In Public Service – August 29, 2019

August 30, 2019 Paula Katinas
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Colton says DEP scouting rain garden sites

Assemblymember Bill Colton said residents in his Gravesend-Bensonhurst district have been calling his office to express concerns after spotting green markings in their sidewalks.

But they needn’t be worried, Colton said.

The green markings signify potential locations for rain gardens, according to Colton, who said the New York City Environmental Protection plans to install thousands of rain gardens all over the city. The gardens, which are designed to have curb cuts, will allow storm water to flow in or out. The idea is to reduce ponding on the sidewalks, said Colton, who added that water will be absorbed into the gardens.

But Colton also expressed skepticism over DEP claims that the agency will maintain the rain gardens. “The city has a reputation of not being up to par with their maintenance,” he said.

Homeowners of one, two or three-family homes can request to opt out from rain garden construction. For more information, call Colton’s office at 718-236-1598.

Velázquez mourns Democratic district leader

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez said she was heartbroken to hear about the death of Alan Fleishman, the Democratic district leader of the 52nd Assembly District and a leading LGBTQ+ rights advocate.

Fleishman died of cancer on Aug. 27 at the age of 62.

“Alan was a fearless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. He was able to challenge barriers to equality with tenacity and resolve, while maintaining his sense of humor. Coupled with his innate ability to build networks and his strategic savvy, Alan was responsible for creating a more inclusive national dialogue,” said Velázquez, a Democrat representing parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

Fleishman was the first openly gay Democratic district leader in Brooklyn, Velázquez said.

“While serving the 52nd Assembly District, Alan worked with communities in my district from Brooklyn Heights to Carroll Gardens, Park Slope and Gowanus. In addition to local reform, Alan was a key figure in national advocacy for those living with HIV/AIDS. Our community lost Alan far too young, but I know that New Yorkers will not forget Alan’s fight for justice,” she said.

Rose pushes VA to update websites

U.S. Rep. Max Rose is pushing the Department of Veterans Affairs to update its websites after a review he conducted found that the sites fail to include mandatory content and links, and often leave veterans seeking information out in the cold.

“This may sound like small potatoes, but veterans need to be able to easily and quickly get the answers and resources they need. This is a simple fix and one I hope will be done quickly,” said Rose, who is a combat veteran. Rose, a Democrat, represents Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Rose and two House colleagues, U.S. Reps. Gil Cisneros of California and Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, wrote to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to request swift action.

“As you know, VA’s website is a vital resource for veterans and their families. However, a review by committee staff found that VA’s primary public website,, does not conform to multiple federal requirements, including mandatory content and links,” the lawmakers wrote.

For example, the website, the federal jobs board, is not on, as required by federal policy, Rose said.

Myrie to march in West Indian Day Parade

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie plans to march in the West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2 and he is looking for people to join him.

The senator will be meeting his contingent in front of the Eastern Parkway Library on Eastern Parkway and Schenectady Avenue at 9:30 a.m. The parade begins at 11 a.m.

Myrie will also be distributing free T-shirts to marchers on a first-come, first serve basis while supplies last. Myrie, a Democrat, represents Crown Heights and parts of Park Slope and Sunset Park.

To RSVP, visit:

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