Sunday, August 31, 2014

Will de Blasio's Endorsement Backfire on Pete Sikora in Brooklyn?

Simon, Biviano, Sikora. Photo: MK Metz
 On Sunday Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed Pete Sikora, running for the 52nd Assembly District in northeast Brooklyn, for a position that will be left open by the retirement of Joan Millman.

The endorsement may not help Sikora as much as he thinks, however, as he is running in a district that is not exactly enamored with de Blasio right now.

As a candidate for mayor, de Blasio received enornmous support in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook for his firmly-stated opposition to the sale of Long Island College Hospital (LICH).

In what locals see as a shocking betrayal, after the election de Blasio backed LICH's closure and sale to real estate developer Fortis Property Group. Since that time, a long, slow burn has been kindling in the 52nd -- and if anything, it only seems to be heating up.

While Sikora has a good record on LICH, the environment and other issues, De Blasio's endorsement may be enough to push undecideds into voting for Jo Anne Simon -- a strong, reform-minded activist who has made a mark over the years working on issues like traffic calming in Downtown Brooklyn, fighting the closure of LICH and opposing eminent domain at Atlantic Yards. On Friday, Simon received the backing of the New York Times.

In a recent debate, Sikora said that people were being too harsh on de Blasio for allowing LICH to be closed, and that Cuomo should be the focus of Brooklyn's ire. But Sikora is linked with Cuomo through endorsements by the Working Families Party, and now through de Blasio, who is backing Cuomo.

Residents from Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn and Williamsburg, who have no hospital, may not be in a forgiving mood.

(Johnnie-come-lately Doug Biviano is also running for Assembly in the 52nd. Biviano, however, was a no-show during the two year LICH struggle.)

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Rough Storms Hitting Brooklyn: Flooding, Thunder, High Winds on Sunday, Aug. 31

Here they come: storms moving into Brooklyn. Photo: MKMetz
The National Weather Service is warning that severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings are in effect for NYC as a line of storms are rolling in from the direction of New Jersey.

According to the NWS:

Northern Brooklyn is already getting soaked, and the storm is spreading towards the east. Thunder can be heard echoing over the canyons of the city.

High wind gusts are expected so remove small items from your balcony.  NWS said there may even be some hail.


30-minute arrival delays at the airports.The tennis matches in Flushing, Queens at the U.S. Open have been canceled.

UPDATE: Queens seems to be getting hit harder than Brooklyn.

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Zephyr Teachout, in Brooklyn, Calls LICH Deal 'Classic Corruption'

Charlene Nimmons from Wyckoff Houses, Zephyr Teachout, Rev. Williams. Photo by MK Metz
 Gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor who's an expert in public corruption, attracted a friendly crowd in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn on Saturday as she called for an investigation into the sale of Long Island College Hospital (LICH).

Some members of Brooklyn community groups who fought to save the historic hospital threw their support behind Teachout -- and castigated Gov. Andrew Cuomo for selling LICH to developer Fortis Property Group, who contributed money to his campaign.

Brooklyn was the final stop on Teachout’s statewide “whistleblower tour,” where she’s been calling out Cuomo for accepting millions in donations from a number of private interests who then benefited from gigantic state contracts.

Full story on Teachout's call for an investigation into SUNY's sale of LICH at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Cuomo, still far ahead in the polls, refuses to debate Teachout.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Welcome to Brooklyn: How Sweet It Is!

Photo: MK Metz
 This is the sign you see when you walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (to Brooklyn from Manhattan).

It's always a relief to make it back!

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Two Primary Debates Held in Prospect Heights Wednesday

Back-to-back primary debates were held in Prospect Heights on Wednesday night.

In the 52nd District, Jo Anne Simon, Doug Biviano and Pete Sikora are campaigning to replace long-time Assemblymember Joan Millman.

In state Senatorial District 20, Rubain Dorancy and Jesse Hamilton are fighting for BP Eric Adams's old seat.

Here are wrap-ups  of both, in the Brooklyn Eagle:

State Senate candidates Dorancy and Hamilton debate in Prospect Heights

Candidates for Assembly District 52 debate in Prospect Heights: Simon, Sikora and Biviano 

Another 52 Assembly District forum will take place at St. Francis College on Tuesday, September 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.). The event is sponsored by the Brooklyn Heights Blog.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Last Night: Goodbye Brooklyn Heights Cinema

After the last show at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema. Photo:MK.Metz
 The last two films to play at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema were "A Most Wanted Man" and "Magic In the Moonlight."

After the last showings Wednesday night, the little two-screen cinema shut its doors forever.

The low-rise white movie house on Henry Street in the north Heights was the "oldest and longest running independently and locally owned and operated cinema in New York City."

