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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, August 26, 2021

August 26, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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VIGIL FOR SLAIN CHILD: Tonight, August 26 at 7 p.m., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Reverend Erick Salgado will join the family of Tamy Quema Guachiac, the six-year-old girl who was struck and killed Tuesday evening by a reckless SUV driver in Dyker Heights. The vigil will take place at the crash site, the intersection of 12th Ave. and 67th St.

Joining them will be local elected leaders State Senator Andrew Gounardes, Assembly Member Peter Abbate Jr., Council Member Justin Brannan, and advocates Transportation Alternatives, and Families for Safe Streets.

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MORE FUNDING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: Changes to New York State’s $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program will enable more small businesses to apply for funding, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday. Effective immediately, businesses with revenues up to $2.5 million can apply for grants, up from the previous threshold of $500,000. Moreover, the limitation for businesses that received Federal Paycheck Protection Program loans has been increased from $100,000 to $250,000.

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The grants must be used for COVID-19 related losses or expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021, including payroll costs, commercial rent or mortgage payments for NYS-based property (but not prepayments); costs of personal protection equipment (PPE) necessary to protect worker and consumer health and safety, as well as equipment and supplies essential to operations.

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ASSISTING AFGHAN REFUGEES: New York State is prepared to welcome the arrival of Afghan nationals fleeing violence and instability in their homeland, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday. The state’s Refugee Services and Office for New Americans are both ready to assist those seeking to resettle in New York and to continue the state’s longstanding tradition of welcoming those who are fleeing persecution or war. New Yorkers seeking to support Afghans arriving in New York State can contact the Office for New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 for information on local providers and how they can assist. The Hotline is also available for any immigrant in need of confidential assistance and connection to support and services.

The federal government also authorized 8,000 additional special immigrant visas specifically for Afghan translators and interpreters working with the U.S. military and meeting certain requirements.

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BILL FOR SMALLER CLASS SIZES: A bill to require smaller class sizes, which City Councilmember Mark Treyger sponsored last month, has gained 15 co-sponsors. Treyger, who has gained a reputation for his commitment to the city’s public schools, introduced Int 2374-2021, legislation that would require smaller classes by amending the city’s administrative code to “require each classroom in a school of the city school district of the city of New York provide 35 square feet of net floor area per child by September 2024, with no less than one-third of schools complying with such targets by September 2022, and no less than two-thirds of schools complying with such targets by September 2023.”

The bill’s co-sponsors are Councilmembers Corey D. Johnson, Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Eric Dinowitz, Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Daniel Dromm , Stephen T. Levin, Darma V. Diaz, Alicka Ampry-Samuel , Karen Koslowitz, Carlina Rivera , Margaret S. Chin, Francisco P. Moya, Carlos Menchaca, Adrienne E. Adams, Antonio Reynoso.

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EDUCATION GROUP REBUKES DOE: A non-profit group called Class Size Matters, which commends Councilmember Treyger for the above-mentioned class size reduction bill, urges more members of City Council to sign on and vote for it. Class Size Matters. It alleges that the Department of Education’s proposed Contract for Excellence plan for next year, “intended by state law to provide equity to NYC children including smaller classes, miserably fails to do so.”

Claiming that “the DOE has not allocated a penny specifically to lower class size, and for principals who choose to use some of these funds to hire more staff for that purpose, the DOE is making them pay 40 percent more for these teachers, including for their pension and benefits, which otherwise the city covers the cost for centrally,” Class Size Matters urges citizens to send letters demanding the DOE provide classroom equity to [email protected], with a September 3 deadline.

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CURBING POLLUTION IN FRONTLINE NEIGHBORHOODS: Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, who represents parts of northern Brooklyn and Queens, is scheduled to hold a 10 a.m. press conference today to unveil proposals on environmental justice, to curb what she and environmental groups say is deadly pollution in frontline communities, and to direct federal resources to these neighborhoods. Following the press conference in Astoria, Rep. Maloney, who is chairperson of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, will hold a hybrid Committee roundtable (11:15 a.m. start time) on “Tackling Peak Pollution:  Achieving Environmental Justice for Frontline Communities” to hear directly from frontline communities that have been disproportionately burdened by pollution from power plants that operate during times of peak electricity demand.

These plants are less efficient than other sources but emit more toxins, demonstrating the need for the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative and high-impact solutions at the federal, state, and local levels, say Rep. Maloney and  the environmental groups.

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GET PAID FOR GOING TO THE BEACH: The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is hiring a diverse cast of community members to perform as beachgoers — and at least one dog — in the Venice Biennale-winning opera, Sun & Sea, at the BAM Fisher Theater (Fishman Space) from September 15–26, 2021. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity offers locals a chance to join in a unique collective experience while highlighting the multi-faceted cultural vibrancy that defines New York City. Local community members of any age (at least 12 years old), gender, ability, racial and ethnic background, and body type are encouraged to apply online. Participants must be available for all performances and one dress rehearsal (September 14–19 and 22–26).

The theater will be transformed into a beach using 25 tons of sand for this opera, with the hired beachgoers immersing themselves in this milieu, while 13 intermingling vocalists explore climate change through multiple musical narratives.


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