Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, November 30, 2021
CARPENTERS’ UNION AND ELECTED LEADERS DISTRIBUTE MEALS: Needy families in Brooklyn received warm Thanksgiving meals, thanks to a partnership project with the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters and the Carpenter Contractor Alliance of Metropolitan New York and several elected officials representing districts in the borough. The union carpenters joined with State Senator Zellnor Myrie, Assemblymembers Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Diana Richardson and Latrice Walker, City Councilmembers Farah Louis and Justin Brannan, District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Councilmember-Elect Darlene Mealy, who won back her district after being term-limited for four years. The union participated in 19 events on Nov. 13- 23 throughout the city, including eight in Brooklyn.
The Campaign Against Hunger, Catholic Charities, IMPACCT Brooklyn, Collective Fare, Gateway Community Empowerment, Good Shepherd Church, Bright Light Baptist Church, Uncommon Schools also teamed up with the union carpenters and contractors donated approximately 2,400 turkeys.
GODSQUAD LEADER IS PANELIST ON GUN VIOLENCE RESPONSE: Pastor Gilford Monrose, co-founder of the GodSquad/67th Precinct Clergy Council and spiritual leader of Mount Zion Church of God (Seventh Day) in East Flatbush, will be a panelist this Wednesday at a conference titled “New York Faith Communities Respond to Gun Violence.” The Interfaith Center of NY will hold this online conference and in-person Peace Walk to address the significant rise of gun violence among Black and Brown communities in New York, followed by an in-person peace walk around Harlem. Faith leaders, who have consistently been at the forefront of the response to gun violence, are taking on new roles in the current crisis by working as violence interrupters, serving as street chaplains, and leading advocacy campaigns for gun control.
The Dec. 1 conference, to be held via Zoom and open to all religious and civic leaders, will highlight concrete steps faith leaders can take to combat gun violence in their local communities and beyond.
GANG MEMBER GETS 32-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE: United States District Court Judge Edward R. Korman in Brooklyn federal court has sentenced Michael Liburd, a member of the Coney Island-based street gang known as the West End Enterprise, to 32 years’ imprisonment for a 2016 murder and acts of extortion. Liburd, who pleaded guilty on November 18, had been convicted for racketeering conspiracy, including his participation in the 2016 murder of Antwon Flowers and the extortion of public works employees in Coney Island.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. As part of the program, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and their local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
GUILTY PLEA ON INVESTMENT FRAUD: Also in Brooklyn federal court on Monday, United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II received the guilty plea of defendant Gonzalo Ortiz to charges of investment adviser fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud an investor of nearly $600,000. Ortiz had made false representations about his trading expertise and the profitability of various investments.
After misrepresenting his financial acumen, Ortiz falsely told the victim that the investments were profitable and sent the victim a false account statement to support these claims. He also stole some of the victim’s money for himself, siphoning off portions of the investments to pay for personal expenses.
FORT HAMILTON HOLIDAY MARKET: The U.S. Army base at Fort Hamilton will host a “Holiday Market & Tree Lighting Spectacular” on Friday, December 3rd. The event, which is free and open to the public will feature a visit from Santa Claus for some holiday cheer, vendors, food and music. Pre-registration is required via https://hamilton.armymwr.com/calendar/event/holiday-market-and-tree-lighting-spectacular/5296572/62475
The registration deadline is tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 1.
UPDATES ON OMICRON VARIANT: NYC Health Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi, MD, on Monday afternoon tweeted some updates about the COVID Omicron variant: “There are currently NO confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in NYC. Delta remains the dominant strain – about 98% of sequenced specimens. We do anticipate detecting Omicron in the coming days, based on what we know about its global spread. Preliminary evidence suggests that those who’ve had COVID-19 in the past may be more easily reinfected with Omicron.
Emphasizing the precautions of vaccination, masking and testing, Dr. Chokshi added “This underscores our strong recommendation to get vaccinated regardless of whether you have already had COVID-19.”
FIRST THURSDAY ART WALK IN DUMBO: Art in DUMBO announced the lineup for December’s First Thursday, on December 2, at 6 – 8 pm. Join artists, gallerists, and community members for an evening of art, culture and behind-the-scenes access to Brooklyn’s renowned gallery district.
The monthly art walk will include a self-guided gallery walk featuring nearly a dozen shows with an opportunity to experience some of the neighborhood’s most exciting new public art installations, including the Light Year video exhibition Natural Rhythm, curated by Michael Lehman and projected on the Manhattan Bridge.
CHARITIES RECEIVED ABOUT 2/3 OF DONATED DOLLARS: New York Attorney General Letitia James’ annual “Pennies for Charity: Fundraising by Professional Fundraisers” report found that charities that retained professional fundraisers received about two-thirds of every dollar donated in 2020. Professional fundraisers retained the remainder — earning more than $380 million. The report, which analyzed 718 campaigns that professional fundraisers conducted in 2020, concludes that charities earned 73 percent of donations from those campaigns, a small increase from the previous year and in line with the last four years’ results.
Notwithstanding a significant decrease in in-person fundraising and pandemic-related closures and postponements, charitable giving in response to fundraising campaigns in New York jumped to over $1.4 billion in 2020 — an increase of more than $179 million from 2019 pre-pandemic campaign revenues.
IPS NEWS: FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR PAST-DUE WATER BILLS: Starting tomorrow, Dec. 1, $69.8 million in federal funding will be available to low-income New Yorkers to help them pay past-due bills for drinking water and wastewater, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Monday. The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program provides eligible individuals and families with up to $2,500 for drinking water arrears and $2,500 for wastewater arrears to help them avoid service interruptions when the moratorium on shutoffs expires next month.
Like the Home Energy Assistance Program, eligibility is based on income, household size, and the past-due amount that is owed. For example, a household of four would need to have a gross monthly income of $5,249 or less to qualify.
IPS NEWS: EASIER ACCESS TO SNAP: Changes to the application program for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will give older and disabled adults more access, Gov. Hochul has announced. The changes include simplifying the SNAP application, extending the duration these households can receive benefits before needing to recertify, and eliminating the need for them to complete an interview during the recertification process.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which administers SNAP in New York, to offer a simplified application. This shortened application form can be used for both applying and recertifying for SNAP—easing and simplifying the process for qualified older and disabled adults. Households need only to complete a single sheet application, front and back, which greatly reduces the amount of time and effort required to apply or recertify for benefits.
Starting in December, eligible older New Yorkers can also now recertify their benefits for 36 months—12 months longer than the previous timeline for recertification. Additionally, applicants will no longer be required to complete an interview to recertify their benefits—frequently one of the greatest impediments to successful recertification.
CORRECTION: A notice sent to the Eagle on Monday morning announced that City Councilmember-elect Lincoln Restler was scheduled to light the Rabbi JJ Hecht Memorial Menorah yesterday evening to usher in the second day of Chanukah. Due to a last-minute change received after press time, the information on the candle-lighting personnel was not updated in time. The Eagle regrets the error.
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