What’s News for May 16
State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes astounded a courtroom filled with lawyers, litigants and residents on Thursday when he asked attorneys for three competing bidders for Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to gather behind closed doors to try to work out a joint plan to keep the embattled hospital in operation. The unusual settlement negotiations could break through a logjam of burgeoning litigation threatening to tie up SUNY’s sale of the hospital for months or even years. Peebles Corp., Fortis and Prime Healthcare Foundation all bring something to the table, but “no one entity is going to be able to get the real estate unencumbered,” Justice Baynes said. If a deal is worked out, each operator would handle what they do best.
The MTA announced this Wednesday that from July 26 to Sept. 1, a free “walking transfer” will be available between the G train’s Broadway station and the J/M lines’ nearby Lorimer Street station. This temporary improvement, meant to make things easier for G train riders during the five-week summer suspension of the northern part of the line has been hailed by elected officials and transit advocacy groups alike. However, some said that the measure should be continued on a year-round basis.
Alison Bechdel, creator of the critically-acclaimed comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For,” was featured as part of the latest installment of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Eat, Drink & Be Literary series that took place at the BAMCafe on Wednesday night. “Alison has one of the, I think, most unique bodies of work,” said moderator Ben Greenman, who is a contributing writer at The New Yorker. “She is primarily a graphic memoirist and cartoonist whose work is heavily invested in psychology. Her two books are works of art as much as anything that I’ve ever come across.”
NYPD trials commissioner Robert Vinal will recommend to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton that Jay Poggi—the Brooklyn detective who shot his partner after a night of boozing—be fired. Det. Poggi allegedly shot Det. Matthew Sullivan in the wrist after they went drinking in the Rockaways last month. Poggi was charged with driving while intoxicated. Last week, shortly after he filed for retirement, the NYPD slapped him with administrative charges. (NY Daily News)
Infamous reBar owner Jason Stevens was spotted for the first time today after abruptly closing his business on Friday, leaving his employees and couples with weddings planned at the venue in the lurch. Stevens was seen at his arraignment in a Brooklyn court this morning, and according to online court records, he has been charged with one count of felony grand larceny and multiple felony tax charges at Brooklyn Criminal Court. (Gothamist.com)
Brooklyn rents are still rising! For the 11th month in a row now they’ve continued to go up. The average rent in Brooklyn in april was $3,209, a 6.4 percent jump from the same period last year. The average rental price per square foot was $40.30, and the median rental price was $2,805 a month. Is it still catching up with Manhattan? No: After narrowing dramatically this year, the gap between Manhattan and Brooklyn rents has increased — because Manhattan rents are again on the upswing, not because Brooklyn rents are decreasing. The different between the median Brooklyn rent and the median Manhattan rent reached a record low of $210 in February. (Brownstoner.com)
A federal appeals court says a lower court judge acted properly when she ordered changes at New York City polling places to improve access for the disabled. The lawsuit, which complained of unsafe ramps and missing signage, among other flaws. In total, nine polling stations in Brooklyn were found to offer inadequate access to voting for people with disabilities. The plan settled by the lawsuit requires the BOE to work with a third party specialist to develop more accessible voting sites, among other things.
When you tell students to think outside the box, all sorts of interesting things happen!
A model for an underwater military base, a baseball diamond made out of candy, and a Coney Island scene, complete with the Cyclone and Nathan’s Famous, constructed out of recyclable materials were all on display Wednesday morning at the Aquinas Expo, a fair designed to allow students from the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to present their ideas for a better world.
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