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GREENPOINT | WILLIAMSBURG

AUGUST 1, 2019

VOLUME 47 | NUMBER 29

(718) 422-7400

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Experience Greenpoint’s two new waterfront parks the way they deserve to be experienced. They’re best appreciated by visitors who plan to stay a while, and just sit here and watch the river flow, as Bob Dylan famously sang. Pictured: Late-day light casts a poignant glow over Newtown Barge Greenpoint Gazette photo by Lore Croghan Park. SEE PAGES 10-11INB INSIDE.

These Brooklyn neighborhoods have the highest rates of binge drinking In a recent survey, 19 percent of Greenpoint and Williamsburg residents said they had engaged in binge drinking during the past 30 days, meaning five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in one sitting. SEE INSIDE FRONT PAGE

Image via Pexels

Brooklyn’s wealthiest areas are at the top of the list

NYCHA wasted millions on roof repairs that should have been covered by warranty, audit finds SEE STORY ON PAGE 4

BE

Brooklyn Eagle Local


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/ Williamsburg / Bushwick

Thursday, August 1,April 20196, 2016 Wednesday,

Check out Greenpoint’s new waterfront green spaces

The twilight’s so serene at the new public waterfront space outside The Greenpoint. SEE PAGES 10-11INB INSIDE.

Greenpoint Gazette photo by Lore Croghan

These Brooklyn neighborhoods have the highest rates of binge drinking

By Scott Enman Greenpoint Gazette

The two wealthiest districts in Brooklyn have the highest percentage of binge drinking in the borough — far greater than the citywide rate, according to recently released Community Health Profiles from the city’s health department. In Brooklyn Heights/Fort Greene and Park Slope/Carroll Gardens, 25 percent of residents engage in binge drinking, compared to the citywide and boroughwide rates of 17 and 15 percent respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, only 9 percent of Bensonhurst residents engaged in binge drinking, the lowest rate in the five boroughs. To determine the percentages, the city surveyed residents to see if they had

engaged in binge drinking in the previous 30 days. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in one sitting. Dr. Denise Paone, director of research and surveillance at the Health Department’s Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use, said that binge drinking tends to be associated with neighborhoods with lower poverty rates. (Chronic drinking, conversely, tends to be greater in areas with high poverty, she said.) While it is difficult to determine exactly why the percentages are higher in some neighborhoods, Paone said there are a few hypotheses, including the fact that residents with higher incomes can frequent bars more often. “We hypothesize that consuming alcohol in New York City in bars is expensive,”

she told the Greenpoint Gazette. “You need money to go to bars and drink, where if you have less money, you might go to an off-site premises and purchase alcohol and drink it at home. It’s just economics.” She said that neighborhoods with a high density of bars, especially in Manhattan, tend to lead to higher rates of binge drinking. The habit tends to be higher among white New Yorkers and among people aged 25 to 44, according to Paone. Brooklyn’s two districts with the highest rates of binge drinking are both predominantly white. Dr. Anup Chitnis of NYU Langone Hospital Brooklyn added that affluent communities tend to have more time and resources to indulge in drinking rather than impoverished residents, who might be working several jobs.

“In a poorer neighborhood, your money is spent more on necessities rather than having the luxury of disposable income and time that you’re not working or supporting your family,” he said. The Brooklyn Heights/ Fort Greene profile, which also encompasses Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and Vinegar Hill, is 46 percent white, and 44 percent of the area is between the ages of 25 and 44. The Park Slope/Carroll Gardens profile, which includes Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Red Hook and the Columbia Street Waterfront District, is 63 percent white, and 46 percent of the area is between the ages of 25 and 44. Both community profiles have the highest median household incomes in all of Brooklyn, according to data from RentHop.

Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill’s median household income is $105,398; Park Slope/Gowanus is $101,784; Carroll Gardens/Columbia Street/Red Hook came in third at $85,496; and DUMBO/ Vinegar Hill/Downtown Brooklyn/Boerum Hill is $84,945. In an effort to promote healthier drinking habits, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order in May banning alcohol advertisements on all public property. Here’s how each neighborhood in the borough compares in terms of binge drinking: • New York City: 17 percent • Brooklyn: 15 percent • Fort Greene/ Brooklyn Heights: 25 percent • Park Slope/Carroll Gardens: 25 percent • Bedford-Stuyvesant: 21percent

• Bushwick: 20 percent • Crown Heights/Prospect Heights: 20 percent • Greenpoint/Williamsburg: 19 percent • Borough Park: 14 percent • Brownsville: 14 percent • East New York/Starrett City: 14 percent • South Crown Heights/ Prospect-Lefferts Gardens: 14 percent • Canarsie/Flatlands: 13 percent • Flatbush/Midwood: 13 percent • Sunset Park: 13 percent • Ridge/Dyker Heights: 12 percent • East Flatbush: 12 percent • Sheepshead Bay: 12 percent • Coney Island: 11 percent • Bensonhurst: 9 percent


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Wednesday, March / Williamsburg / Bushwick

Thursday, August 1, 2019 | 3

Kownacki finally the main event at Barclays

Brooklyn resident Adam Kownacki (left) hopes to win his first-ever main event bout at Barclays Center on Aug. 3, when he takes on perennial title contender Chris Arreola in the headline bout

By JT Torenli

Greenpoint Gazette

Undefeated yet mostly unknown outside of our fair borough, Brooklyn resident and rising heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki will get his moment in the spotlight Aug. 3 at Downtown’s Barclays Center. The Polish-porn pugilist will step into the squared circle on the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues for the ninth time in his career and third time within the last calendar year when he takes on perennial title challenger Chris Arreola. The only difference in this bout for Kownacki (19-0) is that he will be the card’s headliner, an honor he has waited almost a decade for since winning his professional debut over Carossee Auponte at the Police Athletic League Gymnasium in Yonkers, N.Y., way back on Oct. 30, 2009. “I’m excited to be back in the ring and back at home in Barclays Center,” said the 30year-old Kownacki, who posted a unanimous decision victory over Charles Martin here last September before scoring a second-round technical knockout of Gerald Washington at Barclays on Jan. 26.

