Thursday, January 31, 2013

Time to Turn in Your Guns at Church Again in Brooklyn

Photo by Steve Deger
It's that time of year again. Turn in a weapon at the Church of the Open Door from on Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and receive a $200 bank card for "operable handguns & assault rifles" and $20 bank card for rifles and shotguns.

You can earn bucks for up to three weapons -- that's right, $600!

No Questions Asked

The church is located at 201 Gold Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (Rev. Mark V.C. Taylor, Pastor)

Special message to cops: "No Current or Retired Law Enforcement Guns"

Sponsored by the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department and New York City Council Member Letitia James

Frequently Asked Questions:

• Guns must be placed in a plastic or paper bag or box.

• If transporting the gun by car, the gun must be transported in the
trunk of the car.

• After the gun is screened by officers and determined to be operable, you will be issued a cash card.

• Yes, rifles and shotguns will be accepted. However, the payout for rifles and shotguns is only $20.

• You may surrender as many guns as you wish, but you will only receive payment for up to three guns.

• Yes, you can call 311 for information regarding the Brooklyn Gun Buy Back Program to Reduce Violent Crime.

• Active or retired law enforcement officers and licensed gun dealers are not eligible to participate in the program.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tough Crowd at Brooklyn Heights Library Meeting

Josh Nachowitz, left, and officers of Friends of Brooklyn Heights Branch. Photo by MK Metz
Plans to sell the Brooklyn Heights branch library site and move the Business branch to Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Heights didn't sit well with the crowd attending a meeting of the Friends of the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library on Tuesday night.

The audience of roughly 50 people peppered Brooklyn Public Library VP of Government & Community Relations, Josh Nachowitz, with questions about the necessity of selling the property, berated BPL for not fixing the busted air conditioning 20 years ago when it first broke down, and questioned where the library would be housed during years of construction.

Nachowitz said Brooklyn Public Library has no intention of "abandoning Brooklyn Heights." But he said it would cost three-and-a-half million dollars to fix the broken AC, and other building repairs would raise the total cost of renovation to $9 million. BPL's plan is to insert a smaller, single-floor library in the residential tower that would be built.

He bemoaned the financial mess the BPL system was in. The entire system "has $230 million in capital needs system-wide, and we get $15 million a year from the city,” he said.

In spite of Nachowitz's stance that there is no other way for the library to survive, revolution was in the air. A group is getting together to fight what they see as another transfer of public land to a private developer.

More details at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Brooklyn Heights Library Meeting; New Brooklyn Nightclub; Laser Beams and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The planned sale of the Brooklyn Heights branch and Brooklyn Business Library building will be discussed at a public meeting on Tuesday night. Brooklyn Eagle

- The dolphin that died in the Gowanus Canal on Friday had many health problems, including a damaged kidney and stomach ulcers. NY Times

- The Brooklyn nightclub "that everyone's been waiting for" opened this weekend, and "it was totally epic." Business Insider 

- Two Trees Management is facing a lawsuit from a tenant at 66 Water Street alleging that the landlord has failed to repair extensive damage stemming from the construction of its adjacent Dock Street Dumbo condo. TRD 

- Business Insider has drawn up a map showing the divide between NYC;s "creative" and "service" classes. Brownstoner commenters wonder what the heck is creative class. 

- Cornhole tournament headed to Brooklyn Brewery. Brokelyn 

- Laser beam track intrusion system for safer subways? NY Magazine

- Boy Scouts of America may be thinking about lifting its ban on gay members. Gawker

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Bruce Ratner Stepping Down as Forest City CEO

Photo: Forest City Ratner
Bruce Ratner is stepping down as Forest City CEO; taking his place will be MaryAnne Gilmartin, reports Crain's NY.

Crain's says, "It was not entirely clear why Mr. Ratner was stepping down," but his departure will be "sooner rather than later, likely the next few months."

Before he goes, the city is giving him a fat tax break on his Brooklyn Heights office tower, reports the NY Daily News.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, January 28, 2013

After Man Jumps in Front of R Train in Park Slope, Stringer Calls Again for Investigation

Photo: MShades
After a man threw himself in front of the R train at the station on Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street in Park Slope on Sunday, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer again called for an investigation.

"This is a troubling and dangerous trend with serious implications for the millions of commuters who ride the subway each day," he said in a release Sunday. "With six fatalities so far in 2013, New York is on pace to reach nearly 100 deaths this year. I renew my call for an investigation by the MTA inspector general to determine why accidents are on the rise and what can be done to make our subway system safer."

More here.

Recent subway fatalities:

* On December 3, Ki-Suck Han was pushed onto the tracks and killed at the 49th Street/7th Avenue subway station.

* On December 27, Sunando Sen was pushed onto the tracks and killed at the 40th St-Lowery stop on the No. 7 Line.

* On January 1, a young woman walked onto the tracks and was killed by an uptown 2 train near Penn Station.

