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State Gets Green Light to Sell Clinton Hill Vacant Building

July 15, 2014
Coming Soon:Affordable Housing and Services for Vets and Seniors

Coming Soon:Affordable Housing and Services for Vets and Seniors

The Cuomo administration would like to sell an old, dilapidated and vacant building in Clinton Hill to a non-profit organization that will agree to convert to space to affordable housing for seniors and veterans, plus space reserved for social services. Some space will also be allowed for commercial and retail ventures.

A bill which will allow the sale of the state-owned property has already passed through the state Legislature, and is already on its way to the governor’s desk. Governor Cuomo supports the plan to sell the three story building at 1024 Fulton Street to the Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corp for a ‘fair market’ value.

The Office of General Services is required to negotiate a deal with the nonprofit housing group before a year is up, as per the terms of the bill. The details of how the building will be developed still remain unclear: how many apartments, how much commercial space, and the price of the building, are still unknown.

“We are unable to speculate what that cost will be until the appraisals have been completed,” said the Office of General Services spokeswoman Heather Groll.

Burglaries Booming in 88th Precinct

July 10, 2014

Summer can mean different things to different people. For instance, some of us may go to the beach, the pool, or have a picnic in the park. Others of us may decide that the warm weather is the perfect time for a burglary. That seems to be exactly what is happening in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, with four incidents of burglaries taking place just last week.

•    While a 23-year old woman was away on vacation her 32-inch flat-screen TV was taken from her North Oxford Walk residence in Whitman Houses in Fort Greene. The burglary took place between June 23 and July 1.
•    On Wednesday, July 2, sometime between 8:45am and 5:30pm, while the 39-year old resident was at work, his apartment was ransacked and all his electronic devices were taken. This burglary took place in a building between Adelphi Street and Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene.
•    On Grand Avenue between Clifton Place and Greene Avenue in Clinton Hill a laptop was reported stolen from a 28-year old man’s apartment. At 1:45 his roommate left for work, and when they returned at 5:45pm the computer was gone with the door unlocked. This incident also happened on July 2.
•    Sometime between 10:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday, July 6, a burglar took off with two laptops, a tablet, and a camera from an apartment in Clinton Hill on Clinton Avenue between Myrtle and Park Avenues.

Pratt Towers Kids Build First Park in Twenty Years

June 17, 2014
New Play Space at Pratt Towers in Clinton Hill

New Play Space at Pratt Towers in Clinton Hill

The 100 kids living in the 24-story Pratt Towers in Clinton Hill haven’t had a proper place to play in their neighborhood for 20 years, until now. With the help of over 200 volunteers from developer Forest City Ratner, the non-profit organization KaBOOM! and the residents of the tower, a brand-new playground, with a slide, rock-climbing wall, benches and garden, was built in just one day.

The actual construction may have taken just a few hours, but the Pratt Towers Playground Committee has been working on the project for eight years.

“It’s vital,” said Michael Crawford, 48 of the Committee. “There is no other place for the kids to play on the property.”

Last March the children from the building imagined what they would like their playground to look like in drawings.  Those ideas were used as the basis for the construction.

“It’s been a lot of work, so to see this happen is so well worth it,” said committee co-chair Claudia Ghigliotty. The former park area was shuttered for years. It was completely rundown and full of exposed metal. “It was a real waste of space and an eyesore,” she added.

Pratt Towers paid $8,500 for the park, about 20 percent of the total budget. The playground is the third built by Forest City Ratner and KaBOOM!

Myrtle Avenue Pedestrian Mall Bringing More Shade and Beauty to Brooklyn

June 9, 2014
Myrtle Plaza Rendering

Myrtle Plaza Rendering

Brooklynites can look forward to the beautification of a stretch of Myrtle Avenue which will be transformed in the coming months into a lovely pedestrian mall. With the help of funding from former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Councilwoman Letitia James, the federal government and the NYC Department of Transportation, Myrtle Plaza will be a 25,000 square-foot, $6 million haven for residents located between Hall Street and Emerson Place.

The Parks Department will be adding at least 40 new trees to the six lonely trees that already grow on the four block stretch on Myrtle. By the time summer 2015 rolls around there should be twelve Pagodas, six Zelkovas, five Pin Oaks and eight Amelanchiers rooted around the plaza, adding shade, cleaner air and beauty to the public space.

