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Around Brooklyn: Brooklyn principal dies of coronavirus

March 24, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Brooklyn principal dies of coronavirus

A Brooklyn principal is among 125 city residents who have died of the coronavirus, according to CBS New York. Dezann Romain was principal of the Brooklyn Democracy Academy in Brownsville. She was the first known New York City public school staff member to die of the virus, CBS New York said. In a statement, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza offered his condolences, saying, in part, “We’ll be there for the students and staff through whatever means necessary.” 

NYC has 5 percent of coronavirus cases

Three weeks after its first coronavirus infection was discovered, the New York City region reached an alarming milestone on Sunday, according to The New York Times. It now accounts for roughly 5 percent of the world’s confirmed cases, making it an epicenter of the pandemic and increasing pressure on officials to take more drastic measures. Moving to stem the crisis on multiple fronts, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York pleaded with federal officials to nationalize the manufacturing of medical supplies and ordered New York City to crack down on people congregating in public. He suggested some streets could be closed, allowing pedestrians more space, the Times said.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Ridership down on subways and buses

Ridership was clearly down yesterday on all MTA transit systems, but some straphangers are still taking trains and buses, according to amNewYork. If ridership continues to stay down, it could create a multimillion-dollar loss to the system that might lead to massive cuts in services. Most riders have been advised not to enter fully-loaded trains, amNewYork reported. The MTA reported a 60 percent drop in ridership on Monday.

Come on and take a free ride

With dwindling ridership on New York trains and buses due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced recently that riders could essentially ride for free on all local bus routes, the Brooklyn Reporter website said. Additionally, it was implementing a rear door policy to keep passengers at a safe distance from the bus driver. On express buses, riders will board as normal and pay a fare. However, they will not be permitted to sit in the first three rows of the bus to ensure customers are a safe social distance from bus operators.

Williams wants de Blasio to suspend construction

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to suspend all non-essential construction work to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, according to the New York Post.  “This painful step is needed as part of the city’s aggressive social distancing policy, to protect the health of construction workers, their families, and the general public,” Williams wrote in a letter to de Blasio that was also signed by Councilmembers Brad Lander and Carlos Menchaca of Brooklyn. The three lawmakers wrote the letter after the Post revealed that some construction workers are showing up for work even while sick.

Ranks of Brooklyn volunteers grow

Volunteers have flooded signup lists across Brooklyn and New York City with those offers of help for people at risk from the new coronavirus, according to Patch.  Park Slope resident Lily Pollak helps to manage one such list, “COVID-19 Support for Elderly and Immunocompromised in Brooklyn.”  So far, 125 volunteers have signed up, Patch said. One volunteer, Lauren Yaffe, posted that she can do “whatever is needed” for people living in Park Slope and a wide assortment of Brooklyn neighborhoods. “I love to walk!” she wrote. “Have shopping cart, will travel.”

Brooklyn Public Library programs go online

The Brooklyn Public Library system has moved several community services to the web, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Library staffers have worked tirelessly to continue to offer their many free programs by computer, such as story time for kids, creative writing contests, gaming sessions and career services. Librarians have started recording story-time sessions with their phones from their living rooms and broadcasting them live on the library’s Facebook page.

Crisis unveils short-staffing problems in nursing homes

About two-thirds of the nursing homes in New York City are staffed below the national average, according to Gothamist. Before the lockdown, many people visited their relatives in the homes for several hours every day. Now, however, those hours are curtailed. In fact, the state Health Department has instructed nursing homes to stop all visits. However, hospice patients can still receive patients. “We have always been worried about nursing home staffing levels, and we are even more worried now,” said Susan Dooha, director of the Center of the Independence of the Disabled. Dooha wants state health inspectors to step up their presence.

Renderings show East Flatbush building

Renderings from S. Wieder Architect offer a look at a planned seven-story, mixed-use building at 2708 Snyder Ave. in East Flatbush, according to New York YIMBY. The corner property will eventually contain 105 rental apartments, two stories of commercial space and a 53-vehicle garage. Amenities will include a laundry room, a theater, an exercise room, a yoga room and bike storage. Residents will also have access to shared space on the roof, New York YIMBY said. Developer Anshel Friedman has not yet revealed a timeline for the project, although construction is already under way.

Industry City has new Coronavirus cases

Industry City, the 16-building complex on the Sunset Park waterfront, had two additional cases of COVID-19, according to the New York Post. The commercial-industrial complex sent emails to tenants and employees in Buildings 2 and 4, notifying them that people who had recently worked there had tested positive for the virus.  In Building 2, the infected person was last seen on campus on March 4. The Building 4 patient was there as recently as March 10, according to the Post.

Brownstoner features $2.1M Bed-Stuy brownstone

Brownstoner is spotlighting a five-bedroom brownstone at 773 Hancock St., Bedford-Stuyvesant. In the dining room, period details such as the original tin ceilings, mantle and built-in china cabinet are still in place. A walk-through bar area connects the kitchen and dining room. A screened-in porch extension leads to a backyard garden.  The home also has stained-glass windows in some areas. It is several short blocks to the J train’s Halsey Street station and near neighborhood cafes such as the MacDonough Café, Chez Alex and L’Antagoniste, Brownstoner said.

Nadler, Maloney want assistance for museums

U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-Brooklyn-Manhattan) and Carolyn Maloney (D-Brooklyn-Queens-Manhattan) have requested that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy include $4 billion in federal assistance for nonprofit museums in their recovery package. They said in a recent letter, “Museums in New York State support 61,000 jobs and generate $5.4 billion in revenue.” Funds for museums usually come through fundraising, exhibits, educational programs and retail sales, but “without patronage, the earned revenue stream has evaporated overnight,” the legislators said.

Three injured after fire blazes through high-rise

Three people were injured in Coney Island yesterday morning after their seventh-floor apartment was hit by fire, according to amNewYork. The two injured civilians, a couple in their 50s, were taken to Coney Island Hospital in stable condition. A firefighter was also treated for minor injuries at the same hospital, amNewYork reported. The fire broke out around 5:50 a.m. at the Harborview Complex at 2920 West 21st St., a 12-story subsidized apartment building. Nearly 100 firefighters and EMS personnel responded to the incident, as well as police officers from the 60th Precinct. Firefighters found the injured couple in a stairwell.

Somewhere, over the rainbow

Residents of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Gowanus have begun hanging rainbows in their windows, according to Pardon Me for Asking. One mother told the well-known blog that “It is a lovely reminder for all of us that in a storm, there is still something to look forward to.”  There is even a Google “rainbow map” to which you can add your own multi-colored arch, along with pictures of other rainbows that you spot around the neighborhood.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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