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    The background to the story is that a pretty angry flier went out (see end of this post) that accused the new Hookah Lounge at Ali's Roti Shop of being bullies and jerks, and yes, being too loud too late into the night (a reasonable concern). The response from Johnny & Orlando, also a flier, went up in their window. It reads:

    thx Mark S. for the pic!

    I think the flier above and the one below say what needs to be said. Let's get along. Let's talk to each other. And when THAT doesn't work, there's always the law.

    Not sure who took this one. Write me to claim it!

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    Empire Blvd is basically where this caption is
    I'm not sighing over a proposed 12-story building that's coming to the vacant lot at 109 Montgomery. It's yet another obvious sign of the money to be made building all-market-rate buildings "as of right." I've been leading the call to rezone precisely because of some of the inherent dumbness of not collaborating with the City to see whether more concessions for affordability, ground floor retail, green-space, height limits - whether smart stuff could be baked into the "as of right" pie. And seeing the way our battle over at CB9 with MTOPP gets a big smarmy chuckle from the pro development folks at YIMBY really made my heart sink.

    From NY YIMBY:

    A much talked-about rezoning for Empire Boulevard, the boundary between Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, has been roiled by dissent from hardline anti-gentrification group Movement to Protect the People. But while Airbnb host-turned-anti-displacement-advocate Alicia Boyd is throwing racially charged bombs at the community board and local politicians and holding up an effort to rezone the wasteland of Empire Boulevard, by-right projects nearby like 902 Franklin Avenue and 1 Sullivan Place are moving along.

    And now we can add 109 Montgomery Street to that list. Earlier today, an application was submitted to the Department of Buildings to erect a 12-story, 173-unit apartment building – likely rentals – mid-block between Washington and Franklin avenues.

    I wasn't surprised to learn that BBG owns the land, and will hopefully make a big-ass profit to throw at their endowment (that's where to put it guys - don't let it burn a hole in your pocket!)

    Thanks Babs and Mike (whynot?) from Brooklynian for the heads up.

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    Another reminder of the fragility of life. A 15 year old boy fell from the above building - 1045 President Street between Rogers and Nostrand - and didn't survive. The news reports said he was jumping between buildings, though from this Google shot the buildings side to side seem connected. I guess it was to a building behind this building?

    Regardless, this is the sort of thing that reminds us to keep an eye on our young 'uns. By all reports he was a lovely kid. One hopes that it was just an accident, and that he wasn't pushed. That would be a terrible thing to live with as well. On report said he was playing tag...another said they were jumping from building to building on a dare. They made me suspicious, but then I'm not a detective and it ain't gonna bring the kid back.

    Much sympathy to the parents. This is every mommy and daddy's worst nightmare.

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  • 03/13/15--11:21: Here We Go Again...
  • In her latest missive to her diminishing band of acolytes, the hardest working woman in show business, Alicia Boyd, has now decided to attack the likely (read likely) interim Chair of CB9 Laura Imperiale, who would get the gig soley because chair Dwayne Nicholson couldn't hack the insanity anymore and resigned. Alicia claims Laura would benefit personally from any new residential on Empire Blvd. because she works for a construction company that builds out infrastructure. Laura is smart and a straight-shooter and will hopefully ignore this onslaught, but as we've seen, it's hard to ignore a madwoman on a rampage.

    The Board, however, would have to ratify her appointment as temporary chair, so it's even too early to start lodging official complaints.

    Below is the remarkably detailed nonsense from MTOPP. Note that they claim 20K - 40K people are moving to the neighborhood if we allow residential on Empire from Flatbush to Rogers. Because as we've seen and I've posted about, there's a few thousand people coming to district even without a Planning Study. All Alicia needs to do is step one or two blocks north of her beloved Empire Junkenue to see how much new construction is happening.

    I get more disgusted all the time. The woman is actually quite calm and collected when outside these board settings, so it's clearly all an act designed to give her exactly what she wants - status quo next to her house. I refuse to be bullied. The Board should refused to be bullied. We should all be able to move forward without this nonsense. Her opinion is valid if she states it calmly and is real about just how few people stand behind her. If you see her, tell her I said so. Actually, she reads the blog, so don't bother! She called me out by name in her LAST message.

