Mayor Proposes Ambitious Streetcar Project for Brooklyn-Queens

Feb 07, 16 Mayor Proposes Ambitious Streetcar Project for Brooklyn-Queens

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At an expected cost of 2.5 billion, the newly proposed Brooklyn-Queens streetcar plan is the most ambitious to date urban engineering project of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration. The line, which was announced in the mayor’s State of the City speech last week, will travel along the East River waterfront for 16 scenic miles. It will be part of the roads already in use, and will flow along with the regular automobile traffic. The location is key: the area which will be served by the streetcar is undergoing rapid development, and it is relatively far from traditional subway lines. The price tag is another selling point, as it is substantially lower than building a new underground subway line. There will be some bumps along the way to a functioning streetcar system, as Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development acknowledged that there are “some significant engineering challenges when you are putting a modern system like this in a very old city.” “The old transportation system was a hub-and-spoke approach, where people went into Manhattan for work and came back out,” Ms. Glen said. “This is about mapping transit to the future of New...

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Uber Snowed Out by Jonas

Jan 24, 16 Uber Snowed Out by Jonas

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  Now we know there is one thing that can stop Uber in New York, and that is a blizzard of historical proportions. Because of the dangerous road conditions throughout the eastern seaboard due to Winter Storm Jonas, Uber has decided to halt their service from Saturday in New York City and in New Jersey. The announcement of the suspension of Uber’s service came in the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of a travel ban. Beginning on Saturday afternoon Uber customers received a message on their apps that service was temporarily halted due to the hazardous road conditions caused by the blizzard. During past storms Uber has been criticized for price gauging with exorbitant surcharges because of the bad weather. This year, before Jonas arrived, Uber had come to an agreement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to limit prices during the bad weather. It is not known what that price limit was, and it is a moot point anyway, since there is no service anyway. Service from Uber has also been halted in Lancaster and Harrisburg,...

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Brooklyn Boa Busted for Riding MTA without Paying

Dec 28, 15 Brooklyn Boa Busted for Riding MTA without Paying

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With flashbacks to the famed Bronx Zoo Cobra, another large snake of the boa constrictor variety was caught riding the B12 bus along East New York Avenue a few Saturdays ago. As soon as the driver spotted the snake, eight stops into his route, he immediately turned his bus around and headed back to the depot. Apparently there were no other riders on the bus. Back at the depot workers removed some bus panels to reach the snake, who was trying to get closer to the warmth from the engine. Workers from Animal Care and Control took the snake to somewhere, presumably safer than an MTA bus. Someone for the MTA said that a different driver had seen someone with a snake in a bag enter the bus the day before. The driver assumed when the passenger with the snake left the bus, that he took his snake with him. Wrong! “A guy brought a snake with him on the bus,” the source said. “I guess it got too big for him to take care of, so he left it on the bus in a...

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Knife Wielding Man Claims to be ISIS Fighter in Brooklyn

Dec 22, 15 Knife Wielding Man Claims to be ISIS Fighter in Brooklyn

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Police say that a 23-year-old man threatened paramedics with a butterfly knife in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn on Sunday morning. The man, Jancer Abreu, claimed he was a member of the terrorist organization ISIS, was arrested after he began waving around the knife while screaming “I am ISIS.” The incident happened at 6am at the corner of Wycoff Avenue and Stanhope Street. Officials described Abreu as emotionally disturbed. He was handcuffed and then arrested on charges of criminal possession of a weapon, menacing and harassment. Officials do not believe Abreu is a bone fide ISIS fighter. No one was injured during the incident. The man is awaiting arraignment as of Sunday...

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Board of Ed Fails Three Brooklyn Schools

Dec 15, 15 Board of Ed Fails Three Brooklyn Schools

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Lagging enrollment and poor student performance are the reasons behind the upcoming closures of three Brooklyn public schools. The schools, all located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, are: Peace Academy Middle School; the School for the Urban Environment; and Foundations Academy High School. This is the first time Mayor Bill de Blasio has opted to shut down any non-charter schools in the city. The decision to close will leave 217 students in total with the need to find other places to learn. The Education Department said that the Peace Academy and the School for the Urban Environment are the two schools in New York with the lowest student body, with only 47 and 57 students respectively. The school for the Urban Environment has not had even one student able to score adequately on the state English test for the past two years. Foundations Academy had the lowest graduation rate of any school in New York City during the 2013-2014 school year. The city average for graduation is 68 percent, but Foundations only graduated 22 percent of its students. The high school is also among the cities least in demand schools. Only two eighth graders chose it as their first choice on this year’s application. The mayor’s decision came as a surprise, however. The previous Mayor Bloomberg was not averse to shutting down schools which did not show results, closing over 150 schools during his tenure. Mayor de Blasio, on the other hand, has said from the start that he would be hesitant to close down schools, opting to stimulate them instead with resources to help them improve. One observer, David C. Bloomfield, a professor of education leadership at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, was a bit uncertain how de Blasio chose these schools to close and why at this time. “It’s a big departure because it’s so precipitous,” Mr. Bloomfield said. There was no warning or prior announcements that these three schools were on line for closure. “He said this would only be a last... starbuck coffee

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Police Seize Weed and ‘Rooms Shipped from West

Dec 06, 15 Police Seize Weed and ‘Rooms Shipped from West

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Reacting to a tip from Homeland Security, the NYPD grabbed a shipping container at the Brooklyn waterfront filled with marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and other drugs. The container, which arrived in Brooklyn from Oregon and California, had over 290 pounds of pot and other drugs within. The police observed as two men and one woman drove up to the container in a U-Haul truck and a Hyundai at Maspeth Avenue dock in East Williamsburg. They watched as the threesome transferred the contents of the container into the truck, and then drove away. The police followed and stopped them at Morgan Avenue, saying they had gone through a red light. After a search warrant was obtained by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, the three were arrested and charged with multiple counts of drug possession. The three, who are residents of Long Island, said they were paid $1,000 per person to bring the drugs to a storage unit in Long Island. They are Michael Clemente, Frank Hollen, 27, and Hollen’s fiancée Emily Lynch,...

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