Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Cookie told each person he loved them and made everyone smile!

Loving, kind and funny are some of the words local residents are saying to describe Curtis “Cookie” Rodgers, who could be found helping out at Pioneer Super Market, as well as other shops on Lafayette and Grand Avenues nearly seven days a week.

Cookie passed away on Sunday, November 20 in his mid-50s. His friends, family, coworkers and customers describe him as friendly, community-oriented, uplifting, humorous, and a big-hearted man with a smile on his face always.

A wake will take place for Curtis “Cookie” Rodgers on Tuesday November 30 from 1:00 pm until 7:30 pm at Dekalb Funeral Services (Dekalb and Franklin Avenues), located at 491 Dekalb Avenue, (on the border of Clinton Hill & Bed Stuy) Brooklyn 11205 - (718) 230-3147.

A Funeral Service for Cookie is also planned from 10 am until 12 pm on Wednesday, December 1 at Emmanuel Baptist Church, located at 279 Lafayette Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn 11238 - (718) 622-1107. A final viewing is scheduled from 9:00 am - 10:00 am prior to the funeral service (also at EBC).

Below are a few comments posted on Facebook about Cookie last week:
“Our friend Cookie died on Sunday. Probably the first person I met when I moved to Clinton Hill back in '05. Lesson: you don't need to have $ or a PhD to show someone you care.”


“I remember Cookie :-( sorry to hear.”

“Many happy bk moments involving cookie!”

“Sorry to hear that. Just remember that you were lucky enough to be in his life, as I am sure he will always be in yours.”

“I remember him too, funny, crazy guy. bless his soul...”

For more information please contact: Tango at Pioneer Super Market - (718) 783-8653, or Dave - (646) 685 9554. If you can help spread the word...we would appreciate it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"READ" Alliance is Recruiting!

"READ" Alliance is recruiting New York City High School Students for Paid After-School Jobs -

READ recruits, trains and closely supervises high school student to tutor at-risk Kindergarten and first grade students in basic reading skills. READ is growing in Brooklyn, and they need even more tutors. They will have a program at PS9K in your district, but they can place teens at other schools that may be nearer to their schools and their homes.

READ Alliance after-school programs run 1.5 hours a day, three or four days a week, for 15-20 weeks (50 sessions in all). Tutors earn $7.25 per hour. Complete information is on the READ Alliance website where teens can apply online at http://www.readalliance.org/. Interested teens should apply at their earliest convinience.

Please contact Jaselis Mejia at jmejia@readalliance.org or 646-867-6122 if you have any questions!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Turkey Giveaway at Willoughby Senior Center on Tuesday, November 23rd at 11am!


Thanksgiving 2010 Turkey Giveaway at Willoughby Senior Center on Tuesday, November 23rd at 11am!

“It’s Turkey time again, and Shaun and I are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Willoughby Senior Center on Tuesday to give thanks and celebrate family, good food, and our many blessings throughout the year. Happy Thanksgiving to all, gobble, gobble!” said Council Member Letitia James.

Media reports this week state that prices for the Thanksgiving Day centerpiece have gone up by as much as 28 percent since last year, averaging $1.09 per pound. Turkey price hikes can be blamed on the cost increase of raising the birds, as well as turkey production being down, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Therefore, Council Member Letitia James and NFL Shaun Smith’s 91 Ways Foundation have partnered to donate turkeys to the community to ensure that families in need are able to enjoy their traditional holiday feast.

“New York raised me to become the man I am today. I was privileged to enjoy many Thanksgiving dinners and I want to give that back to those in need as long as I can,” said Shaun Smith.

FYI: Shaun Smith, Defensive Tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs established the 91 Ways Foundation as a platform to effectuate his values, uplift communities, and prompt social change. Using the NFL as a channel, Shaun is dedicated to help others in any way possible. Council Member Letitia “Tish” James was born in Brooklyn, New York. Committed as a public defender and leader of the 35th District, Tish advocates for affordable housing, public school reform, small businesses, and increasing access to jobs.

