Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, September 23, 2021
BROOKLYN MAN ARRAIGNED IN TODDLER’S DEATH: A Brooklyn man has been arraigned on an indictment for murder, manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. An autopsy of the 4-year-old boy brought to The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s Emergency Room earlier this month found numerous old and new injuries throughout his body —including a skull fracture, his abdomen, limbs, rib fractures and bites on his ear and about his body — and determined that he suffered from battered child syndrome.
Jerimiah Johnson, 27, of East New York was ordered held without bail and to return to court on November 18. The defendant faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.
CYMBROWITZ RATES 100% ON ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD: State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) has again been given a perfect legislative rating from the Environmental Advocates of New York. Cymbrowitz, who earned 100 out of 100 points, has supported an array of legislation protecting children’s health, reducing toxins in the environment, and advancing environmental justice; for example, the Safe Schools Drinking Water Act, which will get more lead out of public schools’ drinking water, and which makes New York the state with the most stringent protections.
The advocacy group grades lawmakers according to their votes on a wide variety of environmental and health issues and publishes the results in its Voters’ Guide, which has been distributed for more than 40 years and is the only scorecard of its kind.
BROOKLYN COLLEGE WELCOMES BACK ALUMNUS: Actor, singer and Brooklyn College alumnus Damon Evans will return to his alma mater today for a special online event that the college’s LGBTQ Resource Center is sponsoring. Evans, a 2019 graduate, will discuss being at the Stonewall Riot, working as a television and theater performer, and navigating Brooklyn College as an older student, among other topics.
The event, running from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Sept. 23 is free and open to the public, but registration is required, here.
FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR HEATING BILLS: Funding is now available to help low-income households that have fallen behind on their utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday. The regular arrears supplement, that the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is administering, is available to households who are eligible for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and behind on their heating utility bills, but that do not qualify for the utility assistance offered by New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
There is $150 million available, secured through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, for one-time payments to HEAP-eligible households through the regular arrears supplement, to cover all accumulated heating utility arrears up to $10,000 and which comes as the end of the moratorium on utility disconnections approaches in late December.
RALLY TO SAVE POSTAL SERVICES: New York Metro Area Postal Union and concerned citizens will rally today, Sept. 23, to protest the reduction of postal delivery services, rate hikes, closing of mail processing plants and shorter branch hours scheduled to take effect next Friday, October 1. New York Metro Area Postal Union President Jonathan Smith, who is expected to speak at the rally, will also protest what the coalition alleges is widespread graft and financial conflicts of interest on the part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Postal Governor Ron A. Bloom.
The rally/press conference takes place in front of Bloom’s company, Brookfield Asset Management, 250 Vesey St. in lower Manhattan, at 1 p.m.
DEMANDING A SAFER YORK ST. STATION: The MTA has failed to put forth a plan to address overcrowding, lack of accessibility, and unsafe conditions at York Street Station—and has missed its commitment to provide the community with a feasibility study on a long-sought second entrance, asserts a group of local lawmakers and community advocates. State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and City Councilmember Stephen Levin will hold a joint noon press conference today, September 23, at the F train’s York Street station entrance to highlight the unsafe conditions there.
The elected leaders contend that the station’s one staircase for entry and exit and lack of elevators or escalators present significant concerns about safety, congestion, and accessibility, especially with an increase in riders using the station.
SUPPORT FOR DELIVERY WORKERS: City lawmakers, coming to aid workers in the booming multi-billion dollar app-based food delivery industry, have scheduled a vote for today on a landmark slate of bills intended to ensure bathroom access and minimum pay, among other rights. The activism of Los Deliveristas Unidos, a labor organization of immigrant delivery couriers who are credited with keeping New Yorkers fed during the pandemic, sparked proposals for the package of six bills that would allow food couriers access to restaurant bathrooms, put limits on how far they can be asked to deliver, set minimum payments per trip and ensure that tips get to workers.
Unlike prior Council bills tied up in court battles, the new package, considered the first of its kind in any major U.S. city, has the full support of at least one app company, Grubhub.
REPORT CLOGGED SEWERS: Assemblyman William Colton is keeping up a tenacious campaign against sewer overflows within his district of Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights. Colton said he has personally cleaned up catch basin and sewer debris, but enlists his constituents’ help in reporting locations to his district office at 718 236 1598 that he and his staff can report to the Department of Environmental Protection “and demand equipment to be sent to vacuum it out.”
Declaring clogged sewers to be a flood hazard, Colton added, “With violent storms becoming more common we must start pressuring the city to upgrade our sewer systems.”
SUSTAINABLE SOUL FOOD: This fall, the Demo Kitchen at Ace Hotel Brooklyn hosts a series of conversations around the changing restaurant landscape and a vision for a more sustainable future. The series begins next Wednesday, Sept. 29, when Junior Mintt invites the community to celebrate Black Trans Power while interrogating the meaning of soul food as an integral part of her identity.
Tickets must be purchased online via, https://www.mofad.org/events/nourishmintt-29, and photo ID and proof of having received the COVID vaccine will be required at the entrance.
BROOKLYN AUTHOR MEET & GREET: Brooklyn native Michael Gericke and author of Graphic Life is featured at a kickoff event for The Brooklyn Book Festival, with a meet & greet and book signing at McNally Jackson Book Store at City Point. The event, this Sunday, Sept. 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. Graphic Life, published by Images Publishing, is a 520-page monograph, with a preface by Moshe Safdie and an introduction by Pulitzer Prize winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger, of work that has been driven by a celebration of places, telling stories, and making symbols.
The Brooklyn Book Festival, launched in 2006, is New York City’s largest free literary festival and connects readers with local, national and international authors and publishers during the course of a celebratory literary week.