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AGBC News Episode 35: The Trump Tower Climber and a Subway Hero

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Podcast artwork via AGBC

🚨 NYPD recommends firing officer Pantaleo and Berkowitz is captured.

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AGBC News Episode 35: The Trump Tower Climber and a Subway Hero
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  • The goats brought in to clean up Riverside Park are taking a summer vacation! The original flock brought to the park in May was narrowed down from 24 to 18 after they cleaned out the weeds too quickly, and now the group will be meeting back up at their farm in Rhinebeck, NY while the weeds are allowed to regrow a bit on the steep slopes of Riverside Park that they were maintaining. As part of their going-away party, the Riverside Park Conservancy honored Massey the goat with an award for receiving the most votes in an online contest. The 166-pound, 10-year-old goat is the oldest of the bunch and received a bouquet of edible flowers as a prize. Watch for the goats to return later in the summer when they will be back for a second round of snacking on the invasive plants that will further weaken them and ensure they don't have the energy left to regrow again.

  • In July, one day before the anniversary of Eric Garner's death, the Department of Justice, now overseen by Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr, announced that they will not pursue civil rights charges against officer Pantaleo, who was seen in video putting Garner in a chokehold. Immediately after, the NYPD was quick to point out that their own internal disciplinary case against Pantaleo was still underway, and on August 2nd, an NYPD judge ruled that the officer should be fired due to his use of a chokehold when attempting to arrest Eric Garner, a tactic that is prohibited by NYPD policy and was listed by the city medical examiner as a contributing factor in Garner's death. Although the ruling is preliminary, Pantaleo was suspended effective immediately, after being kept employed in administrative duty during the five years since Eric Garner's death. The announcement came days after de Blasio was heckled by protesters demanding he fire Pantaleo during the second Democratic Presidential primary debates in Detroit. In response, he continued to claim that justice would be served in the next 30 days. Fellow Democratic candidate Kirsten Gillibrand had a more decisive answer. De Blasio has been polling between 0% and 1% among likely voters. The NYPD judge's decision will now make its way to NYPD Commissioner O'Neill, who will decide whether to fire Pantaleo in the upcoming weeks. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson released a statement saying:

    This decision is long overdue. It should not have taken five years to determine what the public clearly understood in five minutes: Officer Pantaleo used an illegal chokehold on Eric Garner, which ultimately led to his death. Now Police Commissioner O’Neill must act. Pantaleo must be fired immediately. Nothing will bring back Mr. Garner, but I hope this decision gives the Garner family some peace

  • 15 years ago on August 3, 2004 β€” The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopens for the first time since the September 11th attacks

  • You may not think of the city as harboring invasive insects, but arborists from the national Department of Agriculture have been inspecting trees in Brooklyn and Queens for Asian longhorn beetles. The beetles are thought to have originally traveled to the United States in 1996 in wooden shipping pallets, and now they threaten trees across the city. Inspectors search for the telltale signs of round holes in the wood of a tree, where the adult beetles emerge in late July. Keep an eye out for the signs of beetle infestation on your local trees: They create deep round holes big enough for a pencil to fit in and leave a collection of sawdust below the holes. The beetles themselves are about one and a half inches long, mostly black with white specks, and have distinctive blue stripes on their legs and long striped antennae. If you find a tree or piece of wood that may be infested, call the Asian longhorned beetle tip line at 1-866-702-9938 or email foresthealth@dec.ny.gov.

  • 9 years ago on August 9, 2010 β€” Upon landing at JFK, a JetBlue flight attendant announces that he is quitting his job and exits the jet via the emergency evacuation slide, taking two beers with him

  • 42 years ago on August 10, 1977 β€” David Berkowitz is taken into custody

  • 3 years ago on August 10, 2016 β€” A man partially climbs Trump Tower

  • And finally, thanks go out to Eric Boyo, an MTA subway operator for 27 years who stopped his train to help a woman on the tracks this week. As he approached Fulton Street on the G Train line, he noticed people on the platform waving their arms. Seeing that something must be wrong, he slowed his train early and then spotted a woman on the tracks. He stopped the train and opened the door at the front of the train to speak with the woman, and ended up helping her back onto the platform. Whether the woman intended to be struck by the train or had just fallen was unclear, but onlookers praised Eric for remaining calm and showing compassion during the rescue. According to the MTA, the recommended way to flag down an oncoming train during an emergency situation is to light your cellphone's flashlight and wave it side to side while facing the train.


A Great Big City has been running a 24-hour newsfeed since 2010, but the AGBC News podcast is just getting started, and we need your support. A Great Big City is built on a dedication to explaining what is happening and how it fits into the larger history of New York, which means thoroughly researching every topic and avoiding clickbait headlines to provide a straightforward, honest, and factual explanation of the news. Individuals can make a monthly or one-time contribution at agreatbigcity.com/support and local businesses can have a lasting impact by supporting local news while promoting products or services directly to interested customers listening to this podcast. Visit agreatbigcity.com/advertising to learn more.

AGBC is more than just a news website: Our fireworks page monitors the city's announcements of upcoming fireworks, lists them on our site, and automatically sends out a notification just before the fireworks begin, so that you can watch the show or prepare your pet for the upcoming sounds of explosions. Visit agreatbigcity.com/fireworks to see the full calendar and follow @agreatbigcity on social media to receive the alerts


Park of the day

  • Half-Nelson Playground β€” 1631 NELSON AvNUE, the Bronx β€” Named for being halfway down Nelson Avenue, this park features playground equipment built to resemble optical illusions!

Parks Events

  • The Department of Transportation's Summer Streets will close streets in Manhattan from 7am to 1pm from 72nd Street down Park Avenue and to the Brooklyn Bridge. The streets will be emptied out and made available to bicycles and pedestrians, with events and activities all along the route. At Foley Square downtown, a large group will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for simultaneous people doing a handstand, which currently stands at 399 people, at 51st Street, the Asia Society will be offering free temporary tattoos, and along Centre Street downtown, you can take a ride on a 30-foot-tall zipline!

Concert Calendar

Find more fun things to do at agreatbigcity.com/events.


Learn about New York

Here's something you may not have known about New York:

Weather

The extreme highs and lows for this week in weather history:
Record High: 104Β°F on August 7, 1918
Record Low: 54Β°F on August 8, 1903

Weather for the week ahead:
Light rain tomorrow through Thursday, with high temperatures rising to 89Β°F next Friday.

Intro and outro music: 'Start the Day' by Lee Rosevere β€” Concert Calendar music from Jukedeck.com

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