Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NYC Gave Kids' Private Info to Corporations; Parents Hit the Roof

Pissed-off parent from P.S. 49 at town hall. Photo: MK Metz
At a Town Hall at Brooklyn Borough Hall last night, Brooklyn parents went ballistic when told that the New York City Department of Education (along with NY state), has handed over to a private corporation -- inBloom, Inc. -- every detail of their kids' most private information.

This data includes: names, addresses, emails, photos, grades, test scores, learning styles, disciplinary, health and attendance records, the results of academic and psychological tests, race and ethnicity, economic and disability status and more, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Teacher and staff data is also being "shared."

Even better?

Information is being stored on a vulnerable Amazon cloud built by Wireless/Amplify, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation – the company famous for violating the privacy of individuals in Great Britain and in the United States.

Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, put on a Powerpoint presentation guaranteed to make you feel like you stepped into a Big Brother dream. Parents have no ability to "opt out" of the data dump. Commercial vendors -- and inevitably criminal groups based in Russia and Eastern Europe -- will have access to the children's data in order to develop products to market to schools.

Former NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein -- as CEO of Wireless/Amplify -- stands to make mega bucks if Wireless/Amplify's wireless tablet device is given a NYC contract to plug into the inBloom data.

Which something tells us is gonna happen.

- Parents outraged over NYC schools data sharing program. Brooklyn Eagle

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Community Forum on Future of Brooklyn's LICH this Thursday, May 2

Photo: MK Metz
Now that SUNY has withdrawn its closure plan, the Cobble Hill Association will be hosting a community forum on the future of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) this coming Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m.

The forum takes place at LICH, 339 Hicks Street, Conference Room A.

The purpose will be to update the community, discuss the next steps, and also to do a little celebrating.

The panel discussion will feature -- so far -- Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Councilman Brad Lander, Matthew Bethel (Policy Director for Honorable Daniel Squadron), Concerned Physicians of LICH, and Michelle Greene (NYS Nurses Association).

From Cobble Hill Association President Roy Sloane:
"We have a lot of people to thank and a lot of work that remains to be done. We sincerely hope you'll be able to join us for this next, most important phase of the battle to save our hospital."

In case you missed the news, after months of petitions, marches, lawsuits, meetings and political activism, SUNY officials announced Friday that they have withdrawn their plan to close LICH and have agreed to work with the community and elected officials to seek a viable, sustainable plan for providing the health care services essential to the community.

Roy Sloane speaks for all of us when he says: "We are deeply grateful to our elected officials – City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Steve Levin, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and our Borough President Marty Markowitz – the Concerned Physicians of LICH, NYSNA, 1199 SEIU, and all of our neighboring community associations and the community activists who devoted some much time and effort to saving our hospital."

- SUNY Withdraws Plan to Cash In on LICH

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, April 29, 2013

SUNY Withdraws Plan to Cash In on LICH; Now SUNY Should Give Back the $32 Million, and Continuum Should Face Criminal Penalties

After protests, a law suit, petitions, letter-writing campaigns, meetings with state officials, marches and rallies . . .

SUNY Downstate Medical Center on Friday said it would withdraw its plan, submitted to the state Department of Health, to close Long Island College Hospital (LICH).

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Downstate spokesperson Ron Najman said that Downstate “would continue to seek a provider of healthcare services within the LICH community, including potentially a hospital operator.”

“The financial conditions at LICH remain unchanged. LICH’s continued financial losses still threaten the viability of Downstate Medical and our world-renowned medical school,” said Dr. John F. Williams Jr., president of SUNY Downstate.

We have three suggestions about where to find cash for LICH: Two medical institutions brazenly stole millions from LICH and NO ONE is doing anything:

* According to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, when SUNY Downstate took over LICH two years ago, $32.7 million was transferred from LICH’s accounts to SUNY's “Health Science Center at Brooklyn Foundation, Inc.” a not-for-profit corporation. SUNY must give LICH's money back.

* In 2008, when it was Continuum who was draining LICH of resources, Dr. Arnold Licht, president of LICH medical staff, charged: “Continuum has refused to account for money it has ‘borrowed’ from LICH’s endowment, for millions from the sale of LICH’s property, and even for bills it has imposed on LICH.” Continuum must give the money back -- or face criminal penalty.

