TOMORROW: Community Board 1 Meeting & 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

The author of this missive (which can be found on Manhattan Avenue) might have his/her terminology wrong, but this was an excellent reminder nonetheless that tomorrow, January 10th, both our local Community Board and 94th Precinct Community Council will be convening to discuss matters north Brooklyn. I have been assured by Deputy Inspector Hurson moving forward he is going to coordinate with our Community Board so as to prevent scheduling conflicts like this in the future. In the meantime, here are the deets!

94th Precinct Community Council
January 10, 2012 starting at 7:00 p.m.
122 Java Street (the rear entrance of the Church of the Ascension)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Community Board 1 Public Hearing & Board Meeting
January 10, 2012 starting at 6:30 p.m. (NOTE: you must sign in by 6:15 in order to speak)
Swinging 60’s Senior Citizens Center
211 Ainslie Street
Brooklyn, New York 11211

(You can view the agenda by pointing and clicking your way to Community Board 1’s web site.)

New York Shitty Day Ender: Live From the 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Here you go, folks: footage from this evening’s 94th Precinct Community Council meeting! If I had to identify one thing that made this meeting different than its predecessors it would be the rather substantial amount of time spent outlining and discussing the manifold number of quality of life issues posed by bars and nightclubs. Enjoy!

Part I: Two guest speakers and D.I. Hurson commences with the run-down of this month’s criminal activity/trends

1. Two guest speakers: Abby Tuller of the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Domestic Violence and officers from the 94th Precinct’s Domestic Violence Unit.

  • Ms. Tuller outlines two candlelight vigils to be conducted this month (NOTE: October is domestic violence awareness month.) You can learn more about these events by clicking here.
  • Two officers from the 94th Precinct’s own Domestic Violence Unit outlines options/services to victims of domestic violence. these include (but are not limited to): an alternative to shelter program (simply put, they will install an alarm system— this requires an order of protection and a land-line telephone); Safe Horizons (a shelter), and free cell phones (which can only call 911) an order of protection is required for this as well.

2. D.I. Hurson gives a general run-down of the month’s “business”.

  • There was a shooting at the Cooper Park Houses. A man was shot twice in the leg.
  • Hurson touches upon (briefly) the DWI fatality which came to pass on Meserole Avenue and Leonard Street. As it would happen, a patrol car was in the area, heard the crash and got to the scene immediately. The driver of said vehicle has been charged with manslaughter.
  • While overall crime is down, cell phones thefts are on the rise.
  • D.I. Hurson speaks briefly about the suicide which came to pass at McGolrick Park September 23rd. The man was described as being on-again/off-again homeless and they are still awaiting the results of the toxicology report.
  • D.I. Hurson gives the rundown regarding a hit and run which came to pass at Calyer Street and McGuinness Boulevard last month.

Part II: D.I. Hurson wraps up with a couple of less serious topics and the Q & A session begins!

1. The Open Space Alliance Concerts are (once again) brought to the table.

2. The issue of homelessness is (once again) raised and “wet shelters” (Also know as “harm-reduction shelters”) are mentioned.

3. A rather lengthy discussion about bars ensues. This is best listened to to be appreciated. However, I will list a few key points here:

  • The usual trifecta of trouble rears its ugly head: noise, crowd control/overall rowdiness and public urination.
  • North 3rd Street and Berry Street is apparently a “hot spot” for these activities.

Part III: Q & A Session, continued; more dialogue about bars

  • Spritzenhaus continues to be a problem. Per one attendee/neighbor, she tried to speak to the owner of this establishment and he was— and I quote— “nasty”.
  • An attendee asks if these is a way to get access to a log of 311 complaints about bars behaving badly.
  • A question is posed about whether or not motorcycles are required to have mufflers. In addition, some motorcyclists are doing “wheelies” on Leonard Street. The legality of this practice is questioned.
  • In a new development the Warsaw merits a mention.
  • Drug traffic is discussed.

Part IV: Q & A session, continued; miscellaneous

1. A citizen asks if citizens photographing/filming unlawful behavior is helpful. D.I. Hurson answers to the affirmative. “Everyone is a walking t.v. station.”