* On January 16, a 31-year-old man relieving himself between cars on the uptown 6 train was killed when he fell onto the tracks and was struck by the train he was riding.

* On January 19, three deaths occurred:
     - Brian O'Mara was found dead at 8:25 a.m. on the Brooklyn-bound L train tracks at the Third Avenue station.
     - A train operator discovered a body in the subway tunnel about 60 feet from the platform on the southbound track of the Nostrand Avenue A train station in Brooklyn.
     - A man on the tracks was struck by a Manhattan-bound train as he tried to climb onto the platform at the Sixth Avenue L train station.

* On January 22, an individual committed suicide on the uptown 2/3 tracks at Times Square.

* On January 28, a man threw himself in front of the R train in Park Slope.

Photo: MShades

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Petitions: LICH, Pier 6, Schools and TJ's

Like to sign petitions? Here are four Brooklynites may be interested in:

- Sign a petition for year-round ferry service to Pier 6 in Brooklyn.

- Sign a petition to keep Long Island College Hospital open.

- Sign a petition to build a new elementary school in Downtown Brooklyn.

- Want a Trader Joe's in Sheepshead Bay? Sign the petition.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Bill de Blasio Announces He'll Run for Mayor of NYC, Invokes Tale of Two Cities

Chirlane McCray, Bill de Blasio and son Dante. Photo:.DeBlasioNYC
Democrat Bill de Blasio announced in front of his Park Slope home on Sunday that he will run for Mayor of the City of New York. He'll be making campaign events in all five boroughs today, hitting Boro Park in Brooklyn at 1:10 p.m.

“After nearly twelve years of Mayor Bloomberg’s policies, our city isn’t living up to its potential – not by a long shot," he said in a release.

“Let’s be honest about where we are today – a city that in too many ways has become a tale of two cities – a place where City Hall too often has catered to the interests of the elite rather than the needs of everyday New Yorkers," he said.

"There are some who believe that Mayor Bloomberg’s policies from the past twelve years just need a few tweaks here and there, that his vision should continue more or less uninterrupted for the next four years. There are others who practice a politics of the moment, who are heroic in election years but are not engaged in the day to day fight to save our neighborhoods when their names aren't on the ballot.”

De Blasio, always a strong supporter of public schools, called for:

• Making sure all New York City students receive a great public education

• Asking the wealthiest to help finance an expansion of early childhood education and after-school programs

• Leadership that focuses on creating jobs all five boroughs, not just Manhattan

• Cutting the bureaucracy and red-tape that hurts small businesses

• Fixing the NYPD’s broken stop-and-frisk policy

De Blasio lives with his wife Chirlane McCray and two children, Chiara and Dante, both of whom have attended New York City public schools. More at the NY Times.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Flyover of Brooklyn, via Google Earth

In case anyone has forgotten how awesome Google Earth is, here are a few views we snapped today while zooming over Brooklyn.

The images come from NOAA (the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) satellites and are pieced together by Google software on the fly. (Some smudgy artifacts show up in the screen grabs that don't matter much when you're zooming over the city.)

The amount of data represented here is breathtaking. This was the stuff of science fiction dreams just a few years ago, and now anyone with a normal computer has complete and free access to it.

Click on the photos to see larger images.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Prospect Park & Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Downtown Brooklyn

Breezy Point, Rockaways
Photos courtesy Google Earth and NOAA

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brooklyn's LICH On the Verge of Closing - UPDATE: Endowment Drained?

Long Island College Hospital -- LICH -- in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn faces closure -- just two years after SUNY Downstate took it over, the Times, the News, the Post and the Brooklyn Eagle are reporting.

Talk of closure comes a week after state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli issued a "scathing" audit saying that SUNY Downstate was on the verge of bankruptcy. The report said SUNY Downstate's decision to absorb LICH a colossal financial mistake.

As far back as 2008, doctors accused the hospital’s parent body -- which was at that time Continuum Health Partners -- of financial mismanagement and leaving the hospital in a precarious position.


According to the Brooklyn Eagle:
"While the audit said SUNY Downstate assumed both assets and “substantial” liabilities from LICH, Downstate President Williams asserted that LICH’s assets were higher than previously estimated – from "$280 million to $550 million," reports Crain’s New York.

Further, SUNY won’t be responsible for about $140 million worth of potential LICH medical malpractice claims. A trust set up from LICH endowment funds will cover those payments.

Also, according to DiNapoli’s report, $32.7 million was transferred from LICH’s accounts to SUNY's “Health Science Center at Brooklyn Foundation, Inc.” a not-for-profit corporation. (We notice the management fees for this foundation in 2011 alone are almost $6 million.)

This brings us back to 2008, when it was Continuum who was draining LICH of resources. Dr. Arnold Licht president of LICH medical staff, charged at that time: “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.”

