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Brooklyn This Week
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn This Week is your source of all news Brooklyn brought to you in a weekly package of headlines, history, discussion and in-depth looks into Eagle stories.
Dec 5, 2019
What New York City is doing to fight cybercrime
New York City is home to almost nine million residents. It needs up to 20,000 people in the cybersecurity industry, yet meeting that demand is a serious challenge. With cyber attacks on the rise against governments, corporations and individuals, the city’s institutions are teaming up with the public and private sector to train those able to combat these threats.
Nov 21, 2019
Overturned conviction shines light on legacy of disgraced detective
Eliseo DeLeon got his first breath of freedom after 24 years Tuesday afternoon when he was released by a Brooklyn judge who ruled that he was wrongfully convicted of a 1995 murder.
Nov 14, 2019
Why so many street vendors don’t have permits
Last weekend, the city saw a video of a churro vendor being detained at a subway station for not having a permit. Vendors like her have a problem: The number of permits offered to vendors by the city has not increased since the 1980s. Proposed city and state bills now seek to change that.
Nov 7, 2019
The case for abolishing daylight saving time
You may have enjoyed an extra hour’s sleep this week, but was that added rest really worth the trouble of setting your clocks back? A growing number of state politicians think not.
Oct 31, 2019
Spooky stories from Brooklyn's past
Because this episode comes out on Halloween, we thought it would be fun to delve into our archives to see how Brooklynites historically celebrated the holiday, and what superstitions we may have forgotten.
Oct 24, 2019
How about those hipsters? Comedians riff on Brooklyn
Brooklyn This Week tends to stick to harder news topics such as climate change, gun violence, or police misconduct. Occasionally we like to focus on something lighter. This week’s episode has five Brooklyn-based comedians commenting on the borough, the ins and outs of the local comedy scene and sharing some of their best (and worst) Brooklyn experiences. Plus they’ll discuss what it takes to make it as a comedian in The Big Apple, as well as how they react when nobody laughs at their jokes.
Oct 17, 2019
The fight to save NYC’s community gardens: What to know
Nearly 100 community gardens on city-owned land are in danger of closing or relocating due to a new licensing agreement. Some gardeners are calling the agreement unfair, while others have already started the process of moving out of their current locations.
Oct 10, 2019
Inside the agency investigating police misconduct
Families of those killed by police officers can request an independent investigation of their cases. Yet the majority of those in Brooklyn have not. Many of them do not know this is an option, and the Civilian Complaint Review Board cannot launch an investigation automatically because of bureaucratic restrictions.
Oct 3, 2019
Inside Brooklyn's development boom
The Brooklyn skyline has changed dramatically over the years as more and more buildings rise from the earth. This has been especially true downtown ever since a 2004 rezoning paved the way for a development boom that would come to define the internationally-sought after borough.
Sep 26, 2019
A history of Brooklyn’s most toxic waterways
Coal tar, oil, and used contraceptives are only some of the items routinely found floating on the highly polluted Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek — Brooklyn’s two federal Superfund sites. Though the waterways are only a few miles away from each other, they have vastly different stories.
Sep 19, 2019
Reactions from the heated Industry City rezoning meeting
When Councilmember Carlos Menchaca called a meeting Monday night to discuss his thoughts on Industry City’s rezoning plan, he was cut short by chants and curses from those in opposition to the proposal.
Sep 12, 2019
Iconic, yet damaged: How the Coney Island Boardwalk fell into disrepair
The iconic 2.7-mile boardwalk in Coney Island attracts seven million people a year from all over the world. It was even declared a scenic landmark last year. But residents have complained for more than a decade that the far ends of the walkway are in disrepair.
Sep 5, 2019
Debriefing Brooklyn’s first placard abuse town hall
New York can regularly make more than $500 million in parking tickets a year. Yet many city officials have been allowed to park illegally simply by displaying a city-issued parking placard. Many call this placard abuse.
