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Archive for the tag 'david greenfield'

Hikind, left, and Greenfield, right.

Hikind, left, and Greenfield, right.

We reported on Wednesday that an elderly London man was pushed down and had his face bashed against the sidewalk by a thug early Tuesday morning in Borough Park. The attack was decried as a potential anti-Semitic “knockout” assault by Councilman David Greenfield. On Thursday, we followed with a report from CBS that police said the man recanted his story and was, in fact, not attacked.

And now the story keeps going. Greenfield issued a statement last night calling the CBS report erroneous, and confirming that the man still believes he was attacked. Here’s the statement:

The following is the victim’s statement regarding the incident and the subsequent investigation and media coverage, as provided to Councilman Greenfield directly from the victim:

“I was returning from a wedding at about 2 a.m. on Monday night and am convinced that I was attacked from the back and pushed to the floor, face down. However after extensive interrogations by the police, I recognise that there is a possibility that due to the shock of the incident and my injuries I was confused and disorientated and it may be that I tripped in the dark and hurt my face when falling down.

I am distraught by the statement which was publicised by CBS today suggesting that I was lying. This is a libellous statement which damages both my own and my family’s reputation, and I have already informed CBS that I intend to sue them for defamation unless I am convinced that my name and reputation are restored, which CBS assured me would be the case.

As for the police, the Detective assured me that his report doesn’t suggest anything other than that I was absolutely truthful and helpful in their investigation.”

Councilman Greenfield also issued the following statement: “While it’s not clear exactly what occurred on Tuesday morning, two things are clear: this individual suffered serious injuries in the incident, and the NYPD fully believes that he has been truthful with them. The victim in no way lied or attempted to mislead the NYPD. I have confirmed that information directly with the supervising officer investigating this case. I have every confidence that the NYPD will continue to diligently investigate this case and trust that they will reach the appropriate conclusion.”

CBS has not exactly changed the substance of its report, though they updated its online version with the remarks above.

Meanwhile, the whole thing has gotten very political, bringing to light the tensions between Greenfield and local Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who have a long-running (if often private) feud.

It appears Hikind released a statement following the claims that the victim recanted, wagging his finger at an unnamed politician – presumably Greenfield – for calling it a knockout attack.

“It’s important not to make statements until matters are clarified. Sending out false alarms and panicking people is counter-productive. We do our homework first, as we did in this case. The police made it very clear to us on Tuesday, immediately after we were called, that this matter was not indeed a Knockout Attack, so why call it that?,” the statement said. The statement was headlined, “FALSE REPORTING: A DANGEROUS HABIT, SAYS HIKIND”.

Greenfield, after reading the statement from the victim on his radio show, then took Hikind to task – also without naming him.

The Observer reports:

“‘False reporting’? There was no false reporting. This person gave an honest report with the information that they had. A ‘dangerous habit’? The implication that this individual is somehow a habitual liar. That’s ridiculous! That’s absolutely ridiculous!” Mr. Greenfield exclaimed. “This stuff happens behind the scenes. I usually never discuss it. But I’m really, really outraged today. Here I am. I work hard. I’ve worked from early morning to late at night and other people have nothing better to do and nothing positive to add to the conversation. All they do is take potshots at you.”

“If someone comes into my community, and its a tourist, and they feel like they’ve been attacked, well I’ll tell you what other elected official: I’m going to fight for them! And shame on you for criticizing me. And shame on you for creating machlokes [conflict]. And shame on you for sinas chinem [baseless hatred]. And shame on you for criticizing a victim,” continued Mr. Greenfield.

Hikind’s response?

“His 15-minute rant left everyone who heard it flabbergasted. Was it paranoia? Theatrics? I hadn’t attacked anyone,” he told the Observer.

McDonald Avenue at 18th Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

McDonald Avenue at 18th Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

The London man who made headlines for potentially being the latest victim of a “knockout” attack has recanted his story, and said he was never attacked at all.

CBS News reports:

It was not immediately learned how the man emerged bloody after the alleged attack, as was documented in a published photo. Police did not indicate whether they would go after him on possible charges of filing a false report.

The news site JP Updates said the man “may have just fallen and banged his face on the concrete pavement,” and that the man was on his way back to the U.K. once it was learned he had recanted his story.

The man told cops that he was assaulted at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, when an assailant knocked him over and smashed his face into the pavement on McDonald Avenue near 18th Avenue.

He suffered a chipped tooth and split lip.

Councilman David Greenfield at the time suggested it was “yet another apparent anti-Semitic assault.”

Police did not say whether they would charge the purported victim with charges of filing a false report.