    Basically, Alicia is calling out Imperiale out for doing her job up til now as a Board member. What's next...suing someone for voting against her wishes? Or for looking at her sideways?

    I guess it's your turn Laura!

    Dear Community Board 9 member

    MTOPP is requesting that due to Conflict of Interest that Laura E. Imperiale,
    acting chair be removed from her position. 
    For brevity sake, I will outline the contents of this email
    and provide attachments that contain evidence as well
    as the law governing CB9 members in regards to conflict of interest law.

    I can assure you that conflicts of interest are taken very seriously
    when it comes to Community Board members and their conduct. 
    It is unlawful to intentional use one’s position on the board
    for one’s own professional or personal gain. 
    We believe that Laura has done just that!

    Proof of Laura Conflict of Interest contained in this email
    Under the following categories.
    Laura’s Company Tully Construction
    Laura’s Employment History
    Laura’s Current Position
    Laura’s Actions as Vice Chair and acting chair of CB9 Board over the last year!

    As a result of our findings, we will be doing the following.
    1.      Providing the entire community with this information
    and requesting that they submit a complaint (anonymously if they chose)
    concerning this serious conflict of interest.
    (find attached “complaint Conflict Letter)

    2.      We will be placing an request for an immediate investigation
    with the Department of Investigations,
    and the DA’s office of Public Integrity Division.

    3.      We will demanding that Laura Imperiale be removed as temporary chair,
    and that any appointments she has made to the ULURP committee
    or any other decisions she has made as temporary chair be null
    and void until  the investigations being launched are completed.

    4.      We will be putting out an official statement to the media
    and providing them with evidence, of this serious issue,
    to ensure that the community at large is aware
    that one of the largest construction lobbyist in NYC,
    with strong political ties is now chair of a community board,
    that is engaging in a serious struggle over land use!

    Evidence of Conflict of Interest
    Laura’s Company Tully Construction
    Tully Construction is a multi-million dollar construction company
    that secures City Agency contracts to do all types of construction,
    mainly focusing on structural modifications
    and changes to Urban Landscapes
    Their clients include, MTA, NYC DDC, NYC DEP, NYC DOS, NYC EDC,
    NYC Transit, NYPA, NYS DOT.
    Below is a link to the Columbus Circle project they did for the city in 2005,
    in which serious infrastructure was performed both underground and on the street level.

    This is the same type of work that would be needed
     if Empire Blvd would be changed from a Commercial zone, to a residential
    Major work on the sewage, gas lines and other public lands
     would have to be performed to accommodate
    20,000 to 40,000 new residents on a three block radius

    This would include both surface and underground construction;
    the addition, relocation and removal of sewage lines,
    water mains, gas lines and steam pipes along
    with road and other surface details construction
    that Tully Construction performs for public agencies.

    Thus Laura's firm will greatly benefit from this up zoning
    if several years from now they are selected to perform these jobs.
    Of course by that time Laura, would be long gone from the board.

    Laura’s Employment History
    Prior to joining CB9 and before she went full-time at Tully Construction
    she worked as a consultant for Constantinople & Vallone Consulting LLC
    advocating on behalf of charter schools, banks,
     real estate developers, landlords, and  management companies.

    Laura’s Current Position
    Laurie is the Director of Governmental Affairs
    For Tully Construction Co. Inc/Tully Environmental Inc.
    As the Director one of her primary jobs is to secure contracts
    with the various governmental agencies by lobbying the local
    Politicians, in particular the City Council and Mayor’s office.
    (see attached “NYC Lobbyist Search – Laura and 2Laura)

    Thus she has a relationship with the local politicians and
    We are sure with further investigation, we will see that she
    Also has a relationship with City Planning.

