TOMORROW: National Night Out

August 1, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Ihave been long remiss in posting this, so here it is: tomorrow, August 2nd, starting at 6:00 p.m. the 94th Precinct will be hosting its annual “National Night Out”. “Free food”, “police displays” and “fun” are in the offing. Check it out!

National Night Out
August 2, 2011 starting at 6:00 p.m.
Lorimer Street between Calyer Street and Meserole Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Drunk Driving Incident On Franklin Street?

A person we’ll call “H” writes:

Attached is a pic of a major car accident on Freeman and Franklin.  Around 3 or 4 in the morning Saturday night I couldn’t sleep and was watching TV….suddenly an enormous, frightening screech and crash went off…just from the sound of it I thought this was going to be really bad.  I looked out my window and saw a car facing south in the northbound lane of Franklin.

Went down there to help with any possible casualties….by the time I got there (5 minutes) there were 4 or 5 other guys and the two guys who were in the car were amazingly OK but I am pretty sure very drunk.  They kept demanding they help us move the car which was laughable…the front right tire was completely blown out and the front of the car was basically resting on cement.  After a few minutes the driver finally figured out it wasn’t moving and they took off (I’m no genius, but I think to avoid a DUI).  Looks like they were headed north on Franklin, somehow veered into the south lane and nailed the back of a parked truck which nailed the cars parked in front of it.  A Mercedes in front of the parked van got its front pretty crumpled.Cops came, looked for the guys, couldn’t find them (no surprise) and called a tow truck.  These guys were both really dumb and really lucky…..

UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: Another person we’ll call “B” has stepped forward with more information!


I was walking home from Shayz Lounge when this happened, I was at the intersection of Greenpoint & Franklin when I heard the collision. By the time I reached the scene, the drivers were gone, but those who had arrived out of concern were standing around waiting for the cops. When the squad car did show up, the officers took all the details form those who saw the driver & passengers leave (no one saw the actual accident). Just as I was about to walk away, I saw someone who fit the driver’s description standing half a block away, speaking on his cell phone. I asked one of the guys who had seen him if that was him . . . it was. He had walked back to turn himself in. He gave himself up and was arrested at the scene.

His friends did not return; at least not while I was there.

Anyway, I thought you might want to know.

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Starter: An Update Regarding The Robbery At 93 Nassau Avenue

This morning I awakened to find an email from Deputy Inspector Hurson of the 94th Precinct. I am pleased to pass along that one of the men responsible for last week’s robbery/shooting has been apprehended! His name is Alex Lagoa and he was released five years ago after serving a twenty year sentence for murder. It should be noted he shot no less than two police officers while being arrested for the aforementioned crime. Yikes!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Public Safety

July 14, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

This wonderful image of Community Board 1’s* very own Tom Burrows and the 94th’s head honcho, Deputy Inspector Hurson, having some much-needed fun at the Giglio Festival comes courtesy of Miss Mousey Brown.

Miss Heather

*And Public Safety Committee member!

Via The North Brooklyn Community Group: Alert!

This item comes from (no kidding) C-Town’s Tumblr page. Please, please exercise caution when out and about ladies— especially late at night! In closing, I will leave you with some food for thought: Diane Jackson (of the Cooper Houses) has been very vocal at 94th Precinct Community council meetings about criminal activity in her corner of the neighborhood. Some of these incidences have been very violent:


Neither the Cooper Houses nor the homeless shelter at the former Greenpoint Hospital are very far from where these women are being assaulted. Whether or not the same guys are responsible is anyone’s guess. However, it does make it all too clear that people— especially senior citizens and women— who live in this area need to be very, VERY vigilant of their surroundings and exercise caution. Stay safe, folks!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A(nother) Robbery At HSBC?

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

A couple days ago it was brought to my attention by a reliable source that an attempted bank robbery came to pass at HSBC on Bedford Avenue. Well, per the following item (which was forwarded to me by an anonymous tipster) this would in fact appear to be the case:

The NYPD is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the following individual wanted in connection with an attempted bank robbery in the confines of the 94 Pct.  The circumstances are as follows:

On Monday, June  27, 2011 at approximately 1139 hours inside of 252 Bedford Ave (HSBC Bank), suspect entered the location, passed a demand note to the teller and when he did not receive money, he fled the location in an unknown direction.

Suspect is described as a M/H/40-45, approximately 5’9″, 190lbs, last seen wearing a black t-shirt, short black jeans, a gray fishermen hat and sunglasses…

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

As some of you might recall, there was another robbery at this same location a few months ago.

