Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
IRS ABANDONS FACIAL-RECOGNITION CHECK: The Internal Revenue Service has abandoned its plan to require Americans submit to a facial recognition check through a private company to access their online tax accounts, following a firestorm of criticism from privacy advocates and members of Congress. Earlier on Monday, February 7, U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), led a coalition of Congressional members opposed to these plans. The plan would have required anyone seeking to access their records on the IRS website to provide images of their driver’s license, state-issued ID, or passport and take a live video of their face so that ID.me, a private contractor, could confirm their identity.
Members of Congress articulated concerns related to cybersecurity, accuracy and bias issues, and the lack of transparency in the IRS’s contract with ID.me and the company itself.
BAY RIDGE CATHOLIC ACADEMY GETS SPECIAL VISITOR: The president of St. Francis College, Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz, will visit the Bay Ridge Academy tomorrow, Feb. 9, and is set to announce a partnership between the schools. Dr. Martinez-Saenz will join Bay Ridge Catholic Academy Principal Gary Williams and St. Francis College Assistant Vice President Robert Oliva in visiting classrooms for one hour.
Details of the partnership, which will be released on Wednesday, involve learning trips to the college, student teaching, a foreign language after-school program, and a summer program.
CATHEDRAL CLUB DINNER: Bishop emeritus Nicholas DiMarzio was honored last Thursday, at the 122nd Annual Cathedral Club of Brooklyn Dinner, held, for the first time since 2020 at El Caribe. Organized in March, 1900, the Cathedral Club established a scholarship program — awarded on the basis of need and scholastic ability — for worthy high school students in the Diocese.
The annual dinner, a highlight of the Cathedral Club’s year, raises scholarship funds to support Catholic Education in the Diocese of Brooklyn, which also includes Queens.
EXCELSIOR PASS COORDINATION WITH NY AND PUERTO RICO: Digital COVID-19 vaccination credentials issued from Puerto Rico will immediately be accepted through New York State’s Excelsior Pass Scanner application. Similarly, the State’s Excelsior Pass Plus will be accepted through Puerto Rico’s CESCO digital verifier application, meaning that fully vaccinated Puerto Ricans and New Yorkers can use their compatible vaccination credentials for business entry in New York State and Puerto Rico, respectively. As a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico’s 3.2 million residents are U.S. citizens, with families born and raised in the mainland (continental U.S.)
New York State was the first-in-the-nation to launch a COVID-19 credential system, and since, has worked with partners across the U.S. and beyond to support the development and launch of compatible vaccination passes.
GREENWAY CONCEPTUAL PLANNING STUDIES: NYC Parks and DOT today announced the completion of two conceptual planning studies for greenways in Brooklyn and Queens. The Destination: Greenways! studies identified gaps in the existing greenway routes and ways to improve and transform key greenspaces into both destinations and thoroughfares to increase access. The study outlined opportunities for investments in key areas along Brooklyn’s southwest shoreline, with a focus on connecting existing fragmented greenway segments.
This week, Parks will host virtual meetings to report back to the community on the results of the study.
AFRICAN VOICES AWARDED NEA GRANT: African Voices Communications, Inc., an organization devoted to supporting art, literature and film by artists of color, has been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. African Voices is recommended to receive $100,000 to fund operations and facilities to fuel New York City’s recovery efforts. African Voices celebrates our 30th Anniversary in 2022.
The NEA’s historic investment in our infrastructure marks a milestone in African Voices’ 30-year legacy as a leading arts institution during a challenging time.
BOY SCOUTS DAY: Feb. 8 recognizes National Boy Scouts Day each year. The Boy Scouts of America has roots in the British Boy Scouts organization which was created in 1908 after the success of the book Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell. Since 1910, boys across America have been doing good deeds, learning survival skills and developing moral foundations through the Boy Scouts of America.
The First Eagle Scout was Arthur R. Eldred in 1912. Then, 70 years later in 1982, Alexander M. Holsinger became the millionth Eagle Scout, the BSA’s top advancement award which has been earned by only 2.5 percent of those young men who enroll.
FREE AFTER 12 WEEKLY TRIPS: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is launching the Fare-Capping Pilot for New York City Transit to encourage New Yorkers to get back on subways, buses, and trains, and to reduce the cost and worry surrounding everyday travel. Starting on Monday, Feb. 28, customers who tap and go with OMNY will be charged the standard $2.75 pay-per-ride fare for their first 12 trips. Any trips after that through the following Sunday would be free, meaning that no customer would pay more than $33 per week—the current price of a seven-day unlimited-ride MetroCard; and free transfers between subways and buses will continue. (See story, page 1.)
The temporary promotional changes to fare structures will begin Feb. 28 for New York City Transit and Feb. 25 for commuter rail tickets. The pilot will last for at least four months.
CHARGING CONSUMERS FOR COVID VACCINES: New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office has secured refunds for New Yorkers who were wrongfully charged administration fees by two pharmacies when they received their COVID-19 vaccine. The OAG found that Fulton Drugs in Brooklyn charged a vaccine administration fee of $20 or $25 to approximately 175 consumers; another pharmacy in Manhattan charged consumers directly as well. In accordance with the agreements, the pharmacies have reimbursed all improperly charged vaccine recipients and will implement stronger training programs for staff. (See story, page 20.)
Under the Health Resources and Services Administration’s COVID-19 Uninsured Program, providers are not allowed to charge a vaccine recipient by imposing a vaccine administration fee directly to consumers.
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment