Friday, February 27, 2015

Brooklyn Heights Association Annual Meeting a Microcosm of Change Rocking Brooklyn

The good and bad aspects of changing Brooklyn were reflected at this year's Brooklyn Heights Association Annual Meeting, held Tuesday night at Grace Church.

A nice new park, rampant development, overcrowded schools and a shrunken library were some of the topics discusssed.

BHA President Alexanda Bowie summed it up when she said, "... we are a quiet corner no longer... Change is not just coming; change is here."

BHA's Executive Director Judy Stanton is stepping down after 30 years of being the undisputed mayor of Brooklyn Heights. What the neighborhood has lost won't become apparent until after she departs this summer, when things will slowly begin falling apart.

Stanton was presented with a special award by Thirteen's Tom Stewart, who grew teary eyed as he spoke of her accomplishments -- see the Brooklyn Eagle for more on this.

Bowie presented the BHA's views on the major issues that have been rocking the Heights:

- Residential development in Brooklyn Bridge Park: "At this moment, we are not convinced that housing is needed on Pier 6."

- The height of the buildings at BBP's Pier 1: They are “larger than they should be, and ... their height contravenes agreements that were made in the community many years ago.”

- Brooklyn Public Library’s plans to redevelop the Brooklyn Heights branch:  “Cautiously optimistic.”

Overcrowding at P.S. 8: Mayor de Blasio must invest in schools “immediately -- not in 2017, 2018, 2019.”

Speaker Justin Davidson, New York magazine architecture and classical music critic, cast change in a positive light, for the most part. “Preservation is an empty pursuit if it doesn’t contribute to a vibrant city,” he said.

See here for more, and for a list of this year's award winners.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why Would Brooklyn Terrorists Want to Bomb Coney Island?

The three alleged terrorists arrested on Wednesday had back up plans to set off a bomb in Coney Island, if everything else fell through.

Why would the three young men -- Brooklynites Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, and Abror Habibov, 30 -- want to blow up a neighborhood in their adopted borough?

Speculating here: Perhaps it has something to do with the relatively large number of Russians in Coney Island

Russia is waging an "online war" against ISIS (or ISIL), according to Aljazeera. ISIS /ISIL has released videos with threats to liberate Chechnya from Russia. Many ISIS recruits are coming from the disputed Russian territory. In fact, there's an "Islamist insurgency" there.

All three of the accused were immigrants from former Soviet republics Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

According to Mashable, one of the defendants attended college for a while at City Tech in Downtown Brooklyn, though not currently. 

This is not the first time Brooklyn has been threatened by Islamic extremists, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. In 1997, police arrested terrorists planning to detonate bombs in the Atlantic Avenue subway station.

There have been 16 known terrorist plots against New York City since September 11, 2001.

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Complete U.S. Statement on 3 Brooklyn-Based Terror Suspects Arrested Wednesday

NYPD/FBI presser about the terror aarrests. Courtesy NYPD
 Three Brooklyn residents -- Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, and Abror Habibov, 30, were arrested early Wednesday and charged with attempting to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS (also called ISIL), or, failing that,  carrying out attacks in Coney Island aand against President Obama, police officers and FBI agents.

One was arrested at JFK.

All three were immigrants from former Soviet republics Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Below is the full statement issued Wednesday by the U.S. government:


Department of Justice Document Regarding Three Accused Terrorists from Brooklyn

Three Brooklyn, New York, Residents Charged with Attempt and Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL

Two Defendants Allegedly Planned to Travel to Syria in Order to Join ISIL;

One Defendant Arrested While Boarding a Flight to Turkey

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Earlier today, a criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charging Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Akhror Saidakhmetov, and Abror Habibov with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organization. The initial appearances of Juraboev and Saidakhmetov are scheduled for later today before United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. Habibov’s initial appearance will be held later today at the U.S. Courthouse, 300 North Hogan Street, Jacksonville, Florida.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Diego G. Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office; and William J. Bratton, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD).

