COVID-19 update: Virtual story time: Sen. Gounardes’ collab with BPL presents Sarah Lynne Reul’s ‘Breaking News’
On the front lines of the war on COVID-19, there are many civilian heroes going out of their way, as volunteers and contributors. Also, many who are elected to serve are going the extra mile. In this column the Eagle hopes to give our readers an ongoing update on those fighting in the front lines.
NY State Sen. Andrew Gounardes will share the joy of books with Brooklyn Public Library’s youngest patrons on Monday, May 11, at 11 a.m. when he will lead a virtual story time from the Bay Ridge Library Facebook page. Gounardes will read “Breaking News” by Sarah Lynne Reul. The book shares the story of a young girl looking to help her community after hearing some bad news. The daily storytime is part of a suite of programs for young children now available online. The program includes hands-on arts and science activities and librarian-led play recipes. BPL is also hosting virtual activities for school-age kids and teens, and is providing homeschool resources for students K-12. Parents can find suggestions on the BKLYN Kids blog for a librarian-curated list of books and activities for families.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced the state’s moratorium on COVID-related residential or commercial evictions will be extended for an additional 60 days until August 20th. The Governor also announced the state is banning late payments or fees for missed rent payments during the eviction moratorium, and allowing renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.
Brooklyn’s small business community is getting an urgently needed lifeline through a new no interest loan program unveiled on Tuesday by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. The group launched the “Bring Back Brooklyn Fund” to rescue beloved neighborhood small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and revamp the borough’s economy. The efforts to raise money for the fund have begun in earnest, according to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, although the loans themselves won’t begin until the economy starts to reopen and more money becomes available through fundraising. “In 2008 Main Street bailed out Wall Street. Today, who is going to bail out Main Street?” said Randy Peers, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “Small businesses, especially MWBEs that don’t have existing ties to lenders, and or were shut out of federal stimulus programs, need resources immediately to survive.”
Assemblymember William Colton teamed up with the United Progressive Democratic Club, its president Nino Magali, and Ciao Pizza and Pasta on Wednesday to deliver hot food to NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. “We wanted to show our gratitude and show how much we appreciate all the frontline healthcare workers at this difficult time that our country is facing,” Colton and Magali wrote in a joint statement. “Actions as such are what restores all faith in humanity and prove that we are NY Strong!”
The New York State Department of Labor today on Wednesday announced that over $5.8 billion in unemployment benefits have been paid to 1.5 million New Yorkers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the DOL is launching a new, streamlined process for New Yorkers to submit backdated certifications and get their back pay faster and easier. “No New Yorker should miss receiving their benefits because of red tape — and today we are announcing efforts to help nearly half a million of our neighbors get their backdated benefits faster and easier,” NYS Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said. “We will continue to think outside of the box and find creative solutions to the most common roadblocks to benefits New Yorkers face, and we will not rest until everyone has been served.”
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