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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, February 3, 2022

February 3, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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IPS NEWS:  NO SURPRISES ACT BUILDS ON EXISTING NY LAW: New York Attorney General Letitia James today, in her efforts to protect consumers from unexpected and often devastating medical bills, wants to remind New Yorkers of new safeguards against surprise bills, thanks to a law that took effect in January across the United States. The new federal No Surprises Act, which builds upon existing New York law, prohibits hospitals and health care providers from billing patients for more than their in-network co-payment or deductible on many unexpected out-of-network bills.

Additionally, the No Surprises Act has provisions that further protect consumers from getting entangled in billing disputes,

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NEW REGULATIONS ON METHANE EMISSIONS:  New York State has finalized regulations that will require significant reductions in methane and other harmful emissions from any oil and natural gas infrastructure, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced yesterday.  These regulations mark a milestone in realizing the State’s nation-leading clean energy and climate agenda by reducing methane emissions by more than 14,000 metric tons per year and volatile organic compound emissions by over 2,000 tons per year. The final regulations significantly reduce, and in many instances prohibit, the venting of natural gas to the atmosphere at wells, compressor stations, storage sites, and metering and regulating stations.

The proposed regulations also contain rigorous leak detection and repair requirements for oil and gas infrastructure, as well as requirements for controls and operations.

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WORKSHOP FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY-DISABLED STUDENTS: A virtual workshop to help students with developmental disabilities transition from school to employment will be offered on Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 5 to 6:30 via Zoom. Geared for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, friends and allies, the workshop will cover what families can expect after school services end, day programs, employment training options, college and college experience programs and housing options, among other topics. Interested families should register via email to [email protected].

The Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Council’s Transition Committee is co-sponsoring the workshop with the Brooklyn Public Library.

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Josue Del Paz, recent “Make It Awards” winner.
Photo by Sara Azoulay

AWARDS FOR BUSINESSES: The New York Knicks and Squarespace, Inc., the website-building and ecommerce platform, have launched the fifth annual “Make It Awards,” a program that provides select tri-state area businesses with funds and exposure to take their businesses to the next level. Each of the winning businesses, four in total, will be provided with a $30,000 grant, a one-year subscription for Squarespace, use of select Squarespace marketing inventory including a yearly Unfold Pro subscription, a feature segment on MSG Networks, and more. Register via www.makeitawards.com; deadline is next Wednesday, February 10.

Last year’s winner, Brooklyn resident Josue De Paz is the CEO & co-founder of First Tech Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to closing the digital divide by supporting students of underserved backgrounds in NYC with free technology, free broadband, practical skills, career exposure.

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SEEKING ARTISTS FOR MURAL PROJECT: The Alliance for Coney Island, a private-public partnership dedicated to continuing the year-round revitalization of this area, is holding an open call to local and regional artists to submit proposals to paint large-scale murals for the “The Coney Island for Everyone Mural Project” in the fourth round of beautification for the historic community. This phase of the project, which is funded by a grant received from the New York City Department of Small Business Services through the Neighborhood 360 Program, will include gates on five businesses throughout the Coney Island Amusement District and Mermaid Avenue. Artists interested in applying should visit www.allianceforconeyisland.org/murals and submit their proposal including the location(s) they are interested in no later than March 1, at 11:59 p.m.

Artists are encouraged to use historic imagery of Coney Island, aquatic themes, colorful concepts, and artwork suggested by the businesses as inspiration for their proposals.

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APPEAL TO FINISH CONSTRUCTION: Brooklyn Community Board 7 will hold a public hearing (and Landmark/Land Use Committee meeting via Zoom) on a request for extension of time to complete construction of a nine-story building at 2nd Ave. and 49th St. in Sunset Park. The new building would contain a transient hotel (Use Group 5) and ambulatory diagnostic treatment health care facility (Use Group 4) within an M1-2D zoning district, which allows for multiple uses: manufacturing, commercial, a community facility and, in certain cases, residential.

This appeal seeks a determination that the property owner has a statutory right to complete construction of the new building to contain a transient hotel pursuant to approved plans and a valid permit initially issued prior to April 30, 2018.

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HEALTH ALERT: INCREASE IN CERTAIN STDs: The New York State Health Department has announced increases in gonorrhea and syphilis. The Health Department issued a recent Health Alert noting a 23 percent increase in gonorrhea cases and a 17 percent increase in cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis (the stages when syphilis is most infectious) among females from the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2021, with most cases among Black or Latino females. The report raises the point that structural racism prevents communities of color from accessing vital resources and opportunities, and negatively affects overall health and well-being.

STIs such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia are common and curable. However, if left untreated, they can cause lasting health effects, including infertility and chronic pelvic pain, vision and hearing loss, dementia, and paralysis.

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IPS NEWS: FEDERAL SECURITY MODERNIZATION ACT: The Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform, whose chair is U.S. Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-12) voted favorably to approve the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2022, as well as several other bills to improve federal government operations and hiring practices. This bipartisan bill modernizes and strengthens the Federal Information Security Management Act which has not been updated since 2014, and it improves detection and reporting of cyberattacks through continuous monitoring of federal systems, new supply chain transparency requirements, and requiring federal agencies to report major incidents affecting their data and information systems within 72 hours, among other provisions.

The Committee also approved the Supply Chain Security Training Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Joe Neguse and Rep. Scott Franklin, which requires the General Services Administration to establish a training program to better identify and mitigate supply chain security risks in the products and services the federal government acquires.

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IPS NEWS: ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY ON HARBOR FREIGHT PROGRAM: Governor Kathy Hochul and Congressmember Jerry Nadler (D- 10) today announced the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will resume preparation of a Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Cross Harbor Freight Movement Program, part of which impacts Brooklyn. The two preferred options being studied include the construction of a cross-harbor freight tunnel and the expansion of the Port Authority’s existing railcar float operation. The rail tunnel alternative calls for construction of a freight tunnel under the New York Harbor that would run approximately four miles from Jersey City to Brooklyn.

The EIS will also analyze potential mitigation measures for two preferred alternatives identified in the prior Tier 1 study to reduce the current dependence on trucks to move freight across New York Harbor. 

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IPS NEWS:  CRISIS STABILIZATION CENTERS: More than $100 million in funding will be made available over the next five years for 12 new Intensive Crisis Stabilization Centers across the State that will provide immediate care for people who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The Centers will provide care, observation and urgent treatment to individuals right in their community and will divert individuals away from unnecessary emergency room visits. The Centers will provide peer and recovery-oriented support services, in addition to referral and follow-up services to ensure people continue to receive the support they need after discharge.

The Crisis Stabilization Centers are part of a comprehensive crisis response system that includes mobile crisis teams, crisis residential programs, and other community services and supports.

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IN MEMORIAM: Donald Mahler, a founding member of American Ballet Theatre, a ballet dancer and prolific choreographer for the Metropolitan Opera, has died at age 88, The New York Times’ Anna Kisselgoff reports. Mahler directed the company’s own dance troupe, and was also known internationally for his stagings of ballets by Antony Tudor. He was born in Brooklyn as Donald Freisinger and would have marked his 89th birthday later this month.

Anna Kisselgoff, the NY Times’ former chief dance critic and author of the Donald Mahler obituary published on February 2, wrote, “One of the 20th century’s greatest ballet choreographers and a founding member of American Ballet Theater, Mr. Tudor was not one to cater to those seeking upbeat entertainment. Yet his dark ballets were of vital importance, as Clive Barnes noted in a Dance Magazine review of Mr. Mahler’s staging of “Echoing of Trumpets” for Ballet West in Salt Lake City in 2006.”


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