Friday, March 29, 2013

Mayoral Hopefuls Come to Brooklyn Next Wednesday, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Mayoral candidates to duke it out in Brooklyn on April 3 in Brooklyn Heights. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Sick of its rapid boom, community leaders are asking the city to rezone Bushwick. [DNA info]

- A Brooklyn judge denied the city’s motion to dismiss a parent lawsuit to get PCBs out of schools, finding the city’s arguments “disingenuous.” Brooklyn Eagle

- Quinn folds, makes deal to give New Yorkers paid sick leave. [NY Magazine]

- Workers constructing City Point in Downtown Brooklyn not getting paid very much, want to halt work. [NY Daily News]

- The Fung Wah bus line was scarier than anyone thought. [NY Magazine]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

This Guy Was Running Around Downtown Brooklyn Thursday

Corpus Hernandez. NYPD
Corpus Hernandez, 37, escaped from Brooklyn criminal court on Schermerhorn Street Thursday and took off down Smith Street, the NY Daily News reports.

Hernandez was found at his mother's in East Flatbush hours later. He has at least 30 priors.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

TSA Agent Finds Pepper Spray, Shoots It, Sends TSA Squad to Hospital

Curly Howard, Stooge
More antics from those madcap TSA screeners at JFK:

TSA agent Chris Yves Dabel, from Brooklyn, found a pepper-spray container at Kennedy Airport and -- just for fun -- fired the eyeball-melting liquid at five fellow TSA screeners, the NY Post reports.

He told Port Authority cops that he “found the canister on the floor and thought it was a laser pointer.”

All six TSA agents ended up at Jamaica Hospital, and security checks were halted at Kennedy for at least 15 minutes, but likely it was much longer.

Thanks goodness he didn't find a detonator.

More at the Post.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

State Senate Kills 'Speed Cams'

Councilman Stephen Levin’s effort to get the city to install speed cameras has hit a bump, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. The State Senate refused to fund the cams during this week's budget talks in Albany. Without senate support, the cameras won’t be installed.

In blistering language, the mayor singled out for blame state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) and state Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Midwood-Flatbush) for killing the speed camera bill.

Instead of speedcams, Councilman Vincent Gentile wants to hire 200 additional police officers to catch drivers who speed.

(For a technical explanation of speed cams, see here.)

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

FEMA Extends Sandy Assistance to April 13

FEMA.gov
The deadline to register for Hurricane / Superstorm Sandy disaster assistance has been extended to April 13. If you need to apply, visit this page soon.

BTW -- FEMA is pretty busy lately -- more than half the states in the U.S. are under active disaster declarations.

These range from the recent declarations of disasters in Maine and Rhode Island -- hit by severe winter storms -- to flooding in Louisiana, tornadoes in Mississippi, and the devastation caused in twelve states by Sandy.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Line For Free Yogurt at DUMBO's New Pinkberry Stretched Past Foragers

Photo: MK Metz

Just in time for warmer weather, DUMBO's new Pinkberry frozen yogurt outpost opened in at 117 Front Street on Wednesday -- and the line for free yogurt stretched to the end of the block and wrapped around Foragers.

The store's director of operations Michael Warren told Gothamist that "small scoops of original, mango, salty caramel, chocolate hazelnut, pomegranate and key lime flavors" would be available until roughly 9 p.m.

Apparently there's going to be a thing called where they give out free Greek yogurt on Wednesdays in April between 11 a.m.-2 p.m.



Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

West Elm Market -- Nice Place for Coffee in DUMBO

Photo: MK Metz
We had forgotten about West Elm's new Market at 50 Washington Street, around the corner from West Elm's main DUMBO location.

But we ran in out of the rain the other day and discovered that the shop has some attractive kitchen and gardening stuff, plus a little cafe with coffee and croissants. It was a nice place to wait out the storm.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Old Fulton Ferry Landing; GoogaMooga; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Cyclists will be racing like maniacs through the streets of Red Hook Saturday night. [Gothamist]

- 'For-profit’ hospital in Brooklyn shot down in state budget. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- The GoogaMooga Festival returns to Prospect Park, after last year's debacle. [DNAinfo]

- Booze spots in Bushwick will be facing a midnight curfew on Sundays. [Brokelyn]

- Best places to eat and drink in Red Hook. [NY Times]

- 14 photos of Fulton Ferry Landing from the 1970s. [Gothamist]

- We knew we'd seen those hands somewhere before... [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Teen's wild dash across subway tracks ends in tragedy. [NY Daily News]

