Archive for the tag 'batchelder st'

The trailer for Bill Murray’s new flick, St. Vincent, was released last week and it’s chock full of shots of Marine Park.

Scenes for the movie were filmed across the neighborhood throughout most of the summer last year, especially around Batchelder Street, Avenue S, Avenue T, Avenue U, East 26th Street and East 27th Street (where they even set up a fake MTA bus stop). A lot of the film was also shot inside a local home, which they “fixed up” to look rundown.

Directed by Brooklyn-native Theodore Melfi, St. Vincent is about a grumpy old Marine Park man, played by Murray, and his relationship with recently divorced neighbor (Melissa McCarthy) and her young son (Jaeden Lieberher), to whom he plays reluctant mentor and role model. It also stars Naomi Watts and Chris O’Dowd. It’s due out in October, and is apparently already garnering Murray some award-season buzz.

Murray proved the consummate celebrity while in the neighborhood, graciously taking photos with fans and mingling with the natives.

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Reader Janine Sav with Murray in front of Good Shepherd Catholic Church.

After one of the shoots, he wandered over to a neighbor’s home on East 16th Street, admired the house, and hung out with them on the porch.

Bill Murray hanging out with some Avenue U fans (Photo courtesy of Dominick Arabia)

Bill Murray (center, back row) hanging out with some Avenue U fans (Photo courtesy of Dominick Arabia)

Watch the preview above and see how many neighborhood spots you can identify!

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The New York City Housing Authority announced this week that they’ve made tremendous strides in slashing the number of backlogged maintenance complaints in city-owned housing complexes, following a scathing “Hall of Shame”-style watchlist released by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio that named three Southern Brooklyn housing projects as among the worst in the city.

According to the agency, they have reduced the number of outstanding complaints by more than half since an initiative kicked off in January, and reduced the average wait time by nearly one month.

“As a result of NYCHA’s Action Plan to improve its accountability and efficiency in responding to maintenance and repair work orders, we are pleased to report that the number of open maintenance and repair work orders has been reduced from 422,639 on January 1, 2013, to 197,134 as of August 1, 2013,” NYCHA announced in a release issued this week. “This reduction of 225,505 work orders positions NYCHA to achieve its goal of eliminating the backlog by the end of 2013 and have only 90,000 open work orders at the end of the year.”

According to the agency, 90,000 work orders represents the number of work orders it would have if it handled maintenance requests in an average of seven days and more complex requests in an average of 15 days. According to de Blasio’s list, NYCHAwatchlist.com, the average work order request sits for 282 days without action, or more than nine months.

In the release, NYCHA pinned the blame for delayed repair requests on budget shortfalls and resource restraints, which, after coming under fire late last year, they’ve been working to address.

“Focusing on the work order backlog, and dedicating resources even during this tough economic period, has allowed NYCHA to address deficiencies that resulted from years of significant and sustained budget shortfalls,” the agency said, noting that the financial situation may worsen due to sequestration.

At the time of de Blasio’s report, which was based on data from February 15, just weeks after the NYCHA initiative was launched, the agency claimed to have slashed as many as 200,000 outstanding requests. But the public advocate had his doubts about whether or not the agency was truly making all the repairs, or simply canceling out old requests. The watchlist’s about page notes:

 According to the data, more than 50,000 repairs were made in just the first two weeks of February 2013—the equivalent of 3,394 repairs per day. De Blasio warned those numbers suggested the agency was canceling old repair tickets and making quick fixes for the purposes of touting big reductions in its backlog, and urged the agency to prioritize the most critical repairs instead.

According to the agency, they’re doing exactly that kind of prioritization, putting aside aesthetic requests such as those for paint jobs.

“Recognizing that there are limited resources, work that is primarily to improve the appearance of apartments will not be able to be addressed by staff unless the fiscal situation improves. Painting is an example of this new prioritization,” the release notes.

De Blasio’s watchlist placed the Sheepshead Bay Houses, the Nostrand Houses, and the Marlboro Houses near the top of the list, at numbers 19, 22 and 41 respectively. They’re also pinned as the worst of 13 NYCHA complexes in Southern Brooklyn, with thousands of outstanding complaints among them, and an average of 240 to 349 days of inaction.

The chart at the top of this article, provided by NYCHA, shows that maintenance crews, contractors and specialists have been able to tackle anywhere between 450 jobs to 2,013 jobs a day.

At the Sheepshead Bay Houses, one resident has taken notice of the work, sending us photos of asbestos abatement signs and construction work permits. However, as we previously reported, she was unsettled at the lack of communication between the agency and residents, citing their inability to answer basic questions about the work. She also sent in this photo, noting that the complex was surrounded in unsightly fencing.

“[It's] like we’re being trapped in,” she wrote.

fencing

Are you a NYCHA resident? Are repairs being made in a more timely manner? Tell us about your experience!

