Friday, June 28, 2013

Brooklyn Judge Orders SUNY Downstate to Cough Up LICH Financial Documents

LICH. Photo: MK Metz
More on the ongoing saga of SUNY Downstate's attempts to sell Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in spite of the critical need for LICH in western Brooklyn and all sorts of court orders:

A Brooklyn judge has ordered SUNY Downstate Medical Center to account for every single dollar and piece of property it has transferred from Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to itself since it took over LICH in 2011, according to a story published in the Brooklyn Eagle.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Carolyn E. Demarest on Thursday ordered SUNY Downstate to present a full accounting of the convoluted money trail by August 5.

Apparently, the Court originally approved the transfer of LICH’s assets to SUNY Downstate back in 2011 “on the express representation” that “SUNY Downstate will continue Petitioner’s [LICH’s] operation as a hospital.”

Now that SUNY has voted to close LICH and is emptying out the hospital. . . the original order may be enforced by the judge.

SUNY spokesperson Robert Bellefiore told the Brooklyn Eagle late Thursday, “Judge Demarest’s order is being reviewed by SUNY Downstate’s attorneys.”

Betcha it is.

- Best Emergency Room In Brooklyn This Week: Long Island College Hospital (LICH)

- SUNY May Shut LICH Emergency Room Down Thursday

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

R Train Rally; Pop-Up Pool; Giglio and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Rally at Borough Hall at 11 a.m. today to demand that MTA create a plan to accommodate R train riders during more than a year of repair work. [BHB]

- Brooklyn Bridge Park Pop-Up Pool is open! [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Brooklyn Independence Parade this Saturday. [NY Daily News]

- The Brooklyn Bike Patrol will be back. [Brokelyn]

- 126th Giglio feast to take place in Williamsburg starting July 10. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Speed cams will be set up near schools. [NY Daily News

- Your kosher chicken is probably not safe to eat. [Failed Messiah]

- Hong Kong says whistle-blower Edward Snowden was allowed to leave because the U.S. got his middle name wrong. Oops! [Guardian]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Free Kayaking On Thursdays at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photo: MK Metz
Every Thursday at Brooklyn Bridge Park you can paddle a kayak for free from 5:30 - 6:45 p.m. The boat launch it at at Pier 2.

It may not work out if it rains as predicted today, however. Kayaking events are cancelled if rainfall exceeds one inch in the preceding 24 hours. Thursday Kayaking at BBP

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

For the Love of All that Is Holy Bring an Umbrella with You Thursday (Brooklyn and NYC)

Photo: MK Metz
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Brooklyn and the other boroughs of New York City for Thursday afternoon through 6 p.m. Friday afternoon.

According to NOAA's upper-case warning:



Rain could exceed two inches an hour if conditions are right. There's a 50 percent possibility it could rain most of the weekend as well.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Con Ed Asks 9 Brooklyn Neighborhoods to Turn Off AC, Lights; Reduces Voltage 8 Percent

Con Edison is asking customers in nine Brooklyn neighborhoods to conserve energy until crews make equipment repairs. The neighborhoods affected are Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Prospect Heights, Canarsie, Flatlands, Mill Basin, Old Mill Basin, Bergen Beach and Georgetown.

Con Edison has reduced voltage by 8 percent in these areas to protect equipment until company crews complete repairs. They asks customers in these neighborhoods not to use appliances such as washers, dryers, air conditioners and other energy-intensive equipment and to turn off lights and televisions when not needed until the equipment problems are resolved.

In addition, Con Edison has reduced voltage in these neighborhoods: Coney Island, Seagate, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay. But the company has not asked customers in these areas to conserve.

Customers can report outages and check service restoration status by at or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Fully Equipped Cartoon Character On Tree in Brooklyn Heights

It's not every day you run across a cartoon character on a tree, like this one on Cranberry Street in Brooklyn Heights.

The owl is really intense.

Our favorite part, however, is the "PEW PEW PEW."