As alleged in the complaint, Juraboev first came to the attention of law enforcement in August 2014 after he made a posting on an Uzbek-language website that propagates ISIL’s ideology. The investigation subsequently revealed that Juraboev and Saidakhmetov devised a plan to travel to Turkey and then to Syria for the purpose of waging jihad on behalf of ISIL. Saidakhmetov, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Kazakhstan, was arrested early this morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where he was attempting to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Juraboev, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Uzbekistan, had previously purchased a plane ticket to travel from New York to Istanbul and was scheduled to leave the United States next month. Habibov, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Uzbekistan, helped fund Saidakhmetov’s efforts to join ISIL.

As alleged in the complaint, Juraboev was also prepared to engage in an act of terrorism in the United States if ordered to do so by ISIL, and Saidakhmetov intended to commit such an act if unable to travel abroad to join ISIL. In the August 2014 posting on the website that propagates ISIL’s ideology, Juraboev offered to kill the President of the United States if ordered to do so by ISIL. More recently, Saidakhmetov expressed his intent to buy a machine gun and shoot police officers and FBI agents if thwarted in his plan to join ISIL in Syria.

“The flow of foreign fighters to Syria represents an evolving threat to our country and to our allies,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “As alleged in the complaint, two of the defendants in this case sought to travel to Syria to join ISIL but were also prepared to wage violent jihad here in the United States. A third defendant allegedly provided financial assistance and encouragement. We will vigorously prosecute those who attempt to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad on behalf of ISIL and those who support them. Anyone who threatens our citizens and our allies, here or abroad, will face the full force of American justice.” Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which comprises a large number of federal, state, and local agencies from the region.

“The charges against Juraboev, Saidakhmetov and Habibov reflect our commitment to finding those who wish to provide material support to ISIL, as well as those committed to fighting on behalf of ISIL, either at home or abroad, and preventing them from doing so,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “The National Security Division will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters and financial resources to terrorist organizations operating in Iraq and Syria. I would like to commend all those whose tireless efforts helped bring these charges.”

“As alleged, the defendants looked to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant by flying to Turkey in a vain attempt to evade detection. And one of the defendants was prepared to commit acts of terror here—in America—if he could not travel, to include killing FBI agents. The defendants violated the true tenants of their faith in pursuit of their radical, violent agenda. We rely on help from the community, the public, and religious leaders to be mindful of those who could be radicalized. We cannot do this alone,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez.

“ISIL calls on its followers to come fight for the terrorist organization in Syria,” said Police Commissioner Bratton, “and in messages to followers outside Syria, ISIL has called on them to attack police, intelligence officers, or the military in their home countries including the United States. By pledging allegiance to ISIL, these defendants allegedly conspired to fight for a designated foreign terrorist organization, either in Syria or even New York.” Commissioner Bratton commended the work of the detectives and agents of the JTTF and the guidance of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York throughout the investigation.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander Solomon, Douglas M. Pravda, and Amanda Hector, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney Danya Atiyeh of the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

The Defendants:

Age: 24
Nationality: Uzbeki

Age: 19
Nationality: Kazakh

Age: 30
Nationality: Uzbeki

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 15-M-0172

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brooklyn's Cherry King Kills Self After Secret Drug Op Discoveered in Basement; and More Brooklyn News

- Drug  operation was in the basement: Owner of family-run Maraschino cherry company in Red Hook kills himself when police come asking questions. Dell's, in bussiness 67 years, is one of the largest processors of maraschino cherries in the country. [CBS] and [Daily News]

- VIDEO: Two arrested in Bath Beach after wild Verrazano Bridge chase. [Bensonhurst Bean

- De Blasio ends informed consent requirement for dangerous Orthodox circumcision ritual. [Failed Messiah]

- Lawyer integral in LICH case opens new firm. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Candidates vying for Michael Grimm's seat hit the campaign trail. [NY1]