- Unexpected: Head of Brooklyn's LICH Stepping Down
- Donald and Mildred: We're Sorry About Losing All Your Money, and the Hospital, Too
Gov. Paterson Announced LICH /SUNY Deal in Brooklyn Today 
- Insurance Trouble at Brooklyn's LICH 
- Petition to Save LICH
- Sucking Long Island Collage Hospital Dry?
- Long Island College Hospital In Big Trouble

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NYC Interactive Dog Map Shows 'Lucy' Most Popular Dog Name in Downtown Brooklyn

We knew we've run into a lot of dogs named Lucy lately, and now there's proof:

WNYC’s Data News team has created DOGS OF NYC, an interactive map that illustrates the popularity of names and breeds depending on neighborhood.

There are actually 23 dogs named Lucy living in the 11201 Zip code -- followed by 10 Maggie's and 10 Lulu's.

Meanwhile, in Williamsburg, Milo and Max tie for first.

You can zoom the map and click on dog names for details.

Other interesting tidbits:
*The most popular female dog name is Bella, and Max is the most popular male dog name.
*There are 26 dogs in NYC named Pepsi, but none named Coke or Coca-Cola.
*There are 14 dogs named Kitty and 31 named Tigger.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wilhelm Rips 'Girls' in 'Zombie Girls of Brooklyn'

Girls poster from series premier, via Wikipedia.
The media is infatuated with it, but the HBO series Girls is sad, not funny, says Heather Wilhelm in "The Zombie Girls of Brooklyn" in Real Clear Politics.

In case you're not breathlessly watching every episode, here's Wikipedia's description of "Girls":
 "Created by and starring Lena Dunham, Girls is a comedy-drama that follows a close group of twenty-somethings as they chart their lives in New York City."

Here's Wilhelm's description:
Girls "follows the largely depressing, sex-fueled lives of four self-centered, fresh-out-of-college Brooklyn women. Indeed, it is a reintroduction to our old, tired, overworked friend 'Sex and the City,' only dusted off, tossed into Brooklyn, and dipped into a grungy, plastic kiddie pool filled with floating bugs, self-referential 'meta' humor, and ennui."

The Golden Globes? The positive reviews in newspapers and magazines? The media is pushing an agenda, selling a product -- and all the "girls" in the show have famous parents, Wilhelm points out.

Real Clear Politics reader comments include:

* "Just because YOU don't get the joke, doesn't mean it isn't funny..."

* "Since 99.6% of the population aren't watching the show, apparently a lot of people don't get the joke - 0.4% do - about the same percentage that "get" the humor of "bum fight" videos."

* "To a really strong woman, being bold might mean standing tall and dignified. For these characters, boldness means barfing and bad language."

* "The media is throwing awards and praises to a show for nothing more than reaffirming their own philosophy about lifestyle. No one watches it, no one likes it."

* "The media can't push anything on you. If it offends, or you simply don't like it, don't watch."

"Zombie Girls of Brooklyn" here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Developer Buys Entire Block of Williamsburg

A developer has bought an entire block of Williamsburg for a Chelsea-Market style development and possibly a big box store, reports Wall Street Journal via Brownstoner.

The same company, Heritage Equity Partners, announced they'll be putting up a rental building and a hotel at other sites in Williamsburg.

Photo by Google Maps

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'Hazardous Weather Outlook' Issued for Brooklyn, NYC

The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for all five boroughs of New York City Wednesday morning, warning that the temperature in the lower teens combined with 15 -2- mph winds will result in wind chill values down to 5 below zero this morning.

Wind chill values may drop below zero Thursday morning as well.

Snow flurries are expected this afternoon.

From NOAA:


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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Idiotarod Returns to NYC Saturday, Under New Management

Team Remus; courtesy of Corporation X
A message that may be from the Idiotarod:

"After an apocalyptic 2012," New York City’s annual Idiotarod is re-emerging under the management of the Federal Emergency Racing Agency (FERA), with oversight from the Department of Homeland Absurdity."

We say "may be" because not only do the organizers sometimes deny they are the organizers, but because sabotage  and the spreading of misinformation such as false route information is common.

The Idiotarod consists of costumed teams of (usually) five idiots pushing lavishly decorated shopping carts over a five-mile-long course in the freezing cold, often starting in Manhattan and usually winding up in Brooklyn. 2013 is the 10th annual Idiotarod.

Email for a registration form. All entry forms must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on the Thursday prior to the race (January 24th). However due to the potential for bureaucratic snafus or outright dumping of forms, earlier completion is highly suggested.

Idiotarod 2013 will commence at 12 noon on January 26, 2013, rain or shine (so we're told). 

The launch location will be announced to registrants on Friday, January 25th (the night before the race). (Again, take this with a grain of salt. It may start somewhere else.)

The race will conclude with an afterparty and mobile art exhibition beginning at 6 p.m. in the Gowanus Ballroom.

