Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Revised Toll Plan for East River Bridges Would Screw Manhattan Drivers, Too

Photo by Lingaraj GJ, Flickr
Mayor Bloomberg's failed bridge toll plan (once called "congestion pricing") has come back to life with a "pricing model that might be more palatable to residents outside Manhattan," the NY Times reports.

Under the new scheme, Manhattanites would be asked to contribute more than they had under past proposals. An example lists a $5.33 E-ZPass to go over the Brooklyn Bridge. (It's free now.) The one-way rate to cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge would decline to $5.66, from $10.66.

Backers say that imposing tolls on all the East River bridges would make traffic less congested on those previously-free bridges.

We wonder if anyone has taken into account the long lines of slow traffic (and pollution) that would pile up in front of the toll booths?

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Twitter Makes It Harder for Governments to Spy on Users. They May Just Have to Buy Your Data Like Everybody Else

Twitter says it has implemented a new security technology that makes it harder for government intelligence agencies to spy on its users.

That's great. Now the only people spying on Twitter users are those who pay Twitter for the privilege of mining the data.

And the Library of Congress, which gets it for free.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Is DirecTV Responsible for Their Contractor's Unlicensed Driver Mowing Down a Woman in Brooklyn?

A DirecTV van ran down a woman in Brooklyn on Monday, leaving her in critical condition. The DirecTV van operated by an unlicensed driver, the NY Daily News reported.

Tom Vanderbilt tweeted:

DirecTV appears to be trying to wiggle out of responsibility, however. They tweeted, "The driver involved in this unfortunate incident is employed by DTV Alliance, an independent dealer . . . The van is owned by the firm. We been in contact with the dealer to determine how this could have happened."

Robert Wright asks the obvious question: "So what steps do U take to make sure your and contractors' drivers don't harm or kill people?"

Good question.

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Pre-Thanksgiving Nor'easter: High Wind Watch, Hazardous Weather Watch in Brooklyn, NYC Tuesday p.m. through Wednesday

A massive nor'easter, Winter Storm Boreas, is headed for the New York metropolitan area just in time for the two big travel days before Thanksgivng.

While most of the news reports focus on Wednesday, Tuesday afternoon's weather is likely to be bad for travel as well.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Watch and Hazardous Weather Outlook for New York City and the surrounding area for late Tuesday through Wednesday:


About those winds:






Stay home if you can!

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BBP Pierhouse Taxes; Brooklyn Heights Rental; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Pierhouse to add $16M to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s annual budget. [TRD]

- Someone is probably going to rent this townhouse in Brooklyn Heights for $14,000 a month. [Curbed]

- From leaks to rats, the New York City Housing Authority has vowed to make repairs in 150 apartments in Brooklyn before Christmas. [TRD]

- CB6 says "Nope" to NY Methodist hospital expansion in Park Slope. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- There's a lot more crime in parks than we think, and NYPD has been concealing the real numbers. [NY Post]

- Sunday Atlantic Yards meeting in Brooklyn: A petition to "block the sale of land our tax dollars paid for to a foreign company [China] with no stake in producing Affordable Housing for Brooklyn." [Atlantic Yards Report]

- The sky will soon be filled with journalism drones. [NY Magazine]

- This upstate house has a fabulous apocalypse-ready bunker built into the ground below it in a missile silo. [Viral Nova]

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Video: How To Open a Bottle of Wine with Your Shoe

Darndest thing. Now we can't wait to be stuck without a corkscrew.

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Bike Rider Hit by Car in Coney Island 1 a.m. Monday Morning

From the scanner:

A call came in at 1 a.m. Monday morning that a biker had been hit on Banner Ave. in Coney Island, near the entrance of the west-bound Belt Parkway.

While few other details were given, an officer asked the dispatcher two times to "rush the bus." (Bus means ambulance.)

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Teen Playing 'Knockout Game' in Michigan Shot by Intended Victim, Sentenced To Jail Time

The so-called "Knockout Game" that has allegedly reared its ugly head in Brooklyn had negative consequences for an attacker in Michigan.

Marvell Weaver, 17, of Lansing, ran into the wrong victim, reports News One.

His intended target pulled out his (legal) pistol and shot Weaver twice. Weaver was sentenced one year in jail.

The video above also shows several other very disturbing knockout attacks.

On Saturday, a man was arrested for a knockout attack in Brooklyn. Amrit Marajh, 28, of Kensington, was charged with charged with assault, harassment and menacing. The Jewish victim was walking down a street in Borough Park, when he said he heard four men talking about knocking him out before hitting him. The four had just left a bar.

Three other men were picked up but not charged. Marajh denies he attacked the man, saying his girlfriend is Jewish, according to the NY Post.

While the Rev. Al Sharpton spoke out against the “knockout game” on Saturday, Marajh is a name of Indian origin.

 Marajh is out on $750 bail, according to the New York Times.

A young victim in Brooklyn speaks out in the CBS video below:

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Fire Over On Tracks at 4 and 5 Train, Boro Hall, Downtown Brooklyn

Photo: MK Metz
Earlier this evening, at roughly 9:20 p.m.,  a fire was reported on the north end of the 4 and 5 southbound tracks at Boro Hall in Downtown Brooklyn.

Multiple fire engines converged on Court Street near Joralemon and firefighters rushed hoses down the stairs.

