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OF NOTE- People In The News: Friday, January 17

January 16, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Brooklyn-based skateboarder Beatrice Domond. Photo via xgames.com 

Popular skateboarding company Vans recently opened an indoor skating space, free for local skateboarders, within a former warehouse on the Williamsburg-Bushwick border. Vans Skate Place 198 took inspiration from popular skating spots around the city, including Brooklyn Banks beneath the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. According to Vans’ senior marketing manager JUSTIN VILLANO, the company spent months reaching out to local skateboarders to learn what they wanted out of the space. “We brought everyone into the fold,” Villano said. “It wasn’t just a Vans-dictated direction on course design.” So far, the city’s dedicated skaters seem to appreciate having an indoor place to go during the colder months. “In New York we tend to go into hibernation during the winter since there’s no space to skate,” said Brooklyn-based professional skateboarder BEATRICE DOMOND. “We don’t have to keep our hands in our pockets freezing anymore or wait until summer.” 

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Anti-violence advocate Shanduke McPhatter. Photo courtesy of McPhatter

More than 100 anti-violence activists gathered on the steps of City Hall Wednesday for the 10th annual New York Peace Week, an event series designed to help communities affected by gun violence. The event highlighted the work of local organizations, such as Save Our Streets Brooklyn and 696 Build, that defuse by employing local residents. SHANDUKE MCPHATTER, founder of Brooklyn-based group Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes, took part in the event, along with A.T. MITCHELL of Brownsville-based anti-violence nonprofit Man Up!. “Those individuals that are most proximal to what we are seeking to address are the ones that are best equipped,” said ERIC CUMBERBATCH, deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “They have the skill set, the granular knowledge and the ability to reach individuals across the city.” 

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In “We’re Still Here,” a comics anthology written, drawn and edited entirely by transgender artists, TARA AVERY and Brooklyn-resident JEANNE THORNTON have compiled 55 graphically illustrated stories with genres ranging from nonfiction, to fantasy, to visual essays and memoir. The first-of-its-kind anthology was published by Stacked Deck Press after raising more than $65,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, which had an original goal of $17,000. With over 300 pages filled with gorgeous art, heartbreaking tales and whimsical anecdotes, “We’re Still Here” proves that trans people have been part of the art world for some time, and they’re not going anywhere soon. 

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Comedian Dave Hill. Photo via wikipedia.org

Comedian DAVE HILL will bring his improvised fake history podcast to Union Hall Jan. 24. “History Fluffer” casts Hill as something of a Forrest Gump figure, stumbling his way into pivotal roles in historical events — like the time he caused Brexit, worked as Son of Sam’s dog walker, or founded iconic New York City night club CBGB — as fellow comedians JIM BIEDERMAN, JODI LENNON and CHRIS GERSBECK press him for details. Those details can be tricky to deliver, since Hill fabricates his entire first-person historical account on the spot. “I basically b——t the whole story,” Hill told the Brooklyn Paper. “It’s really fun and silly.” 

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Restauranteur Henry Rich. Photo via heritageradionetwork.org

At Rhodora natural wine bar in Fort Greene, owner HENRY RICH is taking restaurant sustainability to a new level. Rhodora is a “zero waste” bar, meaning that every scrap of trash and food waste is recycled or composted. To accomplish that feat, Rich, owner of popular Brooklyn hangouts June and Rucola, worked with ANTHONY MINT, cofounder of local nonprofit Zero Foodprint, to source compostable ingredients and recyclable restaurant supplies that won’t add to the waste stream. “We realized we had to start from zero, no pun intended. Everything from our food program, beverage program and staffing model has the zero-waste mission as its deciding factor,” Rich told Eater New York. 

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AGATHA EDWARDS of Sunset Park may be just 16 years old, but she’s already published six books. The Stuyvesant High School junior’s most recent tome is “The 100 Most Important African Americans,” which celebrates African American activists, public servants, soldiers, lawyers, writers, painters, athletes and more. Edwards raised funds through GoFundMe so that she could give away 3,000 free copies of the book to kids in Brownsville for Black History Month. “I wanted to give something back for the kids in Brooklyn,” Edwards told the Brooklyn Reporter. “I wanted them to be inspired by stories of real people who overcame huge odds.” 


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