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Heights Press photo by Francesca N. Tate77TH YEAR, NO. 3,960THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 2017TWO SECTIONS50 CENTSBlasts from Rabbi Lippe: Bitter Irony Hurled at Trump’s…
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Heights Press photo by Francesca N. Tate77TH YEAR, NO. 3,960THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 2017TWO SECTIONS50 CENTSBlasts from Rabbi Lippe: Bitter Irony Hurled at Trump’s Waffle on White SupremacistsRABBI SERGE LIPPE, PICTURED AT LEFT BLOWING A SHOFAR TO USHER IN A TIME OF REFLECTION AND self-examination, had some pointed words for President Donald Trump during an interfaith gathering held at First Unitarian Church’s Donald McKinney Chapel in Brooklyn Heights on Tuesday, Aug. 22. See page 2.Jehovah’s Witnesses Sell Two Prime Heights Properties to Calif.-Based Hawkins Way CapitalTHE BRUTALIST-STYLE BUILDING ON THE CORNER PLUS THE THREE TOWNHOUSES TO THE RIGHT ARE 117-125 COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, WHICH THE JEHOVAH’S Witnesses just sold to a California-based investment firm. See page 2. Heights Press file photo by Lore Croghanwww.24middagh.com www.24middagh.comJehovah’s Witnesses Sell Two Prime Heights Properties to Calif.-Based Hawkins Way Capital Firm Plans to Renovate 97 and 117-125 Columbia Heights By Lore CroghanBrooklyn Heights PressCalifornia Dreamin’ — on Columbia Heights. A Los Angeles-based real-estate investment firm is the buyer of two prime Watchtower residential properties located in theBrooklyn Heights Historic District. Hawkins Way Capital has closed on the purchase of 117-125 Columbia Heights for $18 million and expects to close a deal for 97 Columbia Heights later this month, according to an announcement by Leslie J. Garfield Real Estate, the brokerage repping the buyer. “Hawkins Way Capital’s flexibility, creative underwriting and strong backing made them the perfect fit for these unique trophy assets, which were meticulously maintained over the years by [the] Watchtower,” Matthew Lesser said in the announcement. He and Ravi Kantha of Leslie J. Garfield Real Estate’s Lesser Kantha Team are Hawkins Way Capital’s reps in the Columbia Heights acquisitions. The New York Post broke the news about the California firm’s property purchases before Leslie J. Garfield Real Estate released its announcement about them.Brutalist Architecture Among 19th-Century Brownstones The co-founders of Hawkins Way Capital are Ross Walker and Karan Suri. Suri’s name appears on the deed for 117-125 Columbia Heights as the authorized signatory for 119 Columbia Heights LLC, the entity that made the purchase, city Finance Department records indicate. The property, which is also referred to as 119 Columbia Heights, consists of a modern building on the corner of Pineapple Street and Columbia Heights plus three brick rowhouses that are adjacent to it. As the Brooklyn Heights Press previously reported, the modern building on the corner was designed by a Harvard-educated proponent of Brutalist Architecture, Ulrich Franzen. A fact sheet from the Jehovah's Witnesses describes 119 Columbia Heights as a 60-foot-tall building constructed in 1969, which has 43 residential units and 18 parking spaces. Hawkins Way Capital has already filed for city Buildings Department permits to do interior demolition and construction and mechanical and plumbing work at 117-125 Columbia Heights, agency records show.RIP Hotel MargaretAnd 97 Columbia Heights, as the Heights Press previously reported, is a 100-foot-tall building on the corner of Orange Street that was constructed on the site of the Hotel Margaret. The Romanesque Revival-style hotel was destroyed by a fivealarm fire on a freezing February 1980 night. The fire occurred while developer Ian Bruce Eichner was in the process of converting the hotel into a co-op apartment building. After protracted legal disputes, Eichner started constructing a new building on the hotel site in 1986. That year, the Watchtower bought the development from him. Hawkins Way Capital has also filed for a Buildings Department permit to do interior demolition work at 97 Columbia Heights.Jared Kushner and Vincent Viola Also Bought Watchtower properties The sale of 97 and 117-125 Columbia Heights is another step forward in a years-long effort by the Jehovah’s Witnesses to liq-The building on the corner is 97 Columbia Heights, which the Jehovah’s Witnesses are selling. Photo courtesy of Jehovah’s Witnesses uidate their once-massive Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO property portfolio. The reason for the real estate sell-off is the religious organization’s relocation of its world headquarters from Brooklyn Heights to the town of Warwick in upstate New York. High-profile purchasers of other Watchtower properties on Columbia Heights include the Kushner Cos., which bought the religious organization’s former headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights with investment partners. This complex has an iconic red neon sign that says “Watchtower,” which Kushner Cos. plans to remove. Jared Kushner headed