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City Council gets better of mayor in softball game
Sep 23, 2014 | 32 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
softball
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The goodwill between the mayor's office and the City Council that has characterized the de Blasio administration was put aside last week for a softball showdown at MCU Park in Coney Island. On this day, ti was the City Council who would rule. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's team got off to an early 7-0 lead thanks to Steven Matteo, slugging Republican from Staten Island. But by the start of the fifth inning, the de Blasio team had taken a 10-7 lead, but would finally lose 17-13 in the nine-inning slog. As for the mayor, he pulled himself early after failing to get a base hit and mishandling several balls at first base. After the game, he cited an unspecified injury. So when is the tackle football game? (Photos: New York City Council)
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2014 Brooklyn Book Festival
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Brooklyn Book Festival enters its ninth year
by Chase Collum
Sep 23, 2014 | 42 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
2014 Brooklyn Book Festival
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Over 250 authors and thousands of book enthusiasts gathered in downtown Brooklyn for the ninth straight year for the culmination of the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday. The festival is hosted by the Brooklyn Literary Council and Brooklyn Book Festival, Inc., a non-profit formed specifically to oversee the annual affair. More than 60 events were scheduled to support the festival from September 15-22. “It's year nine and we're still kicking at the Brooklyn Book Festival as we continue our mission to produce a free annual world-class literary festival that appeals to huge audiences young and old, New Yorkers and visitors alike,” said Brooklyn Literary Council chair Johnny Temple. “Our pride is our diversity of cutting-edge and iconic authors who grace our stages every year.” Author James McBride was selected for this year's BoBi – or Best of Brooklyn – Award. McBride has penned several novels including The Good Lord Bird and Miracle at Santa Anna, as well as the classic bestselling memoir The Color of Water. On the main stage, several talks drew in large crowds, such as Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore's discussion with Lewis Warsh, and a conversation about zombies and fifth grade between Patrick Henry Bass, Suzy Becker and R.L. Stine. In one of the many exhibition tents dotting the festival grounds, children's author Sophie Blackall led a drawing activity, calling children such as Prospect-Lefferts resident Quill Cavanah on stage to start a drawing that she would finish with a unique story. Cavanah was excited to meet so many of his favorite authors in one place, and said though he had already made more than a few purchases, he still had many books left on his bucket list. “All the books everywhere, and I get to see my favorite authors,” Quill said, including Blackall in the mix. “We have so many of her books.” His mother Claire said that while she has a Kindle, she feels it is important for children especially to engage with physical books. “I feel like if you don't have paper books around, your kids don't know what you're reading and you won't have the conversation,” she said. “If you're looking at a screen you could be buying pants or watching porn, but if you're reading Moby Dick and you don't have it in front of you, they're not going to see it and they're not going to know what it is.”
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Brooklyn Public Library approves sale of Brooklyn Heights Branch
by Jess Berry
Sep 23, 2014 | 46 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brooklyn Heights can bid farewell to its beloved Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) branch, as the library’s board of trustees unanimously approved last week a proposal to sell the land beneath the branch to a developer. At a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 16, BPL trustees voted in support of the plan to sell off the branch, so long as the developer — Hudson Companies — builds a library on the ground floor. For $52 million, Hudson Companies will buy the property and build a library, which will be nestled in a 30-story, mixed-use building and surrounded by apartments, retail shops, community space and a gym for St. Ann’s school. In total, the library will be housed in a 21,000-square-foot space on the ground and basement floors of the new building. Currently, the Brooklyn Heights branch consists of the neighborhood branch library and a Business and Career Library, which take up 28,000 square feet. Linda Johnson, president of the BPL, said that the decision was made based on numbers. The BPL is allocated $15 million in capital funding by the city every year, but she says that the 60 branches are in need of $300 million for repairs. “Without this bold step, we have just enough money to take care of dire needs,” Johnson said. The developers are expected to break ground on the three-and-a-half year project in 2016, though they must first go through the Uniform Land Use Review Process. During that time, the community will be allowed to provide input. One group is already advocating to save the Brooklyn Heights branch, along with numerous other branches throughout the borough. Michael White heads Citizens Defending Libraries (CDL), a group that is fighting the “selling and shrinking” of libraries throughout the city. CDL hosted a rally outside of Tuesday’s meeting, where he and other supporters announced their citizens’ audit and investigation of the BPL. White expressed serious concerns about the future of all of the city’s libraries, particularly after he closely examined ten years of minutes from library meetings and discovered, he said, “extraordinary things […] that have not been made public.” One of those discoveries is a list of branches that White said have all been discussed in meetings as being for sale, up for redevelopment or included in other real estate plans. Those branches include Pacific Branch, Sunset Park Branch, Red Hook Branch, Williamsburg Branch, Brower Park Library, Midwood Library, Gravesend Library, Clinton Hill Library and McKinley Park Branch. With those discoveries in mind, CDL announced their investigation and their Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for the BPL, the purpose of which “is to probe more deeply into recent disclosures about the BPL’s secret real estate and development plans.” White said that he believes the BPL administration is keeping its real estate plans a secret because it was “dangerous information to get out, because if the public knew that we were going to be selling and shrinking its libraries, the public would be outraged. The public would be protesting.” He hopes that the investigation of the library will bring new information to light and get other citizens involved in the fight to keep libraries off the market. “I think we are asking some very serious questions, and I think those questions and their answers will be very embarrassing for the Brooklyn Public Library,” White said at the press conference. “All of the questions that we are asking are the questions that everybody else should be asking. “This is the end of the BPL operating in secrecy,” he added. “This is the end of the BPL operating without scrutiny.”
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