Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, January 6, 2022
GOVERNOR HOCHUL DIRECTS FLAGS TO HALF-STAFF: Governor Kathy Hochul announced flags on state buildings will be flown at half-staff today, January 6, in honor of the brave Americans who defended the United States Capitol Building during the attempted insurrection of 2021. Flags will be lowered beginning at 2:11 p.m. — the time when the Capitol was first breached — and hoisted to full-staff at 8:06 p.m. — the time the United States Senate reconvened.
“The cowardly attacks during the January 6 insurrection last year were more than an assault on the U.S. Capitol building, it was an assault on our democratic values… I thank the brave heroes who put their lives on the line to protect public safety on January 6, and I encourage all of us to reflect on the values with which we built this country: democracy, resiliency, and unity over division,” Governor Hochul said.
RALLY TO PROTECT VOTING RIGHTS: New York’s elected leaders, committed to protecting voting rights, plan a rally for noon today on the first anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The coalition of state Assembly and Senate members, as well as State Attorney General Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, City Comptroller Brad Lander and clergy will gather at Grand Army Plaza Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch (intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway, to bring awareness of each state’s role in ensuring fair elections, voting districts and expanding voting rights.
Among those expected to participate, in addition to the above-named, are State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Jo Anne Simon, Phara Souffrant Forrest, and Jo Anne Simon; NY State NAACP President Hazel Dukes, City Council Member Crystal Hudson, and clergy: Assembly Member Pastor Edward-Richard Hinds, Pastor Rashad Moore, and Rabbi Rachel Timoner.
COMMEMORATING ANNIVERSARY OF CAPITOL INSURRECTION: Also holding a rally and press conference to address the one-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol is Congressional candidate (and former U.S. Rep.) Max Rose, who is himself an Army veteran. The event takes place at John Paul Jones Park outside of Ft. Hamilton army base.
Joining Rose, who is a candidate for his former Congressional seat that he hopes to wrest back from Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, are Marine Veteran Zach Iscol and other military veterans, and elected officials from Brooklyn and Staten Island.
AUDITS SHOW PRISONS VIOLATED ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE: Pressure is on the City of New York to cease and desist from recording all phone calls made by New Yorkers incarcerated in local jails. The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, and their counterparts in other parts of the city are making this demand after an audit of recordings made by the Department of Correction (DOC) and its jail phone service contractor, Securus Technologies Inc., revealed that prosecutors received recordings of nearly 2,300 attorney-client conversations earlier last year.
Making such recordings violates the privilege of privacy between incarcerated persons and their defense teams that is considered sacrosanct and a cornerstone of the law profession.
INDEPENDENT BUDGET OFFICE DIRECTOR RETIRES: Ronnie Lowenstein, the widely-respected director of the New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO) announced plans to retire later this month, after 25 years of leadership. Under Lowenstein’s leadership, IBO has become one of the city’s foremost sources for objective, transparent, and in-depth analysis of the city’s budget and fiscal condition.
Lowenstein joined IBO at its inception in May 1996, first serving as deputy director and chief economist. Lowenstein became the agency’s director in 2000, giving it direction on how to best fulfill its City Charter mandate, and has since been reappointed to five consecutive terms.
ICONIC LIBRARY BRANCH REOPENS WITH IMPROVEMENTS: The Brooklyn Public Library System and Community Board 1 announced that Leonard Library in Williamsburg will reopen next Monday, January 10, at 10 a.m., with a new, rear AD- accessible ramp, a new vestibule, rebuilding of the front steps and replacement of outdoor lights.
The library itself is part of literary history: One of BPL’s original Carnegie branches, it is also the iconic library branch that the character Francie visited in Betty Smith’s classic book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. In 2008, Brooklyn Public Library staff joined Smith’s family and the NYC Parks Department to plant a tree in the author’s memory outside of the branch, at Devoe and Leonard streets.
VACCINE AND ONE’S OWN MAURICE SENDAK BOOK: The Brooklyn Public Library system also has a vaccination campaign running through February 19 that will send them home with a free book. Get Your Kids Vaccinated at BPL, organized in partnership with NYC Health and Hospitals Test and Trace Corps, offers a walk-in vaccine clinic for children ages 5-11 at select branches. New York City’s $100 incentive will be available at this clinic. As a plus, kids can take a photo with a cardboard cutout of Max from Maurice Sendak’s classic book, Where the Wild Things Are, and take home a free copy of the book!
The books are provided courtesy of the Sendak Foundation and HarperCollins. Information on the library branch vaccination schedule is available through the Brooklyn Public Library’s website.
IPS NEWS: REP. CLARKE SPEAKS OUT ON HAITI COUP ATTEMPT: Just six months after the assassination of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, (on July 7, 2021), another assassination attempt was made against the beleaguered nation’s prime minister, Ariel Henry during an official event last weekend commemorating the Caribbean country’s independence. U.S. Rep Yvette D. Clarke (D-9th District), who represents a significant community of Haitian Americans, has issued a statement about the situation. “It is with a heavy heart to learn that over the weekend, as Haiti commemorated its 218th Independence Day, gunmen attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Ariel Henry during an event at a church in the northern city of Gonaïves.”
Rep. Clarke continued, “As Haiti marks its 218th year of independence, we must remember the spirit of the ancestors who fought to unite all Haitians for the just and successful fight for freedom and human rights.”
IPS NEWS: MALLIOTAKIS JOINS GOP OPPOSITION TO VACCINE MANDATE: Last week, Congressmember Nicole Malliotakis (R-11th District), Brooklyn’s only GOP Congressmember, joined more than130 House Republicans and over 40 Senators in filing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to protest the Biden Administration’s `Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The act requires private employers with over 100 employees to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing with the goal of safeguarding public health. The brief argues that Congress did not give OSHA the authority to impose a vaccine mandate and urges SCOTUS to pre-empt the mandate.
The GOP amicus brief further argues that the legislative authority vested in the federal government belongs to Congress, not the Executive branch.
BQNS INTERBOROUGH EXPRESS WILL MOVE FORWARD: The Interborough Express is closer to becoming reality, now that Governor Kathy Hochul said during her State of the State address that she plans to move forward with this goal. Governor Hochul is directing the MTA to immediately begin the environmental review process for this transformative project, the first step in building a major infrastructure investment that would connect communities in Brooklyn and Queens to as many as 17 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road. (See story, page 1.)
See related story, this edition.
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