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Around Brooklyn: Public schools cancel parent-teacher meetings

March 12, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Public schools cancel parent-teacher meetings

Public schools in Brooklyn canceled in-person parent-teacher conferences and replaced them with remote options, the Brooklyn Reporter website said.  “In an effort to keep people safe, the UFT and the city Department of Education have agreed that the middle school and high school parent-teacher conferences in March will be conducted by phone or computer,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.

Three-way State Senate race shapes up in Brooklyn

A three-way race to claim a state Senate seat covering several Central Brooklyn neighborhoods is heating up, according to Patch. Democratic candidates Jabari Brisport and Jason Salmon recently unveiled endorsements and ad campaigns in their bids for Senate District 25, which stretches from Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant to Park Slope.  They both face current Assemblymember Tremaine Wright, who has been endorsed by the seat’s current holder, State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery. Brisport has been endorsed by State Sen. Julia Salazar and the Democratic Socialists of America. Salmon has been endorsed by the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats and the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Couple converting home to ‘passive house’

A “passive house” is not one whose inhabitants are quiet all the time, but one that has zero or little energy output, according to Architectural Digest. Ruth Mandl and Bobby Johnston, the husband-and-wife architect behind CO Adaptive, are converting their l889 brownstone in Bedford-Stuyvesant to this type of passivity. The couple salvaged the architectural details they wanted, then began installing heavy insulation to achieve an 89 or 90 percent reduction in heating and cooling loads. They also installed triple-glazed windows, exterior blinds that stop sunlight from heating up the house and solar panels on the roof, Architectural Digest reported. A heat-exchanger system distributes outside air throughout the house. “The result is that in addition to the immense savings in energy, passive houses are very quiet,” Architectural Digest said.

Pastrami Masters praised by Times

Pastrami Masters, the new East Williamsburg restaurant from the team behind David’s Brisket, is serving pastrami that’s almost on par with that of Katz’s, said New York Eater, which in turn quoted The New York Times. The Times critic, Pete Wells, also praised the brisket sandwich. Pastrami Masters, at 812 Grand St., is in a space formerly occupied by a neighborhood Lebanese restaurant called Wafa’s Express. The new deli also offers many of the Lebanese offerings, such as falafel, eggplant and hummus.

Thieves hit Coney storage facility

A group of masked thieves raided a Coney Island storage facility and got away with nearly $140,000 worth of items after ransacking hundreds of storage units, according to the New York Post. The four bandits entered through an unlocked gate at a Cube Smart self-storage space on Shell Road near Neptune Avenue around 9 p.m. on Feb. 21. They used crowbars to break into nearly 300 storage units, police said. The suspects were captured on video wearing all black. It was unclear what items were stolen, the Post said.

Heights carriage house is selling for $5.45M

A carriage house in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District is selling for $5.45 million, according to Curbed. The house, built around 1895, sits in a row of carriage houses on Hunts Lane. It was turned into a home in the 1970s, and in 1997, its interiors were renovated by architect Leslie Gill. Among its details are an oak-and-steel staircase, large arched windows, exposed beams, exposed white brick, terra cotta bathroom tiles and high ceilings. The home is being marketed by Corcoran, Curbed said.

Teen revealed sex abuse at dinner table

A Brooklyn mother learned that her 16-year-old son was being abused by one of his teachers when he became distressed at his father’s birthday celebration, according to the Daily News.  His mother testified that after she asked him why he seemed depressed, her son told her that his teacher was having a sexual relationship with him. Defendant Mervyn Affoon, who taught at the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism at Erasmus High School in Flatbush, is accused of sexually abusing the teen about 15 times over a three-month period in 2017, the News said. The abuse allegedly began in the classroom after other students left and allegedly ended up in Affoon’s home.

Is it or isn’t it an official bike lane?

The city Department of Transportation and the Parks Department have erased references to a protected bike lane running west across Leif Ericson Park in Bay Ridge, according to Gothamist.  The lane, which Gothamist said “has never been very good,” has been on the official DOT bike map for years. However, when a local resident complained about the condition of the lane, a Parks Department spokesperson responded that the lane isn’t an officially authorized bike lane, and that signs designating it as such were removed last year. A Parks spokesperson, when asked by Gothamist, said the same things and claimed that the signs declaring it a bikeway were unauthorized and should not have been installed. The DOT refused to comment.

Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene to close

The legendary Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene is closing for good because its owners have sold the building just blocks from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, according to the website. The final day will be April 10. The bar opened at its current location at 660 Fulton St. in 1972 after its original location was razed during the Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Project. The current owners, brothers Terry and Tyrone Perkins, “simply said it was time” the website reported. 

Spiders, not from Mars, but from Richmond, Va.

The University of Richmond [Virginia] Spiders basketball team is heading to Brooklyn as part of the Atlantic 10 tournament, according to ABC 8 in Richmond. The tournament, which takes place through March 15, is scheduled for Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn but does not involve any Brooklyn teams.  So far, the team has a 14-4 record in conference. Richmond is slated to play the winner of the contest between La Salle and Davidson tomorrow at 6 p.m., ABC 8 reported.

Man who ran over woman in 2015 to serve no time

A Brooklyn man who accidentally ran over and killed an art curator in 2015 when she was shopping for Christmas presents will serve no time behind bars in exchange for pleading guilty, the New York Post said Wednesday. Marlon Sewell pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge and admitted being behind the wheel of his defective vehicle when he struck and killed Victoria Nicodemus on Dec. 9, 2015, in Fort Greene. Brooklyn Justice Evelyn Laporte said yes when asked by Assistant District Attorney Rene Plattner if a defect in Sewell’s Chevy Suburban caused him to lose control of the car. Laporte said Sewell will receive a sentence of five years’ probation as a condition of his plea deal, the Post said. He could have been sentenced to up to 15 years for second-degree manslaughter.

One-bedroom co-op in Park Slope going for $669K

A spacious one-bedroom co-op for sale in a 1936 Park Slope Art Deco building at 140 Eighth Ave. is on sale for $669,000, according to Brownstoner. Its advantages include wood floors with parquet and inlaid borders, a vintage bathroom, covered radiators and a large foyer. The combined living and dining room is big enough to serve both functions. A small kitchen, which is accessed through French doors, is more recent and has modern appliances.  The building itself has two attractive Art Deco lobbies, an elevator and a laundry room, Brownstoner said.

Love is a many-splendored thing at Williamsburg art exhibit

A sprawling exhibit of paintings, sculptures, photos and other artwork, “A Romantic Comedy,” is on display through March 31 at a storefront at 25 Kent St., in Williamsburg. The exhibit is hosted by Wallplay, a company that operates pop-ups in vacant retail spaces, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Since “A Romantic Comedy” opened two weeks ago, nearly 1,000 visitors have passed through the storefront’s doors. Steven Pestana, one of the exhibit’s organizers, told the Brooklyn Paper,  “Visitors should stop by to see some of the most unique emerging artists at work right now, all in one place, in a setting that allows the artwork to make a coherent statement.”

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