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Another Anti-GBLT Incident?

Given that much of last night’s Community Council meeting was about both anti-GBLT violence and violence against woman in general you can imagine how disturbed I was to receive the following email this morning from a woman who appears to have experienced just these things as the previously-mentioned proceedings were coming to pass. Anonymous writes:

Hello Miss Heather,

I wanted to share my story with you.

Last night around 8pm, I had just finished having dinner with my girlfriend near N 4th and Kent.  Our scooters were parked outside where visible.  After dinner, we stepped into the Duane Reade only to come out to find a young man dragging mine about 5 feet from where I had parked it.  His car now occupied my previous space, and I was now in an illegal spot.

I confronted him immediately, assuming this was a minor.  He proceeded to become worked up – arms flailing, screaming and getting too close for comfort.  He threatened to hit me, then proceeded to call his mother who lived nearby to come “beat my ass” then turning my accusations into “racial profiling”.

The scooter’s wheel was thrown out of alignment, which I attempted to show him before his excitement got to be too much and a few passersby got involved, asking him to calm down and show respect.

These next events all happened very quickly, so I might not have them in the correct order.  After a few minutes and calls to 911 already rolling, he then pushed one of the men who had stepped in to defend me, and the man immediately restrained him.  When the man released him, the suspect went to his car and removed an aluminum baseball bat and went after the man who had hold of him.  Another bystander, managed to grab the bat from the suspect mid-swing.  Within moments, an SUV full of teenagers rolled up.  4 boys jumped out of the car, 2-3 girls remained in the back seat.  Had 20-30 bystanders not stayed close to my girlfriend and I, I have no doubt that this group would have turned the situation very ugly.

The suspect panicked as more people were calling 911 and reporting his license plate number.  My girlfriend standing in front of the driver side of the car was nearly run over when he sped away from the scene.

He stopped 3 blocks away and stayed there wandering with his group of friends. My girlfriend was near the suspect keeping an eye that he remained there so we could send the police to apprehend them.

After 45 minutes and likely dozens of of calls to 911, the police from the 94th Precinct FINALLY arrived – one cruiser, two officers.  Our suspect situated just up the street.  When asked what had taken so long, that this was a call to a violent act, they claimed that they were reporting to a “car accident” and that they were the only officers patrolling the ENTIRE Greenpoint/Williamsburg area.

When I asked them to go to N 6th Street (the low-income housing area of the water-front condos) to find the suspect, they were excessively unmotivated.

I had 5 witnesses – people I didn’t even know – stay at the scene for an hour with me.  This call wasn’t urgent?  The known suspect 3 blocks away did not elicit a quick response to detain him?

Meanwhile, my girlfriend was being circled and verbally assaulted by these teens.  Some of the comments were hate comments directed to our being gay.

The police finally made their way up the street (after other passersby continued to stop and say, the boys who did it are over there).  The police missed the group and my girlfriend was able to flag them down.  Myself and the witnesses ran to N 6th to ID the suspect, who’s mother had joined him outside.

She seemed reasonable and provided me with information to have any repairs taken.  At that time, the police said…

“Well, if that’s all, then we are the only guys out tonight and need to get out of here.”  No police report, no opportunity to press charges?  It still was not clear whether or not he was a minor (a bit of information that would greatly impact my decision whether or not to take things further). I was flustered and they left with us standing in the middle of the courtyard entrance of this low income section.

I called the precinct once we left and will go there this evening to ensure a proper report is filed with the names that were taken at the scene.

I am afraid to pass through this neighborhood, as I am pretty easily recognizable.  It goes without saying that my girlfriend is too.  She’ll be creating a separate report of her own.  We’ll likely be filing a complaint against the officers for their negligence.

After a night of running this situation through my head, there are so many things wrong with this picture.

Where are the police?  Why don’t they find property damage, attempted assault and fleeing the scene of a crime reason enough to take action?

Many reports of violence and disruption in this neighborhood describe the same suspects as were standing in front of me.  They made gay-hating comments – were they the same kids who beat Barie Shortell?  Are they the same kids I have seen smashing windows and property in the blocks surrounding this incident with baseball bats?

Thankfully no one was hurt this time.  My deepest appreciation to the many, many good samaritans in this community for getting involved – especially the ones who interrupted their nights to stay and provide a statement.

What do you think Miss Heather?  How can we make our streets safer and work to address the class and racial tensions (on both sides) that are escalating here?