It appears the situation is over because the 4 and 5 trains are now running on schedule.

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Hold Up on Montague St., Brooklyn Heights, at Chase Bank on Friday Night 10:33pm

From the scanner: A hold up was reported at the Chase Bank at 177 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights Friday night, Nov. 22.

The call came in at 10:33 p.m.

(Since the bank is closed at this hour we can only assume someone was mugged near the bank, not in it.)

Will update if anything else comes in.

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NYPD Gives Up Search for Brooklyn Bridge Jumper Friday Night, Nov. 22

Marine unit searches for jumper. Photo: MK Metz
NYPD and the Coast Guard searched the water off the Brooklyn Bridge for a reported jumper Friday night.

Word came in that someone had jumped from the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge into the water off Brooklyn Bridge Park just after 10 p.m.

Three boats, a helicopter and emergency vehicles searched the water. Officers from the 84th Precinct looked for an abandoned car on the Brooklyn Bridge.

UPDATE: Police also checked for an abandoned vehicle on the Manhattan Bridge.

UPDATE 10:25 p.m.: NYPD reports that they can't find anyone in the water.

UPDATE 10:28 p.m.: NYPD advises that all searches on water and on land are negative.

UPDATE 10:35 p.m.: That's a wrap.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

NY Methodist Expansion Hearing Tonight in Park Slope

Proposed facility, from 6th Street looking east. NYM
A public hearing is planned for tonight -- Thursday, November 21-- at 6 p.m., where New York Methodist Hospital will make a presentation about its application for land use variances for a controversial new ambulatory care facility (Center for Community Health) in Park Slope.

The CB6 meeting will be held in the auditorium of the John Jay Educational Campus, 237 Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn.

Opponants say the new facility is too big for the historic Brownstone neighborhood, will require the demolition of 16 buildings, and will bring too much traffic.

The hospital says it has to build the facility because of market changes, reimbursement cutbacks and the new focus on primary care.

More here and here.

There's a petition here.

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Ratner says, 'Thanks, Marty'

Bruce and MaryAnn just want to say thanks.
Tweeted by Norman Oder.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cuomo's Approval Rating; Sexual Assaults; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton said street safety deserves more attention from the police, at Tuesday's Transportation Alternatives forum. [Streetsblog]

- Police look for man who sexually assaulted 20-year-old Brooklyn womaan. [NY1] Also, police are looking for a man they say groped an 11-year-old girl in Park Slope. [South Slope News]

- Japanese Jweish restaurant Shalom Japan is tucked into a Puerto Rican block on the edge of Hasidic Williamsburg. [Villiage Voice]

- Woman dies after jumping from eighth floor of Brownsville, Brooklyn building. [NY Daily News]

- Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating is the lowest it’s been since he’s been Governor of New York. LICH have anything to do with it? [WNYC]

- Lovable knucklehead Chris Christie says New Yorkers should move to New Jersey because of Bill de Blasio. [WSJ]

- Walt Disney's daughter and one of his inspirations for building the Disneyland theme park, has died at the age of 79. [CBS]

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Another Sign of the End Times: Butterball Turkeys Won't Fatten Up

Photo: Techvt, Flickr
An inexplicable ailment has affected many of the unfortunate creatures known as Butterball turkeys.

According to WNBC, Butterball says that it will have a limited supply of large (16 pounds or heavier) turkeys for the holidays this year.

The company says the critters just won't plump up in time for Thanksgiving, and it has no idea why. Now they're stuck with a bunch of skinny turkeys.

We say it's trouble and we say we learned all we need to know about it in Hitchcock's "The Birds":

... Well, it's just no good. The chickens
won't eat it.
They're always hungry, Fred. I opened
one of the sacks when I got home,
and I poured it out for them, and
they wouldn't touch it. Now you know
chickens as well as I do, and when
they won't eat, there's just something
wrong with what they're being fed,
that's all.
No, they're not fussy chickens.
Who? What's he got to do with it?
Fred, I don't care how much feed you
sold him. My chickens...
He did? Dan Fawcett?
This afternoon?
Well, that only proves what I'm
saying. The feed you sold us is...
Oh. Oh, I see. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-
huh. Maybe I ought to go over to see
him. You don't think there's something
going around, do you?
No, never.
No, Fred, they don't seem sick at
all. They just won't eat.
Mmmm. Mmmmm. Well, I'll try to get
over to Dan's farm. Maybe he'll...
mmmmm... mmmmm... all right, Fred,
(she hangs up, puzzled)

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This Is How Close You Were To the $130 Million Powerball Jackpot Last Saturday

Map courtesy of Google
You were this close to buying the $130.3 million Powerball ticket in Brighton Beach ticket this past Saturday.

The ticket was sold at Rocco’s Bakery and Deli at 117 Brighton Beach Avenue, Sheepshead Bites reports.

According to SB's calculations, if taken as a lump sum the ticket is worth only $73.4 million, with the winner getting about $45.7 million after taxes.

So it's not exactly $130 million . . . but that's still a lot of bagels.

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City Looking for Someone to Bring One-of-a-Kind Astroland Rocket Ship Ride Back to Coney Island

Photo: Allie Caulfield, Flickr
 The NYC Economic Development Corporation is looking for an organization to assume ownership of the world-famous, 71 foot-long, 14,000 pound Astroland Amusement Park Rocket Ship ride, fix it up, bring it back to Coney Island, and display it "at a site accessible to the public in a way that enhances the Coney Island visitor experience."

