MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Rally To Protest The Homeless Intake Center at 400 McGuinness

May 9, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

The date has been (re)set, Greenpointers! Those of you who wish to download a print quality version of this flier can do so by clicking here. Otherwise I have been assured by Rami Metal, the Community Liaison for Councilman Steve Levin’s office that a Spanish/English flier is in the works. When I receive this item I will post it here.

Rally To Stop The Proposed Homeless Shelter at 400 McGuinness Boulevard
May 22, 2011 starting at 2:30 p.m.
400 McGuinness Boulevard (at Clay Street)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

POSTPONED: Rally at 400 McGuinness

April 29, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Rami Metal of Councilman Steve Levin’s office writes:

Hi Heather.  I don’t know whether or not you were aware of this but Hope Reichbach, our communications director, died yesterday.  We are unbelievably shaken and saddened by her sudden passing and are putting all our energy right now into working through this difficult time and helping her family in any way we can.  The funeral is being held on Sunday at noon.  Needless to say we feel that we need to cancel the planned rally against the homeless shelter and we were hoping that you could help get the word out.  We do not yet have a new date for the rally but will work to figure something out in the next week or so and will definitely let you know.

If anyone is interested in attending the funeral the services will take place at Congregation Mount Sinai, 250 Cadman Plaza West, at noon on Sunday

The Reichbach family will sit shiva Sunday following the service, Monday and Tuesday all day at 148 Bond Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217.

Donations in Hope’s name can be made to: Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Memorial Foundation, Inc., 413 Baltic Street, Suite 1A, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Below is a joint statement from last night from Steve and the Speaker:

Joint Statement by Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Member Stephen Levin

This evening we learned of the tragic death of one of the Council’s family. A bright young woman who was at the start of a career in public service is gone too soon. Hope was a wonderful, vivacious, and tough young woman. A beautiful soul who cared deeply about her community and her family. We are deeply saddened by her passing and will miss her more than words can ever describe. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and her friends, and everyone affected by this loss. We also respectfully request that the media respect the family’s privacy at this most difficult time.

Thanks.

I suspect I speak on the behalf of everyone reading this when I write that my heartfelt condolences to Miss Reichbach’s family, friends and loved ones. She will be missed.

Miss Heather

REMINDER: Rally Against The Assessment Center at 400 McGuinness

April 28, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Although I have posted this some time ago, I have recently received a number of inquiries about the proposed assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard (as proposed this time around by the Bowery Residents Committee). I also met a resident of Clay Street earlier this week who had no idea whatsoever such a proposal was in the works. Therefore, I feel compelled to remind everyone there will be a rally to protest this assessment center this upcoming Sunday, May 1st.

Rally to Stop the Proposed Homeless Shelter at 400 McGuinness Boulevard
May 1, 2011 (May Day!) at 2:30 p.m.
400 McGuinness Boulevard (at Clay Street)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

LAST GASP: Mark Your Calendars, North ‘Pointers

April 15, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

This afternoon yours truly spent the afternoon communicating with a number of public servants and getting caught up. Once I thought my day was over I remembered one thing I forgot: getting a time and date from Steve Levin’s office regarding the rally he promised regarding the homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. I am pleased to say his Community Liaison, Rami Metal, delivered! You can download a print quality version of the above missive by clicking here. Otherwise, you can download a print quality version of their joint Polish/Spanish flier by clicking here.

Rally to Stop the Proposed Homeless Shelter at 400 McGuinness Boulevard
May 1, 2011 (May Day!) at 2:30 p.m.
400 McGuinness Boulevard (at Clay Street)
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

P.S.: Something I failed to note in this post is that this shelter has passed the “Fair Share” review by our fair city. Apparently being host to the largest sewage treatment plant on the Eastern seaboard; a lack of follow-through on the manifold number of promises made by our fair city during the 2005 re-zone (*ahem* affordable housing) and a rather problematic SRO and 3/4 house one block away does not preclude our community from bearing its “fair share”. Go figure.

