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Around Brooklyn: Water main break floods Park Slope

July 8, 2020 Editorial Staff
Here are the Manhattan skyline and Crown Heights as seen from Brooklyn Center. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Water main break floods Park Slope

A water main break flooded basements in a row of brownstones in park Slops with up to five feet of water on Tuesday morning. A pipe burst on St. John’s Place near Fifth Avenue around 10 a.m., and firefighters had to cordon off the street for several hours to pump out the water. Residents say the firefighters left the scene around 1 p.m., and the water to nearby homes was turned on again by 2 p.m. “I was in the basement to do laundry, and there was water,” homeowner David Kirschenbaum told the New York Post.

Gowanus turning basin or tar-ning basin?

Recent photos taken by Brad Vogel of the Gowanus Dredgers show a large amount of coal tar and combined sewer overflow at the Gowanus Canal’s 4th Street Turning Basin. The basin was the first portion of the canal to be cleaned and capped under the EPA’s Superfund program, as a pilot project. The pilot project was finished in late 2018, and it was the first time in more than 100 years that a part of the Gowanus was free from debris and coal-tar sediment, according to Pardon Me for Asking. The recent pollution flowed into the Turning Basin from the main portion of the canal, which is slated to be cleaned later this year.

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

Maimonides to get $1 million in federal funding

U.S. Senators from New York Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand this week announced $2.377 million in federal funding to provide “telehealth” services for New Yorkers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. “Telehealth services have played an integral part of New York’s response to the COVID-19 crisis by allowing health care professionals to effectively treat patients without compromising their own health,” said Senator Gillibrand. In Brooklyn, the Maimonides Medical Center received $1,000,000 in grant funding to develop a central monitoring system for patient care and protection during staff-patient interactions and to control hospital patient volume.

Two killed in Brooklyn fire

Two people, one of them a 12-year-old boy, were killed in a Brooklyn house fire on Monday. The blaze erupted on the top floor of a five-story apartment building on Linden Boulevard near Flatbush Avenue in the early morning, according to the FDNY. The boy was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. A 69-year-old man was taken to SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where he also did not survive. An 82-year-old woman and a 30-year-old woman, who both survived, where taken to Kings County Hospital, according to the New York Post.

Buildings Dept. warned for years about Carroll Gardens building

The Carroll Gardens building on Court and Union Streets that collapsed on July 1 had amassed thousands of dollars’ worth of fines and 15 years of complaints. Most recently, the Department of Buildings fined the owner of the former building, which housed Body Elite gym, at least five times, totaling more than $15,000 in penalties. Most of the fines were for failing to keep the building up to code, according to Brownstoner.

Do high-tech and ice cream mix?

The founders of Ample Hills, the well-known Prospect Heights ice cream company, recently said they plan to leave the company, soon after they sold their bankrupt creamery to Oregon firm Schmitt Industries. The Ample Hills brand, its 13 locations, and its Red Hook factory will continue to operate under new ownership, but without husband and wife founders Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith. Schmitt Industries did not comment on why the Brooklynites left, although it said that “Ample Hills will honor the brand [Cuscuna and Smith] have built.” Schmitt CEO Michael Zapata said his firm plans to re-hire 200 local workers and expects to reopen the now-closed outlets soon, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Schmitt specializes in process control systems, sensors and other high-tech devices.

Giant tree falls in Prospect Park

A more than 30-foot-tall sycamore maple tree fell across Prospect Park’s East Drive on Thursday, inconveniencing runners, walkers and cyclists. The park’s botanists said the tree might have fallen as a result of heavy winds and rain earlier in the week. First responders cordoned off the tree with caution tape minutes after it fell, and it was chopped up and carried off by the end of the day, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

Budget hits affordable housing program

Despite last-minute restorations and additions, the city’s affordable housing program was substantially cut in the $88.19 billion city budget that was overwhelmingly approved by the City Council last week. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s capital budget was cut from $1.48 billion to $902 million in the 2020 fiscal year, and from $1.18 billion to $741 million in the next fiscal year. Nevertheless, the Council secured $3.2 million for foreclosure prevention programs, $3.1 million for community housing strategies, $1.7 million for the Home Loan Program and $637,500 for the Community Land Trust, according to City Limits.

B’klyn men held in Conn. credit card fraud

On June 25, an employee of Darien, Connecticut’s Wine Port called local police to report someone was trying to make what he believed to be a fraudulent transaction by phone using several credit cards with varying names. In order to have the suspect arrive at the store, the employee told the suspect that the transaction had been successful and he could pick up his order. In the meantime, detectives waited for him to arrive. The suspect soon arrived, accompanied by another man, and the cops detained Jaekwon Faison and Kadeem Cornwall, both of Brooklyn, N.Y. The two were arrested and charged with several offenses, including illegal use of a credit card and identity theft, according to the Darien Times.

Robbery suspect nabbed after returning for his dog

An alleged Bloods gang member suspected in a Brooklyn robbery was arrested after returning to the scene to pick up his dog, police said. Miguel James and another man got into a fight on Albany Avenue in Flatlands around 1:30 a.m., according to police. James allegedly reached into his SUV and grabbed a gun, scaring both the other man and a witness. However, he remembered that he’d left his dog behind and went back to the scene, only to find that the NYPD was already there. Cops say they recovered the gun, a machete, marijuana and the victim’s necklace, which was stolen during the brawl, according to the New York Post.

Police seek man who opened fire outside building

Police are seeking a man who opened fire outside NYCHA’s Sheepshead Bay Houses on Avenue W in Brooklyn. A child walked into the building just seconds before the suspect started shooting around 12:15 a.m. last Friday. Right afterward, the gunman fled inside the building, according to WABC.

NYU to hold online STEM workshops

This summer, NYU Tandon will host hundreds of middle- and high-school students for free, online STEM workshops. The free program typically targets people who are under-represented in STEM careers, such as girls and women, students of color, and students from low-income backgrounds. The program includes videoconferencing for live workshops, physical experiments, tools for doing research at home, an in-laboratory research and NYU Tandon this fall.

New lawn opens at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park opened a new lawn adjacent to Pier 2, known as the Pier 2 Uplands, on Monday. “Ten years after opening the first section of the park, we are incredibly excited to open the Pier 2 Uplands, now one step closer to finishing Brooklyn Bridge Park as originally designed,” said Brooklyn Bridge Park President Eric Landau in a statement. The section cost $17 million and includes a 6,300-square-foot lawn, 1,300 new trees and shrubs, and a play area with water sprinklers. A custom-designed 15,000-gallon retention tank will capture the runoff from the water play area and then re-use it to irrigate greenery, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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