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Around Brooklyn: Huge rent strike planned

May 4, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Huge rent strike planned

Thousands of tenants in the city are organizing for the city’s largest rent strike in decades, according to Vice. Renters account for about 68 percent of all households in New York City, compared to 36 percent nationally. The strikers are demanding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo cancel rent and mortgage payments for four months or for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, whichever is longer. The strikers recently got a high-profile supporter, Vice said. “People can’t pay,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive Democrat from the Bronx, who is co-sponsoring a national bill to cancel rent, said on a call with strikers Monday. “You cannot coerce someone into doing something that they cannot do. There is no money in the bank.”

Greenpoint restaurant lets customers control the menu

One Greenpoint restaurant is experimenting with letting customers decide what the owner is cooking each week. When the shutdown went into effect on March 16, Jacob Eberle, owner of the casual Greenpoint French bistro Le Fond, decided to close shop. A few weeks later, according to New York Eater, he reopened with just himself in the kitchen and launched an interactive menu where customers pick dishes each week. The items that get the most likes on Instagram make the cut, New York Eater said. “I was cooking for myself anyway,” Eberle says. “So I thought I should turn it into something fun for the neighborhood.” The dishes customers recommend are often not the regular French food offered at the restaurant — Italian, Middle Eastern and Japanese dishes have been offered.

Group homes seek donations for their workers

Many New Yorkers are not familiar with group homes, which typically house the mentally ill, homeless, chemically addicted and/or developmentally disabled. They’re often located in brownstones and other small houses and don’t advertise their existence. With the state budget full of austerity measures, group homes expect more funding cuts, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Joanne Gerenser, director of Eden II programs, which provides services for people with autism, said, “Most of our direct care workers are making just above minimum wage, and the idea that we’ve now asked them to become healthcare workers and put them in really complicated situations, it just doesn’t feel right that we’re not able to provide them with some type of increased money.” She has turned to fundraisers to help her workers.

Bed-Stuy Ambulance Corps needs protective equipment

The Bedford-Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps, at one time one of the lifelines of its community, has now ramped up on its activities because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to BK Reader. Founded in 1988 by James “Rocky” Robinson, the ambulance service began at a time when citywide ambulances refused to serve black or Hispanic families. Now, the corps is seeking protective equipment of its volunteers. Borough President Eric Adams and Councilmember Robert Cornegy have recognized this as a community issue. “We want to make sure to provide those face coverings,” Adams said. “They’re on the ground, and it’s so important that we continue to give them the supplies on the ground that are needed.”

Green-Wood threatens to close its gates

Managers of Green-Wood Cemetery are threatening to close the historic cemetery’s gates because Brooklynites looking for open space have been breaking rules on the grounds, according to amNewYork. “The conduct of a small percentage of our visitors has created an unacceptable situation,” wrote Richard Moylan in an email to supporters. “If things don’t change we may be left with no choice but to close our gates as many other cemeteries have done.” Visitors have been flouting rules by riding bikes, walking dogs, climbing trees and taking flowers off of gravestones, amNewYork said.

Drug overdose suspected in Brooklyn EMT’s death

A young EMT who worked in Brooklyn and lived in Staten Island died in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic of a suspected overdose, the New York Post learned. Alexander Raso was found unconscious by his father at their home on March 16, police said. His body was found lying next to an empty can of aerosol cleaner. A duffel bag with five additional empty cans was discovered nearby. “It’s being investigated,” said an NYPD spokesman, who would not confirm the discovery of the cans. Inhaling aerosol products to get high can cause long-lasting damage, and even death, the Post said.

Freak accident lands Jeep upside-down

Residents of one block in Gravesend found that an SUV had struck a parked van, flipped over and landed between two parking spaces on Saturday night, according to amNewYork. Police said the incident happened around 9:30 p.m. on May 2 on West 7th St. just south of Avenue P. Residents marveled at how the upside-down Jeep was almost perfectly parked in the space between a Honda Accord and another SUV. The van the Jeep struck suffered serious rear-end damage. A man was seen running from the Jeep. Police believe he lives in the area, but were unable to find him at the time, amNewYork said.

Crooks break into Brooklyn deli, steal $8,000

Two thieves broke into a Brooklyn deli through the ceiling and swiped more than $8,000, according to the Daily News. The suspects first entered a vacant room above the Fulton Finest Deli on Fulton Street and Gates Avenue in Clinton Hill on Thursday. They removed the floorboards, cut a hole in the ceiling and lowered themselves in, the News said. They took approximately $8,000 from a safe and the cash register, but were unable to break into an ATM. They were later caught on surveillance video walking down Vanderbilt Avenue. One was carrying a large duffel bag, while the other held onto a long, narrow case.

One-story residence planned for Pacific St.

Permits have been filed for a one-story residential building at 1010 Pacific St. in Crown Heights, according to New York YIMBY. The lot, currently occupied by a low-rise industrial building, is between Grand and Classon avenues, three blocks from the C and S trains’ Franklin Avenue station. Solomon Schwimmer is listed as the owner, while Naresh Mahangu of New York Building Associates is listed as the architect of record. An earlier plan for the site called for an 11-story mixed-used building with a mix of market-rate and affordable apartments, New York YIMBY said.

Barber gives haircuts on streets of Brooklyn

With barbershops closed and many New Yorkers in need of a haircut, a barber took to the streets of Brighton Beach on Sunday, according to ABC7. Video posted to social media shows the barber setting up along Ocean Parkway between Brighton Beach Avenue and Ocean View Avenue. The video showed several people waiting in line for a haircut. An executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed all barbershops and hair salons on March 21.

Cops rescue kitten from under car hood

Police were able to save a kitten from under the hood of a car in Sheepshead Bay on Sunday, according to amNewYork. Neighborhood residents were surprised to hear a noise coming from a car on East 23rd Street and Avenue W on Sunday. Minutes later they discovered a kitten trapped between the hoses and wires. Officers from the 61st Precinct and Emergency Services personnel spent nearly two hours trying to rescue the cat. After dismantling some parts, they were able to get the kitten free, amNewYork said.

Police dispatcher has drive-by baby shower

Friends and family members of an NYPD dispatcher surprised her with a drive-by baby shower at her home in Brooklyn on Saturday, according to 1010 WINS. Amina Piprawala and her boyfriend are expecting their first child, a baby boy, on June 2. She said she didn’t expect to have a baby shower this weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic. But her friends and family were determined to not let the outbreak ruin her celebration. They showed up at her Brownsville home in cars, honking horns and dropping off gifts, 1010 WINS said.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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