2. The “find my phone” app is explained by D.I. Hurson.

3. A rather subdued (and downright sweet) Phyllis speaks. She lauds Officers Adamo and hopes that Hurson will be with us for awhile.

Part V: Lincoln Restler speaks

1. Mr. Restler thanks yours truly for filming these proceedings and lauds Hurson for his hard work.

2. He talks about the relocation of the Open Space Alliance concerts to 50 Kent Avenue.

3. He briefly touches upon “Stand Up, Speak Out” and creating safe havens where victims of harassment can go until the police arrive.

4. The recent traffic fatality here in Greenpoint and overall traffic issues are explored.

5. Mr. Restler advises attendees to make their complaints regarding disorderly or simply obnoxious bars known to our local community board.

On a related/closing note, here’s my “advice” as to how to go about the complaint process. Those of you who were present at lst night’s meeting— or have issues with such an establishment and/or its patrons— please give it a read.

A New York Shitty Op Ed: As you will notice I was asked (once again) by a woman to turn my camera off.  I was quite prepared for this eventuality by the head of the Community Council beforehand. It would appear that she has received a number of complaints about yours truly filming these proceedings. In fact, two people left the community council for just this reason.

Here’s the deal, folks: these are public proceedings. I am perfectly entitled to film them— just as attendees are more than welcome to pose questions privately afterward. In other words: there is a system in place which balances my right to film these meetings with others who seek to air their concerns privately. It would appear that this seems to have gone unnoticed or has been simply disregarded by some.

I film these proceedings not because I find them enjoyable (although they can be); rather, I do so because I know a lot of people who consider themselves to be stakeholders in this community and as such are interested in what is going in north Brooklyn. These individuals simply cannot attend due to work schedules, child care; and (as Lincoln Restler mentioned) simply being ill. By filming this footage I am enabling these people to stay informed about the goings on in north Brooklyn.

Thus the question becomes:

Whose rights prevail?

I am more than willing to be sensitive to the rights of others. One woman requested that I not film her face this evening— so I didn’t. I completely understand. It is neither my desire not purpose to cause a “chilling effect” on people speaking out by filming these proceedings.

However, I have very serious issues with any one individual or group who/which sees fit to disallow me from filming these meetings— which is my right— because they do not like it. It is my understanding that the 94th Precinct Community Council meetings are intended as a means for our police department to share information and dialogue with this community. By filming and sharing these proceedings I am continuing this dialogue. To disallow my— or anyone else’s— documenting these proceedings truncates this dialogue and creates a “chilling effect” as well. Just a thought.

Live From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

(Special D.I. Hurson-less Edition)

As the above table indicates, Deputy Inspector Hurson was not present at last night’s convocation. An explanation for his absence is later given by the lady who oversaw the proceedings in the following footage.* Scott Adamo, our precinct’s Community Liaison, happened to be on vacation as well so another officer, Henry the Crime Prevention Officer for our precinct, was on hand to take notes so he can bring the issues which arose at this meeting to both Mr. Adamo and Deputy Inspector at a later time. Let’s just say that certain people present— particularly a stalwart Community Council attendee (and personal favorite), Phyllis— kept this chap on his toes! Without further ado here is the footage. Enjoy!

PART I: Preliminary announcements, including the revised schedule and location for forthcoming 94th Precinct Community Council meetings. (You can view the calendar for the remainder of the year by clicking here.)

  • Two 94th Precinct officers are commended for a recent arrest at the Cooper Houses (during which they were injured).
  • A representative from the New York City Fire Department speaks about employment opportunities.

PART II: The Q & A Session Begins

  • The issue of an increased homeless presence/encampment at Jerzy Popieluszko Square is raised by a concerned citizen. Apparently the former caretaker has stepped down and now the gates are being left open (thus facilitating the previous). I myself have seen this. It’s pretty bad.
  • Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee member Tom Burrows speaks and a victim of the anti-gay incident I wrote about in this post gives a personal account of what happened.

PART III: Phyllis Speaks

  • It has been verified by a second party that there is in fact a man at large on Bedford Avenue fitting Phyllis’s description. He sports women’s underwear (manties?) and flowers in his hair and likes to abuse women verbally (no mention of a stick was made). He was described to me as a small (think approximately 5’2″ tall) Asian-American chap between 30 and 50 years of age. He is quite insane and has been spotted in the East Village as well.
  • Phyllis is 74 years old and makes it very clear she will be keeping on eye on our Finest.

