Brooklyn Today January 10: Brooklyn Today January 10: Councilmember Chaim Deutsch Accused of Working Against Gay Rights

The Lede

THE LEDE: Happy Thursday! The City Council comes to the aid of small businesses, Brooklyn Bridge congestion eases after the holidays, and cyclists look to the Netherlands for safety tips. Plus, Corey Johnson pushes for municipal control of the subway, transit advocates call for a “bike mayor,” and a Marine Park man is sentenced to 12 years in jail. Finally, an Eagle reporter is featured on MetroFocus, gentrification gives rise to 311 complaints, and Chaim Deutsch is accused of working against gay rights.

The Imprint

IMPRINT: English actor Kit Harrington appears on not one, but two covers for Esquire Italia and GQ Australia.

The Rundown

CITY COUNCIL PASSES MORATORIUM ON SIGN VIOLATIONS

In a win for small businesses, the new “Awnings Act” was passed by the City Council on Wednesday. The bill, championed by Councilmember Rafael Espinal, imposes a two-year moratorium on the issuance of sign violations and creates an interagency task force to come up with long-term solutions to various sign permitting issues over the next years. “Unfair penalties have burdened small businesses to such an extent that some were worried they would have to close for good,” Espinal said. “Today, we are changing that, and delivering relief to our small business community.” (via Brooklyn Eagle)

BIKE RIDERS SAY ‘DUTCH REACH’ REDUCES ‘DOORING’ CRASH RISK

In Holland, it’s common practice when exiting a car to perform a twisting maneuver called the Dutch Reach. Transportation safety advocates on this side of the Atlantic are hoping it catches on here. In the wake of two “dooring” crashes in Brooklyn, in which bike riders were struck by car doors flung open by drivers, advocates are pushing the Dutch Reach as a way to reduce the risk of death and injury. Here’s the Dutch Reach in a nutshell: Instead of using your near arm to open a car door, you use your opposite arm. That simple change of habit forces you to swivel your body and in doing so, you can look in the car’s mirror to see if a bicyclist is approaching. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

COUNCIL SPEAKER PUSHES FOR MUNICIPAL CONTROL OF TRANSIT SYSTEM

Corey Johnson wants to fight data with data. The City Council speaker joined Councilmember Justin Brannan inside the 77th Street subway station on Tuesday to call for municipal control of the subways while also fetching rider feedback. “What we hear on a regular basis is the data and statistics from the MTA [about things such as] delays, on-time improvements, and what the other numbers are,” said Johnson, who plans to unveil a comprehensive plan to strengthen subway service citywide. “But what we really want to hear is from straphangers and from riders. What’s their perspective?”(via Brooklyn Eagle)

BROOKLYN BRIDGE PEDESTRIAN CONGESTION EASES AFTER THE HOLIDAYS

You can walk across the Brooklyn Bridge again without fear of getting caught in a crush of humanity. Now that holiday vacationers have left our city, the walkway on the famous East River span is no longer dangerously crowded. We strolled over the beloved bridge on Sunday. The temperature was a relatively mild 48 degrees. It was an ideal winter afternoon for bridge walking. There were lots of people on the promenade that pedestrians and cyclists share — but plenty of breathing room. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

MARINE PARK MAN SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS FOR LEAVING PASSENGER TO DIE IN FIERY WRECK

A heartbroken Queens mother and a Brooklyn judge heeded caution to future offenders who leave any crime scene without reporting, warning that they too could be punished. Saeed Ahmad, who was caught on video hailing a cab as his friend died in an inferno, was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison. “Good Samaritan laws should be given here,” said Rajinder Singh, mother of the late Harleen Grewal. “Let’s bring this change to our system … you should always stay there and get help — even if you caused it — because one day it could be you.” (via Brooklyn Eagle)

CYCLING ADVOCATES WANT ‘BIKE MAYOR’ FOR NEW YORK CITY

Transportation Alternatives, the well-known advocacy organization for bicycling, walking and mass transit, is asking Mayor Bill de Blasio to appoint the city’s first-ever “bike mayor,” who would serve as a liaison between city government and the growing number of bicyclists in the five boroughs. Although the idea is little-known in the U.S., bike mayors have been appointed in cities around the globe, including Sydney, Mexico City, São Paulo and Amsterdam. (via Brooklyn Eagle)

EAGLE REPORTER FEATURED ON METROFOCUS

“It’s essentially like putting a coal-fired plant in the middle of a small neighborhood, with devastating effects.” Experts say the city DOT’s plan to overhaul the BQE could bring toxic levels of pollution to Brooklyn Heights. What is the level of harm that will be inflicted on residents should the renovations bring the six-lane highway up to the Promenade level, and is there any way to fix the BQE without the resulting health hazards? The Brooklyn Eagle’s Mary Frostappeared on Thirteen’s MetroFocus Tuesday to discuss the issue with Raphael Pi Roman(Thirteen via Brooklyn Eagle)

GENTRIFICATION GIVES RISE TO SPIKE IN 311 COMPLAINTS

While anyone can make complaint calls to the city’s 311 system, the great majority are made from communities that are in the process of gentrification. The society’s analysis found that arrests resulting from such calls are rare, but the complaints are often frivolous in nature. One woman called because a child’s backpack brushed against her in a bodega; another called to say someone was seeking shelter from the rain in her doorway. Police were most often summoned to Crown HeightsBed-Stuy and Bushwick for 311 complaints.(via Patch via Brooklyn Eagle)

BROOKLYN COUNCILMEMBER CHAIM DEUTSCH ACCUSED OF WORKING AGAINST GAY RIGHTS

Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, a Democrat who represents a district stretching from Manhattan Beach toMidwood, has been accused of actively working against gay rights. Deutsch attacked primary opponent Theresa Scavo in 2013 because she was endorsed by the National Organization for Women, which he said “[has] an agenda with gays and lesbians.” In April 2017, he also voted against a resolution calling on the Department of Education to provide support to protect LGBTQ students.(Gay City News via Brooklyn Eagle)

Staff Picks

LONG READ:

“What Driving Can Teach Us About Living: How we respond to the rules of the road offers insight into being human.” (via NYT)

ANOTHER LONG READ:

Jeffrey Lendrum, the “Pablo Escobar of the falcon egg trade,” went on trial Tuesday for smuggling in 19 rare eggs strapped to his chest. Here’s an inside look at the great lengths he went to to secure these rare items. (via Outside)

EAT:

Here are the 18 best places to get salad in New York City, including three spots in Brooklyn. (via Eater)

CARTOON:

A lamp picks a fight with the Christmas lights. via The New Yorker)

NATIONAL BULLETIN:

A Democratic billionaire environmentalist could run for president in 2020…California Governor Gavin Newsom wants to devote $305 million toward fighting wildfires…And Samsung users cannot delete the Facebook app. (via Channel NewsAsia, Reuters and Bloomberg)  

FOREIGN FLASH:

Italy drops from 21 to 33 on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2018 Democracy Index…Japan will end its 22-year long ban on U.K. beef…And a doctored photo shows the Australian Prime Minister with two left feet. (via France 24, Bloomberg and Reuters) 

ROYAL WATCH:

Need a job? The royal family is hiring for six positions, including head of learning and furniture conservator. (via PureWow)