Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, December 30, 2021
LIRR UPDATES HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Following the cancellation of a New Year’s Eve concert at Barclays Center adjacent to the Atlantic Center Brooklyn transit hub, the Long Island Rail Road has updated its service change information for the holiday weekend, as lower ridership is expected. Today and tomorrow, December 30 and 31, the LIRR will operate on a regular weekday schedule with an additional 13 eastbound trains in the afternoon and, also on Friday, 11 additional evening westbound trains to Penn Station. However, there will be no extra service to Atlantic Terminal.
On Saturday, Jan. 1, the LIRR will operate on a regular weekend schedule, with six extra early morning trains from Penn Station for riders heading home after New Year’s Eve events.
NEW MAYOR’S SWEARING-IN: Mayor-elect Eric Adams has announced that his swearing-in ceremony will take place on Saturday morning in Times Square, shortly after the Ball Drop signifying the arrival of the New Year. The New York State Constitution and Public Officers Law require public officers, including elected officials, to take and file an oath of office. Using his family’s Bible to take the oath of office, Adams will be sworn in as the 110th Mayor of New York City by the City Clerk, with members of his family present for this historic moment.
Mayor-elect Adams, Comptroller-elect Brad Lander, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams recently decided to postpone their joint inauguration ceremony, which was initially scheduled to take place at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn on the evening of Jan. 1, New Year’s Day due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. They will hold a more ceremonial event at a later date.
HOUSING TAX CREDITS: The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development has awarded $15.5 million in housing credits to 10 developments for the creation and preservation of 696 affordable homes across the city. The tax credits will raise approximately $155 million in equity to be used for the construction of these projects with the vast majority of homes serving low-income New Yorkers. The awards benefiting five new construction projects and four preservation projects include support for three supportive housing developments, one senior development, critically needed preservation work, and 250 homes for formerly homeless tenants.
Each year, the IRS allocates housing tax credits, an indirect federal subsidy used to finance the development of affordable rental housing, to designated state agencies, who in turn distribute the credits through a competitive process to projects throughout their state.
NEW SPECTRUM STORE: A new Spectrum store has opened in Park Slope to replace one near the Green-Wood Cemetery that closed earlier this week. Parent company Charter Communications announced that the new location, at 522 5th Ave., between 13th and 14th streets, replaces Spectrum’s store at 769 5th Avenue, near 27th St.
The new Spectrum store gives consumers in Boerum Hill, Gowanus, Prospect Heights, and Windsor Terrace a convenient option for adding or managing their Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile or Voice services.
SETTLEMENT ON COURT-ORDERED ENFORCEMENT: The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has arranged settlements totaling $214,000 involving continued enforcement against Brooklyn landlords Alexander Horn and Sam Kooris. The two property owners have been ordered to correct conditions and stop tenant harassment at seven buildings, containing a total of 62 homes, in Brooklyn and Queens after the owners initially failed to address conditions pursuant to a court order.
These enforcement actions are the outcome of an ongoing investigation led by HPD’s Anti-Harassment Unit (AHU) in partnership with the Tenant Harassment Prevention Taskforce (THPT) which coordinates anti-harassment efforts involving multiple jurisdictions across several government agencies.
TEAMS APPROVED FOR JAIL CONSTRUCTION: The City of New York has reviewed and approved six teams, who each submitted a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ), to develop detailed proposals to design and construct four modern, smaller, humane borough-based jails. These jails will replace the aging facilities on Rikers Island, which will close permanently in 2027, Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced on Wednesday.
The firms will now prepare responses to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for each site, which will require detailed plans about how firms will approach designing and constructing the facilities.
HEIGHTS COMMUNITY FRIDGE WINS ACCOLADE: The Brooklyn Heights Blog has named the Rev. Adriene Thorne and Darryahn Knight to the MOST IMPACTFUL TEN of 2021 for creating the idea of the Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge and enlisting neighbors to help make it a reality. “Built by neighbors for neighbors,” the Fridge, located next to the First Presbyterian Church, 124 Henry St., has helped feed the hungry and gather the community since June.
Architect James Koster designed and built the shed that houses the Fridge and helped it blend seamlessly into the neighborhood. Last month, the Fridge’s founders were invited to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on the day of Nextdoor’s IPO.
HEIGHTS BARITONE WARMS HEARTS: Also named to the Most Impactful Ten is operatic baritone Peter Kendall Clark, who saw a creative opportunity to brighten his neighbors’ spirits during the pandemic. Also known as the Brownstone Baritone, Clark has gained renown for “serenading the neighborhood and soothing the hearts and nerves of the pandemic-weary with his ‘Songs from the Ledge’ concerts, starting in May 2020.
Clark sang for 100 consecutive nights from the ledge. The concerts then turned weekly with Peter’s performer friends making guest appearances, and they captured the attention of major NY broadcast and print news companies.
FIGHTING COVID AS A COMMUNITY: “Community Health Strategies to Combat COVID-19” is the topic of a special presentation and Q&A with the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, as part of Community Board 2’s next Health, Environment & Social Services Committee Monthly Meeting. The meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. next Wednesday, January 5, will be fully remote via Zoom (with information available on the Community Board’s web page.
CB2’s Health, Environment & Social Services Committee advocates for mental health services, sanitation and refuse collection, environmental concerns including sewer maintenance and repair, air pollution, toxic waste, and liquor licensing issues. The committee is also responsible for matters concerning social services, the disabled, the homeless, and senior citizens.
BROOKLYN COLLEGE NAMED ENVIRONMENTALLY-RESPONSIBLE: Brooklyn College has been named among the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges: 2022 Edition. The campus was picked with 419 others from across the globe that prove their commitment to the environment and sustainability, and educating students in these areas.
The guide highlights colleges along the criteria of campus quality of life, level of preparation for employment in a clean-energy environment, and school policies.
‘HEARTS TO HOME PROJECT’: The SHOREFRONT YM-YWHA will participate in the annual MLK Day of Service on January 17 (the observed legal holiday) with a “Hearts to Home” initiative. Volunteers will work together to help get fresh produce to hundreds of home-bound seniors in our community, with the opportunity for teens to fulfill their school-required volunteer hours. Online registration required for all volunteers via: https://forms.gle/e4hkRSyk5aGJjn1d6
Families with children are welcome to volunteer, but do so early as space is limited.
IPS NEWS: NEW LAW GIVES THE PUBLIC MORE SAY: A new law will enhance the public’s ability to participate in the rulemaking process, thanks to legislation that Gov. Kathy Hochul today signed on Wednesday. This legislation would allow an agency to utilize non-traditional methods to garner more public participation. The public would also be able to submit a valid petition to an agency to require them to hold a hearing on a specific rule or regulation.
Legislation S.0155/A.6267 amends the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) to authorize agencies that hold hearings on proposed rules under SAPA to use innovative means to enhance public participation in rule-making, such as: designating a segment of time for the public to address questions to agency personnel; organizing hearings as roundtable discussions; scheduling evening or weekend hearings; and using digital, broadcast and teleconferencing technologies.
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