Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Marijuana Smoker on 2 Train Claims He Has a Bomb Strapped to His Body

From the scanner:

Emergency responders are headed to the 2 train at Flatbush after receiving a report of a man smoking marijuana and claiming to have a bomb strapped to his body.

The call came in at roughly 10:25 p.m. Wednesday night. 

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Brooklyn Chipotle Apologizes; 70,000 Apply for 35 Apartments; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Christmas in DUMBO. Photo: MK Metz
 - More than 70,000 people applied for affordable housing at a Williamsburg building with just 38 units. [DNAinfo]

- 18-year-old girl fights off mugger in Fort Greene. [Brooklyn Paper]

- Chipotle apologizes for Brooklyn Heights worker’s police protest. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- NYT Editorial slams NYC police for "walking off the job" in fight with de Blasio. Traffic and parking tickets fall 92%.  [NYT]

- Grimm resignation fires up speculation on replacement. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Customers created a petition against 'Annie' for whitewashed Target ads. [NY Magazine]

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Google Lists Its 'Most Searched' Trends for 2014; 'Mutant Giant Spider Dog' Heads YouTube Videos

"Mutant Giant Spider Dog" was the most searched for video in 2014, says Google.

Google has compiled its "most searched" trend lists for 2014 in a number of categories.

The most searched term overall this year was Robin Williams, the acclaimed comedian and actor who committed suicide in August. (Searches for World Cup, Ebola, Malaysia Airlines and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge followed Williams.)

The most searched person was actress Jennifer Lawrence (who is also 2014's highest grossing actress.)

Soccer player James Rodriguez was the most seaarched athlete.

In the consumer electronics category, the iPhone 6 was the term most searched on Google.

In terms of global news, Ebola led the list.

The most searched YouTube video? "Mutant Giant Spider Dog," embedded above. This video went viral, and now has roughly 122,964,896 views.

More of 2014's Google Trends.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Rep. Michael Grimm to Resign, Sources Tell Daily News

Photo: Courtesy Grimm
Rep. Michael Grimm has decided to resign from Congress in the wake of his guilty plea on a felony tax evasion charge, sources told the Daily News Monday night.

According to the News, he reversed course after speaking Monday to House Speaker John Boehner, "who has taken a hard line on GOPers facing ethics charges."

Michael Grimm has decided to resign from Congress days after pleading guilty: sources [Daily News]

Previously: Brooklyn Congressman Grimm Masquerades as Waiter, Fumes As Vast Conspiracy Falls Apart

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NYPD Police Academy Grads Show Class During Ceremony

 If all of the new NYPD recruits are like the latest Police Academy grads, relations between cops and citizens might actually improve.

While some observers in the peanut gallery on Monday heckled Mayor de Blasio and did the back-turning thing in the middle of a proud graduation ceremony for more than 800 NYPD recruits, the class of 2014 acted like the calm professionals NYC needs.

NYPD Police Academy grads rise above de Blasio heckling at ceremony [Brooklyn Eagle]

Photo grabbed from NYC video of event

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NYPD Officer Liu's Funeral Set, Mob Wives Stabbing, and Brooklyn Briefs

Consider a year-end donation to Brooklyn's Grace Choral Society
- NYPD chief says cops turning their backs on de Blasio during funeral was "inappropriate." [NY Magazine] 

- The funeral for police Officer Wenjian Liu, one of two 84th Precinct officers fatally shot in Brooklyn, has been set for Sunday. [WSJ]

- Brooklyn man arrested after stabbing his sister and fighting cops in NJ. [NBC]

- The boyfriend of "Mob Wives" star Natalie Guercio was stabbed in a Brooklyn nightclub over the weekend. [amny]

- Michael Bloomberg keeps vow to stay silent on Bill de Blasio's first year as mayor. [Daily News]

- Gov. Cuomo wants the state Gaming Commission to reopen bidding for a casino in the Southern Tier, breaking his promise to leave the siting decisions solely up to the board. [PressConnects]

- The head of the agency searching for AirAsia Flight 8501 said he believed the plane was “at the bottom of the sea." [NY Times]

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Twitter Is Down for Many Users (Sunday, Dec. 28)

Can't log into your Twitter account?  A large number of Twitter users are blocked from accessing their accounts tonight (Sunday). The problem started around 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

According to Twitter Status, "Our engineers are currently working to resolve this."