With a perfect 8-0 mark in Brooklyn, where he has lived since his family moved to Greenpoint from Lomza, Poland when he was only seven years old, Kownacki knows that this is an opportunity he must capitalize on if he hopes to get a big-time showdown with one of the world’s top heavyweights. “Fighting Chris Arreola will be another step on my journey to become a world champion,” he noted. “It will be a Polish-Mexican war that will bring fireworks to Brooklyn. Make sure you’re there in Brooklyn or watching in primetime!” The fight card, which will be televised nationally on Fox PBC Fight Night and Fox Deportes, should rock the arena from opening to closing bell. But instead of tuning up the crowd for the main event as he has had to do traditionally at Barclays, Kownacki is now the fighter most of the expected capacity crowd is coming to see. And if he can get past Arreola, who has fought and lost to the likes of reigning titleholder Deontay Wilder and former champ Vitali Klitschko, Kownacki will more than likely get his first real

shot at a heavyweight belt in 2020. “All eyes are on boxing’s heavyweight division, and I am thrilled to welcome Brooklyn’s own contender Adam Kownacki back to our ring for his first time as the headliner,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Global. “Adam has built an enthusiastic fan base in the borough, and I am confident they will be out in full force to support him as he takes on veteran Chris Arreola to earn a title shot in the near future. It will be yet another heavyweight night to remember in Brooklyn.” Kownacki has won via knockout in 15 of his first 19 bouts, including five of the last six, all but one of which have taken place at Barclays, which continues to emerge as one of the biggest non-Vegasbased boxing venues in the world. Arreola (38-5-1, 33 KOs) is no stranger to the main event. The 38-year-old Los Angeles native of Mexican descent has been fighting for boxing’s biggest title since Kownacki was just getting his feet wet in the pro ranks.

He suffered his fifth career loss to Klitschko in a bid for the WBC belt back in September of 2009, and more recently was stopped by Wilder in his attempt to attain the same title in 2016. The ring veteran has won his last two bouts, including a third-round TKO of JeanPierre Augustin in Texas back in March. So, the Aug. 3 showdown with Kownacki will serve as a re-proving ground of sorts for the savvy but heavy puncher, who has 33 career knockouts on his resume. It will also be his Barclays and Brooklyn debut. “I can’t wait to step into the ring on August 3 and show everyone I’m still one of the best heavyweights in the world,” said Arreola. “I feel rejuvenated and ready to upset Adam Kownacki in front of his fans. He better be ready, because I’m going to bring it to him like he’s never seen before. This is going to be a war and I will leave with my hand raised.” Kownacki can’t afford that result, not with his legion of Polish-American fans filling Barclays to the gills and especially not with a potential world title matchup hanging in the balance.

“Brooklyn’s Polish star Adam Kownacki has become a fan-favorite in his hometown and is surely in for a challenge from the always exciting Chris Arreola, as he looks to make a heavyweight statement,” said Tom

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

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2 Wednesday, August March 1, 201930, Wednesday, March 16, 2016 2016 42 | Thursday,

/ Williamsburg / Bushwick

NYCHA wasted millions on roof repairs that should have been covered by warranty, audit finds Greenpoint Gazette file photo by Kelly Mena

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer at the NYCHA Ingersoll Houses.

By Kelly Mena

Greenpoint Gazette

A new report says the city’s public housing authority wasted millions paying for roof repairs that should have been covered under a warranty — and may still cost the agency an additional $24 million in replacements. According to a new audit from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office, covering 2000 to 2010, the New York City Housing Authority ignored roof warranties on more than 98 percent of its work orders. The housing agency was found to only have used its roof-warranty coverage on just 1.3 percent of the roof repairs — instead using public funds in 700 instances.

When putting new roofs on NYCHA buildings, the housing agency generally contracts with a roofing company for a 20-year warranty. As part of the warranty agreement, NYCHA is responsible for implementing a maintenance program. The warranty required two maintenance checks each year to keep the warranty in effect. However, failure to keep up with these maintenance checks voids the warranty, with any subsequent roof repairs and their cost falling onto NYCHA. NYCHA spent approximately $452 million over 10 years for 715 roof replacements and related work — an average of more than $632,000 for each roof, according to the audit. Yet, in a sampling of work orders reviewed by

Example of a deficient roof at the Williamsburg Houses.

Photo courtesy of New York City Comptroller’s office

the comptroller, repairs that would have been covered by warranty were not, either because of lapsed warranties or because the agency neglected to take advantage of ones that were in effect. “At a time when every penny counts, NYCHA is essentially lighting every penny on fire by investing millions in roof repairs when it doesn’t have to,” Stringer said at a press conference. Auditors inspected 35 roofs across 13 developments including Brooklyn’s Armstrong, Roosevelt and Williamsburg Houses, which total 11 roofs, and found that 88 percent were observed to have deficiencies like pooling water, roof sag, open seams and damaged masonry. They also found that about half citywide, or 19, had significant to moderate deficiencies like ponding water, soft/spongy spots, blisters and cracks among other issues. Based on NYCHA’s reported costs, the Comptroller’s Office estimates repairs could cost about $24.6 million. The comptroller blamed all levels of management at the authority for the lack of proper protocols, citing NYCHA’s outdated 30-yearold roof maintenance rules as the main problem. “Some of these positions and some of these individuals that should be looking at these repairs have expired. We still have the same protocols from 1985, meaning nobody has worked to update procedures,” Stringer told the Greenpoint Gazette. Of the 13 developments inspected in the audit, the majority had no copy of the roof warranty and none were in NYCHA’s Maximo system, which manages maintenance requests, or were reported to the manufacturer for any roof deficiencies. “The water is actually leaking from the roofs to their apartments. I get complaints every time it rains,” Darold Burgess, tenant

