Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, October 29, 2021
EXPANDING RELIABLE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY: New York becomes the first city in the U.S. to implement a master plan to increase low-cost Internet connectivity to communities, particularly in underserved neighborhoods and in public housing. The city, through its Internet Master Plan, New York City will be the first in the nation to reverse what has been charged as the digital redlining that has left communities of color disconnected. The plan aims to reach up to 1.6 million New Yorkers in the next 36 months by using $157 million to build publicly owned, open-access broadband infrastructure, and to provide fast, reliable, and affordable connectivity options to an additional 70,000 NYCHA residents and 150,000 residents in the surrounding communities by early 2022.
Already, the city is in the process of bringing free or low-cost internet connectivity options for up to 40,000 residents in 18 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments by the end of the year.
NEW LAW HELPS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS: A new set of laws will help victims of domestic violence by releasing them from utility contracts on a residence they’ve had to flee for safety reasons. Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a domestic violence legislative package into law. Legislation S.1557/A.4496 amends the public service law in relation to requiring the release of individuals from utility corporation services in instances of domestic violence.
Moreover, Legislation S.1555A/A.465-A will make it easier for a victim of domestic violence to apply to have their voter registration records sealed from public view.
PROTESTING DESTABILIZATON AND EVICTIONS: Dozens of rent-stabilized tenants at 1646 Union St. and 285 Schenectady Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn were set to gather outside 1646 Union St. last night for a rally and press conference to fight their landlord, Renaissance Realty Group’s second attempt to deregulate their units and push them out. The tenants, including elderly, low-income, Spanish-speaking, and those with families who have been living in the building for more than 30 years, are expressing outrage at their unsafe living conditions such as leaks, mold, and rat infestations, and at Renaissance Realty’s recent attempts to increase rents and displace tenants in gentrifying Brooklyn during a global health crisis.
Renaissance Realty at first attempted to deregulate at least affordable housing income units in the building. They are accused now of changing tactics and claiming the entire building is exempt from rent stabilization citing a loophole from a regulatory agreement with the city from the 1980s.
NEW LAWS COMBAT GUN VIOLENCE: A package of new laws aims to combat the gun violence epidemic and to address the scourge of ghost guns in New York communities. Gov. Kathy Hochul yesterday signed Legislation S.13A/A.2666A, which prohibits the possession of unfinished frames or receivers by anyone other than a licensed gunsmith or dealer in firearms. Legislation S.14A/A.613A prohibits the sale of ghost guns and requires gunsmiths and dealers in firearms to register firearms in their possession.
Additional bills add firearms designed to resemble toys to the definition of a ‘disguised gun,’ and prohibit the possession and sale of un-serialized finished frames and receivers by anyone other than a licensed gunsmith or dealer in firearms.
NYU-TANDON KENYA PROGRAM RECEIVES NIH FUNDING: NYU-Tandon School of Engineering along with Brown University in Rhode Island and Moi University in Kenya, is co-leading a data-science training program for equipping leaders to support improvement of health outcomes in Kenya. This project is among 19 initiatives that the National Institutes of Health has chosen to fund under its new Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa) program.
The $1.7 million award, part of the NIH’s mission to advance data science, catalyze innovation and spur health discoveries across Africa, establishes a consortium consisting of a data science platform and coordinating center, seven research hubs, seven data science research training programs, and four projects focused on studying the ethical, legal and social implications of data science research.
NEW YORK NATIONAL GUARD PROMOTIONS: Several Brooklynites serving in the New York Army National Guard have received promotions in recognition of their capability for additional responsibility and leadership, according to Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General for the State of New York. They are: Ashley Castillo from Bushwick (11206), N.Y., and assigned to the Division Signal Company, 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters is promoted to the rank of private. Catherine Liz, also from Bushwick (11206) and assigned to the 107th Military Police Company, has been promoted to the rank of specialist. Tyler Coles from the Ft. Greene/Brooklyn Navy Yard area (11205) who is assigned to the Battery C, 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery has been promoted to the rank of specialist.
Army National Guard promotions are based on overall performance, attitude, leadership ability, and development potential.
SHARED VISION FOR BROADWAY TRIANGLE: An update on developing the NYC owned sites in the Broadway Triangle is an agenda item for Community Board 1’s Combined Public Hearing and Board Meeting being held virtually on Tuesday, Nov. 9. United Neighborhood Partners, a joint venture of four local not-for-profit organizations or “Neighborhood Partners” [United Jewish Organizations (UJO), Southside United/Los Sures, RiseBoro, St. Nick’s Alliance] has partnered with builder Mega Contracting, to implement a shared vision for the Broadway Triangle, which neighbors Williamsburg, South Williamsburg, and Bushwick.
The two speakers for the Unified Neighborhood Partners will be: Frank Lang, Director of Housing, St. Nicks Alliance and Drew Vanderburg, Senior Project Manager, RiseBoro Community Partnership.
DEVELOPMENT OF WATERFRONT PROPERTY: The potential for an existing waterfront property at 1 Java Street in Greenpoint is part of a presentation at Brooklyn Community Board 1’s next Land Use, ULURP and Landmarks Committee meeting on Monday, Nov. 1. The discussion will focus on an application by 1 Java Owner LLC (the “Applicant”) for land use approvals related to 1 Java St,, the underwater part of which the State of New York owns, while the Applicant owns the remainder. The State and Applicant are currently pursuing a zoning lot merger to form a single zoning lot consisting of the Development Site.
These actions, if approved, would facilitate the development of publicly accessible open space on the Development Site in connection with the construction of an as-of-right mixed-use, primarily residential building which would contain approximately 611,502 square feet of floor area and approximately 800 to 850 dwelling units, including affordable housing provided in accordance with the Inclusionary Housing Program.
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