brooklyn news

Freeman Street Evacuated Over Gas Leak

A fire truck blocked traffic from entering Freeman Street from Franklin Street.

Evacuations from Freeman Street between Franklin and West Streets followed the report of a gas leak at approximately 2 p.m. on Tuesday, FDNY said.

The corner of Franklin and Freeman Streets where access is currently restricted.

A gas leak at 77 Freeman St. was initially reported and five buildings in total were evacuated: 74, 77, 79 81 and 89 Freeman St., NBC reports.

Crowds gathered on the sidewalk on Franklin Street across from where emergency responders investigate the source, which is suspected to be related to a gas service connection being installed at a residential building. Continue reading

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Collapsed Scaffolding on Wythe Avenue Crushes Parked Cars

Three cars were crushed by the partially collapsed wall and construction scaffolding on Wythe Avenue and N. 13 Street.

A partial wall and scaffolding collapse crushed three cars parked at the corner of Wythe Avenue and N. 13th Street in Williamsburg at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The partial collapse was caused by a backhoe vehicle that backed into the wall at the demolition site, according to FDNY. No injuries were reported. Continue reading

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Williamsburg at Center of NYC Public Health Emergency

Since September of last year, more than 250 measles cases have been documented in Williamsburg, and today New York City declared a public health emergency mandating that all residents receive a measles vaccination or face a fine.The outbreak is centered in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities of Williamsburg and Borough Park.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a press conference today that unvaccinated children living in zip codes 11205, 11206, 11221, and 11249 can not attend school or daycare and parents face $1,000 fines if their kids continue to go unvaccinated.

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Polish Nationalists Protest U.S. Law Calling for WWII Reparations

A poster on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint promoting the 3/31 protest at Foley Square.

Over the past couple of weeks, you might have spotted a poster around Greenpoint promoting a Polish protest.

The protest at Foley Square in Manhattan on 3/31/

Last Sunday, Polish nationalist demonstrators gathered in Manhattan’s Foley Square to protest the U.S.’s passage of the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act, which became law last year and calls for Holocaust survivors and their families to receive compensation for their seized and stolen property during World War II. Continue reading

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Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found in Nassau Avenue G Subway

A Ruth Bader Ginsburg poster was vandalized in Greenpoint on Tuesday inside the Nassau Avenue G subway station with the words “Die Jew Bitch” along with a drawing of a swastika.

The hate graffiti quickly drew condemnation from Mayor de Blasio who is asking for public assistance in identifying the person responsible:

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New Greenpoint Landing Towers From Architect of Shenzhen Stock Exchange

(Rendering courtesy of OMA)

Renderings of two additional Greenpoint Landing mixed-use towers with 745 rental units (30 percent ‘affordable’) were released today resembling a “ziggurat and its inverse,” Curbed reports.

This is Brooklyn’s first development from the architectural firm OMA (founded by the esteemed Rem Koolhaas), who is also behind the McKinsey & Company Hong Kong office, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and the redevelopment of the Miami Beach Convention Center, among dozens of other “world-class” buildings.

(Rendering courtesy of OMA)

The two incongruent Tetris-esque buildings are part of the 10 building, 22-acre Greenpoint Landing development, bringing 5,500 apartments to the northern-most area of the neighborhood, abutting the  Nuhart Plastics Superfund site and on a Zone 1 hurricane evacuation area (most prone to flooding and future rising tides). One tower will be 30 stories and the second 40 stories with a total of 768,000 square feet of residential space and 8,600 square-feet for retail. Continue reading

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Male Suspect Followed Woman Into Nassau G Subway Station and Groped Her

The suspect (courtesy of NYPD)

A male suspect is wanted for questioning for allegedly following a woman into a Greenpoint subway station and groping her around 5 p.m. on Feb. 11, NYPD says.

The 28-year-old woman was followed by the suspect into the Nassau Avenue G train station where he fondled her from behind before the woman fought the suspect off, making him flee to the street above.

The suspect is described as approximately 25 years old, 5 feet three inches tall, wearing a dark knit cap, gray jacket, jeans, and black backpack, according to News 12 Brooklyn.

If you have info call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted at the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips, or by texting 274637 (CRIMES) and entering TIP577. All calls are confidential.