Many more details on Facebook. Short web page here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Pratt Expands Film School; Valentine Gifts for Guys; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- "Probably not the most artful phrase, but the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir just killed it." -- NBC anchor Brian Williams at yesterday's inauguration in Washington, D.C. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Eat your weight in meat: Fairway is giving away 130 pounds of beef, to one hungry carnivore. Brokelyn

- Stolen car with stolen $30,000 Torah inside found untouched in Brooklyn. NY Magazine

- Pratt Institute plans to quadruple enrollment at its film school after moving to new 17,000-square-foot home, while Brooklyn College will start a graduate film program from scratch. Crain's NY

- Shaving soap, steampunk gears cufflinks, black leather chest harness, vintage black derby: Eatsy has pages of Valentine's gifts for guys. Etsy

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, January 21, 2013

More Brooklyn Victims of Child Abuser Nechemya Weberman Alleged

Nechemya Weberman, the Hasidic "counselor" to be sentenced in Brooklyn Tuesday for sexually abusing a young Williamsburg girl for years, violated at least 10 others, according to the New York Daily News.

Weberman is said to have invoked Kabbalah — a form of Jewish mysticism — to convince his victims that having sex with him was kosher, the News reports.

After coming forward, the woman, now 18, and her husband were the targets of an intimidation campaign.

More than 1,000 Satmar Hasidic (Jewish) men showed up at a Williamsburg hall to raise $500,000 for Weberman’s legal defense. (About a  hundred anti-Weberman supporters showed up as well.)

Following Weberman's conviction, a Hasidic rabbi who campaigns against the sexual abuse of children was attacked in Williamsburg by a man who threw bleach in his face.

Weberman was convicted December 10, 2012. His cousin, who operates an anti-Weberman blog (he calls Weberman a "pig") says Weberman is under a suicide watch -- though he added he wouldn't be surprised if it was a "ploy to win sympathy" from the judge.

Graphic based on photo by Ernst Moeksis

- Accused Rapist Nechemya Weberman Goes to Trial in Brooklyn

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AT&T Says You Can Get the Flu From Your Phone

Photo: APAPF
AT&T's Chief Medical Information Officer -- Dr. Geeta Nayyar -- has sent out a warning that your cell phone may be a disgusting, germ-laden agent of influenza infection:

"We take our phones everywhere we go, from the gym to the bathroom and then to the dinner table and even to bed. Throughout your day, you inevitably shake hands, touch doorknobs and staircase railings – and then you touch your phone and put it against your face. While being connected is invaluable these days – as we grapple with a flu epidemic, your device can become an infection agent."

What to do?

Keep your phone germ-free, says Dr. Nayyar. Here are some of her tips:

1. Don't test or borrow friends' phones right now. This passes germs.

2. Avoid using your phone on the subway, at the gym, in the restroom or at your local coffee place or salad bar – in particular, don't use it and then rest it on public surfaces. Think of how many people touch these surfaces after touching their noses, mouths – or their own devices – in the course of a day. Eww, right?

3. Sanitize and disinfect your phone several times a day – even if you think it has not been in contact with a sick person. ( AT&T stores carry disinfectant.)

4. Try using a Bluetooth device or other hands-free headset, minimizing your keypad-to-face exposure.

5. There ARE cases though where your device can help you out - helpful Apps include the following – (all run on the AT&T network, of course):

A) FluFACTS Fight the Flu: helps you track flu info in your area; assess symptoms, offers helpful tips to fight the flu or ways to stay flu-free.

B) The CDC's app allows you to track treatment and info

C) iPhone apps from Duane Read, CVS and other chain drugstores throughout NYC have apps to track locations nearby and on-hand supplies of shots.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'FU Sandy' Brew; Bus Drivers; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A brewer has announced a new brew called FU Sandy; all of the proceeds will benefit hurricane relief. Gawker

- Good start: Miss America's probably going to duck the inauguration. Brooklyn Eagle 

- A former nun who once worked in Brooklyn publishes her first novel. Brooklynmemoriesmostgreen

- Bus drivers are unjustly targeted by Mayor Bloomberg, says Pete Hamill. NY Daily News

- Construction of a $250 million water tunnel between the North Shore of Staten Island and Brooklyn is under water after flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy damaged crucial equipment. SI Live

- Hundreds honor information activist Aaron Swartz, who killed himself in his Crown Heights, Brooklyn, apartment as he faced trial on hacking charges. Brooklyn Eagle

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

2013 Martin Luther King Day in Brooklyn: Celebrations and Service

New York City's biggest celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King takes place right here in Brooklyn, at BAM's 27th annual “Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” It starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in Fort Greene.

Harry Belafonte will be delivering the keynote address, and soulful music will be delivered by Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, R&B duo Kindred the Family Soul, and more.

Many people participate in the day through acts of service. For volunteer opportunities, see The Coalition Against HungerI Love Franklin Avenue;; or LIU.

For more MLK Day events see the Brooklyn Eagle.

