A Citi Bike docking station in front of 150 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights was buried in mounds of trash over the weekend, reportedly by tenants of the building who are angry about the placement of the rack, according to The New York Post. In May, the paper reported the building, above, which also goes by the address 130 Clinton Street, planned to sue Citi Bike. If we read the story correctly, the stations are located in the same place as where the building used to formerly set out its trash, and now the building’s garbage has to be set out in front of other buildings on the block. “We feel this is not the right spot,” for the bike rack, commented Anneke Berkem, a resident of the block for 17 years. ”There are other places in the neighborhood. We have a very crowded neighborhood. We were never consulted.”
Angry Tenants Trash Citi Bike Racks — Literally [NY Post]
The use of controversial police tactic stop and frisk has decreased in the City after coming under increased scrutiny and a lawsuit, but spiked in select areas of Brooklyn, The New York Daily News reported. Specifically, stop and frisk was up 66 percent in Brownsville and 45 percent in East New York from 2011 to 2012. Its use in Bed Stuy increased 6 percent, 3 percent in Greenpoint and 2 percent in Bensonhurst, while it dropped precipitously in Williamsburg — by 44 percent. As has been the case for years, very few of those stops found actual law breaking: 89 percent of stops did not result in an arrest or summons, the Daily News reported. Those that did were mostly for marijuana; 12.6 percent
of those stopped were carrying a gun or other weapon. Interpretations of the change in policing varied widely. “We are seeing the next chapter,” said John Jay College professor and former officer Eugene O’Donnell. “Good stop-and-frisk should be targeted. They’ve identified a pattern, a spike in crime, and they are throwing resources at it.” And, on the other side: “The Police Department continues, against any possible rational analysis of the data, to insist that the stop and frisk program is both necessary and effective, and to target young black and Latino New Yorkers, who are so innocent of any wrongdoing that they walk away without a summons,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. What do you think? Is stop and frisk effective and constitutional, or are the police just harassing law abiding citizens who happen to live in the poorest parts of Brooklyn?
Stop and Frisk Is up in Brooklyn [NY Daily News]
Photo by jag9889
The concrete barriers that protect bikers from speeding traffic on Williamsburg Street between Kent and Flushing Avenues had been covered with graffiti for quite some time, so the nice people at the great volunteer organization New York Cares took it upon themselves this weekend to spiff them up with some colorful hand-painted designs. Quite an improvement!
In response to protest from community groups and unions, SUNY has withdrawn its application to the State Health Department to close its Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, numerous outlets reported. The hospital could still close someday, but this move opens the path for the state to fund the hospital and for SUNY to find another medical group to operate the facility. SUNY is required by law to put together a long-term sustainability plan for the hospital by June. About 2,000 people are employed at the hospital, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Move to Close Long Island College Hospital Is Halted [NY Times]
SUNY Withdraws Plan to Close LICH [DNAinfo]
Doomed Long Island College Hospital May Get New Life [WSJ]
Officials overseeing Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill and representatives of unionized workers and doctors there are negotiating on a deal to save the facility from closing, reported The New York Daily News. The unions and doctors would agree to drop a lawsuit against the hospital in exchange for SUNY officials working out a financial restructuring plan for SUNY Downstate that would include saving LICH. Meanwhile, the New York City Council yesterday passed a resolution asking SUNY and the State Department of Health to find another owner for LICH rather than close it, DNAinfo reported. In any event, LICH cannot close unless it gets the go-ahead from the State Department of Health.
Partial Save for Long Island College Hospital in Works [NY Daily News]
City Council Unanimously Passes Resolution to Save LICH [DNAinfo]
Good news for residents close to Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill: The State University of New York, which owns the hospital, said it is searching for a new operator to take over the facility, rather than selling off the real estate and closing it, The New York Daily News reported. The about-face may be a bow to political pressure to keep the hospital open, according to the story. “It’s a big change from their prior position,” the Daily News quoted a source as saying. SUNY officials have already contacted every hospital operator in the New York metro area, including Mt. Sinai and North Shore-LIJ Health System, but they all said no, so now SUNY is casting its net nationwide. Brooklyn Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order to keep the hospital open is still in effect.