What: Thanksgiving 2010 Turkey Giveaway
When: Tuesday, November 23, from 11am to 12pm
Where: Willoughby Senior Center, 105 North Portland Avenue, Brooklyn

Achievement First Charter School Parents Demand Disciplinary Reform

Press Release
Contact: Amelia Adams - (646) 250-5797

Achievement First Charter School Parents Demand Disciplinary Reform
Parents Cite Several Incidents in Schools and Detrimental Discipline Policies

Thirty parents rallied and attended the Achievement First Board meeting to call for a change to the charter school network’s discipline policies.

Parents were angered at the disciplinary actions taken against their children in Achievement First schools. Many students in the schools have had detention almost every day of the year and been suspended for infractions such as dropping a pencil, not making eye contact and “slouching.”

“These rules have to change. My son was called a “low-level criminal” because he initialed his name in the wrong location on a form. He was suspended and they made him wear a different color shirt for the rest of the day,” said Jasmine Crawford parent of an Achievement First student.

Parents felt that the disciplinary policies have had a very detrimental effect on students’ emotional states, even to the point where students talk about suicide.

“My son has threatened to walk out in the street and be run over by a car, instead of going to school,” said one Achievement First parent who did not want to be named publicly for fear of retribution on her son.

Parents were also very disturbed that Chi Tschang, who has a history of emotionally and physically abusing children, was brought in as Superintendent of their schools. Mr. Tschang had been reported in California to have put his hands on students and using harsh punishments like sitting out in extreme cold/sun for hours. Parents at Achievement First called for the removal of Mr. Tschang and requested to work with administration to implement a fair and transparent code of conduct.

Several parents delivered a letter (attached) to the Crown Heights AF principal and requested a meeting in regards to disciplinary policies on October 27th, but have yet to hear back.

Council Member Letitia James added her support for the parents, “When a large group of parents gather to voice their dissatisfaction with their children’s school policies, I listen. The parents of Achievement First Schools are my constituents, and therefore my first priority. Apparently, students are also sharing experiences of harsh punishments with others, specifically under the direction of the Superintendent of their schools. Today, I am calling for an immediate meeting to be held with the Crown Heights Achievement First principal to discuss disciplinary policies and make necessary adjustments that are agreed upon by all parties.”

When: Monday, November 22nd at 5:30pm
Where: Achievement First Endeavor - 510 Waverly Ave. in Brooklyn
Who: Achievement First Parents, NYCC, elected officials and community members

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CMs James, Lander, and Van Bramer Award NYC Cultural Institutions, Joined By Actor/Activist Ed Norton

New York City Councilmembers Letitia James, Brad Lander, and Jimmy Van Bramer were joined at today's Stated Council meeting by two-time Academy Award-nominated actor Edward Norton to recognize this year’s NYC-based National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award winners.

Heart of Brooklyn and Global Action Project, are two of just fifteen organizations nationwide to receive this prestigious annual award from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH). This award is the nation’s highest honor for outstanding after-school arts and humanities programs, particularly those that reach underserved children and youth. The awards were presented by First Lady and Honorary Chairperson Michelle Obama on October 20th at the White House, and Committee Member Ed Norton joined the New York City Council in recognizing these two outstanding organizations.

Photo Credit: William Alatriste, New York City Council

ATTENTION: NYC-DYCD Ladders for Leaders Program Preps for College and Career Readiness

The 2011 NYC Ladders for Leaders application is now available on the DYCD website!

What is NYC Ladders for Leaders?
NYC Ladders for Leaders is a college and career readiness program offering New York City high school and college students professional paid summer internships, college scholarship opportunities, free college preparatory and SAT courses, career guidance, and leadership development workshops.

Launched by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, NYC Ladders for Leaders is a joint program of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues (CWI).