    As the climate in our political environment is for the up zoning of
    Our community stated by our Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo
    And Borough President Eric Adams, it doesn’t take a lot to
    assume that Laurie is pushing on their behalf because of her
    Professional relationship to the political structure here in NYC.
    And at the same time securing future deals for her company.
    The following evidence will attest to her wanting up zoning in this community
    and she in no way is representing the interests of the residents.

    Laura’s Actions as Vice Chair of CB9 Board over the last year!
    August 4, 2014.
    Laura first meeting with the community as Vice-Chair of CB9
    She was seen and recorded on tape as having pointed her finger and shouting
    To homeowners and residents in the community, who did not
    want to Empire Blvd on the rezoning request being given to City Planning,
     “Be Quiet, Be Quiet! I had enough of You [residents]”.

    She also closed down the meeting, demanding that the community board
    make the final decision about keeping Empire Blvd on the study,
    instead of it being worked out at the committee level, where it was clear
    there was opposition.

    September 23, 2014.
    Laura voted "No", not to rescind the resolution that would have gotten
    Community Board 9 up zoned all throughout our community.
    This now a part of common knowledge.

    October 24, 2014
    Laura was reported by the media as stating
    that City Planning was going ahead with the study,  
    indicating that she had inside tract with City Planning,
    after Sept 23, resolution was suppose to not have been passed!

    February 4, 2015
    Laura was seen on video tape clapping when Laurie Combo
    stated she was going to up zone this communitywithout the
    Community board consent and right after that speech, Laurie
    Combo fell into Laura Imperiale arms indicating some type of
    familiarity to their relationship and above all support for
    Lauire Cumbo’s position to up zone this community, without
    the consent of the community.

    March 10, 2015
    Laurie is currently soliciting members of the community to be on
    The ULURP committeeof her choosing, stating her plans to get things done
    within the next two months.
    (see attached “Seeking members on ULURP committee)

    Finally, you will find attached a whole list of documentation
    about conflict of interest laws,
    And the enforcement of these laws. 
    The courts take seriously the issue of conflicts of interest
    and we will be approaching the law enforcement agencies
     to intervene on our behalf.

    However as a board member you too have the obligation
    to protect the community and the board itself from unscrupulous members
    and unlawful acts of behavior exhibited by board members
    especially a chairperson of the board.

    Thus we hope that you will act immediately
    regarding this issue and ensure that Laura Imperiale
    Is removed from her temporary position as chair,
    until a full investigation is completed,
    otherwise it is very possible that CB9 board itself can be held
    liable for the actions that its Chair makes,
    when presented with evidence that is not acted upo

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    Not the guy opening the shoppe, nor is this his baby.

    While it's not over til the Phat Lady croons, plans are afoot for a local resident to open a wine store at the old Blue Roost Cafe B'Fruitee spot, 539 Flatbush.

    How does the Q get his information, anyway? It's a mystery even to him.

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    I think Babs had a good point about there being too many petitions flying around these days. However, since the neighborhood group Concerned Citizens has created one of their own, I propose that readers sign either theirs or mine before the ULURP Committee Meeting where we will discuss the draft to City Planning of a letter designed to finally begin a study, after a year of debate and information gathering.

    Kind of an informal poll, if you will:

    If you'd like a study to proceed sign this one:

    If you'd prefer that we vote "no" to proceeding, so that the community find a way to conduct its own study prior to any City involvement:

    I'll be sure to bring the tally to tonight's meeting as at least some evidence of community support for or against the revised draft below, which may include some slight revisions by the end of the meeting, depending on committee members input:

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  • 03/16/15--20:57: Tonight's Meeting at CB9
  • So if you weren't there I don't really blame you. It was kind of like trying to knit with your hands tied behind your back. Which, had Alicia Boyd been knitting, she would have learned how to do, because once again her outrageous disruptions led to her being cuffed:

    Alicia's coalition of, um, maybe six people, screams and yells over the top of everyone pretty much the entire meeting. You almost get used to it after awhile, the brain filtering out the white noise (no, I'm not going there, so don't try to say I was thinking of making that joke because I'm not that crass.)

