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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Enhanced Security Will Accompany Marathon Runners to the Finish Line

Oct 06, 13 Enhanced Security Will Accompany Marathon Runners to the Finish Line

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As New York City gears up for one of its most exciting celebrations, one of the hottest topics is how far to go to insure the safety of participants and bystanders to the Marathon, due to take place next month. It has been seven months since the tragic events of April 15, 2013 when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and wounding over 260, some seriously. On November 3rd New Yorkers and visitors will fill the streets of all five boroughs, creating a security challenge hard to match, but the police and anti-terrorist forces will be out in force and extremely visible. Central Park will be surrounded by barriers, and entry will be limited to only a few points, where bags will be checked before entry is granted. The organizer of the marathon, New York Road Runners, made the decision to allow bags into the park, saying it would not be practical to ban bags entirely from the gathering place. However police and the Road Runners are asking that visitors please limit the number of bags they carry in to only one small bag per person, if possible not larger than an ordinary...

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New York Islanders Eyed the Ice for First Glimpse of their New Digs

Sep 16, 13 New York Islanders Eyed the Ice for First Glimpse of their New Digs

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The big move is coming for the Long Island-based hockey team, the New York Islanders. The team is planning its move from Nassau County to Kings after the 2014-2015 season is completed, making their new home at the mega event location, Barclays Center, in the heart of Brooklyn. According to CEO of Barclays, Brett Yormark, and Islanders owner Charles Wang, the change in venue will not be accompanied with any alteration in their uniform colors or their nickname. The team game over for their visit mimicking the way their fans will most likely be making the journey; via the Long Island Railroad. After their arrival they had their first training camp practice on the new ice, with some great reactions afterwards. “It’s going to be fun” center Casey Cizikas said. “You could see when the Nets played in the playoffs last year against the Bulls, it was rocking and we’re going to be looking forward to the same thing. I think it’s going to be even louder for us.” Owner Charles Wang also seemed quite pleased with the space at Barclays. “I think there’s one word for it, it’s beautiful” Wang said of Barclays. “I’m very happy as you can see from the smile.” CEO of Barclays Brett Yormark explained that the event center was primarily built to house concerts and basketball games, and obstructed view seating will not be offered for hockey games. Therefore the maximum capacity for a hockey game will be 15,813. “In any NHL building, you’re going to have a couple of seats scattered that don’t have total views, there might be little pinches where you can’t see” Yormark said. “There are 416 – because I’ve sat in every seat here in the building – that have very limited views. They will be off the manifest and will not be a part of the sellable...

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Kidd Named New Head Coach for Brooklyn Nets

Jun 17, 13 Kidd Named New Head Coach for Brooklyn Nets

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Jason Kidd is coming into coaching on the laurels of his superstardom as a 10-time All Star, six-season Net, and driving force behind the Brooklyn Nets’ two times as participants in the NBA finals in 2002 and 2003, with no previous coaching background. Kidd leads the roster for the Nets as the team’s leader in assists, steals, three-point field goals and triple doubles, making it easier for him to be accepted as a potentially top-notch coach, too. Nets manager Billy King explains that although Kidd has never acted as a coach, his background and storehouse of knowledge should make up for whatever experience might be lacking. “Does he have a learning curve? Yes,” King said. “But I think if you know Jason, he doesn’t take something and just say, ‘I want to be good at it.’ He wants to be great.” Kidd himself is more than ready for the challenge of coaching, as he explained: “I’m very excited about this challenge. I think here in Brooklyn, we have a special opportunity to achieve that status, and that’s to be a championship-type caliber team. And so I’m looking forward to being a part of that and helping with structure,” said Kidd. “But again, sharing the things as a player as being unselfish, you know, communicating, and for being tough and hopefully I can get that across to the...

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Brooklyn Half Marathon Attracts Record Numbers

May 19, 13 Brooklyn Half Marathon Attracts Record Numbers

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The 33rd annual Brooklyn Half Marathon had a record number of participants this past Saturday. Beginning at the Brooklyn Museum the 20,000 runners blazed a path through Prospect Park, Ocean Parkway and down south until they reached the finish line in Coney Island. Only seven months since the unprecedented damage caused by Hurricane Sandy last October, runners were able to get an up-close view of the re-construction underway throughout Brooklyn, especially in Coney Island, which was severely ravaged by the violent storm. “You can see people rebuilding as we walked around. The whole entire race finished in the middle of a construction zone,” one runner said. Many of the runners, as well as onlookers, couldn’t help but to feel that the race was a positive statement about the way Brooklyn has come back after the storm. “The greatest thing of all was that no matter what time, no matter where we crossed, what mile it was, people were just hanging over bridges, coming out of their cars, coming out of the streets, giving us a high five. The cops, the workers, nurses were coming out of the hospital,” said Petrina Esposito, a participant in the run. “Brooklyn is Brooklyn and the heart of people will always be here.” The Brooklyn Half Marathon is the second largest such race in the country. This year security was heightened, organizers asking runners to place their property in clear, drawstring bags which were provided by them. When the race was over, for many the fun had just begun. People walked around Coney Island, enjoying the rides, eating, drinking and just plain celebrating the new beginning for Brooklyn. “Now what am I going to do? I’m going to eat this hot dog,” said John Bennion, a runner. “It’s good to see everyone come together and have fun and kind of just rebuilding, coming back to normal and try to be positive about it,” said Kathryn Bannister, also a participant in the...

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Brooklyn Native Lia Neal Wins Bronze Medal in London Olympics

Jul 30, 12 Brooklyn Native Lia Neal Wins Bronze Medal in London Olympics

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Lia Neal, who is the second African-American woman to ever swim on the US Olympic team, and at 17 years-old the youngest, was part or the US women’s relay team that captured third place in this coveted Olympic event. Neal, who is also half Chinese, was part of the four-woman, 4X100-meter freestyle relay team also consisting of Missy Franklin, Jessica Hardy, and Allison Schmitt. Together the women finished the race with a time of 3:34.24. Neal swam the third of the four legs of the race in 53.65 seconds. The Australian team took home the gold medal with an Olympic record-time of 3:33.15; and winning the silver was the Netherlands coming in at a fast 3:33.79 seconds. “I was so ready to go as fast as I could,” said Neal, who is a senior at the Convent of the Sacred Heart high school on New York’s Upper East Side. The pool that she trains in, Asphalt Green, is close by. Neal has been impressed with the support that she has been receiving for her achievement. “Even people that I don’t know have been cheering for me,” she said....

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