Good Morning, Brooklyn: Wednesday, October 13, 2021
CELEBRATING ITALIAN AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: Amid a national movement to replace Columbus Day and its connected salute to Italian heritage with a holiday celebrating America’s indigenous peoples, the leader of Brooklyn’s Roman Catholics says there is room to celebrate both. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who retires next month, was front and center at this year’s Columbus Day Parade, which began following a bilingual concelebrated Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan Monday morning.
Bishop DiMarzio, who retires next month, said there is no denying the violent history of colonization and its legacy. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who marched in the Columbus Day Parade, also issued a proclamation celebrating the state’s indigenous cultures, such as the Lenape — or Delaware people — who inhabited much of what today comprises NYC’s five boroughs.
HOME HELP FOR VETERANS: Financial assistance is now available for disabled veterans who own a home that needs modification in order for them to continue living independently. The Home Help for Heroes Program provides funding for eligible projects such as wheelchair ramps, lifts, roll-in showers, and doorway widening, with applications processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The total household income limit is 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) for the Metro NYC area. Disabled veterans impacted by COVID-19 will be given special consideration.
OPPOSES DEVELOPMENT ON AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND: Eric Adams on Tuesday released a letter laying out his opposition to a c proposal to develop a site at the intersection of Church and Bedford avenues in Flatbush, at a site known to be a burial ground for enslaved Africans, whose role in the history of the borough and the city is still overlooked. The release of Adams’ letter comes as the Flatbush African Burial Ground Remembrance and Redevelopment Task Force, that the Borough President co-chairs with City Council Member Mathieu Eugene, prepares to release a final-vision document with recommendations for the site this fall.
The Flatbush African Burial Ground site dates back to 1651, when the area was first settled by the Dutch. Historians believe that the burial ground was used for new burials from an indeterminate date in the 17th century through the early 1840s.
INVESTING IN GIRLS’ EMPOWERMENT HUB: Mayor de Blasio, on Monday, announced a $120 million investment in the renovation of the Brownsville Multi-Service Center into a state-of-the-art girls’ empowerment center and community hub for eastern Brooklyn. The current building, which will undergo a complete demolition in 2023, will transform the site into a home for science, technology, art, dance, and cultural programming for young girls across the borough. The Brownsville Girls Empowerment Center will be modeled after the Lower East Side Girls Club of New York.
The city will partner with this organization and will engage with the Brownsville community throughout the design-build process, and another $8 million will come from Congressmember Yvette Clarke.
DEMANDING ANSWERS ON OIL SPILL: Concerned over last week’s oil spill at the site of the ferry landing under construction at Kaiser Park in Coney Island, Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus and local residents are demanding more information. During a press conference today at Coney Island Creek, they will demand both answers on the oil spill’s cause and the steps that the city will take to safeguard the environment and community during the ongoing ferry landing construction.
The oil spill occurred in the water adjacent to the ferry landing construction along the shoreline and was reported to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard.
‘ADOPT-A-SHORELINE: Meanwhile, also at Coney Island, The National Wildlife Federation’s Resilient Schools Consortium will “Adopt-A-Shoreline” with up to 100 students and their teachers from eight New York City public schools to learn about climate change and its impacts, environmental justice and resilient solutions. During their shoreline trips from Oct, 12 to Oct. 15, teams of students are working with adult facilitators and a specially designed field guide to explore the coastal ecology of Coney Island Creek, observe social uses of the beach, look for resilience features, and discuss climate impacts like sea level rise and erosion, as well as difficult topics like managed retreat.
The initiative takes place one month after Hurricane Ida battered New York City and two weeks before the 11th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
FEMA GRANT FOR DISASTER READINESS: The annual federal Emergency Management Performance Grant is making available $7.4 million in federal funding to county emergency management agencies in New York State, so that they can support planning and operational readiness for any type of disaster. Local awardees must develop projects or initiatives that strengthen their own readiness and response capabilities to address all potential hazards, and which should also focus on addressing any efforts identified by FEMA as needing national improvement: logistics and distribution management planning, evacuation planning, disaster financial management, catastrophic disaster housing and resilient communications.
An amount of $2,989,486 was allocated to the City of New York (but is not itemized by borough).
CATHOLIC CHARITIES DINNER RAISES $1.5 MILLION: Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens raised $1.5 million at the recent 2021 Bishop’s Humanitarian Award Dinner, held at Cipriani Wall Street. During the program, Catholic Charities presented Michael Connors, Esq., Partner at Connors & Sullivan, PLLC and Domenick Cama, president and chief operating officer at Investors Bank, with the Bishop’s Humanitarian Award.
Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Romano, NYPD chaplain, and Rev. Msgr. John Delendick, FDNY chaplain, received the Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Service Award; Rod Gilbert, former New York Ranger posthumously received the Ubi Caritas Award; and three Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens employees, Kathy Gilmore, Tara Kissoondial, and Sally Worrell received the John J. Farrell Award.