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Around Brooklyn: Malliotakis: Repurpose former Victory Hospital

March 30, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Malliotakis: Repurpose former Victory Hospital

With more hospital beds needed during the coronavirus outbreak, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) is urging the use of the former Victory Memorial Hospital at 9036 Seventh Ave., according to the Brooklyn Reporter website. The original hospital faced near-bankruptcy in 2009, then was sold. Part of its building is leased by SUNY Downstate Medical Center as an ambulatory service unit. It also includes space for Maimonides Medical Center and a rehab center. SUNY Downstate spokesperson Patricia Winston told this newspaper that there are plans to use the facility, which has roughly 250 available beds.

Stay home and drink: Liquor sales soar

Business at the Brooklyn wine store Spirit Animal has never been better, according to New York Eater. “People have been buying cases,” said owner Al Di Meglio. Even as beer, wine and liquor sales have collapsed at bars and restaurants, they have gone up at liquor stores, which are deemed “essential.” Online alcohol delivery startups are also thriving; wine-ordering app Vivino saw 300 percent growth on March 13. As far as beer is concerned, “the disruption isn’t ideal for distributors or big breweries, but it’s not disastrous for them, either.”

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

Brooklyn upholsterer makes face masks for hospitals

A Brooklyn upholsterer is using her needles and thread to combat the coronavirus crisis by making hundreds of face masks for hospitals, according to the New York Post. Ella Hall is turning pillowcases into CDC-compliant mask and has organized an army of fellow volunteer sewers who do the same.  Since last Saturday, Hall also has recruited around 250 volunteers to join her in her mission, and they’ve already delivered about 9,000 of the reusable surgical masks to 30 hospitals across the Midwest, as well as Oregon, Seattle and New York itself, the Post said.

Possible coronavirus-related homicide investigated

The NYPD is investigating what might be the city’s first coronavirus-related homicide, according to the Daily News. The victim, Janie Marshall, 86, and suspect Cassandra Lundy were both patients at Woodhull Hospital in Williamsburg. Marshall, who was in the hospital for a bowel obstruction, grabbed a metal stand in a hallway near a bed where Lundy, a seizure patient, was sitting, police said. Lundy complained that Marshall wasn’t following social distancing guidelines and allegedly lashed out, knocking Marshall to the ground. Marshall helped create the Sunshine Community Garden in 1981, the News said.

Treyger says Regents exam should be canceled

City Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Bensonhurst-Bath Beach) recently called for the state to suspend all high school Regents exams. “Teachers did not have time to complete the curriculum and there’s absolutely no time for review. Students and teachers are all experiencing enough anxiety and should not be further burdened with unnecessary testing requirements,” said Treyger. “Only 13 states mandate an examination to graduate high school. This year and beyond, New York State needs to end the Regents examinations.”

Brooklynites foster pets amid pandemic

Brooklynites are fostering and adopting pets to keep them company during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to the Brooklyn Paper website. One Gravesend animal rescue agency, Angels for Mistreated Animals, has to turn prospective pet parents away because they’ve run out of pets. The co-founder of the group, Anna Khazanova, says many Kings County animal lovers have been motivated by the pandemic to take care of a cat or a dog, and she hopes some of the new foster parents will become adopters.

Many hourly workers running out of funds

A bartender spent his last $12 on rice, eggs and bread, according to Gothamist. A laid-off personal trainer tried to apply for unemployment benefits on a crashing website. An out-of-work server is hoping for a rent suspension. These are some of the thousands of hourly workers who are out of work. “I was already living paycheck to paycheck, and the fact that I don’t have any more income is insane for me,” said Charles Almanza, a bartender and DJ at Bushwick’s Starr Bar.

Brooklyn restaurants scramble for survival

Restaurant owners in Brooklyn have told Fox News that they are now scrambling to keep their businesses afloat as bills are mounting and sales are plummeting during the outbreak. The city is offering some financial help, but they say more is needed as the April 1 rent deadline approaches. “We are doing takeout and delivery and relying on the kindness and generosity of our community to keep us open,” said Robin Wertheimer, co-owner of Werkstatt, an Austrian restaurant on Coney Island Avenue.

Four-story building planned for Bushwick

Permits have been filed for a four-story residential building at 1637 DeKalb Ave. in Bushwick, according to New York YIMBY. The site, located between Wyckoff and St. Nicholas avenues, is near the L train’s DeKalb Avenue station and is currently occupied by a two-story walk-up apartment building. The new building will have six residences, most likely rentals, as well as a rear yard and a basement, New York YIMBY said.

MTV star lists Williamsburg condo for $2.2M

Nev Schulman, known to MTV watchers as the co-creator and co-host of the long-running reality series “Catfish: The TV Show,” has listed a contemporary condo in Williamsburg with an asking price of $2.2 million. The residence, which has a view of Manhattan, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, hardwood floors, an LED lighting system, lots of natural light and a new kitchen with designer appliances, according to Variety.

HDF co-ops available

Housing Development Fund cooperatives, better known as HDFC co-ops, are often priced much lower than a typical NYC apartment, but require buyers to meet certain income caps while also having significant financial assets, according to Curbed. There are now roughly 25,800 HDFC co-ops within 1,200 buildings. Originally, the apartments were sold for a mere $250, but as gentrification has come to some neighborhoods in which HDFCs are plentiful, resale listings average between $170,000 and $1 million. Organizations that can help buyers locate these apartments include the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board and Brooklyn-based Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

Did Brooklyn artist convince Britney Spears to become a socialist?

Singer Britney Spears made internet waves when she re-posted a left-leaning text written by Mimi Zhu, a Brooklyn-based writer and artist, on Instagram, according to Artnet News. Part of the post reads, “We will feed each other, redistribute wealth, strike.” The artist says she wrote about standing together in these days of enforced isolation. Britney’s post has spawned jokes about “Comrade Britney.”

Colton demands meter suspension

Assemblyperson William Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst-Bath Beach) and United Progressive Democratic Club President Nino Magali have demanded that Mayor Bill de Blasio suspend parking meter rules. “Now that many stay home for their safety, parking is scarce. So this becomes an issue, constantly going out to feed the meters,” he said. “We are in a crisis, the city should not be worried about making money, peoples’ lives are at stake.”

NYC Small Business begins processing loans

The New York City Department of Small Business Services has begun processing disaster loans for businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses must be within the five boroughs, demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused a 25 percent decrease in revenue, employ 99 employees or fewer, demonstrate the ability to repay the loan and have no outstanding tax liens of legal judgements. You will need to provide documentation such as financial documents for two months in 2020, financial documents showing revenue for the same two months in 2019 and financial documents showing revenue for the full 2019 calendar year.

Restaurateurs start soup kitchen for laid-off workers

Laid-off hospitality workers in Williamsburg are getting free gourmet meals thanks to two restaurateurs. For four days a week, Nate Adler and Flip Biddleman use their restaurant Gertie as a part-time soup kitchen for laid-off workers, keeping their own staff gainfully employed, according to the New York Post.  “The program is specifically geared to helping hospitality workers. Obviously 90-plus percent of hospitality workers are out of a job right now. I could not think of a better example of a win-win situation,” Adler told the Post. The workers can come to the Grand Street restaurant Tuesday-Friday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. for dinner and bags of essentials.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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