Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, January 13, 2022
PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED BOERUM HILL DEVELOPMENT: Brooklyn Community Board 2 announces a virtual public hearing on Wednesday, January 19 at 6 p.m., regarding a proposed zoning amendment for the construction of a mixed-use (residential and commercial) development at 300 Bergen St. in Boerum Hill. The site, which also has the address of 98 Third Ave., would become an eight-story, approximately 28,000 sq ft., with 24 dwelling units, and commercial space.
Anyone within Community District 2 who wishes to testify written testimony is also welcome and must be received no later than 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2022. Comments may be submitted by email to [email protected]
NOT GIVING UP ON GRAND PROSPECT HALL: Community efforts to preserve Grand Prospect Hall and discussions with Under Angel’s Wings about a proposed recovery center and Genesis Detox of Brooklyn to operate an outpatient treatment program are on the agendas for the Brooklyn Community Board 7’s full board meeting on January 19. Community Board 7’s Health Committee will also be hearing presentations and discussing the proposed recovery and treatment centers that evening, via Zoom.
Grand Prospect Hall, once a famed catering hall, was another casualty of the pandemic after its owners, Michael and Alice Halkias died of COVID-19 in 2020, and the building interior was gutted. Even though the Grand Prospect Hall was never granted NYC landmark status, there remains a community effort to save the building itself.
GET PAID TO TEND GREENWAYS: NYC DOT and the City Cleanup Corps, U. Arias Corp., is seeking trainees for its Greener Roadway Training Program that would pay New Yorkers $24.50 an hour to maintain greenspaces and roadway plantings across two boroughs, including three within Bay Ridge, according to Community Board 10. Those interested in taking care of greenways at 76th Step Street, 84th Street at Fort Hamilton Parkway and Dahlgren Place at 92nd Street can visit https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/greener-roadways-full-time.pdf.
The Step Streets, 74th and 76th streets in Bay Ridge, once part of estates, have stairways that connect Ridge Boulevard with Colonial Rd.
EASIER ROUTE FOR CDL APPLICANTS: Addressing a critical shortage of truck and bus drivers in New York, Governor Kathy Hochul has a plan to significantly expand the availability of road tests for Commercial Driver License (CDL) applicants. The initiative would allow qualified third parties to offer the road tests, which would create more testing locations statewide, expand capacity at the existing state-run sites, and reduce the time it takes to get qualified CDL drivers on the road
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will hold a virtual public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 26, to hear and review comments on the plan; those wishing to submit written comments should forward them to [email protected] from Jan. 18 to Feb. 4.
COUPLE ARRAIGNED ON ID THEFT AND FRAUD: A California couple has been charged with grand larceny, identity theft, welfare fraud and other offenses for allegedly using the identity of a U.S. Army veteran, according to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office The couple is accused of fraudulently applying for government benefits, including through the Veterans Administration, for Section 8 housing in Brooklyn.
The defendants, Kevin Middleton, 40, and Tonni Chapman, 49, formerly of Brooklyn and now residing in Los Angeles, California, were arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun, released without bail and ordered to return to court in March.
RENT RELIEF PROGRAM REOPENS: The Legal Aid Society is urging New Yorkers in need of rental assistance to apply for the state’s Emergency Rent Relief Program (ERAP), which reopened on Tuesday, after a court ruling in Hidalgo v. New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). Legal Aid had initiated the class-action litigation brought by Legal Aid, which ordered OTDA to resume accepting applications.
Legal Aid’s argument was that closing ERAP to new applicants before all funds are exhausted violated OTDA’s duties under the ERAP statute, exceeded its lawful authority, and took actions which violated the Legislature’s clearly expressed intent of protecting eligible families who were still awaiting federal funds from being evicted.
BROOKLYNITES ON DEAN’S LIST: Several students from Brooklyn, particularly a zip code in East Williamsburg and Bushwick, have earned a place on Southern New Hampshire University’s Fall 2021 Dean’s List. They are: Matthew Streets, Madeline Berry, Erica Jones, Jestina Blanding and Laine Dirnberger, all of 11206; Sonya Horton of Ft. Greene and (11205) Sabrina Swogger of Greenpoint (11222).
SNHU is a private, nonprofit institution in its 89th year, which has been recognized as the “Most Innovative” regional university by U.S. News & World Report and one of the fastest-growing universities in the country.
PLAYWRIGHT MARATHON FOR TEENS: Irondale’s Young Company and SheNYC Arts’ Create Her programs bring local New York City teens together for ‘The 24 (ish) Hour Plays,’ a digital, free festival of original short one-act plays written and produced following a day-long virtual workshop process on Saturday, Jan. 22. The plays, created, rehearsed, and performed in less than 10 hours, will be written based on prompts given by all the participating students and will encompass the issues and concerns they are facing as young people living in New York City.
More than a dozen students throughout Brooklyn (from Bushwick and Williamsburg to Bay Ridge) are participating.
MORE KIDS THEATRE: Students in the Brooklyn Children’s Theatre’s 2021 Show in a Season Class will give their closing performances of a production they have written, “The Epic Chronicles of Drindor.” The virtual curtain rises on Friday, January 14 at 5 p.m.; registration available via https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpdeuuqzIiG9QUzU3B9nd0BfzqqkRGigUG?_x_zm_rtaid=qlCFi4XWR8G8fD3GBUfOEA.1642029358301.f0626b88c432fb02f1f8c6883d0edc03&_x_zm_rhtaid=33
BCT’s motto is “Musical theatre for children, by children!”
STUDENTS HELP FEED BROOKLYN: Eighth-grade students of the Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Committee of St. Saviour Catholic Academy on Tuesday helped fill a van with approximately 25 milk crates and large bags full of non-perishable food items and snacks like dried fruit and granola bars. The supplies went to several parish-based food banks and distribution centers, serving Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Flatbush, Brownsville, and Carroll Gardens/Red Hook.
8th Grade student Ines McCoy said, “As New Yorkers, it is our duty to look out for others who do not have as much and start things like food drives. This way we can make sure that people who are struggling are able to put food on their tables.”
POPE LIKES VINYL LP’S AND TANGO DANCING: Pope Francis, understanding the need for recreation, made a surprise visit to a local record store on Tuesday afternoon, adding music appreciation and support for small businesses to his long list of concerns as pontiff, reports the Religion News Service. Stereosound, near the Pantheon in downtown Rome, was a frequent stop for Pope Francis when he was a priest and later archbishop when he came on business to the Vatican from his native Argentina.
The Pope, who has often expressed his love of classical music, is also enthusiastic about tango, which he listened to — and occasionally danced — in his native Argentina.
IPS NEWS: LANDER TO CITY — DON’T INCREASE DEBT CEILING: The new City Comptroller, Brad Lander, opposes Mayor Eric Adams administration’s plan to pursue State legislation that would increase the total amount of debt the TFA is authorized to issue outside of city’s debt limit. The Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Wednesday announced an increase of additional $19 billion, more than doubling the current authorization of $13.5 billion.
Comptroller Lander said he believes that before seeking an increase, the City must first determine what infrastructure needs can be addressed through the recent Federal infrastructure bill, and other improved management practices.
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