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Safe Way Home Act to Provide Free Transportation Home to Sexual Assault Victims

Assemblymember Joseph Lentol (Courtesy of Joseph Lentol)

Following a meeting with volunteer victims advocate and Greenpointer Deborah Spiroff, State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol introduced The Safe Way Home Act this week, to provide sexual assault victims free transportation home from the hospital following treatment.

The budget would be provided through seized forfeiture funds from the district attorney’s office and the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services would be the program administrator.

Spiroff, who identifies as a survivor, has volunteered for the past two years at Wycoff Heights Medical Center in the Violence Intervention Treatment Program, working on call two to four days per month for 12 – 15 hour shifts. Volunteers like herself must go through training and a background check to volunteer their service to victims of sexual assaults.

“I’ve had more than one case where after the person has been treated they’re just released, and they literally were walking home from Wycoff Hospital at 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock in the in the morning,” Spiroff said. “And even if it’s earlier in the day depending on where an assault may have occurred, it could have been near a subway; assaults happen everywhere. And frequently cell phones are stolen, wallets are stolen, metro cards are stolen, it’s just a very overwhelming traumatic time.”

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Floating Timber Bridge Proposed to Span Newtown Creek

Courtesy of CRÈME Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design

Williamsburg-based CRÈME introduced renderings of Timber Bridge at LongPoint Corridor: A 275-foot-long, 16-foot-wide, floating pedestrian and biking bridge made of sustainable glue-laminated and pressure-treated timber, to span Newtown Creek from Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint to Vernon Blvd in Long Island City.

Courtesy of CRÈME Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design

The bridge is designed to have pivoting features to open and close in around 3 minutes for the many boats and barges on Newtown Creek, the 3.8 mile-long federal Superfund site that will undergo remediation over the next decade.

Courtesy of CRÈME Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design

To prevent flooding, the bridges’ platform would move with the tide and have green spaces on either side. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports that the bridge was the idea of Jun Aizaki, a 20-plus year North Brooklyn resident and Pratt Institute graduate.

Construction would take approx. two years and cost more than $32 million to build. LongPoint Bridge could potentially receive city funding and additional backing from private donors, such as Amazon, who the firm is exploring as a donor. The bridge is also backed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and State Assemblyman Joe Lentol; a newly registered nonprofit, Friends of Timber Bridge, is seeking to raise funds for the project.

Courtesy of CRÈME Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design

A Kickstarter campaign by the design firm raised $30,266 last summer, which was short of the $50,000 goal. Momentum for the bridge may pick up with the anticipated localized tech industry boom led by the potential for Amazon to build HQ2 in Queens, bringing tens-of-thousands of new jobs and residents to the area served by the proposed bridge.

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L Train Petroleum Stench Linked to Bushwick Avenue Gas Station Spills

The Shell gas station at 2 Bushwick Ave. in September 2017 (via Google Maps)

A shuttered Shell gas station at 2 Bushwick Ave. where five spills were reported from 1989 – 2006 is being identified as the potential source of the L train petroleum stench that has resulted in multiple sick passengers and workers since last week, NY Daily News reports.

The Dept. of Environmental Conservation received the spill reports from the former gas station owners whose business operated directly above the L train between Grand Street and Graham Avenue as recent as 2017.

The Shell gas station at 2 Bushwick Ave. in 2018 (via Google Maps)

The DEC is not officially placing the blame on the former gas station for the L train oil smell, the NY Daily News explains:

Transit officials said the tank was abandoned for more than 20 years after DEC officials opted not to remove it, citing its proximity to the subway tunnels. But their timeline may be off — fuel was sold at the gas station as recently as 2017.

DEC spokesman Sean Mahar said Monday that the agency had not yet identified a single source of last week’s disturbing odor, and that a comprehensive investigation into the issue was ongoing.

City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, whose district includes the vacant station, said his office received very little communication from the MTA on the source of the L train stink.

“To make matters worse, the information we have received is conflicting and leaves many unanswered questions about the gravity of the situation and its impact on the health of the riders and residents,” said Reynoso. “This is especially angering and adds insult to injury when considering that north Brooklyn has a history of experiencing environmental injustices, specifically oil spills.”

 

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