Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
Avi Israel remembers everything about the day his 20-year-old son, Michael, killed himself three years ago; from the cocking sound of the shotgun to his desperate struggle to break down the bedroom door, to finding Michael in a pool of blood.
It was Michael’s addiction to prescription painkillers that killed him, Israel said recently. And he blames that addiction on the 20-odd prescriptions from three different doctors treating Michael’s Crohn’s disease.
“When I lost Michael, it was unnecessary,” Israel said. “Michael could’ve lived.”
Israel, 61, and his wife are among the families that pushed for New York’s Internet System for Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, which was signed into law in 2012.
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Bay Ridge community board leaders are considering going door to door to neighborhood hookah lounges and asking owners to install better ventilation systems amid complaints about secondhand smoke.
“It’s wonderful to smell people’s cooking, but not tobacco and hookah smoke,” said Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10, which includes Bay Ridge. “This is a big problem because you have many elderly people and asthmatics living” above hookah lounges.
Check out the graphic below showing the parts of a hookah:
Friday, December 13th, 2013
On a once-neglected plot in Bushwick, Brooklyn, there’s a quiet neighborhood of homes. The decayed former brownfield site of the Rheingold brewery now boasts 58 affordable duplexes, four three-family homes and 30 condominiums that are also 100 percent affordable, along with 88 co-op units and 272 subsidized apartments. A spot that embodied the neighborhood’s plagued landscape now has a tidy neighborhood of houses built in a Dutch style and a brick senior center on the ground floor of apartments with solar panels on the roof.
The neighborhood turned around through the political muscle of Vito Lopez, a fallen Brooklyn giant. He resigned as chairman of the Brooklyn Democrats in August of 2012 and gave up his long-held State Assembly seat in May after sexual harassment allegations—like the night he grabbed a female staffer’s hand in a bar and counted to 60 while looking the stricken young woman in the eye, according to a state ethics committee report.
Lopez lost a City Council race this fall after a career in which he had turned a remote and notorious area of Brooklyn into the home base of a political empire by helping the needy and mobilizing his beneficiaries. The ethnic politics of Williamsburg and the harassment allegations took down the leader of the Kings County Democrats. Yet Lopez also cemented a lasting legacy through the brick and mortar housing now present in the former vacant lots of Bushwick.
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
Santa Claus showed up early at New York Presbyterian Hospital, riding an FDNY fire truck. Every year, as he gets ready for his Christmas run, St. Nick teams up with the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation to deliver gifts. Firefighters became carolers as the group visited the Hearst Burn Center and pediatric floors at the Komansky Center for Children’s Health, spreading holiday cheer.