Community Board Roundup: Local Politicians Ready to Bring Change to DC and Albany, as Museum Fights ‘Scare Tactics’

Rep. Jerry Nadler speaks at the meeting.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Local politicians came to the Community Board 7 meeting on Tuesday to update people about their plans for the coming legislative sessions. State Senator Brad Hoylman and U.S. Congresssman Jerrold Nadler were both jubilant about the recent Democratic victories in their respective legislative chambers.

The crowd cheered as Nadler, the soon-to-be chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, took the microphone and spoke about the forthcoming Democratic national agenda, emphasizing “oversight and accountability,” which, he said, have been sorely missing. When he opened the floor for questions, the first was, “Are you going to introduce articles of impeachment?”

“That we’ll wait on,” he said. “The first thing we have to do is protect the Mueller investigation.”

Hoylman discussed his priorities for the upcoming session in Albany, when Democrats will take control of the State Senate. Among his big goals is passing congestion pricing, which would add a toll for vehicles passing below 60th Street in Manhattan.

Another hot issue — the Museum of Natural History’s development plans — received some attention.

Dan Slippen, Vice President of Government Relations at the American Museum of Natural History, came to the meeting to “set the record straight” about what he alleges are “scare tactics” being used by opponents of the museum’s planned addition of the Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. That addition is currently stalled by a lawsuit filed by local advocacy groups and community residents. The judge is expected to rule shortly.

Slippen said that likening Theodore Roosevelt Park to a “Superfund site” and “Hiroshima” is “pure fear mongering,” and that an environmental review stated that there are no hazards “that cannot be mitigated by measures commonly used at construction sites throughout New York City.” Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park, the group opposing the museum expansion, has said that construction will release harmful toxins into the environment.

NEWS | 9 comments | permalink
    1. Bill Ditt says:

      Re: “the group opposing the museum expansion, has said that construction will release harmful toxins into the environment.”

      Do the members of the “Anti-Museum-Expansion-Chapter-of-NIMBY.Inc” realize that they are releasing even worse harmful toxins into the environment every time they open their mouths to kvetch?

      • sange says:

        agreed! The “harmful toxins” line really gets me. AMNH is building a new science education and research center, if anything….it is contributing to greater environmental benefit and understanding. It’s painful to think of all the resources being wasted on this idiotic case.

    2. H S says:

      I cannot wait until the Anti-Museum group finally shuts up and moves on. I’m certain their time and resources are better off used elsewhere. Their lawsuit and delay tactics will only waste money in the long run, a combination of their donations, and it will balloon construction costs paid for by City taxpayers and the Museum.

      I live few blocks away and am wondering if will actually listen to residents who support the museum…? How many would they need to hear from to reconsider if opposition is really the will of the neighborhood?

      • Sue says:

        I live one block from the museum and I totally oppose the construction. It will be ugly, noisy, go on for years, and when it’s complete, the street will be crowded with food vendors. There is so much wasted space in the museum that they could better utilize. Also, if they have money to burn, why not update the exhibits they already have? I have no idea why some upper west siders are so eager for this project?

    3. Elisabeth Anderson says:

      This has been a City of New York Park for decades. When was it ever planned for the Museum to expand, and take away this Park?
      Does the Parks Department have a say in this?

    4. Dr. Cary Goodman says:

      This is a great time for the museum to withdraw its toxic plan.

      Given all the climate crisis news we’ve been getting lately, how can AMNH justify clear-cutting trees? How can a ‘scientific institution’ plan to erect a gigantic, fossil-fueled building while the planet is burning?

    5. ST says:

      The museum is not just taking away the park. It has already taken away that lovely allée on the Museum’s West side with the broad sidewalk under the trees, which was a nice place to sit on a summer’s evening. That’s gone now for construction. What’s more it’s gone PERMANENTLY. The museum’s plans call for changing the main entrance to the West side so expect wall to wall Falafel trucks and a sea of littering tourists to take over what was once a neighborhood treasure.

    6. Steve says:

      Where was our council member, Helen Rosenthal at a community board meeting to discuss the new homeless shelter on 84th Street? An issue that is a hot button topic, and she is MIA!

      • Jan says:

        Ms Rosenthal is incompetent and I hope we vote her
        out ASAP. Let’s remember she appropriated millions
        toward the destruction of a public park without informing taxpayers.