According to Engadget, the problem could be that the company's servers believe it's already 2015.

According to Straitstimes,"Users reported problems on the Twitter application for Android and iPhone smartphones, while tweets on the computer application TweetDeck were showing up as having been posted a year ago."

Many users trying to log directly in to Twitter are also having problems.

Rather have a conspiracy?

One more...

And some advice:

UPDATE: It's fixed, Twitter says:
"Between 4:00 and 9:25 PST today some users were unable to sign in to twitter.
This issue was due to a bug in our front end code, which has been patched.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this."

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays, from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn BP Eric Adams sends us a video holiday message on Christmas Eve.

In it, he looks at the challenges the borough has faced this year and invites residents to the free exhibit of ancient manuscripts of St. Francis of Assisi at Borough Hall.

“The message of peace they convey are so timely during this holiday season,” he said.

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Tunnel to Towers Foundation to Pay Mortgages of 84th Precinct's NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu

Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Photo: MK Metz
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation will take over mortgage payments for fallen 84th Precinct Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Frank Siller, Chairman and CEO of the foundation, said on Tuesday.

The officers were gunned down in cold blood on Saturday in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Siller said in a statement that he realized the foundation had to help out when he heard Cuomo raising concerns about the mortgage on Officer Liu's house.

The mission of the foundation is to honor the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001.

On that day, Stephen had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1 in Park Slope. He was on his way to play golf with his brothers when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. When he heard the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later, and then returned to Squad 1 to get his gear.

Stephen drove his truck to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it was already closed. So he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back, rushed on foot through gridlocked traffic and ran from the Tunnel to the Towers where he gave up his life while saving others.

Tunnel to Towers is set to hold a press conference Friday to announce the details, according to Gov. Cuomo.

To contribute, visit the Tunnel to Towers website.

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Brooklyn Shootings, and Another One Near Ferguson

- Police step up security at two Brooklyn stationhouses after reports of being targeted by Baltimore gang. [Daily News]

- One of the two police officers who was ambushed and assassinated in Bed-Stuy on Saturday, Rafael Ramos, was a noted graffiti artist in Brooklyn before he joined the NYPD. [Buzzfeed]

- The Brooklyn District Attorney says his office busted a gun-smuggling ring that used commercial flights to illegally bring weapons to New York. [NY1]

- Two employees were shot during an attempted robbery at an appliance store in Borough Park. [7online]

- Brooklyn man wounded in shootout with NYPD cops convicted, may face 40 years in prison. [Daily News]

- Large crowd gathers nears Ferguson after police reportedly shoot teen Antonio Martin. [Buzzfeed]

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Rally to Support NYPD in Borough Park on Tuesday, 1 p.m.

Photo: MK Metz
NYC Councilman Greenfield has organized a community rally to show support for the NYPD following Saturday's brutal murders of 84th Precinct police officers Liu and Ramos in Bedford Stuyvesant.

Greenfield, other community leaders and local residents will gather in front of Brooklyn's 66th Precinct.

The rally takes place on Tuesday December 23, at 1 p.m., at 5822 16th Avenue.

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Petition to Save Coney Island's Wooden Boardwalk

Coney Island Boardwalk, after being damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Photo: NYC Parks Dept.
 Council members Treyger and Deutsch launched a petition calling on the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission to designate Coney Island's historic Riegelmann Boardwalk (dubbed “Coney Island’s Fifth Avenue”) as an official scenic landmark.

Why? The city wants to replace the iconic wooden planks, damaged during Superstorm Sandy, with cement.

For more details and a link to the petition, see Sheepshead Bites.

According to the NYC Parks Department, Riegelmann Boardwalk has been reconstructed numerous times since 1923, and many portions are now made of "sturdy Bethabara, Ekki, and Cumaru hardwoods.

The Parks Department's job description is: "Reconstruct boardwalk with concrete substructure, including removal and resetting or replacement of accessories and ancillary site work."

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Time for Toys for Tots, in Park Slope, Gowanus, Kensington

This year the Park Slope Civic Council and Park Slope Parents are joining forces for the biggest Toys for Tots drive ever.

They've lined up over 30 locations throughout Park Slope, Gowanus and Kensington.

