Saturday, December 03, 2011

Food for Thought: Weekend Links

(the work of local craftspeople on sale at Built in Brooklyn - see previous post for more details)

Apologies for the lack of posts, it's finals time in the ILFA world (though if anyone would like to read a rough draft of a 4,000-word essay on historical approaches to emancipation, I suppose I could post that). In lieu of more thoughtful commentary (I flatter myself), I offer the lazy blogger's solution: links! 

- After harassing and groping a woman on the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, a 39-year-old Queens man was caught because the woman he chose to harass snapped a photo of him and passed it on to the NYPD and the media. Having spoken to far too many women who've been sexually harassed or assaulted on the train (and, unfortunately, to a few who have tried to report these attacks to MTA employees or even transit cops and gotten nothing but shrugs in response), I'm glad to see the system actually working, and I salute the woman who had the wherewithal to photograph this creep and follow through with reporting the incident (sometimes a very long, draining process). 

- There's an uproar brewing over the extradition of a local Hasidic man from Israel to NYC to stand trial for a hate crime in the assault of an African-American man. While I know nothing about the case beyond the linked article (and thus can't really speak to it) the incident took place in the context of Shomrim policing, which has long been a feature of Crown Heights but has come under fire recently in a number of contexts. In Israel, one national news network has responded with a profile of the Shomrim's work in Crown Heights, available (with video) here

- On a more positive note, the Brooklyn Ink ran a nice profile of the folks at Seeds in the Middle, whose programming targets youth from the many sub-communities of Crown Heights. 

- Gun violence continues in CH, with a livery cab driver the latest victim (though, mercifully, he seems to have survived a beating and three gunshot wounds) on Monday. Incidents like these highlight the importance of the work that SOS Crown Heights is doing in our community. Frequent contributor MikeF shared this report of their first year on Brooklynian, and it's well worth a read. Meanwhile, in another Chicago-Brooklyn exchange (SOS Crown Heights is based on Chicago's CEASEfire), a local criminologist has developed an anti-violence program with the Chicago Police Department, (link recommended earlier in the week by a reader).

- Finally, a reader wrote in to note the planting of trees up and down St. Marks between Classon and Franklin, a welcome addition to a strip that's rapidly shifting from post-institutional malaise to residential comfort (and where the city has invested in a new affordable housing development). Street trees are wonderful for many reasons - glad to see them going up! 

Readers will notice that the last two tips were submitted by followers. As always, ILFA loves correspondence, so keep 'em coming!

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