Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, October 28, 2021
INDICTED ON 18 COUNTS IN FATAL HIT-AND-RUN: A Brooklyn man has been indicted on several counts in connection with a fatal hit-and-run collision that killed a 47-year-old Staten Island man in 2019. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced yesterday. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo arraigned the defendant, identified as Ramsaran Mahabeersingh, 57, of Cypress Hills, on an 18-count indictment in which he is charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident, driving while intoxicated, tampering with evidence and related charges.
The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count. Bail was set at $500,000 cash or $1,000,000 bond and he was ordered to return to court on November 18.
NY LAW SCHOOL CONVENES CYBERSECURITY SUMMIT: David Kessler, assistant United States attorney, National Security & Cybercrime, Eastern District of New York is a speaker at the inaugural Tribeca Cybersecurity Summit, taking place today and tomorrow at New York Law School. Kessler and other leading experts will address urgent cybersecurity challenges and chart pathways for combating growing threats and other topics, including cyber and the law. These include a survey of the cyber threat landscape, best practices on cyber extortion, and how to improve cyber defenses via the negotiation of strong cyber provisions in vendor contracts.
The Tribeca Cybersecurity Summit will be an annual program as a key part of the NYLS James Tricarico Jr. Institute’s mission to recruit, develop, and train a new generation of lawyers committed to excellence and integrity in their in-house legal roles. The Institute will be a go-to resource for thought leadership and advanced training for 21st century in-house lawyers and those who work with them.
$251 MILLION TO SUPPORT COUNTERTERRORISM: The Federal Emergency Management Agency, through its FY2021 Homeland Security Grant Program, is providing $251 million in federal funding to support counterterrorism and emergency preparedness efforts across New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday. The funding supports regional homeland security preparedness efforts, including planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise activities deemed critical to sustaining and improving community prevention, protection, response, and recovery capabilities.
The City of New York is set to receive $30,135,400 of this money, although none of the five boroughs are listed under their respective county names (Kings, Queens, New York, Bronx, Richmond).
ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOR MILITARY VETS: The NYU Tandon Veterans Future Lab, an NYC-based business incubator for military veterans and their spouses, aims to increase the presence of veteran-owned businesses in New York and tackle the overall declining rate of veteran entrepreneurship. The Veterans Future Lab, in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park Industry City complex, houses early-stage businesses led by veterans and military spouses, and offers free access to NYU resources, gold-standard benefits, mentorship, a network of Future Lab members spanning 11 years of incubating top NYC startups, and even free housing in NYC.
Statistics show that only 4.5% of post-2001 veterans have launched their own businesses, compared to 50% of WWII vets who became entrepreneurs.
VIRTUAL CLASS ON ILLEGAL SHORT-TERM RENTALS: Homeowners, community-based organizations, community boards, homeowner/block associations, realtors and lenders may be interested in an upcoming webinar (https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvcOmrrz8oE9xL1HYZYHForzxvNRavLrCW) about illegal short-term rentals. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, and the Center for NYC Neighborhoods have partnered to present the November 17 virtual webinar, which will explain New York City’s short-term rental laws and facts on about their enforcement, as well as homeowner resources that are available as alternatives to short-term rentals.
The agencies are hosting this webinar as part of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Housing Plan, since this Central Brooklyn neighborhood Bed-Stuy has been a hot spot for illegal short-term rental activity, where entire residential apartments, and sometimes entire buildings, operate as commercial hotels.
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT WEBINAR: New and established landlords can participate in an upcoming Virtual Property Management Class that the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development is offering. Attendees at the Tuesday, November 16 webinar will learn the basics of managing residential property in New York City, and the advantages of owning rental property and assessing one’s own management skills. (Registration: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/events/index.page) or bit.ly/3tEWD4W
The webinar includes pointers on navigating the roles and responsibilities of including the roles of key city agencies: the Department of Buildings, Dept. of Health and Dept. of Environmental Protection.