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Ambulances at LICH Still MIA; Bay Ridge Massage Parlors; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Ambulance service to Long Island College Hospital (LICH) still "up in the air." [Brooklyn Eagle]

- While at least four hospitals in Brooklyn are in deep financial trouble, NY Methodist in Park Slope may construct a brand new eight story addition. [Here's Park Slope]

- The shadow campaign for the city's second most powerful job quietly heats up. [NY Observer ]

- Bay Ridge residents don't get why so many massage parlors -- more than two dozen -- have suddenly popped up in the neighborhood -- and why they're open so late at night. [NY Times]

- Brooklyn-born grandfather of zombie apocalypse dies at 87. [NY Observer]

- Bensonhurst native Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi lost a split-decision to Adrian "The Problem" Broner Saturday night at Barclays Center -- and he may have lost his girl, too. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Another pedestrian mowed down at dangerous Ditmas Park intersection where 36 pedestrian were injured and four died between 1995 and 2008. [Streetsblog]

- U.S. surveillance is not aimed at terrorists, but at law-abiding citizens. [Bloomberg News]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

National Weather Service Says Brooklyn's Weather May Be 'Hazardous' Today (Tuesday, June 25)

You might as well just give up. According to the National Weather Service:

- A heat advisory is in effect in Brooklyn and the surrounding area until 6 p.m. Tuesday and then it looks like it will come back throughout the week. Probably rain tonight.

- A storm system will hit late in the week that could bring "damaging winds and hail" and probably flash flooding.

- And an air quality alert is in effect till 11 p.m. tonight (Tuesday). To stay informed of the air quality situation, call 1-800-535-1345.

By the way, yesterday a record high temperature of 96 degrees was set at LaGuardia. This breaks the old record of 95 set in 2010.

Photo by AudryJim529, Creative Commons 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Best Emergency Room In Brooklyn This Week: Long Island College Hospital (LICH)

LICH ER: Clean, fully staffed, almost empty. Photo: MK Metz
If you have a health emergency, probably the best ER in Brooklyn this week belongs to Long Island College Hospital (LICH) at Atlantic Ave. and Hicks Street in Cobble Hill.

While SUNY Downstate, LICH's floundering overseer, is not letting ambulances drop patients off at the LICH emergency room, if you can walk in or take a car service you'll likely receive platinum-level care, because the ER is fully staffed but almost empty.

Meanwhile Brooklyn Hospital and other Brooklyn ERs are overflowing, with 36-hour or more wait times.

We walked in to LICH's ER yesterday (Monday) around 10:30 a.m., a time when the waiting room is usually filled with dozens of patients and relatives. But yesterday there were only three people waiting. The friendly receptionist wanted to know how she could help us and assured us there were plenty of doctors who could see us right away.

It's good to know LICH is still open, in spite of SUNY's illegal maneuvers. Maybe neighbors could rent a couple of ambulances to bring people living in LICH's area (Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn, Vinegar Hill and Williamsburg) to LICH in an emergency.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Johnny Lee Baynes told LICH last week (in more polite language) to cut the crap. He said he might go so far as to appoint a special administrator or special master to oversee LICH, and he also might hold SUNY in contempt for not following an order he issued to keep staffing levels up at LICH.

- Judge warns SUNY: Special Administrator for LICH may be appointed  Brooklyn Eagle

- SUNY May Shut LICH Emergency Room Down Thursday McBrooklyn

More posts about LICH here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Security On the Brooklyn Bridge Kind of Lax Saturday

Photo: MK Metz
This big white truck parked itself on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday sometime before 2:30 p.m. We saw it from a friend's window.

- One, trucks aren't allowed on the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Two, if you see something, say something. The Brooklyn Bridge is high on the list of potential terrorist targets in New York City.

We all got excited and our friend called 9-1-1 at 2:35 p.m. to report the truck.

9-1-1 had no idea it was there, and said they would send someone. OK, fine.

We talked about all the expensive security cameras on the bridge and the NYPD cars parked at the entrances. "That's funny," we said. "Wonder why they let that big truck up on the bridge?"

Over the next half hour we kept checking the truck, waiting to see a car from the 84th Precinct come swooping up with a half a ton of bomb-sniffing equipment and maybe a team of dogs.


Eventually, the truck started backing up very slowly. Our friend called 9-1-1 again. "That truck? The one on the bridge? It's backing up and maybe someone should help with traffic because it's going the wrong way and all."

9-1-1 said the 84th Precinct had been notified and someone would be there soon.

