NYC

Help Envision the “Gateway to Greenpoint” (3/5)

The Newtown Creek Alliance, Interval Projects and Evergreen Exchange are hosting a second visioning workshop for the “Gateway to Greenpoint” on Tuesday, March 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 520 Kingsland Ave. The meeting will give participants the opportunity to help plan the environmental development at the vacant lot at the corner of Greenpoint and Kingsland Avenues; RSVP here.

The vacant lot at Kingsland and Greenpoint Avenues (courtesy of Newtown Creek Alliance)

The 13,000 square-foot city-owned parcel is managed by the Dept. of Environmental Protection and was granted to the local community during the upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant. 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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Congresswoman Maloney Hosting Town Hall in Williamsburg Sunday (2/24)

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) is hosting a town hall on the 2020 census to discuss the impact of the current presidential administration’s policies this Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Williamsburg Hotel (96 Wythe Ave.) at 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. With Amazon HQ2 still fresh on the minds of her constituents and the news media, there’s a chance more topics might be brought up at the public meeting.

As the representative of  NY’s 12th Congressional District Maloney reps parts of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Long Island City (where HQ2 would’ve been constructed), Astoria, the East Village, Midtown East and perhaps most-fittingly, the Upper East Side. The multi-millionaire and UES resident whose lagest donors include real estate developers and BlackRock Inc continues advocating for the failed Amazon bid in NYC.

Appearing on CNBC after the HQ2 deal died, Maloney bemoaned the loss of 25,000 high paying jobs stating, “Along with most of the constituents that I represent, I was terribly disappointed. If Amazon had come to New York, it would have made New York the high-tech capital of the East Coat, cementing permanent good jobs for generations to come. It’s a terrible loss for the city’s economy and jobs for its people.” Amazon also received pushback in the city council hearings on it’s resistance to labor unions and treatment of warehouse workers, which Maloney doesn’t mention in the interview.

The national debate on if cities should compete by bidding on contracts from mega-corporations has been sparked by the failed Amazon project in NYC, and the backroom nature of the deal brokered by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew “Amazon” Cuomo, where they offered upward of $3 billion in tax subsidies, was met with widespread condemnation by the NYC City Council and many Queens residents and activist groups.

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo for having beat out 220 other localities, cities and states to win Amazon in the first place. I would hope that all of us would try to renegotiate, reach out to Amazon, and try to get them to reconsider,” Maloney said. Continue reading

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Amazon Cancels Long Island City HQ2 Plans

Amazon’s Seattle HQ (courtesy of Joe Wolf)

After Governor “Amazon” Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio offered the trillion-dollar company, Amazon, upwards of $3 billion in tax subsidies to locate part of its HQ2 campus in Long Island City without public discourse, Amazon has canceled its plans for Queens. Read the full statement from Amazon:

After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.

We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion—we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture—and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.

We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have worked tirelessly on behalf of New Yorkers to encourage local investment and job creation, and we can’t speak positively enough about all their efforts. The steadfast commitment and dedication that these leaders have demonstrated to the communities they represent inspired us from the very beginning and is one of the big reasons our decision was so difficult.

We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time. We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the U.S. and Canada.

Thank you again to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and the many other community leaders and residents who welcomed our plans and supported us along the way. We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.

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See You Sunday at the Greenpointers Vintage Rose Valentine’s Market!

Good times at the Polar Vortex Holiday Market 2018 (photo: Julia Moak)

Rain or shine our Vintage Rose Valentine’s Market is happening tomorrow February 10, from 1-7pm. As a reminder, we have a ton of free stuff happening at the market to keep you busy while you shop from over 60 + talented indie-makers. Bonus: enjoy TWO FREE drinks courtesy of Cinch! If shaking it on the dance floor is more your thing then you’ll love the live music from  Love Always and Kendra Morris. Don’t let this market be the one that got away!RSVP and bring your sweetheart.

 

 

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Threatening Hate Speech Letter Mailed to Greenpoint Business

When Fernanda Urbide and Matteo Prodani opened their mail last night at their Manhattan Avenue apartment they were shocked to find a threatening message with hate speech misidentifying them as Jewish.

“Fuck you Jew” and “Burn in Hell Jew” were written on the folded sheet of composition paper with a large swastika in the center, signed “From Your Very Good Neighbor.”