This is an excellent question. One, I will add, that was more or less raised at last night’s 94th Precinct Community Council meeting by both Community Board 1 Public Safety member Tom Burrows and Lincoln Restler. I have referred this young woman to these individuals in the hope they can get some answers about what happened and some redress. As these men— along with an officer present at last night’s meeting— stated over and over:

If you see something, say something.

Miss Heather

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


**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.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: An Incident At West Street & Greenpoint Avenue

A person we’ll call “A” writes:

Figured you might find this story amusing, useful or be totally pissed like I was!

I was enjoying some refreshments at one of my neighborhood faves, Red Star, Monday night when my alcoholic interlude was interrupted by a voice blasting over a loud speaker in the street “Move these cars or we will move them for you”.  Everyone in the bar had the same puzzled look on their faces.  Again we here this voice “Anyone on West Street move your car or lose it”.

It sounded like the cops, so a bunch of us went outside to see what was going on.  Much to our surprise, not cops but trucks with a fleet of WIDE LOAD cars, complete with yellow sirens and obviously a PA system.  There were three MAASIVE trucks with crane equipment on them trying to make the turn from Greenpoint Avenue on to West Street.

A bunch of guys started yelling to the people who had come out of the bar “You can’t park on this street! If these cars belong to you, move them or we’re going to hit them!”

We were all shocked.  #1 There were no signs saying that parking on the street wasn’t allowed. #2 It was 12:30am at night and these guys were yelling through a PA system. #3 The few people from the bar who went to move their cars were told to “Hurry the fuck up” #4 While all this was going on, one guy was cutting down the street signs on West Street with some kind of a saw!

Most of the cars were moved but 2 remained.  One of the guys with the trucking company came into the bar and started yelling “Move your fucking cars! We can’t get the trucks by!”

Eric, the owner, happened to come down to see what all the ruckus was about.  And walked right into this guy yelling.  I don’t know if you know Eric or not?  He’s a really cool dude, totally a Brooklyn kid and that being said, not the type of guy I’d want to be yelling at.

“Can I ask why you’re in here yelling at my customers?” Eric asked the guy.  “Who the fuck are you?”  the neanderthal replied.  “I’m the guy that’s going to drag you the fuck out of here by your ankles if you keep yelling at my customers.  And why are you screaming profanity through a mega phone at 1am.  People live on this block.”  Eric fired back while getting right in the truck drivers face.  “We’re from Bay Crane and we’re doing a big job.  We don’t have time for this shit, tell these assholes to move their cars.”  says the truck driver.

This was a classic Brooklyn style stare down!  It was actually kind of amusing.  Eric was about two inches from the truck drivers face and just calmly replied “So your business is more important than mine?  Your business is more important than my neighbors quality of life?.  Do me a favor?  Leave now!  Or shall I show you the door?” The truck driver just turned and walked out. Everyone in the bar started clapping!

What transpired next was just truly amazing to me! There were two cars left parked on the street.  Everyone else had moved. These guys from the trucking company then started to pry the car doors open with some sort of a lock picking device.  In the process they cracked one of the cars windows!  Once they got the car doors open, they put them in neutral and pushed them down the street!  UNREAL!  Like they owned the streets!

A group of us were outside watching this entire shit show transpire.  The trucks then proceeded to make the turn onto West Street.  These MASSIVE vehicles, had to drive up on to thesidewalk to make the turn.  You could hear the sidewalks cracking under the weight of the trucks.

I filmed most of it on my Iphone, but unfortunately it was way too dark and the video is pretty much black.

Sometime during the caravan of trucks passing, Eric came outside.  A guy who appeared to be in charge, came over and started asking him if the security cameras outside Red Star work.  “Of course they work and they’re filming everything you’re doing!”  The man in charge seemed more than a little irritated.  “You guys are really
unbelievable.  You broke the sidewalks, cut down the street signs and broke into these people cars! What gives you the right to do that?”  Eric asked the man.  “I’m with Bay Crane.  We have insurance, we can do whatever we want. Fuck off!”  was the reply. I really thought the guy was going to get punched in the face at that point, but Eric just pointed to the cameras and went back inside the bar.

After the trucks passed, these guys pushed the cars back.  One was left halfway on the sidewalk and the other was left with the broken window.  They obviously broke the locks on the other car because I could hear one guy saying “These locks won’t lock”  The reply he got from the guy in charge was “Who gives a fuck. Too bad for him. Leave it and let’s go”  and they jumped in their cars and sped off down West Street.

