Your weekly newsbriefs

The fun is back

Well, in 95 more days to be exact. For now, everyone looking forward to the opening of the new Luna Park in Coney Island will have to satisfy themselves with LunaParkNYC.com

The new Web site invites visitors to check out the new Luna Park blog and, perhaps more importantly, apply for jobs.

Open positions offered at the new amusement park include ride operations, park services, food & beverages, retail and more.

Luna Park is slated to open in Coney Island on May 29.

In other Luna news…

This summer, cool down with a Luna Lager.

Coney Island Craft Lagers(handcrafted byShmaltz Brewing Company) is putting out a special summer release called Coney Island Luna Lager.

Luna Lager commemorates the launch of the new Luna Park 2010.

Proceeds from Coney Island Craft Lagers also continue to help Coney Island USA, which defends the honor oflost forms of American popular culture in Brooklyn’s historic Coney Islandneighborhood.

Coney Island Luna Lager will be available this summer throughout the city in 22 oz. bottles.A very limited supply of kegs at specialty shops and select bars.

For more information, go to www.coneyislandlager.com.

Pick a rubber!

There’s still time for you to select your favorite design for a special edition NYC Condom wrapper.

Of the nearly 600 submissions, five designs were chosen as finalists. They’re now posted on the Health Department’s Web site, www.nyc.gov/health, where Brooklynites can vote for their favorite until February 28.

Pick from a manhole cover, top-hat or Bay Ridge resident Gene Lambert’s subway-themed design.

As the Health Department notes, “Using a condom every time you have anal, oral or vaginal sex protects you and your partners from getting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, genital herpes, hepatitis B and syphilis, and prevents unplanned pregnancies.”

“Although nothing except not having sex provides 100 percent protection, condoms are approximately 95 percent effective in preventing STDs and provide protection against pregnancy. But better safe than sorry—use another form of birth control (such as the pill, IUD, diaphragm, Depo-Provera) and a condom for greater prevention against both pregnancy and STDs,” experts say. “Birth control methods such as the pill, IUD and diaphragm alone do not protect you from getting HIV and other STDs.”

Add this to your blogroll

The head of a Brooklyn community board has entered the blogosphere.

Alvin Berk, the longtime chair of Community Board 14 – whose catchment area includes Flatbush, Midwood and Kensington – launched the blog www.citypragmatist.com with son Jonathan last month.

Its purpose, the blog states, is to keep up “a running conversation about New York City government. We expect to discuss the city charter, the relationship between the mayor and the City Council, the roles of the borough presidents and the community boards, what’s going on at selected city agencies, and how City Hall, the economy, land use, transportation, and public schools all affect the size of the city’s middle class and the city’s viability. Our aim will be to look at connections and how government really works.”

Charter revision is a focus of the blog. Recent posts explore the Charter-mandated method by which lucrative city contracts are awarded, and the potential impact of Charter revision on community boards and local level input, as well as speculating on who might be named chair of the commission that would study the subject.

Design a logo, win money

Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District is holding a logo and slogan contest — and you could walk home with a cash prize if your submission is selected!.

The group is hoping its new logo and slogan reflects the uniqueness, diversity and excitement that is Fifth Avenue, a strip boasts 90 restaurants, cafes, bars and hundreds of retailstores and services in a thirty block areafor great shopping, fun and entertainment.

All entries should be submitted by e-mail to [email protected]. First prize winners will receive $1,000; second place winners get $300, and third place will take home $100. All entries will become property of the Fifth Avenue BID. The group’s current logo is a red numeric five, and its slogan is, “5th Avenue: The Pulse of Park Slope.”

To learn more about us please check the group’s blog and Web site: AllAboutFifth.blogspot.com, andParkSlopeFifthAvenueBID.com, respectively. The deadline for submissions is April 5, 2010.

One family’s story

A new book tells the story of a young Brooklyn woman who was reportedly diagnosed with lupus at the age of nine,who today is a healthy teenager.

“Lupus Cure or Spontaneous Remission: The True Life of Samantha Garcia,” written by the girl’s father, Emilio Garcia.

The book delves into the causes of lupus, an autoimmune disease formerly known as systemic lupus erythematosus rarely found in young children, and the family’s dealings with it. The book advises that it is an educational publication and should not be considered as medical advice,.

For more information on the book, go to www.diseasefreealternative.com.

Bridging the health care gap

Over 700 protestors marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday to protest a city health insurance giant who they claim is helping to stall President Obama’s progressive health care bill.

After stretching from one end of the bridge to the other, protestors organized by Health Care for America Now (HCAN) went to the offices of WellPoint Inc, which they said has actively lobbied against health care reform.

The Brooklyn Bridge march was one of 40 health care rallies held simultaneously in 32 different states designed to “call out the special interests and political obstructionists” who are stopping the health care bill from moving forward.

“Hundreds of New Yorkers took to the streets because New York, like America, voted for change – and now it’s time for our political leaders to deliver on their promise of change,” said Mark Hannay, Director of the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign.“Comprehensive health care reform is the wedge issue for the entire change agenda, and that’s why, among other reasons, Congress and the President must get health care done now and do it right.The special interests, such as health insurers, and their political allies are blocking all these changes. ”

Super sex offender fight

There are sex offenders out there who have managed to get their hands on the keys to dozens of apartments in buildings throughout the city — and they get paid for it.

So said Park Slope U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who on Sunday outlined new legislation he’s working on that would prevent convicted sex offenders from becoming superintendents or managers of any multi-family apartment buildings.

His legislation comes on the heels of news reports that a convicted child rapist had used his position as an Upper West Side building superintendent to pressure tenants into having sex with him.

“A convicted sex offender should not be able to become a super or building manager in any multi-family apartment building in New York City, period,” Schumer said in a statement. “The fact that these sex offenders have access to apartments where there are children present is beyond scary and we must take immediate action to stop it. My hope is that my new legislation closes this huge loophole which allows sex offenders to have easy access to the homes of innocent New Yorkers.”

Brooklyn building mines LEED gold

Brooklyn’s first LEED Gold-certified building is in Williamsburg.

Known as “Greenbelt,” the five-story condominium building, located at 361 Manhattan Avenue, contains eight units and 4,000 square feet of arts space that it rents out to the Center for Performance Research for the past two years. It is the first mixed-use facility and arts space to receive this Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating, and the state’s first multifamily low-rise building to be awarded with LEED Gold status.

“Unlike the majority of LEED projects sponsored by large corporations building high-rise structures, Greenbelt shows that a neighborhood-scaled development can achieve excellence in environmental design for the rest of us,” said Derek Denckla of Propeller Group, the building’s developer.

Environmental leaders have called the building a model for the urban environment and for city developers to follow, though choreographer and Center for Performance Research co-founder, Jonah Bokaer, just calls the building home.

“New York City is facing a real estate crisis that threatens to displace the arts from maintaining permanent, affordable space,” said Bokaer. “CPR responds to this crisis by offering subsidized workspace for rehearsal and performance, made possible by the sale of the market-rate condominiums above us.”

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