* Today Continuum still charges LICH millions for handling its billing -- but it does not send out bills for a vast percentage of work doctors do at LICH. If the bills don't go out within a certain number of days, LICH forfeits that money. LICH has been losing millions through Continuum's inability to send out bills -- and the way we see it Continuum owes LICH this money -- plus interest.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Hipster Dog Competition in Brooklyn

You knew this would happen: It's the first annual "Hippest Dog" competition in Greenpoint, on April 28.

For a small donation, you can register your dog to "strut the doggie runway" and compete for prizes for Most Fashionable, Best Celebrity Look Alike, Best Haircut, Best Trick, and Hippest (Dog that Looks Most Like a Hipster).

One redeeming factor: According to Gothamist, the event is "a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer."

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

City Council Passes Resolution to Save LICH in Brooklyn

Christine Quinn Supports Resolution

The New York City Council voted Thursday afternoon in favor of a resolution to save Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital (LICH) from being closed, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The non-binding resolution, introduced by City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, calls on the State University of New York and the State Department of Health to work with stakeholders to find a new owner for the 150-year old Cobble Hill institution.

To keep SUNY Downstate from selling LICH's valuable assets and pouring the money into their own nearly bankrupt facility, the resolution stipulates that “all resources gained from any sale or transfer of LICH assets are used exclusively for the preservation of these services.” It also authorizes the Speaker to file amicus briefs on behalf of the Council in support of the preservation of these services.

More at the Eagle

- LICH Shutdown on Hold AGAIN; Brooklyn Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order

Previous posts on LICH here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

30 Henry Street -- 'The Heights' -- As High As It's Going to Get

30 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, the site of the old headquarters of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, has topped out at 5 stories.

BKSK Architects
When completed, the building (by developer Fortis Manor, designed by BKSK Architects) will have one condo on each floor.

According to Streeteasy, the first floor ($3,395,000) and the penthouse ($4,950,000) are in contract, while the three other floors are "active."

The Brooklyn Eagle has relocated to 16 Court Street and DUMBO. 

Previous Posts:

- In Contract at 30 Henry Street
- A Lid on 30 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights
- 30 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights: Roof Already Half Off
- 30 Henry Street HQ of Brooklyn Eagle Sold for $3.5 Million
- A Century of Changes at 30 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights
- LPC Approves New 30 Henry Street Design in Brooklyn Heights
- Brooklyn Eagle's HQ in Brooklyn Heights Sold to Developers

- Find the Changes In New Improved 30 Henry Street Proposal
- Brooklyn Eagle Looking to Move to Gowanus? Building On the Market
- Serious Accident Sends Car Flying into Building on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Defacings Bike Share Stations; 'Animal Rescue' in DUMBO; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Guilty verdict for Brooklyn mother of 12. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- "Animal Rescue" -- “a crime-drama centered around a lost pit bull, a wannabe scam artist, and a killing,” is filming all over DUMBO Friday. [DumboNYC]

- Councilwoman says those defacing Citi Bike bike share stations will be prosecuted. [CBS]

- Brooklyn Yeshiva bans Woody Allen-style glasses for being "too Goyish." [Gothamist]

-Don't mind that gas in the subway this summer. [NY Magazine]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

'Phantom' Still Missing in Brooklyn Heights

Photo: MK Metz
Stay on the lookout for poor little black Phantom, the cat who disappeared on 4/21 on Montague Street near the Promenade in BrooklynHeights.

If found, call 718-360-9918.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Union Ups the Rat Ante at Two Trees in DUMBO

Photo: MK Metz
Earlier this month the inflatable union rat was parked outside Two Trees management Company on Washington Street in DUMBO to protest the company's use of what the union calls the "dangerous company, New York Insulation" to perform asbestos abatement at 350 Kent Avenue.

Photo: MK Metz
Now Laborers International Union of North America Local 78 has upped the ante with days when not one but two inflatable rats and, depending on the day, a coffin  holding a "body" wearing a gas mask.

Great photo op for the tourists!

More about the issues here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, April 22, 2013

What to Do On Earth Day 2013 in Brooklyn: Monday, April 22

Photo: MK Metz
Today (April 22) is the 43rd annual Earth Day. Want to do something to help out the planet?  Here are some Brooklyn-specific ideas:

* Go to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) tonight and watch two Earth Day documentaries:
- Jeremy Irons will join audiences in person to discuss the film "Trashed," which looks at our planet's growing garbage problem.
- "The Atomic States of America" examines the consequences of our country’s increased reliance on nuclear power.

