Our City Council Waterfronts Testimony on Boating Safety in NYC

Our City Council Waterfronts Testimony on Boating Safety in NYC

With some regret, our testimony to the City Council committee on Waterfronts in support of increasing safety on the city's waterways suggests that it is time to propose some new regulations.

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In their own words: Our 2016 WHSAD Interns

In their own words: Our 2016 WHSAD Interns

Great to see weathered teak woodwork go from grey to gold! Great to see youth learn to do it!  Read how Christopher, Christie, Cesar, Devere and Jose describe their summer, in their own words.  

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PUBLIC COMMENT: Greater boat access near Statue of Liberty

 Photo courtesy of MarineTraffic.com

Photo courtesy of MarineTraffic.com

Public comments due to USCG on 1/3/17

Proposed: more boat access around Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Boating safety sited as reason for change

11/14/16.  This just in from the Harbor Ops Committee:

"Please be advised that USCG Sector New York has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking which pertains to a potential change to the security zone around Liberty State Park and Ellis Island.

The proposed change would enhance Harbor Safety by allowing smaller vessels to pass behind the Statue of Liberty and avoid being forced to travel in the more heavily used and current-impacted open channel.

MAPONY/NJ SUPPORTS this change and will file written comments in support thereof.

We urge you to review this ANPRM and file comments.

The corrected ANPRM can be accessed via the following link:

New York Harbor - security zone proposal
The US Coast Guard issued a technical correction to its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) of 3 November. The proposal related to potential changes to the security zone around Liberty State Park and Ellis Island. In the notice, the summary erroneously stated that removal of the security zone was being considered, while the proposal itself discussed only the possibility of modifying the zone.

81 Fed. Reg. 78759 (11/9/16) [https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-11-09/pdf/2016-27037.pdf].

FOR IMMEDIATAE RELEASE: PortSide NewYork launches Red Hook WaterStories

FOR IMMEDIATAE RELEASE: PortSide NewYork launches Red Hook WaterStories

On the occasion of the 4th anniversary of Sandy, PortSide NewYork launches Red Hook WaterStories. This is a digital museum with significant resiliency information. The site covers 400+ years of Red Hook waterfront history - NYC’s maritime story in microcosm - and reveals forgotten and overlooked stories from this evocative neighborhood.  

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Visitors enthralled by PortSide TankerTours of MARY A. WHALEN during OHNY Weekend

PortSide opened the MARY A. WHALEN for Sunday of OHNY Weekend.  Our ship MARY worked her magic, and so did our ship cat Chiclet who was a magnet in her own right. Our "Salty Selfies" photo station provided great souvenir moments. We believe in having fun while learning maritime history!  If you missed this, come enjoy the main deck for #TankerTime

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Red Hook WaterStories team makes headway

"Red Hook WaterStories” (RHWS) Project Moves Forward
Team grows and makes substantial headway!

What is Red Hook WaterStories

A water-themed history trail about and for fascinating Red Hook, Brooklyn. It will educate visitors and locals, help revitalize Red Hook and help protect this community from floods.  It tells NYC's maritime story in microcosm.  This year, we are launching a pilot multimedia map and creating a hard copy visitor guide and signs with QR codes around the neighborhood that alert people to the website. We will create large, outdoor, exhibit panels with this content.  We are taping more oral histories to share.

PortSide offices aboard the ship MARY A. WHALEN are a buzz as we push ahead with Red Hook WaterStories. Many new consultants and interns have come aboard to help develop and catalog content. The accessibility of our new home is allowing people with valuable skills, but no prior relationship to PortSide, to literally step (or ride their bicycle like David Levine) up to the pier and get involved.

We thank Councilman Carlos Menchaca both for seeing the importance of our new home and for the $20,000 in funding that is pushing the project forward.  We have applied for other funding, and have launched a campaign to raise another $20,000 by then end of June 2016.  

New people, new energy!

Our Curator and Historian Peter Rothenberg has been joined by a team of consultants, advisors and interns.  Some are interviewing, some research archives, some are deep in the html end of the archive. Bios of the team on the Red Hook WaterStories webpage.