PART IV: A resident of Ainslie Street (who has been overseas for some time) notes that north Brooklyn has an alcoholism problem much to the amusement of fellow attendees.

  • Public urination is mentioned.
  • Phyllis chimes in.

PART V: Diane Jackson of the Cooper Houses brings up the matter of recent robberies thereabouts and is of the distinct opinion that the perpetrators hail from the adjacent homeless shelter located on the premises of the former Greenpoint Hospital (Ed. Note: Do give this a listen, it is seriously disturbing stuff.)

PART VI: Lincoln Restler Speaks— and Phyllis responds (Boy, does she ever!)

  • One word: fornication. Stated repeatedly and in a church by (who else?) Phyllis, no less.

New York Shitty Analysis/Commentary:

  • For a meeting which seemed to be finished before it had even started, it proved to be very interesting. One friend of yours truly opined that it was (an I quote) “better than cable television”.
  • I am very happy the young women who experienced harassment for simply bar-hopping in my fair ‘burgh showed up and spoke up. Granted, an error in judgement was made (throwing the bottle back) but ultimately what is important (and easily overlooked) is that she and her party were not the instigators. That distinction goes to a man who (for reasons only known to him) saw fit to verbally harass her and hers for simply walking down the street. This is not only unacceptable but it also begs the question (in my mind, anyway) as to who’s next? Greenpoint is without argument one of the safest (and finest) neighborhoods to be found in New York City. Nonetheless, when incidences such as this are brought to my attention it is all too clear that there is still work to be done.
  • Mr. Restler handled his trial by fire Phyllis rather well. Given that she saw fit to grill Councilman Steve Levin at last month’s meeting and get him, Rami Metal and D.I. Hurson to all attest that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a good President** proves she is not partisan in regards to Democratic Party politics but is an equal-opportunity force to be reckoned with! I can hardly wait to hear what she has to say come September. Until them folks…

Miss Heather

*Here’s what I have been told by a tipster about this:

spoke to my buddy from the 7th precinct.  the call last night in East New York was a suicide by cop.  Dude shot a guy at an automotive store then waved the gun around at cops

YIKES!

**Who, as it was rather piquantly noted by Tom Burrows, cheated on his wife Eleanor rather flagrantly. Ergo, fornication and good governance— at least per Phyllis’s logic— can and did mix.

Live From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Don’t let the above image of our Community Council hard at work fool you: it was a particularly informative and eventful evening at Greenpoint’s very own Church of the Ascension.

First, the minutes from last month’s meeting were read. Then we got down to business.

Part I: The Correspondence Secretary maked announcements, a new date and location for forthcoming Community Council meetings (as of September) is announced and Pat McDonald of Outreach Speaks

1. The Correspondence Secretary Speaks:

  • As of May 23, 2011 smoking will not be allowed in Parks Department facilities. A $50.00 fine will be levied for offenders.
  • People whose properties are afflicted by graffiti can call 311 to have it removed.
  • An admonishment against crimes of opportunity is made.
  • The program of the month is a summer camp for youths between 10 and 16 years of age. The purpose is to foster better relations between youths and our Finest.

2. The head Mistress of the Community Council makes a couple of announcements:

  • As of September the Community Council meetings will be conducted the third Tuesday of every month in the rear room of the Church of the Ascension accessible via Java Street.
  • The rally to protest the 200 bed homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard will come to pass May 22nd at 2:30 p.m.

3. Pat McDonald speaks from Greenpoint’s very own Outreach Program (which is located at 960 Manhattan Avenue) speaks.

  • This facility works with substance abusers of all ages (including teenagers) and has English, Polish and Spanish speaking counselors.
  • A domestic violence program (which is sorely needed) is in the works.
  • Outreach also offers 12 Step Programs.

Part 2: Lincoln Restler Speaks

  • Mr. Restler gives props to the 94th for addressing issues arising in north Greenpoint especially pertaining to drug traffic.
  • Mr. Restler mentions the (now) kiboshed moratorium on liquor licenses but notes that a more aggressive response is needed to problematic establishments.
  • An audience member inquires Mr. Restler as to the status of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar. (It isn’t happening.)