the firm until he stepped aside to become a senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. Another high-profile purchaser is Vincent Viola, the billionaire owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team and co-owner of the 2017 Kentucky Derby’s winning horse, Always Dreaming. Viola bought 124 Columbia Heights, a massive residential building with frontage on the Promenade.Blasts from Rabbi: Bitter Irony Is Hurled At Trump’s Waffle on White Supremacists By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Heights Press“Very fine people do not wear T-shirts extolling white power and white separatism. Very fine people do not raise their children to hate others,” proclaimed Rabbi Serge Lippe during an Interfaith Gathering held at First Unitarian Church’s Donald McKinney Chapel in Brooklyn Heights on Tuesday, Aug. 22. The event was held for citizens to “gather in response to the spiritual and physical violence in Charlottesville, gather in response to the voices of unabashed white supremacy that seem to be gaining power and legitimacy in this country and gather as people of faith do in times of threat,” said the Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons in her opening remarks. Levy-Lyons is the senior minister of First Unitarian Church. Participating clergy speakers were, in addition to LevyLyons, Rohan Narine, cofounder and board member of Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus; the Rev. Kate Salisbury, associate rector of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church; Emaan Moosani, program director of Muslim Community Network; Lippe, senior rabbi of Brooklyn Heights Synagogue; and the Rev. Adriene Thorne, senior minister of First Presbyterian Church. Levy-Lyons referred to people from many cultures and faiths being able to work, pray and offer comfort together as a blessing. “This sacred work is what is being threatened by what happened in Charlottesville and its aftermath. Individuals and highest levels of government committed violence in word, some in deed. They waved flags of injustice and defended monuments of terror. They say only some voices deserve to be heard. Only some people deserve a seat at the tables of power Only some people deserve to feel safe and to be safe. 2 • Brooklyn Heights Press • Thursday, August 24, 2017“We resist this violence and the spiritual poverty of this way of thinking. We believe in inherent worth and dignity of each person. We will continue to assert this faith in our words and our deeds for as long as it takes until we can all come together again in peace.” Salisbury, using a story of healing from the “Synoptic Gospels,” spoke of dispelling the legion of demons from today’s society. Salisbury said that each person is called to “dismantle the demons that have a grip on us, individually [and] collective, and help God guide us to freedom.” Lippe was perhaps the most declamatory, his voice raising well above the din of room fans keeping the McKinney Chapel cool. Lippe said that, in rabbinic tradition, “Elul is the month of consecration, in review of our needs and in consideration of the ‘very fine people’ we wish to be, and of the very fine people we wish to have been, and in recognition of the very fine people we failed to be too often on our day-to-day lives,” picking up on the now-famous catchphrase that President Donald Trump has used in recent days to defend supporters involved in the Charlottesville violence. “Very fine people do not participate in chanting, ‘Jews will not replace us.’ Very fine people do not yell, ‘Sieg Heil!’ across the street from synagogues,” Lippe emphasized. “Very fine people do not raise the Nazi swastika, period. Very fine people do not knowingly use the Nazi slogan in any language whatsoever.” Lippe continued, “Very fine people do not stand with submachine guns outside of historic black churches. Very fine people do not identify themselves as members of the Ku Klux Klan… “Very fine presidents do not invoke the racists, bigots, antiSemites and white supremacists … Very fine presidents seek to heal the nation’s wounds, and bind us together. E pluribus unum — one out of many.”Poster courtesy of BKBF, created by Adrian Tomine and Rodrigo CorralBrooklyn Book Festival Debuts Official 2017 Festival Art Poster Brooklyn Heights PressThe Brooklyn Book Festival (BKBF), New York City’s largest free literary festival, has unveiled this year’s poster created by award-winning illustrator Adrian Tomine and award-winning designer Rodrigo Corral. From posters to online portals and social media streams, the 2017 Brooklyn Book Festival is beautifully branded with Tomine and Corral’s dynamic design: book-toting New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds swirling around the subway kiosk that serves Brooklyn Borough Hall. The poster is truly a celebration of the written word and an homageto the borough where the international festival takes place. Tomine and Corral continue a tradition inaugurated last year when famed author and designer Chip Kidd produced his original design for the first-ever festival poster. “The Brooklyn Book Festival is thrilled