We have been collecting new content and looking backward, meaning we sought technology and advice on how to get our archive coded and organized.  David Levine has 25 years experience in content management at major corporations and is leading the tech end of the project, selecting the software for content management and website creation.  Lots of conversations between him, Peter and new advisors Johnathan Thayer and Marilyn Oliva helped selected us Omeka as the archivist software to use. The first version of the multimedia RHWS website may be Omeka itself. Much to learn and code in all this!

Johnathan Thayer teaches archival practice and preservation at Queens College and is the Senior Archivist at Seaman’s Church Institute, founded in 1834 which has thousands of items and oral histories in its collection.  Despite all that content, they have nothing about Red Hook in their files – proof that PortSide’s project has something to contribute.

Regina Carra, a graduate student at CUNY Queens College studying Library Science and History, learned about RHWS from Johnathan and was so excited by the project that she rejiggered her schedule to work with us one day a week. 

We have had long meetings and brainstorming sessions around the galley table to discuss what themes, issues and peoples to include so we know to look for such content and  have the archive coded in advance to be ready to receive that kind of content.  “War” and “”military,” how are they the same or different? With our focus on immigrants who arrived by water or worked on the waterfront, what do we do about the “non-ethnics,” the English or WASPS?  How do we deal with false history (the errors so often repeated in the era of Google)?  

Do we include a layer that explains sources so people can see that many a map or engraving that has been used to show “this was Red Hook” is an illustration of a plan, an intention, and did not yet exist? That kind of discussion is so pertinent to the resiliency (flood prep) aspect to Red Hook WaterStories. 

As a water-aware organization, we planned to talk about underground water issues since we started this work in 2005.  After superstorm Sandy, information about the historic filling of creeks, swamp and shoreline is very timely.  It's key to understand that so many historic maps of Red Hook show a street grid of intentions over “land” that remained water and swamp into the 1900s. On a lighter note, in honor of our ship cat Chiclet and her devoted followers, we decided to add cat WaterStories. History needs to be fun too!

We have a bottomless font of facts and tips about the history in advisor Norman Brouwer, a noted maritime historian and the person who built the South Street Seaport library. He also has a personal collection of thousands of maritime postcards which we hope to access for illustrations.

Julia Golia, Director of Public History at the Brooklyn Historical Society, told us about resources in their archives and was receptive to partnering as they move ahead with their waterfront museum and waterfront history website in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

Melinda Boros, an immigrant from Romania, brings us a fresh perspective in her role as consultant. Red Hook was one of the first neighborhoods she found after emigrating in 1998. It's abandonment was something she expected in Ceaucescu’s Romania not the USA, so she dove deep into historical research to come to understand it. Barbara Wye, a recent grad in Anthropology and Digital Media Design with experience in community organizing around preservation, is helping with outreach, event planning and graphic design.

Many Red Hook WaterStories involve Spanish speakers, especially since the first point of arrival for Puerto Ricans in NYC was ships docking at Red Hook piers.  Intern Ivy Ann Rosado, a senior at Hunter College of Dominican heritage is helping with this research and other aspects of the project.

We are interviewing more people for more video and oral histories. Jenny Kane leads the oral history work. John Weaver handles the video camera. Our President Carolina Salguero, an award-winning photojournalist in her prior career, does some of the interviewing.

If you, or someone you know has some Red Hook WaterStories to share, get in touch! WaterStories include: all things working waterfront (shipbuilding/repair, ports/freight movement, creation of ports/changing shoreline, merchant marine/worked on boats, ferries), emigrated here by ship, worked at waterfront facilities, played/fished/relaxed on the waterfront, waterfront religious rituals, drownings, Sandy experiences, created an art work or piece of literature inspired by the Red Hook waterfront.

Funding

This project is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and funding from NYC Councilman Carlos Menchaca.

 

 

 

PortSide NewYork 2015 year in review

 third graders from elementary school crispus attucks 21 in Bedford Styvesant, Brooklyn came to us to learn about hurricane sandy and community resiliency. Photo by myra hernandez, Behind the book

third graders from elementary school crispus attucks 21 in Bedford Styvesant, Brooklyn came to us to learn about hurricane sandy and community resiliency. Photo by myra hernandez, Behind the book

2015: the search is over. The future is now.