* Submit a request for some free NYC compost or mulch for a NYC street tree.

* Come to the Brooklyn Brewery tonight, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. to learn more about the dangers of fracking. The New York Water Rangers and the Manhattan Young Democrats will be on hand to discuss the issues facing water supply across New York and our nation. There is a suggested donation of $5.

* RSVP for tomorrow night's Green Team cleanup at Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

* Or, you can join the Volunteer Corps to help garden and clean up at Prospect Park.

* Go to tonight's Community Board 6 Environmental Protection meeting at 6:30 p.m.  Topic discussed will include:
- Presentation and discussion with representatives for National Grid on the pilot study for the Citizens/Public Place manufactured gas plant site at Smith/5th Streets.
- Presentation and discussion with a representative for the Department of Environmental Protection on air quality in New York City.
- More.

* On Wednesday (April 24) Solarize Brooklyn kicks off its 2013 solar campaign in Kensington, Windsor Terrace and Flatbush with a community education session at the Windsor Terrace Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at 160 E. 5thStreet, from 6:30-8pm.  (Register)

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Designs for Brooklyn's St. Ann's Warehouse Unveiled at Thursday Night CB2 Meeting

Rogers Marvel Architects
Jonathan Marvel of Rogers Marvel Architects presented to a Community Board 2 subcommittee Thursday night a revamped design for St. Ann's Warehouse, a theater to be built inside the iconic roofless Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

According to Curbed, the design calls for an 18,000-square-foot building with "a flexible performance space" and a "view corridor" looking out at the park and the water.

According to Theatermania, the plan also includes a 1,000-square-foot multi-use space for local artists and community groups.

Also included is a 7,600-square-foot open space designed by Michael Van Valkenberg Associates and "imagined as a walled birch tree grove."

Rogers Marvel Architects
After much controversy and a lawsuit, last year a a deal was cut to turn over the Civil-War era Tobacco Warehouse and next door Empire Stores -- public property -- to the private St. Ann's Warehouse theater in exchange for a plot of city-owned land under the Manhattan Bridge.

Previous Posts:
- Tobacco Warehouse and Empire Stores Swapped for Land Under Manhattan Bridge
- Saint Ann's Warehouse a Go -- Again -- at DUMBO's Tobacco Warehouse
- Three Brooklyn Heights Association Members Resign in Tobacco Warehouse Flap
- When the Tobacco Warehouse Had a Roof
- Handing Over Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO 'Insulting': Flemming
- RFP Issued for Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO
- Tobacco Warehouse, Acute Corner, DUMBO

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Invite Your Date: The Red Hook Prom is May 11

Fasten your corsage and put on your dancing shoes. On Saturday, May 11 at 7pm, Red Hook, Brooklyn is having a prom. Come to South Brooklyn Community High School at 173 Conover Street, walk up to the gym and celebrate the neighborhood.

The event, voluntarily produced by Red Hook's own home/made (a restaurant and catering company), features delicious food, punch (spiked, just like we remember), sweet tunes by DJ Body Rock spinning 80's jams and requests, dance lessons from Cora Dance pros, a photo booth, the knighting of Prom King and Queen-- nominations are local celebrities, and many more surprises.

By dok1, Flickr
The Red Hook Prom is the annual gala benefiting Cora Dance. All the proceeds of the evening go to support their 7 days a week of pay-what-you-can dance classes for ages 4 to 94+, as well as supporting the development of Red Hook's first studio theater.

More details here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

UPDATE: Boston Marathon Bombers Manhunt in Boston, One Killed

UPDATE: 11:55 a.m. Friday
The two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer and hurled explosives at police in a car chase and gun battle overnight that left one of them dead and his brother on the run Friday morning. Thousands of officers swarmed the streets and all transportation in and out of the city has been halted. More here.

The suspect on the black hat was killed Friday morning. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in the white hat, escaped. News sources say the two moved to the U.S. 10 years ago from the Russian region near Chechnya.

* * *

Everyone is trying to help the FBI find the Boston Marathon bombers.

We decided to hunt them down using Google Image Search, Google's sophisticated imaging-match algorithm. If a bomber's photo is anywhere in Google's massive database, Image Search might find it.