Hurry up: The deadline to submit a proposal is November 22.

In 2009, the city acquired the iconic ride, which was donated by Carol Hill Albert and Jerry Albert, whose family owned and operated the Astroland Amusement Park from 1962 until its closing in 2008. The Rocket was removed from its perch atop Gregory and Paul’s boardwalk stand and moved to Homeport in Staten Island, a city-owned facility.

“This one-of-a-kind Rocket simulator was the very first ride to arrive at Astroland Park when it was founded by my late father in-law Dewey Albert in 1962,” Carol Hill Albert told the EDC in 2009.

The Rocket was one of the first space voyage simulators created during the Space Race. Originally built built in 1959 by Todd Shipyards as the "Star Flyer,” it was renamed the Astroland Rocket in 1963 and continued to operate through the 1970’s. The ride had 26 seats and lifted on hydraulics to simulate launching into space.

The EDC promised that one day the Rocket would return -- and that day is coming soon.

In the stirring words of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz: “When I look at this rocket, I recall JFK’s rallying cry that America would go to the moon before the 60’s was out — and I hereby cry out to all those who love Coney, that together we will revitalize “America’s Favorite Playground” by the end of this decade. Let’s give this rocket a dream destination—the Coney Island of the 21st Century, a modern mecca of freakishness, fun-loving spirit and Brooklyn charm.”

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If Your Computer Is Running Windows XP, You Need to Upgrade Your OS by April 8, 2014

After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates or technical updates for Microsoft's venerable Windows XP operating system.

If you've been running this old reliable operating system for the last decade (like we have, on at least one computer), it's time to think about migrating to System 7 or 8.1, or some other operating system like Linux, if your hardware will work with it. (Windows Vista will be supported for a couple more years as well, but this OS is generally derided. Windows 7 is recommended if you don't have a touch screen.)

If you keep running XP, Microsoft says your computer will become vulnerable to security risks, and eventually some software may stop working.

Unfortunately, when you migrate to a new operating system, some of your old applications may not be compatible.

Alas, older computers may not support the newer, memory-hogging operating systems.

This means you may have to buy a new computer, or see if your old one can be upgraded. (There is software that helps you do that.  Here's the story of the upgrade of a 2005 laptop.)

If you are a big organization and have to migrate a lot of computers, you have to get started right away because it's a glitchy process.  Here's some advice for you.

If you don't know your operating system, right click on "My Computer" or "Computer," then click on "Properties."

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Brooklyn Diver Dies; Yellow Dogs Memorial; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A deep-water diver from Brooklyn dies after trying for a record. [NY Times]

- In the wake of the Yellow Dogs tragedy, on Monday (11/18) at Brooklyn Bowl there will be a "Special Memorial Evening / Fundraiser" with Nada Surf, Luke Temple, James Chance. [Brooklyn Vegan]

- Subway train kills urinating man in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens station late Saturday. [NY Daily News]

- MTA to offer "nostalgia" bus and train rides for the holidays, running train cars from the 1930s -1970s and vintage buses. [MTA]

- Reverand Billy faces  a year in jail for putting on an educational performance about JP Morgan Chase inside a Chase bank. Almost 5,000 people have asigned a petition. [Change.org]

- Brooklyn filmmaker pays homage to Coney cult film 'The Warriors.' [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Just noticed this: Brooklyn’s City Point lands first office tenant: photo and fashion rep agency Art Partner. [Observer]

- Video: The cutest bath ever given to two newborn twins. [Gawker]

- From the JFK assassination to weather control and the New World Order: 50 years of conspiracy theory. [NY Magazine]

[Wall Street Journal]

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Pier 3 Uplands: Another Beautiful Chunk of Brooklyn Bridge Park Falls Into Place

New Pier 3 uplands. Photos: MK Metz
A beautiful new six-acre section of Brooklyn Bridge Park opened over the weekend, upland of Pier 3. Now that it's here, we don't know how we did without it.

On Saturday runners made full use of the greenway, above.

Other sections include lawns and the first of the park’s 30-foot sound attenuating hills.

On the right you can see the rear of a granite terrace area. Make sure you climb up there and look around, the views are excellent.

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$62 Million Downtown Brooklyn Post Office FaƧade Repair Job Is in Its 6th year

FaƧade repair, Downtown Brooklyn Post Office.
Photos by MK Metz

The $62 million faƧade repair and roof replacement job at the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, at 271 Cadman Plaza East in Downtown Brooklyn, continues.

The contract was awarded to Nicholson & Galloway, Inc. in 2009. According to government records, the work is now more than 50% done.

Here's a list of all the contractors and subcontractors, and how much their contracts are worth.

For example, Iron Eagle Environmental Services, a subcontractor, has a contract worth $1,125,000. International Bird Control Systems, Inc., has a contract worth $470,000.(Yes, birds can damage a building.)

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Report: Emotionally Disturbed Person with Gun in Prospect Heights Sunday Afternoon

Photo: Google
 From the scanner:

NYPD were called in at roughly 3:30 p.m. on Sunday about an EDP (emotionally disturbed person) with a firearm in an apartment building on Lincoln Place between Underhill and Washington, in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

No further information was available.

