BROOKLYN HEIGHTS HISTORIC DISTRICT ANNIVERSARY
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — NOV. 23 MARKS THE 58TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE designation of Brooklyn Heights as the city’s first historic district in 1965, following its achievement of National Historic Landmark status in Jan. of that year. The title was intended to help preserve the area’s historic character and charm, particularly that of its characteristic brownstone townhouses and tree-lined streets. The Landmarks Commission’s designation report from 1965 noted that the area had been economically depressed for decades prior to the Second World War, reaching a nadir in the 1940s, but as young couples began to move back to the neighborhood following the construction of the BQE and Promenade in the 1950s — largely sparing the Heights from the destruction faced by other Brooklyn neighborhoods — pride in the Heights’ historic value led to an upwelling of support, led by the Brooklyn Heights Association, against efforts to demolish or modernize existing buildings.
“From the totality of all this, the interesting old buildings arranged on irregular streets, with unexpected vistas, emanates an appearance and even more a spirit and character of Old New York which no single part thereof, and certainly no individual Landmark, could possibly provide. It is this ‘collective emanation,’ which distinguishes a Historic District, and particularly Brooklyn Heights, from a Landmark and gives it a unique aesthetic and historical value.” – Otis Pratt Pearsall, Brooklyn Heights Association.
A DIRTIER (& RATTIER) NYC UNDER ADAMS’ REVISED BUDGET
CITYWIDE — UNDER MAYOR ERIC ADAMS’ MODIFIED CITY BUDGET, the Sanitation Department will cut the number of litter baskets, reduce trash pickup and delay the citywide implementation of composting, Gothamist reports. In addition, the city’s investment in rat exterminators will be slashed, officials told The City.
The reduced sanitation budget is just one of many citywide cuts Adams has imposed affecting education, policing, libraries and basic services.
COPS SEEK TRIO ROBBING COFFEE SHOPS, RESTAURANTS ACROSS BROOKLYN
BOROUGH-WIDE — POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR THREE ROBBERS who broke into a series of coffee shops, restaurants and one small law office during the early morning hours across Brooklyn, stealing cash in amounts ranging from $200-$1,500 and random property. In the first incident, the men broke into a coffee shop on Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn at 12:49 a.m. on Oct. 23. They struck another coffee shop on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights on Oct. 27 at 3:40 a.m. On Oct. 30 at 3:10 a.m., they broke into a law office on Smith Street in Boerum Hill. On Nov. 15 at 2:40 a.m., they hit a bagel shop on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope — but did not steal anything at this one location. That same night, ten minutes later, however, they broke into a sushi restaurant, also on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, robbing cash and property.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), or visit
RUMOR MILL: ANDREW CUOMO AS NYC MAYOR?
CITYWIDE — SOURCES TELL VANITY FAIR THAT REAL ESTATE INTERESTS are urging former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stage a political comeback by running for NYC mayor if embattled Mayor Eric Adams is pushed out of office by his legal troubles. Cuomo is downplaying the speculation — but still keeps up a steady schedule of speeches, tweets, TV appearances and visits to churches in Brooklyn.
Cuomo resigned as governor of New York in disgrace in 2021 following allegations of sexual harassment by 11 women.
HOCHUL WARNS HOLIDAY TRAVELERS: MAJOR STORM TO HIT NY DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING
STATEWIDE — GOV. KATHY HOCHUL WARNED OF A MAJOR STORM just in time for Wednesday, Nov. 22, the busy travel day before Thanksgiving. In Brooklyn, Wednesday is likely to be cold and rainy. But if you plan on driving upstate that day, Hochul has one word — don’t. “Our state forecasters and National Weather Service are tracking a lake effect snowstorm. We believe it’s going to have major impacts. As a result of those forecasts, I’m directing all of my state agencies from Homeland Security, DOT, Thruway Authority, National Guard, Parks and DEC to be prepared,” she said in a release Friday.
“Do not make next Wednesday be your main day to travel, or else you’ll get stuck,” she urged travelers planning to head north next week.
HEIGHTS PENTHOUSE TOPS SALES CHARTS
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A PENTHOUSE APARTMENT AT ONE BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK took the top spot on the borough’s luxury sales charts last week, reports the Real Deal, with a last asking price of $6.5 million for 3,400 square feet at the top of the refurbished 1928 condo building. The penthouse features three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a massive wraparound terrace with views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline; in addition to luxury touches like oak herringbone floors, building residents also enjoy amenities like an in-house gym, screening room and billiards room.