Source: .v1ctor Casale./Flickr

A thug ran up to a 65-year-old man, knocked him over and smashed his face into the pavement in an early morning assault on Tuesday that at least one local leader says is the latest incident of anti-Semitic knockout attacks in the area.

The victim was an Orthodox Jew visiting the neighborhood from London for a wedding reception near McDonald Avenue and 18th Avenue. It occurred as the man left the reception at 2:30 a.m., and the victim suffered a split lip and chipped tooth.

The suspect was still at large as of Tuesday afternoon.

Councilman David Greenfield told the Daily News that it appears to be a new twist on the “knockout game” assaults that plagued the neighborhood – and specifically Orthodox Jewish residents – in November and December.

He told the paper:

“It is shocking and disturbing to hear about yet another apparent anti-Semitic assault in our community, especially after so many similar incidents over the past months,” City Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) said in a statement.

“Simply put, there is no place for this type of heinous behavior in our city, as nobody should be afraid to walk the streets of their community at any time of day or night.”

Police said the assault didn’t appear to be connected to previous attacks, which included the assault of a 78-year-old Midwood woman, and a Jewish man who was assaulted a few blocks away from the latest incident. Police have made arrests in those incidents.

Under the agreement, the new driveway will be exit-only, and cars will not be allowed to turn from 19th Avenue onto 50th Street. (Source: Google Maps)

Under the agreement, the new driveway will be exit-only, and cars will not be allowed to turn from 19th Avenue onto 50th Street. (Source: Google Maps)

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield and ShopRite officials have come to a win-win agreement regarding the use of the driveway connecting the store’s rear parking lot to 19th Avenue in order to reduce the impact this new exit will have on the adjacent residential area. Under the deal, the driveway will only be used for customers to exit the ShopRite property and will be one-way from the dead end at 19th Avenue to 50th Street. The driveway’s use is limited to vehicles, with no truck traffic allowed in order to prevent backups on 19th Avenue and to maintain safety on local streets. The city Department of Transportation is now conducting a study to determine whether a traffic signal is needed at 19th Avenue and 50th Street due to the increase in traffic that will occur, and will install signage alerting drivers that the driveway is only used for exiting the parking lot and that left turns onto 50th Street are not permitted.

This agreement on behalf of the community between ShopRite and Councilman Greenfield comes after months of negotiations and meetings involving company officials, residents and community leaders including Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein. During the course of the discussions, Councilman Greenfield insisted that ShopRite conduct a traffic study to properly measure the impact that opening up this driveway would have on nearby residents, especially those near the intersection of 19th Avenue and 50th Street. In addition, Councilman Greenfield personally met with Brooklyn DOT Commissioner Joseph Palmieri at the location to give him a firsthand look at the residents’ concerns. Finally, he met with representatives of the community to ensure that they were happy with the proposed agreement. Greenfield recently wrote to the DOT to formally spell out the details of the agreement and to discuss the traffic signage necessary to lessen the impact on nearby blocks.

“I started working on this issue last year on behalf of residents immediately after hearing that ShopRite had begun construction without any notice to my office or the community. It literally took as a year to resolve, but I am very pleased that company officials listened to our concerns and agreed to take steps to minimize the impact this new exit will have on this residential corner of Boro Park. My thanks to everyone involved in reaching this deal, which I am confident will help maintain the quality of life that the residents in that area currently enjoy,” said Councilman Greenfield.

Councilman Greenfield’s involvement in this situation began in February 2013, when he asked the Buildings Department to immediately revoke all permits issued to ShopRite after hearing from concerned neighbors when the work suddenly began without notice to the community. After the city issued a stop work order, Councilman Greenfield began meeting with ShopRite officials, the DOT and community members to reach this agreement.

“Now that this agreement is in place, I will continue working with residents, the DOT and ShopRite to address any issues that might arise or to take any additional steps if necessary. This is a great example of how a local issue can be resolved when the community comes together for a common goal. I am very pleased that we have found a way to protect the community while meeting the needs of this important business,” added Councilman Greenfield.

“I thank Councilman Greenfield for leading the negotiations on behalf of the community,” said Community Board 12 Chair Yidel Perlstein. “There is no question that we got this result because we as a community stuck together to make sure that the community’s needs were accommodated.”

A drunk driver caused this February 2013 collision on Highlawn Avenue.

Summonses issued for traffic violations have gone up 75 percent in the Bensonhurst area this February when compared to February 2013′s ticket numbers. This increase follows the citywide trend, where increases have been as high as 322 percent in some neighborhoods.

