What’s News, Breaking: Friday, March 17, 2023
COLTON FORMS NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUP FOR SOUTHERN BROOKLYN
BENSONHURST — A new Neighborhood Watch is forming in Assemblymember William Colton’s (D-47) district encompassing Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights, in conjunction with the UA3, Chinese American Social Service (CASS) organizations and Susan Zhuang, a City Council candidate. Colton, whose office established “Neighborhood Watch” with the purpose of keeping the aforementioned communities safe, is recruiting locals to join and will hold a press conference in front of the CASS office on Avenue O, Saturday morning, March 25, with that goal.
Colton declared, “If you see something say something,” quoting a popular MTA slogan launched right after the September 11, 2001 terror attack.
‘CITY OF YES’ MEETINGS PLANNED FOR CARBON NEUTRALITY STAGE
BOROUGHWIDE — The next City of Yes public information sessions on the climate, will be held Monday, March 20, and Tuesday, March 28, remotely via ZOOM, Brooklyn Community Board 9 has announced. NYC Department of City Planning will conduct these online public information sessions, which will focus on the first of three zoning text amendment proposals in the City of Yes Initiative. The City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality supports the quest to make New York City a greener, healthier city: specifically, carbon-reduction efforts by enabling clean energy and other sustainable practices in both new and existing buildings.
The other two City of Yes proposals focus on Economic Opportunity and Housing Opportunity, to be addressed later this year and by mid-2024, respectively.
LOWER MATH SCORES BECOME ‘THE NEW NORMAL’
STATEWIDE — Following a report last week from the State Comptroller’s office about plummeting math scores from 2022, New York State is calling these lower scores “the new normal,” and will change the criteria for proficiency in both math and English, reports the Times Union. Blaming COVID, and the suspension of class work during the pandemic for a learning loss, a scoring committee for the state Board of Regents must now reconsider what content is essential for students to know, and then reorganize the tests, ranking the facility of questions based on the percent of students who answered correctly.
One committee member questioned the validity of the tests, given the students’ learning loss, expressing concern that some schools were bringing lower test scores than others in more affluent neighborhoods.
2023 CONGRESSIONAL ART CONTEST OPENS FOR HIGH SCHOOLERS
BAY RIDGE & DYKER HEIGHTS — Budding high school artists in Brooklyn are invited to apply for the 2023 Congressional Art Competition that members of the U.S. House of Representatives sponsor each year. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’ office has already opened the competition in New York’s 11th District, which includes Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, as well as Staten Island. Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors this nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Aspiring artists should contact their local congressmember to confirm that district’s participation and obtain specific guidance.
Since the competition’s inception in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.
LEGAL AID SOCIETY: COURT MUST BRING BAR ADMISSION TEST QUESTION INTO COMPLIANCE WITH HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
CITYWIDE — The Legal Aid Society has applauded with caution a New York State Appellate Court decision to amend a question on the Bar Admission Test dealing with encounters with law enforcement. Their focus is on Question 26 of the Bar Admission test, which relates to prior encounters with law enforcement. Calling the Appellate Division’s move a step in the right direction,” the Legal Aid still criticized it for not going far enough. “By continuing to require Bar applicants to divulge information about most sealed arrests and even some favorably terminated criminal proceedings, the Appellate Division continues to violate the New York State Human Rights Law. The Appellate Division must go further and bring Question 26 into compliance with New York’s anti-discrimination statute.”
Access the “Appellate Division Announces ‘Fairness’ Change To Bar Exam Questionnaire” online.
JUSTICE DEPT. INVESTIGATES TIKTOK PLATFORM’S SPYING ON U.S. CITIZENS, JOURNALISTS
WORLDWIDE — The Justice Department is investigating the social media video platform TikTok’s surveillance of American citizens, including journalists, according to breaking reports on Friday from Editor & Publisher and The New York Times, as well as from a reporter who disclosed being among those tracked. The NY Times report pointed out that the investigations are apparently linked to ByteDance’s admission of having obtained the personal data of U.S. TikTok users.
One famous Brooklyn TikTok user, 7-year-old Tariq, is potentially an ideal firewall against espionage with his heroic story: he’s the little boy from Sunset Park who loves corn so much that he participated in the donation of almost 90,000 cans of Green Giant vegetables to City Harvest.
