Brooklyn Today July 23: $1.4 Billion Central Brooklyn Improvement Plan Rolls Out
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THE LEDE: Happy Monday! Gov. Cuomo invests in Central Brooklyn, the VA Hospital isn’t closing, and locals rally to free Pablo Villavicencio. Plus, Councilmember Rafael Espinal pushes for green rooftops, a Brooklyn-based comic book creates some buzz, and an artist fills potholes with Donald Trump’s face. Finally, a Greenpoint ferry pier unexpectedly closes, Gage and Tollner gets a new life, and today is Brooklyn-born actor Omar Epps’ birthday. Have a great week.
IMPRINT: Actress Alison Brie poses in pink sparkles on the August cover ofCosmopolitan Italia.
~$1.4B CENTRAL BROOKLYN IMPROVEMENT PLAN ROLLS OUT: Gov.Cuomo’s plan to turn around Central Brooklyn is rolling out in neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, Crown Heights and East New York. “We’re doing 8,800 projects in Brooklyn,” Cuomo said on Thursday. “Just Central Brooklyn. 8,800 projects. How much does it cost? 1.4 billion.” The initiative, dubbed “Vital Brooklyn,” will target Central Brooklyn because it has the highest unemployment rate, the largest number of families on food stamps, the highest number of murders and the least physically active people in the city. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~VA HOSPITAL ‘NOT CLOSING,’ SAYS OFFICIAL AT HEATED TOWN HALL MEETING: “We’re not closing.” That was the definitive statement made by Director of VANY Harbor Healthcare System Martina Parauda regarding the status of the Brooklyn VA Hospital during a two-hour town hall meeting last week. The objective of the well-attended gathering was to answer the questions veterans submitted, many related to the future of the Brooklyn facility. “There are no plans to close,” Parauda said. “I’m not lying about that. I’m here to have an open, factual discussion.” (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~LOCALS RALLY TO ‘FREE PABLO’ VILLAVICENCIO OUTSIDE FORT HAMILTON ARMY BASE: Brooklyn says, “Free Pablo.” A protest outside the Fort Hamilton Army Base on Thursday in defense of Pablo Villavicencio, the 35-year-old pizza deliveryman and father of two who was detained by ICE after attempting to make a delivery to the Bay Ridge base in June, spanned generations. It also delivered a strong message: Immigrants are welcome here. According to both ICE and Fort Hamilton officials, Villavicencio was flagged for an outstanding warrant during a voluntary background check to enter the base. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~BROOKLYN POLS PUSH FOR GREEN ROOFTOPS: Councilmember Rafael Espinal introduced a bill last week that would require new commercial buildings across the city to install green rooftops. The bill would require roofs of new commercial buildings to be covered with plants on top of a waterproof membrane, solar panels, small wind turbines or a combination of all three. The legislation would also apply to existing buildings undergoing major renovations on their rooftops. “In New York City today, only 0.15 percent of our rooftops are green,” Espinal said. “That puts us way behind in the conversation.” (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~FORMER HEAD OF DC COMICS CREATES BROOKLYN GRAPHIC THRILLER: Paul Levitz, former head of DC Comics and a native of East Flatbush, created his own crime-based comic with a supernatural twist: “Brooklyn Blood.” His idea began when he noticed that three disasters in New York City history – the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Brooklyn, the Malbone Street subway wreck in 1918 and the Pan Am air crash of 1960 – occurred within a mile of each other in the greater Park Slope area. The story’s hero is an Afghanistan War veteran and Park Slope native who returns to his old stomping grounds to work as an NYPD detective. (New York Post via Brooklyn Eagle)
