Archive for the tag 'east 21st st'


A poster near the proposed facility urges neighbors to call the state agency and demand a halt to construction.

Neighbors of a proposed drug rehabilitation center on East 21st Street are outraged that the landlord and center’s operator are moving ahead with construction on the space, despite vocal opposition from community leaders and the lack of a proper license from the state.

The clinic, First Steps to Recovery, is seeking to move its existing operations from Brighton Beach to East 21st Street, saying they’ve outgrown their space. The move requires approval from the state’s Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), who reviews applications to ensure it fits the surrounding community. But the proposal failed to pass muster at a Community Board 15 meeting in November, where the owner was lambasted for being disrespectful, and where a letter written by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz was read, claiming that it’s been a detriment to neighbors in Brighton Beach for years.

But the City appears to have shrugged off the opposition, giving First Steps the go-ahead to begin moving, contingent on further inspections.

Find out why the City gave the okay, and what local leaders are doing about it.

“Bullet Points” is our format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles.

Neighbors Demand Board Rescind Support For Drug Counseling Center: Residents of East 17th Street near Kings Highway rallied at last night’s Community Board 15 meeting, demanding the Board rescind a letter of support for a proposed drug treatment facility at 1670 East 17th Street.

Led by Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association President Ed Jaworski, a group of residents took to the podium, claiming that the Board failed to inform the community that the issue would be discussed and voted on in December.

“The City Charter and the Community Board bylaws say that the Community Board should serve the community, should communicate within the community, should act as a liaison agency, should review services, should develop plans for the community. None of this was done regarding the drug center being located on East 17th Street,” Jaworski said. “What took place at the November meeting was a shortcut. It was cutting the community’s input.”

The center, One World Counseling, received a letter of support from Community Board 15 in November with a 31-4 vote. Dmitri Oster, a rep for One World, told the Board then that they intended to target immigrants in the Sheepshead Bay area who have turned to drugs to cope with cultural integration. They would offer only counseling and would not distribute medication.

Keep reading about this story, and summaries of other actions from last night’s Community Board 15 meeting.

Community Board 15 voted in favor of permitting one drug rehabilitation center in the neighborhood, but voted down another, saying that the owners’ attitudes made all the difference.

At the November 27 meeting, the Board gave the nod to One World Counseling, a newly-formed entity proposing to develop a drug and alcohol abuse treatment center at 1670 East 17th Street, just off Kings Highway. The Board’s 31-4 vote came just minutes after nixing plans of an existing center, First Steps to Recovery at 2990 Brighton 12th Street, to move to 2634 East 21st Street, with a no vote of 34-1.

During the hearing for First Steps, representatives for the outpatient addiction treatment clinic explained that they served “elderly” Eastern European patients who have turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with the struggles of integration. The clinic dispenses medications and has been operating in Brighton Beach since 2002. They were seeking to move to the 2634 East 21st Street location because their current space is too small.

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St. Mark Church to House Group Home for Developmentally Disabled Girls: Community Board 15 gave the green light to St. Vincent’s Services to move an intermediate care facility into St. Mark Roman Catholic Church, located at 2601 East 19th Street.

The facility’s Associate Executive Director and Managing Director of Developmentally Disabled Services Janice Ashton briefed the Board on the organization’s plan, saying that 14 “profoundly disabled young ladies” between the ages of 25 and 60 will use the existing vacant rectory building – formerly a convent. All of the girls have suffered profound or severe mental handicaps from birth, and will be attended by a staff ratio of two to three clients per staff member.

“I really know these consumers and their families. We have done such a good job that many of them, they never thought they would live so long,” Ashton said. “Usually 30 to 35 [years is the average lifespan]; they’re approaching, some 60s, 50s, and in other facilities, we have 70s and 80s.”

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Ladder 156 is currently responding to a house fire on East 21st Street and Avenue V. It’s unclear if anyone was harmed.

We’re not sure if it is related to power restorations, but we’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that if you are still without power, you should manually shut off your circuit breakers until power is restored, and only bring it back online one section of your home at a time.

When power returned unexpectedly to huge swaths of the neighborhood yesterday, it brought fires with it as electricity surged into broken power lines and flooded homes.

In the video above, Sheepshead Bites reader Marina captured a tree on East 21st Street between Avenue Y and Avenue Z that burst into flames when a broken power line draped across it came alive.