CITYWIDE LIBRARY DISPLAY CONTEST: NYC’S three library systems are joining forces for a book display contest with more than 130 participating branches across all five boroughs. The contest, between the Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library (serving Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island) and the Queens Public Library, is part of the library system’s joint Culture Pass initiative — the citywide library program created in 2018 providing library cardholders free access to cultural institutions. The book displays, broadly reflecting the theme of arts and culture, are on view now through Nov. 30 in libraries across New York City. The public can vote for their favorites from each system online at https://culturepass.nyc/book-display-contest. On Nov. 12, the displays with the most votes will move on to the final round.
Following the public voting period, a judges’ panel of local authors, artists, illustrators, and philanthropists will review the finalists and select the winners, including one first place winner and one first runner-up display from each system. The panel will then choose from the three system-wide winners an overall citywide best-of-show display.
NEW LAW ON CONSTITUTIONAL REDISTRICTING: Governor Kathy Hochul has signed legislation (S.5160-B/A.229c) amending Section 34 of the municipal home rule law to provide that regardless of any local law to the contrary, county reapportionment of members of local legislative bodies is first and foremost subject to state and federal constitutional requirements. The legislation is meant to ensure fairness and equity, and in furtherance of the principle of “one person, one vote.”
After a 1991 court decision, there have been efforts to modify the standards by which county legislative lines are drawn. This bill would ensure an end to that practice of gerrymandering, and promote fair and non-partisan drawing of lines based on specific guidelines consistent with the constitution.
VACCINE POP-UP SITES IN BROOKLYN: There are now more than 23 new #VaxtoSchool pop-up vaccination sites to increase vaccination rates among school-aged New Yorkers, Gov. Hochul announced on Wednesday. The Department of Health is working with local county health departments, community-based organizations, and healthcare centers to support the establishment of these sites in all regions of the state. Partners, host sites, and outreach efforts are tailored to the communities they are built to serve.
Two new Brooklyn locations, both providing the Pfizer-BioNTech and Janssen/J&J vaccines, and offering Amazon gift cards as incentives, are in this lineup: Life of Hope at 1377 Brooklyn Avenue in East Flatbush is open today, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; The Sea Gate Association Beach Club Haunted Halloween, 3700 Surf Avenue in Coney Island, will be open Friday-Sunday, October 29-31st; from 3-9 p.m.
ENHANCEMENTS TO VACCINE DOCUMENTATION: New York State has launched Excelsior Pass Blueprint, a national framework to aid in the development and implementation of digital health credentials. Building off of the State’s Excelsior Pass Wallet solution — which includes Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus, and the Excelsior Pass Scanner app for businesses — the Blueprint serves as a guide to assist other states, territories, and entities in the expansion of compatible COVID-19 vaccine credential systems to advance economic development efforts nationwide safely and securely.
New York State was the first in the nation to launch a proof of COVID-19 vaccination and negative test results Pass system in March 2021.
FIGHTING VACCINE MISINFORMATION: —#GetTheVaxFacts is a newly-launched program designed to combat COVID-19 vaccine misinformation online. This campaign includes a dedicated website as well as downloadable toolkits to address the most pressing misinformation topics around the COVID-19 vaccine in a thorough and easy-to-understand way, including fallacies related to pregnancy and infertility, side effects, safety and speed, and government conspiracy theories that continue to circulate on social media and digital forums.
The new site and campaign will also include education to help New Yorkers learn how to spot untrustworthy content from bad actors and tips to consider before re-sharing sensational and inaccurate postings. The Department of Health will be partnering with community organizations to provide materials in multiple languages.
BETTER REGULATION OF CREDIT CARD MARKET: Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney (D-12), who authored the Credit CARD Act of 2009, has called for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate credit card market and end predatory overdraft fees. Maloney spoke at Wednesday’s Congressional Financial Services Committee hearing, questioning Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra on issues in today’s credit card marketplace.
The Credit Card Act of 2009 ended the most unfair and abusive practices of the credit card industry and leveled the playing field between cardholders and credit card companies. Maloney is also the author of the Overdraft Protection Act of 2021, which will crack down on predatory overdraft fees and establish fair and transparent practices for overdraft coverage programs.
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