- Overcrowding on NYC subways reaches all time high, makes you terribly late. [Brokelyn]

- Right-wingers not happy with Stringer's push for language help in court for immigrants. [Comments at Brooklyn Eagle]

- Cops find photos of naked toddler on Brooklyn man's phone, charged with child pornography. [Daily News]

- 104 in the shade: Soccer’s governing body should reschedule the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to avoid the stifling heat in the Gulf State during the summer months. [WSJ]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Court/Smith Street BID, and More Brooklyn Briefs

Photo: MK Metz
 - Court and Smith Street BID in the works; another meeting planned. [PMFA]

- Brooklyn non-profit to convert 285 Schermerhorn St. into a 14-story tower. [WSJ]

- Comptroller Stringer in Brooklyn calls for more interpreters, language help in Housing Courts. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- $2,000 reward for info leading to arrest of gunpoint robbery suspect in Homecrest. [Sheepshead Bites]

- Man found shot to death in Canarsie. [NY Daily News]

- Bill O'Reilly threatens NY Times reporter. [Politico]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tolls on East River Bridges, and More Brooklyn Briefs

Invertebrates, St. Ann's School students. Photo: MK Metz

- Barclay's Center is about 63% behind its profit goals. [Atlantic Yards Report]

- Move NY plan to charge tolls on East River bridges gets airing in Boerum Hill. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Nothing official, but word is that Brooklyn City Council Member Vincent Gentile is the most likely to get the nod as the Dem candidate in the special election to replace Michael Grimm. [Gotham Gazette]

- Juice Press is coming to Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]

- Billboard in ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood angers many of the locals. [Failed Messiah]

- Brooklyn Heights Association Annual Meeting on Tuesday features music & architecture critic Justin Davidson. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Brooklyn BP Adams launches Access-Friendly NYC, promoting more accessibility in public buildings across the city. [NY Daily News]

- The NYPD is searching for a woman accused of “handle surfing” cases in Staten Island and Brooklyn. [CBSlocal]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Snow Scenes on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade on a snowy day is quiet and picturesque.

Nothing much has changed in 60 years.

Photos by MK Metz
A moment in time.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

2-Hr. Amazon Deliveries to Brooklyn; Brooklyn Folk Fest Coming to Brooklyn Heights; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- The father and uncle of a Brooklyn boy killed in elevator attack are arrested in Montague St. bank heist. [CBS local]

- Almost-instant gratification: Amazon's 2-hr deliveries now comes to Prime members in Brooklyn. [re/code]

 - Brooklyn folk festival will expand -- and is moving to St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights. [NY Times]

- A troubled Park Slope assisted living facility has agreed to pay $750,000 to the family of Brooklyn's "Kung Fu" judge who died after being locked up there seven years ago. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- It's so freezing out that snowy owls from the Arctic have descended on Brooklyn. [NY Magazine]

- Brooklyn's most dangerous intersection is Eastern Parkway and Utica. [amNY]

- Autistic Brooklyn man with diabetes, 20, is missing since Tuesday. [PIX11]

- A man was shot to death in East New York Thursday night. [CBSlocal]

- TSA found 2 guns in 2 separate ladies' handbags at JFK on Thursday. One belonged to a Brooklyn resident.  [Brooklyn Eagle]

- The leading candidate in the special election to replace Michael Grimm in Congress says it's worth the cost. [NY1]

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Convicted: Hit-and-Run Con Who Killed Young Williamsburg Couple

"Sorry, it was an accident," convicted killer Julio Acevedo said in this jailhouse interview posted on YouTube by JewsOnTelevision.

Acevedo was driving a borrowed BMW 70 mph in 2013 when he crashed into a car carrying Williamsburg couple Nathan and Raizy Glauber, who was pregnant, on their way to Long Island College Hospital (LICH). The prematurely-born baby also died.

He was convicted Thursday in a Brooklyn court.

