CAMERA MAN: Gov. Cuomo will
sign off on a bill that will more
than quintuple the amount of the
city’s school zone-speed cameras,
he said on March 19. Darren McGee
addition of up to 610 cameras
— which automatically photograph
the license plates of
cars driving 30 miles-per hour
or more in school zones, and
send those vehicles’ registered
owners $50 tickets — across
the city’s 2,300 school zones.
The legislation also:
• Lengthens the hours the
cameras are on, extending
their current operating times
from an hour before and after
school is in session to between
6 am and 10 pm on weekdays.
• Broadens the areas where
the cameras operate, allowing
offi cials to install them
BY JULIANNE MCSHANE
Photo by Caroline Ourso
As many as 750 speed cameras
will soon monitor drivers in
city school zones, according to
Gov. Cuomo, who on March 19
said he will sign a bill authorizing
a massive expansion of the
cameras, and the hours they
operate, after the state Senate
and Assembly each passed versions
of the legislation.
“I support the speed cameras.
I’ll sign it,” Cuomo said
at a press conference following
each chamber’s vote.
The lower chamber passed
Deborah Glick’s version of the
bill before sending it off to the
state Senate, whose members
passed corresponding legislation
introduced by state Sen.
Andrew Gounardes (D–Bay
Ridge) by a vote of 43-18 .
The Legislature’s approval
of the bills came days after
Council on March 13 formally
requested that state pols vote
in favor of the legislation that
only affects the city, passing a
so-called Home Rule Request
by a vote of 44–3.
The bill, now awaiting Cuomo’s
signature, authorizes the
within a quarter-mile radius
of schools, not just within a
quarter-mile stretch of the
same street a given school is
on as current law allows.
• Requires the city to hang
signs in school zones with
speed cameras that warn drivers
of the technology’s presence.
• Mandates local offi cials
prioritize placing the cameras
in school zones with higher
rates of speeding and crashes.
• Requires the city to submit
annual reports to the governor
and leadership of both
chambers of the Legislature
with data including the total
amount of ticket revenue that
local offi cials spent on traffi c
and pedestrian safety measures,
as well as “the effectiveness
and adequacy of the expanded
hours of operation.”
Gounardes cheered the
passage of the expanded bill,
which he said would help
make streets safer in Brooklyn
and all boroughs.
“No parent, senior, or pedestrian
of any age should live
in fear of crossing the street
because of speeding traffi c,”
Deinya Phenix and the Batala
New York drum group performed
as part of the local
Cumbe Center for African and
Diaspora Dance’s “Carnaval,
Kanaval, Carnival” event on
March 2, which also featured
performances by the Bedford-
Stuyvesant studio’s teachers
and students, whose routines
paid tribute to the Carnival
festival that many Christian
cultures celebrate to mark the
start of Lent.
he said. “This program slows
traffi c and saves lives.”
The state’s move to massively
and their operating hours
comes roughly eight months
after all of them temporarily
shut off last July, after state
Sen. Simcha Felder (D–Midwood)
program from leaving the
Cities Committee, which he
chaired at the time, for a fl oor
vote in the upper chamber before
it dispersed in June.
Council then stepped in to
broker an emergency deal between
Gov. Cuomo, who ultimately
signed an executive order to
turn the tech back on before
school started in September,
and this year included a proposal
speed-camera program without
order, and up the number of
cameras, but only to 290.
The new legislation will become
signs it, and would be valid
through June 30, 2022.
New play changes the focus of the ‘Ali Baba’ story
By Aidan Graham She’s being honored among thieves!
A new play in Sunset Park will
put a feminist lens on a familiar tale
from the Middle East. “Marjana and the
Forty Thieves,” opening on April 1 at the
Doxsee theater, tells the classic tale of Ali
Baba and the titular bandits, but puts the
focus on the story’s overlooked protagonist,
according to the play’s director.
“Marjana is the slave woman who
solves every problem, and saves the day
again and again. The focus on her really
does come from the story. She drives the
action,” said David Herskovits, founder of
the Target Margin Theater.
The story follows Ali Baba as he stumbles
upon, and then steals, an extravagant
treasure assembled by 40 bloodthirsty
bandits. When they come for revenge,
Marjana, a slave in Ali Baba’s household,
foils their plot with tenacity and quick
Target Margin’s adaptation highlights
the role-reversal inherent in the tale of a
powerless woman taking charge of the
situation, according to Herskovits.
“We try to take material and make it
more true to itself, a more complete representation
of what the story already is,”
During the intimate 75-minute performance,
Be my Baba tonight: A new adaptation of “Ali
Baba and the Forty Thieves,” opening at the
Target Margin Theater space on April 1, puts
the focus on Baba’s female slave, Marjana,
who actually saves the day. Kelly Stuart
a five-member cast will act out
the story, with one actor standing in for
all 40 thieves. The audience will relax on
couches and sofa cushions while sipping
on tea, which the director hopes will give
the night an inviting, joyous feeling.
“We want people to feel comfortable.
We want it to feel intimate. It’s a dense
text, but we want it to be adventurous and
artistically fun,” he said.
“Marjana” is the latest installment of
Target Margin Theater’s multi-year exploration
of “The One Thousand and One
Nights,” which started with last year’s
production “Pay No Attention to the Girl.”
Herskovits said he was drawn to the
source material for its excess of drama and
vast cultural influences.
“The text is so rich in the diversity of
its stories. And ‘One and One Thousand
Nights’ emerges from many different cultures
and areas as well. No culture has
authoritative ownership of the story. It’s
like the Silk Road, because it takes you all
the way from the Pacific to North Africa,”
said the director.
“Marjana and the Forty Thieves” at
the Doxsee 232 52nd St. between Second
and Third avenues in Sunset Park, (718)
398–3095 www.targetmargin.org. March
28–April 20; Thu–Sat at 8 pm; Sun at 3 pm.
Official opening April 1 at 8 pm. $25–$35.
guide Page 55
Police Blotter ..........................8
Dine in Boroughs ................29
Power Women ......................42
HOW TO REACH US
COURIER L 2 IFE, MARCH 22–28, 2019 M BR B G
increase the cameras
blocked legislation preserving
and expanding the
Mayor DeBlasio and
in his executive budget
that would reinstate the
the need for an executive
law 30 days after Cuomo
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Gov’s not camera shy
Cuomo will sign bill authorizing hundreds more speed cameras on city streets