Brooklyn’s black judiciary to be honored by Metropolitan Black Bar Association during Black History Month

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The Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) will honor members of New York’s black judiciary, including Hon. Sheila Abdus-Salaam and Hon. George Bundy Smith, during a Black History Month Celebration at the Thurgood Marshall Federal Courthouse in Manhattan on Feb. 8.

The event will recognize those two judges along with the rest of the black members of the judiciary. Two Brooklyn judges, Hon. Ruth Shillingford, president of the Judicial Friends Association, and Hon. L. Priscilla Hall, a past honoree of the MBBA, will give speeches during the event.


Barclays Center, Nassau Coliseum get dual custody of Isles

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Having a home in Downtown Brooklyn and one out on Long Island isn’t the least bit uncommon for the lawyers, judges and other business people teeming around our fair borough these days.

But for an NHL franchise, it’s a bit unusual.

As reported in last week’s Eagle, the New York Islanders, the Brooklyn-based franchise that moved here from Uniondale, N.Y., in 2015, will spend the next three seasons splitting their home games between Downtown’s Barclays Center and their former longtime home, the Nassau Coliseum, now known as NYCB Live.

After some playful prodding from Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month and some serious pushing behind the scenes from Barclays Center and NYCB Live owner Mikhail Prokhorov the past few years, the Islanders and NHL finally agreed to let the team return to the arena where it was founded in 1972.

On a part-time basis, of course.

The Isles will play 12 of their games at the Coliseum next season and at least 20 per season in Uniondale over the following two campaigns until the franchise’s new state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat facility in Elmont, N.Y., adjacent to the legendary Belmont race track, is completed in 2021.

“There are about 120 games; three seasons,” Cuomo said during Monday’s press conference at NYCB Live.

“The number of games over those three seasons will be split, half at played Barclays Center and half played at the coliseum.”

How the Isles will split their potential postseason contests has not yet been addressed.

This certainly doesn’t qualify as a divorce between the Isles and Barclays, which has been an ill-fit here virtually from the start.

Think of it more as a trial separation that will conclude with both parties getting exactly what they want.

For Prokhorov, the Isles’ transition out of Brooklyn will open dates for more lucrative events to be held at the arena, including concerts, boxing cards and college basketball games, along with the Nets’ full home slate.

The Russian billionaire also won’t have to fret about dishing out upwards of $50 million per year guaranteed to the Isles, as per terms of the original lease agreement, which seemed a far-fetched figure for the NHL team with lowest home attendance numbers in the league.

The Isles will now have to endure the logistical discomfort of splitting their home dates over the next three seasons, but should see attendance numbers swell at the coliseum, where fans have been aching for their return.

They sold out “The Old Barn” back in September for a one-off exhibition contest and averaged more than 15,000 fans per night during the original swan song campaign on Long Island.

Also, the moaning about poor ice conditions and sight lines at Barclays will doubtlessly quell now that there is an official exit strategy.

“The [Coliseum] has obviously got a tremendous sense of history and tradition” Isles co-owner Jon Ledecky said, referring to the four Stanley Cup banners the team put up during the 1980s.

“Our fans are so excited to be here. I think if there were no seats, and they had to stand, 14,000 would come and stand here, that’s how excited they are.” 

Also, a state-funded $6 million re-renovation of the arena should make it more suitable to host NHL games, previously thought of as the main sticking point in completing this deal due to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s long-standing mantra that the Coliseum wasn’t a “viable” place for the team to play.

“The coliseum will undergo some basic structural modifications, so it meets the specifications of the Commissioner” Cuomo added Monday

“It will also give us an opportunity to welcome back the Islanders to the place where they belong, which is Long Island.” 


Other than the faithful Long Islanders who have taken the LIRR to Barclays over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise never truly caught fire as a must-see attraction here in Downtown Brooklyn.

After winning their first playoff series since 1993 here during the inaugural campaign, the Isles have regressed, both on the ice and at the ticket window.

Going home for a spell before moving into their new home feels right, especially to the players who have experienced both arenas.

“The team really belongs on Long Island,” Isles team captain and pending free agent John Tavares noted during last weekend’s All-Star festivities in Tampa.

