This Brooklyn Activist Is Making Life Hell for Her Community Board

Felipe De La Hoz for the Village Voice
Alicia Boyd in action at a recent Community Board 9 meeting
The meeting ended just as most have over the past year: Alicia Boyd was shouting at Community Board 9 District Manager Pearl Miles. And Miles was shouting back.

"You're corrupt, Pearl!" yelled Boyd, to which Miles replied: "I don't care!"

Asked to clarify, Miles quickly mumbled that she meant she didn't care what Boyd thought.

Earlier in the meeting, Miles had called the police and threatened to have Boyd ejected for "trespassing." It would have been the fourth time Boyd was arrested and removed from one of the board's regular or committee meetings; this one was abruptly adjourned before the NYPD could arrive.

Boyd, a 54-year-old former kindergarten teacher and therapist with a stern educator's gaze and frizzy, layered hair, is a community organizer and the leader of the Movement to Protect the People, a community group that opposes upzoning and real estate development in Brooklyn's Community District 9, which includes Crown Heights, Prospect–Lefferts Gardens, and parts of Flatbush.

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Here's How Mayor de Blasio Hopes to Educate Your Toddlers in the Future

courtesy of Kristin Eno
"If we want social cohesion, if we want hope and possibility, do even more for early childhood education. That's what Reggio Emilia taught us. That's what we can carry on today." — Mayor Bill de Blasio

"What is that noise?" Evelyn Salzman asks her mother. She is listening to the tip-tap of shoes on a stairway.

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Meet the Artist Who Created a Map of Brooklyn With Litter Collected From Each Block

Courtesy of Jennifer Maravillas
Jennifer Maravillas and her 71 Square Miles
In February 2012, Jennifer Maravillas set out on foot to every corner of Brooklyn in a bid to collect litter for an art piece titled 71 Square Miles. The colossal ten-by-ten-foot map is a penciled outline of the borough filled in with pieces of loose paper — food menus, church bulletins, newspapers, handwritten notes, lottery tickets, even a dried leaf — with each bit of ephemera standing in for the block on which she found it.

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The Aggressively Freaky 'Mr. Lower East Side' Pageant Is Forced to Brooklyn

Photo by Jason Speakman for the Village Voice
Claude Debris, center, in the houndstooth suit, was crowned Mr. Lower East Side 2015 this week at a bar in Brooklyn. "The Lower East Side is a state of mind," says the pageant's organizer.
After fifteen years of celebrating an anti-pageant featuring nudity, bizarre genitalia-related talent shows, and an all-night bacchanal in Manhattan, the annual Mr. Lower East Side was moved to Brooklyn this year.

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These Two Ladies Started a 'Pin-Up School' to Unleash Your Inner Bettie Page

Courtesy of Brooklyn Pin Up School
Renee DiDio, right, and Anna Patin want to get you pinned.
Aside from the tattoo sleeves and profanity-laced speech, Renee DiDio is the granddaughter your Nana always wanted: Her A-line dress falls just below her pantyhosed knee, and her hair is carefully coiffed into a classic bob. Her scarlet lipstick matches her shoes, and her handbag has a crisp clasp from which, one imagines, she might daintily extract an embroidered handkerchief.

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Love (and Methane) in the Air at Valentine's Day Tour of Wastewater Treatment Plant

Pranay and Erin Reddy
Like most successful romantic endeavors, the Valentine's Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant began with a release form.

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The Wire Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe Fights Global Injustice From Brooklyn

Being a performer has never been enough for Gbenga Akinnagbe. More »

Under Pressure, NY State Agrees to Scale Back Planned Gowanus Parole Center

Categories: Brooklyn

Katie Toth, Village Voice
Protesters in November demonstrating near the site of the future Gowanus parole center
A Brooklyn community group that formed in opposition to a massive proposed parole center in Gowanus has achieved a major victory as the state has agreed to scale back plans for the facility, which had been intended to serve 6,000 ex-criminals per month.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced on January 14 that it had settled a lawsuit filed in November 2014 by Gowanus United — a collective of nearby residents and business owners who opposed the facility — that accused the state of sidestepping city zoning laws to build the center and failing to consult the community before submitting plans. Residents argued that the center, located at 15 Second Avenue near the Gowanus Canal, would flood the neighborhood — which includes schools, churches, and many small businesses — with thousands of potentially dangerous past offenders, as well as impede truck traffic in the manufacturing-heavy neighborhood.

As part of the negotiated settlement, the state agreed to reduce the number of parolees reporting to the facility from 6,000 to 2,000, at least for the first two years of operation. During that time, the Department of Corrections will create a program of decentralized reporting locations throughout Brooklyn to serve the remaining 4,000 parolees.

See also:
Literally No One Is Happy About the Massive Parole Center Being Built in Gowanus

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Literally No One Is Happy About the Massive Parole Center Being Built in Gowanus

Categories: Brooklyn

Katie Toth
Construction continues on November 12 at the Brooklyn parole headquarters in Gowanus.
If a good compromise is one in which neither side is happy, then New York's prison system leaders should be proud of themselves for angering just about everyone with their decision to build a giant facility for ex-criminals in the middle of Gowanus. Except it kind of wasn't really a compromise at all. And they're actually being sued.

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Betsy Head Playground in Brownsville Is Getting a Much-Needed Renovation

Albert Samaha
Betsy Head Park, across the street from Betsy Head Playground in Brownsville, BK
For years now, some Brownsville locals kept their kids away from Betsy Head Playground. One father, James, walked by the playground with his nine-year-old son one day over the summer. It was a nice, warm, bright day, and as father and son walked down Dumont Avenue, two boys inside the playground started calling the son's name.

"Can I go play with them?" the son asked James.

"Nah, not today," said James. "We gotta get home."

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