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Schlep Your Pooch To The City With a Locally-Designed Stylish Dog Tote by Jaxx Hound

New York living would be way too lonely without our furry friends by our side, who provide us cuddles and kisses not only when we refuse to leave our apartments in the dead of winter, but also increasingly commonly at work. Dog friendly offices are totally on trend right now, but with crowded subways and a recent backlash on “fake” service dogs, bringing your pup to and fro around the city is becoming more of a challenge. Especially if you want your dog bag to match your personal sense of style.

Longtime North Brooklyn resident Tennille Teague was frustrated at the lack of stylish options to tote her lovable daschund Mo to and from work every day. Dogs need to be in a carrier of some type if you take them on the subway, ferry or in a cab—and most of the available doggie travel bags at big box retailers or online come in rather obnoxious colors or patterns, and don’t really fall in line with the fashion forward sensibility of hip New Yorkers. And aside from looks, there were other features Tennille wasn’t able to find in a doggie travel bag—a well-designed pocket for accessible poop bags, detachable straps, a leather bottom with metal feet, or one end open for the dog’s head to peek out, for example. And even if a bag had one of those traits, it didn’t have them all.

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So after more than a year of design and production exploration, Tennille is ready to unleash Jaxx Hound onto the NYC dog scene. Jaxx Hound’s cleverly designed bags, collars and leashes will be produced nearby in Jersey, in production by the end of the year and ready to ship out in early 2018, if she meets her Kickstarter goal of $39,000. To support Jaxx Hound with a $25 pledge, you can rock the McGolrick dog run with a cute “Pup Culture” tee which features illustrations of dogs reimagined as celebs: Billdog Murray, Meryl Sheepdog and Bernese Sanders. And if you’re dying to get your hands on one of the bags, a pledge of $225 will get you one in classic black, grey, navy or olive green. And while that might seem like a lot to some, in the realm of locally-made and ultra-stylish dog fashion (with 5% of proceeds going to NYC shelter Animal Haven) the price makes sense. Your best friend and daily companion is worth whatever it costs. The Jaxx Hound Kickstarter ends in a few weeks; hook up your pup with the chic-est way to travel, before everybody else is doing it.

Billdog Murray, Jaxx Hound Kickstarter reward
Billdog Murray, Jaxx Hound Kickstarter reward
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Greenpointers Can Get More Details On The L Train Shutdown At Tomorrow’s Community Meeting

L Train Shutdown Illustration via @brooklyncartoons
Illustration by Emmet Truxes, @brooklyncartoons

On May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Marcy Avenue Armory, city officials will be hashing out the details for the impending L Train Carnasie tunnel repair work that has Greenpointers and New York City residents alike worried about future transportation options in and out of Brooklyn. Continue reading

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Calyer Street Water Main Burst Adds To Ongoing Water Problems

Water pipe burst on Calyer Street in Greenpoint
A burst pipe leaves a giant hole in the ground on Calyer Street in Greenpoint.

Residents and businesses on Franklin and Calyer in Greenpoint have already been having a tough week with sporadic water shutoffs by the city due to construction. And to add insult to injury, this morning around 3am a water main burst on Calyer Street between Franklin and West, causing a gaping hole in the middle of the street.

The incident was an obvious emergency, but residents and business owners are distressed that the previous water shutoffs over the last week were served with less than a 24-hour notice.

Continue reading

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Counting Our Homeless – An Annual Controversy

Each year, in the dead of winter, the Department of Homeless Services sends volunteers – as many as 2,000- to less-than-scenic neighborhoods around the city to do a hand-count of the city’s homeless population. This year’s survey, on January 28, 2013, will require 3,000 volunteers, and they are currently recruiting. If you’re interested in issues of homelessness in Greenpoint, I highly recommend volunteering if only to get a glimpse at the internal workings of the city’s homeless outreach machinery.

The controversy over these counts largely concerns the timing of the survey and where volunteers are looking. It is intentionally conducted late at night at the end of January, an unpleasant time to be on the street, and specifically skips pseudo-private locations favored by the homeless such as ATM vestibules.  Groups such as Coalition for the Homeless believe that the result is “a flawed effort that, year after year, has resulted in a significant undercount of New York City’s homeless population.”  The implication is clear: the survey undercounts by design, masking the problem. However, according to the survey’s designers, it is intended to provide a street-level estimate of those individuals who are truly homeless, those who do not even make it to shelters on one of the coldest nights of the year, and thus expects a smaller number to be found.

To their credit, DHS does an excellent job of creating a methodology that answers their primary question without being too perplexing to the relatively untrained surveyors. However, while I was performing the survey, there was still a significant amount of deviation from the method on the part of my fellow volunteers. Their directions call for each group to make one pass along each side of each street in a given area, administering a short survey to anyone encountered.  However, my group found it impossible to resist the temptation to call across the street to passers-by, for example- while this was done in the spirit of making the count as inclusive as possible, it undermined its accuracy as a statistical sample by effectively surveying areas twice. Opponents of these surveys also include the variability introduced by these sorts of errors and the failure to adjust counts accordingly among their complaints.

Still, especially now that homelessness has become a major local issue, I think the experience of participating in the survey is valuable even if the data generated is more questionable. You can review the informational materials and sign up here: 2013 HOPE homelessness survey

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