We copied a photo of bomber number 1, obtained from the FBI:

and pasted it into Google Image Search: images.google.com

Then all we had to do was click on Search.

Google came up with a page of photos that supposedly matched the original  photo:

These were not as close as we had hoped. It seems that Google Image Search is pretty useless when it comes to finding similar photos on the Internet.

It turns out the human brain is still the best at associating visual images. 

Here's the other suspect, according to the FBI:

You can see more photos on the FBI website. Maybe you've seen these guys.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

U.S. Suspends Effort to Close Anti-Terror Team at Fort Hamilton, As They Deploy to Boston

Members of the elite anti-terror unit from Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton Army Base have been deployed to Boston to assist in the recovery effort following the horrific April 15 bombing, reports the Brooklyn Eagle.

In related news, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed that the Defense Department will suspend efforts to close the Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team at Fort Hamilton, reports SI Live

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

4th Ave. to Lose Lanes; Bushwick Mall; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Park Slope's 4th Ave. to lose lanes in traffic-calming plan. [Streetsblog]

- Nine-foot tall "wayfinding" signs coming to Prospect / Crown Heights for tourists. [apbp] via [DNAinfo]

- Urban Outfitters, here we come: Bushwick is getting a mall. [Gothamist]

- More cameras on NYC streets: this time at street work zones. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- A federal jury in Brooklyn Wednesday convicted Bartolomeo "Bobby Glasses" Vernace of murder, heroin trafficking, robbery, loansharking, and illegal gambling. [FBI].

- Well, we missed "Tasting Brooklyn" again. [The Brooklyn Ink

- The Army Corp of Engineers is looking at moving homes away from the shore as the sea level rises. [WNYC]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Too Much Coffee Give Bomb Squad the Jitters in Brooklyn Heights

Photo: MK Metz, McBrooklyn
A suspicious object was reported at the TD Bank at 211 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights at 5:17 p.m. Wednesday (April 17).

The Emergency Services Unit, Bomb Squad, FDNY and NYPD blocked off Cadman Plaza West while they disarmed the object.

The suspicious object was discovered to be a thermos jug, an NYPD spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle. "It was coffee," he said.

 According to the Eagle, the bomb squad was kept busy all day yesterday, with similar incidents reported in Bay Ridge, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Deadline to Join a CSA in NYC Coming Up Soon

It's high time to join a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Signups started earlier this spring and many CSAs (there are about 100 in New York City) are filling up fast.

How it works: CSA members purchase shares in a farmers' harvest and in return receive weekly deliveries of fresh, locally grown produce all summer and fall. Members share in the risk and rewards of their farmer's season.

Farmers deliver the shares of produce to a drop-off location (like a church or community center) in your neighborhood.

Sweet Pea CSA share
Shares usually include 7-10 types of vegetables or fruit, enough for a family of 2-3 people. (Most CSAs also offer half shares.) A full share costs between $400 - $600, paid in advance. (Some allow members to stretch out their payments.)

The Just Food website allows you to enter your Zip code to find the closest CSA, or just click on the map.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Citi Bike: Thousands of Helmet-less Amateur Bikers Will Soon Hit the Streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan

Citi Bike dock going in on Pearl Street, DUMBO. Photo: MK Metz
Citi Bike crews have been busy the past couple of days installing solar-powered bike share docks all over Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and Bed-Stuy. After that comes Manhattan.

The new program features thousands of bikes at hundreds of stations and a lot of people seem very excited about it (though some are not totally happy with the placement of the stations).The bikes are not really meant for leisurely rides; rather, they are supposed to get you from your bus or subway to your home, or the "last mile."

DOT says the locations were chosen through well-documented process of consultation with neighborhood residents.

Soon, helmet-less residents and tourists alike will be hitting the streets of New York, pedaling from dock to dock in 30- or 45-minute increments.

It will probably be great. It works in other cities. It's good for the environment.

But for God's sake don't get off the bike. Citi Bike says you could be charged up to $1000 if you lose it.

- NYC: Bike Share outreach  (pdf)

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

The Rat Settles In at Barclays Center in Brooklyn

Photo by MK Metz, McBrooklyn
After squatting on his inflatable haunches in front of Barclays Center in Brooklyn for more than a month, this giant rat seems to have found a permanent home in front of the arena.

