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Change of faith: Trump crony converting old Jehovah’s Witnesses dorm to apartments

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Guest Nicole

Call it a religious conversion.

A billionaire pal of President Trump will transform a former Jehovah’s Witnesses dormitory in Brooklyn Heights into a residential complex after the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the plans on Aug. 8.

Vincent Viola — Trump’s first choice for Secretary of the Army — is turning the 237-unit property on Columbia Heights between Pineapple and Orange streets into an apartment house with 101 residences, according to city records.

Changes to the exterior of the building, which sits in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, required approval from the landmarks commission in order to ensure they are in keeping with the nabe’s old-timey character.

Exterior alterations include the addition of a parking garage with an elevator for cars, which will have a bulkhead on the roof. In addition, workers will carve an opening for the garage door into the buildingÂ’s facade and make a curb cut in the sidewalk.

The new owner is also planning to replace the current windows with aluminum ones, as first reported by the Brooklyn Eagle.

The Williamsburg-born Viola is the head of trading firm Virtu Financial, the owner the Florida Panthers hockey team, and a part owner of the 2017 Kentucky Derby–winning horse, Always Dreaming.

The former lieutenant withdrew himself from consideration for the position of Trump’s army secretary because of concerns over of his business entanglements.

He bought the Columbia Heights building in 2016 for $105 million through a limited liability company overseen by his wife, according to city records.

Viola isn’t the only Trump crony snatching up Jehovah’s Witnesses properties as the organization moves its headquarters to upstate New York. The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, owns retail and office complex Dumbo Heights, recently revealed plans to turn the religious group’s former Columbia Heights headquarters into another high-end office complex, and bought a massive parking lot at 85 Jay St., which he has yet to file plans for.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

Updated 1:15 pm, August 16, 2017

dtg-vincent-viola-develops-brooklyn-heights-building-2017-08-18-bk01_i.jpg

Bigly: Trump pal Vincent Viola is planning to turn this former JehovahÂ’s Witnesses dorm building into apartments.

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/40/33/dtg-vincent-viola-develops-brooklyn-heights-building-2017-08-18-bk.html

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the building was purchased, not with any stipulation on what the building would be used for. whatever it chosen the society has nothing to do with. I am concerned that the choice of words ie. chroneys, ect would give any idea that Jehovah's witnesses has the same opinion. Texas

