Live From The Public Safety Committee Meeting

Truth be told it was a rather mellow evening last night at the Warsaw— at least in comparison to the smash-jaw Parks & Waterfront Committee convocation earlier this week. Nonetheless there was much information of interest (including question and answer sessions with representatives from the Fire Department, 94th Precinct and the Department of Consumer Affairs respectively) — and a “moment” (or two) worth savoring. Enjoy!

INTRODUCTION: Chairman Olechowski gives a statement about liquor licenses & the “Moratorium”

Public Safety Chair Mieszko Kalita speaks and the festivities begin!

Deputy Inspector Hurson of the 94th Precinct Answers Questions Tendered by the Board

A representative of the New York City Fire Department Answers Questions Tendered by the Board

Note/observation: Board member Burrows* plays a nice Ed McMahon to Joe Garber’s Johnny Carson. Or something. This is really worth watching folks!

A Representative of the Department of Consumer Affairs Speaks

D.I. Hurson talks about MARCH (and he ain’t talking about the month!)

And of course there is the matter of the Polish Slavic Center Cafeteria’s Liquor License (Spoiler: it was approved)

Lesson learned: Community Board 1 has no judicial power, no police force or F.B.I.

  • You will notice a red ribbon being passed along the table. This was my comrade Sherry’s Unofficial Community Board 1 Ladies Auxiliary badge (we were all sporting them— mine was pink!). Methinks it was a big hit!

It was at this point the meeting shifted to liquor license applications. There were many. My compatriots and I each got a drink.

What the 10:00 p.m. rolled around we decided we could do one of two things:

  • Get inebriated at a Public Safety Committee meeting (which would add a whole new provocative dimension to the proceedings).
    or
  • Go home.

We chose the latter.

Miss Heather

*Who, it should be noted later took yours truly to task for not providing him and his colleagues snacks and refreshments. Here’s how I couched my rebuttal (to my buddy Christine):

I am not Community Board 1’s caterer. I am only its fluffer.

P.S.: Special props/credit goes out to ievil_spock_47i for observing the uncanny resemblance between the photo yours truly took and Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Awesome catch!

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Body At Barge Park?

April 27, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This item comes courtesy of someone who would like to remain anonymous. He/she writes:

Hi, Heather…been struggling with whether this is something I should report or not all morning but seeing as you frequent the precinct meetings I thought you should know so you could follow the story.  Was walking my dog this morning about 6:30am and saw a squad car go flying down franklin with lights blazing.  I watched him turn down Commercial and go full speed directly into Newtown Barge Park.  I always walk my dog around there so I was heading there anyway.  When I got over there I saw three squad cars at the back of the park near the hand ball courts and a body sitting against the fence at the back of the park.  It must have just been reported because there were no CSI, no coroner, not even a sheet over the body.  No idea what happened but the police did not look too frantic or overly concerned about on lookers so my guess would not be murder…probably overdose.  I’m about 90% sure body was male but too far away to be positive.

Sorry to start your day on a downer.

Wow. I wish I could say I am surprised by this but in all honesty I am not (the Greenpoint Hotel is just down the street). Nonetheless this is depressing news indeed! If anyone knows what happened please share via comments or email at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Your identity will remain anonymous if you so desire.

Update, 3:17 p.m.: It has been brought to my attention that this incident is one the Gothamist newsmap. Apparently it was a hanging. Yikes!

Update, 5:58 p.m.: Here is what I have heard from an anonymous source.

The cops have no idea who the guy is.  He had no ID or personal effects on him.  They canvassed the area with a picture of him, including the Hotel and 3/4 house, nobody claims to know him or where he came from.  He was “obviously homeless” and “it looks like he probably hung himself with his belt on the fence”.  Homicide Squad checked out the scene and decided it definitely was not a murder.   As of now….he’s John Doe and cause of death is undetermined.

Miss Heather

LAST GASP: Live From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Tonight’s proceedings were short and sweet. However, there were plenty of items of interest and naturally I shot footage. Without further ado, here it is along with a little commentary.

INTRODUCTION

  • A general run-down of the previous month’s meeting is given.
  • Attendees are made aware of the City’s Community Liaison’s web site.
  • The first guest speaker of the evening is announced: Dennis Gagan of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
  • When asked if crime is up or down he says down.
  • Phyllis (a 94th Community Council institution) disagrees and quotes Winston Churchill.
  • Mr. Gagan then proceeds to outline a stringent jail-time versus drug treatment program.
  • One Greenpointer mentions that a regular offender seems to be in and out of jail for drug-related crimes on a regular basis and asks what he should do if he catches this chap breaking into his car. The following discussion elicits dark laughter from the audience. D. I. Hurson steps in.

