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Around Brooklyn: Bichotte commemorates Voting Rights Act

August 7, 2020 Editorial Staff
Cobblestoned Hudson Avenue in Vinegar Hill is a romantic spot for a Valentine’s Day kiss. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Bichotte commemorates Voting Rights Act

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush-Ditmas Park) recently commemorated the 55th anniversary of the day the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. “This landmark legislation made discriminatory voting practices, which were employed across the south, illegal. The act abolished literacy tests and contained enforcement provisions to ensure that Black Americans would be able to exercise the right to vote,” she said.

Up on the roof? Not anymore

A 150-person rooftop party at a restaurant in Sheepshead Bay and a Crown Heights restaurant that ignored the ban on indoor dining were the latest Brooklyn spots to lose liquor licenses for violating pandemic-related rules. La Vue on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay and Suite 704 on Nostrand Avenue were among 11 establishments whose liquor licenses were pulled by the New York State Liquor Authority last week. At La Vue, investigators found 150 people dancing and drinking on the rooftop as well as another 40 people without masks on Sunday, according to Patch. They also found that six employees preparing food and three bartenders weren’t wearing face coverings.

Fire damages roof on Cortelyou Road

A four-alarm fire broke out during roof repairs at an apartment building at 811 Cortelyou Road in Kensington on Thursday afternoon. More than 150 firefighters fought the blaze for almost two hours, and at least three apartments were heavily damaged. Workers on the roof were installing new tar-based materials, although it is unclear exactly how the fire started. The six-story building stretches the entire length of Cortelyou Road from East 8th to East 7th streets. Roof workers routinely use flames to make roofing material more adhesive, according to amNewYork. Although there were no injuries, many residents were left homeless.

Landmarks OK’s Ft. Greene tower

At a virtual hearing on Aug. 4, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to approve revised designs for a 23-story residential skyscraper with an extension of the Brooklyn Music School at its base. The building is being developed by Gotham Development and was designed by FXCollaborative architects. The new plans made the building visibly lower than the nearby 42-story Clocktower building. The expansion of the Brooklyn Music School will be located in the cellar and the first two floors. Around 30 percent of the apartments will be priced at below-market-rate value, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

East Flatbush daycare struggles to survive

Mildred Lovell, owner of the Garden of Knowledge Day Care Center at 1657 Nostrand Ave., said, “It brings tears to my eyes that I may not be able to reopen in September.” Mildred and her daughter, Dheydra, have spent the last four months listening to parents’ health and safety concerns while introducing a distance-learning program. During the summertime, they’ve played sports with the children in person, but the center is not equipped for distance learning at this point. In the meantime, Dheydra has been stocking up on personal protective equipment, but they “still haven’t recovered from the loss,” according to WCBS 880.

Man accused of sabotaging police van

Jeremy Trapp, age 24, has been accused of planning to cut the brake lines of a police vehicle. Investigators say that for a four-day period in July, Trapp had been speaking to an NYPD confidential source about wanting to hurt police officers. On July 17, he allegedly showed the source a cutting tool, and that afternoon, he was captured on a surveillance video tampering with an NYPD van, police said. An inspection later found that a line for a wheel speed sensor had been partially severed, according to CBS2.

Head of B’klyn moving firm charged with fraud

The head of a Brooklyn moving company and an employee have been arrested and charged with fraud for allegedly holding dozens of customers’ belongings until the customers paid inflated moving fees, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District. Great Movers president Yakov Moroz, 39, of Brooklyn, and employee Tal Ohana, of Queens, were charged with wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy. Customers would be given a fee for moving, but when moving day for customers rolled around, Moroz and Ohana would ask them to pay additional fees and refuse to return their belongings if they didn’t, 1010 WINS said.

Gallery owner who helped Black artists remembered

When James Powers, a medical supply salesman, was laid off from his job, he opened the Spiral Gallery in Prospect Heights. He named his gallery after the Spiral Group, a short-lived collective of Black artists formed in the early 1960s. In the late 1980s, the gallery became a community for Black artists and art lovers, with monthly openings. Len Walker, a Spiral regular, said, “We were young Black college graduates and professionals seeking to buy art that reflected our culture and aspirations.” Powers died on April 4 at a Manhattan hospital of complications from COVID-19.

Man charged with sex abuse of pre-teen girl

A former CUNY research associate was arrested in Brooklyn and charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a pre-teen girl and possibly others. John Russell, 59, allegedly began to assault the victim when she was 9 years old and continued until she was 11. Sources say that Russell touched the victim both above and below her clothing. An NYPD spokesperson said that Russell has had prior arrests for similar crimes, including forcible touching and sex abuse, according to amNewYork.

Cops seek man who stole $18K in cash

Police are searching for a man who they say stole $18,000 in cash, hitting the same Windsor Terrace residence twice in less than a month. On June 26 at around 1 a.m., the burglar got into a 72-year-old woman’s home on Kermit Place and took around $18,000 in cash as well as jewelry. The same thief returned on July 24, but this time only removed a video camera. Police have released surveillance video of the suspect.

Sales begin at One Prospect Park West

Sales have begun for One Prospect Park West, a residential building redesigned by Workstead. The building, located on the corner of Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza, was originally built in 1925 as a clubhouse for the Knights of Columbus and was most recently a nursing home before it was converted to residences. The available units begin at almost $2.4 million for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home. The building was redeveloped by Sugar Hill Capital Partners, which purchased it in 2016 for a reputed $84 million, according to New York YIMBY.

Multi-car crash injures nine

Nine people were hospitalized after the driver of an SUV struck a livery cab, another car and an MTA bus on Wednesday afternoon. The driver of the Lexus SUV was the most seriously injured and is reportedly in critical condition at Kings County Hospital. The crash occurred at about 2 p.m. at East 49th Street and Clarendon Road in Flatbush, according to amNewYork. Police are still investigating the cause of the crime.

Three injured in Flatbush shooting

One man is in critical condition and two others are wounded in the aftermath of a late-night shooting in Flatbush. Two suspects drove up and opened fire shortly before 11 p.m. on Thursday at Regent Place and East 21st Street. The 18-year-old victim was shot in the head and is in critical condition. In addition, a 19-year-old man was shot in the buttocks and a 26-year-old man was hit in the leg. The suspects were seen driving south on Flatbush Avenue, according to CBS New York.

Independent Bookstore Day in Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s independent bookstores will celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on Aug. 29. They will pool resources to sell mugs, tote bags and T-shirts. Fifteen bookstores with nearly 20 storefronts are participating and will split the proceeds, according to Publishers Weekly. “Independent bookstores are a vital part of our communities, and we’re excited to invite book lovers to support not just their neighborhood but all of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods,” said Jessica Stockton-Bagnulo, co-owner of Greenlight Bookstore.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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