association president of the Ingersoll Houses, told the Gazette. In the wake of the report, Stringer issued a series of recommendations that include designating specific personnel to inspect roofs routinely, developing a manual for roof maintenance and updating the IT systems at the authority to be used for recording roof inspections. In a letter dated July 17, 2019, acting NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo acknowledged the housing authority’s issues with roof maintenance and claimed that reforms to the system were already underway. “While NYCHA agrees with most of the audit recommendations, it should be noted that IT enhancements, new project management system and electronic document storage were initiatives that were already underway, and NYCHA management was aware of some gaps in oversight,” read a public statement issued as part of the report.

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Display Advertising: Katrina Ramus kat@ebrooklynmedia.com Telephone: 718-643-9099 Greenpoint Gazette & Advertiser (USPS PE # 21460) is published weekly, 48 times a year except the first week of January, first week of July, last week of August and December by EBrooklyn Media, 16 Court Street, 30th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11241. Subscription rate: $25/year. Periodicals postage paid at Brooklyn, New York. POSTMASTER: send address changes to the Greenpoint Gazette, 16 Court Street, 30th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11241. Founded in 1974 by Ralph Carrano & Adelle Haines


News Around the Boro NO GAS, NO BURGERS

BOROUGHWIDE — Two Brooklyn deli owners say National Grid may cost them $400,000 by refusing to supply natural gas to a new burger restaurant they’re planning in Brooklyn, according to Bloomberg News. The two men are victims of a face-off between the gas utility and state regulators since New York and New Jersey have denied approvals for the planned $1 billion Williams Cos. Pipeline expansion. Williams Cos. plans to reapply, but in the meantime, National Grid is declining to approve any new contracts to supply gas.  BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — The buyers of the $9.8 million Brooklyn Heights townhouse at 16 Sidney Place are horror movie producer Jason Blum, known for “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge,” and his wife, television writer Lauren Schuker Blum, according to the New York Post. The house previously belonged to the late hedge-fund manager Sanjay Valvani, who killed himself after being charged with insider trading. The 22-foot-wide, five-story property features six bedrooms, four full bathrooms, an elevator, radiant-heated floors, an open-air cabana and a dining patio. The master suite includes built-in cabinets, a spa-like bathroom, office space and a terrace. 

CHURCH RECEIVES GRANT FOR MURAL

STUYVESANT HEIGHTS — The New York Landmarks Conservancy has given the 146-year-old Stuyvesant Heights Christian Church a $30,000 grant to repair a large stained-glass mural, according to the Brooklyn Paper. “We feel it is very important to help maintain religious structures that provide a sense of history and place to communities,” said Peg Breen, leader of the conservancy. The church, at 69 MacDonough St., is an example of 19th century Gothic Revival architecture. In addition to worship services, it sponsors a preschool, after-school program and food pantries. 

AMAZON, PRO AND CON

SUNSET PARK — Sunset Park residents are divided about the possible impact of the storage and shipping facility that Amazon reportedly wants to build in Industry City, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Adrian Roman, a member of a community group called El Grito, said, “Those are low-paying jobs. They don’t really help the community.” Councilmember Carlos Menchaca said that in its existing facilities, Amazon “terrorizes immigrants and treats its workers like robots.” But real estate lawyer Jeffrey Cintron said, “It’s going to be a huge plus. A distribution facility has to have blue-collar jobs.” 

GOWANUS COALITION SEEKS ZONING INPUT

GOWANUS — The Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice, made up of groups that advocate for the area’s low-income tenants, has called for the city to create an Environmental Special District within the area in Gowanus that it wants to rezone. One of the area’s challenges is to mitigate the untreated waste spewing into the Gowanus Canal when the city’s sewers are overwhelmed by runoff from heavy rains. The city estimates that the rezoning would create 8,200 new apartments in the neighborhood, and environmentalists fear the impact that added waste could bring. The coalition also wants the city to invest in local parks, increase the number of street trees and address critical needs at the area’s three NYCHA projects. 

BODY DISCOVERED NEAR HOME DEPOT

CONEY ISLAND — A man’s body was discovered in a wooded area behind a Coney Island Home Depot on Sunday, according to the New York Post. A passerby came across the victim, who police said was probably in his 30s, around noon on Sunday in the woods behind the store. The victim was lying face down and bleeding from his head, police said. 

BIKE LANE PROPOSAL SLAMMED

SHEEPSHEAD BAY — Southern Brooklyn community boards criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio for saying he would “just give the order” to install new bike lanes if the boards obstruct city efforts to build them. Theresa Scavo, chair of Community Board 15, which includes Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach, says the city has often ignored the board and “unilaterally decided to remove parking in southern Brooklyn.” Bob Tracy, a member of Marine Park’s CB 18, said that rather than protect bikers from cars, the mayor’s plan would put pedestrians in danger from cyclists. The mayor’s plan would add 80 miles of protected bike lanes to city streets. 

BRA STOPS SHOOTER’S BULLET

BROWNSVILLE — A woman’s bra strap stopped a bullet from penetrating her back during a Brownsville shooting on Saturday night, according to Newsweek. Daniesa Mardaugh was one of thousands of people who attended the Old Timers Day event where the mass shooting broke out around 11 p.m., leaving one person dead and at least 11 injured. When EMS

INBrooklyn photo by Paula Katinas

HORROR PRODUCER BUYS HEIGHTS MANSION

A small but vocal group of Coney Island residents held a rally on Saturday to protest a proposal to put a ferry landing at the Kaiser Park pier in their neighborhood, charging that having ferries coming and going all day long will ruin their quiet oasis and bring an abrupt end to fishermen’s enjoyment of the waterfront. See brooklyneagle.com for the full story. personnel unhooked Mardaugh’s bra, the bullet was just sitting in the strap and fell out, police said. Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the NYPD is looking into whether the shooting was gang-related. 

