Community

DEP Fudged Newtown Creek Water Quality Reports, According to Former Employees

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Newtown Creek as seen from the Pulaski Bridge. Photo by Laura Apperson

We’ve already talked about how Newtown Creek is one of the most polluted waterways in the country  (AKA, don’t even think about taking a dip or eating its fish). And while everyone knows this is true, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reportedly lied about the already horrific water quality in city reports—and former employees have banded together to potentially sue the City of New York. Continue reading

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Police Shooting of Armed Suspect Proves Fatal at the Cooper Park Houses

Candles were placed at the site of the shooting. Photo via DNAinfo/William Mathis
Candles were placed at the site of the shooting. Photo via DNAinfo/William Mathis

An armed suspect was fatally shot by police in front of the Cooper Park Houses in East Williamsburg on Sunday morning.

According to multiple media reports, officers responded at 7:44 a.m. to multiple 911 calls related to at least two armed robberies in the vicinity of the complex.

Witnesses say the suspect, a 42-year-old man named Jermaine Johnson, was threatening people with a gun before the police showed up.

Johnson fired at the cops five times before they shot back, according to the NYPD.

Cops say they fired 12 to 15 shots after Johnson opened fire on them, at least one of which fatally struck him in the torso.

He was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to authorities, Johnson was a Brooklyn resident but did not live in the Cooper Park Houses.

The New York Times spoke to several residents of the housing complex following the incident, who expressed a mixture of gratitude and concern over the use of lethal force.

“We have good neighbors here,” long-time resident Darlene Roman told the New York Times. “We’re working-class people who work hard. We’re safe here, except for today, when an intruder came to our neighborhood. But for the grace of God, we’re safe now. The police did what they had to do.”

When DNAinfo spoke to two of the victims who were accosted by Johnson that morning, they said he wasn’t behaving in a rational manner and was convinced that the victims were federal agents.

The NYPD recovered a .40-caliber handgun at the scene, which they say belonged to Johnson.

Neither of the two officers involved were injured.

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Thursday Spotlight: Trey Ditto, PR based in Brooklyn

Trey Ditto, Ditto PR
Trey Ditto, Ditto PR

Hailing originally from Texas, Trey Ditto cut his teeth working for the Associated Press in Dallas and quickly moved into the political sphere, advising legislators and elected officials on their communications strategies. Ultimately this lead him to Washington D.C. where he worked for various political leaders and landed with a position as the deputy press secretary for U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, handling local and national media and external relations on K-12 and higher education issues. Continue reading

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Maker Park Envisions a Public Creative Space in Bushwick Inlet Park

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Ten 50ft cylindrical structures and a three story building sit on the site of what was once Astral Oil Works (via Maker Park)

While the city is still 11 acres away from fulfilling its promise to deliver all 28 acres of Bushwick Inlet Park, it took a 7 acre step in the right direction this year by purchasing the remaining parcel of the Bayside Fuel Property. With it came ten 50ft tall cylindrical iron fuel containers and a three story brick building, which the city intends to demolish in favor of flat open space. But will that be an end of an opportunity to repurpose these structures and integrate them into the landscaping of the park? The founders of Maker Park think so and want to start a conversation with the wider-community about adaptively reusing these structures in a way that serves the creative ethos of North Brooklyn.

Maker-Park-Invite_7.14.16To Maker Park, their vision can potentially support anything from aquaponics to woodworking, while maintaining the same square footage of green-space. There can be a programmed community space for a variety of uses like art exhibitions or workshops that can also serve as a means to help finance its maintenance and operation. There are a number of possibilities and a finite period of time to share ideas and revisit the city’s plans that were created over 10 years ago. This Thursday, July 14th (7-9PM) at ROOT BKN (131 North 14th) Maker Park is hosting a public brainstorming meeting to present and seek feedback on their preliminary plans. Continue reading

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When Greenpointers Groped in Public Search for Recourse

On a recent afternoon in June, Jane was walking home from the G train when an arm reached out and grabbed her breast in front of Mr. Berry on Manhattan Avenue. It belonged to one of several loud men in their 20s who were standing in a group on the sidewalk.

Enraged, Jane called 911 and started following and filming them as one of the men mooned her. While she waited for police to arrive, the men jeered at her from inside the Triangolo Pizza. Maddeningly, their smugness was validated when police arrived to take a report. They took Jane’s ID but none of theirs—she couldn’t confidently identify who had touched her, so the police told her they technically couldn’t do anything.

“I’m glad they responded quickly but I’m so frustrated nothing else could be done,” she said in an email to Greenpointers following the incident. “I’ve lived in Greenpoint for 8 years and I’ve never felt unsafe and never had any problems like this before. It makes me a little sad that I can’t say that anymore because of a group of idiots.”

Jane had reached out to us in a last-ditch effort because she felt as though she had no other recourse. Of course, that’s not exactly news—sexual assault is notoriously difficult to adequately punish, especially when the victim can’t say for a fact who it was.

