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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, December 7, 2021

December 7, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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IPS NEWS: NEW LAW TO PROTECT SENIORS FROM ID THEFT: A new law that Gov. Kathy Hochul signed yesterday is designed to protect seniors from fraudulent use of personal information by authorizing support services on identity theft through non-profit agencies and law enforcement. The legislation allows the Office of the Aging and law enforcement to officially recognize identity theft as one of the many forms of elder abuse and take appropriate action to help seniors.

While older adults are not the exclusive targets of identity theft, they can be especially susceptible to victimization as they often need to share their personal information with caregivers, medical providers’ offices, government agencies, and over the internet.


BROOKLYN COMPANY SEEKS FDA’s NOD: Cresilon, a Brooklyn-based biotech company, has applied for FDA approval for the human use of a plant-based gel technology that the company says rapidly controls bleeding and seals wounds in less than 10 seconds. Brooklynite and Cresilon’s founder and CEO Joe Landolina invented the hemostatic gel known as VETIGEL™. 11 years ago, as a 17-year-old freshman at NYU. A review published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that VETIGEL™ could potentially save the lives of over 2 million people who die from hemorrhaging each year.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The gel is currently used in the veterinary community to treat to treat more than three million bleeds within the animal and pet community. The company raised $38.5 million in funding last year, according to a company statement.


NEW PSA ON CORONAVIRUS: Starting this week, New Yorkers will be introduced to “Rampage,” an animated character that the New York City Department for the Aging has introduced to remind older adults about the threat of the coronavirus and the importance of vaccines. Part of a public service announcement (PSA) campaign being featured on television, radio, print, online and outdoor media, the Rampage character is a boastful coronavirus that enters an older New Yorker’s body and quickly begins reproducing.

Rampage tells viewers that doctors are his biggest enemies because they know his weaknesses. The PSA ends with “Give the vaccine another thought. Talk to a doctor.”


IPS NEWS: HOMEOWNERS ASSISTANCE FUND WINS APPROVAL: New York has become the first state in the nation to receive U.S. Department of the Treasury approval to launch its Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), a program that will provide up to $539 million to help eligible homeowners avert mortgage delinquency, default, foreclosure, and displacement, Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee, and Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Monday. Designed and administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, NYS HAF will target low- to moderate-income homeowners who are behind on mortgage payments, property taxes, water or sewage bills, owners of cooperative or condo units behind on maintenance fees, and manufactured homeowners behind on chattel loans or retail installment contracts.

The application period will open on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 and close on Friday, Feb. 4.  Eligible applicants may receive financial assistance to catch up on missed housing payments, to reduce mortgage debt to make monthly mortgage payments more affordable, and for homeowners who are unemployed, assistance with up to six months of future housing payments.


IPS NEWS: CALL FOR REPRODUCTIVE EQUITY— Brooklyn elected leaders joined iconic feminist Gloria Steinem and abortion-rights advocates on Monday at Planned Parenthood Manhattan to call for reproductive justice and health equity as individuals’ access to abortion and contraception, rallying against the backdrop of the current Dobbs Supreme Court case over Mississippi’s fifteen-week abortion ban, ongoing litigation regarding Texas’ six-week abortion ban, and efforts to expand refusals of health care, including abortion care and contraception. Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), State Senator Brian Kavanagh and their counterparts in other boroughs stood together, rallying to protect and expand reproductive rights and health care access

Rep. Maloney recently re-introduced her Access to Birth Control Act to address birth control refusals by pharmacy employees and to guarantee patients’ timely access to contraception—a bill she introduced in the House with almost 100 original Democratic co-sponsors as well as Senate-side support.


TENANTS DEMAND COMPENSATION FOR FIRE DAMAGE: Tenants at 303 99th Street in Bay Ridge have filed a HP case against their landlord, Revlyn Apartments, and are demanding timely repairs from damage in a Nov. 16 fire. The blaze, attributed to faulty wiring in the building, broke out on the fourth floor of the building, causing the displacements of tenants in ten units. Representing the tenants, who held a rally on Monday, are attorneys at TakeRoot Justice, with a hearing scheduled for this Thursday, Dec. 9 in Brooklyn Housing Court to demand replacement of an incompetent super, and immediate compensation for displaced tenants.

One of the damaged units is currently listed on Zillow as available for rent.


BROOKLYN COLLEGE INTERVIEWS SPIELBERG:  Director Stephen Spielberg joins the Brooklyn College community this Wednesday for a special finale to the CUNY school’s months-long unique cultural and educational series, West Side Story: The Brooklyn Connection. Spielberg, the legendary director of the reimagined film West Side Story, will be interviewed by Associate Professor María Pérez y González and Professor Emerita Virginia Sánchez Korrol, who were both instrumental in creating the PRLS West Side Story series centering on the 10-time Academy Award–winning 1961 film and its connection to the new film. This online event, taking place this Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 11 a.m., is free and open to the public, but attendees must register in advance:

Spielberg, along with Tony Kushner, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Kevin McConnell, and Rita Moreno are producers of the new West Side Story film.


MEDICAL CARE ACCESS FOR INCARCERATED NEW YORKERS: The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services and Milbank LLP lauded a recent decision in Agnew v. NYC Department of Correction, which found that the DOC has failed to provide access to medical care for incarcerated New Yorkers in the City Jails. The order mandates that DOC immediately remedy these unlawful failures and provide people in its care with access to medical services. The Court ordered the Department to demonstrate compliance with its order – and these duties within a week.

Recognizing that DOC’s failures are far reaching, the Court certified a class that includes all current and future persons incarcerated in NYC Department of Correction (DOC) jails and designated Legal Aid, Brooklyn Defender Services and Milbank as class counsel.


TEMPORARY LIBRARY CLOSURE: The Greenpoint library will be closed temporarily, due to building maintenance, on Wednesday, Dec. 8 and Thursday, Dec. 9. During the temporary closure, library patrons may visit other branches in Bushwick: 340 Bushwick Avenue, 11206, (718-602-1348);

DeKalb: 790 Bushwick Avenue, 11221, (718-455-3898); or Williamsburg: 240 Division Avenue at Marcy Ave. (718-302-3485). 

The Greenpoint library is scheduled to reopen on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 at 10:00am.


Nicole Bryan, head librarian at the BPL Macon branch
Photo credit: Gregg Richards

MACON’S HEAD LIBRARIAN NAMED AN EMPIRE WHOLE HEALTH HERO: Nicole Bryan, the head librarian at Macon Library in Stuyvesant Heights, has been named an Empire Whole Health Hero.  The award presented by Empire BlueCross BlueShield, in partnership with Crain’s New York Business, recognizes individuals who demonstrate leadership and commitment to the safety and wellness of New Yorkers specifically relating to the revitalization and reopening of New York City. Bryan, who became the manager of Macon Library in January of 2020, just two months before the pandemic began, created an outdoor library with carts of books for browsing and programs for families.

Later, she collaborated with community partners to put on a block skating party (not so secretly to help get people to fill out the census) organizing skate rentals, a DJ, and skating performers out in front of the branch.


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