“That’s where the team was born, created its identity and really who it is. I think if that’s the case it’ll be a great opportunity, a great experience to go back there and relive and create some more great history in that place.”

Tavares, who has the option to depart the only organization he has ever known this summer, was at the coliseum press conference and continues to insist that the Isles’ split-home schedule over the next three seasons won’t factor in his decision come unrestricted free agency in a few months.

“We know how our fan base felt about this place and us as players too,” Tavares said Monday.

“It’s really exciting with the development at Belmont, what that’s going to mean to the franchise long-term and then on the short-term basis, being able to come back to somewhere where really the heart of the franchise is.”

Isle Have Another: Tavares played in his fifth career All-Star Game last weekend, but after 10 years in NHL, Josh Bailey finally got his first trip to the annual midseason classic. Bailey, who ranks third in NHL with 42 assists this season playing alongside Tavares, soaked up the All-Star experience. “It was a good experience,” he said. “I think everyone was just out there having a good time and it’s nice getting to know some of the guys and it seemed like the fans enjoyed it too. I wouldn’t say I was overly enthused about doing fastest skater [during Saturday’s skills competition], but it is what it is. I tried to make the most of it.” … The Islanders returned from the All-Star break by hosting the Florida Panthers at Barclays on Tuesday night before hitting the road for the completion of a back-to-back at Toronto Wednesday.


Brooklyn Today January 30: Brooklyn Hospital Center Is Selling $100M Property in Fort Greene

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Weather, Brooklyn (NWS): Day 36°, Night 22°, Slight Chance Snow then Cloudy

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THE LEDE: Happy Tuesday, Brooklyn! A small but vocal crowd protests outsideMarty Golden’s office, the Brooklyn Hospital Center is selling a building inFort Greene for $100 million, and a nightmare traffic scenario is looming for Brooklyn. Plus, Ample Hills will open a new location in Park Slope, Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe will step down, and Russia is banned from the 2018 Paralympic Games. Finally, Americans are getting more sleep, paleontologists discover the fossil of a new dinosaur species in Egypt, and an Indian man dies after getting stuck in an MRI machine.  
IMPRINT: A star-studded lineup featuring Tom HanksReese Witherspoon,Oprah Winfrey and Nicole Kidman appears on the latest cover of Vanity Fair.


