Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, September 16, 2021
PUBLIC ADVOCATE’S YOM KIPPUR GREETING: “G’mar chatima tova, an easy and meaningful fast, to all in the Jewish community,” said NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams yesterday on the eve of the most solemn day of the Hebrew year. “Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It is a day when we both ask forgiveness for ourselves and give it to others. Compassion, empathy, and reconciliation are critical on the path toward healing.”
Calling on New Yorkers to “acknowledge and empathize with the experiences and challenges of those around us,” Williams said, “The call to atone resonates throughout our lives and communities, urging that we lift one another up in the year to come.”
‘BABY BONDS’ HELPS FAMILIES SAVE FOR COLLEGE: New York City’s first-ever “Baby Bonds” program, helping families with children save for college, was launched on Wednesday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter and kindergarteners from The Williamsburg Bridge Magnet School. “Baby Bonds,” which is a citywide expansion of the community-driven NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, provides families, schools, and communities access to a universal scholarship and savings platform, regardless of a family’s income or immigration status.
New York City is the first major city in the nation to implement this groundbreaking model for community wealth building.
ALZHEIMER’S WALK FUNDRAISER: CaringKind, New York City’s leading expert on Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving, will be hosting its 33rd annual CaringKind Alzheimer’s Walk on Sept. 26 at the Coney Island Boardwalk, being done virtually and in-person (starting at 9 a.m. with registration). The Walk’s mission is to educate the public on the importance of caregiving support and to raise funds for the myriad programs that support caregivers and their families.
This year’s Walk honors the late prominent philanthropist Susan Patricof, the wife of Alan Patricof (still living), who is considered one of the founding fathers of venture capital; the two were described as an “indomitable pair.”
REPLACING GUN VIOLENCE WITH EMPLOYMENT: A new $37 million violence intervention employment program will create 1,500 jobs in Brownsville, South Jamaica, and other parts of the city, Mayor de Blasio announced on Wednesday. The initiative connects individuals who are at risk of involvement in gun violence with good-paying green jobs in partnership with BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based climate technology startup working to make American cities greener, smarter, and healthier.
The precision employment program focuses on communities experiencing 50% or more of shootings citywide, and offers a hybrid training curriculum with OSHA training, classes on important business communication and technical skills, conflict resolution strategies, de-escalation techniques, and access to culturally competent, trauma-based counseling and other wrap-around services.
RESTAURANT INDUSTRY’S PUSHBACK ON LAWSUIT: A second lawsuit that DoorDash has filed within a week over a new NYC law requiring delivery platforms to share customer data with restaurants is receiving pushback from Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. In his response, Rigie accuses the delivery company of eliminating “any common-sense regulation of their business after the City Council passed a widely supported law requiring them to provide restaurants with access to the restaurants’ own customer information.”
DoorDash had joined Uber Eats and GrubHub in the first suit against the bipartisan legislation. Rigie urges the federal court in Manhattan (where this latest suit is filed) to “reject these claims as sour grapes and uphold the critical information sharing law that allows restaurants to connect directly with their own customers.”
VACCINE INCENTIVE: MUSIC FESTIVAL TICKETS: New efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and prepare for booster shots upon FDA approval include a prize: 125 free tickets to the upcoming Governors Ball Music Festival, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday. The prize is an incentive to continue supporting the vaccination of school-aged New Yorkers, with the festival tickets available to individuals who receive their first vaccine dose at a #VaxtoSchool pop-up location.
The Governor has directed the State Department of Health to authorize basic emergency medical technicians to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, a move that immediately adds more than 2,000 fully-trained vaccinators back into the State’s program.
BUILDING ON LAST YEAR’S SUCCESS: The Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, arguably the country’s largest, met with such success with last year’s pandemic-necessitated digital platform that the free event will be presented virtually again this year, September 23-26. From noon next Thursday, and round-the-clock until 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26, book lovers everywhere will visit the virtual booths via https://www.brooklynbookfair.com/ and peruse an eclectic selection of more than 2,000 rare and vintage books, manuscripts, ephemera, vintage photographs and autographs, on every subject, curated by more than 100 dealers from all over the world.
A robust search feature allows visitors to browse by category, subject, or any search term to find specific items of interest. To keep the online shows fresh, exhibitors will be asked to only feature items not available on any other book selling site.
PORTRAITS THROUGH GRAINS OF SAND: Visitors to the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibit titled “A Crack in the Hourglass,” can experience a participatory COVID-19 memorial. The installation, by Mexican-Canadian media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and opening on October 29, provides a space to collectively honor and grieve the victims of the pandemic in New York City and worldwide.
Participants are invited to submit photographs and a personal dedication of their loved ones lost to COVID-19 through the project’s online platform, and then watch in person or via livestream as a robotic arm deposits grains of sand onto a black surface to recreate the image. After each portrait is completed, it is then archived on the website and slowly erased by gravity, with the same sand then recycled into the next portrait.
DEMANDS SEWER SYSTEM UPGRADES: “The city sewer system desperately needs infrastructure upgrading” in Gravesend, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst, says State Assemblymember William Colton, who represents those neighborhoods. Colton said that, after the Hurricane Ida flooding, and in response to constituents’ complaints, he “shot off a letter to the DEP Commissioner demanding that federal infrastructure monies be used for sewer upgrades,” particularly “a) Bay Parkway to Kings Highway to Stillwell Avenue where the last rezoning plan raised zoning to R6 along Kings Highway, Bay Parkway, and Avenue P, b) to Bay Parkway to 18 Avenue between 80 Street and 86 Street and c) between 24 Avenue and 27 Avenue from Stillwell Avenue to Bath Avenue.”
“I walked through my district and noticed that many catch basins are clogged with leaves and garbage on the surface as well as gunk on the bottom. These conditions contribute to streets being flooded during heavy rains,” Colton declared.
NEW MASKING REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILDCARE AGENCIES: A series of new universal mask requirements designed to protect New Yorkers against the highly contagious Delta variant and the recent surge in COVID-19 infections statewide will take effect for child- and family-care agencies, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday. The requirement applies to New York State Office of Children and Family Services-licensed- and registered-childcare centers, home-based group, family-childcare programs, after-school childcare programs and enrolled legally-exempt group programs during operational hours.
New masking requirements will also apply to congregate programs and facilities licensed, registered, operated, certified or approved by the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
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