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Park Slope School Losing Funding for Lack of State Test Participation

Jun 08, 16 Park Slope School Losing Funding for Lack of State Test Participation

Posted by in All, News

PS 10 in Park Slope will lose a $75,000 grant because 12 percent of its student body opted out of state testing. This is despite the fact that NYC Public Advocate Letitia James sent a letter to families back in April assuring them that failure to participate in state testing would not result in negative consequences for the school or students. Now that the school, along with 15 others in the district have lost their reward school status, parents are working to reverse that decision. In order to be eligible for reward school status at least 95 percent of the student body must take the state exams. “I am alarmed that my school isn’t getting the rewards because people chose to opt out because of the tests,” parent Theresa Westerdahl said. “It’s a shame and it’s very unsettling,” said Tyndall Arrasmith, co-president of the PTA. “Parents when they opt out, it’s a personal choice,” Letitia James said. “Their schools should not be...

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Indictments Expected Against Former Brooklyn DA’s Office

May 30, 16 Indictments Expected Against Former Brooklyn DA’s Office

Posted by in All, News

A federal grand jury is meeting this week as part of an on-going investigation into the behavior of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office under the former prosecutor Charles Hynes. Investigators have been looking into allegations that Hynes used money forfeited by criminals in inappropriately, and other misdeeds by the DA’s office. During the investigation Hynes suffered a “serious and incapacitating stroke,” said is lawyer’s office. Hynes is 81, and was the Brooklyn DA for 23 years. He was unseated when he lost his bid for re-election in 2013 to Ken Thompson. The Department of Investigation did find that Judge Barry Kamins gave Hynes campaign advice in addition to speaking with him on cases improperly. The DOI also found that Hynes used forfeiture funds to pay a political consultant, Mortimer Matz. Robert Hill Schwartz, Hynes’ lawyer, recently had open heart surgery and was unavailable for...

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Upstate New York Comes to Brooklyn with Tacos

May 23, 16 Upstate New York Comes to Brooklyn with Tacos

Posted by in All, Entertainment

A new idea is about to blossom in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn: A Taco stand which also offers products hailing from upstate New York. The shop will be called Josephina, and it is the brainchild of April Valencia, artist and photographer. Located in Gowanus in the backyard of the Pines, a popular eatery on 3rd Avenue, Josephina is hoping to “bridge the gap” between gourmet New York tacos which are beginning to emerge around town, and Mexico City street tacos “that you’re worried might make you sick,” Valencia says. The idea for Josephina was born when Valencia and Pines’ owner Carver Farrel, took a trip from Mexico City to Oaxaca a year ago. Since then they have been creating recipes and testing them on their friends, using ingredients from local merchants. The fluke for the ceviche is caught in Long Island on Wednesday and served on Thursday. All the meat and cheese comes from farms upstate. The tortillas are made fresh every day using hand-ground corn. In addition to tacos patrons can purchase New-Age type goods such as desert stones, tonics, elixirs and indigo-dyed knits. Josephina is scheduled to open this...

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Former Rupert Murdoch Chief of Staff Natalie Ravitz Joining NFL

May 16, 16 Former Rupert Murdoch Chief of Staff Natalie Ravitz Joining NFL

Posted by in All, Politics

In early May the former chief of staff at 21st Century Fox and News Corp Natalie Ravitz, was hired by the National Football League to be their senior vice president of communications. Ravitz will be working with Joe Lockhart, another new hire for the NFL, who began there in January. This new team of PR experts has great experience in the world of political communications. Lockhart was President Bill Clinton’s press secretary from October 1998 until September 2000. He also worked for Walter Mondale, Paul Simon, and Michael Dukakis. Ravitz earned her stripes working for Rupert Murdoch as his chief of staff; as press secretary and speech writer for Senator Barbara Boxer of California; and communications director for the New York City Department of Education under then Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Considering the experience Ravitz and Lockhart share between them, the NFL should be well-positioned for any developments which might arise during the coming months and years. Ravitz will oversee the league’s communications and media strategy from NFL headquarters in New York...

