The Briefly for August 14, 2018 – Fifteen Years Since the Blackout of 2003, the Cuomo vs Nixon Debate, and More

It’s been fifteen years since the blackout of 2003, the Machete Bandit is identified, the NYPD is being sued for discrimination, how to get an immediate answer from the MTA, and more.

Where were you 15 years ago when the Northeast when dark?

Hart Island’s Hurricane Sandy seawall repairs should begin in 2019 and meanwhile small groups of prisoners bury 30 to 40 bodies each week. City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez is trying to shift ownership of the Potter’s Field from the Department of Corrections to the Parks Department.

The NYPD continues their search for a 35-year-old woman who was swept away while swimming in Jamaica Bay on Sunday afternoon.

The Brooklyn Public Library on 4th Avenue and Pacific Street reopened on Monday after a renovation that included a refurbished auditorium and air conditioning. Don’t forget that your library card can get you free access to over 30 museums in the city.

The Commercial Corridor Challenge is offering grants to existing businesses in gentrifying neighborhoods to improve their signage. The first areas targeted, which are also scheduled to be rezoned, are Flatbush Ave in East New York, Bay Street on Staten Island, and Southern Blvd in the Bronx.

Too much rain caused an eight foot geyser to emerge in the baggage area of JFK Airport, which remains the second most expensive airport in the country.

School is in session in a few weeks, and BKLYNER has a list of events to pick up free supplies for students.

Filming around town: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is at Avenue K and Ocean Ave in Brooklyn, The Deuce w/James Francois at W 122nd and Malcolm X Blvd, Orange Is The New Black  is at 33rd St and 30th Ave in Astoria, God Friended Me w/Joe Morton is at W. 81st and Central Park West, The Blacklist w/James Spader is at W 12th and Greenwich, Ray Donovan w/Liev Schreiber is at 56th and Broadway, Elementary w/Jonny Lee Miller is at Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens, and Manifest w/Josh Dallas is at 46th Ave and Vernon Blvd in Long Island City.

The Machete Bandit has been identified by the NYPD as Donald Grier of 34-15 12th St. He is still on the loose.

The NYPD is accused of withholding translation services from non-English speakers as a form of discrimination by Make the Road New York, who filed an organizational complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Despite the state of the subways, nice things can still happen underground.

The Trump administration is withholding $1.4 billion in transit funds, including $130 million earmarked for L train improvements.

No cowards here. Governor Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon are going to debate on August 29, finally answering Nixon’s months of requests.

The NYPD is re-opening the case against the doorman accused of sending dick pics to residents.

The man who was high on PCP and killed pedestrians in Times Square with his car in May of 2017 is blaming his victims for his actions.

Treasures of the Gowanus are being unearthed, thanks to the EPA’s dredging. now they have to figure out how to clean off the signature Gowanus black mayo.

How to get an immediate response from the MTA on Twitter.


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The Briefly for August 13, 2018 – Machete Bandit, Subway Platforms are Boiling, No More Watchtower Sign, and More

The city’s Subway platforms are regularly over 100 degreees, the Watchtower sign overlooking Brooklyn Bridge Park can’t be replaced, and more in the NYC news digest.

The temperature on subway platforms regularly comes close to 100 and when the Regional Plan Association tested last week, Union Square, Columbus Circle, and Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall were over 100, with Penn Station’s 2/3 platform and Times Square sitting 99.

One portion of the Uber “cap” that passed the City Council last week was a minimum wage for drivers. Despite the growth of Lyft and Uber, the median hourly earning of a driver was $14.25. The new $17.22/hour wage brings drivers in line with the minimum wage that the state is moving towards while also taking considerations into the cost of driving the cars themselves. 40% of drivers qualify for Medicaid and 18% for food stamps.

The “zombie” raccoon problem persists in Central Park. The city is warning dog owners to keep their dogs on leashes to prevent from from catching distemper from the trash pandas.

Vegan tacos in Brooklyn? Brokelyn runs down the best you can find.

New ferry schedules are available for preview on the Soundview and Lower East Side routes. Each runs once every 30 minutes during work hours and hourly at nights and on weekends. The Soundview line starts operating this week.

Jim Allen, thirty-year pianist at Marie’s Crisis Cafe, lost his battle with cancer at 52.

NYPD are looking for the “Machete Bandit,” who robbed six women who were walking alone between 29th Street and 43rd Street in Astoria.

Is Instagram culture ruining sushi?

The Commuter’s Lament” poetic installation between Times Square and the Port Authority has lost its humor in 2018.

The MTA had their stupidest idea ever to stop subway car graffiti in 1981.