Photo courtesy of BlatentNews, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rents in Brooklyn Have Gone Up Faster Than Wages. Much Faster.

You could rent this apartment for $10 a month in 1891. Published in The New York Age
Apartment rents in New York City are increasing all out of historical proportion. According to MNS figures from December, 2012, the mean rent for a one bedroom in DUMBO has jumped to $4,238 a month. In Williamsburg, it'll cost you $3,176.

The mean rent for a one bedroom in Brooklyn is $2,556.

It's bad in Manhattan, too. The mean rent for a non-doorman one bedroom in Manhattan is $3,098. (Tribecca is the most expensive Manhattan neighborhood, at $5,349, while Harlem is the cheapest, at $1,820.)

Historically, we're paying much more of our income for rent than we used to.

In 1891, (see the ad above) you could get a decent two-bedroom overlooking Prospect Park for about $10 a month. Salaries ranged from a bit under $30 to more than $100 a month back then, according to Wage Trends, 1800 - 1900. If the average Joe earned $60 a month, they shelled out one sixth of their salary for their apartment.

That same two-bedroom in Park Slope today would cost you around $3,500 a month, according to MNS. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage in Brooklyn today is roughly $3,267 a month. So to rent that same apartment today would cost the average Joe all of his salary, plus what he makes returning soda cans to the store.

While these figures are rough, there's no doubt the average Brooklynite in 1891 had a much easier time making the rent than we do today.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bad Teachers, Awful Lawyers, Horrible Insurance Companies and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A federal judge tossed the conviction of a Brooklyn man who has spent 23 years in prison, ruling that the prosecutor was “overzealous and deceitful,” the man’s lawyers were “indolent and ill prepared,” and the original judge was “incomprehensible.” New York Times

- 20 percent or more of bad teachers are clustered at 14 Brooklyn schools, study finds. NY Daily News

- Superstorm Sandy was bad, but the insurance companies are worse, says Brooklyn Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotaki. Some companies don't even bother returning policy-holders' phone calls. Brooklyn Eagle

- Developer Two Trees forgot to mention one thing when it announced its plans for a 32-story residential tower in Brooklyn's BAM Cultural District: the tower would require a zoning change. Curbed

- Petition for year-round Brooklyn Pier 6 ferry service takes off. Brooklyn Eagle

 - Prices and sales are up in Brooklyn in Q4, but the recovery may actually be stalling. TRD

- A proposal to designate a historic district in Bedford-Stuyvesant  met with mixed reactions at a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on Tuesday. TRD

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Planning Meeting on Fourth Avenue Traffic Issues

4th and Pacific. Google Maps
The NYC Department of Transportation has been conducting a year-long assessment of traffic safety along the length of 4th Avenue, from Atlantic Avenue to Bay Ridge, and has begun to implement changes based on community input.

On February 12th, DOT, Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz, and the Fourth Avenue Task Force will host a public workshop to explore 4th Avenue's future, focusing on the avenue from Pacific Street to 15th Street.

To help take full advantage of the workshop, the Park Slope Civic Council's "Forth on Fourth Avenue" Committee (FOFA) is holding a planning session on January 23rd, 6:30 p.m. for all members of the community. FOFA will have maps and other resources available to help identify and support problem areas, suggestions, and strategies.

The idea is to spark, expand, and share community ideas that need to be presented at the DOT meeting.

Fifth Avenue Committee is located at 621 Degraw Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues. For more information, please contact

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brooklyn Heights Business Library Moving to Prospect Heights; Building May Be Sold to Developer

Photo: Google Maps
Unbelievable: Brooklyn Public Library's Business & Career Library -- located in Brooklyn Heights (since long before there was even a Brooklyn Public Library) -- is moving to the BLP Central library at Grand Army Plaza, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

On top of that, the Eagle reports that the two-story building (known for its Art Deco reliefs and busted air conditioner) may be sold to a developer.

The Brooklyn Heights branch library is located on a wedge of land at 280 Cadman Plaza West that is exempt from the Brooklyn Heights Historic District's height limitations.

A spokesperson from the library confirmed the news, which broke late Tuesday.

- Brooklyn business library to abandon Downtown  Brooklyn Eagle

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Brooklynite, Kinda, Wins Miss America 2013

A 23 year-old from Park Slope, Brooklyn via Alabama is the new Miss America 2013.

Mallory Hagan, the former Miss New York, is a student at Fashion Institute of Technology. She moved to Brooklyn in 2008.

From the Miss America Pageant:

"Mallory's triumphant walk across the stage was just the beginning of a journey that will take her to every corner of the country during her year of service as Miss America 2013. She will travel approximately 20,000 miles each month speaking to audiences about her platform "Stop it Now-Child Sexual Abuse" and acting as the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals."

Hagan won a $50,000 scholarship -- which, as Gawker points out, would afford her approximately 5/6ths of one year at NYU.