BROOKLYN CONGRESSMEMBER LAUNCHES BILL TO MAKE E-BIKE BATTERY CHARGING SAFER
NATIONWIDE — New legislation that Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-7) introduced in Congress on Friday, March 17, aims to prevent fires caused by lithium-ion batteries (LIB) by creating publicly-accessible safe charging infrastructure for e-bikes and e-scooters in communities nationwide. The Safe Charging Electric Bikes and Scooters Act directs the Department of Transportation to create grants for local governments to install charging and storage stations with fireproofing measures for e-bikes, e-scooters, and other mobility devices. The bill also creates DOT educational programs to perform public outreach on best practices for lithium-ion battery safety.
Daniel Murray, the FDNY’s chief of hazmat operations, told the New York Times in a March 6, 2023 article that although one finds lithium-ion batteries in computers, cell phones and some household devices, it is the larger micro-mobility vehicle batteries, “…subject to a lot of wear and tear and weather, which tends to damage them,” Mr. Murray said. “So that’s why we are seeing a lot of fires specifically in the bikes and scooters.”
NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS WILL CONTINUE OFFERING COVID TESTING AND TREATMENT
CITYWIDE — The city’s public hospital system, NYC Health + Hospitals, on Friday, March 17, announced plans to ensure New Yorkers continue to have access to COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and treatment, as well as services to address Long COVID, after the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency funding expires on May 11. NYC Health + Hospitals and the NYC Test & Treat Corps will transition its remaining emergency-level operations from hospital-based walk-in testing tents and mobile Test to Treat units to permanent services inside the city hospitals and community-based outpatient care centers, including several throughout Brooklyn — with COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination remaining available at NYC Health + Hospitals’ locations by appointment.
The health system will also continue to manage the City’s 212-COVID19 hotline, connecting New Yorkers to COVID-19 treatments through NYC Health + Hospitals/Virtual ExpressCare and Long COVID resources through its AfterCare program and COVID-19 Centers of Excellence.
NYC FREE TAX PREP HELPS NEW YORKERS KEEP FULL REFUND
CITYWIDE — Speaking of taxes, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection reminds New Yorkers under a certain income bracket that they can avail themselves of NYC Free Tax Help. Single-filing New Yorkers who earned $56,000 or less in 2022, or families who earned $80,000 or less are eligible for NYC Free Tax Prep, which has enabled people to keep their full refund including valuable tax credits like the enhanced NYC Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), without having to use it to pay a professional tax preparer.
Services are available in person, online, and drop-off, and in multiple languages. For more information about NYC Free Tax Prep, tax credits and more, visit nyc.gov/TaxPrep or call 311 and say “Tax Prep.”
NEW YORK STATE SAW 14.1% INCREASE IN LOCAL SALES TAX COLLECTIONS DURING FEBRUARY
STATEWIDE — Local sales tax collections in New York state increased by 14.1% in February compared to the same month in 2022, according to an analysis that State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released on Friday, March 17. Overall, local collections totaled $1.64 billion, up $203 million compared to the same time last year. New York City’s collections totaled $718 million, an increase of 11.6%, or $74.5 million, over February of 2022. All counties experienced strong increases in February collections,
The report was itemized by county in all regions of the state except New York City, for which it showed a collective amount for the five boroughs; sales for Nassau and Suffolk Counties were itemized separately.
POLICE SEEK MISSING TEEN IN OCEAN HILL
OCEAN HILL — Police are asking the public for help in finding missing 14-year-old Vanessa Sanchez, last seen on the afternoon of Monday, March 13, leaving her Ocean Hill residence. Vanessa is described as 5’0” in height and approximately 100 pounds, with long straight brown hair.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782); or, to log onto the Crime Stoppers website or Tweet @NYPDTips.
PARK SLOPE ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE ON SUNDAY
PARK SLOPE — The 48th annual Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade is set to kick off on Sunday at 1 p.m. with a Rededication Ceremony in honor of the heroes and victims of 9/11 at Bartel-Pritchard Square, led by Parade Grand Marshal Mike Coyne, before officially setting off at 1:30 p.m. on its route through Park Slope. The parade will march in a circle, heading from the square down 15th Street to 7th Avenue, then down Garfield Place back to Prospect Park West, and ultimately finishing back at Bartel-Pritchard Square.
The parade will be preceded by a Catholic mass service at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Park Slope; more information about parade proceedings can be found on the website of the Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade organizers.
