Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Show Must Go On at Bargemusic

Eagle photo by Phoebe Neidl


On Wednesday, Bargemusic, the floating concert hall anchored off of Fulton Ferry Landing, was shut down by the fire department because the gangway leading from the emergency exit near the stage was found to be inadequate. It didn’t take long, however, for the problem to be addressed. Pictured above, workers on Friday had made the necessary safety adjustments to the gangway and were preparing to put it back in place. Bargemusic director Mark Peskanov told the Eagle he was hopeful that the Friday evening concert would be able to go on as planned. Founded in 1977, Bargemusic presents concerts of classical and jazz music on an almost daily basis.

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Biker/Pedestrian Safety Becomes a Growing Concern

Tourists Complicate Situation on Bridge

Last week the city began a measure to reduce collisions on the overcrowded and dangerous Brooklyn Bridge walkway by installing “pedestrian safety officers.” But as the number of cyclists is expected to increase across the city, pedestrian/cyclist safety concerns grow. Eagle photo by Mary Frost .


By Mary Frost

NEW YORK — Even as New York City expands construction of bike lanes and initiates a new bicycle-sharing plan, pedestrian and cyclist safety remains a growing concern.

Last week the city began a measure to reduce collisions on the overcrowded and dangerous Brooklyn Bridge walkway (and also on the less-hazardous Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges) by installing “pedestrian safety officers” to try to keep pedestrians separated from speeding cyclists.

Daniel Meyer, on his fourth day of the job, said, “So far so good. It’s not easy during rush hour — there have been lots of close calls.” He added for emphasis, “Lots.” As cyclists whizzed by at a high rate of speed he said, “You see how fast they’re going?”

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Filed under Community News, Transportation

Traffic Signals That ‘Talk’ Coming to Brooklyn Crosswalks

Streets Can Be Dangerous For Vision-Impaired, Seniors

BROOKLYN — Some of the major intersections in Downtown Brooklyn as well as one near busy Brooklyn College will soon get audible traffic signals to make the streets easier to navigate for the visually impaired and seniors.

The plan was announced Wednesday by city Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities Commissioner Matthew Sapolin. Also known as Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS), these audible devices emit a clicking sound to tell visually impaired pedestrians when the “walk” phase has begun.

In Brooklyn, the intersections to get these devices will be:

• The Adams Street Pedestrian Crossing, mid-block between Fulton and Johnson streets.

• Nevins and Fulton streets at Flatbush Avenue, the eastern end of the busy Fulton Mall.

• Adams Street/Boerum Place and Livingston Streets, another very wide intersection.

• Adams Street and Atlantic Avenue.

• Bedford Avenue between Avenue I and Campus Road, near Brooklyn College.

• Court and Montague streets, a high-volume intersection near the courthouse complex.

• Adams and Fulton Streets, the western end of the Fulton Mall.

“What all these streets have in common is that they’re wide arterial streets, which are the most dangerous for pedestrians to cross and where the most pedestrian accidents happen,” said Lindsey Ganson, pedestrian safety campaign director for Transportation Alternatives.

“My dad was blind, so I know firsthand the challenges that visually impaired people face every single day,” said Councilmember James Vacca (D-Bronx). “Crossing the street can be dangerous with speeding cars, noisy crowded intersections, and new street designs, but accessible pedestrian signals can make a life-saving difference. These 25 new APS installations are a great first step in what must be an ongoing commitment to improving the safety of pedestrians with visual impairments in all five boroughs.”

“These signals will make the streets much safer for our neighbors and visitors who are vision-impaired,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer (D-Manhattan). “Their installation is a tribute to the strong advocacy of the Jewish Guild for the Blind, Lighthouse International, VISIONS, and Pedestrians for Accessible and Safe Streets [PASS].”

These new installations are expected to occur by the end of 2011. The process for approving and installing APS technology begins with a study of a requested location where DOT examines off-peak traffic presence, the current traffic-signal patterns and the complexity of the intersection’s geometry.

— Raanan Geberer

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Filed under Brooklyn Heights, Community News, Downtown Brooklyn

Prof. Sorrentino Speaks on James Madison at St. Francis College

Frank Sorrentino

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — St. Francis College Constitution Law Professor Frank Sorrentino marked the 224th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution at St. Francis College on Thursday, Sept. 15, with a Constitution Day talk devoted to the man often referred to as the father of the Constitution, James Madison.

“James Madison is the central figure in this drama,” said Professor Sorrentino. He credits Madison as initiating the constitutional convention that laid the framework for the document and staging his first coup by bringing important individuals to that convention, including George Washington. “Washington’s mere presence gave authority to the Constitutional Convention.”

Sorrentino delved in to what made the U.S. Constitution a huge departure from other governing doctrines; the idea that the power of government comes from the people, rights do not sit with ruler. Sorrentino contrasts the constitution with the Magna Carta, where barons and lords petitioned the king to give them rights.

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A Whole Block Just for Kids at the Atlantic Antic, Oct. 2

Don't miss all the kids' activities at the Atlantic Antic, taking place October 2. Shown: Kids take to the stage at The Moxie Spot at last year's Antic. Photo by Mary Frost .

The 37th Annual Atlantic Antic Street Festival, the longest street fair in the city, features a new and improved Kids Block, located between Boerum Place and Smith Street. The event, which draws roughly a million visitors every year, will be held rain or shine on Sunday, Oct. 2 from noon to 6 p.m. on Atlantic Avenue between Hicks Street and Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn.

Check out the pony rides, face painting, inflatable rides and airbrush tattoos, and eat all the hot dogs, funnel cake, and ice cream — or grilled sardines, falafels and pulled pork — your hearts desire. New to the Kids’ Block this year: Carmelo the Science Fellow’s Magician’s Lab presented by AT&T. The Magician’s Lab is an interactive demonstration area devoted to the magic of chemistry. Carmelo the Science Fellow will teach kids how to make snow on a sunny day, rockets that propel into the air and other neat science tricks.

Just a short walk from the Kids’ Block is more family fun to enjoy at The Moxie Spot and Gumbo, including Liam the Magician, Rolie Polie Guacamole, and a bilingual puppet show for children of all ages.

Nat Rubin, owner of The Moxie Spot says, “The Antic continues to get better every year. I can’t think of a more entertaining way to introduce your children to Brooklyn’s flavors, sights and sounds.”

As for the classics, the Amer-Aba Stage will once again feature Middle Eastern music and belly dancers galore. This sold out street festival, presented by the Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation (AALDC), features music, delicacies and merchandise from over 500 vendors and 100 local merchants. This year there will be 10 live music stages.

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Filed under Brooklyn Heights, Kids & Education

Unseeded Egyptian Tops Strong Field in Weymuller Squash

Unseeded Raneem el Weleily stunned a strong international field to win the Carol Weymuller Open at the Heights Casino over the weekend.

A $45,000 first prize helped attract top women squash players from distant parts, according to Casino Squash director Linda Elriani.

After two tough 5-set matches against Laura Massaro (4) of England and Camille Serme (7) of France, the 22-year-old El Weleily polished off second-seed Madeleine Perry of Ireland and top seed Jenny Duncalf of England, who had won the two previous years, in straight sets.

The score in the final was 11-7, 15-13, 11-4.


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