Hagan is working on a degree in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

We're All Getting 70 Cents from the Brooklyn Bridge Park/ Con-Ed Sale

BBP's John Street site.  Photo: Google Maps
Con Edison customers will each get a tiny piece of the money Brooklyn Bridge Park will pay the utility for their John Street site at the north end of the park in DUMBO, the New York Times reports.

Con-Ed has asked state utility regulators to approve its plan to sell 3.4 acres between John Street and the East River for $9.2 million.

That amounts to about $1.40 for each of the company’s 3.2 million customers, the Times calculates. Con-Ed says they're going to split this with their customers.

How are you going to spend your 70 cents?

- Brooklyn Bridge Park issues RFP for John Street site development. Crain'sBrooklyn Eagle  

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Brooklyn Songwriter Mike Doughty Will Record Your Own Personal Song for $543.09

Songwriter Mike Doughty -- our new favorite Brooklyn artist -- performs "Country Roads" in this video, with harmony by Rosanne Cash and mountaineering moves by Jack Duncan. (Hear snippets of his album The Flip Is Another Honey here.)

If you want to hear him perform in person Doughty will be playing at the Gowanus Canal Conservancy's second annual Winter Festival on Saturday, January 12. 

Recently he held a “Dogs/Demons one-on-one-at-Mike-Doughty’s-actual-home." People went over to his apartment in Brooklyn and he recorded versions of “Dogs/Demons” just for them.

Dogs/Demons is not on an album and it’s not available on the internet, or anywhere else. It’s available only on a digital voice recorder – the very one that the song was played into. And only that one.

Dogs/Demons costs $543.09. At the beginning of the recording Doughty states the date, time, location, the series number, and the full first, middle, and last name of the person who orders it. He also signs and numbers the recorder. You can order one here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

'Just Divorced' in Brooklyn Heights

Photo: MK Metz
We saw this car -- with the words "Just Divorced" painted on the back window -- on Henry Street near the Brooklyn Heights movie theater Tuesday night (and thought it was pretty funny).

Last night we looked up the signature written underneath -- "@ariblau" -- and discovered it belongs to comedian Ari Blau. Ari Blau pulls a lot of pranks and posts them on YouTube.

Here's one called "Fake Marriage Proposal Prank."

Maybe that's why he's "just divorced."

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

$14,000/ Month Rent; Carroll Gardens Homeless Shelter; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Renting in Brooklyn Heights? Try $14,000/ month for 2,800 square feet. Brooklyn Eagle

- Here's what's happening with the proposed homeless shelter in Carroll Gardens. (It involves lawyers.) PMFA

- An extremely rare photograph of the 1865 Brooklyn Atlantics is expected to bring in more than $100,000 at auction. UPI 

- Grimaldi's, Brooklyn's pizza place with legendary lines, is spreading out to L.A., where they will have a chemist to mix up water comparable to Brooklyn's own. Grubstreet

- Justice Schack: 'I'd rather handle killers than divorcing couples. Brooklyn Eagle

- 91-year-old woman was hit three times by stray bullets in East New York, Brooklyn. NY1

- A massive, two-story restaurant is coming to a warehouse in Gowanus. Brownstoner  

- Drug-resistant gonorrhea has now reached the U.S. "in sizable numbers." Scientific American 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Oh, Oh: Flu Cases Soaring Across Brooklyn / NYC

Influenza cases are soaring across the country -- and New York City is being hit especially hard, according to a story published in the Brooklyn Eagle.

As of January 8, emergency rooms across Brooklyn were being hit with 100 - 150 patients with flu-like symptoms every day, and that number is on the upswing.

A doctor at LICH (Long Island College Hospital) told the Eagle that the ER department was seeing double the usual number of flu patients, many of them children, and strongly urged people to get flu shots.

- Flu cases soaring across NYC; hospital ERs packed  Brooklyn Eagle

- Where to get a flu shot in NYC McBrooklyn

Illustration courtesy of the NYC Dept. of Health, from the cover of the "Cover Your Cough" brochure.

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Thousands of New Yorkers Will Ride the Subway Without Pants this Sunday

Photo: Improv Everywhere
No, it's not the ragged remains of the drunken Santacon revelers -- we're talking about the No Pants Subway Ride, returning to New York City this Sunday at 3 p.m.

The event is staged by the group Improv Everywhere every January, usually on a freezing cold day. This will be the event’s 12th year -- which some say is 11 too many.