Atlantic Yards Report says it's union trouble. But it's amazing how well the rat fits right in.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Million Dollar Jackie Robinson Glove; M.T.A. As Grinch; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The glove Brooklyn Dodgers' Jackie Robinson used during the 1955 and 1956 seasons is up for auction -- and it may fetch as much as a million dollars. [NY Daily News]

- Effort underway to landmark Jackie Robinson house. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Hasidic sect looking to nab 3.2 acre National Guard fortress for sale in Williamsburg. [TRD]

- Some parents plan to boycott this week's new and harder math and English tests. [Record Online]

- M.T.A. bans collecting used MetroCards for charity. [NY Magazine]

- Is ferry service being expanded to bail out developers? [Queens Crap]

- On Children's Day, April 23rd, Masal Café is feeding children gratis, from early morning right through to beyond their bedtimes. [Examiner]

- NYPD in trouble for setting larceny traps for New Yorkers. [Gawker]

- Is New York losing its edge as Start Up City? [Entrepreneur]

- Do you eat KoJel kosher foods like instant pudding, hot chocolate mix and instant noodle soup? Ummn, better read this. [NY Times]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, April 12, 2013

New Brooklyn Heights Association President Tells All

Photo by Ellen Jaffe
Alexandra Bowie, new president of the Brooklyn Heights Association, provides an in-depth look at the mission of the famous neighborhood group in a Q & A with the Brooklyn Eagle.

Bowie discusses in detail the main issues the BHA is working on now: LICH, the sale of the Brooklyn Heights library, the completion of Brooklyn Bridge Park, trees and traffic.

About the Brooklyn Heights branch library sale: BHA is not opposing the redevelopment plan at this time, Bowie says, so long as three conditions are met: 1) ensure that the money from the sale of the building goes to the BPL; 2) ensure that there is continuity of service from now until the opening of the replacement branch in a new building; and 3) ensure that the replacement branch is of adequate size.

Traffic: Following the The Martha Atwater tragedy, the BHA is beginning a community outreach effort on making Brooklyn Heights a Slow Zone and other traffic calming efforts.  Slow Zone means 20 mph speeds and speed bumps, as well as signage. (Bowie would also like to see the speed cameras bill move forward.)

Bowie will replace Jane McGroarty.

For more about the BHA's latest plans, including what it is doing about LICH, the BQE rehab project and more, visit www.brooklyneagle.com

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Fresh Chick Peas at Pacific Green, Cobble Hill

At Pacific Green. Photo: MK Metz
What's the size of grapes and comes in fuzzy green pods? Fresh chick peas, and Pacific Green on Court Street in Cobble Hill has mounds of them for sale.

To eat them, you have to pop them from their pods and boil them in salted water for 4 - 5 minutes.

Or, you can char them right in their pods -- recipe here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'They Might Be Giants' Free Show; New Restaurant in Brooklyn Heights; More Brooklyn Briefs

- They Might Be Giants playing a free show in Brooklyn on Tuesday! [Brokelyn]

- Another person found locked in park bathroom -- second in three weeks. [A Walk In the Park]

- A mini-velodrome was set up in a Bushwick church. [Brownstoner]

- A new restaurant -- possibly Italian -- moving into 72 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. [Brownstoner]

- Former Vito Lopez campaign treasurer gets a year of probation. [City & State]

- Deadly accident at dangerous Bushwick intersection spurs victim's family to push for changes. [Brooklyn Ink]

- NYU Poly appoints a new president. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- No one really knows who is really behind Bitcoins; the creator Satoshi Nakamoto is just a pseudonym. [CNN] .

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

No One Was Murdered in Red Hook Last Year

Where in Brooklyn are you least likely to get murdered?

Brooklyn Magazine has checked out the latest NYPD Comstat figures and picked the neighborhoods to stick to if you value your health.

Oddly enough, the 76th Precinct, covering Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Red Hook, reported no murders last year—and, so far, no murders this year. Even weirder, no one was murdered in Red Hook, not even after Sandy, in spite of the power being off for weeks.

More here.

Photo: Alan Cleaver

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Spring at Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

Check out the garden at the north end of Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn, along the pathway leading to the Brooklyn Bridge. Every spring this little flower-filled garden presents a lovely greeting for residents and tourists heading for the Brooklyn Bridge. The Parks Department -- or is it the Cadman Park Conservancy? -- does a great job on this patch.

