What’s News for May 28
BOROUGHWIDE — A congressman pressed police Tuesday to reduce low-level marijuana arrests after new numbers suggested little change under a mayoral administration that vowed to lower them. Under scrutiny since soaring to over 50,700 in 2011, the number of arrests dropped about 9 percent, to about 7,000, in the first quarter of this year and of Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, The Associated Press reported this month. But the arrests were heading up in March, and the 2014 total still could equal last year’s roughly 28,600, Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries noted. And those arrested still are overwhelmingly black and Hispanic — 86 percent in the first quarter — although de Blasio pointed to the racial breakdown in calling the arrests “unjust and wrong” in campaign literature last year.
SUNSET PARK — Ceasar Zuñiga, a Democratic candidate for the 51st New York State Assembly District, has been endorsed by New Kings Democrats (NKD), one of Brooklyn’s preeminent reform Democratic clubs. New Kings Democrats is a progressive, grassroots political organization committed to the transparency, accountability and inclusionary democracy of the Kings County Democratic Party. They endorsed Zuñiga in their second round of endorsements along with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez for New York’s 7th Congressional District and Rubain Dorancy for the 20th District in the New York State Senate. Zuñiga, running against a 20-year Albany incumbent, was honored by NKD’s endorsement and promised to run a reform-minded and progressive campaign in order to bring transparency and accessibility back to the residents of Sunset Park, Red Hook, Borough Park, Greenwood Heights and Bay Ridge Towers.___
BOROUGHWIDE — Mayor Bill de Blasio ruled out a New York City bid for the 2024 summer Olympics. Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, told the Wall Street Journal the mayor made the decision after weighing the pros and cons of hosting the event. (AP)
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK — Science and technology enthusiasts are heading to Downtown Brooklyn this week for the return of the World Science Festival. Events are taking place for the third year at NYU-Poly’s MetroTech campus and in Brooklyn Bridge Park, along with other Brooklyn venues and across the city. See page 8.
BAY RIDGE — A former Marine was arrested on the subway in Bay Ridge after police found he was carrying a duffel bag containing a shotgun, a cache of ammunition, a laser and a machete. His mother said he served three tours in Iraq. She said he is very kind and is not violent. (http://www.nbcnewyork.com)
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS/DUMBO — The thousands of padlocks that have been placed on the Brooklyn Bridge, often by couples to symbolize their love for each other, are being cut down by the Department of Transportation (DOT), which cites concern over the weight of the locks and the damage they have caused, as well as concern that the locks might fall onto vehicles beneath the pedestrian walkway. So far the DOT has removed approximately 5,600 padlocks. (myfoxny.com)
SUNSET PARK — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday appeared at the Early Childhood Education Center in Sunset Park to emphasize the importance of early pre-K enrollment. The Mayor said he wants parents to know that public school pre-K is not their only option and that there are thousands of free, full-day pre-K class slots available at community-based early childhood centers. He added that the application process is easy. (brooklyn.news12.com)
BROAD CHANNEL, QUEENS — FDNY responders evacuated 29 passengers from a Seastreak passenger ferry which ran aground in Jamaica Bay on Wednesday afternoon. According to an FDNY spokesperson, a call for help came in at 12:33 p.m. All the passengers were evacuated safely and with no injuries.
WILLIAMSBURG — The 17th Annual Brooklyn Film Festival kicks off in Williamsburg this Friday with 107 official selections from 34 countries across six genres. The festival regularly draws global interest and this year attracted more than 2,000 submissions from 114 countries, more than 100 of which will compete for 26 awards including Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Producer, Best Director, Best Score, Best Editing and more. Selections hail from Brooklyn and beyond with films from Afghanistan, Madagascar and Senegal, and they will each be screened twice over 10 days across three Williamsburg venues including indieScreen, the Wythe Hotel and Windmill Studios. (dnainfo.com)
BOROUGHWIDE — Nets point guard Deron Williams had successful surgery on both his ankles on Tuesday and is expected to be fully healthy for training camp. But will he ever regain the skill he once lost?
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