Biking infrastructure (one of the GOOD things Bloomberg has done), saving libraries (a hallmark of civilization for millennia that Republicans tend to hate) and a mayoral forum in Brooklyn from Park Slope Neighbors:
1) "Jane's Ride" – Bike to the Future: Brooklyn's Burgeoning Bicycle Infrastructure, Saturday, May 4th, 12 Noon
This Saturday, May 4th, at 12:00 noon, Park Slope Neighbors' Eric McClure and BrooklynSpoke's Doug Gordon will be leading a "Jane's Ride" of some of the new and planned bicycling infrastructure in and around Park Slope.
The ride is part of the Jane's Walk NYC program organized by the Municipal Art Society, an annual series of 100+ FREE guided walks (and rides) throughout New York City. The events take place around the anniversary of Jane Jacobs's birthday in early May.
Here's the description of Saturday's ride:
Cycling in New York City has grown by leaps and bounds during Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 12 years in office. With his tenure coming to an end on December 31st, the city's transportation department is busy putting the finishing touches on the Mayor's bike-friendly legacy. This "Jane's Ride" tour through historic Park Slope will highlight coming additions to the neighborhood's biking infrastructure, including newly planned bike lanes, bike corrals and the first local station of the soon-to-launch CitiBike bike-share program. This leisurely paced ride is appropriate for cyclists 12 years old and up; please note that we will be taking to some streets that don't currently feature bike lanes. A bike is required, but will not be provided, so please bring your own. Rental bikes are available at numerous nearby cycling shops, including Ride Brooklyn, located just two blocks from our end point. Helmets are mandatory in NYC for anyone under 14.
For more info, please visit the event page. We'll be meeting at Prospect Park West and Bartel-Pritchard Square, near the Pavilion Theater. No RSVP required, and the ride is free. Special bonus: the weather forecast looks stellar.
Please join us!
2) Help Save the Pacific Street Library
The Park Slope Civic Council recently passed a unanimous resolution urging the preservation of the endangered Pacific Street Library.
An update on the Civic Council's website states:
Moving forward, members of the Historic District and [Forth on Fourth Avenue] Committees will coordinate with other local organizations and interested people on a campaign to save the Pacific Street Branch; related meetings and activities will be posted on the Civic Council website. To learn more about campaign efforts, e-mail the Civic Council’s Forth on Fourth Avenue Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or Historic District Committee at email@example.com.
To add your name to a petition demanding that the Pacific Street branch and other endangered city libraries be saved, please visit www.signon.org/sign/save-new-york-city-libraries. Nearly 10,000 New Yorkers have already signed their names.
3) 2013 Mayoral Candidates Forum, Monday, May 6th, 7 p.m., at Congregation Beth Elohim
This coming Monday, May 6th, at 7:00 p.m., the Park Slope Civic Council and several other Brooklyn civic associations will host a public forum with candidates of all parties running for New York City mayor in this fall's election.
The forum is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. You can submit questions in advance via Google Moderator, and vote on questions of importance to you by May 3rd.
Brooklyn Civics 2013 Mayoral Forum
Monday, May 6th
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Congregation Beth Elohim
274 Garfield Place (at 8th Avenue)
For more information, please visit www.parkslopeciviccouncil.org/mayoral-forum/.
Another mayoral forum, this time in Manhattan and focused on community safety and civil liberties. From the New York Civil Liberties Union:
NYC Mayoral Candidates Forum on Community Safety
New York City's next mayor will face a host of issues that implicate community safety and New Yorkers' rights and liberties -- ending the NYPD's stop-and-frisk abuses, agressive policing in city schools, indicriminate surveillance of the city's Muslim communities, better oversight of the Police Department -- to name a few.
A candidate forum on Thursday, May 9 at The Riverside Church in Manhattan will focus on these and other issues concerning the safety and rights of all New Yorkers.
The forum, which will begin at 5 p.m., will be moderated by NY1 Notcias' Juan Manuel Benitez, host of Pura Politica. All candidates have been invited to attend the forum. The church is located at 490 Riverside Drive in Manhattan.
Come find out where the candidates stand on the Community Safety Act (PDF) -- landmark civil rights legislation that will ensure that the NYPD treats all New Yorkers with courtesy, professionalism and respect.
The forum is being presented by Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), Amsterdam News, Gay City News and GlobalGrind.com.
The forum is free, but seating is limited. If you plan to attend, please visit CPR's website to RSVP.