 

Photo by Robert Fernandez

With residents waiting for more than four years to see repairs to chipped paint, broken floors, smashed windows and malfunctioning electrical outlets – among thousands of other complaints – the Sheepshead Bay-Nostrand Houses are among the most neglected buildings under the New York City Housing Authorities’ management, according to a new “Hall of Shame” list produced by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

The two housing complexes, Sheepshead Bay Houses (2935 Avenue W) and Nostrand Houses (2263 Batchelder Street), rank 19th and 22nd worst, respectively, out of 349 NYCHA properties in the city, putting them roughly in the top sixth percentile. The rankings were revealed on Friday with the launch of NYCHAwatchlist.com, a Hall of Shame-style initiative by de Blasio to draw attention to the agency’s neglect of scores of properties throughout the city. The list came after it was revealed that NYCHA hit a peak of 420,000 backlogged complaints in January.

“Our public housing got this bad, in part, because there is zero accountability. NYCHA is a black box. Tenants deserve to know that their ceilings will actually get patched or that mold will actually be removed,” said de Blasio in a press release. “We’re going to use the watch list to hold NYCHA’s feet to the fire.”

Screenshot of the watchlist.

Screenshot of the watchlist.

The website provides a detailed, sortable list of every outstanding complaint in each housing project, as well as the number of days residents have waited for action.

The Sheepshead Bay Houses’ 2,703 residents have 3,428 maintenance requests that have remained outstanding for an average of 349 days of no action from NYCHA. Almost half the requests (1,559) are for repairs to crumbling ceilings and walls, broken doors, and uprooted floors, for which the average number of days outstanding is 349. Residents wait the longest, 458 days on average, for a fresh coat of paint, which accounts for slightly over a quarter of complaints. But 122 complaints about pests including rats and roaches have sat unaddressed for an average of 250 days, and at least one unlucky tenant has had to live with vermin for nearly three years without a response from NYCHA.

The Nostrand Houses, home to 2,459 people, have 3,367 complaints outstanding, for an average of 318 days.  Similar to the Sheepshead Houses, interior repairs to walls, ceilings and floors account for nearly half the complaints (1,515, waiting for an average of 349 days), and just over a quarter are comprised of requests for paint jobs (852, waiting for an average of 390 days). Residents also complain about leaky pipes and water trickling through the ceilings, for which they’ve been forced to wait for an average of 273 days, with the longest request – repairs to a shower – having gone unaddressed for more than three years.

The list reveals that more than 5,000 of the area’s residents are not only under neglectful management from NYCHA, but face the risk of tragedy every day. Between the two buildings, 47 requests for asbestos and lead removal, repairs to the fire sprinklers and suppression systems, and the replacement of fire extinguishers, have gone ignored for an average of 250 days, with the longest outstanding complaint being on file with the agency for 568 days.

The two properties are the worst of the 13 NYCHA houses in Southern Brooklyn, and among the worst in the borough, according to the website.

Making matters worse, the agency appears to do a terrible job communicating with residents about even those maintenance issues they are working on. After they came under fire in January, NYCHA has attempted to tackle more then 200,000 of the complaints – yet doesn’t appear to be able to answer residents’s questions. Two weeks ago, for example, NYCHA posted signs in the Sheepshead Houses warning residents of asbestos abatement, but failed to note where in the building it was and what risk, if any, it posed to residents.

Story continues after photo.

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Source: Cookie Ann

That caused concern for Cookie Ann, one of the housing projects’ residents, and mother to a young asthmatic.

“I’m scared my son is already asthmatic and now has a nasty upper respiratory infection,” she told Sheepshead Bites.

When she tried to call the agency to find out what was going on, she said they had no record of work being done in the building.

“I just called housing and they had no clue about asbestos in our building but the city put up signs. Now I’m worried. What can I do?” she said.

Source: gorbould/Flickr

An ex-Ghostbuster might be roaming around your neighborhood toting along some film-making buddies. Sources have tipped us off that none other than Bill Murray, aka the greatest man of our times, is shooting a movie called St. Vincent in Marine Park.

The shoot has been going on the past few weeks, capturing scenes around Marine Park, most recently on Batchelder Street between Avenue S and Avenue T last night. Yesterday, they also were scheduled to shoot on Avenue U between East 26th Street and East 27th Street, where they set up a fake MTA bus stop. We had hoped to tell you earlier, but wanted to wait until we had a photo. Unfortunately, that never happened.

According to a short piece by Variety, the director, Theodore Melfi, is a Brooklyn native. A source in the production company claims that he loves the area. Other stars perhaps dotting our streets might include Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd.

Here is the brief synopsis of the film:

MAGGIE (Melissa McCarthy) a single mother, moves in to a new home in Brooklyn with her 12­‐year old son, OLIVER. Forced to work long hours, she has no choice but to leave Oliver in the care of their new neighbor, VINCENT (Bill Murray), a retired curmudgeon with a penchant for alcohol and gambling. An odd friendship soon blossoms between the improbable pair. Together with a pregnant stripper named DAKA (Naomi Watts), Vincent brings Oliver along on all the stops that make up his daily routine – the racetrack, a strip club, and the local dive bar. Vincent helps Oliver grow to become a man, while Oliver begins to see in Vincent something that no one else is able to -­ a misunderstood man with a good heart.