Hospital’s Owner Vows Broad Search for New Operator [NY Daily News]
The winners of last week’s vote for Participatory Budgeting for District 33 are in! Coming in first was a proposal for district-wide tree planting, an initiative that will receive $100,000. $200,000 will go toward M.S. 8′s technology fund. Another $450,000 will go toward an East River State Park dog run. A request for technology upgrades at P.S. 31 will receive $188,000. And finally, $120,000 will be granted for playground renovations at P.S. 34. You can check out short videos of all the project proposals right here. Above is the short video for the district-wide tree planting proposal. You can also read about all the winners for Council Member Brad Landers’ district. In total, 2,632 people voted.
And the saga continues at the Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill. Recently the hospital saved the life of a 13-year-old boy in cardiac arrest; if the ambulance had to go elsewhere, he probably would have died, according to a paramedic. But, The Daily News reported, the hospital is running out of supplies and will not schedule elective surgery procedures after April 30th, even though a judge ordered the hospital to remain open. SUNY Downstate wants to close the hospital by June; a sale could bring in as much as $500 million for SUNY. As a LICH medical staff member told the News: “They’re crippling this hospital to the point where it endangers people’s lives.”
The State of Long Island College Hospital Is Outrageous [NY Daily News]
Cobble Hill Hospital Closure Delayed Again; March Sunday [Brownstoner]
Never mind babies in bars in Park Slope. Times are changing. With all the construction and new families in Williamsburg, there’s a new outrage to worry about: The dust and noise of construction there, which is ruining walks and nap time for babies, according to DNAinfo, and the entitlement of parents who pay $5,000 a month to rent or millions of dollars to buy in the neighborhood. It is a fact that Williamsburg has the highest number of new buildings going up of any neighborhood in Brooklyn. It does seem as if there is construction on nearly every block. What to do?
Williamsburg Construction Boom Ruining Babies’ Naps and Walks [DNAinfo]
Photo by Meredith Hoffman for DNAinfo
A judge has for the third time temporarily prevented Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital from closing, according to The New York Daily News. Monday the court issued a temporary restraining order preventing the shutdown, and set a new hearing date for May 2. Previously, hospital execs planned to close the facility as soon as June 17. Meanwhile, advocates for the hospital have been busy. They hosted a fundraiser at Montero’s Saturday night, put out a dramatic TV ad that shows a patient dying because the closest emergency room is too far away, and are planning a march for this Sunday, April 7, they told us. The march will start in Red Hook and end at the hospital; it is being organized by the New York State Nurses Association and Local 1199.
Fight to Save LICH Heats Up [NY Daily News]
Activists Fund TV Ad to Help Save Long Island College Hospital [NY Post]
Execs Vote to Close Cobble Hill Hospital — Again [Brownstoner]
Now there is no money in the state budget for SUNY Downstate, the Central Brooklyn parent of Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital, which SUNY Downstate officials just last week voted to shutter. “The state’s new budget — which the Senate began adopting Sunday — contains no new funds for the ailing Brooklyn hospital…SUNY officials…must submit a restructuring plan for the hospital by June,” said The New York Daily News. SUNY Downstate, located in East Flatbush, is the only academic medical center in Brooklyn and the borough’s fourth largest employer. SUNY Downstate is just the latest of Brooklyn medical centers to experience financial difficulties recently: Also troubled are Interfaith Medical Center in Bed Stuy and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Bushwick. Meanwhile, the Daily News reports, developers are salivating to get their hands on the prime Cobble Hill waterfront site currently occupied by SUNY Downstate’s Long Island College Hospital, and SUNY officials admitted real estate played a role in their decision to sell off the property. What do you think is ailing Brooklyn’s hospitals, and will we have enough to support the growing number of Brooklyn residents?