Magnolias in bloom on Cadman Plaza East just north of the park.

Daffodils and hyacinths at the north end.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Quinn Doesn't Like Attack Ads; Priest Blasts Post; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn ranks as the second most expensive place to live in the U.S. [Yahoo Finance]

- Quinn tries to strong-arm cable companies to take attack ads off the air. [NY Magazine]

- Bath Beach priest used Twitter to blast the FDNY’s ticket-writing inspectors, says the Post. One problem: The priest says a the Post's story is "propaganda." [Bensonhurst Bean]

- Pundits: Brooklyn BP Markowitz must lose some weight but can keep his accent if he wants to move to TV. Oh, and the hair. [NY Daily News]

- Lineup announced for Northside Festival in Williamsburg. [NY Times]

- Red Hook march to save LICH draws hundreds. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- The Tablet magazine calls Brad Lander "Brooklyn's Unofficial Mayor."

- The NYPD doesn't care about speeding drivers, data shows. [Gothamist]

- Brooklyn Conservatives praise Thatcher as a role model. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- By mid-afternoon yesterday, the editor of the London Daily Telegraph announced he had closed comments on every Margaret Thatcher story. "Even our address to email tributes is filled with abuse," he said. [Sydney Morning Herald] 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

The Jackhammers on the Brooklyn Bridge Stopped for a While Monday Night

Construction Brooklyn Bridge. MK Metz
Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO residents woke up just after midnight last night in shock at the eerie silence.

Brooklyn Bridge's jackhammers, drilling seemingly every single night since April 2011, had momentarily gone silent. The jarring lack of heart-attack-causing noise brought neighbors to their windows in confusion. It was as if the world had briefly stopped turning.

For a few minutes, other sounds -- cars, trains, radios, the wind -- could be heard.

Toddlers, having lived their whole lives with thunderous drilling filling every nighttime hour, woke restlessly in their cribs and briefly entertained the idea of someday going to college.

Then as always, the jackhammers returned.The world returned to normal, and the sound of chirping birds disappeared.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, April 8, 2013

'Keep the Promise' Rally in Downtown Brooklyn . . . Rev. Al Leads March Over Brooklyn Bridge

A stage was set up in Cadman Plaza Park. Photo: MK Metz
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation threw a big "Keep the Promise on AIDs" concert/ rally in Cadman Plaza Park on Saturday, with a full lineup of entertainment, speeches by AIDs advocates and pols, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, and a march over the Brooklyn Bridge.

The advocates called for funding to fight AIDs in New York City, which has been hit with budget cuts for HIV testing.

Steve Levin. Photo: MK Metz
Council Member Stephen Levin said that more people in NYC are getting their HIV diagnosed late, leading to an increased likelihood of dying from AIDs. State Senator Velmanette Montgomery spoke in favor of the "No Condoms As Evidence" bill, which would prohibit police for arresting people for carrying condoms. (Prosecutors have been claiming this shows intent to commit prostitution.)

'Stroke 'Em Condom Style'

Cassidy. Photo MK Metz
Rapper Cassidy ("I'm A Hustla") had the crowd dancing with "Stroke 'Em Condom Style." (A memorable 'Gangnam Style' take off: "Stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, Stroke 'em condom style.")

Other entertainment included Grammy Award-winners Bridget Kelly and Miri Ben-Ari, Sway Calloway, DJ Lina, and The Rude Mechanical Orchestra.

Malina Fisher, Sway Calloway, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Michael Weinstein (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) Photo: MK Metz

Marching up the steps of the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: MK Metz

The Rude Mechanical Orchestra. Photo: MK Metz

More at the Brooklyn Eagle and NY1.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Nice Day for Outdoor Work in Brooklyn...

Sunny and cool -- Thursday was the perfect day for the NYC Dept. of Environment Protection's (DEP) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) team to install something on a lamp post near a bridge in Brooklyn.

UPDATE: To answer our commenter's question, "What were they doing?" we've posted a picture of the monitor DEP installed on the post:

DEP's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives team works with the Dept. of Homeland Security's BioWatch and Chemical Detection programs to monitor the air for dangerous chemicals, radiation, etc.

