At a contentious July Council hearing on consumer rights, Council Member Lew Fidler argued that consumers of cable television are the victims of stalled negotiations between broadcasters and cable service providers and they don’t even know it.
“Consumers will be seated at the table when the big boys fight,” Fidler said to broadcast industry lobbyists at the hearing. “You will not decide how much you can suck out of our pocket without our participation. You operate under a public license on public airwaves and the public will not be damned.”
Fidler and fellow committee members warned broadcasters they would fight to change lax, decades-old federal rules governing cable service agreements that allow networks to cut service and allow screens to go dark when their demands are not met.
More than 300 people packed into the yard behind the 61st Precinct yesterday to celebrate the 27th National Night Out Against Crime.
Kids played on giant inflatable amusements, while their parents devoured food supplied by Cherry Hill Gourmet Market. Performers from Lezginka NYC regaled the crowd with traditional Pakistani dances, and a troupe of young Asian-Americans also put on a show. Deborah Lynn Bridges, a former Broadway performer and singer for the NY Knicks, sang the national anthem.
A mainstay of Night Out Against Crime? Awards! Officers, politicians and members of the Precinct’s Community Council exchanged plaques and certificates. Some of the politicians in attendance, who also gave speeches, were Councilman Lew Fidler, Councilman Domenic Recchia, Jr., and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz.
Fidler took the opportunity to remind revelers of the event’s purpose, to show criminals that the “streets belong to us … the people” and that’s demonstrated by ”neighbors coming together and helping each other, standing together.”
(Photos and information provided by Erica Sherman for Sheepshead Bites.)
Please join me for a Town Hall I’m hosting over the phone on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 7:00 PM. I will be updating participants on my work to invest in our economy, create jobs and cut the deficit. For more information or to participate, please call my community office at 718-520-9001.
Is the landmarked Lundy’s building better off as a grocery store? That’s the way Crain’s New York makes it sound.
An article published over the weekend takes a look at Cherry Hill Gourmet Market nearly a year after its grand opening. What they found is a thriving business that they say locals need more than another restaurant. And maybe they’re right, which could have powerful implications on the Sheepshead Bay Special Zoning District, the law that determines what kind of businesses can operate on the Emmons Avenue waterfront.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered a poignant speech in defense of the right of religious freedom in the shadow of Ground Zero yesterday. Despite what you think of the hizzoner’s politics and governance, yesterday held a moment in which the words “statesman” and “leadership” sit high on the marquee.
Though he spoke directly to the issue of the mosque at the World Trade Center, his words resonate to the current controversy surrounding the proposed Sheepshead Bay mosque on Voorhies Avenue. Regardless of your thoughts on the man’s politics, listen to his words and embrace the wisdom therein.
Here’s the text of his speech:
“We’ve come here to Governors Island to stand where the earliest settlers first set foot in New Amsterdam, and where the seeds of religious tolerance were first planted. We come here to see the inspiring symbol of liberty that more than 250 years later would greet millions of immigrants in this harbor. And we come here to state as strongly as ever, this is the freest city in the world. That’s what makes New York special and different and strong.
The photo and account below come in from reader Eitan K.:
At approximately 9pm on Avenue Y between e 23 and e 24 a chinese woman in her 60′s was struck by a vehicle. I spoke with one of her neighbors who said that they knew her, she was a very nice lady who lived there for many years, residing in a house on the corner of e 24 and Y. The woman was struck within eyesight of her home, just across the intersection as she was crossing the street. The neighbor who I spoke with said she was in very bad shape, but obviously details on her condition were not available. I watched the ambulance take her away at approx. 9:15pm. The section of avenue Y between 23 & 24 was taped off as numerous police officers were examining the scene. The driver of the car that struck her appeared to be a chinese man in his 20′s or early 30′s (it was dark) and he was speaking with the police, he remained at the scene and he was not in handcuffs when I was there at between 9:15 through 9:30. The neighbor who I spoke with also added that on this stretch of avenue Y there are no stop signs or lights, and accidents involving cars and pedestrians have been known to happen here, and she expressed a wish that a sign or a light be installed, that if there had been one tonight’s accident might have been avoided.
Stringent new standards for grading state English and math exams are leading to reduced grades, forcing principals to cut many students from gifted programs that no longer meet the requirements.
Below is an excerpt of a New York Times article detailing the problem. With 29 schools offering gifted programs in Education District 22 – which covers Sheepshead Bay – it seems likely that many area schools could be calling up parents to deliver bad news. Have any readers’ families been affected by the new changes?
Here’s the excerpt:
LINDA L. SINGER, the principal of Public School 255 in Gravesend, Brooklyn, has some phone calls she is dreading to make.
Among them: informing 10 families that their children, scheduled to enroll in gifted programs, will no longer qualify, because of new, tougher grading on state English and math exams. And letting the rest of the teachers know that their A-graded school, which had shown consistent progress for years, plunged to a 65 percent passing rate in English, from 85 percent, according to standardized scores released last week.
“When I got these scores I thought I would die,” Ms. Singer said, echoing the feeling in many principals’ offices throughout the city. “Everything is changed.”
There were large drops in passing rates across New York, reflecting new requirements intended to correct for years of inflated results. The exams, state education officials said, had become too easy to pass, their definition of proficiency no longer meaningful. Citywide, the proficiency rate in English fell to 42 percent, from 69 percent last year; 54 percent reached grade level in math, down from 82 percent.
As the plummeting scores sunk in, principals planned strategy and contemplated the unraveling of other achievements, which they were suddenly informed were illusory. In New York City, where test scores are the cornerstone of school accountability, the new numbers, principals feared, could mean the end of their A grades from the Department of Education; a rise in negative teacher performance reviews, which are based partly on state tests; and substandard principal performance reviews.
Great match race (a dead heat) between Dobbins and Domino, for $10,000 a side: over the Coney Island Futurity Course, Sheepshead Bay, Long Island, August 31, 1893
That puts this race as the fifth anniversary of the Futurity Stakes, which, when it launched on Labor Day 1888, was the richest race ever run in the United States. The Futurity still runs today over on the Belmont track.
The Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association revealed a laundry list of traffic safety proposals at their meeting last night, and lambasted their rival community group’s efforts for “patting themselves on the back.”
Executive members of MBNA and Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo met with representatives of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office on Thursday, July 29, to present their ideas. According to the group, the advocate’s office gave a warm reception to the suggestion and is now issuing letters to relevant agencies to spur action.
“I’ve got to say the Public Advocate’s representatives were extremely attentive,” said Scavo. “They questioned why DOT, why Parks, why [there hasn't been] reception from these various agencies.”
MBNA President Alan Ditchek is optimistic about the plan.
“[These are] very good ideas and certainly will go a long way to rectifying the situation in Manhattan Beach that’s happened here over the last few years,” said Ditchek. “I think we’ve got a very good list compiled and if we implement just some of these things we will certainly see safer streets.”