All around the boro – this week’s borowide briefs

July 5, 2013 Editorial Staff
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Brooklyn Nets make blockbuster trade

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly completed a blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics that puts the revamped franchise back into the spotlight for the second time this off-season.

The trade will send future Hall-of-Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and sharpshooter Jason Terry to Brooklyn, while the Nets will ship shooting guard Keith Bogans, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and three future first-round picks to Boston, according to reports.

Although the trade has been circling the Internet from various news organizations and bloggers, no trade can be officially recognized until July 10.

The Nets first made noise this off season when the team chose to replace the team’s second head coach, P.J. Carlesimo, with the team’s former star player, Jason Kidd, who led the Nets to their last NBA finals appearance in 2003. The 2013-2014 season will be Kidd’s first season as a head coach.

The Brooklyn Nets will also add Duke University center Mason Plumlee, who the team drafted 22ndoverall in the 2013 NBA draft at the Barclays Center.

By Liam LaGuerre

Bottoms Up! Brunch bill passes City Council

New Yorkers can now brunch early and often.

The City Council passed legislation last week that will allow sidewalk cafes to begin operating on Sundays at 10 a.m., instead of the current time of 12 p.m., extending brunching opportunities for restaurants citywide.

Councilmember Steve Levin of Brooklyn and Councilmember Dan Garodnick of Manhattan celebrated the victory over iced coffees at a sidewalk café near City Hall last week.

“This law has been on the books for far too long and does not reflect the reality that New Yorkers eat brunch beforenoonon Sundays, they prefer brunch to lunch, and that they are hungry to eat brunch outdoors,” Levin said. “The time for waffling has passed and today the City Council stands resolute in their support of brunch. Thank you Speaker Quinn and Chair Garodnick for hash-ing out the details on this bill – without you, we would be toast,”

“New Yorkers will not be denied their Sunday brunch in the beautiful weather,” added Garodnick. “This regulation is outdated, widely disregarded, and hostile to business. It needs to change.”

The New York City Hospitality Alliance was a huge advocate for the Brunch Bill. Andrew Rigie, executive director of the group, praised the news.

“The additional two hours of operating time will allow restaurants to generate some much-needed revenue and will surely be welcomed by brunch-loving New Yorkers and our visitors, Rigie said.

“Brunch and sidewalk cafes have become as much a New York tradition as pastrami on rye and pizza pies,” added Andrew Moesel, a spokesperson for the New York State Restaurant Association. “Our restaurants are a large part of New York’s identity and we are proud that the City Council is protecting some of its most popular institutions.”

— By Denise Romano

A slam dunk for Red Hook

Late last month, NBA superstar and New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony joined New York City Housing Authority Chairperson John Rhea in cutting the ribbon on the newly renovated basketball court at Red Hook East Houses, the housing complex where Anthony grew up, and first discovered his talent and passion for basketball.

“I had a safe haven,” Anthony said, “This is where it all started.”

JP Morgan Chase along with The Carmelo Anthony Foundation made contributions to remodel the courts, in hopes that they will benefit the everyday lives of the children in the community.

Bill Berdini of Chase; Dorothy Shields, president of the Red Hook East Houses Resident Association; Councilmember Sara Gonzalez, and members of the community joined Anthony and Rhea in the momentous opening of the court.

The courts were repaved and repainted, and the surrounding fences, repaired. New logos were added to the backboards, and the hoop’s rims were repainted.

The Carmelo Anthony Foundation has restored six basketball courts in upstate New York, and three in Puerto Rico thus far, in addition to this most recent project in Red Hook.

— By Amanda Glodowski

Water sports concessions come to Jamaica Bay in Canarsie, Marine Park

This summer, water concessions are making a splash at parks and beaches all around the Jamaica Bay wetlands.

The new rental booths for kayaks, canoes, bikes and paddle-boards are available all year at locations in Marine Park, Floyd Bennett Field, Plumb Beach and Canarsie Pier.

Riders and rowers can rent rides such as a Single Surrey (two adults and two small children for $25/hour) or a Double Surrey (six adults and three small children for $35/hour); and Cruiser Bikes, City Bikes, Tandem Bikes, Kids Bikes, Tag-a-longs, Boogie Boards, Beach Chairs, Beach Umbrellas, Sand Toys and more by the hour, half-day (four hours), and Full Day (eight hours).

The booths are managed by Wheel Fun Rentals, which has a one-year license with the city Department of Parks and Recreation and National Parks Service, with an option for three one-year renewals.

City and national parks officials touted the concessions as another way to bring people and water vehicles together.

“We are always looking for ways to connect our park to the community and to find new reasons for our neighbors to come to Jamaica Bay and enjoy a wonderful outdoor experience in their backyard.” said Linda Canzanelli, superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area.

“Millions of people visit the parks and beaches at Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways each summer and this concession provides a fun and new recreational amenity,” said city Parks Commissioner Veronica White. “We are pleased to welcome Wheel Fun Rentals as they offer opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors to bike and paddle, while enjoying the natural beauty of the Jamaica Bay region.”