to have renowned cartoonist and illustrator Adrian Tomine design the 2017 Festival poster,” said Liz Koch, coproducer of BKBF. “His beautifully rendered image captures the vibe — hip, smart, diverse — of the festival, and of book lovers from all walks of life who turn outeach year. Graphic designer Rodrigo Corral developed Adrian's spirited image into a full-fledged classic art poster.” “I've been to the Brooklyn Book Festival as a featured author, an on-stage interviewer, a browsing customer and a beleaguered dad, and it's been an unfailingly great experience every time,” Tomine said. “It’s my annual reminder that not only do people still care deeply about books, they care about the people who make the books, and most importantly, they care about browsing and buying books in the physical realm. The festival is pretty high on mylist of things that make me glad I live here, so it was anhonor to poster.”illustratetheThursday, August 24, 2017 • Brooklyn Heights Press • 3Dominican Immigrant Patria Frias-Colón Seeks Seat on Civil Court Bench my brother, who is now a New York City police officer. This past March, Patria Frias-Colón, the Brooklyn borough Heights Press: How did your childchief of the Family Court Division of the New York City Law hood and all the obstacles you had to Department, received the Legal Excellence Award from the face influence your desire to seek a Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the Brooklyn Women’s career in law? Bar Association. Frias-Colón: Two reasons: I In accepting the award, Frias-Colón said, “Having lived as a remember being in my first-grade prosecutor, everything I’ve learned is all about justice. Not only bilingual class at P.S. 274 in do I want to ensure that the people prosecuted are given justice, Bushwick. They had a corner but also the victims in our cases and of course that justice has to library there in each class. One of translate to the community.” the books on the shelf was a picFrias-Colon is currently running for one of the five ture book about professions. open seats on the Brooklyn Civil Court. There are The cover photo said lawyer 11 candidates for the position, which covers the and it had a woman’s face entire county. The primary is Sept. 12, and on it. I thought a woman Civil Court judges are elected to 10-year can become a lawyer. terms. That was my first Frias-Colón recently took the time recognition that we to talk with the Brooklyn Heights could do anything that Press about her candidacy and we set our minds to … background. That planted the seed in Brooklyn Heights Press: How my head. And while was growing up in Bushwick? growing up, we had to Frias-Colón: When we got change apartments here from the Dominican periodically because Republic, that was a very huge the landlords wouldn’t change in what we were used to give us heat, or we seeing. And although we grew up would lose hot water. modest there, I never realized And I always rememhow poor we were until we came ber my mother being here. so diligent about paying her rent because she We were raised in Bushwick in didn’t want us to be a tenement apartment. My mother forced out of a home. made a very modest income in the factories and she worked in a few Those were basicalof them. My youngest sister was Patria Frias-Colon, Civil Court judge candidate, visits the office ly the two things that born here and much later [so was] of the Brooklyn Heights Press. Eagle photo by John Alexander motivated me. I said,By John AlexanderBrooklyn Heights Press“When I grow up, I’m going to be a lawyer and I’m going help people to make sure they get heat and hot water.” And here I am now. Heights Press: What are your current responsibilities? Frias-Colón: Well, today I am the borough chief for juvenile crimes and interstate child support in Brooklyn. So, I work for the New York City Law Department and I have since 2009. And I’ve worked with a wonderful team of people, including support professionals, investigators and attorneys. We are charged with handling the investigations and prosecutions of juvenile crimes. And I also have a team of people who handle all interstate child support work. Heights Press: As a successful attorney, what made you want to run for the Civil Court bench seat? Frias-Colón: Once I became a lawyer, I knew that for me the ultimate transition was to become a judge. It did become increasingly difficult for me to do that because I loved the work that I did at every stage of my professional career. So, for example, when I hit my 10-year mark, which is what you need to become a Civil Court judge or a Supreme Court justice, I knew that I was going to begin to do the work that needed to be done to try to ascend to the bench, whether it was the appointed route or whether it was the elected route. Heights Press: Do you feel that your background as an immigrant brings something new and unique to the bench that has been missing? Frias-Colón: I’ll tell you what I think my uniqueness is: I have a very well-rounded perspective. I’m the daughter of struggle, I know how certain things can weigh you down and I know how things can lift you up. Heights Press: What