Brooklyn Eagle’s top stories of 2014
To celebrate the New Year, Brooklyn Daily Eagle writers took a look back at some of 2014’s top stories that shaped conversations surrounding local politics, legal issues, real estate, culture and sports. We look forward to providing readers with relevant, timely news in 2015 and beyond.
Sittin’ on Top of the World — At 388 Bridge St., Brooklyn’s Tallest Building
Feb. 26: A newly constructed Downtown Brooklyn tower, 388 Bridge St., was hailed as the borough’s tallest building. Residents began moving into the combination rental-and-condo skyscraper. Until recent years, the famed Williamsburgh Savings Bank, which is topped by a clock with four faces, had been the borough’s tallest tower. Shown is the southeast view from 388 Bridge Street, which includes a look at the Williamsburgh Saving Bank, Barclays Center and Flatbush Avenue.
Vision Zero Issue Packs Brooklyn Borough Hall
April 2: Brooklyn residents and community organizers packed a town hall to hear about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and injuries.
Brooklyn Tops National Chart for Wrongful Convictions
April 10: Brooklyn ranks fifth in the nation in the numbers of exonerated defendants, a report said.
Hallelujah! Macy’s July 4th Fireworks Coming Back to East River and Brooklyn Bridge
April 14: Yep — Brooklynites got to see the fireworks this year, and what a display!
Former D.A. Sullied By Report of Desperate Campaign Tactics
June 3: A New York City Department of Investigations report alleged that former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes engaged in unlawful and unethical conduct during his unsuccessful run for reelection. The report included allegations that Hynes used government-seized drug money to fund his campaign.
Brooklyn D.A.’s Drug Policy Follows Tide of the Country
June 10: Brooklyn’s district attorney, Ken Thompson, announced a policy to decline prosecution in low-level marijuana possession cases.
Xaverian Overcomes Seven Elimination Games to City Title
June 12: The Xaverian High School baseball team was expected to have a down year in 2014, but instead the Cinderella squad overcame huge odds to win seven elimination games and the Catholic High School Athletic League’s city championship.
Bay Ridge in Danger of Overcrowding, Longtime Homeowners Say
June 23: This was the year the term illegal home conversions became part of the lexicon in Bay Ridge. Homeowners expressed concerns over single- and two-family homes on their blocks being sold to developers who then illegally subdivided the buildings into multi-unit apartment houses and crammed large numbers of people into the dwellings in violation of city building codes.
Kidd to Bucks, Nets Seeking New Coach
July 1: Jason Kidd led the Nets to their first playoff series victory since moving to Brooklyn during his first season before forcing his way out of our fair borough with an ill-conceived power play that landed him in Milwaukee, of all places.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn Ordains Largest Group of New Priests in the United States
July 9: Brooklyn’s Roman Catholic community filled its large, newly-consecrated St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral to standing-room capacity in late June as the Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, ordained 13 men to the priesthood. The ordination class was the largest of any Catholic diocese in the United States.
Coalition Condemns Attacks on Brooklyn Muslims
July 22: Religious intolerance came to the forefront in Brooklyn this year. Two mosques were attacked during the summer, including an egg-throwing incident outside a mosque on Coney Island Avenue. Following the attacks, a group of leaders from different religions came together at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge to condemn the incidents and pledge to work together to promote harmony.
Speculation Grows as NYPD Removes Mysterious White Flags from Brooklyn Bridge
July 22: Two mysterious white flags appeared one night atop the bridge’s towers, capturing the attention of the city. What followed was heightened security, copycat climbers and harsher penalties.
New Fort Hamilton Commander Has Close Ties to Brooklyn
July 23: The U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton welcomed a new commanding officer, Col. Joseph Davidson. Located in Bay Ridge, the fort is the only active military post in New York City.
Conforto Cleaning Up for Brooklyn Cyclones
July 24: Left-handed slugger Michael Conforto led Brooklyn back from a midsummer slump to the brink of the New York-Penn League playoffs, giving Mets fans hope that their next big star could have been discovered on Coney Island.
Shocker: How SUNY Lost More than $100M Mismanaging LICH
Aug. 5: The 18-month fight to save Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital (LICH), and its subsequent closure and sale to a developer by the State University of New York (SUNY) was the focus of dozens of articles in the Brooklyn Eagle in 2014. One major article out of many was the Eagle‘s shocking expose of how SUNY lost more than $100 million mismanaging LICH — all the while contending the hospital had to close because it was losing money.
