MBCG boardmembers, including new president Judy Baron (left) and outgoing president Ira Zalcman (right) pose with Comptroller-elect Scott Stringer
The Manhattan Beach Community Group met earlier this month for their 72nd annual general membership meeting, an end-of-year celebration where new officers are installed and the year’s accomplishments celebrated. This year’s event carried extra weight as the group’s president, Ira Zalcman, said goodbye after seven years of leadership, and the group passed an amendment to its bylaws intended to create peace with its rival neighborhood group.
The December 4 event – which we must note with regret has taken far too long to find its way to our website – drew nearly 200 neighbors, as well as a broad swath of incoming and outgoing elected officials.
Most significantly, the group passed an amendment to its bylaws that they hope will end a bitter six-year feud with the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association, a rivalry that many say has divided the community, and diminished its power to effect positive changes in the area.
The new bylaws create an exception for members of the “other group” to rejoin the MBCG as directors without having to wait the requisite two years. Passed with only one objection, by MBNA member Ed Eisenberg, the motion provisions for the group’s president to appoint as many as four members of the MBNA to the MBCG’s board, so long as the MBNA agrees to dissolve.
Well, if you’ve managed to stay away from the television, radio, newsstands, social media or any website geared towards New York residents, here’s the list of citywide and borough winners from last night’s election, as well as those in Southern Brooklyn races:
Bill de Blasio (Mayor)
Letitia James (Public Advocate)
Scott Stringer (Comptroller)
Eric Adams (Brooklyn Borough Presidnet)
Kenneth Thompson (Brooklyn District Attorney)
Chaim Deutsch (CD48)
Vincent Gentile (CD43)
Mark Treyger (CD47)
Alan Maisel (CD46)
David Greenfield (CD44)
Jumaane Williams (CD45)
What do you think? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss? Or a whole new era for Brooklyn and New York City?
Local Assemblymembers Alec Brook-Krasny and Steven Cymbrowitz, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer released the Russian-language edition (pdf.) of the Immigrant’s Rights and Services Manual on Friday at the Shorefront YM-YWHA in Brighton Beach.
This pamphlet serves as a resource that educates New York immigrants on their rights, government benefits, and programs. New York City already provides translations in Chinese, Spanish and Korean.
“I am proud to stand here today with my friend, Borough President Scott Stringer as we present this amazing and much needed resource to the Russian-American community,” said Brook-Krasny. “As an immigrant myself I first hand understand the trials and tribulations of assimilating into the mainstream American community, it is my hope that this guide will serve as a stepping stone to many others who are striving to reach the American dream.”
Brook-Krasny himself is the first Russian-born, Russian-language speaker elected to public office in America. He emigrated from Moscow in 1989, and was elected to represent to 46th District in the New York State Assembly in 2006.
A community education effort led by Stringer’s office along with Brook-Krasny will help distribute the pamphlet to those interested. Workshops will also be held to hand out and clarify aspects of the manual. Organizations that wish to host a community workshop should call the Borough President’s office at (212) 669-8300.
The future looked rosy 100 years ago, when New York undertook a revolutionary plan to build a vast network of subways and elevated trains. But it looks considerably different today, as we struggle to meet urgent transit needs.
Transit deserts dot the Brooklyn landscape, from Mill Basin and Marine Park – where an “express” bus takes over an hour to reach Midtown – to East Flatbush and Greenpoint, a burgeoning neighborhood that relies on the G train as its sole subway link. While our 100-year-old system is designed for connectivity between Brooklyn and the Manhattan core and back, it does little to connect Brooklynites to other Brookynites. Want to get from Williamsburg to Bay Ridge? Better head into Manhattan and back out again. We can and must do better. Our system must reflect where people live and work today, not 100 years ago.
One million more people will be living in our City by 2025 and to put it bluntly: We are not ready. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority – the central nervous system of our regional transportation network – is a fiscal house of cards.
I am outraged by the news that the Avenue Z Jewish Center in Brooklyn has once again been defaced by anti-Semitic vandals, with graffiti on the entrance door to the center, as well as a sidewalk and nearby synagogue windows. There is no place in our community for this kind of vulgar and cowardly attack—and memories are still fresh of the February, 2011 vandalism at the center which looted a donation box and destroyed a large menorah and a Torah. I urge anyone with knowledge of this incident to contact the NYPD immediately, and I have no doubt that through their great work these perpetrators will be caught.
To our knowledge, the Manhattan politician is the only elected official to issue a statement relating to this incident.
This garbage can-sized sinkhole on Hubbard Street was ignored for nearly six months, despite numerous complaints to 311, until Sheepshead Bites posted it last year.
Potholes. Freakin’ potholes.
Pedestrians don’t like them because they can cause trips. Drivers don’t like them because they can damage cars. The city doesn’t like them because they have to fix them.
Oh, wait, apparently, the city doesn’t have to worry about them. Because they never have to hear the complaints. Because they simply vanish from the 311 system.
One of the most common complaints to 311 is a pothole service request. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has issued the results of an investigation conducted by his office into the efficiency of 311, logging 280 specific pothole complaints around the borough. Nearly half of those – 134 – were made using 311′s online complaint form. Stringer’s office then followed up on the complaints by making calls and inquiring to the status, using the service request reference numbers given at the time of complaint.
Shockingly, every single one of the online complaints vanished from the system, along with nine percent of the phone complaints.
“It would appear that online 311 pothole complaints are, in fact, falling into a black hole,” Stringer said. “The fact that these complaints are being lost raises questions about what other types of calls may be falling through the cracks.”