Yesterday, when Joe Rickets, the billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade, who owned DNAinfo and Gothamist shut down those sites – putting 115 people out of work – following the reporters’ vote to unionize, we got another reminder of how easily a powerful individual can wantonly affect the lives of so many people according to his whims.
Powerful business interests have been flexing their muscles here in Greenpoint, too. Both the waterfront development firm Greenpoint Landing Associates, and the pharmaceutical conglomerate Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) scored some good press this week by making grants to the local community. Greenpoint Landing Associates donated $250,000 to the Greenpoint YMCA (99 Meserole Ave) to renovate the gym, fitness room and spin center. PhRMA pledged $2,000 to P.S. 34 Oliver H. Perry Elementary to support the school’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
Speaking of pharmaceuticals, the City Council approved the contentious rezoning plan for the Pfzier site in Williamsburg in a 38-6-2 vote. Heated debate raged as opponents of the plan held that the rezoning will contribute to gentrification and segregation in the Broadway Triangle area.
This followed a more traditional debate on Sunday between Stephen Levin, Greenpoint resident and Council Member for District 33, and Victoria Cambranes, a Greenpoint native who is running as an independent on the Progress For All Party platform.
Meanwhile, the NYPD responded to an emergency call on Friday and found an elderly woman unresponsive near 100 Morgan Avenue, adjacent to Newtown Creek. Emergency Medical Services pronounced her dead on the scene. Investigation is ongoing.