What’s News for May 19
A police officer who was severely injured while responding to a Brooklyn fire has left the hospital. Officer Rosa Rodriguez rolled into the sunshine in a wheelchair but in uniform on Monday from Weill Cornell Medical Center. The beaming mother of four was greeted by wild cheers from fellow officers and the sound of bagpipes. She spent almost six weeks at the Manhattan hospital, including the first four days in a coma. The April fire killed her partner, Dennis Guerra. His parents were there as Rodriguez was released from the hospital. The officers were overcome by smoke at a Coney Island housing project. Police say a teenager set fire to a mattress in a hallway. He’s now charged with murder. (AP)
After years of massive cost overruns, delays, allegations of fraud and technical problems, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that a $2 billion overhaul of the city’s 9-1-1 system would be halted and the entire project reviewed. Dispatchers have complained of software crashes and lost data at the 9-1-1 call center in Downtown Brooklyn.
Rhoda Jacobs is calling it quits. The longtime assembly member, who has represented Flatbush and other parts of Brooklyn for 36 years, announced that she will not run for re-election this year. Her departure from the political scene will likely set up a scramble for her assembly seat. The contenders include Rodneyse Bichotte, Democratic district leader of the 42nd A.D., who ran against Jacobs in a primary in 2012; L. Rickie Tulloch, a former City Council candidate; and Michele Adolphe, sources say.
The Gerritsen Beach Volunteer Fire Department, which has worked for the past 18 months since Hurricane Sandy to help residents get back on their feet, has been given a big boost. Executives from to Twin America, the company that operates CitySights NY, Greyhound, and other double-decker tour buses in New York, presented leaders of the volunteer fire department with a $5,000 check during a ceremony in Vollies Memorial Training Hall on May 14.
Apartments at Brooklyn’s tallest building, 388 Bridge St., have been renting at the rate of one per day, according to an announcement from the Stahl Organization, its developer, and leasing agent Halstead Property Development Marketing. At this point, 50% of the rental units are leased. The 590-foot Downtown Brooklyn tower has 234 rental apartments and 144 condos. Rents at the luxury tower range from $2,700 per month for a studio on the20th floor to $6,290 per month for a two-bedroom apartment on an upper floor.
Construction fencing is up and there are big piles of dirt along John Street in DUMBO, where Brooklyn Bridge Park is building a new section of waterfront green space and a condo development. Demolition permits have been filed for the one-story garage at 121 Plymouth Street, a little mural-covered structure directly under the Manhattan Bridge that’s part of the future park site. BBP is transforming the former DEP building next door into a 1,700-square-foot park facility with restrooms, community meeting space and an environmental education center. (brownstoner.com)
New York State Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs is retiring after 36 years of representing her Brooklyn community. She announced her decision in a statement on Sunday, but didn’t specify her reasons. The Democrat’s 42nd Assembly District includes the borough’s Flatbush, Ditmas Park and Midwood neighborhoods. Jacobs says she’s proud of her role as a lawmaker who fought for constituent issues including health care, education, affordable housing and economic justice. She steps down at the end of this year. Among the candidates running for the seat is Rodneyse Bichotte, a Democratic district leader who unsuccessfully challenged Jacobs in 2012. (AP)
Students across NYC participated in an annual essay contest organized by the Association for Supreme Court Justices. This year’s theme coincided with Law Day’s focus on voting rights in America. Rubaya Yeahia of Stuyvesant High School, who wrote a superb essay titled “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters,” received the grand prize: her essay was published in the New York Law Journal. Brooklyn Appellate Division Justice Robert Miller stood alongside New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and Administrative Judge for the First Judicial District, Sherry Klein Heitler, to present prizes to selected New York City high school students.
An 11,000 square-foot penthouse at One Brooklyn Bridge Park was just put on the market for $32 million dollars. It features a 3,500-bottle wine room, a home theater and a gym with a climbing wall. If the apartment sells for anywhere near the asking price, it will break, by a large margin, the record for Brooklyn’s most expensive home, a designation currently held by 70 Willow St., which sold for $12.5 million in 2012. (Curbed.com)
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