Good Morning, Brooklyn: Wednesday, January 12, 2022
SNAFUS IN REDEEMING VACCINE INCENTIVE PRIZE CARDS: Thousands of New Yorkers have for weeks struggled to redeem their $100 vaccine incentive debit cards as the company that administers them says it is trying to resolve issues with sign-ups, according to a report published in The City. Around 7,000 complaints about the Akimbo-brand vaccine incentive cards have been received since the initiative launched in July, according to City Hall spokesperson Jonah Allon, who added that “more than 730,000 cards have been distributed.”
Many recipients blamed Akimbo for delays in processing — including failed logins and multiple calls to its customer service center — to obtain a one-time code that unlocks the funds on a virtual card.
SUPPLEMENTAL SNAP BENEFITS: All New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive the maximum allowable level of food benefits for January, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday. All households participating in SNAP — including those already at the maximum level of benefits — will receive a supplemental allotment later this month, bringing roughly $230 million in federal funding into the state’s economy.
During the first months after the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, New York saw a substantial increase in SNAP enrollment. The initial spike has remained sustained, with nearly 1.6 million households totaling 2.77 million New Yorkers receiving SNAP benefits as of November 2021.
GUN BUY-BACK IN EAST FLATBUSH: No questions will be asked of anyone wanting to participate in a Gun Buy-Back program taking place this Saturday. Cash in pre-paid cards and iPads (one per person) will be offered for operable handguns, assault rifles, shotguns and air guns. The drop-off site, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 15, is the Vanderveer Park United Methodist Church at 3114 Glenwood Road in East Flatbush. Program co-sponsors are the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and the NYC Police Department.
Participants cannot be current or retired law enforcement personnel.
STUDENT WALKOUT AT BROOKLYN TECH: Hundreds of students walked out of Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene on Tuesday to protest the continuation of in-person school during the Omicron wave, according to a tweet from NY1 News education reporter Jillian Jorgensen. Her tweet, which had already gotten 1M views in first four hours since its posting at 12:21 p.m. on Jan. 11, explained that the students at this prestigious specialized high school did the walkout as a demand for a remote learning option.
This tweet inspired comments ranging from staunch support to ridicule. One commenter recalled that, “In my day we walked out of Brooklyn Tech to protest the Vietnam War.”
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN SKATING RINK OPEN: The Rink at Brooklyn Commons (in MetroTech), Downtown Brooklyn’s first ice skating arena, is now open until February 27. Public skating, for a nominal fee, is available daily at this outdoor rink, along with upscale ice-skating programs, including private and semi-private lessons, and birthday parties, for people of all ages.
The rink will also host corporate skating events and company team-building outings.
MASS TO COMMEMORATE HAITI EARTHQUAKE: Tonight, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn’s Haitian Apostolate will offer a special memorial Mass on the 12th anniversary of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Cambria Heights is hosting the 7 p.m. Mass, which will be offered in remembrance of the more than 200,000 victims and the 300,000 who were injured and displaced as a result of the earthquake on January 12, 2010.
Brooklyn has a large Haitian community, particularly in Flatbush and East Flatbush. Father Hilaire Belizaire, the Coordinator of the Haitian Apostolate, estimates 150,000 Haitian Catholics worship in parishes throughout the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens.
EXHIBIT OF LENAPE CIVILIZATION: The Lenapehoking Exhibition at Greenpoint Library & Environmental Education Center will open on January 20. Lenapehoking is the first Lenape-curated exhibition of Lenape cultural arts, both historic and contemporary, in the City of New York. The exhibition, which runs through April 30, features masterworks by Lenape artists past and present (beadwork, a turkey feather cape, and a culinary tapestry from the seed rematriation project in the Hudson Valley) as examples of the survivance and beauty of Lenape culture, and more.
Curator Joe Baker, enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians and co-founder and executive director of the Lenape Center, will talk at a virtual opening on Thursday, January 20, at 7 p.m. Interested viewers may visit this site to register for the free event. https://www.bklynlibrary.org/calendar/lenapehoking-exhibition-virtual-20220120
IPS NEWS: MORE EFFECTIVE CYBERSECURITY: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-12th District) Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, held a hearing with cyber experts to discuss strategies to strengthen the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), which has not been updated since 2014. In the aftermath of the sophisticated SolarWinds cyberattack and Log4j vulnerability, witnesses highlighted that an effective update to FISMA requires a clear, coordinated, whole-of-government approach to meet the challenges of evolving cyber threats.
Witnesses unanimously supported the work of the bipartisan discussion draft released by Chairwoman Maloney and Ranking Member Comer to advance a risk-based cybersecurity posture that improves coordination and incorporates modern, advanced security principles.
BROOKLYNITE APPOINTED AS CHIEF ADVISOR TO MAYOR: Mayor Eric Adams has appointed Chaplain Ingrid Lewis-Martin as chief advisor to the mayor, a role which will have her working in partnership with the first deputy mayor, chief of staff, and all direct reports to the mayor to support operations at City Hall, and advancing the administration’s strategic policies and priorities. A Brooklyn native whose heritage is Barbadian and Panamanian, Lewis-Martin was educated and then later taught at her alma mater, IS 320 Jackie Robinson. (See story, page 1.)
Chaplain Lewis-Martin most recently served as deputy Brooklyn borough president and, before that, for more than five years as then-State Sen. Adams’ senior advisor and for seven years as his chief of staff.
CORRECTION: The date of a grand prize giveaway at Barclays Center was incorrectly reported in yesterday’s editions. The $25,000 prize was awarded to Barclays employee Mikhaillia Ingram during the Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks game on Friday, Jan. 7, not on Sunday. The Eagle regrets the error.
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