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Police: Suspicious Wired 'Mechanism' on the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday. Dangerous Lock of Love?

From the scanner:

A suspicious package was reported at roughly 3:30 p.m. and again 3:40p.m. on the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday afternoon.

The caller reported that a person wearing a backpack and a black hat had left on the bridge a "mechanism the size of a cell phone with wires sticking out of it."

Upon questioning, the mysterious person rushed along the bridge walkway towards the Manhattan side.

Photo: MK Metz
At the same time, in a possibly unrelated incident, a padlock with wires attached to it was discovered by an NYPD officer at around 3:45 p.m.

Could this be a wired Lock of Love?

Update at 4:10 p.m.: Officers are walking along the footpath checking this out.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

BREAKING: Gov. Cuomo Gets Involved in LICH; SUNY Contempt Trial on Hold

The Brooklyn Eagle is reporting that Monday's contempt hearing against the thugs at SUNY has been put on hold for four weeks as LICH stakeholders try to work out a tranition to new operators.

The reason? Gov. Cuomo has finally realized that Brooklyn is disgusted with what is going on at LICH. That plus the fact that 20 state-employees are charged with contempt...

More here.

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McCarren Ice Rink; Interfaith Bankruptcy; and More Brooklyn Briefs

 - Womenswear designer Eileen Fisher is scouting for a Brooklyn location. [Racked]

- Gowanus Canal zone steadily becoming the next Dumbo. [NY Daily News]

- Brooklyn judge orders mediation in Interfaith bankruptcy case -- closing put on hold. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Coney Island Hospital made it to the top 10 list of most affordable hospitals in New York State, and number one in the five boroughs. [Sheepshead Bites]

- McCarren Ice Rink opens today at 11 a.m. [Brownstoner]

- A dolphin was stranded in Coney Island Creek yesterday. [Bensonhurst Bean]

- There was once a plan to build a central vacuume cleaner under NYC. [Gizmodo]

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Better Have a Will If You Plan to Die In Brooklyn

Photo: MSVG
The unwritten rule in the bad old days was that dying intestate (without a will) in Brooklyn could pretty much wipe out your estate.

It turns out those bad days never went away.

Two employees of the Kings County Public Administrator’s office have been convicted for embezzling $2.6 million from Brooklyn estates, the Eagle reports.

That's the office that administers your estate if you don't have a will.

Between 2008 and 2011, Richard Paul and Taryn Miller stole $2,617,000 from seven decedents’ estates in Brooklyn.

It's a shame it happened, but it reinforces the old advice: Make that will!

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

John Liu Is Still Running Like the Energizer Bunny

Photo: MK Metz
Calling John Liu the "indefatigable" city controller, the NY Daily News describes his normal workaday: Thursday, Liu has fully 10 events on his public schedule.

One of his two breakfasts includes a 10:15 a.m. meal with the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Brooklyn. But he's got events in Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens as well.

By comparison, Mayor Bloomberg's schedule lists three events, and Gov. Cuomo's says only that he's "in New York City." (Is he trying to repair his unraveling reputation after letting SUNY practically destroy Long Island College Hospital?)

Could Liu be readying to run for another position after his failed mayoral attempt? Politicker thinks that may be the case.

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LICH, Interfaith Hospitals In the Headlines in Brooklyn

Two threatened Brooklyn hospitals -- Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill and Interfaith Medical Center in Bed-Stuy -- have hit the headlines today.

Photo: Concerned Physicians of LICH
20 high-ranking SUNY and DOH administrators, including SUNY's entire board of trustees, have been ordered to appear before Justice Baynes to answer for their actions regarding Long Island College Hospital (LICH). If found guilty of contempt charges, the defendants face “a fine or imprisonment, or both.” Never thought once-respected SUNY would let it come to this. More here.

Photo: MK Metz
Chief Bankruptcy Judge Carla E. Craig held off on ruling on Interfaith Medical Center’s closure on Wednesday, urging stakeholders to enter into mediation to work out a compromise. This may give stakeholders room to negotiate and possibly line up more serious suitors. More here.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Volunteer Reunion in Park Slope Tuesday Night

Sandy volunteers in Red Hook. Photo: MK Metz
From Park Slope Parents:

"A year after Hurricane Sandy left thousands without homes and basic necessitite, several Brooklyn organizations are holding a reunion for volunteers and donors who came together during those trying times to lend a hand to victims of the hurricane.

The reunion is taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 6pm-9pm at Beth Elohim in Park Slope.

Volunteers and donors who gathered in the weeks following the hurricane at Masbia, the John Jay High School and Park Slope Armory shelters, Congregation Beth Elohim, the Sandy Relief Kitchen, and through the Old Stone House and Park Slope Parents will come together to reconnect, reflect and share a dinner catered by the Masbia soup kitchen network that provided over 20,000 hot meals to victims at the Armory throughout their stay.

The dinner menu will include foods that have a Sandy connection, such as Tzimmes, a traditional Jewish carrot stew that for logistical reasons became a mainstay in the food served to victims after the hurricane, and a chickpea soup based on a recipe given to Masbia Chef Ruben Diaz by food writer Melissa Clark that is regularly served at the soup kitchen and also during Sandy. All the meat is being donated by Aaron’s Best, the same brand that donated thousands of dollars’ worth of meat for Sandy relief.

