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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Wednesday, February 23, 2022

February 23, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN HOME TO NEW CYBERCOMMAND CENTER: A Joint Security Operations Center is being created in Brooklyn that will serve as the nerve center for joint local, state and federal cyber efforts, including data collection, response efforts and information sharing, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday. A facet of a partnership launched with several state and cybersecurity leaders, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the JSOC is the nation’s first-of-its-kind cyber command center that will provide a statewide view of the cyber-threat landscape and improve coordination on threat intelligence and incident response.

Also in the partnership are Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Rochester Mayor Malik Evans and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.

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IPS NEWS: REP. CLARKE PRAISES NEW JSOC: The new cybersecurity center in Brooklyn quickly received praise from U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-09), chair of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation Subcommittee. “I am glad to see Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams are prioritizing addressing cyber threats by increasing investments in cybersecurity, launching a new Joint Security Operations Center in Brooklyn, and prioritizing the development of the cyber talent pipeline. Enhancing the cybersecurity of state and local governments has been a focus of mine in Congress, and as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I secured $1 billion in new state and local cybersecurity grant funds.

“State and local governments have seen an onslaught of ransomware attacks in recent years and need to strengthen their cyber defenses,” continued Clarke. “These threats are a national security issue, and the Federal government must be a supportive partner through additional resources and enhanced information sharing.

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INDICTED FOR HATE CRIME IN SUBWAY: The alleged assailant in a Downtown Brooklyn subway station attack against a senior citizen has been indicted on several counts of assault and hate crimes, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced on Tuesday. According to the District Attorney’s investigation, the defendant (identified as Lamont Dinkins of the Bronx), cursed at a 72-year-old woman having a bilingual conversation on her mobile phone, while both were on the R subway line platform at Willoughby Street 7and Lawrence St. The defendant yelled, “Stop speaking in Spanish, you Spanish b—h,” then allegedly punched the victim repeatedly in the face and head. He allegedly boarded a southbound R train and was arrested at the Barclays Center, which was the next stop.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “…This alleged attack on a Spanish-speaking senior citizen was particularly egregious because of the victim’s vulnerability and the defendant’s hateful language. We will now seek to hold him accountable for his alleged actions.” (See page 20.)

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INDICTMENT IN DEATH OF GREENPOINT TEACHER: A Bushwick man has been arraigned for criminally-negligent vehicular homicide in which a beloved schoolteacher died; Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced. Identifying the defendant as Tariq Witherspoon, 30, of Bushwick, the district attorney reported that on May 18, 2021, at approximately 12:45 a.m., Matthew Jensen, 58, was crossing at the intersection of McGuiness Boulevard and Bayard Street when he was struck by the defendant, who was driving a Rolls Royce and who then allegedly fled the scene.

Appearing before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun, Witherspoon is charged with criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting it and other charges in connection with the death of Jensen, “who was a beloved teacher at P.S.110, and who is sorely missed by his students, co-workers, friends and family,” said Gonzalez. “We will now seek to bring this defendant to justice for his alleged actions, which left a community heartbroken.”

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COMMUNITY BOARD 7 TO ADDRESS PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUES: Concerns about the infestation of drugs in Sunset Park, a spike in crime and increased traffic misconduct within the 72nd Precinct and abandoned vehicles under the Gowanus Expressway are just some of the issues coming before Community Board 7’s Public Safety Committee when it convenes on Wednesday, March 9 at 6 p.m. The meeting is accessible via Zoom and Community Board 7’s YouTube Channel.

Residents are worried about drug dealing along 4th Avenue between 24th-25th streets, and 72nd Precinct data and response to complaints about illegal parking, traffic/driver misconduct that have been submitted to 311.

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IPS NEWS:  REP. MALONEY CONDEMNS MILITARY ACTION AGAINST UKRAINE:  Immediately following the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered his military forces to enter Ukraine, a sovereign nation west of Russia, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney and Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, released statements condemning the action. “I strongly condemn Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and the threat that Vladimir Putin’s actions pose to the lives of innocent civilians and the freedom of the Ukrainian people,” Chairperson Maloney said.

“President Putin’s apparent decision to invade Ukraine comes after he has repeatedly shown he has no respect for international norms, including by annexing Crimea, poisoning and imprisoning political dissidents and opponents, and launching state-sponsored cyber-attacks. The Oversight Committee stands alongside President Biden and our congressional colleagues in supporting the people of Ukraine and swiftly and severely responding to Putin’s destabilizing activities in Eastern Europe.”

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IPS NEWS: MALONEY PRAISES SETTLEMENT IN EQUAL PAY SUIT: After a settlement was reached this week in an equal-pay lawsuit brought by players on the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) against the U.S. Soccer Federation, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who is chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, hailed the resolution. In addition to a monetary settlement, the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to pay players an equal rate of pay for the Women’s and Men’s National Teams in all future tournaments, including the World Cup: “This win sets a significant precedent for all women across the country who deserve to be equally compensated for our work, time and talents,” she said.

Last July, Maloney led a resolution calling for USWNT players to receive equal pay to that of their male counterparts, and also penned an op-ed in USA Today with colleagues Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Doris Matsui about the wage discrimination the players faced.

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IPS NEWS: URGES PASSAGE OF ERA: Saying that “On average, women in this country are still paid only 82 cents for every dollar paid to a man, and the gap is even worse for women of color,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney pledged that she will continue fighting “until the gender wage gap is eliminated, on and off the playing field. Her comments followed the equal pay settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation (see above).

“One of the necessary reforms to ensure the long-term, total elimination of the gender wage gap is recognition of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would establish freedom from discrimination on the basis of sex as a constitutional right. There is no other way to fully enforce equal pay for equal work in the courts without the ERA, and it is the foundational fix we need to stem the tide of gender inequality in our country.”

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IPS NEWS: Legislation creating a new Conditional Adult-Use Cannabis Cultivator license became law on Tuesday with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature. The new law, establishing a pathway for existing New York hemp farmers to apply for a conditional license to grow cannabis in the 2022 growing season for the forthcoming adult-use cannabis market, also comes with requirements: including the maintenance of safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly cultivation practices, participation in a social equity mentorship program, and engagement in a labor peace agreement with a bona fide labor organization.

With a conditional adult-use cannabis cultivation license, farmers can grow outdoors or in a greenhouse for up to two years from the issuance of the license. It also allows them to manufacture and distribute cannabis flower products without holding an adult-use processor or distributor license, until June 1, 2023.

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ADOPTING PLANS FOR MASS TRANSIT: The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council convenes tomorrow, Feb. 24 (held in a hybrid virtual/in-person format) to adopt NYMTC’s State Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Unified Planning Work Program. This year’s UPWP proposes about $57 million of funding for transportation-related planning activities to be undertaken by NYMTC’s staff and its members for the upcoming program year, including more than $30 million in new capital.

NYMTC’s UPWP is developed annually and defines the planning priorities in the 10-county planning area within a given program year. 


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