June 30 – July 7, 2007: Vol. 30, No. 26
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Monday, July 9, 2007

…from our annual Independence Week break

Look for updated content on Friday, July 13.

No ‘brains’ for Chestnut

One day after his stunning July 4 victory over six-time world hot dog-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi, Joey Chestnut put to rest persistent rumors that he will now target what many believe is competitive eating’s true Holy Grail: Kobayashi’s cow-brain-eating record. Comment.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Earlier report: Assemblyman gives Ratner a clause for celebration

Atlantic Yards: Bruce Ratner’s sweetheart deal got a cherry on top last week after a state lawmaker slipped in a last-minute amendment to a housing reform bill that will shave $175 million off the developer’s costs. Comment.

Their Independence Day

Art: The inhabitants of a massive Bushwick loft building want to secede from Brooklyn in protest of “destructive economic forces” that they say are running amok in this development-crazy borough — and all they need is a good venture capitalist to fund the revolt! Comment.

Ratner’s latest sweetheart deal

The Explainer: How did a state Assembly bill designed to stimulate affordable housing end up including a huge tax break for Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner? The Explainer breaks it down. Comment.

The Ratner Clause

Editorial: The latest Ratner sweetheart deal is the worst of them all. Comment.

‘Injured’ Koby claims jaw pain before date with Joey Chestnut

Six-time world hot-dog-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi has been injured and may not compete in next week’s 90th annual competition at Nathan’s in Coney Island. Comment.

The Squared Circle: Planners aim to untangle Grand Army Plaza knot

Park Slope: Grand Army Plaza could be transformed from an intimidating, speeder-friendly highway in the center of Brooklyn to a free-flowing, Euro-style traffic circle, under a revolutionary plan that continues to gain speed of its own. Comment.

Everybody in the barge

Downtown: The floating pool — will finally open for swimming, soaking, and general relief-seeking on July 4, sources told The Brooklyn Paper. Comment.

Sky lights

How to catch the fireworks this Fourth of July. Comment.

The Latest Development News

Their Independence Day

Art: The inhabitants of a massive Bushwick loft building want to secede from Brooklyn in protest of “destructive economic forces” that they say are running amok in this development-crazy borough — and all they need is a good venture capitalist to fund the revolt! Comment.

To get Coney job done, Sitt looks to Ratner’s playbook

Coney Island: Coney Island developer Joe Sitt is now hawking for a “binding agreement” with local leaders to make his $1.5-billion amusement and hotel fantasyland become reality — hinting this week at a Atlantic-Yards-style solution to his ongoing problem of gaining support for his glitzy proposal. Comment.

Tish: Downtown housing should be ‘affordable’

Downtown plan: An unlikely trio of Brooklyn politicians wants the city to revisit a three-year-old plan that was supposed to foment a business boom in Downtown Brooklyn, but has instead sparked a luxury apartment gold rush. Comment.

The sky’s the limit (at least in this picture)

Downtown plan: Here’s a new rendering of a glitzy new mall on Fulton Street in Downtown. Comment.

Two Trees tries tower — again — on Water St.

DUMBO: Developer David Walentas has proposed to add another castle to his DUMBO fiefdom: a $200-million, 400-apartment, commercial and middle school project on Dock Street, between Water and Front streets — the same location where a similar Walentas proposal was defeated in 2004. Comment.

Chamber slot is finally filled

Development: Mayor Bloomberg’s development guru is now running the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Comment.

Downtown’s House of D(isappointment)

Carroll Gardens: City officials told an angry crowd of Boerum Hill residents that the Brooklyn House of Detention on Atlantic Avenue at Smith Street will definitely reopen, squelching any lingering hopes that the grim, 11-story Big House would be sold to a developer more in tune with the increasingly posh, residential neighborhood. Comment.

War ends over Minerva?

Park Slope: A tightly packed row of narrow brownstone homes could end a bitter dispute over a notorious building that was once slated to rise in the famous view corridor between the statue of Minerva in Green-Wood Cemetery and the Statue of Liberty. Comment.

3 pols in same Gowanus boat

Carroll Gardens: The three Councilmembers who represent communities surrounding the Gowanus Canal have united to demand several key amenities in the city’s planned redevelopment of the historically industrial area, demanding affordable housing and low-rise buildings. Comment.

Boerum Hill school gets Gibran payoff

Carroll Gardens: The Boerum Hill school that has been ordered by the city to share space with the new Khalil Gilbran International Academy is at least getting lots of perks in return. Comment.

Cream of the crop

Dining: Do we love a good egg cream? U-Bet! Comments (1).

Under pressure

Dining: The last of the seltzer men. Comments (1).

Cruise ship site a party flop

Red Hook: Remember all that talk about weddings and other glitzy parties at the cruise ship terminal in Red Hook? Well, they’ll be strictly BYOB — bring your own burners! Comments (1).

Nuts! Lutz on the sidelines

Cyclones: Rep. Peter King stopped by Keyspan this weekend, plus other Ups & Downs items on Grady Hinchman, Zach Lutz, Joe Pignatano and the peculiar clubhouse game, Guitar Hero. Comments (1).

Veg out

Dining: Can a vegetarian diner make comfort food like the real deal? Comment.

