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City Strikes a Deal to Pay $160 Million For Final Parcel of Bushwick Inlet Park

(Photo: John Ambrosio)

(Photo: John Ambrosio)

After over a decade of uncertainty, the city has struck a deal to acquire the final 11 acres needed to complete Bushwick Inlet Park. The parcel of land on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront, a subject of controversy for years, will be purchased for $160 million, according to announcement from the mayor’s office.

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Budding Olympians Will Soon Be Able to Play Volleyball at Two Revamped LES Parks

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

If the Olympics put you in the mood for serving and spiking, here’s some good news: The Henry M. Jackson Playground is getting a volleyball area. It’s just one of many perks coming to two Lower East Side playgrounds as part of a city initiative to modernize ailing parks.

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With City’s Offer Expired, Sun Might Be Setting on Bushwick Inlet Park

(Photo: Matthew Caton)

(Photo: Matthew Caton)

After 60 days on the table, the city’s offer to pay the former CitiStorage site’s owner $100 million for the final parcel of the long-promised Bushwick Inlet Park has officially expired. With Norman Brodsky’s default rejection of the offer (less than half the $250 million he was hoping for) questions emerge as to whether the Williamsburg waterfront park—which was first promised in 2005 as part of a rezoning deal that allowed for more high-rise developments in the sought-after neighborhood—will ever be completely finished.

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Bill Passed Would Make It Easier For Micro-Businesses to Score Loans

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State Senator Daniel Squadron (Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

A bill that would help the smallest of small businesses tap into much-needed loans and funding has cleared the State Senate and Assembly. Today, the bill’s co-sponsor, State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes the Lower East Side and parts of Greenpoint, Williamsburg and the East Village, gathered with other boosters of the Small Business Support bill to call on Governor Cuomo to sign it into law. The measure calls on the state to prioritize micro-businesses (i.e. those with less than five employees) when awarding Small Business Revolving Loan Fund loans, and would waive application fees for approved “micro-loans” of under $5,000.

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MTA Seems to Favor 18-Month Shutdown of L Train, Starting in 2019

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Last night, the big players in the L train shutdown finally met with North Brooklyn community leaders and residents for a public forum and, for the first time, discussed candidly the extensive damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy and the two proposals for the reconstruction project. While the MTA hasn’t yet come to a decision, it seems to be favoring a full shutdown that would mean 18 months without any service between 8th Avenue and Bedford Avenue. MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast acknowledged it would be the “most impactful” event ever for New York City’s public transit system.

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MTA to Come Down From its Opaque Train Car in the Sky and Meet With You Plebes

(Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr, via New York magazine)

(Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr, via New York magazine)

The MTA has confirmed that any 24/7 closure of the L-train tunnel is “unlikely to begin before January of 2019” and is promising there will be a “new dynamic” with riders and residents as the agency decides how best to repair damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy back in 2012.

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How Many Ways Can You Say ‘Where’s My Williamsburg Waterfront Park’?

What is there to say other than, ‘Where’s our park?’ and, ‘The promise was made,’ and, ‘Do it’?” State Senator Daniel Squadron asked Sunday at the CitiStorage site, on the anniversary of a seven-alarm fire that renewed calls for the greening of the eight-acre plot on the Williamsburg waterfront. Turns out, there was more to say: the state senator was joined by Council Member Stephen Levin, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and other elected officials and activists who once again called on Mayor de Blasio to acquire the land and make good on a promise made by his predecessor. So how many ways are there to say “Where’s our park?” Play the video to find out.

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Two Big Chances to Tell Local Pols How to Spend Your Tax Ducats

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 4.54.49 PMSure, your first priority this weekend probably involves lying in the grass with a margarita blender, but don’t let the lurvley weather keep you from doing your civic duty. Between an epic town hall on the Lower East Side and the launch of Participatory Budgeting in North Brooklyn, in the next days you’ll have some choice opportunities to bend the ears — and pull at the pursestrings — of the city and state’s power players.

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Hit These Town Halls to Speak Up About Affordable Housing Downtown

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Don’t be that guy at the end of the bar muttering the word “gentrification” over and over again — do something about the anxiety-inducing state of housing and development (or at least learn more about how to do something) at these upcoming community forums.
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Think Steve Croman Is a Bad Landlord? Wait’ll You See Klaus Kinski in Crawlspace

Today elected officials put out a joint statement complaining of the “pattern of tenant harassment” that has caused landlord Steve Croman to be investigated by the State District Attorney. But if you think Croman is a lousy landlord, wait’ll you Crawlspace, one of a dozen Klaus Kinski films that Anthology Film Archives is screening in the next week.
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