Brooklyn DA Thompson Dead from Cancer at Age 50

Oct 10, 16 Brooklyn DA Thompson Dead from Cancer at Age 50

Posted by in All, News, Politics

Only five days after announcing publicly that he was ill with colorectal cancer, Ken Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney, is dead at age 50. He died at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital surrounded by family members. Although diagnosed this past spring, he carried on with his duties until last week when he appointed his chief assistant, Eric Gonzalez, to head the office until he won his battle with cancer. “As a man of intense faith, I intend to fight and win the battle against this disease,” Thompson said. Thompson’s wife Lu-Shawn wrote on Facebook: “The world lost a great man. Rest in Peace to my husband.” said: “I am profoundly saddened. Ken was a dedicated public servant who embodied the highest principles of the law.” Thompson became the Brooklyn DA in January 2014 after beating the incumbent Charles Hynes, who had served as Brooklyn DA since 1990. It was the first time anyone had defeated a sitting Brooklyn DA since 1911. Thompson was also the first African-American in history to fill the job of Brooklyn’s chief prosecutor. Thompson was known for ordering his office to refrain from prosecuting low-level marijuana arrests. This was partly so he could dedicate more resources to violent crimes such as rape, gun crimes, and domestic violence. He also wanted to spare New York youth from “the burden of a criminal...

read more

Zika Awareness Stepped Up in New York

Aug 24, 16 Zika Awareness Stepped Up in New York

Posted by in All, Health

In its efforts to keep the Zika virus from gaining a hold in New York City, the NYC Department of Health launched an interactive website as part of its $21 million, three-year education and prevention program. The website shows concerned citizens where mosquito surveillance and control activities are taking place around town, plus it shows how many mosquitoes there are left, and recent mosquito control operations by each city neighborhood. “Every day, members of our mosquito control team are collecting surveillance traps, investigating complaints of standing water, and using our tools to reduce the mosquito population,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. Although there have been no known cases of Zika being transmitted in New York City, all cases are travel related, there have been 483 people in the city diagnosed with the illness, and 49 of those pregnant. Zika is most harmful to unborn babies when their mothers contract the illness from mosquitoes carrying the virus. Unborn babies can develop life-threatening birth defects from Zika, such as microcephaly, blindness, deafness, seizures and...

read more

Brooklyn Private School Won’t Budge for Damon Kids

Aug 10, 16 Brooklyn Private School Won’t Budge for Damon Kids

Posted by in All, Society

At St. Ann’s the rules are the rules, and can’t be broken even for the likes of Hollywood celebrities, even of the caliber of Matt Damon. Damon, star of the “Bourne” series and other prominent films such as “Good Will Hunting” and “Saving Private Ryan” is moving back to New York from Los Angeles, and would like to send his three daughters to a top-notch school. But Damon is out of luck, says the Brooklyn Heights elementary through high school, due to the claim that there is simply no more room. The school has the bragging rights to having taught such high profile people as Lena Dunham, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jemima Kirke and Zac Posen, and now has in attendance the children of Ethan Hawke and Maggie Gyllenhaal. “They had a conversation with the school, but St. Ann’s just won’t bend the rules,” said someone who knows. “They don’t care [who the parents of its students are]. A lot of schools will bend the rules very happily; they’ll bring celebrities’ kids in midway through the year or do whatever they want. St. Ann’s just isn’t doing it.” Tuition at the school is not for the faint-hearted, or super-rich. Depending on the grade, one year at St. Ann’s can set a family back between $36.080 and $42,555. The exclusive school has a bit of an alternative philosophy, as explained on their web site: “So that every child will flourish, we eschew grades, rankings and prizes in favor of ongoing dialogue and teacher...