“As they say, it takes a village,” said Alexander Rapaport, Executive Director of Masbia soup kitchen network. “There were people who donated money, people who donated goods, people who volunteered their time, people who tweeted, people who blogged, and all of them made it possible to respond to the intense crises. During the chaos there was no way of saying thank you or to get to know each other, and we hope that this reunion will give us a chance to do that.”

The program will include artwork from evacuees during their stay at the Park Slope Armory YMCA, music, and a photo slideshow. Starting at 6pm, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a one hour writing workshop to share their Sandy stories, led by the New York Writers Coalition."

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Help Kids in Philippines Now: Text RELIEF to 864233 to donate $10 to UNICEF

UNICEF is rushing emergency supplies to areas of the Philippines ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan (AKA: Yolanda) on November 8, as the latest estimates indicate that up to 4 million children could now be affected by the disaster.

Death estimates have been as high as 10,000.

Text RELIEF to 864233 to donate $10 to UNICEF

Food for children, health kits, water and hygiene kits to support up to 3,000 families in the affected areas have already been mobilized, with distribution prioritized for the Tacloban area as soon as access is possible.

UNICEF’s warehouse in Copenhagen is airlifting US$1.3 million worth of additional supplies for another 10,000 families, including those affected by the recent earthquake in Bohol. The shipments contain water purification tablets, soap, medical kits, tarpaulins, and micronutrient supplements.

More here.

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VIDEO: NYPD Saves a Man Threatening to Jump Off the Verrazano Bridge Monday

From InsideNYPD:

"At roughly 10 a.m. Monday morning, police responded to a 911 call of a suicidal male along the Verrazano Bridge. The man, who had driven a Dodge Caravan Brooklyn bound along the upper level of the bridge, left the vehicle with the hazards lights on and climbed out onto the outer cables.

Detective Jeffrey Loughery, Detective Paul Fazio and Police Officer Robert Reed of Emergency Service Squad 5 arrived and suited up in their safety harnesses.

Officer Reed began speaking to the individual, who was upset that he could not find a job and provide for his family. Officer Reed then moved out to him until the men were approximately five feet apart. The individual was standing on a ledge with both hands gripped around the cables and turned his body while wrapping his other arm around the cables.

Detectives Loughery and Fazio, believing the man was preparing to jump, quickly moved in and secured him with a safety harness and a rescue line. He was then brought to the safety of the roadbed and removed by EMS to Staten Island University North Hospital."

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Senator Schumer Is Squawking About Plan To Import Chicken from China

Photo: Watt Publishing
Thank goodness Sen. Chuck Schumer is speaking out against the plan to send U.S.-raised chickens to China, let the Chinese process them into food products, and then ship them back for us to eat.

This is the country that is killing our pets with poisoned jerky treats; where people won't let their children play in the cancer-causing yellow air; where tens of thousands of diseased, bloated hog carcasses float in the Huangpu river.

China has essentially no food safety rules whatsoever.

What does our country say about Schumer's concerns?

The USDA says that the senator is overreacting.

More at Grubstreet.

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Motorcycle - Car Collision on BQE Under Brooklyn Heights Promenade Monday p.m.

From the scanner: a collision has taken place on the BQE under the Brooklyn Heights Promenade near the Cadman Plasa West exit.

Word came in from dispatch around 6 p.m. Monday.

No further information is available.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

MetroCard Vending Machines Broke In One Quarter of the NYC Subway System Thursday Morning

By MShades, Flickr
Just as the city moves to close down token booths in 25 subway token booths...

Riders at 126 subway stations — one quarter of the entire system — were unable to buy MetroCards with credit or debit cards at vending machines for hours Thursday morning because of technical problems, the NY Daily News reports.

What will riders do when the token booths close?

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SUNY Flip-Flops Again! Ambulances Coming Back to LICH Friday

LICH is open. Again. Photo: MK Metz
 "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

By any definition SUNY Downstate has proven itself to be absolutely INSANE!

On Wednesday night SUNY said it was halting admissions to Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill -- AGAIN -- and forbidding ambulances from bringing patients to the ER -- AGAIN.

Less than 24 hours later, after being threatened with contempt charges -- AGAIN -- they dropped this illegal action and promised to restore admissions and ambulance service on Friday. (More on this at the Brooklyn Eagle.)

They did this same thing last summer and were ordered to restore services to July 19 levels. They appealed. They lost.

A week ago, SUNY threatened to lay off 500 nurses and other employees at LICH -- AGAIN. After being threatened with litigation -- AGAIN -- SUNY dropped its threat.

Over and over, SUNY had tried the same illegal actions, has been brought to court, and has lost.

In the meantime they have drained LICH of patients, doctors and resources and have lost millions and millions of dollars.

This is 100 percent, certifiably insane.

SUNY agrees to restore ambulances, ‘limited admissions,’ at LICH on Friday [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Brooklyn Kids: Rolie Polie Guacamole Concert, 'Mermaids' Book Reading on Nov. 10

Got kids? Check out the Hip Tot Music Festival on Sunday November 10th at 11 a.m., featuring a live music concert with Rolie Polie Guacamole.

Added bonus: Before the show, kids will enjoy a book reading with Brooklyn's own author/ illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg, the genius behind "Mermaids On Parade," one of the top five NYC picture books for kids.

