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Brooklyn Heights Montessori School’s New Head Begins July 1

May 29, 2013

Brooklyn Heights Montessori School (BHMS) at 185 Court Street, announces the appointment of Martha Haakmat as the new Head of School, effective July 1. Haakmat currently serves as the Head of the Middle School at Brooklyn Friends School. She replaces Dane L. Peters, who will retire at the end of this school year.

Haakmat has been an educator and leader in New York City independent schools for 26 years. In her current role at BFS, Haakmat has led and participated in curriculum evaluation, improving inter-divisional transitions and retention, redevelopment of faculty/staff supervision and growth procedures, establishing and hiring for the position of a dedicated divisional learning specialist and serving on and leading development of several all-school committees, including academic affairs, diversity and guidance.

She previously spent 14 years at Packer Collegiate Institute in numerous administrative and teaching roles, including Middle School admissions, Education Leadership Council member, Diversity Coordinator and teacher of history, humanities, English and health. Haakmat is also the founder/director and former chief consultant to EDGE (Educators for Diversity, Growth and Empowerment), which designs and conducts workshops for boards, faculty, staff, and student training in educational institutions regionally and nationally through the NYC Board of Education, Interschool, NYSAIS and NAIS.

Haakmat served on the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School Board of Trustees from 2009-2012. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MS Ed from the Bank Street College of Education.

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

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Around Brooklyn

Cobble Hill’s Linden Tree Preschool Looking For Assistance In Relocating Facility

April 22, 2013

Susan Kuhlmann, the Principal of Linden Tree Preschool in Cobble Hill, informs CHB that the facility it has used for the past nine years, Christ Church at 180 Kane Street, is being closed permanently after the building was struck by lightning and severely damaged last July.

At that time, Kuhlmann says, for safety reasons, the school had to immediately vacate, “being told by Christ Church we’d be back within weeks.” Since, it has been operating out of St. Stephen’s Church in Carroll Gardens. But now, “weeks and months have gone by and in January (2013), we were informed by Christ Church that they are closing Linden Tree Preschool as of June 30, sending families clamoring for alternate preschools and leaving nine dedicated staff members unemployed.”

Linden Tree Preschool is now searching for a new permanent home. Kuhlmann notes:

In order to continue to serve our families, staff and greater community by providing a beautiful preschool experience, myself and a colleague, Jennifer DeLuna, have formed our own LLC, Building Bridges. We require a minimum of 3,000 square feet but are willing to exceed that for the right opportunity. We are also willing to sign a long-term lease.

As you know rental space in our community is costly and difficult to come by. We have been searching for months and continue to. If anyone can help us please reach out, we need a home and can provide a nice income stream for a rental space. We appreciate any assistance.

Susan Kuhlmann:
Jennifer DeLuna:

Source: Cobble Hill Blog

From the Web


Vote For Local Project Funding From Councilman Steve Levin’s Kitty

April 1, 2013

As we reported last October, Steve Levin, who represents our district in the City Council, has $1 million in discretionary funds that may be used to bankroll projects in the area. Back then he had a community meeting to solicit ideas; now he has a list of sixteen “viable” projects and is asking constituents to vote this week for up to five of these projects to receive funding. The top vote getters, totalling up to $1 million, will be funded. A list of projects on the ballot is here.

Of the projects listed, several would benefit Brooklyn Heights or the immediate area. One would provide funds for laptops and smartboards at MS 8, which serves local students. Another would improve lighting in the Atlantic Avenue access to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Two others would improve Cadman Plaza Park; one by rehabilitating a presently closed comfort station, and the other by installing weight-based fitness equipment.

To vote you must be a resident of the district and sixteen or older. You must vote in person at a designated polling place, and bring ID proving age and residence. These are the locations and hours of operation of the polling places in this area:

The Moxie Spot, 81 Atlantic Avenue (between Henry and Hicks), today (Monday, April 1) through Saturday, April 6, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Borough Hall, 289 Joralemon Street, Wednesday, April 3, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

PS 8, 37 Hicks Street (between Middagh and Poplar), Friday, April 5, 7:45 to 9:45 a.m.