P.S. #2: Those of you who are so inclined might want to check out the New York State Sexual Offender Registry for 11222. What you will find is interesting— and very disturbing. Tip: look at 1109 Manhattan Avenue and 66 Clay Street.

New York Shitty Day Starter: Live From Community Board 1

I attended Tuesday’s Community Board 1 Meeting. Sadly, my five node unix cluster— or at least the part which allows them to “talk to each” other— died. So I have had to rely on my laptop. Uploading is a chore, but reading is no problem. Case in point:

You can read my colleague’s take on this, his special moment, here. The following is mine:

After Steve Levin voiced his opposition to the homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness and stated there would be a rally there next week (I will post the details when I get them) the remaining members of Community Board 1 voted against the homeless shelter at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. With two abstentions.

Miss Heather

P.S.: A lot happened at this meeting I will share some highlights as they upload!

New York Shitty Day Ender: Live From The Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting

April 5, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Don’t let the above image fool you: it was a rather lively evening at tonight’s Town Hall Meeting. Follows is the footage I shot along with synopses, annotations and observations. WARNING/CAVEAT/TEASER: Those of you who have a fondness for yelling will not be disappointed.

INTRODUCTION

Part II: Mr. Rosenblatt Gives a Rundown of BRC & The Proposal

  • The proposal (once again) is for a 200 bed assessment center.
  • This facility will be (once again) for single, homeless men.

Part III: Q & A, Continued

  • Questions are raised about the owner of 400 McGuinness Boulevard, Shimmie Horn and this facility serving drug addicts and ex-convicts.
  • Mr. Rosenblatt states that 2/3 – 70% of the people who patronize BRC’s facility have substance and/or mental health issues.
  • If approved, BRC will be leasing 400 McGuinness Boulevard from Mr. Horn.
  • A resident of the three quarter house at 66 Clay Street speaks. (LISTEN TO THIS— Ed. Note)

Part IV: Q & A, Continued

  • Mr. Rosenblatt rebuts JR’s accusations, offers to show anyone in the audience their facilities and tenders his contact information.
  • A member of the audience inquires as to the impart BRC’s shelters have on the surrounding community and voices concerns about 400 McGuinness’s remote location.
  • Mr. Rosenblatt states that the city will be provided transportation and a shuttle van service from the subway will be provided.
  • Mr. Rosenblatt asserts that the communities in which BRC facilities have been placed see improvement and states the Bowery as one such example (Interesting fact: BRC and Mr. Rosenblatt are responsible for the closure of CBGB’s) . This elicits peals of cynical laughter from the audience.
  • A Clay Street resident questions what kind of investment residents of this facility will have in the community and asks about security measures.

Part V: Q & A, Continued

  • Mr. Rosenblatt continues his answer for the previous clip. A question about whether or not entrance to this facility is elective or mandated is raised by a Clay Street resident.
  • Mr. Rosenblatt states that admission is purely voluntary and goes on to explain how the system works: first one goes to an intake center, from there he/she is sent to an assessment center.
  • Mr. Rosenblatt states that residents are entitled to leave whenever they want.
  • Christine Holowacz voices concerns about 400 McGuinness Boulevard’s proximity to public park space (including the Newtown Creek Nature Walk) and brings up the issue of “fair share”. The matter of illegal immigrants is also raised.

Part VI: Q & A, Continued: A Clay Street Resident Speaks

  • Concerns about the proximity of the Greenpoint Hotel, the three quarter house at 66 Clay Street to 400 McGuinness Boulevard is raised.
  • Mr. Rosenblatt states 400 McGuinness will be a “model” program with “model services” for drug treatment. The audience finds this very amusing.
  • A resident named “Mary” voices concerns that our community’s homeless would not be serviced by this shelter.
  • Mr. Rosenblatt states that any Greenpoint homeless interested in their program will not be turned away. He makes mention of wet shelters.

Part VII: Q & A, Continued

  • A member of the audience observes that Mr. Horn paid a rather high $5,000,000 for 400 McGuinness Boulevard and speculates that the Department of Homeless Services advised Mr. Horn that by purchasing this property a RFP for a 200 bed intake center would be approved by them, e,g,; this did not happen in a “vacuum”.
  • A member of the audience begins to speak about Department of Homeless Services.