Aug 29, 2019
Our Bums: What the Dodgers meant to Brooklyn
This September will mark 62 years since the Brooklyn Dodgers played their last game as the borough’s home team. Ebbets Field has long since given way to a housing complex, but the memories and love for the team still endure.
Aug 22, 2019
Celebrating the Battle of Brooklyn’s 243rd anniversary
From re-enactments and musical performances to art shows and tours, Brooklyn turns back the calendar to 1776 each August to commemorate the largest battle of the American Revolution — regardless that it was the war’s first loss.
Aug 15, 2019
To fix Sunset Park’s Third Avenue, other cities offer solutions
Sunset Park’s Third Avenue, dark, perilous and dirty, currently sits under the Gowanus Expressway hosting a makeshift parking lot between six lanes of highway-speed traffic.
Aug 8, 2019
Exploring the city program residents call ‘deed theft’
The city Housing Preservation and Development’s Third Party Transfer program just went through a city council probe, still faces a class-action lawsuit, and may yet come under a federal investigation. The tax enforcement program, designed to rehabilitate physically and financially distressed properties, is being labeled by local advocates and politicians as a form of deed theft.
Aug 1, 2019
Is NYC prepared for another Superstorm Sandy?
The heavy rain on July 22 caused havoc across New York City, quickly flooding subway stations, streets and freeways. One Brooklyn woman even got out of her car and helped unclog several sewer grates on the Long Island Expressway — all while wearing Crocs.
Jul 25, 2019
Here’s how Sunset Park is combating ICE
You hear a knock at the door. They demand that you open up. When you ask who it is, they say it’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Jul 18, 2019
Where do we stand on the Brooklyn jail plan?
Four new jails are coming to every borough but Staten Island as the city plans to close Rikers Island by 2026. In Brooklyn, public hearings have drawn local residents and outside activists, who have not only commented on the physical makeup of the jail, but also on the implications a larger facility in Boerum Hill would have on the city’s incarceration culture.
Jul 11, 2019
What are ‘deepfakes,’ and what is Brooklyn doing to fight them?
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave a seemingly inebriated speech at a news conference in May, President Donald Trump blasted her in a tweet. The problem was, the video was fake.
Jul 2, 2019
Here’s what it takes to plan the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks
There are few people in the world who know the inner workings of the Fourth of July Macy’s fireworks show more than Gary Souza. The pyro-technician has been meticulously planning and executing the show for the last 37 years.
Jun 27, 2019
Deed theft at crisis level in Brooklyn
There’s a friendly voice on the phone. They offer financial help. Next thing you know, the house you planned to pass down to your family is gone.
Jun 20, 2019
Should the SHSAT be eliminated?
Most people are aware of the SAT, the rigorous test that can influence where some students go to college, but fewer may know of the SHSAT. The Specialized High School Admissions Test has been a catalyst for an ongoing feud between parents, students and schools Chancellor Richard Carranza after Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed doing away with the exam last year.
Jun 13, 2019
Inside the protest at Gerritsen Beach’s Drag Queen Story Hour
The seemingly innocuous event known as Drag Queen Story Hour has taken place at libraries, schools and cultural institutions across Brooklyn for three years without issue — until recently. The event series involves drag queens reading stories to children to promote a positive and open view of “unabashedly queer role models,” according to its website. When the program made its debut at the Gerritsen Beach Library on June 6, however, some local residents were up in arms.
Jun 6, 2019
Don’t flush your toilet when it rains. Here’s why.
Combined Sewer Overflow, aka CSO. If you don’t know what that is, you’re not the only one. When it rains, stormwater runoff and human waste combine to overwhelm the city’s sewer system, forcing the liquid to be expelled into New York Harbor and its tributaries.
May 30, 2019
Celebrating Walt Whitman's 200th Birthday: Remembering the iconic Brooklyn poet
Friday marks the 200th birthday of Walt Whitman: an iconic poet who left behind a legacy for the world, and especially for Brooklyn.
