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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, January 31, 2022

January 31, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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CRASH VICTIM RIGHTS AND SAFETY ACT PACKAGE: In light of published reports showing that 2021 was the deadliest year in traffic fatalities since 2013, and that, in particular, Brooklyn led the five boroughs with more than 80 fatalities, Transportation Alternatives is urging citizens to learn about and support The Crash Victim Rights & Safety Act. This legislative package, aimed at redesigning New York City streets in a way that prioritizes safety, consists of seven State Assembly and Senate bills in various aspects of traffic interaction and engineering.

The bills would allow speed limits to be lowered to save lives across New York City and the state, increase funding where the municipality agrees to fund a complete street design feature, include complete street design features in resurfacing, maintenance and pavement recycling projects, require drivers pass bicyclists at a safe distance of at least 3 feet, to educate NY drivers about safely interacting with vulnerable road users, and to guarantee rights and a voice for crash victims and their loved ones in legal proceedings

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DANGERS FROM ABOVE:  Lab tests show dangerous levels of lead falling from Bushwick elevated-line subway stations to streets, subjecting the neighborhood to exposure, according to an investigative report by Kyle Andrew Smith in the Bushwick Daily. Samples that a local merchant collected from the sidewalk at three different spots and sent them to a testing laboratory in Virginia, returned high levels of lead, with the highest level (taken from material gathered at the Myrtle and Broadway Avenue station) measuring 63,000 parts per million, whereas the limit warranting abatement is set at 5,000 ppm, and the modern-day standard limit for lead paint being just 90 ppm.

Smith, in his investigative piece, points out that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo allegedly stripped key language from 2018 legislation that would have required testing at all MTA above-ground stations, trestles and tracks for the presence of lead.

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FREE BIKE MECHANIC TRAINING: The non-profit One Community is offering free training to become bike mechanics and pursue well-paying, union Citi Bike jobs. Applicants need no prior experience, minimum education is required, and the training program welcomes criminal-justice involved people, women, and gender non-conforming persons. Participants can choose morning or afternoon classes; apply via https://www.onecommunitynyc.org/bikepathapply

Requirements for the training include: reliably reporting for training on time at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, good communication skills, patience, the ability to follow instructions, work well within a team and physical endurance.

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INCREASE THE NUMBER OF HOMES WITH 100 BOOKS: Brooklyn Book Bodega, aiming to increase the number of homes with 100 or more books, is hosting a Community Afternoon at the Book Hub on Saturday, February 12. Educators who are part of, or part of an organization (church, school, community-based group food pantry, etc.) are invited to sign up for the hub, where they will be able to take many free books as can be selected and carried in 45 minutes. Event registration. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-afternoon-at-the-book-hub-tickets-249744952877

The Book Hub will have well-loved used books for children, adolescents, teens, and adults prepared for this event. Please bring your own bag or luggage to take them with you. (If you will have someone join you to help, please select a ticket for them as well during the registration process.)

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CON EDISON RATE HIKE TO PURSUE CLEAN ENERGY: As protestors in Brooklyn are trying to prevent a major gas utility from placing air vaporizers in North Brooklyn, an electric utility, Con Edison is focusing on clean energy. Con Edison seeks new electric and gas rates in 2023 that it says will fund clean energy investments in support of New York State’s climate goals and to make infrastructure upgrades that will help keep customers in service during severe weather.

The investments would include placing certain vulnerable overhead electric cables and other equipment underground to prevent outages during severe storms. Key consideration will be placed on addressing those areas of the system that serve disadvantaged communities.

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IPS NEWS: REVISITING THE ERA:  U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), chair of the Oversight and Reform Committee, and Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14), co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, have unveiled a resolution recognizing that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has met all legal requirements to be recognized as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.  As of now, the ERA will guarantee long-sought constitutional protections against sex discrimination, and further empower Congress to enact legislation advancing gender equity.

On Jan. 27, 2020, the ERA met the final legal requirement for ratification under Article V when Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment. But last week, on Thursday, January 27, 2022,, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion calling into question but failing to rescind its January 2020 opinion seeking to block the ERA.

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IPS NEWS: INVESTIGATING WORKPLACE MISCONDUCT IN FOOTBALL: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, chair of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, will hold a hybrid roundtable with several former Washington Football Team (WFT) employees to discuss issues of workplace misconduct and the National Football League’s (NFL) failure to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and verbal abuse within the WFT under the leadership of owner Dan Snyder.  The roundtable will be an opportunity for committee members to hear firsthand accounts of former employees and will inform potential legislative solutions to better protect all workers from harassment and discrimination.

Although multiple reports have emerged from employees who either witnessed or experienced the toxic work environment inside the WFT, the team failed to adequately address the concerns raised when it was brought to their attention —until internal investigations were initiated in July and the fall of 2021.

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IPS NEWS: PROTECTING NEW YORK’S WATERWAYS: Under the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the federal government will award the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) $6,724,000 to support the New York and New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries focus area study, announced U.S. Rep Nydia Velázquez (D-7th Congressional District) and Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ). Friday’s announcement follows the two Congressional colleagues’ request last year for funding to the New York-New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries in order to protect tri-state communities in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Rep. Velázquez said, “This funding will help identify the best methods for navigation, storm damage reduction, environmental restoration, coastal resiliency, and flood and storm damage reduction. Until we take serious steps to combat the climate crisis, we must proactively protect our communities from its devastating effects.”

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IPS NEWS:  INVESTIGATING NURSING HOME DEATHS: Preliminary data analysis obtained from the Office of Attorney General Letitia James inquiries to a portion of nursing homes during the pandemic suggests that many residents died from COVID-19 in hospitals after being transferred from their nursing homes. OAG asked 62 nursing homes for information about on-site and in-hospital deaths from COVID-19 for the week of March 1 to the date of the facility’s response, which varied from the week of April 12 to July 19.

This sample of facilities – approximately 10 percent of the number of nursing homes in New York – was not randomly selected.

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IPS NEWS: New York Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement on the first anniversary of her office’s report on nursing homes’ response to COVID-19: “A year ago, we released a comprehensive report demonstrating that the previous administration undercounted deaths in nursing homes due to COVID-19 by as much as 50 percent and how its policy decisions may have contributed to the deaths of those residents.”

Attorney General James continued, “This report spurred critical action, and following its release, our state passed important nursing home legislation. We are continuing to investigate certain facilities for violations of the law because we are committed to the wellbeing of nursing home residents and staff across New York.”

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IN MEMORIAM: Rabbi Israel Seymour Dresner, a veteran civil rights activist who was once part of the “Tallahassee Ten,” has died at age 92, The New York Times’ Sam Roberts reports. Dresner, who was raised in Borough Park and was graduated from New Utrecht High School and attended Brooklyn College, became friends with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whom he met when they were both jailed for their civil rights protests. Other sources recall that Dresner “was once dubbed the most arrested rabbi in America.”

The obit by Sam Roberts quoted the group of rabbis who, with other clergy, were arrested after they jumped into a “whites-only” swimming pool in Florida in 1964. “ ‘We came as Jews who remember the millions of faceless people who stood quietly, watching the smoke rise from Hitler’s crematoria,’ the rabbis said after their arrest. ‘We came because we know that, second only to silence, the greatest danger to man is loss of faith in man’s capacity to act.’ ”


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