State Nixes Bailout for Ailing SUNY Brooklyn Hospital [NY Daily News]
Developers Licking Chop Over Cobble Hill’s LICH Site [NY Daily News]
Photo by Jim.henderson via Wikimedia Commons
Much as it did in Williamsburg before, the explosive growth of bars and nightlife in Bushwick is causing tensions. Community Board 4 has instituted a rule that bars applying for or renewing liquor licenses must shut down alcohol sales at midnight on Sundays, DNAinfo reported. However, it has no power to enforce such a rule, and bar owners say though they might be open all day, most of their sales occur after midnight. The new rule “would affect me significantly since I have a 4 a.m. liquor license,” said Jeff Pan, owner of Skytown cafe and bar on Broadway. ”The majority of our alcohol sales occur after midnight.” At the same time, he said he could understand the board represents ”many residential buildings that don’t want to be living near a bar, especially considering Bushwick’s exponential growth in the bar industry.” Should communities restrict the number of bars allowed in residential areas?
Bushwick Bars Given Midnight Curfew on Sundays by Community Board [DNAinfo]
The Brooklyn Heights group Citizens Defending Libraries was out gathering signatures for a petition and holding meetings over the weekend in an effort to stop the sale of the Cadman Plaza branch of the Brooklyn library, reported the Brooklyn Heights Blog. So far the group has gathered 8,300 of the 10,000 signatures that are its goal. Councilwoman Letitia James and a representative of State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery have both attended the group’s meetings. Citizens Defending Libraries organizer Carolyn McIntyre wrote, “News is surfing about more libraries being closed and sold off. We need to make NYPL and BPL accountable and let them know the libraries need to stay public, for all people…It is deeply troubling that our public library systems are on the front line of every budget fight. Libraries are the lifeblood of our communities and are an increasingly rare public space.”
The team at Council Member Brad Lander’s office has compiled a list of Participatory Budgeting ballot projects. Now it’s up to the voters to decide how to distribute the $1 million and make some projects a reality! Residents of the 39th City Council District can vote from Tuesday, April 2nd to Sunday, April 7th. Voters are able to choose a total of five projects. While the list of projects runs long, here are a few:
- John Jay High School Campus Media & Filmmaking Lab — Computer lab and auditorium projector will provide state-of-the-art technology and student filmmaking program for four schools
- Groundswell Community Mural Project Media Upgrade — Multimedia capable computers and printers for an organization that brings communities together to create murals for social change
- Equipment for Community Compost Program — Truck and shredder to enhance composting project funded last year, processing household and school food scraps and leaves
- Additional Benches for Prospect Park — Provide additional park benches at selected sites along the interior of the park, mainly along ball field path
- Bus Clocks at 10 to 20 Bus Stops Across District — Where is the next bus? Electronic signs at your stop tell you! DOT will install 10 to 20 displays throughout the district
- Ocean Parkway Pedestrian Safety Improvements — Improvements to the streets, crosswalks, curbs and signage around Yeshiva Torah Temimah School on Ocean Parkway
- Hicks Street Pedestrian Safety Improvements — Fixing a visibility-limiting fence, extending curbs or other additions on this high traffic street by schools and parks
See the full list of proposals here. The Council Member will post videos about each of the projects later this week. Which ones are you most excited about?
Photo of the group process via Brad Lander
The Park Slope Chamber of Commerce filed an application with the Department of Small Business Services to officially create a 16-block BID along 7th Avenue, from St. John’s Place to 16th Street. The BID will include around 300 businesses. The Brooklyn Eagle spoke with Tammy Shaw, Chair of the Steering Committee, who said that the creation of the BID is moving according to schedule. Currently they are in the outreach phase and have set up a website with more information. The process will likely take up to nine months, with a final approval by the City Council. Council Member Steve Levin has already expressed his support for the BID, stating in a letter to the Small Business Services Commissioner that the BID “would provide much needed services that create a cleaner environment for visitors and residents while providing a safe environment.” The chamber is asking for a $300,000 annual budget to be used for mainly for sanitation services. Rumblings about a possible BID on 7th Avenue started up at the beginning of this year.
Park Slope Chamber Moves Forward With Plans for 7th Ave. BID [Brooklyn Eagle]
A BID in the Works for 7th Avenue [Brownstoner]
Tonight at 7 pm a candlelight vigil will be held for Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital, which SUNY officials yet again voted to close, citing financial difficulties. A previous decision to close the facility had been temporarily stayed by a judge, who found hospital execs had held an illegal closed-door meeting about the matter. The second, public meeting was held 30 miles upstate from the college in Purchase, N.Y. That did not dissuade about 100 champions of LICH from speaking at the meeting and protesting outside. The SUNY board has consistently denied that the valuable location of the hospital has been a factor in the desire to close the facility. Rumor has it SUNY wants to sell the building and land to developers to build condos. For the closure to take place, the state Department of Health also has to approve it.