2015 was a year of major milestones and growth.  See, read and feel it below.  

The pivot point was the exhilarating move on May 29 in the video at right.  

Our new site strengthens our ability to fulfill the PortSide vision of combining the working waterfront, public access and community development.  

Please donate now and support our momentum!  

 

 

Education

The public access at our new home enables us to grow our educational programs.  We hopped on it right away with outreach such as our Open House for Educators Week and researching new curricula.  We gained new partners in the World Monuments Fund, the Williamsburgh HS of Architecture and Design (WHSAD), and Behind the Book. We had three summer interns from WHSAD and two college interns from Spain.  We created a curriculum for simple machines aboard the MARY A. WHALEN and taught Hurricane Sandy & resiliency to elementary school kids. For adult job training, we furthered our relationship with the painters' union District Council 9

WaterStories cultural programs

We secured $20,000 in funding from Councilman Carlos Menchaca to support our Red Hook WaterStories cultural tourism, placemaking and resiliency project.  We were invited to join a historic ship flotilla that celebrated Cunard's 175th anniversary and got community members in the parade via our partner, the historic tug CORNELL. We curated and ran a great POW! weekend with TankerTours, TankerTime and gifted flamenco jazz musicians who have offered to make this an annual event.  We produced a distinctive multimedia history night with Norwegian Red Hook WaterStories with bluegrass musicians from Norway, history speakers, and vintage video. Out shipcat Chiclet has become an attraction, with a growing fan club of regulars who come by to see her.

Ship restoration:

Volunteers repainted three cabins!  Thank you, volunteers! Three summer interns from WHSAD did enormous work restoring the teak rail around the wheelhouse.  The painters' union District Council 9 will repaint the exterior as a training excercise with paint donated by International Paint. DC9 scoped out the job, did some prep work, and laid plans for painting in 2016.

History: research, acquisitions & programs

History runs through so many of our programs: all events on the ship, programs such as our Norwegian Red Hook WaterStories night, info content we share on our Facebook and Twitter, our blogposts such the one about the important sale of slave ERIE ship in Atlantic Basin which marked an important step in the end of slavery in the USA.  In 2015, we added considerably to Mary A. Whalen history:  more former crew members found us (thanks to our new home): Engineer Bill Siebert who works on a Vane tug and retired, 86-year old, former relief captain Thomas J. Smith.  Captain Smith donated his maritime papers to us, and we have taped hours of interviews with him. A big boost in the history department was the visit by Scott Gellatly and his wife Pat. They ran a waterborne fuel transportation company years ago and almost bought the MARY.  The Gellatlys donated photos, recorded hours of interview and brought along retired engineer Bryan Sinram, another trove of history, who had worked for Eklof, the company that ran the MARY WHALEN for years. Walter Barschow donated the folk painting of the MARY aground in the slide show above and gave us leads on Red Hook WaterStories about his family that ran a scrap yard for decades, founded by his German immigrant grandmother. Karen Dyrland and John Weaver donated another large cache of photos, letters and documents from Alf Dyrland, Captain of the MARY from 1958-1978.  And, our home, the historic tanker MARY A. WHALEN turned 77!

Inspiring artists

PortSide continued to inspire filmmakers, painters and multi-media artists.  Most find us because they can now see us.  The MARY A. WHALEN is visible from our new friends and partners Pioneer Works which leads to a steady stream of artists coming to brainstorm, photograph, get ideas, one even collects salt water for a printing project. We gave the title to the documentary film BLUESPACE and appeared in it.  We invited painter Jim Ebersole to memorialize our final week in the Red Hook Containerport.

