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In Public Service: Levin endorses 80 Flatbush project

September 25, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Now that the developer of 80 Flatbush has agreed to reduce the height and density of the proposed project, Councilmember Stephen Levin has signed on as a supporter. Rendering courtesy of Alloy Development/Luxigon
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Councilmember Stephen Levin (D-Greenpoint-Williamsburg-DUMBO-Downtown Brooklyn) stated his support for 80 Flatbush, a controversial development project, after the property developer, Alloy Development, agreed to make concession in the size and scope of the project.

After Levin signaled his support, the City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises voted to approve the project.

In response to concerns about the project raised by local residents and after a series of meetings with Community Board 2 and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Levin said he successfully pushed for significant reductions in the height and density of the proposal and advocated for changes in the design to ensure that the new high-rise would have minimal impact on low-rise brownstones on nearby State Street.

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The development will contain 900 apartments and will consist of two towers. A tower that was originally proposed at 986 feet tall has been lowered to 840 feet, according to Curbed.com, which also reported that a second tower will be reduced from 560 to 510 feet in height. Two schools will also be built on the property.

“The 80 Flatbush process has been among the most inclusive land use processes that I have had the privilege of being a part of,” Levin said in a statement. — PK

Nadler demands House vote to protect Mueller

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, is calling for a vote on the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, a bill designed to protect the Russia-collusion investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Nadler (D-parts of Bay Ridge-Bensonhurst-Upper West Side) charged that the House Republican leadership is refusing to move the bill forward for a vote. Nadler and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are seeking to use a little-known House rule that would force the committee to hold a special meeting to consider the bill.

“The last thing our nation needs is a slow motion Saturday Night massacre, by which the president engineers the firing of Justice Department officials charged with supervising the Special Counsel investigation,” Nadler said in a statement. “Congress must take up its constitutional duty to provide a check to executive power, particularly when it seems such powers are in danger of being abused.” — PK

Malliotakis blasts de Blasio’s plans for Brooklyn jail

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis came out swinging against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to open a new 40-story jail in Brooklyn.

Maliotakis (R-Bay Ridge-Staten Island), who ran for mayor against de Blasio and lost in 2017, charged that he is sacrificing neighborhoods.

“No New Yorker wants a jail in their backyard, much less a jail that will dwarf the neighborhood at nearly 40 stories high. Mayor de Blasio already sold out the neighborhoods of Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights when he broke his 2013 campaign promise and allowed Long Island College Hospital to be closed and replaced by high rises a mere 4 blocks from the jail site. Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Gowanus and Park Slope need to stand up and say ‘NO’ to Mayor de Blasio’s plans,” Malliotakis said in a statement.

Under the mayor’s plan, the Brooklyn House of Detention would be replaced by a new jail on Atlantic Avenue. The proposal is part of de Blasio’s plan to close Rikers Island and build smaller jails around the city. — PK

Clarke mourns slain teen

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Central Brooklyn) released the following statement in the wake of death of Oluwadurotimi Oyebola, a teenager who was gunned down on a basketball court in Brownsville: “Oluwadurotimi Oyebola was shot and killed on a playground/basketball court at Chester Street and Sutter Avenue in the Ninth Congressional District. Timi, as he is affectionately known, was only 16 years old and a high school student at Brooklyn Ascend High School. It has been noted by the NYPD that Timi in all likelihood was not the intended target of this tragic act of senseless gun violence. It is crucial that those responsible for this heinous crime are apprehended and brought to justice.”

Clarke urged residents to “keep the Oyebola family in our thoughts and prayers as they face this very difficult time of bereavement.” — PK

Treyger tells which streets to be repaved

If you live in Coney Island, Gravesend or Bensonhurst, you will likely be seeing workers repaving your street or a street near your home in October, according to Democratic Councilmember mark Treyger, who has released a list of local streets the New York City Department of Transportation will be working on next month.

