BAY IMPROVEMENT GROUP

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BAYFEST 2015

BIG Thanks!

Welcome!


Founded in 1992, Bay Improvement Group (BIG) is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 coalition of residents, businesses, and community groups dedicated to the preservation, revitalization, and planning of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. 

Please explore our site to learn more about our organization, our contributions to the community, our works-in-progress, including ongoing Superstorm Sandy community support, disaster preparedness initiatives, and our annual events.

And don't forget to sign up for our mailing list to hear about upcoming community and BIG events!


Back by popular demand!

BIG MUSIC ON THE BAY

You asked us for more music...and here it is! 

As part of our "Bringing Back the Bay" campaign to support the economic recovery of Sheepshead Bay after Superstorm Sandy, and thanks to the support of Councilman Chaim Deutsch, we're proud to present once again our summer BIG Music On the Bay concerts!

We believe that Sheepshead Bay's beautiful, unique waterfront is our community's biggest asset. Our BIG Music On the Bay concerts give visitors yet another reason to visit our area, eat at our restaurants, and shop at our businesses. 

And we locals want more free fun, too...So let's get this party started!

When: 3 to 6pm all dates

  • Sunday, July 13: Five Myles Utopia
  • Sunday, August 10: Inner Situation
  • Sunday, September 7: Giant Flying Turtles

Where: Tucker Park, located at Emmons Avenue and East 27th Street, next to Stella Maris Bait & Tackle Shop.  

Cost: FREE!  Like our annual music extravaganza, BayFest, all BIG Music On the Bay events are FREE and open to the public. 

Seating is limited in the park, though, so bring a folding chair or blanket if you want a guaranteed place. 

Why not add to the day's fun and make an afternoon of it?  Have lunch, dinner, or take-out at any of our fabulous eateries, too!  See you at BIG Music On the Bay!



URGENT OVERDEVELOPMENT ALERT in Sheepshead Bay Special Use District Zoning area!

NO!  ENOUGH development here along the waterfront!  We will not support this!

Loehmann's on Emmons Avenue is bankrupt, as we predicted.

Now the new property owner has applied for a variance here AGAIN to expand the building by another story!

He bought the building and now is claiming "hardship" because the lower level was flooded by Sandy (just like we in the community predicted it would back in the nineties at the five years of BSA hearings!). Now he wants to build even BIGGER because of his bad business decision.

All organizations who helped and new ones to preserve this waterfront Special Zoning District unique in all of NYC must come forward to help!

We also want any land use attorneys with the guts to stand up to a wrong development for this hard hit Sandy area.



Investors Bank BAYFEST 2014 Draws Record Crowds, Attractions, Attention to Sheepshead Bay!

SHEEPSHEAD BAY, BROOKLYN, NY. - With the support of Title Sponsor Investors Bank, Bay Improvement Group's 23rd annual BAYFEST, renowned as Brooklyn's largest waterfront celebration, gathered well over 100,000 along the half-mile of Sheepshead Bay piers this past Sunday, May 18, 2014, for a gorgeous six hours of free fun in the sun.







Headling on the main stage and playing to a wall-to-wall crowd, nationally ranked Beatles tribute band Strawberry Fields of Broadway fame performed a two-hour show of the Fab Four's music, playing vintage instruments and wearing costumes reminiscent of the legendary mop-tops' musical eras. 






Bookending the band were horn-heavy Amy Lynn and The Gunshow plus ultimate party band East Coast, with Big Mike Lynche ("American Idol") and Brooklyn's own Adriana Louise ("The Voice") as Special Guests.








Indie/pop sensation Darnaa, backed up by a band that included two male dancers performing in sync, wowed the crowd on the "Darnaa & Friends" stage, which the artist donated and shared with fellow musicians to support the nonprofit event.  Sixteen-year-old Battle of the Boroughs winner (Queens), Annika; Battle of the Boroughs finalists (Bronx) Nando Griffiths & Pure Fyah; high energy stage-stormers Giant Flying Turtles; and Investors Band, a group of musicians from BayFest's title sponsor that originally formed to raise money for charity, also performed.




Tai Chi expert Master Stephen Lin and the Aviator Artistic Gymnastics Team rounded out the stage performances, while Two Cent Sam, Inner Situation, The Dragonflies, Boricua Guitar Power, Sarah Factor, Ryan Egan and The Rock Cafe provided entertainment on the Sheepshead Bay piers. Gerritsen Beach native and American Idol contestant Nicole Hidalgo opened BayFest with the National Anthem.  A Color Guard provided by the US Navy, a memorial ceremony to our Armed Forces and veterans, and a water display by the FDNY Fireboat added color, dignity, and depth to the event. 