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Brooklyn Briefs Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013

- The lawyer for the gunman in the Brooklyn diner murder tried to pin the blame on the victim’s girlfriend. NY Daily News

- Bushwick: Where you just expect your waitress to be naked and scribbled on. Gawker

 - Another Jewish baby catches herpes from dangerous penis sucking circumcision ritual. Failed Messiah 

- Is this a record? Man worked for the same Brooklyn bank for 62 years. Brooklyn Eagle 
- Brooklyn moms are tougher than almost anybody. The Local

- It's not over: Occupy Sandy still needs volunteers to help cleaning out flooded homes in Sheepshead Bay. Sheepshead Bites
- Carroll Gardens woman outsmarts two robbers outside a bank on Smith Street. Carroll Gardens Patch 

- Your cell phone might be monitoring your movements inside stores. Information Week

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Brooklyn Mom Has Uncanny Ability to Talk People Into Giving Money to Charities

Photo: Tommy Irrera
“I’m very good at fundraising. I can go into a store and ask for a donation of something to auction. I can convince people to come to a charity dinner. Everyone has something they’re good at," Sandy Irrera told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Lucky for us, Irrera, a resident of Dyker Heights, uses her almost supernatural powers for good: to raise money for Ronald McDonald House, the Mapleton Kiwanis Club, American Cancer Society, No More Tears, the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and other charities.

Her ability to raise funds is so remarkable that her sisters, who also volunteer, simply wait in the car while she runs into stores to get donations.

When her daughters were students Irrera became a Class Mom, helping teachers out. “For some reason they always picked me,” she says.

Wonder why?

More here.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Remembering Pepper & Potter in Downtown Brooklyn

Pepper & Potter Brooklyn, 1949
A new Hampton Inn is planned for 125 Flatbush Avenue Extension (near Tillary) in Downtown Brooklyn, at the site of the old and now-demolished Pepper & Potter Nash dealership. (Read more about the Hampton Inn here.)

While we remember the old car dealership as a rundown wreck of a building, from these photos available on the Havekost Nash Dealership website, it seems that Lester Potter and Frank Pepper had quite the life back in the day.

Lester and Frank
Their advertising slogan was, "Picky People Pick Pepper & Potter."

Cars and babes, in red-hot Brooklyn.
Sadly, in the 1950's, Pepper and Potter's relationship headed south for mysterious reasons, and the partners separated. (More about this at the NY Times.) Mr. Potter’s son, Robert, ran the dealership until it finally closed in 2003.

Proving that nothing ever dies on the internets, dozens of websites make it appear that the company is still operational.

But good news: The NY Times reports that Frank Pepper's niece Erin contacted Robert Potter after never having met the family, and the relationship seems to be a positive one.

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Brooklyn Deaths; DUMBO Plans; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Harry Smith, Brooklyn Heights-based poet and publisher, dies at 76. Brooklyn Eagle

- Brooklyn author Sol Yurick dies at 87. WNYC

- Drunk man celebrating his birthday fatally shoots 34-year-old man inside a Clinton Hill diner. NY Daily News  (It was Biggie's favorite diner, says NY Magazine.)

- A Brooklyn monument celebrating residents who fought in the Civil War was vandalized yesterday with buckets of paint. NY Post

- Check out DUMBO's new street and plaza plans at a public workshop Tuesday. Brooklyn Eagle

- Something brewing at long-deserted Montague Street space? BHB

- Now we have a robot whose job is vomiting. Gawker

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Will School Buses Be Running Monday in New York City? Don't Expect the City to Know

Photo: Vincent Desjardins
New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott on Sunday afternoon told parents to get ready for a school bus strike, as bus drivers threatened to walk off the job.

But all Sunday evening, parents trying to figure out if buses would be running Monday got no information from the city. Even at midnight, calls to 311 and visits to the city's web site yielded only the same press release put up Jan. 4, warning that a strike might happen and urging parents to make other travel arrangements.

Several news sites however, quoted the union as saying that drivers will show up to work on Monday as usual.

If CBS and NBC could talk to the union about Monday's bus service, why couldn't the city?

The union has threatened to strike because a new contract the city is shopping does not include job guarantees for the most experienced drivers of disabled/special-needs children, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Hundreds of parents and drivers gathered at City Hall Park on Sunday to demonstrate support for the bus drivers, according to DNAinfo.

The supporters were chased from the park by police.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Woman's Burnt Body Found in Gerritsen Beach /Marine Park

Atrocity: A young woman’s burnt body was found along Brooklyn's Gerritsen Beach shoreline on the border of Marine Park, near Gerritsen and Lois Aves. on Sunday morning.

More at the Daily News and the New York Post.

Related: Body Found at Point (2011)

Photo courtesy Google Maps

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Friday, January 4, 2013

EPA Decides to Leave Old Navigational Marker for Sailors in Place, Saving Money and Probably Saving Lives

Photo by Google Maps
The Department of Environmental Protection reversed its plans to destroy a 78-year-old navigational aid between Manhattan Beach and Breezy Point that mariners say makes them safer and shows them the way home, according to Sheepshead Bites.

According to documents released under a Freedom of Information Law request filed by Sheepshead Bites, the DEP decided to leave a wastewater diffuser pipe that locals affectionately refer to as the “roundhouse” after sailors and other mariners strongly objected to its removal.

The agency decided the roundhouse served a crucial purpose for vessels both afloat and under the water. More at Sheepshead Bites.

