The Brooklyn Borough President issued the following news release: On February 3, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was joined by Deputy Borough President Yvonne Graham, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, other elected officials and hundreds of guests and honorees for the 2011 State of the Borough Address at Sunset Park High School. BP Markowitz entered the auditorium riding his "senior cycle" on an auditorium "bike lane," and during the Address reiterated his opposition to the Prospect Park West bike lane, but overall support of bike lanes, where appropriate.
Among the other major initiatives and updates outlined by BP Markowitz: * Business "incubator" to create jobs in Central Brooklyn. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC) is issuing a Request for Proposal (EFP) for qualified individuals, organizations or companies to develop, operate and maintain an incubator space funded by more than $1 million of the borough president's capital budget--preferably with a food-related use such as food manufacturing, storage or shared commercial kitchen space--in either the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, East New York or Crown Heights, or within a portion of the Moore Street Market in East Williamsburg.
* Pledge of capital funds for IBM school at Paul Robeson High School. BP Markowitz pledged capital funds (amount to be determined) to assist with the proposed technology-themed high school to be underwritten by IBM and located at Paul Robeson High School in North Crown Heights. In addition to high school curriculum, students will complete two years of college under a program designed by the New York City College of Technology. BP Markowitz fought the Department of Education's plan to close Paul Robeson High School last year.
* The 2011 Strategic Policy Statement. Borough presidents are mandated by the City Charter to present a Strategic Policy Statement every four years. In his 2011 vision for Brooklyn, BP Markowitz outlines his goals in the areas of arts and culture; constituent services; economic development; education and libraries; health; housing; parks and recreation; public safety and criminal justice; and transportation and transit. To view or download the complete Strategic Policy Statement with executive summary, visitwww.brooklyn-usa.org.
* Loew's Kings Theater update. BP Markowitz announced that renovation work is underway at the famed Loew's Kings in Flatbush.
* Relocating Panasonic headquarters to Brooklyn. BP Markowitz called on Panasonic to relocate its headquarters and hundreds of jobs from Secaucus, New Jersey to Brooklyn.
* Improving the Gowanus Expressway. With emissions causing high rates of asthma and traffic backups along its entire stretch, the Gowanus Expressway needs improvements, and BP Markowitz urged action sooner than later to redesign the artery.
In this year's State of the Borough Address, BP Markowitz stressed the theme of job creation. "We need jobs, jobs, jobs--right here, right now. As far as I'm concerned, for elected officials, jobs should be 'job one.'" Other highlights of 2010 included construction beginning on Barclays Center; the opening up of the Municipal Building at 210 Joralemon Street to retail; new retailers coming to Fulton Mall and new hotels in the borough; progress on converting the Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg into residential units as well as transforming Fourth Avenue into what BP Markowitz envisions as a grand "Brooklyn Boulevard"; the opening of Piers 1 and 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park; groundbreaking at the BioBAT bioscience facility at the Brooklyn Army Terminal; a new future for Coney Island; and nearly 15 million visitors to Brooklyn attractions last year. BP Markowitz poked some fun at meeting Beyonce and supermodels Christy Turlington-Burns and Brooklyn Decker in 2010, including the photo spread of him and Ms. Decker that appeared in the New York Post Page Six Magazine.
The State of the Borough Address also celebrated community leaders and Brooklynites with the "Brooklyn attitude," including hero NYPD Detective Feris "Jonesy" Jones; 96-year-old Cub Scout pack leader Adele Trapp of Crown Heights; Maddalena and Fortunato Corso of Bensonhurst, married 70 years; Matthew Turner and Emily Grant, husband-and-wife Marines from Brooklyn Heights who met and fell in love while serving in Fallujah; the Brooklyn Community Foundation "Do-Gooders" honorees; hero EMTs Delano Williams and Rheinhold Danglade; Alice Sena of Bay Ridge, who rescued 74 wedding gowns from a fire at her store, Sposabella; Robin Rogers of Williamsburg, whose called-off wedding turned into a fundraiser for a neighborhood soup kitchen; and Brooklyn Rhodes Scholars Zachary Frankel and Zujaja Tauqeer.
The borough president also paid tribute to Brooklynites lost in 2010, including Saul Bruckner, founding principal of Edward R. Murrow High School; Bernard Catcher, public servant and Democratic Party leader; Dr. Henry Frank, former consul general of Haiti; Dr. Harvey Garner, former New York City Schools Chancellor and longtime superintendent of District 18; Lena Horne, Bedford-Stuyvesant-born Grammy, Emmy and Tony-winning singer, actress and civil rights activist; Johnny Maestro, lead singer of the Brooklyn Bridge; Reggie Nero, who taught valuable lessons to kids through sports at Wingate Field; Jerry O'Shea, longtime executive director of the Flatbush Tenants Council; Paul Podhaizer, president of the Brightwater Towers Tenants Association; William "Bill" Saunders, former state committee member and district leader of the 57th Assembly District; and Congressman Stephen J. Solarz, who represented Brooklyn for 18 years.