The Famous Big Idaho Potato Truck, with its 12,000 pound potato on a 72-foot wide-load flatbed, was Selfie Central at BayFest.  Vintage cars from the Antique Automobile Association of Brooklyn made for throwback fun, while Brainy Academy of Sheepshead Bay and A2Z Party Planners, along with a basketball toss and giant Bounce from Aardvark Amusements, left kids all smiles.











To
kick off "Bringing Back the Bay," B.I.G's new initiative to support the local economy, volunteers raised BayFester's awareness of the wide variety of ethnic cuisine available in Sheepshead Bay by handing out hundreds of menus, at no cost to dozens of participating restaurants.  To enhance the effort, IL Fornetto Italian Restaurant (2902 Emmons Avenue), OPera Turkish Cafe (2255 Emmons Avenue), and Apani Georgian Cuisine (1520 Sheepshead Bay Road) provided free samples of their fabulous fare--a first and welcome addition at the annual event.








Local banks, real estate companies, summer camp providers, and other businesses were among the over fifty tables providing information, raffles, and giveaways at BayFest.  As part of its ongoing "No Neighbor Left Behind" campaign launched in November 2012 to support Sheepshead Bay's recovery from Superstorm Sandy, B.I.G brought in twenty organizations and government agencies, including the American Red Cross, New York Cares, Build It Back, and OEM CERT, to provide disaster survivor assistance as well as emergency preparedness tools and training opportunities.





Raffles included gift certificates for local restaurants; classes; tours; merchandise; admission tickets; plus a 50/50. One
lucky Dad won the Special Raffle: a hotel voucher plus day-passes to Disney World in Florida.


B.I.G members as well as volunteers from the local community, New York Cares, and We Care NY provided a full day of cheerful and much-needed assistance with setup, participant registration, program distribution, cleanup, and more to keep the half-mile of activities running smoothly.














We thank the many performers, sponsors, supporters, and volunteers who participated in BayFest 2014 for making this year's event a
smashing success.  You are what makes BayFest great! 

We also thank Stella Maris
Fishing Station, "The Power of BayFest," located at Emmons Avenue and East 27th Street, for providing main stage power at BayFest and other B.I.G. events, and the boat owners who provided electricity to pier bands.

See you next year on Sunday, May 17, 2015, for our 24th year, when we do it all again! 

If you would like to be involved in BayFest 2015 as a sponsor or volunteer, please email us at bigbayfest@gmail.com.  Preliminary planning will begin in July 2014. 

Performers interested in participating in BayFest 2015 should watch our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bigb
ayfest for announcements about how and when to apply.








BayFest has b
een produced each year since 1992 by the Bay Improvement Group, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit coalition of residents, businesses, and community groups dedicated to the preservation, revitalization, and planning of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.  New individual and business members always welcome.  Contact us for information on how to join or click "Application & Links" on the upper left of this webpage to download an application.













PHOTO CREDITS: All photos courtesy of Michael Taylor (We Care NY), Mike Beitchman (Bay Ridge Entertainment), Mindy Gress, Laura McKenna (Bay Improvement Group) or Steve Barrison (Bay Improvement Group), as specified in the photo filename, except for photos of Darnaa, Big Idaho Potato Truck, and US Navy Color Guard. Video courtesy of Mike Beitchman.


BayFest Thank You & Review Held Wed., June 18, 2014
Includes Acceptance of Citation from
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
to B.I.G. for Our 23 Years of Dedicated Service to Sheepshead Bay





BayFest week kickoff!

B.I.G Annual History Night

with Official Borough Historian Ron Schweiger

“The Story Behind Brooklyn Street & Neighborhood Names.”

Monday, May 12, 2014 * 8pm

Sunrise Senior Living, 2211 Emmons Avenue, Sheepshead Bay

To kick off BayFest week, Ron Schweiger, the Official Brooklyn Historian, will present his exclusive presentation, “The Story Behind Brooklyn Street & Neighborhood Names.”

Every wonder why they call them “New Lotts”? “Bay Ridge”? “Gerritsen”? “Brownsville”? Why our streets have names like Batchelder, Ford, and Knapp Streets? Answers to these questions and more, as well as interesting tidbits of Brooklyn history, will be discussed.

Free parking. Refreshments and time to chat at conclusion.




Brooklyn's Largest Waterfront Celebration

Sunday, May 18, 2014 * Noon to 6pm

Emmons Avenue from Ocean Avenue to East 27th Street,

Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn 

www.BIGBayFest.org

NYC's ONLY all DAY, all FUN, all FREE event of its kind,
now in our 23rd year!
A half-mile of MUSIC, GIVEAWAYS & KIDS FUN!
                                                                                                        Help from Sandy recovery organizations, too!