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BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Back This Summer for More Cool Sounds

May 15, 16 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Back This Summer for More Cool Sounds

Posted by in All, Entertainment

The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival has announced its summer line-up, and it is awesome! The concerts are all free and will run through August 13. Starting us off right in the Prospect Park bandshell will be Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, on June 8. Jones participated in the festival in 2010, and launched a new album last year. On July 23 Jon Batiste and Stay Human will be on vacation from their gig at the Stephen Colbert “Late Show.” In addition, many international musicians will be taking part in what is the 38th year of this amazing festival. The highlight of the festival will take place on August 6 when Paola Prestini’s “The Hubble Cantata” will be performed for the first time anywhere. The concert will feature the Norwegian orchestra 1B1, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and rare footage from the Hubble telescope. A part of the piece is meant to be viewed through virtual reality, and 6,000 virtual reality headsets will be distributed to audience members so they can get the total effect of the piece. There are also three benefit concerts this summer, all of which require a purchased ticket. Tame Impala on June 14-15; The Lumineers on August 3; and Herbie Hancock on August 11. For the complete schedule and other information contact...

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Dow Chemical CEO, Andrew Liveris, Receives American Chemistry Society Honor

May 10, 16 Dow Chemical CEO, Andrew Liveris, Receives American Chemistry Society Honor

Posted by in New York

Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical CEO recently received the Corporate Leadership Award from the Midland section of the American Chemistry Society.  When accepting the award, Liveris spoke about how important it is to educate the next generation of chemists and engineers. The Dow executive said: “I feel like I’m with my people. This is a room full of science and chemistry and people dedicated to the field of chemistry.”  He then went on to explain the significance of the anniversary pin he was wearing which represented the four decades he has been at Dow. Addressing exemplary high school and college students, Andrew Liveris recalled how he had started off just like them “many years ago now,” but that today, as Dow Chemical CEO, he has a slew of tremendous responsibilities given that the firm “employs thousands of people and creates products in markets ranging from plastics to agriculture.” With regard to Dow “educating the next generation of chemists and engineers” to which Liveris referred, the Dow Chemical CEO said that Dow sponsors American Association of Chemistry Teachers, funding “advanced chemistry research and technology-based universities” throughout America as a way to do this.  The company is very committed to such an investment, “because we understand that students like you are the key to our company’s future.” Indeed, as an illustration of this, over the last five years, the firm has hired 10,000 people under the age of...

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Fly by Night Creates Heavenly Art Installation Over Brooklyn

May 10, 16 Fly by Night Creates Heavenly Art Installation Over Brooklyn

Posted by in All, Art, Entertainment

Simple in conception, yet awesome in execution, Fly by Night is a performance that transforms the commonplace into the sublime. Conceived and presented by Duke Riley, this incredible public art project takes 2,000 common urban pigeons- you know, the kind you wish would disappear from city life forever- and fits them with tiny LED lamps, and then lets them fly overhead at the Brooklyn Navy Yard just as the sun sets. The result is almost beyond description. The majority of the birds fly in swooping, circular patterns above the mesmerized onlookers, creating a lovely light show of streaks in the sky reminiscent of falling stars. Not all the birds follow the flock, however. The strays can be seen tracing their own unique paths, adding to the feeling that the art you are seeing is nature-based and unique- a pattern only revealed once, by forces us humans simply cannot control. The birds take off from their home on board the docked, decommissioned navel aircraft the Baylander which has been retrofitted as a roost for the thousands of pigeons used in the project. The display can be seen at the Brooklyn Navy Yard every weekend until June 12. This is one New York experience you will want to...

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All Eyes are on Relativity and Kevin Ulrich’s Anchorage Capital

May 02, 16 All Eyes are on Relativity and Kevin Ulrich’s Anchorage Capital

Posted by in All, Entertainment

All eyes are on US film studio Relativity Media LLC right now, as they just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said that they would pursue a sale of the company to a group of their lenders. At the top of that list is Kevin Ulrich’s Anchorage Capital, which has invested close to $100 million in Relativity. With so much money in the game, Anchorage Capital may actually be well placed as they could have a significant voice in how the movie studio is divided up. Relativity was founded in 2004 by Ryan Kavanaugh and their films include “The Fighter” which won two Oscars and “Immortals.” It also includes, however, the poorly received “3 Days to Kill.” Kavanaugh plans to remain as the company’s chief executive and chairman and their senior management will remain in place, according to a statement. Time will tell how Relativity fairs, and how Kevin Ulrich’s Anchorage Capital does. But Anchorage appears to be well positioned. They also own a 30% stake in MGM, worth about $700 million at the moment according to the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly, Relativity plans a number of upcoming releases including “Masterminds” starring Kristin Wiig and Zach...

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