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NuHart Building Co-Owner on the Superfund Rave: "I Panicked"

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

The NuHart Plastics Building (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The massive Halloween rave shutdown by the Fire Department in Greenpoint over the weekend stole the show once again, this time at Monday evening’s Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) meeting about the oversight of hazardous waste cleanup at a former plastics manufacturing site in the neighborhood.
The building of interest, 280 Franklin Street (aka the NuHart Plastics building) is a Superfund site that was recently bought by a group of developers (DuPont Street Developers, LLC) hoping to turn it into a residential and retail site. Things got pretty, pretty weird at the meeting– to the point that Michael Roux, a geologist hired by the developers as an environmental consultant, fielded most of the questions about why on earth nearly 5,000 ravers were almost allowed to party on a Superfund site. At one point he slipped up, referring to the former plastics factory as a “venue.” The audience erupted back. “It’s not a venue!” one neighbor shouted. “It’s a toxic waste site!”
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Spice Is Vice: Mayor Passes New Laws Aimed at Ending ‘Plague of K2’

(Screenshot via YouTube)

(Screenshot via YouTube)

The Mayor signed a series of laws today criminalizing K2, part of the City’s continuing effort to crack down on the use and sale of synthetic marijuana. The drug, which Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton both referred to as “poison,” is a liquid substance manufacturers spray on herbs. It has been marketed as incense, spice and, perhaps the most hilarious departure from its actual use, bath salts.

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Bushwick Task Force Aims to ‘Clean Up’ (Literally) Area Plagued By K2

The intersection at Myrtle-Broadway is K2 central (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The intersection at Myrtle-Broadway in Bushwick is K2 central (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“I have a really high tolerance for people doing stuff on the street,” said G Lucas Crane, a member of the Silent Barn collective. “I’m from Brooklyn, I just wanna see people do their thing, I don’t want to call anybody out– but when it gets to this level of saturation, the community needs to do something about it.”

The Silent Barn sits just a block from the intersection of Myrtle-Broadway, a hotbed for K2 and other synthetic cannabinoids that have been targeted by city officials. Now, a coalition led by Council Member Antonio Reynoso is bringing a new kind of attention and care to this bustling but problematic corner.

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Anti-Construction Harassment Coalition Rallies at City Hall For Tenant Safety

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

A group by the name of Stand for Tenant Safety, consisting of tenant groups and eleven City Council Members (including Rosie Mendez from the Lower East Side, Stephen Levin from Williamsburg, and Antonio Reynoso of Bushwick) rallied on the steps of City Hall this morning. Never mind the rain. The coalition is named for a new report, released today by the Urban Justice Center, that coincides with the introduction of a legislation package that would protect tenants from landlords and developers who carry out neglectful and malicious construction projects. “My tenants have rain coming down in their apartments, so this is nothing,” said CM Rosie Mendez of the Lower East Side.

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The City Just Made It Harder For Your Landlord to Harass You

notmoved

(Photo: Tarika Roongsri)

Today Mayor Bill de Blasio signed three new measures into law to prevent the tenant harassment and shady practices that have become so commonplace among New York City landlords, particularly those who own rent stabilized units in rapidly gentrifying areas like North Brooklyn, the East Village, Bowery and the Lower East Side.

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Doe Fund Fights to Keep Sex Offenders Out of Bushwick Shelter, But City Presses On

The Porter Street Shelter, operated by the Doe Fund (Photo via Doe Fund Facebook)

The Porter Avenue Shelter, operated by the Doe Fund (Photo via Doe Fund Facebook)

A fight is brewing between the City and the Doe Fund, a non-profit dedicated to helping provide the homeless with shelter, temporary jobs, and vocational training. The Department of Homeless services has moved to place a number of sex offenders at the organization’s Bushwick facility, but the Doe Fund claims it lacks the resources for what it says is a fundamentally different type of homeless person. After filing a lawsuit against the city, the non-profit is now appealing to the community by way of a petition and a “town hall meeting” held yesterday at its Porter Avenue shelter. But City officials, including local Council Member Antionio Reynoso and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, are pushing back.

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City Council Passes Bill to Make Public Transit a Less Taxing Experience

(Photo: Ilyse Liffreing)

(Photo: Ilyse Liffreing)

The City Council passed a bill yesterday that would allow New Yorkers to set aside pre-tax pay for public transportation, potentially saving the average commuter hundreds of dollars a year. Just imagine how many Uber rides you could take with that, so as to avoid the miserable G train.
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Chinatown Buses Face Regulation and Riled-Up Residents

Passengers wait for their ride (photo courtesy of "Save Our Streets")

Passengers wait for their ride (photo courtesy of Save LES Streets)

After a two-year grace period, the city is finally moving to enforce legislation that aims to regulate the thriving (and some would say infuriating) Chinatown bus industry, in the hopes of mitigating the “wild west” atmosphere that the throng of ludicrously cheap long-haul carriers have introduced to the affected downtown zones.
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Public Housing Gets Millions to Beef Up Security, But Will It Be Enough?

Dorothea Knox, President of the Tenant Association at Berry Street- South 9th Street Houses (photo: Nicole Disser)

Dorothea Knox, President of the Tenant Association at Berry Street- South 9th Street Houses (photo: Nicole Disser)

Last month the city finally allocated $50 million to security upgrades and “anti-violence initiatives” in its ailing public housing complexes. But of the 15 developments that will see the long called-for funding, just one (Bushwick Houses) is in the Bedford + Bowery coverage area. Meanwhile, several developments in downtown Manhattan and North Brooklyn remain without any security cameras at all.
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This Greenpoint High-Rise Gets to Rise Higher, With More Affordable Housing

(Photo: Natalie Rinn)

The City Council has agreed to let the developer of 77 Commercial Street stack a total of 35 more stories onto two-high rises bound for the Greenpoint waterfront. In return, the neighborhood will get 200 more units of permanently affordable housing, funding for a park where an MTA parking lot now sits, and — among other concessions — assurances that a WalMart isn’t on the way, Council Member Stephen Levin’s office has announced.
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