October is over, and here are BP’s top stories of the month, feat. illegal dispensaries, Superstorm Sandy, and election drama

flooding, fresh creek and marijuana collage for october round-up
Some of BP’s top stories this month included the 10-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, an argument over the legal “grey area” of marijuana dispensaries, and more.
Photos by Elizabeth Graham, Caroline Ourso, Hans Pennik/AP

The door has closed on October, but some of the news that broke through the month will stay with Brooklynites for weeks or even years to come.

Some New Yorkers have grown tired of waiting for the state to start issuing licenses to sell recreational marijuana after adult use and retail sale of the drug was legalized last year — but their not-quite-legal stores are drawing ire from neighbors. Ten years after Hurricane Sandy, Brooklynites are still living with the damage wrought by the devastating storm — and Downtown Brooklyn residents are asking the Department of Transportation to make some changes to a recent dramatic street makeover. In southern Brooklyn, congressional candidates are sparring over what is arguably the city’s most important election of the year.

Brannan, Gounardes call for crackdown on illegal marijuana dispensaries in midst of legalization ‘purgatory’

Selling adult-use marijuana is now legal, following the passing of the Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) by New York State in March 2021 however licenses to sell haven't been administered yet.
AP Photo/Mel Evans

New York is in a “legal purgatory” more than a year after it legalized recreational use and sale of marijuana — the state still hasn’t issued any retail licenses to weed stores, but that hasn’t stopped illegal dispensaries from popping up all over the borough — and some local politicians are asking the NYPD to take action. Councilmember Justin Brannan and state Senator Andrew Gounardes are worried the illegal shops could have on the local economy as they sell untaxed, unregulated marijuana.

Street relief: Downtown Brooklynites ask DOT to flip traffic on Bond Street after Schermerhorn redesign

The newly-redesigned Schermerhorn Street features a long-overdue protected bike lane — but some Downtown Brooklyn residents say the conversion of the street to a one-way has led to gridlock in the nabe, and the city’s Department of Transportation is considering a solution.

The new two-way protected bicycle lane made Schermerhorn Street one-way eastbound between Smith Street and Third Avenue — eliminating a vehicle traffic lane. Now, those who live and drive on Schermerhorn Street are having trouble driving north, toward Fulton Street. They have asked – and DOT is considering — making part of Bond Street a one-way northbound, rather than a one-way southbound.

bike rider on schermerhorn street
The recently-redesigned Schermerhorn Street is causing some problems for local drivers, who say they have no way to drive north to Fulton Street now that the thoroughfare is one-way. File photo by Ben Brachfeld

Superstorm Sandy, 10 years later: A look back on the storm, its devastating effects, and the city’s progress

bay ridge boardwalk after superstorm sandy october 2012
The boardwalk in Bay Ridge was torn up and flooded after Hurricane Sandy. File photo by Elizabeth Graham

Superstorm Sandy was the most destructive storm to arrive in New York City in recent history — and when the shock of the floods, the power outages, and the rain receded, the real impact of the storm set in.

Ten years later, repairs are ongoing at several public housing developments across the borough — Red Hook Houses still suffers with mold and other structural issues, and an ongoing resiliency project has made life “unbearable” for residents. The New York Aquarium in Coney Island only just fully reopened — and the city is still trying to figure out how to protect vulnerable communities from future storms.

As Sandy anniversary nears, Canarsie celebrates completion of Fresh Creek Coastal Resiliency Project

A decade ago, record-high storm surges and rainfall brought by Superstorm Sandy flooded streets and homes in Canarsie. Just before the ten-year anniversary of the storm, the Mayor’s Office of Storm Recovery cut the ribbon on the Fresh Creek Coastal Resiliency Project, which fortified the nabe’s sewer systems against future floods and reinforced a critical outflow into Fresh Creek.

maria garrett at podium
Maria Garrett, community member and president of the Fresh Creek Civic Association, points to her home as she speaks during the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the finished construction of the Fresh Creek Coastal Resiliency Project. Garrett has been working for years to raise awareness of Canarsie’s vulnerabilities and needs. Caroline Ourso

Rose, Malliotakis lambast each other for missing debates

nicole malliotakis at dyker heights debate
U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis and her opponent, former congressmember Max Rose, are in a back-and-forth of criticism after Rose skipped an Oct. 11 debate hosted by the Dyker Heights Civic Association.Photo courtesy U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis/Twitter

In New York City’s only swing district, congressional candidates Max Rose and Nicole Malliotakis locked their horns over missed debates — Rose skipped out on a debate hosted by the Dyker Heights Civic Association which earned him the criticism of the incumbent Malliotakis — one of the few Republican lawmakers in Brooklyn. But Rose hit right back when Malliotakis skipped a debate hosted by NY1.