Musician Kenn Lowy bought the business in 2011. On the cinema's website, he says:

"We will be relocating to DUMBO in the early fall. The reason for our move is twofold. The number one reason is that nowadays there are not enough movie goers in Brooklyn Heights to sustain a two screen cinema. The other reason is that the building that the Brooklyn Heights Cinema has called home for over 40 years is being sold. While economics would have forced this move anyway, it happened now because of the impending sale."

Lowry said on Wednesday that the theater won't be moving to reBar as previously thought, but he is looking at other sites in DUMBO.

We look forward to following him there for our movie fix.

(Shout out to Willie, the former projectionist!)

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Report: Woman Forced Into Jeep in Prospect Heights

From the scanner:

By IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons
About a half hour before three shots were reported fired near St. Marks and New York avenues, a call came in to 9-1-1 that a woman was forced into a Red Jeep Cherokee just a couple of blocks away, on Sterling Place in front of the B44 bus stop.

The Jeep reportedly took off, driving west on Sterling.

The call originally came in at 12:22 a.m. early Thursday morning. Dispatch assigned a unit to investigate at 1:25 a.m. The responder said, "That's an  hour ago."

(Note: This incident was not necessarily confirmed; it is under investigation. )

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Shots Fired in Crown Heights Early Thursday, Police Catch Perp: UPDATED

Prospect Place and New York Ave., 2014 Google Streetview
From the scanner:
9-1-1 received multiple calls of three shots fired in Prospect Crown Heights, Brooklyn at about 12:50 a.m. early Thursday  morning. The shots were fired at 769 St. Marks Ave., not far from the Brooklyn Children's Museum.

Cops from the 77th Precinct are chasing a perp down Prospect Place at New York Ave.

UPDATE: The suspect, said to be wearing blue shorts, a white shirt and a blue hat, was apprehended after a short police chase.

At roughly 1 a.m., cops began a canvass of the area.

UPDATE: About two blocks away at roughly the same time, a report came in to 9-1-1 of a woman being forced into a Jeep

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LICH Nurses Win TRO Against NYU; Fortis Handover on Pause

The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) won a temporary restraining order in Brooklyn court today, meaning that SUNY's transfer of the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) emergency clinic (all that's left of the once-proud institution) to NYU is on hold.

NYU and Fortis are accused of ignoring their agreement to rehire LICH nurses, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. 

Justice Johnny Lee Baynes is on vacation. The TRO means that nothing can move forward in Cobble Hill until he returns.

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LICH Nurses Drag SUNY Back to Court Today (Wednesday)

LICH: by MK Metz
Brooklyn has been ‘snookered again,” former LICH nurses told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Nurses and other workers obtained a technical restraining order against SUNY and Fortis Property yesterday, and will have their day in state Supreme Court at noon.

The court-negotiated settlement between SUNY and the community has been broken so many times (by SUNY) that we've almost stopped keeping track.

- There was the sham RFP process itself

- There were the politicians and appointees who worked behind the scenes against LICH

- There was the promise of affordable housing (Oops);

- There was the promise to preferentially rehire LICH nurses and other health care workers (former LICH nurses need not apply)

More at Eagle

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Theater With Poor Door; and More Brooklyn Briefs

Above: Stairway closures in Brooklyn during West Indian Day Parade.

- Clinton Hill play has ‘poor door’ for cheap-ticket holders. [Brooklyn Paper]

- Brooklyn Tech teacher indicted for sexting selfies to 16-year-old also mentored engineering students. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Brooklyn political power brokers fighting over state Senate race to replace now-Borough President Eric Adams. [NY Daily News]

- The city has reached a new contract agreement with tschool safety agent, who are mostly female and make $7,000 less than other special officers. [NY1]

- The former acting director of cyber security at the Department of Health and Human Services was convicted on federal child pornography charges on Tuesday. He expressed an interest "in the violent rape and murder of children." [Business Insider]

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Brooklyn Assembly Race: Simon, Sikora and Biviano Spar on NY1 Debate

Courtesy of NY1
In the first televised debate of the 52nd Assembly District on NY1 Monday, the  three Democratic candidates battling in a primary race for Brooklyn's 52nd Assembly District -- Jo Anne Simon, Doug Biviano and Pete Sikora -- sparred over Long Island College hospital, Brooklyn Bridge Park and more.

Jo Anne Simon was on her A game, especially in regard to Long Island College Hospital, where she pointed out, "I was involved long before the cameras arrived." She discussed the flawed RFP scoring, the loss of health care, and the need for an appropriate mix of housing on the LICH campus (assuming the hospital is gone).

She said she planned to introduce a bill that will require DOH to collect data about the health needs of the community before making major decisions.

