Tag Archives: Barclays Center

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 48. Winds from the NE at 5 to 15 mph. Monday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 41. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 10 mph

EVENT OF THE DAY:  Sunnyside Restaurant Week

The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) is holding its first-ever Sunnyside Restaurant Week from November 4 to 8. The five-day celebration will offer participants a “culinary journey through Sunnyside,” featuring special three course dinner menus for $25 at 17 participating local restaurants. Six of the 17 will also feature two course lunch menus for $10. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYC Marathon returns amid increased security; Mutai, Jeptoo of Kenya win titles

A year after it was canceled at the last minute by Hurricane Sandy, more than 50,000 runners participated in the 43rd running of the New York City Marathon, taking on the 26.2 miles through the five boroughs. Read more: NBC New York

Bill de Blasio, ahead in poll, dismisses Joe Lhota’s attacks on sleeping late

As a new poll showed his mayoral dreams slipping away, Joe Lhota launched a novel attack, charging that Bill de Blasio’s inability to get up in the morning shows he’s unfit to lead the city that never sleeps. Read more: New York Daily News

Barclays Center accused in lawsuit of mistreatment based on race

The Barclays Center has been accused of mistreating luxury box holders who are African-American. Read more: CBS New York

Lhota slams Harry Belafonte for ‘race baiting’ comments

Mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota each hit the campaign trail Sunday with several events around the city. Read more: CBS New York

Missing NYU student found trapped between wall of dorm, parking garage

A 19-year-old New York University student who went missing over the weekend was found trapped in a narrow gap between a dorm and a neighboring parking garage in lower Manhattan, where rescuers had to break through a wall Sunday night to free him. Read more: NBC New York

Gunman in LAX shooting told police he acted alone

The gunman accused of shooting employees and terrorizing travelers at Los Angeles International Airport accomplished two of his goals: kill a Transportation Security Administration officer and show how easy it is to get a gun into an airport. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Mostly cloudy with rain showers, then thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 82. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Monday night: Overcast with thunderstorms, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 73. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Free screening of Juno at Astoria Park

The Central Astoria LDC presents Juno as the final film of its Monday night outdoor film series at Astoria Park. Free.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Correction officer from Queens arrested after shooting son

A teenager in Queens is in the hospital Monday, suffering from a gunshot wound. And the person accused of firing the shot is his own father, a correction officer at Rikers Island. Read more: ABC New York

Students in Bloomberg’s smaller schools have better on-time graduation rates: report

The new, smaller schools at the center of Mayor Bloomberg’s education reforms have boosted students’ chances of graduating on time, research to be released Monday shows. Read more: New York Daily News

Public advocate candidates clash on qualifications, seek to defend spotty voting records

The Democratic candidates competing for New York City public advocate argued about their qualifications for the job and several sought to explain their spotty voting records Sunday during an official debate on NBC 4 New York. Read more: NBC New York

Barclays Center in the spotlight for MTV Video Music Awards

Brooklyn was on the world stage Sunday night – perhaps like never before – with Barclays Center hosting the MTV Video Music Awards. Read more: CBS New York

Farmers’ Almanac: Super Bowl may be ‘Storm Bowl

he Farmers’ Almanac is using words like “piercing cold,” ”bitterly cold” and “biting cold” to describe the upcoming winter. And if its predictions are right, the first outdoor Super Bowl in years will be a messy “Storm Bowl.” Read more: AP

 

Forest City Ratner wins bid to renovate Nassau Coliseum


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of SHoP Architects.

Nassau Events Center, LLC an affiliate of Barclays Center builder Forest City Ratner Companies, announced Thursday that it won the bid to renovate Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Nassau Events was picked over the Madison Square Garden Company, and will oversee a $229 million renovation of the Long Island sports arena.

“We are ready to get to work to deliver a world-class Coliseum and a thriving sports, entertainment and retail center that Long Island deserves,” said Bruce Ratner Executive Chairperson of Forest City Ratner. “Our partnership group is focused and prepared to bring the best to Nassau and to fulfill the County’s goals of vital job growth and significant economic activity.”

The Coliseum has been home to the New York Islanders hockey team for more than four decades. However, the team is moving to the Barclay’s Center for the 2015-16 season. For some time the makeover for the Coliseum was stalled, but Ratner said it’s time to revitalize the stadium.

“It is time for Nassau County to have an iconic and celebrated venue that will have something for everyone to enjoy and which will redefine the customer experience,” Ratner said.

 

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Brooklyn Nets make blockbuster trade


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photo by Heather J. Chin

The Brooklyn Nets reportedly completed a blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics that puts the revamped franchise back into the spotlight for the second time this off-season.

The trade will send future hall of famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and sharpshooter Jason Terry as well to Brooklyn, while the Nets will ship shooting guard Keith Bogans, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and three future first-round picks to Boston, according to reports.

Although the trade has been circling the Internet from various news organizations and bloggers, no trade can be officially recognized until July 10.

The Nets first made noise this off season when they chose to replace the team’s second head coach, PJ Carlesimo, with the team’s former star player, Jason Kidd, who led the Nets to their last NBA finals appearance in 2003. The 2013-2014 season will be Kidd’s first season as a head coach.

The Brooklyn Nets will also add Duke University center Mason Plumlee, who the team drafted 22nd overall in the 2013 NBA draft last night at the Barclays Center.

 

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Jason Kidd named Brooklyn Nets head coach


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Twitter/@BrooklynNets

BY MAGGIE HAYES & TERENCE M. CULLEN

Famed NBA player Jason Kidd couldn’t stay away from the game for long. Roughly a week after he announced his retirement, the Brooklyn Nets hired Kidd as its next head coach.

“The game of basketball has been great to me,” Kidd said. “In my heart, this was the thing to do after 19 years [playing].”

But Kidd, known for being a smart, team-oriented player, said his decision to coach “didn’t happen overnight.”

“Later in my career, I was trying to set myself up for later being in the position to become a coach,” he said. “Hopefully I can rely on the experience I’ve had as a player, and also my staff.”

As a player, Kidd was a ten-time NBA All Star, five-time NBA first team member and named to the all-defensive team nine times.

The California native played in college for the California Golden Bears and in 1994 was the first-round draft pick for the Dallas Mavericks. In his first season with the Mavericks, he was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

After two years with the Mavericks, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns and then played with the then New Jersey Nets from 2001 to 2008. With the Nets, he visited the NBA Finals twice but came back defeated. He was traded back to the Mavericks and ended his career with the New York Knicks.

Now, as head coach, Kidd knows what it takes to win a championship.

“You can’t win a championship if you don’t play defense, and that’s where we’re going to start,” he said. “The vision is to win.”

“I understand when a player’s hot, you’ve got to give them the ball,” he said.

As a longtime player, Kidd said he was very fortunate to play for “great coaches” he could “take little things from.” Now running a team himself, he’s ready to put his players “in a position to be successful.”

“Guys have to be patient and listen,” he said. “I was a player, and I felt like I knew everything.”

When asked about the Knicks-Nets rivalry, Kidd said he thinks it’s great for the city.

“Hopefully the Brooklyn Nets get the upper hand at the end of the day,” he said.

 

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MTV Video Music Awards coming to Brooklyn


| dromano@homereporter.com

Photo courtesy of MTV

It’s the biggest news since Madonna kissed Britney.

The 30th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be coming to Brooklyn this year, at the Barclays Center to be exact, on Sunday, August 25. The blockbuster, globally watched event usually takes place at the Los Angeles Staples Center.

It’s the first time an awards show of this caliber comes to our fair borough.

“From a vibrant musical scene for up and coming artists to epic concerts by today’s biggest stars and the triumphant return of pro sports to the borough after nearly 60 years, Brooklyn has re-emerged as a cultural capitol where music, sports and entertainment history is made every day,” said Stephen Friedman, president of MTV. “We can’t wait to help write the next chapter on August 25th, when one of the biggest nights in music happens in Brooklyn… for the very first time.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg added, “Bringing the VMAs to Brooklyn will mean hundreds of jobs as crews work on the production and provide a boost to our local economy as attendees stay in hotels, visit local eateries and experience all Brooklyn and our City have to offer.”

