Thursday, April 30, 2009
--Adriane (more of my public photo albums are up here,
including photos of our Albany trip.)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
According to Government Officials, DOT is currently working with local electeds and community members to come up with a plan for the oh-so-controversial Kent Avenue bike lanes that suits motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and businesses alike. Apparently, the two-way bike lane will stay put, while parking will, in fact, be restored. More details to come. The GOs say the plan isn't finalized yet. We should expect this to go public in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned.
"The key to defeating swine flu zombies is by removing the head or destroying the brain."
The big developing story today is what's going on with the Kent Avenue bike lanes. Businesses are opposed to it but Congresswoman Velazquez is pushing it. We're trying to find out what's going on and dispel a lot of rumors about whether a lane will be stripped to provide for adequate parking for local businesses or if some other agreement has been worked out. Will post as soon as it is confirmed.
Steve Levin is feeling under the weather today. Don't worry, he definitely does not have swine flu. We checked. But please, somebody get him some chicken soup stat! Hey Tom Mylan, know any good chicken soup recipes?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I've known about this fundraiser for a while, but I still wanted to go to see Thies refine his evolving stump speech and see who else showed up. It was the usual crowd of community leaders like MetroEnergy's Paul Pullo, right, (who spontaneously combusted at the fundraiser), attorney and interfaith leader Adam Perlmutter, the irrepressible Community Board 1 member and historic preservationist Ward Dennis (follow him on twitter!), documentary filmmaker and CB1 member Dewey Thompson, and rock star mom Jane Pool. Jane had the only breaking news of the night. It involves Conan O'Brien. We can't talk about it. Jane also got in a fistfight with Henry Rollins of, yes, Black Flag, something like twenty years ago. Go ahead, ask him about it. He'll show you the scar.
Thies has been holding interviews with Working Families Party members and hopes to receive their endorsement in the coming weeks. He is also looking towards the support of other political clubs in Greenpoint and Williamsburg such as the Seneca Club, Smolenski Democratic Club, and New Kings Democrats, now that CBID endorsed Jo Anne Simon and IND will likely follow suit. Of course, the most important thing is adding more volunteers to the campaign and Thies is moving to do that as well. Most political observers believe it's critical for Thies to gain some momentum in the spring, before Mad Men calls him back for a new season. If you thought season two was intense, wait until season three!
Monday, April 27, 2009
A police officer sections off the crime scene
The victim's mangled glasses at the crime scene
Police gather around the car in which the undercover policeman pursued the criminals
Three-car pileup on Manhattan Avenue and Dupont
A local resident sent the Gazette an email saying that there was a shootout on Nassau Avenue earlier today.
I am still looking into it, as DCPI does not have the full details of the incident. If anyone has any information regarding any of these incidences please email me at email@example.com
First stop Manhattan Special. Nothing better than hangin’ with Louis and the neighborhood’s best coffee (soda) klatch drinking Williamsburg’s iconic beverage and checking out the bella ragazzas on the Avenue. Brings me back to my youth, except I grew up in Queens. Maybe next week, I can get my car washed, if Mike gives up the hose.
Then a trip to PS 132’s annual Kite Festival at McCarren Park. Principal Beth Lubeck-Ceffalia and her team showed that they are the masters of Parks events! Special shout out to our friend Rebecca Ramirez from the Brooklyn Children’s Museum who brought her petting zoo to the park (shhh! No one tell Commissioner Spiegel). Got me an invite to read poetry to the kids at 132 for Poem in my Pocket Day, Thursday. Can’t wait.
Had breakfast with Assemblyman Joe Lentol , Martha Holstein, and Town Square’s Susan Anderson at Greenpoint Coffee House. Watch those sugar levels Joe! We need you around for another 37 years!
Visited CM Reyna’s community garden. The CM, joined by her father and son planted and watered and added to my budding Spanish vocabulary. I know, it’s “Trace Hen-ay-rass-ee-own-ess.” And roll the tongue on the “r”, Council Member. Went back to see the finished product the next day. What an amazing oasis on the corner of South 4th and Hewes!
Back to Punta Verde. Skated the Kent Avenue blading lane, which someone mis-labeled bike lane. Residents say the lanes cause major safety issues for kids going to the schools on the stretch and businesses claim damages because they can no longer receive shipments on Kent. Still, I LIKE THEM! A recent post says that Assemblyman Lopez is in the process of having the lanes removed. Hope that is not the case...I LIKE THEM.
Then back to McCarren where I walked around-to the delight of Greenpoint’s paparazzi-with OSA Administrator Stephanie Thayer. Steph had the unenviable task of keeping the illegal vendors out of the park. Having been on the other end of a Thayer tongue-lashing, once or twice, I kind of felt bad for the vendors, but to her credit, Stephanie offered everyone help navigating the permitting process, if they wanted to come back to the unbelievably crowded park.
Don’t forget to check out Lentol Garden. Garden Best Friend Jackie and the other Friends did an incredible job fixing up the space. Be sure to stop by to say hi every Sunday from 1-4.
Got the Evan Thies fundraiser Monday night, so if Evan’s your man, be sure to stop by CitiStorage HQ (5 N. 11th St) on Monday April 27that 6:30PM.
Friday, April 24, 2009
...A look into the week that was and what lies ahead.
Tasty bits of coverage on the 33rd District City Council race leads off The Short List this week, as the candidates snoozed their way through the CBID/ IND forum on Monday. Jo Anne Simon picked up the CBID endorsement (Josh Skaller from the 39 picked one up to) last night. We've got Brooklyn Heights Blog Sarah Portlock with the wrap, Gersh Kuntzman's Politicrasher with the Op-Ed take, Mole333's take from The Daily Gotham, and a video round up from the Politicker. Thies is holding a fundraiser Monday night and we hear he may finally get a body man. He could use one. Also Doug Biviano's family, above, reminds me of a real life version of The Incredibles.