Finally, about an hour after our first call, NYPD stopped traffic onto the Manhattan-bound lanes and the truck successfully backed off the Brooklyn Bridge. We we happy that it turned out the truck wasn't stuffed with 3 tons of explosives, but if it had been it would have been a bad scene.

Still wondering about the security cameras and all.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Dan Grey Missing in Brooklyn Heights. Last Seen On Montague Street

We were alarmed to see this notice (hanging on lampposts in Brooklyn Heights) that best-selling novelist Dan Grey is missing. The sign says that Dan was last seen at the Promenade flagpole on Montague Street. Anyone with any information should call Dr. Dann.

The photo does have a somewhat mysterious look ... and after a little internet digging we were relieved to see that we probably don't have to worry too much about Dan.

If you want to read the spoiler, click here. Otherwise just keep your eyes open for Dan Grey.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Three Items About Hospitals in Brooklyn

1: An emergency room crisis has hit western Brooklyn as SUNY Downstate bans ambulances from LICH, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. SUNY is ignoring a court order in its mad rush to shut down LICH. Residents, representatives and hospital employees have repeatedly requested help from the state but get none from Gov. Cuomo or any regulatory agencies in his administration.

2: The Interfaith and Brooklyn Hospital merger has unraveled, Crain's reports. The reason? The state has not given Brooklyn Hospital the $1.6 million it needs to investigate Interfaith's finances and its worthiness as a potential merger partner, Crain's says. Interfaith "repeatedly requested direction" from the state but got none from Gov. Cuomo or any regulatory agencies in his administration.

3: A Senate bill would create five pilot projects allowing private hospitals in New York State for the first time ever. Private hospital chains have recently been the subject of shocking stories by organizations like 60 Minutes. Health advocates and supporters fear LICH, Interfaith and other troubled Brooklyn hospitals are targets of the bill. (On January 25, Gov. Cuomo proposed a similar pilot program, later shot down.)

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

A Little Golf in DUMBO

Photo: MK Metz
Mini-golf in DUMBO has returned, part of Flea Food Under the Archway, Thursdays and Fridays from noon - 3 p.m.

Food vendors include Cemita's, Landhaus, Little Muenster and more. DUMBO Improvement District has the whole list.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

SUNY May Shut LICH Emergency Room Down Thursday

From the Brooklyn Eagle:

A state judge on Wednesday ordered SUNY Downstate to maintain staffing levels at Long Island College Hospital (LICH) after hearing complaints that SUNY intended to pull out crucial residents this weekend.

But the order may not have come in time to stop SUNY from shutting down LICH’s emergency room...

More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

City Loses Tests; Empire Stores; MakerBot and More Brooklyn Briefs

- City loses tests, almost forcing Bensonhurst students to attend summer school. [Bensonhurst Bean]

- Hearing on DUMBO’s Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse set for Thursday. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- John Catsimatidis, the monorail candidate. [NY Magazine]

- The Senate and Assembly may vote Thursday to bring back the old lever voting machines in the primary and run off elections. [NY Daily News]

- Brooklyn 3D printer company MakerBot is merging with Stratasys. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Brooklyn man suspected of fatally stabbing cabbie in the eye denied bail.[NY Daily News]

- Browse Brooklyn's brunch scene on bikes. [Business Insider]

- Dinosaur Bar-B-Q opened its first Brooklyn location in Gowanus yesterday. [Eater

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where Have We Seen the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Plan Before?

Brooklyn’s newly unveiled $3 billion “Tech Triangle” development project includes a Special Innovation District for new tech businesses, new bus, ferry and bike lanes, a network of green, parklike spaces, a topiary arbor, a Cadman Plaza cafe, a curved footbridge leading to Borough Hall, a seasonal pop-up fantasy land of mini-golf, performance stages, lounges and wading pools, and a massive helium observation balloon overlooking it all.

Cadman Plaza Cafe behind the War Memorial
“This is really a comprehensive plan to guide the area’s growth over the next decade,” said Tucker Reed, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, one leg of the Triangle, which also includes DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The plans are so fantastical we got the feeling that we'd seen them before . . . including that balloon... especially that balloon.

Then it hit us. The prototype for Tech Triangle ... is The Village, depicted in the 60s cult classic The Prisoner.

In The Prisoner a British secret agent is gassed and wakes up in an isolated, idyllic fantasy village, where everything necessary to happiness is provided.. There, he's given a number (six) instead of a name.