Who can apply?
Anyone with prior work experience (paid or volunteer) who is:

- A permanent resident of one of the five boroughs of New York City
- 16 to 21 years of age
- A current high school junior, high school senior, college freshman, or college sophomore
- Legally allowed to work in New York

**Deadline Monday November 29th**

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ATTENTION: FGA Presents Schools Info Meeting; 11;17; 7PM; FG

Are you interested in exploring different schooling options for your child?
Do you want to hear about the various public school programs?
Perhaps you are considering a private school?
Would you like to know more about the private school admissions process?

If so, please attend the next Fort Greene Association (FGA) meeting entitled-
Schools! Get the Help You Need
Wednesday, November 17th, 7PM
Alliance of Resident Theatres
[138 South Oxford Street, Fort Greene, 2nd Floor (between Atlantic and Hanson)]

FGA will be hosting a presentation and an open discussion with experts in the area of public and private school admissions.

Confirmed guest speakers:
Joyce Szuflita, NYC School Help
Robin Aronow, School Search NYC

Get there early to enjoy FGA's Neighborhood Mixer. Meet your neighbors, enjoy a complimentary tasting menu provided by Mullanes Bar & Grill and enjoy a special performance by Fort Greene resident singer-songwriter-producer and recording artist Gordon Chambers.

Monday, November 15, 2010

FDNY Paramedics in Fort Greene Catch Thief; Receive Honors Tuesday Evening

FDNY paramedics Rheinhold Danglade and Delano Williams, located in Fort Greene, helped a young woman involved in a robbery attack last month.

The incident began around 8:40 am, on Oct. 18 when a thief snatched 26-year-old Evelina Losik’s cell phone near the entrance of the DeKalb Avenue subway station. Ms. Losik took off running after the suspect. Concerned for Losik’s safety, paramedics Delano Williams and Rheinhold Danglade turned on their siren and began pursuit of the thief. The EMTs then jumped out of their ambulance, and began to chase the suspect, who quickly threw the phone on the ground and surrendered. The heroes restrained the thief until arrival of the NYPD, as well as looked after the health of Ms. Losik.

“Hooray for these paramedics! I'm just so happy this incident ended up without anyone getting hurt. FDNY paramedics Rheinhold Danglade and Delano Williams responded with their gut instincts and came to the rescue of a defenseless young woman in my district,” said Council Member James. Their bravery deserves to be commended, as they have honored and given back to the community with their outstanding service and courage for many years. Thank you for caring.”

Who: FDNY Paramedics Rheinhold Danglade and Delano Williams, 88th Police Precinct Community Council President Delia Hunley-Adossa, Council Member Letitia James, Community Members

What: Honors for Outstanding Service
When: Tuesday, November 16 at 7pm
Where: Ingersoll Community Center, 177 Myrtle Avenue (Corner of Prince Street)

 Photo by Bess Adler

ATTENTION: Citizens Cmte for NYC Grant Application

Citizens Committee for New York City- New Yorkers for Better Neighborhoods Grant Application

Have a great idea for a community improvement project?
Apply for a New Yorker for Better Neighborhoods Award!

Through New Yorkers for better Neighborhoods, Citizens Committee for New York City awards of $500 to $3,000 to volunteer-led groups to work on community improvement projects.

Citizen's Committee believes that people can make important change in their communities by working together. They support New Yorkers across the city in their effort to build stronger communities. In addition to small grants, they offer one-on-one project planning assistance, skills-building workshops, and a resource center with access to computer stations, conference space and an equipment loan library.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION here: www.citizensnyc.org/grants
For more information, contact Arif Ullah: 212.822.9580/ aullah@citizensnyc.org

Free Event at Borough Hall on 11/16, 2:30pm: Brooklyn Celebrates FELA - It's Brooklyn Day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - Fela Brooklyn DAY!
Join the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and the Office of City Council Member Letitia James as they honor the many Brooklyn residents who are members of the cast and band of the award winning musical FELA! on Broadway.

Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - Time: 2:30pm
Place: Brooklyn Borough Hall Rotunda, 209 Joralemon Street

Meet and greet Brooklyn-based FELA! cast and musicians. Special performance by Jamel Gaines' Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn (Master dancer, teacher and choreographer Jamel Gaines has trained many of the FELA! performers) Reception follows the ceremony.


Community Advisory Notice - Eastern Parkway Project

Beginning on/about Monday, November 15, 2010, and, continuing for approximately one (1) week, the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) will be excavating test pits along Eastern Parkway between Grand Army Plaza and Washington Avenue/Underhill Avenue (mid-block) Service Road. This work temporarily restricts curbside parking and driveway access.

This work is being performed in advance of the Eastern Parkway Reconstruction Project and will allow the DDC to identify the location of existing sub-surface infrastructure and utility hardware. The information gathered from the test pits will be used to determine the location for the new infrastructure including the new trunk water main. Please note: All test pit excavations will be restored upon completion.

The contractor’s typical working hours are Monday – Friday between the hours of 7:00AM–6:00PM.

The following are temporary impacts while the work is being performed:
• Each work location will be active for only 1-3 days;
• Parking may be restricted in certain locations;
• Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times.

• Please call the DDC's Office of Community Outreach and Notification at 718-391-2347.
• Visit the NYCDDC web site at http://www.nyc.gov/ddc
• During non-construction hours, please contact the New York City Government Services and Information Hotline at 311.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brooklyn Night at FELA! on Broadway

Everyone please join us as we celebrate all the Brooklynites featured in FELA! the award-winning musical featuring Patti LaBelle!

Tuesday, November 16 at 7:00 pm, Eugene O’Neill Theatre, 230 West 49th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)

FELA! is the true story of the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, whose soulful Afrobeat rhythms ignited a generation. Inspired by his mother, a civil rights champion, he defied a corrupt and oppressive military government and devoted his life and music to the struggle for freedom and human dignity. FELA! is a triumphant tale of courage, passion and love, featuring Fela Kuti’s captivating music and the visionary direction and choreography of Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones.
See FELA! on Brooklyn Night and Save when you use code FEWTG615

Orch/Front Mezz Seats
(reg $112)
Rear Mezz
(reg $99)

Three Ways to Buy Your Tickets for Brooklyn Night at FELA! on Broadway - Online: Visit www.broadwayoffers.com and enter code FEWTG615;
By Phone: Call 212.947.8844 and mention code FEWTG615;
In Person: Print a print out of this flyer/email to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Box Office, 230 West 49th Street. http://www.felaonbroadway.com/

*All Sales Final. Offer based on availability and cannot be used in combination with other offers. Limit to 8 tickets/per person/per week.

Medgar Evers College Preparatory School Marching Band Seeks Donations for Competition

The Medgar Evers College Preparatory School marching band is among the bands that have been invited to the 2010 National High School Stepping Marching Band Championship in Atlanta, Georgia taking place November 12th-13th. The school unfortunately has not been able to raise the $35,000 needed to transport and board the 126-member band.

If you'd like to help the band compete in Atlanta, please call Dr. Jean Adilifu, Assistant Principal of Medgar Evers College Preparatory School, at 718-703-5400 at extension 1226.

Read more from WPIX (video borrowed from their coverage), here, and here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

CM James Congratulates DDDB and Community on Ruling Against Atlantic Yards Development

**For Immediate Release**

November 9, 2010

Contact: Amyre Loomis at (718) 260-9191

Victory At Last!

Congratulations to DDDB and Community on Ruling Against Atlantic Yards Development

State Supreme Court Justice Marcy S. Friedman issued a ruling today granting the motion by Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), and other petitioners. The judge sided with DDDB and associated neighborhood groups stating that the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) did not properly consider the full 25-year schedule of the Atlantic Yards development project. The judge sent the case back to ESDC requiring a detailed, reasoned basis for its findings and support.