    We tried to conduct a meeting. It was fairly productive, in the sense that the few people with anything important to say said it. Who were they? Fred, Warren, me, some lady from CB8, Beverly Newsome, Renne Collymore, Kenya Sollas, the gentleman who is prez of the Union Street Block Association, Jake Goldstein, Suki Cheong, Carmen Martinez (a/k/a Clarence Norman's girlfriend) and a couple of ladies who are always at these things and probably live up near Empire whose names totally escape me. Maybe a couple others, I don't know. Ben did an admirable job given his lack of charisma from the mic, and he managed to get us out of there by 10, which is really all any of us could have hoped for. Thank you Ben.

    Bottom line? The committee was generally in favor of the draft, asking only for the word "modest" to be further detailed in reference to blocks over in the mostly Jewish part of the neighborhood who want to make, er, modest expansions to their homes. Not a game changer, but Beverly's point was excellent anyway. Then a number of people chimed in that they'd rather have 50/30/20 housing than the 50% affordable request in the draft. What was hilarious was that some in the room seemed to think that the vaunted 50/30/20 was actually considerably BETTER for low income people, but I'll leave it to them to find out that 50/30/20 actually exists, but it's for 50 % market rate housing, not 50% low income, and nobody is going to take them up on it anyway, because it's not what the market will bear, even WITH the huge tax write-offs offered to developers. Whatever, that's what a Study is for. So people can, you know, study the issues.

    So what's the upshot? After all the hemming and hawing over the past year (exactly one whole year) we have basically the same document that will go the full Board that we had one year ago. It would seem that the committee was generally fine with it, save a couple naysayers. And despite the fact that a few words have changed, I've discussed this with Planning many times and none of this language means much at all anyway. The key part of it is "we'd like the City to start a study now." And we laid out a simple case for contextual zoning and (that word) modest increases in density to support affordable housing creation.

    Now, to bed, knowing that I only got angry and had to walk out once. Progress, not perfection.

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    Remember Myspace? Remember Friendster? AskJeeves? City Search? Urban Fetch? Lycos? Actually all of the above still exist. They adjust, they downsize, they become something specific and tiny. The Q was trying to remember his first email address...I know it had to be silly. It was AOL and everybody did that. It was like when we discovered you could be goofy on your answering machine and we all had to try it. This is before cell phones. This is when you might not be able to get hold of your best friend for a COUPLE OF DAYS because they were busy. You dealt. It was a fact of life...not everyone is waiting by their phone. You might have to call one of their other friends and ask if they've seen them. You had a list of numbers written on the wall in pencil. You used pencils.

    Want to think something REALLY amazing? Remember when Nirvana's Nevermind came out? And Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory? Those game-changing records happened in 1991. That year, I was at a party, and this guy named Jason was typing at an old-style Macintosh Computer, which looked like this:

    I asked him what he was doing while the rest of us were dancing like maniacs to Nirvana and Tribe. And he said, I kid you not "I'm typing with someone in Japan. In real time.The internet is awesome." So check this list on the Wikipedia of all the websites that were around pre-1995. It'll blow your mind. Crazier still, this link to CERN, one of the only "websites" that would have mattered in 1991, because the W3 (World Wide Web) was still referred to as a "project." Okay, so if you're a computer nerd you're not impressed. But this just wasn't that long ago, and I'm having a hard to remembering what that was internet. I mean I know Gramma didn't have the internet for most of her life. But me? I'm modern. I'm a contemporary of Bjork for god sakes!

    So...oh yeah, Myspace Realty. They're pretty much the Gentrification Accelerator. You know things are about to get really white really fast when Myspace arrives. Why? Because their whole biz model depends on it. Okay, okay, it's a "class" thing not a race thing. Except when it isn't. Whic is most of the time.

    Here's what the always on-it Mike F. has to say about it over on his Brooklynian thang.

    MySpace NYC Real Estate
    Lefferts Gardens
    661 Flatbush Ave. (near Hawthorne)
    Brooklyn, NY 11225
    Coming soon 4/1!