Policy/Planning

This important work does not generate inspiring, cuddly or sexy photos.  It involves a slew of emails and hundreds of conversations that advance our vision for bringing change to NYC's waterfront.  Some highlights: Our President Carolina Salguero was appointed to the Sunset Park Task Force whose first task was to advise the EDC on creating an RFP for SBMT. How's that for alphabet soup!  The Task Force continues to meet to shape the Sunset Park waterfront and industrial waterfront district.  PortSide provided info and advice on the siting of a Citywide ferry stop in Red Hook.  We are engaged with the ongoing work of Red Hook's NY Rising committee.  We had a photogenic policy gig by being a stop on Alex Washburn's OHNY Resiliency bike tour.

Capacity Building - great progress undergirds all the above!

Getting our new home in Atlantic Basin, has provided PortSide NewYork with much needed stability and allowed us to turn energies to growing PortSide's capacity.  We grew the team with 2 board members and 4 advisory board members.  We completed the long slog of paperwork of a FEMA Sandy Alternate Project application, along with other important funding applications.  We were awarded $20,000 by Councilman Carlos Menchaca to support our Red Hook WaterStories project.  In Late October, PortSide launched a year-long growth campaign #GetOnBoard.  In December, we were awarded a competitive Regional Economic Development Council grant of $49,500 via the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. We scored new major sponsors in the Weather Channel and International Paint.  There is strong growth in the number of entities reaching out to get involved: we have heard from college community service programs, schools, teachers and individuals.  

Please donate now and support our momentum!  





Red Hook Ferry Testimony

 NYC EDC Map

NYC EDC Map

Why this blogpost

This blogpost is in response to the uproar over the two Red Hook ferry locations proposed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC).  See images at bottom.  The EDC proposed these locations in a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and gave the public a deadline of October 8, 2015 for comments. 

The Red Hook community via the NYS NY Rising resiliency plan it created had, over a year before, articulated its recommendation for a ferry location in Atlantic Basin.  The EDC proposal did not include Atlantic Basin. 

After the angry and frustrated responses to the DEIS in a public hearing shortly before the comment deadline and the comments submitted to the EDC DEIS, the EDC reversed itself. “We agreed to take a second look at Atlantic Basin as a landing,” said vice-president Peter Flynt in a Brooklyn Paper article “We’ve heard the community loud and clear.” In short, as of this writing, the topic is still open.

PortSide NewYork has long supported ferry service for Red Hook. Over the years, we have provided advice to ferry owners, property owners, elected officials, Brooklyn Community Board 6 and others. During 2010, PortSide advocated for waterborne transit during the Vision 2020 process. During 2013-2014, PortSide President Carolina Salguero was on the NY Rising Red Hook committee which proposed an Atlantic Basin ferry location, and PortSide staff and interns contributed research to her work for NY Rising.

EDC links

Media links

How this blogpost will work

To help resolve where a new Red Hook stop on the citywide ferry system will be located, PortSide NewYork has created this blogpost.  Here, we will link all comments that were submitted to the EDC DEIS that we receive, or any subsequent statements people want to make about the Red Hook ferry, or you can post directly in the comment section at bottom.  All statements we receive will be posted without editorial comment in alphabetical order by name of person who wrote the testimony. 

We are doing this to improve transparency by showing testimony the EDC received, to foster discussion within the community by showing what the collective is thinking, and to help media reporting for all the same reasons. 

Comments submitted to the DEIS process & other statements


Pitch in during "Get MARY ready for the public" work

 Sanding and painting needed in this executive suite asap.  a false plywood floor has been cut and painted and needs to be installed after other surfaces are painted.

Sanding and painting needed in this executive suite asap.  a false plywood floor has been cut and painted and needs to be installed after other surfaces are painted.

PortSide NewYork is preparing to have the historic ship MARY A. WHALEN be publicly accessible by summer.  She and we will then be accessible for several years in a row, a real breakthrough after 10 years of operating as a pop-up in continual negotiations for short term permits.  We hope you are as excited by this news as we are! 

We could use some help getting ready, especially because the lingering winter weather delayed painting interior spaces on the ship before we moved our offices back aboard on April 30th.

Come enjoy spring weather on the waterfront and lend a hand.  It's fun here! Join us!

To get involved, call 917-414-0565 or email portsidenewyork@gmail.com. More about volunteering in general here.

Ways you can help:

Sanding and painting!  

