Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, November 4, 2021
VACCINES BECOMING AVAILABLE AT SCHOOLS: Every school that serves students aged 5 through 11 will host vaccination sites beginning on Monday, Nov. 8 according to a joint announcement on Wednesday from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter and Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. The new policy is expected to provide easy access to life-saving vaccines for the 400,000 eligible public school students in this age range at 1,070 sites. Families can learn the dates when their school will host a clinic via the website https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/health-and-wellness/covid-information.
No appointment is necessary for the clinics, which will be open between either 7-11 a.m. or 12:30-4 p.m., depending on the location.
SENTENCED TO 8 YEARS FOR DRUG DEALING: United States District Judge Dora L. Irizarry in Brooklyn Federal Court on Wednesday sentenced Joanna De Alba, a suspect from Mexico, to 96 months in prison for distributing, and possessing with intent to distribute, illegal drugs over the “dark web.” De Alba, who had pleaded guilty last April, distributed an array of illegal drugs—including fentanyl, opioids, heroin, MDMA, cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone and methadone—over the dark web in exchange for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, taking various measures to operate anonymously and conceal her identity.
The internet contains online marketplaces for narcotics and other contraband on the “dark web,” a part of the internet located beyond the reach of traditional internet browsers and accessible only through networks designed to conceal user identities.
‘DUSK AND DARKNESS’ SAFETY CAMPAIGN: As Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. this Sunday, Nov. 7, city agencies and advocacy groups are combining education and awareness with heightened NYPD evening and overnight enforcement. During the Thursday, November 4 (today’s) morning rush. DOT and NYPD street teams will be at transit hubs around New York City, including Brooklyn Borough Hall, for a “Day of Awareness,” distributing information to commuters and motorists about “Dusk and Darkness.” Joining the New York City Department of Transportation and NYPD will be Vision Zero partners to announce the launch of this annual safety campaign, reminding drivers that with the time change, crashes involving pedestrians traditionally increase, especially during the evening hours.
The groups will also discuss the need for state legislation allowing speed cameras to operate 24/7.
HUD PROVIDES $2.2 MILLION FOR FAIR HOUSING INITIATIVE: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing $13.6 million in American Rescue Plan funding to enable 51 HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agencies across the country. In New York, HUD released $2,225,000 to seven fair housing agencies. Specific activities that will be carried out include responding to housing inquiries, investigating fair housing complaints, conducting fair housing testing, providing legal assistance, conducting education and outreach, and covering costs associated with providing services related to the pandemic.
The funds, which are being awarded under Fair Housing Initiatives Program’s Private Enforcement Initiative component, are the first American Rescue Plan competitive grants that focus directly on the unequal impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on communities of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations.
#INPUBLICSERVICE: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-12), Chairperson of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, joined with her Congressional colleagues, Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and New York and national advocates on the eve of the Hindu Festival of Lights to announce the introduction of the Deepavali (Diwali) Day Act. This legislation would make Diwali, which is observed starting today, November 4, a nationally recognized federal holiday.
Diwali, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists, celebrates the symbolic victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.
NOMINATED AS AMBASSADOR TO JAMAICA: President Biden on Wednesday announced his nomination of Assemblymember Nick Perry to be the next United States Ambassador to Jamaica, following U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s push and continued support. Assemblymember Perry was born in Jamaica and represents a predominantly Caribbean American community in Brooklyn, including East Flatbush, Canarsie and Brownsville. An Army veteran, he received several service medals and was honorably discharged with the rank of Specialist E-5.
First elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992 to represent the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, Perry was re-elected to serve his 15th consecutive term in November 2020, and currently serves as the Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore of the NYS Assembly and regional vice chairperson of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.
USED CAR DEALERS CHARGED: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Peter A. Hatch has announced cases against two used car dealership companies—Kings Autoshow and JF Motors, which operate a total of five dealerships in Brooklyn and Queens — for engaging in deceptive and unlawful trade practices that preyed on vulnerable New Yorkers, and consumers from across the tristate area. Among the dealerships’ unlawful conduct charges were using false advertising to lure consumers, advertising accessories, warranties, and add-on products that did not come with the vehicle, refusing to honor “no dealer fee” promises, charging more than advertised, and misleading consumers about financing.
Kings Autoshow, which operates two Brooklyn Mitsubishi locations, is charged with more than 7,000 violations and seeking more than $50,000 in restitution for 34 consumers, civil penalties, and revocation of both of its used car dealership licenses. DCWP is also seeking to hold the respective owners, and Brooklyn Mitsubishi’s general manager, personally liable for the violations.
LEAD PAINT VIOLATIONS IN BATH BEACH AND GRAVESEND BUILDINGS: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has reached a settlement agreement with building owner Jay Rosenfeld, to correct more than 100 lead-based paint violations, the majority relating to failure to comply with turnover requirements, in a portfolio which included 688 households across 10 buildings in Brooklyn and Queens. Months of litigation have resulted in $150,000 in civil penalties against in addition to a consent order to correct violations under Local Law 1 of 2004 (LL1), New York City’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act.
Eighty percent of the properties are in Brooklyn and the Bath Beach neighborhood in particular, including complexes on Shore Parkway, Cropsey Ave. and 20th Avenue in Bath Beach; and Murdock Court and West 2nd St. in Gravesend.
IN PUBLIC SERVICE: A new bill being introduced will ban all forms of disinformation about the U.S. Census, named the Honest Census Communications Act. It would outlaw communicating false information about the Census using written, digital, or telephone communications in order to impede or prevent others from participating in the Census. Violators can be fined up to $11,181 per communication (the amount available under the False Claims Act), imprisoned for up to five years, or both. While the legislation is necessary to prevent harmful interference in future decennial counts, its protections also apply to other federal censuses, including the U.S. Economic Census which will take place next year.
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-12th District), chairperson of the Oversight and Reform Committee, joined her colleagues in Congress and the U.S. Senate colleagues, U.S. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Senator Brian Schatz to introduce the bicameral bill.
IN PUBLIC SERVICE: EDUCATION REFORMS FOR PRISONS: A new law that Gov. Kathy Hochul signed on Wednesday lays the groundwork for improved education for inmates, by establishing a commission to study and develop a plan for improving education in state prisons.
The new law, which aims to prevent recidivism, will establish a commission comprised of nine members who will study and develop a plan for improving education. The commission will be composed of three people whom the governor will appoint, two by the Speaker of the Assembly, one by the Minority Leader of the Assembly, two by the temporary President of the Senate, and one by the Minority Leader of the Senate.
The bill’s sponsors (S.5468 in the State Senate and A.2530 in the Assembly) were Sen. Kevin Parker and Assemblymember Charles Barron, respectively.
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