"Of course I have a secret identity. I don't know a single superhero who doesn't. Who wants the pressure of being super all the time? "
Looks like Vito is weighing in on the Kent Avenue bike lanes issue. But then again maybe not. Of course its the Sabbath, so we won't know for sure for a couple of days. Tracking.
Earth Day, sponsored by Town Square, (Earth Day in McCarren Park that is) was a pretty interesting event last Sunday. Lots of local vendors, multiple candidates milling about and one band played for FOUR HOURS. For FREE. Plus, I ate an apple from MetroEnergy, which had a row of biofuel samples displayed on their table. One of them was definitely scotch.
The Greenpoint Gazette Staff won Greenpoint Trivia Night, sponsored by the Nassau Avenue Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Good job Linderman. This is the kind of event where "What is Teresa Toro?" is the answer to half the questions.
And finally, NAG's Affordable Housing Forum is all day tomorrow (Saturday) at Boricua College. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez is scheduled to speak at 11:30 AM. She's back from Mexico after spending Spring Break with the President. Looking good Nydia!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
(Edited: I forgot. The third highlight was Biviano's near-Yogi Berra collection of one-liners, my favorite of which addressed eminent domain, "You have to set the language, it’s all about the language, I want to be a leader in setting the language." There's also the statement about the community forum led by State Senator Daniel Squadron, "Dan really hit Democracy out of the park with that one." Maybe it's more of a half Yogi.)
Isaac Abraham, the Hasidic Al Sharpton figure in this race, tried desparately to make things interesting, but not even he could succeed in stirring a murmur through the polite crowd. Welcome to the BH, yo! That's how we do it in the BH! Listen politely! Not even a couple of Brooklyn Bridge Park or Atlantic Yards jabs could shake up this soporific crowd.
I'm being too harsh. Diamondstone tried to rustle a few feathers with a short diatribe against the Kings County Machine (which would be a great name for a band), while Evan Theis and Jo Anne Simon sharpened their responses and likely solidified support within their camps. An Independent Neighborhood Democrats member, this is Simon's home turf, and she mostly played it safe, shining in questions on educational and reform. Thies, the second youngest in the race, showed an impressive grasp of policy may have gained a few supporters, but he needs to build a volunteer base as friends of Simon, Baer, and Diamondstone handed out flyers at the begining of the debate. The one candidate with the most to gain, Steve Levin, skipped out on this one, attending two events in Park Slope and one in Greenpoint (that would be Gazette Publisher Jeff Mann's 40th birthday). Here's betting the next time one of these events occurs, it'll be a lot more entertaining. Allright. Off to bed.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
In other news, it seems that spring has sprung (for now), and that means there's a whole lot going on in Greenpoint, like Go Green! Greenpoint, coming up this Sunday, and Greenpoint-themed trivia at Mark Bar, put on by the Friends of the Greenpoint Library. That'll be on Monday. Show up and challenge the Gazette staff to Greenpoint-off. That is, if you're brave enough.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Welcome to the latest edition of The Greenpoint Gazette, delivered right to your inbox! Check it out at: www.greenpointnews.com
This week we wrote about cyber crimes, city council campaign funding, the Kaiju Big Battel at the Warsaw, the FEAST arts fundraiser, the illusive Poster Boy's first solo show, charter school lotteries, the Rockefeller Drug Laws reform and much more. Enjoy the beautiful day and the hottest news in the nabe!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Budget Countdown outside the State Assembly...yeah, we're still waiting.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
After a grueling day of budget negotiations, codes hearings, and trying to find our way out of the brutalist concrete maze that is Empire Plaza, we’re back in Brooklyn typing away, trying to get a paper out. Well, Juliet is. I’m posting a blog entry. Despite visiting with only a few hours left of the state’s budget deadline (as of this morning, one of nine bills has passed and debate has resumed on the floor) , the Greenpoint Gazette staff managed to wrangle several interviews and even fit in a visit to some local art museums. We didn’t get to Troy, NY or to cast provisional ballots in a local congressional special election, but we did get to experience all that windy Albany had to offer. Jeff Mann wants to come back every weekend. Maybe if they open a restaurant or two for lunch.
Things we liked
-All-you-can-eat Raisin Bran at the EconoLodge in Rensselaer
-News about the ShamWow! guy breaking during the budget negotiations
-Free breakfast at the AFSCME buffet in the Empire Plaza convention hall. Union Yes!
-The pharmaceutical reps lobby day after party. Drug cocktails for everyone!
-$800 a month rent for a 2 Bedroom in a brownstone
-Martin Dilan’s Monday night 24 watching parties
-Vito being Vito
-Getting mad bowtie props from a staffer with Senator Pedro Espada
-Cathy Peake’s charming hospitality
Things we didn’t like
-Patti at the EconoLodge’s clean story about working for Eliot Spitzer
-The look on Brian Kavanagh’s face when legislators had to return for a vote on the budget after Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, diagnosed with walking pneumonia, was pulled out of the hospital by the leadership.
-Running into George Costanza while trying to find the car in the Empire Plaza parking garage.
-The United Auto Workers lobby day after party.
-The brownstone was in Albany
-Not being invited to Martin Dilan’s Monday night 24 watching parties
-Shelly being Shelly
-“You guys really picked the wrong week to visit here,” –various staffers
-Accidentally preventing Cathy Peake from casting the deciding vote in the 20th Congressional race. Sorry Cathy! (Editor's note: Cathy confirmed that she did vote in the election)