Businesses & Non-profits!  Table space available & deadline EXTENDED to 5/16!   Choose from two options:

OPTION 1: BY CHECK Download, print, and complete the BayFest2014 Sponsor Form below, indicating the sponsorship level you've chosen.  Mail the completed form with a check to: Bay Improvement Group, 30 Dooley Street, Brooklyn, NY  11235.  Please arrange for us to pick up the check from you if you are signing up after 5/5!

OR

OPTION 2: ONLINE / BY CREDIT CARD
Download, print, and complete the BayFest2014 Sponsor form.  Return it to Bay Improvement Group by mail, fax, or email, as indicated on the form.  Pay for the chosen level of sponsorship with a credit card by using the PayPal pulldown menu below. 
 
(Nonprofits participate at a deep discount!)


Questions? Email bigbayfest@gmail.com













Annual BIG OSCAR Awards

for Distinguished Community Service

Join us & say "THANKS!" to those who serve and contribute to our community!

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 * 7pm

Il Fornetto Restaurant * 2902 Emmons Avenue * Sheepshead Bay

Four-Course Dinner including wine * Cash bar * Live DJ * Dancing * Raffles * Fun for ALL!

2014 Awardees

NYPD 61st Precinct Auxiliary * Lieutenant Richard Eggstein, FDNY Engine Company 246 *

Sheepshead Bay Yacht Club * Public School 52, Sheepshead Bay Elementary School *

Kings Bay Y * Ned Berke, Sheepshead Bites

$50pp in advance / $60 at the door 

PAY BY CHECK: Mail your check by April 1 to Bay Improvement Group, 30 Dooley St., Brooklyn, NY 11235

BY BY CREDIT CARD: Click below to pay securely with PayPal





















B.I.G. OPPOSES D.E.C.'S PLAN TO
KILL ALL MUTE SWANS BY 2025

UPDATE:  According to Homereporternews.com and other news sources, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will revise its management plan for the region’s mute swans, which previously consisted of “eliminating” them entirely, except for some which would be allowed to be raised in captivity.

The revised plan will be released this spring. Recognizing the massive public outcry, the DEC said that it would “consider non-lethal means to achieve the management plan’s intended goals” of minimizing destruction of wildlife, water quality and aviation hazards.

“This is hopeful news,” added Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz of Sheepshead Bay, where mute swans have been a familiar fixture for decades. “Sheepshead Bay wouldn’t be the same without the mute swans.”


BIG'S STATEMENT:  After careful consideration of the facts and in consultation with numerous governmental and non-governmental agencies, organizations, elected officials, and community leaders, the Bay Improvement Group emailed the following statement of opposition to the Department of Environmental Conservation on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, the deadline for public comment on D.E.C.'s "Mute Swan Management Plan," which seeks to eliminate all mute swans (such as the ones in Sheepshead Bay) by 2025.  We thank those who joined with us to protect the mute swans of Sheepshead Bay and the rest of New York State for all to enjoy.



NOAA & NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SELECT B.I.G.

AS "WEATHER-READY NATION" AMBASSADOR


Bay Improvement Group is proud to have been selected by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) to be a Severe Weather Ambassador and assist them in preparing the public for severe weather emergencies.  March 2-8, 2014 is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week.  Here's what you and your family can do NOW to participate. 

Be a Force of Nature by knowing your risk, taking action and being an example in our community!

Know your risk

Hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, snowstorms, flooding – severe weather impacts every part of the country. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family.

What you can do:

  1. Bookmark weather.gov to get the latest forecast information.
  2. Follow the National Weather Service on Facebook and Twitter.
  3. Read the State of the Climate reports to discover historical trends.

Just for kids!
Have little ones at home? Teach them about the weather with the Young Meteorologists Program.  This is a free, online game where you go on a severe weather preparedness adventure and earn a Young Meteorologists Certificate.

Take action

Be Force of Nature by making sure that you and your family are prepared for severe weather. This includes creating a disaster supplies kit and making sure that you can receive emergency messages.
What you can do:

  1. Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.
  2. Learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts.
  3. Create a disaster supplies kit.

Be an example

Be a positive influence on your community by sharing your weather preparedness story. Be a Force of Nature by letting your friends and family know what you did to become weather-ready.
What you can do:

  1. Tweet that you’re prepared with the hashtag #ImaForce
  2. Share your preparedness story on Facebook.
  3. Make sure you have a Family Emergency Plan.

DONATIONS WELCOME!