May 23, 2019
Why are so many cyclists dying on southern Brooklyn streets?
There were no bicyclists killed in southern Brooklyn in 2018. Now, at least 10 have been killed in the city this year — tying the total of all of last year — and four of those deaths have been in southern Brooklyn.
May 16, 2019
Good or bad? Analyzing smart tech use in Brooklyn
Technological advances inevitably continue to improve the quality of life in urban areas around the world, and Brooklyn has been no exception.
May 9, 2019
Should Industry City be rezoned?
Sunset Park’s Industry City plans to diverge from its status as a manufacturing hub and thrust itself into a place of international appeal with a prominent rezoning plan that some local residents and community groups say could drastically alter the character of the waterfront neighborhood.
May 2, 2019
Gowanus rezoning highlights city’s love for development
Neighborhood rezonings are complicated enough without having to worry about building around a federal Superfund site. *Subscribe to Brooklyn this Week:* * iTunes * Spotify * Stitcher
Apr 25, 2019
Inaction in Washington prompts NYC to take the lead in combating climate change
Complete clean electricity by 2050. Mandatory collection of compost citywide. Carbon neutrality for all large buildings. Those were only some of the many promises touted in Mayor *Bill de Blasio's* announcement of New York's Green New Deal this week. Gov. *Andrew Cuomo* also signed historic legislation on Earth Day to ban single-use plastic bags. Our reporter *Scott Enman* is going to break all of this down for us. Plus, we’ll be hearing from *Eric Goldstein* at the Natural Resources Defense Council and *John Lipscomb* of Riverkeeper. Lastly, our reporter *Paul Frangipane* goes inside a Sunset Park recycling plant. * Interview with Scott Enman at 1:11 * Interview with John Lipscomb at 5:23 * Interview with Eric Goldstein at 11:06 * Interview with Paul Frangipane at 14:53 Our host Lawrence Madsen is a native New Yorker. His family and friends have told him since he was 17 that he has a voice for radio. When he saw an opportunity to do just that, he jumped for it. He is…
Apr 18, 2019
Breaking down the Brooklyn measles emergency
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency last week, ordering mandatory measles vaccinations for Williamsburg residents as the number of confirmed cases for the infection rose to nearly 300 since October. Roughly a week later, a group of parents represented by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., filed a lawsuit against the city, asking a judge to vacate the order. Our reporter *Scott Enman* is going to bring us up to speed about the epidemic. We’ll also be hearing from *Dr. Alan Kadish*, *Councilmember Stephen Levin* and *Rabbi Joseph Potasnik*. * Interview with Scott Enman at 1:34 * Interview with Dr. Alan Kadish at 5:08 * Interview with Rabbi Joseph Potasnik at 8:05 * Interview with Councilmember Stephen Levin at 10:33 Our host Lawrence Madsen is a native New Yorker. His family and friends have told him since he was 17 that he has a voice for radio. When he saw an opportunity to do just that, he jumped for it. He is dearly fond of the Brooklyn Eagle. He attended Colu…
Apr 11, 2019
Exclusive Interview with head of new BQE expert panel
It’s an issue that will redefine our city’s transportation, real estate values, public health and a host of other factors. The planning process for the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway has taken another turn. The city recently put together a panel of 16 experts to finally bring a measure of urban planning to what has been a chaotic, whiplash-inducing process. In this week's episode we'll be speaking with the panel’s chairman *Carlo Scissura*, as well as our reporter *Mary Frost* to talk about a rousing town hall held last week that discussed the issue. Organizer *Hilary Jager* from a Better Way NYC and *Richard Zeigler* from the Brooklyn Heights Association will also come on. * Interview with Carlo Scissura at 1:30 * Interview with Mary Frost at 5:18 * Interview with Hilary Jager at 9:40 * Interview with Richard Zeigler at 11:23 Our host Lawrence Madsen is a native New Yorker. His family and friends have told him since he was 17 that he has a voice f…
