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Brooklyn Today June 1: Bernie Sanders returns to hometown Brooklyn

June 1, 2017 Brooklyn Dailiy Eagle
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THE LEDE: Good morning! In today’s briefing, we present a sneak peek at Kushner Cos.’ plans for the old Jehovah’s Witnesses HQ in Brooklyn Heights, and several Brooklyn schools make a few untraditional hires. Then, Bernie Sanders returns to his hometown borough, and City Council candidate Justin Brannon has a weighty suggestion for the MTA. Meanwhile, the quest to avoid dealing with the L-train shutdown continues, and we bring you two new reports on stop and frisk and distribution of bedrock institutions across the borough. Keep reading to find out where the tens of thousands of post-election letters written to Hillary Clinton go, and – if you can believe it – we have a piece of good news about the subway. We’ll see you again on Friday!

IMPRINT: The NYT Magazine sweats the small stuff with its latest cover.

The Rundown

~FIRST LOOK AT KUSHNER COS.’ MAKEOVER OF THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES HQ: Whose name will replace the Watchtower’s on the iconic red-neon sign on top of the former Jehovah’s Witnesses HQ in Brooklyn Heights? The complex now belongs to the company Jared Kushner headed until taking a new job with his father-in-law. Renovation is now underway at the old HQ, which is being transformed into a campus called Panorama. It will include ~635,000 square feet of office space and ~35,000 square feet of stores and public space for arts and culture. Can’t picture it? Check out these renderings. (via the Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

~EVERYBODY LOVES A TEACHER’S PET: There are some new employees at several Brooklyn schools. Children at P.S. 200 get to play with Jumah if they’re on their best behavior. At Park Place Community Middle School in Park Slope, Petey’s main gig is to go for a daily walk with three eighth grade girls. Sugar spends her mornings at M.S. 88 simply roaming around. The new employees are all part of the Education Department’s Comfort Dog program, which provides furry support for troubled students who sometimes just need a soothing presence. (via the NYT)

~BROOKLYN COLLEGE STILL FEELS THE BERN: Sen. Bernie Sanders returned to his Brooklyn roots to deliver the commencement address at Brooklyn College this week. Sanders described how growing up in a financially strapped family living in a rent-controlled apartment with 3.5 rooms in Brooklyn helps him remember “people who are fighting today to live in dignity.” The senator also implored the students to stand together and fight against racial, cultural and religious intolerance because “this country belongs to all of us.” (via the Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

~BRANNON TO MTA: LET US HANDLE IT: The chances of it happening are probably slim, but Democratic City Council candidate Justin Brannan of Bay Ridge is proposing that control over the buses and subways be stripped from the MTA and handed over to New York City. “Fifty years of state control of the MTA has given us nothing but poor service, political pet projects and upstate lawmakers making decisions about a transportation network they’ve never even set foot in,” Brannan said in a statement. “New York lives and dies by its transportation network, and yet we don’t have the power to make significant decisions about how funds are allocated or where new train lines are built.” (via the Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

~WHAT DO SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG, FLATBUSH AVE, SUNNYSIDE AND MOTT HAVEN ALL HAVE IN COMMON?: They’re areas that don’t rely on the L train to roll into Manhattan. We know that developers are eyeing properties along the G, M and J/Z lines, and Brooklynites who currently depend on the L are now considering packing up shop and moving…at least for the duration of the 15 month shutdown. Here are the neighborhoods the NYT singles out as ideal refuges…Meanwhile, prices are rising in popular parts of Brooklyn like Boerum Hill and Prospect Heights, but the number of listings continues to slide. (via the NYT and DNAinfo)

~HERE ARE THE STATS ON STOP AND FRISK: Thanks to a federal court order, a new report examines the NYPD’s stops for 2013-2015. The quick takeaway: stops on the street have plunged, and there’s less racial disparity in who gets stopped. Read the full report here. (via the NYT)

~MAP OF THE DAY: What can play an even larger role than government in driving investment and infrastructure in certain neighborhoods? Institutions like hospitals and colleges, argues the Regional Plan Association. And according to a map that the organization just released, more hospitals are located in nonwhite areas, while more colleges are cropping up in mixed-race neighborhoods. (via

Staff Picks

LISTEN: The story of a pre-Kinsey German doctor who attempted to prove that people are just “Born This Gay,” until his research fell into the wrong hands. (via Undiscovered, a new podcast from the Science Friday team)

READ: Thirty-year-old Rob Russo has been handling Hillary Clinton’s correspondence for ten years. Now, he’s the person responding to every single one of the ~100,000 letters that have rolled in since Election Day. (via Buzzfeed)

LISTEN + READ: From Lana Del Rey to Radiohead, an indulgently maudlin playlist for Nabokov’s “Lolita.” (via Lit Hub)

REDEEMING NYC MOMENT OF THE DAY: A student decked out in full regalia misses his graduation ceremony due to excessive subway delays, and the subway car throws him an impromptu ceremony, complete with Green Day’s “Good Riddance.” (via Select All)


NATIONAL BULLETIN: Trump will announce today whether the U.S. will remain in the Paris climate accord…POTUS also is angling to allow widespread exemption of the ACA mandate that employers provide birth control coverage…Some big changes are afoot at the New York Times, with the elimination of the public editor position, and a move to put faces to the names of reporters…Washington state contends with tree poachers, and in some ways, the story begins with Carlos Santana…And the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee finals are T-O-D-A-Y. (via the AP, WaPo, Nieman Lab, Recode and High Country News)

FOREIGN FLASH: One of the most popular songs in the U.K. right now calls Theresa May a liar–and isn’t being broadcast on the radio…A restoration of the catacombs in Rome reveals ~1,600-year-old frescoes commissioned by the city’s bakers…The U.S.’ opioid addiction fuels violence in Mexico…And as hundreds of thousands of migrants funnel into Germany and embrace assimilation, the country experiences an identity crisis and struggles to maintain a healthy dose of nationalism. (via WaPo and the NYT)

ROYAL WATCH: All in the same breath, a six-year-old thanks Prince Harry for his work with the Invictus Games, and yearns for her two front teeth. (via Now to Love)


6:00pm – Art and Practice with For Freedoms at MoMA PS1. Details.

6:30pm – Thoreau’s Wildflowers & Thoreau’s Animals at Prospect Heights Brainery. Details.

6:30pm – New York Japan CineFest 2017 at the Asia Society and Museum. Details.

7:00pm – TimesTalks: Samantha Bee and Jason Jones at The New School. Details.

7:00pm – Mary Gordon: There Your Heart Lies, in conversation with Mary Pat Kelly at the American Irish Historical Society. Details.

7:00pm – Bill T. Jones in conversation with Zoë Buckman, Natalie Frank & Okwui Okpokwasili at New York Live Arts. Details.

7:30pm – Mike Tyson in conversation with Paul Holdengräber at Kings Theatre Brooklyn. Details.

7:30pm – Arguments & Grievances Comedy Debates at Pine Box Rock Shop. Details.

8:00pm – World Science Festival: Nevertheless, She Persisted: A Spotlight on Women in Science. Details.

11:30pm – DJ Questlove Presents: Bowl Train at Brooklyn Bowl. Details.

ON THE PITCH: In soccer, coaches are lucky to stay on at a club for more than a few seasons. But Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger has held the position for more than two decades. Here’s a look at why — despite tumultuous times — the Gunners need him just as much as he needs them. (via the NYT)

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