I really couldn’t believe what I saw.  Who do these guys think they are?  Yelling and screaming in the street at 1am.  Destroying city property. Breaking into and destroying private property and just being generally rude and disrespectful of anyone and everyone who wasn’t in their group.

The cops even came by, talked to these guys for a minute or two and then just left! AMAZING!

I walked by the scene of the crime this morning and the street signs are just laying on the side of the street, the sidewalk is cracked and there is broken auto glass in the street.  This really makes me sick.  How can these guys do this and just get away with it?  Now our tax dollars have to go to fix the signs and sidewalks? We can’t keep schools open but we should have to pay for a mess created by Bay Crane?  And how bout the people who’s property was damaged?  I guess they’re just screwed too?

I’m really pissed that I don’t have video for you!  But I did manage to get the names off the sides of the trucks.

Omnisource Transport, LLC
1610 N. Calhoun Street
Fort Wayne, Indiana (IN) 46808

Gary’s Flag Car

I have a confession to make: this is one of the most unbelievable missives ever to make its way to my inbox. So much so I reached out to Eric of Red Star to get his take. Guess what? He corroborated it! He writes:


It seems the young lady has her facts correct!

This isn’t an isolated incident with these trucking companies.  It’s been going on for years. I’ve seen them hit cars, rip mirrors off,  use their trucks to push cars down the block/up on to the sidewalk, rip street signs down, crash into the light poles/telephone poles and tie up all traffic on both streets for an hour at a time.

Three years ago on Super Bowl Sunday a metal skid fell off one of the trucks and ripped the entire top of a BMW off.  The drivers don’t even stop!  They keep right on going!

One of these days they’ll eventually kill someone!  Seriously!  They drive way too fast down Greenpoint Ave., never stop at the stop sign and if they cause any damage…’s your problem not theirs!

I’ve had my basement doors broken twice by trucks driving on the sidewalk ($450 each time to replace).  I had to install a concrete pillar on the sidewalk to prevent it. (another $300 project)

If the trucks can’t make the corner because of parked cars, they just lean on their horn, no matter what time of day or night.  Sometimes it will go on for 30 or 40 mins at a time.

Sometimes they come into the bar yelling and screaming about cars parked on West Street. They’re not even polite about it.  They act as if people have no right to use the street for parking.

They’ll leave the truck idling all night in front of peoples houses. Horn honking. Loudspeakers. CB’s ….basically whatever the fuck they feel like doing.

Most of the trucks are from out of state, so I assume the drivers are too.  So they obviously could care less.

I’ve tried talking to them.  Called 311. Called DOT.  And all my neighbors have done the same.  Nobody seems to give a fuck  If you call the cops….the trucks are usually long gone before they get here. .

The only guy who really makes an effort to be considerate is Frank from Sky Lift across the street, at the end of Greenpoint Ave. He’s a really good guy and really goes out of his way to be courteous, safe and considerate.

Anyone headed down to the lots at the end of West, towards Eagle….doesn’t give two shits.

It really is infuriating to be honest.

Eric goes on to clarify:

The only thing I’m not too sure about is the young lady’s reference to Bay Crane.  None of the trucks, that I saw said Bay Crane on them.  Omni Source and Gary’s Flag yes……

He also assured me that the signs which were cut down are still there. They were tossed behind a fence. I have been promised photographs of this hilarity and will post it here upon receipt. without further ado, here they are along with some commentary from Eric (the chap who took them)!

Here’s one of the street signs they cut down.  The other was tossed over the fence into the empty lot.  Couldn’t get a pic of that one.

Here’s a pic of the concrete pillar I had to install by my basement doors to prevent trucks from driving over them.  If you notice they also cracked the sidewalk.  I’m sure I’ll end up being the one who gets ticketed for the placement of the pole….go figure huh?

In closing, I have reached out to our Community Board 1 Transportation whiz, Karen Nieves, in the hopes she can give us some guidance as to how to approach this clusterfuck. Methinks I will contact Deputy Inspector Hurson of the 94th Precinct as well.

Here’s the deal: Greenpoint’s waterfront is slowly— but surely— becoming more and more residential. Nonetheless, we still have a great deal of working waterfront and consequently more than our fair share of truck traffic. The operators of the latter motor vehicles need to become cognizant of their new neighbors and adjust their behavior accordingly. I honestly do not know what else to say about this other than I am appalled.

Miss Heather

P.S.: And to think the Department of Transportation last week proposed a complete overhaul of West Street!


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.

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