Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
LIBRARY’S LITERARY PRIZE FINALISTS: Eight fiction/poetry and nonfiction works have made the short list for the 2021 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize. A virtual shortlist taking place this Thursday will announce the finalists and their works, after a process in which BPL librarians and staff from across the borough drew on both their broad knowledge of literature and their unique insights into the communities they serve, to select titles that reflect BPL’s mission to inspire the people of Brooklyn to explore and engage with issues of local and global importance and to celebrate Brooklyn’s unparalleled spirit.
This year’s finalists in both the fiction and poetry and nonfiction categories challenge readers with new perspectives on race, gender, relationships, and the immigrant experience.
MAKING CRYPTOCURRENCY FIRMS ACCOUNTABLE: New York Attorney General Letitia James is taking new steps to protect New York investors, and the trading markets from exploitation by high-risk virtual currency schemes. Virtual- or “crypto” currency-lending platforms are essentially interest-bearing accounts that offer investors a rate of return on virtual currencies that are deposited with them. In New York, these lending platforms must register with the Office of the Attorney General if they are operating within the state or offering their products to New Yorkers.
“Cryptocurrency platforms must follow the law, just like everyone else, which is why we are now directing two crypto companies to shut down and forcing three more to answer questions immediately,” said Attorney General James.
VIRTUAL MEETING ON NEWTOWN CREEK BRIDGE: Updates on the progress of the Superfund cleanup project and a preliminary presentation on the proposed improvements to the 118-year-old Grand Street Bridge over the Newtown Creek are on the agenda at an online public meeting this Wednesday, October 20, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM online, the Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group and Brooklyn Community Board 1 have announced. (Register via https://cbuilding.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrce-rrT8uG9CR8IRSDdMES2aHpDLKs6rR .) The NYC Department of Transportation has begun outreach regarding plans to replace the narrow two-lane bridge, which has been deteriorating for decades and was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, and to safeguard this vital truck route between North Brooklyn and Queens.
NYC DOT projects that final design will be completed in August 2023 with anticipated construction occurring between 2026 – 2029.
MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR SCHOOL INVESTMENT:PS/IS 288 in Coney Island is receiving $2.4 million for school upgrades, thanks to City Councilmember Mark Treyger, who secured this amount in capital funding from the City Council’s budget for renovations and enhancements to the school. This multi-million dollar investment will help further PS/IS 288’s revitalization, enabling new scholastic and extracurricular opportunities. The new technology includes a maker’s space/STEAM lab, auditorium upgrade with air conditioning, a hydroponics lab and a mindfulness room.
This past fiscal year Council Member Treyger also secured Council funding and advocated to bring the Chess in the Schools program to PS/IS 288. This innovative program helps students develop critical thinking, good sportsmanship, and social skills through fun in-school and after-school chess education activities.
SALUTING GENERAL COLIN POWELL: NY Governor Kathy Hochul has directed flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of General Colin Powell, who died on Monday. The governor expressed sadness at
“the passing of General Colin Powell, a New Yorker and son of immigrants who rose to the height of American public service during a distinguished career. As the first Black person to serve as National Security Adviser, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State after graduating from the City University of New York, General Powell blazed a path forward for others to follow throughout his decades of service to the United States.”
The flag tribute will remain in effect until sunset on Friday, Oct. 22.
COLIN POWELL: ‘A TRUE TRAILBLAZER’: Calling the late General Colin Powell a “true trailblazer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams paid tribute to the past Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday. “In his four decades of distinguished public service, he consistently broke barriers — as the nation’s first Black national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and secretary of state. Born to Jamaican immigrants in the South Bronx, his life is a testament to the enduring power of the American dream.”
Adams said also, “As a Black man who has spent my career fighting for a more just and equitable society, I am in awe of Mr. Powell’s considerable accomplishments, and his ability to overcome the bigotry he faced in order to reach the highest levels of the military, and later our federal government. May he rest in power.”
POWELL: ‘HERO TO MANY AND PRINCIPLED STATESMAN:’ Rep. Yvette Clarke offered words of tribute on the death of General Colin Powell: “General Colin L. Powell was a trailblazer in the U.S. military establishment. He rose through the ranks to become a four-star General and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Bush Administration, and he would go on to be appointed the first Black U.S. Secretary of State. He was a hero to many,” said Congressmember Clarke.
“Like me, he was born and raised in New York to Jamaican immigrant parents and was a proud Jamaican American…While we both represent two different political parties and I’ve questioned his role with regard to the Iraq War, as also he ultimately did, he was a principled statesman who loved his country.”
POLISH HERITAGE MASS: The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, led a special Mass in honor of Polish Heritage on Sunday, October 17. The main celebrant was the Most Reverend Andrzej Zglejszewski, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The Most Reverend Witold Mroziewski, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, concelebrated the Mass, held at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights
This year, the Polish Heritage Mass was offered in celebration of last month’s beatification of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, who led the Catholic Church of Poland during the Communist era and fought for the free exercise of faith. Cardinal Wyszynski, who was imprisoned for his resistance from 1953-1956, served as a mentor to Pope St. John Paul II.
COURT APPEARANCE FOR OFF-DUTY OFFICER: Attorney General Letitia James has filed a criminal complaint against Yvonne Wu, 31, with one count of murder in the second degree and one count of attempted murder in the second degree, in connection with the shooting death of Jamie Liang, 24, and the shooting of Jenny Li, 23.Wu, who on Monday appeared in Brooklyn Criminal Court before Judge Joshua Glick, is an officer with the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Through her attorney, Wu requested an examination to determine her capacity to understand the charges against her and to assist in her defense, which the court granted.
New York State Executive Law Section 70-b requires the Office of Special Investigation to assess every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person, by an act or omission. The charges are at this stage merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.
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