Sikora said that he had demonstrated his commitment to saving LICH during rallies with the group Parents for LICH. He stood up for Bill de Blasio, who as mayor seemed to loose interest in the cause, and said people should be blaming the governor for the hospital's closure instead.

Biviano said the community has lost control of decisions like LICH, libraries and development because special interests control the elections.

He threw out accusations that Sikora and Berlin Rosen were coordinating a black money campaign (he appeared to be trying to tar Sikora with the Gary Reilly-LICH-mailer fiasco).

Sikora said, "Those are pretty wild accusations," and pointed out that Berlin Rosen also represents GreenPeace.

NY1's Errol Lewis Louis had to interrupt Biviano several times when he steamed ahead with accusatory statements instead of answering questions constructively.

"Don't do that Doug, just don't do that," Lewis said.

Watch the full debate here.

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Kathy Hochul, Cuomo's Running Mate, Sure Talks Like a Republican, Walks Like a Republican

Zephyr Teachout, running for Governor of NYS, and Tim Wu, running for Lieutenant Governor, have put together a video Gov. Cuomo's running mate Kathy Hochul.

In her own words, Hochel describes herself as basically a Republican.

She lists as her selling points things like "I've always had the Conservative Party endorsement," and "Of course, I've voted many times to repeal [Obamacare], and "I support the Keystone Pipeline, unlike the President and his administration.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Service for Caro Heller, Brooklyn Heights Artist, Crack Shot and Reuniter of Lost Family Members

Caro Heller, an amazing Brooklyn Heights woman -- Saint Ann's mom, artist, voodoo princess -- had a quiet vocation: she and her husband reunited more than 80 families members who had lost each other over the years.

A memorial will be held on Saturday, August 23 at 3 p.m. at Brooklyn Friends Meetinghouse, 110 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

The full story of her life, which will no doubt be made into a movie one day, can be found at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Common Core: Weird Stuff Going On with NYC's State Test Numbers?

Photo: Renato Ganoza
 Leonie Haimson, the Executive Director of Class Size Matters, reveals some odd discrepancies in the number of kids the state says took the NYS Common Core tests, and the number the city says took them.

The state initially said more than 22,000 NYC kids opted out of the NY state ELA exams and more than 26,000 the math exams. This is more than three times last year.

It seems the state would have failed its own math exams.

"State officials suspect there was an error in the way a large group of city students were coded in the state database of third- through eighth-graders who took the tests," the state told the News.

Haimson said, "My response to all this: with such erratic and unreliable information, how can anyone trust any of the test score data from NYSED?"

Full story by Haimson here.

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Gas Main Break on Flatbush Ave. Thursday Night; FDNY, National Grid on Scene

From the scanner:

At 10 p.m. Thursday night, numerous FDNY units were called in to respond to a broken 8-inch gas main break at 2900 Flatbush Ave., 200 feet north of the Belt Parkway (near Ave. V).

Dispatch reported that it is a "high-pressure main." An excavator hit the gas main while working there.

A further report came in that a building was evacuating.

National Grid told to 9-1-1- that they would be there "within the hour."

UPDATE: National Grid shut down the valve at roughly 10:23 p.m.

UPDATE: OEM reports situation is under control.

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DOH Issues Rabies Alert in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

The New York City Health Department issued a Rabies Alert on Wednesday for Bensonhurst after a dead raccoon found on 16th Avenue tested positive.

The raccoon may have infected feral cats and kittens before it died, DOH said.

DOH offers advice for residents, including keeping your dog on a leash and your cat indoors, and avoiding wild animals, especially is they act sickly.

Also: Make sure your pet's rabies vaccine is up to date.

Full Health Dept. alert here.

FAQ about rabies answered here.

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Brooklyn: Marchers for Palestine Demand Sanctions Against Israel

Palestinian supporters in Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn. Photos: MK Metz
Pro-Palestinian activists called for sanctions against Israel on Wednesday as they rallied in Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn and set off over the Brooklyn Bridge.

The marchers carried flags and banners made in the colors of the Palestinian flag. While they marched over the Brooklyn Bridge, someone unfurled a huge banner reading, "Boycott, Divest, Sanction" from the Manhattan Bridge. (A bit of a security breech?)

Many spoke about the almost 2,000 Palestinian deaths since the fighting began in Gaza. Others read poetry or urged the city to divest itself of investments in Israel.

A father and son played and sang, "We shall overcome."

Photos: MK Metz, McBrooklyn
Some Orthodox Jews, for religious reasons, are against the state of Israel. On Wednesday, they threw their support behind the Palestinians, too.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Schneider Charges Nurse with Overbilling . . . Brooklyn Still Waiting to Hear About SUNY

Eric Schneiderman caught a nurse stealing Medicaid money. Bravo! Glad to hear Medicaid fraud won't be tolerated.

