At Long Last, Solar One’s New Environmental Education Center Breaks Ground
Photo Credit: New York City Economic Development Corporation
On September 13 2023, Manhattan Community Board Six Chair Kyle Athayde joined Former Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, New York City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers, Solar One CEO Stephen Levin, New York City Economic Development Corporation President & CEO Andrew Kimball, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the New York City Department of City Planning Dan Garodnick, and Chair of the Solar One Board of Directors and former Manhattan Community Board Six Chair Jane Crotty at the ground breaking for Solar One’s new Environmental Education Center. Thanks to the long-time advocacy of Solar One, elected officials, and Manhattan Community Board Six, the new Environmental Education Center will soon be a reality and will teach and inspire generations to come about sustainability and the power of solar energy. Construction is set to begin next month. More information may be found here.
Left to right: City Planning Commission Chair Dan Garodnick, CB6 Chair Kyle Athayde, EDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball, and former CB6 Chair Jane Crotty. Image courtesy of CB6.
You can find information on these meetings and others by visiting the CB6 website, which you can do by clicking on the button below. Please make sure to check our website regularly, as meeting agendas are subject to change.
In Memoriam: Lou Sepersky, Former CB6 Member and Chair
Photo of Lou Sepersky. Photo credit: Leida Snow.
It brings us great sadness to report that former Manhattan Community Board Six member Lou Sepersky passed away two weeks ago.
Lou was appointed to Manhattan Community Board Six in 1971 and served for more than fifty years, until just this past May. During his time on the Board, Lou served in numerous leadership positions, including as Board Chair from November 11, 1992 to October 31, 1994 and as Chair of the Transportation Committee.
He was known on the Board for his passion, persistence, and thoughtfulness, all of which led to accomplishments that bettered our communities, and shaped our district as we know it today. Lou was known for his humor and classic New York gruff, which both welcomed community members and persuaded our elected officials. Lou left an indelible mark on Manhattan Community Board Six and the communities he represented. He will be deeply missed.
COVID-19 News and Updates
The federal government is resuming its free at-home COVID test program and will mail four test kits to any U.S. household that requests them. You may sign up at Covid.gov/tests.
Additionally, updated COVID vaccines are now available! No-cost COVID vaccines are available through the Center for Disease Control’s Bridge Access Program. To learn more about the program, click here. To search for pharmacies that participate in the Bridge Access Program, click here.
You may also visit New York City’s vaccine finder here or call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) for vaccination assistance.
Updates on Proposed City of Yes Zoning Text Amendments
The Mayor’s City of Yes initiative seeks to amend zoning rules to help the City recover more quickly from the pandemic, to create a greener city, to support small business growth, and to incentivize the creation of housing, at all levels, in all New York City neighborhoods. There are three proposed zoning text amendments that would be part of this initiative:
Zoning for Carbon Neutrality aims to modernize the zoning regulations in support of the City’s climate goals. The changes would focus on supporting a renewable energy grid, making our buildings clean and efficient, support for electric vehicle charging and micro-mobility options, and reducing waste and storm water. The text amendment was formally presented to the New York City Planning Commission on April 24th (you can view the video here), and is now in the public review process. The matter was heard at the May 22nd meeting of the Land Use & Waterfront Committee. The committee decided to vote favorably on Zoning for Carbon Neutrality, and a corresponding resolution on this Text Amendment passed our June Full Board meeting. You can find the resolution here.
Zoning for Economic Opportunity is focused on providing small businesses with the flexibility needed for them to change and grow, especially as the city recovers from the pandemic. The proposals would remove certain limitations on small businesses and ensure that our storefronts are occupied, and our neighborhoods remain lively spaces. This proposal had public information sessions on June 13th, July 11th, and September 12th. You can listen to a YouTube video from the June 13th session here, from the July 11th session here, and from the September 12th session here.
Zoning for Housing Opportunity is a direct response to our City’s housing crisis. This text amendment seeks to ensure that every neighborhood does its part to help meet housing needs and provide equitable access to housing for all New Yorkers. This proposal had a public information session on September 27th, and you can find the video for the September 27th session here.
If you have the questions asked above or any other questions about your rights as a tenant, don’t forget to call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline! It gives you free 1-on-1 help and guidance on housing-related issues, not to mention referrals to free legal services, if needed. Click on the image above to find more information about the Tenant Helpline.
- How to Support Asylum Seekers: Are you wondering how to support asylum seekers coming to New York City? If so, check out the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs website, which goes into detail on where help is needed for asylum seekers right now, and which donations are most needed.
- East Midtown Greenway: The construction of East Midtown Greenway and Andrew Haswell Green Park Phase 2B is scheduled to be complete by the end of December 2023. Although the greenway esplanade looks nearly complete, looks can be deceptive. The Greenway won’t be open to the public until all safety features are properly in place.
- Apply for affordable rental and homeownership opportunities through NYC Housing Connect
Incentive for Autopaying Your Water Bills
The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced that they are offering a $100 incentive credit to encourage customers to enroll in autopay. This limited time opportunity will only run for three months, until Nov. 15, so interested customers should sign up immediately. Those who enroll in autopay are required to receive e-bills, which eliminates physical paper bills and is therefore a more environmentally friendly alternative.
Autopay allows customers to pay their bills automatically on the due date, or a specific date each month, and avoid the hassle of remembering to pay on time. The autopay feature automatically deducts a customer’s balance or payment amount from their bank account or credit card.
Customers are eligible for the $100 credit if they sign up for autopay using their My DEP account through November 15.
Spotted Lanternfly Return to our District
Left image: Spotted lanternfly egg masses. Uncovered (top) and covered (bottom). Right image: Spotted lanternfly infestation. Photos courtesy of NYC Parks.
Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula–SLF) is an invasive planthopper, first discovered in New York City in July 2020. It has been spotted in our district. It can infest trees, but is not considered to be a threat to NYC’s forests. It is a threat, though, to agricultural crops such as walnut, grapes, hops, apples, and blueberries. It has the potential to damage natural areas.
While harming our city’s wildlife is prohibited, the City’s Parks Department is putting out a call to please squish and dispose of this invasive pest if you see it!
You can find more information about the spotted lanternfly on the Parks Department’s website.
Check Out the CB6 Website!
Your one-stop-shop for all things CB6: including board resolutions, YouTube videos of past meetings, a database of meeting minutes, information on streetwork notices in the district, and more! Visit our website by clicking on the button below.