Newsletter February 2014, Vol 5, issue 2

The Sixth Sense Newsletter
February 2014, Vol 5, issue 02

Yep, it’s winter. And winter means ice and snow. Some of us remember when kids–young entrepreneurs–couldn’t wait for those first flakes to fall so they could grab a shovel, start ringing doorbells and earn a few extra bucks doing the work many adults really hope to avoid.

When you don’t clear your sidewalk you endanger emergency worker response times, letter carriers, delivery personnel, dog walkers and countless pedestrians. Most of those pedestrians are likely to be your neighbors. Shoveling snow isn’t just a good idea, it’s a neighborly things to do. (It’s also the law!)

In case you’re not clear of your responsibilities under the law, the New York City Administrative Code, Section 16-123 outlines property owner’s responsibilities. Effectively, you’re supposed to remove the snow, ice, etc. from your sidewalk within 4 hours after it stops falling (not counting the hours between 9pm and 7am). If it’s too icy, and removal could damage the sidewalk, you are supposed to apply something–sawdust, ashes, salt, etc.–to make it less slippery until you can remove it. Failure to comply could result in a fine and/or up to 10 days in jail.

We know this could pose a challenge especially for absentee, elderly and physically-challenged property owners. If you’ve got a property on your block that hasn’t been shoveled, call us at (718) 643-3027, x204. We can track down property owner information, reach out to them and determine if they need assistance. You can call 311 to report it, but the best that can come from that is the City may issue a notice of violation. If a property owner is jailed* for failing to remove snow from their sidewalk, who will shovel the snow? The City won’t.

Mayor de Blasio set a great example by showing New Yorkers that he’s serious about keeping his sidewalk clear. His advice to shovelers, “Get low, lift with your knees; don’t throw your back out.” Hey, if 11th Street’s most popular New Yorker could do his part to keep his sidewalk clear, then why can’t the rest of us?

(*Does anyone know if a property owner has ever been jailed for failure to remove snow? That must be some story.)

Stay warm, stay safe and stay active. It’s our community!

Enjoy our newsletter and please let us know what you would like to see in future editions.

Newsletter January 2014, Vol 5, issue 1

The Sixth Sense Newsletter
January 2014, Vol 5, issue 01

Happy new year!  Some thoughts and hopes for the new year…

Buy local, buy American. These days it seems it isn’t good enough to simply buy local. We love our Mom and Pop stores. We love the “main street” feeling we get when we walk down the avenue and stop to chat with our favorite merchants. We don’t want to see our neighborhood commercial strips turn into strip malls. But it doesn’t end there. The New York Times recently reported that the Federal government, one of the world’s largest clothing purchasers, is spending $1.5 billion at overseas factories. Why isn’t that money being spent here? We may end up paying more for our goods and services at first, but isn’t reinvestment in our country’s economy worth it? It doesn’t end with clothing, or the Federal government alone. Government spending in general, Federal, State and City, should be strategically invested locally to concentrate wealth at home. There ought to be a law.

Use less packaging, conserve resources. We’ve been talking about it since the mass introduction of municipal recycling programs decades ago. And we’ve made a little headway – like shorter bottle caps, tagless clothing, and the current push to ban or restrict plastic shopping bags. We can do better. What about the really pernicious stuff like plastic utensils (2/3 of the world’s population doesn’t use forks), styrofoam containers (completely unnecessary), paper labels on canned goods (you can cheaply print directly onto the metal), plastic wrappers and address labels for periodicals, and those mountains and mountains of disposable baby diapers? Consumers pay a hefty tax on gasoline at the pumps, why not impose an equally hefty tax on manufactured petroleum-based products? That could be one way to encourage the use of alternate, sustainable materials and reduce the waste.

Invest in people, our most precious resource. We love our neighborhoods. They’re how we identify where we live. What makes them special places are the people in them. Some who grew up here and helped build community. Some who ended up here and decided to plant roots. Even some who have to sacrifice to be able to stay. With homelessness, hunger, mental illness and other social challenges confronting us we need to take a serious look at how we’re responding to these conditions and what we’re doing about them. It isn’t good enough for us to reactively house, feed and treat people. We need to focus more on preventing homelessness, providing education that prepares our children to succeed in the workplace and inculcating a culture of good mental hygiene. Feeding our neighbors today isn’t good enough; we need to teach more people to fish.

Get involved. Stay active. It’s our community!
Enjoy our newsletter and please let us know what you would like to see in future editions.

Newsletter December 2013, Vol 3, issue 10

The Sixth Sense Newsletter
December 2013, Vol 4, issue 10

Newsletter November 2013, Vol 3, issue 9

The Sixth Sense Newsletter
November 2013, Vol 4, issue 9

Newsletter October 2013, Vol 4, issue 8

The Sixth Sense Newsletter
October 2013, Vol 4, issue 8

Newsletter September 2013, Vol 4, issue 7

The Sixth Sense Newsletter
September 2014, Vol 5, issue 07

Newsletter June 2013, Vol 4, issue 6

The Sixth Sense Newsletter
June 2013, Vol 4, issue 6

Newsletter May 2013, Vol 4, issue 5

The Sixth Sense Newsletter
May 2013, Vol 4, issue 5

Newsletter April 2013, Vol 4, issue 4

The Sixth Sense Newsletter
April 2013, Vol 4, issue 4

Newsletter March 2013, Vol 4, issue 3

The Sixth Sense
March 2013, Vol 4, issue 3