DEP has also installed detectors to monitor the air during the ongoing scraping and painting of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

The Asbestos Rat Comes to DUMBO's Two Trees

The inflatable union rat was parked outside Two Trees management Company on Washington Street in DUMBO yesterday to protest Two Trees' use of what the union calls the "dangerous company, New York Insulation" to perform asbestos abatement at 350 Kent Avenue.

According to Laborers International Union of North America Local 78, since 2006 New York Insulation and affiliated company Nick’s Insulation (NYI) have been cited at least 110 times for unsafe asbestos abatement by the NYS Department of Labor and dozens more by DEP.

The union filed a lawsuit against the company for failing to pay workers a prevailing wage and overtime, but the company has denied the claims, according to reports.

Whatever the union's beef, according to New York State, New York Insulation has been "debarred and declared ineligible to submit a bid on or be awarded any public work or public building service contract/sub-contract with the state, any municipal corporation or public body in New York State" until 5/16/2017.

New York Insulation was disqualified as well from doing work NYC School Construction Authority Projects until 5/16/2017.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Brooklyn Bareburger Opening Soon in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Photo Bareburger by MK Metz
Photos: MK Metz
The newest Brooklyn Bareburger -- serving top-rated organic burgers (including wild boar and bison), sandwiches, salads and shakes -- will be opening "spring 2013" at 149 Court Street (at Pacific) in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

The first Brooklyn Bareburger is already operating on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. The company will be rolling out 14 new Bareburgers over the next year and a half.

We haven't tried the one in Park Slope yet but the menu sounds fantastic, with enough choices for both meat eaters and vegetarians. (Our gluten-free friend will be able to get her burger on a tapioca rice bun, a rarity in a burger joint.)

Bareburger sign
It does take some doing to read the sign.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

A Birther Doesn't Fare Well in Brooklyn; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Muckrack followed the Tweets at last night's Mayoral Forum in Brooklyn Heights. [also following: BHB]

- Brooklyn judge slams birther and calls his claims: "fanciful, fantastic, delusional, irrational and baseles." [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Police arrest the creep in the violent subway mugging caught on tape. [NY1]

- A 40-year-old man was killed by a tractor trailer at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn on Wednesday. [Carroll Gardens Patch]

- After months of protests, the controversial Jamaica Bay Pipeline project is now in construction.[Sheepshead Bites]

- Guy walks from Brooklyn to Garden City, has adventures along the way. Reluctant Habits

- There is a thing in Brooklyn called Walleyball, and it has a king. [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Smorgasburg Returns to Williamsburg and DUMBO this Weekend

DUMBO Smorgasburg. Photo: MK Metz
This is a great place to bring friends for some good eating, Brooklyn style: The food festival called Smorgasburg is returning to Williamsburg this Saturday and to DUMBO this Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Note that the Williamsburg location, with about 100 vendors, has moved one block north to East River State Park this season, at Kent Avenue and North 7th St.

In DUMBO, the food festival's roughly 75 vendors will again set up shop in the Tobacco Warehouse.

Previous Posts:
- Smorgasburg a Hit in DUMBO
- Smorgasburg Opens in DUMBO Today
- Smorgasburg Coming to DUMBO On Sundays = 'Smorgumbo?'
- Good Eatin' at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg
- MiMi and CoCo's Teriyaki Balls Crazy Hit at Smorgasburg

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Brooklyn, NYC, Under a 'Fire Weather Watch' All Day Wednesday, April 3

Fire in Brooklyn at Pratt. By MK Metz
February's Pratt fire. MK Metz
We didn't even know there was such an alert -- but now the National Weather Service is warning Brooklyn, New York City and the surrounding area that a "Fire Weather Watch" remains in effect from 8 a.m. Wednesday through Wednesday evening.

Low humidity combined with "gusty west winds" and "dry fine fuels" will lead to "increased fire spread if ignition occurs."