Justice Friedman criticized ESDC for the lack of transparency in its approval of Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project, highlighting that the environmental review process is meant to be an open process involving the public, as well as other interested agencies.

“The Court properly found that ESDC misrepresented the facts of the contracts and there were no requirements that FCRC complete the project,” said DDDB lead counsel Jeffrey S. Baker of the Albany, New York law firm of Young, Sommer, Ward, Ritzenberg, Baker & Moore, LLC. “ESDC’s lack of transparency was not just with respect to its own deliberations, but extended to trying to hide material facts from the Court. We are very pleased that Justice Friedman did not tolerate that behavior.”

Council Member Letitia James said: “It’s time that Forest City Ratner Corporation sit down with the community and incorporate aspects of the UNITY plan into his project, which focuses on affordable housing and buildings that compliment the community. Unfortunately, the taking of homes and businesses by eminent domain in absence of proper findings has already happened. I hold my ground and continue my objection to this entire development, the process, the land grabbing, and the waste of public funds. In light of Justice Friedman’s ruling, it’s critical that Governor Elect Andrew Cuomo examine the overall plan for the Atlantic Yards project, and meet with the community. Lastly, congratulations to DDDB, Prospect Height Neighborhood Development Council, and the community for their perseverance and victory.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

CM James Questions FCR At AY District Service Cabinet Meeting

On November 4, 2010, Council Member James co-sponsored a meeting (with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz) of the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet to discuss the development as well as ongoing traffic concerns.

Below is Council Member James' questioning FCR on their affordable housing promise, community involvement, and involvement of small/local businesses at Barclay's Center. She also addresses FCR's proposal to limit access to its developments, and ongoing parking concerns.

Read more info here.

*Video borrowed from the Atlantic Yards Report.

Friday, November 5, 2010

ActNow, Council Member James, and BAM Present: Nurse.Fighter.Boy on Nov. 8th

ActNow: New Voices In Black Cinema, in Conjunction with BAMcinematek and NYC Council Member Letitia James, Presents: Nurse.Fighter.Boy

Monday, November 8th - Showtimes: 4:30pm, 6:50pm, and 9:30pm at BAMcinematek in Brooklyn, NY

NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY, 2008 (93 min): stars Clark Johnson, Karen LeBlanc & Daniel Gordon; is directed by Charles Officer; written by Charles Officer & Ingrid Veninger; and produced by Ingrid Veninger…

Dear Movie Lover,

ActNow: New Voices in Black Cinema, Council Member Letitia James, and BAMcinematek present Nurse.Fighter.Boy. The film, directed by Charles Officer, is a heartwarming tale about the Soul of a mother, the Heart of a fighter and the Faith of a child. The visually vibrant story finally comes to Brooklyn… For those of you coming to the 6:50pm showing - you are in for a special treat; we will be having an after party in the BAM lobby following the screening (and prior to the 9:30pm show). This is ActNow Foundation’s way of celebrating the film...toasting to the 2010 ActNow season and welcoming in the 2011 season!

Click here for a look at the trailer.

Award-winning Canadian love story Nurse.Fighter.Boy makes its Brooklyn premiere at “New Voices in Black Cinema” screening series at BAMcinèmatek on Monday. November 8!

Monday, November 1, 2010

NAACP Reminds Residents to VOTE; NOV 2nd!

71st Precinct Crime Update

The 71st precinct would like to inform residents that over the past year the number of robberies in the community has decreased. For the year to date, there is a decrease of 12 percent. The NYPD asks residents to continue to be aware of their surroundings and alert while traveling on the streets, and to take care with your cell phones, iPods, handbags, etc.

Residents should feel free to contact the 71st precinct about any crime prevention programs at (718) 735-0528.