“From hip-hop to hipsters, JAY Z to MGMT, Brooklyn musicians have a long history of dominating the ‘spotlight’ on MTV. Brooklyn is a cultural Mecca—the hippest, coolest place for young people across the country, and has played a crucial role in the careers of some of 2013’s biggest bands, like Fun and the Lumineers,” stated Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Now, it is only fitting that the first time Brooklyn will ever host a major awards show, we are welcoming the most exciting and talked about spectacle in the music industry: the ‘MTV Video Music Awards.’ What better venue than the newest, most beautiful, most state-of-the-art arena in the country, Barclays Center. Bravo to MTV on a decision that hits all the right notes and strikes all the right chords. I’m so thrilled that I’ll probably get ‘no sleep till Brooklyn’ hosts the VMAs!”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 46. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow and a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 34. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Emilio Solla + Bien Sur

At Flushing Town Hall renowned Argentine pianist Emilio Solla presents tunes from his celebrated album Bien Sur! and new compositions with his New York quintet, featuring Chris Cheek (soprano/tenor), Victor Prieto (accordion), Jorge Roeder (bass) and Ziv Ravitz, (drums and cajon). Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Rabbi busted after setting up Queens date for sex with a ’14-year-old girl’ online

A Brooklyn rabbi and travel guide exchanged sexually explicit online messages with an undercover cop he thought was a 14-year-old girl, then set up a date with her in Queens, prosecutors charged Thursday. Read more: New York Daily News

Bloomberg gives final State of the City address at Barclays Center

It may have been Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s last opportunity to deliver the State of the City address, but one thing was clear, it was no swan song. Read more: Queens Courier

Sen. Charles Schumer seeks aid for Sandy-damaged co-op and condos

New York’s senior senator is trying to ensure that storm-damaged co-ops and condos receive their fair share of the $60 billion Sandy relief package. Read more: New York Daily News

Local man recounts cruise ship horror as crippled vessel docks in Alabama

A cruise ship disabled for five nightmarish days in the Gulf finally docked with more than 4,000 people aboard late Thursday, passengers raucously cheering the end to an ocean odyssey they say was marked by overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors. Read more: CBS New York

Republicans block vote on Obama’s defense nominee, Hagel

Republican lawmakers succeeded on Thursday in delaying a Senate vote on confirming President Barack Obama’s choice of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, but another vote was planned for later in the month and Obama said he expected his nominee to be approved. Read more: Reuters

Russian meteor causes blast; hundreds injured

A meteor streaked through the skies above Russia’s Urals region Friday morning, before exploding with a flash and boom that shattered glass in buildings and left hundreds of people hurt. Read more: CNN

Bloomberg gives final State of the City address at Barclays Center


| hklein@homereporternews.com

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Ted Levin

It may have been Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s last opportunity to deliver the State of the City address, but one thing was clear, it was no swan song.

Addressing a crowd at downtown Brooklyn’s Barclays Center — arguably the largest development to come to fruition while he occupied City Hall  – the mayor spent a full hour going over the achievements of his nearly 12 years at the helm of the city of New York, and promised to keep pushing forward during the last 320 days of his administration.

There was definitely a feel of theatricality to the entire event, with performances by the Brooklynettes and their junior counterparts.

Thus setting the stage, the mayor primed the pump for both his elaborate recap and his announcements, which ranged from the clearly popular (support for gun control, immigration reform and the DREAM Act – all of which engendered loud applause) to the considerably less so (a long defense of stop and frisk as well as of the city’s position in the protracted school bus strike).

Probably the most discussed announcement beforehand was a proposed ban on Styrofoam take-out containers, something that the mayor said he would work on with the City Council. Explaining that the material as “virtually impossible to recycle and never bio-degrades,” Bloomberg contended, “it’s not just terrible for the environment. It’s terrible for taxpayers,” increasing the cost of recycling by some $20 per ton, “because it has to be removed.”