~ARTISTS FILLS POTHOLES WITH MOSAICS, BUT DOT CALLS THEM A SAFETY HAZARD: A Chicago-based artist recently filled several potholes in Brooklyn and Manhattan with NYC-themed mosaics, but the city Department of Transportation thinks it’s a hazard because drivers could become distracted by the art. Jim Bachor, who has installed more than 70 potholes with mosaic art in various cities since 2013, insists his creations are safe. The artwork, dubbed “Vermin of New York,” depicts a rat, a pigeon, a cockroach, Donald Trump and a bouquet of flowers. (PIX11 via Brooklyn Eagle)
~GREENPOINT FERRY PIER CLOSED DUE TO ‘UNEXPECTED’ PROBLEMS: The city’s NYC Ferry service stopped running to Greenpoint on Thursdaybecause of damage to its India Street Pier, which partially collapsed in 2014. Officials sent out an alert that service to the pier was suspended until further notice because of “unexpected landing maintenance.” They wouldn’t reveal what was wrong with the pier or say how long repairs would take. The pier’s gangway collapsed during a snowstorm in February 2014, just moments after passengers were walking on it. (New York Post via Brooklyn Eagle)
LONG READ: Kirsten Gillibrand is posed to make a run for the presidency in 2020. Leaning left of center and fighting tirelessly for women’s rights, the New York senator may be the best-suited candidate to take on Trump. (via GQ)
ANOTHER LONG READ: A small Alabama town reckons with its support for President Trump. While many believe he’s done some good by supporting pro-choice, he’s also guilty of sins like adultery. (via WaPo)
EAT: Downtown Brooklyn’s Gage and Tollner — one of the few restaurants to be landmarked on both the inside and outside — is ready for a new startthanks to three Red Hook restaurateurs. (via Eater)
TRAVEL: “36 Hours in Greenport, N.Y. (and Beyond)” (via NYT)
NATIONAL BULLETIN: American Media Inc. may have acted as a political supporter for Trump…WeWork is now vegetarian…And 17 people die after a duck boat sinks in Missouri. (via NYT, Bloomberg and WaPo)
FOREIGN FLASH: Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, may soon behanded over to the UK from Ecuador…A Brazilian plastic surgeon is arrestedafter one of his patient’s dies…And Russia creates a bill combating “fake news” at home. (HuffPost, USA Today and NYT)
ROYAL WATCH: Prince George turned 5 yesterday. Here are photos of other royal family members when they were that age. (via People)
8:30AM – 3:30PM — Different Things Around the World at Land Gallery.Details.
9:30AM — Broadway Dance at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 2. Details.
10:00AM – 6:00PM — Ocean Wonders: Sharks! at New York Aquarium.Details.
5:00PM – 8:00PM — Mindful Pints Yoga and Beer at Coney Island Brewery.Details.
6:00PM — Books Beneath the Bridge at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6. Details.
7:00PM — Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers at BAM Rose Cinemas. Details.
6:00PM – 8:00PM — Stoic School of Life: Seneca on Anger at New York Society for Ethical Culture. Details.
7:00PM — Mistakes Were Made: A Storytelling Show About Failure at Caveat.Details.
7:00PM — TimesTalks: Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams at The TimesCenter. Details.
7:00PM — A Sabbath of the Mind at Museum at Eldridge Street. Details.
EAGLE SPORTS: The Brooklyn Nets have acquired forward Jared Dudleyand a protected 2021 second round draft pick from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward Darrell Arthur. Dudley has appeared in 788 career games with Phoenix, Washington, Milwaukee, the Los Angeles Clippers and Charlotte, recording averages of 8.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 23.4 minutes per game. Arthur was acquired in a trade with the Denver Nuggets on July 13. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
Happy birthday to Ronny Cox, Omar Epps, Nicholas Gage, Nomar Garciaparra, Woody Harrelson, Don Imus, Arata Isozaki, Anthony M. Kennedy, Eriq La Salle, Edie McClurg, Tom Mison, Belinda Montgomery, Gary Payton, Daniel Radcliffe, Brandon Roy, Marlon Wayans Paul Wesley!
Brooklyn Today’s editor is Scott Enman. Contact him at[email protected].
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