Finish painting the Captain's cabin. Sand and paint the Assistant Engineer's cabin below (currently the office of our President Carolina Salguero).  Sand and paint the Tankermen's and Chief Engineer's cabin.

Like to pack and schlepp? 

We need to move stuff around on the boat and move stuff off the boat. Things in the Tankermen's cabin go up to Captain's cabin once painting there is finished (it's almost done.) Contents of Chief Engineer's cabin are  being taken off the boat to make space. Some stuff (some small, some heavy) goes into storage in the cargo tanks (that all involves fun with rigging).  Btw, did you know that schlepp comes from the German word for tugboat?  

Enjoy the Upacking and Tidying arts?

Can you organize stuff? Like to clean?

Things have been piling up in main office space (two joined cabins) since the end-of-year Rigging Olympics and especially since we moved out of our shoreside office yesterday. We  need to pack up and archjve some things until we can install better storage and desk system.

 this is the fidley after yesterday's move of office from shore to ship. all t his has to get put away and the fidley deck  needs a second coat of paint.

this is the fidley after yesterday's move of office from shore to ship. all t his has to get put away and the fidley deck  needs a second coat of paint.

Good at designing small spaces? 

We seek a new office layout with custom desk surfaces and new storage units for our main shipboard  office space below (two  cabins joined by the previous owners).  We have outgrown our current agglomeration of vintage steel desks and storage units. We have up to four people working in here at a time and much to store. Design needs to take into account that the ship moves.

Crude Woodworking

We need to cut planks to put down a floor in another cargo tank to use it as a storage area.  We need to install temporary plywood floors in two cabins used as office spaces.

Welding

Welding needed to finish sealing up the new hatch over cargo tank P2 which was cut late last year so we could store our large collection of vintage maritime artifacts down below. We have some other small welding repairs on hinges on steel doors etc. We are willing to pay for this work.

Revel in communication?

We could use some help with outreach to volunteers and event partners. This work requires a regular commitment of time over two months.

To get involved, call 917-414-0565 or email portsidenewyork(a)gmail.com.  More about volunteering here.

Thanks!

 

 

 

Sandy recovery work of our honorees at 10/28/14 "Resiliency is our HOOK" fundraiser

PortSide NewYork won a White House “Champions of Change” award in April 2013 for our hurricane Sandy recovery work and honors shortly thereafter from the New York State Senate. 

A huge part of our Sandy recovery work depended on the generous actions of three people PortSide honored at our fundraiser just before the two-year anniversary of the storm on October 28, 2014 at Hometown Bar-B-Que. More on them below.

Blogpost about the fundraiser in general

Blogpost about our special good neighbor award to IKEA

Victoria Hagman of Realty Collective

Victoria Hagman is principal of Realty Collective. So much of PortSide's recovery work after saving the MARY A. WHALEN was enabled by her generosity.  Despite Victoria's home having been flooded along with the basement contents of her Red Hook business location, Victoria, without hesitation and no strings attached, allowed PortSide to use the 351 Van Brunt storefront as an aid station. 

That offer included free electricity, heat, (and telephone and internet once those were back up.)  This became Red Hook’s first small business recovery center, before the location at IKEA, hosting different groups.  The storefront housed a gallery at that time, so PortSide had a stylish aid station, and the fact that the gallery was there is a testament to the trust that Victoria offered in making the space available.  Several Sandy survivors commented that the white gallery space and bright art was uplifting. 

Victoria helped set up a meeting for homeowners to get resilient rebuilding advice from Jim Garrison an architect from Pratt Institute and more.  She continues to do work for Red Hook Sandy recovery and resiliency efforts via multiple groups by participating in NY Rising, in special events promoting red hook, a zoning working, being on the CB6 board and the Gowanus CAG, Ready Red Hook emergency response plan… Safe to say, that if there’s some group working to improve Red Hook, Victoria’s probably in it.