We assume that SUNY and Gov. Cuomo are next on his hit list?

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Does the Brooklyn Bridge Have a Clown Problem?

Brooklyn Bridge cables. Photo by MK Metz
 The NYPD called out the whole arsenal -- air, sea and land defenses -- after receiving a report of someone climbing on the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

The perp was described as having red hair and wearing blue Bermuda shorts . . .

Sounds kinda familiar...
Wikimedia, Andy Amyx

UPDATE: Full story on NYC's response to what was obviously a menace.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

George Washington Returns to Brooklyn on Saturday, and More Brooklyn Briefs

A sneaker hangs from Brooklyn Bridge cable. Photo: MK Metz

 - This Saturday: re-enactment of the evacuation of the Continental Army under the command of General George Washington, from DUMBO. [BHB]

- Farina’s former school district in Brooklyn scores high on state tests. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Big names coming to this weekend’s Afropunk Fest lineup. [Brooklyn Paper]

- Brooklyn 3-year-old dies in a bungalo fire at a camp upstate. [News 12 tweet]

- Whip out those cameras: $125K awarded to Brooklyn man arrested while videotaping stop-and-frisk.[Gothamist]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Someone Hit by Q Train in Brooklyn Tuesday Morning, Service Interrupted

From the scanner:

According to 9-1-1 dispatch, someone is "under the train" at the Prospect Park Q train station in Brooklyn.

The call came in sometime after 4 a.m. Tuesday morning.

MTA has turned off the power to Track #1 south of Dekalb Avenue and north to Church.

MTA issued the following guidance at 4:25 a.m.:

Due to a police investigation of a customer injury at Prospect Pk, the following service changes are in effect:

* Southbound Q Subway Line Icon trains are running on the N Subway Line Icon line from DeKalb Av to Coney Island-Stillwell Av.

* Northbound Q Subway Line Icon trains terminate at Kings Hwy.

* Southbound Q Subway Line Icon trains terminate at Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.

* There is no Q Subway Line Icon train service between Kings Hwy and Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr in both directions.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats Mulling a Teachout Endorsement

After hearing Teachout’s stump speech, many members of the CBID wanted to get behind her, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

Since rules stipulated that they couldn’t vote on Thursday, those members called for an emergency meeting two weeks later, at which time they would have another vote.

Full story at the Eagle.

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Williamsburg Starbucks to Sell Booze Along with that Latte

Because you can never have too many places to get a buzz on in Brooklyn ...

The Starbucks coffee chain has applied for a license to sell beer and wine along with the coffee at the cafe under construction in Williamsburg (on N. Seventh Street between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street), the Brooklyn Paper reports.

Starbucks sells alcohol in just 30 of its more than 20,000 stores, BP reports.

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Bed-Stuy Robbery, Prospect- Lefferts Gardens Shooting Reported Early Monday

From the scanner:

Three male blacks being were being sought in connection with an armed robbery in Bedford-Stuyvesant in the early hourss of Monday morning. They are said to be running away from Throop Avenue at McDougal Street. One is said to be wearing a white shirt, and white cargeo shorts. Another possibly wearing a gray sshirt. They are in their mid 20s.

In another incident early Monday a shooting was reported at Nostrand and Empire Blvd. in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. A Level 1 Mobilization had been declared but was terminated at 1:30 a.m. Outcome is not known.

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Two Girls Missing on the G Train, Early Tuesday A.M.

From the scanner:

Two girls, ages 14 and 12, were went missing while riding on the G train headed possibly southbound from Flushing at roughly 12:50 a.m. early Monday morning.

Their mom told 9-1-1 that their names are Jolie and Ocean. One is wearing pink, one is wearing black.

There is no further information about where they are headed, but it may be towards Bedford and Nostrand.

Their father became seperated from the girls at the Flushing station.  If you see them please tell a conductor, NYPD or a station clerk.


Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

McBrooklyn Down On the Farm

Seriously large geese. Photos MK Metz
McBrooklyn and friends took off a couple of days to visit an organic farm upstate. The poultry, cows and pigs appeared to be glowing with health. (At least to us Brooklynites.)

The grass really is greener on the other side of the fence!

This one got out of the pen and into the lush, green grass. Run chicken, run! (Buggers are quicker than you would think.)

We'll be back Monday.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Law Will Address Overcrowding in NYC Schools; and a Fun Drinking Game....