“They will increase our street beautification efforts and have been shown to reduce car speeds,” said a spokeswoman for the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership. “They cool the street and the city by providing shade in the summer and they provide cleaner air.”

The Partnership will be responsible for the care and maintenance of the trees, which will have trunks larger than five inches. Larger trees create a shadier canopy, covering the avenue with cooling shade.

Primerica Hosting Business Meeting in Linden, New Jersey

May 27, 2014

Primerica, one of America’s foremost independent financial services marketing company, will be holding a business opportunity meeting in June.

The company, which has its headquarters in Duluth, Georgia, employs over 1,700 people. Primerica has been offering financial services to regular Americans for over 36 years and has over 4.3 million people insured through them.

The upcoming meeting, which will take place on June 16, is looking for highly motivated individuals who they will educate for a rewarding career in financial services. There will be two separate meeting times, from 2-3pm and from 6-7pm. Both meetings will take place at the Linden Free Public Library located at 31 East Henry Street in Linden, New Jersey, on the third floor in the Columbia Room.

To reserve a place call the Linden Free Public Library at 908-298-3830 or call Regional Leader June Lazaro at 908-930-8310.

A Primerica representative can also be contacted: Lynette Barbieri RVP 732-845-0006.

Bounce House Accident Leads to Safety Recommendations

May 19, 2014
Sudden wind lifted bounce house high, seriously injuring two young boys

Sudden wind lifted bounce house high, seriously injuring two young boys

It took only two days after an accident caused injuries to three children for Governor Andrew Cuomo to innumerate safeguards for the use of the popular children’s play-space known as “bounce houses.”

Several children were jumping on a ‘bounce house’ in South Glen Falls, New York, when a sudden, freak wind lifted the inflatable structure high into the air. One child, a girl, fell off relatively soon and only suffered minor injuries, but two boys also caught in the sudden gust of wind were more seriously injured. As of Tuesday, May 13 they are still in the hospital in stable condition.

“As this week’s tragic incident in the Capital District demonstrates, inflatable toy houses can become dangerous when not secured properly,” Cuomo said. “I urge all parents to exercise caution when installing these devices, carefully follow the instructions and keep kids off them on windy days. My thoughts and prayers are with the family in South Glens Falls and we wish their children a full and speedy recovery.”

The wind that lifted the bounce house into the air was not predicted and rose suddenly. The weather forecasts for that day predicted winds of only 5-10 mph in that area on that day.

The expert safety tips for using inflatable bounce houses include:

•    Do not use during windy days when gusts exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations.
•    Set up device far from power lines and fences
•    Remove shoes and sharp objects before use
•    Users should be of similar size when jumping together
•    Do not go beyond the devices stated capacity
•    Device should be well-anchored to the ground
•    Blowers that keep the device inflated should be attached securely and should be attached to outlets with the correct voltage.
•    A soft, shock-absorbent landing surface should be provided outside the device.

All Brooklyn Public Library Branches Now Open for Business

May 13, 2014
The new face of the Clinton Hill BPL

The new face of the Clinton Hill BPL

It’s been 21 months, but well worth the wait. Finally the last of seven Brooklyn Public Library branches that were closed for repairs and renovation re-opened on April 14. The Clinton Hill branch received an almost $1 million facelift, getting a self-checkout apparatus, air-conditioning and heating, LEED lighting and a fun wall that kids are invited to draw on.

“We’re thrilled to have all 60 branches open, providing vital service to every corner of Brooklyn,” said David Woloch, BPL Executive Vice President for External Affairs.

The work on all 60 branches is not complete, however. An additional two branches will also have to close down for some intensive repairs this coming autumn, and a third branch will become the lower floor of a towering condo building.

The Red Hook library branch will be adding practice rooms and studio space above their stacks, courtesy of Spaceworks, a non-profit organization that brings cultural space to all five boroughs. In Brighton Beach the library will be closed to fix a stubborn leaky roof.

An additional five branches will also be getting overhauls, including a much-needed new roof for the central Grand Army Plaza branch. These repairs will hopefully not require a complete shut-down of the branch.

“With $300 million in deferred maintenance across our system we know the work to maintain our libraries is far from done,” Woloch said.

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