B.I.G. depends on donations to do our work of advocating for and serving the community.

To make a tax-deductible donation, please mail a check--with our thanks!--to:

Bay Improvement Group
30 Dooley Street
Brooklyn, NY 11235

To make a tax-deductible donation by credit card using a secure PayPal connection, please click "Applications & Links" in the upper left (above the big number).  Click that link to join Bay Improvement Group or renew your membership, too!

Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!



A B.I.G. THANK YOU to all who donated to our
22nd Annual

Celebrity Holiday Caroling
FREE CONCERT & TOY DRIVE
for Needy Children
Held Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013  5-7pm
at Baron De Kalb  3000 Emmons Ave at Nostrand Avenue
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
Guest artists included VINCE MARTELL of the Vanilla Fudge.
Click his name to see him on Jimmy Fallon!


              B.I.G's Semi-Annual FALL PLANTING & GARDENS CLEANUP
Sun., Oct. 20

A "BIG" THANK YOU

to the volunteers and New York Cares for sending them along with donations,

to New Yorkers for Parks, NYC Parks Department & Home Depot for bulbs and plants,

& Knapp Street Bagels for coffee and bagels!  Photos to be posted soon!



Meet Baseball Legend Dwight "Doc" Gooden

                                                    Sat., Oct. 5 noon-2pm!
Where:

RIDGEWOOD SAVINGS BANK  *  2520 East 17th Street  *  Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn 

"The Doc" will be autographing photos, memorabilia, and copies of his new autobiography DOC: A MEMOIR.  The book will be offered at a deep discount and all proceeds will be donated to the Bay Improvement Group to support our community efforts.

We hope to see you there!



SANDY HELP NIGHT

For homeowners, renters & businesses

Impacted by Superstorm Sandy

June 13th, 2013   7:30pm - 10pm   Kings Bay Y

3495 Nostrand Avenue ( between  Aves U & V )

Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

SPONSORED BY

Councilman Lew Fidler  

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein

                                                                         Assemblyman Alan Maisel



"NO NEIGHBOR LEFT BEHIND" PROGRAM
Sandy Resources

We are checking on which of the following services are still available as of March 2014.  Check back for updates!

NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION MOLD REMEDIATION PROGRAM will directly help approximately 2,000 households in affected areas deal with mold left behind by water damage from Superstorm Sandy.  Neighborhood Revitalization NYC will coordinate mold treatment work in 2000 homes by professionals (the rest will be done by volunteers).  The treatment work will be conducted by environmental consultants, contractors, and not-for-profit organizations, and be staffed by volunteers. Apply by calling 855-740-6653 Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm OR call 311.  For detailed information, visit the LISC website

CATHOLIC CHARITIES 718-722-6223.  They have received funding and so can help Sandy survivors with all kinds of stuff--money, furniture, appliances, repairs.  Sign up to be one of their clients, but follow up if you don't hear back in the time frame they specify they will respond in.  We know they've been backed up with hiring so many new people and registering so many residents, but you must also help them by advocating for yourself and not letting your application fall through the cracks.

SALVATION ARMY Call (212) 337-7339  Very helpful with things like new furniture, furniture vouchers, vouchers for their stores, and gift cards.  Like everything, they can only supply items as supplies last, so make the call. 


AMERICAN RED CROSS SUPERSTORM SANDY RECOVERY PROGRAM.  Assistance with housing and needs not met by insurance, FEMA, or other resources.  May include: security deposit, rent, and application fees; utility assistance, moving costs, brokerage fees, storage costs, minor home repairs to owner-occupied property, referrals to social services and counseling, assistance completing applications or insurance claims, identification of child care resources, furniture and appliances, providing connections to legal resources or new programs for Sandy recovery, and other assistance.  All assistance subject to verification and documentation.  superstormsandyny@redcross.org or call 877-RED-CROSS. 
GOV. CUOMO $10,000 GRANT.  Homeowners who have received $31,900 from FEMA are automatically eligible for up to an additional $10,000 from Gov. Cuomo's program and do not need to apply.  For info, call 855-NYS-SANDY (855-697-7263).