Everyone rides "penny-farthing" bicycles, plays games and is supposed to be happy. But no one can escape.

If they try, Rover, a weird white balloon thing, will suffocate them.

We're just joking, of course. Ha ha ha, we'll be able to escape, right? 


Full plan at Brooklyn Tech Triangle.
More stories about the Brooklyn Tech Triangle at DumboNYC and the NY Post.

The Prisoner photos from IGN and Pajiba

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Solar Phone Chargers in DUMBO, Pier 1, Fort Greene and More

Solar charger in DUMBO. Photo: MK Metz
AT&T is installing approximately 25 outdoor solar mobile charging units across the city this summer. So far two have been set in Fort Greene Park, plus one at at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier I, on Governor’s Island, Pier 1 at Riverside Park and Union Square Park.

In Brooklyn, more will be installed at Coney Island, Metrotech Plaza, at the Dumbo Arts Festival and at the Brooklyn Book Festival.

Mayor Bloomberg said he asked the company to do this after people had trouble charging their phones after Hurricane Sandy.

Shown above: Pensa, a Dumbo-based strategic design consultancy designed the first Street Charge prototype and installed it at the Pearl Street Triangle starting in 2012. It's up again this summer. More about this here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Improv Everywhere Pulls Damn Fine 1860s Bar Time Travel Prank in Greenpoint

Improv Everywhere surprised random people by turning back the clock 150 years at the Black Rabbit bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn completely transforming it into 1860s New York.

This project was a collaboration with the BBC America series Copper.

Comments and original video here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Tech Triangle to Unveil Expansion Plan Today (Tuesday)

On Tuesday, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle partnership (which includes the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Dumbo Business Improvement District and the Brooklyn Navy Yard), will unveil a master plan to lure more technology firms, Crain's NY reports.

One idea would transform four blocks of old warehouses along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, just across Flushing Avenue from the Navy Yard, into mixed use with some space dedicated to tech.

Another would entice landlords to rent out the upper floors along Fulton Street to tech firms.

Other landlords might "repurpose" office space for small startups by subdividing.

Huge expansion of tech space eyed in Brooklyn Crain's

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

With BAM South Deal, Letitia James Shows 'Em How to Do Business in the Big City

Two Trees
The big story on Monday was the approval at a City Council committee meeting of the ‘BAM South’ 32-story mixed use cultural development in Fort Greene.

The project, a lynchpin of the BAM Cultural District, will include cultural space (including a performance theater and a movie theater), affordable housing and a new public plaza with a restaurant and retail.

Because Councilwoman Letitia James bargained shrewdly, several key measures were included that make the project better for everyone. According to the Brooklyn Eagle:

* James negotiated an agreement that would maintain the Pacific Street library branch, which Brooklyn Public Library had shortsightedly planned to sell to developers.

* She negotiated an increase in the number of affordable apartments.

* She got Two Trees to agree to pay union wages or better. In an update, James said the project would include "some" union jobs.The statement by Two Trees reads in part, "We pledge to work together with the  Building and Construction Trades Council to ensure that work on the $130 million project will be bid out to multiple union firms giving them the opportunity to compete for the work. We are confident that union contracts will be employed at the site over the course of construction of this great mixed use project."

* Cultural organizations utilizing the space will reflect the diversity of this community.

* Utilization of the open space will include the input of all stakeholders.

Kudos to Ms. James for holding out, in the face of dimwitted editorials in the NY Daily News castigating her for "tinkering" with the project.

According to the News: "James has been haggling down to the wire to modify the BAM South parameters. This is no way to do business in the greatest city in the world."

Wrong, Daily News. This is EXACTLY the way to do business in the big city.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Neil Gaiman ('American Gods') Launching Latest Novel at BAM

Courtesy of HarperCollins
Neil Gaiman fans: The author will be launching his latest novel “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” (William Morrow; on sale June 18, and is available for pre-order at Amazon now), at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House on June 18.

This is Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller "Anansi Boys."

More here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Speeding Drivers Kill More People In Brooklyn Than Any Other Borough

Photo: MK Metz
The disturbing news that speeding drivers kill more people in Brooklyn than any other borough is partially explained by several statistics:

- 88% of Brooklyn drivers break the 30 mph speed limit

- Only 2,028 speeding citations were handed out in Brooklyn in 2011, but Transportation Alternatives clocked 2,232 speeding Brooklyn drivers in just 12 hours.

