And the winners of participatory budgeting are…

File photo

In District 33, represented by Councilman Stephen Levin, eight total projects received enough votes to be funded as part of participatory budgeting.

Levin doled out $1.525 million for capital projects.

In a new twist this year, the councilman also rolled out a second ballot for capital expense projects, and allocated $20,000 for those winners.

Here are the capital project winners in District 33:

  • IS 318, East Williamsburg ($250,000)
    • Renovated library for better learning
  • PS 31, Greenpoint ($225,000)
    • New smart boards
  • PS 38, Prospect Heights ($400,000)
    • Renovate four bathrooms
  • Automotive High School, Greenpoint ($350,000)
    • Infuse STEAM into curriculum with new tools
  • PS 380, Williamsburg ($300,000)
    • Provide shorter and safer crossings at four intersections

Expense project winners in District 33:

  • Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Gowanus ($10,000)
    • NYCHA Gardening Project with GCC
  • Williamsburg Library, Williamsburg ($5,000)
    • Buy up to 200 more cooks
  • Automotive High School, Greenpoint ($10,000)
    • Training teachers to use 21st century tools and design thinking

In District 34, Councilman Antonio Reynoso funded $1.32 million worth of projects. Here are the winners in his district:

  • More street trees ($500,000)
    • Install over 200 trees in Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood
  • Williamsburg Houses, East Williamsburg ($500,000)
    • Playground renovation
  • Brooklyn Arbor School, Williamsburg ($270,000)
    • Technology upgrades

Brooklyn Wegmans is now hiring

The new Wegmans Food Market, set to open on Sunday, October 27 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is now taking applications for part-time positions.

The supermarket chain, which has a national reputation as one of the best places to work, is hiring and training for 350 spots.

Part-time openings are available throughout the store, including positions in restaurant foods, sushi, pizza, bakery, produce, deli, cheese, and day and overnight grocery.

Recruitment for 150 full-time jobs began in January and are still ongoing. Open positions include prep cook, line cook, lead cook and full-time customer service positions.

Applicants can apply online at, or call 347-652-2424 for more information.

Interviews are conducted by appointment only. Applications will not be available nor accepted at the construction site.

Grand Street bike lanes will be permanent

What Grand Street looked like before the protected bike lanes. Screen shot via Google Maps.

Residents and travelers of Manhattan’s 14th Street got some important news last week when the mayor announced that the DOT will pilot a new Transit/Truck Priority lane.

That means for 18 months, only buses, trucks and emergency vehicles will be allowed to use 14th Street between 3rd and 9th avenues as a through route.

Local traffic will still be allowed to make pickups and drop-offs along the corridor, but cars must turn right at the next possible location.

Meanwhile, the de Blasio administration also announced that the bike lanes along Grand Street in Williamsburg/East Williamsburg will be permanent.

Between Waterbury Street and Vandervoort Avenue, which is the industrial part of Grand Street, DOT will modify the lanes to accommodate the needs of industrial businesses.

The project will also include other adjustments, the city says, including additional metered parking and new loading zones around the corners from Grand Street.

That’s great news for Brooklyn cyclists who traverse Grand Street and need to get around safely.

Go Green! Brooklyn Festival set for June 1

The 12th annual Go Green! Brooklyn Festival is back at McCarren Park on Saturday, June 1 from noon to 5 p.m.

Attendees and passersby can learn about local sustainability projects, sample local food and enjoy musical performances.

Here are just some of the great activities that will take place at the festival:

• Live music by Abbie Roper, All the Things, Anna Banana, The Good Ms. Padgett, Hopalong Andrew, Jen Urban and the Box, Parks Puppet Mobile, Shakuri, Williamsburg School of Music, and more.
• Greencycle Swap! Clothing, toys, books, home goods and more
• Green educational displays by local schools and advocacy groups
• Sampling and cooking demos by local chefs/foodies
• Free fitness workshops curated by Breakin’ Boundaries
• Children’s pop-up playground by Brooklyn Boulders

The festival is sponsored by Breakin’ Boundaries, Broadway Stages, ExxonMobile, Greenpoint Landings, Councilman Stephen Levin, Councilman Antonio Reynoso, the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol.

For more information, visit their website here.

You don’t want to miss PS 34’s Eco-Fashion Show

PS 34 is bringing back its popular Eco-Fashion Show on Thursday, April 18 at the Bushwick Inlet Park building.

This year’s theme is Wildlife – so it’s sure to be both fun and engaging.

Last year, the collection was based on five themes of sustainability: water, waste, energy, schoolyard habitats and healthy schools.

Students worked with their parents on outfits months in advance. When it was time to strut down the runway, they were prepared and walked down with style.

You won’t want to miss this green event this year!

Rave with Hodor at “Rave of Thrones”

Image courtesy of Schimanski

Ever wonder what kind of music Hodor from “Game of Thrones” likes to listen to?

Wonder no more. on Saturday, April 13, actor Kristian Nairn, who plays the lovable yet crucial character Hodor in HBO’s epic drama series, will be DJing in Williamsburg.

The timing is quite perfect – the last season of “Game of Thrones” will air on Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m.

The event takes place at Schimanski, located at 54 North 11th Street . The event is 21+.

Get your tickets via Eventbrite here.

Mayor declares public health emergency for measles outbreak

Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor de Blasio has declared a public health emergency in select zip codes in Williamsburg after the measles outbreak in the Orthodox Jewish community has worsened.

As part of the declaration, unvaccinated residents living in those zip codes will be required to receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

The Health Department will check the vaccination records of any individual who may have been in contact with infected patients.