read more

Daniel Taub and others on the Changing of the Guard in England

Jul 17, 16 Daniel Taub and others on the Changing of the Guard in England

Posted by in Politics

Much of England, and perhaps leaders around the world, are spinning with the quick changes happening in England’s government. Resigning recently at 10 Downing Street, David Cameron delivered remarks to the public. As he said, “It’s not been an easy journey, and of course we’ve not got every decision right, but I do believe that today our country is much stronger.” He went on to wish May the best as she negotiates the country’s “Brexit” from the European Union. When asked what one wish he had, he said it would be the “continued success of this great country that I love so very much.” Many other world leaders have weighed in on Cameron’s departure. In an article recently in the Times of Israel, Israel’s former Ambassador to the United Kingdom Daniel Taub said that the remarkable constant with David Cameron was “the genuine friendship and support he has consistently shown towards the State and people of Israel.” Daniel Taub explained that Cameron’s commitment to learning the lessons of the Holocaust was unprecedented and included his own visit to Auschwitz, his visit to the Holocaust Museum in Berlin with his children and the established of a Holocaust Memorial Commission with a commitment from his government of 50 million pounds. Looking now to the future, the former Home Secretary Theresa May will take over the job Cameron is vacating. Congratulations and analyses have poured in from around the world. London Mayor Sadiq Khan congratulated May and urged her to address the post-EU future for Britain. Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked Cameron for the work that they did together and said that he looked forward to working with May. About the transition, Daniel Taub said that May was very supportive as home secretary of “our efforts to deepen British- Israel ties in the area of homeland security, and also very receptive to the concerns of the Jewish community regarding anti-Semitism and violent extremism.” Finally, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote “The...

read more

Williamsburg’s Poop Recycling Program Creating Stink

Jul 11, 16 Williamsburg’s Poop Recycling Program Creating Stink

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

The dog run at Williamsburg’s East River State Park launched an innovative program to achieve two goals at once: rid the dog run of doggie do while simultaneously creating potent fertilizer to feed the flower beds in the 11-acre park. Leslie Wright, the regional director of state parks in New York City explained how the idea was hatched: “We figured we can use something people don’t want and turn it into something great,” he said. Wright helped get the program, which is the city’s first, off the ground. He guessed that the cost of the project, including all the materials and other supplies, would come to about $2,000. Dog owners are asked to collect their dogs’ waste using one of six styles of pooper scoopers and brown, environmentally friendly bags, supplied by the park for free, and dispose of it into one of two new, wooden compost bins. The doggie do is then mixed with untreated sawdust and “cooked and cured” before being applied to the park’s gardens. Park officials say they picked the Williamsburg neighborhood to launch the program because they felt the residents of the area would be especially excited about the idea. “I think it’s pretty in tune with the whole Brooklyn vibe,” said one dog-owner, walking in the park with her boyfriend’s golden doodle. “I think it’s great. Not only does it save me money on bags, but it’s also super easy to do,” said another dog owner. “But I’ve definitely seen a lot of people roll their eyes when they see it.” Wright mentioned that this program is one of only three like it in the country. The others are located in Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, New York; and in Alaska’s Denali National Park, especially for sled...

read more

Sign Gives C Train Riders a Run for their Money

Jun 29, 16 Sign Gives C Train Riders a Run for their Money

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

The C train is shorter than most trains, which generally fill the entire length of the platform, allowing commuters to stand anywhere and conveniently step onto the train. Unfortunately for C-train riders, their shorter train means they need to know in advance where on the platform the train will stop. Hopefully a well-placed sign can fulfill that need. But what happens when there is an ill-placed sign instead? For a firsthand experience of what happens, one need only travel over to the Clinton-Washington Avenues station. There a sign tells riders to stop for the C-train, only to discover that the sign is about 40 feet too far away from the end of the train. The shortfall makes for quite a scene of sprinting commuters running to catch up to the back of the train they need. One commuter commented about the sign that it is “strange and unusual — and very misinformed,” she said. “Confusing, especially for non-New Yorkers.” A good Samaritan tried to do his part to end the confusion and help his fellow passengers by placing stickers over the sign. Instead of reading “Train stops here” (which it doesn’t), the sign now says “Train Don’t Stop Here.” Very helpful. But where does it stop, then? A spokeswoman for the MTA said the sign will soon be moved to its correct...

read more