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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...

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Airbnb Under Fire in New York

Jul 05, 16 Airbnb Under Fire in New York

Posted by in All, Business

A recent study conducted by “ShareBetter” entitled “Short Changing New York City,” investigated the effect Airbnb rentals have on the housing market in New York City. The report, which was commissioned by affordable housing advocates, longtime critics of Airbnb, found that 55 percent of the approximately 51,000 Airbnb listings in New York are in violation of a state law designed to promote affordable housing. The law states that it is forbidden to rent out an apartment in a building with three or more units for less than 30 days if the permanent resident of the apartment is not there. The report also states that more than one-third of New York’s Airbnb listings are considered commercial. That means that the properties main function is as a source of income through short-term rentals rather than as a dwelling place for the owner or host. Furthermore, according to the report, Airbnb is directly impeding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to create and/or preserve about 20,000 affordable housing units each year for the next ten years. The study found that in neighborhoods where Airbnb is the most popular rents have risen the fastest. Airbnb, according to the report, has hit Bedford-Stuyvesant, an historically African-American neighborhood, especially hard. The report states that Airbnb is speeding the process of gentrification in the neighborhoods where it is popular, contributing to the scarcity of affordable housing. The study pointed out that hosts in New York City generated about $1 billion in 2015. Airbnb receives a percentage of that revenue. Affordable housing advocates praised the report as further proof that Airbnb was making difficult problems in New York worse. Airbnb criticized the report, saying it is further evidence that entrenched hotel groups, astigmatic politicians and other special interest groups are squashing the positive effects the short-term rental service has on the city. They cited the facts that more customers are brought into minority neighborhood businesses, and that income is generated for people who need the...

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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...

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Francisco D’Agostino demanda por sábanas empapadas de orina en la casa Sag Harbor

Una casa del East End descrita en un listado de bienes raíces como “¡un verdadero oasis en el corazón del paraíso!” resultó ser un infierno para una familia rica de la ciudad. Un vecino de Manhattan de la estrella de los Yankees Johnny Damon quiere llevar al dueño de su alquiler de verano en Sag Harbor a juicio por haberle rentado una casa con mal olor y con sábanas manchadas de orina. Francisco D’Agostino, quien dejó caer $36,000 para un alquiler de 11 días de una casa frente al mar en el poblado de moda de East End, está demandando a Walter Schupfer, el presidente de la agencia de un artista de Manhattan, porque, según dice, Schupfer dejó una situación de mal olor dentro de su casa en Maple Lane . Francisco D’Agostino afirma que encontró toallas y sábanas empapadas de orina dentro de la casa, y él y su familia tuvieron que encontrar una segunda casa de verano – lo que le costó otros $40,000. Francisco D’Agostino ha presentado una demanda por incumplimiento de contrato buscando más de $100,000 en daños y perjuicios, incluyendo la cuota de alquiler de $36,000, un depósito de $3,000 y $25,000 gastados para transportar a su esposa e hija desde y hacia su otra casa en Venezuela. “[D’Agostino] y su familia, incluyendo a su esposa y su hijo lactante, trataron de habitar el lugar, pero en virtud del incumplimiento de [Schupfer], no fueron capaces de hacerlo “, según la demanda. El abogado de D’Agostino, Lawrence Fabian, declinó hacer comentarios sobre la demanda. Schupfer no devolvió las llamadas. Francisco D’Agostino y su familia firmaron un contrato de arrendamiento en mayo para permanecer en la casa de Maple Lane desde agosto 25 a septiembre 4 La escapada planificada por la familia se suponía que era un escape de Venezuela y de 1 Beacon Court, su lujoso edificio de Manhattan, que es también el hogar de Beyonce, el ex jefe de GE, Jack Welch y Damon y Bobby Abreu de los...

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Hip Hop Hall of Fame Seeking Funds to Bring Bust Home

Jun 21, 16 Hip Hop Hall of Fame Seeking Funds to Bring Bust Home

Posted by in All, Entertainment

A six-foot-tall bust of Brooklyn-born rapper The Notorious B.I.G. could end up installed at Putnam Triangle Plaza in Clinton Hill, if organizers can gather together the necessary funding. Behind the project is the Hip Hop Hall Of Fame Museum, which is a organizing a crowd-funding campaign on GoFundMe to raise the $33,000 needed for the sculpture’s design, bronzing and getting approval for its installation from the community board and City Council. B.I.G., whose name is Christopher George Latore Wallace, grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant and was killed in Los Angeles in 1997 in a drive-by shooting at the height of his career. The sculpture was created by Brooklyn-based artist Tanda Francis and was recently on display at a Brooklyn gallery. There are very few official monuments attesting to the history and popularity of this particular music genre despite its international popularity. If the funding campaign succeeds we can look forward to seeing The Notorious B.I.G. in a bigger-than-life rendition not far from where his most dedicated fans...

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Child Graffiti Artist Makes Her Mark on Walls

Jun 15, 16 Child Graffiti Artist Makes Her Mark on Walls

Posted by in All, Art

Lola Depraetere is only seven-years-old, but that has not stopped her from brightening up a few walls around Bushwick in Brooklyn, and Miami, Florida. Lola began drawing when she was only three, but now that she is already in second grade, she is ready for projects much bigger than she is. What does she like about painting murals with spray paint? Let her explain in her own words: “I thought it would be cooler than just drawing on paper. Spray-paint fills up more space than colored pencils,” she said. She was discovered by Joe Ficalora, the founder of the outdoor gallery Bushwick Collective, in a most appropriate way: while she was drawing on an intricate mural of a church painted by street artist Beau Stanton last May. The Collective invites artists from around the world to paint outdoor murals in Brooklyn. Lola’s mother Cécile, a teacher at a French pre-school, explained what happened: “We heard someone yell ‘What are you doing to my wall!’” she said. “The next thing we knew, he gave Lola her own wall, shook her hand and said, ‘Welcome to the Bushwick...

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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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