Dates, times and products offered through this new concession will vary by location. For a full list of products, prices and hours of operation visit

— By Heather J. Chin

Toss no more

Prospect Park will be welcoming six Smart Tap bottle-filling stations this summer, as part of an effort to encourage city residents to reduce and reuse. The bottle-filling stations will replace regular water fountains and allow the public to refill old bottles rather than toss them, reducing their carbon footprint.

“We are excited about these new fountains because New York City has the best drinking water in the country,” said Prospect Park Alliance President Emily Lloyd.

The first station was opened on June 19 in the Nethermead and has proven to be popular among park goers. The other five stations are scattered throughout the park — at Sixth Street and West Drive; near Field 1 in the Long Meadow Ballfields; along the East Drive, across from the Peristyle; near Field 6 at the Parade Ground; and at the Center Drive and East Drive intersection.

Bill Apfelbaum, founder and chairperson of Smart Tap LLC, praised the Prospect Park Alliance for its efforts, “We are thrilled that the first Smart Taps are located in Prospect Park,” he noted. “The Prospect Park Alliance’s innovative and pioneering spirit addresses New York City residents who care about the planet and want to help change the world one bottle at a time.

— By Lindsey Riback

Beloved centers saved by Council action

Thanks to a total $1.8 million allocation from the City Council, Williamsburg’s Swinging 60’s Senior Center and Small World Daycare will remain open.

“Swinging 60’s and Small World were established by community members who saw a void in locally based senior and child services,” said Councilmember Diana Reyna. “It is my duty as the local elected official to uphold this legacy and to ensure that our senior centers and daycares are based in the community, serving the community, and supported by the community.”

The two programs, housed at 211 Ainslie Street, were in danger of being shut down after Small World Daycare was not granted Early Learn, a new childcare program implemented by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in 2012. The lack of funding that grew out of that decision resulted in the Department of Aging terminating its contract with Swinging 60’s, which shares a building with Small World.

“The potential closure of these centers would have been devastating,” stated Councilmember Stephen Levin.

Assemblymember Joseph Lentol agreed, “The work they do at this center is so critical to the lives of so many people in my district and preserving it is essential to this neighborhood,” he stressed. “They have been doing great work for over 40 years and I am happy to say, their work will continue.”

– By Lindsey Riback

Suspect arrested in house party shootings

On July 2, Tyrone Brown, a 24-year-old black male was arrested and charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment, in conjunction with the house party shooting of nine people on East 52nd Street that happened early Sunday morning, June 30.

At approximately 1 a.m., police responded to a 911 call reporting multiple persons being shot while at an overcrowded house party in East Flatbush. Five victims were transported to Brookdale Hospital, and two to Kings County Hospital. In addition, one female victim walked into Beth Israel Hospital, and another into Methodist Hospital.

The attack is rumored to have been caused by the suspect having being denied entrance to the bash.

All nine victims were reported to be in stable condition.

In response to the shooting, Councilmember Jumaane Williams, co-chair of the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, and Pastor Gilford Monrose, president of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, joined together to discuss the incident, and how to prevent something like it from happening again.

“Guns have no place in our community, let alone at a party. We will not stand idly by while irresponsible individuals attempt to take innocent lives,” they said.

The two contend that house parties are becoming “increasingly out of control.”

In response to the issue of rowdy house parties that explode into violence, Williams is exploring legislation that would require any person holding a gathering of 40 people or more at a residence to notify the local community board and police precinct three days in advance.

Additionally, Williams requested that the NYPD up its enforcement of noise complaints, trespassing and other violations and recommended that cops track party promotions in advance on flyers and the Internet.

We are concerned for our safety, said Angela Baird, president of the East 53rd Street Block Association. We would like for the community board and the 67th Precinct to foster relations that make our neighborhood safe.

— By Amanda Glodowski

Judges appoint mediator in LICH dispute, order SUNY Downstate to detail LICH’s assets

SUNY Downstate Medical Center has been ordered to give a give a full written account of every dollar and asset spent and transferred from Long Island College Hospital (LICH) from the day it purchased the 156-year-old community hospital on May 29, 2011.

The order came on Thursday, June 27, from Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Carolyn Demarest, who specified that the report must include details not just about LICH’s existing assets and funds, but also the income from LICH’s properties. The report should also include details about the LICH assets that SUNY wants to sell or otherwise get rid of.

The report is due by August 5.

SUNY Downstate has stated that its lawyers are reviewing Demarest’s order.

SUNY also received another blow, this time from State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes, who appointed retired Appellate Division Court Judge William Thompson, Sr.–mayoral candidate Bill Thompson’s father–in the role of mediator/referee between LICH and SUNY.

Baynes previously issued a restraining order against SUNY, preventing it from closing LICH or restricting services in any way. However, SUNY violated that order, most recently by closing LICH’s emergency room on June 20. SUNY previously shut down of the hospital’s residency program, cardiac catheterization lab, radiation oncology department and coronary care unit.

However, SUNY quickly appealed Baynes’ appointment of Thompson; it also appealed his order to close LICH. The appeal effectively allows SUNY to continue to keep LICH’s ER closed pending a decision on the appeal.

Advocates of keeping LICH open have accused SUNY Downstate of trying to close the community hospital in order to sell its prime real estate near the Brooklyn Heights waterfront.

— By Heather J. Chin

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