The NY Daily News says Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson "personally attended the evening verdict ... a signal of the importance of the trial that was closely-watched in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community where the victims were members."

Acevedo was caught for DWI two weeks before the incident but was released without bail "by a judge who didn’t suspend his license as required," the News says.

He previously killed the "original" 50 Cent, Kelvin Martin, a Brooklyn murderer who killed as many as 30 people, according to the Daily Beast. Acevedo was a member of Martin's "crew."

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fresh Landmarking Push for Crown Heights North, and More Brooklyn Briefs

Photo: MK Metz
- Tax season: Free filing help available in Brooklyn. (But if you're e-filing, watch out for tax scams.) [Brooklyn Eagle]

- How to get that Brooklyn real estate look everybody's talking about -- and still have room for a large furnace for disposing of medical waste. [The Owl]

- CUNY research team unveils storm resiliency ideas for Jamaica Bay. [Sheepshead Bites]

- Hipsters to start composting: Official mainstream composting coming to Williamsburg this spring. [Brokelyn]

- Forum on implementing tolls on East River bridges and other transportation questions, in Downtown Brooklyn on Thursday. [Brownstoner]

- Fresh landmarking push for Crown Heights North. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Heat waves, storms, flooding and droughts: Two new studies paint a somewhat grim portrait of New York City in 100 years from now. [Sheepshead Bites]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DUMBO's Snow-Clogged Streets Rated "Secondary" by NYC

PlowNYC Designation Map
Did you wonder why there was so much yucky gray snow on the streets of DUMBO long after other Brooklyn streets were plowed? Here's the answer: The PlowNYC snow removal designation map shows that NYC rates just about all of DUMBO's streets "secondary." (They are in blue; primary streets are shown in red.)

That means DUMBO gets plowed only after the primary streets are plowed.

So there, all you co-working, startup incubator venture-fund hustlers! Seeecoondaaary.


Other Brooklyn stories:

- An in-depth look at the legal issues in the Akai Gurley shooting in Brooklyn. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- A proposal to construct a new building at the corner of Court and Congress streets didn’t fly at the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday morning. [Cobble Hill Blog via NYyimby]

- After viewing a video, charges have been dropped against a Sunset Park street vendor who was kicked in the back by a NYPD officer. [DNAinfo]

- Three out of the four bridges proposed for tolls of more than $5 connect to Brooklyn. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- 800 Carnegie Mellon applicants were told they had been accepted for its master of science in computer science -- then were told it was just a mistake. [AP]

- Daily consumption of beetroot juice for four weeks significantly lowered blood pressure in patients. [WSJ]

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Those Fireworks Over NYC on Tuesday, Feb. 17

Did you see fireworks over NYC? They were from the Grucci Fireworks spectacular celebrating Chinese New Year tonight.

According to the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, this is the first time in U.S. history that a large-scale fireworks show will celebrate the Lunar New Year (and nearly equal the Macy’s Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular).

Gary Hershorn, above, caught a great photo of the show.

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Those Were Bronies You Saw in Brooklyn Heights Over the Weekend

Photo by MK Metz
It was a long and cold weekend, maybe the coldest in a decade.

So maybe you thought those pointy-eared creatures on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights -- the ones with the orange and yellow manes --were just what happens in this city when it gets too damn cold for the native wildlife.

You'll be happy to know that those critters were bronies -- and about a thousand of them came to town for the "My Little Pony" convention, called PonyconNYC.

It was held at St. Francis College -- and because of it, we're all a little happier now, somehow.

Ponycon brings sweetness, smiles and bronies to Brooklyn Heights [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Ice Floes Disrupt NYC/ Brooklyn Ferry Service

A tug boat pushes a large vessel through ice floes on the East River. Photo by MK Metz
Ice floes in the East River are disrupting NYC's ferry service. The East River Ferry said Monday evening that they "are currently operating with a larger vessel for the safety of passengers, which does not allow us to keep our posted schedule. We are also experiencing sporadic terminal closures due to unpredictable ice flow. We expect this to continue for the balance of the day."

