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Around Brooklyn: Nurse sails from Va. to Brooklyn, now lives in marina

May 19, 2020 Editorial Staff
Here’s the busy Belt Parkway in southern Brooklyn. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Nurse sails from Va. to Brooklyn, now lives in marina

A Virginia nurse who volunteered to come to New York to help treat coronavirus patients undertook a 260-mile sailing voyage rather than a potentially virus-risky airline flight, according to the New York Post. Now, Rachel Hartley of Lynchburg and her husband Taylor are living at the marina off Brooklyn Bridge Park. She works four night shifts per week treating COVID-19 patients. The marina’s deputy CEO, Estelle Lau, allowed them to dock for free because they came to fight the virus crisis. The couple’s four-bedroom boat is known as Turning Points, the Post said.

Council to vote on whether to give hotel rooms to homeless

The City Council plans to hold an emergency vote today on a bill that would offer hotel rooms to indigent New Yorkers, according to the New York Post. The bill, which Mayor Bill de Blasio opposes, would provide a single room to people living in shelters, on the subways or on the streets. Isaac McGinn, spokesperson for the city’s Department of Social Services, criticized the bill, saying it uses “a one-size-fits-all approach for a system that is anything but.” Downtown Brooklyn Councilmember Stephen Levin sponsored the bill. “There have been 75 homeless New Yorkers who have died from COVID over seven weeks,” Levin said.

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1.9 million New Yorkers left jobless by virus

More than 1.9 million New York residents have filed for unemployment insurance claims, according to the New York Post. New York City accounts for nearly half the total — with 930,000 jobless residents filing claims from mid-March through May 7, said the Post. This translates to 21 percent of the state’s workforce. “This is well beyond anything we’ve ever seen before,” said E. J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy. In New York City itself, the number of unemployment insurance claimed jumped from 56.974 from mid-March to early May of 2019 to 930,592 claims during the same period this year, the Post said.

Neighbors slam dance party on Williamsburg street

A group of partiers who weren’t wearing masks gathered for an impromptu dance party outside a Williamsburg restaurant that was blasting dance music on Berry Street on May 14, according to the Brooklyn Paper. The festivities started around 2:30 p.m. when Cheeseboat on North 9th Street began playing music outside and people passing by stopped to enjoy the music. “People were just puzzled that this was happening. This sort of callous disregard for the reality of the situation is what really pissed me off,” said Jennifer Weinberg, who caught the gathering on video. Cops came and broke up the gathering around 4:45 p.m., but after they left the merrymakers resumed, the Brooklyn Paper reported.

Social distancing circles added to Domino Park

Designated circles were added to the Domino Park lawn on Friday to help park-goers stick to social distancing, according to Greenpointers. The NYPD stepped up enforcement at the Williamsburg park earlier this month, when Mayor de Blasio said he would be limiting the number of people allowed to enter certain New York city parks at once. Crowds have regularly gathered at North Brooklyn parks since the start of the pandemic, even though the city has sought to deter them by removing basketball rims and closing tennis courts and fitness equipment at McCarren Park.

Co-op residents step in to help frontline workers

Residents of the 570 Westminster Road co-op in Ditmas Park are a force to be reckoned with, according to Bklyner. When the coronavirus pandemic hit New York, co-op resident Chrissie Dowler, the owner of a mobile tailoring business, wanted to help out. She advertised on the building’s blog that she was willing to produce masks for healthcare workers, and that she needed several helpers. She now has volunteers in eight co-op apartments sewing personal protective equipment for frontline workers, Bklyner said. Dowler marks up the fabric and leaves it in a bag for each volunteer, along with scissors, a ruler and other equipment.

Prospect Park horses deliver food, supplies

For the first time in perhaps 80 years, horses are now pulling carts containing valuable supplies and food, according to Patch. The person behind it is John Quadrozzi Jr., owner of Prospect Park Stables. He put the stable’s 21 horses to work pulling carts of food and supplies to the Red Hook Houses and other sites throughout Brooklyn. After starting at GBX-Gowanus Bay Terminal, the deliveries included six stops, starting with the Red Hook Farm at 560 Columbia St. The ride is a way to make Brooklynites smile and to keep their spirits up, Quadrozzi told Patch.

Plaque honors frontline workers during pandemic

Artist Norm Magnusson installed a plaque with a contemporary touch across from Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Park Slope. The plaque, designed in the style of a historical marker, says, “On this site stood grocery workers, nurses, hospital staff, doctors, mail carriers, immigrant laborers, and other true heroes of our pandemic lives. Education Department 2020.” It was photographed by Rich Garr, who runs the tour company Gotham Sidewalks, and put up on Instagram. Patch said, “We are told that there is at least one other dedicated to frontline workers in Brooklyn besides this one.”

Preservationists to honor Clay Lancaster

Those who are familiar with the history of Brooklyn Heights should know of Clay Lancaster, who wrote the classic book “Old Brooklyn Heights: Brooklyn’s First Suburb.” Brooklyn Heights residents worked with Lancaster in the 1950s and 1950s to make Brooklyn Heights the city’s first historic district. In a virtual discussion tonight, you can hear from two of those original advocates, Otis and Nancy Pearsall, as they join Anthony Wood of the New York Preservation Archive Project. The discussion will take place Wednesday, May 20, at 3:45 p.m. To RSVP and get the Zoom check-in details, drop an email to [email protected].

NYPD shuts down Orthodox school that ignored orders

The NYPD on Monday shut down an Orthodox Jewish school that was operating in violation of city and state social distancing orders, according to NBC New York. Cops estimated that there were more than 100 children inside the building when police arrived at the building on Madison Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant sometime before noon. At least two people in the neighborhood reported the school to city officials, police said. Channel 4 arrived at the scene around noon, when dozens of children, some of whom were wearing masks, were seen leaving the building and getting onto a bus. Mayor Bill de Blasio told NBC New York that he would issue a cease and desist order.

Lander, Carroll sponsor zero-interest loans

Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Park Slope-Windsor Terrace-Kensington) and Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope-Windsor Terrace-Kensington) announced this week that they are teaming up with local philanthropic organizations to make zero-percent interest loans available to Brooklyn small business owners and independent contractors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The philanthropic partners are the Hebrew Free Loan Society, the Change Reaction and the Greg Perlman and Michael Clark Small Business Angel Fund. The groups will offer two types of interest-free loans: loans up to $25,000 for small businesses in the area that are currently operating; and loans for independent contractors and small business owners who have been required to close due to the state’s PAUSE order.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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