Reader Contribution Du Jour, Part I: City Hall

September 21, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, New York City 

Taken by Christa.

Live From “Stand Up! Speak Out!”: Part I

I am pleased to announce there was a full house at last night’s forum against anti-GBLTQ violence! Not only were a number of our elected officials and representatives from the Police Department present, but a great many concerned citizens from as far-flung locales as Park Slope! Some of these individuals had very powerful tales to tell, as you will see. In any case 9and without further ado) follows is the footage I shot. NOTE: I will be adding more later today so check back!

INTRODUCTION: Lincoln Restler and Tom Burrows introduce themselves and give a general run-down of the evening’s itinerary

PART II: State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol Speaks

Part III: Pastor Ann Kansfield of the Greenpoint Reformed Church Speaks

  • Lincoln and Mr. Burrows give a nod to the other members of the clergy present
  • Mr. Restler gives a general run-down of anti-GBLTQ incidences in north Brooklyn.

PART IV:  A citizen named Dave gives a personal account of being attacked.

PART V: Chris, a friend of a man recently attacked, speaks.

PART VI: Representatives from the Anti-Violence Project, Safe Horizons and the NYPD Speak

  • LADIES NOTE: Project Envision is working on a project regarding street harassment!

PART VII: A Representative from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Speaks

PART VIII: Rami Metal, Community Liaison from Councilman Steve Levin’s office, speaks

More to come… You can view the rest here!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Of Film Shoots & Alternate Side Parking

Rami Metal (of Councilman Steve Levin’s office) writes of the above proposed bill:

Hi Heather.  I’m not sure if you are aware of this or not but there is a hearing tomorrow in the Council on Steve’s bill to suspend alternate side of the street parking on those blocks immediately surrounding film shoots.  The text of the bill is below.  We are looking for folks to come out and testify in favor of the bill and believe that if it passes it will make things easier for residents of Greenpoint who deal with a lot of filming on their streets.  Feel free to post or pass along to anyone you feel might be interested.

I know for a fact that film shoots have posed a frequent inconvenience to our community. For this reason I advise anyone and everyone who operates a motor vehicle hereabouts and has experienced firsthand how difficult parking can be when film shoots are conducted in our community to show up at City Hall tomorrow and speak up! Here are the deets:

Hearing regarding the above proposed bill to suspend alternate side park rules with 200 feet of film shoots
June 22, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.
City Hall
250 Broadway, Floor 14
New York, New York 10007

UPDATE, June 22, 2011 1:00 a.m.: Special thanks go out to a lady named Miranda for correcting my typo! You can read her coverage of what lead up to this bill by clicking here!

Miss Heather

Spotted On McGuinness Boulevard: Fed Up

May 25, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Can I honestly say I am surprised by this sullen missive? No, I am not. This Greenpointers versus film crew situation has been brewing for some time. Does anyone reading this post have the scoop as to whom is behind this campaign? If so, please share via comments or email at missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Your identity will remain anonymous if you so desire. Thanks!

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Videos du Jour: Live From 400 McGuinness Boulevard

May 23, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As promised, here is footage from yesterday’s rally to protest the proposed 200 bed homeless assessment center at 400 McGuinness Boulevard. Enjoy!

Steve Levin, Joe Lentol and CB1 Public Safety Chair Kalita Speak

A Woman (Greenpoint resident?) Rebuts

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

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 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

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

 

LAST GASP: JOIN US

March 23, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11211, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn 

This comes from an anonymous tipster:

It’s amazing how a little blog post by yours truly and the deluge online attention which followed motivates some of our electeds* to actually do something say something. Albeit over a month after Barie Shortell was brutally assaulted.

CRIME ALERT FLYER SESSION
March 24, 2011 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
North 7 Street and Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Miss Heather

*Make no mistake about it, gentle readers: ALL our elected officials knew about this before I or the Community Board did. The police are required to give this information to them. Why not swing by and ask our Public Servants what took them so long? Or why Ms. Quinn refused to go to the “Gay Bash” because she found its name “offensive”? If the victim of said “bash” was present (he was) I fail to see why she would have a problem. Or is the real matter at hand politics?

 

 

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