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    • And such ones like myself should be offended by this? A Ha and a clap to that.... The boom of Christianity during the time of racial tension, most likely going back even further when the Bible was used by certain folks.... No one is oblivious here... That being said, the only issue the Black Community has is with Christians who do not take up to Scripture and do the work, especially the spreading of the gospel (which is a BIG THING some look into concerning the commission), and such ones know the history of past Christians during an era whereas racism was somewhat prominent, and over time, the tension between groups began to decrease and the people began to come close and embrace. Ryan, you should be far more worried about today's Atheists, your peeps.
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    • My response was not directed to the Thor comment, it was regarding something else, clearly concerning Thanksgiving. For it you wanted it to remain a joke, you should have chosen your words very wisely in your next response, so you walked into this one - classic Matthew. This just shows your ignorance, and it shows how you, among the mainstream, do who propose yourself as Christian, cater to traditions of men. As far as I know JWs do not consider Yah as a pagan God, however, they consider, like the rest of us, you should be among the fold, that the pagan god in question concerning Thanksgiving us all about. In short, concerning what @4Jah2me, the issue here is not with having dinner, the issue is primarily on observance of paganism. You and 4Jah can fool around, but a serious man of God doesn't mess around or succumb to lukewarmness in situations like this, more so, giving ammunition to people like Jack Ryan to clown Christians. True Christians recognize that we do not need one day or a government issue day to give praise to God, for Christians praise and thank God everyday, however, we should not be like the Romans, to interject paganism into Christianity. Concerning Thanksgiving, it is an annual harvest that stems from a very old tradition known to man. Thanksgiving was celebrated originally in early October as some would say by the Romans and on that holiday, the celebration was solely dedicated to The Goddess of Harvest, Ceres (which I mentioned this to you before, but evidently, you shy away from it), in addition, the holiday itself to it's very roots is called Cerelia (not to be confused with Floralia) - An ancient Roman religion, the Cerealia, was the major festival celebrated for the grain goddess Ceres. It was held for seven days from mid to late April, but the dates of said celebration are uncertain. Eventually, the Christians who took favor it such eventually took over the Roman holiday and it soon became a well established tradition in England, where some of the Roman customs, as well as Roman rituals for this day were observed. Also as a side note, the King of England proclaimed days of thanksgiving during the American Colonial Period, and in doing so without the influence of either the Pilgrims or Puritans. Now it is not unknown to anyone that JWs as well as the Restorationist community do not celebrate pagan festivities, more so, perhaps use to do so until they discovered it's roots vs. earlier Christians who knew not to mess around with paganism, let alone show some form of observance of such days. As for us, majority of us Unitarians do not partake in such things, and in my case, the culture I grew up in, such observance is discouraged and frowned upon, to please God we do not partake in the sins of what some traditions bring, so to speak, therefore, it is wrongful in the eyes of God, for a Christian, to incorporate anything originally used for pagan worship and practices and combine true religious worship to Yahweh and or related activities concerning Christian practices. Information of the Goddess of the Harvest, or Thanksgiving - Ceres What is, and I quote you You are right, and your own words points the arrows in your direction. You say you are a Christian, numerous times, but now we see a foolish display of hypocrisy on your part (this isn't the first time), and using JWs as a shield will not help you at all, so that JW badge, pin or whatever I figuratively removed from you and casted it aside, in addition, without said shield and appeal to motive, the Bible can now be used against you and your spirit can be tested (1 John 4:1). To be blunt, God, you know, the one you said you pray to, tells us "clearly" in the following verse Exodus 20:3 - You shall have no other gods before me. So we see here, God is very clear, you have a good reading comprehension, I am sure you can read this clearly. God tells us that we should not have ANY other God besides him, and no, it is not just a single verse, that would be way too easy, this is stated numerous times, countless times in Scripture concerning God Yahweh and false gods, take a read at the good book, knock yourself out - https://www.openbible.info/topics/worship_of_false_gods Let's not forget about what Jesus said to Satan as well (Matthew 4:10, Luke 4:8) Jesus said to serve only who? Yahweh, the God of Jesus, the God of me, the God of you. Question to you, if you partake in the festivities of Ceres, no matter how hard you try to Christianize it, how to do think God views what you are doing? Let's continue to unravel your hypocrisy... Next verse. Amos 5:21 - I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Now, The Most High, Yahweh, clearly do not show approval for festivities that has roots connected in the soil of false religious practices that condone conduct, i.e. paganism... We shouldn't be dwelling in unclean things (2 Corinthians 6:17). As Christians, we should be against such things, upright even, and profess the truth of the gospel to those that either do not know any better and or lost in the seas conjured up by the Great Harlot Babylon. For if people like Apostle Paul and countless others can stand up to what is wrong, what is preventing you from doing the same? That being said, you can clown people with your idiocy, but you cannot clown God for showing who you are, and a 3rd time, I was right to include you among mainstream Christianity due to the fact you think such a practice is OK... Reasons why True Christianity will ALWAYS be above mainstream Christianity, for we not only know the teachings and the Scripture and what Jesus had taught about the gospel and God, but we do so much in our power to put the application, hence, that is what makes US Christians. I leave you with this - Who are you for: Yahweh or Ceres? There's no middle ground, which you should know - It's mentioned in the Bible itself. I know where I stand, but you, you do not have any type of holy ground to stand on. If anyone is committing blasphemy - it is you, in this regard. Clearly no explanation and or refute to something that you know to be indefensible. Your so called spirit has been tested... "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world."
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