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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, March 7, 2022

March 7, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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CONVICTION IN FATAL ASSAULT ON BELT PARKWAY: Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice has sentenced a Staten Island man to 25 years to life in prison following his murder conviction for assaulting and causing the death of an off-duty Brooklyn firefighter on the Belt Parkway. The defendant, Joseph Desmond, 33, attacked the victim, Faizal Coto, also 33 and a firefighter stationed at Engine 245 on West 8th St. in Coney Island, following a minor traffic incident. The victim was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Coney Island Hospital, having suffered multiple skull fractures and hemorrhaging from a fatal blow to the head.

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “This defendant’s vicious response to a minor fender bender robbed a close family of a loved one and a firefighter community of a brave and treasured brother.” He expressed hope that “today’s sentence helps bring some sense of solace knowing that this defendant has been held accountable.”

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FIREFIGHTERS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE BEFORE SENTENCING: FDNY- Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro and dozens of New York City Firefighters were set to hold a press conference in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court on Jay St., just before the scheduled sentencing of Joseph Desmond in the road rage murder of active FDNY Firefighter Faizal Coto.

Desmond’s sentencing was scheduled for 2 p.m. before Judge Vincent Del Giudice.

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GREAT DIOCESAN READ ALOUD BRINGS VIRTUAL VISITS FROM AUTHORS: The 4th Annual Great Diocesan Read Aloud begins this week, with 80 classes from 40 Catholic schools and academies throughout Brooklyn and Queens participating in an event that Catholic Telemedia Network (CTN), a service of DeSales Media Group, is hosting from March 7-11. This year, 30 authors from around the world will visit virtually to read from their published works, including those of award-winning authors Laura James, Jennie Englund, and Derek Keilty, the Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, Catholic Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, and Laurie Windsor, representing Congressmember Nicole Malliotakis.

During each 30-minute classroom virtual visit, students will have the opportunity to ask questions of their guest readers and better foster a relationship between reading and curiosity.

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PUBLIC ADVOCATE ARGUES FOR MUNICIPAL CONTROL OF CITY SCHOOLS: Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams has continued his call for municipal control of New York City public schools, as the state considered the extension of mayoral control, established in 2002 at the start of the first Bloomberg administration, and which expires on June 30. Public Advocate Williams argues that municipal control instead would bring a new level of accountability, checks and balances to the city’s administration of the education system – including consent of the City Council for the hiring of a Department of Education Chancellor.

“I remain unwavering in my belief that New York City and local government should have jurisdiction over New York City schools through municipal control,” said the Public Advocate in his testimony to the Standing Committee on New York City Education. “With municipal control, governmental bodies, including the City Council, would take on a greater role and work in tandem with the Mayor in assessing the needs and constraints of the New York City education system.”

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MEETING ON MITIGATING LAST-MILE WAREHOUSING FACILITIES: Citizens will hear updates from the NYC Last Mile Coalition and how they can get involved when Brooklyn Community Board 7’s Special Subcommittee on Last Mile Trucking Facilities convenes on Wednesday, March 23. The virtual meeting, whose link is available on the Community Board 7 YouTube Channel, will include legislative updates from Councilmember Alexa Aviles and State Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes’ Office on trucking/last-mile facilities, (warehouses for sorting and shipping of packages to local destinations) which have not undergone any public or environmental review.

NYC Last Mile Coalition is a citywide group of environmental justice and public health advocates committed to regulating last-mile trucking facilities here, and who are calling on NYC Planning Commission to pass a Zoning Resolution Text Amendment to mitigate the facilities’ expansive group.

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PROTECTING FAMILIES WITH TRANSGENDER KIDS: Responding to a Texas court ruling that blocks that state’s investigation of parents providing medical treatments for their transgender children, and labeling such treatment as “child abuse,” the American Bar Association on Friday issued a statement opposing “government attempts to discriminate against transgender and non-binary people based on gender identity.” The statement continues, “Criminalizing the very care and family support that professionals recognize as essential to a person’s health is counterproductive. Transgender individuals have a right to obtain gender-affirming health care and pursue a better quality of life.”

The ABA, which identifies itself as the national voice of the legal profession, and largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world, declares, “We must ensure that everybody, regardless of gender identity or expression, is afforded equal protection of the law.”

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BILL WOULD RESCUE AND REFORM POSTAL SERVICE: U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney is urging the Senate to pass the Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 3076), which would make crucial financial and operational reforms to the Postal Service, saving the Postal Service approximately $50 billion over the next ten years. Specifically, the legislation would repeal a controversial pre-funding requirement that the Postal Service pay retiree health benefits for all current and retired employees for 75 years in the future.

Rep. Maloney introduced the bill with Ranking Member James Comer. They are endeavoring to turn around the USPS’ 32 percent decline in first class mail over the past decade, and the cost of servicing an increase of 10 million addresses. They believe that the reforms would save the Postal Service approximately $27 billion over ten years.

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MORE ENDORSEMENTS FOR JUMAANE WILLIAMS’ GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN: The Jumaane Williams for Governor campaign on Friday announced a string of new endorsements from Brooklyn-based political organizations, including Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID) Indivisible Nation BK, CUFFH Action, and the Brooklyn Progressive Alliance. Brooklyn Council Members Alexa Aviles, Jen Gutierrez, Sandy Nurse, Lincoln Restler, and, most recently, Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse.

According to his campaign website’s endorsements page, Williams, who is currently NYC Public Advocate, had already received endorsements from Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, and from a former Ohio state senator, Nina Turner, now a tenured professor at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland who teaches African American history, African American women’s history, American history, and women’s studies.

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THEATRE GROUP SEEKS COSTUME DESIGNERS: The Brooklyn Children’s Theatre, whose motto is “Musical Theatre For Children … By Children!” is currently in need of costume designers for three MainStage shows this season. Designers should be college-aged or above, able to travel to BCT and the theatre on their own, and attend one early rehearsal, dress rehearsal, and both performances. Interested designers should contact Nick Robertson at [email protected] for more information.

The position, for which sewing skills are helpful, but not required, is compensated with a modest stipend for materials and labor.


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