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Around Brooklyn: Second Brooklyn Diocese priest dies of virus

April 6, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Second Brooklyn Diocese priest dies of virus

A second priest serving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has died due to the novel coronavirus, according to ABC7. The Diocese announced the death of Father Giocchino Basile, who was about to mark the 25th anniversary of his ordination. Basile had been ministering as pastor of St. Gabriel Church in East Elmhurst. Basile, a native of Calabria, spoke Spanish as well as Italian and English, and at one time worked at the Diocese of Ponce (Puerto Rico).

Brooklyn comedian recalls coronavirus episode

Brooklyn comedian Jimmy Cannizzaro last weekend told the Daily News about his encounter with coronavirus, and how he’s now recovering from it. When he developed a fever, he went to a City MD walk-in clinic. Then, his temperature reached 102, and he started coughing every minute and couldn’t breathe, he told the News. He eventually was sent to New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, as his wife watched. For the next three days, he was treated with two antibiotics, but then the doctors treated him with a drug usually used to treat lupus — and Cannizzaro believes that made the difference. “Everyone was great,” he said of the doctors and nurses at Brooklyn-Methodist.

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

141 Willoughby site ready for construction

Demolition of the three-story building that formerly occupied 141 Willoughby St. in Brooklyn has finished, and the land is now awaiting exaction for a 360-foot tall high rise designed by Fogarty Finger Architects, according to New York YIMBY.  Gregory Jaffa of Savanna is listed as the owner. The building will have ground-floor retail and offices on the upper floor. The site is one block away from the DeKalb Avenue subway station.

Carroll Gardens resident starts virus audio project

Jamie Courville, a Carroll Gardens-Gowanus resident, is working on an audio project focusing on coronavirus, according to Pardon Me for Asking. She invites people to call and leave a message about their feelings about the virus. “What is your life like now? What has changed in the past week? What is coming? What are you nervous about?” The number is (516) 595-8365, or else email a voice memo to [email protected].

Coronavirus couple say they were kicked out of their apt.

Damil Martin is living in his SUV outside The Brooklyn Hospital Center while his wife Ieymi Amador is inside, diagnosed with COVID-19, according to NY1 News. He’s been living in the vehicle since Tuesday when, he said, he, his wife and her toddler Joey were kicked out of the East New York Apartment into which they had just moved. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has temporarily banned evictions for nonpayment of rent, NY1 says, but it doesn’t cover cases like this. The building’s owner, Mohammad Tutul, told NY1 that he never rented the apartment to Martin and called him a squatter. The Legal Aid Society is representing Martin.

Chaos ensues for small business owners

Small business owners, desperate for help amid the economic meltdown wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, are eagerly anticipating a $349 billion government relief program, according to The New York Times. But just one day before the program’s launch on Friday, the banks and other lenders that the government is relying on to fund loans and vet applicants were still waiting for much of the information they needed to participate. They were also nervous about how they — and the government — would handle what is expected to be a huge crush of demand, the Times said.

Cops close Bushwick park by mistake

Police in Bushwick briefly closed Maria Hernandez Park on Wednesday before Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order to close down all city playgrounds to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Police officers from the 83rd Precinct evacuated the Knickerbocker Avenue green space and locked the gates at around 2 p.m. before reopening them around 5 p.m. “We were misunderstanding, it was just supposed to be the playground,” an officer at the precinct told the Brooklyn Paper.

Virus wreaks havoc with funeral traditions

When a Jew or Muslim dies, their body is taken to a funeral home, where it is washed in particular way, then shrouded before the funeral, which has to happen within hours of death. However, fulfilling these sacred traditions is complicated during the coronavirus pandemic. Suzin Weinstein Rubin, one of the funeral directors at Weinstein, Garlick, Kirschenbaum Chapels on Coney Island Avenue, told Bklyner that it if is a coronavirus case, there is no washing and the shroud is placed over the person, not on the person. In Islam, a special funeral prayer is performed at the mosque ordinarily. But since mosques are closed, the funeral prayer is now performed at the cemetery itself, Bklyner said.

Website explores ‘blackout cake’ of yesteryear

Untapped Cities, a site based on local history, recently focused on Ebinger’s blackout cake, well known to Brooklynites of an earlier generation. The popular cake was invented by Ebinger’s, a German-American Brooklyn-based bakery chain that opened in 1898 on Flatbush Avenue and quickly grew to more than 50 locations. The cake first appeared as “chocolate fudge cake,” but the cake inherited its current name to honor the frequent “blackout” civil defense drills. The bakery closed in 1972, and the recipe was apparently lost with it, according to Bklyner.

Man accused of exposing himself on Brooklyn street

Police are looking for a man who is accused of exposing himself to a young girl on a Park Slope street in March, according to PIX11. Police said that on March 27, the man was riding a bike at the intersection of 16th Street and Sixth Avenue when he approached the 10-year-old.  He attempted to engage her in conversation, then exposed himself. Police said he was last seen wearing tan shorts and a blue short-sleeve button-down shirt.

Pols want testing site in Bay Ridge

A group of southern Brooklyn elected officials are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to open a coronavirus testing site in Bay Ridge for first responders and other frontline essential workers, according to the New York Post. “Our offices have heard from many first responders and essential workers and their family members that they have been refused tests at other testing sites in the city,” reads the statement, which was signed by eight officials. Among the signers are U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Brooklyn-Manhattan), Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights) and Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island).

Prospect Park open for ‘social distancing’

Brooklynites who live near Prospect Park can still go there to walk the dog, jog or admire the scenery, but “the rule is social distancing,” according to the New Yorker. The magazine reminds us that the park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the team who also designed Central Park. “To enjoy Prospect Park from afar, watch Brooklyn’s own Danny Kaye on location there in the Academy Award-winning 1945 musical “Wonder Man” (streaming on the Criterion Channel),” the New Yorker said.

Rose urges FEMA to approve NY aid requests

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (Southern Brooklyn-Staten Island), recently sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency urging the agency to approve outstanding requests by New York State for badly needed aid, including individual assistance that would help with unemployment, shelter and food assistance.  New York State has requested reimbursement from FEMA for Individual Assistance aid which includes Temporary Shelter Assistance, Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

‘Symon Says’ in Boerum Hill

Work is wrapping up on The Symon, a 13-story condominium building at 76 Schermerhorn St. in Boerum Hill, according to New York YIMBY. Colbert Architecture is the architect of record, while Lonicera Partners Orange Management and The Davis Companies are the three developers. The project is located between Boerum Place and Court Street and is a stone’s throw from the New York Transit Museum. The building will contain 59 residential units, ranging from one bedroom to four bedrooms. Amenities will include a private lounge, a rooftop terrace, a gym, a children’s playroom, bicycle space and a limited number of indoor parking spots, New York YIMBY said.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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