Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, August 23, 2021
AG JAMES: GHOST GUNS ARE FIREARMS: New York Attorney General Letitia James has joined a coalition of 22 of her counterparts in other states who are urging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to finalize regulations that declare ghost guns are firearms under federal law. The attorneys general argue in their letter that, by finalizing these regulations, the ATF would dramatically reduce the availability of these untraceable crime guns and would take a significant step in addressing the current gun violence that they say is plaguing communities across New York and the country.
“Deadly ghost guns exist for only one purpose — to put guns into the hands of those who are legally prohibited from owning a firearm,” said Attorney General James.
PESTICIDE’S USE IS HALTED: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in a move to better protect human health, will stop the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on all food, particularly that of children and farmworkers. Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide used for a large variety of agricultural uses, including soybeans, fruit and nut trees, broccoli, cauliflower, and other row crops, has been found to inhibit an essential physiological enzyme, which leads to neurotoxicity. The pesticide has also been associated with potential neurological effects in children.
The EPA, in a final rule released last week, is revoking all “tolerances” for chlorpyrifos, which establish an amount of a pesticide that is allowed on food. In addition, the agency will issue a Notice of Intent to Cancel (under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide) to cancel registered food uses of chlorpyrifos associated with the revoked tolerances.
NEW YORKERS TO MALLIOTAKIS: #SealTheDeal: Constituents from Staten Island and Brooklyn demanded at a #SealTheDeal rally on Thursday that U.S. Representative Nicole Malliotakis support funding in the federal budget for climate change solutions, sustainable infrastructure investments, healthcare access, and green job creation. The citizens expressed anger at Malliotakis for voting against relief funding earlier this year that would have helped transit agencies, state and local governments, and small businesses, despite the fact that she represents the city on Congress’ Transportation Committee.
The rally was one of eight such actions in New York State— and 68 across the country — demanding that members of Congress #SealTheDeal on a budget that prioritizes climate, care, jobs, and justice. Organizing the New York actions was NY Renews, a coalition of community, labor, environmental justice, and faith-based organizations fighting for climate justice policy in New York, and the Green New Deal Network.
STRETEASY: HIGHER ASKING PRICES IN GREENPOINT: New York rentals are climbing again, says a StreetEasy report, which shows a quick recovery in rent prices in Brooklyn particularly. StreetEasy attributes this trend in part to this summer’s massive spike in demand, as New Yorkers who left town during the pandemic started returning, and others who had always wanted to live in New York City decided that the unusually low prices this summer provided the right time to move here. Brooklyn neighborhoods, such as Bedford-Stuyvesant, Greenpoint, and Downtown Brooklyn, all had median asking rent prices that were higher last month (July 2021) than they had been before the pandemic started.
The median asking rent in Brooklyn rose to $2,600. Of all Brooklyn neighborhoods, asking rents in Greenpoint rose the most year-over-year. The median asking rent in Greenpoint reached a record high of $3,395 — $80 more than the previous high in August 2019.
TROPICAL STORM FORECAST CLOSES BEACHES: All City beaches will be closed to swimming through today, Monday, August 23, due to the dangerous conditions forecast as an effect of Tropical Storm Henri. The National Weather Service predicts a dangerous rip current threat with possible ocean swells of between 2-4 feet, which will affect all Atlantic Ocean beaches. Red flags and closure notices will be posted along all beaches.
Parks lifeguards and enforcement staff will be posted along the coastline to enforce the swimming ban. Closure signage will be posted at entryways of all beaches.
TRAVELER MASK REQUIREMENT EXTENDED The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is extending the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the United States, including at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on over-the-road buses, and on commuter bus and rail systems through next January 18. The mask requirement had been previously extended back in April to last through Sept. 13.
Exemptions to the face mask requirement remain in place for travelers under age two and for age of 2 years old and those with certain disabilities. Civil penalty fines also stay in effect.
WOMEN’S MUSEUM ONE STEP CLOSER: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has been appointed to the advisory council of the new Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. Rep. Maloney had sponsored a bill that provided for a bipartisan Congressional Commission, whose report supported the need for the Women’s History Museum. The 25-member board, composed of 19 citizens, the Smithsonian secretary, a member of the Board of Regents and four members appointed by Congressional leadership. advises the Regents and makes recommendations on the location, planning, design and construction of the museum; helps with private fundraising; and provides for the maintenance of the collections.
Though the names of Senate board members are still pending, Rep. Maloney joins several prominent women on the advisory council, including actress, singer, songwriter and producer Lynda Carter; Edna Kane-Williams, chief diversity officer at AARP; and Billie Jean King, winner of 39 Grand Slam tennis titles and founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative.
FORT GREENE STUDENT PURSUES TWO CONCURRENT DEGREES” Alexander (Zander) Donowitz, a Fort Greene resident and senior at Clark University, made his school’s Dean’s List for Spring, 2021. Zander, who is studying Economics and International Development, is concurrently pursuing a master’s of science in communication through Clark University’s Accelerated Degree Program, with a May 2022 graduation.
Zander’s academic and professional interests include consumer behavior, environmental justice, and macroeconomic policy.
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