President’s Blog 10-17-2009: IC translates the Minutes

October 18th, 2009 Posted in Blogs, President's Blog

Thanks for visiting my President’s Blog. The Oct.14th of BCEQ Board was well-attended. There was enough Pizza & Cold Noodles to go around. VP2 Joyce Hogi baked a delicious Pumpkin Cake (almost from scratch). Because the has board voted to post approved minutes, I am posting my edited “excerpts” with personal comments that in no way represent the opinions of other board members. Much has been redacted from the minutes in red. To see the full version of BCEQ Minutes Sept.’2009, go to

Bronx Council for Environmental Quality

BCEQ Board Meeting 9/09/009

Attendance: J.Sokolow, K.Argenti, Anne-Marie Runfola, Christina Taylor, I.C. Levenberg-Engel, Dr.Dena Robins, Joyce Hogi, Dorothea Poggi, Stephen Ritz, Dart Westphal, Ellen Pollan,  and Jorge Santiago

I. Executive Reports:

President, IC Levenberg-Engel: Thanked Dotti Poggi for hosting the meeting. She put out a big table with homemades from soup to nuts. Dotti sure is well-organized. Visit her org’s website

II. Committee Reports:

A. Water: Karen Argenti & Dart Westphal

Croton Filtration Plant will not be completed on time, due to cost overruns.

*** No surprise, right? This ongoing fiasco verges on the criminally incompetent. All the deceit started long before the present NYC Admin. It’s tragic beyond the money; think of all the park habitats unnecessarily destroyed )-:

Design Commission Meeting, Jerome Park Reservoir Pathway, at City Hall.

Steve Ritz mentioned residents concerned about noise in the park.

Bronx River Settlement Funds: The Bronx River Alliance has received two grants and BxRA staff are happy to share what they know about obtaining funding.

DEP Long Term Control Plan: public comments due soon. BCEQ letter almost ready and would like letters from other orgs. Dart suggests that the BCEQ letter demand that DEP implement at least one meaningful project in the sewershed. Dart moved for letter to be approved. Unanimous.

Harlem River Working Group: Application completed to the National Parks Service.

I have high hopes for this spinoff from BCEQ’s March’2009 Water Conference. Harlem River activist Ludger Balan just got his new Environmedia-mobile. Check out his org’s website Join one of HRWG committees to help make Harlem River all it can be.

NYState Water Conference in White Plains: 9/23, Dr.Dena Robins and Harry J. Bubbins to represent BCEQ. Chuck Vasser also attended. He commented that there sure were lots of environmental lawyers. That’s a credit to Pace Academy, right? Kit Kennedy responded to my note, sent on Harry’s behalf asking for some attention to ConEd’s blockage of canoe & kayak navigation on Bronx Kill.

B. Communications: Karen Argenti (acting)

Gatefold Brochure: 2nd draft of text will be sent out for review. Come to our Nov.4th Meet & Greet (below) to see un-veiled the awesome new brochure.

They are almost so wonderful we should sell them, not give them away?

Website Updates: updates have been made, please review at

C. Membership/Events/Outreach:

  • · Proposed new membership fee schedule. Motion passed unanimously.
Individual – $10 $25
Small Group – $25 $75
Sponsors – $100 $200
Benefactors – $300 $500
Lifetime – $100 $1,000
Students & Seniors $10

o Meet and Greet on November 4th: Help is needed from members for the event.

D. Parks and Open Space C.Taylor

o Friends of VCP are selling entertainment guides as a fundraiser. Visit’s website and vote in the Tom’s of Maine Contest.

o See New Business – Yankees, below

G. Education

· Education Committee has met twice, at DeWitt Clinton HS and Nos Quedamos. Has 6 current members. Will work on bringing in student members this year.

· Helen C. Reel Env. Ed awards were given at the annual BBQ and also at the Bronx River Festival. Details and meeting minutes will be on the website.

Go to to read minutes of our education committee.

Educators: Please join us at the next meeting.  Use the CONTACT US on the banner.  I read almost every inquiry, with the exception of those from outside The Bronx.

· Created a mission statement and goals to help focus our activities. Identified some areas in which we think we can contribute.

· Will create a survey to find out what BCEQ can do to support existing efforts and where we might fill in gaps in EE in The Bronx.

IV. New Business

· BCEQ Position on Yankee Stadium Parks Replacement: As of now there exists a partially furnished rooftop park with ½ playing field and a running track.

·Kingsbridge Armory – At the Oct.14th meeting, we authorized VP2 to send a letter to KARA explaining our position.

Webm. has posted KARA Letter & BCEQ’s submitted Official Comments.

I have volunteered to be the “point person” to update our page, so please visit that URL whenver you’re reserving a date for an upcoming event. Roberto Clemente State Park scheduled an event that conflicted with BCEQ’s Annual Water Conference’008. If you are planning an event. please try to avoid conflicts. Avoiding conflicts is one of the reasons we think our calendar is so important a resource. Please take a moment to check it out now.

***We had a wonderful Guest Speaker at our Oct.14th meeting: South Bronx Environmental Activist, and Bronx HS of Science graduate, Omar Friella. Visit his org’s website at

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