The Briefly for Labor Day 2018 – The City Has A New Pot Policy

The NYPD will issue summons instead of arrests in most cases involving smoking pot in public, but critics point out the new policy may continue to allow for racial profiling in arrests made.

There’s a new pot policy in the city, which started September 1. Anyone caught smoking marijuana in public will receive a summons instead of being arrested. There are exceptions to this rule, the most notable being that police can “exercise discretion” on how best to proceed.

The Village Voice has ceased publishing new stories, as reported by the re-animated corpse of Gothamist. The owner, Peter D. Barbey, is going to continue to make the paper’s archives available online. Gothamist suffered a similar fate, but was brought back to life by WNYC.

Less than a month after Inwood’s rezoning, the first 30-story rental tower is planned. The purpose of the rezoning was to encourage 5,000 new apartments in the neighborhood.

The city, working with Legal Aid, is working to get the 6,000 eligible people in Rikers Island registered to vote. The deadline to vote in the general elections on November 6 i October 12.

Another chapter in the long and complicated story of 85 Bowery has come to an end. On Thursday, tenants returned to their renovated homes almost two years after they were vacated from the building due to deteriorating conditions. In 2016, the owner filed a lawsuit to evict (rather than vacate) all tenants of the building, which spurred a legal argument about rent stabilized apartments. The story of the struggle between the tenants and the landlord isn’t over, but tenants once again have their homes.

Despite big promises about Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero, the NYPD has investigated less fatal collisions between pedestrians and cars. Investigations are down 19% and there are two fewer officers in the unit since 2013 (a promise was made to add more).

1,160 kids in NYCHA housing tested positive for lead poisoning since 2012. That number started as 19, then was revised to 820 and has ballooned to over 1,000. On the radio on Friday Mayor de Blasio made attempts to deflect the blame, insisting that the city hadn’t violated the CDC’s instructions, rather they hadn’t adhered to its guidance.

The Leave Behind Naloxone Program will leave a drug overdose kit with overdose survivors. Friends and family of survivors can also request a kit. Naloxone is used to block the effects of opioids in an overdose.

It’s been ten years since Coney Island’s Astroland closed. The Coney Island History Project is celebrating the lost amusement park throughout this month.

What is going on with The Michelle Obama Political Club that is in no way affiliated with Michelle Obama and why did this oddly named and seemingly newly formed group endorse State Senator Jesse Hamilton against Zellnor Myrie?

After declaring he would stop balancing the Sisyphus Stones, Uliks Gryka has stated he will return to Fort Washington Park to balance the stones after the stones were vandalized.

Melissa and Michelle Jones have become the NYPD’s first ever black twin-sister detectives.

Here it is, the dumbest opinion about bike lanes in history.

Juliio C. Ayala, an 18-year-old believed to be affiliated with MS-13, was arraigned on Sunday that he raped an 11-year-old girl in Brooklyn.

At 8.4%, Queens had the highest year-over-year rent hike in the country in August.

Another account of the Central Park West ghost bus, which the MTA says does not exist… but it does.

The man who sprayed a mystery substance on NYC buses was 46-year-old Andre Chandler and the mystery substance was bear repellant (twice as strong as pepper-spray). He faces 20 counts of assault and as far as we know there were no bears aboard those buses.

Please stop feeding the squirrels in Madison Square Park!


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The Briefly for August 30, 2018 – Nixon vs Cuomo Debate, FAO Schwarz Returns, Don’t Grab For A Cop’s Gun, and More

“If you stop lying, I will stop interrupting” pretty much sums up the Nixon/Cuomo debate, but there is plenty of analysis of the hour long event, plus FAO Schwarz is coming back, Queens got a library on a bike, and more in today’s NYC news digest.

“If you stop lying, I will stop interrupting” The Nixon/Cuomo debate was a thing last night. The New York Times fact checked the debate. amNY has a list of the debate’s most notable moments. Watch the Cuomo/Nixon debate on CBS New York’s YouTube channel if you want. The Village Voice watched the debate, so you don’t have to.

No matter how much you think about it, don’t try to grab a cop’s gun. 21-year-old Freddie Adams learned that lesson the hard way in Staten Island. He bit a second officer.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and provides a guide to a relaxing ferry ride from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Greenpoint. It’s cheaper than a Xanax. Curbed argues that while the ferry is pleasant, it won’t cure the city’s transit woes.

FAO Schwarz closed it’s doors over three years ago, but will reopen a 20,000 square foot toy store in Rockefeller Center this November.

Public toilets made their debut in NYC a decade ago, and 15 of them are still sitting in a warehouse in Queens.

