Open Thread Wednesday 5/28/08

What’s on your mind? Plenty of active discussions going on now, so feel free to use this space for anything else you’d like to bring up.

Comment away!

BHB Photo Club pic by fkuffel via Flickr

Share this Story:

  • FH

    I’d like to know what is going on with that woman that has been living on the Promenade for the past month or so. Has anyone talked to her? She does not seem like a bum, yet she appears to truly be homeless. When it rains she sleeps under the scaffolding between Hicks and Montague Terrace. A few days ago some guy was hitting on her and ended up spending the night with her on the Promenade bench. Anyone have any info?

  • nabeguy

    When you say “hitting on her”, I hope you don’t mean physically. I don’t know the person in question, but if you’re correct in your timeline of a month, then you’re talking hardcore homelessness and you should probably drop Social Services a call at 311.

  • Ethan

    If we’re talking about the same guy, he isn’t “hitting on her”, he’s a JW trying to convert her.

    What happened to blog entry about the Vespa Scooter dog walker?

  • Jen

    The last post I saw on the Vespa Dog Walker was a very distressed one about the posts not being “neighborly” and asking for the thread to be removed. And then it was, with no explanation. So much for the interesting discussion. I like the neighborhood info on this blog but am getting sick of the way it’s run. Anyone know a better one?

  • Homer Fink

    Jen – Thanks for the comment. Apologies for not addressing this sooner. I was preparing a column on this subject but instead will explain why here.

    The original post and photo were factual and included the opinion of the person who sent us the photo. I did not pull the post because of that content. It happened. It was true.

    It was pulled because – in this case and in my sole opinion – the comments ended up reflecting the very worst of the BHB community and I could not allow that. While the original topic of someone walking dogs while riding a motorscooter was clearly a matter of public safety and appropriate for this forum, the preponderance of off-topic personal digs in the comments section gave me no choice but to pull the entire story.

    We will look into ways in which we can better moderate comments – including user registration – so that we don’t have to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ in the future.

    I hope you can respect this personal choice I’ve made for the blog I run and love for the best neighborhood in New York City. I stand by this site and all of its content and reserve the right to sometimes do things just because I feel it’s the right thing to do – not a First Amendment or Free Speech issue but a matter of good manners.

  • jim

    Jen you are so right. This totally rips homers credibilty. Someone who has their dog walked by this loser probably threatned him.

  • Jazz

    Nice Jim, rip a guy for being a gentleman.

  • Jen

    Homer, I appreciate your thoughtful response and explanation of your reasoning. Better moderation is a great idea — I do find this blog interesting and informative for the most part.

  • GetHerOffThe Scooter

    “It was pulled because – in this case and in my sole opinion – the comments ended up reflecting the very worst of the BHB community and I could not allow that.”

    Wow, I am seriously impressed with your integrity in this matter. Get the hint of sarcasm? I am not sure what was said after 9 AM this morning, but until then it seemed to be a normal, sometime heated discussion about a topic that is concern for some of us. I have read far worse comments on this blog, e.g. “Ghettoplex”, homeless woman living somewhere on Henry in a “tent”, JW’s, other homeless people, minority workers at the “Busy Chef” complex, links to the “Nanny watchers”, the Housewifes of New York (Cobble Hill Blog), etc. The most racist and nastiest comments have been made in those threads and I do not recall that you ever stepped in there to avoid of having the very worst reflecting on the BHB community.

    For one, if Jennifer would walk my dog, I would like to know if she walks my dog on a scooter so that I can make sure that my dog never gets walked again by her. After all I am at work and will not see her “scooting” my dog. Second, a couple of months ago she was almost running me over on the damn scooter on the sidewalk when she was racing somewhere.

    So, why did you really pull that article? Was it that she (a former lawyer) called you and threatened to sue you or did Frances, in friendship to Jennifer, ask you to remove the thread instead? As some of you might have noticed in the morning, several comments were removed and instead parts of it were cited in a response from Frances.

    You have lost credibility and my respect.

  • Homer Fink

    Mr. Scooter – Thanks for your comment. My earlier comment explains my reasoning, you’re welcomed to disagree.

