Sunday, August 31, 2014

Will de Blasio's Endorsement Backfire on Pete Sikora in Brooklyn?

Simon, Biviano, Sikora. Photo: MK Metz
 On Sunday Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed Pete Sikora, running for the 52nd Assembly District in northeast Brooklyn, for a position that will be left open by the retirement of Joan Millman.

The endorsement may not help Sikora as much as he thinks, however, as he is running in a district that is not exactly enamored with de Blasio right now.

As a candidate for mayor, de Blasio received enornmous support in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook for his firmly-stated opposition to the sale of Long Island College Hospital (LICH).

In what locals see as a shocking betrayal, after the election de Blasio backed LICH's closure and sale to real estate developer Fortis Property Group. Since that time, a long, slow burn has been kindling in the 52nd -- and if anything, it only seems to be heating up.

While Sikora has a good record on LICH, the environment and other issues, De Blasio's endorsement may be enough to push undecideds into voting for Jo Anne Simon -- a strong, reform-minded activist who has made a mark over the years working on issues like traffic calming in Downtown Brooklyn, fighting the closure of LICH and opposing eminent domain at Atlantic Yards. On Friday, Simon received the backing of the New York Times.

In a recent debate, Sikora said that people were being too harsh on de Blasio for allowing LICH to be closed, and that Cuomo should be the focus of Brooklyn's ire. But Sikora is linked with Cuomo through endorsements by the Working Families Party, and now through de Blasio, who is backing Cuomo.

Residents from Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn and Williamsburg, who have no hospital, may not be in a forgiving mood.

(Johnnie-come-lately Doug Biviano is also running for Assembly in the 52nd. Biviano, however, was a no-show during the two year LICH struggle.)


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Rough Storms Hitting Brooklyn: Flooding, Thunder, High Winds on Sunday, Aug. 31

Here they come: storms moving into Brooklyn. Photo: MKMetz
The National Weather Service is warning that severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings are in effect for NYC as a line of storms are rolling in from the direction of New Jersey.

According to the NWS:
EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM HEAVY RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLOODING OF SMALL CREEKS AND STREAMS...URBAN AREAS...HIGHWAYS...STREETS AND UNDERPASSES AS WELL AS OTHER DRAINAGE AREAS AND LOW LYING SPOTS.

Northern Brooklyn is already getting soaked, and the storm is spreading towards the east. Thunder can be heard echoing over the canyons of the city.

High wind gusts are expected so remove small items from your balcony.  NWS said there may even be some hail.

NEARLY CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THIS SEVERE THUNDERSTORM.

30-minute arrival delays at the airports.The tennis matches in Flushing, Queens at the U.S. Open have been canceled.

UPDATE: Queens seems to be getting hit harder than Brooklyn.

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Zephyr Teachout, in Brooklyn, Calls LICH Deal 'Classic Corruption'

Charlene Nimmons from Wyckoff Houses, Zephyr Teachout, Rev. Williams. Photo by MK Metz
 Gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor who's an expert in public corruption, attracted a friendly crowd in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn on Saturday as she called for an investigation into the sale of Long Island College Hospital (LICH).

Some members of Brooklyn community groups who fought to save the historic hospital threw their support behind Teachout -- and castigated Gov. Andrew Cuomo for selling LICH to developer Fortis Property Group, who contributed money to his campaign.

Brooklyn was the final stop on Teachout’s statewide “whistleblower tour,” where she’s been calling out Cuomo for accepting millions in donations from a number of private interests who then benefited from gigantic state contracts.

Full story on Teachout's call for an investigation into SUNY's sale of LICH at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Cuomo, still far ahead in the polls, refuses to debate Teachout.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Welcome to Brooklyn: How Sweet It Is!

Photo: MK Metz
 This is the sign you see when you walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (to Brooklyn from Manhattan).

It's always a relief to make it back!

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Two Primary Debates Held in Prospect Heights Wednesday

Back-to-back primary debates were held in Prospect Heights on Wednesday night.

In the 52nd District, Jo Anne Simon, Doug Biviano and Pete Sikora are campaigning to replace long-time Assemblymember Joan Millman.

