Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, December 14, 2021
ARRAIGNMENT ON SEVERAL COUNTS: A Flatbush man has been arraigned on an indictment for arson, attempted murder and aggravated harassment for throwing a Molotov cocktail into a Bedford-Stuyvesant deli, attempting to throw a second Molotov cocktail. Then some bystanders became heroes: A passerby knocked the second Molotov cocktail out of the defendant’s hand, and deli workers chased the defendant as he fled to the Nostrand Ave. A/C subway station and then stabbed one of his pursuers, who pointed him out to the police. The defendant was then arrested.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendant as Joel Mangal, 38, of Brooklyn. He was arraigned on Monday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo on a 29-count indictment in which he is charged with first-degree attempted murder, first-degree arson, first-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree aggravated harassment, second-degree assault and related charges. He was ordered held on bail of $500,000 cash or $1,000,000 bond and to return to court on January 27, 2022.
FESTIVE PROCESSION THROUGHOUT DIOCESE: The Diocese of Brooklyn on Sunday celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a special Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, with the new diocesan bishop, the Most Rev. Robert Brennan, concelebrating with retired Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros. Highlights of this joyous cultural celebration, that the diocesan Mexican Apostolate organizes each year, were Mariachis singing “Las Mañanitas” and the spectacular Lighting of the Torches following Mass, in front of the Co-Cathedral.
After the lighting, the torch-lit pilgrimages headed to 38 churches in Brooklyn and Queens. One of the torch routes headed to Coney Island, visiting St. Martin of Tours parish in Bushwick, St. Agatha Church and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica, both in Sunset Park, and the destination church, Our Lady of Solace on West 17th St.
NOMINATE A BUILDING FOR LANDMARK STATUS: The Historic Districts Council, in concluding a year of preservation victories and challenges, is asking New Yorkers to “Tell Us What Needs Saving in Town.” Historic Districts Council members and interested preservationists are invited to nominate the names of buildings that they would like to have designated a New York City Landmark, or that they believe are threatened. A survey, available via the Council’s website, asks questions such as “Why does this building/site merit designation? Is the building/site threatened in any way? Is the building/site in a National Register district?”
Deadline for submissions is Dec. 31, with results scheduled to be announced in early January. HDC will highlight the proposed sites throughout 2022.
FILMS CHRONICLE NEW YORKERS’ RESILIENCE: The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has premiered “NYC Overcoming,” a series of five short films packaged into a 1-hour special that tells the story of New York City’s resiliency. This original documentary, being aired on NYC Life Channel. is from Harlem-based production company Firelight Films, helmed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, which produces documentary films and develops strategies, partnerships and materials to reach and engage diverse audiences. The anthology showcases the efforts of the nightlife, hospitality, and entertainment communities throughout the five boroughs as they recover from pandemic hardships. Each borough is represented.
The film about Brooklyn features Sara Zutter, a special education teacher at P.S. 172 and coach for the Rising New York Road Runners, who is training for the marathon’s return to raise awareness about heart diseases and reproductive system disorders, drawing from her own personal health battles.
NEW LAUNCH: ASIAN EXPERIENCE IN THE CITY: NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs, has launched The Asian Experience in NYC, a new, centralized and permanent resource for locals and visitors. Available via nycgo.com/TheAsianExperience, this resource —which premieres as the city’s Asian population becomes the fastest growing major race and ethnic group, accounting for approximately 14 percent of the city’s population —features new and recently-added content spanning the vibrant Asian communities, including Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, such as neighborhood guides and itineraries; a guide to Malaysian culture in New York City; special interviews with Asian community leaders, including Moonlynn Tsai and Yin Chang (co-founders of Heart of Dinner).
The Asian Experience in NYC also spotlights annual content, including how to Celebrate Lunar New Year, various guides, and links to organizations such as Stop Asian Hate, Stop AAPI Hate, Organizations Against Asian Hate and more, to donate and learn about anti-Asian violence, as well as educational resources on ways to stop anti-Asian violence while traveling and in local communities.
DISASTER RELIEF FOR TORNADO VICTIMS: Faith-based and civic organizations are raising funds and matching donations to send emergency relief for those affected by the weekend’s tornado outbreak in Kentucky—reportedly the hardest hit, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas. B’nai B’rith International is opening its Disaster and Emergency Relief Fund to support those affected by the devastating tornadoes that struck southern and midwestern states this weekend.