    Their business model is to be the realtor of choice for LLCs which have recently purchased small to medium-sized buildings. Vacancies are then created by paying off (and/or pushing out) long-term, often rent stabilized, tenants. Once apartments are vacant, quick renovation jobs are completed, which cater to the preferences of young people (ie stainless steel appliances, IKEA cabinets and closets, and exposed brick). The apartments are then rented to young people who are renting their first place in the city, and often willing to share the units with others. By creating bedrooms, being willing to accept shares and even facilitating matches, the apartments are often filled "room by room" by tenants who need an apartment quickly and don't own a lot of stuff. As a result of working closely with LLCs who flip buildings, MySpace is willing to charge the new tenants "no fee". Whereas many realtors who target more established tenants, charge a fee to fill apartments in buildings they have no relationship with. By being willing to accept lease guarantors (usually the parents), the firm houses young people with no established work history who are often willing to live in neighborhoods that their slightly-more-established-in-NYC peers shun. By targeting young tenants, the firm can be assured regular turnover which results in vacancy bonuses to apartments that are still subject to rent stabilization. A very powerful, efficient, profitable model. ...driven by demand. And, often completely legal. It only works in neighborhoods that are very close to more expensive, more desireable areas. - See more at:

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    Tell everyone you know with teens, or be a mensch or menschette and reach out to some kids you see on the block and tell them about this fantastic opportunity.

    NYPD does this cool program that creates meaningful relationships between young people and the cops. I don't need to stress how important this is these days. It really can mean the difference between terrible tragedies and communication. Imagine at least one young person on each block, an ambassador for a different trajectory, a person with a direct line to the authorities. It's not for everyone; some people mistrust the cops so much they wouldn't even be seen with one.

    Here's the application. At the very least, it's a chance to reach out to folks, which is the very most effective way to create a real neighborhood vibe. I don't mean to sound corny, but...we're the adults now. It's our time to be the role models, assured and brave and reaching out of our comfort zones. I'm going to take my own advice and bring this thing to at least three prospects on my block. I hope you do the same. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never once had a problem when talking to young guys on my block as long as it's about something positive. Love to hear if any of you have similar experiences.

    Hello Community;
         We would like to introduce you to a new Youth Program called the NYPD Youth Leadership Council, it's a group of trained young people who work in partnership with adult leaders on a defined area of policy, practices and /or service to impact individuals and communities with a focus on youth.  The age of the Council members are 14-18 years old.  The Youth will serve for 1 year.  This Council will meet once a month at a chosen location.  The Youth will be picked up by police and dropped back home. 

        This Council will help Youth develop leadership skills, provide exposure to the law and law enforcement, Assist peers and community by addressing issues of mutual concern, engage in Civic duties, they'll learn about government, fulfill community service requirements and work towards a letter of recommendation for college.

        Please mention this Youth Council to your neighbors and Community Associations.  We are looking for youth to start this Youth Council Thursday, March 26, 2015.  Attached is the application and it should be submitted to the 70 Precinct Community Affairs Office or the 70th Precinct Youth Officer.  Thank you. 

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    After a year of turmoil, the (current) ULURP committee has approved a letter, to supersede the rescinded previous letter from March of 2014, and guess what? It's basically the same. It asks for the Department of City Planning to start a study in collaboration with the community. In it, a specific (wholly unrealistic) request is made that all new residential construction in rezoned areas must have 50% affordable, and 30% middle income, and 20%  for higher incomes. Read that sentence carefully and it kinda sounds like it's asking for these percentages so that high income people can stay in the neighborhood. But what's a comma between friends?

    Why is this "mandatory inclusionary affordable housing" important? Because without it, it's unlikely that much means-tested housing will be created at all, as of right. As we've seen, projects are cropping up right and left, and nearly none have and affordable units built in at all. I can hardly see how this isn't a win for sanity and decency. And yes, we'll likely allow residential on Empire, a much needed improvement that could help the City grow along transportation hubs. Look around the world and see what happens when you don't plan smart for growth. NYC, of all world cities, needs to figure out how to be denser smarter and with a diverse citizenry. To me, that's what it's all about. Oh, and a decent Empire Boulevard that doesn't feel like a mugger-burger paradise.