Part 3: D.I. Hurson Gives the Low-down

  • D.I. Hurson give props to the Narcotics Division and citizens for helping to crack down on drug activity.
  • He mentions a seizure of crack cocaine on Metropolitan Avenue.
  • D. I. Hurson addresses what the 94th can do in regards to problematic bars.
    • To this end they will be having a sit-down with the Department of Consumer Affairs so as to better understand the laws which govern our local watering holes.
    • D. I. Hurson gives a reminder about the MARCH Program. (Look it up, folks!)
    • Bedford Avenue is specifically mentioned. D.I. Hurson states he was at North 7 Street and Bedford Avenue May 15th 2:00 a.m. He liked it to “Times Square”. He noted that the bulk of citations issued in this area are for open containers and public urination.
  • We’re up with Park Slope with being down with crime!
  • But he notes a woman was rather violently robbed after exiting Kellogg Diner.
  • Car break-ins: eight arrests in four weeks.
  • A gent who opted for drug rehabilitation (versus 1 1/2 years jail time) opted to escape and was apprehended.
  • Then of course the subject of the OSA’s East River State Parks concerts* arose:
    • This year police officers will be on hand to ensure prompt egress from said concerts.
    • The port-o-lets will (hopefully) be relocated closer to the entrance of East River State Park so merrymakers will not relieve themselves on neighboring properties’ stoops, foliage, etc.

Part 4: The Q & A session begins!

  • A lady from Noble and Lorimer Street mentions a number of unlicensed cars being present on her block. “This car is not stolen, do not tow it… mind your own business”. (priceless)
  • A woman in the audience brings up the matter of Skinheads and gangs inciting violence (because her son was beaten prior to this meeting). Not cool.
  • A Kent Street resident mentions the (recurring) homeless problem.
  • D. I. Hurson reiterates that people should call the police.
  • Ms. McDonald adds her two cents.
  • Rami Metal (of Steve Levin’ office) speaks.
    • He states that Mr. Levin has been meeting with various city agencies about this issue.
    • Not all seemingly homeless people are, in fact, homeless.
    • Mr. Metal notes that the issue Mr. Levin has with the proposed homeless intake center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard is it will not help these individuals. They are largely Polish-speaking, have roots in Greenpoint and care not to leave here.
    • All discussions with the DHS (Department of Homeless Services) has proven to be fruitless.
    • Ms. McDonald notes that one such individual did receive shelter at a 360 house because was willing to stop drinking.
    • Mr. Metal notes a number of the people in question are undocumented and as such do not qualify for assistance. To this end Levin’s office has reached out to the Polish Consulate.
    • The stalwart 94th Community Council attendee (of whom I am a big fan), Phyllis, kicks things up a notch by proposing work camps be used to employ our local homeless/inebriates and giving props to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
    • Both Mr. Metal and D.I. Hurson concur that F.D.R. was an excellent president.

Part 5: Steve Levin Speaks

  • Another attendee wants to know if there is a way our inebriates can be mandated to stop drinking (in order to get housing and work).
  • Councilman Levin points out that these men are not breaking the law and as such a program is not feasible.
  • Mr. Levin counters that community-based resources need to be employed for Greenpoint’s homeless/inebriates. Most of whom are Polish-speaking. He also notes the only homeless shelter which provides a Polish-speaking employee is located in East New York.
  • Mr. Levin talks about “Common Ground”. A homeless outreach program which has identified 40-45 “chronic public inebriates” in the Garden Spot.
  • Once again: while seeming to be homeless, a number of the aforementioned folks are not. They have family here; it is their drinking that leads them to the streets.
  • Mr. Levin notes that two homeless men died in Greenpoint last winter and presses that the Department of Homeless Services look at community-based options for helping the homeless.
  • Mr. Levin notes that the proposed assessment center for 400 McGuinness Boulevard will not help Greenpoint’s homeless/unhoused.
  • The Greenpoint Hotel, a SRO, and the neighboring 3/4 quarter house is discussed (This is interesting, folks. Do give it a listen!).
  • An attendee states that there are too many homeless shelters and the solution is work (and thus the discussion of work camps is resumed).
  • This chap asserts they should be given a plane ticket and sent back to where they came from. Mr. Levin replied this is not plausible. However, he did add when family members can be found in Poland, he is reaching out to them.
  • Phyllis reiterates the need for work camps.
  • This discussion drags on and Pat McDonald tries to steer the discussion into more productive territory.