Now through Tuesday, Jan. 6, donate a new or very gently used unwrapped gift for children ages 12 and under. All toys collected are given to local organizations that work with families in need.

Last year, they collected over 2,000 toys that went to kids in need from organizations such as Safe Horizons, CHiPS, Crown Heights Community Mediation Center and others.

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Heartbreak at Brooklyn's 84th Precinct

Photo: MK Metz
Firefighters delivered food to Brooklyn’s 84th Precinct on Gold Street on Sunday, as neighbors left flowers at a memorial honoring police officers Wenjin Liu and Rafael Ramos.

The two officers were senselessly murdered in Bed-Stuy on Saturday.

Flowers, candlelight vigil for two murdered Brooklyn NYPD officers [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Friday, December 19, 2014

De Blasio Looking at Mass Protester Arrests; JFK PlayStation Guy; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- De Blasio fights for the right to mass arrest peaceful protesters. [Gothamist]

- Parade will bring Appalachian dancing to Flatbush Avenue. [Brooklyn Paper]

- More details about the Brooklyn man who tried to sneak a .22 semi-automatic through JFK security, hidden inside a PlayStation 2. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Closing school or staying open for the Lunar New Year will soon be in the hands of city officials. [NY1]

- Security at marijuana facilities would be extreme, under NYS's proposed medical marijuana regulations. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- In case you missed it, here's the video capturing the assault of the two police officers on the Brooklyn Bridge. [YouTube]

- Stevie Wonder just had his 9th child. [NY Daily News]

- 10 memorable moments from 'The Colbert Report.' [WSJ]

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Waiting For Brooklyn's Alamo Drafthouse....

Sony has canceled 'The Interview' because of terror threats, presumably from North Korea. So Alamo Drafthouse has decided to run ‘Team America’ in its place, reports Geeks of Doom.

Brooklyn will be missing out on this amusing movie, as we don't yet have an Alamo Drafthouse -- the movie theater where patrons have food and drinks delivered to their seats.

The closest one is in Yonkers, which Alamo calls (via its Twitter handle) AlamoNYC, which is just so wrong.

Brooklyn will soon be getting an Alamo Drafthouse, however, at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn at the Fulton Mall.

It's slated to open sometime in 2015. Just when in 2015 is still a question. Alamo has been maintaining radio silence on that for more than a year. (We'll let you know if they get back to us.)

If you've never eaten at one, here's how the food and drinks thing works: In front of the theater seats there's a long, narrow table that runs the length of the row. Patrons check off choices on a menu, then stand it up in the clip at the front of the table.

According to the Alamo website, "That paper then acts like a flag to get your waiter's attention. He'll then crouch down past everyone else and grab your order with the speed and agility of a trained ninja."

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Political Tidbits: NY's 'Dumbest Pol,' CB Term Limits, Cuomo and More

- State Senator Simcha Felder is called "New York's dumbest pol" by the Albany Project after suggesting that the recent hike in high profile crimes in Brooklyn is due to local police officers being sent to handle Eric Garner protests in Manhattan. Felder wants Cuomo to send in the National Guard to handle the protestors . . .

- The New York City Council will  see a bill on term limits introduced -- this time for community boards, says Gotham Gazette. Members would be limited to two 6-year terms. Council Member Dromm told GG: "I applaud those people who spend 30 or 40 years on a community board, and I thank them for service. But I do think we need to move things around."

- New York City public schools can no longer call 911 and send disruptive students to emergency rooms, reports WNYC. It turns out roughly 3,000 NYC kids a year -- with no medical emergencies -- are sent to the ER by teachers who can't deal with them.

- What's New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo doing for the holidays this year? He's busting a union that endorsed his primary challenger, Zephyr Teachout. Daily Kos says this union-busting move is pretty bold, even for Cuomo.

- New York taxpayers are on track to spend over $1 million to help state lawmakers keep details of their outside jobs secret, reports Capital NY.

- Russia is so screwed, says Slate. And maybe Obama's sanctions have something to do with it, says Politico.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Proposed Bill Might Prevent Hospital Disaters Like LICH from Happening Quite So Easily

Photo: MK Metz
A group of officials from Brooklyn and New York City are sponsoring a bill that would give residents a say when the state tries to close a hospital and sell its real estate to politically-connected developers, it was announced Tuesday.