Apr 4, 2019
'Palestine does not exist': Dissecting Yeger's controversial tweet
“Palestine does not exist.” Those were a Brooklyn councilmember’s controversial words aimed at a local reporter on March 27. The tweet from Kalman Yeger set in motion a series of events that led to protests in the street and the likely removal of the politician from the council’s immigration committee. On this episode we’ll be diving into the local incident and exploring its broader international scope with the help of Eagle reporter *Noah Goldberg* and *Robert Jervis*, a professor at Columbia University. We’ll also be hearing from prominent Palestinian-American activist *Linda Sarsour* to comment on the matter. * Interview with Noah Goldberg at 1:47 * Interview with Robert Jervis at 8:08 * Interview with Linda Sarsour at 12:11 Lawrence Madsen is a native New Yorker. His family and friends have told him since he was 17 that he has a voice for radio. When he saw an opportunity to do just that, he jumped for it. He is dearly fond of the Brooklyn Eagle. He attended C…
Mar 28, 2019
Celebrating Brooklyn's badass women
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ll be highlighting some badass Brooklyn women, starting with some of our amazing female colleagues at the Eagle, who will share what it’s like to work as a female journalist. We’ll also be discussing five new statues of prominent women that are coming to the city, including Brooklyn’s own Shirley Chisholm. Faye Penn of Women NYC will talk with us about that initiative. Plus, we’ll send you off with a Women’s History Month reading list and hear from Deidre Dumpson at Greenpoint’s Word Bookstore on some empowering titles. * Interview with Eagle staff at 1:23 * Interview with Faye Penn at 11:46 * Interview with Deidre Dumpson at 14:36 Our host Lawrence Madsen is a native New Yorker. His family and friends have told him since he was 17 that he has a voice for radio. When he saw an opportunity to do just that, he jumped at the opportunity. He is dearly fond of the Brooklyn Eagle. He attended Columbia University, and volunteers…
Mar 21, 2019
Where do we stand on the BQE rehab plan?
It seems like every week there’s a new proposal to fix the crumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The most recent plan would turn the triple cantilever into cliffs of parkland over Brooklyn Bridge Park. We’ll be hearing from Mark Baker, the man behind the idea, plus New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer will be coming on the show as well. He, too, put forth an idea last week to look to the future and turn the BQE into a greenspace. Lastly, our reporter Mary Frost will put it all into context. * Interview with Mark Baker at 1:11 * Interview with Scott Stringer at 5:57 * Interview with Mary Frost at 11:36 Our host Lawrence Madsen is a native New Yorker. His family and friends have told him since he was 17 that he has a voice for radio. When he saw an opportunity to do just that, he jumped at the opportunity. He is dearly fond of the Brooklyn Eagle. He attended Columbia University, and volunteers with the disaster relief group Team Rubicon.
Mar 14, 2019
Are downtown's towers a burden on Brooklyn?
The Brooklyn skyline has changed drastically over the past 15 years to include a laundry list of homogenous buildings filled with offices and condos for the ultra wealthy. This week, we’re talking about development and a changing landscape in the physical makeup of Brooklyn. We’ll be hearing from longtime resident and author Andrew Cotto and Samuel Stein, an urban studies instructor at CUNY. Plus, our colleagues Lore Croghan and Paul Frangipane will both talk with us about their recent hard hat tour of the tallest building in Brooklyn. * Interview with Andrew Cotto at 1:58 * Interview with Samuel Stein at 8:50 * Interview with Lore Croghan and Paul Frangipane at 14:04
Mar 7, 2019
Is a cross Downtown Brooklyn tunnel a viable option for the BQE rehab?