TAXI DRIVERS OFFER REWARD

BROWNSVILLE — Taxi drivers’ advocates are upset over the robbery and murder of cabbie Nomen Saleemi on Williams Avenue in Brownsville on Friday. “This was a young man, a brother, a son, a nephew, a cousin, a good human being whose life was taken senselessly,” said Fernando Mateo, spokesperson for the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers. The group is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone with information about Saleemi’s death. They are also calling on the city to make cabbies’ jobs safer. Saleemi’s family said he had been driving with the Everywhere Car Service for about two years and was about to start a new job at a pharmaceutical company. 

PHYSICIAN, HEAL THYSELF

FORT GREENE — A female anesthesiologist who was heartbroken after a fellow physician ended their romance threatened to kill him and his mother with a muscle relaxant, according to the New York Post. Pik Lee allegedly refused to end the relationship, even groping Francisco Sebastiani while he performed surgery at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, according to a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court. Even as Sebastiani went through residencies in various hospitals, Lee “spewed a barrage of lewd, profane, explicit and threatening text messages and emails … that included gun, bomb, knife and syringe emojis,” the lawsuit alleged. 

IRON MAIDEN STORMS BARCLAYS

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Forbes’ Derek Scancarelli recently reviewed Iron Maiden’s two nights of concerts at Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn. The British heavy metal group “pummeled through decades of hits among an evolving assortment of stage props, thematic backdrops and pyrotechnics,” the review said. Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson changed his attire for each song’s theme — from fighter pilot goggles to the parka of an Arctic soldier. Guitarist Dave Murray said the group performs “an adrenaline driven show. There are quiet, moody parts in some songs, but it’s basically full-on.” 

POST OFFICE ROBBERS SOUGHT

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A group of men is wanted for repeatedly stabbing and then robbing a young man behind a post office in Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to PIX11. The group confronted the victim on July 20 at the rear of 1205 Atlantic Ave. The victim was stabbed three times in the upper torso and arm, police said. The robbers took $20, then fled in an unknown direction. 

BABY PRONOUNCED DEAD

EAST FLATBUSH — A 25-day-old baby was pronounced dead in East Flatbush on Saturday after authorities responded to a call about an unconscious child, according to silive.com.

Police responded to a 911 call of an unconscious child inside an apartment at 1242 East 72nd St. EMS workers transported the male child, who was later identified as Nio Kiellman, to Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. 

PARK SLOPE CO-OP FEATURED

PARK SLOPE — The New York Times, in its “What’s Selling Now” real estate column, recently wrote about “Homes That Sold for Around $1.5 Million.” The only Brooklyn home mentioned in the column was 397 Seventh Ave. in Park Slope, a co-op in a prewar building that includes a “breakfast bar,” a washer-dryer and a living room with fireplace. The co-op sold for $1.325 million, with monthly maintenance charges of $748. 

CAR BREAK-IN IN THE HEIGHTS

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A thief broke into a car in Brooklyn Heights and stole a backpack with $40,000 in cash inside, according to the New York Post. The suspect, a young white man who wore a blue-hooded sweater and brown shorts, was caught on video on July 11 on Joralemon Street near Hicks Street. He used a wrench to break into the Jeep’s passenger window, quickly stole the backpack and fled on foot. The owner, a 52-year-old man, had left the backpack unattended in the car, police said. 

DOMINICAN CHOCOLATE SHOP OPENS

WILLIAMSBURG — Rizek Cacao, a well-known manufacturer of chocolate bars in the Dominican Republic, has opened its first shop in the United States. The store, Kahkow, is located at 97 N. 10th St. near Berry Street in Williamsburg. Kahkow sells chocolate bars, chocolate for cooks, baked goods and other ingredients, according to The New York Times. Soon, the café expects to start roasting cacao on the premises. 

DISTURBED MAN THREATENS COPS

EAST NEW YORK — The Sergeants Benevolent Association on Sunday tweeted a video of a man walking into the 75th Precinct in East New York with what they say was a drawn knife. When the man refused to drop his weapon, one of the officers tased him, causing him to fall to the ground and allowing the cops to subdue him, according to PIX11. NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan commented on Twitter, “Cops face split second, life & death decisions every day. When an emotionally disturbed man holding a long knife walked into the NYPD75Pct and asked to be shot, these cops reacted quickly.” 

GREECE VS. PERSIA IN BAY RIDGE

BAY RIDGE — The Federation of Associated Laconian Studies recently held a commemoration of the Battle of Thermopylae and a tribute to King Leonidas of Sparta, according to the National Herald, a Greek Orthodox publication. The room was packed at the federation’s headquartered in Bay Ridge on July 28. The Battle of Thermopylae, in 480 B.C., pitted an alliance of Greek city-states led by King Leonidas against the Persian Empire led by King Xerxes.