One Brooklyn Bridge Park is part of a cluster of high-priced residential buildings at the park’s Pier 6 southern end; the pricey penthouse is nowhere near the record for the address, which was set in 2015 by an 11,000 square-foot triplex listed at $32 million.
AMAZON CAN NO LONGER ENTER YOUR APARTMENT BUILDING WHENEVER IT WANTS
ALBANY — GOV. KATHY HOCHUL SIGNED ON FRIDAY A BILL SPONSORED BY BROOKLYN ASSEMBLYMEMBER JO ANNE SIMON that would prevent companies like Amazon from installing keyless devices in residential buildings, which allow company drivers to unlock entrance doors without the knowledge or written consent of owners, board of directors or other authorized party. Under Amazon’s “Key for Business” program, the company installs electronic unlocking devices in residential buildings to speed up their rounds, leaving tenants unaware of who has access to their building and causing serious security concerns. In some cases, the Amazon devices interfere with a building’s own security system or intercoms.
“New Yorkers deserve to feel safe and stay healthy in their own homes,” Simon said in a release, adding, “This law will ensure New Yorkers are aware of any such devices being installed in their building because it will now require written consent.”
NYC COUNCIL HEARING MONDAY ON POLICE RADIO ENCRYPTION AND MEDIA TRANSPARENCY
LOWER MANHATTAN — THE CITY COUNCIL IS HOLDING A JOINT HEARING on Monday on the New York Police Department’s radio encryption plans, the press credential issuance process and governmental social media account archiving. On the encryption issue, the Council said in a release, “As the NYPD moves ahead with its plans to further encrypt radio transmissions, and the impacts are better understood, media organizations, journalists and volunteer first-responder groups are expressing concerns about how this interferes with their efforts to serve the public.”
The hearing will take place Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. in the Committee Room, 16th Floor, 250 Broadway in Manhattan, and will be livestreamed at
FIRE AT BUSHWICK WAREHOUSE
BUSHWICK — A HEAVY FIRE ENGULFED THE LOADING DOCK OF A BUSHWICK COMMERCIAL BUILDING on Thursday, reports Patch, before being eventually contained thanks to the efforts of 140 firefighters. The fire was called in by a local resident in the early afternoon but was brought under control by 3:15 p.m., although one firefighter sustained minor injuries; reports on news app Citizen indicate that first responders said that search efforts were hindered by “heavy clutter” inside the building, which was described as a warehouse or factory by the Fire Department.
Videos posted from the scene show the FDNY’s Robotics Unit preparing to deploy a drone; the Fire Department uses drones and other robots – including a Dalmatian-spotted robot “dog” — to help search hazardous areas and monitor firefighters during operations.
FOURTH PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES IN TWO WEEKS AS HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER KILLS ELDERLY WOMAN
FORT HAMILTON — AN OLDER WOMAN CROSSING THE STREET IN FORT HAMILTON is the latest victim in what has become a spike in fatal collisions around Brooklyn involving pedestrians and motorists. The 72-year-old woman, whose name police withheld, was crossing with her shopping cart near Marine Ave. and 96th St. on Thursday, Nov. 16, around 6:50 p.m. when the driver of a dark-colored sedan crashed into her, sending her onto the vehicle’s roof and windshield before she wound up stuck underneath a parked car, a witness told the Daily News Thursday night. The witness said the driver never slowed down and continued racing up Marine Avenue and that his car dragged the shopping cart for several yards. Medics did not reach the woman in time to save her.
According to statistics from Open Data NYC and Patch, the woman’s death marks the fourth pedestrian fatality in just two weeks.
SCHUMER: ‘HOLD CHINA ACCOUNTABLE’ ON FENTANYL
NATIONWIDE — SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, ON THURSDAY, HAILED A DEAL STRUCK BETWEEN President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday designed to crack down on the production and smuggling of fentanyl and its precursor chemicals, as well as efforts already being made by the Chinese to rein in companies manufacturing these items, but warned that the U.S. should be ready to “hold China accountable” for compliance with its commitments. Under the agreement, China will take action against companies making precursor drugs, as well as join the U.S. in launching a counter-narcotics working group to bolster law enforcement information sharing. According to a press release from the senator’s office, China is the world’s largest producer of illicit fentanyl and could be responsible for over 90 percent of the illicit fentanyl found in the U.S.; in 2022, NYC saw overdose deaths reach record numbers at over 3,000, predominantly driven by illicit fentanyl.
