Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, August 19, 2021
COMPTROLLER: NYC WAS UNPREPARED TO MANAGE PANDEMIC: City Comptroller Scott Stringer has issued a scathing interim report based on an ongoing investigation into the City’s planning and preparation for and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation identified gaps in the city’s emergency resource management, finding the city lacked critical information about key resources, including the number of available hospital beds in city hospitals and the amount of usable personal protective equipment (PPE) in city stockpiles. The report also outlines recommendations to help the City to improve its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to better prepare for future public health emergencies.
The comptroller’s investigation is ongoing due to what his office says was the city’s refusal to submit necessary documents and witnesses for examination.
HALTING TEEN NICOTINE ADDICTION: New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday led a coalition of 31 states and territories in urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt the surge of youth nicotine addiction. The bipartisan coalition wants the FDA to use its regulatory power to eliminate youth-appealing flavors in e-cigarettes and oral nicotine products such as pouches, gum and lozenges, limit their nicotine levels, and restrict marketing for these products.
According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, e-cigarette use among high school students increased dramatically, from just 1.5 percent in 2011 to 11.7 percent in 2017, and then to 27.5 percent in 2019. Data from 2020 shows that 19.6 percent of high school students have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, and with 22.5 percent reporting daily use.
SHINE SHRINE CELEBRATES RESILIENCE: A Shine Shrine “Intention Walk” of public altars and performances connects Brooklyn neighborhoods and celebrates resilience and community, thanks to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) and DUMBO Improvement District. Borough-based social enterprise and creative house Brooklyn Brujeria is presenting the Shine Shrine Intention Walk at sites throughout DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn from Aug. 19 to Sept. 18, launching it with a Rumba de la Musa and a silent disco with Sabine Blaizin and others on August 19, starting at 6 p.m. at the Pearl Street Triangle in DUMBO. The Shine Shrine Intention Walk will place non-secular altars, or shrines, marked by colorful flags in key spots throughout Brooklyn, starting with Pearl Street, with additional sites including P.S. 307, Vinegar Hill Community Garden and Albee Square Plaza. Together, they will create a walkable route connecting diverse Brooklyn neighborhoods through public altars that celebrate strength and beauty.
The Shine Shrine Intention Walk is one of 12 new public art and performance projects and five accessibility upgrades to cultural venues that are taking place throughout the greater Downtown Brooklyn area as part of the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund led by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) and DUMBO Improvement District.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL STREET FAIR: Making sure that kids are equipped for a new school year is the goal of a Back-to-School Street Fair that the Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center is sponsoring on Saturday, Aug. 21. Held at the Armory at Union St. between Bedford and Rogers avenues, the fair will include the distribution of free backpacks and school supplies, and will also feature performances, yoga, games and DJ music mixes. More than a dozen organizations are participating sponsors, including Con Edison, Brooklyn Community Foundation Partners, the NYPD and FDNY, Medgar Evers College, Digital Girl the Boys Club of New York and Brooklyn Community Board 9.
The event is first-come, first-served as supplies are limited.
BAC CELEBRATES WOMEN ARTISTS: Brooklyn Arts Council, to celebrate the 101st anniversary this week of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, is currently accepting applications from Brooklyn-based artists and arts workers through September 17 for its 2022 grantees through the Charlene Victor & Ella J. Weiss Cultural Entrepreneur Fund. Named for the council’s founder and former president, respectively, the fund supports the professional development of Brooklyn’s emerging and mid-career women artists and arts administrators. More information and an application are available via https://www.brooklynartscouncil.org/what-we-do/grants/cultural-entrepreneur-fund
The 2021 grantees, Kierra Crafton, Director of Operations at Womanly Magazine; and musician Marta Sánchez, focused on women’s empowerment.
RALLY FOR #SealTheDeal: Several advocacy groups, claiming that no Republican members of Congress are on record supporting the recovery package, plan to rally this evening, Aug. 19, outside of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’ office at 77th St. and 3rd Ave. in Bay Ridge. The coalition, consisting of Transportation Alternatives, Bay Ridge Environmental Group, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and NY Renews, will urge Malliotakis, the only Republican NYC congressmember, to back the recovery plan that invests in climate solutions, new jobs, and the US healthcare economy.
The coalition says that tomorrow’s rally presents one of the final chances for Congress to invest in real climate infrastructure, including the greening of public transportation, school bus electrification, electric vehicle infrastructure, the removal of lead pimples, and to make large investments in the US healthcare economy — all while creating good paying union jobs.
ANOTHER RALLY FOCUSED ON DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMEMBERS: A 6 p.m. rally at Battery Park in Lower Manhattan today, Aug. 19, will call on Representatives Jerry Nadler and Adriano Espaillat, both of whom represent Brooklyn districts, to act swiftly for the final passage of the full jobs and infrastructure package and will urge Congress to deliver on the full $3.5 trillion of investments already authorized by the Senate.
Participants will carry banners that read “No cuts to climate, care, and justice!,” “Climate crisis is here,” and “Necesitamos empleos verdes!” and hold signs that call for immediate action on climate change, care jobs, and infrastructure.
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