- Old man Astor is headed for the slammer. [NY Magazine]


Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Worst Bathrooms; Cheap Apartments; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- 10 worst NYC bar bathrooms, with 5 right here in Brooklyn. [NY Daily News]

- The daughter of the multimillionaire former owner of the NY Post /MTA chairman Peter Kalikow was arrested peddling heroin. [NY Daily News]

- After 25 years, the Celeste Diner on Tillary Street has finally bit the big one. [Brownstoner]

- Brooklyn owners of East Hampton property say home has become ‘House of Ill Repute.' [Brooklyn Eagle]

- How to get an apartment for $600 a month in Downtown Brooklyn. [Brownstoner]

- The ‘Brooklyn hipster musical’ doesn’t totally suck after all. [Brokelyn]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

If You Want to Get Away with Murder in NYC, Hit Them with Your Car

Photo: Edwin Martinez
Who needs an assault rifle? The way to get away with murder in New York City is to run your target down with your vehicle.

Almost any story -- "I dropped my cell phone;" "I got dizzy" -- will get you off with absolutely no charges. Meanwhile the statistics keep rolling in:

According to Streetsblog, there were 2,942 serious injury crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists in 2011, with 250 of them fatal. That’s an average of just under nine per day.

Five motorists jumped the curb and killed pedestrians on the sidewalks of New York this month alone, and no charges were filed, as usual.

These include Martha Atwater, killed by a pickup truck driver on the sidewalk at the corner of Clinton Street and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn in February.

It has since come out that the driver who ran down Atwater was John McKinney, an ex-con with a history of drug arrests, according to the New York Post.

- Much-Loved Martha Atwater Dies Tragically in Brooklyn Heights

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, March 25, 2013

No Bailout for SUNY Downstate; Home Collapses; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- SUNY Downstate has lost its bid for a bailout from state lawmakers. [NY Daily News]

- Circus at Barclays Center kinda pricey. [Atlantic Yards Report]

- Prospect Park Passover bread notice upsets some Orthodox Jews. [CBS]

- Brooklyn home under construction collapses, hurting workers. [NBC]

- It's going to snow Monday. [Gothamist]

- Don't plan on visiting Ellis Island anytime soon.
[New York Magazine ]

- Mayor Bloomberg: "In five years, the technology is getting better, they'll be cameras everyplace . . . whether you like it or not." [Gawker]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thousands Rally Against Gun Violence in Cadman Plaza Park

Photo: MK Metz
Thousands of Seventh-Day Adventist youth gathered in Cadman Plaza Park on Saturday for a rally against gun violence and for compassion, part of an annual "compassion" event in New York City.

After speeches and prayers, the crowd, accompanied by several drum troupes, marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to various sites in Manhattan.

MK Metz
According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the participants came from ten states to pray for the city and carry out compassionate works, like donating blood.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Squibb Bridge Open; Black People Leaving Bed-Stuy; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Squibb Bridge at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo: Leigh Trucks
- Squibb Bridge and Squibb Park is open. [BBP]

- Gowanus finally getting its subway station back. [NY Magazine]

- Williamsburg's Domino site getting a bike course, reading room, urban farm. [Brokelyn]

- Sunset Park teacher sentenced to 35 years for sexually abusing students. [Brooklyn Eagle]

Man charged in attempted rape at G train station Bedford Ave. stop. [CBS]

- Kimani Gray's mom 'not pleased' with DA investigation. [DNA info]

- White people are flocking to Bed-Stuy, black people are leaving. [Gothamist]

- Tough Mudder is negotiating for office space at 15 Metrotech Center. [TRD]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Murder in Manhattan' Films in DUMBO

Bridget Regan, Legend of the Seeker
The ABC TV movie 'Murder in Manhattan' was filming in DUMBO, Brooklyn yesterday on Washington, Front and Jay streets.
Annie Potts in 1989, by Alan Light
The plot: Mother Blythe Sutton (played by Annie Potts) and daughter Lex (Bridget Regan, pictured in her role in 'Legend of the Seeker') team up as amateur sleuths. Lex works in the Mayor’s office by day, and solves crimes with Blythe by night.



Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Brooklyn Man Arrested in Sick Scheme to Open Babysitting Service to Abuse Infants and Children

Bebars Baslan
A Brooklyn man and his girlfriend were arrested in a Jersey City hotel room on charges that they crossed state lines with the intention of engaging in sexual acts with minors, NY1 reports.