SEARCH FOR MISSING GIRL IN GRAVESEND
GRAVESEND — Police are searching for missing 12-year-old Nicole Ni, last seen on Thursday, March 16, at approximately 7:40 a.m. inside her Gravesend home. Nicole is described as 5’0″ in height and approximately 95 pounds, and was last seen wearing a pink coat, pink/purple pants, black sneakers and a blue backpack.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782); or, to log onto the Crime Stoppers website or Tweet @NYPDTips.
APPELLATE DIVISION ANNOUNCES ‘FAIRNESS’ CHANGE TO BAR EXAM QUESTIONNAIRE
STATEWIDE — The Presiding Justices of the Appellate Division – Hon. Rolando T. Acosta, Hon. Hector D. LaSalle, Hon. Elizabeth A. Garry and Hon. Gerald J. Whalen – jointly announced on Thursday that the four Departments of the Appellate Division have amended Question 26 of the Bar Admission Questionnaire “to better promote equity and fairness in the character and fitness interview process,” according to a press release. Question 26 previously required prospective lawyers to disclose any and all criminal justice system involvement except for parking tickets and certain traffic violations, but now allows applicants to exclude matters that were adjudicated in noncriminal juvenile delinquency proceedings; as well as tickets, arrests and other encounters with law enforcement that did not result in formal criminal charges or further legal actions.
“By this change, the Appellate Division seeks to advance the diversity of the bar by reducing the possible chilling effect the previous Question 26 had on law school applicants due to the disproportionate rates of policing and prosecution experienced in communities of color… the mere fact that an applicant’s past includes any interactions with law enforcement is not, by itself, a basis for denying admission to the bar,” the Appellate justices wrote in their statement.
MAYOR GOES GREEN FOR ST. PAT’S
MANHATTAN — Mayor Adams was set to paint the town green on Friday in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, kicking off the morning with a breakfast reception and morning mass before visiting a number of Irish restaurants and pubs across the city. In the afternoon, the mayor will march in the 262nd annual New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, before attending a lunch thrown by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the current archbishop of New York.
The NYC St. Patrick’s Parade is a tradition that dates back to 1762, before the American Revolution, and was originally organized by Irish military units, but since around 1851 has been run by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal organization; the parade has traditionally marched past St. Patrick’s Cathedral, both at its original location in SoHo and its current location on 5th Avenue.
MAYOR GOES GREEN AGAIN FOR EARTH DAY
CITYWIDE — Department of City Planning Director Dan Garodnick on Thursday announced two public information sessions on Mayor Eric Adams’ City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality initiative to create a greener New York City. The City of Yes plan – which is set to enter public review on April 24, the Monday after Earth Day — is designed to help NYC reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and to help limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius; and involves changes to zoning codes to allow more solar panel installations and energy-efficient construction methods, city support for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and micro-mobility solutions like bikeshares and e-scooters, and updates to current rules to allow for reductions in trash and stormwater wastage.
The information sessions are set for March 20 and 28, and will discuss the proposed zoning changes; members of the public can attend via Zoom or via phone call and can find instructions for attending on the city’s website.
ARTIST TO ERECT COLORFUL ‘REMEMBRANCE COLUMNS’ IN HIGHLAND PARK
CYPRESS HILLS — NYC Parks announced on Thursday that artist Rose DeSiano has been awarded the $25,000 Highland Park Art Grant to create her proposed artwork, “Public Continuum.” DeSiano’s winning proposal, based on 19th-century cinema precursors the praxinoscope and the zoetrope, will feature three seven-foot-tall luminous sculptures in the form of “eternal remembrance columns” placed in a triangular formation and covered in rainbow-colored plexiglass panels, reflective mirrors and historic photographs of Highland Park and the surrounding neighborhood.
“Public Continuum” is set to be displayed at the corner of Highland Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue in Lower Highland Park from summer 2023 to summer 2024.
FBI ISSUES WARRANT FOR BROOKLYN EDITOR WHO STORMED CAPITOL
WASHINGTON — The FBI on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Elliot Resnick, former editor of the Jewish Press, on charges related to his conduct at the Jan. 6, 2021 riots in Washington, D.C., reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Resnick and the Jewish Press, for which he no longer works, previously claimed he had attended in a purely journalistic capacity, but the FBI alleges that Resnick grabbed the arm of a police officer attempting to repel rioters inside the Capitol and attempted to open doors inside the Capitol to allow more rioters access, citing video evidence, police testimony and Resnick’s own social media statements in support of former President Trump and the “stolen election” conspiracy theory.