The Rundown

~SMALL BUT VOCAL CROWD GATHERS OUTSIDE GOLDEN’S OFFICE TO PROTEST ‘GHETTO DRUG’ REMARK: In the modern era of social media, when an off-hand comment can turn into a major political gaffe, one veteran Republican politician from Bay Ridge is catching heat. The remark, made by state Sen. Marty Golden to the Brooklyn Eagle in an article published on Jan. 23, has since angered a portion of his constituency. “It’s not a ghetto drug,” Golden said of opioids. “It’s happening to doctors’ kids.” On Monday afternoon, a group of roughly 20 attendees gathered outside the senator’s Bay Ridge office to condemn the “racist comment.” In addition to denouncing Golden’s remarks, the demonstration was held to vocalize the need for more city, state and federal funding for drug treatment in impoverished communities. Golden, who apologized for his comment on Friday, was in Albany during the rally. “Golden is conflating being offended by his comments with the need for him to account for his comments,” Policy Manager at the New York branch of Drug Policy Alliance Dionna King said. “They are not just something that is harmful to say. It’s not only morally reprehensible to harbor these feelings, he’s a lawmaker and because of that he should be held to a different standard.” (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~TRAFFIC TIME BOMB LOOMS IF STATE FAILS TO AUTHORIZE FASTER, CHEAPER BQE FIX: Unless Albany acts soon, a nightmare traffic scenario is looming for Brooklyn and the entire metropolitan region. The $1.9 billion, seven-year reconstruction of a dilapidated section of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street must be completed by 2026. If it’s not, the city’s DOT will likely have to divert 16,000 trucks daily from the highway onto local streets. This would be an “unmitigated disaster” forBrooklyn Heights and beyond, according to the Brooklyn Heights Association and other community groups, which are pushing legislators to act before theclock runs out. The section of roadway includes the triple cantilever underpinning the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The BQE rehab can only be completed by 2026 if the state authorizes the city’s use of a streamlined bidding process called “design-build,” which will allow the work to be completed as many as two years faster and $113 million cheaper. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, however, did not include design-build authority for the BQE Reconstruction Project as one of his legislative priorities this session. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~REPORT: THE BROOKLYN HOSPITAL CENTER IS SELLING $100 MILLION PROPERTY NEXT TO FORT GREENE PARK: Ka-ching! The Brooklyn Hospital Center has lined up an approximately $100 million deal to sell a building located right next to Fort Greene Park. According to Crain’s New York Business, the publication to first report the pending deal, the Rabsky Group agreed to buy a medical facility known as the Maynard Building at 240 Willoughby St. in Fort Greene. As the Brooklyn Eagle has reported, the Rabsky Group is a prolific developer that bought a sought-after DUMBOdevelopment site from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, 69 Adams St., for $65 million in late 2016. The Brooklyn Hospital Center put 21-story 240 Willoughby St. up for sale in early 2016, a story says. According to that report, the hospital planned to use the sale proceeds to help fund the construction of a new urgent care center and do renovations at its main hospital campus. The Brooklyn Hospital Center, whose main address is 121 DeKalb Ave., is a 170-year-old institution. (via Brooklyn Eagle)
~AMPLE HILLS CREAMERY COMING BY PAVILION THEATER: A week after the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved Hidrock Properties’ plans to restore retail space next to the former Pavilion Theater by Prospect Park, Ample Hills Creamery announced it would be filling the space. The 192 Prospect Park West spot in Park Slope will be the popular Brooklyn-based ice cream store’s sixth location in the borough. “This space housed an ice cream parlor in the 1930s, and it seems like a natural fit for us to perpetuate the legacy of a place where people can come together and enjoy ice cream with their friends and family,” said Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, the husband and wife owners of Ample Hills. The pair opened their first location in Prospect Heights in 2011 and will also launch a storefront in Red Hook this summer.(via Bklyner)
~SUCCESS STORIES OF NEW YORK ESCAPEES: New Yorkers know that the city is filled with reasons to live here, but it’s no secret that its residents can score cheaper housing for more space in other cities. The New York Post highlighted four examples of New York escapees who are all smiles about their moves. Native New Yorker Justin D’Onofrio was tired of the subway-failing commute from his soot-covered 390-square-foot Bushwick apartment and lack of prospects for owning a home. As a result, he jumped ship to Pittsburg, where he pays $1,000 a month in a 430-square-foot Airbnb. Another couple hopped over to Los Angeles from Prospect Heights to spend $600 more a month, but they increased their space by 2,300 square feet. Cat Wennekamp-Tapper shared her thoughts about the move, “We wine and dine, and go out, and entertain and travel. It’s nice to put that money into something other than rent.” (via New York Post)


Staff Picks:   

LONG READ: “The Plot Against America:” Here’s how Paul Manafortbecame the architect behind much of the corruption in Washington. (via The Atlantic)
ANOTHER LONG READ: Meet Franklin Chang Díaz, an immigrant and astronaut who could bring America to Mars(via Texas Monthly)
CARTOON: Watching President Trump’s State of the Union is now a torture technique(via The New Yorker)
CULTURE: Here’s a list of the top 15 art museums in New York City. (via Time Out)


NATIONAL BULLETIN: Americans are getting 18 more minutes of sleep on a weeknight than they did in 2003…Amazon’s new spheres in Seattle are now open…And Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe will step down(via NYT, USA Today and WaPo)          
FOREIGN FLASH: Russia is banned from the 2018 Paralympic Games…Paleontologists discover the fossil of a new dinosaur species in Egypt…And an Indian man dies after getting stuck in an MRI machine. (via NYT, USA Today and The Telegraph)   
 “Royal WhatsApp chat revealed: Royals discuss Katepregnancy and Harry and Meghan’s wedding” (via Daily Express)