101 Clark Street Community Room, 101 Clark Street (between Henry and Cadman Plaza West), Sunday, April 7, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

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Brooklyn Heights, News

Two Members of the Central Park Five Visit Packer Collegiate

February 7, 2013

On Wednesday at the Packer Collegiate Institute, students and faculty listened raptly as two members of the Central Park Five shared their stories of being arrested, convicted, and jailed for the infamous 1989 Central Park jogger assault—a crime they didn’t commit.

Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam spoke to members of the Packer community for two hours, explaining how they came to be arrested and convicted, and later exonerated.

The event was coordinated by Alice Lurain and Sarah Strauss, who teach chemistry and history respectively in Packer’s Upper School. Lurain teaches an elective in forensic chemistry, Strauss one in criminal justice, and last year, they began to talk about a way to offer inter-disciplinary work to their students.

“Sarah and I had spoken last spring,” said Lurain, “about getting a speaker who could talk about the use of forensic evidence, possibly in exonerations, as a way to begin our collaboration between our classes so that the students would have a more concrete understanding of why it was important to examine science and the law as fallible human institutions that can be improved if we understand their limitations.”

And at a conference last summer, Lurain found exactly the speaker she was looking for.

“I attended the American Chemical Society meeting,” said Lurain, “and there happened to be a symposium co-sponsored by the Division of Science and Law and the Innocence Project. I heard three exonerees, one of whom was Raymond Santana, speak, along with a number of forensic chemists and other people involved in law enforcement. That prompted Sarah and me to contact the Innocence Project back in August about the possibility of having Raymond visit Packer.”

The Innocence Project suggested that Salaam visit as well, a suggestion Lurain eagerly accepted.

“Raymond’s story really struck me, particularly because he was so young at the time of his arrest,” she said. “We had no idea that their case would begin to get so much press with the release of the documentary and the book.”

The film is The Central Park Five a documentary produced by Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah, and David McMahon; it  was released last fall in the United States and is currently showing at the IFC Center.

Joining Santana and Salaam was Edwin Grimsley, a case analyst at the Innocence Project, which is based in downtown Manhattan.

“Can you imagine,” Salaam began, “being at school, leaving to go hang out with your friends, doing what normal kids do, and then a portion of them don’t show up because they were kidnapped by the police department?”

A naïve teenager, he learned that the police were looking for him, and his first instinct, he said, was to go to the precinct and tell them he hadn’t done anything.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” he said. “’I’m going to tell them, and my name will be off this list.’ I came home seven years later.”

Arrested at age 15, Salaam spent five and a half years in prison and three more on parole before being exonerated in 2002.  Santana was 14 when he began his five-year term.

“One decision,” Santana told the Upper School students gathered in Packer’s chapel, “going to hang out with my classmates, some guys from the neighborhood, changed my life.” 

Both Santana and Salaam were classified as sex offenders and had to register with local precincts every time they moved.  Following their exoneration and the publication of Sarah Burns’ book on which the movie is based, the men feel that they have been able to re-claim some pieces of their lives.

“It’s awesome for people to embrace us,” said Santana. “It says how far we’ve come as a city.”

Salaam concurred. “We’ve been welcomed back, back into society.”

Neither man, though, was so generous that he’s put what happened wholly behind him. Santana still feels the sting of losing his mother to cancer while he was incarcerated and of her never knowing that he’d been exonerated.

Salaam spoke bitterly of Mayor Koch and Donald Trump. Koch was captured on camera at the time proclaiming gleefully, “We got ‘em!”, while Trump took out full-page ads in city newspapers calling for the death penalty to be reinstated so that the five convicted boys could be executed.

Despite the exoneration, the city has never publicly apologized to the Central Park Five or admitted any wrongdoing in the handling of their cases. The other men who were convicted and exonerated are Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, and Kharey Wise.

Said Salaam, “We channel our rage into coming to schools and talking to students.”

“We love these engagements because of you guys,” Santana told the students. “Nobody wanted to invest in us, and we decided to invest in you, by telling our story.”

Disclosure: The author has taught at Packer since 1998. 

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Arts and Entertainment, Brooklyn Heights, Events

Friends Of Brooklyn Heights Library Offers Hart Crane Tribute January 9

January 7, 2013

The Friends of the Brooklyn Heights Branch Library is presenting “Dedicated To Hart Crane” Wednesday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. at 280 Cadman Plaza West. The Chief Librarian of the BPL will introduce Prof. Langdon Hammer, Chairman of the Department of English at Yale University, who will give a short talk about Hart Crane, one of Brooklyn Heights’ best-known poets, and read from his anthology of Crane’s poetry. He will also present the Branch with the Empire State Center’s Hall of Fame Plaque.

