Mark Your Calendars: Homeless Town Hall Meeting 2.0

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

Another RFP for a 200 bed intake center, another Town Hall Meeting. Get your questions for Mr. Rosenblatt ready, Greenpointers!

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: Deja Vu

March 10, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Here we go again, folks. I for one found the rather vague term “homeless individuals” intriguing. I’m guessing these chaps learned from 400 McGuinness 1.0 that the phrase “homeless single men” is off-putting to some people hereabouts.

On the other hand, at least they have shown some willingness to work with our local Community Board. Speaking for myself, I want to see for myself exactly what this organization is proposing. Especially in light of the fact a representative of the Department of Homeless services stated on February 8, 2011 (the latest Town Hall Meeting) that no plans for a homeless shelter/intake center in Greenpoint were in the works—- yet this property was sold shortly thereafter and yet another RFP has been filed for basically the same thing. What gives? By all appearances it would seem the Department of Homeless Services is intent on putting an intake center there.

Most importantly of all: what’s in it for Greenpoint and our homeless population?

Miss Heather

From The Community Board 1 Meeting: More Ado About 400 McGuinness Boulevard

March 8, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 


I knew something was afoot when I noticed a (charming) retinue of McGuinness Boulevard old timers in the back of the room when I arrived at tonight’s board meeting. Sure enough, I was right: they had learned the owner of 400 McGuinness Boulevard sold the property and were understandably concerned. Per a cursory search on ACRIS, this would appear to be true.

Here is what I have learned from someone in the know: this property was sold to one Shimmie Horn. He has bought out the remaining tenants for a $100,000 a pop and they have since moved out. If the name “Horn” sounds familiar to those of you who have read the Village Voice over the years, it should: he is the son of one Morris Horn. After his father’s passing Shimmie inherited a number of his father’s holdings, among them Correction Services Corporation. Here’s some information about this organization I found from a site called New York Hall of Shame*:

The state’s Lobbying Commission fined a private prison company a record $300,000 today for failing to  report free transportation, meals and other gifts it had given to legislators in an effort to keep millions of dollars in state  contracts.  Reams of documents and depositions released by the commission as it announced the fine today painted a picture of a company,  Correctional Services Corporation, that did everything it could to curry favor with more than a dozen elected officials in Brooklyn and the Bronx as it won contracts to provide services to recently released prisoners. The $300,000 fine is the largest that the state has ever imposed on a single company for breaking its lobbying laws…

That’s right folks: now we’re looking at a halfway house for released Federal convicts. For those of you who are keeping track this would mean one halfway house, one three quarter house and the Greenpoint Hotel all in one city block . Never a dull moment in Greenpoint…

Miss Heather

P.S.: This matter has been brought to the attention of our city’s Public Advocate, Bill DeBlasio, by our Community Board’s Public Safety Chair Mieszko Kalita. Mr. DeBlasio said he would look into it. Otherwise I have some footage from last night’s rather lengthy meeting. It is currently uploading.

*Do give this material a read. Apparently Mario Cuomo received money from Correction Services Corporation. Among MANY other New York “public servants”.

From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part II: Dispatch From The Town Hall Meeting

As many of you are aware yours truly attended the public hearing and monthly meeting of our local Community Board instead of attending the Town Hall forum regarding the proposed (and withdrawn) proposal for a homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. This is a shame because if the following person’s account of said meeting is any indication, I missed a rather provocative evening. S writes:

Dear Miss Heather, While you were attending the Community Board 1 meeting this past Tuesday, I was patiently waiting with a room full of older Greenpointers and lively Polish folks for Councilmember Stephen Levin to show up at the town hall meeting scheduled for the same time. Naturally, Mr. Levin was about 45 minutes late. No one really seemed to mind and when he did arrive and announce that the proposal for the men’s intake shelter at Clay and McGuinness was withdrawn, he was met with applause. The excitement didn’t last for long and seemed to come to halt when the representative from NYC DOH took the mic. Although a shelter is not going in at that location, nor any other location in Greenpoint for the time being, people were still very pissed. At one point, a rather beautiful young Polish woman yelled out that if a shelter did go in in the future, “it would be torched, it would be burned to the ground (emphasis mine — Ed. Note).” Mr. Levin and his staff struggled to gain order, and when I left about 45 minutes in, people were ignoring his request to raise hands and speak in turn and were yelling out and over each other. My understanding of the situation is that all attempts to put in a shelter at that location have been aborted. The people that currently live in the building are filing to have more control over the rental property and to co-op it. DOH has no further plans at this time to put in a shelter in Greenpoint, nor does Help USA. So the passion at this particular meeting seemed to me to be passion wasted. Thought maybe you would be interested at the goings on over at the Polish National Home.

