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Around Brooklyn: Gounardes, Abbate pass preparedness plan

September 9, 2020 Editorial Staff
Here’s a glimpse of Gain Court. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle
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Gounardes, Abbate pass preparedness plan

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst-Gravesend-Marine Park) last week released a statement on the passage of his and Assemblymember Peter Abbate’s (D-Bensonhurst-Sunset Park) legislation to mandate that public employers develop a pandemic emergency preparedness plan. “Hundreds of government workers died due to COVID, and they deserved better. They deserved the PPE they needed, the ability to work remotely if they were able, and safety conditions in place before the next outbreak, not after,” he said.

Street safety advocates slam de Blasio after ADA’s death

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In the wake of Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Sarah Pitts’ death while cycling when she was hit by a charter bus, many street cycling advocates see her death as one of dozens that could have been avoided if Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration had acted more quickly on key policy initiatives. Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris pointed to cutbacks in Vision Zero, a plan that aimed to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024. “Our city continues to fail people who bike. All but one of the fatal crashes that claimed the lives of bicyclists took place on streets without protected bike lanes,” Harris said, according to amNewYork.

Candidate endorsed for district leader spot

Kristina Naplatarski, the female district leader-elect for the 50th A.D. in Williamsburg and Greenpoint announced her choice for the vacant male district leader seat in the district. She has endorsed Emile Brazile, a staffer for outgoing local Assemblymember Joe Lentol, to fill the low-level office. Bazile is the son of Haitian immigrants and grew up in the NYCHA complex at Berry and South Ninth streets in South Williamsburg, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Each Assembly district has a male and a female district leader.

Transgender woman seeks City Council seat

Brooklyn lawyer Alejandra Caraballo has often found herself to be one of the few transgender women working on litigation or pressing for national change. She also recently became the first transgender person on a Brooklyn community board. “What I really at the end of the day want to focus on is uplifting the voices of the most marginalized in our community and making sure they actively have a say on what goes on in city government,” she told the Daily News.

Brownsville man killed on Labor Day

A 29-year-old man from Brownsville was stabbed to death in Queens on Labor Day, and his attacker has been arrested, police said. The victim, Massiah Berkley, was discovered unconscious and lying face up on the ground with a stab wound to the left side of his chest just before 4 p.m. on Beach 20th Street near Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway. EMS crews rushed him to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The suspect, James Williams, lives less than half a mile from the scene and was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. The two men did not know each other, according to the New York Post, and the motive was not immediately clear.

Meetup on history of Brooklyn Heights

A group known as Untold History is sponsoring an online Meetup on Sept. 10 on the history of Brooklyn Heights. The neighborhood began in the early 1800s as a retreat for wealthy New Yorkers escaping the overcrowding of Lower Manhattan. Most of its row houses were built in the 19th century, and with some exceptions, the neighborhood looks similar to what it looked like 100 years ago. Virtual tour guide Michael Morgenthal will look at the Heights’ pivotal role in the American Revolution, the Heights’ many religious institutions, the area’s ties to the 19th century abolitionist movement, and the many literary giants who lived there, such as Walt Whitman, Truman Capote and Thomas Wolfe, according to Patch.

Colton researches fallen sycamore trees

Assemblymember William Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst-Dyker Heights) inspected trees throughout his district in the wake of last month’s windstorms and noticed that a high percentage of these fallen trees were sycamore trees. This prompted him to ask his staff to research sycamore trees. “Sycamore trees can add scenery to the landscape, with their ashy white bark and lush green plants. Planting sycamore trees too close to surrounding structures not only threatens the trees’ health but will also damage home water lines, sewer lines, foundations, driveways, and paved areas,” he said.

St. Francis College appoints new trustees

St. Francis College, a well-known Franciscan institution on Remsen Street in Downtown Brooklyn, recently appointed Arkell Cox and Charles D. Smith Jr. to its board of trustees. Cox owns three IHOP restaurants in Brooklyn; is the co-founder of HerStoryLifeStyles, which helps women in need and survivors of abuse; and is president of operations at the production company One Africa Global. Smith, who played basketball in the NBA for 10 years, later launched his own technology company and secured four patents on content management software innovations. He also serves as executive director of the National Basketball Retired Players Association.

MTA slams FEMA on emergency support

MTA Chairman Patrick Foye recently wrote an open letter to FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor, criticizing the federal agency for “changing the rules” of emergency services support. The change of policy, Foye said, means that costs related to the MTA’s COVID-19 response, such as its disinfecting program, are no longer considered emergency protective measures eligible for reimbursement. Foye pointed out that the MTA’s COVID-related expense estimate is approximately $500 million for 2020 alone. The decision, he said, “files in the face of FEMA’s mission and its record of helping communities in need.”

Cops seek missing man with special needs

The NYPD is seeking the public’s help in finding a 38-year-old man with special needs who went missing in Coney Island. Judah Horowitz, who also goes by the name of Tzvi, was last seen in front of an IHOP at 1019 Surf Ave. at 6:30 p.m. on Monday. He is described as white, 4-foot-11 inches tall, and as having a short beard and a medium build. He walks with a limp and is said to be non-verbal but has a strong interest in parks and beaches, according to CBS News Radio.

Mask-less couple removed from ferry

Police handcuffed a Brooklyn couple and removed them from an NYC Ferry after the couple refused to wear masks. The couple, from Bay Ridge, reportedly became verbally abusive to the crew and fellow passengers, an NYC Ferry spokesperson said. The boat’s captain then called police. At one point, the couple said they were being targeted because they were white. NYC Ferry’s mask rule is prominently posted, according to Gothamist.

Firefighters chase down man who assaulted woman

A group of Brooklyn firefighters recently chased down a bicyclist who attacked an older woman without provocation, then held him until police showed up and arrested him. Instagram footage shows Daniel Briggs, 53, pedal up behind the 60-year-old woman and punch her in the mouth on Aug. 26, knocking her to the ground at the corner of Hancock Street and Lewis Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Suddenly, four firefighters from Engine 214/Ladder 11 are seen running after the man, tackling him and holding him, according to Fox5 News.

Restaurant owner survives robbery

A Bay Ridge restaurant owner had a narrow escape when a violent robber shot at him twice. The first time, the bullet just missed his chest and the second time the gun jammed. Sammy Hamden, who owns a Mediterranean restaurant on 86th Street, noticed the armed robber coming in around 10:30 p.m. on Monday. As the robber pulled out a gun, Hamden tried to grab it. When the suspect fled on a motorized bike, Hamden followed in his car. When the suspect crashed on the highway, he fled but was finally arrested at a gas station at 65th Street and Seventh Avenue.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.

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