Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, June 25, 2021
Today is the 176th day of the year. Depending on your tax category, you might still be working for your local, state and national governments… just kidding. If you are average, you were probably done for 2021 two months ago.
While NYC still waits and debates about the next Democratic mayor, Brooklyn celebrates. The three leading candidates all have deep Brooklyn connections, but the leader in “votes in” is still Brooklyn’s own Borough President, Eric Adams.
Yesterday, the BP renamed an intersection in Park Slope (7th Avenue and 12th Street) in honor of a world-famous literary son of Brooklyn, PETE HAMILL.
POSTHUMOUS BIRTHDAY GIFT: Now-legendary Pete Hamill was born and raised on the street that now bears his name. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Brad Lander unveiled the new Pete Hamill Way, on 7th Avenue between 11th and 12th streets in Park Slope, on June 24, which would have been the journalist’s birthday.
Hamill’s career as a newspaper journalist, columnist, editor, and author in New York City spanned four decades; and he even won a Grammy Award for his notes on Bob Dylan’s album “Blood on the Tracks.”
COMMUNITY BOARD 9 VOTES TO PROTECT BOTANIC GARDEN: Community Board 9 in Crown Heights on Wednesday, June 23 voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to disapprove a controversial proposed development near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on the grounds that it would cause harm to the BBG’s plant life. The project’s developer, Continuum Company, wants the site at 960 Franklin Ave., which is adjacent to the Garden, rezoned so it can build two towers that exceed 30 stories in height.
Officials for the widely-respected cultural institution have stated that if approved, the project would “block hours of sunlight to the Garden’s 23 conservatories, greenhouses, and nurseries,” which grow plants for the entire 52-acre Garden site and its community programs.
YES TO GOWANUS REZONING: Community Board 6 has approved the rezoning of Gowanus. Following the conditional approval at last week’s Land Use committee meeting, the full board voted by a margin of 26 votes in favor and 6 opposed, with 2 abstaining, to approve the rezoning, according to a letter from the district manager to the Gowanus community. However, that vote came with a 14-page list of conditions that must be met before the area’s City Council members would vote on them.
Foremost among the conditions was making repairs to the public housing buildings within the Gowanus district’s borders and providing more affordable housing public housing.
CARLO SCISSURA LAUDS BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN: As news broke of President Joe Biden’s announcements that the $953 billion federal infrastructure plan has been finalized, the head of the New York Building Congress hailed the legislation “as a historic moment for our nation.” Said the NYBC’s president and CEO, Carlo A. Scissura, “Building new infrastructure is the tried-and-true method to getting out of an economic crisis, and we must use the lessons of the last year and a half to develop new public works that serve all communities.”
Now in its centennial year, the New York Building Congress is a broad-based membership association committed to promoting the growth and success of the construction industry in New York City.
NIGHT RAINBOWS CELEBRATE PRIDE AND A MILESTONE: The Kosciuszko Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Queens, and One World Trade Center are among the landmarks statewide that will be lit through June 27 in a spectrum of colors to honor LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. The landmarks will be lit red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet in celebration of Pride month and the 10th Anniversary of the passage and signing of the Marriage Equality Law in New York State, which took place on June 24, 2011.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo saluted New York for being the birthplace of and the LGBTQ+ rights movement with Stonewall.
CYBERBULLYING SPILLS INTO SCHOOLS, ASSERTS AG JAMES: The United States’ Supreme Court decision that recognizes the ability of schools to curb cyberbullying came about in part because of a protest from NY State Attorney General Letitia James and a coalition of her counterparts in other states. Attorney General James argued that cyberbullying creates practical harms that disrupt school life and sets a hostile and unsafe climate at schools, obstructing the ability to learn.
The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit had previously ruled that schools cannot regulate student speech that occurs off campus on a private social network, but the Attorney General protested with an amicus brief.
HOUSING LOTTERY BEGINS FOR HISTORIC MILITARY B’LDG: BFC Partners, the development company for the Bedford Union Armory, on Thursday launched the first phase of the affordable housing lottery for the units at 1089 President St., corner of Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights. Those with an income starting at $14,778 are eligible for affordable units, with 50 percent of apartments set aside for Community Board 9 residents, and five percent set aside for NYC employees.
Built in 1903 and opened in 1908, the Bedford Union Armory served as a National Guard armory building and stored army equipment and even a horse stable.
FRENCH PRIZE FOR LIVE NY SUBWAY MAP by BROOKLYN FIRM: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has won the prestigious Gold Lion award at the 2021 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for its Live Subway Map. The map, which beat out more than 29,000 competing submissions from 90 countries, is the fruit of a partnership involving the MTA, the Transit Innovation Partnership and the Brooklyn-based global design and technology firm Work & Co, which did the project pro bono.
The beta version of the Live Subway Map, which launched in October 2020, has proven a key user-friendly tool for keeping riders informed with up-to-the-minute service information.
JAZZ LEADERS’ FELLOWSHIPS INAUGURAL AWARDS: The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BKCM) announced this week that composer, vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jordyn Davis, and vocalist, composer, arranger and educator Charenée Wade have been selected from a highly competitive pool of 50 applicants as the inaugural recipients of the Jazz Leaders Fellowship (JLF). This initiative is made possible by the generous support of BKCM Board member Daniel DiPietro and his wife Alexis. The fellowship comes with a $12,500 award and provides Davis and Wade with opportunities to work closely with the BKCM students and faculty when the program begins on Aug. 1.
Davis and Wade will also have the opportunity to teach master classes and workshops, and lead performances.
LONG-AWAITED LIBRARY SERVICES RETURN: The Brooklyn Public Library is expanding services at 14 of its branches, starting on Monday, June 28.
Library patrons can again browse the collections on the first floor, access computers and printing, sign up for library cards, pick up book holds and return materials. Expanded hours will also take effect at most branches, and starting on July 17, patrons can access all collections for browsing and seating.
Services were restricted starting in March 2020 as precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks will still be required.
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