Resnick was arrested on Thursday, reports ABC News, and was due to appear in court late Thursday afternoon.
BIDEN APPOINTS LEAH DAUGHTRY AS WILSON CENTER VICE CHAIR
WASHINGTON — President Biden on Thursday announced several key appointments to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Board of Trustees and the National Museum and Library Services Board, including the selection of Brooklyn bishop and activist Leah D. Daughtry as vice chair of the Wilson Center. Daughtry, a fifth-generation clergyperson and the child of Rev. Herbert Daughtry of Brooklyn’s House of the Lord Church, is also a longtime political figure and staunch Democrat who led the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions, and currently serves as Principal of a strategic planning firm, On These Things.
The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress in 1968 as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is a non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable policy ideas; board trustees serve six-year terms on various committees with functions including executive, finance and investment policy, as well as strategic planning and programming.
PRATT INSTITUTE’S RESEARCH YARD DEBUTS AT BROOKLYN NAVY YARD
BROOKLYN NAVY YARD — Pratt Institute’s Research Yard, a brand-new site for creative projects, opened last week at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Held as part of Research Open House, Pratt’s annual showcase of student and faculty research offered tours of the 20,000-square-foot, advanced learning facility, housed in the Navy Yard’s historic eleven-story Building 3. Research Yard is now home to all of Pratt’s research centers and has fabrication labs, research areas for the study of robotics, information visualization, sustainability, community development, environmental sensing, design incubation in rural areas, and digital archeology, along with a number of accelerators.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard, one of the fastest-growing entrepreneurial spaces in the country, has a storied history as the nation’s “most storied naval shipbuilding facility, which for over 150 years built and launched America’s most famous fighting ships, including the USS Maine, USS Arizona, and USS Missouri,” according to its website.
NEW YORK DEC RELEASES GUIDANCE ON REGULATING CHEMICALS IN STATE WATERS
STATEWIDE — Meanwhile, New York State continues to lead the nation in its response to emerging contaminants like PFAS, protecting the drinking water — reputed to be some of the best in the U.S. — and holding polluters accountable for cleaning up chemicals from our environment. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos on Thursday, March 16, issued final water quality guidance values to regulate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and 1,4-Dioxane (1,4-D) in New York State waters.
The guidance values released this week provide complementary protection of ambient waters used as drinking water sources, and will initially be incorporated into requirements for industrial discharges needing a DEC State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, reducing facilities’ potential contribution of harmful levels of emerging contaminants in the environment.
EPA PROPOSES LIMITS ON ‘FOREVER CHEMICALS’ IN DRINKING WATER
NATIONWIDE — The federal Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, March 14, proposed the first federal limits on harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water, a long-awaited protection that the agency said will save thousands of lives and prevent serious illnesses, including cancer. The plan, reported in both the Associated Press and The Weather Channel, would limit toxic polyfluorinated substances (PFAS), a group of compounds that are widespread, dangerous, and expensive to remove from water.
Radhika Fox, assistant EPA administrator for water, told the Associated Press in an interview that federal EPA proposed a “transformational change” for improving the safety of drinking water in the United States. The agency estimates the rule could reduce PFAS exposure for nearly 100 million Americans, decreasing rates of cancer, heart attacks and birth complications.
STATE CONSIDERS RESTRICTING PARKING TO RESIDENTS ONLY
CITYWIDE — The state is considering a plan to establish residents-only parking zones in NYC, reports Gothamist, with the state Senate’s budget proposal granting the City Council authority to implement a permit parking program for whatever areas it wants, potentially easing parking for frustrated drivers in congested areas. The plan comes with a catch, however — the city would also be allowed to charge up to $30 a month for these permits, which would be used to fund the MTA, generating up to $400 million a year, according to the Senate’s projections.
Drivers and business owners told CBS News it’s unclear whether this plan would help or hurt — the Council would have the authority to decide whether permit parking would apply by neighborhood, by borough, or for the whole city; meaning drivers who commute from the outer boroughs to Manhattan or waterfront Brooklyn and Queens might not qualify as residents under some possible implementations.
NATIONAL GRID GETS DENIAL ON ITS GAS VAPORIZER PROJECT
GREENPOINT — The New York State Public Service Commission on Thursday, March 16, denied National Grid’s proposed gas vaporizers project in Greenpoint, as well as the energy company’s related rate-increase request. The Public Service Commission, agreeing with an independent expert assessment that the project is not needed for at least the next five years, also denied the company’s petition seeking $38.8 million in cost recovery for the project, but did allow Brooklyn Union Gas Company, a subsidiary of National Grid, to recover $10.5 million in design, engineering, permitting, and the costs of the independent consultant.