Those who have not received the MMR vaccine, or do not have evidence of immunity, may be given a violation or fined $1,000.

“This outbreak is being fueled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighborhoods,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “They have been spreading dangerous misinformation based on fake science.”

The emergency declaration comes after the Health Department issued Commissioner’s Orders to all yeshivas and day care programs to exclude unvaccinated students, or face violations and possible closure.

So far, 285 cases have been confirmed in Williamsburg or Borough Park since October. The majority of those cases have been children under 18.

The outbreak has led to 21 hospitalizations. Five people have been admitted to the intensive care unit.

Community science on the Newtown Creek

On Saturday, April 6, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Kingsland Wildflower Green Roof and Community Engagement Center, the Newtown Creek Alliance and other groups will host an afternoon symposium on various Newtown Creek-based projects.

The event will feature a number of presentations, Q&As, discussions and more with speakers. Here is the rundown of events:

  • 12 p.m. – Welcome/Intro
  • 12:30 p.m. – Newtown Creek Water Quality Sampling Program
  • 1:15 p.m. – Newtown Creek Wide Vascular Plant Survey
  • 2 p.m. – Genetic Analysis vs. App Algorithm: How People Make All the Difference
  • 2:45 p.m. – Buggin’ Out at Penny Bridge: Insect Survey at an Overgrown Industrial Site
  • 3:15 p.m. – Explore the roof and these following projects
    • Student Highlights from Newtown Creek Urban Ecology Curriculum
    • Overview of NYC Audubon Wildlife Monitoring
    • Introduction to Urban Soil Contaminants of Concern
  • 3:45 p.m. – Open Studio at Last Frontier NYC

RSVP to this afternoon symposium here.

Voting for participatory budgeting begins on March 30

Participatory budgeting results released in 2017.

From March 30 to April 7, residents ages 11 and up in Council District 33 can vote for their favorite projects to be funded by Councilman Stephen Levin.

Every year, the councilman allocates at least $1 million to these projects. Neighborhood volunteers assemble and come up with their own capital projects, such as improvements to schools, parks and libraries.

Here are the nine final projects that will be on the ballot:

  • New Laptop Carts for Middle School ($200,000)
    • Location: Dock Street School, DUMBO
    • Description: Help purchase six new laptop carts for grades 6-8, STEAM oriented technology
  • New Smart Boards for PS 31 ($225,000)
    • Location: PS 31, Greenpoint
    • Description: Provide state of the art smart boards to upgrade the educational opportunities for these elementary school students.
  • A/V Upgrades at PS 307 ($300,000)
    • Location: PS 307, Vinegar Hill
    • Description: Give a much needed upgrade to this community used auditorium with new audio and visual equipment.
  • Make STEAM ($350,000)
    • Location: Automotive High School, Greenpoint
    • Description: Increase creativity and opportunity for public school students by infusing the curriculum with cutting-edge skills and tools.
  • Weight Room Renovations ($500,000)
    • Location: Van Arsdale High School Campus, Williamsburg
    • Description: Provide a safe, clean and new weight room for over 1,800 students to get physically fit.
  • Renovated Library for Better Learning ($250,000)
    • Location: IS 318, Broadway Triangle
    • Description: Make a better library for students to enjoy reading and studying. New shelves and desks.
  • Renovate Bathrooms for Elementary School ($400,000)
    • Location: PS 38 The Pacific School, Boerum Hill
    • Description: Renovate four bathrooms, two girls and two boys, to provide clean and sanitary facilities.
  • Vinegar Hill Community Garden Enhancements ($300,000)
    • Location: 199 York Street, Vinegar Hill
    • Description: Add water and electrical supply to this popular garden to make the growing easier and more productive for all.
  • Safety First around PS 380 ($300,000)
    • Location: PS 380, South Williamsburg
    • Description: Provide shorter and safer crossings at four intersections: Wallabout Street, Lynch Street, Lorimer Street and Union Street.

You can physically vote in these following locations:

  • Levin’s District Office, 410 Atlantic Avenue
    • Monday, April 1 to Friday, April 5
    • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Domino Park, South 5th Street and Grand Street
    • Monday, April 1 to Saturday, April 6
    • 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Kingsland Wildflower Center, 520 Kingsland Avenue
    • Sunday, April 7
    • 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • McCarren Park Farmers Market, McCarren Park
    • Saturday, March 30 to Saturday, April 6
    • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • McGolrick Park, Russell Street and Nassau Avenue
    • Sunday, March 31 to Sunday, April 7
    • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • PS 31, 75 Meserole Avenue
    • Monday, April 1 to Friday, April 5
    • 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • Warren Street Houses, 572 Warren Street
    • Saturday, March 30; Sunday, March 31; Saturday, April 6; Sunday, April 7
    • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Grand Street

On Sunday, March 17, Grand Street in East Williamsburg will be the place to be.

Thirteen local bars are offering drink and food specials to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

It’s the 8th annual Grand Street St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl, hosted by the Grand Street BID. And it’s the only pub crawl in Williamsburg.

Consider some of these offers:

• $5 shots of Jameson Caskmates at Crystal Lake
• $7 Irish Margaritas at Los Tacos McOndo
• $5 grilled cheese at Noorman’s Kil
• $5 beet and shot combos at Redd’s Tavern

Free pizza will also be available at Dar 525 with the purchase of a draft beer. Bushwick Country Club is giving free BBQ, and Thompson Brooke will have free Irish snacks.

For a full list of participating bars and specials, see the Grand Street BID’s website here.