Okay, this really, really seems about as stupid as you can get. The NY State Republican Party has invited Texas Senator Ted Cruz to be the guest of honor at their May 29 annual dinner. This is the same Texas Senator whose very first major act upon entering Congress was to OPPOSE Hurricane Sandy relief funds, calling them "pork." Yes, Ted Cruz said a great big "drop dead" to all the New Yorkers whose homes were destroyed in the hurricane, all the devastation in the Rockaways was just "pork" and New York should just buck up and move on. Our devastated hospitals are just "pork." Ted Cruz voted AGAINST helping New Yorkers in their time of need...though he ALSO is greedily grabbing for the same kind of relief funds to help Texas when it needed help after the West Fertilizer Co explosion (an avoidable disaster basically caused by Republican deregulation of safety standards).
Let that sink in: the invited guest of honor for the NY State Republican Party's annual dinner voted AGAINST Hurricane Sandy aid but wants the same kind of aid for Texas.
Okay, Ted Cruz is a hypocritical scum who hates New York and loves Texas. Fine. He represents Texas so that makes some sense in the selfish, unfair and nasty sort of way Republicans seem to love. But for the NY State Greedy Oil Party to invite someone who blatantly wanted to screw New York after Hurricane Sandy to be their guest of honor at their annual dinner is just beyond stupid. Does the NY State Greedy Oil Party also like Texas better than New York? It sure seems that way.
Interesting exchange between John Liu and Bill Thompson over stop and frisk:
Some background on stop and frisk can be found at the NYCLU website. An excerpt:
he NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices raise serious concerns over racial profiling, illegal stops and privacy rights. The Department’s own reports on its stop-and-frisk activity confirm what many people in communities of color across the city have long known: The police are stopping hundreds of thousands of law abiding New Yorkers every year, and the vast majority are black and Latino.
An analysis by the NYCLU revealed that innocent New Yorkers have been subjected to police stops and street interrogations more than 4 million times since 2002, and that black and Latino communities continue to be the overwhelming target of these tactics. Nearly nine out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent, according to the NYPD’s own reports.
One small, maybe only temporary victory for adequate hospital coverage in NYC: For now Long Island College Hospital (LICH) will remain open! Here is a message from District Leader Paul Newell:
I am thrilled to inform you of a huge victory for public health and community activism today. SUNY Downstate has officially withdrawn its closure plan for Long Island College Hospital in downtown Brooklyn. Much work remains to ensure a long term future for this important hospital, but the decision from SUNY today removes the immediate threat of closure, and is indeed cause for celebration.
I am proud to have been a small part of an incredible coalition led by the Cobble Hill Association, the New York State Nurses Association, 1199 SEIU, the Concerned Physicians of LICH and many others. The incredible work to save this vital hospital would not have been possible without the smart and dogged effort of State Assemblymember Joan Millman, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmembers Brad Lander and Steven Levin, District Leader Jo Anne Simon and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, all of whom deserve our gratitude today.
A few months ago, many had given LICH up for dead. Having worked on similar fights at St. Vincent’s and elsewhere, I must also confess to some doubting moments. This is a powerful reminder that communities and workers, working together, can make a meaningful difference. The thousands of community members and healthcare workers who attended long meetings, held signs at rallies, and signed and carried petitions have proven this so.
The fight to ensure access to quality healthcare to all NYC communities obviously continues, and will not get easier soon. But I wanted to share this important victory with you.
Every hospital closed in NYC means more people dying because of inadequate health care and more hospitals put in danger of closing. The dynamic is a complex one. Hospitals almost all run at a loss. This is not because of mismanagement usually but because the cost of care in emergency rooms and ICUs is so hugely expensive that it tends to lose money at a huge rate...in order to save lives. The more people who don't have health insurance, the more people who have to depend on emergency rooms for basic care...and the more money it costs the hospitals. Reduce the number of uninsured people and spread emergency visits over more hospitals and the burden on each hospital is reduced. But leave lots of uninsured and close hospitals and each remaining hospital gets an even higher burden on their emergency rooms...driving them deeper into a financial hole.
Closing a hospital just increases the burden on every other hospital in the area putting them in further financial danger. Of course Healthcare reform is a key way to improve the financial strength of ALL our hospitals by cutting down on emergency room visits by people who rely on them for basic healthcare. But closing hospitals really doesn't help!