Spike Lee Organizes Block Party to Celebrate Life of Prince

Apr 24, 16 Spike Lee Organizes Block Party to Celebrate Life of Prince

Posted by in All, Entertainment

Within hours of the news that Prince (Rogers Nelson) had died, Spike Lee, the iconoclastic film director, held a block party outside the premises of “40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks” studio in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Hundreds of fans of the iconic rocker met to celebrate the life and music of Prince, whose style and genre of music is outside any definable box. Describing the unlikely “party,” 38-year-old Rob Robinson said, “Tonight is about the feelings Prince evoked in all the people who ever heard his music. Many musicians master an instrument. Prince touched hearts. Prince is about love.” Lee, dressed in purple to evoke Prince’s great song Purple Rain, danced and pranced through the crowd, singing along with every song spun by the DJ playing Prince’s music. “It’s a celebration,” Lee said. “We are here to celebrate Prince’s life.” The party ended with a 20-minute version of Purple Rain, leaving many teary-eyed, but happy to have joined in the festivities celebrating the musician’s...

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Diaper Thief Caught in Brooklyn

Apr 19, 15 Diaper Thief Caught in Brooklyn

Posted by in All, News

A man who had been stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of diapers at Stop & Shop Stores was arrested at his home in Bushwick on Thursday. Officials say that Kevin Hargrove, 24, was able to use the self-checkout lane at the store to purchase the diapers, but would switch the bar code labels on the diapers for items costing only 99 cents. Then Hargrove took the diapers to resell on the street at a discounted price, but for much more than 99 cents. “This is a man, who according to his own statement to detectives has hit every Stop & Shop in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut” said prosecutor Diane Peress, chief of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau. “We know that he’s done this over 100 times within the last half a year.” Nassau County prosecutors say that there is a growing problem of thieves that use the self-checkout lines to commit their crimes by buying high-priced items using lower priced bar codes. “UPC theft has grown exponentially in Nassau County and in the suburbs in last two years. You can basically walk out undetected because all the machine is detecting is the UPS – the bar-code” said Diane Peress, Chief of the Nassau DA Economic Crime Bureau. Hargrove was charged in Nassau County with grand larceny and falsifying business records. He pleaded guilty and also told the police that he was using the stolen diapers also for his own small...

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Brooklyn Wind Turbine Proving “You Can Do It Anywhere”

Jan 18, 15 Brooklyn Wind Turbine Proving “You Can Do It Anywhere”

Posted by in All, New York

In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a proud wind turbine stands 160 feet tall, producing enough energy to completely power two homes for one year, or one 20-watt light-bulb for a century. However, this turbine will be used to supply about 4 percent of the power needs of a recycling plant at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. At a ribbon-cutting opening ceremony held last week, the general manager of the Sims Metal Management plant, Thomas Outerbridge, described the four-year, sometimes challenging, process of turning the dream of using wind to power his plant into reality. “They say, ‘If you can do it in New York, you can do it anywhere”™ ” Mr. Outerbridge said. “And if you do it in Brooklyn, you can do it anywhere and you can be very cool.” The recycling plant opened in 2013 and has been processing the majority of New York’s curbside metal since then. Even before bringing the wind turbine online the plant, which is an Australian-owned business, were getting about 16 percent of their energy from solar panels on the roof of the plant. The rest of their energy needs come from traditional sources. On December 17, 2014 the Sims plant added wind energy as one of its power sources. It was the very first large-scale wind turbine to be installed in the city. Smaller turbines are found in other parts of town. They are usually only about 20 feet tall, and produce one kilowatt of electricity, as compared to the 100 kilowatts produced by the Sunset Park turbine. The smaller wind turbines are used to power residential or smaller commercial buildings. The Whole Foods grocery store in Gowanus is one...

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Hilltop Cares Foundation Focusing on Community and Healing

Dec 24, 14 Hilltop Cares Foundation Focusing on Community and Healing

Posted by in All, Featured

In early December of this year a group of 70 people came together to talk about finding ways to create a community of healing and mutual support. The venue was a kick-off event for the Hilltop Cares Foundation, chaired by Marjorie Kaufman. In attendance were alumni, parents, school administrators and students of the Horace Mann School, which educates children from nursery school through 12th grade. Vice Chairman Joe Rose founded Hilltop Cares in the wake of a June, 2012 New York Times Magazine article. Marjorie Kaufman, who is chairwoman of the foundation, then became chair in 2014. The article brought to light a disturbing pattern of abuse of students by teachers at Horace Mann, the prestigious Bronx private school, which had taken place in the 1990s and before. Most of the teachers who were guilty of the abuse have since died, but the victims are still alive and have formed into advocacy groups to try to get financial help from Horace Mann to help pay for therapy or to compensate the victims in other ways. At the December event Ms. Kaufman said that Hilltop Cares will “provide support for alumni who suffered abuse at the school years ago, to support their therapy, as well as to bring about some healing to the whole Horace Mann community.” Kaufman stated that all the funds raised by the foundation will go towards funding psychological therapy for the victims of the abuse who would otherwise not be able to afford such therapy. She added that the foundation is especially useful since it operates as an independent entity not connected to the school. “There are significant negative sentiments held by some alumni in the wake of the revelations of sexual abuse at the school. As an independent entity we don’t get involved with that at all, and we are here to directly help people that were hurt” Marjorie Kaufman stated. Hilltop Cares is now in the process of planning a benefit event which will take place at the school,...

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Methodist Hospital Expansion Facing Park Slope Citizens Opposition

Dec 09, 14 Methodist Hospital Expansion Facing Park Slope Citizens Opposition

Posted by in All, Real Estate

Preserve Park Slope, a neighborhood citizen’s advocacy group, succeeded to win a hearing to postpone the expansion of Methodist Hospital. The group was able to convince the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals to examine the zoning variances which were given to the project. Methodist Hospital is seeing to build an eight-story out-patient clinic, on Sixth Street in the historic, residential neighborhood. Architect and member of the Preserve Park Slope group, David Abramson said, “There are simply too many unanswered questions at this point for this huge expansion to be approved without proper scrutiny.” Abramson and the group have two main fears: First, that the U-shaped, modern-look, huge glass structure will adversely affect the special character and historic nature of the neighborhood; and second, the large clinic will worsen an already chaotic and crowded traffic situation. Last June the city board unanimously gave its go-ahead to the hospital’s plans. Included in those plans was the razing of 16 buildings owned by the hospital, including a few 19th century brownstones.   In 2010 those brownstones were specifically left out of a 600-building expansion of the neighborhood’s historic district, which now includes 2,575 buildings. After that decision the Park Slope group sued the hospital in the New York Supreme Court. Part of their argument was that the hospital unfairly received the zoning variance to demolish the buildings. The case is still working its way through the courts system. Hospital spokeswoman Lyn Hill did not comment, saying that “The hospital does not comment on matters in litigation.” The hospital did complain that they have already changed their plans 20 times in order to take into consideration a wide variety of community concerns. The hearing is scheduled to take place on December 16, and is considered an unusual move on the part of the...

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