7/3/15

Summer in the Neighborhood

Independence Day Celebration at Fort Hamilton

From 6-10 PM on July 3, the neighborhood is invited to a free public Independence Day Celebration hosted by Fort Hamilton MWR on scenic Hamilton Bluff in Bay Ridge, featuring The Temptations Review with Dennis Edwards, and former Supremes Scherrie and Lynda.

There will be food, children's rides and fun activities, and fireworks (after the show). Doors open at 6 PM. The show begins at 8 PM.

Pre-registration and photo ID required. Click here to register.

No coolers, pets, outside food and beverages, outside vehicles, or backpacks are allowed on the base.

For more information, contact 718.630.4771 / 4471 or visit Fort Hamilton MWR on Facebook.

Greater By Ridge 4th of July Picnic

Everyone in the neighborhood is invited to the Greater Bay Ridge 4th of July Picnic, from 12-7 PM at the 82nd Street Field at Shore Road on Saturday, July 4. Admission is free, and according to a media release from State Senator Marty Golden's office, there will be music, sprinklers, kids' activities, and prizes. If you don't bring your own basket, you can buy homemade barbecue from the concession, with all proceeds going to benefit the 68th Precinct Youth Council and the Southwest Brooklyn Parks Task Force.

Summer Strolls and Weekend Walks

Coming up the week of July 17-24 between 80th and 90th Streets, and the week of August 7-14 between 69th and 80th Streets, is the Annual Bay Ridge Summer Stroll. All events take place between 6-10 PM.

Not to be outdone by Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst will host a two-day Weekend Walk between 62nd and 75th Streets on 18th Avenue on Sunday, July 19, and between 75th and 85th Streets on Saturday, July 26. The event will take place from 1-6 PM on both dates.

Yoga and Outdoor Concerts 

Golden also hosts Yoga in the Park events in Bay Ridge and in Marine Park (follow this link for the full schedule), as well as a popular Summer Concert Series in Shore Road Park, Marine Park, and Dyker Park. (follow this link for the full schedule.)

7/2/15

Rooftop Films at the Old American Can Factory, Industry City

On Friday, July 10, Rooftop Films will screen Frank V. Ross's "Bloomin' Mud Schuffle" at the Old American Can Factor, at 232 3rd Street in Gowanus.
Doors open at 8:00 PM
Live nusic at 8:30 PM
Film Begins at 9:00 PM
Q and A with filmmaker Frank V. Ross, James Ransone and Alexia Rasmussen at 10:30 PM
After-party at 11:00 PM, sponsored by New Amsterdam Vodka.

Lonnie, the forlorn thirty-something housepainter at the center of "Bloomin Mud Shuffle", has never left the Chicago suburb where he grew up, working the same dead-end job as his old high-school buddy. Through boring days and boozing nights, heartsick Lonnie pines for the young co-worker who will have sex with him but doesn't want any more than that.

In his 6th feature film, Midwesterner Frank V. Ross, a hero of American independent cinema, infuses this subtle drama with his trademark wit and hard-bitten honesty.

Preceded by "Meat"
(Michael Forstein | USA | 15 min.)
Desperate for work, Darren agrees to a one-day trial as a door-to-door meat salesman.

On Saturday, July 11, Rooftop will screen Jason Zeldes' documentary "Romeo Is Bleeding" at Industry City, at 220 36th Street in Sunset Park.
Doors open at 8:00 PM
Live music at 8:30 PM
Film begins at 9:00 PM
Q and A with filmmaker Jason Zeldes and subject Donté Clark at 10:30 PM
After-party at 11:00 PM sponsored by New Amsterdam Vodka.

The city of Richmond, California is ruled by two factions, North and Central, that no longer remember why they're fighting. A young poet named Donté Clark uses words, passion and intellect as survival tools amid the madness, violence and revenge. Inspired by Shakespeare, Donté and his collaborators, using a hip-hop trope, adapt "Romeo and Juliet" to Richmond.

