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Around Brooklyn: Unused W’burg park to reopen thanks to pressure from locals

June 18, 2020 Editorial Staff
A platform at Park Slope's Fourth Avenue and 9th Street station is nearly empty on March 30. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Unused W’burg park to reopen thanks to pressure from locals

The Parks Department plans to reopen a closed, overgrown park at 50 Kent Ave. in Williamsburg in July for four days each week during the summer. Local residents started a petition demanding that the city unchain the unused space near the Williamsburg waterfront. “We are happy to share that 50 Kent will open this summer from July 9 through Labor Day Weekend every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Parks Department spokeswoman Anessa Hodgson told Brownstoner in a statement.

Mayor’s decision to cancel youth job program criticized

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to cancel the Summer Youth Employment Program because of the COVID-19 epidemic will result in low-income youth losing more than a combined $109 million in wages, according to a study by the Independent Budget Office. The young people would make between $700 and $1,600 in wages each. De Blasio made his decision in the face of a multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall, but teens and their advocates say the program provides youths with valuable job experience. Last year, the program connected 74,500 young people with jobs. The great majority came from families that made $31,000 or less, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

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

Architecture, design firms to partner with community groups

The Brooklyn-based Van Alen Institute recently announced the launch of Neighborhoods Now, an initiative in partnership with the Urban Design Forum that will pair more than 20 design firms with community organizations that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus epidemic. The neighborhoods are Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, Kingsbridge in the Bronx, Jackson Heights in Queens and Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan. Like similar low-income neighborhoods across the country, these communities already lacked the resources and capital to respond to a crisis of such magnitude, according to the Architects Newspaper.

Monument to Shirley Chisholm delayed because of coronavirus crisis

City officials are pointing to the COVID-19 shutdown as the reason that Brooklyn’s monument to Shirley Chisholm, who became the first Black woman elected to the House of Representatives, will not be completed by the end of the year, as originally planned. In 2018, First Lady Chirlane McCray and then-Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen announced She Built NYC, a program aimed at addressing the fact that only five out of 150 statues of historical figures in the city are of women. Chisholm was to be the first woman to be honored under the initiative. The monument was meant to be installed at the Parkside entrance to Prospect Park by the end of this year, according to Gotham Gazette.

Canadian model selling B’klyn apartment for $1.89M

Canadian supermodel Shalom Harlow just listed her apartment on Furman St. in Brooklyn Heights for $1.89 million. Harlow, famed for both her curls and her grunge look, returned to the catwalk in 2018 and was on the March cover of InStyle magazine. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo has views of the Manhattan skyline as well as the Statue of Liberty and the East River. The building, known as One Brooklyn Bridge Park, features a screening room, a music room, playrooms, a yoga studio, a game room, a gym and a business center, according to the New York Post.

Eight-story apt. building planned for Bed-Stuy

Permits have been filed for an eight-story residential building at 952 Bedford Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The site, which is currently a vacant lot that contains a boarded-up three story house, is a short walk from the G train’s Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues subway station. It is slated to have 33 units, most likely rentals, as well as a rear yard. Isaac Broyn is listed as the owner on the application, while Connecticut-based Adam R. Taddolino is listed as the architect of record, according to New York YIMBY.

NYU Langone receives ‘Baby-Friendly’ designation

NYU Langone Hospital Brooklyn has achieved the international Baby-Friendly designation after years of improvements and a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA. The standards are based on the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” a set of practices recommended by the World Health Organization and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. “The hospital experiences strongly influences a mother’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding,” said Dr. Ming Tsai, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone-Brooklyn. NYU Langone-Brooklyn is the first academic medical center in Brooklyn to join the 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers around the world.

District leader candidate gave names of protest leaders to NYPD

Robert Berrios, a candidate for district leader in Red Hook who has been endorsed by the Brooklyn Democratic Party, is facing criticism after it emerged that he shared details about Black Lives Matter protest organizers with the NYPD. Berrios emailed names and photographs of the organizers behind a rally on June 7 to NYPD Deputy Inspector Tania Kinsella. Berrios also told her that he would attend the protest and feed details about it to the Police Department in real time. Berrios, who supported the move to repeal the 50-a law, is a graduate of the NYPD’s Civilian Police Academy who works as an office supervisor and volunteers with the Red Hook Civic Association, according to Gothamist.

State Reps Parker, Perry praise Cuomo for signing police reform bills

State Sen. Kevin Parker (D-East Flatbush-Flatbush-Midwood-Kensington-Park Slope) and Assemblymember Nick Perry (D-East Flatbush) recently praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing into law the “New Yorker’s Right to Monitor Act,” which affirms the right of an individual to record law enforcement activity and to main custody of that recording. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant! The Right to Record Act will ensure protection for people who record misconduct by police,” said Parker. “There should be no cover, and no comfort for wrongful behavior in any police department,” added Perry.

Treyger calls for Division of School Safety to be returned to DOE

Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Bensonhurst-Bath Beach) recently called for the Division of School Safety to be removed from NYPD control and returned to the Department of Education. “We need nothing short of structural change,” he said. “Despite their outsized impact on a school’s climate and culture, School Safety Agents do not report to and are not accountable to principals.”

Brooklyn RE market rebounds somewhat

Brooklyn real estate activity began to rebound in May, according to data released by Douglas Ellman. Home buyers signed 78 contracts for Brooklyn condos that month, compared to 140 deals made in May 2019. Although this is a 44 percent decline, deal-making in the outer boroughs was higher than in March and April. In addition, more than 180 new listings hit the market in May, only 14 percent less than new listings a year ago, according to Mansion Global, a website that concentrates on the luxury market worldwide.

Man plans to sue NYPD after barbecue incident

A Brooklyn man plans to sue the NYPD after an incident on Memorial day in which cops tackled him during a barbecue, causing burns from hot coals, according to his lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein. On May 25, Tyreik Bowers and his family and friends were barbecuing outside their home on Montgomery Street in Crown Heights when plainclothes officers told them to stop barbecuing and go inside because of social distancing. Rev. Kevin McCall, the family’s advisor, said the police didn’t give the family enough time, threw the food and coals on the ground, then grabbed Bowers and held him face down on the ground with his hands behind the grill, according to Gothamist.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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