Crowd tries to stick to pedestrian lane on Brooklyn Bridge, but there are way too many people to fit.  Photo by MK Metz

- Noise complaints at P.S. 261 in Boerum Hill, and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visits thee summer camps there. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- MTA cleaner finds bedbugs at her Brooklyn home, 2 days before locker room at her subway station were fumigated for bedbugs. [NY Daily News]

- "The Princess Bride" Drinking Game. Live actors perform cult classics for the audience, who drink when a phrase is mentioned. [Union Hall]

- New law to alleviate school overcrowding in NYC. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- A March for Palestine over the Brooklyn Bridge on Aug. 20, meet in Cadman Plaza Park at 5 p.m. [March]

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Brooklyn BP Adams Honors NYC Heroes Who Saved Kids

Photo: FDNY
FDNY firefighters, paramedics and EMTs who saved three children from a fire on July 29 were honored as Heroes of the Month by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Wednesday.

From FDNY:
“From time to time we need to be reminded of good news and the good people who ensure the safety of this city,” Borough President Adams said during the ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall, noting this was the inaugural Hero of the Month ceremony.

Firefighters from Ladder 107, (L to R) FF Justin Tallett, Lt. Christopher Bedard and FF Frank Blackstone. Photo: FDNY

The members honored included Firefighters Frank Blackstone, Michael Pfaff and Justin Tallett from Ladder 107, Firefighter Christopher Savino from Engine 225, Firefighter William Seiter from Battalion 39, EMTs Kenneth Barriteau and Ewelina Zielinska from Station 39, Paramedics Diana Reyes and Meleki O’Neal from Station 39 and EMT Richard Lewis from Station 58.

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To the Couple Making Love In a Car in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn Wednesday Night

Courtesy Google Maps 2014
Hey! Get a room!

From the scanner:
Dispatcher sent NYPD to investigate reports of a couple having intercourse in a black sedan at the intersection of Plymouth and Little streets in Vonegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Cops were sent to investigate at 11:44 p.m. Wednesday night.

No followup yet.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Adult Tickets to the Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest Are Already Sold Out

Oh, why did you wait until the last minute to obtain your adult entry to the 24th Annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest (August 16)?

All of the reserved tickets are sold out.

Now you may just have to sunbathe and enjoy live music, food and activities for kids while incredible sand sculptures appear before your eyes.

If you are dead serious about sculpting, show up before noon and you may get on-site registration.

There are a few reserved  kid tickets left as well.

If you are a kid or can somehow convince the organizers that you are a (tall, hairy) child, visit the Sand Sculpting event site real soon to hold your spot.



Astella Development Corp. & Brooklyn Community Svcs


24th Annual

August 16, 2014
12 pm – 5 pm

On the Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk
West 10th – West 12th Streets

For more information, please go to
Facebook page Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest 

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Power Out in Sheepshead Bay; New Life for reBar; and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Brooklyn Heights Cinema headed to the infamous reBar in DUMBO. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- Contractor finds two hand grenades at a job site in Bushwick. [News12]

- Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced arrest of four employees of the Northern Manor Adult Day in Brooklyn, and $6.5 million fine. [Schneiderman]

- Zephyr Teachout celebrates court victory over Cuomo in Brooklyn, pushes for debate. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- More than 500 customers lose power in Sheepshead Bay Tuesday night. [Con Ed]

- A cautionary post: "If I go to Brooklyn, will I be just another old hipster?"  [Migukn]

- In Brooklyn in the 1800s, "You would be surprised at the large number of valuables found in the city’s dumping grounds," an ofal collector said. Besides silver teaspoons, shoes and clothing, dead babies "were not an uncommon occurrence." [Afflictor]

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Brooklyn Bridge White American Flags: If No One Gets It, Is It Still Art?

The Brooklyn Bridge Flag Caper: Sensational, but was it art? Photo by MK Metz
Two wacky Germans have brought the eternal question -- What the heck is art, anyway? -- back to the forefront this summer.

You probably remember the fuss when, overnight on July 21/22, two white flags appeared mysteriously on the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge.

German artists Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, who laid low until the dust settled a bit, took credit on Tuesday and supplied a short video to the New York Times showing the white flags flapping at night, from the perspective of the top of a tower.

The artists said the flag stunt date was set to honor German engineer John Roebling, who moved to America and designed the Brooklyn Bridge. He died on July 22, 1869. (His son Washington Roebling died on July 21, 1926.)

Like so many artists who create inexplicable art, the duo produced a press release that said, "Like an empty canvas, White American Flags invites many readings, multiple interpretations and projections."

Right . . .

If an art is created but nobody knows it's art, is it art?

We asked international expert Google, "What is art?"

Google told us: Art is "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."

By this definition, the flags might be considered art, or at least art-ish.

Tolstoy, on the other hand, thought people looking at art had to "get it."

According to Wikipedia, Tolstoy said that the artist: "hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings, and also experience them."