Due to the ice, the only accessible ferry locations on Monday were Pier 11, Greenpoint, Long Island City, and E. 34th St.

Before trying to catch the ferry on Tuesday, check out the East River Ferry website.

According to the Old Salt Blog, the East River froze at least a dozen times between 1780 and 1888.

For more photos of the frozen East River, see Gothamist's "Freezepocalypse" compilation.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

NBA All Star Game Artwork Wraps the NYC Subway Inside and Out

You may not have made it to one of the NBA All Star games this past weekend, but you can still appreciate the NBA-themed wraps on some of the city's subway trains.

Photos by MK Metz
This is the way the 4 train looked on Monday. The effect on the inside was impressive. You couldn't tell where the old subway paint ended and the NBA artwork began.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Good News: Your Eyeballs Won't Freeze Today (But Every Other Body Part Will)

Courtesy NOAA
With New York City temperatures in the single digits and wind chills sending us straight to hell, no doubt at some point you'll be asking yourself today: "OMG can my eyeballs actually freeze?"

You'll be happy to hear that science experts (people who post on websites) say that eyeballs don't freeze for a variety of convincing reasons.

According to The Naked Scientists, one reason is that because your eyeball is contained within your head, and your head is kept at body temperature, it never gets cold enough to freeze.

This all changes after you're dead, scientists gleefully point out.

So bundle up!

Snow will start after midnight tonight, and Tuesday's rush hour is going to be a mess.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Turn Williamsburg Fire Site into Park? Harder Than It Sounds...

CitiStorage Bld 380
Community groups are organizing to turn the site of the great Williamsburg CitiStorage warehouse fire into a waterfront park, according to Brownstoner.

The city promised to build a park there a decade ago.  (The Open Space Alliance hosted a meeting last night on the subject; word not in yet on what transpired.)

But locals and community groups worry that CitiStorage's owners will sell the site to a private developer to put up condos.

According to the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning (GWAPP):

"Our City Councilperson Steve Levin has confirmed that, in the aftermath of the fire at CitiStorage, one thing has become very clear: if our neighborhood does not raise its voice – loud and unified – there is almost zero chance that the City will move to fulfill the promises for this park space made in the 2005 Waterfront Rezoning Agreement.

"And the situation couldn’t be more dire. The 11 acre CitiStorage property – the center and essential core of the promised 28 acre Bushwick Inlet Park – could be sold for private development as-of-right (M31 commercial zoning) tomorrow."

More on Free Williamsburg.

More interesting pieces of the puzzle at the NY World

Photo courtesy CitiStorage

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Brooklyn BP Adams Raising a Toast to 8,245 Years of Love Today

In honor of Valentine's Day on Saturday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will be raising a toast today to more than 150 Brooklyn couples who have been together 50 years or more.

That's a celebration of 8,245 combined years of love, the BP says.

The love-struck couples will enjoy lunch, dancing, a photo booth and a sparkling wine toast led by the BP.

In a release, Adams says he will"will applaud the commitment shown by these couples and speak about his support of the borough’s elder population."

UPDATE: Here's what happened. Adorable! 

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Deep Freeze: Brooklyn Will Be Colder Than Alaska on Friday

Strong winds and dangerous wind chills are sweeping across the Northeast states, and the Arctic cold front is descending upon NYC and vicinity as we speak.

Brooklyn will be 14 degrees colder than Anchorage, Alaska on Friday.

According to the National Weather Service, the high in Anchorage Alaska on Friday will be 31 degree Fahrenheit. The high in Brooklyn will be only 17 degrees Fahrenheit.

NOAA has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook and Special Weather Statement for Brooklyn through Friday afternoon.

Don't even THINK of going out tonight without covering every square inch of your body.