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Shiny, Flash Gordon-Style Spaceship on Flatbush Ave. Extension Grounded

It was too bright and bold for this world: The 21-story high spaceship planned for 85 Flatbush Avenue Extension has been grounded.

Brownstoner and the Brooklyn Eagle report the residential project -- with a new owner and architect -- has been cut roughly in half -- from 21 stories to 12.

What happens next?

According to Nathan Shumate, Ming will instruct the sharkmen to take Flash and Dale prisoner on the submarine where the octosac will attack them.

Flash, without a spaceship, is taken prisoner.
The octosac, however, will be distracted by  aggressive sharks and Flash and Dale will continue their journey to Kala, king of the sharkmen.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cops Shot on Fort Hamilton N Train; Suspect Dead

Photo: Jim Henderson, Wikimedia
A police officer was shot three times and another was hit in his vest when two transit officers were attacked by a man on the Manhattan-bound N train at the Fort Hamilton stop in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, according to a number of news sources.

The officers stopped the man who was walking illegally between cars; he then started shooting at them. As subway riders screamed and scattered, the officers returned fire, killing the man.

Police believe the suspect purposely fired below the bulletproof vests of the officers, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported. The most seriously injured officer was shot in both thighs and in the scrotum.

Both officers have been taken to Lutheran Hospital.

More about this story at the NY Daily News.

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Have You Seen Howard McLean from Prospect Lefferts Gardens?

Have you seen this guy? NYPD has issued a Silver Alert for the disappearance of Howard McLean, male, black, 63 years old, 5'7", 140 lbs., from Flatbush Ave and Hawthorne Street in Brooklyn.

Mr. McLean was last seen wearing a blue jacket, black pants, a red and black striped shirt, black sneakers, and labels on his shirt and pants with his name and Safe Return # 256814.

Mr. McLean suffers from dementia, Alzheimer's, and seizures. If you see him, please call 9-1-1.

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'My Brooklyn' Opens at reRun Theater in DUMBO Friday

IFP & Filmwax present 'My Brooklyn' at the reRun Theater at reBar in DUMBO from Friday, January 4 through Thursday, January 13.

My Brooklyn follows director Kelly Anderson's journey to understand the forces reshaping her neighborhood. The film documents the redevelopment of Fulton Mall, the African-American and Caribbean commercial district that - despite its status as the third most profitable shopping area in New York City - is "maligned for its inability to appeal to the affluent residents who have come to live around it."

My Brooklyn premiered at the Brooklyn Film Festival in June 2012, and after two sold-out screenings it took home the festival’s Audience Award. Since then, the film kicked off Filmwax’s Brooklyn Reconstructed series and went on to win Best Documentary and Best Director at the Red Hook Film Festival. It screened internationally at the Architecture Film Festival in Lund, Sweden and the This Human World Human Rights Film Festival in Vienna, Austria.

More at

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Villiage Voice Has a Problem with D.A. Hynes; BP Markowitz's Swag; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The Village Voice says Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes needs to be replaced. 

- Outgoing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is going to auction off most of his office swag for charity.  NY Daily News 

- A 40-year-old man wielding scissors was shot in the chest by the police after he threatened a woman in a building across the street from City Tech H.S. NY Times

- An education commission appointed by Gov. Cuomo recommended the creation of statewide full-day pre-kindergarten. Brooklyn Eagle

- Overheard on Boomer and Carton's morning show: "Brooklyn is a joke." CBS Local

- MTA dismisses Koo’s proposal for subway station safety barriers.City & State

- The Three Kings will be riding live camels along Graham Avenue this Sunday in Williamsburg. Brooklyn Eagle 

- Stop everything and watch this video of a baby going for a ride on a Roomba. Gawker

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Comptroll Liu Explains What the Fiscal Cliff Agreement's Gonna Cost You

Yesterday City Comptroller John C. Liu explained what New York City taxpayers will pay as a result of the Congressional agreement to avoid the so-called Fiscal Cliff.  

The agreement will cost the average Brooklynite $770 annually. Manhattan taxpayers will pay an average increase of $1,125.

“Like any compromise, the deal to avoid the so-called Fiscal Cliff has some bright spots and dark patches for New York City taxpayers," Liu said.

On the positive side: “Thousands of struggling New Yorkers will not find their extended unemployment benefits abruptly and cruelly cut off. And some 900,000 New Yorkers can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Alternative Minimum Tax has been permanently fixed.

On the negative side: “We must properly fund Social Security and unfortunately the 2% increase in the Social Security Payroll Tax will cost four million hard-working New Yorkers, on average, more than $800 out of pocket this year, taking more than $3 billion out of the City’s income stream.

Estimated Cost of 2% Increase in Social Security Payroll Tax

# of Workers Affected
Estimated Cost
Average Increase
$425 million
$875 million
$1.12 billion
$800 million
Staten Island
$220 million
$3.44 billion

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