Festival takes place at Shape Shifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn

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8,000 People Visited the Brooklyn Night Bazaar Last Weekend

Photo: Jon Gordon
The Brooklyn Night Bazaar kicked off in Greenpoint last weekend with crowds of over 8,000, organizers say.

Expect something similar this coming weekend, with performances from The Low Anthem, Robert Ellis and Grandchildren, followed by Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Ski Lodge and Pearl & The Beard.

More than 90 food and artist vendors will be participating.
Walk in freezer table tennis and black-light miniature golf are also available for sporting types.

Dates: Friday and Saturday Nights
Time: 6PM to Midnight
Location: 165 Banker Street, Brooklyn NY 11222

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The Shining City Across the Water from Brooklyn

Photo: MK Metz
It's big and shiny, and we get to look at it but we don't have to live there!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

BREAKING: SUNY Just Shut Down Admissions and Ambulances at Long Island College Hospital (LICH) Tonight

SUNY Downstate has just tonight (Wednesday) ended admissions and banned ambulance service to Long Island College Hospital (LICH), the unfortunate hospital in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn it took over two years ago.

A crowd of patients, nurses and other supporters gathered outside the hospital late into the night to talk about the next steps in this debacle, as ambulances stood waiting to haul patients to who knows where. Typical of SUNY to do this kind of thing "in the dead of the night," as nurses told the Brooklyn Eagle.

State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes has ordered SUNY -- numerous times -- to keep LICH open to the same degree it was operating on July 19.

SUNY has not for a moment taken his orders seriously, even after losing in Appellate Court in October.

The last time SUNY banned ambulances at LICH waiti times shot up to 8, 9, or more hours at ERs across Brooklyn, and some people likely died who didn't have to.

So here's where we are.

Not again! SUNY ends admissions, bans ambulances at Long Island College Hospital [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Congratulations, Mayor de Blasio

One New York.
Photo: MK Metz

Bill de Blasio swept the Mayoral race with roughly 74 percent percent of the vote on Tuesday, versus almost 25 percent for Joe Lhota.

The first Democratic mayor in two decades, voters of every race, age and income level backed him.

"Make no mistake: the people of this city have chosen a progressive path, and tonight we set forth on it, together, as one city,” he said in his acceptance speech at the Park Slope Armory.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Election Day Advice from Brooklyn's Community Board 6

We received these helpful hints from CB6 concerning today's election:

There's a few things you need to know for this Election Day, Tuesday, November 5th.

First, some poll sites have changed AGAIN in some cases since the October Run-off Election! Re-check anything you may have recently received from the Board of Elections, or use their online Poll Site locator by inputting your home address (according to voting records) at this link:

Second, there are a total of 6 referenda on the ballot. They are located ON THE BACK of the scannable ballot you will receive at the Poll Site. They are written in fine print. If you have the time it would probably make a lot of sense to read them over before you go to vote. You may even want to write down how you want to vote on these propositions and bring it with you to your poll site. Bring your reading glasses! The Campaign Finance Board offers not only the proposition language, but also provides some non-partisan reasons for and against each one. You can find the language here on the CFB website:

Lastly, for those of you who live anywhere near the Park Slope Armory on 8th Avenue (between 14th and 15th Streets) please be advised that the de Blasio campaign has selected this site for a post-election party. Residents in the area should have received a flyer/letter from the campaign directly.

More helpful stuff: Gotham Gazette has published a "Guide for the Last Minute Voter."

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4,000 Rabbis; Sheepshead Bay Sandy Scammer; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Hamill: Bill de Blasio should stay in Brooklyn, forget Gracie Mansion. [NY Daily News]

- After the election, "New York City is going to be an exciting laboratory" of progressive ideas, says City Councilman Brad Lander. [Politico]

- Feds bust Sheepshead Bay homeowner for scamming Sandy funds. [Sheepshead Bites]

- A beloved Brooklyn Heights woman has passed away after living a quietly extraordinary life. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Photo: More than 4,000 rabbis in Crown Heights. [NY Daily News]

- The Chinese investment group that owns 70 percent of Ratner's Atlantic Yards development, has laid out an eight-year timeline to finish construction. [Curbed]

- Another Obamacare horror story debunked. [LA Times]

- Don't keep your laptop plugged in all the time. [Wired]

- Dozens of deadly spiders burst from banana as woman prepares to eat it. Comments are worth reading, too. [Gawker]

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From the Scanner: Man On Top of a NYC Subway Train. This Isn't Ending Well

A man was reported on top of Car 95 of a subway train at Church Ave. at about 2:22 a.m. early Tuesday morning.

911 Dispatcher: "Did the person climb on top of the train?"

UPDATE: Reported to dispatch at 2:31 a.m.: The F train Queensbound will be powered off.

UPDATE 2:32 a.m.: "Individual laying on top of the train. Serious injury. We have FD coming up with a ladder to remove him."

UPDATE: 2:34 a.m.: "We have a confirmed body on train, still alive. We're in the process of removing him. Let me know if power is off."

UPDATE: 3:04 a.m.: "We're going to have ESU go down and check under the train."

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Scanner: Shots Fired at 1670 Pacific Street, Brooklyn, and Unruly Crowd of Teens Early Tuesday Morning

A call came over the scanner at 12:29 a.m. Tuesday morning of 3 or more shots fired at 1670 Pacific Street (near Schenectady) in Brooklyn, about two blocks from Interfaith Medical Center in Bed-Stuy/ Crown Heights.