By that measure, since nobody had the slightest idea what these flags meant, they were a massive fail, art-wise. (The main interpretations elicited were, "WTF," or some riff on, "Brooklyn hipsters/bikers surrender.")

Not one single person in the entire world said anything close to, "This here art is a tribute to the bridge's German designers." 

Art or not, Kristian Roebling, the great-great-great-grandson of John Roebling who lives in DUMBO, thinks the stunt was kinda cool, the sort of thing "having a tequila or two" might facilitate.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Democratic National Convention to Get Brooklyn Brand?

The blue carpet was rolled out at Barclays. Photo by MK Metz
 A full-court press was made by city officials at Barclay's Center on Monday to impress members of the Democratic National Committee with everything Brooklyn.

The "DNC 2016 NYC" logo was all over Prospect Heights. Brooklyn artisional food was served to committee members. The DNC visited Brooklyn Bridge Park with Mayor Bill (wonder if it looked as glorious to them as it does to us?) and then took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, where a fireboat squirted red, white and blue jets into the air.

The message was that Brooklyn is hip, progressive and labor friendly, just like the Democratic Party.

The hotel issue is a non-issue, several of the pols said.  Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said he got from Manhattan to Brooklyn in 14 minutes (but it took a dedicated travel lane, something everyday residents don't have).

More about Monday's DNC event at the Brooklyn Eagle.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Dems to Tour Barclays; Fishy Business with Child-Care Vouchers? and More Brooklyn Briefs

August is the cruelest month in Brooklyn Heights: Fascati Pizza is closed for vacation, painting until Sept. 4. Photo by MK Metz

- Democratic Party delegates are expected to tour Barclays Center Monday morning and get a taste of some of Brooklyn's culinary treats. (God help the if they need a hospital.) [NY1]

- Child-care vouchers that the city distributes, intended for low-income families, have disproportionately gone to Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn. [City & State]

- Brooklyn D.A. exposes hidden Orthodox sex cases. [NY Post]

- Brooklyn filmmaker's documentary about the tough world of NYC beekeeping to be screened August 20. [Brooklyn Eagle]

- And a video about just how darned left out you are if you don't live in Brooklyn. [New Potato]

- "Ebola man" turned out to be healthy 27-year-old Brooklyn man, and his friend thought he was totally joking. [Gothamist]

- In case your haven't heard: Crinkle-cut fries are indeed returning to Shake Shack. [BK Magazine]

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Cops Looking for Missing 12-Year-Old Girl in Brooklyn

Police are searching for a 12 year-old girl, last seen at 8 p.m. Saturday night near 648 Howard Ave. in East New York, Brooklyn

She is black, 5' 5" tall and 150 lbs. and was last seen wearing a pink dress, black snealers, and four long braids in her hair.

If you have any information, please call 718-827-3548 or Brooklyn North at 718-287-3239.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Arab-American Heritage Music in Cadman Plaza Park Sunday

Photos by MK Metz
The music of Arabia echoed over Brooklyn Heights on Sunday, as the Arab-American Heritage Music Festival was celebrated in Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn.

Performers hailed from many different countries, including Syria, Turkey and Egypt, and the music ranged from upbeat to transcendent.

Singer Naela Saman
This is the ninth annual festival. It's usually held in Prospect Park, but moved to Downtown Brooklyn this year due to space and scheduling considerations (including the timing of Ramadan), and the fact that there are more Arabs living near Cadman Plaza.

The Arab-American Family Support Center organized the event, and Maimonides Hospital sponsored it. AAFSC provides services to immigrants, health services, youth programs, adult literacy programs and more.

Photos by MK Metz
There were also art and crafts like hennaing. Vendors sold felafel's, sweet pastries, corn grilled, meat and more.

During the festival, participants tweeted photos of themselves holding boards with the names of some of the 373 children killed in Gaza during the latest offensive.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Dance Party Picnic in Cadman Plaza Park on Saturday, August 9

Photo by MK Metz
 An electronic dance music picnic was held in Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn / Brooklyn Heights on Saturday, August 9.

FROLIC was produced by the Electronic Music Umbrella (EMU) and any proceeds raised at the event are headed to the Education Through Music organization.

A few years back, this event was called Festivus and took place in Central Park. It was a much smaller crowd in Cadman.

There were several 84th Precinct cops hanging around, probably to check on the sound levels after all of the complaints about last week's incredibly loud Summer Affair.

On Saturday, the music stayed pretty mellow.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Looks Like BBP Board Is Dead Set on Pier 6 Towers

Photo: MK Metz
 The overall impression one was left with after Wednesday's Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation board meeting was that the board is set to go full speed ahead with the two planned residential towers at Pier 6 despite much local opposition.

A few talking points:

* The two towers were a part of the General Park Plan (GPP), written 10 years ago.