2nd Vote for Closing Long Island College Hospital [NY Times]
SUNY Trustees Vote to Close Long Island College Hospital — Again [NY Post]
It’s Done: State Officials Vote to Close Long Island College Hospital [NY Daily News]
SUNY Orders LICH Closure Again in Court-Ordered Public Meeting [DNAinfo]
Good news for Brooklynites who live near Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital: It will stay open — at least for now. SUNY officials will have to go back to the drawing board and start over if they want to shutter it. A judge put a stop to the impending closure on a technicality, finding that hospital executives had held an illegal closed-door meeting about the future of the facility.
Judge Rules Against SUNY Trustees in Their Vote to Shutter Hospital [NY Times]
Long Island College Hospital to Stay Open [NY Post]
Judge Grants Hospital Temporary Reprieve From Closure [NY Daily News]
Judge Prevents LICH Closure, Citing Open Meetings Law Violation [DNAinfo]
Photo by University Hospital of Brooklyn via DNAinfo
Almost 60 small business owners along a 25-block stretch of Church Avenue in Flatbush have shuttered their gates rather than risk more violence and looting after 16-year-old Kimani Gray was shot and killed by police here Saturday night, The New York Post reported. “I want to close the store. I want to lock the door. I’m terrified,” said a worker at K & S Fruit on Church, which closed early. Police shot Gray when he allegedly pulled a gun out of his pants; his family says he did not have a gun. Monday night, a protest and a vigil turned violent as some in the crowd trashed a nearby produce store and attacked a manager at Rite Aid. Another vigil planned for Tuesday was postponed. Council Member Jumaane Williams attended the protest Monday and warned Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at a budget meeting to expect more violence unless something is done to improve the relationship between the police and Flatbush area residents. “There’s a lot of anger here,” the Daily News quoted Williams as saying. “This isn’t just from one particular shooting. A whole community has not been heard for far too long.” Williams’ district includes the riot zone. In another, unrelated incident of alleged police brutality in the area, a landlord was shackled to a hospital bed for 17 days after cops broke her leg during a wrongful arrest in the hallway of her building in Flatbush in April, according to a recently filed lawsuit.
Photo by boneszooted
Riot-Wary Flatbush Turns Into Ghost Town [NY Post]
Top Cop Tangles With Pol Over Riot Sparked by Police Shooting [NY Daily News]
Councilman Warns of More Violence After Vigil for Teen Killed by Cops [DNAinfo]
Vigil for Kimani Gray Postponed After Night of Violence [DNAinfo]
Vigil for 16-Year-Old Shot and Killed by NYPD Cops Turns Violent [Huff Po]
The judge did not rule on the closing of Long Island College Hospital at the scheduled hearing March 7, but extended the delay of the closure indefinitely, local papers reported. Local residents, politicians, doctors and nurses have spoken out in favor of the hospital staying open, saying its emergency facilities are needed in the area and its beds are full, according to DNAinfo. Hospital administrators say the center is operating at a loss and must close.
Long Island College Hospital to Stay Open as Court Delays Decision [DNAinfo]
Long Island College Hospital Closing Still on Hold [Crain's]
Court Halts Cobble Hill Hospital Closure [Brownstoner]
Tonight Community Board Seven, which covers Sunset Park, Greenwood, and Windsor Terrace, will host a forum on SROs and illegal housing conversions in Brooklyn. Several city agencies and local nonprofits will talk about how they deal with SROs and illegal housing conversions in the city, as well as answer questions from residents. It’s a good chance for Brooklynites to inquire about the rights of residents in these types of buildings, as well as the process of reporting illegal housing arrangements. The meeting is tonight, March 4, at 6:30 pm at the Community Board 7 office. That’s 4201 4th Avenue, with the entrance on 43rd Street. There will also be a Spanish translator present. You can read the full press release regarding the meeting here.
Flyer via the DOB