“During my visit to China last month, we were pointed and direct with President Xi. I told him the devastating impact I have seen the opioid crisis have on New York families. I am pleased to see China take what could be a major step forward to cut off the flow of fentanyl, and I am going to be watching like a hawk for progress,” Schumer said in a press statement.
CITY COUNCIL GIVES CUNY SCHOOLS $550K TO EXPAND ANTI-HATRED PROGRAMS
CITYWIDE — THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK HAS RECEIVED $550,000 FROM THE NEW YORK City Council to expand anti-hate initiatives that address religious and ethnic discrimination on CUNY campuses. The $550,000 builds on the work CUNY has been doing over the last year to confront bigotry and discrimination and to combat antisemitism and other forms of hate. This effort has included the distribution of $750,000 in state funds for Campus Climate Support Grants to address religious, racial and ethnic bigotry across the University. CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez pointed out that “CUNY is reaffirming its mission to root out antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of discrimination and bigotry, building new programs to ensure campuses remain bastions of tolerance, empathy and respect.”
While many groups are focusing only on antisemitism toward Jews, the word “antisemitism” actually relates to hatred of any person from the Semitic language group that includes Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic.
CITY TECH HOSTS TRAVELING EXHIBITS AS PART OF ANTI-HATE PROGRAMS
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — New York City College of Technology, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, has hosted visual arts exhibits as part of a larger educational program to combat hatred within its schools. The first exhibit held earlier this year, titled “I am a Jew,” explored Jewish identity through portrait photography and testimony. Another exhibit, running now through January 5, titled “Americans and the Holocaust,” is a 1,100-square-foot traveling exhibit of the U.S. National Holocaust Memorial Museum that City Tech is hosting at City Tech’s Ursula C. Schwerin Library.
City Tech is among 50 colleges and universities participating in the exhibit, and its professors have also integrated material from it into their fall 2023 course curricula. Upcoming classes after Thanksgiving include an Overview & Introduction to “Americans and the Holocaust” and “Racism, Eugenics & Antisemitism: Connections between Jim Crow and the Nuremberg Race Laws.”
HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE SETS STAGE FOR VOTE TO EXPEL EMBATTLED SANTOS
BAY RIDGE AND CAPITOL HILL — A DAY AFTER TWO BROOKLYN CONGRESS MEMBERS DENOUNCED REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-03), the chairman of the House Ethics Committee has filed a resolution to expel the embattled Queens Congressman, according to several news reports. Michael Guest, a Mississippi Republican who chairs the bipartisan House Ethics Committee, on Thursday, issued a scathing report that called Santos “untrustworthy.” Santos, who has already withstood two attempts to expel him, faces this latest House vote — with his own party holding a slim majority — after the Thanksgiving holiday.
After the report was released, Brooklyn’s only Republican Congressmember, Nicole Malliotakis (R-11), also called for Santos to resign or be expelled. Democrat Congressman Dan Goldman, who serves much of western Brooklyn, also said he’d introduce a bill to expel Santos.
MALICHITA CANTALOUPES RECALLED AMID SALMONELLA THREAT
NATIONWIDE — CANTALOUPE IS THE LATEST FOOD TO BE RECALLED DUE TO A SALMONELLA RISK, according to the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Several lots of fresh cantaloupe from Sofia Produce, LLC, doing business as Arizona-based “Trufresh,” have been recalled for potential contamination with salmonella. The cantaloupes were packaged in cardboard containers labeled with the “Malichita” label and include several sales order numbers distributed between October 16, 2023 and October 23, 2023; these numbers are: 128663, 128712, 128713, 128662, 128680, 225252, 225231, 419719, 419721, 419828, 419803, 612235, 612273. New Jersey was the closest state where the fruit batches were delivered, although the USDA warns they may have been further trucked to New York and neighboring states.
Several other order numbers were subject to recall earlier.