 Danny Schneider of Schneider Electrical Contracting

 James Hill (left) of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce presents the award to electrician Danny Schneider

James Hill (left) of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce presents the award to electrician Danny Schneider

Danny Schneider, the principal of Schneider Electrical Contracting in Park Slope, walked into PortSide's Sandy aid center "351" within days of the storm and offered free electrical services.  He had heard through his wife's Facebook page that electricians were needed in Red Hook.

PortSide offered to coordinate his work, and word of the “electrician sign-up sheet” at 351 spread like wildfire in Red Hook. PortSide amalgamated requests by phone, email and text and conveyed them to Danny, who worked off the sign-up sheet.

Danny reports that he inspected and certified sixty buildings (which means many more families than sixty) for free, and repaired some two dozen for the cost of parts.  When electrical parts were getting hard to source, he passed that info to PortSide who began hunting for parts in bulk. He battled hours of traffic each day to get to Red Hook; and in the middle of all that, his license was up for renewal so he battled traffic and lines downtown to get that renewed, and came back to help. He also did volunteer electrical repair in the Rockaways. Video of 
Danny Schneider receiving his award  He also speaks at the end of the video with honoree Victoria Hagman.

Peter Rothenberg, Historian & Curator, PortSide NewYork

 Peter Rothernberg (lefti holding his award, and Carolina Salguero (right) 

Peter Rothernberg (lefti holding his award, and Carolina Salguero (right) 

Peter Rothenberg is PortSide’s Historian and Curator. His recovery work includes prevention, restoration of historic artifacts and direct service to Red Hook Sandy survivors, as well as reassuring ministrations to ship cat Chiclet. on our ship during the storm.  See video of Peter receiving his award here.

Within the crew of rambunctious wits that is PortSide NewYork, Peter is a quiet, private worker and just the kind of steady guy you want around when a storm is coming and things are going to hit the fan.

Peter helped PortSide prepare the tanker Mary Whalen for Sandy for four and a half days, and he rode out the storm on the ship with PortSide Director Carolina Salguero and Chiclet.

Peter came armed with foul weather gear and four gallons of corn chowder left over from a Brooklyn Botanic Gardens event (after three days of corn chowder, that taste will forever be associated in our minds with the hurricane). He also came armed with a tender heart for Chiclet who had that knowledge animals have that something bad is coming and washed herself steadily for many hours. Peter made Chiclet a tuffet of pillows so she could see out the tankerman’s cabin porthole

During the storm, Peter joined Carolina working outside easing lines… putting a chimney cap on the stove… putting another line around the tarp covering the wheelhouse windows… and the epic job of tying together every dockline not already in use and dragging that through the water to the pier 265’ to the north.   That line was to prevent the MARY A.WHALEN from floating up onto the pier, and maybe rolling or impaling herself on a bollard or wreaking any havoc.  As the surge waters rose around him, Peter crawled on hands and knees across the jersey barriers along the bulkhead back to the ship.

After the storm. Peter helped rinse out and dry our flooded electrical transformer (which we are still using); and when he found out that Carolina Salguero had forgotten to get our collection of historic documents out of the shed, he set to drying out the collection. Within hours, he had every horizontal surface aboard the tanker covered in wet historic papers, interleaved with whatever we had at hand (sheets, towels, paper towels, wax paper). The stevedores' lounge in the shed was also covered with this project for several weeks.

Peter and Carolina came ashore and set up and ran the aid station at 351 Van Brunt for several days until Dan Goncharoff could make it in from Manhattan to join us. Peter spent much of his time at 351 helping people who did not know how to use computers apply for aid and do other work on the internet.

 

PortSide surprise award to IKEA "Good neighbor Award for Sandy Recovery Work"

At our October 28, 2014 Fundraiser "Resiliency is our HOOK," PortSide went off script, as we are wont to do, and gave the Red Hook IKEA store a surprise award.

We presented IKEA with a "PortSide Good Neighbor Award for Sandy Recovery Work" in recognition of the varied, inventive and generous aid they provided for over a year.

We gave this award because we think IKEA deserves recognition at the community level for what their Brooklyn store did for Red Hook after Sandy.

We also gave IKEA the award because we are an educational organization, and we think there are some important lessons in the IKEA Sandy story.