Here's what NOAA says:





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Hunger in Brooklyn, Replacing Grimm, Fest at Barclays, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Business owners near Barclays hope to benefit from All-Star Game festivities. [NY1]

- Study reveals alarming hunger statistics in Brooklyn. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- A lawsuit filed seeking to compel Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call a special election to replace Rep. Michael Grimm. [NY State of Politics]

- The family of Akai Gurley tore into NYPD Officer Peter Liang and called for comprehensive changes to the police department. [Observer]

- Lentol seeks immediate halt to evictions in wake of bribery scandal. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Powerball says three winners bought tickets in Texas, North Carolina & Puerto Rico. [Lottery Post]

 - Memes of historic moments Brian Williams may have 'misremembered.' [Daily Mail]

- Oopsy, everybody can start eating eggs again. [Washington Post]

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Maimonides Hospital Pays $5M to Widow of Guy Run Down by Its Ambulance

Maimonides Medical Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn has paid $4.9 million to the widow of a motorcyclist run down by its ambulance.

The Daily News reports that the ambulance was caught on video sailing through a red light before fatally striking the father of two.

Maimonides initially tried to stop the video from being shown in court, DN says. The video "completely contradicted" the sworn statements by the ambulance driver.

A DN commenter said, "Finally! Someone who was mowed down while on 2 wheels has been given justice."

Maimonides Medical Center pays $4.9 million to widow of motorcyclist mowed down by ambulance [NY Daily News]

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hillary Clinton Looking at Office Space in Brooklyn; Akai Gurley Shooter in Brooklyn Court; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Obama Care presentation in Bed-Stuy Wednesday.
- NYPD officer Peter Liang, who shot unarmed Brooklyn man Akai Gurley, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Criminal Term. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Hillary Clinton seeking office space in Brooklyn or Queens. [Time]

- Four native New Yawkers compete over who has the best accent Thursday night. [Brokelyn]

- Total corruption: This is why thousands of DOB/HPD violations disappeared from properties all over the city, notably Brooklyn. [Failed Messiah]

- Text of note from NBC News president to staff on Brian Williams' suspension. [Stripes]

- If you didn’t catch the broadcast of WNET’s hour-long celebration of the 50-year-old New York City landmarks law Saturday night, you can watch it online. [via Brownstoner]

- De Blasio’s budget: 9 ways it could affect Brooklyn. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Two little Brooklyn girls who disappeared with their parents have been found safe in Sullian County. The father had been afraid he would lose custody. [NY Daily News]

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East Williamsburg: 16 Grand Street Eateries to Dish It Out for Restaurant Week

The Grand Street Business Improvement District (BID) in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn will be holding its second annual Restaurant Week on Monday, February 16th through Sunday February 22nd.

Sixteen restaurants on Grand Street between Union and Bushwick Avenues will be offering great deals on two-course lunches from $8-$10 and/or three-course dinners for $18-$30.

These range from hot tamales and burgers at Chuvoys, to Russian borscht, beef Stroganoff, and a drink ominously named "Chernobyl" at Masha and the Bear.

Check here for menus and more info.

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Brooklyn Heights Association Annual Meeting Features NY Magazine Critic, and Will Probably Be Lively

Photo courtesy of Justin Davidson
The Brooklyn Heights Association’s Annual Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 24th at 7 p.m. at Grace Church.

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that the guest speaker this year is Justin Davidson, New York magazine architecture and classical music critic. Davidson, who has looked deeply at gentrification, will speak about “Preservation as an Agent of Radical Change.”

Thirteen/WNET host Tom Stewart will again present the BHA Awards for Community Service.

If past experience is any guide, the meeting will be a lively one, with neighborhood preservationists ... of the Brooklyn Heights Library, Pier 6 park site and Brooklyn Bridge views ... sure to be on hand.

Brooklyn Heights Association Annual Meeting features music & architecture critic Justin Davidson [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Barclays to Lose Entrance Plaza? Pervert Suspect Arrested in Bushwick; and More Brooklyn Briefs

After the cops rescued them, these little puppies were taken to the NYC Animal Care and Control unit in Brooklyn.

