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Brooklyn Today February 16: Brooklyn Judge Denies El Chapo’s Request to Speak in Court

February 16, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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THE LEDE: Happy Friday, Brooklyn! A judge tells El Chapo he can’t speak in court, the Brooklyn House of Detention is expanding, and a woman inWilliamsburg looks for love with a billboard. Plus, a new escape room comes to Sheepshead Bay, GQ speaks with actor Timothée Chalamet, and we share the top 28 pizza spots in New York City. Finally, the Florida school shooting suspect appears in court on murder charges, one in six children live in war zones, and Cyril Ramaphosa becomes South Africa’s new president. Have a great weekend.              
IMPRINT: Actor Timothée Chalamet from “Call Me By Your Name” appears on the latest cover of GQ. (See an interview with Chalamet in Staff Picks below.)

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The Rundown

~PLAN TO ENLARGE AND REDESIGN BROOKLYN HOUSE OF DETENTION MOVES FORWARD: Under pressure to speedily replace Rikers Island with four smaller, safer municipal jails — including the Brooklyn Detention Center on Atlantic Avenue — city councilmembers have reached an unusual agreement with Mayor Bill de Blasio for a joint public review process. The process, known as ULURP, usually reviews only one land use project at a time. It involves a series of public hearings at the community and borough level followed by binding decisions by the mayor and City Council. The agreement announcedWednesday, however, would review four proposed sites across the city — in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx — in one fell swoop. The Brooklyn Detention Center (aka the Brooklyn House of Detention) in Boerum Hillcurrently houses roughly 800 inmates. It would be enlarged and redesignedunder the proposal. While designs have not been finalized yet, the jails would be safer for inmates and guards, brighter, less oppressive and could involve street-level development of retail, the city said. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~BROOKLYN JUDGE DENIES EL CHAPO’S REQUEST TO SPEAK IN COURT: Appearing in court for a status conference leading up to his September trial, a Brooklyn federal court judge denied a request by alleged Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to speak in court on Thursday. “I don’t need to hear from Mr. Guzman,” Judge Brian Cogan said in Brooklyn’s federal court. “I may yet hear from him, but not today because it’s too sudden.” According to his attorney, Eduardo Balarezo, Guzman wanted to publically advise his family to pay for his lawyer and to address how strict prison conditions have hampered his defense. “He wants the family to know they should pay his attorney,” Balarezo said. When the judge asked why the family would disbelieve Guzman’s attorney to pay up, Balarezo quickly responded, “Sometimes people need to hear it from the horse’s mouth.” When Guzman, 60, stood up in court ready to speak with a letter in hand, prosecutors called for a sidebar to further discuss the issue after the judge already recommended Guzman not speak. Ultimately, the judge postponed the speech to another day, granted the defense sends a preview letter. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~WOMAN HOPES BILLBOARD BRINGS HER LOVE: After a 25-year-old single woman experienced a connection with a stranger on the G train in October, she took to social media to try to find her lost lover. “We kept making eye contact from a distance and throughout the ride, he kept moving closer and closer,” Devin Custalow said. But the pair got separated at a stop and never talked, so she posted on Craigslist’s missed connections board that night in hopes of a rekindling. Eventually a team from a Las Vegas hotel spotted her post and created a 20-foot billboard in Williamsburg looking to find the guy. The campaign hoped to bring the two together by Valentine’s Day, but it was unsuccessful. About her endeavors, Custalow said, “People meet online and through dating apps and slide in DMs, so why is that much different?” (via abc7NY and News 12 Brooklyn)
~NEW ESCAPE ROOM IN SHEEPSHEAD BAY: An escape room enthusiast inSheepshead Bay has spread his hobby into a new interactive venue for the sea-faring neighborhood. Element Quest is the first escape room to come to southern Brooklyn, featuring a gruesome, blood-covered space liken to the “Saw” movie franchise. Its owner Bryan Sardinha says he was filling a void in the neighborhood with the physical adventure game venue. “There’s nothing really for this type of entertainment here, so I thought this would be the perfect place,” Sardinha said. “It gives people more to do besides shopping and food.” With only its horror-based room open at the moment, Element Quest hopes to create a “Jumanji” theme in the coming weeks to completely immerse its customers in another world. The space is now open on Kings Highway between East 13th and East 14th streets. (via Brooklyn Daily)


Staff Picks:   

LONG READ: Timothée Chalamet, the budding young actor from “Call Me By Your Name,” has arrived right on cue. (via GQ)
ANOTHER LONG READ: “What Bullets Do to Bodies” (via Highline)
EAT: Here are the 28 best pizza spots in New York City, including 11 in Brooklyn. (via Time Out)  
TRAVEL: Interested in moving? Look no further. Here are the 25 best countries to live in based on education, income and life expectancy. (via USA Today)


NATIONAL BULLETIN: The Florida school shooting suspect appears in court on murder charges…Buying an AR-15 is easier than purchasing a handgun in Florida…And snow is expected this weekend in the northeast, just days after temperatures were in the 60s. (via USA Today, NYT and WaPo)               
FOREIGN FLASH: Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegnresigns…One in six children live in war zones…And Cyril Ramaphosabecomes South Africa’s new president(via NYT, USA Today and CNN)      
The homeless population in Windsor, England, may berelocated for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. (via USA Today)


10:45AM — French for Little Ones at Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Details.
12:00PM – 4:00PM — Lunar New Year in Prospect Park at Audobon Center at the Boathouse. Details.
1:00PM – 6:00PM — The Art Life at FiveMyles. Details.  
2:45PM — Creative Writing for Kids at Cortelyou Library. Details.
3:45PM — Kids Create: Celebrate Lunar New Year at New Utrecht Library.Details.
5:30PM — Tot Shabbat at Bay Ridge Jewish Center. Details.
6:00PM – 8:00PM — DuClaw Brewing Tasting Event at Prospect Heights Beer Works. Details.
7:00PM — On Stage at Kingsborough: For The Love Of Jazz With Host Elad Kabilio and Vocalists Thana Alexa and Michael Mayo Featuring the Israeli MusicTalks Jazz Quartet. Details.
7:00PM — Four Simultaneous Soloists: Night Three at Pioneer Works. Details.
8:00PM – 11:00PM — Katt Williams 2018 Comedy Tour at Barclays Center.Details.  
 EAGLE SPORTS: Just a little more than three weeks ago, the Nets seemed like a young team on the rise that could threaten to compete for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Now, they’re simply trying to avoid finishing with the NBA’s worst record for a second consecutive season. Brooklyn stumbled into the All-Star break on a season-high seven-game losing streak following a 108-103 Valentine’s Day loss to the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Brooklyn’s penchant for porous defense and carelessness with the ball reared its ugly head again, allowing the Pacers to go on a game-deciding 11-2 run that left the Nets to spend the next week lamenting what could have been. “Defense again was our Achilles heel,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Thirty-five points [in the fourth quarter] is just too many. I just felt like they got too many easy baskets, too many easy looks. There were too many breakdowns.” (via Brooklyn Eagle)

Happy birthday to Jerome Bettis, LeVar Burton, Christopher Eccleston, Lupe Fiasco, Richard Ford, Carl Icahn, Ice T, James Ingram, William Katt, Eric Ladin, John Patrick McEnroe Jr. and Barry Primus!

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