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Around Brooklyn: Many NYC expatriates are fleeing back home

May 1, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Many NYC expatriates are fleeing back home

An optometrist who moved to New York City three years ago recently fled home to Tulsa, Oklahoma, because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to CNBC. “My neighbor died. Friends were seeing body bags from their windows, and you’re just in this survival mode. I just was terrified,” said Lindsey Marvel. While there is no hard data yet, both real estate agents and homebuilders are reporting that they are seeing new interest from buyers hoping to move out of urban centers to the suburbs or exurbs. Marvel, 38, moved to New York City three years ago because, she said, “I’m literally going big or going home.”

NYPD seeks suspects in Williamsburg anti-Semitic attack

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The NYPD is seeking two suspects in an anti-Semitic attack in Williamsburg last week, according to ABC7. Police released images of the men they are looking for in connection to the April 23 attack on Wednesday. Cops say the suspects attacked two teenage boys in Williamsburg and chased them while yelling anti-Semitic statements. They then allegedly threw a milk crate and a metal stick at the teens, police said.

Staff at Sunset Park lockup won’t allow prisoners to contact lawyers

Staff at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park still aren’t allowing quarantined inmates to contact their attorneys, according to the New York Post. Attorneys for the Federal Defenders Association of New York sent a letter to Federal Judge Margo Brodie saying that the organization was blocked from speaking to three of its clients because the inmates were suspected of having symptoms of coronavirus. Brodie had warned prosecutors appearing on behalf of the US Bureau of Prisons at an April 24 telephone hearing that “inmates are entitled to their legal calls and must be allowed to place their calls, even though they’re in medical isolation,” according to a transcript of the proceedings. “Even if it’s an isolated incident, it should not be happening at all,” Brodie said to the prosecutors.

COVID-19, from the NYPD side

John Jay College, on its website, is spotlighting NYPD Officer Dev Sharma who became involved in the COVID-19 issue because “a lot of officers that I knew were unfortunately getting sick. Now, on a typical day, everybody’s masked and gloved up at the bottom of our shirts. We’re even holding our roll calls outside of the precinct.” He added that he has been getting a higher number of calls since the epidemic started affecting New York City. Before COVID-19, Sharma and his partner would enter a dwelling and investigate. Now, if there’s a person who hasn’t been breathing in an hour or is a suspected DOA, police are not allowed to enter the apartment until EMS crews arrive. “When 15 percent of your manpower has been hit with this disease, you have to change the way you do business,” she said.

Brooklyn nurse runs for State Assembly

Phara Souffrant Forrest, a maternal health nurse and daughter of Haitian immigrants and lifelong Crown Heights residents, has been active in public affairs for many years. In 2017, Forrest founded her building’s tenants’ association to protest the conversion of the building into luxury condos, according to BK Reader. How she is running for the 57th A.D. seat in the State Assembly against incumbent Walter Mosley, who has held the position since 2012. The district includes Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights and part of Bedford-Stuyvesant. As a nurse, Forrest says she is acutely aware of how the government’s failures are severely affecting hospital staffers, patients and the entire community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newly graduated Brooklyn MDs to fight coronavirus

Newly graduated Brooklyn doctors will soon join the fight against the coronavirus, according to Patch. SUNY Downstate on Friday held what it called a “Virtual Commencement” for 36 College of Medicine students. They graduated early to answer a call by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for new doctors to jump into the state’s pandemic efforts, according to the school. Cuomo put this into practice with an April 4 executive order allowing early graduations for medical students who completed their requirements. The coronavirus will alter their first steps out of college — social distancing measures shifted commencement away from an in-person ceremony toward the virtual affair, according to Patch.

Brooklyn immigrant couple dies of COVID

Siman and Mary Bronshtyn, who came to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union in 1982, died last month after both of them contracted COVID-19, according to the CHABAD website. Mary quickly became a sought-after babysitter in the Hasidic community. Siman earned the moniker “The Mayor of Kingston Avenue,” the main thoroughfare of Hasidic Crown Heights. “Sweetest couple in Crown Heights,” one community member wrote. “They used to babysit my kids years ago, the nicest people around,” wrote another. They are survived by their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Architects’ incubator closes four years after opening

An architects’ co-working space, fabrication lab and startup incubator known as ARCHITECTS that opened four years ago will shut down on May 31, 2020, according to The Architects’ Newspaper. The 23,000-square-foot former warehouse at 29 Norman Ave. also hosted a public cafe, exhibition spaces, a design store, indoor and outdoor “hangout” spaces, and the newly opened Rule of Thirds restaurant, which will continue operating in the building independently. The decision to close came about as a result of uncertainty caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Architects Newspaper reported.

Dyker Heights woman trapped by live wire

A Brooklyn woman who was electrocuted, non-fatally, by a downed power line three years ago had a similar encounter Thursday night when a live wire from a transformer explosion left her trapped inside her home. Lisa Grieco of Dyker Heights was in her living room around 9:45 p.m. when she heard another explosion. “I felt like I was going to die,” Grieco, who was with her daughter at the time, told the New York Post. Grieco has sued Con Edison from the 2017 incident that also non-fatally electrocuted her then 18-year-old daughter, Lena Grieco.

Bank: Rent collections estimated to be 80-85 percent

New York Community Bank has announced that a quarter of its $31.3 billion multifamily loan portfolio is currently in deferral, but rent collections were better than expected, according to The Real Deal. The bank reported net income of $92.1 million for common shareholders in the first quarter, up 3 percent year over year and down 1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2019. “Based on our market intelligence, April rent collections on rent-regulated buildings in our portfolio are estimated to be 80 to 85 percent [of normal levels],” bank CEO and President Joseph Ficalora said. “On market rent properties it is even higher.”

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.


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