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Around Brooklyn: Stringer seeks to revamp procurement process

August 27, 2020 Editorial Staff
This scenic spot is the corner of Stratford Road and Turner Place. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle

Stringer seeks to revamp procurement process

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio calling on the city to restore checks and balances to the emergency procurement process by rescinding Emergency Executive Order (E.E.O.) 101, Section 2.  The executive order suspended laws and regulations related to procurement in New York City – including the Comptroller’s Office’s charter-mandated role in approving and registering contracts related to the COVID-19 pandemic – since March 17, when the city needed to quickly purchase ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the pandemic. “As we emerge from the darkest days of the pandemic and build our city back, it’s time to restore full oversight and accountability to city contracting,” said Stringer.

Funeral director wants license back

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Andrew Cleckley of Cleckley Funeral Home, which had its license pulled in April after state inspectors found the bodies of dozens of COVID-19 victims stacked in U-Haul trucks, wants his license back. “It just got out of hand,” he said in a TV interview. “The rate people were dying was so fast.” He said other funeral directors kept bringing him bodies even after he asked them not to, and many local residents pressured him to bury their loved ones so that they wouldn’t be buried in Potters Field on Hart Island, according to amNewYork.

Cops seek man who attacked woman

Police are searching for a man who brutally beat a woman on the sidewalk and tried to sexually assault her. The incident took place on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 6 a.m. at Division Avenue and Rodney Street in Williamsburg. The 46-year-old woman was walking to work when the man approached her from behind, picked her up and slammed her onto the sidewalk. He then punched her in the face and body and tried to pull her pants off. Afterward, he ran off on Division Street. The woman was taken to Brooklyn Hospital center, where she is in a medically induced coma. The suspect wore a bright yellow hoodie or raincoat, according to WABC.

Cuomo vows crackdown on large weddings

Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised to crack down on large social events after reports of Hasidic wedding parties in Borough Park, which may say have led to an uptick in coronavirus cases. “If there’s any evidence, or plans of weddings that violate the law, they should forward those complaints to the NYPD or the mayor,” Cuomo said. Saying that he’s cracked down on large events with both the Jewish and Catholic communities, he added that “the virus does not discriminate by religious or racial lines.” He likened these events to “young people at a bar,” according to the New York Post.

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CIM Group tops out DUMBO project

CIM Group has topped out construction at its 21-story, mixed-use project, Front & York, in DUMBO. The luxury residential and retail project at 85 Jay St. encompasses 3.1 acres of land and spans an entire city block. Once Front & York is complete, it will feature 150,000 square feet of retail space, 408 residential condos and 320 rental apartments. It will also feature a private park, an athletic and wellness center, a lounge and private dining room with a chef’s kitchen, toddlers’ and teens’ rooms, bicycle storage, a rooftop pool and more, according to Globe Street.

Cars measure Downtown air quality

Aclima has deployed its mobile sensing fleet throughout Downtown Brooklyn to collect representative air sample measurements with its platform. Writing in a blog post on Medium, Davida Herzl, co-founder and CEO of Aclima, pointed out that air pollution exposure is not uniform. Research that Aclima conducted in collaboration with the EPA and EPRI shows that pollution can vary by as much as eight times from one block to the next. “By measuring air pollution and greenhouse gases block by block throughout Downtown Brooklyn, we will be able to provide key insights into the three-month average of emissions and exposures at the street level,” said Herzl.

Rose seeks to reduce veteran homelessness

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn-Staten Island) has called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to work on expanding access to housing for veterans through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program and separate city initiatives. In particular, Rose is asking Mayor Bill de Blasio to increase incentives for homeowners and landlords to provide permanent supportive housing for our city’s heroes. “According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, 8 percent of the homeless adult population are veterans,” Rose wrote in a letter to the mayor.

Councilmembers want to suspend middle-school screening

Elected officials are calling for the New York City Department of Education to suspend the use of admissions screens for middle schools for the next school year. The criteria that the screens rely on — grades, state test scores and attendance records — have all been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Councilmembers Brad Lander, Carlina Rivera, Ritchie Torres, Inez Barron, Keith Powers, and Antonio Reynoso have introduced a resolution calling on the DOE to suspend the use of screening for middle-school admission for the academic year 2021-2022. “Even before the pandemic we knew that using performance and behavioral screens from 4th graders to determine middle school admissions furthered segregation and inequities in our schools. But this year, it is beyond absurd,” said Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn).

Transit Museum receives grant to digitize LIRR materials

Friends of the New York Transit Museum has been given a grant of $226,632 from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to survey, identify, catalog and digitize its historic material from Long Island’s transportation history, which centers on the Long Island Rail Road. For two centuries, the train has been an integral part of life on Long Island, and as a result, most Long Islanders have a general sense that the region’s development was significantly shaped by the LIRR. The Transit Museum’s project will amplify the key role that the LIRR and other modes of public transportation, such as buses and trolleys, have played in the island’s history.

‘Better picture’ of COVID upticks

Ramped-up testing and tracing in Sunset Park and Borough Park, where officials feared a coronavirus spike, have revealed a “better picture” of the upticks, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. Both neighborhoods are now seeing a 2.5 percent positive infection rate in both neighborhoods, it was revealed after the city’s Test and Trace Corps descended on the neighborhood. The city’s overall infection rate was 0.83 percent on Wednesday. The testing spree revealed that certain specific households, rather than a neighborhood cluster, were the cause. De Blasio said these results “give us some comfort,” according to Patch.

Brooklyn pastor sells watermelons as side biz

When Pastor Clinton Brown, a self-proclaimed “country boy,” moved to Brooklyn from Georgia five months ago, he was dissatisfied with the quality of watermelons in New York (and also by the fact that they didn’t have any seeds). Brown, who also owns a trucking company, began bringing watermelons by the truckload to the borough starting July 1, thinking it would be a good way to make extra money since his trucking business had slowed down due to the coronavirus. He’s sold hundreds from the back of his truck in Crown Heights, according to Patch.

Straphangers slam MTA fare hike plan

The MTA is considering raising transit fares by $1 a ride to close its COVID-19-related budget gap, and commuters are not pleased. The MTA is seeking a $12 billion bailout from the federal government, as the pandemic has kept most riders away. “It’s like everything else, it’s greed, they’re sucking us dry,” said Kits Karth, interviewed at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center station. “It’s too much money. Everybody gets on the train, everyone has to pay,” another straphanger, Tanisha Alnon, told amNewYork.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.


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