Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, September 13, 2021
CRACK DOWN ON TRAFFIC DEATHS: A rally to demand street safety improvements and policy changes to crack down on reckless driving will take place at 2:30 p.m. today in the wake of a crash Saturday night that killed a three-month-old child and seriously wounded the infant’s mother Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will join Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets (FSS), State Senator Andrew Gounardes, State Senator Jabari Brisport and Assembly Member Phara Souffrant Forest at the intersection of Gates and Vanderbilt avenues in Clinton Hill, where the fatal collision occurred.
The driver, who had racked up 91 school zone speeding violations, is in police custody.
MILESTONE: BISHOP SPONG, 90: Bishop John Shelby Spong, a theologically-controversial figure and for two decades the leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, died on Sunday, September 12 at age 90. Bishop Spong was the scholar-in-residence at the annual interfaith weekend that Grace Church and the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue held, shortly after his book, “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” was published in 1998. He was also the author of “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism” and, three years ago, of “Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds Nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today Hardcover – February 13, 2018.”
Spong, who had been raised in a theologically conservative environment in North Carolina embraced a more liberal stance and questioned major points of faith, had both fierce critics and staunch supporters.
MALLIOTAKIS: VACCINE MANDATE IS OVERREACH: The sweeping new vaccination and mask mandates that President Biden announced late last week that impact most federal employees and government contractors, have garnered contrasting reactions from Brooklyn legislators, along party lines. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) issued the following statement, which reads, in part: “This mandate as a condition of employment in both the public and private sectors is wrong, infringes on the rights and freedoms of Americans and strays from government’s role of informing, educating, and encouraging.”
Alleging that Biden lied after he contradicted a statement that he had made last December, Malliotakis continued, “This overreach is a step into the dystopian future where government bulldozes constitutional rights. It will be challenged in court by governors across the nation and I encourage ours to do the same.”
OTHER CONGRESS MEMBERS PRAISE VACCINE MANDATE: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, chairperson of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, chairperson of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, expressed support for the mandate, however. “Today’s announcement by President Biden sends a clear message that vaccination is the best way to beat the virus,” they said in a joint statement.
“As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government is setting the standard on implementing workplace safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. the Biden Administration is taking a crucial step to protect American lives and slow the virus’ spread.”
RIBBON-CUTTING FOR NEW SCHOOL BUILDING: Just before today’s scheduled opening of the 2021-22 academic year, a ceremonial ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the new East New York Family Academy took place on Friday, Sept. 10, with New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) President and CEO Nina Kubota, Department of Education officials, elected officials, and local community leaders. The new five-story, 602- seat, state-of-the-art school will serve students in grades 6-12. The new building is accessible for students with disabilities, is fully air conditioned, has nine intermediate (grades 6-8) classrooms, 10 high school (grades 9-12) classrooms, a library, two science labs and a technology lab for students interested in CADD or desktop publishing
The new facility replaces the old two-story building that was demolished and six Transportable Classroom Units (TCUs) that were removed from the site.
OPEN CALL FOR COLLABORATION WITH LIBRARIES: Brooklyn Public Library is launching an open call for collaboration. Get up to $10,000 to partner with us to build and implement new ideas. Potential community partners can submit letters of interest for the opportunity to receive up to $10,000 to work with the BPL’s neighborhood libraries to develop innovative programs, events and other resources as part of the Library’s BKLYN Incubator program. Three information sessions are being held on Monday through Wednesday, September 13-15, with registration available via https://www.bklynlibrary.org/incubator-submissions/community-call.
Partners, who can be individuals, informal organizations or collectives, or formal businesses, can be based anywhere but must be committed to opportunities to work with Brooklyn neighborhoods, enhance or expand the functions of the library and/or find creative ways to reach currently underserved populations.
NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN ON EASTBOUND VERRAZZANO: A new traffic pattern on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, involving lane and level closures, was scheduled to begin Friday, Sept. 10 because of ongoing reconstruction. While the bridge remains open to traffic in both directions at all times, the new pattern will shift the closed lane from the current work-zone being done on the left side of the eastbound side of the bridge, one lane southward to the center lane. This next phase of work, expected to continue through November, is designed to improve traffic flow for motorists and bus commuters in terms of the traffic pattern.
This is the sixth stage of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge upper-level reconstruction of the approaches and anchorage deck, with the MTA reporting the project is progressing ahead of schedule.
JOB FAIR AT LIU-BROOKLYN: Three members of the Brooklyn Congressional delegation are hosting an in-person job fair this Friday, Sept. 17. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-8th District), Nydia Velázquez (7th District) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-9th District) invite job-seekers to bring a resume and be prepared to interview for open positions, at the fair at Luntley Commons, Long Island University, 1 University Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The event will follow Federal, State and City COVID and public health guidelines. Proof of vaccination and face coverings are required.
CELEBRATING BLACK MINISTRY IN BROOKLYN: Last week, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, leader of Brooklyn’s Roman Catholics, celebrated a special Mass commemorating both the feast day of St. Peter Claver (Sept. 9) and the centennial of a Brooklyn parish named for him. St. Peter Claver cared for those who would arrive on slave ships by providing them medical care and food in the 1600s. Over the course of his 40-year ministry, it is estimated that he baptized 300,000 enslaved Africans. Msgr. Bernard Quinn (1888-1940), whose case for sainthood is in progress, founded St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant in 1922 for the Black community because they were not welcome at the time in any other Diocesan church.
“We need to teach our young people about racism, and about the universal brotherhood, and sisterhood, that all of us share as Christians,” said Bishop DiMarzio in a homily. He also described the work of the diocesan Commission on Racism and Social Justice in the Diocese, some of whose work has translated into a new curriculum for Catholic academies, schools and religious education programs.
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