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Around Brooklyn: Affordable apartments on ice due to virus

April 14, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Affordable apartments on ice due to virus

The construction of thousands of below-market-rate apartments in New York City has been put on ice over the coronavirus, even though the developers are allowed to continue building, according to the New York Post. While construction of buildings with affordable housing has been deemed essential, developers have opted to stop 28 such projects citywide, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “I felt that in this environment, it was better to err on the side of caution,” L&M Development Partners CEO Ron Moelis told the Post. Two of the company’s projects set to house low-income and formerly homeless people, one in East New York and the other in East Harlem, were nearing completion but will now be delayed.

Bodegas close as sales drop

John Nash has been running the 7th Avenue Gourmet Deli on the corner of Berkeley Place in Park Slope for 10 years. But following the restrictions on public life that went into place last month because of the spread of COVID-19, Nash’s sale of sandwiches has gone down 80 percent, according to New York Eater. It’s a loss that’s not made up by a rise in grocery sales as locals stock up on milk, eggs, bread and cleaning supplies like bleach. Despite losses, however, many of the city’s 16,000 bodegas are staying open to provide access to people who can’t get to major supermarkets or don’t want to brave long lines at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Some efforts are underway to protect the owners, New York Eater said.

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

Serious collision in Gravesend

A dramatic video shows a speeding driver running a red light and ramming into another car in Brooklyn on Sunday, causing a serious collision, according to the New York Post. One man was seriously injured when a Hyundai Sonata, driving west on Avenue Z, sped through a red light and slammed into a Nissan Infiniti as it was traveling north on Ocean Parkway in Gravesend, police said. The crash sent the two cars flying onto the sidewalk, and EMS crews rushed to the scene and managed to extricate the driver from the Sonata and send him to NYU Langone Hospital. The Infiniti driver refused medical attention at the scene, the Post said.

Famed Brooklyn photographer dies from coronavirus

Anthony Causi, a Brooklyn-born photographer who captured many of New York City’s most iconic sports moments for more than 30 years, died Sunday at North Shore Hospital in Long Island from coronavirus-related complications, according to the New York Post. His photos have appeared in many newspapers, including amNewYork, Newsday, and sports publications. He was best known for his 2006 photo of Mariano Rivera. Causi grew up in Bensonhurst and attended local schools including Lafayette High School and Pace University in Manhattan. Jason Zillo, spokesperson for the New York Yankees said. “Anthony was passionate, he grinded, he cared and was caring, and he wore his heart on his sleeve.”

Brooklyn cemeteries grapple with death overload

Brooklyn’s cemeteries are grappling with a substantial increase in deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to accommodate the influx of burials and cremations, according to the Brooklyn Paper. “Cremations have more than doubled, and it just reached the point where we had to put a cap on how many bodies we receive every day,” said Eric Barna, the vice president of operations of Green-Wood Cemetery. The landmark Fifth Avenue cemetery has limited the amount of cremations to around 20 per day due to their limited space capacity for the deceased remains, he said. Catholic cemeteries and graveyards have also taken additional safety measures. The Diocese of Brooklyn is limiting the number of people attending funerals to 10, according to a statewide order. However, this has left large families with hard choices, the Brooklyn Paper said.

Distance learning isn’t so easy for non-English households

Learning from home isn’t that easy when parents can’t speak English, according to Bklyner. For example, Fatima Uddin has a son who attends P.S. 217 on Coney Island Avenue. Since school closed, he has been learning through Google Classroom. But when he’s not doing that, he’s playing video games, eating, or asking his mother for the millionth time for something to do. Uddin doesn’t know how to help him. I wish he can learn more online, as he did in school. I wish I can teach him schoolwork, but my English is not good,” she said. Erica Wilde, an English teacher, mentioned online that one of her families didn’t have any books at home. Soon, people began leaving books outside her door.

Residential building planned for East Flatbush

Permits have been filed for a six-story residential building at 885 New York Ave. in East Flatbush, according to New York YIMBY. The lot, located between Linden Boulevard and Martense Street, is close to the 2 and 5 trains’ Church Avenue subway station. Herschel Spitz is the owner of record, and Gerardo Urueta of Studio Gallo is listed as the architect. The building will have 12 residences, most likely condos. The structure will also have a penthouse and a number of accessory parking spaces, New York YIMBY said.

Trader Joe’s stores to close temporarily

Trader Joe’s shoppers throughout the city might find their local stores closed when they stop by for groceries during the next few weeks, according to the Patch. The grocery store chain has announced a cleaning schedule that will close a dozen of its New York City locations for a day each over the next few weeks. The closures are part of “Additional precautionary cleaning and sanitization” to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Among the locations slated to close during the next few week are the two Brooklyn stores at City Point and Court Street, Patch reported.

Outdoor refrigerator offers free food

An outdoor refrigerator that offers free food is an unusual sight, but that’s what you’ll see at 133 Van Buren St. Those living there saw it’s a community effort in which restaurants, grocery stories and individuals all contribute, according to NY1 News. “People need to help each other,” said Thadeaus Umpster, the fridge caretaker. “The government is interested in bailing out big companies and airlines and what not. And we the people of Brooklyn, we need to help each other. We need to stand together.” Anyone is welcome to give or take at any time in the day, NY1 reported.

Persaud delivers food to Penn Wortman Houses

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie-East New York-Brownsville-Sheepshead Bay) and staff members delivered 400 boxes of food to the residents of the Penn Wortman Houses this past Thursday. “During times of crisis, our community’s most vulnerable are often hit the hardest,” said Persaud “ensuring healthy food is available is imperative for New Yorkers to maintain their personal health and nourishment during these times. I am glad to join my colleagues and staff bringing direct assistance to hundreds of Brooklyn families in need.”

Man who taunted cops apologizes on YouTube

A man who angered police across the city by railing against two Brooklyn cops on video, calling them “d—kheads” has put out an apology on YouTube. The original video shows the angry man claiming that a cop car at 56th Street and First Avenue in Sunset Park was incorrectly parked there. Now, he says that he didn’t realize that the officers had just finished responding to a car accident. “I realize that my choice of words was regrettable,” said the man, who goes by the online handle of Mr. Uncensored. Members of the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association, who retweeted his post, called him a “typical miscreant.”

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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