    DCP claims they rarely come into a community until asked (unless the Mayor initiates it, like in East NY), so one would hope that the Board would approve this on Tuesday and the conversation and environmental review will begin. I'd be very happy to see any and all District 9 residents read up, learn up, even conduct their own studies to bring to the table. The time for specific screaming conversations about specific blocks will be a welcome change from the screaming about process and the illegitimacy of the community board. Let the new and improved screaming commence, I say.

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  • 03/19/15--12:07: 338 Lincoln Road Next
  • Google view will show you where it is: 338 Lincoln, btw Rogers and Nostrand. Mike F tells us it went for $180K. Wow. And right next to a Fedders. Damn those things are hideous. And I'm not even all that picky. We gotta demand an end to front of house parking spaces. It kills a block's vibe. Granted, I'm not a driver. What do y'all think?

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    It may not be "in the Manor," but Parkside is where it's at, baby. I never get tired at looking at these beautiful duplex buildings. Montrose Morris gives it its due today in Brownstoner. The full story here.

    photo by S. Spellen a/k/a MM

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    A great time, circus style booths, food and music in a new location this year. The Masonic Temple was fun but too boomy...this should be a lot more fun with less chance for acid flashbax. Tickets here.

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  • 03/20/15--12:05: ULURP Meeting Minutes
  • In the interest of greater transparency, I'm including here the minutes from the last ULURP Committee Meeting, 3/16/15. (I'm not going to dignify the petition currently going around asking for my ouster from the Board, except to say that some of the things I'm being called out for kinda tickle me. I still like the line "maybe we'll get lucky and Alicia Boyd will break her jaw while gardening at her townhouse" I was imagining her at a CB9 meeting with one of those jaw-braces on, trying to disrupt the meeting without opening her mouth. But I can see how that might have stepped over the line. I'm sorry if that sounded violent; it was meant to be darkly humorous. I honestly don't wish any ill will upon her or anyone else. Just a little quiet so we can think and speak, that's all I ask. But calling Mathieu Eugene not worth his cheap suits? I mean c'mon. You can't knock crappy elected officials, regardless of race? Where are we, Putin's Russia?)

    Anyhoo, here are the minutes and I hope you enjoy the back-and-forth. Once Alicia was gone, there were good points made, despite the constant interruptions and my own ugly outburst when someone from Joyce Stewart from 320 Sterling Street screamed at me "All you want to do is protect your house in the Manor." Hey man, you can knock me six ways til Sunday, but don't call me a Manor guy! Not that I wouldn't LIKE to be, mind you. Damn nice blocks.

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    Bam! And then it hits you...

    If you see a marked Sanitation enforcement vehicle in front of your home or business, don't think they're just texting or snoozing. They're probably writing you a ticket for being trashy. Think you've kept your sidewalk clean? Take a look into the street 18 inches from the curb. That's your responsibility too.

    Just as I was leaving the house with Little Miss FlatBed Jr. a gentleman presented me with my pink summons for $100. There were flattened frozen carboard boxes and some old carpeting that apparently become uncovered during the great melt over the weekend. And while the cars had been parked upon said garbage all weekend, it was this AM that Mr. Clean rode by and saw it. Yes, I have an excuse. But plain as day, there it was for the whole world to see. And this, after cleaning garbage from all down my side of the street on Saturday! Oh, the injustice.

    This is what we get for increased enforcement. And I, for one, am glad for it. The neighborhood's a friggin' dump most days, and it's time we all took responsibility for it. See something, don't just say something. Put it in a can. And ticket the hell out of those businesses who leave mounds of trash in front of their establishments. It doesn't matter WHOSE garbage it is. It's WHERE it is. End of story.