B’nai B’rith is now accepting donations and will match donations up to $5,000.
CONEY ISLAND SCHOOL HATE CRIME: A statement from Abraham Lincoln High School’s Principal, Ari A. Hoogenboom (available via the school’s website), reported that “This morning numerous copies of a racist leaflet were strewn on the sidewalk in front of our school and directly in front of our main entrance. Such a leaflet goes against everything we stand for as an inclusive community that celebrates all cultures and ethnicities.”
Mr. Hoogenboom contacted the 60th Precinct and has made available a social worker, other counselors, assistant principals and himself to speak with students about their concerns.
IPS NEWS: TREYGER DENOUNCES HATE CRIME: Following a hate crime incident at Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island, City Councilmember Mark Treyger, who represents the area, issued a statement: “I was informed of vile, racist, horrific, and hateful fliers posted around and at Abraham Lincoln High School. I spoke to the local precinct and NYPD Brooklyn South and I insisted the hate crimes division immediately launch an investigation. NYPD has sent the case to the hate crimes division and it is now under investigation. This vile hate has no home here. This does not define who we are as a community.”
Treyger added that the school is sharing camera footage with the NYPD to bring those responsible to justice, and that he will organize a meeting to help the school community feel safe.
IPS NEWS: AG JAMES’ LETTER TO MORTGAGE HOLDERS: New York Attorney General Letitia James, in an action to support New Yorkers still recovering from the financial effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has sent a letter to mortgage servicers operating in New York and mortgage industry trade associations, reiterating her expectation that they provide long-term relief to homeowners in accordance with New York state law, as well as with federal regulations and guidelines. Attorney General James also lays out, in her letter, that the Office of the Attorney General’s Mortgage Enforcement Unit will be helping to oversee the distribution of New York state’s Homeowner Assistance Fund that Gov. Hochul announced last week.
Since then, the OAG has monitored compliance with COVID-related relief requirements imposed by state and federal laws and regulations, including investigating whether servicers have offered homeowners the forbearance relief and post-forbearance modifications required by New York Banking Law § 9-x.
IPS NEWS: PRIORITIES FOR INFRASTRUCTURE LAW FUNDING: Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-7th District) has outlined Infrastructure Law funding priorities on behalf of her constituents, now that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is becoming law and the impending billions in federal funding earmarked for the state. The projects that Velázquez is pressing for federal infrastructure funding include providing the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway rehabilitation and associated improvements; supporting New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) repairs and upgrades; constructing or rehabilitating accessible transit stations to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards; improving resiliency and protection of coastal areas, especially in areas exhibiting needs (i.e. Red Hook), that may be addressed by initiatives similar to the Red Hook Coastal Resiliency project.
The recent law marks the largest investment in infrastructure in American history with New York state poised to receive $13.5 billion over five years in federal highway funds, $11.2 billion over five years to improve public transportation, $6 billion to advance vision zero plans, $14 billion in expanded INFRA grants for freight infrastructure aid and $23 billion in expanded Capital Investment Grants.
IPS NEWS: 25 MOST POWERFUL NEW YORKERS: Mayor-Elect and outgoing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams tops the latest Crain’s New York List of 25 Most Powerful New Yorkers. Not surprisingly, so are fellow Brooklynites Letitia James, NY State Attorney General, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries.
Also on the list is Kathryn Wylde, CEO and president of the Partnership for New York City, whose Crain’s bio mentions she is a Brooklyn resident.
MILESTONE: CIVIL RIGHTS APOSTLE C. HERBERT OLIVER: The New York Times’ obituary writer Sam Roberts reports the death of The Rev. C. Herbert Oliver, 96, a civil rights apostle who challenged how the New York City public school system in New York City educated Black children, died on Nov. 30 in Brooklyn. In Dr. Oliver’s fight for education equity, he “became embroiled in a controversy that would divide Black and white people for years to come,” writes Roberts. Appointed chairman of a newly-formed local school board in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, itself an experiment in decentralization, Dr. Oliver and the board believed they were authorized to transfer out white teachers —most of whom were Jewish — an action that was promptly denounced and resulted in a citywide strike and charges of anti-Semitism.
Dr. Oliver was pastor of Westminster Bethany Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn from 1967 to 1992.
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