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Around Brooklyn: Landmarks to review plans to renovate Heights home

May 5, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Landmarks to review plans to renovate Heights home

Today, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled to review proposals to renovate a historic townhouse at 11 Cranberry St. in Brooklyn Heights, according to New York YIMBY. Designed by HS2 Architecture, the scope of proposed work is limited to the south-facing elevation at the rear of the building, which opens out into a private yard. The five-story single-family home was constructed in 1825 and includes six bedrooms, four full bathrooms, and one half-bathroom. Today, the property is one of the most expensive rental homes in the borough with a monthly asking price of $29,000 as listed by leasing agent Corcoran. Renderings from the design team specify a partial removal and expansion of the exterior brick wall at the first and second floors, New York YIMBY said.

Flatbush rabbi succumbs to COVID-19

Rabbi Chaim Yechezkiel Shaga Dhana, a teacher at Yeshivat Shaare Torah in Flatbush, died last month after battling COVID-19, according to Chabad, the outreach arm of the Lubavtich Hasidic movement. “His passionate lectures for young and old alike will continue to inspire for generations to come,” Chabad said. He was also a renowned lecturer with his recorded lessons running the gamut of Jewish knowledge — from insights on the weekly Torah portion to deep dives on Jewish history, saved online for posterity.

Fake cop stops driver, robs him at gunpoint

Detectives are looking for a fake officer who stopped a driver last month and robbed him at gunpoint, according to amNewYork. The NYPD on Friday released photos of the phony cop involved in the incident that took place on the afternoon of April 8 at the corner of East 61st Street and Avenue U in Mill Basin. Police said the victim was stopped at a red light when the fake detective approached the driver’s side of the vehicle. According to authorities, the suspect flashed a detective’s shield, showed a firearm, robbed the victim’s watch and necklace, then got into another car and fled the scene.

Judge dismisses lawsuit by gender non-binary candidates

A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the Brooklyn Democratic Party by six gender non-binary candidates for local offices, citing procedural issues and arguing that the aspiring politicians filed their case too late in the current election cycle, according to the Brooklyn Paper. The six political hopefuls filed ballot applications to run for County Committee membership in the June 23 election. The rules of the Kings County Democratic County Committee require that candidates file to run as either “male member” or “female member” in order to comply with the state election law’s gender parity rules, according to the Brooklyn Paper. The candidates refused to choose either male or female.

Pace of death stuns Brooklyn Muslim community

All day long, coffins are carried in and out of Al-Rayaan Muslim Funeral Services in Brooklyn, according to The New York Times. Workers climb into a refrigerated truck, carry the dead into the funeral home for a prayer, then take the coffins back out to be transported to the cemetery. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the home held 20 to 30 funerals a month, but now they do this an average of 15 times a day. Outside the home on Coney Island Avenue, families gathered in small groups. Many of the dead are immigrants from Pakistan or Bangladesh, and some don’t have family in the United States, the Times said.

Greenpoint’s Flying Squirrel forced out of business

Kate Schmitz, an artist and the owner of Greenpoint’s Flying Squirrel, which sells children’s toys and clothing, was hopeful to be finally turning a profit after 17 years, according to Bklyner. Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit and her store, which was deemed non-essential, was ordered closed. Flying Squirrel was struggling, even with the $2,000 Disaster Relief Fund loan and $10,000 Payment Protection Program loan she received. Then, she received a notice to vacate the storefront by May 2. “I put my entire life savings into this store three years ago,” Schmitz said. “I have no job, and I’m 52. It’s not the most hireable age.” Schmitz has not been able to pay the monthly $6,200 monthly rent since March 1.

Adams slams conduct of East Village cops

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police officer, said that an arrest of people who were not following social distancing orders in the East Village this past weekend was mishandled and called for a thorough investigation, according to News 12. He noted that the NYPD immediately placed the three officers involved in the incident on modified duty, but also said, “We need to look at the original arrest.” Video taken at the scene shows police arresting a couple who they said weren’t social distancing, whereupon another group of people a few feet away asked what was going on. The video shows one officer going over to them, holding up his taser, then restraining one of the crowd. Three people were charged with disorderly conduct: Shakeem Brunson of East New York, Ashley Serrano and Donnie Writght.

Event planner organizes performances by Brooklyn artists

An event planner has started organizing high-production online performances by Brooklyn artists that go beyond typical livestreams, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Event aficionado David Miller kicked off a series of virtual “parties” with Bedford-Stuyvesant artist group KooKooHaus Collective. At one large-scale show at the Box Factory in Queens, a quartet of artists took center stage. The program featured vaudeville sketches, an artist painting a wall-size artwork and a dramatic fire show reminiscent of Burning Man, the Brooklyn Paper said.

City operates disaster morgue on 39th St. Pier

New York City’s Medical Examiner’s Office is now operating a long-term disaster morgue at Brooklyn’s 39th Street Pier, where human remains will be frozen inside freezer trucks in an effort to provide relief to overwhelmed funeral directors, according to Gothamist. Dina Maniotis, chief of staff of the city Medical Examiner’s Office, said the 39th Street Pier site has extended its hours to allow funeral homes to claim bodies between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. “We’re trying to support the funeral director community so they don’t have to rush and claim bodies,” Maniotis said on a press call hosted by Borough President Eric Adams Monday.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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