The bill is called the Local Input in Community Healthcare (LICH) Act, in honor of the now-closed Long Island College Hospital (LICH), currently being sold by SUNY to Fortis Property Group for residential development.

To prevent another disgusting debacle like LICH, the bill would require local input and a community needs assessment before a hospital is closed.

Key figures in the bill are state Sen. Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember-elect Jo Anne Simon and Comptroller Scott Stringer.
They deserve a round of applause for trying to do something honest in the face of truly staggering state corruption.

Full story at the Brooklyn Eagle:
Officials announce LICH bill to give community a voice in hospital closures

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You Can Order Stuff from Brooklyn Stores on eBay and Get 'Local Valet Delivery'

 Pressed for time? There's a new thing on eBay - for $5 you can order stuff from 80 Brooklyn stores and have it "hand-delivered by a local valet" at a time you choose.

Or you can save on shipping and just pick it up.

This includes stores from Prune Danish to Best Buy, according to eBay. You could order a simple pack of paper towels or an entire computer set up.

We haven't used this service yet -- this is not an endorsement! -- but as Christmas approaches it occurs to us it might be handy.

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Historic St. Francis Manuscripts Coming to Brooklyn Borough Hall Dec. 17

Historic 12th and 13th century manuscripts relating to St. Francis of Assisi are going on display starting Dec. 17 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

"Friar Francis: Traces, Words and Images,” is the biggest exhibition ever to be held at Borough Hall.

Joe Chirico of Marco Polo Ristorante played a big role in bringing the exhibition.

“I went to Assisi, I saw the exhibition there, I saw the church where St. Francis is buried. My eyes cannot believe what I saw,” Chirico told the Eagle.

Historic exhibition of St. Francis of Assisi manuscripts coming to Brooklyn Borough Hall [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Odd Judges, Grandmas... and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn judge clears man of firing into crowd — despite testimony from 4 cops. [Daily News]

- Nurses at NY Methodist Hospital say the Park Slope hospital is understaffed. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Dress and fashion retailer Social Apparel will open its first Brooklyn location next spring in the Fulton Mall. [Commercial Observer]

- The Brooklyn Housing Court is finally officially moving to Brooklyn’s Municipal Building at 210 Joralemon Street. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- David Brooks: Elizabeth Warren has chance of being nominated. [Politico]

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Nativity Scene, at Brooklyn Borough Hall

Nativity. Photo by MK Metz
The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Brooklyn has installed its annual Nativity scene in Columbus Park at Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza.

The lawyers dedicated the scene with a blessing by Guild Moderator, Rev. Msgr. Edward B. Scharfenberger and the singing of traditional Christmas carols.

You don't have to be Catholic to find a sweetness about this annual scene.

OK, commenter, then how about: We're not Catholic but we think the whole thing (the sheep, the angels) is sweet.

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Brooklyn Borough Hall Tree Lighting to Feature Moment of Silence for Eric Garner Tonight

Photo: MK Metz
At 5 p.m. tonight (Dec. 15) Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will celebrate the holiday season by lighting the Christmas tree in Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza.

Why is this year different than any other year?

After the lighting, he will darken the lights for a moment of silence over the death of Eric Garner and in peaceful solidarity with those calling for local and national criminal justice reform.

During the silence, a member of the Brooklyn United Marching Band will strike their drum eleven times to symbolize the eleven times Garner repeated, "I can't breathe," before he lost consciousness.

Borough President Adams will speak to the importance of pursuing non-violent protest, particularly in the wake of the assault of two NYPD lieutenants during a march last night on the Brooklyn Bridge.

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More on Millions March NYC . . . Gracie Mansion is Next...

Marchers at Union Square. Photos by MK Metz
 Thousands joined the Millions March NYC, which started in Manhattan at Washington Square Park and wound through Union Square on Saturday. By the time darkness fell, the crowd had swelled to between 25,000 to 30,000, according to various news reports.

Senior citizens march for the cause.
The amazing thing was the mixture of all ages and races.

As the evening wore on, some of the protesters stayed in Manhattan, while others streamed over the bridges into Brooklyn.