New York Shitty analysis: See what happens when our Public Safety Chair (who, it should be noted, has been present at every prior such meeting) goes on a vacation? Total and utter chaos.

In closing, here’s a more concise account of this event I received from a chap we’ll call D:

Meeting Summary: Help USA “Organization that would manage homeless shelter” formally withdrew their proposal to the Department of Homeless Services “Government agency that would pay Help USA to run the shelter”. A disagreement on how much DHS would pay Help USA was the formal reason. The DHS representative mentioned that no other proposals are on the board, although they will consider future ones. Councilman Levin argued strongly that the over 500 letters written had an impact on negotiations. DHS rep said that if the proposal was accepted, it begins a process that considers community input and current government projects in the area already having an impact (Newtown creek, garbage transfer stations.) I brought up the point that the owner of the building is the one who will start any process of selling/leasing his property for this use and he has refused to come to meetings. I will follow up with Steve Levin regarding how to reach out to the owner directly.

Miss Heather

TONIGHT: Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting

Even though the owner of 400 McGuinness and HELP USA have withdrawn their proposal for a 400 bed assessment center for single men, I have been advised this meeting will go forward as planned. Among other things, it is a concern that the gentleman who owns for 400 McGuinness may very well try to shop around his building to other organizations interested in outfitting a homeless shelter. I have also been told a representative from the Department of Homeless Services will be on hand to answer  questions.  NOTE/CAVEAT: this forum directly conflicts with this month’s public hearing and board meeting of Community Board 1.

Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting
February 8, 2011 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Polish National Home

261 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

LAST GASP: Withdrawn!

February 4, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Special thanks goes out to Sherry Wasserman who writes:

Per Joe Lentol’s Twitter update and Facebook page, which links to a document of withdrawal:

Holy Shit Tits, Batman! We did it!

for bringing this to my attention! We did it!!! Let this be yet another example that community action can and does work! In closing, I would like to give props to our Community Board, City Councilman, Steve Levin; State Senator Martin Malave Dilan; Assemblyman Joseph Lentol and my fellow Greenpointers for their hard work and due diligence fighting against this project.

Miss Heather

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Homeless Shelter Town Hall Meeting 2.0

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

As promised by City Councilman Steve Levin, another Town Hall Meeting regarding the homeless assessment center slated to occupy 400 McGuinness Boulevard will come to pass February 8, 2011 at the Polish National Home. The more eagle-eyed among you have probably noticed that a representative from HELP USA will not be on hand to address our community’s concerns about how this facility will impact the quality of life or address the extant homeless problem in our fair burgh. Can I honestly say I am surprised by this? No, not really. Nonetheless, their silence speaks volumes.

Those of you who wish to help spread the word can download a printable jpeg of the above notice by clicking here. Otherwise, the Polish and Spanish version can be had by clicking here. To RSVP for this event please email Mr. Levin’s Community Liaison, Rami Metal, at rmetal (at) council (dot) nyc (dot) gov.

Town Hall Meeting 2.0
February 8, 2011 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Polish National Home (AKA: ” The Warsaw”)
261 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: Patience

January 26, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

From McGuinness Boulevard.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Photo Du Jour: McGuinness Boulevard

A few thoughts/observations about this missive (which I spied this afternoon while walking down the Champs-Élysées of north Brooklyn) and the person who created it:

  1. This chap is obviously very unhappy at the prospect of having a 200 bed homeless intake center for single men near his home.
  2. How do I know this, you ask? Well, in addition to the above missive I have met him at one of the Town Hall meetings regarding the aforementioned shelter.
  3. During our conversation I also learned he was responsible for this, which is just plain awesome.
  4. This gentleman is 75 maybe 80 years old if a day. In addition, I came away from the previously-mentioned conversation with the distinct impression his politics lean most decidedly to the right. Thus I am rather surprised— and in a very good way, I’ll add— that he knows what Village Voice is, much less be bothered to take a copy home to read or annotate.

I suppose it just goes to show that the Garden Spot— and the people contained therein— still have a few surprises up their respective sleeves! God bless you, Greenpoint Greenpernt!

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?

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