In a disturbingly sick plot, Bebars Baslan, 35, an IT manager (and photographer), and his 25-year-old girlfriend, Kristen Henry allegedly wanted an informant to bring an 8-year-old girl, a 1 1/2 year old and a 3-month-old boy to the Jersey City hotel room to drug, sexually abuse and photograph.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendants were at the hotel Tuesday night so that Baslan could take pictures of his girlfriend sexually abusing a 16-month-old boy.

 Complaint here.

As a side note: Several years ago, as an IT consultant Baslan installed a program on computers in upstate North Tonawanda’s City Hall capable of remotely accessing classified information on city employees, including their Social Security numbers, taxpayer mailing addresses, telephone numbers and in some cases, bank account numbers.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Elephants Dance and Smash Watermelons in DUMBO, While PETA Rallies

Photos by MK Metz, McBrooklyn.com
Eight Asian elephants danced and ate impressive piles of fresh fruit at Fulton Ferry Landing (not actually DUMBO) on Wednesday to advertise the arrival of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Clowns clowned, dancers danced and the King Charles Unicycle Troupe jumped rope while riding unicycles. Kids from P.S. 287 in Fort Greene were brought in to cheer and wave circus flags.

Ringmaster Andre McClain welcomed Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who issued an official proclamation declaring it Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Day in Brooklyn.

"Come one, come all, to see tantalizing tigers, exhilerating elephants and high-flying hijinks!" he said.

Clowns brought out watermelons, which the elephants smashed with their feet and snarfed up.

The elephants seemed used to the routine, and there didn't appear to be any abuse. But animal rights activists, including folks from PETA, held a small demonstration in front of the Eagle Warehouse to protest alleged mistreatment of young elephants during training. (This surveillance video of elephants getting hit with bull hooks by circus workers is a far cry from yesterday's pleasant affair.)

Ringling Bros. says their care "exceeds all federal animal welfare standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Animal Welfare Act."

The crowd seemed pretty happy with the show and hung around to watch the cleanup as the elephants were led to trucks parked under the Brooklyn Bridge.

More about this event at the Brooklyn Eagle, DNAinfo, and DumboNYC

Photos copyright MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SUNY Reaffirms It Just Wants LICH to Die, Already

SUNY’s board of trustees voted on Tuesday again to close Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital (LICH), this time at a meeting in Purchase, New York.

This is the second vote to close the 150-year-old hospital. Judge Johnny Lee Baynes ruled last week that the original board meeting didn’t comply with the Open Meetings Law. With less than 24 hours notice and a venue 40 miles north of NYC, it's not likely this one did either.

LICH supporters filled three buses to testify again about SUNY Downstate's misrepresentations and mismanagement.

But in a pre-baked vote that stunk to high heaven, the SUNY board voted to administer the lethal injection. Supporters say they'll continue to fight, and the state Dept. of Health is supposed to have some say so.

There will be a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) outside LICH at Atlantic and Hicks in Cobble Hill.

Some memorable quotes from Tuesday's "hearing":

"You nurses should understand, sometimes we have to make sacrifices.” (SUNY Downstate’s head, Dr. John Williams.)

"We will fight this all the way to the governor's office."  (Loreto Gasmen, operating room nurse)

 “If LICH closes, Brooklyn will lose 16 fully equipped operating rooms and the only stroke center in the borough.” (Mickey Green of the New York State Nurses Association)

"Unbelievable. SUNY voted to close #LICH w/o a plan to replace the access to care it provided." (Sal Albanese)

 "We don’t have a real estate plan. It’s true that if LICH were to close the state would like to get their money back . . .” (H. Carl McCall, chair of the SUNY Board of Trustees)

 ". . . There are only 250 beds. Yesterday we had 230 in the hospital and 60 in the ER waiting to be admitted, notwithstanding their attempts to divert patients.” (Herdley Hill, RN at LICH’s Department of Psychiatry)

"We commend Dr. John Williams and his team at Downstate Medical for their commitment to preserving and ultimately strengthening this hidden jewel of the SUNY system." (SUNY statement)

"All these upstate people had our lives in their hands, but nobody there cared about the health of people in Brooklyn.” (Trudy Wassener, LICH patient)


Previous posts on LICH here.


Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Circus Elephants Will Dance in DUMBO on Wednesday; PETA Will Be There, Too

 The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus comes to Brooklyn on March 20 and naturally the elephants will be parading through DUMBO before the show opens at the Barclays Center, the NY Daily News reports.