Right to Record: Recent Local Events Lead to Declaration of Right, Calls for Reform
Aug. 8: On July 17, 2014, a cellphone video surfaced showing a police officer put unarmed black man Eric Garner in a chokehold, causing his death. The video, and others showing purported acts of police misconduct, spawned a conversation about an individual’s right to record police encounters.
Cheesecake Lovers Rejoice: Iconic Junior’s Will Stay Intact
Sept. 9: Alan Rosen decided to sell the building where his family’s famed Downtown Brooklyn restaurant, Junior’s, is located. Later he changed his mind. So the iconic cheesecake purveyor will stay put at 386 Flatbush Avenue Extension.
Brooklyn Public Library Approves $52 Million Sale of Brooklyn Heights Branch to Developer Hudson Co.
Sept. 16: The controversy over the sale of the Brooklyn Heights Library for development hit a nerve, as Heights residents expressed dismay over the sale of a public asset to a private developer.
Meticulous Makeover for Former Loew’s Kings Movie Palace in Flatbush
Sept. 18: The Kings Theatre in Flatbush has been closed for decades, but was expected to reopen in 2015 after undergoing huge renovations.
Stabbing, Chaos on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights
Sept. 22: Montague Street was a scene of chaos when a disgruntled construction worker stabbed his boss and fled through a screaming lunchtime crowd. He was apprehended with the help of bystanders. The victim survived.
Doctor Being Tested for Ebola in New York City
Oct. 23: The first Ebola victim in NYC tested the city’s preparedness — after going bowling in Williamsburg.
Grimm Wins Re-Election to Congress
Nov. 4: U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) was riding high in November when he won re-election, easily defeating Democratic challenger Domenic Recchia, despite the 20-count federal indictment hanging over him. Less than two months later, Grimm’s political fortunes would take a nosedive. He would plead guilty and announce that he would resign from his seat in Congress.
In Brooklyn, Simon Overcomes Ballot Confusion; Barron Back in Business
Nov. 4: The Eagle followed the twists and turns of the midterm elections, culminating in some surprising victories — and losses. Thousands of readers also consulted the Eagle for information about three proposals on the ballot.
Show Us the Numbers: Groups Demand BBP Pier 6 Financial Analysis
Nov. 8: Controversy erupted as many Brooklyn Heights residents opposed the construction of two luxury towers at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Cormack Makes Terriers Soccer Twice ‘Golden’
Nov. 19: Andy Cormack, better known as “Captain Clutch” on Remsen Street, delivered St. Francis Brooklyn’s second straight NEC soccer championship with an overtime goal, repeating his feat of a season ago.
Buyers of Brooklyn Heights Cinema Building Going for Condos
Nov. 20: The Brooklyn Heights Cinema closed its doors after four decades in business because 70 Henry St., the building that housed it, was sold. Buyers JMH Development and Madison Estates plan to build condos at the landmarked Brooklyn Heights site.
Mixed Feelings over Verrazano Bridge Anniversary Celebrations
Nov. 21: The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge turned 50 in 2014, but celebrations on the Brooklyn side of the span were muted. The Merchants of Third Avenue co-hosted an anniversary party with the Harbor Ring Committee in Bay Ridge, but lawmakers from Brooklyn and Staten Island boycotted the MTA’s official celebration in protest over proposed toll hikes.
Leslie Lewis: Leaving Behind a Legacy of Safe Streets
Nov. 24: Leslie Lewis, the 84th Precinct Community Council President and Community Justice Liaison at Borough Hall, has worked with police officers in Brooklyn for over a quarter of a century to help make the streets safer.
Champion Blackbirds Going Back to Cali
Dec. 2: The LIU-Brooklyn women’s volleyball team shocked No. 25 Michigan State before rolling to its ninth NEC title in 11 years and a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
‘Die-in,’ Arrests at Barclays Center as Prince William and Kate Attend Nets Game
Dec. 8: Hundreds of protesters chanted “I can’t breathe” and “Shut it down!” as they disrupted traffic and held a giant die-in — one of many in weeks of protests against police-related deaths.
Lincoln Wins Back-to-Back City Titles
Dec. 11: Luis Rodriguez became a Coney Island legend when he scored all nine touchdowns during the playoffs to lead Lincoln High School’s football team to back-to-back Public School Athletic League championships at Yankee Stadium.
Flowers, Candlelight Vigil for Two Murdered Brooklyn NYPD Officers
Dec. 21: Following anti-police violence marches, the cold-blooded murders of 84th Precinct Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos shocked and saddened Brooklyn residents.
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