Photos from yesterday’s Save Our Seaport rally

May 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

From the SOS site….

Peter Stanford, original co-founder of the Museum, speaks.

Yours truly representing Friends of Bowne

The crowd


Petition EXTENDED!

May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Given that we continue to receive new signatures on our petition, even after “closing” it on May 18, we have decided to extend it indefinitely. We are still mailing out the signatures-to-date this week, but the response has been so great, and the Museum’s plans still so uncertain, that we have decided to leave the petition up. And we won’t let it rest until the changes we seek for Bowne are implemented (or we’re legally forced to take it down).

So, if you never got a chance to add your name or send out that mass email asking friends to do the same, you’ve been granted a reprieve! Jump on it while you can….

Ready for postage!

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

We are mailing the petition today to the first lucky recipients: NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin, NYC Council Member Margaret Chin, members of CB1 Seaport/Civic Center Committee, and the NYS Board of Regents. Mailings to Mayor Mike and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to follow tomorrow.

Here is a list and pic of what I’m including in my packets (you can download these files for closer inspection, except for the petition, which has people’s private info on it):

Cover Letter (2 pages)
Friends of Bowne Statement of Purpose
SAVE BOWNE broadside
– In-person petition + online petition (37 pages)

CB1 Seaport/Civic Center Cmte meeting – (not so) quick recap

May 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

Attended CB1’s  Seaport/Civic Center Committee meeting on Tuesday night (May 17). Saw most of the SOS steering committee there, too. We had all heard the Seaport Museum was on the agenda, but the discussion was more of a discussion to discuss it. The Committee didn’t know any more than we did from the recent news articles about the Museum’s current plans and negotiations with the City. Apparently, the Committee had invited Mary Pelzer to attend the meeting, but she sent a letter in her place, which, consistent with the Museum’s other public statements, doesn’t really say anything at all. (Letter copied below.)

Interestingly, one of the Committee’s members (the man in the penguin suit in the center of the photo below), Howard, is also a member of the Museum’s board, so he found himself on the receiving end of everybody’s questions. All he could say, and kept saying, was, There is no news, so there is nothing to discuss. Period. Um, okay…. Turns out he is probably under some obligation not to discuss the negotiations, which is fair, but then why not just say that? Did your conflict of interest get in the way?

Committee seated around the table; Howard, also on the Museum board, in center; SOS folks sitting at left and right (off camera). By coincidence, a representative from the Howard Hughes Corp, man in the black jacket in foreground, happened to be there for another issue.

The good news is that people, both on the Committee and in the audience (SOS), got a chance to state their concerns — that crucial first bureaucratic step. The majority of the Committee was sympathetic and is taking issue with the fact that the Museum (/ City) is making plans without any consultation or communication with the community — which includes groups like us and SOS — so it is on their agenda to follow up on this. They are going to try to find out more from the Museum and again ask Mary or someone from the Museum to attend the next meeting in June. Everyone was really focused on getting people to come in June.

But what about the ships, Bowne, and other assets while we’re waiting for the June meeting to roll around? The Committee said they would send out letters asking the Museum not to dispose of any assets during their negotiations.

In general, the Committee seemed really excited that so many of us citizens had bothered to attend their meeting; participation actually does seem to make a difference. It was kind of sweet. So, the third Tuesday of June — mark it, Dude!

For my part, I gave Michael Levine (the Committee’s coordinator?) all of the Friends of Bowne literature (broadside, Statement of Purpose, sample letter, blank petition page, next steps), to let them know that we exist and are taking other action (letters, petition). The Committee is also on our list of agencies that will be receiving said petition. I just hope they don’t faint from the excitement of hearing from so many of us!





May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

The petition broke 400 signatures (with 250 of them coming in the last five days) just in time to be exported for mail-out tomorrow! Thank you, all!

Government and Museum, get ready for some serious constituency MAIL.

Activism week continues…

May 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

In addition to signing our petition, which we are mailing out on THURSDAY, you can get active by attending:

  • A Community Board meeting TONIGHT (Tues, May 17). The Seaport Museum is finally on the agenda.
  • A public rally on SUNDAY (May 22). 2pm at Pier 16.

Representatives from Friends of Bowne will be present at both. See  you there!

SAVE BOWNE petition ending TOMORROW!

May 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

If you’ve ever wondered what you could do for the nineteenth-century, here’s your chance!

Sign our petition. Add your name to the 300 signatures we’ve already collected online and in person.