The Queens Library unveiled its first bookcycle bike. The bike will bring library resources to areas that may not otherwise have library access and act as an extension of the Court Square Community Library. It will offer library cards, the ability to reserve library materials, borrow books and eventually it’ll also have wifi!

Labor Day originated in NYC with a parade on September 5 in 1882. It was organized by members of the Central Labor Union to promote an eight-hour work day, fair wages, and an end to child labor. It started at City Hall and ended with a party in Union Square.

Prosecutors dropped charges against the woman who started the brawl in an East Flatbush nail salon, but the investigation is ongoing.

NYCHA employees were reassigned after being outed for drinking and sexual conduct, some of which occurred in groups. “In other words, orgies.” as the Observer notes.

This week ends the annual tradition that no one notices until it’s almost over: New York is empty in August.

Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman gave an interview to the Hollywood Reporter over Louis CK using his stage without his knowledge to perform on Sunday night.

The Clear Curbs pilot on Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope/Prospect Heights will end early at the request of The Flatbush Ave BID. This is the second Clear Curbs pilot that will be ending early.

The City Council passed the bill that will allow traffic cameras to enforce the speed limit in school zones, as expected. There is speculation if the bill will hold dup against a legal challenge, but for now the cameras will be back on.

According to a new lawsuit, the city is failing special needs students due to “cumbersome and counterintuitive bureaucracy.”

The identity of the person whose body was found in plastic bags in a Bronx park was 25-year-old Lisa Marie Velasquez of Melrose, Queens. Her story is heartbreaking. Two people have been arrested in connection with the murder. https://nypost.com/2018/08/30/two-arrested-as-dismembered-victims-tragic-past-is-revealed/

The New York Times has discovered geocaching.


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The Briefly for July 31, 2018 – The Typo That Caused Commute Chaos, Junior Guzman’s Way, Cuomo Leads, and More

It was a simple typo that prevented any advanced notice (or any notice at all) to warn people about a five month stretch of work on an express train in Brooklyn. The MTA is very sorry and they say it won’t happen again.

No announcement was made before Monday’s commute went to shit on the D/N/R in Brooklyn. A typo prevented any announcements ahead of five months of work on the local tracks between 36th St and 59th St.

Governor Cuomo has a sizable 31 point lead of Cynthia Nixon with likely Democratic primary voters. Kathy Hochul leads Jumaane Williams for Lieutenant Governor, and Leticia James is ahead of Sean Patrick Maloney and Zephyr Teachout for Attorney General.

While the “Yes in My Back Yard” episode of Planet Money isn’t about New York, but it’s very àpropos of the constant conversation surrounding new construction and housing.

Dirty but delicious: Mapping where we love to eat regardless of the health inspection status.

On the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, State Senator Michael Gianaris released a report showing New York City as dead last nationwide for wheelchair-accessibility public transit. Happy anniversary!

Revel, a shared electric moped company, launched in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick on Monday. They’re limited to a 30mph max speed and aren’t supposed to leave Brooklyn or Queens.

Brooklyn’s least favorite restauranteur/local asshole/tree murderer’s Bar Salumi has closed. Adam Harvey is due in court in September for allegedly drilling holes in his neighbor’s tree and filling them with herbicide.

The corner of East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue will be renamed for Lesandro “Junior” Guzman.

Filming around town: The Blacklist w/James Spader is at 29th St and 36th Ave in Astoria, Tell Me A Story w/Kim Cattrall is at 74th and 1st, Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It is at Court St and Butler St in Brooklyn, The Last OG w/Tracy Morgan is at 6th St and 5th Ave in Brooklyn, The Deuce w/Maggie Gyllenhaal is at 160th and Amsterdam, and Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is at Ave and Avenue K in Brooklyn.

Sushi Roxx, the sushi restaurant with “sexy choreography,” closed after double charging credit cards for at least $20,000 in “mystery charges” and the staff claims they haven’t been paid in two weeks.

Smoking is now illegal inside and within 25 feet of NYCHA public housing, conforming with a mandate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development.

Brooklyn’s major streets owe their layout to Native American trails.

Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez hasn’t charged or issued a ticket to the hit-and-run driver who killed four-year-old Luz Gonzalez in Bushwick.

NYPD is refusing to release demographic and location information of turnstile jumping enforcing, despite a law that requiring it to be posted on its website.

City Councilmember Mark Gjonaj suggested the city place speed radar signs at nearly 1,200 public schools as a speed deterrent while the state’s speed cameras are not operating. The city’s Transportation Department say the signs aren’t as effective as speed cameras, but at some point something is better than nothing.

Photoville is returning to Brooklyn Bridge Park with an exhibit called “Humble Cat,” and they want your cat photos.