Filming around town: Marvelous Mrs. Maisel w/Rachel Brosnahanis at Lorimer St and Calyer St in Brooklyn and also Waverly Pl and Macdougal St, The Deuce w/James Franco is at Walnut Ave and E 136th St in the Bronx, God Friended Me w/Joe Morton is at W. 81st and Central Park West, Leave Not One Behind is at 2nd and Bowery, Orange Is The New Black is at 33rd St and 30th Ave in Astoria, Tell Me A Story w/Kim Cattrall is at 23rd Ave and 37th St in Astoria, Netflix/Marvel’s Jessica Jones is at 51st and Park and 58th and 6th Ave, Law and Order: SVU is at Pierpont St and Montague St in Brooklyn, and Manifest w/Josh Dallas is at 17th and 3rd.

Over 10% of privately owned rental housing in Bushwick had serious violations between 2016 and 2017.

Mayor de Blasio says the city will “aggressively enforce the current policy” regarding the 90 degree cap on carriage horses operating in Central Park but his record on keeping promises when it comes to those horses is already full of failures.

State Sen. Simcha Felder lost his attempt to throw his primary challenger off the ballot for using a middle name. “Blake Morris” will appear on the ballot instead of “Lawrence Blake Morris” thanks to the Marty Markowitz defense.

A series of tragic actions lead to the death of 23-year-old Madison Jane Lyden on Central Park West. She was biking in the bike lane when an Uber double parked ahead of her. To get around the illegally parked car, she merged into traffic and was hit by Felipe Chairez, who was driving a Mellifont Construction Corp private sanitation truck while under the influence. A protected bike lane would have prevented her death.

Ben Shapiro, an insufferable asshole who is not running for Congress, challenged Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a debate and offered her campaign $10,000 to do so. She said no and likened being catcalled, calling it an “unsolicited request from men with bad intentions.” Shapiro, of course, missed the point of the metaphor and likened Ocasio-Cortez’ challenge to Joe Crowley, who she was actually running against in the primary, catcalling.

The “Watchtower” sign that once overlooked Brooklyn Bridge Park can’t be replaced because it was illegal the whole time. The developer who purchased the buildings are appealing the city’s decision.

Halloween comes earlier and earlier each year.


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The Briefly for July 2, 2018 – 820 Children Poisoned with Lead, Astoria Subways Closing, High Line Honey Controversy, and More

Two Astoria subway stations close for renovations, and there is too much poop in the water, too much lead paint on the walls, and too many postal parking placards being abused in Park Slope.

A wall recently painted white with a pair of sneakers hanging ifrom a power line above it
Ready in Bushwick

The Broadway and 39th Avenue Q/N stations in Astoria are closed for renovations beginning today.

Expect lots of police around the city during the fireworks this Fourth of July. Lots.

Flushing Bay no longer smells like a toilet because 89,000 cubic yards of decaying organic material (that’s poop, they’re talking about poop) was dredged from the bay as part of a $200 million cleanup project. The wetlands restoration project will be complete by the end of July.

Three Brooklyn beaches were closed for 101 days last summer because there was too much fecal bacteria (poop, again, it’s poop). The poop beaches in question are Kiddie, Manhattan, and Kingsborough Community College beaches. Check the city’s know before you go program to see if your beach is to poopy. 27 billion gallons of raw sewage are dumped into the New York Harbor every year.

The quaintest dead end streets of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, from Untapped Cities.

WNYC and Gothamist’s coverage and investigation into Gramercy Park has reached the mayor, who said the city should reassess the private park’s tax-free status.

Start talking to your neighbors and stop calling 311, especially in gentrifying neighborhoods. BuzzFeed dove into 311 complains to discover the friction between new residents and the neighborhood.

Two days after NYC Parks Commissioner declared Central Park “will be entirely and permanently car-free,” a cyclist collided with a garbage truck. Turns out “car-free” doesn’t apply to city vehicles.

Filming Around Town: Tell Me A Story, starring Kim Cattrall, is at Remsen and Clinton in Brooklyn, The Deuce, starring James Franco, is at 7th and 2nd, and Aviva is at 72nd and 5th.

City councilperson Brad Lander was one of the people arrested protesting outside of State Senator Marty Golden’s office.

The John J. Harvey for a World War I era makeover from artist Tauba Auerbach and is a sight to behold.

A look inside Overthrow Boxing, part boxing gym and part throwback to the Bleecker Street of old.

State Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson appears to to be living in New Jersey and stretching the definition of what it means to “reside in New York” to keep her job on the court.

820 kids in NYCHA apartments have been poisoned by lead paint. The NYCHA has been avoiding lead-paint regulations for years and the cost of avoiding those regulation is poisoning children.

TD Bank created High Line Honey to show how important bees are to a sustainable food supply, but their choice of Andrew Cotes as beekeeper is proving to be controversial.

On the same block where two children were killed in a car accident in Park Slope is the Van Brunt Post Office, notable for the volume of double parking that regularly occurs. Employees of the post office have been caught abusing parking placards by the Brooklyn Paper. Their placards are being revoked and postal placards will no longer be issued.