March Over Brooklyn Bridge Showcases Plight of Groups Losing Space in Schools

Oct 19, 15 March Over Brooklyn Bridge Showcases Plight of Groups Losing Space in Schools

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As many as 500 students participated in a protest march across the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday in support of additional and safer places to engage in athletics in the New York City. The march was led by the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and was joined by coaches, parents and representatives from lots of sports teams across the City. Adams said he would be happy to see the city’s Department of Education allow sports teams and other athletic programs given more time on school grounds during off hours. “We’re talking about one of the most important aspects of a child’s development and we’re not giving it the support it deserves” said Adams. Adams added that the city’s schools are too often unavailable for athletic groups and teams. In addition, Adams said, when space is available the schools charge a lot for it, as much as hundreds of dollars per hour. He believes that approved groups and teams should have the high fees waved. “Then we’re asking why are our children are so stationary” said Adams. One example mentioned by Adams is the case of the Soul Tigers Marching Band. A program based in East New York, Brooklyn, the band lost its practice space in a city public school. The group, which has in the past led the iconic Thanksgiving Day Parade, was only given back its space after a long, arduous fight in which the borough president and other elected officials had to step in. “DOE property is an extension of community resources, but a lot of these decisions are being done in a vacuum” he...

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Brooklyn Little League Opens with Fun Day Parade

Apr 12, 15 Brooklyn Little League Opens with Fun Day Parade

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The sun is finally shining, the players are thawing, the field is newly trimmed: it must be Little League opening day in Brooklyn- lets have a parade! With smiles of excitement and joy, members of the Prospect Park Baseball Association’s Little League shared their feelings with their families as they walked down Seventh Avenue together to arrive...

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Trio of Vandals Hit Brooklyn Cyclones’ Stadium

Feb 15, 15 Trio of Vandals Hit Brooklyn Cyclones’ Stadium

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The bad weather of Winter Storm Juno, locked gates, nor surveillance cameras were enough incentive to three determined vandals on the evening of January 26, say Brooklyn police. The teens, as determined from videos taken by cameras on the premises, entered the Coney Island home turf of the Cyclones through a loading dock at about 8:30pm, despite a steady downfall of snow. The boys went straight to the locker room and plastered graffiti on the walls and elsewhere, and then stole a pair of baseball bats and a pair of catcher’s masks. They then exited through a side door. There was no doubt something was wrong when the next morning workers arrived. The boys left behind some unmistakable clues of their presence. “[The break-in] happened during the snowstorm. [The next morning] we saw footprints in the stadium that shouldn’t have been there” said Cyclones spokesman Billy Harner. “We were just able to follow the footprints.” The telltale footprints led the Cyclone’s personnel straight to the batting tunnel and the player’s clubhouse. “The fortunate part is that basically everything else in the stadium was locked up” Harner said. “The unfortunate part is that they took things that we use with clinics for young kids to spread the game of baseball.” The estimated value of the stolen gear is about $200, so, according to Harner, the programs should be able to continue without missing a...

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Park Slope Woman Finishes NYC Marathon as Millionth Runner

Nov 03, 14 Park Slope Woman Finishes NYC Marathon as Millionth Runner

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How many people have finished the New York City Marathon in the past 44 years? The answer is, “More than a million” and the millionth runner made history yesterday, earning herself guaranteed entry into the race for the rest of her life plus a shopping spree for marathon gear. Katherine Slingluff of Park Slope, Brooklyn, won this special honor, finishing the race in 4 hours 43 minutes and 36 seconds, more than two hours after the first place finisher in the women’s division, Mary Keitany of Kenya. Keitany won the race in 2:25:07. Slingluff is a mother of two, a photographer, and originally from Alabama. “That’s a nice treat, to be the millionth runner!” Slingluff said. “I didn’t make my goal as far my pace goes, but I guess it worked to my advantage. That’s a nice cap to my run.” Slingluff said she did not feel compelled to maintain a strict 10-minute-mile pace. “I gave myself liberty to walk through water stations, I took pictures on the Queensboro Bridge” she said. “I decided to try and soak it in — I knew I wasn’t going to win the...

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LeFrak Making Come Back as Roller Rink for Spring

Apr 13, 14 LeFrak Making Come Back as Roller Rink for Spring

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Pack up your ice skates and pull on the rollers, as the $74 million Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside remakes itself from an ice skating rink to a ‘more appropriate for the spring season’ roller-skating rink. The brand new facility premiered in December and brought in about 50,000 visitors during the cold months of winter. As the temperatures began to climb one of the rinks was closed down and converted to a roller rink, which is scheduled to open on April 13. The rink is a bit out of the ordinary, however, being made of hard concrete rather than smooth wood, contributing to more painful, and even dangerous, falls. Unfortunately wood would be highly impractical. “Wood is the ideal surface, but it would be difficult to maintain outside” one self-proclaimed expert explained. A real expert agreed: “Wood is actually not good for an exterior rink” said the Prospect Park Alliance’s Eric Landau. “Even though it’s covered, driving rain can hit the surface, warping the wood and causing a hazardous condition.” LeFrak’s outdoor space will be holding shows and performances from now until Memorial Day on May 26. On that day another recreational area will open up; a children’s water play area which will have shooting jets of water to run through, and will be free to use. There is also a chance that the other ice rink will also be converted to an additional roller-rink, if the first rink becomes too popular and crowded. “The LeFrak Center has already proven itself to be an unparalleled success, with thousands taking to the ice to enjoy winter skating” Prospect Park Alliance president James Snow said. “With the start of the warm weather, we look forward to introducing roller skating and other outdoor activities.”...

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New Ice Rink Disappointing Skaters

Feb 16, 14 New Ice Rink Disappointing Skaters

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The week before Christmas last year saw the grand-opening of the $74 million LeFrak Center at Lakeside. During its opening first month alone over 40,000 skaters came to enjoy the beautiful new facility, which consists of 26 acres and 2 separate ice rinks. Unfortunately it has not been smooth skating at the center. One of the rinks has had to close as many as 10 times due to mechanical issues with freezing the ice, while the other rink closed down for the same reason at least once. “I’m outraged and I’m embarrassed for the Prospect Park Alliance that such a beautiful facility that we love has these problems” said the Brooklyn Blades’ co-director Kevin Gurl. “It’s a disgrace.” It appears that the compressors are not functioning as they should be, and even when the rinks are open there are places on the ice blocked off with cones due to slushy, mushy ice conditions. “There’s been a problem with the ice not freezing in a certain area” Gurl, 47, said. The Brooklyn Blades, the local skating organization that calls LeFrak home, had to cancel a hockey game on February 2 because of “puddles of slush” on the covered rink. The open-air rink next to it was also closed for similar reasons. The new rink brought back old memories of the dysfunctional Robert Moses-era Wollman rink, which was taken down in 2010 to make way for the modern facility. LeFrak was built with a combination of private and public funding. Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates said, “We don’t know if it was built properly or if this is an ongoing maintenance issue. Either way, this is a brand new, wonderful facility and these things should not be happening.” The mechanical issues are not the only complaints skaters have, however. Members of the hockey team are disappointed that the facility was built without changing rooms and other standard accompaniments to a decent hockey rink. “Any standard ice hockey facility would have benches and...

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