Week August 1-7, 2019 •of INBROOKLYN — A Eagle/Brooklyn Special Section ofEagle/Heights Brooklyn Eagle//Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/GreenpointGazette Gazette••1INB 1INB Week of August 1–7, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — AofSpecial Section Brooklyn Daily Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint


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THREE GUYS GAZPACHO During the warm summer months, you may not be craving a hot bowl of soup, but a cold refreshing bowl of gazpacho may be just what you’re looking for. And Three Guys from Brooklyn has all the ingredients you’ll need to create your own delicious homemade gazpacho. Just mix together diced tomatoes, cucumber, a bell pepper, green onion, jalapeno and garlic. Add salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and black pepper and blend with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic, and Worcestershire sauce and get set to enjoy a delicious and refreshing bowl of gazpacho soup! The complete recipe is on the website. https://www.3guysfrombrooklyn.com/recipes/gazpacho/

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Week of August 1–7, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 5INB


“Ask the Lawyer” host Mike Connors honored at American Heritage Dinner BY JOHN ALEXANDER JALEXANDER@BROOKLYNEAGLE. COM

Community leaders and elected officials came together for the Conservative Parties of Kings and Queens Counties’ American Heritage Dinner on Tuesday, July 23, at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach. This year’s recipient of the Thaddeus S. Dabrowski American Heritage Award was attorney Mike Connors of Connors & Sullivan Attorneys at Law, host of the popular “Ask the Lawyer” radio show on AM970. Connors is a community leader who has been honored by numerous civic organizations in the borough, including the Bay Ridge Community Council, the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, the Bay Ridge Center and the American Legion. The entire evening was a heartfelt tribute to Connors, who was born in Manhattan and moved to Bay Ridge when he was four years old. After graduating from Pace University, he served in the Army. Upon his return from service, he enrolled in Brooklyn Law School and graduated in 1979 as a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. Connors opened his private practice in Bay Ridge in 1981 and formed Connors & Sullivan, an elder law firm that specializes in trusts and estates and estate planning. He resides in Bay Ridge with his wife Beth and son Michael and is an active member of the Brooklyn Conservative Party. Brooklyn Conservative Party Vice Chair David Ryan hosted the event. Among the elected officials in attendance were Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, New York State Conservative Party Chair Jerry Kassar, Brooklyn Conservative Party Chair Fran

Vella-Marrone, Queens County Conservative Party Chair Thomas Long, Queens City Councilmembers Eric Ulrich and Robert Holden, Brooklyn Councilmember Kalman Yeger

Brooklyn Conservative Party Vice Chair David Ryan with comedian and radio talk show host Joe Piscopo. and New York State Assemblymember Simcha Eichenstein. Also attending were former State Sen. Marty Golden and former New York State Conservative Party Chair Mike Long. Msgr. Alfred LoPinto, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, delivered the invocation. Dozier Hasty, publisher and owner of daily and weekly newspapers including the Brooklyn Eagle, Home Reporter and Spectator, was also in attendance. Comedian, singer, radio talk show host and former star of

“Saturday Night Live” Joe Piscopo was at the event to salute his friend Connors. Piscopo said that it was an honor to be at the dinner and credited Connors with helping him straighten out his life. Piscopo introduced Connors, saying, “It is with great pride and great respect that I introduce a great New Yorker who doesn’t forget about his religion, his family or his community. He’s the most dedicated man I know and one of the most brilliant men I know.” Republican New York businesswoman Scherie Murray and retired NYPD Police Officer John Cummings were also at the dinner; both are running for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s seat in New York’s 14th District. Ryan called the event one of the most successful dinners the party has ever had and credited Connors’ selection as honoree as the reason for the large turn-out. LoPinto praised Connors’ “level of conviction to great moral values and how he promotes those in the most exceptional of ways, most especially with the radio station he is involved with.” Vella-Marrone called Connors “simply a great man and one of the first people I met in the Conservative Party back in 1980.” She explained Connors became an elder care lawyer because of his concern for his aging parents at the time. “He

ebrooklyn media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, New York State Conservative Party Chair Jerry Kassar, honoree Mike Connors, Brooklyn Conservative Party Chair Fran Vella-Marrone, Queens Conservative Party Chair Thomas Long and Queens Councilmember Robert Holden. wanted to help other people so he chose a field where he could concentrate on that. Mike embodies the principles of God, country and family,” she added. Connors appeared deeply touched by the outpouring of love for him in the room. “I want to thank everyone for being here tonight. It’s really appreciated,” he said before asking everyone from his law firm to stand up and be recognized. “Sometimes when I go out of state or go to visit relatives in Texas, people ask me ‘what’s the Conservative Party, and why are you a Conservative? Why aren’t you just a Republican, aren’t Republicans good enough? Well, the reason I’m a Conservative is because Conservatives stand for principles and values,” he explained.

Honoree Mike Connors with his son Michael, comedian and radio talk show host Joe Piscopo and staff of AM970 The Answer radio station.

Members of the Catholic War Veterans and the Civil War Roundtable.

Congressional candidate Scherie Murray, second from left, with Republican District Leader John Quaglione, center, among friends and supporters.

Former State Sen. Marty Golden, Msgr. Alfred LoPinto and former OLPH Pastor Charles McDonald. Malliotakis thanked Connors, calling him a proud American who truly believes in his conservatism and in his nation and for “all he does for senior citizens, the Brooklyn community, the Catholic community and the veterans community.” Kassar also praised Connors for his many contributions to

the community. “Mike Connors is one of those special people that contributes so much in so many different ways to the people of Bay Ridge and our city,” Kassar told this paper. “I applaud the Brooklyn and Queens Conservative Parties in recognizing his contributions at a wonderfully successful dinner.”

John Seravalli, Fran Clyne, Arlene Rutuelo, John Quaglione and Serena MacLellan.

Thomas Long, Mike Connors, Fran Vella-Marrone, Beth Connors and Michael Connors.

