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Greenpoint This Week: Religious Vaccine Exemption, CB1 SUV Outrage, Perplexing Petroleum Vapors

Welcome to the weekend Greenpointers! Catch-up on the local headlines from this week below and find out where to venture out this weekend.

New York eliminated the religious exemption for vaccinations this week. The U.S.’s largest measles outbreak in decades is centered in Williamsburg, where approximately 75 percent of NYC’s 588 confirmed cases have stemmed from. (ABC News)

North Brooklynites sounded off at this week’s public CB1 meeting over the closed-door purchase of the $26,000 Toyota SUV, the largest CB1 expense outside of payroll. (NY Post) (THE CITY)

Greenpoint’s newest upscale restaurant, Madre, is now open inside Franklin Guesthouse. (Bedford and Bowery)

Greenpoint’s artists opened their studios for GOS 2019 last weekend and there was an overwhelming amount of art to see and experience, demonstrating the thriving community of local creators. (Brooklyn Eagle) (Hyperallergic)

Greenpoint’s second petroleum vapors townhall so far this year happened this week at the Polish and Slavic Civic Center (176 Java St.), where residents expressed concern over vapor testing methods, and city and state agencies confirmed the petroleum build up in Greenpoint’s sewer lines has been flushed and air qaulity has returned to safe levels. (Greenpointers) (Brooklyn Eagle( NY1) (News 12 Brooklyn)

Williamsburg and Greenpoint restaurants Mason Premiere and Sauvage, which are owned by the same restaurant group, have racked up approximately $5.2 million in debt and filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (Eater NY)

Bogdan Piasecki, a 47-year-old Diamond Street resident was arrested for allegedly punching an eight-year-old boy in Greenpoint. (Greenpoint Post)

There’s a shortage of strong arms to hoist the Giglio in Williamsburg this July for the 100+ year old tradition in honor of the Italian Saint Paulinas of Nola. (CBS New York)

Williamsburg yeshivas are being closed due to lack of compliance over the measles vaccination mandate. (NY Daily News)

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Brooklyn Bistro Owner Says Far-Right Polish Pol Duped Her

More than 100 people packed into Greenpoint restaurant to hear a Polish nationalist politician speak on June 5th. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

This story was originally published on 6/6/19 by THE CITY. (By: Claudia Irizarry Aponte)

A Brooklyn restaurant owner said her staff was blindsided when a Polish nationalist politician showed up with 100 followers Wednesday — spurring a backlash that may force her to permanently close.

“There was someone there who shouldn’t be and no one was expecting,” the woman, who asked not to be identified by name, told THE CITY through tears. “I don’t have nothing [to do] with this, I didn’t do anything… I don’t even agree with this.”

“We are not evil,” she added. “We didn’t do anything to bring this guy.”

Robert Winnicki, leader of the National Movement (Ruch Narodowy), a nationalist Polish political party, spoke at French Epi in Greenpoint after being barred from nearby St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.

The restaurant’s manager, Jolanta Filip, said she received a reservation for 15 Wednesday night. Filip and her mother were the only two people working when a huge crowd rolled in to the small restaurant.

“In a matter of 15 minutes, we had a full house,” she said. “We weren’t prepared for this mass of people.”

More than 100 people packed into French Epi, overwhelming the staff.
More than 100 people packed into French Epi, overwhelming the staff. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Filip said she called the owner, who told her to eject Winnicki and his supporters. But the crowd — which threw out two journalists from THE CITY — wouldn’t leave.

“We are not a platform for anything,” added Filip, a single mother of three who was hoping to buy the restaurant from the recently widowed owner. Continue reading

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Lack of Drainage Under India Street May Take Years to Fix

Commuters cross the flooded India Street entrance to the NYC Ferry during the rain on Wednesday evening (via Jonathan Vanasco)

The routine flooding of the India Street entrance to the NYC Ferry is finally receiving attention from city officials, but the lack of sewage and drainage infrastructure underneath the street may take years to fully construct, NBC 4 reports.

NBC 4 paid a visit to India Street to speak with Greenpoint ferry commuters on Thursday to see how they’re dealing with the flood waters, that Greenpointers reported is an ongoing problem. The current makeshift pedestrian walkway is sandwiched between “The Greenpoint” waterfront development and construction fences in an area prone to flooding.

 

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Taking the #eastriverferry is usually great. I have 11 screws in my foot and take it daily; until this happens. The flooding is a constant when over a 1” downfall occurs and began only once this 40+ story high rise started going up on India Street. As a trained architect and Professor of Architecture in Brooklyn, I’m ashamed of this developer, the contractor, the mayor and our borough “reps” who haven’t stepped up sooner. No one cares about ADA? Or simply doing the right thing and fixing infrastructure? @nycmayor wants to develop more AND run for President, all while not taking care of his own own city? What a joke. Kudos to @greenpointers and NBC 4 news for following up on this over many of our travelers stories recently. My first photo was from December 2018. @billdeblasio @nycmayor @nyc @eastriverferry #yoelgoldman #mackrealestategroup #palinenterprises #ismaelleyvaarchitects #pandisciogreen ? Really?? @newyorkyimby #urbandevelopmentpartners @nyccouncil #councilmanstephenlevin

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“It’s impacting hundreds of commuters and it totally undermines all of our efforts to have the ferry be a viable way to commute to work,” NYC Councilman Stephen Levin tells NBC 4 in the video.

“It’s still a public street from our understanding, which means as far as I can tell, that it’s the city’s responsibility to make sure there’s adequate drainage,” Levin said.

NYC Ferry canceled service to the India St. stop in Greenpoint on Thursday night.

The NYC Ferry implemented a shuttle bus to transport commuters last night as service at India Street was bypassed during the rain. Serviced returned to normal on Friday morning.

The official reason for last night’s ferry service disruption was “ponding” along India Street.

A city spokesman told NBC 4 that they’re “working on a long-term solution to get the sewers up and running,” but that may take “years.”

 

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Hero and Dog Recovering After East River Rescue

Gabe, the hero is recovering from Saturday’s East River rescue

The hero and dog from Saturday’s epic rescue off of the shore at Transmitter Park have been identified.

Gabe, a SUNY Maritime College college graduate was celebrating his birthday at the Brooklyn Barge bar across from the park when he spotted the dog, Harper, in the water.

Harper received minor injuries to her paws and is recovering

Harper’s owner was at work during the incident that began when Harper’s walker was hit by a taxi that allegedly ran a stop sign. “I had a walker come to walk Harper and according to the walker and the company, they got hit by a taxi that blew through a stop sign” Harper’s owner said.

The two-year-old dog and her owner now live near McGolrick Park but used to live near and frequent Transmitter Park. Harper’s owner suspects that the startled dog was looking for familiar territory as it ran over a mile to Transmitter Park following the accident. Continue reading

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Man Dives Into East River to Save Dog at Transmitter Park

An unidentified hero warmed hearts in Transmitter Park on Saturday afternoon by jumping off the pier to rescue a dog that was rapidly swimming away in the East River.

The hero eventually captured the dog and appeared to have been bitten in the face and hand during the rescue.

Credit to Gothamist for unearthing the footage from Brooklyn-based filmmaker Lorenzo Fonda, who was taking in the day at the Brooklyn Barge, and offers some great commentary:

Continue reading

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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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