The 911 dispatcher said people were running.

At the same time, a call came in reporting 40 -50 teens unruly teens (kicking over garbage cans) on Dean Street heading towards Wyckoff Projects.

UPDATE: the unruly teens at 12:35 were reported on Kingston Ave near Park Place, six or seven blocks from where shots were heard. UPDATE: Now at 183 Kingston Ave., across the street from Brower Park.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Interfaith Gets Another Week and a Day Before Bankruptcy Ruling

Interfaith supporters outside Bankruptcy Court. Photo: MK Metz
A Brooklyn judge agreed to extend bankruptcy proceedings for Brooklyn's Interfaith Medical Center for a week and a day, until November 13.

This may or may not give hospital supporters time to cobble together some sort of solution to its financial mess, the inevitable result of deep Medicaid and Medicare cuts. Interfaith serves Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights.

While suitors have expressed some interest in the hospital or just its clinics, Chief Bankruptcy Judge Carla E. Craig questioned where the funds would come from while a solution is worked out. “The point here is the passage of time is eroding funds available to implement the orderly closure of the hospital and pay creditors,” she said.

Tick tock.

More here.

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Coveted 'I Voted' Sticker for NYC Election is Back!

Did you miss out on the "I Voted" stickers they were giving out at polling places during the Primary? Did you, like us, forget to ask for one and then get really bummed out when you saw all your friends wearing them?

NYC Votes and the New York City Board of Elections announced today that "I Voted" stickers will again be available at all poll sites in New York City on Tuesday, November 5.

Voters should remember to ask for their sticker at the polls! (Polls are open from 6am-9pm)

Let your friends know you voted by posting a photo of yourself wearing the sticker to social media. NYC Votes will collect photos for the "Voters of New York" photo album. Use the hashtag #IVoteNYC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Interesting factoid: The sticker was designed by Zoe Markman, a 10-year-old Upper East Side resident. Zoe's design featuring the Statue of Liberty won the NYC Vote's #IVoteNYC Sticker Contest this summer.

NYC Votes sponsors the city’s official Debate Program and produces the citywide Voter Guide.

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Daniel Colen Snags $2.6 Million Duplex in Brooklyn Heights; Woman Arrested For Buying Sprite; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Bad-boy artist Daniel Colen, who has shown his work at spaces such as the Whitney, paid $2.6 million for a duplex at 71 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights. [TRD]

- Brooklyn D.A. Charles J. Hynes publishes Yiddish ad that calls child sex abuse victims, anti-abuse activists "dregs of the Jewish community." [Failed Messiah]

- Interfaith Hospital supporters and Bill de Blasio to ask bankruptcy judge for more time.[Brooklyn Eagle]

- A Brooklyn woman is suing the city and the NYPD for arresting her after she bought a bottle of Sprite from her local bodega, and then lying about why they arrested her. [Gothamist]

- Harry Belafonte equated the Koch brothers with the Ku Klux Klan while introducing Bill de Blasio at a church in Harlem. [Observer Politicker]

- Police have charged the driver of the SUV that struck and killed a 9-year-old boy in Fort Greene yesterday with criminally negligent homicide. [Gothamist]

- Was it a new iPad? Naw -- just lipstick. 760 people lined up outside the new Sephora in Downtown Brooklyn early Friday morning. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- NYC Housing Authority is spending $8M on lawyers to fight tenants requesting repairs or necessities, like hot water. [TRD]

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Complete List of Street Closings for Sunday's NYC Marathon

Click to enlarge
 The NYC Marathon on Sunday, November 3 will wind its way through all five boroughs, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you're thinking about driving anywhere, best check this list of street closures provided by the NYPD  before you set out:

Staten Island Portion
Bay Street between Richmond Terrance and School Road
School Road between Bay Street and Staten Island Expressway
Verrazano Narrows Bridge to 92nd street

Brooklyn Portion
Dahlgren Place between Verrazano Bridge and 92nd Street (North Bound)
92nd Street between Dahlgren Place and 4th Avenue
4th Avenue between 92nd Street and Flatbush Avenue
Flatbush Avenue between 4th Avenue and Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn Queens Expressway (South-bound) between Verrazano Bridge and 79th Street
7th Avenue between 79th Street and 75th Street / Bay Ridge Parkway
7th Avenue between 74th Street and 75th Street
74th Street between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue
6th Avenue between 74th Street and 75th Street
Bay Ridge Parkway between 7th Avenue and 4th Avenue
92nd Street between Gatling Place and Fort Hamilton Parkway
Fort Hamilton Parkway between 92nd Street and 94th Street
94th Street between Fort Hamilton Parkway and 4th Avenue (North-bound)
4th Avenue between 94th Street and Flatbush Avenue (South-bound)
Bedford Avenue between Lafayette Avenue and Nassau Avenue
Nassau Avenue between Bedford Ave / Lorimer St and Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Avenue between Nassau Avenue and Greenpoint Avenue
Greenpoint Avenue between Manhattan Ave and McGuiness Boulevard
McGuiness Boulevard between Greenpoint Avenue and 48th Avenue
Pulaski Bridge (South-bound)