PART II: Tim Duffy, the LGBT Liaison for the NYPD introduces himself and D. I. Hurson gives a rundown of crime statistics.

  • Any and all interested parties can get Mr. Duffy’s contact information by clicking here.
  • Here’s the skinny per D. I. Hurson:
    1. Narcotics arrests were up 50%
    2. Traffic-related citations were up 25%
    3. Overall crime was down 4% HOWEVER:
    4. Robberies were up.
    5. Domestic violence was up.
    6. Car break-ins— especially on the “Northside” (specifically between North 4 and North 7 Street)— were up.
    7. In regards to last month’s bank robbery at HSBC: the perpetrators were arrested.
    8. The hate crime which occurred at North 4 Street and Wythe Avenue has yet to be solved.
    9. There was an arrest regarding the shooting.

PART III: Community Board 1 Member Tom Burrows Speaks and the Q & A Session Commences

  • Mr. Burrows disambiguates (once again) the hoopla regarding a so-called moratorium on liquor licenses.
  • The issue of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar is addressed. Once again.
  • Mr. Burrows implores people to call 311 about eating and drinking establishments which pose a public nuisance— and to forward this information to the local Community Board. If the Community Board does not know such an establishment poses an issue to the community, they cannot do anything about. In others words: if you see something, SAY SOMETHING@
  • The issue of truck and— get this— MTA bus traffic on Kent Street is raised. NOTE: Kent Street is not on a bus route. The issue of motorcyclists and installing speed bumps is brought up as well. Hurson says speed bumps cannot be installed on bus routes. The ladies present assure him Kent Street is not on a bus route and he  offers to lend a hand. (Ed. Note: I later advised these ladies to take up the matter with our Community Board’s Transportation Chair, Karen Nieves.)

PART IV: Q & A Session Continues

  • The subject of graffiti is once more raised and D. I. Hurson explains how to get it fixed.
  • Diane Jackson of the Cooper Houses voices concerns about men from the adjacent homeless shelter breaking curfew and sleeping in the halls of said housing. Apparently 60 Kingsland Avenue has the biggest problem.
  • More about the drug-dealing situation on Kent Street.

At this point it seemed like everything was over. But it wasn’t.

PART V: Carlos Menchaca of Councilwoman Christine Quinn’s Office Introduces Himself

NEW YORK SHITTY ANALYSIS/WRAP-UP

After this meeting adjourned I arrived home to find this in my inbox.

Jan (who sent me the above photograph) writes:

Hi Heather –

The attached is what I was greeted with yesterday afternoon when I went to go pick up the car at the parking lot on N.9th St. to do errands.  Since the interior wasn’t wet, I am going to assume this happened really late Saturday or early Sunday.  Oh, and my cover was taken off too, so someone was interested in seeing what was under the wrapping.

This is my 64 Impala that I’ve had through thick and thin since 1983.  Apparently someone thought it would be fun to walk over the car with ladies sized shoes (with a steel heel) and went into my windshield.  We have this problem with someone leaving the gate open and stuff getting stolen once in a while, but I bet that bar across the street has something to do with it.  Thanks kiddies, your little bit of fun walking across my 48 year old car is going to cost me a cool grand to fix the busted windshield, not to mention figuring out how to fix the dents in the roof.

Here’s the deal: as a result of virtually no awareness raised by the powers that be and/or lack effective outreach by our local Community Board I receive a lot of complaints. I gladly field them and post the most relevant ones here. However, it has come to my attention that a great many of these complaints are redundant in nature. Follows is the “top three”:

  • Complaints about “eating and drinking” establishments— usually about noise, disorderly behavior, property damage and litter.
  • Traffic/transportation-related complaints.
  • Parks-related complaints.

What I would like to do so as to address this problem, serve my community; and perhaps preserve some semblance of my own sanity is create some customized version of a page which Jeremiah, of Vanishing New York, has on his site. It is entitled “How To Complain”. Follows is an excerpt.

You can (and should) read the rest here. In order to make this happen here’s what I need from you, dear readers from Brooklyn’s Community Board 1:

What do YOU want to complain about “effectively”? We have a number of very dedicated people on our Community Board. What is lacking is communication— and you! Do I need to hyperlink to Community Board 1’s calendar— including sub-committee meetings? Would monthly reminders about the 94th (and/or 90th) Precinct Community Council meetings be helpful? Contact information for elected officials, perhaps? Please tender your suggestions via comments or email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com.

Thank you.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: A Bank Robbery On Bedford?