In Manhattan Beach, much of it still under inches of water and with homes flooded, the return of power led to what one described as an “underground explosion.” Police were reportedly telling people to leave their homes and blocked off sections as fire crews responded across the area.

Homes in Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay lit up, and sparks flew from home power lines and caused basement fires.

If your power has not yet been restored, make sure to manually shut off power to your home using your circuit breaker. If your circuit breaker was soaked from the floods, you should have an electrician evaluate it before turning it back on. If you do it yourself, use rubber gloves and rubber soled shoes, and only turn individual sections of your home so you don’t overload your system.

According to the Con Edison outage map, thousands in the area are still without power. While the map does not currently show estimated restoration times, you can get that by using the tool here.

Yesterday’s heavy rains came and went – quite quickly – and, with it, Sheepshead Bay residents were granted a reprieve from August’s heat and humidity.

But they weren’t spared flooding and transportation woes.

The B/Q train was briefly detoured after a tree limb dipped down to track level. Buses in the area, in particular, the B44 on Nostrand Avenue, were also detoured to a possibly related manhole fire between Avenue N and Avenue L. Con Edison remains on the scene as of this writing, and buses are still detoured near Kings Highway.

Our readers whipped out their cameras to capture the dramatic clouds as they rolled in, as well as flooding all around Sheepshead Bay.

View the photos, and share your tale of woe during yesterday’s storm.

The sinkhole before repairs.

Long covered by an upside-down traffic cone, a sinkhole approximately two feet wide and five feet deep has existed for several months at the corner of Emmons Avenue and East 21st Street, near Randazzo’s. After months of complaints from neighbors, the city is finally fixing the obvious danger to both pedestrians and drivers, and repairing the faulty sewer line that caused it.

The crater sat just a step off of the pedestrian curb cut on the northwest corner, large enough for a person’s leg – or even an entire child – to fall into. That threat had some locals concerned.

“I’m scared that maybe one day I forget to look down as I walk, and step into this hole,” Tanya K., an employee at a nearby boutique, told us before repairs began.

The safety concerns spurred at least one good Samaritan to shove a traffic cone inside it in an attempt to plug the hole. At various times over the last several months, other cones were seen around it, and, eventually, a broken construction barricade.

“I’ve walked past it a couple of times these past few weeks and even though they have this caution barricade on top of it, the city still needs to get this thing patched up soon,” nearby resident Marc Schwartz told us last week.

But despite the appearance of construction, all the items were cautionary – until this week.

City workers are currently on Emmons Avenue between East 21st Street and Ocean Avenue, tearing out the sidewalk and repairing a broken sewer line underneath – the source of the sinkhole, according to one of the workers.

The repairs came after months of complaints from nearby business owners. One who requested to remain anonymous said he put in multiple complaints to 311 over the past four months. However, the 311 service map only shows one complaint – placed on February 24. It was referred to DOT, even though the DEP is the agency responsible for sinkhole repairs, which might explain the delay.

The entire project should be wrapped up in a day or two, a worker at the scene told us.

- with additional reporting by Ned Berke.

An East 21st Street home was nearly reduced to ashes after suffering a massive fire Saturday evening that also damaged neighbors’ properties.

Keep reading and view photos of the damage.

Police search the backyard of a Sheepshead Bites reader living near the scene of the crime.

Residents watch the search efforts unfold from East 23rd Street and Avenue Z. (Photo by nolastname)

Two thugs allegedly assaulted a man on Avenue Z between East 21 Street and East 22nd Street this evening, sparking off a police pursuit lasting nearly an hour.

According to police officials, the assault happened at approximately 9:13 p.m. It’s unclear what led to the fight, but after dealing out blows to their victim, the suspects fled on foot as police arrived on scene.

NYPD began searching after they arrived, with several low flying helicopters lighting up streets, backyards and roofs as police hunted for their suspects. The focus of the search appears to have been around East 24th Street, between Voorhies Avenue and Avenue Y.

All three people involved were taken into custody before 10:00 p.m., and no suspects remain on the loose.

The victim did not appear to have any major injuries and was taken to the 61st Precinct to be interviewed, where EMS responders met him to tend to his wounds.

The heightened police activity sparked numerous messages to Sheepshead Bites, with various accounts describing the chaotic scene as it unfolded. Some of those witness accounts can be read on our previous post.

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