The mood was good -- until some a**hole got crazy on the Brooklyn Bridge and tried to throw a metal garbage can at police officers. When police went after him, a mini-riot erupted, which ended up with two cops on the ground getting kicked by some of the protesters. One cop's nose was broken.

Marchers coming off the Brooklyn Bridge walkway onto Tillary St.
Arrested for fomenting the melee was Eric Linsker, an adjunct English professor at Baruch College.

According to the University of Iowa Press, "Eric Linsker holds degrees from Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Chicago Review, Conjunctions, and Lana Turner. " He lives in Crown Heights.

According to CBS, Linsker's attorney called the charges bogus.

Police net at Tillary and Brooklyn Bridge Blvd.
After marchers exited the Brooklyn Bridge, a police net caused them to head up Tillary Street to Flatbush. All traffic ground to a halt while the street was filled with chanting protesters.

Protestors march right up Tillary to Flatbush. Photos by MK Metz
The group split up -- some marched along Atlantic, some on Smith Street -- and then recombined at Barclays Center for a couple of different die-ins.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, police estimated that 2,000 demonstrators participated in the largest one. Another group, estimated at 1,500 by police, held a die-in in the middle of Eastern Parkway near Nostrand.

What's next? Word is protesters are unhappy that Mayor de Blasio refuses to meet with a group of them -- so they're going to the Mayor... tonight.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

MTA Wants Your Two Bits About a Fare Hike

Photo: MTA
The MTA wants to increase fares by roughly 4%.

MTA's board is soliciting public comment on two different proposals, which would take effect in March 2015 on subways, buses, and the Staten Island Railway (also bridges).

The single-ride fare increases in 25-cent increments. Changes to 7-Day and 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards are the same in both proposals.

-----> In Proposal 1, the base fare increases by 25¢, and the bonus amount is increased from 5% to 11% when putting $5.50 or more on a MetroCard.

-----> In Proposal 2, the base fare for cash, Single Ride Tickets, and Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards remains unchanged at $2.50, but the bonus for putting $5 or more on a MetroCard is eliminated.

In both proposals, the cost of a 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard increases to $116.50 and the cost of a 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard increases to $31.

More details here.

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NYC Subways May Remain Disrupted Friday Morning

The NYC subway system was bedeviled with problems Thursday night, and they may last into Friday morning.

A manhole fire totally disrupted many subway lines  after 6 p.m., causing mass delays on the A, C and E lines and further disruption on the B, D, F, M and R trains.

On top of the fire, No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 lines were hit with power outages, CBS reports.

There was also a case where the doors of a 42nd Street shuttle train at Times Square-42nd Street opened onto the tracks instead of the platform. What the heck is going on?

According to an MTA update posted at 12:09 a.m. Friday morning:

Due to ongoing signal problems at W 4 St-Washington Sq, the following service changes are in effect:
Select southbound F are running on the G line from Jackson Hts-Roosevelt Av to Bergen St.
Southbound E trains are running on the R line from Queens Plaza to Whitehall St-South Ferry.
A, B, C, D, M and R trains are running with delays in both directions.

Posted at 12:10 a.m.:
Southbound B and D trains are running with delay.
F and M train service has resumed with residual delays.

More at NY1.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sen. Squadron Holding a Town Hall in Downtown Brooklyn Thursday, Dec. 11

Photo: MK Metz
State Sen. Daniel Squadron is holding a Town Hall tonight that will focus on how to make state government work better.

Squaadron: "There are a whole lot of ways that improving the system -- whether reigning in unlimited campaign contributions, closing gaps in ethics laws, or making it easier to vote -- that will improve people's lives."

This Town Hall will be a chance to discuss a more responsive and transparent government. It taakes place Thursday, December 11th at 6:30pm at the Forchelli Conference Center at Brooklyn Law School, located at 205 State Street, 22nd Floor, in Downtown Brooklyn.

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Meeting: Councilman Levin to Speak About Brooklyn Heights Library's ULURP Process

Photo: MK Metz
City Councilmember Steve Levin will talk about the city's ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Process) in connection with the sale of the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the Community Room of 101 Clark St., Brooklyn Heights.

The event is sponsored by Citizens Defending Libraries, which is fighting the sale and redevelopment of the Heights branch.

All are welcome to attend.