The PSC commissioners said that National Grid can return in a few years with another petition if demand increases and ask again, but will first be required to make creditable efforts to reduce demand for the product and become more energy-efficient to help meet climate goals.
‘MAKE IT IN BROOKLYN CONTEST’ RETURNS WITH FIVE WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR FINALISTS
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Five women-founded startups with diverse backgrounds have been selected for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s upcoming Make It in Brooklyn Female Founders Pitch Contest, revived after the pandemic-induced hiatus, and culminating next month. The finalists are: Sam Lee of Meili Technologies; Joy Fan of Re/tell; Joy Arrington-Hurd, Joyfriends; Tess Guttières, Landmark and Vandra Thorburn, of Vokashi. The finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges on April 4 for the chance to win a $5,000 cash prize and in-kind legal services from BLIP at Brooklyn Law.
The DBP’s pitch contests over the years have awarded over $90,000 to local entrepreneurs, several of whom have gone on to scale their businesses and receive additional funding.
MAYOR ADAMS SPEAKS OF NYC AS ‘A PLACE OF GOD,’ ECHOING EARLIER BLUR BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE
CITYWIDE — Mayor Eric Adams, speaking Thursday, March 16, at a faith-based summit on mental health. again blended religion and civic life, calling on New Yorkers to transform the city into “a place of God,” the Daily News has reported. Adams, who received criticism for a Feb. 28, keynote speech at his annual Prayer Breakfast in which he seemed to dismiss the Constitution’s inferred separation of church and state, has already launched his “Breaking Bread, Building Bonds” dinner series with New Yorkers. Earlier this week reportedly called on religious leaders to join a “major recruitment campaign” to attract young people to careers in the police force.
Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, speaking after the Mayor’s Annual Interfaith Breakfast on Feb. 28, said that Adams’ remarks continued “to raise concerns that he doesn’t respect the separation of church and state.”
NRA SEEKS TO REVERSE JUDGE’S DISMISSAL OF ITS COUNTERCLAIMS AGAINST NEW YORK
STATEWIDE — As part of the latest salvo in the protracted battle between New York Attorney General Letitia James and the National Rifle Association, the NRA has filed a 58-page appellate brief seeking to reverse Judge Joel Cohen’s June 10, 2022 dismissal of its First Amendment-based counterclaims. The NRA argued against the Brooklyn-born state attorney general’s case, saying, “the official policy of the State of New York is to crush the NRA,” and that direct evidence of animus “obviates the need for any additional showing of causation.”
According to a June 2022 news release from the AG’s Office, which the Brooklyn Eagle retained in archives, James responded to Judge Cohen’s dismissal of the NRA’s counterclaims: “Today, the court reaffirmed the legitimacy and viability of my office’s lawsuit against the NRA for its years of fraud, abuse and greed. For almost two years, the NRA has tried every trick in the book to avoid culpability for their actions, only to be repeatedly rejected by the courts.”
AG JAMES ANNOUNCES TAKEDOWN OF DRUG AND GHOST GUN GANG
CITYWIDE — New York state Attorney General Letitia James, joined by Mayor Adams, police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and other law enforcement agents, announced at a press conference on Wednesday that an investigation had busted a ring of drug and “ghost gun” smugglers importing illegal goods into the city. James said that the investigation had recovered 19 firearms and half a kilogram of cocaine, and had led to charges for three men — one previously employed by gun manufacturer Smith and Wesson — who were allegedly importing cocaine and untraceable guns from Massachusetts and selling them out of a home in a residential Queens neighborhood.
“Ghost guns,” which AG James recently secured a court order to help fight, are firearms assembled by individuals instead of factories, frequently from kits that take advantage of a federal gun law loophole — as certain parts of firearms are only officially tracked and registered when fully built, guns sold mostly built and with instructions for completing them can be purchased without any background checks and used without any risk of tracing, making them very attractive to criminals.