Gothamist provides more details: "The elephant walk for Brooklyn... is going to be an Elephant Dance Party with the elephants and performers, as well as Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz." (OMG it's just like my dream...)

The party will take place under the Brooklyn Bridge (at Old Fulton and Furman, with street closures on Water, Main and Front streets) on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

The DUMBO event will also showcase performers from Ringling Bros. — including basketball unicyclists, King Charles Troupe and Ringling Bros. clowns.

UPDATE: Don't worry, elephant fans -- The event will also include protesters from PETA and other animal rights groups drawing attention to what they say is abusive treatment of the elephants used by the circus.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Lightstone Group, a Brooklyn Heights Record, and More Brooklyn Briefs

From #NYPDonTRIAL
- Lightstone Group's Gowanus plans approved by City Planning, but developer still needs Waterfront Certificate. [PMFA]

- Lincoln Restler has decided against challenging City Councilman Steve Levin. [NY Daily News]

- Brooklyn Heights "power couple" ties neighborhood real estate record. [Observer]

- Assemblyman Boyland has been charged with mail fraud. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- NYU is launching a new videogame center in Brooklyn.[WSJ]

- Google Glass will probably give creeps more ways to be creepy. [Gizmodo]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, March 18, 2013

SUNY's Upstate LICH Hearing a 'Slap In the Face'

Last Thursday Judge Baynes criticized the way the SUNY board violated the Open Meetings Law in their rush to shut down Long Island College Hospital (LICH). Looks like they're at it again:

SUNY going to hold its new public hearing on closing LICH in Purchase, New York (that's at least  40 miles away, in Westchester).

Not only that but the new hearing "was announced too late to allow interested parties to sign up to for a reserved slot to comment on the closure," the Brooklyn Eagle reported on Friday.

State Senator Daniel Squadron calls this "a slap in the face."

More here.

From Wikipedia: Hubris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις, means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

Previous posts:
- Brooklyn's LICH Closure on Temporary Hold; SUNY Says They'll Redo Illegal Meetings
- More LICH posts here.


Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Montague Street Cosplay; Sequester Scare at Lutheran Hospital; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Calko Medical Center
- Protect Brooklyn’s coastline with … Navy ships? [Brooklyn Paper]

- NYPD cop was arrested on Friday and charged with using a surveillance camera to spy on a young woman in his apartment building. [Gawker]

- Cosplay on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. [BHB]

- Brooklyn man beaten into coma recovers to finish NYC half-marathon. [Gothamist]

- Orthodox Jewish leaders leaders want a backroom deal in their dangerous circumcision ritual, and mayoral candidate Thompson appears to be willing to play. [Failed Messiah]

- Sequester scare hits Brooklyn's Lutheran HealthCare system. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Grand opening of the Calko Medical Center (shown above) at 6010 Bay Parkway on Wednesday. The doctors/owners say their system will be more efficient and save money. 

- NYPD will now run background checks on domestic abuse victims. That'll teach 'em! [Gawker]


Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fourth Night of Brooklyn Protests Over Kimani Gray Shooting

Thursday night. Captnick on Ustream
 Thursday was another scary night in East Flatbush as protesters reacted to the shooting of Kimani Gray by police.

NYPD helicopters reportedly buzzed and officers circled the streets on motorcycles as crowds marched; some were kettled and arrested.

NYPD arrested at least 46 people late Wednesday during the third night of angry protests and some looting. An autopsy showed that Gray, who had a criminal record, was hit by bullets seven times, three times in the back. Cops say he pointed a gun at them and they displayed a gun recovered at the scene.

On Wednesday Councilman Jumaane Williams complained about "outsiders" agitating the community. On Thursday, one of the agitators, Jose LaSalle, of End Stop and Frisk, led half of the marchers off to protest at the Precinct house while Williams "wanted to lead people into a church to have a discussion on the issues they'd been protesting," according to NY Magazine.

Videos on Ustream: Captnick is one videographer who recorded the action on the street marching to the Precinct on Thursday night.

Another, On the Front Lines recorded the community forum (shown below) attended by Williams,  during which a resident said, "The problem we are deal with specifically in this community are these rogue police units that are not bound by boundaries. They come in like ghost riders, they hit up the community, and then they leave. They're not bound by the normal organizational structure of the NYPD . . . The ones that are tied into the special tactical units . . .they come in, terrorize, and leave."