NATIONAL GRID $1,000 PAYMENT.  If you are a National Grid customer, you may be eligible for a $1000 payment. For complete information, go here.  Contact National Grid directly Monday through Friday between 8am and 8pm at 877-696-4743.
1. National Grid Bill
2. Proof of income
3. Proof of Superstorm Sandy recovery spending over $3000
4. Cancelled voided check for direct deposit of the $1000
LEGAL AID.  If you are dissatisfied with the amount and types of aid you are receiving and feel that there are programs/monies you should be entitled to but have been denied (including FEMA appeals), contact one of the legal groups who are providing pro bono (free) services for people in exactly your situation. Click here for a list of such organizations. or contact New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) at 212-584-3365, or email StormHelp@nylag.orgNY Legal Services is another possibility: 347-592-1124.  Also try: Brooklyn Jubilee: www.brooklynjubilee.org .  Also find legal clinics near you and lots of other great info on lots of other Sandy assistance, resources, and services, all organized by topic here: http://www.mynewyorklegalhelp.com/hurricanesandynyassistance/

AVOID FORECLOSURE!  GET MORTGAGE RELIEF & MODIFICATION.  If your mortgage provider is listed on page 2 here http://www.cnycn.org/storage/flyers/cnycn_flyer_sandy_05.pdf, call them and ask for a forbearance (reduction/postponement of payments). Once you get it, contact the Center for NYC Neighborhoods (CNYCN) for no-charge help modifying your loan, housing counseling and legal aid.  www.cnycn.org 646-786-0888  Also try: New York Mortgage Coalition www.nymc.org or for a flyer listing their services go to:  http://brooklynltrgroup.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/ins_hro_03_07_13.jpg

REPAIR GRANTS & LOW-INTEREST LOANS. Contact Neighborhood Housing Services  www.nhsnyc.org 212-519-2500 or Asian Americans for Equality www.aafe.org 212-979-8988  

CONTRACTOR LICENSE CHECK http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/html/licenses/license_check.shtml

TEMPORARY WAIVER OF FEES FOR REPLACEMENT BIRTH CERTIFICATES, MARRIAGE LICENSES, ETC.  On November 9, 2012, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued Executive Order 69 which temporarily suspends specific provisions of statute to facilitate the replacement of certain documents which may have been lost or damaged as a result of the recent disaster associated with Hurricane Sandy. Specifically, residents of counties declared as disaster areas (see list of counties below) who need to obtain replacement certificates of birth, death, fetal death, marriage, or divorce will be able to do so at no cost.
 
INSURANCE ISSUES.  Call NY State Dept. of Financial Services 8am-8pm: 800-339-1759. Find a public adjuster to deal with your insurance company: http://www.nypaa.com Learn what public adjusters do: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/homeown/html/hmpubadjust.htm.  Check if a public adjuster is licensed in NY https://myportal.dfs.ny.gov/nylinxext/elsearch.alice.  Public adjusters may not solicit business between 6pm and 8am, and may not charge more than 12.5% of any recovery. You may cancel the agreement within 3 business days of signing it.  Still having problems?  Email Martin Schwartzman at martin.schwartzman@dfs.nys.gov.


LINKS

KEEPING THE AIR IN YOUR HOME CLEAN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo5zAxu3j88&feature=player_embedded#!

GREEN REBUILDING

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBfC7XoXijg&feature=player_embedded





Recent Announcements

  • Support Wildlife! Great American Backyard Campout Sat., 6/28/2014 What an easy way to appreciate the outdoors and help wildlife! Just sign the National Wildlife Federation's "Pledge to Campout for Wildlife" by June 28 and $2 will be ...
    Posted Jun 25, 2014, 9:31 AM by bayimprovementgrp .
  • FREE Mammographies on Sun., Aug. 17 SUNDAY, AUGUST 17, 2014Starting at 1:30pm MOBILE MAMMOGRAPHY FREE  SCREENING MAMMOGRAMS FOR ELIGIBLE WOMEN Sponsored by Councilman Chaim Deutsch and Bay Improvement Group AT 3003 Emmons Avenue, Brooklyn ...
    Posted Jun 19, 2014, 12:13 PM by bayimprovementgrp .
  • B.I.G. Joins OEM as a Partner in Preparedness Having demonstrated an earnest and informed commitment to emergency preparedness, B.I.G. is now an official 2014 Office of Emergency Management Partner in Preparedness.  Established in 2011 ...
    Posted Jun 5, 2014, 12:20 PM by bayimprovementgrp .
  • Know Your Zone! Hurricane Awareness Campaign New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has launched a new "Know Your Zone" hurricane awareness campaign to encourage New Yorkers to find out whether they live in one ...
    Posted Jun 4, 2014, 1:21 PM by bayimprovementgrp .
  • Meet Baseball Legend Dwight "Doc" Gooden Sat., Oct. 5 noon-2pm! Come meet Baseball Legend Doc Gooden on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 from noon to 2pm at Ridgewood Savings Bank, 2520 East 17th Street in Sheepshead Bay!  "The Doc" will be ...
    Posted Jun 4, 2014, 1:19 PM by bayimprovementgrp .
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