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Around Brooklyn: BRIC to sponsor town hall on preparing for future

May 15, 2020 Editorial Staff
The scene was serene on the last day Brooklyn Botanic Garden was open. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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BRIC to sponsor town hall on preparing for future

The latest installment of BRIC’s BHeard Town Hall series is going virtual for a discussion on preparing for the future. The topic has taken on new importance during the current pandemic, as Brooklynites wrestle with imagining what the borough will look like in years to come. “The Foreseeable Future” discussion will bring together leaders from education, design, healthcare, labor and infrastructure for a panel moderated by BRIC TV Managing Editor Brian Vines. The town hall takes place on Wednesday, May 20 from 7 to 8 p.m. on YouTube Live.

Edith Richemond dies of coronavirus

Edith Richemond, who was known in her Haitian immigrant enclave of East Flatbush as “Big,” died of complications of the novel coronavirus on April 25 at a Brooklyn nursing home at the age of 88, the New York Times reported. She arrived in New York City in the 1960s with little money or education but had a drive to succeed, eventually investing in real estate and owning two laundromats. Her niece, Athalie LaPamuk, said Richemond was “Big” because she was a “big deal” in her neighborhood. “She took a skill she had learned in Haiti, washing clothes, and made a living out of it,” LaPamuk said. Richemond was born in 1932 in Marchand Dessalines, the first capital of independent Haiti. Her father was a judge who also served several terms as mayor.

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

Couple charged with attack on Hasidim say they were attacked

The Queens couple charged with a hate crime for allegedly attacking a group of Hasidic Jews in Williamsburg for not practicing social distancing are not anti-Semitic and “were only speaking out about what they saw,” according to their lawyer, Ken Belkin. Paulo Pinho and his wife Clelia Pinho were arrested late Sunday after a confrontation with a large group of Hasidim, according to the New York Post. Police charge that the pair hopped out of their car, shouted anti-Semitic statements and tried to rip off three of the men’s masks. However, their attorney says they were victimized for “taking an irresponsible mass of individuals to task,” the Post reported.

Video shows officers violently arresting woman without mask

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would re-evaluate the NYPD’s approach to social distancing enforcement after another viral video showing officers violently arresting a woman who was not wearing a mask inside a Brooklyn subway station, according to Gothamist. “What we saw there did not reflect our values, did not reflect our goals of de-escalation and we have to be better,” de Blasio said. The video shows Kaleemah Rozier arguing with police officers as they attempted to make her and her young child leave the Atlantic Avenue station on Wednesday. The NYPD said that Rozier, who appears to be wearing a mask around her neck, allegedly used “vulgar language” while rejecting cops’ orders to cover her face. As officers escorted her from the station, one of the grabbed her, the video shows. When she brushed his hand away, multiple officers then put their hands on her, bringing her to the ground and cuffing her.

De Blasio might reopen restaurants in stages

In a phone call with several restaurateurs, Mayor Bill de Blasio mentioned potentially reopening the city’s restaurants in three stages, according to New York Eater. De Blasio didn’t provide specific dates, but he implied that restaurant capacity would start off limited and gradually make its way to a fuller opening in the fall. All of this will be contingent on health data and a sustained decline of COVID-19 cases in the city, he said. The potential of adding restaurant seats to closed city streets could also be part of the reopening strategy, and could mean that restaurants might be able to open a little sooner, New York Eater said. Some restaurateurs said they couldn’t operate economically with limited seating and prefer to wait a little longer for more seats.

Brooklyn man accused of Staten Island car theft

A Brooklyn man with a lengthy rap sheet was arrested this week and charged with stealing a car in Dongan Hills, Staten Island, and driving it back to Brooklyn, according to the Staten Island Advance. Donnell Hickman of Halsey Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant was spotted driving the 2016 Honda after it was reported missing hours early by a man in Dongan Hills, police said. Hickman has 27 prior arrests including grand larceny auto, burglary, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon, police added. He faces charges including grand larceny, driving without a license, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property.

Man shot dead in East Flatbush

A 31-year-old man was shot dead on an East Flatbush street on Wednesday evening, according to the Daily News. Bernardo Bernard was blasted in the chest during a confrontation near East 93rd Street and Clarkson Avenue about 8:20 p.m., police said. EMTs rushed Bernard to Kings County Hospital but he could not be saved. Several people and cars fled the scene, sources said. There were no immediate arrests, but police recovered ballistic evidence from including a parked vehicle hit by a bullet and other locations, the News said.

Popular Boerum Hill man dies from COVID-19

He couldn’t walk and rarely left his apartment, but Juan Vazquez was well-known and well-liked by his friends and neighbors in Boerum Hill, according to NY1 News. Since his death from coronavirus recently, many have been leaving flowers and candles outside his window where he greeted them every day. His sister said that he was trying to ride out his illness because, as a double amputee, it was difficult for him to get out of his apartment to see a doctor. Vazquez was born in Park Slope and had lived in Boerum Hill for 15 years. He had worked as a courier and dispatcher for a medical lab and an auxiliary police officer before losing his legs to diabetes, NY1 News said. He was also a passionate HAM radio operator.

Persaud to host virtual town meeting on education

State Sen. Roxanne J. Persaud (D-Canarsie-East New York-Brownsville-Flatlands), in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, is hosting a virtual town hall discussion on K-12 and higher education today. “During these unprecedented times, I look forward to partnering with the NYC Departments of Education and Consumer Affairs to host an online information session about our public schools and student loan debt for those in higher education,” said Persaud.  The town hall is slated for 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Facebook Live.

Rose stresses support for ‘Heroes Act’ in House

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) reiterated his support for the Heroes Act, which was voted on Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation, which has bipartisan support provides over $100 billion in critical relief for New York, including funding for state and local governments, protections and benefits for frontline workers, small businesses, and those hit hardest by the pandemic. “I have nurses and firefighters in my district having conversations while their children are asleep, worrying about how they will feed their family if they’re laid off. Others who run successful businesses wondering if they are going to lose their homes and not only their own livelihoods, but those of their employees,” said Rose.

New Jersey Gov.: Beaches will open in a limited way

Gov. Philip Murphy of New Jersey said late Wednesday that the state’s popular beaches would be open in a limited way by Memorial Day, according to the New York Times. “Folks should expect to see something of a similar vein as we did with county and state parks, which is mandating social distance, for sure, and finding some ways to limit capacity,” Murphy said. Earlier, the governor said that all retail stores in the state could begin curbside pickup on Monday, and non-essential construction could also resume, the Times said.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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