Joe Lentol

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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Nightlife Town Hall with Assemblyman Lentol is Tonight (1/31)

Sunset at The Lot Radio. Photo: Megan Penmann
Sunset at The Lot Radio. Photo: Megan Penmann

Tonight, Assemblyman Joe Lentol is holding a public meeting to address comments and concerns related to nightlife in Williamsburg in Greenpoint at the Bushwick Inlet Park Community Room (86 Kent Ave.) at 6:30 p.m. Ariel Palitz, from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment will also be in attendance.

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Wegmans Announces Hiring Sessions for Navy Yard Expansion

Wegmans rendering at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (via S9 Architecture)

Only a 20-minute bike ride away on the waterfront from Greenpoint, the Rochester, NY-based grocery store Wegmans is scheduled to open at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2019, and is holding information sessions for potential employees starting this week.

The grocery store has locations throughout the Northeast U.S. and the Brooklyn Navy Yard marks Wegmans’ first expansion into NYC. Wegmans is held in high regard by upstate New Yorkers for its typically easy to navigate layout and stellar prepared foods. Not to mention, the store isn’t owned by Jeff Bezos.

Assemblyman Joe Lentol posted a reminder on the upcoming Wegmans information sessions where resume workshops will also help applicants who might need assistance.

The upcoming info sessions are scheduled Nov. 26 – Dec. 6:

Employment center building, 92 Flushing Ave.:

11/26, 11/28 and 11/30 at 11 a.m.

11/29 at 6:30 p.m.

12/1 and 12/2 at 2 p.m.

Ingersoll Community Center, 77 Myrtle Ave.

11/27 and 11/29 at 1 p.m.

12/1 at 11 a.m.

Madison Square Boy+ Girls Club, 240 Nassau St.

11/26 and 11/29 at 10 a.m.

11/28 at 7 p.m.

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Blame for Election Day Failures Placed on Board of Elections and Albany

Voting lines wrap around McGuinness senior center in Greenpoint on midterm election day 2018.

The outrage caused by widespread voting machine breakdowns throughout New York City on midterm election day is largely falling on the shoulders of Board of Elections Director Michael Ryan.

At Greenpoint’s polling sites wait-times exceeded two hours throughout the day, as ballot scanners overheated, jammed and simply stopped working. Greenpoint was not alone, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams counted 49 poll sites facing similar dilemmas.

Voter turnout increased 88 percent in NYC this year for the midterm elections compared with the 2014 midterms, but decreased by nearly one million voters compared with the 2016 presidential elections, according to Gothamist.

BOE director Ryan said that 56 ballot scanners were taken out of service on Tuesday between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., the 15-hour window which saw 1.9 million NYC voters — each with two double-sided ballots — overwhelm the eight-year-old scanners that were expected to be used for 10 years. 6,000 calls were made to 311 pertaining to election day woes.

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Lentol wants to Legalize Pot and Vittles is Serving Cannabis Coffee

Assemblyman Lentol
Assemblyman Lentol

Sure, Hawaii will literally pay New Yorkers to bliss out on the Islands, but why go so far afield when Greenpoint is getting hella chill? The will to relax comes straight from the top. Seventy-Five year-old Assemblyman Joe Lentol favors legalizing recreational marijuana in New York State through direct public referendum.  Continue reading

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Eckford Street Feral Cat Colony Needs New Home

Eckford St. Cat Colony
The Eckford Street Cat Colony. Photo by Shane Gill

Over a year and a half ago, Greenpoint resident Shane Gill began feeding a colony of feral cats on Eckford Street. The Cats had congregated at a construction site there, which lay dormant due to a stop work order. Now, construction is set to begin again, and the cats’ displacement is eminent. Gill reached out to the Greenpoint community for advice about how to help relocate his feline fellows, and Greenpoint residents responded with overwhelming support for our neighborhood cats.  Continue reading

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The City is Still Without a Plan for L-pocalypse and North Brooklyn is Trying to Hold Leaders Accountable

L-Pocalypse Press Conference
Photo by Victoria Varney

When it comes to the Zombie Apocalypse, you’re officially covered. The Pentagon has been prepared to resist the undead menace since 2011, when the headquarters of United States strategic command compiled a “Counter-Zombie Dominance” plan. This is absolutely a real thing. The document even carries the disclaimer, “this plan was not actually designed as a joke,” but instead as “a useful and effective training tool.” Other useful and effective tools that may help you in planning for the Zombie Apocalypse include the Center for Disease Control’s Zombie Preparedness Campaign, and this handy list of the 25 Best Majors for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.

On the other hand, if you are concerned about the eminent L Train Shutdown, the 15-month transit closure planned to take effect in April 2019, when the the MTA will repair the Canarsie Tunnel, it seems you may have no such survival guides. According to The Village Voice, the City and the MTA have no plan in place for how they’ll get the L Train’s 200,000 daily riders between Manhattan and Brooklyn and back again.

On Tuesday, December 5th, North Brooklyn community activists led by The L Train Coalition and local politicians, held a press conference at The West BK (379 Union Avenue) calling on the MTA and DOT to meet with community representatives before the end of the year. A media release for the event said, “the community needs a report of the current plans for transportation remediation, a serious discussion around help for local businesses, and any street use changes proposed by the Department of Transportation. We will also call for a commitment by the responsible agencies and their contractors to meet with a community advisory board on a monthly basis starting in January 2018.” The coalition also invited community members to get involved in the campaign.  Continue reading

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On the Waterfront and Off the Leash — The Hook-up (10/11)

Cruising on Newtown Creek. Via Freeport Princess
Conservationists Cruising on Newtown Creek. Via Freeport Princess

Greenpointers have been watching the changing East River Waterfront. A community development meeting on Wednesday allowed residents to hear from developers, and voice their concerns about on-going construction projects in North Brooklyn. While the luxury towers seem to leave a lot of Greenpointers out in the cold, this week The Brooklyn Eagle toured Level BK, in Williamsburg, offering a look inside.

Elsewhere on the waterfront, Newtown Creek Stakeholders took to the waterway for a cruise aboard the Freeport Princess. Business owners, residents, environmentalists, government representatives were all on board.

Transmitter Park is one of the great gems of the Greenpoint waterfront, but the oasis has turned terrifying for pet owners. A shaggy, unleashed, black dog has brutally attacked several other dogs in the park without cause or warning.  Continue reading

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Notes from Wednesday’s Community Development Meeting

Rendering of 21 India Street via Corcoran
Rendering of 21 India Street via Corcoran

On Wednesday, Greenpoint residents came together at the Polish and Slavic Center (176 Java Street) for a community development meeting organized by Councilman Stephen Levin. The meeting promised information about how new construction along the waterfront, will impact Greenpoint.

Representatives from Greenpoint Landing, The Greenpoint (21 India Street) and Heritage Equity Partners (25 Kent) presented the most recent developments regarding their on-gong construction projects, and took questions from community members. Then community organizations took the floor to discuss their recent work. Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Curb Your Litter, and Evergreen all turned out to detail their ongoing efforts on behalf of Greenpoint. Here are notes from the 2 hour meeting:

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