The carnage is incredible: In 2011, 79 people were killed in Kings County by automobiles, and more than 23,000 were injured. (That's 63 injuries a day just in Brooklyn!) The numbers appear to be even worse for 2012.

More at Gothamist.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Metal Rail Impales Large Tree on State Street, Brooklyn Heights

Photos by MK Metz
A long, narrow piece of metal is deeply imbedded in a tree trunk high above the ground on State Street in Brooklyn Heights (near Henry Street).

Though we have no idea how the metal got into the tree, from its height we'd guess it's the upper side rail of a semi trailer.

It's pretty shocking to see this thing sticking out of the tree.

Below is a diagram that shows an upper side rail, about the height of the metal impaled in the tree.
Courtesy of
Anyone know the story behind this incident?

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Goodbye, 88 'Sing for Hope' Pianos

Photo: MK Metz
After two weeks on the streets of New York City, the 88 artist-decorated Sing for Hope pianos were collected and transported to Lincoln Center on Sunday for an all-day concert. (The grand finale featured all 88 pianos.)

The pianos have been residing in parks and other public spaces throughout the five boroughs for everyone  to enjoy. For their next performance, they'll be donated to schools, healthcare facilities, and community organizations.

Shown above: A passerby tinkles the keys of one of the pianos placed under the Manhattan Bridge Arch in DUMBO.

Chobani was the sponsor of this year's event -- and this particular piano was covered in Chobani Yogurt foil lids signed by company employees from around the globe.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Brooklyn +POOL Stages Second, Bigger Kickstarter Campaign

Put Your Name On a +Pool Tile

Two years ago we reported: Brooklynites Desperate for Giant Floating +Pool Kick In More Than $25,000 To Get It Rolling.

Now, we're happy to report that +POOL-- a giant, plus-shaped floating pool in Brooklyn, preferably off Brooklyn Bridge Park -- has launched its second Kickstarter campaign, this time for $250,000.

The money will be used to create a floating test lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard this summer. This stage of the project will only be funded if the full amount is pledged by Friday, Jul 12 -- but with 28 days to go, the group has already raised $60,363.

People seem to be very enthusiastic about this pool!

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

More Things to Worry About: Drinking Water, Solar Flares, Toilet Paper

Don Davis, NASA
Thought all we had to worry about was hurricanes, LICH closing and cicadas? We've barely scratched the surface of worrisome events. Here are ominous posts from around the Internets:

 - A vast array of pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones has been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.  [AP via South Brooklyn Post]

- Solar flares are reaching their max for this 11-year cycle. One could possibly knock out the entire power grid, with catastrophic results. [International Business Times] On the other hand, hackers could do the same thing. [NY Times]

- Deadly asteroids. You know the drill. [McBrooklyn]

- Researchers working with marine mammals are now being advised to wear protective gear as the dreaded influenza A H1N1 subtype virus has mutated and had been detected active in seals off the coast of central California. [International Business Times] Also to worry about: Worldwide outbreaks of MERS and two new flues. [NPR]

- Infectious diseases are running through the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. This time it's measles. [The Daily Beast]

- The toilet paper shortage: Venezuelans download new app which helps locate toilet paper as stock runs low. [Red Ice Creations]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Library Rally; Tobacco Warehouse; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- “Kids for Libraries” rally this Saturday at the Brooklyn Heights branch library. [BHB]

- Outdoor exhibition ‘THE FENCE’ opens Thursday at Brooklyn Bridge Park with tour and refreshments. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- LPC endorses plan for Brooklyn Bridge Park Tobacco Warehouse. [TRD]

- Expanded Native Flora Garden opens at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. [NY Times]

- For real? People are holding stationary "spin classes" on docked Citi Bikes. [Gothamist]

- DONE DEAL: Brooklyn Nets hire Jason Kidd. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Anthony Weiner could win the election by default. [Brooklyn Magazine]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

'Atlantic Frantic' Fundraiser for LICH on Friday, June 14

SUNY Downstate is removing all residents from Long Island College Hospital in its latest (possibly illegal) move to force LICH to close.