* The board voted down a resolution to reconsider the GPP, which was written before the area was so crowded --  packed schools (P.S. 8 is over-capacity)  heavy traffic, not enough hospital beds and other infrastructure insufficiencies.

* It did, however, agree to "undertake an analysis" to determine if a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is required. The extent of this analysis is a bit murky.

* Because real estate values have exploded since the GPP was written, fewer luxury units are needed to fund the park.

*  So the Mayor wants to make the 2 towers (15 and 31 stories) 30 percent affordable, since the park doesn't need as much income.

* Many residents don't want condos in their park. There's not enough green space in Brooklyn.

* The mayor's game is to make opposition sound like nimbyism. But it probably isn't nimbyism. The same people were against the development even before the moderate-income units were going in.

* The board feels the income from the towers at Pier 6 is necessary, especially for the piers, which need a lot of maintenance. Figures were presented showing how necessary they were.

* The park is a great place, everybody agrees.

* But it's getting very crowded on weekends.

Two in-depth meeting wrap ups:

Brooklyn Bridge Park board to move forward with Pier 6 development. [Brooklyn Eagle]

Battle Royale at Borough Hall: BBPC Board Shoots Down Pier 6 Opponents  [Brooklyn Heights Blog]

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5 Car Accident on Brooklyn Bridge at 3:30 a.m. Friday

You may want to avoid the Brooklyn Bridge early this morning: five cars were involved in an accident that completely halted traffic on the Brooklyn-bound side for a half hour, starting at 3:30 a.m.

Cops were looking for a black male who took off on foot from the scene. He was wearing a red T-shirt wwith the number 16 on the back.

By 4 a.m., the dispatcher reported traffic was moving very, very slowly.

No wordd on injuries.

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Grace & Spiritus Chorale of Brooklyn Finally Changes Its Name

We received word last night that the choral ensemble Grace and Spiritus Chorale of Brooklyn has opted to shorten its name . . .

". . . to the simpler yet elegant Grace Chorale of Brooklyn," sys Grace Choral of Brooklyn.

In 1976 the group was founded as Grace Choral Society. In 2006, Grace merged with Spiritus et Anima, with membership drawn largely from the parents and faculty of St. Ann’s School, and the whole  took the name Grace and Spiritus Chorale of Brooklyn.

The group says, "Under the leadership of former Music Director James Busby and current Director Jason Asbury, the chorale has forged an identity as a treasured Brooklyn resource with choral music drawn from the classical repertoire as well as from contemporary and commissioned works."

And now you can remember their name.

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Montague Street BID Wins Greenest Commercial Block in Brooklyn

The Montague Street BID sends word that it was awarded Greenest Commercial Block in Brooklyn at a press conference on Wednesday held by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

From the BID:

BID Executive Director Brigit Pinnell and Vice President Estela Johannesen attended the event. When acknowledged as the winning commercial block, Ms. Pinnell gave thanks to Ms. Johannesen and her team at James Weir Floral for their efforts to create and maintain the District's beautiful landscaping.

The BID has worked diligently over the last few years to enhance its landscaping efforts. A novel approach to use hanging planters along the District's tree guards was implemented in a pilot program two years ago. Using hanging baskets in the tree beds produced larger, more lush plants. A resounding success, the pilot program was expanded District-wide last year.

The BID is honored to be recognized as the Borough's Greenest Commercial Block. The award serves to further cement Montague Street's reputation as an idyllic place to shop and dine.

For more information about the BID, please visit

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Four Shots Fired in Crown Heights Early Friday Morning

From the scanner:

Cops headed out to Dean and Rochester after four shots were reported fired around 1:45 a.m. early Friday.

In an update, NYPD officers said they were going to convass the area.

UPDATE: Crime scene being established at Bergan and Rochester. at 2:10 a.m.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Report: Ten Shots Fired in Crown Heights Early Wednesday

Kecko, Flickr
From the scanner:

An anynymous caller reported that 10 shots were fired at Dean Street and Revere Place / Kingston, a couple of blocks away from the Brooklyn Children's Museum.

The call went out at 1:50 a.m. early Wednesday.

Nothing further.

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Teachout Reachout; HiddenCash Coming to Brooklyn

 - New Kings Democrats in Brooklyn hosted a forum on the race for governor Wednesday. Andrew Cuomo's candidate for lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, was there, along with Cuomo opponent Zephyr Teachout. [NY1]

- Here's the Greenest Block in Brooklyn. [Gothamist]

- Video: HiddenCash scavenger hunt coimes to Brooklyn. [YouTube]

- Major pro-Israel rally to take place in Brooklyn on Wednesday. [Jewish Press]

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Stringer: 9-1-1 Upgrade Cost City Millions in Cost Overruns, a Decade of Delays

 Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has found that the big 9-1-1 system upgrade was "poorly structured, overly reliant on consultants and ineffectively monitored," leading to years of delays and hundreds of millions of dollars in additional costs.