Another major announcement was the administration’s decision to promote electric cars, adding 50 to the city’s fleet of vehicles and pushing for a third of New York’s taxis to be electric by 2020. In addition, Bloomberg said the city would “pilot curbside vehicle chargers that will allow drivers to fill their battery in as little as 30 minutes.” The goal, he said, is to “create up to 10,000 parking spots for electric vehicles over the next seven years.”

The mayor also announced “an executive order waiving all city fees for Sandy-related repair work,” and the creation of a panel to “design eight new high schools based on the most promising college readiness strategies” for students mostly from neighborhoods with high rates of poverty and low rates of college readiness.

“Over the past 11 years,” Bloomberg contended, “we have beaten the odds, and the obstructionists, over and over again, not just here in Brooklyn, but in neighborhoods all across the city.” The result, he said, includes projects such as Barclays Center, as well as a “record low” number of murders and shootings, as well as record low “incarceration rates,” “job growth…exceed[ing] the national average in all five boroughs,” and the addition of 750 acres to the city’s parkland.

But, he added, his administration will not rest on its laurels.

“Our goal,” Bloomberg said, “is not to spend the year cutting ribbons. It’s much bigger than that. Our goal is to advance projects – and start new ones – that will keep our city on the right course for decades to come.”

 

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Headlines from around the web


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup17

The Rolling Stones hit the Barclays Center

English beat combo The Rolling Stones made their highly-anticipated Brooklyn debut last night at the Barclays Center for the first of three NYC-area shows. And they gave the crowd their money’s worth with a 2 1/4 hour, 23-song set filled with ’60s classics (“Paint It Black,” “The Last Time”), ’70s warhorses (“Miss You,” “Brown Sugar”), a pair of new tunes (“Gloom And Doom,” “One More Shot”), and a healthy dose of Keith Richards (“Happy,” “Before They Make Me Run”). As always, Mick Jagger was the boundlessly energetic center of it all,sashaying across the stage “like a woman in high heels trying to walk in more than one direction at once.” Gothamist

Slay raps on Queens ‘pill mill’ doctor

A Queens doctor charged with supplying more than 2,500 OxyContin pills to the drug addict who killed four people in a Long Island pharmacy last year left behind a trail of bodies himself, prosecutors said yesterday. Stan Li, 58, caused the overdose deaths of two patients and “recklessly endangered” the lives of five other patients who died from his brisk prescription-pills-for-cash business, officials said. NYPost

Neighborhood groups win grant money to improve local landscapes

Every neighborhood has an eyesore. A park that could look better. A dark underpass. Hideous retail signage.
In a BID Challenge, the city has handed out $250,000 in grants to seven community-based “Business Improvement Districts” to spur creativity. It’s an effort by the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to help the improvement districts, or BIDs, focus on a single important change. 
“No one knows these neighborhoods better, so you can be sure the money will be allocated to where it is most needed,” said Deputy Mayor Robert Steel. NYDailyNews

Brooklyn man survives jump in front of L train

A troubled Brooklyn man leaped into the path of an oncoming subway train and was struck Friday — but somehow managed to escape being killed. The 25-year-old apparently landed in the trough between the tracks, and the L train passed over him, police said. “He jumps in the front of the train, hits the front of the train, and hits the track bed,” said a police source. “He was actually on the platform talking to a stranger, then jumped.” NYDailyNews

Schumer, Menendez propose tax breaks for Sandy victims

Senator Charles Schumer is proposing federal tax breaks to help Hurricane Sandy victims. A bill co-sponsored with New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez would make all repair expenses tax deductible. The proposal also includes breaks to subsidize home and business repairs and help businesses keep workers on the payroll. People who provided free temporary housing for victims could also see a benefit, and people who had to withdraw from their retirement accounts to pay for storm costs could see penalties waived. NY1

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday :Overcast with rain. High of 41. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the NNE in the afternoon. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible. Tuesday Night: Overcast with rain. Low of 34. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

