Community

Census Day 2020: It’s Time to Help Brooklyn Get Counted

April 1st is Census Day

Today is officially Census Day, “the nation’s once-per-decade, constitutionally-mandated count of every American, regardless of their citizenship status,” and it has never been more important to get counted as Kings County the lowest response rate for a county of its size in 2010.

The Census helps to determine how much federal funding localities will receive for infrastructure, public schools and housing and many other important programs.

You have likely received a Census 2020 form in the mail by now, but the Census can also be completed at: my2020census.gov. Remember to count everyone who is living in your house or apartment (except for temporary guests who should be counted at their primary residence).
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Vinnie’s Pizzeria Delivers Free Pies to Essential Workers

Vinnie’s Pizza is accepting donations to deliver free pizza to essential workers.

Vinnie’s Pizzeria (148 Bedford Ave.) is delivering free pizzas to essential workers during the coronavirus crisis and you can now donate a pie through their website.

The Williamsburg Pizzeria (we miss Vinnie’s Greenpoint) announced last week with an Instagram post that donations can be made through ChowNow for pies to be delivered to the people who are considered “essential” such as the workers at grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals

Lots of wonderful people have reached out to us asking how they can help essential workers in NYC during this crisis.  Think we figured out a way and this is how! Go to our website vinniesbrooklyn.com and order through ChowNow for pick up.  In the special instructions write DONATE  and every couple of days we will tally up the pies and bring them to a different group of essential workers and volunteers.  First up are the firefighters up the block.  Tomorrow we will bring them donations from you and us. If anyone has any suggestions of other Essential Workers (Doctors, nurses, people out in the trenches, volunteers etc) or people in need in the neighborhood that we can help out, please contact us! Appreciate everyone’s love and support in these crazy times.

So far Vinnie’s has delivered pies to: Continue reading

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Williamsburg Landlord Mario Salerno Waives Rent for Hundreds of Tenants Due to Coronavirus

Williamsburg landlord Mario Salerno is waiving rent for all of his tenants for April 2020.

Lifelong Williamsburg resident and landlord to hundreds of tenants, Mario Salerno announced on Monday that he will waive April’s rent for all of his residential and commercial tenants.

Salerno’s gas station and auto body shop at 451 Lormimer St.

Salerno who is 59-years-old was born on Metropolitan Avenue and his father started a gas station at 451 Lorimer St. in 1959, which his family still operates as Salerno Auto Body ShopContinue reading

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Construction Continues as “Essential” Work Worrying Greenpoint Residents

Construction workers at 29 West St. this week

As construction sites continue to bustle with action along Greenpoint’s waterfront, the state recommends that everyone stay inside to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

All non-essential businesses have officially paused across New York so that everyone can socially distance while overly burdened hospitals treat the influx of infected patients.

Nail and hair salons, clothing and record stores, and many restaurants have closed, but residential and commercial construction work remains essential according to the list of essential businesses released last week by Governor Cuomo.

Local residents began writing to Greenpointers last week about their concerns of the large groups of construction workers congregating and performing tasks side-by-side at work sites in the neighborhood. Continue reading

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Greenpoint This Week: It’s Time to Take Coronavirus Seriously

Park-goers enjoying the warm weather last weekend in McCarren Park as warnings to socially distance were ignored.

It was just one week ago that crowds flocked to Greenpoint’s parks and popular brunch spots as news of the global pandemic continues to be taken with varying degrees of seriousness, despite Italy’s dire consequences of ignoring the warnings coming from public health experts to practice stringent social distancing.

Warm spring weather may entice people to head outside again this weekend, but as Mayor de Blasio pushed for a ‘shelter in place‘ restriction this week, Governor Cuomo followed California’s lead on Friday in calling for everyone to stay indoors indefinitely.

New York City has emerged as the epicenter of the country’s crisis and it’s imperative that we all do our part to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. That means going outside this weekend, and for the foreseeable future, only for necessities such as food and medicine.

Walking, running and biking outside for exercise are still permitted, but not in groups, and a minimum of six feet between people should be maintained all times.  Continue reading

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Brooklyn Community Board 1’s Monthly Public Meeting is Thursday (3/12)

A Brooklyn CB1 meeting from Feb. 2020.

Brooklyn Community Board 1’s monthly combined public hearing is scheduled for Thursday (3/12) at the Swinging 60’s Senior Center (211 Ainslie St.) at 6 p.m.