The Concerned Physicians of Long Island College Hospital and the Nurses Association invite everyone to a fundraiser on Friday to raise money for the continuing legal battle.

If you can't be there, send a donation. Time is short; nurses are quitting in protest and the residents will soon be gone.

[Previous LICH posts here.]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

BPL Crumbling, Boro Park Perv, Adoptees May Get Birth Certificates, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn Public Library branches are in even worse shape than we thought; $300 million needed for  repairs. [NY Daily News]

- Alleged Borough Park perv claims self defense in shooting. [Failed Messiah]

- Bill would give NY adoptees access to birth certificate, medical history. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Thief stole a cellphone and credit cards from a stroller in a store on Fulton Street. [Brooklyn Paper]

- Another "vomit comet" coming to Coney Island. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Gizmodo caves, finally admits PlayStation 4 better than Xbox One. [Gizmodo]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Problems at NYC Citi Bike Docks Become Apparent

Photo: MK Metz
The bikes work OK, but 10 percent of Citi Bike stations fail each day because of buggy software and battery problems, according to New York Magazine.

One of the problems: Citi Bike’s solar-powered docking stations don’t get enough electricity on cloudy days, according to the NY Post.

The malfunctioning kiosks are causing Citi Bike members to have second thoughts, according to the Boston Globe.

Complaints about poor customer service poured in to Citi Bike's Facebook page on Friday.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn Pol Vito Lopez Fined $330,000

The state Legislative Ethics Commission has fined Brooklyn (former) Assemblyman Vito Lopez $330,000 over accusations he sexually harassed women staffers.

The commission concluded Lopez took "inappropriate actions and (made) offensive comments of a sexual nature" to staffers, reports WNYT.

Lopez resigned in May after a legislative ethics panel censured him.

The fine is the largest ever issued by the Legislative Ethics Commission, and results from at least 33 episodes of violations, according to the NY Times.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Mayor Bloomberg Unveils $20 Billion Storm Plan

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a $20 billion plan designed to protect the city against future storms like Superstorm/ Hurricane Sandy.

The mayor's 430 page report  contains more than 250 recommendations, many involving Brooklyn.

(The mayor's presentation starts around minute 7 in the video above.)

Proposals include offshore dunes, beach widening, tidal barriers, wetlands, elevated homes, new high-level sewers, strengthening building codes and more.

The plan includes 37 coastal defense projects, including restoring natural wetlands to lessen waves on the South Shore of Staten Island, and throughout Jamaica Bay.

* One storm surge barrier would be at Newtown Creek (between Brooklyn and Queens), where the storm surge pushed floodwaters into the surrounding neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Long Island City.

* A tidal barrier across Coney Island Creek is also proposed, and the city could build new parkland across the barrier itself, connecting two existing local parks.

* A surge barrier at the mouth of Jamaica Bay could help protect the communities of Gerritsen Beach, Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Canarsie and Mill Basin.

* In Breezy Point, the city is proposing a new double-dune system that would offer two layers of defense, a strategy that could eventually be rolled out across the Rockaways.

* In places like Red Hook, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, East Harlem, Hunts Point, and in front of Bellevue Hospital and along Hospital Row, and possibly down to the Battery, a system of floodwalls, levees and other features would provide a defense against flooding.

The plan also calls for strengthening other areas of weakness like utilities, fuel and food supply, healthcare, transportation, and telecommunications.

The plan can't be completed during Bloomberg's term but it seems like a good start.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bloomberg's Hurricane Speech Today; NYPD Gay Beating? And More Brooklyn Briefs

- Tuesday Mayor Bloomberg will deliver a speech at the Brooklyn Navy Yard about how to protect New York City from future hurricanes like Sandy. [Crain's]

- Cops from Brooklyn's 76th Precinct accused of beating gay man outside station and using homophobic slurs. [Village Voice]

- Joseph M. Sullivan, retired Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, died on Friday, died at age 83 in a car accident. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Newlywed actress Lake Bell (Boston Legal; Miss Match) buys home on Fort Greene border for $1.5 million. [Celebuzz]

- Who even knew Green-Wood Cemetery had catacombs? [Gothamist]

- Corcoran has distributed flyers in Bedford-Stuyvesant trying to persuade brownstone owners to part with their valuable townhouses. [TRD]

- A business group wants to have a ferry run from Manhattan to Coney Island. [Brooklyn Daily]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Townhouses Going In at 55 Pearl Street, DUMBO

Google Maps
There goes the neighborhood! The warehouse/ garage at the corner of Pearl and Water Streets (across the street from the Pearl Street Triangle) in DUMBO will soon be replaced by five identical townhouses, each with four beds,three baths, private parking and a private roof decks, according to Curbed.

