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Around Brooklyn: Diesel fuel explosion frightens residents

May 21, 2020 Editorial Staff
Mill Basin’s shoreline is mighty scenic. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Diesel fuel explosion frightens residents

A diesel fuel explosion in an equipment rental yard in Flatlands frightened nearby residents and sent a plume of smoke and flames 30 feet high before being controlled by firefighters, amNewYork said. No injuries were reported in the explosion at the Kisay Equipment rental yard at 2231 Utica Ave. The business rents heavy-duty generators, large lights and other equipment to the construction industry, amNewYork said. The fire apparently started in a 500-gallon diesel fuel tank in the rear of the yard. Firefighters used foam to put out the unusual blaze.

Cops bust another crowd at yeshiva

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Police say they’ve discovered another Brooklyn yeshiva operating illegally amid the coronavirus shutdown, according to CBS New York. Officers responded to a 311 call shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday and found a large crowd at 113 South 8th St. in Williamsburg. Police ordered the group to disperse. No arrests or summonses were issued, CBS New York reported. Schools were closed by the city in March.

Six-story building planned for Borough Park

Permits have been filed for a six-story mixed-use building at 4622 Fort Hamilton Parkway in Borough Park. The site is located at the intersection of 76th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, now a vacant lot. It is three blocks from the F train’s Fort Hamilton Parkway subway station. Sam Chen of U.S. Developments Group is listed as the owner, and Ying Jane of Basic Groups Corp. is listed as the architect. The proposed building is slated to have 16 residences, most likely rentals, as well as eight enclosed parking spaces, according to New York YIMBY.

Brooklyn youth’s basketball trick shots go viral

Brooklyn native Larry Moreno, a student at St. Francis College downtown, had always dreamed of making it as a basketball player on ESPN’s Sportscenter. His wish came true, but not in the way he expected. A video of him getting creative with half-court shots in an empty gym has gone viral and finally appeared on the highlight show. Moreno’s long-distance throws off buildings and through his legs have transformed him into a trick shot king, and his Instagram followers are now at 39,000, according to PIX 11. Many of his shots are from more than 100 feet away, but Moreno says they’re easy for him.

Well-known Brooklyn Caribbean baker dies

Conrad Ifill, the owner of Conrad’s Famous Bakery in Brooklyn, learned to bake out of necessity, according to New York Times. His daughter, Jillian Ifill Demming, said that in his childhood in Trinidad and Tobago, “with a family that big, they never had enough bread, so he started making it himself.” Ifill died at age 81 last month of coronavirus at Mt. Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Hempstead. In 1981, Ifill walked away from a career as a data processor to open Conrad’s Famous Bakery on Utica Avenue in Crown Heights. In 2015, he opened a second location on Church Avenue in East Flatbush. Andre Ifill, his son, told the Times that immigrants “could always find something that would remind them of home — currant rolls, guava tarts, and of course, hard dough bread.”

‘Sopranos’ actor delivers food to frontline workers

“Sopranos” star Joseph Gannascoli, who portrayed wiseguy Vito Spatafore on the show, visited the Sheepshead Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Monday to pick up his 104-year-old aunt after she beat the coronavirus, according to the New York Post. While there, he dropped off a truckload of food for the staff there. Gannascoli is a chef by trade and once owned a restaurant in Bay Ridge known as “Soup as Art.” The food he donated was from Vincent’s Clam Bar in Cale Place, Long Island and included eggplant parmigiana, rigatoni Bolognese, penne a la vodka, antipasto and “lots of bread,” the Post reported.

Parks Department plans to erect temporary fences at Coney

The New York City Parks Department is planning to erect temporary fences at the entrances to Coney Island and Brighton Beach to control the size of the crowds for the Memorial Day weekend, according to amNewYork. The beaches won’t yet be open for swimming, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said they would be closed completely if the crowds get too large to maintain social distancing, amNewYork reported. Parks Department employees were already working on plans to erect fences at all entry points to the beaches. With temperatures only expected to rise into the 70s, they don’t think people will want to swim, but the Parks Department is concerned that people will set up too close to each other on the beach.

Treyger provides food boxes to Marlboro Houses

Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island-Bensonhurst-Bath Beach) was joined by State Sen. Diane Savino, Assemblymembers Bill Colton and Steven Cymbrowitz and representatives of several organizations when they provided 300 pantry food boxes and 700 prepared meals to residents of NYCHA’s Marlboro Houses. “From the beginning of this pandemic, I have partnered with NYC Council Speaker Johnson to address a looming hunger crisis by securing emergency funding for our food assistance providers to protect our city’s social safety net,” said Treyger. The food distribution was facilitated with Treyger’s partnership with the Council Speaker Corey Johnson to allocate $25 million in food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adams seeks nutritious grab-and-go meals

Borough President Eric Adams recently joined City Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) and several doctors to unveil new legislation that would strengthen nutritional guidelines for meals funded by the city, including grab-and-go meals. “Numerous residents throughout Brooklyn have raised concerns to me about the quality of the food they are getting through grab-and-go sites, food pantries, and other operations subsidized by the city. The leading co-morbidities associated with COVID-19 are diet-related, like obesity and hypertension,” he said.

City moves homeless into downtown hotel

The city on May 15 checked more than 150 homeless men into an upscale Downtown Brooklyn hotel and tower to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, according to the New York Post. “There were people lined up outside the hotel, and they weren’t wearing masks and gloves. They weren’t social distancing at all,” said one resident, describing the scene when approximately 160 homeless people were dropped off at the Tillary Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn with no warning to tenants. The newcomers were ushered into most of the building’s 174 hotel rooms on its six lowest floors, which once hosted “El Chapo” Guzman’s wife during Guzman’s federal trial. Above the hotel are five floors of apartments, many of whose tenants say the move undermines their own efforts to avoid the virus, the Post reported.

COVID-19 threatens charter school’s future

Ember Charter School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, many of whose students are from families that have been victims of the coronavirus, could be threatened with closure, according to ABC7. The school’s mission is to provide a safe space for its students, but the rise of COVID-19 has threatened that mission, said the school’s founder, Rafiq Kalam Id-Din. The school, along with other charter schools in the city, was not included in the city’s distribution of high-tech devices. He estimates that up to 45 percent of his students can’t get the internet at home.

Suspect arrested in Brownsville shooting

A neighbor was arrested in the fatal shooting of a 62-year old man inside his apartment at NYCHA’s Langston Hughes Houses in Brownsville, according to the Daily News. Gregory Spears has been charged with murder and weapons possession in the shooting of Angel Medina in the stomach on Tuesday afternoon in Spears’ apartment. Police, who took Spears into custody on Wednesday after executing a search warrant on his apartment, didn’t immediately disclose Spears’ alleged motive for the shooting, the News said. Medina’s wife said she knew Spears, but didn’t know what led to the shooting.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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