If you can’t attend in person on Thursday, you can follow along during the livestream available here.

According to the agenda (available here), CB1 will review 16 new liquor licenses and 17 renewals, and there will be a presentations on: Continue reading

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North Brooklyn Pipeline Protestors Call on Governor and Mayor to Stop Construction

Protestors on Sunday called of Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to deny the National Grid pipeline in North Brooklyn.

North Brooklyn residents and community groups are holding a rally outside of a fundraiser for Governor Andrew Cuomo at Giano On The Water (400 Kent Ave.) in Williamsburg to protest National Grid’s fracked gas pipeline, known as the Metropolitan Reliability Infrastructure Project, that is making its way toward Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint.

Brownsville saw the start of the 6.8-mile-long pipeline’s construction in 2018, and the project quietly progressed toward North Brooklyn where local residents say that they were only recently informed of the plan.

Small businesses in East Williamsburg have reportedly taken a massive hit from the construction and road closures, and critics say that a $185 million rate hike is anticipated for National Grid customers in New York over the next three years to cover the pipeline’s costs. Continue reading

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EPA Extends Comment Period for Newtown Creek Control Plan

Newtown Creek

The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the public comment deadline to Febraury 28th on the proposed control plan to partially reduce combined sewage overflow into the Newtown Creek superfund site and will present more info on the plan at a public meeting in Queens on Wednesday night.

Community groups such as the Newtown Creek Alliance have dubbed the EPA’s proposal the ‘No Action Plan‘ for lacking commitment to fully rid the three mile tributary to the East River of the raw sewage that overflows into the water during rain episodes. Continue reading

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Literary Love Bloomed at our “Tree Grows in Brooklyn” Valentine’s Market on Sunday

Snuggling up at the Love Lounge. Photo by Ben Shirai

Greenpointers really showed the love this past Sunday at our Valentine’s Day Market. From a luscious floral-filled “Love Lounge” to swoon-worthy handcrafted goodies–the Greenpoint Loft was brimming with SO much local support it made our little hearts sing. Check out our photobooth and see if you can spot yourself!

(photo: Gus Ponce)
(photo: Gus Ponce)

The Love Lounge—a candy-colored confection of roses and sweetheart sayings, was the crafty creations of the wildly talented, women-owned businesses Something Taylored RentalsModern Rebel event planning, Little Sister Creative and Ars Poetica. Visitors snuggled up to get personalized poems and play relationship guessing games. The Wizard of Greenpoint brought some magic to the lounge with his tarot card readings. Continue reading

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Greenpointers Fire Back At Fracked Natural Gas Pipeline

National Grid installs a natural gas pipeline along Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn, Feb. 13, 2020Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

This story was originally published on 2/14/20 by THE CITY. (By: Claudia Irizarry Aponte)


Construction of a 6.8-mile natural gas pipeline stretching from Brownsville to North Brooklyn has hit a wall in Greenpoint, where community leaders and elected officials are vying to halt the project as it reaches its final stage.

The National Grid gas main — which has been in the works since 2017 — would supply fracked gas from Pennsylvania, where the extraction is legal. The controversial practice was banned in New York state in 2014.

On Saturday, a community coalition of environmental advocacy groups, schools, and social justice groups will host a rally at the pipeline’s latest construction site, the intersection of Moore Street and Manhattan Avenue.

“I am familiar with the history of environmental devastation in my neighborhood,” said Kevin LaCherra, a third-generation Greenpointer who is helping organize the rally. “We need our elected officials to be taking bold steps to bring renewables on now.”

The pipeline opponents are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to stop the project on the grounds that it goes against both the state and the city’s clean energy goals.

“This is not the kind of system we want any more,” Kim Fraczek, director of the Sane Energy Project, an environmental advocacy group, told THE CITY. “This industry doesn’t have the interests of the community at heart.”

Their claims are quickly gaining momentum: On Tuesday, Brooklyn’s Community Board 1, which includes Greenpoint, voted unanimously to stop any construction of the pipeline.

Advocates say they have the support of every single elected official who represents North Brooklyn at the state and city level, from City Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso, to State Sen. Julia Salazar and veteran Assemblymember Joe Lentol.

Levin, Reynoso and Lentol all confirmed to THE CITY they oppose the pipeline’s construction, Salazar did not return requests for comment. Continue reading

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