Video streaming by Ustream

The only eye witness told the NY Daily News that Gray did not have a gun.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Brooklyn's LICH Closure on Temporary Hold; SUNY Says They'll Redo Illegal Meetings

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Johnny L. Baynes issued a ruling on Thursday vacating the State University of New York's vote to close Long Island College Hospital (LICH) — but SUNY quickly said it would hold a redo hearing next week and put LICH back on its death march, says the Brooklyn Eagle.

An analysis of the judge's decision here.

More at the NY Daily News

Previous posts:
- Rally for LICH Friday Morning in Downtown Brooklyn
- LICH Forum at Kane Street Synagogue, Brooklyn, Draws Hundreds
- Community Forum About LICH on Thursday, Feb. 14 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
- Broken Hearts: Brooklyn's LICH Closing
- SUNY's Hearing on Killing Off LICH: Real Estate, Fraud, and Politics
- What's Happening with the LICH Closing Thursday and Friday
- Brooklyn's LICH Is Closing -- UPDATED
- Will LICH Be Taken Private? Cuomo's Budget Calls for Brooklyn's First 'For-Profit' Hospital 
- Brooklyn's LICH On the Verge of Closing - Endowment Drained?
- Unexpected: Head of Brooklyn's LICH Stepping Down
- LICH Is Now UHBLICH
- 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.

Tish James Gets Union Endorsement in Run for Public Advocate

Tish James. Photo: MK Metz
Brooklyn City Councilwoman Letitia "Tish" James has scored the endorsement of 32BJ/SEIU in the race for Public Advocate, her first labor endorsement.

Letitia James represents District 35: Clinton Hill, Fort Greene; parts of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant.

James faces Democratic primary rivals Cathy Guerriero, a professor and consultant; Reshma Saujani, a former deputy to outgoing Public Advocate Bill de Blasio; and state Sen. Daniel Squadron, according to the NY Daily News.

State Senator Daniel Squadron announced Wednesday that he’s raised more than $2 million in the race for public advocate.

Bill de Blasio, who currently holds the office, is running for mayor.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

What to Do When Google Shuts Down Their RSS Reader?

Google's Reader users got this message Wednesday
Like millions of other Google RSS Reader fans, we're bummed that they've decided to dump Reader, starting July 1, 2013.

Google says:

"There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.

"To ensure a smooth transition, we’re providing a three-month sunset period so you have sufficient time to find an alternative feed-reading solution. If you want to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through Google Takeout."

Reditters have started taking suggestions on alternate RSS feed readers, managing to crash quite a few in the rush. (Here is the link to the entire conversation.)

Here are some RSS feed names that have popped up at the top of the list:

http://www.netvibes.com/en

http://www.feedly.com/

http://theoldreader.com/

http://www.feedafever.com/

http://www.bloglines.com/

http://www.rssowl.org/

Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/1a8ygk/official_google_reader_blog_powering_down_google/


Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brooklyn GOP Boss Eaton May Endorse Catsimatidis for Mayor

Photo by MK Metz, McBrooklyn
 Brooklyn Republican boss Craig Eaton said Tuesday that he may withdraw his support for Adolfo Carrion and instead endorse billionaire John Catsimatidis for mayor, the NY Daily News reports.

Without Eaton’s backing, Carrion will be unable to obtain the necessary approvals.

Catsimatidis “has the financial wherewithal to self-fund the race for mayor, and also has crossover appeal with Democrats and independents due to his various political and business relationships," Eaton said. More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

BB Park Contest Cancelled; Speed Cameras Coming; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Contest to name Brooklyn Bridge Park lawn cancelled after it becomes personal. [NY Times] 

- Looks like "speed cameras" are coming to the streets of NYC. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Tish James gets 32BJ endorsement in Public Advocate race. [City and State]

- LIU Brooklyn earns berth in NCAA tournament. [Washington Post]

- It's news when Republicans come to Brooklyn to talk to African-Americans. [Brooklyn Eagle]. . . Here's how it went down. [Daily Beast]

- Mayor Bloomberg added $5 billion to his net worth last year alone. [Brooklyn Ink]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Josh Rechnitz's Staircase Is Made of Whalebones and Melted Piano Guts

Josh Rechnitz, from the Hub Blog

Remember Josh Rechnitz, the mysterious rich biker behind the now-cancelled Brooklyn Bridge Park Velodrome?

Josh has recently been working on fixing up the nearly-toxic Gowanus Batcave and turning it into art studios. Gothamist has the whole, crazy history of the Batcave, well worth a read.