“The maintenance and upkeep of our streets and sidewalks is an important quality-of-life matter that can prevent injury to person and property,” Treyger said in a statement. “I’m pleased to have worked with the Department of Transportation to secure street resurfacing projects this fall across the 47th District, so pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike can get around our community safely and soundly.” — PK

Here is a list of streets scheduled to be repaved at the end of September and in October:

  • Benson Avenue, from 26th Avenue to Stillwell Avenue

  • Bay View Avenue, from West 33rd Street to West 37th Street

  • West 37th Street, from Mermaid Avenue to Neptune Avenue

  • West 32nd Street, from Boardwalk to Neptune Avenue

  • West 31st Street, from Bay View Avenue to Surf Avenue

  • West 30th Street, from Neptune Avenue to Surf Avenue

  • West 25th Street, from Boardwalk to Neptune Avenue

  • West 24th Street, from Boardwalk to Neptune Avenue

  • 84th Street, from 19th Avenue to Stillwell Avenue

Ortiz says Congress shouldn’t play games with taxpayers

Assemblymember Felix Ortiz (Red Hook-Sunset Park) believes that House Republicans are playing games with taxpayers over state and local taxes. The GOP released details to create a second round of tax cuts they hope to pass before the November elections.

The intent of the taxes is to protect middle and small business by extending individual tax cuts and encouraging new entrepreneurs to start up new businesses.

Ortiz thinks the House Majority is seeking to force a vote before the midterms in order to place Democrats in a Catch-22 by forcing them to vote against tax relief for the middle class.

New York provides employers the option of paying a 5 percent payroll tax on annual wages above $40,000 per employee. Employers providing this choice would likely reduce wages but workers would receive a tax credit to compensate them for any decline in their take-home pay resulting from the new payroll tax. 

New York’s 2018-19 budget sought to protect New York middle class taxpayers from the last federal cap on state and local tax (SALT) deduction on personal income taxes at $10,000, potentially leading to tax increases. 

“I expect the House Majority to include a permanent SALT cap,” Ortiz said. “This last-minute attempt to madly enact more tax legislation only has a political purpose. Congress shouldn’t play games with American taxpayers.” — JA

De Blasio and Carranza approve plans to increase middle school diversity in Brooklyn

Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza have approved a diversity plan to increase middle school diversity in Brooklyn’s District 15 (Sunset Park, Carroll Gardens) after a yearlong community-driven proposal.

They’ve launched a $2 million school diversity grant program for other school districts and communities across the City to develop their own community-driven diversity plans.

De Blasio and Carranza also announced that the city’s independent School Diversity Advisory Group will continue to advise the city after issuing its initial report this December. 

“We believe that our schools can reflect our whole city and we are proud to support and invest in the future of New Yorkers for generations to come,” de Blasio said. “This isn’t going to be one size fits all. This is a ripe moment and this community built a powerful grassroots plan. Now, we have to execute and deliver on it to show parents across the city this approach can work.”

Carranza said that integrated schools benefit all students. “There’s a groundswell of support from parents, educators and students across the city, and today, we’re taking a real step towards integration in District 15 and citywide,” Carranza said. “I’m going to be working closely with Districts 1, 3 and 15 to implement their plans, and encouraging superintendents and school leaders across the city to take on this work in their communities.” — JA

Malliotakis receives Verrazano Kiwanis’ Community Leadership Award

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-Brooklyn-Staten Island) was honored with the Community Leadership Award at the Verrazano Kiwanis’ Annual Dinner Dance and Award Banquet on Thursday, Sept. 20.

Malliotakis has worked with the club extensively in the past year, in particular by offering ways to engage New Dorp High School students in local community service. The students participated in several cleanups she organized throughout the Staten Island portion of her district.

“Assemblywoman Malliotakis has gone above and beyond to make a difference in our community and to inspire some of our youngest volunteers,” said George Passariello, founding board member of the Verrazano Kiwanis Club. “She constantly strives to improve her district and empower others to do the same. We are very lucky to have her as an elected official and community member.”

Malliotakis said that the Verrazano Kiwanis Club has been at the forefront of community service supporting many local charities. “I thank its members for recognizing me and look forward to expanding our partnership to engage even more high school students to help prepare them to be New York City’s next generation of leaders,” added Malliotakis. — JA

Justin Brannan says pet stores should only sell rescue animals

You might call it a pet project of City Councilmember Justin Brannan, who announced that he wants to introduce legislation requiring New York City pet stores to sell only cats and dogs sent from animal shelters or provided by rescue groups.

“The puppy and kitten mill pet store connection creates lives of misery from beginning to end,” Brannan posted on Facebook. He plans to introduce the legislation this fall, which is designed to crack down on inhumane puppy and kitten mills.

“More than 20,000 animals enter the NYC shelter system every year,” Brannan said. “Why should pet shops be profiting off selling sick puppies and kittens while thousands of healthy shelter dogs and cats need a home?”

Brannan expressed his frustration that other cities are doing more for animal welfare. “Other cities are eating our lunch,” Brannan said. “We need to work harder to make New York City a more humane city.” — JA


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