EVENT of the DAY: Holiday Tree Lighting in Sunnyside/Woodside

The tree lighting is a true community celebration with local elected officials, a presentation by the Sunnyside Drum Corps, caroling with local schools and holiday cheer. Borough President Helen Marshall will light the tree and Father Brian Dowd from Queen of Angels RC Church will lead a Christmas prayer. There will also be candy canes for the children. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens school shut since hurricane is reopening

The New York City Education Department said on Monday that Public School/Middle School 114 in Belle Harbor, Queens, would reopen on Tuesday, three days earlier than planned, after it was flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Read more: New York Times

Queens church’s crucifix vandalized

The beloved 25-year-old crucifix at St. Leo’s Church in Corona, Queens, was vandalized at night on or after thanksgiving. Read more: Fox New York

City workers still reeling from Hurricane Sandy

The recovery from Superstorm Sandy has tested every level of city government and all ranks of city employees. Read more: New York Daily News

Nets beat Knicks in OT, take 1st Brooklyn matchup

Playing the Knicks never looked or sounded so sweet for the Nets in New Jersey. Read more: ABC New York

Top LIPA executive, trustee resign

A top LIPA executive and a LIPA trustee announced their resignations Monday as the power authority deals with criticism in their response to Sandy, NBC 4 New York has confirmed. Read more: NBC New York

Experts estimate $1.5 billion in sales on Cyber Monday

Americans clicked away for deals on Cyber Monday, which was expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history. Read more: CBS New York

Obama to meet executives, go to Pennsylvania for fiscal push

resident Barack Obama will launch a multipronged push this week to garner support for his proposals to solve U.S. fiscal problems, meeting with business executives at the White House and visiting a small business in Pennsylvania to press his case. Read more: Reuters

 

Islanders moving to Brooklyn beginning in 2015


| brennison@queenscourier.com

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Heather J. Chin

Amid rumors of the New York Islanders fleeing the area, the team announced their moving 20 miles west.

Islanders owner Charles Wang, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Barclays Center majority owner Bruce Ratner and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced that the Islanders would be heading to Brooklyn beginning with the 2015-16 season. The lease is for 25 years and the team will remain the New York Islanders.

The Islanders have played at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum since their inception in 1972.

“Not long ago I think its fair to say the idea of a big league sports team coming to Brooklyn was considered little more than a pipe dream. Now, not only does Brooklyn have an NBA team, it also is now about to get an NHL team,” said Bloomberg.

The announcement comes just days after the Nets played their first basketball game in the arena.

Wang said his goal was to remain in Nassau, but “unfortunately we were unable to achieve that dream.”

The Town of Hempstead and the Islanders failed last year to reach an agreement on the Lighthouse Project, which would renovate Nassau Coliseum and develop the area around it. Wang told reporters the team would explore looking for a new home when the lease at Nassau expired in 2015.

“We’ve said this for many years, there comes a point where you need to make a decision because there’s not enough time to build a new arena,” Wang said.

The Islanders consecutively captured four Stanley Cups at the Coliseum from the 1979-1980 to 1982-1983 seasons; but fans and NHL critics in the last few years have called for a new home, or updated one.

“Our goal from the outset was to have the Islanders to play in a local world class facility that possessed the amenities our fans deserve,” said Wang.

The Barclays can currently fit about 14,500 fans for a hockey game though officials said they expect another 1,000 to be added to that number before the Islanders move in. The Nassau Coliseum can hold 16,200 fans.

The 2015 season will serve as a reunion for the Nets and Islanders. When the Islanders broke into the NHL in 1972, they shared Nassau Coliseum for a five year period with the Nets before they left for New Jersey.

Willets Point was rumored in 2010 to be a new destination for the team, and the Wilpon family, owners of the New York Mets, were said to be considering buying the team from Wang, who became a part-owner in 2000. Newsday reported amid the rumors that the potential Wilpon purchase was endorsed by Major League.

Wang was also said around 2009 to entertain the idea of moving the team to Kansas City, which hasn’t had a professional hockey team since 1976.

The move comes in the midst of the second player lockout in less than a decade. The NHL Players Association (NHLPA) and the league failed to come to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by September 15, and pre- and regular-season games were subsequently canceled.