Mayor de Blasio had called for the 60-day review of the system.

“...The project outsourced critical responsibilities to consultants who were insufficiently accountable to the city,” Comptroller Stringer said in a statement.

The upgrade was supposed to take five years, but that time has stretched to 15 years, he said -- to "no sooner than 2018."

By last month, the estimated cost had soared 73 percent to $2.326 billion.

Stringer made a number of recommendations. The Comptroller's report can be found here.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SUNY Left More Than $100M on Table in LICH Billing Fiasco

Public filings, testimony and documents obtained by the Brooklyn Eagle show that SUNY treated thousands of patients at Long Island College Hospital (LICH) for free for almost two years, losing more than $100 million — at the very least. 

During this time period, SUNY said that LICH was losing millions of dollars -- and that's why they had to sell the Cobble Hill hospital to a real estate developer, Fortis.

Shocker: How SUNY lost more than $100M mismanaging LICH   Brooklyn Eagle

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Boat Sinks, Marine Unit Rescue Person in Jamaica Bay

From the scanner:

* At 11:25 p.m., a Marine Unit was dispatched to follow up on a report of a misssing 25' boat north of the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge (formerly the North Channel Bridge) in Jamaica Bay.

Marine 3 reported no visual contact.

* At 11:34 p.m., contact was made with a boat on the east side of Broad Creek Marsh. Marine 3 reports, "Not sure if them."

* At 11:43 p.m., Marine 3 requested EMS from FDNY. Individual(s) taken to the Bungalo Bar.

* At 12:28, Marine 3 reports, "The boat sank prior to our arrival."

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Dragons, Dancing and Cute Chinese Kids in Cadman Plaza Park on Sunday

Photos by MK Metz,
Because what's more fun than dragons, lion dancers and heartbreakingly adorable Chinese kids?

They were all available in Cadman Plaza Park on Sunday for the annual Chinese-American Planning Council's (CPC) Walk-a-Thon and Family Day.

A glimpse beneath the mask of a lion dancer.

The CPC funds social services agencies, like the group above, pays for English learner summer camp, funds senior programs and does other good work.

Big crowd!

Adorable Chinese kids did a traditional dance routine.

More photos of the CPC Walk-a-Thon here.

The 2012 Walk-a-Thon here.

The 2010 Chinese-American Planning Council's annual walk-a-thon.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Schumer: Regulate Pesky Drones

Shrike drone. Photo courtesy NYC
Out of control.

That's what Sen. Charles Schumer worries is happening with drones, which are apparently spying on us, delivering drugs for dealers, and crashing into things.

He wants FAA to rein these babies in.

When drones are outlawed, will only our overlords have drones?

Previous drone story

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Brooklyn BP Adams Unity Parade of Flags, Sunday

Office of the BP
Doesn't everyone like a parade?

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams had one which involved a lot of flag-waving on Sunday. It celebrated International Friendship Day, which took place recently in other countries.

Afterwards, participants linked hands around Borough Hall. 

Borough Hall Plaza rang with the sounds of international music all afternoon long . . .

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Holes in Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights on Saturday

Photo: MK Metz, McBrooklyn
Traffic slowed as roadwork on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights on Saturday  resulted in large holes and a blocked lane near Court Street.

Can't find any reason for the work, but it appeared to be connected with the drainage system.

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That Loud Music Blasting Brooklyn Heights All Day Saturday, August 2

Really bad, really loud. Photos: MK Metz
That obnoxiously loud music playing in Cadman Plaza Park and echoing over Brooklyn Heights all day (and expected until 7:30 p.m. tonight) is for the benefit of a group that is supposed to represent the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community:

Only it probably doesn't represent many in the community because almost no one showed up. For the first 3 hours of the noise, the only ones in the park were the crew members that set up the sound system.

The group says 5% of the money collected from vendors goes to GLBT organizations, but there were no vendors.

These photos show the height of the crowd around 6 p.m. Their vendor application website claims: "The past events were the size of 400 - 1000 and growing at that time."

They call the event "Family Day in the Park," only there are no families there.

People trying to walk through the park to get home are holding their hands over their ears because the music is so painfully loud.

Residents living along Cadman Plaza have called police, but what are the odds they will show up?

The same group played the same really bad, really loud music last year, including a three-hour rendition of "I Will Not Dance to Your War Drum" interspersed with Latinized Elton John tune.

This is the third weekend in a row where loud music was played in the park -- but no complaints about the previous two groups.

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