VIDEO: Apparent CarJacking Goes Wrong in Brighton Beach

Brooklyn Public Library to Expand Hours of Service Across the Borough

bplBrooklyn Public Library (BPL) announced today that it would implement a significant expansion of hours of service across the borough beginning in October. Two-thirds of BPL’s 60 branches will now offer six- or seven-day service, including Saturday service and extended evening hours at the majority of locations. This expansion is made possible by $2.8M in new funding from the Mayor and City Council, as well as through BPL-implemented efficiencies.

Beginning Saturday, October 4, the number of branches offering six- or seven- day service will increase from 25 to 41. The number of branches offering Saturday service will increase from 39 to 47, and additional evening hours will be added at many locations. Under the new expansion, branches will be open for more than 200 extra hours each week, for an average of 45 hours per week.

To support the added hours, BPL is undergoing the most extensive staff hiring and training since 2008. The Library is hiring new librarians, public safety officers and custodians; investing in clerical staff with new promotional opportunities and professional development; and introducing a new Technology Training team to facilitate instruction, interaction and experimentation with digital tools.

This expansion of hours is made possible by $2.8M in new funding from the Mayor and City Council, as well as through BPL’s efforts to more effectively deploy existing staff. The Library’s efficiency steps include consolidating book purchasing and sorting functions into a central location, the deployment of self-check technology in nearly every branch, online card registration, cashless payments, and automated computer reservations. Together, these improvements have allowed BPL to keep its doors open longer and enabled library staff to better assist patrons.

BPL will continue to work with New York Public Library and Queens Library, the Administration and the City Council in 2015 to secure the additional funding needed to adequately serve the entire borough, including six day service in all locations, expanded seven day service beyond the two current locations, increased evening hours, a more robust collection, and expansion of the Library’s many successful programs including adult literacy classes, services for older adults and first five years programs.

New Service to Offer Female Livery Drivers to Woman

female taxiStarting next week, women in New York City will be able to request a female driver through a new livery service.

It’s called SheTaxis_SheRides. It starts Sept. 16.

The New York Times says the drivers will wear hot pink pashmina scarves.

The service will take requests for rides through an app.

Potential riders will be asked if there is a woman in their party. If not, they’ll be automatically redirected to other car services.

The app will be available only through Apple, but will eventually be made available for Android.

Stella Mateo is behind the livery service. Her husband is Fernando Mateo, the founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers. The group represents 30,000 taxi and livery drivers.

She says she plans to expand the service to other cities.

Brooklyn Show Looks at Mystique of “Killer Heels”


It may be Fashion Week in Manhattan, but ‘Killer Heels’ are coming to Brooklyn.

A new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum looks at the elevated shoe as a design object, from platform shoes dating to about 1600 to a contemporary – and lethal – 8-inch dagger stiletto.

“Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” opens Wednesday and runs through February 15, after which it will travel around the U.S.
Iterations of the elevated heel – a signifier of sexiness, femininity, glamour and status through the ages – fill display cases: Some with triangle- and ball-shaped heels, others with twisted, trapezoidal and even furry heels. There’s even a gravity-defying skyscraper platform embraced by Lady Gaga.

NYPD Officers Rescue Man Trapped Off Coney Island

drowningNew York Police Department officers have rescued a 19-year-old man who became trapped on rocks in the waters off Coney Island Beach.

Police say officers responded to a 911 call about a man who appeared to be drowning just after 7 p.m. Saturday. They found a man stuck on a rock formation about 200 yards from shore, unable to move off the jetty
because of waves crashing against him.

Three officers in a rescue boat made it through 4-foot-tall waves and were able to throw a life ring to the man and then pull him on board. The man, who has not been identified, was taken to Coney Island Hospital,
where he was treated for hypothermia and bruising to his body.


Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – September 6-7

The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic on Saturday from 12:01 am to 11 am and on Sunday from 12:01 am to 9 am. Motorists should consider the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, or Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (MTA-tolled facility) as alternate routes. To allow traffic to clear before the closure begins, the eastbound BQE exit onto the Brooklyn Bridge will close 30 minutes earlier and other Brooklyn ramps onto the bridge will shut down 5-15 minutes earlier.

The Willis Avenue Bridge will be closed to motorists and pedestrians on Saturday from 2 am to 6 am for swing span testing.

Mulberry Street between Canal Street and Broome Street and Hester Street between Mott Street and Baxter Street will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 pm to 9 pm for the Little Italy Pedestrian Mall.

The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Saturday from 10 am to noon for the NYC Central Labor Council Parade:
* 5th Avenue between 43rd Street and 72nd Street
* Madison Avenue between 43rd Street and 45th Street
* 6th Avenue between 43rd Street and 45th Street
* 44th Street and 45th Street between Broadway and Vanderbilt Avenue
* 46th Street and 47th Street between 7th Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue
* 48th Street between 7th Avenue and Madison Avenue
* Vanderbilt Avenue between 43rd Street and 47th Street
* 66th Street to 72nd Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue

3rd Avenue between 14th Street and 23rd Street in Manhattan will be closed on Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm for the Gramercy Park Neighborhood Festival Albano Republican Club Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Fair.

The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Sunday:
* 3rd Avenue between 86th Street and 66th Street will be closed from noon to 5 pm for the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce 3rd Avenue Community Benefit Festival.
* Little West Street between 1st Place and 2nd Place and the Hudson River bike route between Battery Park and the George Washington Bridge will be closed from 2 pm to 5 pm for Bike and Beats.
* Central Park West between 69th Street and 90th Street will be closed from 9 am to 11 pm for the Susan G. Komen Run Walk.

The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.