- Will Brooklyn Nets fans lose Barclays Center entrance plaza? [Nets Daily and Atlantic Yards Report]

- Brooklyn pediatrician Dr. Edna Pytlak: An unvaccinated child can develop “a horrific case of the measles if they catch it when they get older.” [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Taxi driver of the Brooklyn Orthodox couple killed on their way to Long Island College Hospital in 2013 said in court he was not rushing. [NY Times]

- A man suspected of perverted activity has been arrested in Bushwick. [WPIX]

- Williamsburg residents gave DOH a petition saying they want answers about the health effects of the big Williamsburg fire last week. [CBS] ... DOH told the Brooklyn Eagle last Thursday that the fire posed no immediate health risk.

- Think this is cold? New England got two feet of snow Monday, and Boston's subways, trolleys and commuter rail trains have ground to a halt. [AP]

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Brony Alert for Brooklyn: Ponycon Coming

We've had blizzard alerts and Ebola alerts.  Now Brooklyn has a Brony alert:

More than 1,000 “My Little Pony” fans from all over the world will be hitting the streets of Brooklyn Heights over Valentine's Day weekend for "Ponycon 2015."

While the TV show aims at little girls, most of fans coming to the convention are males between the ages of 16 to 30, called Bronies, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Organizer Bill Crumlic has given a great deal of thought to "the phenomenon of men who like sweet little ponies with names like Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie." (His musings here.)

 Several local hotels have already sold out.

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Missing Family in Crown Heights

An entire family, the Kutsys -- mom Chana, dad Alan, and two girls, Rivka and Chaya  -- have disappeared from Crown Heights.

If you see any of them, call 911 or Crown Heights Shomrim 718-774-3333.

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Suspension of Alternate Side Parking in NYC, As Seen in American Sign Language

This American Sign Language message from the NYC Depts of Transportation and Sanitation -- telling us that Alternate Side Parking Regulations will be suspended Monday (February 9th) to deal with snow -- has such a nice, friendly feel to it.

Forecasters urge New Yorkers to take mass transit on Monday, if possible, because the streets will be icy and slippery.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Report: Brooklyn City Council Delegation Removes Menchaca from Leadership Post

Photo by William Alatriste, CC
It was a coup, Capital New York reports.

After growing frustrated about missed opportunities to nominate candidates to a number of city agencies, Brooklyn's City Council delegation voted to remove Carlos Menchaca (D- Red Hook, Sunset Park) from his leadership post. He was promptly replaced by Councilman Mark Treyger, CapNY says.

Was Mayor de Blasio involved?

Crain's has reported that the de Blasio administration walked away from a $115 million project to redevelop the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park, "citing the local councilman's demand for more control over the site than City Hall was willing to give."

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

PA Letitia James, Legal Groups Push for Eric Garner Grand Jury Minutes

By MK Metz
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James sent an update Thursday afternoon detailing her efforts to unseal the grand jury proceedings related to the death of Eric Garner last summer.

She was joined at a Richmond County courthouse in Staten Island on Thursday by the Legal Aid Society, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and other parties.

The Public Advocate argues that there is no logical reason to maintain grand jury secrecy as the video tape that depicts the circumstances of Mr. Garner’s death has been made public, and the identities of those involved are not hidden.

Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan has successfully petitioned for limited disclosure, reasoning that grand jury members had expected their identities to be protected.

“This is not about one incident or one death— it is about transparency and a moment within the public consciousness through which we can affect meaningful reform. We know that the grand jury was impaneled for 9 weeks, a considerable amount of time even in cases such as this, yet not a single charge was filed. People around the world have seen the troubling video, and New Yorkers stand alongside the Garner family in seeking answers,” James said, according to the statement.

Judge William Garnett, a longtime Kings County Supreme Court judge assigned to oversee this case, examined the public advocate’s authority to open and examine the grand jury testimony.