do you hope to accomplish as Civil Court judge? Frias-Colón: Well, you know, in Brooklyn there’s never been a Dominican-born elected to the Civil Court. And this will be a first. It’s historic for me, and historic for our borough. See brooklyneagle.com for the full interview.Crowded Field in Bay Ridge’s 43rd District City Council Race By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Heights PressThere are enough candidates in the race for the Bay Ridge City Council seat to field a baseball team. Two more candidates recently filed enough petition signatures with the New York City Board of Elections to qualify for the ballot, bringing the total of candidates up to nine. Democrat Vincent Chirico, a lawyer from Dyker Heights, and Republican Lucretia Regina-Potter, a former design consultant for a tile company, are both running in the 43rd Council District. The district covers Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights and includes parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach. Chirico, a member of Community Board 11 in Bensonhurst and vice president of the Dyker Heights Athletic Association, is running against four other Democrats this November: Justin Brannan, Kevin Peter Carroll, Rev. Khader El-Yateem and Nancy Tong. Regina-Potter, who lives in Bath Beach, has run for public office several times before, most recently in a special election for state Assembly seat in the 46th Assembly District in 2015, when she lost to Democrat Pamela Harris. Regina-Potter joins a field of candidates in the Republican primary for the City Council seat that includes Bob Capano, Liam McCabe and John Quaglione. Both the Democratic and Republican primaries will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The winners will face each other in the general election on Nov. 7. Democrat Vincent Gentile, who has held the Council seat since 2003, is prohibited from running for re-election due to the city’s term limits law.Gentile has endorsed Brannan, who is his chief of staff, in the Council race. The two newest candidates have been busy in recent weeks introducing themselves to the voters. Chirico’s campaign website touts his volunteer work in the community. In addition to his work on Community Board 11 and the Dyker Heights Athletic Association, he is also the chairperson of Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, a Sunset Park-based nonprofit organization that offers high school dropouts a chance to earn their GEDs, as well as assistance with resume writing, job interview practice and other skills. “Throughout his years advocating for the community, Vince has put into action solutions to the issues that matter to Brooklynites. His work with Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow has fed Vince’s passion to reform the systemic problems that impede high school retention. With over 300,000 disconnected young adults facing obstacles to workforce entry and re-entry, Vince is passionate about tackling this problem on a broader scale in the City Council, a problem made greater by President [Donald] Trump’s funding cuts,” a statement on the website reads. A website created during Regina-Potter’s 2015 Assembly run points to her years of experience in business, politics and volunteerism. The Parkville Football program, the Kings Bay Football program, the Dyker Heights Athletic Association and the St. Ephrem’s athletics program are among the organizations listed on the website as those she supports. Regina-Potter is the director of communications for the Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Organization and is a member of the National Federation of Republican Women.2017 PRIMARY ELECTION CALENDAR Sept. 5: Last day to postmark absentee ballot application Sept. 11: Last day to apply in person for absentee ballot/Last day to postmark absentee ballot (Must be received by city Board of Elections by Sept. 18) Sept. 12: Primary election day Last day to deliver absentee ballot in person — Information courtesy of New York City Campaign Finance Board4 • Brooklyn Heights Press • Thursday, August 24, 20172INB • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Brooklyn Record/Bay Ridge Eagle/Greenpoint Gazette • August 2017August 2017 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Brooklyn Record/Bay Ridge Eagle/Greenpoint Gazette • 3INBPLACE YOUR AD TODAY: CALL BONNIE & WILL AT 718-422-74004INB • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Brooklyn Record/Bay Ridge Eagle/Greenpoint Gazette • August 2017SUNDAYMONDAYTUESDAYWEDNESDAYTHURSDAYFRIDAYSATURDAYHIGHLIGHTS FROMMYBROOKLYNCALENDAR.COM Calendar Events August 2017December 2015 and May 2016 in these migrant camps in northern France, the exhibition chronicles the evolution of this collaboration and celebrates a vital human connection forged through the common voice of music. When: Tuesday through Sunday, through Sept. 24 (Tuesday through Friday, 2-6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.) Where: DUMBO/The Studio at St. Ann's Warehouse (45 Water St.) NY Harbor Scenes Muralist and plein air painter Bill M
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