From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Dispatch From 400 McGuinness

As I indicated in an update on this post this “open house” was not, in fact, open to the general public. The reason for this given was (presumably to those who were turned away) that the email I received was incorrect and this was by invitation only. Go figure.

In any case, I know someone who was invited and she was kind enough to tell me a little about what came to pass. A lady named Laura writes:

Hi Heather!
I couldn’t attend the open house, but Mike did. The “open house” was not open to the public. It was by invitation only. Mike took notice that only two elected officials were represented at this open house.  Rami (Metal, Community Liaison for our City Councilman — Ed Note) attended for Steve Levin. And of course Lincoln (Restler — Ed. Note) attended.  No other elected officials attended or were represented. If it hadn’t been for Rami and Lincoln talking to the director, the people who showed up  wouldn’t have been able to get in. That’s including the local business owners. So they aren’t being community inclusive at all. In fact, since Meredith Hoffmann from DNAinfo was late, and didn’t have Lincoln or Rami with her, she couldn’t get in. She was waiting outside when the tour was over.

The things that stuck out to Mike were that this will be on average, a 21 day assessment facility, where clients come after they’ve been to the 30th & 1st intake center. After 21 days of being at 400 McGuiness, clients will be place in permanent shelters. There will be shuttle buses running for clients that will let them off at 21st in LIC, as to not “impact” the community. There will be an advisory board which folks can become part of, only by calling the main #(212) 803-5700 at BRC. You can provide your name and need to make reference to 400 McGuiness. Attached are the handouts that Mike received.

You can view these above-mentioned handouts by clicking here.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: “Open House” At 400 McGuinness?

August 20, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This comes via a tipster. Anyone who wishes to view this facility, ask questions (Examples: How will the 20 beds allotted to our local homeless be administered? Are there Polish-speaking staff on site?) and/or voice concerns, this is the time to do it! I for one would like to take a moment to thank Mr. Rumore for (at last) reaching out to the community. However, I suspect I write on the behalf of quite a few folks that a little more advance notice would have been nice…

UPDATE, August 17, 2012: Yours truly has received word that this “Open House” is apparently by invitation only. Fascinating. I have, however, received an account from someone who was permitted to attend. This I will relay via a separate blog post in a bit!

Meet & Greet/Open House At 400 BRC’s New Shelter
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 starting at 10:00 a.m.
400 McGuinness Boulevard
Brooklyn, New York 11222

 

New York Shitty Day Starter: 400 McGuinness Is Open For Business

August 14, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A person we’ll call “M” writes (via comments on this post):

its open now. boyfriend met a guy who showed him an ID, assured him that the shelter was for people who have jobs. he was rushing back to beat the 10pm curfew. saw him the next night, with another guy from the shelter, a little more drunk than the night before, but still personable. so, not sure about the september opening date, unless i slept through august (which i was trying to do).

After some (somewhat) polite nut-twisting (this) I got an answer from our City Councilman. Here it is:

So there have you. Thanks Mr. Levin.

UPDATE, August 15, 2012: It has been brought to my attention that a temporary Certificate of Occupancy was issued for this property in July.

Looks like someone dropped the ball.

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: What’s Up At 400 McGuinness?

April 11, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Bloomblight, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Apparently a new floor, per the person who saw fit to copy me on the following email (which included the General Manager of Community Board 1, among others). She writes:

Rebars are being placed on top of 400 McGuiness Blvd. Are they building upward? Does anyone know?

Naturally I was very curious about this, so I did three things:

1. I checked Google Maps so as to ascertain what the roof-line of this complex looked like “pre-rebar”.

I have indicated the work site in question in yellow. As you can see the western part of 400 McGuinness sports an additional floor. The area highlighted does not. Which brings me to…

2. See this for myself.

A new floor has been added and a means of egress/ingress (as highlighted above) leads from the original structure to its new neighbor. In addition, all the entrances save one on Clay Street and one on McGuinness Boulevard have been replaced with windows.

One such former entrance was where this intercom system (which they have inexplicably seen fit not to remove) is located.

And of course here is a shot of the rebar in question— along with a new HVAC unit. Which, in turn, brings me to…

3. Is this legal?

At a cursory search, I honestly cannot tell. Thus I have requested a disinterested party “in the know” about such matters to tender his/her take.

To be continued…

P.S.: On the way to 400 McGuinness Boulevard I noted a few items of interest on Box Street:

The on-going work of art that is 62 Box Street is for sale. Exclusively no less.

And the Box House Hotel is keeping up appearances.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Presenting The Greenpoint Neighborhood Coalition

March 15, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A number of people have asked me about the status of the proposed 200 bed assessment center slated to grace 400 McGuinness Boulevard. Aside from noticing that it appears to be nearing completion I have drawn a blank. Until this morning which is when I received the item at left via an anonymous tipster.

As you can see a lawsuit is in the works and a meeting of the newly christened Greenpoint Neighborhood Coalition will come to pass at McGuinness Power Brake Service next Monday, March 19th, at 6:30 p.m.. Those of you who harbor concerns about this facility or simply want to learn more should make it a point to attend!