Judge Garnett stated that he will submit his decision on the petition next week.

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NYC DOH: Williamsburg Fire Poses No Immediate Health Risk

Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office
Some Williamsburg residents are expressing concern about the lingering health effects of Saturday's massive, 7-alarm fire.

But NYC's Dept of Health said on Thursday that the fire posed no immediate health risk.

“We understand that people in and around Williamsburg are concerned about the air quality following the fire, but there is no immediate health risk to the residents,” a DOH spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle. “As with any fire, air quality is expected to be affected, and people, especially seniors, children and those with respiratory conditions, should avoid smoke exposure.”

More at: De Blasio visits site of massive Williamsburg blaze, as residents worry about health effects

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Wind Chills Below Zero, National Weather Service Warns NYC. Beware of Frostbite Tonight!

Photo: MK Metz
 The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for NYC, Brooklyn and the surrounding metropolitan area for Thursday night into Friday morning.

The statement says the weather will be hazardous -- wind chills will range from zero to -5 degrees:


NOAA also warns drivers to be wary of patchy black ice as temperatures are quickly decreasing following an arctic front.

Starting this weekend, periods of snow are possible Saturday night into Tuesday. The potential exists for a total of 8 inches or more, NOAA says.

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Photos of the $40M Brooklyn Brownstone, Brooklyn's Bigfoot, and More Brooklyn Briefs

Brooklyn Heights. Photo: MK Metz
 - The eternally regal Diana Ross opens Brooklyn’s lavishly redone Kings Theatre. [Vulture]

- Mayor De Blasio's sweet, hardworking immigrant granddma was a sweatshop boss. [City Council Watch]

- Photos: Brooklyn Heights Promenade brownstone at 3 Pierrepont Place is up for sale for a record $40 million asking price. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Terror charges dropped against the 17-year-old from Brooklyn, who was accused of threatening police with symbols known as emojis. [Daily News]

- Prospect Park Bigfoot turned out to be a big fake. [Huff Post]

- "Humans of New York" raises $1 million for Brooklyn school. [NBC]

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Brooklyn Bridge Park CAC Resolves to Halt Construction on Pierhouse, Pier 6

A show of hands during the CAC vote. Photo: MK Metz
At the end of an hours-long and sometimes rowdy meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council (CAC) Tuesday night in Brooklyn Heights, members of the CAC passed a (non-binding) resolution calling for a halt on construction of two major development projects in the park: Pierhouse (the hotel/condo complex at Pier 1), and the Pier 6 towers, not yet under construction.

For full details of the meeting:

Brooklyn Bridge Park CAC calls for halt on Pierhouse, Pier 6 [Brooklyn Eagle]

Brooklyn Bridge Park CAC Asks for Construction Halt, New Environmental and Financial Studies [Brooklyn Heights Blog]

Battle Over Pierhouse's View-Blocking Height Rages On [Curbed]

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Indictment for NYPD Officer? Plus Pierhouse Presentation Tonight and More Brooklyn Briefs

Goodbye, DUMBO Arts Festival. Photo © MK Metz
- Sources: Assault indictment possible for NYPD officer seen on video apparently stomping on suspect's head in Bed-Stuy. [NY Daily News]

- Pierhouse opponents to present at Brooklyn Bridge Park CAC meeting Tuesday. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Tell the Port Authority what you think of their  proposals for transporting freight throughout the NYC area onTuesday, Feb. 3, at 4 pm at Borough Hall.  [Bensonhurst Bean]

- There seems to be some question as to how high the soon-to-be-developed Brooklyn Heights Library site will eventually be. [BHB

- The DUMBO Arts Festival has been canceled, a victim of its own success. But BP Adams hopes to find new sponsors. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- What do three Sanitation workers, the Flatbush Shomrim, and state Senator Simcha Felder have in common? Hint: It involves cans of stolen coffee. [Sheepshead Bites]

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