Patriots vs. Revolutionaries in Fort Greene Park

DNA Info broke the story on June 29 that Disarm NYPD, a group organized in the aftermath of the Eric Garner homicide a year ago, was planning to host an American flag-burning protest in Fort Greene Park on July 1 to protest the racially-motivated mass murder of black church-goers in Charleston.

Conflating the American flag with the Confederate flag, the group announced, in a hyperbolic Facebook post, that both flags would be burned because both represent "white supremacy."  Considering the staggering economic and social costs  of the American Civil War, to North and South, black and white, I'd say that was a pretty clueless choice.

An event organizer, acknowledging that the flag-burning would offend some people and put protesters at risk of arrest, said, in effect, that burning the American flag represented the destruction of American racism, and that, if you want to be heard, you have to risk arrest.

It isn't illegal to burn the flag. The Supreme Court ruled in 1969 that the symbolic act of flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment. It's supposedly against New York City parks rules to build a fire or grill anywhere except where permitted by the Parks Department, but tell that to the grill jockeys in Owls Head Park on any given summer afternoon.

Then, the event went viral. The Parks Department issued a statement that open fires are prohibited and that the group had no permit.  In Bay Ridge, State Senator Marty Golden, a prominent defender of the American flag, leaned on City officials to shut down the protest:
“As we approach the 4th of July," Golden bloviated, "the greatest City in the world cannot stand by and allow our flag to be burned in an historic park in violation of our Parks Department rules. “I call upon Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver to immediately notify the organizers, “DisarmNYPD” that their event will not go on as planned tomorrow night.”
Golden called the event an “insult to all those who have fought to defend our freedoms, our rights and our liberties. The flag of our country flies proudly throughout the world, on the Moon, and surely on the streets of Brooklyn.”

Fox News was all over it.

Joining Golden was Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who although "sympathetic" to the claim of "institutional racism", said the message would only be divisive, particularly in a park where Revolutionary patriots are buried. Adams said he hoped to see the kind of constructive dialogue and consensus-building that would move the country forward on racial equality.

Bay Ridge columnist Ted General called the flag-burning "desecration."

Disarm NYPD fired back that American ideals aren't worthy of respect; that people so protective of "a piece of cloth" should be more concerned about black lives.  The group seeks freedom, it said, from paramilitary occupation, police violence, real estate speculation and gentrification, mass surveillance, and systemic racism, in a "world better than America."

Patriotic Bay Ridge dispatched an outraged contingent to defend the flag in Fort Greene Park yesterday, but the wily protesters had secretly held the flag-burning the night before, leaving the "cops and Marines" who showed up at the Park without an enemy to engage.

More from the Daily News.

The juicy item, as picked up by the Dail Mail.

7/1/15

Blaz Lets Cuomo Have It

In an apparently calculated move, Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking to a room full of reporters yesterday, shattered the carefully-crafted media fiction that he and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who worked together in the 1990's, are "personal friends", accusing Cuomo of deliberately blocking his Albany agenda.

Calling Cuomo a petty tyrant who exacts revenge for any "perceived slight", DeBlasio cited the state's suddenly stepping up inspections and seeking to cut off funds to city shelters last month; demanding that the city up its contribution to the MTA; yanking funds for NYCHA repairs; smacking down the Mayor's 421-a-based affordable housing proposal; and limiting the extension of mayoral control over NYC schools to just one year, as examples of Cuomo's vengeful approach to deal-making.

A Cuomo flack countered that deBlasio was a piker who didn't understand "coalition building and compromise."

While it remains to be seen whether deBlasio's decision to call Cuomo out as a tyrant and a bully will produce the result the Mayor's looking for, it's great political theater.

The article from the Daily News.

The Fonz is now on the case [Daily News.]

Principal's Firing Sparks Canarsie Protest

At 10:00 AM on Thursday, July 2, an "outraged" Brooklyn Clergy Coalition and "hundreds" of teachers and East Flatbush community leaders have announced in a media release that they will confront District 18 Superintendent Beverley Wilkins at the District offices at 1106 East 95th Street in Canarsie on her decision to fire Frederick Underwood, the principal of IS 285, (Meyer Levin Jr. High School), at 5909 Beverly Road in East Flatbush.

