LAURELS & DARTS
Opinion from the Editors
Dart to NYPD Officer Leonard Clarke, who was named in 13 lawsuits between 2009 and 2018. The city paid out $14,000 in 2013 after Clarke allegedly shoved a man up against a wall during an illegal stop-and-frisk in Flatbush. In total, the city has forked over at least $235,000 to settle lawsuits in which Clarke was the defendant, according to records released by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in compliance with a Freedom of Information Law request made by WNYC/Gothamist.
Laurel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who awarded $15 million to 58 Brooklyn schools for STEAM education. Adams presented checks to educators from the selected schools at P.S. 158 Warwick in East New York on Thursday. The money is earmarked for technology upgrades, hydroponics labs, maker spaces, culinary arts space and a creative lab. Borough Park’s Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice, where 90 percent of students live below the poverty line, received $70,000 for a new computer lab. “We won’t have to worry about the computers breaking down as much, because that happens a lot,” 16-year-old Briana De La Cruz, a student at the school, told Brooklyn Paper.
Laurel to the ginkgo biloba tree, a species sturdy enough to withstand all the pollution, disease, insects, pet waste, soil compaction, road salt, wind and piled up snow that city life can hurl at it. Female ginkgos shower the sidewalks with their stinky seed pods this time each year, leading some neighbors to call for the trees to be chopped down. Despite the stench, female ginkgos absorb just as much CO2 and provide as much shade as their male counterparts. Roughly nine percent of all trees in New York City are ginkgos, according to a Tree Census conducted by NYC Parks. The trees, moth male and female, remove approximately 24,000 pounds of air pollutants, intercept more than 16 million gallons of stormwater and absorb nearly 6,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Dart to anti-Semitism, which is reportedly on the rise in the city’s subways. The NYPD has logged 42 hate-crime complaints involving anti-Semitic acts in the subway so far this year, a 162 percent rise over the number of incidents at this time in 2018. In addition, there have been 13 instances this year in which trains were taken fully or partially out of service so that swastikas could be scrubbed from cars. “People are emboldened and they want the largest possible audience for what they want to communicate,” Alexander Rosemberg, director of community affairs for the Anti-Defamation League of New York, told THE CITY. “And the subway is where they find that audience,” he added.
Laurel to the U.S. Postal Service, which recently replaced the old sidewalk mailboxes in Dyker Heights with tamper-proof mailboxes designed to thwart thieves. For years, there have been reports of crooks “mail fishing” in the neighborhood, placing a sticky substance like glue on a rock or a stick, attaching the stick to a string and lowering it into the mailbox to pull out envelopes. The thieves have stolen bills, checks, birthday cards and other valuable items from the mailboxes, in some cases using account information from the stolen mail to commit identity theft. “It especially impacts our older community, especially those that do banking by check for paying bills,” Community Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia told Brooklyn Reporter in August.