Dumbo Townhouses
They will share a common facade made of a super-concrete called ductal. The houses just hit the market for $4.1 million each, Curbed says. More at

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, June 10, 2013

New York Citi Bike Is Hiring

Need a job? New York's Citi Bike share program is hiring.

According to the Citi Bike website, a number of positions are open: call center manager, outreach ambassadors, bike mechanics, customer service agents and more.

Citi Bike better hurry -- Sunday was their busiest day so far, with 22,399 trips of 25 minutes each. 4,524 day passes were sold.

Meanwhile, complaints about poor customer service poured in to Citi Bike's Facebook page on Friday:

* "I sent an email several days ago and still no reply. The stations will not let me rent another bike and your phone does not work..."

* "Can we pick up our keys in person?!"

* "I second that. Would really like to pick my key up!"

* "Did u route the calls to India?"

* "Hoping to receive my key soon... I signed up on April 15 and I haven't received anything yet."

* "Still waiting for my freakin' key!!!!!!"

It would seem that customer service agents need to be hired right away.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Soulful Juneteenth at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights

Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens thrilled the audience at Plymouth Church Sunday night for the outdoors Juneteenth celebration.

Shelton's rich gospel voice echoed over Brooklyn Heights and brought curious onlookers to applaud the show from the street.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas in 1865.

Plymouth Church was a leader in the abolitionist movement, home base for Henry Ward Beecher and champion of the Fisk Jubilee Singers – who were credited with the early popularization of the Negro spiritual. 

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

P.S. 8 Paddlewheeler: Brooklyn Heights' Multi-Colored Hair Kids, Explained

Have you seen a large number of kids walking around Brooklyn Heights today with multi-colored hair?

The reason is the P.S. 8 2013 Paddlewheeler Festival, which took place Saturday. There were a number of popular activities (like the terrarium-making table, above) but the most popular by far was the crazy hair coloring booth.

Kids with blond hair became rainbow-headed; kids with red hair got it sprayed green. There's no telling when it will wear out.

This was the 10th annual Paddlewheeler -- and the tenth anniversary of its celebrated principal Seth Phillips.

This year's festival featured rides, a bouncy castle, food court, arts & crafts and more. We always hear about a dunk-the-principal booth but we always miss it...

- 2012 Paddlewheeler

- 2009 Paddlewheeler

Photos by MK Metz

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

6 Legs, a TV and a Chair Walk Into a Bar . . .

Photo by MK Metz
... And order 20 shots of tequila. The bartender looks on as they gulp down one after another. The bartender says, "I don’t think you should be drinking those so fast." The chair says, "You would if you had what we have." "Well, what is it you have?" The chair throws back the last shot and says, "Fifty cents."

And there they are on Love Lane in Brooklyn Heights.

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Cadman Plaza Park Rocked with Year-End iMentor Party

The nonprofit organization iMentor held its end-of-the-year picnic (called the "2013 iMentor Extravaganza") for mentors and their high school mentees in Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn all day Saturday.

iMentor connects more than 2,000 high school kids with volunteer adult mentors every year. A lot of the connection is online, and the program is structured to give the mentors lots of guidance and activities to do with their mentees.

Music and food, T-shirt making and games in the sunshine were some of the day's activities.

Panera Bread catered the lunch, and the day wrapped up with a big group photo.

Photos by MK Metz

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Friday, June 7, 2013

City Tech's Klitgord Building Will Soon Be Demolished

City Tech’s Klitgord building on the corner of Jay and Tillary streets will be demolished soon, according to the Brownstoner blog.

In April the DOB approved permits for a full building demolition.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, Klitgord will be replaced with this eight-story, 356,389-square-foot academic/community facility building with 20 parking spaces.