March 30, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Criminal Activity, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

This item comes courtesy of an anonymous tipster we’ll call “E”. He writes:

Hi Miss Heather,

Just wanted to give you a heads up, in case you haven’t heard, that there was a bank robbery at the new HSBC on Bedford Ave yesterday afternoon.  I was walking by with my wife and son maybe around 1pm and people were running out yelling “call 911” (some ducking in to Duane Reade).  An unmarked police car came up and did a crazy u turn in the middle of Bedford, coming dangerously close to pedestrians and lightly hitting a parked car before tearing down N 3rd the wrong way.  I guess large amounts of stolen money trump citizen’s safety.  No surprise there and no big deal I guess.  Anyway, not sure what exactly happened in the end but there were police swarming in from every direction and I heard there was a gun involved.  Never a dull moment.

WOW. If anyone has the 411 regarding what happened please share via comments or email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Your identity will remain anonymous if you so desire. Thanks!

UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.: someone who was present when this dastardly deed came to pass has stepped forward to give his/her account of what happened!

I was in the bank when it was robbed. The guy came in and told everyone to get on the floor. He told the tellers to give him the money or he’d start killing people. The tellers didn’t do anything, just hid below their desks. He took one guy’s wallet and another guy’s iPhone and took off. The cops didn’t get there in time. Missed him by like 15 seconds. He only got $40 and a phone. What a loser, pretty scary stuff though.

A robbery. During lunchtime. On a weekday. On Bedford Avenue.  Yes, I would say that is very scary stuff indeed!

UPDATE, March 31, 2011 10:45 a.m.: I just received the following email from a person we’ll call “L”. It is rather compelling so I am adding it here.

Hi Miss Heather – Unfortunately bank robberies don’t seem to be something new here (altho this one seems to be the most potentially violent so far – & also the first on Bedford) – but wanted to pass these on, fyi  — (curious about the underreporting of local crime; began compiling my own area “crime reports” list) Found these 2 in Jan 2011: 

from probably The Brooklyn Paper police blotter –

Bank stick-up

A robber held up the Apple Bank on Manhattan Avenue on Jan. 20, scampering away with $1,096.

The robber entered the bank at 4:10 pm, approached a teller window and passed a note that read, “Give all the money or everybody dead.” The perp then took the money in a black bag and fled towards Meserole Avenue.

from Gothamist crime reports map –


Bank Robbery
| 185 Broadway & Driggs Ave Brooklyn, NY | 1/26/2011 5:21 p.m.  (the Wmsbg / Dime bank bldg??)

As always, thanks again for your great community coverage!

Thanks for the kind words and rather disturbing data, L!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Very Special Problem

March 24, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

L writes:

Dear Miss Heather,

I’m writing you, the current authority of Greenpoint, for some advice,

How do you politely and safely remove a polish homeless man from your stoop?  As of late, one has been currently making my sunny stoop his favorite napping place.  It makes getting inside my apartment difficult, not to mention embarrassing. 311 has been of no help. Does WR Hardware sell a homeless repellent spray or some sort of scarecrow?

L brings up a very good point: while we are advised to call 311 by our elected officials and police department it seldom does any good. That having been written, here’s a few ideas I have for L off the top of my head:

  1. Call the 94th Precinct directly (WARNING: you might get relegated to their automated system. Not fun.)
  2. Go to the next Community Council Meeting (you can view calendar here) and talk to D. I. Hurson directly. (Probably your best option.)
  3. Take up the matter with your elected officials. Given that homeless outreach seems to be of special interest to him I would suggest reaching out to City Councilman, Steve Levin.

Does anyone have more advice for L? If so, please share via comments.

Miss Heather

 

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

That’s right folks: another month, another Community Council Meeting. Naturally I shot footage and am in the process of uploading it. How long this will take is anyone’s guess. In the meantime here are a few teasers/spoilers:

  1. The recent hate crime was brought up by a member of our local Community Board, Tom Burrows.
  2. Phyllis (a neighborhood and Community Council institution) was in particularly interesting form this evening.
  3. As is often the case, bicyclists and bikes were discussed. Those of you who are tired of seeing old, rusted out bike carcasses attached to street signs, fences, etc., do not despair: Hurson tells us how to get them removed!

They’re uploading. Albeit NOT in order.

Samuel Pierre From Mayor Bloomberg’s Office Speaks

D. I. Hurson gives a run-down of crime stats and opens the forum for questions.

GOOD NEWS

  • Crime is down by 22% for the month.
  • Crime is down for the year (?) by 14%
  • Burglaries, stolen cars (down 12%) and grand larceny (especially material stolen from cars— Hurson’s own wife made a “collar” on Calyer!) are down.