Queens Portion
Pulaski Bridge (South-bound)
48th Avenue between 11th Street and Vernon Boulevard
Vernon Boulevard between 48th Avenue and 10th Street
10th Street between Vernon Boulevard and 44th Drive
44th Drive between 10th Street and Hunter Street
Hunter Street between 44th Drive and Crescent Street
Crescent Street between Hunter Street and Queens Plaza South
Queens Plaza South between Crescent Street and 23rd Street
23rd Street between Queens Plaza South and Queens Plaza North
Queensboro Bridge (East-bound)

Bronx Portion
Willis Avenue Bridge / Willis Avenue
135th Street between Willis Avenue and Alexander Avenue
Alexander Avenue between 135th Street and 138th Street
138th Street between Alexander Avenue and Morris Avenue
Morris Avenue between 138th Street and 140th Street
140th Street between Morris Avenue and Rider Avenue
Rider Avenue between 140th Street and 138th Street
138th Street between Rider Avenue and Madison Avenue Bridge

Manhattan Portion
1st Avenue between 59th Street and Willis Avenue Bridge
Queensboro Bridge (Vehicle Entrance Ramp East-bound)
59th Street between 59th Street Bridge and 1st Avenue
Madison Avenue Bridge
Madison Avenue between 138th Street and 124th Street
124th Street between Madison Avenue and Mount Morris Park West
Mount Morris Park West between 124th Street between 120th Street
120th Street between Mount Morris Park West and 5th Avenue
5th Avenue between 120th Street and 90th Street
90th Street between 5th Ave and East Drive (Central Park South-bound)
East Drive between 90th Street and Central Park South
Central Park South between 5th Ave and 8th Ave (Central Park West)
Central Park Driveway
West Drive (To Finish at Tavern on the Green)
The above streets will be closed for this event

Manhattan 7 a.m. to n:  6:30 p.m.

Central Park West between Columbus Circle and W 65th Street
W 61st Street between Central Park West and Broadway
W 62nd Street between Central Park West and Broadway
W 63rd Street between Central Park West and Broadway
W 64th Street between Central Park West and Broadway
W 65th Street between Central Park West and Broadway

Note: All pedestrians entering the family reunion area on Central Park West will pass thru security checkpoints at West 61st-65th Streets and CPW

W 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
Note: All ticketholders entering the finish line bleachers will pass thru a security checkpoint at West 66th Street and Central Park West

Central Park West between 66th and 86th Streets
W 67th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
W 68th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
W 69th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
W 70th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
W 71st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
W 72nd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
W 77th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
W 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
W 85th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue

Note: Access to Museum of Natural History is on West 77th -81st Streets from Columbus Ave.

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NYC Public Payphone Map: How Many Are Left?

How many public payphones are left in New York City?

The city's Independent Budget Office (IBO) put together this map of every payphone in the city, and supplied some interesting numbers as well.

In January 2013 there were 11,249 working payphones in public locations citywide, a decline of almost 50 percent since 2008.

* The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island have seen decreases of about 60 percent.

* The number of payphones has fallen 33 percent in Manhattan and 52 percent in Queens.

Current payphone vendor agreements expire in 2014. Earlier this year the city asked for ideas to "reinvent payphones." Responses included turning phone booths into "info centers" and "digital nodes." One idea calls for turning pay phones into:

"... a distributed sensor network providing real-time and hyper-local records of the city’s rain levels, pollution and other environmental conditions."

Even though the  number of pay phones has decreased dramatically, the city is still making money off the phone booths:

* The city collects 10 percent of revenue from calls placed from pay phones

* The city collects 36 percent of revenue from advertisements on the pay phones.

* City revenue from calls has declined steadily since 2008.

* City revenue from advertising has increased sharply since 2010.

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First 100 at Brooklyn's New Sephora on Friday Get $$$ Gift Cards; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Photo: MK Metz
- The first 100 people to show up at Downtown Brooklyn's newest Sephora this morning will get gift cards worth up to $1000. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- An NYPD detective shot himself to death Thursday night, parked in front of the 66th Precinct station house in Borough Park. [NY Daily News]

- Catsimatidis says he'd be doing much better against de Blasio right now. [Politicker]

- NYC Halloween Parade photos. [Brooklyn Vegan

- Unveiled at KosherFest this week: Kosher diapers, and the world’s largest chicken nugget, weighing over 45 pounds. [The Jewish Star]

- Everything you need to know about the "Ender's Game" controversy. [Vulture]

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A Third of Brooklyn Families Are on Food Stamps, and Their Benefits Are Being Cut Today

Photo: Pasa47, Flickr
Some discouraging news: A third of families with children in Brooklyn are receiving food stamps (now called SNAP).

As reported in the Brooklyn Eagle, 56 to 63 percent of families with children in Borough Park and East New York receive food stamps, while in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Flatlands and Sunset Park, 50 –56 percent receive the benefits.

These families are going to have less to eat starting todday, as nationwide food stamp cuts go into effect. Soup kitchens are calling for cash donations.

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Did You Miss the Empire State Building's Halloween Light Show? Here's the Video

The Empire State Building put on a heck of a light show Halloween night -- with spook classics simulcast on Z100 and KTU.

The dancing, animated LEDs were choreographed by lighting designer Marc Brickman to the soundtrack which included "This Is Halloween" and "Ghostbusters."

We could see the show from the top of a tall building in Downtown Brooklyn, but if you missed it, hope you enjoy the video.

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