Part VIII: Q & A, Continued

  • A continuation of the previous speaker. She refutes how transportation will be handled per Mr. Rosenblatt.
  • She brandishes a rather large stack of letters protesting the proposed shelter at 400 McGuinness Boulevard and gives a copy to Mr. Rosenblatt.

And alas, this is when my cameras mercifully ran out of memory. You can view and/or download the letter as mentioned in the above video by clicking here. Follows is a general outline of the conclusion of this meeting along with a few thoughts/observations.

1. The woman speaking in the last video opines/asserts:

  • that shelters tend to be placed “where there is an easy target”.
  • that adequate shelter space is available in New York City. Rather, the issue is that our city’s homeless do not want to go to these shelters.

2. A chorale of women chanting “We don’t want this.” follows.

3. The Representative from the Department of Homeless Services takes the microphone.

  • The question is posed again as to whether or not DHS “brokered” some kind of arrangement with the current owner of 400 McGuinness Boulevard. A satisfactory answer is not given.
  • The issue of alternative sites is raised and the DHS Representative notes that there are eight shelters “in the pipeline”. When asked as to where they are located he gave stated: Bedford Stuyvesant, the South Bronx and Crown Heights. Here’s my question: what do these communities have in common?

4. Ol’ Bo takes the microphone and embarks upon a stream of consciousness screed. He calls the BRC and the Department of Homeless Services representatives (and I quote) “carpetbaggers”.

5. People begin to leave in in significant numbers.

6. Councilman Steve Levin speaks.

  • He opens up by stating he wished he had not had come be back at such a forum.
  • He states that his position has not changed and he is against this shelter.
  • He also notes that Governor Cuomo recently cut housing subsidies which will result in more people matriculating through the shelter system.
  • When asked by an audience member, he states he will speak any any rallies to protest this shelter.

7. The issue of this 200 bed assessment center being located in a M1-2 zone is brought up.

  • The DHS representative states that homeless shelters are allowable under this zoning.
  • He goes on to state that he thinks 400 McGuinness is (and I quote) “a good location” and that not all shelters should be located in residential neighborhoods.

New York Shitty Analysis/food for thought:

  • 400 McGuinness is an excellent location for a homeless shelter provided one is seeking a remote location without easy access to mass transit to warehouse— quite literally— two hundred people. Methinks the word I am looking for here is “containment”.
  • While 400 McGuinness may be zoned as manufacturing classifying the area as a whole as non-residential is a load of shit. This property it located literally across the street from residences.
  • I find the rather fortuitous manner in which a prior RFP was pulled, the property was sold and a new RFP for more or less the same thing to be very, very suspicious. The fact that both Mr. Rosenblatt and the Representative from the Department of Homeless Services dodged the issue does not help matters.
  • If Help USA withdrew its proposal for a 200 bed assessment center due to inadequate funding ($4,000,000) what makes the Bowery Residents Committee think they can do more or less the same thing?
  • A couple of rather interesting articles regarding Mr. Rosenblatt and BRC have been brought to my attention. Apparently they are attempting to place a 238 bed homeless shelter in Chelsea and the locals are none too happy about it.

UPDATE, April 7, 2011: This matter has come to the attention of our friends in Chelsea.

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Photo du Jour: Bring People

From Oak Street.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Better Late Than Never

From Manhattan Avenue.

Miss Heather

REMINDER: Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting Next Week

March 31, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

It has come to my attention recently that a number of folks hereabouts are unaware:

1. That another RFP for a 200 bed assessment center for 400 McGuinness Boulevard, this time at the behest of Bowery Residents Committee, has been filed.

2. There is a Town Hall meeting next week regarding the aforementioned proposal. A representative of BRC, Muzzy Rosenblatt, is scheduled to be present so as to answer questions.

Mark your calendars:

Homeless Town Hall Meeting 2.0
April 5, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
Polish National Home
261 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

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

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