Greenpoint Neighborhood Coalition meeting regarding the proposed assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard
March 19, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m.
McGuinness Power Brake Service
404 McGuinness Boulevard
Brooklyn, New York 11222

New York Shitty Day Starter: Live From The Joint 90th/94th Precinct Public Safety Meeting

The turnout at last night’s gathering was rather lackluster. I suspect this was largely due to the rather short notice for said convocation and of course the fact it is seriously, painfully cold. However, what I did find interesting is who did show up. A number of reporters, most of the 94th Precinct Community Council and a substantial number of Community Board 1 members including— but not limited to— Chairman Chris Olechowski, General Manager Gerald “Gerry” Esposito, Lisa Bamonte, Phil Caponegro, Tom Burrows and of course Trish (as seen above and who had a lot to say) saw fit to brave the elements and learn what the respective heads of the precincts under the jurisdiction had to say. I for one found this very encouraging. Without further ado here is my footage along with a general outline.

Part I: Introductions are made and the Question & Answer Session begins

  • The Q & A session kicks off with an inquiry about the sexual assaults on Withers Street and Maspeth (at Kingsland) Avenue.
  • The Maspeth Avenue assault is described at length (very simply put, a woman exiting the L train was separated from her compatriots, got lost and was forced to perform oral sex on her assailant) and has been determined to be an “isolated incident”.
  • The incident on Withers Street was purportedly an attempted mugging.
  • Concerns/complaints are raised about the homeless shelter which is located on the premises of the former Greenpoint Hospital.


Part II: “Trish”, a member of Community Board 1 and East Williamsburg Greenpoint resident, speaks

  • She counters that the “mugging” on Withers Street was also a sexual assault and backs up her assertion with accounts from her neighbors— including the good Samaritan who intervened on the victim’s behalf.


Part III: A question is raised about current crime trends, among other things

  • The head of the 90th Precinct, Commanding Officer Kemper, speaks first. He notes that property crimes are the biggest issue. especially those involving electronics. E.g.; cell phones, i-Pads, etc.
  • C.O. Kemper makes mention of Operation ID. For those of you who are not familiar with this service (which is offered at every precinct) you can get the low-down by clicking here.
  • He also makes mention of the shooting which came to pass New Year’s Day on Manhattan Avenue.
  • When questioned about outreach by an attendee he notes that the 90th Precinct has Community Council meetings the second Wednesday of every month.
  • C.O. Kemper reiterates that he wants to hear from the public— especially anyone who might have information about the perpetrator responsible for the sexual assault on Maspeth Avenue.


Part IV: D.I. Hurson of the 94th Precinct speaks

  • D.I. Hurson gives a general rundown of the stats he gave at the last 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting.
  • He notes that in 2011 three rapes came to pass in his precinct. In all three of these cases the victim knew her assailant. Hence, the sexual assault on Maspeth Avenue was different.
  • D.I. Hurson assures residents who live on the border of his and C.O. Kemper’s precincts (94th and 90th respectively) that they are in constant communication with each other. He cites a recent shooting at the Cooper Park Houses (apparently misconstrued as a shooting at Cooper Park proper) as an example.


Part V: D.I. Hurson, continued

  • Guido, the equally comparable half to Trish, speaks. He makes the case for a more visible police presence. He also notes that the person who identified the Withers Street assailant was afraid to testify and that in his (this being Guido’s) time “We would have taken care of it ourselves”. Guido also defines what constitutes Greenpoint. READ: it ain’t 11222. I like Guido.
  • Guido adds that more lighting along Maspeth Avenue is needed.
  • An attendee asks what, if anything, is being done about policing areas which are saturated with bars (Bedford Avenue, Grand Street and Graham Avenue, for example).
  • C.O. Kemper of the 90th Precinct steps up to the plate. He makes mention of monthly meetings with nightclub/bar owners.
  • An attendee asks a number of very compelling questions. Firstly, she asks if CPR training is still in effect. Secondly, she asks about the staffing level at the 94th Precinct. Lastly she notes with the increase in population in the 94th Precinct there should be a commensurate increase in police staffing.
  • D.I. Hurson notes that the 94th Precinct is currently down staff-wise. However, it is due to get more new recruits.
  • Same-said citizen notes that a number of new residents in north Brooklyn are not from New York City and as such are not acclimatized to the risks posed in such a city (READ: “street smarts”)— and that this may be a source of crime.
  • Interesting fact: apparently 911 calls have some part in officer allocations to precincts in New York City.
  • Questions of surveillance are raised by an attendee. D.I. Hurson notes this has been implemented at the Cooper Park Houses but not the precinct in general. He adds the Cooper House surveillance cameras were largely responsible for apprehending two shooting suspects.