BAD NEWS

  • The matter of the hate crime which came to pass February 22, 2011. No arrests have been made.
  • A shooting on Jackson Street (NOT AVENUE near the “Cooper Projects”) Hurson then goes on to assure us that despite reports in the press, the staff at the 94th is at its usual level and opens the forum for questions. Community Board 1’s very own Tom Burrow’s kicks it off.

Q & A Session Continued: the matter of the Greenpoint Hotel is brought forth. Among other things.

Q & A Session Continued: The Subject of Graffiti Arises

Lincoln Restler Speaks About What Happened To Barie Shortell & Suggests A Group Be Created to Better Address North Brooklyn’s Growing GBLT Community

Ending: An(other) Announcement about the Town Hall Meeting regarding the latest proposal for a 200 bed assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard.

UPDATE, March 23, 2011: After numerous attempts it would appear that my footage of some really nice folks from the Greenpoint Youth Court is unusable. This is a shame since this is a really neat endeavor. For this reason I encourage you to check out their flier by clicking here. NOTE: they are recruiting and participants (between the ages of 14 and 18) receive a $100 stipend per month!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Trouble At The Dzien Dobry Drinking Forest?

The tipster who forwarded me the above photographs gives a first-hand account of what went down:

Midweek mayhem cut into McCarren Park’s Dzien Dobry Drinking Forest’s happy hour. NYPD and NYFD EMTs responded to an incident involving the co- treasurers of the Dzien Dobry Drinking League (DDDL), which resulted in a bloody nose and an escort out of the park of several of the group’s core members. The meeting resumed immediately after emergency response left the scene. This brief interruption in the group’s daily 20 hour al fresco brainstorming sessions will not be recorded in the minutes of their monthly report.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Early Morning Antics On India?

February 13, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Criminal Activity, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This item comes from a woman we’ll call S. She writes:

Hey Miss Heather,

Early this a.m. (2:30?) my husband and I were awakened to commotion and yelling outside our house, which is mid block India St.between Franklin & Manhattan.  My husband looked out and saw cops restraining a young man on the asphalt between 2 parked cars.  A total of three police cars were converged on the scene, 2 having come down India St. the wrong way. The young man was strenuously restrained and loaded into a police car.  After which police officers searched the gutters and snow mounds with flashlights.  The police left about 3:30.   This scene was a lot like the gunfire incident on our block last year.  And it seems like gunplay is getting to be a recurring theme here in the point.  Have you heard anything about this incident?  Your blog was the first place I looked for information.  Yes you’re that much of a neighborhood resource!!  For which I say thanks.

First off, thanks for the nice words S. They are appreciated! Secondly, I have not heard anything about this incident. I have spent most of today enjoying the beautiful weather! If anyone reading this has the skinny on what went down please share via comments or via email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Your identity will remain anonymous if you so desire. Thanks!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Photos Du Jour: Whoopsy Daisy!

January 27, 2011 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

Taken January 27, 2011.

Miss Heather

Notes From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Last night’s meeting was the most subdued— and brief— yours truly has ever beheld. Not even Phyllis had a word to say. This is a shame as I always enjoy hearing her take on what’s going on in our community. However, there were items of interest. To new a few:

  • D.I. Hudson did not have much to say about the Monitor Street shooting (as it is under investigation) but he did state that the victim (who is not expected to live) was acquainted with the shooter in some capacity. In other words: this was not a random incident.
  • The 94th Precinct has been allotted ten new officers.
  • Some interesting facts about truck traffic arose.
  • Steve Levin talks about the “three-quarter house” at the former Greenpoint Hotel and notes that the next Community Town Hall regarding the proposed homeless intake center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard is tentatively scheduled to take place the first week in February. It is his hope to have a representatives of HELP USA and the Department of Homeless Services present— so mark your calendars!
  • A number of attendees present were under the impression the former Greenpoint Hospital complex was no longer being employed as shelter space for homeless people. I personally dispelled them of this erroneous notion, as you will see/hear.

Without further ado here is the footage. Do take a moment to watch it— especially the segments when Mr. Levin speaks (the third and fourth videos).

NOTE: next month’s meeting of the Community Council will come to pass February 21st at 7:30 p.m.* It will be conducted in the basement of the Peter J. McGuinness Seniors Center (715 Leonard Street).

UPDATE, January 19, 2011: I have received word that the victim of the shooting at 211 Monitor Street has died. My sincerest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.

Miss Heather

*Right, Tom?