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Tour showcases Industry City BY JAIME DEJESUS JDEJESUS@BROOKLYNREPORTER.COM

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Showing Brooklynites and tourists a new side of Industry City, Made in Brooklyn Tours added Industry City to its roster of destinations this summer. The new tour, dubbed the “Made in Industry City Tour,” kicked off on June 20 with a curated selection of Brooklyn makers based at the century-old manufacturing complex. Dom Gervasi, founder of the tour company and a one-time Sunset Park resident, said that Industry City had approached him about doing the tour. “They reached out to me and asked if I was interested in going out there and designing a tour around the makers of Industry City,” he said. “For so many years, it was empty. I’m sure there were things going on but it wasn’t something a lot of people knew about.” The goal for Gervasi — who launched his business in 2011 — was designing a tour that showcases both Industry City’s rich history and its variety of businesses. “Every neighborhood has a story and IC has its own interesting one and I have to develop that. I try to capture the story and nature of Industry City,” he said. The tour covers several popular areas including Innovation Alley, Li-Lac Chocolate and Japan Village, and also reveals the inner workings of the complex. “My challenge was to try to contrast the different types of businesses,” he said. “I wanted to contrast old school and new school, and traditional artisan versus what’s new

Photo courtesy of Industry City

Glass Art of Brooklyn is one of the stops on the tour. today. That was a story I was trying to tell with Industry City.” “The maker community here is an integral part of Industry City, as well as the great landscape of light manufacturing in cities around the country,” said Lauren Danziger, the complex’s chief marketing officer. “The ability to bring people inside maker spaces opens the doors of creativity and accessibility, dispelling the idea that it’s not possible to thrive as a creative business in New York City. These tours are providing a platform for this type of accessibility.” The Made in Industry City tour takes place every Thursday at 10 a.m. Tickets are $40. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.madeinbrooklyntours.com.

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8INB • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • Week of August 1–7, 2019


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John Philip Bigolski, a Williamsburg stalwart, Army veteran and city servant, dies at 71 BY JOHN NICHOLAS BIGOLSKI AND NED BERKE John Philip Bigolski, a father, husband and longtime fixture of the northside Williamsburg community seen frequently chatting up storeowners on Bedford Avenue and doling out wisdom from local barstools, died on July 28 at the age of 71. As a special investigator for the Office of Midtown Enforcement during Rudy Giuliani’s mayoral administration, Bigolski played a part in the resurgence of Times Square and Midtown Manhattan by bringing businesses up to code and ensuring safety for visitors. He stayed in the office until 2016, having served three mayors in the role. He took his job seriously and with an open mind, according to his son, John Nicholas Bigolski. “He would go into sex shops and gay clubs when no one else would want to. And he’d work with anyone so long as they focused on the job,” the younger Bigolski said. “He took assignments no one else would take; he’d take it and do it well.” Born on Dec. 22, 1947, Bigolski witnessed another of modern New York City’s most dramatic transformations closer to home, passing

most of his seven decades within the few square miles of Williamsburg’s northside. He moved to the neighborhood as a child from Jersey City, New Jersey, with his three sisters and his parents, John Biegalski and Mary Pryma Biegalski. He graduated from Eastern District High School in 1965, having previously attended P.S. 17 and J.H.S. 126. His father, a Greenpoint native, owned several bars and restaurants catering to the neighborhood’s longshoremen and dock and factory workers, who Bigolski would later see replaced by artists, entrepreneurs and throngs of tourists. “He’d say a lot of new people were not honoring the history of the neighborhood, and how it was growing up, and how it was a world renowned shipyard,” Bigolski’s son said. “[Yet] he always supported and was friendly with the artists who were moving in, because he always had an affinity for the arts. Artists and musicians alike.” From his stooped brownstone off Bedford Avenue at North Sixth Street, Bigolski watched much of that transformation alongside his wife, Mary Voloshin, to whom he was married for 38 years until her death in 2011. Voloshin and Bigolski were friends when he was drafted to the Army

Photo courtesy of John Nicholas Bigolski

John Philip Bigolski. in early 1968. He saw service as a military police officer at Checkpoint Charlie in East Berlin until 1970. He earned commendations as an expert in rifle and pistol, and received the National Service Medal and Army of Occupation (Berlin) Medal. Bigolski received an honorable discharge in early 1970. During his time overseas, Bigolski and Voloshin corresponded frequently. After he returned, they married on June 25, 1973. Their first and only

child, John Nicholas, was born on Nov. 12, 1984. Prior to his service in the Mayor’s Office, Bigolski worked several odd jobs throughout the ’70s, including fabric salesman, counselor in an inner-city charity and day school, gas station and gas truck inspector, and short-order cook. He completed his bachelor’s degree in sociology through City College in 1980 and took on a series of state and city jobs until he joined the Mayor’s Office of Midtown Enforcement in 1994, staying until his retirement. Bigolski was an avid fisherman, casting his line along the New York City and Long Island waterfronts. He had a thorough knowledge of the region’s beaches, inlets and bays. “On Long Island, as a kid, when we would go fishing and I’d see him haul in a really, really big fish it would impress upon me as a kid the strength and the power of staying in the fight. That’s a strong memory in my mind,” Bigolski’s son recalled. Bigolski was a lifelong Mets fan, having been a devout Brooklyn Dodgers fan and an enemy of the Yankees. He frequently recounted early childhood memories of hopping local buses with other kids down to Ebbets Field. As a Mets fan, he watched

nearly every game — except when the Mets disappointed too deeply. “He would usually turn on the game for at least a little bit, but sometimes he’d get so disgusted with the Mets he’d say, ‘I’m not watching them again.’ And then a day would go by and he’d watch again,” said his son. Bigolski’s oldest sister, Barbara Johnston, died on the same day as he did, July 28. He is survived by his son, John Nicholas, as well as his sisters, Virginia Bonofiglio and Eleanor Schub, and many nieces, nephews and extended family. He will be remembered as a neighbor, a public servant, a veteran, a gruff voice with an impish smile — and, ultimately, as a caring, generous father and a loving husband. Viewing hours for John Philip Bigolski will be held at Evergreen Funeral Home (133 Nassau Ave., Brooklyn) on Saturday, Aug. 3, 7-9 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 4, 2-5 p.m. Services will be held on Sunday, Aug. 4, 7-9 p.m. Interment will be at Calverton National Cemetery (210 Princeton Blvd., Calverton, NY) following a short service at the funeral home on Monday, Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a charity of your choice.