An earlier version of the Klitgord replacement was to be this 65-70-story tower -- a combined residential-academic complex —  a joint effort with Forest City Ratner, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. That plan was scrapped.

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Brooklyn Ultra-Orthodoz Rabbi Orders Complete Internet and Cellphone Ban

Photo: Dullhunk
Williamsburg's chief Satmar rabbi has ordered complete compliance with an Internet and cellphone ban.

Hasidim who do not comply will be excommunicated from the Satmar Jewish sect and their children will be expelled from school, the Failed Messiah blog reports.

Hasidim who need Internet access for their jobs can only use the specific filtered Internet access Satmar approves, which gives Satmar complete access to every hasid's Internet logs and a list of every website visited.

Sort of like the NSA.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Brooklyn Real Estate News: 10 MetroTech; Childs; Pierhouse and More

- Plans are afoot to transform the landmarked Childs Restaurant and lot in Coney Island into an amphitheater and park with a high-end eatery and rooftop cafe. [Brooklyn Daily]

- Forest City to demolish 10 MetroTech office building on Fulton Street for new residential structure. [Atlantic Yards Report]

- Design for 19-story Brooklyn Heights building at site of old Hallmark store revealed. [Brownstoner]

- Redesigned ‘Pierhouse' condos in Brooklyn Bridge Park will be raised 3 feet off the ground. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Developers bought the Williamsburg White Castle. [Observer]

- Artist plasters plaques on Brooklyn's ignored historic sites. [Curbed]

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Councilmember Levin: Put a Moratorium On NYC Charter $chools

Photo by Tax Credits, Flickr
New York City Councilmember Stephen Levin said that charter school spending is “out of control” and called for a moratorium on the opening of all new charters in the city.

In Mayor Bloomberg’s preliminary budget, charter school funds were originally proposed to grow by $70.9 million for Fiscal Year 2014, to a total of $899.3 million.

But somehow, when the budget was updated, funding for charter schools magically increased $210 million – topping $1 billion.

“To increase funding for charter schools by 25 percent in a single year, at a time when the executive budget calls for the decimation of programs that New York City children, families, and seniors depend on, is outrageous," Levin said.

Success Academy Charter Schools told the Brooklyn Eagle, "The reason the city is spending more on charter schools is that more children are attending them, plain and simple."


So because more children are attending libraries across the city, libraries, too, should get more funding -- right?

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

NYC Ready for Return of Sandy? Plus, Outdoor Pianos and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Is New York City ready for another Sandy? Sadly, no. [NY Magazine

- Public Hearing Tuesday: To discuss SUNY Downstate Hospital and Long Island College Hospital in regard to the sustainability plan. [NYS Senate]

- The outdoor pianos are back, with more than 20 Brooklyn locations. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Councilmember Stephen Levin started a petition to bring Citi Bike stations to Williamsburg and Greenpoint. [Brownstoner]

- Just another night out for a Brooklyn lawyer: Skip out on a $6 taxi fare, strip off the underwear and lunge at police officers. [Observer]

- With accident rates between 5 and 30 times the statewide average, help is on the way for disintegrating Kosciuszko Bridge. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Official Quinn Twitter account balloons by 20,000 dummy followers overnight. [City & State]

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Report: MakerBot Opening New Factory in Sunset Park

Photo: MK Metz
Brooklyn 3D-printer company MakerBot announced that they will open their big new factory and warehouse in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, on Friday, according to TechCrunch.

The company is looking to hire 50 new employees at the Sunset Park location to assemble and ship Replicators.

MakerBot demonstrated the Replicator2, shown here, at this past Saturday's World Science Festival in Downtown Brooklyn.

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Dancing In the Street in Brooklyn at Lebanese Food Festival

Due to a family emergency, the Dance Troupe could not appear at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral’s annual "Flavors of Lebanon" food festival this past weekend, according to the Brooklyn Eagle update.

Life went on as everyday folks danced on Remsen Street to live music.

Attendees enjoyed the carnival games, rides and most of all, delectable Middle Eastern food, including tabbouleh, kibbeh, and sweets.

The Mega Raffle prize was a 2013 Hyundai Sonata!

If you're in Brooklyn Heights, take the opportunity to check out the interior of the landmarked church and its famous bronze doors, taken from the Normandie, a famed French luxury liner.

Photos by MK Metz

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