    But yeah it sucks when it's your turn. I'll probably write in my defense, just to satisfy my urge to say F.U. BUT, at least we don't have it as bad as in the 19th Century, when seeing dead animals at the curb was not so uncommon. I wonder if those fancy big street sweepers could have handled THIS:

    That's Not Photoshopped Folks

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    Ironically, I had just finished telling an inquisitor who was interested in moving to my block that things were real quiet down my way lately. This was the kind of rival group shooting (you could call it gang if you like, though I don't like using that term unless it's confirmed that it was ABOUT a gang dispute). This is just the kind of violence that gives you pause. Bedford and Clarkson. Busy intersection. Reading the description in the Daily News, you can't help but wonder what these guys were thinking.

    Two men were wounded in a shootout between rival groups on a Brooklyn street Monday, police said.

    The victims, ages 22 and 29, were hit during an exchange of gunfire between the two groups, who were standing across the street from each other at Clarkson and Bedford Aves. in Flatbush shortly after 5 p.m., police and witnesses said.

    "They were arguing. I see them arguing and arguing. When they started shooting, everyone started running," said Natasha Renaud, 25, who was doing laundry on the block.

    The older man was hit once in the lower right leg, the younger one twice in the torso, according to police sources.
    Witnesses said the men opened fire despite innocent passersby being on the street.

    The groups started shooting despite the presence of passersby, according to witnesses. 

    The groups started shooting despite the presence of passersby, according to witnesses.

    "There was a lady with a little girl, and they shoot and they don't care," said witness Elias Osorio, 32.

    Both men were taken to Kings County Hospital in stable condition.
    Cops recovered both .9-mm and .45-caliber shell casings on both sides of Clarkson Ave., police sources said.

    Cops were searching for the shooters Monday night, but had made no arrests, according to police.

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    Agenda items 1 and 2 are issues close to the Q's heart. Number 3 will likely bring more shouting. Hopefully the issue will be laid to rest tonight. Thumbs up, thumbs down, it's fourth down, I'm tired, and ready to punt.

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    Short version: MTOPP called attention to the fact that Ben Edwards had adjourned the meeting, then Demetrius Lawrence said "wait we have to vote" and said it wasn't adjourned, thereby making the vote to send the draft to the full board null and void. Another meeting will be called to re-vote, and to discuss a proposed (just proposed at this point) text amendment that would allow builders more buildable feet if they provide certain needed housing, for seniors in particular. Of course, those vehemently opposed to any increased density are opposed. Opposed to, it would appear, seniors. No affordable housing via inclusionary zoning. No new senior housing. Because we can't handle a couple stories of extra height. Unbelievable. Whose side is the opposition on, I ask?

    As an added bonus, some young Alicia acolyte read aloud a petition demanding my ouster from the Board for being racist and disrespectful. To which I must ask...a promise or a threat? Granted, I'm not the only one being tarred and feathered. Eric Adams and Pearl Miles get a lot of abuse. New temporary chair Laura Imperiale got her fair share. But since Alicia's petition to have me removed contains specific accusations, I thought I'd claim them all in a concise little list.

    1. Calling Mathieu Eugene not worth his cheap suits. Check
    2. Calling Alicia and certain members of her crowd Assaholic, in need of a 12-step program for Assaholics. Check.
    3. Calling (now resigned) chair Dwayne Nicholson in need of leadership training. Check
    4. Calling the Community Board an embarrassment, which ironically is akin to what Alicia's been saying for the past year. Check.
    5. Writing the post "Not In My Black Yard," where I suggested that Alicia is using race-baiting techniques to cover her real objective, which is to not allow building on Empire, which is quite literally her back yard. Check.
    6. Writing "perhaps Alicia will break her jaw gardening," thereby rendering her unable to hurl insults and disrupt the meetings. Actually, I could see how that one could be interpreted as wishing harm on her. I don't. She's done irreparable harm to herself and needs no help from me. Debatable and deleted.

