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Around Brooklyn: Pols want special hours in stores for seniors

March 19, 2020 Editorial Staff

Pols want special hours in stores for seniors

Several southern Brooklyn elected officials have called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to set specific shopping hours for seniors and the more vulnerable members of the community, according to the Brooklyn Reporter website. U.S. Rep. Max Rose, State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, Assemblymembers Peter Abbate and Mathyde Frontus and City Councilmember Mark Treyger have urged the mayor to implement special hours at supermarkets and pharmacies.  “It is particularly difficult for seniors and those with underlying health conditions to safely purchase necessary food and groceries to make it through this challenging time,” said Rose in a statement.

Woman throws oxygen tank at train, flees

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A search is underway for a woman who threw an oxygen tank at a subway train in Downtown Brooklyn, according to ABC7. Surveillance video captured the suspect entering the Nevins Street station on Tuesday. Police said she threw the tank onto the track and ran off. A northbound train then hit the tank, creating smoke in the area. There were no injuries, according to the ABC7.

Defying guidelines, large Hasidic weddings held

As city and state officials warned about the danger of large gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak, hundreds of revelers celebrated at a Hasidic wedding in Williamsburg, according to The New York Times. The wedding, held in South Williamsburg at a venue that also houses a religious school, was one of several large Hasidic weddings in recent days, said Mordy Getz, a community activist. The Fire Department broke up the wedding, but large crowds of men and women continued to mingle in the street, the Times said. The wedding had drawn complaints from neighbors.

Prospect-Lefferts residents hit by fire amid virus fears

Residents of an apartment building in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens dealt with fear and uncertainty Wednesday when an early-morning fire left them temporarily homeless amid the backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic, according to the New York Post. The fire broke out around 5 a.m. on the third floor a four-story building at 152 Parkside Ave.  and eventually spread to the top floor. One victim, Lakeisha Moffatt, said several of her children had medical conditions that could make them more vulnerable to coronavirus. Two residents were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening conditions.


Partners clean out hoarders’ apartments

Downtown Brooklyn partners Julian Bannister and Yannick Jules-Bannister have made it their business to clean out some of the city’ worst hoarder homes. “Our first case, I remember well, was floor-to-ceiling garbage, there was no way to walk, the woman was sleeping on magazines and books and you couldn’t even see a couch nor a bed — we just could not leave her in that situation,” Bannister recalled. In the next few years, they cleaned many such apartments whose garbage included 40-year-old utility bills and several dead pets, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

Man shot dead may Have been a suicide

A man who was found shot in the head in East New York on Tuesday may have been a suicide, according to amNewYork. At 545 Jerome St. around 3:30 p.m., officers found the man sprawled on the sidewalk with a firearm next to him, police said. The victim was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Police were not able to find witnesses who saw anyone who was with him, amNewYork said.

Movie theater says goodbye, for now

“See you on the other side” were the words that Matthew Virach were spelling on the marquee at the Nitehawk Prospect Park movie theater, formerly the Pavilion, according to The New York Times. Several days beforehand, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had announced restrictions on large public gatherings, and then on Monday, New York ordered movie theaters and most other “nonessential” businesses to close at 8 p.m. Virach, who founded Nitehawk, set aside food from the theater’s restaurant for workers who would be going home without a clear idea of when their next paycheck would come through. There is also a Nitehawk theater in Williamsburg.

Chelsea Piers coming to Downtown Brooklyn

Pacific Park and Chelsea Piers signed a lease deal this month for a combined field house and fitness club at 595 Dean St. within the giant residential development, according to the New York Post. The field house is slated to offer sports facilities, camps and after-school youth programming as well as indoor soccer, gymnastics and a learn-to-swim pool. The fitness club will focus on classes and cardio and weight equipment. Most facilities will be underground.

City halts rezoning process due to coronavirus

The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure for developments that don’t fit within current zoning laws was halted by Mayor Bill de Blasio as the city looked for public gatherings to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to Commercial Observer. The ULURP process requires community boards and several city agencies, such as the Borough President’s Office and the City Planning Commission, to meet and weigh in on potential zoning waivers. The move will delay several large developments currently going through the ULURP process, notably Industry City, the Commercial Observer said.

Conflict stalls ‘Site 5’ development Downtown

The effort to build the largest building in Pacific Park, on a parcel that has long housed retailers P.C. Richard’s and Modell’s, remains entangled in a legal dispute, according to The Real Deal. The site, known as Site 5, has been proposed as a home for Amazon’s new campus and a building similar to Manhattan’s Time Warner Center. The project would require a transfer of bulk from a never-built tower on the campus as well as resolution of P.C. Richard’s claim that the project’s original developer, Forest City Ratner, promised the store replacement space in the new building.

Showbiz A-listers flock to Heights, Cobble Hill

Variety, the show-business bible, recently published a feature on how A-list show-business types have been buying property in “the leafy, quiet and adjoining neighborhoods” of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens. Among the celebrities owning homes in the Heights are Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Mary Louise Parker and Michele Williams. Cobble Hill boasts Daniel Craig and Norah Jones. Recent famous residents in Carroll Gardens have included Beyonce’s sister, Solange Knowles, and “Girls” actor Jemima Kirke.

Federal prisons called free of coronavirus 

The nation’s federal detention facilities remain coronavirus-free, a prosecutor told a Brooklyn federal judge. In a letter this week, attorneys for Darin Hamilton, a 61-year-old man facing murder charges for several 1990s slayings, said he should be released from the Metropolitan Detention Center because his age and poor health make him a risk for coronavirus. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Hajjar said in a letter that Hamilton that no inmates at MDC or any other federal facility have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the New York Post.

Some restaurants offer ‘pay what you want’ meals

Several Brooklyn restaurants and bars have started offering free and “pay what you want” meals and drinks to go, according to Brownstoner. Brooklyn Sweet Spot in Fort Greene plans to hand out free lunches to adults and children tomorrow. Alta Calidad in Prospect Heights started including a free margarita with every to-go order on Monday. Also, at least three venues in Greenpoint and Williamsburg started offering free meals Monday, Brownstoner reported.

Diocese cancels all Holy Week Masses

All public Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Masses in Brooklyn and Queens have been canceled, the Diocese of Brooklyn announced Wednesday. The measure is being taken by the Diocese in order to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus and to adhere to the state mandate banning all gatherings of 10 or more people, according to amNewYork. Masses on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday will be broadcast on the Diocese of Brooklyn’s cable channel NET-TV.  In addition, all confirmations and communions have been cancelled until May 15, according to amNewYork.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.


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