Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, December 28, 2021
PASSING OF ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU: Following the death Sunday of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, acclaimed worldwide as an outspoken prophetic voice against apartheid in South Africa, several local leaders have offered tributes to his ministry. Among them, Mayor-elect and outgoing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called the death of Archbishop Tutu “a heartbreaking loss … A champion of civil rights whose voice brought down apartheid in South Africa and advanced the fight for human and economic justice throughout the world, Archbishop Tutu’s advocacy resonated across generations, cultures, and communities. His lessons of love, justice, and empowerment have personally inspired me throughout my journey as a public servant.”
“One quote of his in particular always stays with me,” said Adams: ‘There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.’
REP. YVETTE CLARKE’S TRIBUTE: U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-9th District), recalls, “The 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner was the Commencement Speaker at my graduation from Oberlin College and a leader and true inspiration in the Global Racial Justice movement. I have powerful and indelible memories of Archbishop Tutu’s passion for justice as commencement speaker.”
Congressmember Clarke added, “This would be the first of several encounters with him over the years. He was truly an inspiring leader.”
PARK DEVELOPMENT IN NORTH BROOKLYN WATERFRONT: The City of New York has invested $75 million toward the development of the CitiStorage parcel of Bushwick Inlet Park in North Brooklyn, as part of a major project to create green space in northern Brooklyn. Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Martin Maher, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park Co-Chairs Katherine Thompson and Steve Chesler, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Council Member Stephen T. Levin, and members of the community to announce the investment. The new funds will be applied toward the demolition of the former CitiStorage warehouse, and design and construction of the next phases of the multi-phase build-out of the park.
CitiStorage site is one of six parcels that make up Bushwick Inlet Park, the centerpiece of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront, 3.5 acres of which are already complete and open to the public, featuring a multi-purpose field and a building for community activities with a state-of-the-art green roof that doubles as a seating area. The newest section to be renovated, 50 Kent, will open to the public in early 2022.
MORE TESTING SITES: A site in Mill Basin is among 13 new State testing sites across New York State to address the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. The sites are aimed at providing additional testing options in areas of high need and are being mobilized with all locations slated to open on Wednesday, December 29, though appointments can be made in advance. Kings Plaza Mall, 5100 Kings Plaza, is the newest Brooklyn site, which will operate Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Upon launch, all sites will offer RT-PCR testing. Rapid antigen and rapid PCR tests will also be available within a few days of opening.
IPS NEWS: RENEWING PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS: A new executive order from Governor Hochul will help support vulnerable homeowners amid the current surge of COVID-19 cases, allowing local governments to lift an in-person renewal requirement for property tax exemptions for low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Under the Governor’s executive order, local governments can automatically renew 2022 benefits for all property owners who received the benefit in 2021 unless the locality has reason to believe an individual has changed their primary address, added another owner to the deed, transferred the property to a new owner, or passed away.
The Governor’s executive order includes two additional actions: it will permit certified clinical laboratories to use out-of-state facilities for New Yorkers’ COVID-19 testing to mitigate testing capacity issues.
NEW YEAR’S TRANSIT CHANGES: The MTA has announced several holiday-related changes on New Year’s Eve and the weekend. New Year’s Eve, Friday, Dec. 31, subway service will run on a Saturday schedule with some exceptions, including extra service to and from Times Square for the midnight ball-drop. Moreover, F train service between Jay Street-MetroTech and Bergen Street is suspended, with southbound (Coney Island-bound) F trains running on the G line between Bedford/Nostrand and Coney Island-Stillwell Ave.
Northbound F trains run between Jamaica-179 St. to Euclid Ave. in Brooklyn, and will be the local track in Brooklyn.
IPS NEWS: TOY DRIVE: Last week, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a holiday toy drive at Brooklyn Borough Hall in partnership with Target, the final one of his tenure at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Borough President Adams distributed to children living in 10 different homeless shelters, 485 children’s books, 600 sets of pajamas, as well as 4,500 masks, Lysol wipes, gloves, bags, Kate Farms drinks and pens.
Adams also stressed the importance of spreading holiday cheer while remaining safe this season.
DINOSAURS RETURN IN BROOKLYN AUTHOR’S THRILLER: A new thriller by Brooklyn veterinarian Dr. Philip Fico explores what happens when dinosaurs are reintroduced into modern society and a zoo vet has been dispatched to their caregiving. Dorrance Publishing has released Primordial Resurgence: Origins, set in the nineties where these fearsome creatures have been brought back to life for the amusement of others, Scott and his veterinary team quickly learn just how bad of an idea this is. Filled with adventure and action, Scott’s experience shows the controversies surrounding genetic manipulation of animals.
Dr. Philip Fico, a veterinarian with a focus in emergency medicine and critical care, has always had an interest in paleontology and has considered it as a career path.
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