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Around Brooklyn: Davila: Process is failing schools

October 15, 2020 Editorial Staff

Davila: Process is failing schools

Assemblymember Maritza Davila (D-Williamsburg-Bushwick) and local parents on Tuesday called on the need for accountability, health concerns, rapid COVID-19 testing sites and the need for more educational resources. As children return to school either remote, in person or both, the safety of their health along with parents, teachers and faculty is of much concern. Since schools have opened the number of COVID-19 positive cases have increased. Several schools have already been reported to shut down, putting students and families at risk of spreading the virus.

Two-story commercial building planned for Bensonhurst

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Permits have been filed for a two-story commercial building at 1567 63rd St. in Bensonhurst. The site, located between 15th and 16th avenues, is currently a vacant lot surrounded by other low-rise commercial and industrial buildings. It is near the M train’s Central Avenue subway station. The building will be located in a light manufacturing district and will have five closed parking spaces. Mordy Jalas is listed as the owner, and Fei Chan of FC Architect PLLC is listed as the architect or record, according to New York YIMBY.

Louis mourns Joyce Dinkins

Councilmember Farah Louis (D-Flatbush-East Flatbush-Midwood-Marine Park-Flatlands) issued the following statement after former New York City First Lady Joyce Dinkins died at the age of 89. “As a city, we mourn the loss of a giant — New York City’s first African-American First Lady, Joyce Dinkins. From Harlem to the Gracie Mansion, First Lady Dinkins’ lifetime of public service was remarkable. She was a dynamic woman who championed education, literacy, expanded access to healthcare and the arts,” Louis said.

Colton calls for review of emergency restrictions

Assemblymember Bill Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst-Bath Beach-Dyker Heights) says he has received many complaints regarding Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order requiring houses of worship to severely limit their attendance. “We must recognize that the right and freedom to practice religion is a basic right. I have seen these [safety] practices effectively work while I have attended Sunday masses at Most Precious Blood, St. Simon & Jude Church and at St. Athanasius Church. The real solution is to modify the rule, by enforcing certification that there will be 6 feet social distancing and that all congregants be required to wear masks and eliminating the alternative maximum of 10 and 25,” he said.

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Make the Road slams Supreme Court’s action on census

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow the federal government to cut short the 2020 Census, Theo Oshiro, deputy director of Make the Road New York, a Brooklyn-based immigrant rights organization, issued the following statement: “The Supreme Court’s stay is a grave mistake that now allows the Trump administration to recklessly end the census count tomorrow night. The administration’s plan to shorten the census count is an attempt to shortchange our communities — the same communities hardest hit by the pandemic — of resources. It is also a piece of their reprehensible effort to deny us the representation we deserve.”

Park Slope leads luxury RE deals

For the week ending Oct. 11, Brooklyn real estate buyers bought 12 homes asking $2 million or more, according to Compass’ weekly market report. The contracts were for four condos, one co-op and seven single-family houses. The properties spent an average of 125 days on the market and had a median asking price of $3 million. The most expensive deal was for a 3,175-square-foot penthouse condo apartment at 1 Prospect Park West with four bathrooms and a 1,500-square foot private terrace. It was last selling for $6.5 million, according to The Real Deal.

Oil co. approves East New York commercial building

Vincent Theurer of Approved Oil has acquired 847 Shepherd Ave. in East New York. The 21,000-square-foot, one-story commercial building currently houses Metropolitan Paper, a private paper recycling company. The building was constructed in 1959, fairly recent for the area. Metropolitan Paper itself serves both institutional and commercial customers and is open 24 hours a day, six days a week.

Luxury seniors’ residents opens at former Heights hotel

The conversion of the Leverich Towers Hotel in Brooklyn Heights into a high-end assisted living facility for seniors is complete, and residents are beginning to move into the circa-1928 historic building. The Towers, located at 25 Clark St., was one of several luxury hotels in the Heights during the early 20th century. Renovation of the building, which was most recently owned by the Watchtower Society, began in 2018. Among the residence’s amenities are an art studio,  a movie theater, a performance space, a Mediterranean restaurant and therapeutic pool. The building, now known as the Watermark, has 275 apartments, with 145 designated for independent living, 88 for assisted living and 42 for memory-care patients, according to Brownstoner.

Atlantic Avenue post office held up

The Atlantic Avenue post office between Third and Fourth avenues was held up earlier this month. Workers told police that the thief went up to the postal clerk’s window with a gun around 10 a.m. and stole their phone and wallet before running away, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

Brooklyn subway station becomes ‘Van Halen Avenue’

Tributes to the recently deceased Eddie Van Halen are plentiful, and New York City artist Adrian Wilson converted (online, of course) the Van Siclen Avenue station on the A and C lines to “Van Halen Avenue.” “I left it for four days for someone else to head to Brooklyn and take the credit, but nobody stepped up, so I guess I’ve got to do it myself,” said Wilson, according to Brooklyn Vegan.

Subway shrine at Utica Avenue station

A makeshift subway shrine has popped up at the Utica Avenue station on the A and C lines. The unknown artist displays the word “Traveler” and a sketch of the Roman god Mercury with winged feet and a winged staff. Mercury, among other things, is the patron of travelers. The altar of the shrine contains yellow roses, red electric candles, three pairs of dice, a miniature bridge and a MetroCard, according to Untapped Cities New York.

De Blasio: COVID-19 hot spots leveling off

The number of coronavirus cases in Brooklyn and Queens “hotspot” clusters is beginning to level off, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are seeing some results,” the mayor said. “We’ve certainly got a lot of work ahead but we are seeing some leveling off, beginning in the communities that have been most affected.” On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the coronavirus positivity rate at COVID cluster red zones is now 3.7 percent, and the statewide positivity rate outside the red zones is 1.05 percent. These numbers are an average of numbers from all red zones in Queens, Brooklyn, Orange County and Rockland County, according to amNewYork.

Karliner rebbe urges cooperation with restrictions

The Karliner rebbe, who is the head of one of the many Hasidic dynasties represented in New York City, recently urged cooperation with coronavirus restrictions in his weekly phone message to his followers. He said, “Sadly we hear, even during these difficult times, there are those who claim to be wise in their own eyes who want to reopen the yeshivas and Talmudei Torah (religious schools for younger students). They are degrading the value of Pikuach Nefesh (saving lives),” The Yeshiva World reported.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.


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