In state Senatorial District 20, Rubain Dorancy and Jesse Hamilton are fighting for BP Eric Adams's old seat.

Here are wrap-ups  of both, in the Brooklyn Eagle:

State Senate candidates Dorancy and Hamilton debate in Prospect Heights


Candidates for Assembly District 52 debate in Prospect Heights: Simon, Sikora and Biviano 

Another 52 Assembly District forum will take place at St. Francis College on Tuesday, September 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.). The event is sponsored by the Brooklyn Heights Blog.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Last Night: Goodbye Brooklyn Heights Cinema

After the last show at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema. Photo:MK.Metz
 The last two films to play at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema were "A Most Wanted Man" and "Magic In the Moonlight."

After the last showings Wednesday night, the little two-screen cinema shut its doors forever.

The low-rise white movie house on Henry Street in the north Heights was the "oldest and longest running independently and locally owned and operated cinema in New York City."

Musician Kenn Lowy bought the business in 2011. On the cinema's website, he says:

"We will be relocating to DUMBO in the early fall. The reason for our move is twofold. The number one reason is that nowadays there are not enough movie goers in Brooklyn Heights to sustain a two screen cinema. The other reason is that the building that the Brooklyn Heights Cinema has called home for over 40 years is being sold. While economics would have forced this move anyway, it happened now because of the impending sale."

Lowry said on Wednesday that the theater won't be moving to reBar as previously thought, but he is looking at other sites in DUMBO.

We look forward to following him there for our movie fix.

(Shout out to Willie, the former projectionist!)


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Report: Woman Forced Into Jeep in Prospect Heights

From the scanner:

By IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons
About a half hour before three shots were reported fired near St. Marks and New York avenues, a call came in to 9-1-1 that a woman was forced into a Red Jeep Cherokee just a couple of blocks away, on Sterling Place in front of the B44 bus stop.

The Jeep reportedly took off, driving west on Sterling.

The call originally came in at 12:22 a.m. early Thursday morning. Dispatch assigned a unit to investigate at 1:25 a.m. The responder said, "That's an  hour ago."

(Note: This incident was not necessarily confirmed; it is under investigation. )

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Shots Fired in Crown Heights Early Thursday, Police Catch Perp: UPDATED

Prospect Place and New York Ave., 2014 Google Streetview
From the scanner:
9-1-1 received multiple calls of three shots fired in Prospect Crown Heights, Brooklyn at about 12:50 a.m. early Thursday  morning. The shots were fired at 769 St. Marks Ave., not far from the Brooklyn Children's Museum.

Cops from the 77th Precinct are chasing a perp down Prospect Place at New York Ave.

UPDATE: The suspect, said to be wearing blue shorts, a white shirt and a blue hat, was apprehended after a short police chase.

At roughly 1 a.m., cops began a canvass of the area.

UPDATE: About two blocks away at roughly the same time, a report came in to 9-1-1 of a woman being forced into a Jeep

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LICH Nurses Win TRO Against NYU; Fortis Handover on Pause

The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) won a temporary restraining order in Brooklyn court today, meaning that SUNY's transfer of the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) emergency clinic (all that's left of the once-proud institution) to NYU is on hold.

NYU and Fortis are accused of ignoring their agreement to rehire LICH nurses, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. 

Justice Johnny Lee Baynes is on vacation. The TRO means that nothing can move forward in Cobble Hill until he returns.

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LICH Nurses Drag SUNY Back to Court Today (Wednesday)

LICH: by MK Metz
Brooklyn has been ‘snookered again,” former LICH nurses told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Nurses and other workers obtained a technical restraining order against SUNY and Fortis Property yesterday, and will have their day in state Supreme Court at noon.

The court-negotiated settlement between SUNY and the community has been broken so many times (by SUNY) that we've almost stopped keeping track.

- There was the sham RFP process itself

- There were the politicians and appointees who worked behind the scenes against LICH

- There was the promise of affordable housing (Oops);

- There was the promise to preferentially rehire LICH nurses and other health care workers (former LICH nurses need not apply)

More at Eagle


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