The ongoing saga surrounding the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway rehab plan is going to be continuing for some time, so we’re dedicated to keeping you up to speed with the issue. This week, we’re going to be looking into the feasibility of a cross Downtown Brooklyn tunnel to replace part of the highway. We’ll be talking with Roy Sloane, who first thought to dig the tunnel, and Mary Frost, who’s been reporting on the issue in the community extensively. We’ll also hear about the Department of Transportation’s position on it and that of community organizers. * Interview with Mary Frost at 1:08 * Interview with Roy Sloane at 11:21
Feb 28, 2019
The past, present, and future of Gage & Tollner
One of Brooklyn’s most storied restaurants, long vacant, is reopening later this year. Gage & Tollner is coming back, and bringing with it more than a century of experiences and landmarked style. We’re going to review the restaurant’s iconic rise and speak with its new owners, Ben Schneider, Sohui Kim and St. John Frizell, on what they see for G&T’s future. We're also speaking with Brooklyn Eagle reporter Mary Frost, who dined at Gage and Tollner on several occasions and recently attended an open-house in the restaurant’s dining room where she heard anecdotes from multiple residents who have been impacted by the restaurant. * Interview with Schneider, Kim and Frizell at 2:02 * Interview with Mary Frost at 7:09
Feb 21, 2019
Three authors discuss Brooklyn as a literary hub
The historic Center for Fiction just moved to Fort Greene, Brooklyn, leaving Manhattan after nearly 200 years of operation across the East River. To celebrate their arrival, we’ve decided to explore the literary world of Brooklyn on this week's podcast.. Join us as we talk with a trio of Brooklyn authors - including Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan, Andrew Cotto and Emma Straub, who also owns an independent bookstore - on how the borough serves as a source of inspiration and what Brooklyn’s cultural boom means for literature. * Interview with Jennifer Egan starts at 5:04 * Interview with Andrew Cotto starts at 10:00 * Interview with Emma Straub starts at 16:12
Feb 14, 2019
Advice for couples, events for singles and chocolate for everybody
Happy Valentine’s Day, Brooklyn. We’ve decided to get sentimental this week and spend the whole episode exploring the holiday and diving into the Eagle’s archives to see how the paper has covered it over the years. Then we’ll hear from relationship counselor Charley Wininger on the best lessons for any couple, old or new. The old-school Brooklyn chocolatier, Michael Rogak will also be sharing his holiday experiences and his rich, charming family history. And for those who are single, do not fret, we’ve got an anti-Valentine’s Day guide that’ll get you through the day.
Feb 7, 2019
No heat, no power in Sunset Park jail shines light on culture of corruption
During one of the coldest stretches of the year, inmates at Sunset Park’s Metropolitan Detention Center were trapped in dark freezing cells. Making matters worse, they weren’t able to contact their loved ones after the heating system at the jail shut down and the lights were cut. It took hundreds of protesters and a national movement to get the power back on. But some inmates have still not received proper medical attention and a lawsuit is pushing on the federal bureau of prisons over the “inhumane” conditions. We’re going to be sitting down with a reporter who was on the scene. We’ll also be discussing the history of corrupt prison culture. And lastly, a criminologist will detail the mental and physical strains of solitary confinement on inmates.
Jan 31, 2019
Here’s everything you need to know about the BQE rehab saga
The first story this podcast covered was the city Department of Transportation’s proposal to replace the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with a six-lane highway to fix the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, or BQE. It’s been four months since the announcement. Community activists have continued to push on the city and local representatives to save the promenade, the mayor backed the DOT’s proposal, hundreds of people took to the promenade in protest, an environmental study could reveal toxic air pollutants headed to the Heights, and new renderings show the highway would likely soar over part of the Brooklyn Bridge walkway for years. The plan is still on the table, despite heavy opposition, so this week we’ll be devoting our entire episode to bringing you up to speed with the issue.