According to the BCC, Underwood has been an "innovative and effective principal", turning IS 285 into one of the highest-performing schools in District 18.

Wilkins' removal of Underwood followed his debut of a community challenge initiative called “My Brother’s Keeper”, which sought to leverage the influence of BCC and the "One Family One Community" Initiative to bring support services, including mentoring, attendance assistance and parental engagement, to District 18.

According to the BCC, the public confrontation comes after repeated efforts to get an audience with Wilkins to hear, in her own words, why she fired Underwood and find out whether the Department of Education has endorsed her decision.

For more information, contact Rev. Gary McClellan, Jr. at PastorGaryOffice@gmail.com; or Jasmine Miller, 718-964-7858; One Family One Community Initiative.

Free Summer Films at Coney Island, MetroTech

Rooftop Films, as part of its 19th annual Summer Series, has announced its 2015 list of 60+ free outdoor movies, including the return of Coney Island Flicks on the Beach and Summer@MetroTech, in Brooklyn.

Summer at Metrotech

Teamed with The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Forest City, Rooftop will host outdoor movies at Summer@Metrotech in Downtown Brooklyn, including "A Night with Khalik Allah," with unforgettable imagery from one of New York City's preeminent photographers and filmmakers, and a special screening of "Bikes vs. Cars," which documents the transportation revolution.

July 17
Metrotech Commons, Downtown Brooklyn
"A Night with Khalik Allah"

August 6
Metrotech Commons, Downtown Brooklyn
"Bikes vs. Cars" (Fredrik Gertten)

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach

Rooftop, the Alliance for Coney Island and NYC and Company bring back Coney Island Flicks on the Beach, at 7:30 PM every Monday from July 6th to August 24 at West 10th Street in Coney Island.  All films will be projected on a giant 40-foot inflatable screen on the beach.

Admission is free.

More info here.

Monday, July 6
"The Terminator" (James Cameron | USA | 107 min | 1984)
3059 West 12th Street in Coney Island
Live entertainment at 7:30 PM
Film begins at 8:30 PM
A cyborg is dispatched from the year 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines. At the same time, a soldier in that future war is sent to protect the waitress at all costs.

July 13
"The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Wes Anderson)

July 20
"The Goonies" (Richard Donner)

July 27
"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (Steven Spielberg)

August 3
"Big Hero 6" (Don Hall, Chris Williams)

August 10
"Mrs. Doubtfire" (Chris Columbus)

August 17
"Guardians of the Galaxy" (James Gunn)

August 24
TBA

Rooftop Films is a non-profit organization that showcases the work of emerging filmmakers and musicians. In addition to their annual Summer Series, Rooftop provides grants to filmmakers, teaches media literacy and filmmaking to young people, rents equipment at low-cost to artists and non-profits, and produces new independent films. For more information and updates, visit the website.

6/30/15

Fighting Back against Revenge Porn

It starts with a bad breakup that leaves behind a stash of naked images in the hands of a bitter, revenge-seeking ex. The unsuspecting victim may first find out about it by Googling her own name and pulling up nude photos uploaded to the Internet by the ex.  Sometimes the images are Tweeted or uploaded to a website devoted to what are euphemistically called "nonconsensual nudes."

It's called "revenge porn." Most of its victims are women and most of its perpetrators are men.

Cops and prosecutors have typically not regarded the life-destroying act of posting a woman's "nonconsensual" nude images on the Internet as a criminal act.  But as of November 1, 2014, New York State outlawed revenge porn by making the use of a device to view, broadcast or record another person engaged in sexual conduct without their consent a felony: second-degree unlawful surveillance.

A number of other American states have enacted similar legislation (see graphic). These new laws, coupled with the efforts of a pioneering alliance between victims and legal academics, have begun to push back against law enforcement indifference.

This month, Google announced that it is removing all non-consensual nude images from its search results, making it harder to find revenge porn. For victims, terrified that someone might find their nude photos simply by searching their name, this was a huge development.

Google Senior Vice President Amit Singhal has announced that Google plans to offer users a web form on which they can submit requests to de-index the images.

The article from Fusion.

More from Privacy Perspectives.

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