NHLPA officials appealed for talks with league execs today, but Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league would only meet if to work on its proposed 50/50 revenue sharing agreement.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST: 

Tuesday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 61. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 48. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Live Classical Music

A special presentation of classical music featuring the artistry of soloist Lesley Zlabinger with Catherine Frank on piano. The program will include the song cycle “Frauenliebe und-leben” by Robert Schumann; three songs by Claude Debussy, “Nuit d’etoiles,” “Voice que le printemps” and “Paysage sentimental;” the secular cantata “Lucrezia” by G.F. Handel; and four songs by Mozart, “Ridente la calma,” “Warnung,” “Als luise die briefe” and “An chloe.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Fight over proposed Queens Kickshaw bike corral could be paved over with compromise in Astoria

The battle over a proposed bike rack in front of an Astoria eatery may come to a hault. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens landlord wanted in teacher murder nabbed in Maryland

The Queens landlord wanted for questioning in the stabbing death of a 39-year-old public school teacher has been caught in Maryland, authorities said Monday. Read more: NBC New York

Roughly half of Aqueduct racino’s top managers reside in the borough

The operator of the Aqueduct racino released new jobs data this month showing that about half of its top executives call Queens home. Read more: New York Daily News

A ‘match’ for Nobel

Two American scholars — one of them born in Queens — netted the Nobel economics prize yesterday for work on a matchmaking technique that has sharply reduced the number of New York students who end up in high schools they didn’t want to attend. Read more: New York Post

Mayoral hopeful switches to G.O.P.

The field of likely Democratic candidates for New York City mayor narrowed by one on Monday when Tom Allon, a newspaper publisher waging a long-shot bid, announced that he would switch to the Republican Party to increase his odds of making it to the 2013 general election ballot. Read more: New York Times

Brooklyn Nets win their Barclays Center debut game

The Brooklyn Nets won their first basketball game at the new Barclays Center against the Washington Wizards on Monday night, and the preseason victory marked the first time professional sports were played in the borough since the Dodgers left in 1957. Read more: NY1

Pundits: Hofstra presidential debate could easily mean doom for rhe loser

All eyes in the United States and around the world will soon be on a Long Island university. Read more: CBS New York

 

Lawsuit filed against NYC soda ban


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

A group of business associations have filed a lawsuit claiming that the New York City Board of Health does not have the authority to ban the sale of large-sized sodas and other sugary drinks, said one of the plaintiffs, the National Restaurant Association.

“This lawsuit is about ensuring that the board of health respects the legislative process,” said Caroline Starke, spokesperson for the plaintiffs. “Despite strong and growing opposition from New Yorkers, the proposal was passed by sidestepping the city’s elected legislators.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, weight loss groups and other supporters pushed the controversial sugary drink ban as a way to fight the city’s raising obesity rate.

In September, the Board of Health passed the law, which will go into effect in March 2013. Businesses will have six months to comply and stop selling sugary beverages with more than 25 calories per eight ounces in sizes larger than 16 ounces.

The Barclays Center, the new Brooklyn arena and home to NBA team the Nets, has already adopted the ban and is the first major New York City venue to voluntarily comply with it.

But other local businesses, such as movie theaters, delis and restaurants, worry that the ban could hurt their bottom line.

“The ban is riddled with irrational exclusions, loopholes and random classifications that will seriously harm New York City businesses,” said Starke

Filed in New York State Court, the lawsuit says that the Health Department ignored council members’ objections, and “acted improperly by trying to implement the policy by executive fiat.”

Other plaintiffs include Teamsters Local 812, the Korean-American Grocers Association of New York, National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State, New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and the American Beverage Association.

Responding to the lawsuit, Bloomberg’s press secretary, Marc La Vorgna, called it “predictable, yet baseless,” and compared it to when the city was unsuccessfully sued for banning smoking in restaurants and bars.

For over 100 years, he said, the city’s Board of Health has been making major health decisions, from appointing milk inspectors to banning lead paint to posting calorie counts, which have benefited the health of New Yorkers.