‘LAMP SHOW’ LIGHTS UP BROOKLYN BOOKSTORE
FORT GREENE — Fort Greene bookseller Head Hi is holding its fourth annual “Lamp Show” at its Navy Yard shop through April 8, reports Design Milk, exhibiting artistic lamps from professional designers, artists and amateurs alike. This year’s show features more than fifty lamps in a dizzying array of styles, ranging from a glowing egg placed in a bowl of rice to an illuminated, otherworldly obelisk with a bulb at its tip, and everything in between.
A full catalog of the lamps, which are for sale, can be found on Head Hi’s website, along with more information on the exhibition.
SMALL-BUSINESS SAFETY FORUM SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK
WILLIAMSBURG — Councilmembers Lincoln Restler and Jennifer Gutiérrez, Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, and restaurant owner groups ROAR and BABAR have organized a small-business safety forum for next Tuesday. The meetup will feature representatives from the 90th and 94th Precincts speaking on ways for business owners to prevent crimes, as well as opportunities to network with other small-business owners.
Interested business owners can register to attend online; the forum will be held at Williamsburg restaurant Lilia on March 21, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
SECOND DOLLY PARTON-THEMED BAR TO OPEN IN WILLIAMSBURG
WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg’s Moxy Hotel is set to open its new Dolly Parton-themed bar and nightclub Jolene this weekend, reports Time Out, with “bold pink textures and decor pieces… including a painted ceiling and modular furniture” decking out the “high-energy sound room” in the country legend’s signature aesthetic. Jolene will be the second bar paying homage to Parton to come to Williamsburg in recent years, following the 2019 opening of comfort-food-oriented elevated dive bar Dolly’s Swing & Dive, which features a full gallery wall dedicated to the singer, just blocks away.
Tickets have sold out for Jolene’s opening weekend, featuring soulful house DJs Toribio and Seven Davis Jr.
BROOKLYN GAINS NEW HOMES IN 2022, LEADS CITY: REPORT
BROOKLYN — Brooklyn had the greatest net gain in housing units across the five boroughs in 2022, reports the Real Deal, increasing its housing stock by a total of 3,246 units by the year’s end. Brooklyn also dominated the list of neighborhoods adding the most housing, taking up six of the top ten spots on the Real Deal’s rankings, with Fort Greene, in first place, adding more than a thousand homes, representing an 8.45% growth since 2021.
NYC overall appears to be struggling to add new homes, with an analysis of the city’s Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output — or PLUTO, for short — database revealing that the total citywide net gain in units was just 2,666, with Manhattan and Queens both having net losses.
DEVELOPER CUTS BK HOUSING PROJECT AFTER COUNCIL OPPOSITION, CITING 421A LAPSE
HOMECREST — Real estate developer Plaza Realty announced on Tuesday that a planned housing project in Homecrest supported by Mayor Adams would not be financially viable without the now-expired 421a state tax break, but the Real Deal reports that opposition from the area’s City Councilmember, Kalman Yeger, may have been behind the demise of the 8-story building. The project, which would have had 231 units, of which 60 were planned to be affordable, would have represented the largest increase of affordable housing in the area in eight years, but was opposed by the councilmember on the grounds that the building would have been too tall for the neighborhood, which is largely comprised of single-family homes.
The developer wrote in a letter to the mayor and council that should the 421a rebate or a similar program be reinstituted, as proposed by Governor Hochul in her 2024 budget, the project may be back on the table.
FREE EVENTS THIS WEEKEND TO CELEBRATE SPRING
BROOKLYN — Spring Arts Fair: PLG Arts is holding its inaugural indoor Spring Arts Fair, Saturday, March 18, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at BKLYN Commons in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, featuring over 25 local visual artists, family art making, live music and refreshments from Hibiscus Brew. Since 2005, PLG Arts has presented and produced free arts events and exhibitions for audiences of all ages to nurture a vibrant and diverse creative community in Prospect Lefferts Gardens and surrounding neighborhoods.
Maker’s Market: The All-Women’s Makers Show market returns to City Point in Downtown Brooklyn on March 17-19 and March 24-26, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with over 40 women-owned businesses set to bring their arts and crafts. Highlights of the Makers Show will include a live panel discussion on Breaking The Glass Ceiling and workshops for guests throughout each weekend.
Skating in Prospect Park: Bond With Brooklyn, in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance and Lakeside Brooklyn, is sponsoring a free community skate event to send off the winter at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park on Saturday, March 18, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., featuring complimentary admission, rentals, hot chocolate and a photo booth. Tickets for the event are first-come, first-serve and are rain or shine, and can be reserved online; walk-up attendance is also permitted as long as capacity permits.
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