By Sam Howe
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Borough Hall Watchdog at 86
Leslie Lewis is officially the Borough President’s Criminal Justice Liaison. He is also the president of the 84th Precinct Community Council, and has been for the past quarter century. He has the energy of a 60-year-old…in fact, he has also BEEN a 60-year-old for the past quarter of a century. Let us translate: he just turned 86 on May 20, and he still comes to work at Borough Hall five days a week!
The day following his 86th birthday, when we spoke to him, he was putting together final touches on the evening’s meeting of the 84th Precinct Council. He speaks in a raspy voice, sort of like Jimmy Durante. But as one admirer said: “God in Heaven, don’t ever ask him to sing.”
One of the thorny issues: traffic calming. “People are still coming into and leaving the ‘calming curbs’ too rapidly,“ he told us. “They’re speeding in local historic district streets…we’re trying to figure out what to do about it.”
When Leslie Lewis says “we”, he means the police, the borough president…anyone whose ear he can bend to address the problems. And there are other problems.
“These electric bikes that guys use to deliver pizza and stuff are illegal,” he told us.” The emails are coming fast and furious on that subject…they don’t have proper lights at night, they go the wrong way on streets and even sidewalks…we’re asking the cops to issue more summons.”
“Another thing,” he added. “The merchants don’t like the new CitiBike racks…they take away parking for the customers. We’re getting emails on that, too.”
Lewis gravitated toward community service in Brooklyn after buying a house in Boerum Hill. His career before Borough Hall was that of a trade show and exhibition manager. He has probably planned more openings (and closings) of exhibitions at the New York Coloseum than anyone alive today. Enduring the sometimes relentless community service at the age of 86 is a mission. “I believe that our quality of life in a city is very closely tied to our relationships with the police officers who are sworn to protect us. Most people are too busy to get to know the cops…that’s why I do it.” The 84th Police Precinct Community Council meets monthly. Residents are invited to attend, speak their minds and ask questions. To get on the email list, readers should send their info to the Criminal Justice Liaison : CJL@brooklynbp.nyc.gov.
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More on Promenade Gardeners and the Edible Flower Pot
The old fashioned bake sale to raise funds for the Promenade Gardens was reported to be the most successful ever. Because beneficiaries of the Promenade Gardens turn out to be a broad base of passing tourists from all parts of the world, as well as neighbors, we like to salute the efforts as often as possible. Community thanks due to those who put together the fund-raiser: Neil CALET, Lucille GRUBER, Ellie LEVINSON, Maureen HEALY, Phyllis STARKMAN, AND Koren VOLK. All of them are also gardeners in the trenches. Special thanks to gardener Ellie Levinson (recently profiled in our BookBeat column after publication of her latest book). She baked the “Flower Pot Cake” shown on this page. Everything edible: the pansies, the mint leaves, the ‘soil’ is chocolate cake, the pot a hard icing. The cake was raffled off at the bake sale, while many other baked goods and even floral antique items, were sold. Heights neighbors are, once again, urged to dig: either dig into your pockets and help support the purchase of bulbs and tools; or join and dig in the Gardens….email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Brooklyn Heights Association at 718-858-9193.