But what happens when you successfully apprehend the perp? Continue reading

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McCarren Park Pool Now Open Through Labor Day

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Photo via New York City Parks Department

The McCarren Park pool, which has only been up and running as a functional pool since 2012, is back in business for the summer 2016 season.

The pool was originally opened in 1936 by Robert Moses, who was curator for many of New York City’s open spaces and actually opened one pool every week during the summer of ’36, totaling 11 pools for the Works Progress Administration project, with the help of Mayor LaGuardia. At the time of its opening, it was one of the biggest public pools in the world, and is three times the size of a standard Olympic pool. It had a capacity of 6,800 swimmers. Today, officials cap it at 1,500 people. Continue reading

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You Asked, We Provide: The Best Places to Watch Fireworks and BBQ on July 4th

Check out the sweet spots for celebrating this year.
Check out the sweet spots for celebrating this year.

From a waterfront restaurant in Greenpoint to outdoor parties in Bushwick, there are tons of places to eat meat, drink beer, and watch them fireworks this Independence Day.  Here’s a list!

  1. The Brooklyn Barge Bar is throwing their first ever 4th of July Party on the floating restaurant and bar this year. Tickets include a lot of food and drink with an unobstructed view of what could be the best viewing spot for fireworks in the hood.
  2. Get some Funfetti cake with a 4-course Star Spangled Supper at Hail Mary for only $39. And that includes all you can drink. Praise Jesus.
  3. Dance and dine at the Star Spangled Boogie shindig hosted by LP & Harmony and Deepdance promotion. The grub is FREE with a drink purchase.
  4. Nitehawk is making it tempting to be indoors (at least for a few hours) with their JAWS-inspired brunch and screening, starting this Saturday through Monday.
  5. The 4th of July BBQ Extravaganza at House of Yes in Bushwick includes 12 hours of meat and music, and is FREE with an RSVP.
  6. Dip yo’ toes in a pool and eat some eastern-style BBQ at Montana’s Trail House for their 4th of July Pool Party. Count on cheap beer and shot specials, BBQ and a raffle with proceeds going to The Youth Farm.
  7. Roberta’s is throwing a Happy Birthday America Budweiser Pizza Party complete with DJs, some artwork and FREE beer (thanks to Budweiser).
  8. Ridgewood’s beloved outdoor summer hang, Nowadays, is extending its hours from noon until midnight for the holiday. Think food trucks with all the classics (vegetarian options available), vinyl spinning, and a massive FIREWORKS show from the neighbors. Oh, and they have a FULL BAR now.
  9. Spend the 4th and the Flea with our neighbors in LIC. Shop, eat, and drink a beer at the Queens Beer Garden just steps away from the waterfront.
  10. Make your own meat and pies and find a friend’s rooftop.

The fireworks start around 9PM. Also note it’s the 40th anniversary of the Macy’s Fireworks Extravaganza – there’s talk it could be an even bigger display this year. Happy 4th!

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The City’s Offer to Purchase Last Piece for Promised Park Expires on August 8th

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Bushwick Inlet Park is 11 acres away from being realized and the city is trying to make good on the promise it made over a decade ago by its offer of $100 million to purchase the last remaining parcel of land.

Though owner of the CitiStorage site Norm Brodsky rejected this offer, there is still time to negotiate a deal – 45 days as of today. To put the pressure on closing the deal, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park along with local politicians and community organizations, are counting down the remaining days on a clock located on the corner of Kent Ave and North 14th Street.

The city’s offer expires on August 8th. Do you want to help push the deal for the promised park? Join the community to flip the numbers on the countdown clock weekdays at 8AM and 9AM on weekends. Or, sign this petition started by the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Youth Soccer League.

 

 

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Make Your Voice Heard On North Williamsburg Traffic

The official traffic data collection plan, via the NYC DOT's first public presentation of the North Williamsburg Transportation Study
The official traffic data collection plan, via the NYC DOT‘s first public presentation of the North Williamsburg Transportation Study

If you’ve noticed a treacherous traffic signal or wished for the addition of a particular crosswalk on the streets of Greenpoint or North Williamsburg, now’s your chance to speak up. In the ongoing North Williamsburg Transportation Study, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is surveying the portion of Brooklyn Community District #1 that stretches north of Broadway and Flushing Avenue between Newtown Creek and the East River to boost both safety and convenience for commuters. The initiative is a response to complaints and transportation hitches as the hot neighborhood grows increasingly crowded with architectural developments and thronged with both inhabitants and visitors.

Continue reading

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BK Buttons #1: Greenpoint Avenue

A badge of honor, perhaps?
A badge of honor, perhaps?

Writing for Grenepointers.com, I receive a ton of emails, but recently one caught my eye with the subject: BROOKLYN BUTTONS #1: Greenpoint Avenue.

The email was very short and cryptic, basically saying they made these diecast pins and wanted to know how many I wanted. I followed up asking for a quick chat over the phone and someone from BKButtons called me but now I’m even more confused? Continue reading

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