Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, December 10, 2021
CB2 COMMITTEE DISCUSSES PLANS THAT REPURPOSE STREETS: Downtown Brooklyn Public Realm Vision Plan and the Community Vision for Vanderbilt & Gates Plaza will be the focus of discussion at Community Board 2’s monthly Transportation & Public Safety Committee, next Thursday, December 16 (being held virtually, with link available on the board’s calendar web page). The Downtown Brooklyn Public Realm Vision plan means “reclaiming its streets for greater pedestrian use and creating attractive, accessible public spaces”… and increasing biodiversity. The Vanderbilt & Gates Plaza Plan is part of the NYC Plaza Program, “a key part of the city’s effort to ensure that all New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of quality open space. Eligible organizations propose new plaza sites for their neighborhoods through a competitive application process.”
Following the DOT’s presentation, community leaders will also present a proposal for “Apolline’s Garden Plaza” at Gates and Vanderbilt, created in response to the tragic death of 3-month-old Apolline Mong-Guillemin in September.
BROOKLYN BOOKBEAT: NEW POETRY FROM KINGSBOROUGH PROFESSOR: Dr. Elroy Allister Esdaille, professor of English at Kingsborough Community College, has published an anthology titled “It’s Hard to be a Black Man in America and Other African American Poems.” Released through Dorrance Publishing, the collection “challenges the nation’s consciousness about race, according to a statement.
Esdaille’s “poetic style presents an intersection of different genres from the abstract to the sublime. His poetry is all-encompassing in that it offers something for everyone and has an emotive value that appeals to the humanity in all of us.”
FAITH NEWS: The Orthodox Union’s Impact Accelerator program, which identifies and invests in ventures created by nonprofit entrepreneurs that address pressing and timely issues facing the Jewish community, has officially launched the application process for Jewish nonprofit and social entrepreneurs who reside in the United States or Canada. Applicants will preferably have one to four years of experience operating their ventures. The application process entails completing an online form, with a deadline of Jan. 6, 2022 (Hebrew date 4th of Sh’vat, 5782), with winners being announced next spring.
In addition to grants of $10,000-$15,000 apiece, those who are selected will be paired with successful professionals who act as mentors over a 12-month period and get to partner with the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization.
FAITH NEWS: RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL FEAST DAY IN BROOKLYN: The Brooklyn Diocese’s annual Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, observed on Dec. 12 (a Sunday this year) is expected to attract thousands. The cultural feast, taking place at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights, will feature Mariachis singing “Las Mañanitas” and the spectacular Lighting of the Torches. Brooklyn’s new Bishop, the Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan, will preach the homily in Spanish at this Mass, at which Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros will be a concelebrant.
Pilgrimages bearing the torches will head to 38 churches throughout Brooklyn and Queens to continue the veneration.
FAITH NEWS: LIVE NATIVITY: Second-graders at St. Patrick’s Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge presented a live Nativity play this week, thanks to a partnership with a petting zoo to bring real donkeys and ponies. An annual tradition since the arrival of Ms. Kathleen Curatolo as principal five years ago, “The St. Pat’s 2nd graders put students, their parents, parishioners, and passersby in the Christmas spirit with their joyous re-enactment of the birth of Christ,” she declared.
Each grade of the school took turns coming out and standing along the fence to get their own special performance for the community and neighbors, with the final performance being for the parents.
CHORAL CONCERT: The Chancel Choir of St. Luke & St. Matthew Church in Clinton Hill, an ensemble founded in 1865, will present the Christmas portion of the time-honored Handel oratorio, “Messiah,” this Sunday, Dec. 12. The 4 p.m. concert, whose program includes organ works by Handel and Albinoni, features noted soloists: soprano Rachel L’Hereux; tenor Edward Trerise, who has sung widely in Brooklyn and the NY metropolitan area, including for 27 years at Grace Church Brooklyn Heights, and the Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale; American countertenor Derek Lee Ragin, and internationally-acclaimed operatic baritone Lawrence Craig.
Music Director George Davey conducts the Chancel Choir, with organist Russel Paul. The choir, at one point in the parish’s history for men and boys, today is a semi-professional ensemble of women and men.
MILITARY FLYOVER ANTICIPATES BIG FOOTBALL GAME: As a herald and in support of Saturday’s Army-Navy Game, there will be a Planned Aircraft Flyover today, Friday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. Three F-18 jets will be conducting a flyover on the Hudson River from the Verrazzano Bridge towards West Point. The aircraft will fly at approximately 2,500 feet.
USAA, the insurance company that serves the military community presents this beloved football tradition, the Army-Navy Game between New York and New Jersey, this Saturday.
IPS NEWS: AERIAL PHENOMENA IN MILITARY BUDGET: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced the inclusion of her Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) amendment into the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. Saying that UAPs pose a significant challenge to national security, having appeared in sensitive U.S. airspace and around military personnel. Gillibrand has been working alongside Congressional colleagues Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) to establish an office that would replace the current Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and would have access to Department of Defense and Intelligence Community data related to UAPs, and that would be authorized to establish a coordinated effort to identify such phenomena and address national security and health concerns.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is legislation that Congress passes each year to make changes to the policies and organization of United States defense agencies and provide guidance on how military funding can be spent. The NDAA is an annual bill that lets Congress set guidelines for defense policy. Though funding for the U.S. military must be approved through appropriations bills, Congress uses the NDAA to establish defense priorities, make organizational changes to military agencies, and provide guidance on how funding should be used.
IPS NEWS: STATE SEN. KAVANAGH HOSTS VIRTUAL TOWN HALL: State Sen. Brian Kavanagh wants to hear from Brooklynites in the waterfront and downtown areas, and has planned a Virtual Town Hall on Monday, December 13, at 7 p.m. for this purpose. The event will be an opportunity for Brooklynites in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Columbia Waterfront, Fulton Ferry, and DUMBO to discuss a variety of state and local issues that affect the communities that he represents.
An RSVP page, (link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_E0R-NpKdRl2wwP2TtHtUpg) will allow community members to submit questions on topics they would like to address. Once you submit your RSVP on the Zoom registration form, a confirmation page will provide you with a link to join the virtual event.
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