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Around Brooklyn: Kavanagh, Lander support small business legislation

September 17, 2020 Editorial Staff
The property enclosed by the corrugated fence at right is 265 Front St. Photo: Lore Croghan/Brooklyn Eagle

Kavanagh, Lander support small business legislation

State Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-Northern Brooklyn-Lower Manhattan) and City Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Park Slope-Windsor Terrace-Gowanus-Kensington) recently joined other lawmakers and small business owners in Manhattan’s Chinatown to rally in support of the Small Business Recovery Lease Act. The bill seeks to help relieve small businesses from crushing rent bills by providing a property tax incentive to landlords who enter into “recovery leases” that address past-due rent and cap future rent increases. The New York Hospitality Alliance found in a survey that 83 percent of all restaurants were unable to pay their full rent in July, and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce reported that more than half of the businesses surveyed are worried about staying open. “The public health crisis has become a full-blown economic crisis as well,” said Kavanagh.

Williamsburg tavern sues Cuomo over midnight closing rule

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A Brooklyn tavern is suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for forcing New York City restaurants to close at midnight once limited indoor dining goes into effect on Sept. 30. “Coronavirus does not behave as a vampire, infecting others only when the moon is out,” said the lawsuit filed by The Graham Tavern in Williamsburg on Monday. The Meserole Street bar said Cuomo is already making things difficult for local businesses with his “constantly changing and unworkable rules.” Tov Lutzker, owner of The Graham, also told the New York Post that “as a late-night establishment historically, we serve the service industry, the second- and third-shift employees, everyone from MTA workers to those serving tables at other bars and restaurants.”

Cops seek suspects in Borough Park beating

Police are looking for four suspects who are accused of attacking a man on the street in Borough Park. Police video shows the brutal beating taking place at the corner of Fort Hamilton and 46th Street. Police say the suspects punched the 32-year-old man in the face and kicked him in the stomach before they knocked him to the ground and continued to assault him. Anyone with any knowledge of this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

Agreement bans network from fundraising

New York State Attorney General Letitia James this week announced a multi-agency agreement permanently banning a fundraising network from charitable fundraising. The defendants used several names, including Outreach Calling, Outsource 3000 and Production Consulting Corp. According to the Attorney General’s Office, they were the primary fundraisers for several sham charities that claimed to use donations to help homeless veterans, disabled law enforcement officers, breast cancer survivors and others in need. However, as much as 90 percent of the money raised by the operation went to the defendants themselves, according to the AG’s Office.

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Volunteers join local CERTS

Thirty-six local volunteers have joined local Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), according to the city Department of Emergency Management. They are now slated to support their communities by assisting city agencies and partner organizations that prepare for and respond to emergencies. “These 36 CERT graduates didn’t back down when the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted their learning, and this perseverance is a testament to their commitment to helping New Yorkers during trying times,” said New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell. The graduates were trained in fire safety, search and rescue, traffic management, first aid and triage. Of the 36 volunteers, five will join existing teams in Brooklyn.

Man shot at bodega in Bushwick

A man was shot in Bushwick late Tuesday night, even as street violence began to drop with the arrival of cooler weather. The incident took place around 11 p.m. when a 32-year-old man was shot in the torso and arm inside the Halsey Convenience Store at 383 Halsey St. Officers found the man wounded inside the store and rushed him to Brookdale Hospital, where he was reported to be in stable condition. Police said the victim was uncooperative with detectives, and they have yet to establish a motive for the shooting, according to amNewYork.

Law and order is focus of state Senate race

Law and order has become the focus of a state Senate race in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Marine Park. Democratic state Sen. Andrew Gounardes won his seat two years ago, but beforehand, the seat was held by a Republican for 15 years.  Gounardes’ Republican opponent, Vito Bruno, said that Gounardes’ votes to end cash bail for certain crimes have made people less safe, and that Gounardes’ vote to repeal law 50-a, allowing police disciplinary records to be made public, sent the wrong message to the community. However, Bruno himself, who in the 1970s and ’80s owned the dance club made famous by John Travolta in “Saturday night Fever,” has admitted to paying off cops and providing drugs to celebrities, according to NY1 News.

Infant hospitalized with broken bones, abuse suspected

An 8-week-old boy who was hospitalized with several broken bones in Brooklyn on Tuesday night may have been abused, according to police. Staffers at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital reported the incident to police and the city’s Administration for Children’s Services. The infant was transferred to New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center for intensive care, police said. He was in critical but stable condition on Wednesday. The NYPD’s Brooklyn Child Abuse Squad is investigating the incident along with ACS, according to 1010 WINS.

NYS Republicans break ranks with Trump on 9/11 issue

Most of New York State’s Republican congresspeople broke ranks this week and criticized the Trump administration for stripping millions of dollars from the FDNY’s 9/11 health care program. The Treasury Department has over the past four years removed about $3.7 million from the FDNY’s World Trade Center Health Program, which covers medical services for first responders suffering from 9/11-related illnesses. Treasury officials say they only took $2 million and that they are working to get the cash back to the Fire Department. “The withholding of funding from our 9/11 health care workers and first responders is unacceptable,” said upstate New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, according to the Daily News.

 Burlington donates $500,000 to social service org

SCO Family of Service, a social service provider, received $500,000 in clothing from Burlington Stores (formerly known as the Burlington Coat Factory) to distribute to families in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. A total of 35,000 items were shipped to shelters, foster care programs and family support programs. Twelve tractor trailers were loaded with merchandise ranging from household goods to clothing and bedding. “We are extremely thankful to Burlington Stores for making such a generous donation of goods that will benefit so many of the children and families we serve,” said Keith Little, president and CEO of SCO Family of Services. In Brooklyn, two sites received relief: Father’s Program and United for Brownsville.

Compiled by Raanan Geberer.


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