Monthly Archives: February 2011

BHA Action Raises Questions

Review and Comment
Henrik Krogius, Editor
Brooklyn Heights Press & Cobble Hill News

The disturbingly strident response by the Brooklyn Heights Association to last week’s National Park Service ruling on the Tobacco Warehouse issue is discussed on this page by Dennis Holt. The further puzzle is how come the BHA failed to prepare its membership and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation for its intent to file these lawsuits to block the roofless warehouse’s conversion for use by St. Ann’s Warehouse. If the BHA feared the move might not be universally applauded, then the secrecy about its intent could not but inflame matters.

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Saved: LICH Still Treats FLu

Hills & Gardens
By Trudy Whitman

Having followed in 2009-2010 the course of the swine flu, or H1N1 virus, through our neck of the woods with the help of Long Island College Hospital’s Dr. Tucker Woods, head of the emergency department, I thought readers would be interested in how this season’s flu compared. So I contacted Dr. Woods and began writing my column, leading with information he gave me.

That story line was deep-sixed on February 9, when an article in The New York Times revealed that two nights before, Continuum Health Partners, the network to which LICH currently belongs, had been informed that New York State grants were being withheld to give the new administration in Albany time to study the state’s Medicaid program. The promised grants would have allowed for LICH’s divorce from Continuum and a union with SUNY/Downstate. Without the grants, it was certain that LICH would close. Here’s the back story: In 2008, when Continuum announced that it was closing LICH’s pediatrics and obstetrics departments because the community hospital was in a deep financial hole, there was uproar. Private citizens and elected officials got to work lobbying Gov. David Paterson and the appropriate government agencies, maintaining that the threatened departments were essential to life in downtown Brooklyn.

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‘Blowback’ Continues To Hit BHA Over Tobacco Warehouse Lawsuit

Bo Rodgers Criticizes BHA, Allies as ‘Purists’

By Samuel Newhouse
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Apparently, “blowback” doesn’t happen just to the CIA, but also to the BHA (Brooklyn Heights Association).

The BHA seems to be doing what it does best with a legal action over the Tobacco Warehouse, preventing untoward things from happening with public spaces, but on this issue they’re getting plenty of feedback, not all of it positive.

Heights resident Bo Rodgers wrote a letter to the BHA that he shared with the Heights Press expressing concern on behalf of himself and fellow residents. Contacted by the Eagle, he explained that he’s spoken to several neighbors who are upset with the lawsuit that is ostensibly aimed at preserving the historic brick warehouse. He and the neighbors don’t see anything wrong with allowing a theater company to lease the space.

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Feds: Plans for Tobacco Warehouse Can Proceed

But Heights Association Still Pursues Lawsuits

By Dennis Holt
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK — The National Park Service on Monday issued a decision that, in essence, confirms that the Tobacco Warehouse here is not restricted to outdoor recreation and that plans to use it as a cultural and community center can continue to move forward.

The Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) and the New York Landmarks Conservancy on Jan. 18 had entered lawsuits in both federal and state courts claiming that the Tobacco Warehouse had been improperly removed, or “de-parked,” from Brooklyn Bridge Park. The lawsuits also said that its planned conversion for indoor use by St. Ann’s Warehouse, a performing arts organization, constituted a violation. A federal judge asked the National Park Service to review the issue.

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Turmoil in Heights: Key Figures In BHA Resign Over Lawsuit

Three Who Resigned Were Major Shapers of Brooklyn Bridge Park

By Dennis Holt
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Three prominent residents who were former officers of the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) have resigned from the BHA in recent days, this newspaper has learned.

The three are Hank Gutman, David Offensend and Joanne Witty. Offensend was once president of the association, Witty, vice-president, and Gutman served nine years on the board of governors.

All three resigned in protest over lawsuits, supported by the BHA, to prevent the Tobacco Warehouse from being converted into a cultural and entertainment center in Brooklyn Bridge Park by St. Ann’s Warehouse.

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Lawsuit Over Tobacco Warehouse Seeks Redress

‘De-Parking’ Process Criticized

By Samuel Newhouse
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — When a high-powered law firm offers its talent pro bono for a legal action, there’s usually a respectable point of law involved.

This appears to be the case in a lawsuit brought in state and federal court by the joint efforts of the Brooklyn Heights Association, the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Fulton Ferry Landing Association.

“If they could do this with the Tobacco Warehouse, then they could do it anywhere,” said attorney Jim Walden, co-chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Group at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, about the allegedly improper “de-parking” (removal from protected parkland) process that has led to the instant litigation. “These things need to be in the sunlight, not done in the dark.”

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