According to data collected and analyzed by WNYC, issued tickets last year were “strikingly low” and this February there has been a rapid increase in traffic enforcement, leading to a huge increase in traffic violations across the city. Last February, the 62nd Precinct, which covers Bensonhurst, issued 77 tickets for major moving violations. This February, they issued 135 tickets.

Here is a look at how Bensonhurst compares to other neighborhoods:

In the Upper West Side’s 24th precinct, where three people were killed in early January, officers wrote 64 tickets in those three major categories, compared to 47 last year. In the 71st precinct in Crown Heights , where a 5-year-old was killed Sunday night, tickets nearly tripled, from 73 to 213. The 110th precinct in Queens, which contains three major thoroughfares (Roosevelt Avenue, Broadway, and Queens Boulevard) wrote the most tickets—317—but that was slightly fewer than the February 2013 total of 340. The 111th precinct, which is in a residential part of Queens, wrote the fewest—just 21 for the month.

February was the first month of the NYPD’s implementation of elements of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero campaign, which aims to reduce traffic-related fatalities. As part of the plan, officers are called on to increase enforcement against the most dangerous kinds of violations, including speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, and using a cellphone while driving. The plan also calls for the reduction of speed limits to 20 miles per hour on many city streets.

Locally, Councilman David Greenfield has called for additional crossing guards to be included in the plan.

The NYPD reports 171 car collisions, which could involve pedestrians and cyclists, in the 62nd Precinct during February 2014. No deaths were reported. There were 15,683 collisions reported citywide, resulting in 2,312 injuries and 12 deaths.

The following is a press release from Councilman David Greenfield:

With one of the most challenging winters in recent memory finally coming to a close, Councilman David G. Greenfield is focusing on the condition of streets throughout his district and will work with the Department of Transportation to repair potholes and road surfaces that were damaged by this year’s harsh weather. To help facilitate this process, Councilman Greenfield is inviting the public to help identify the locations of potholes around Kensington, Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst that are most in need of immediate attention, especially large craters that can damage vehicles or pose a safety hazard. Residents are asked to first report these potholes to 311, and to then call Councilman Greenfield’s district office at (718) 853-2704 and provide his staff with the specific location and the 311 reference number so that the request can prioritized.

“This was one of the harshest winters we have had in years, and there is no doubt that the constant freezing and thawing has wreaked havoc on the condition of our neighborhood streets. As always, I will be working closely with the Department of Transportation to make sure the worst potholes are filled in as quickly as possible and the worst streets are resurfaced this spring. Since residents know the community best, I am seeking the public’s help to identify which areas are truly most in need of attention so that any major hazards can be prioritized for repairs in the coming weeks,” said Councilman Greenfield.

Councilman Greenfield works closely with the DOT’s Brooklyn office each year to make sure that local streets most in need of resurfacing are included in the annual spring repaving schedule. During this process, priority is given to streets that are badly damaged and posing a safety hazard for drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, and to major thoroughfares with the highest volumes of traffic. Last year, this included work along 40th Street, New Utrecht Avenue, 48th Street, Ditmas Avenue, 17th Avenue, 65th Street, Avenue P, 66th Street and many others. Councilman Greenfield is also working closely with the DOT on the installation of traffic signals, stop signs, speed humps and pedestrian countdown signals around the district to improve safety and traffic flow.

Residents are asked to provide the 311 operator and Councilman Greenfield’s staff with as much specific information about the exact location of the pothole that needs to be filled, including nearby intersections or a street address. As the requests come in, Councilman Greenfield will coordinate with the DOT to ensure that the most urgent ones are promptly addressed based on the availability of city work crews.

“There is little doubt that this harsh winter is going to leave our local streets in horrendous shape, so it is important that we identify the stretches of roads that are most in need of repairs. That’s why I work closely with the Department of Transportation each spring, and why I am asking local residents to report the worst and most dangerous conditions to the city and my office for immediate attention,” added Councilman Greenfield.

The following is a press release from the offices of the Community Education Council of District 21:

Last Thursday’s announcement regarding the continuance of charter co-locations at I.S. 96, Seth Low, and I.S. 281, Joseph B. Cavallaro, is a major setback for our community.  There was such hope that Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Farina would finally listen to the voices of parents and community members.  Many of us now feel only disappointment and frustration. In the fall of 2013, the Community Education Council District 21 passed two resolutions opposing both co-locations, we have rallied, gone to both PEP meetings and still our voices were not heard.  2014 had such potential for parents and yet again, we have been pushed to the side.  We have been given a promise that they will do things better in the future.  What about the children and their families that are already attending I.S. 96 Seth Low, and I.S. 281, Joseph B. Cavallaro, don’t they count too?  I understand that they based their decisions on families that applied for seats for September 2014 and the deadline was coming.  Our children’s educations should not be about deadlines.  We provide excellent educational opportunities for all children in this district and have seats in our traditional public schools for the children who have applied.  More time should have been taken to visit and speak to schools, families, and community members regarding the co-locations. There is no need to rush putting two more elementary schools in our district. We have and always will supply a high quality education for every child in our district’s traditional public schools.   Mayor de Blasio’s plan is to provide full day, high quality Pre-K programs to 53,000 students in 2014. With two elementary Charter school co-locations opening in 2014 in our district, what middle school space can the Chancellor guarantee will be available for these students in the future?