Week of August 1–7, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 9INB


Eye on REAL ESTATE Check out Greenpoint’s new waterfront green spaces By Lore Croghan INBrooklyn

I’m the nerd who always exhorts you to walk, walk, walk to see the best of Brooklyn. Today I’m going to encourage you to loaf around instead. How else will you experience Greenpoint’s two new waterfront parks the way they deserve to be experienced? They’re best appreciated by visitors who plan to stay a while, and just sit here and watch the river flow, as Bob Dylan famously sang. So bring friends, bring a book, bring a blanket so you

can enjoy some leisure time on the green lawns. One of the two parks is revamped and refurbished rather than absolutely brand-new. I’ll tell you more about it in a minute. If you don’t live within walking distance from Greenpoint, your most entertaining way to get there is, as always, the NYC Ferry. The route from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Williamsburg to Greenpoint offers a big dose of Brooklyn waterfront scenery — and vistas of skyscrapers in Lower and Midtown Manhattan, from the World Trade Center to the Chrysler Building.

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There are two newly opened green spaces on the Greenpoint waterfront. This one’s Newtown Barge Park. Also, if you take the ferry, you’ll disembark on a dock that’s right beside the first new green space I want to show you, which is outside a new residential tower called The Greenpoint at 21 India St.

WATERFRONT PUBLIC SPACE IN FRONT OF THE GREENPOINT

When you walk to the end of the dock, you find the entrance to the new green space is right there.

This appealing public waterfront space is located in front of a residential tower called INBrooklyn photos by Lore Croghan The Greenpoint. This waterfront space belongs to the city Department of Parks and Recreation. It has a 275-foot promenade on the edge of the East River, 33 trees, low-rise plantings, a lawn and 312 linear feet of benches. The 29,500-square-foot green space stands in front of a driveway that leads from India Street to The Greenpoint’s front entrance. Mack Real Estate and Palin Enterprises are the codevelopers of the 40-story tower in conjunction with Urban Development Partners. Ismael Leyva Architects designed the building, which has rental apartments on the lower floors and condos on the upper floors. When I looked at The Greenpoint’s website the other day, available rental apartments ranged in price from $3,060 per month for a studio to $5,380 per month for a two-bedroom unit. Some condo sales have closed at The Greenpoint. For instance, city Finance Department records indicate, a unit on the 29th floor sold for $2,235,058 and a 36thfloor apartment sold for $2,158,690.

REZONING IN 2005 MANDATED GREEN SPACE CONSTRUCTION

The waterfront green space also has a 4,000-square-foot playground whose construction

wasn’t quite finished the day I was there. Some of the playground equipment looks a little bit like abstract sculptures.

— Continued on page 11INB —

10INB •• INBROOKLYN Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • Week of August Gazette 1, 2019 • Week of August 1–7, 2019 10INB INBROOKLYN — — AA Special SpecialSection SectionofofBrooklyn BrooklynEagle/Heights Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint


The new sports field at Newtown Barge Park is quite an eyeful. INBrooklyn photos by Lore Croghan

Eye on REAL ESTATE

You can also sit and watch the sunset. I did. It was splendid. But the pictures I took at dusk are prettier than the sunset shots. A dinner-time picnic would be fun at Newtown Barge Park. There are nearby restaurants that would be good places to get a to-go dinner. A promenade was added to imThe Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a few blocks away on prove public access to the shoreline. Commercial Street. You might want to eat dessert there beThis particular bit of shoreline is the cause if you carry ice cream all the way to the park in this East River, very near where Newtown weather, you could wind up with a drippy mess. Creek empties into it. The park has a lovely swath of lawn, pretty plantings and a fenced-in sports field suitable for baseball and soccer. If you’re at Newtown Barge Park when the weather’s nice, you’ll see the sun glinting on the windows of an adjacent apartment tower whose address is 41 Blue Slip. It’s part of a 22-acre, multi-building shoreline development called Greenpoint Landing that Brookfield Properties and Park Tower Group are building. By the way, these developers were also obligated by the 2005 rezoning to construct publicly accessible waterfront space. Last year, they opened a section of that green space. It runs between

Check out Greenpoint’s new waterfront green spaces

Grasses grow in neat rows in the green space outside The Greenpoint. — Continued from page 10INB — The Greenpoint’s developers were required to build the waterfront green space, give it to the city and promise to fund its maintenance. A 2005 rezoning imposed this requirement on developers of the neighborhood’s waterfront sites. By the way, the park outside The Greenpoint is open from dawn until dusk. It’s a tranquil spot to watch the sunset. If you point your camera in the right direction, you’ll be able to include the Empire State Building in your pictures.

A NEW PROMENADE AT NEWTOWN BARGE PARK

The second green space I want to show you is Newtown Barge Park. To get there from The Greenpoint, Here’s the playground equipment outside The Greenpoint. walk inland to Franklin Street and 41 Blue Slip and another tower of theirs, 37 Blue Slip. stroll several blocks north to Commercial Street. Newtown Barge Park was an existing city park. Plans to expand it were made several years ago. SUNRISE, SUNSET, SUNRISE, SUNSET Also by the way, the construction of residential towers marks a new phase in the history of the Greenpoint waterfront. In the 19th century, the area was a shipbuilding mecca. — CONDO FOR SALE — More than a dozen shipbuilding firms moved to the neighbor1 Bedroom Condo For Sale. Fully Renovated, hood from Manhattan in the 1850s, the city Landmarks PreservaStainless Steel Appl. tion Commission’s designation report about the Greenpoint Wood Floors, Washer and Dryer; and Private storage Historic District says. The famous ironclad Civil War vessel, the 102 GUERNSEY ST. Monitor, was made in Greenpoint. Brooklyn, NY 11222 But more about Newtown Barge Park. It’s open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Asking $549,000 This means you can do outdoor yoga at sunrise — though I Owner: 516-301-8357 don’t have the self-discipline to get up that early, so I don’t have any photos of anything like that. Week of August—1,A2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Eagle/HeightsPress/Home Press/HomeReporter/Brooklyn Reporter/BrooklynSpectator/Brooklyn Spectator/BrooklynRecord/Greenpoint Record/Greenpoint Gazette Gazette •• 11INB 11INB Week of August 1–7, 2019 • INBROOKLYN Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights


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Thursday, August 1, 2019 • A SPECIAL SECTION of Brooklyn Heights Press/Brooklyn Eagle Weekly/Greenpoint Gazette/The Record • 5


Brooklyn Botanic launches protest exhibit about proposed high-rise development

The Spice Factory towers would cast shadows on the Desert Pavilion for four and a half hours per day.

Lore Croghan INBrooklyn

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is deploying a new tool to muster public opposition to Crown Heights’ high-rise Spice Factory development: education. It’s an exhibit called “Fight for Sunlight,” which details the harm that would be done to rare and endangered plants in the garden’s greenhouse and conservatory complex by shadows that two planned 39-story towers would cast for up to 4 1/2 hours per day. The Spice Factory site, where the towers would stand, is just 150 feet away from the garden. Ian Bruce Eichner’s Continuum Co. and codeveloper Lincoln Equities are seeking rezoning for the site at 960 Franklin Ave. in order to build a 1.37 million-square-foot residential and retail project with 1,578 apartments. Half of them would be affordable units for people with four different income levels. The lowest-income individual tenants could make up to $36,550 per year, and the highest-income residents could earn as much as $125,160 annually for a family of four. “It’s a false proposition to pit so-called ‘affordable’ housing against open space,” BBG President and CEO Scot Medbury told reporters during a tour of the greenhouses and conservatories on Tuesday, the day the exhibit opened. The garden’s top officials think the project plan is “inappropriate” and hope the developers withdraw it, Medbury said. Zoning in the area near the famous 52-acre garden was changed in 1991 to protect its access to sunlight. The zoning capped new-building heights at seven stories. If Continuum and Lincoln Equities are going to develop the Spice Factory site, they should stick with the current zoning, said Medbury, who is stepping down from his post as the garden’s president and CEO in January. The greenhouse and conservatory complex has 31 separate chambers, or growing spaces, with tens of thousands of different plants with specific light and temperature requirements.

Shadows that would blot out sunlight for 4 1/2 hours per day will cause some plants to succumb to fungal diseases, Medbury said. Some plants may not flower; others won’t grow at all. In one of the conservatories, a semi-transparent exhibit scrim shows an outline of the Spice Factory’s proposed 464-foot towers looming over 54-foot conservatory buildings. In a nearby room in the Aquatic House, a sign that’s part of the “Fight for Sunlight” exhibit stands beside a huge hanging contraption that holds a tiger orchid Medbury said is as big as a Volkswagen. Thanks to the Aquatic House’s sunshine and warmth, “BBG has been lucky enough to successfully bloom this species three times since

1997,” says the message on the sign, which is from curator Dave Horak. “It remains one of the rarest events in a botanic garden in this country. Reducing natural sunlight would make it a virtual certainty that these plants would not bloom again at BBG,” Horak’s message concludes. Curators will be posting messages about Spice Factory shadows beside other plants in the weeks to come. The exhibit will be in place through the end of the year. Another element of the “Fight for Sunlight” exhibit is a video comparing what shadows at the garden currently look like on the longest day of the year to longer-lasting shadows that would be cast by the Spice Factory towers.

Here’s a look at the high-rise towers proposed for the Spice Factory site. Rendering via the City Planning Department

6 • A SPECIAL SECTION of Brooklyn Heights Press/Brooklyn Eagle Weekly/Greenpoint Gazette/The Record • Thursday, August 1, 2019

INBrooklyn photo byPaul Frangipane

“With reduced sunlight, many plants would get sick, weaken and die,” the video warns. It’s playing on a wall outside the Desert Pavilion — which would be hit especially hard by shadows from the towers. BBG’s collection of 400 bonsai trees is threatened by the shadows that Spice Factory towers would cast. Some of the miniature trees are several hundred years old. Medbury took reporters to an outdoor nursery that’s not open to the public, where the bonsai spend their summers soaking up the sun. The Spice Factory developers have suggested artificial light could be used in the greenhouses when shadows fall over them. Medbury said that wouldn’t help. During his walk with reporters, Medbury said Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s youth education programs, which were first established a century ago, make extensive use of its greenhouses and conservatories. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden draws 825,000 to 1 million visitors per year, depending on how wet the spring weather is. “We know New Yorkers care about us,” Medbury said. “This is a very special place.” Brooklyn Botanic Garden is also running a petition campaign against the Spice Factory’s proposed rezoning. A spokesperson for the developers did not immediately respond to request for comment about the new exhibit. Medbury and numerous BBG employees testified in March at a public scoping meeting about the harm that would be caused by shadows from the towers. The meeting was a prelude to a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP, which is required when zoning changes are sought. At that meeting, numerous Crown Heights residents expressed their opposition to the proposed Spice Factory high-rises, including members of Movement to Protect the People, an organization founded by activist Alicia Boyd. Numerous members of construction unions, on the other hand, expressed their support for the developments.


Brooklyn Botanic launches protest exhibit about proposed high-rise development

Brooklyn Botanic Garden President and CEO Scot Medbury takes reporters on a tour. See opposite page for more.

Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

Thursday, August 1, 2019 • A SPECIAL SECTION of Brooklyn Heights Press/Brooklyn Eagle Weekly/Greenpoint Gazette/The Record • INSIDE BACK PAGE


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