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Goodbye NYC Payphones; Hello Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Rendering: LinkNYC
NYC approved on Wednesday a deal to replace New York City’s payphones with free Wi-Fi hot spots.

The city will eventually install 10,000 LinkNYC towers. Users will be able to pick up Wi-Fi on their mobile devices, make free calls within the U.S., and charge their devices. The Wi-Fi signal will extend 150 feet from each link.

The first units to be installed will offer 1 gigabit Wi-Fi speeds, enabling someone to download a 2-hr movie in under a minute. These kiosks will have dynamic advertising. A slower model (one-tenth the speed), without ads, will be installed in residential areas, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

A number of questions remain, including data security. (Such as: How can we trust with our data with the company that hid 500 trackers in Manhattan payphones last year? After they were outed by Buzzfeed in October, the mayor ordered them to rip them out.)

Also, in this city of immigrants, what do people do who lack "devices?" Payphones in hospitals and around the courthouses are still busy. What do these users do when they are replaced with Wi-Fi kiosks?

NYC approves plans to replace payphones with free Wi-Fi hotspots [Brooklyn Eagle]

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Brooklyn's Dirty Little DNC Secret, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Dirty little secret behind Brooklyn's 2016 DNC bid. [Atlantic Yards Report]

- Lena Dunham stays in Brooklyn Heights, buys $4.8 million apartment at 30 Henry St. [BHB]

- Ken Lowy on the Brooklyn Heights Cinema and future plans. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Spending a night with New York's finest rat-hunting club. [Vice]

- De Blasio cuts a labor deal with uniformed superior officers. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- On Wed., the City Council will discuss funding libraries. [Gotham Gazette]

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wild Night at Barclays Center for the Duke and Duchess: Royal Shutdown

Photo © 2014  MK Metz
 A heck of a die-in took place at Barclays Center Monday night as protesters against the Eric Garner grand jury decision pulled a "Royal Shutdown" while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were inside attending a Nets game.

"I can't breathe!" protesters chanted, in memory of Eric Garner, who told that same thing to cops before he died following a possible choke hold. Photo © 2014  MK Metz
 Cops made a number of arrests as they corralled demonstrators who tied up traffic and invaded Target at the Atlantic Center Mall.

The crowds marched over the Manhattan Bridge around midnight and blocked traffic on Broadway, then headed helter-skelter across lower Manhattan to Union Square.

Protests will be continuing all week, with a Million  March NYC planned for Saturday.

More here.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Ambulances Return to Former LICH, but Patient Numbers Low

Photo by MK Metz
NYU Langone has brought back Basic Life Support ambulances to the "walk-in" emergency department (read urgent care center) at the former Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. BLS ambulances handle less critical emergencies.

Patient volume is low -- NYU claims 25 patients a day -- even with the ambulances.

Not quite sure what niche the facility hopes to occupy. Is it a walk-in clinic for basic colds and upset tummies? EMTs say serious cases are transferred to hospitals. Wouldn't these patients be better off going directly to hospitals without a delay (and double-billing)?

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Gunfire in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Early Monday

From the scanner:

Between 5 to 8 gunshots were reported by multiple callers to 9-1-1 early Monday morning from the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The gunfire was reported at 3:15 a.m. at and around Grand Ave. and Lefferts Pl.; east of St. James and Atlantic Ave.; and at 269 St. James Pl.

Dispatchers asked police to carry out a canvass of Brooklyn hospitals to see if any injured persons showed up.

At 3:30 a.m., dispatchers asked the 84th Precinct if there was a hospital in the 84th. Police replied, "No hospital in the 84th."

Dispatch then asked the 88th Precinct to carry out the hospital canvass.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Brooklyn Housing Court to Move; Massage Parlors; Spacesuits and More Brooklyn Briefs

Chop on the East River. Photo: MK Metz
 - Brooklyn Housing Court may move to the Municipal Building. [NY Times]

- Brooklyn now the most unaffordable place to buy a home in America. [Gothamist]

- Investigators shut down nine massage parlors in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst following an investigation into alleged human trafficking. [AMNY]

- Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton unveiled a new training program for cops they hope will strengthen relations between the NYPD and the community. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- The city officially took over the McKinley Park Library branch in Dyker Heights using eminent domain. [Commercial Observer]

- What it's like to wear a spacesuit in Brooklyn. [Space]

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