Books will also be available for purchase at the event, and refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Arts and Entertainment, Downtown Brooklyn, Events, Music

Brooklyn Friends School Hosts Annual Winter Festival 12/01

November 13, 2012

The Brooklyn Friends School Winter Festival is coming up after Thanksgiving, Saturday, 12/1, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Get a jump on holiday shopping and have a blast with your children at the Downtown Brooklyn school’s 33rd annual holiday fundraiser benefiting Horizons at Brooklyn Friends School.”

Festivities include a craft fair with 45 local artisans, holiday plant and wreath sale, book fair, children’s carnival with bouncy rides and games, a children’s craft activity center, and entertainment by musicians and a magician. Free admission for the craft fair. All-inclusive tickets for the carnival and other entertainment are $35 and may be purchased at the door. Horizons at Brooklyn Friends School is an academic summer enrichment program serving low-income children living in Downtown Brooklyn.

The event’s address: 375 Pearl Street in 11201, one block from Borough Hall and the Marriott Plaza. More info here.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Arts and Entertainment, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO

TONIGHT: PS 8 Hosts Fourth Annual ‘Night To Celebrate Reading’ In DUMBO

November 13, 2012

TONIGHT: Brooklyn Heights PS 8 is hosting its fourth annual “Night To Celebrate Reading,” with nearly a dozen authors participating, along with “wine, cheese, hors d’ouevres, author readings and hilarity.” The place: Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO at 16 Main Street, 7-10 p.m. Adults only, please.

This year’s authors include Katie Moline, Jeff Newelt, Monte Burke, Katie Roiphe, Dan Janison, Kevin Holohan, Tad Friend, Matthew Aaron Goodman, Seth Kaufman and more. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, benefiting PS 8. More info here. See the flyer below.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

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Brooklyn Heights

Follow-Up: Nate Silver Nails All 50 States In Prez Election Prediction

November 7, 2012

After BHB reported Tuesday about Brooklyn Heights area resident/NY Times’ 538 Blog guru Nate Silver’s prediction that “President Obama has a 90.9% probability of winning reelection” and his profile in Tablet, it appears the statistician/strategist correctly called every single state in last evening’s election—after being needled for weeks by political commentators who ridiculed his method for forecasting election results. rounds up news reports from the likes of Slate, Huffington Post, Forbes, Newsday, Time and more. (Photo: Penguin Press)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

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Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Events

Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club Hosts Monthly ‘Dinner With The Doctor’

October 17, 2012

The Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club has launched a monthly series called “Dinner with the Doctor” to aid health education in the community. Free and open to the public, it takes place at the Brooklyn Marriott, 333 Adams Street. The series is moderated by Rotary Club charter member Cara Lubin, M.D.

The series kicked off October 11 with a discussions on dementia by Brooklyn Heights neurologist Dr. Richard Lechtenberg, a 35-year medical veteran. The second, Thursday November 8, will feature cardiologist Ozgen Dogan, M.D., also based in the Heights, on “Prevention in Heart Disease.” Subsequent lectures will cover breast cancer, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension and weight loss.

Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club president Vivian Hardison, tells NY1, “Sometimes, in a doctor’s office, there is no time to really ask questions. At this format, you can ask as many questions as you like in a relaxed environment.” For information, see the Rotary Club’s website here or email Hardison here.

The mission of the Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club is to provide a venue for Rotarians to grow and develop in humanitarian spirit while providing service to others. The motto of Rotary International is “Service Above Self.”

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

P.S. 8′s Middle School to Open Tomorrow

September 5, 2012

Tomorrow (Thursday, September 6), M.S. 8, the middle school extension of P.S. 8, will welcome its first students. The school is located in the George Westinghouse High School building (see photo). M.S. 8 students will use the building’s Tillary Street entrance, between Jay and Bridge streets.

State Senator Daniel Squadron, who advocated and worked to secure establishment of the new school, will be on hand to greet students and parents starting at 7:30 a.m.

Image: a child grows in brooklyn.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

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