But what caught our eye at the bottom of the story . . . A little detail about a staircase in Rechnitz's house, as described by Gowanus Ballroom owner Josh Young:

"I'm not totally sure what it's [the Batcave] going to look like but Josh Rechnitz is too crazy and out there to do something gross and corporate. I helped the guy put a staircase in his house made entirely of whalebones and melted piano guts."

Hard to get that image out of our brains now.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Brooklyn Riot,' 13-Year-Old Thrown Off Bus, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- 13-year-old Brooklyn girl hurled off moving bus.
[NY Daily News]
- More about the Kimani Gray "riot."
[Gothamist]
- Unprecedented: Brooklyn court trashes prenup. [Brooklyn Eagle]
- Subway conductor attacked at Brighton Beach station. [Sheepshead Bites]
- Another one of those damn rat taxidermy classes. [Brokelyn]
- Khim’s Millenium Market is open at the Brooklyner. [Brownstoner]
- Williamsburg’s south side heats up.
[TRD]
- 10 restaurants you should try during Dine in Brooklyn. [Brooklyn Magazine]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, March 11, 2013

2 Units In Contract at 30 Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights

Photo: MK Metz, McBrooklyn
Work on the five-story condo going up at 30 Henry Street (called "The Heights") has reached the third floor. When completed, the building (by developer Fortis Manor, designed by BKSK Architects) will be five stories with one condo on each floor.

BKSK Architects
Sales started January 1. According to StreetEasy, the first floor and the penthouse are in contract (for $3,395,000 and  $4,950,000 respectively). Both are three bedrooms.

Courtyard. BKSK Architects
Floors two, three and four are four bedrooms and are listed for $4,500,000, $4,650,000 and $4,750,000.

Eagle courtesy of Property Shark
30 Henry is the site of the old Brooklyn Eagle HQ, relocated to 16 Court Street and DUMBO.





Previous posts:
- 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.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Robots Have Their Own Internet Now


The European RoboEarth Project has developed a global internet for robots called Rapyuta.

Rapyuta is described as "a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment."

According to the RoboEarth website, "[T]he goal of RoboEarth is to allow robotic systems to benefit from the experience of other robots, paving the way for rapid advances in machine cognition and behaviour, and ultimately, for more subtle and sophisticated human-machine interaction."

This could go either of two ways:

One: Robots take over Earth, exterminate humans a la Skynet;
Two: Robots waste all their time watching hilarious inept early robot videos and posting sleazy lube job comments on Robot Facebook. They soon rust away.

The name Rapyuta is inspired from the movie "Tenku no Shiro Rapyuta" (English title: "Castle in the Sky") by Hayao Miyazaki, where Rapyuta is the castle in the sky inhabited by robots.

More at RoboEarth and PC Magazine

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

LICH Gets Reprieve Extended Friday at Brooklyn Supreme Court

Friday's LICH rally. Photo: MK Metz, McBrooklyn

On Friday, State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes gave LICH (Long Island College Hospital) another reprieve when he ruled that the previously issued stay on its closing would remain in effect until he renders a “comprehensive decision.” (More on that here.)

SUNY Downstate Medical Center wants to close the 150-year-old hospital, saying it's losing $4 million to $5 million a month and is adding to the dire financial situation at Downstate.

The poorly-managed and nearly bankrupt SUNY Downstate has been stripping LICH of cash, patients (ambulance drivers say they've been told not to deliver patients to LICH) and even expensive machinery in an attempt to force the Cobble Hill hospital to close, but has been stymied by strong backlash from the community.

Here's another shocker: On Friday, Councilmember Letitia James said, “There has never been a study about the impact of closing the hospital on Downtown Brooklyn.”

NOw SUNY has to deal with a mess of it's own making. After Friday's ruleing they issued a statement saying in part: "LICH's massive financial losses threaten all of Downstate Medical — which is Brooklyn's only medical school, its fourth largest employer and educator of one third of Brooklyn's doctors."

Why didn't they think about that when they took over LICH, did not carry out any LICH business plans, and did nothing to stop the extortion by Continuum for services that are not being provided? The amount of money LICH is "losing" every month is equal to what it is forced to pay to Continuum every month.

And if LICH was broke, how did SUNY transfer more than $30 million cash from LICH to its non-profit HSCB foundation that supplies scholarships to SUNY Downstate students (among other uses)?