Part VI: Discussion about surveillance cameras continues

  • The aforementioned citizen notes the intersection of Maspeth Avenue and Kingsland Avenue, where the sexual assault came to pass, was also the location of a homicide in 2004. He also notes that the terminus of Kingland Avenue at Maspeth Avenue has a community garden and the Greenpoint Hospital, e.g.; there are very few eyes on the street. He requests a camera be placed there.
  • Another resident reiterates that the area around Maspeth Avenue and Kingsland Avenue is rife with criminal activity, especially drug dealing.
  • The question of Safe Havens is raised (which was apparently put in place as a result of a spike in crimes in Williamsburg ten years ago).
  • D.I. Hurson says this is not something he would oppose.
  • A member of the 94th Precinct Community Council speaks about the proposed homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. Namely, that work is being conducted there.
  • Rami Metal, Community Liaison for City Councilman Steve Levin, confirms that there is work underway, that the city has green-lighted this facility and a community-based  law suit to fight it is in the works.
  • D.I. Hurson states that he has met the person who is developing the homeless shelter (presumably Muzzy Rosenblatt of Bowery Residents Committee— Ed. Note.) and that this person has assured him that things will be “just fine” and cited the example of BRC’s shelter on the Bowery as an example. 400 McGuinness, as told to D.I. Hurson, will not be a place to simply house homeless men but to (and I quote) “rehabilitate” them.
  • Lisa Bamonte, member of Community Board 1, also states the case for an increased police presence (READ: beat officers).
  • D.I. Hurson notes that overall staffing for police departments is down. Approximately 41,000 in 2001 versus approximately 35,000 currently. He adds that he mostly puts “beat” officers on Manhattan and Bedford Avenue.
  • Ms. Bamonte suggests some be assigned to Graham Avenue— particularly the Graham Avenue stop of the L train.


Part VII: Lincoln Restler Speaks

  • The most notable point Mr, Restler makes is about RightRides. A totally free service which is available to women and the LGBTQ community to ensure they get home safely. NOTE: RightRides, for lack of any volunteers, did not have this available New Year’s Eve/Day in north Brooklyn.


Part VIII: Wrapping it up

  • Trish asks about the guns for cash program. She is assured by both the heads of the 94th and 90th Precinct that any and all tips/information about illegal handguns are welcome. You can view English and Spanish fliers which C.O. Kemper mentions by clicking here and here.
  • Lisa Bamonte inquires as to how parks can be policed of sex offenders/seedy characters.
  • It is noted by a member of the 94th that all parks have signs posted that all adults must be accompanied by children and, upon Ms. Bamonte asking about enforcement of these rules is assured summonses are issued by the Parks Enforcement Police (PEP) for just this. NOTE: unless I am wrong, there is one PEP officer assigned to the entirety of Community Board 1.

After the meeting I informed Ms. Bamonte that I, a child-free woman, was once asked by a concerned mother if I had children while patronizing a playground. I told this person I didn’t and after looking me up and down she determined I was “probably okay”.

Spotted At 400 McGuinness Boulevard: Smashed

January 18, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A pair of simple mishaps or a sign of something more sinister? Given the controversy surrounding— if not outright hostility directed at— the proposed 200 bed assessment center at this location I am not so quick to rule out the latter. Therefore I have brought it to the attention of the head of the 94th Precinct, D.I. Hurson. He has assured me he is looking into it.

UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: I have word from Mr. Hurson no reports have been filed regarding this. Interesting…

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: The American Playground

January 11, 2012 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As taken today, January 11th, 2012. Closing on a somewhat related note ABC news recently did a feature regarding the proposed homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. You can view this item by clicking here.

Last Gasp: Five

December 29, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

brooklynbureau: 5 Reported Deaths of Homeless in Greenpoint Bklyn in past 15 months: http://t.co/CQlfmNQR

Original Tweet: http://twitter.com/brooklynbureau/statuses/152474257392275457

This was brought to my attention by an anonymous tipster (thanks!). Those of you who are so inclined should take a moment to read Brooklyn Bureau’s piece about homelessness in Greenpoint and the proposed assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. Follows is a breakdown of the five (I suspect preventable) deaths outlined therein:

…In October, reports of a homeless man hanging himself in McGolrick Park marked the fifth reported death of a homeless man in Greenpoint’s parks in the past 15 months. Two have taken their own lives (the second man in Barge Park off Commercial Street), one man drowned in McCarren Park, another died of hypothermia in the same park and a third died of unknown causes, also in McCarren Park.

“It’s a sick way of thinking because the person could die in the street and then no one’s responsible,” says McDonnell, “is that what we do, do we just let people die and not be responsible?”

Indeed. However, what what this tome overlooks is Greenpoint’s homeless will not simply be able to go to 400 McGuinness and receive shelter. They will have to go through a processing center in Manhattan and then come back here. Given the language gap many of our homeless face (as Polish speakers)— and the fact many of them have serious substance abuse problems— do I realistically see this arrangement working? No, I don’t.

Image Credits: The image at left was taken by yours truly at McCarren Park this summer.

Reader Contribution Du Jour, Part I: City Hall

September 21, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, New York City 

Taken by Christa.

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