9:00AM — Brain Train Technology Class at Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults.Details.
10:30AM — Wall Street — From Windmills to World Finance at 92nd Street Y.Details.  
12:00PM – 6:00PM — Zach Blas Contra-Internet at Art in General. Details.
5:30PM – 7:30PM — Brain Plasticity: Changing Your Brain Can Be Simple & Fun at Coming of Age NYC. Details.
6:30PM — Eva Díaz: ‘Copies Have More Fun’ – A Lecture on Josef Albers’sPractice at Guggenheim Museum. Details.
6:30PM — Shaping Policy in the Era of Alternative Facts, Fake News, and Digital Disruption at Asia Society and Museum. Details.
6:30PM — In Conversation: Edmund Clark and Erin Barnett at International Center of Photography (Museum). Details.
7:00PM – 9:00PM — The Soap Myth at Museum of Jewish Heritage. Details.
7:30PM — Brooklyn Philharmonia Chorus Spring 2018 Auditions at First Presbyterian Church. Details.
8:00PM — Molly Brenner Is Not Coming at Vital Joint. Details.


 EAGLE SPORTS: The New York Islanders will split their regular-season home games between Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center beginning next year while a new arena is built at Belmont Park. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the arrangement Monday. The Islanders plan to play 12 games at the Coliseum in Nassau County next season. The team will then decide about the next campaign, with tentative plans to play at least half their home games at the Coliseum. The new arena is expected to open in three years. The hockey team played in Nassau Coliseum from 1972 until 2015, when they moved to the Barclays Center. Fans expressed displeasure with the move, and last month the team announced plans for the facility at Belmont, home of the third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. (AP via Brooklyn Eagle)


Happy birthday to Phil Collins, Andy Milonakis, Eiza Gonzalez, Wilmer Valderrama, Brett Butler, Dick Cheney, Gene Hackman, Davey Johnson,Vanessa Redgrave, Boris Spassky and Jody Watley!

Tuesday January 30, Our World in Pictures

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CHILE — Animals Rest: Guanacos sit during a signing ceremony in Patagonia Park on Monday. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed decrees creating vast new national parks using lands donated by U.S. conservation organization Tompkins Conservation in what is believed to be the largest private donation of land ever from a private entity to a country.

ENGLAND — Leaked Document Fuels Brexit Arguments: Pro-EU membership supporters hold European Union flags as they protest against Brexit across the street from the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday. A leaked — and gloomy — economic document has inflamed arguments about Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Brexit-supporting politicians said those who released the document were trying to derail Britain’s EU exit, while pro-EU lawmakers accused the government of burying bad news.

SPAIN — Dressing Up for the Carnival: In this Monday photo, two boys take part in the carnival between the Pyrenees villages of Ituren and Zubieta. During one of the most ancient carnivals in Europe, predating the Roman Empire, companies of Joaldunak (cowbells) made up of residents of the two towns parade the streets costumed in sandals, lace petticoats, sheepskins around the waist and shoulders, colored neckerchiefs, conical caps with ribbons and a hyssop of horsehair in their right hands and cowbells hung across their lower back.

INDIA — Boy Takes a Walk with His Animals: A boy walks with his cattle as smoke emits from chimneys of a brick kiln on the outskirts of Gauhati on Tuesday.

LEBANON – Protest Against Foreign Minister: Supporters of Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri ride a scooter past a road block, during a protest against Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is urging calm after a video emerged showing Bassil calling Berri, the powerful parliament speaker, a “thug” in a closed meeting. 

UKRAINE – Anniversary of Fight Against Bolsheviks: Hundreds of people march with torches to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Ukrainians’ fight against Moscow’s Bolsheviks in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday. On Jan. 29, 1918, a historical battle between Bolshevik forces of thousands and a small Ukrainian unit of several hundred, mainly students, took place near Kruty railway station in 130km from Kiev. 

FRANCE – French Floods: The banks of river Seine are flooded in Paris, France, Monday. Floodwaters have reached a peak in Paris and are now threatening towns downstream along the rain-engorged Seine River. 

AFGHANISTAN – Security at Guard: A member of Afghan security personnel stands guard at the site of an attack at the Marshal Fahim academy in Kabul, Afghanistan Monday. Insurgents attacked an Afghan army unit guarding the military academy in the capital of Kabul on Monday, officials said.