Outside the court house on Friday, supporters, representatives and staff at LICH rallied to get across the message that closing the hospital would be a disaster for the many neighborhoods in its area: Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Red Hook, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Late Winter Snow on Old Washington Street, Brooklyn

Photo: MK Metz, McBrooklyn
Friday's late-season snow brought an old-timey feel to Rose Walk, looking south towards Brooklyn Borough Hall.

It hit us that this walkway, running in front of the Court buildings, used to be part of Washington Street (renamed Cadman Plaza East for a small section next to Cadman Plaza Park). North of Cadman Plaza East, in DUMBO, the street is still called Washington Street.

Washington Street used to intersect with Fulton Street near where Borough Hall is now.


Here's a segment of the 1847 Hooker map showing the path of the original Washington Street (outlined in yellow), courtesy of the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Fulton Street is the curving street shown in red at the bottom, changing to blue at the top. The blue part is called Old Fulton Street today. The red part is called Cadman Plaza West today. (For some reason Hicks Street is also highlighted in red.)

The intersection of Washington and Fulton (where Borough Hall is now) is shown at the bottom of the map. DUMBO is shown at the top of the map.

It would be a lot easier if they changed the name Cadman Plaza East back to Washington Street, and called Rose Walk Washington Walk instead. Why should one street have three names?

They should also change Cadman Plaza West back to Fulton Street. That's it's historical name. Why should one street (interrupted by Borough Hall) have three different names -- Fulton, Cadman Plaza West, and Old Fulton?

(You can view the BHS map collection anytime during the library’s open hours, Wed.-Fri., from 1-5 p.m)

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Celebrate the Year of the Snake Friday in Brooklyn . . . 中國農曆新年慶祝活動

Graphic: Wikipedia

Council Member Letitia James and Chinese American Planning Council are hosting a Chinese New Year Celebration (post-holiday) on Friday, March 8, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.



二零一三年三月八日 星期五
上午11時至下午2時

The celebration takes place at P.S. 287, near the Navy Yard.

布碌崙287公立小學

The cultural event will recognize the Year of the Snake, and include performances as well as other activities.

中國農曆新年慶祝活動

In 2013, the actual Chinese New Year spanned mid-February, but it's OK to celebrate now because it's the Year of the Snake all year.

According to HanBan: "The 2013 snake is a Water Snake. Water Snakes are lucky with finances, they always seem to have money flowing their way."

The color of the 2013 snake is black. "The Black Snake will bring people unexpected changes, instability, and changeability. That is why it is important in the year of Snake to plan everything beforehand, and evaluate adequately before taking any actions. You need to be more careful and cautious than ever."

According to Wikipedia, "In Chinese symbology, snakes are regarded as intelligent, but with a tendency to be somewhat unscrupulous."

Place: 50 Navy Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

50 Navy 街,布碌崙 郵區號碼11201

(F-train to "York St." or R train to "Jay St.")

For Inquiry 查詢電話: 718-492-0409 CPC or Council Member James Office 718-260-9191.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Rally for LICH Friday Morning in Downtown Brooklyn

A Long Island College Hospital (LICH) hearing will take place this morning, Friday, March 8 at 10:00 a.m. in Downtown Brooklyn. The hearing takes place at the State Supreme Court Building on 360 Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn. (Kings County Supreme Court Judge Johnny Lee Baynes will preside.)

Doctors, the New York State Nurses Association and 1199, patients and local and representatives will rally before the hearing at 9:00 a.m. on the steps of the courthouse (Cadman Plaza West side).

A temporary restraining order was issued on February 21st to SUNY for failure to follow New York State's open meetings law when it voted to close LICH down.

LICH serves over 120,000 Brooklynites every year and hundreds of Brooklynites every day. If the hospital closes, people suffering health emergencies in Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook will have to travel far away (especially with worsening Downtown Brooklyn traffic) to get to an emergency room.

Millions of dollars invested in equipment and infrastructure will be sold for pennies on the dollar, and the many doctors and medical labs in the area will go elsewhere.


You've probably read the latest article from the Daily News where SUNY Downstate makes the absurd claim that keeping LICH open for care is putting patient safety at risk.

SUNY is clearly trying to frame the narrative as unions vs. fiscal reality/patient safety . . .They have shifted their message from "LICH is under-utilized and not needed" to "LICH patient safety is at risk."


The community very clearly disagrees with LICH board's recent decision to close its doors and speculates potential real estate profits is too much of a motivating force. However, with a fatal crash on Clinton & Atlantic just last week, it is readily apparent that Brooklyn cannot lose another emergency & ambulatory care facility. Preemptively, we have supported local legislators' push to get the existing hospital structures landmarked within the context of the adjacent historic district. This could prevent demolition and reduce incentives for developers to swoop in and build luxury condos when our community really needs a center for health care.

