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Around Brooklyn: Jail dances leader acknowledges sex cult ties

July 20, 2020 Editorial Staff
Graffiti artists Menace Two and Resa Piece painted this mural. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Jail dances leader acknowledges sex cult ties

One of the organizers of a nightly dance party outside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park acknowledged in a recent interview that he has ties to the Nxivm sex cult. Eduarto Aunsolo, who organizes the dances with his group The Forgotten Ones, said he was a former teacher at Nxivm and a friend of the cult’s leader, Keith Raniere. Raniere is awaiting sentencing at the MDC and faces 15 years to life in prison on charges including racketeering, sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy, according to the New York Post.

City to create 100,000 day care slots

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city will provide free child care for 100,000 students on the days that they are not in physical classrooms to help families manage combination online and in-person classes this fall. A Department of Education survey of roughly 400,000 parents found that 75 percent of families wanted schools to reopen this September and were willing to send their children to in-person classes. De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza pitched the “blended learning” model for schools early this month. This means that students take in-person classes two or three days a week, with rotating groups of students and teachers, according to amNewYork.

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

Clergy: Blue Lives Matter ‘hijacked’ unity march

The organizers of the anti-violence prayer march that took place at the Brooklyn Bridge last week said that Blue Lives Matter activists “hijacked” the march, leaving the marchers confused as cops cracked down on counter-protesters. The march was originally conceived by a coalition of Black clergy leaders as a community-based Christian event that called for reforms to policing, education and health care. However, after the Sergeants Benevolent Association distributed a separate flyer for the event, hundreds of current and former NYPD officers showed up in matching blue T-shirts. “When I saw the Blue Lives Matter flag I said, what is going on? This is not what it’s about,” Tramell Thompson, who helped organize the march with the United Clergy Coalition, told Gothamist.

New bill would end Opportunity Zones

A new bill before the state Legislature would end New York City’s share of the Opportunity Zone tax break for real estate projects by detaching the state’s capital gains tax code from the federal government’s. The bill, sponsored by Queens State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Bronx Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, addresses a federal program that rewards investors and developers for investing in one of more than 8,700 such designated areas across the country. The bill’s sponsors say that the bill is “poorly targeted” and in fact includes many booming, developed and affluent areas as Opportunity Zones, according to The Real Deal.

Men accused of smashing subway windows

Two men have been accused of smashing windows on subway trains in Brooklyn. Transit officials say there is a troubling trend of vandalism in the subway system that so far has cost taxpayers $1.5 million. Adam Travasiere of the Upper East Side was arrested on July 15, three days after a reporter photographed him bashing windows on a southbound Q train at Atlantic Avenue. Police say Travasiere has a history of several arrests, including criminal mischief and graffiti gear possession. The other man arrested, Juan Flores, allegedly broke digital screens on a platform at the Union Street station in Brooklyn. He has more than 20 prior arrests, including criminal mischief, burglary and petty larceny, according to the Daily News.

Man killed in shooting spree might not have been target

A young Brooklyn man who was fatally shot while behind the wheel of a car he’d just bought was probably the victim of random violence, his family said. Kishawn Cameron, who worked at Maimonides Medical Center, was driving to a liquor store in Crown Heights with two passengers when gunmen opened fire. Cameron, even though wounded, was able to drive to Kings County Hospital, but he could not be saved. His aunt, Lorna Patrick, said, “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” according to the Daily News.

Brooklyn women in Mass. charged with cocaine

Three Brooklyn women were charged with trafficking cocaine after they were pulled over in Shelburne, Massachusetts, for speeding on a highway without any headlights. Once officers stopped the car, police say, the found an open container of alcohol, about 130 grams of cocaine and 6 grams of heroin. Faith Torres, Angelique Woodson and Aniaya Ellis, all of Brooklyn, N.Y., are charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of heroin and conspiracy to violate drug law, according to the Boston Herald.

Black Lives Matter murals painted over

Black Lives Matter murals in Brooklyn and Harlem were targeted with paint late Saturday and early Sunday in what appeared to be a string of coordinated acts. Videos posted to Facebook show a group of people dumping paint on both murals. The Brooklyn mural that was targeted is the one outside Borough Hall. The suspects appear to be the same two women who were arrested earlier on Saturday after throwing black paint on a similar mural in front of Trump Tower, according to PIX11. The women are Black, wore “Jesus Matters” T-shirts and identified themselves as Trump supporters.

Downtown building ascends upward

9 DeKalb Ave., which will be the tallest structure in Brooklyn when finished, has nearly doubled in height since May. The 73-story “supertall” building was designed by SHoP Architects and developed by JDS. It sits next to the landmarked Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn, which will be renovated and incorporated into the development. The new building under construction can now be seen from as far away as Barclays Center, according to New York YIMBY.

Cops seek bike store killer

Police are seeking a gunman who killed a man in a Brooklyn bike store. Investigators say Nicholas Isaac, 23, got into an argument with the gunman on Saturday, July 18 around 4 p.m. on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights. The man shot Isaac, who ran into the bike store. The perp followed him, killed him and fled on a black scooter, police say. He is described as being around 6 feet tall and was wearing all-black clothes and carrying a blue backpack, according to ABC7.

Brooklyn woman shot over fireworks dispute

A Brooklyn woman was shot to death after she confronted some youths setting off illegal fireworks in two separate incidents. Shatavia Walls, 33, was shot once at NYCHA’s Pink Houses in East New York housing project on July 4 after she asked the youths to move away from a group of children who were playing nearby. Helen Testagros, Walls’ mother, said that in some neighborhoods, to try to solve such disputes nonviolently is to take your life into your hands. While Walls survived this incident, two weeks later she again asked some youths to tone the fireworks down, and the same man chased her and shot her, this time fatally, according to the New York Post

Beer takes over Gowanus

A brewery based in Glendale, Queens, has opened a new satellite brewery in Gowanus featuring outdoor seating. Finback, at 545 President St., is near several other breweries, such as Strong Rope Brewery, Threes Brewing and Wild East Brewing. “Gowanus for sure was and is becoming even more of a beer hub,” said Basil Lee, one of the founders of Finback. Finback is located in a former warehouse, according to Brownstoner.

Middle Eastern deli to open in Greenpoint

Edy’s Grocer, a Middle Eastern deli and grocery run by Edouard Massih, will open next month in the former home of Maria’s Deli, a Polish market that was a fixture in the neighborhood but was a victim of coronavirus. Massih’s business was mainly catering until recently, and Massih was friendly with the owner of Maria’s. Massih said he will honor the neighborhood’s Polish heritage by selling Eastern European staples, soups and some prepared dishes alongside his native Lebanese cuisine.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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