WHAT’S TO LEARN HERE

1)  IKEA was able to help because they built a resilient building in the first place with the store set high up on a second floor (the garage beneath the store is flood-able space) with elevated electricity and mechanicals. The rectangle of the building was also angled so that a corner faced the water so that it could part waves as does the bow of a ship.  Given the surge in resiliency planning talk after Sandy, we think people should be looking at a design that worked and a company that thought to build that way nine years before Sandy.

2)  The absence of reporting about IKEA’s large-scale, diverse and prolonged recovery work says something about the media.  It shows how reporting clusters around themes, how reporting can be an echo chamber reiterating earlier stories. That a big box store could turn its cafeteria into and aid center and NOT have that generate a single feature story is a remarkable absence. The Fourth Estate can help the discussions of what worked and failed in the recovery period and is going to foster intelligent discussions of resiliency planning, so we ask them to look more closely.

3)  Looking to the future, it is important when making recovery and resiliency plans to understand who really did what in the wake of Sandy.  We encourage everyone (the Red Hook grassroots level, the consultant/planner/think tank contingent, elected officials and the media) to think about what gaps in reporting about Sandy may exist and research those gaps.  PortSide raised awareness of some knowledge gaps in the article “PortSide NewYork & other hidden Sandy Stories” that we wrote at the invitation of the local paper, the Red Hook Star Revue. 

Activities of the IKEA Brooklyn store in Red Hook

IKEA Brooklyn donated furniture to over 25 small businesses.

IKEA Brooklyn donated products directly to local non profits.

IKEA opened its Red Hook doors to National Disaster Organizations (FEMA & SBA, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and others which used half of the cafeteria and other spaces for their operations.

IKEA Brooklyn worked with Tunnel2Towers who brought about 16 box trucks full of donations for their co-workers and Red Hook neighbors for two weeks.

IKEA Brooklyn held a hiring event for displaced workers as a result of Sandy, offering temp work until their home businesses were back on their feet.

Additional work occurred at IKEA Elizabeth, Paramus, & Long Island with each store each working with their local communities.

IKEA provided $250,000 so that GlobalGreen could implement the “Solar for Sandy program” which installed solar power in the Red Hook Rec Center, so Red Hook has one off-the-grid community emergency center. The ribbon cutting was October 23, 2013 just before the first Sandy anniversary.

IKEA Brooklyn subsidized free Red Hook Summer Ferry in 2013 and 2014.

IKEA Brooklyn provided great support for their co-workers:

They brought in 3 counselors to help co-workers cope with the situation.

IKEA converted its large conference room into a makeshift shelter for co-workers and their families.

IKEA US organized a co-worker to co-worker donation program to help those IKEA co-workers who lost their homes or personal belongings.

IKEA received donations from other IKEA stores to give to our co-workers & their families (The store in Virginia sent a truck full of donations, driven up by two of their co-workers).

In addition, there were IKEA national initiatives

IKEA US donated over $500,000 in products for the NY/NJ area to disaster relief via the Red Cross.

IKEA donated furniture to firehouses, senior centers, & public libraries after Sandy

IKEA donated home furnishing to a Family Head Start/Early Learning facility in Brooklyn affected by Hurricane Sandy as part of the Life Improvement Project.

IKEA together with Tunnel2Towers:

donated furnishings for those in need in Staten Island and Brooklyn. Beds, mattresses, dining tables and chairs, chest of drawers, sofas. Value approximately $300K at retail dollars.
Product to be delivered to Staten Island and Gerritsen Beach locations.
Donations benefited between 500 to 1000 families in need.

IKEA teamed up with Save the Children and UPS to help refurnish 39 early childhood development centers in New York and New Jersey hit by Hurricane Sandy.

IKEA donated more than $100,000 worth of items, including bookcases, children's tables and chairs, cribs, desks and blankets to devastated child care centers Save the Children is helping to restore, as well as to the charity's Brooklyn field office. UPS is donating delivery services.

IKEA held special Sandy Recovery marketing events:

20% off Kitchens in January to help people rebuild
IKEA Brooklyn discounted moving boxes (Samla) in the months after Sandy