Reader credits government for Internet success

Letters: This week’s mailbag includes reaction to our interview with conservative columnist Amity Shlaes — plus letters on Marty Markowitz’s run for mayor, getting high, development Downtown, public and private schools and Coney Island Comment.

And now, Who’s on First?

Play’s the Thing: Here’s our columnist’s annual Cyclones edition of the old “Who’s On First” routine. Comment.

Age of love

Dining: Fort Greene’s romantic new Epoca.  Comment.

All drawn out

Atlantic Yards: Our cartoonist’s take. Comment.

Neighborhood Columnists

Sweatin’ with the weirdies

Brooklyn South: Our columnist discovers that people say the craziest thing in the sauna. Comment.

Wrong way on Carlton Avenue

Greene Acres: Our columnist discovers that the city’s best-laid plans sometimes don’t get finished. Comment.

Rats! Nica is hot and bothered

PS … I Love You: Our columnist smells a rat. And it’s freaking her out. Comment.

Permits a plague on Pierrepont

Heights Lowdown: Our columnist goes undercover to solve the parking mess on Pierrepont Street. Comments (3).

Cell tower wars in Ridge

Yellow Hooker: There’s a new cellphone tower battle brewing. Comment.

Home Depot developer stands there and takes it from CB10

Bay Ridge: Developer Andrew Kohen — who wants to build a new Home Depot and hundreds of units of lucrative housing along a vacant Bay Ridge rail yard — was forced to stand silently for an hour as members of Community Board 10 committee slammed him as greedy on Monday night. Comment.

With graduation, tears

Smartmom: Smartmom attends a PS 321 graduation — and she becomes a blubbering mess. Wait ’til next year, when the Oh So Feisty One graduates! Comment.

The gift of jab

Borough’s boxing boy wonder heads out to the Olympics. Comments (4).

Building is hit twice in one day

Park Slope: Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave your apartment to get robbed — though sometimes you do. Plus all the other crime news from Park Slope. Comment.

They won’t go Fourth

What are Brooklynites doing with their midweek Fourth of July? Comments (1).

O, brother, where art thou? In the hospital

Bay Ridge: Two brothers got into an argument that turned bloody on June 21 when the older sibling pulled a knife on his baby brother — plus all the crime news from Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge. Comments (1).

Not playing

Carroll Gardens: Two hoods attacked a 14-year-old boy playing a game of schoolyard basketball on June 15, police said. Plus all the crime from Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. Comment.

Dog-day afternoon turns glum

Downtown: A young boy and his mother watched in abject horror as a man tried to steal their dog as they were playing with him in Cadman Plaza Park on June 19 — plus all the other crime news from Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Downtown. Comment.

Car jack

Fort Greene: A car thief made off with a man’s car and, oddly, took the time to clean it out — plus all the other crime news from Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. Comment.

Making a splash

Checkin’ in with: Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe talks about keeping cool this summer. Comment.

One fine stray

Event: Stray Pride comes to Park Slope. Comment.

Spree’s squeeze

Music: The Polyphonic Spree barely fits into the Warsaw...how will they play a show there? Comment.

Park Slope catches charter school fever

Park Slope: A group of Park Slope parents that is concerned about the dearth of good middle schools in the neighborhood is starting a charter school that will draw fifth graders from the Slope, Sunset Park and Gowanus. Comments (6).

General electric

Fort Greene: A Fort Greene luminary’s plan to light a neighborhood statue — in much the same way he lighted iconic treasures like the George Washington Bridge and Washington Square Arch — has fallen through the gaping cracks of city bureaucracy. Comment.

Sweet ride

Dining: Move over, Mr. Softee, here comes the Treats Truck! Comment.

Bike path fix in Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge: The restoration of the Shore Parkway Greenway is finally complete. Is the Verrazano path next? Comment.

Boot Camp Challenge

Fitness: Our Classified Sales Manager Adam El-Sheemy is undertaking the “Boot Camp Challenge,” a grueling, thrice-weekly workout regimen set up by two personal trainers. Here’s this week’s update. Comment.

She’s star(fish)

Fort Greene: The Clinton Hill lady who transforms her stately mansion every Halloween into the neighborhood’s spookiest haunted house can pin another fantastical achievement onto her lapel: a winner at the Mermaid Parade. Comment.

Screamin’ for ice cream

Downtown: Defying weeks of claims that he was just “closed for renovations,” Sven Lapiner finally admitted this week that he had closed the Ben & Jerry’s parlor on Atlantic Avenue, claiming the lack of business forced his hand. Comment.

A Great Half-price Close-out!

Advertorial: Ask any Sommelier, Chef or wine maker “What is the most food-friendly white wine?” and the odds are that they’ll answer “Sauvignon Blanc!” Comment.

Get your Gersh on

Our own editor, Gersh Kuntzman, once again assumed the moderator chair at this week’s taping of Brooklyn Independent Television’s “Reporter Roundtable.” Comment.

Civic Calendar

All the important meetings you should be going to. Comment.

Family Calendar

Parenting: All the family fun — for the next two hot weeks. Comment.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Bloomy slams “Ratner carve-out”

Atlantic Yards: Bruce Ratner “doesn’t need” the massive public subsidy handed to him by the state Assembly last week, Mayor Bloomberg said on Friday — and called for Gov. Spitzer to block the legislation. Comment.