From NOAA:








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Brutal F Train Robbery Video; Bone Selling Doctor Dying of Cancer; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Surveillance cameras captured a brutal robbery in an empty stairway of the 18th Avenue F train station in Borough Park, Brooklyn. [City Room]

- 'Indestructible' touchscreen subway map kiosks coming to select subway stations this summer. [Gizmodo]

- A woman is suing the NYPD for pepper spraying her and her three young children in a Brooklyn subway station last summer. [Gothamist]

- The doctor convicted of masterminding a ghoulish scheme to sell the bones and organs of deceased people is dying of bone cancer in prison. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Artist Lorna Simpson lists Fort Greene townhouse for $3 million. [TRD]

- Columbia Waterfront resident Lou Formisano -- over the objections of the city -- succeeded in cleaning up a vermin-filled park . . . and now that spring is here it looks mighty inviting. [Carroll Gardens Patch]

- The first round of Sandy aid money is finally coming, and the city wants the public’s opinion on the best way to dole it out. [Sheepshead Bites]

- For Britain, global warming may save freezing seniors. [Telegraph]

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pepper Spray Incident on Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn?

NY Scanner reported at roughly 11 p.m. that the 770 Eastern Pkwy Hatzolah EMS reported a "Pepper Spray incident" with multiple victims.

"Multiple Ambulances staging."

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LICH Shutdown on Hold AGAIN; Brooklyn Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes issued a temporary restraining order on Monday stopping the NYS Department of Health from shutting down Long Island College Hospital (LICH) -- until at least May 2, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

Last month, Judge Johnny Lee Haynes said the SUNY Board had violated state Open Meetings law during its first vote to close LICH. The board re-voted to close it a few days later.

Meanwhile Cobble Hill residents have paid for a TV commercial airing later this week which depicts a dying patient and frantic ambulance workers dealing with the aftermath of the closure LICH, the NY Daily News reports.

Previous posts on LICH here.

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Scam Company Dialing Brooklyn Phone Numbers

Photo: KB35
Beware the scam phone calls announcing, "You indicated you were interested in a position in a survey."

The calls originate with a company that often calls itself 'WN Positions' and the purpose may be to acquire your personal information.

If you get a call from 347-669-4973 don't answer. If you do, don't give them any information, just hang up. They have been dialing NYC phone exchanges recently, with a number of them in Brooklyn.

According to 9wsyr, the Better Business Bureau says it couldn’t even locate WN Positions to process the complaints it’s received.

People who receive these scam calls are encouraged to contact the Federal Trade Commission.

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Raynaldo Carmoega, 73, Missing in Brooklyn

The NYPD issued a Silver Alert on Monday night for Raynaldo Carmoega, age 73. Carmoega was last seen in the vicinity of West 33rd Street and Surf Avenue in Brooklyn on March 28 at 5 p.m., wearing blue jeans, a red jersey with white marking, and a white hat.

Carmoega is 5' 5" and weighs 147 lbs with short, brown, frosted hair and gold teeth. He is reported to suffer from dementia and diabetes. If you see him, please call 911.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Sunshine, Music and Hundreds of Kids at 2013 Brooklyn Heights Egg Hunt

The sunny weather brought hundreds of kids and their families to the annual Easter egg hunt at Pierrepont Playground in Brooklyn Heights on Saturday morning. You have to get up pretty early for this one -- the line wraps around the entrance on Pierrepont Street to Columbia Heights and all the way to Remsen Street. (There was a huge crowd last year, too.)

Photo sign, by MK Metz. Easter Egg hunt, Pierrepont Playground, Brooklyn 2013
The Brooklyn Heights Playground Committee hid 500 eggs in the playground, but there were several hundred children, so . . .

photo running boy by MK Metz Easter 2013 Pierrepont Brooklyn
On your mark, get set . . . go!

Photo child Easter Egg hunt Pierrepont Playground by MK Metz 2013
The grassy area was set aside for the youngest ones.

Photo face painting, by MK Metz. Pierrepont Playground, Brooklyn 2013
While the eggs ran out pretty fast, there was still the playground to play on, plus music, balloons (donated by Heights Kids), and face painting, too.

Photo snacks, by MK Metz. Easter Egg hunt Pierrepont Playground, Brooklyn 2013
Lots of delicious treats were baked by members of the Brooklyn Heights Playground Committee. Proceeds from the event fund the Summer Arts and Science programs.

Photos copyright MK Metz

- Brooklyn Height's Spring Egg Hunt 2012
- Brooklyn Heights Spring Egg Hunt 2011
- Egg Hunt at Plymouth Church, 2011 
- Brooklyn Heights Sprint Egg Hunt 2010
- Egg Hunt at Plymouth Church, 2009 
- Egg Hunt at BBP, 2008 

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