It’s time to come together once again as a community! Let our voices be heard loud and clear “We say NO to the co-locations decisions on I.S. 96 and I.S. 281, Joseph B. Cavallaro”. The Community Education Council District 21 calls on Chancellor Farina and Mayor de Blasio to reverse the decision to implement co-location plan for I.S.96, Seth Low and I.S. 281, Joseph B. Cavallaro.

The Community Education council of District 20 & 21 invites all community members to join them at I.S. 96 Seth Low to Rally on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 2:30 PM.

Seth Low JHS will be the site of a rally against the proposed co-locations on Friday. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last Thursday that he will allow 36 public and charter schools to move into existing schools while giving the boot to other charter school co-location plans, prompting outrage from politicians and education advocates in Southern Brooklyn.

“I am very disappointed because the decision to co-locate Coney Island Prep with I.S. 281 does not square with the facts as we presented,” Councilman Vincent Gentile said in a press release that was cosigned by fellow councilmen David Greenfield and Mark Treyger. “I’ve said repeatedly that Cavallaro is already busting at the seams and there is no need for an elementary school in this area.”

Among the schools that de Blasio to see co-locations are Coney Island Prep (the charter school) with Cavallaro Intermediate School I.S. 281, and Success Academy Charter School with Seth Low Intermediate School I.S. 96.

The initiative to co-locate public schools with charter schools was created during the Bloomberg administration and according to the press release cosigned by the councilmen, many were hopeful that the co-locations would be reversed.

“Many of us who are part of the public school system were hopeful that with a new administration, we’d see a real, meaningful change that responded to the needs of the community. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case, as both I.S. 96 and I.S. 281 are still slated for charter co-locations in September 2014,” members of  Community Education Council District 20 said in a statement.

Besides the harsh words, the education council announced that they will be holding a rally this Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Seth Low I.S. 96 (99 Avenue P) in an attempt to pressure the de Blasio administration to reverse their decision. If the co-location goes through, critics argue,  schools that already have a large student body will be forced to take on more students from the charter schools, resulting in overpopulation.

“I am extremely disappointed in the decision to allow the co-location of a charter school at I.S. 96 (the Seth Low School) that our district does not need or want,” Greenfield writes in the press release. “This co-location will come at the expense of the school’s dedicated staff and hard-working students. . . This proposal does not take into account the students’ needs or the impact this will clearly have on this important school.”

Joining the ranks of critics is Assemblyman William Colton – his area covers parts of Gravesend and Bath Beach – who calls for Cavallaro Intermediate School I.S. 281 and Seth Low I.S. 96 to not co-locate with charter schools. In a press release, he said he is “extremely disappointed that Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Farina did not reverse the decisions” to co-locate the two schools in Southern Brooklyn.

For his part, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz  is commending Mayor de Blasio and Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Farina for withdrawing the co-location plan for John Dewey High School (50 Avenue X), one of the nine locations the de Blasio administration offered a reprieve. Critics of charter schools want every school’s co-location to be withdrawn.

“I intend to work with my colleagues to fight this decision tooth and nail,” Greenfield said in the press release.

Correction: The original version of this article mistakenly identified the charter school to be co-located with I.S 96 Seth Low. The correct name of the charter school is Success Academy Charter School, and the post has been amended. We regret any confusion this may have caused.

Councilman David Greenfield (Source: Facebook)

Greenfield

As part of his ongoing effort to make the annual city budget funding process as transparent and open as possible, Councilman David G. Greenfield is again inviting all non-profit organizations to attend his fourth annual budget workshop. At this important session, non-profit groups that serve the people of the 44th District will learn about the city’s application process for applying for discretionary funding and have any questions answered. This mandatory meeting will ensure that each group has a fair and equal chance to submit their application to the city, and will help Councilman Greenfield learn more about the work the group performs on behalf of the residents of Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst. In order to apply for discretionary funding, non-profit organizations must send a representative to this meeting, which will be held this Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at Councilman Greenfield’s district office located at 4424 16th Avenue in Boro Park.