“The Board of Health absolutely has the authority to regulate matters affecting health, and the obesity crisis killing nearly 6,000 New Yorkers a year – and impacting the lives of thousands more – unquestionably falls under its purview,” said La Vorgna.

MLS unveils plans for Queens soccer stadium


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer (MLS) announced their rough plans for a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park this morning, and hopes to reach an agreement with the city in the near future.

“This is a project that we have been dreaming about since the league was founded many, many years ago in 1996,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This would be our second team in New York. This is a soccer country and this is entirely a soccer community here in Queens… Our goal is to bring the world’s game to the world’s park.”

The planned stadium is expected to seat 25,000 soccer fans, and host 20 games a year — which would be held when the Mets are not playing, Garber said. MLS would expand to create a new team for the stadium. Construction of the stadium, if approved, would create up to 2,300 union jobs; there would be 160 full-time and 750 part-time jobs once the stadium is completed.

The league hopes to reach a deal with the city soon, Garber said, and hoped a lease-agreement will be inked within the next month.

The eyed spot for the stadium is currently the Fountain of Planets, or Industry Pond, which many have called an under used area of the park. Ten to 13 acres of parkland will be eaten up in the project, Garber said, but only one acre used will be from grass areas. Garber, a Queens native, and MLS officials said they looked at a number of spots throughout the city, including Pier 40, but felt the Queens park was the prime spot for the stadium.

“We settled here in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park because we think it’s the absolute perfect place to have our 20th team,” he said.

SHoP, designer of the recently-opened Barclays Center, has been tapped to design the stadium, Garber confirmed. A concept is expected to go public in the next few weeks.

MLS is expected to reach out to the community for feedback and concerns in the next 30 days, Garber said. Community reaction to this project, and the land that will be lost, has been met with mixed reactions from surrounding communities.

If the city approves the deal, which would take 15 to 18 months and cost anywhere from $300 million to $350 million, MLS is required to replace all parkland that would be alienated by the project. The stadium would be privately financed, Garber said.

In addition to new, nearby green space, MLS has vowed to refurbish the seven soccer fields around the site — some will have to be relocated because of the stadium’s footprint. These fields would be completely renovated before construction began, Garber said.

Some of the spots MLS has looked at include the western waterfront of Flushing Creek and the land around an abandoned rail yard in Rego Park.

Garber’s goal for groundbreaking on the project is 2014, with a 2016 or 2017 opening. He said the league has been speaking with a number of potential team owners, and one could be named within the next six to eight months.

Headlines from around the web


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

The Afternoon Roundup

Dolphin washes ashore in Far Rockaway, dies shortly after

Scientists were unable to save a sickly beached dolphin in Far Rockaway that died en route to a treatment center on Friday. Franly Estrella, 24, first spotted the 6-foot-long, 140-pound stranded creature at 9:30 a.m. at Beach 19th St. NYDailyNews

Jay-Z concert highlights Barclays Center opening

Brooklyn was the center of New York’s entertainment world last night, as the $1 billion Barclays Center opened with a sold-out concert by the borough’s own Jay-Z. The rap mogul performed for 19,000 screaming fans in a glam-filled coming-out party for the spectacular arena in Prospect Heights. “I have been on many stages all around the world. Nothing feels like tonight, Brooklyn, I swear to God!” the Bed-Stuy native shouted out as he took the stage. NYPost

Miracle landing at JFK

It really was a “magic” ride. The twisted front landing gear of a jumbo jet nicknamed The Magic Red Carpet miraculously rotated back into position just seconds before landing at JFK yesterday — as panicked passengers braced themselves for a crash. “It was like the hand of God turned the wheel,” said a Port Authority cop who was part of the disaster-response crew deployed to the tarmac. NYPost

Former NYTimes publisher Arthur Ochs dead at 86

Former New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, who led the newspaper to new levels of influence and profit amid some of the most significant moments in 20th-century journalism, died Saturday. He was 86. NYPost

City to expand library program

Millions of books will soon be within easy reach of young bookworms in the city. The city is expanding its MyLibraryNYC program to all public schools. Students and teachers will be able to directly order books and other materials from the New York, Queens and Brooklyn Public Libraries. NY1