    That's it. After tens of thousands of words on a gazillion topics. That's what they can come up with. Frankly, I'm not doing a very good job of speaking my mind if that's the best they can do. You'd think I'd have betrayed my love for the community more than that on a slew of occasions. I write this stuff as quickly as I can because I have precious little time each day. I suppose I could use an editor, but where's the fun in that?

    Meanwhile, the ignorance continues. While fighting the Community Board - who are NOT experts and should NOT be counted on to answer specific planning questions - the community is missing its best opportunity to go block by block to determine where you should and shouldn't build new market rate buildings.

    In the meantime, I would ask that you consider the following projects (a partial list at best) of new buildings going up CB9 that have NO affordable (up to roughly $50K in income for families of four, in most cases) units. And this doesn't take into account the dozen + projects in farther south in Flatbush proper, on Lenox etc. In fact, one of the only buildings with affordable units is...626 Flatbush. I'm close to saying "let the haters get what they want." Go ahead, let the building continue without input from us or the City. Just see what we get.

    1. 165 Apartment building on Rogers at Crown, replacing St. Ignatius
    2. The old Gulf Station at EP & Bedford - might be a hotel OR residential
    3. The old Sea Crest Linent site at 46 Crown. 209 units rental building
    4. Tivoli Towers is undergoing a repopulating campaign with its new jerky landlord looking to change the wealth of tenants. Already the harassment has begun.
    5. The former parking garage on Carrol near BBG will be midrise residential
    6. On the NE of EP and Bedford (I know, across the street) 133 apartments
    7. The Associated on Nostrand was bought, and they're lying about letting the supermarket stay for 5 years. Mark my words
    8. The BBG owned spot on Montgomery near Washington will be 170 units
    9. Never to be forgotten...ever...23-stories of 626 Flatbush
    10. EP & Nostrand - 29 unit building
    11. The hilarious little triangle at 995 Washington
    12. 31 Lincoln 87 units
    13. 651 New York Ave and Fenimore/Hawthorne - 40 units
    14. 329 Sterling Street, rentals
    15. 111 Clarkson - 50 Unites
    16. 149 Clarkson - 5 story rental
    17. 50-54 Clarkson - when the hell are they gonna start that one?
    18. 371 Lincoln Road
    19. One Sullivan 
    20. 90 Sullivan Place
    21. Those new townhouses on Hawthorne on the way to Nostrand
    22. 46 Crown
    23. Not in district but 123 on the Park and its soon to be built sister building alters the nabe vibe considerably
    24. Many many more in the works
    Lest any of you living or planning on living in the above think I have a problem with you, don't fret. The second you move in you're a neighbor. And to be honest, we're a lovely nabe and the City's growing, so who's to blame you?

    It's simply a matter of planning for the growth. That's all.

    0 0

    PLGNA's been around since the '60s and has a great legacy of work done in the name of the community. In fact, the Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association is, after all, where PLG got its name. Founder Bob Marvin is still kicking and can be heard firing up the crowd at local meetings. About five years ago the group rebooted after a bit of malfeasance-induced hiatus, and gradually it's begun to get its sea legs.

    And tonight, the group elected a new President, in Quest Fanning. I've known Quest long enough to develop deep confidence in his intelligence and commitment to the needs of the neighborhood. Quest is a genuine and curious guy, funny and sincere. He's a lifelong resident of Ocean Avenue with a brief detour to Patio Gardens and is a recent new husband and dad; that is to say, he's putting down roots here in his own roots. I've seen him get downright passionate and even a little choked up when talking about the great strength and diversity of his neighborhood. Congrats Quest, and may you do great things.

    But he's not alone. The smart-as-a-whip defense lawyer Joyce David will serve as secretary, and the delightful retired educator and Chester Court dweller Brenda Edwards takes the VP slot. Nelson Simon stays on as treasurer.

    NYC is a town of neighborhoods, and every strong neighborhood has a strong association of blocks and committees addressing the various needs and constituencies among its residents. There is a long tradition in this town of organizing by 'hood, and developing community in order to have a voice in a massive City.

    Here's to PLGNA, and to its new Board officers.

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