“I know that many of the outstanding non-profit groups serving my district count on this support from the city in order to continue their important work. One of my most important roles is fighting to secure funding for these organizations on behalf of the many local residents who rely on their services and programs. That’s why I remain committed to making this annual application process as fair and easy for everyone involved, and I urge all local organizations to attend Tuesday’s important information session,” said Councilman Greenfield.

The upcoming budget workshop will provide attendees with all of the tools and information needed to successfully complete the City Council’s online application for government funding. The short presentation will include a sample application to show exactly what information non-profits need to provide and will include a chance for representatives to ask questions about the funding and budget process. To be clear, attendance at this meeting does not guarantee that an organization will receive funding, but it will ensure that their application is considered and help Councilman Greenfield understand each group’s specific needs and goals.

When first running for office four years ago, Councilman Greenfield pledged to make the budget process as fair, easy and open as possible. To fulfill that promise, he has held his annual budget workshop each year since taking office in order to open up the process to the public. In addition, he is inviting all district residents to have a say in the city budget by taking part in the ongoing participatory budgeting initiative in the 44th District. Under participatory budgeting, residents have the opportunity to vote on specific capital projects they would like implemented in their neighborhood using $1 million in city funding that Councilman Greenfield has set aside for this initiative. Residents from around the district have brainstormed and suggested ideas over the past few months for how the money can best be spent to improve the community, and all residents ages 16 and older are invited to vote this spring on which ideas should be funded.

“I hope that all community organizations will take this opportunity to be considered for New York City discretionary funding and to discuss how this money would be used to improve the quality of life for local residents. While our city still faces difficult challenges and decisions in this year’s budget, I am committed to assisting as many groups as possible while also fulfilling my promise to bring this process out into the open,” added Councilman Greenfield.

Tuesday’s workshop will be held in the second floor ballroom directly across the hallway from Councilman Greenfield’s district office. To RSVP, please call (718) 853-2704 or e-mail dgreenfield@council.nyc.gov.

Source: jeweledlion/Flickr

The following is a press release from the offices of City Councilman David Greenfield:

As an immediate first step in the ambitious Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths in New York City, Councilman David G. Greenfield, a member of the Council’s Transportation Committee, is calling on the NYPD to hire more crossing guards to make sure that every public and private school is adequately monitored each morning and afternoon. Councilman Greenfield’s request comes after he attended a Council Transportation Committee hearing this week on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero proposal, which contains 63 specific initiatives and recommendations to make city streets safer for pedestrians, drivers, passengers and cyclists.

NYPD Transportation Bureau Chief Thomas Chan said at Monday’s hearing that the department has approximately 200 unfilled crossing guard positions out of roughly 2,300 total slots, meaning that many dangerous intersections near public and private schools across the city are currently unsupervised. In light of the fact that at least two children have been killed while walking to city schools this year, and the reality that many of the mayor’s Vision Zero proposals will take time to implement, Councilman Greenfield is now pushing for the immediate hiring of additional crossing guards to be deployed at the most critical locations as soon as possible.

“One of the most important things we can do to immediately improve pedestrian safety in New York City is to make sure that every child is as safe as possible while walking to school. As a parent, it is frightening and disturbing to hear that so many schools in our city, both public and private, are currently not provided this basic and critical safety measure. The mayor’s Vision Zero plan contains many great and ambitious ideas, many of which will take time to implement. Hiring more crossing guards is a great first step that we can immediately take to help end senseless and preventable deaths on our streets,” said Councilman Greenfield.

This issue is especially pressing for Councilman Greenfield, whose southern Brooklyn district is home to the fastest growing youth population in the entire city and includes nearly 100 public and private schools. With that in mind, he has worked closely with local schools and the Department of Transportation to improve safety on nearby streets, including the installation of traffic signals and speed bumps at vulnerable locations. He has also been at the forefront of the Vision Zero movement in New York City, especially the push to lower the speed limit on residential streets.

During the hearing, NYPD officials noted challenges in recruiting candidates for crossing guard positions, including the pay, which ranges from $9 an hour to $12 an hour, and the schedule, which features a five-hour workday with a break in between the morning and afternoon shifts. However, Councilman Greenfield believes that an aggressive hiring campaign, including public advertisements, would result in enough candidates, and is asking the mayor to ensure there is readily-available funding to pay for the new hires. He is also proposing to raise the starting and maximum pay if necessary in order to attract viable candidates.

“On behalf of every parent and child in New York City, I will continue working with all of my colleagues in government until the streets near every school are staffed by a crossing guard. This is a simple but critical component of Vision Zero, and recent tragedies have shown that we cannot wait any longer to act,” added Councilman Greenfield.

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