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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, March 4, 2022

March 4, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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MAYOR REBUKES RELEASE OF MAN IN FECES BAG INCIDENT: Mayor Eric Adams expressed chagrin yesterday that a man accused of allegedly smearing a woman with feces was released from custody. “This individual should not be out on the streets of New York and his release shows the scope of changes that we need to make in order to keep New Yorkers safe. It is the result of a failed mental health system, a failed housing and support system, and failing criminal justice laws that allow someone with a history of violence who poses a clear threat to public safety to just walk out of court.

The alleged assailant, Frank Abrokwa, had previously been charged with a 2021 hate crime against a Jewish man, but was released in that case, also.

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PRISON SENTENCE IN KILLING OF PROFESSOR: A Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 22 years to life in prison for the murder of a New School professor in the basement of the victim’s house in Prospect Park South, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced yesterday. The District Attorney identified the defendant as Mirzo Atadzhanov, 32, of Sheepshead Bay, who on November 4 pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and on March 3 received his sentence from Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant broke into the victim’s home and when confronted, senselessly stabbed him to death. Hopefully, today’s sentence brings a measure of solace to his heartbroken family.

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MUNICIPAL RETIREES VOTE TO DIVEST FROM RUSSIA: Another municipal retirees’ system has voted to divest from Russia. The trustees of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), one of the nation’s largest municipal retirement funds in the United States with more than 350,000 active members and retirees, voted on Wednesday to approve a resolution directing NYC Comptroller Brad Lander to execute the divestment of the System’s investments in securities issued by Russian companies, beginning with those identified by the United States government as financing, supporting or enabling the Putin regime.

The System held approximately $31.1 million in Russian securities at the close of business on Feb. 25. Said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Brooklyn, specifically Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay, is home to the largest Ukrainian community outside of that nation. We stand with Ukrainian Brooklynites and those whose loved ones remain in Ukraine.”

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URGES CAUTION IN MAKING DONATIONS DURING UKRAINE CRISIS: New York Attorney General Letitia James is providing warnings and tips to New Yorkers who are seeking ways to support the Ukrainian people amid the ongoing conflict, particularly to be wary of sham charities attempting to take advantage of the humanitarian crisis and ensure they are giving to credible organizations. Attorney General James recommends being careful when donating through social media, give only to charities with which donors are already familiar, and to conduct due diligence on any new charities that arise, and to ask how the donation will be used.

Most charities are required to register and file financial reports with OAG’s Charities Bureau: https://www.charitiesnys.com/.

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CAUTION REGARDING UKRAINE CRISIS-RELATED PRICE GOUGING: New York Attorney General Letitia James also cautioned consumers and businesses who could potentially experience residual impacts from the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, particularly of potential price gouging of fuel, other goods and services. Consumers are advised also to take actions to protect themselves against potential cybersecurity threats that may develop amid the crisis.

When reporting price gouging to OAG, consumers should report the specific increased prices, the dates, and places that they saw the increased prices, and the types of fuel being sold; provide copies of their sales receipts and photos of the advertised prices, if available; and buy only as much fuel as they need, rather than stock up out of fear of a potential future shortage.

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CIVIL ENFORCEMENT IN HERBAL TEA CLAIM: A civil enforcement action has been made against defendants B4B Earth Tea LLC, B4B Corp., and Andrew Martin Sinclair for claiming that their herbal tea product, Earth Tea, could prevent or treat COVID-19. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Department of Justice, Consumer Protection Branch, together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accuse the company of violating the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District, the defendant company claimed Earth Tea is the “most effective [t]reatment against” COVID-19, that it “works within minutes” and will enable consumers to “get out of quarantine within 24 hours guaranteed,” even though the defendants demonstrated no competent or reliable scientific evidence to support those claims.

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RISE IN ANTISEMITIC PROPAGANDA, OFFSETS DECREASE IN WHITE SUPREMACIST LIT: Dissemination of white supremacist propaganda in the United States fell by five percent in 2021, while specific antisemitic propaganda rose by 27 percent, according to a new report from Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and published in the Religion News Service. The report — which collected instances of hate groups distributing or posting fliers, stickers, banners, pamphlets and graffiti —indicated that 4,851 cases reported to the ADL in 2021, compared with 5,125 in 2020, but that even as these incidents dropped overall in the past year, such campaigns remain historically high in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer in 2020.

Antisemitic propaganda, however, grew to 352 incidents in 2021, a rise from 277, the year before, and hate group propaganda distribution was reported to the ADL in every state except Hawaii, with the highest levels of activity in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland and New York.

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NEW AMERICAN FLAG FOR BAY RIDGE NON-PROFIT: U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-11) recently delivered a new American flag to the Guild for Exceptional Children (GEC), a Brooklyn-based non-profit that has aided children, adults, and seniors with developmental and intellectual disabilities for more than 60 years. The GEC provides schooling, residence, family support, and more to individuals with special needs, such as autism, epilepsy, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

Andrew Sichenze, a Korean War veteran and GEC Board Member, Executive Director Joseph Riley, along with staff and students, joined the Congressmember as she presented the Guild with their flag and helped raise it over the organization’s 68th Street building in Bay Ridge.

GEC Board member and Korean War veteran (left, wearing cap) joins Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (D-11) for the presentation of a new American flag to the Guild for Exceptional Children.
Photo courtesy of Congressmember Nicole Malliotakis

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LOBBYING STATE LEGISLATURE TO PASS ONE FAIR WAGE: Today, New York restaurant workers and restaurant owners are expected to join members and organizers from One Fair Wage and New York Communities for Change to deliver petitions to leadership of the New York State Legislature calling on them to pass One Fair Wage, a full minimum wage for all tipped workers with tips on top. The workers will deliver a petition signed by over 17,000 restaurants and other tipped workers from New York saying that they need to be guaranteed a full minimum wage with tips on top. They will additionally provide a letter from more than100 restaurant owners who are calling on the legislature to end the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, which will not only support them by creating a level playing field for independent restaurants but also signal to thousands of workers that it is worth returning to work in restaurants.

Restaurant workers and employers are demanding policy to increase wages and support employers who do so in order to address the immediate staffing crisis, after having dealt with a mass exodus from the industry.

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MAJOR HUB FOR OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY: The storied South Brooklyn Marine Terminal complex in Brooklyn is set to be transformed into a major regional hub for offshore wind, thanks to a partnership announced on Thursday with Equinor and bp (British Petroleum). The redevelopment is also expected to inject the Sunset Park waterfront with substantial investment from the new renewable energy economy, creating new jobs and providing an economic boost to the community. Equinor and bp’s activities at SBMT are anticipated to support over one thousand jobs annually in the region. (See page 1).

Co-signing the agreement were terminal operator Sustainable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SSBMT) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.


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