Seems interesting. If anyone runs into Bill Murray or Chris O’Dowd grabbing a drink somewhere local, let us know! And send us photos if you’ve got them!

UPDATE (12:00 p.m.): I’m so jealous! Reader Janine Sav sent in this photo she nabbed with Mr. Murray last night, in front of Good Shepherd Catholic Church. She adds that they have been filming on Batchelder Street and Avenue T, where the crew “fixed up” a house to look rundown.

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The NYPD’s bomb squad has been called to Sheepshead Bay High School at 3000 Avenue X, after authorities may have found what’s believed to be an explosive device in the basement of the school.

A call came over police scanners at approximately 10:20 a.m., saying that police were on scene with what appeared to be a “military explosive device” found in the basement. The officers on scene requested the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit.

Readers, like Lisa M., have told Sheepshead Bites that the police presence is heavy and that the school has been evacuated. Lisa wrote:

tons of cops over at Sheepshead High today…kids amassed outside…the police in front of my house (on Batchelder St. near Ave.Y) told me there was a “threat to the school”.

Sheepshead Bites has not been able to confirm with the NYPD if an actual explosive has been found and confirmed. We will update as more information becomes available.

UPDATE (11:14 a.m.): It appears that other schools in the area, including P.S. 52 on Nostrand Avenue and Avenue Z have also been evacuated.

UPDATE (11:30 a.m.): An aide in the principal’s office answered the phone and said that everyone has returned to the building and she believes, but was not sure, that the police have left. She declined to provide details about the cause of the evacuation.

Sheepshead Bites is still awaiting a response from the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information and the 61st Precinct.

UPDATE (2:50 p.m.): The “explosive” turned out to be an old science experiment left in the building’s basement. The Daily News reports:

The NYPD bomb squad determined the device was a harmless World War II-era depth gauge, school officials said.

“It is thought this suspicious package may be a World War II relic that may have once been used in a very old science project,” Department of Education spokeswoman Marge Feinberg said in a statement.

Students were allowed back in the school within two hours, officials said.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Port Sheepshead Marina, nothing but rubble.

Despite more than a week of cleaning, Emmons Avenue’s eastern end, a strip of waterfront condos, bungalows and boating clubs, remains in shambles.

We visited Emmons Avenue’s two waterfront bungalow colonies earlier this week, and, though Hurricane Sandy destroyed several homes and left families for the streets, there had been no visits from FEMA, Red Cross or any examples of the volunteer frenzy other neighborhoods have received.

In the absence of outside help, neighbors banded together to help each other.

Keep reading, and view a photo gallery of the destruction in the bungalow colonies.

Voorhies Avenue and Batchelder Street, near the home where Gonzalez was found dead. (Source: Google Maps)

The boyfriend of Elena Gonzalez, the 44-year-old woman found dead at a friend’s home at 2704 Batchelder Street this past Monday, has been charged with assault.

According to a News 12 report, Gonzalez and her boyfriend, 51-year-old Ury Sualsky, got in a fight on Saturday night which left her with trauma to her face. Retreating to her friend’s house to sleep, she was found unresponsive in the morning.

The full cause of death will not be known until the medical examiner completes a full toxicology report.

The corner of Batchelder Street and Voorhies Avenue. Source: Google Maps

Police found a 44-year-old woman dead yesterday evening at a friend’s house on Batchelder Street and Voorhies Avenue.

The circumstances surrounding her death are still a mystery, but what police do know is that she was staying with her friend after she had a fight with her boyfriend, according to the New York Post.

The woman was found on her friend’s couch with injuries to her face. Police pronounced her dead on arrival. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death shortly.

The music of cellos, harpsichords, flutes and clarinets will soon fill Good Shepherd Church as the Homecrest house of worship gets ready to hold its annual concert series.

Every Sunday, from October 7 through December 16, New Yorkers are invited to enjoy recitals by some of the best classical musicians in the world – for free.

This year’s series features clarinetist Tom Piercy, mandolin player Joe Brent, classical guitarist Dan Lippel and acclaimed ensembles like Brooklyn Baroque and Duo Cantabile, among others.

“I wanted to give conservatoire musicians a place to play in beautiful acoustics like these,” said Michael Fontana, the church’s music director for the past 20 years. “It’s really a great venue.”

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Fidler smash! Fidler bash! Fidler make city agency do job! (Source photo courtesy of GerritsenBeach.net)

Yesterday we told you about a Craigslist post in which a Batchelder Street man (oh, and the manliness of said man was never fact-checked, so it may just be a wo-man) asked someone to come and give new life to a fallen tree branch that the city forgot about, and which was creating an eyesore on the block.

Today we got an e-mail from the poster, who turned out to be a reader, saying that another reader, Councilman Lew Fidler, got in touch to help out.

FYI, I got a response to my tree limb Craigslist post today from Lew Fidler’s office thanks to your article on Sheepshead Bites. They are going to help and arrange to have the branch removed.

Sheepshead Bites has come through for me yet again! Thank you so much!

So tip o’ the hat to the poster for taking his/her gripes to the interwebs (a truly revolutionary idea we certainly never would have thought of), and to Lew Fidler’s office for getting in front of the situation.

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