  • clarknt67

    “Freedom of speech” violations get tossed around a little too often imo (and I’m a bleeding heart liberal, with my own ACLU card, fyi). But Homer has not violated anyone’s “freedom to speak.” He has just impaired their ability to use his forum, which I assume he pays for, to speak. “Freedom of speech” does not include guarantee of venue. It’s Homer’s venue, he can set the rules of discourse.

    Anyway, I’m curious if anyone knows what’s up the 101 Clinton/159 Joralemon? It’s the large building on the NW corner of Clinton & Joralemon. A business owner there told me it was slated for demolition. And other businesses seem to be vacating. Anyone know what’s going in here?

  • jim

    Homer at least tell the truth. There “are” far more offensive posts on your site right now in your archives.

    this was a legit story about someone possibly abusing dogs in their care… At least have some guts and keep the posting up.

  • Andrew Porter

    Meanwhile, a stop work order was issued by the DOB the evening of May 28th against 71 Pineapple Street (not to be confused with the one issued for the first floor of 75 P/A) due to unlawful excavation in the basement.

  • lurker

    Hey “whateva”, or whateva new name you like to comment under, YOU are beginning to bore US. It’s quite clear you don’t like brooklyn heights, so why don’t you move to park slope where you belong you old crow

  • CJP

    Add my voice to those dismayed by the abrupt halt to the dog/scooter discussion. It’s Homer’s board. Might I suggest the topic continue to rage (it will) with aggressive removal of those postings that Homer deems add nothing to the conversation.

  • lurker

    whatever, “whateva”. It’s a sad commentary on your dreary life that you get your rocks off like that. take your crotchety, bitter, old attitude to the nursing home you hag

  • nabeguy

    Hey guys, it open thread, not open season. Quit the sniping!

  • Jazz

    whateva is one “busy” commenter!

  • frances

    Re: Scooter-walker-against-traffic: Some of the insulting comments were removed AFTER I had quoted them. I quoted what was unsustainable or vile. Freedom of speech does not give speakers impunity from libel laws. When you bash the Witnesses, you bash a group. This was an assault on one person that kept mounting beyond the three (scooter-walking, against traffic, no helmet) customs and laws she broke. I’m calling WALKING a dog a custom because I don’t know if there are laws about it.

    Pretend it was your kid riding against traffic without a helmet, or pretend your tax form was published here with questionable deductions. Would you appreciate comments on size, IQ, drinking habits, and probability of lacking a license or insurance?

    C’mon, people: THINK about it. & don’t say your kid or you yourself wouldn’t do it because we’ve all fudged the law at some point.

    Here’s another question: are any of the churches currently collecting books for book fairs?

  • Walter

    Frances are you saying that scooter lady realizes she was wrong and that perhaps all Homer cared about was the safety of the dogs? And he might have taken the post down not because he thought she’d sue (she’d lose big time, admit it) but because the commenters were making fun of her and veering off topic of pet safety?

  • RNTR

    Hi neighbors! I am a recent Brooklyn Law School grad and have come to adore the Heights! I have had the great good luck to live here in BLS housing for the past 2 years. Now that I’ve graduated I must go out into the world to find my own shelter and I’d love to stay in the area! If you could all keep your eyes and ears open and contact me if you come across something you think fits…my budget is $1800, should be at least a 1 bedroom (to suit a couple), and allow a large rottweiler dog (which will be moving up with my boyfriend). you can e-mail me at Thanks!

  • frances

    Hey, Walter —

    Scooter Lady realizes she messed up, I’m sure. We can even congratulate ourselves on saving her a ticket. I don’t know what Homer had in mind with the original post, nor am I his spokesperson for why he took the comments down — although he’s made that clear above.

    My contention has always been that many of the comments were vicious and many other comments WERE libelous: being touted as a drunk, without a driver’s license, without insurance is enough to ruin a career. I don’t know how much success someone would have in pressing the case but I do know there have been lawsuits over just such accusations and rumors.

    Does a blog have to be the National Enquirer?