass transit, the community might improve.
Sept. 14, 2009, 1:36 pm
Jay from Brooklyn says:
You should all learn the difference between cement and concrete. It would make your positions a little more credible. Further, this is why industrial zones exist. Just because others choose to encroach upon an industrial zone does not mean those in that zone should have their property rights taken away. Shall we go back to building our homes, schools, and churches with mud and grass?
Sept. 14, 2009, 7:48 pm
Jane from Bklyn says:
Save the Vegetables?
And suuure - let's move all Brooklyn business to "the desert" someplace, regardless of legal zoning. (Maybe Ikea shoulda moved there too?)
Enough with the NIMBYism ... and please, no more dumbass-hokey costumes.
Sept. 15, 2009, 2:52 am
Doug from Newark says:
“Putting a cement plant right next to a park — how stupid can they be?"

“Putting a park right next to a heavy industrial zone— how stupid can they be?"

fixed that typo for you.
Sept. 15, 2009, 9:24 pm
Lisa from BKLN says:
Clearly never been to Red Hook have you Dave? The white people actually live more along the water and van brunt - the plant is much closer to red hook project.. Clearly inner city kids DONT deserve an actual park to play in in your book buddy.. Oh right - and forget the lesson they learn from working on sustainable farm - they should just sell crack on the street...
Sept. 17, 2009, 1:27 pm
Lisa from BKLN says:
Clearly you have never been to Red Hook have you Dave? The white people actually live more along the water and van brunt - the plant is much closer to red hook projects.. Clearly inner city kids DONT deserve an actual park to play in in your book buddy.. Oh right - and forget the lesson they learn from working on sustainable farm - they should just sell crack on the street...
Sept. 17, 2009, 1:27 pm
Geoffery from Brooklyn Heights says:

I think the larger question is, what gives Added Value, a private non-profit, the right to run a 2-acre city park including controlling all access and programming in a public park without having gone through a transparent, competitive bid process? They are there under the auspices of community garden, but the community gardens I know of don't have paid staff or run markets.

Although their intent and work is wonderful, waging a war against their legally permitted industrial neighbors, might blow their under the radar screen status. They could find themselves in the same boat as the Red Hook latino food vendors which would be very sad.
Sept. 18, 2009, 3:07 pm
Ellery from Heights says:
Lisa from BKLN says: "Oh right - and forget the lesson they learn from working on sustainable farm - they should just sell crack on the street..."

So if not for this farm, all the kids would be selling crack? And heavy industry is being sited in a longtime heavy-industry zone specifically to deprive inner-city kids of a farm experience?
Give me a BREAK.
Frankly, someone didn't think enough of the kids or the farm to actually think AHEAD. As Doug said, above: "Putting a park right next to a heavy industrial zone — how stupid can they be?"
You don't plant pumpkins or put ball fields next to a heavy-industrial zone in NYC and assume that things won't change, or that you can wish zoning away.
Sept. 20, 2009, 1:08 am
sid from Boerum Hill says:
ok where do you put the concrete plant? It has to be within a close distance because concrete sets within a few hours. So unless you move it into the pier area(where you want jobs) you need to be relatively close to the tunnel to move it quickly into Manhattan. You could put them on barges and move them around but then every neighbor where the barge was placed would have the exact same complaint...yes you move into an industrial neighborhood and complain about industry...
So its either stop building or have a close by concrete plant.
Sept. 21, 2009, 11:32 am
TONY from CHELSEA says:
SILICA AND MICRO SILICA....CHECK IT OUT
PULMONARY POISON......HOW ABOUT CHOPPING?
CHOPPING IS GENERAL MAINTAINANCE, THATS WHERE A LABORER JACK HAMMERS THE RESIDUE FROM THE INSIDE OF THE BARREL....SOUNDS LIKE WWII....
HOW ABOUT NIGHT WORK? TRUCKS SPINNING THE BARREL AT FULL THROTTLE WHILE STONE, SAND AND CEMENT ARE DUMPED IN.
ALSO ADMIX [FRIENDLY WAY TO AVOID THE WORD CHEMICLES] OF MANY TYPES.WASTE WATER,LEFT OVERS,MATERIAL DELIVERY,BULK TANKERS VIBERATING THE LOAD[KEEPS IT FLUFFY]
March 11, 2010, 8:27 pm

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