Part 6: The Conclusion (READ: more talk of work camps)

  • Pat McDonald continues.
  • Phyllis restates, once again, the need for work camps and points out how it helped her brother (who later fought the Nazis in Italy) and that this came to pass in the Great Depression (which was before Mr. Levin was born).
  • Ms. McDonald tries to rebut.
  • Levin notes local efforts being made with St. Anthony’s Church and the Greenpoint Reformed Church.
  • Mr. Levin segues to the subject of the two hate crimes which came to pass earlier this year , notes that this seems to be part of a larger trend and implores folks that if they see something to contact the police.

And with that, gentle readers, this meeting came to a merciful end.

Miss Heather

Photo Credits: The “Clean and Sober” chaps in pink shirts come courtesy of Markuson’s Blog.

*Whose finances can be perused here.

New York Shitty Day Starter: Phyllis

November 17, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Last night I attended the 94th Precinct’s final community council meeting of the year. The coffee was copious and in keeping with the season pumpkin cake was in the offering. I took a piece and it was very tasty. Attendance was sparse and the attendees present were, for the most part, EDGY. Overall it was pretty dull, except for the following segment where Phyllis, a Bedford Avenue institution (and very nice lady) gave a scathing, Mr. Blackwell-esque assessment of New York’s Finest’s female officers. NOTE/CAVEAT: for some reason the sound on this is very, VERY low in some parts. Why, honestly I do not know. But trust me when I write this: it’s worth a listen and blowing your eardrums when people laugh.

Synopsis/Analysis: Police officers are not allowed to chew gum on the job.

Who knew?

Miss Heather

P.S.: Phyllis, you rock! People like you make life worth living in north Brooklyn.

Reader Question Of The Week

June 23, 2009 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

The following email was intended to be private correspondence but I feel compelled to post it here as a number of readers might find it of interest.

Anonymous writes:

Hi Miss Heather!

1) I love your blog.  I still don’t know how the hell you have the time to update it so often- but I likes.

2) Did you hear that Papacitos was robbed yesterday?  Somebody stole a 200lb safe from the back room.

3)  I see that there are community board meetings.  How do I find out about when they take place?  I’m getting a little piffed about what’s been happening in the neighborhood lately.

Thanks for your help!  Keep up the great work!

First and foremost thanks for the kind words, Anonymous. They are greatly appreciated. To answer your second question: yes, I am aware that Papasitos was burglarized. From what I have heard (so take this as hearsay) no broken locks were found and the police have hypothesized the bandits made their getaway by climbing up a stack of chairs and toting that 200 pound safe across several rooftops.

As for your third question my advice is as follows:

Although you can voice your concerns to our local Community Board (and I am NOT discouraging you from doing just this) the fact of the matter is this is not the most appropriate forum. This is a police matter and as such your time would be better spent attending the next 94th Precinct Community Council meeting. For those of you who are not in the know these meetings run as follows:

  1. A general review of the minutes from the previous meeting and miscellaneous announcements
  2. D. I. Fulton gives a rundown of the crime statistics for the last 28 day period
  3. A Q & A session with D. I. Fulton

Point #3 constitutes the bulk of these meetings and questions are not limited to incidents which have come to pass (such as the Papasitos robbery). You can also (to use real examples) air concerns about any suspicious activity you have witnessed, tip him off to illegal truck traffic (this is a biggie), complain about honking school buses, etc. You get the idea.

It is my understanding that the next 94th Precinct Community Council meeting will be in September. The same goes for Community Board One.* (Hey, they need a summer vacation just like the rest of us!) You can find the meeting schedules for each by clicking here and here.

I hope this is helpful.

Miss Heather

*See the Ms Nomer’s comment regarding this. There WILL be a meeting in July possibly August as well.

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