Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, January 28, 2022
YET ANOTHER SNOWSTORM: The governor has directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets as a coastal storm system could deliver up to a foot of snow and gusty winds in some Downstate locations this weekend. The NY State Department of Transportation is deploying equipment and assets in multiple region: 1,596 large snowplows, 322 large loaders, 143 medium duty plows, 51 tow plows, 39 snowblowers, 23 pickup trucks with plows and 20 graders.
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect, with heavy snow possible starting Friday evening for parts of Long Island, New York City and the Mid-Hudson regions, and some areas should expect to receive 6 to 12 inches or more by Saturday night. Winds gusting up to 55 mph at times will likely impact travel in several locations and could cause power outages.
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN GRANT FOR BAC: The Brooklyn Arts Council has won an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and will receive $100,000 as part of the federal government’s commitment to revitalizing the nation’s arts and culture in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial crisis. Funds awarded to BAC will be allocated toward saving jobs and funding overall operations.
Monetary support such as this helps BAC provide services to artists such as its Community Arts Grants and Creative Equations Fund, as well as CASA and SU-CASA Arts in Education programs. The NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.
CORRECTION: Because of an editing error, the first name of Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 3rd Class Sethsimon Bayot in the caption about the Naval personnel was misspelled as being two words. He was pictured with Brooklynite, and Retail Services Specialist Seaman Phinnigan Edwards, both of whom serve aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in the Indo-Pacific region. The Eagle regrets the error.
IPS NEWS: NATIONAL STANDARD FOR HEAT-RELATED RISKS: New York Attorney General Letitia James is leading a coalition of six states in urging the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to swiftly establish national standards that protect outdoor and indoor workers from occupational exposure to extreme heat attributable to climate change. In comments submitted to a proposed rulemaking on worker heat standards, the coalition called on OSHA to fill the “substantial void” in worker protections by requiring employers to implement strong preventative measures aimed at curbing heat-related risks.
The coalition of attorneys general (from the neighboring states of New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and from Maryland and California) argues that, as climate change progresses and heat-related injury, illness, and death are becoming increasingly common in the workplace, it is incumbent upon OSHA to speedily establish national standards and requirements that will protect all workers.
IPS NEWS: COLTON SUPPORTS MAYOR’S PLAN AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE: Assemblymember William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights), in expressing grief over the NYPD officers Jason Rivera and officer Wilbert Mora who were killed in the line of duty, said that he and his neighborhood team in the 47th Assembly District “strongly support Mayor Adams in his plan to fight against gun violence in New York City. We must get guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals and gang members. We must support such proven measures as reinstating professional undercover police officers, community policing, increasing mental health and family services, and measures to remove the root sources of crime, all as part of a broad strategy to stop crime.”
“Mayor Adams is providing the leadership to stop gun violence in the city of NY, and he will face strong opposition from many fronts. Let all in the community unite to help achieve these critical goals,” Colton added.
IPS NEWS: HONORING HUMAN DATA PRIVACY: State Senator Roxanne Persaud (D-19th District) wants Brooklynites to know that today, January 28, is Human Data Privacy Day in the State of New York. Accordingly, she is sponsoring Senate Resolution J1393 to raise awareness among families, consumers, and businesses about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking.
Human Data Privacy Day promotes events and activities that stimulate the development of technology tools that promote individual control over personally identifiable information; encourages compliance with privacy laws and regulations; and creates dialogue among stakeholders interested in advancing data protection and privacy.
IPS NEWS: REVENUE FROM $26 BILLION OPIOID SETTLEMENT: New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday marked a key milestone in bringing more revenue to the state through the $26 billion opioid agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors — Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen — and Johnson & Johnson over the companies’ role in creating and fueling the nationwide opioid crisis.
Since the agreement was reached in July, which included 52 states and territories, thousands of local governments across the country have joined during the subdivision sign-on period. New York has secured full subdivision participation, ensuring that New York will receive the maximum amount of $230 million available under the settlement.
IPS NEWS: MORE WARNINGS TO SLUGGISH TESTING LABS: New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a warning letter this week to yet another COVID-19 testing lab, PacGenomics, for failing to meet promised turnaround times for COVID-19 test results. Her office reports that several consumers waited more than 10 days to receive their results, even after being promised 24-hour turnaround times; and other consumers received their results with incorrect test dates. Attorney General James’ letter notifies PacGenomics that New York law prohibits false advertising and instructs the company to immediately update its website and any signage at test sites to accurately reflect how long individuals can realistically expect to wait before receiving COVID-19 test results.
This most recent warning letter follows several others that Attorney General James sent to labs and testing companies, including ClearMD Health, LabQ, LabWorq, Sameday Health, EZ Test NY, and Keep Health Safe, demanding that the companies take similar steps to update their websites and their signage, and to inform consumers about realistic wait times for COVID-19 test results.
NEW CANDIDATE FOR VACATED ASSEMBLY SEAT: Flatbush native Brian Cunningham, who has served as a senior aide to State Senator Kevin Parker and as chief of staff to Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, on Thursday announced his candidacy for the New York State Assembly in Brooklyn’s 43rd District. The seat was vacated when Assemblymember Diana Richardson was tapped to be Deputy Borough President.
A special election date has not been set as of press time.
GROUPS DEMAND ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW NOW: Several community groups who are plaintiffs in the federal civil rights complaint against National Grid’s Brooklyn Natural Gas Pipeline have filed a new motion demanding that an environmental review be conducted before any air permit be issued for the utility’s LNG facility. The groups claim that Department of Environmental Conservation’s decision to only review the impact of the LNG facility breaks from its direct precedent when reviewing such projects in predominantly white communities, violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and has an unjustified disproportionate impact on the communities of color in Brownsville, Ocean Hill, Bushwick, and East Williamsburg (See story, page 1).
The air permit, scheduled to be issued on February 7, would allow for additional emissions associated with two new vaporizers to the Greenpoint LNG facility to handle the increased flow of gas the pipeline will deliver to the facility, which would significantly expand the number of toxic fumes in the air.
“A WHOLE NEW LAGUARDIA”: Brooklynites who dealt patiently with all the construction at LaGuardia Airport for the past few years can now be proud of the newly-completed Terminal B, which has gained international recognition from UNESCO as being the “Best New Airport in the World.” Terminal B also becomes the world’s first airport with dual pedestrian skybridges (See story, page 1).
Governor Kathy Hochul, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton, and LaGuardia Gateway Partners CEO Frank Scremin on Thursday celebrated the completion of this terminal’s $4 billion transformation, which included the opening of LaGuardia Terminal B’s western skybridge, and the opening in December of Terminal B’s second concourse.
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