The letter mailed was mailed to a couple on Manhattan Avenue and they opened it on Wednesday night

“I don’t know how they got the idea that we are Jewish, it’s just really weird,” said Urbide, a painter and sculptor who identifies as Mexican/Cuban American and has lived in New York for four years with her Italian husband. Continue reading

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Nomiki Konst Will NEVER Accept Real Estate Money in NYC Public Advocate Race

Nomiki Kont, candidate for NYC Public Advocate

The New York City Public Advocate race grows more crowded by the week as Melissa Mark-Viverito has joined the growing candidate list that includes Council Member Jumaane Williams. The race was triggered after current Public Advocate Letitia James’ 2018 midterm election victory to become New York’s next Attorney General. An election date to elect the next NYC Public Advocate has yet to be announced, but the date will be set for sometime in early 2019 after James is sworn in as NY Attorney General.

Nomiki Konst is one of the NYC Public Advocate candidates that local media like to paint as an outsider despite her history of taking on corruption as an investigative journalist and as a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commission.

Konst sets herself apart from the other Public Advocate candidates by pushing a progressive agenda that includes not accepting real estate lobby donations and committing to staying educated on city business deals prior to endorsing them. With the recent victories of other NYC progressives who also denied real estate money like Congresswoman-elect Alexandira Ocasio-Cortez and incoming New York State Senator Julia Salazar, Konst is running for local office at a time when the awareness of corporate influence on political decisions is elevated. Greenpointers reached out to Konst to find out what her policy positions are on current hot button issues in NYC like Amazon HQ2. Full disclosure: Nomiki Konst and I worked together briefly at the political news outlet TYT Network over the past year.

You have a long history as a watchdog, not only working as an investigative journalist, but as a Bernie Sanders surrogate during the 2016 campaign, and as a representative in the Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commision. How would you utilize your experience investigating national issues to bring more accountability to New York City?

NK: The Public Advocate’s office has the unique ability to investigate separately from the Comptroller, for instance, to investigate conflicts of interest, to figure out where local sources of corruption are coming. And not just advocate for the city and New Yorkers, but specifically to be a check on the City Council, on the agencies as well as the Mayor’s office. So my experience on the Unity Reform Commission was incredibly powerful in that just like the Public Advocate’s office we didn’t have litigation power or the ability to subpoena, or present legislation really, but that’s a separate issue. So what I had to do was I had to be very creative about how we figured out where the corruption was coming from. And of course, being an investigative reporter I was probably a little bit more familiar with those strategies. So I first went to the budget and started looking through the budget, and I started figuring out what sort of conflicts of interests there were.

Continue reading

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NYC Polystyrene Ban to Begin January 1st

Starting on Jan. 1, 2019 New York City businesses and restaurants will be restricted from selling and using polystyrene foam products such as cups, bowls and packing peanuts.

Banned Items:

Polystyrene foam single-service items including cups, bowls, plates, take-out containers, and trays.
Polystyrene loose fill packaging, commonly known as packing peanuts.

Exceptions:

Expanded polystyrene containers used for prepackaged food that have been filled and sealed prior to receipt by the food service establishment, mobile food commissary, or store.
Expanded polystyrene containers used to store raw meat, pork, fish, seafood or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar retail appliance.

Councilmember Stephen Levin posted a reminder of the ban to take effect this winter.

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Elections Are Tomorrow (11/6), It’s Time to Vote

(Courtesy of Brett Nielson)

It’s time to study up on your ballot options, find your poll site and vote tomorrow (11/6) in what is regarded as one of the most consequential midterm elections in history. Our traditionally blue state registered 108,801 Democrats and 5,077 Republicans between Nov. 1, 2017 and Nov. 1, 2018; the youth vote is also expected to increase, unlike recent midterm elections.

Here’s a rundown on the federal and state candidates, and the three local ballot initiatives.

Continue reading

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What’s My Age Again? A Governors Ball Roundup

The hot and sweaty crowd, transfixed by Post Malone Friday night.

In a typical year, I go to anywhere from 50 to 80 concerts, spanning a wide range of genres and venues. From Arlene’s Grocery to Carnegie Hall, I am always searching for the brightest/strangest/most unique musical talent New York City can serve up on any given night. But even with all the music I take in each year, it’s rare that I truly get excited leading up to a show, similar to that tingly type of excited feeling you got when your mom dropped your off at your first rock show in middle school. Maybe it’s because I don’t do the summer time festival circuit anymore, which often host those mega-star headliners I don’t usually seek out. But that was the excited feeling I had as I Lyft’d my way over to Randall’s Island Friday night for Governors Ball. I was lucky that my driver was a 22-year-old and happened to be a big hip-hop fan. Ariel advised me on what to focus on and what to avoid over the weekend. Sadly, I missed his favorite act, Vic Mensa! I’m not a typical top 40 Billboard music fan and I can’t tell you the last time I turned on my FM radio for anything other than NPR, but starting on Friday night with mega rap sensation Post Malone and spanning all the way to Sunday night’s closing act Eminem, there was a palpable vibrant energy that permeated the fest and I had no problem temporarily suspending the music snob in me. Continue reading

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