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Around Brooklyn: Bleak days for NYC subway system

April 21, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Bleak days for NYC subway system

The New York subway system as entered some of its worst days, according to The New York Times. It’s hard to say what it will lead to, but past crises suggest the elimination of more subway and bus lines, longer wait times and more breakdowns with less money spent on upkeep. “We don’t want to turn the clock back to the bad old days of the MTA, when state of good repair and system expansion was gutted to balance operating budgets,’’ said Patrick J. Foye, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The agency, which operates the city’s subways, buses and two commuter rails, faces a shortfall of up to $8.5 billion even after temporarily scaling back service and receiving a $3.8 billion federal bailout according to transit leaders and fiscal experts.

Cops bust non-socially distant barbershop party

Police on Saturday night broke up a raucous party that packed more than 50 people into a Canarsie barbershop Saturday night, according to the New York Post. The defiant revelers began entering the eNYvee Barbershop around 6 p.m. for a rap music video shoot that quickly became a raging party at the single-story shop on Avenue L. “It was crazy. I think it’s unsafe. You’re putting cops in harm’s way. You’re putting all of us in harm’s way,” said a neighbor living several doors down. By 10 p.m. a massive police presence had arrived, the Post said. Partygoers, many in their late teens and twenties, were handcuffed with zip ties and processed on the scene as more cops worked to keep the several dozen gawkers on the sidewalk at least six feet away from each other.

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

Public health facility in ENY to offer testing

A public health facility in East New York is offering COVID-19 testing to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Gotham Help, an outpost of the city’s Health and Hospitals system at the corner of Pitkin and Pennsylvania avenues, will operate the facility — which is one of five new public hospital system testing sites in the five boroughs, according to de Blasio. The city will provide 2,400 test kits to the centers each week, but de Blasio hopes to double that amount quickly as the city buys, and eventually produces, more kits, the Brooklyn Paper said. The city will buy an additional 50,000 tests from Aria each week, which will help expand capacity until the city launches homegrown production of the kits sometime in May, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Brownsville co. produces meals for citywide distribution

A Brownsville community-based catering company is mass-producing meals for hungry Brooklynites amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Brooklyn Paper. “During this time we want to make sure people keep their immune systems up,” said LaToya Meaders, co-founder and director of operations at Collective Fare. Collective Fare converted the kitchen at the Brownsville Community Culinary Center — which houses the catering company on its site — into a meal-production machine. “There are times when professionals need to band together and put together their skills to make sure the food is handled properly and that everybody is serving in a healthy way,” Meaders told the Brooklyn Paper.

Curbside pickup programs being halted

With the city facing a budget squeeze related to the coronavirus pandemic, the Sanitation Department announced that two specialized curbside collection programs are being halted, according to amNewYork. One of these is the curbside compost and food waste collection program. As of May 4, food and yard waste must be thrown out with regular trash. Additionally, the Sanitation Department pulled the plug on its electronics collection program. This initiative, in which Sanitation crews would pick up used computers, monitors, phones, printers and so on, has already been suspended due to the pandemic. “These are painful cuts to make, and we do not make those changes lightly,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

Luxury RE market sees contract volume fall

The priciest deal last week was for a condo at 1 Clinton St. in Brooklyn Heights, which asked $2.4 million, according to The Real Deal. The only other deal last week was for a condo at 229 Sackett Street in Carroll Gardens, which had been asking $2.2 million. The average asking price of the contracts last week was about $2.3 million, and the total volume was about $4.6 million. The properties spent an average of 68 days on the market and their asking prices had not decreased, The Real Deal said. Real estate has been deemed an essential business by the state, and under new guidance home showings can be done virtually. Some deals are still getting done, but those in the industry suspect closings are only happening on deals that went into contract before the pandemic.

Woman arrested breaking into Brooklyn Supreme Court

A woman was arrested Sunday for breaking into a closed courtroom where she had a previous custody case at Brooklyn Supreme Court, according to the New York Post. Jessica Pena, 35, allegedly used an ax to bust through a window at the Downtown Brooklyn courthouse at 320 Jay St., sources said. From there, Pena, a Brooklyn resident, made her way to an 18th-floor courtroom, where she was discovered by cops, sources said. Pena, who has 14 prior arrests, was charged with criminal mischief and criminal trespass, according to sources. In a similar incident, a brick was used to break a window at Queens Criminal Court on April 11. “The courthouses are unsafe,” Dennis Quirk, president of the New York’s court officers association, told the Post.

Man shot to death near East NY gas station

A 32-year-old man was shot to death in broad daylight Sunday morning on a busy street near a gas station, according to amNewYork. The man was identified as Michael Ingram of Shepard Avenue, East Orange, New Jersey. Ingram was shot in the arm and chest. He was rushed to Brookdale University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later. The shooting occurred at 8:53 a.m. on April 19 next to a busy BP Gas station at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Linden Boulevard in East New York. Officers from the 75th Precinct found the victim lying in the street with gunshot wounds, his sneaker, and jacket laying nearby. A 9mm handgun was left near the victim, believed to have been used by the victim to shoot at his attacker, amNewYork said. Police say the suspect(s) escaped in a white Mercedes Benz SUV north on Pennsylvania Avenue,

Crowds form on waterfront’s Domino Park

Small crowds of people formed in Williamsburg’s Domino Park on the North Brooklyn waterfront, and police basically ignored them, according to the New York Post. A video showed rows of people soaking in the sun despite the city’s ban on large gatherings. Some of the people wore protective masks, while others didn’t, the Post said. Eventually, police broadcast a message about wearing masks and social distancing. The message was basically ignored, at which point the cops went on foot into the park, told people to wear masks and then left.

Brooklyn parks celebrate Earth Day

Several Brooklyn parks are hosting Earth Day celebrations. Today from 3 to 3:30, Fort Greene Park is having a live, family-friendly concert with singer-songwriter Esther Crown. You’ll be able to watch by livestream. Also today, the Prospect Park Alliance has several programs planned for the day. They include a virtual walking tour of the park’s trees as well as well as cleanup activities. Finally, Brooklyn Bridge Park has created an Earth Day at Home page online. There are lesson plans focused on the science and history of the park and a recycled art challenge.

Pols arrange kosher meals for pickup

State Sen. Simcha Felder, Assemblymember Simcha Eisenstein and Councilmember Kalma Yeger have jointly announced that the Department of Education has a greed to provide kosher meals for pickup at select public school locations across Brooklyn and Queens.“ For the past few weeks DOE has been providing grab and go free meal service for all New Yorkers, with the exception of anyone who keeps kosher,” said Sen. Simcha Felder. “Today, that oversight was rectified and I am thankful to everyone who worked to ensure no New Yorker goes hungry.”

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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