Jan 24, 2019
Covering crime in Brooklyn, then and now
Man runs into Sheepshead Bay restaurant, beats three with hammer. Masked thieves steal $40,000 in cash and medicine from Canarsie pharmacy. Man is shot in pelvis and killed. Group of teens, bully, beat, 11-year-old girl. Man throws chair at victim after argument. Crime in Brooklyn is at an all-time low but headlines like these still pop up around the borough on a regular basis. This week we’ll be discussing what it’s like to cover crime around the borough, both on the scene and in the courthouse.
Jan 17, 2019
Here’s how to solve the Brooklyn Bridge congestion issue
Crowded, chaotic and dangerous. Human traffic jams plagued the Brooklyn Bridge this holiday season, leading one resident to call for a tax on tourists crossing the famed overpass. Many complain that the bridge’s jammed promenade is at an all-time worse, but an expert on the bridge’s history claims the landmark has been experiencing overcrowding since its opening. We’ll be hearing from a transit buff and an acclaimed author on ways to alleviate the congestion.
Dec 4, 2018
Is Brooklyn as we know it gone? Recent closings may suggest so
With Black Friday behind us and Christmas on its way, one hopes to find all businesses enjoying a good trade. But there are times when a rising tide does not lift all boats - not fast enough, at least, for rising rents. Brooklyn has seen a number of its most memorable mom-and-pop stores declare that they must close. We’ll be taking a look at this trend and hearing anecdotes about these institutions from some longtime Brooklynites. Plus, some Brooklyn Heights residents are suggesting Brooklyn Bridge Park and the city are in cahoots over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway rehab plan.
Nov 28, 2018
Will the Watchtower sign be replaced with the word ‘Brooklyn!’?
Brooklyn has its bridge, its roller coaster, and its world-renowned hot dog, but it doesn’t have a sign. That could be changing very soon. The famous Watchtower emblem lit up the night sky for so many years but since it was removed, there’s been a void in the Brooklyn skyline. There are multiple options to replace it, but one unique choice is the word “Brooklyn” in Dodgers-inspired blue cursive. We’ll be speaking with the woman who proposed this idea plus we’ll be discussing systematic theft from homeowners in central and eastern Brooklyn and the borough’s new obsession with food halls.
Nov 14, 2018
Here’s how Amazon in Queens will affect North Brooklyn
If Amazon comes to Queens, North Brooklyn would surely see dramatic changes. From rising rents and an increase in development to a potential resurgence of the BQX, we discuss how the new HQ could affect the borough. Plus, a former Seattle resident reflects on how the tech giant changed her city for better or worse.
Nov 7, 2018
Blue wave washes ashore in Brooklyn
This week we go inside the viewing parties for Andrew Gounardes, Marty Golden, Dan Donovan and Max Rose. Plus, we interview a woman who took matters into her own hands when she removed swastikas from a Williamsburg sidewalk. Finally, we discuss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's trial transportation that will close the Brooklyn Bridge twice a week for months.
Oct 31, 2018
Brooklyn This Week: Brooklyn reacts to Tree of Life Pittsburgh shooting
On Saturday morning shortly before 10 a.m., 11 people had their lives taken from them when a gunman walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and opened fire onto worshipers. This week we look back at how Brooklyn responded to this disaster and what measures are being put in place to prevent this from happening here.
Oct 24, 2018
Can the Watchtower sign be replaced?
This week we discuss the continuous battle over the famous Watchtower sign, the importance of the 2020 census for Brooklynites and the latest developments in the city's plans to replace the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway rehab plan.
Oct 17, 2018
De Blasio blindsided us on BQE, Brooklyn Heights Association fumes
This week we discuss the mayor's preference to convert the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to a temporary roadway, what legal weed could mean for the borough and some heated political races.
Oct 11, 2018
Brooklyn This Week: Episode 1
This week we discuss upcoming plans from the city to convert the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to a temporary roadway for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway rehab plan, developments on a supertall skyscraper in Boerum Hill and the city's new Office of Nightlife.