- Write to the NY State Department of Health 
Contact the Governor

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rally to Protest 'Fire Sale' of Libraries in Brooklyn and Manhattan

Brooklyn Heights branch. Photo: Google Maps
This Friday, before the City Council's preliminary hearing on the Mayor's catastrophic 2014 library budget, a group called Citizens Defending Libraries plans to rally at City Hall to protest budget cuts and the “fire sale” of library buildings, including the Brooklyn Heights and Pacific Street branch libraries.

Where: 250 Broadway, New York, New York (Outside before going in for testimony)

When: Friday, March 8th. Rally starts at 10:30 AM. Public testimony will follow upstairs, New York City Council Committee Room, 14th floor, currently scheduled for 1:00 PM, but might start a little earlier.

UPDATE: Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., a member of the City Council’s Select Committee on Libraries, told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday that there were no library back room real estate deals taking place. More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Robot Bartenders; 'Yo Granny' Update; and More Brooklyn Briefs

After outcry, “The Ice Cream Girl” is taking down her video “Yo Granny’s In My Garbage.” [Brooklyn Eagle]
- Bloomberg offers his own version of Sandy buyouts that will cost taxpayers more in the long run. [WNYC]
- Coming soon: robot bartenders. [Brokelyn]
- Larry King comes back to Brooklyn, visits Barclays. [WSJ]
- Raw anger permeates a new film about gentrification in Williamsburg The Atlantic Cities
- Brooklyn Heights CSA now open. [Brownstoner]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Monkeys Know When Humans Are Assholes

Photo by Kevin J.
An experiment found that monkeys reject food from humans who are mean to other humans.

As reported in the Fragments-of-Truth blog (originally in Nature but not yet online), the experiment involved Actor A, trying to get a toy out of a container and requesting help from Actor B. Actor B either helped or didn't.

After the sessions, both actors offered a piece of food to the monkeys. While monkeys always took food from the helpful human (and the one who needed help), they often rejected food from the unhelpful guy.

The monkeys also knew the difference between humans who were just too distracted to help and those who are just plain mean.

Commenters on Reddit immediately tried to apply this knowledge to picking up chicks.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Man Wanted in Brooklyn Hit-Run Still Hasn't Turned Himself In UPDATE: He's Arrested

Photo: DCPI
Ex-con Julio Acevedo, wanted for allegedly leaving the scene of the horrific accident that killed Raizy and Nathan Glauber and their unborn child on Sunday, hadn't turned himself in by late Tuesday night.

Acevedo had told a friend he intended to surrender to the police but feared going to back to prison, this time “for life,” according to the NY Times.

Acevedo was driving a "hot" BMW at 60 mph in a 30 mph zone in Williamsburg when he smashed into the back of the couple's cab, killing both parents. The baby survived just a short while.

UPDATE: Acevedo was returned to New York from Pennsylvania on Thursday and charged with three felony counts of criminally negligent homicide.

According to the NY Times, he was charged with criminally negligent homicide, as well as leaving the scene, excessive speed, assault and reckless driving, and the judge ordered him held without bail.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Public Library Moving to Wrap Up Sale of Heights Branch Quickly

Photo: Google Maps
Seems we just heard about the "possibility" of the sale of the Brooklyn Heights branch library site to a private developer.

Now we hear that the Brooklyn Public Library is trying to move this thing along "before the end of this administration." (Brooklyn Eagle)

In its rush to pick up some desperately-needed funds (let's not forget Mayor Bloomberg's yearly panic-inducing budget proposals), BPL seems to be ignoring other possibilities for the Heights branch as well as the Business Library (being moved to the business backwaters of Prospect Heights but no doubt soon to be forgotten).

Several ideas dismissed at last Thursday's steering committee meeting, the Eagle reports, include leasing the land to a developer instead of selling it outright, asking a philanthropist to donate funds to fix the air conditioner, or looking into alternate cooling solutions such as the “green roof” Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez facilitated in Red Hook.
More here.

Previous posts:
- Tough Crowd at Brooklyn Heights Library Meeting
- Brooklyn Heights Business Library Moving to Prospect Heights; Building May Be Sold to Developer
- Brooklyn Heights Library Closed Again
- Brooklyn Public Library Funding Restored, Bloomberg's Phony Crisis Averted

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.