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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, March 17, 2022

March 17, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Brooklyn Diocesan Bishop Robert J. Brennan
Photo credit: Diocese of Brooklyn

BROOKLYN BISHOP BRENNAN LEADS ST. PATRICK’S DAY MASS: Brooklyn’s new bishop, the Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, whose ancestry is Irish, is the main celebrant at the St. Patrick’s Day Mass today, March 17, at New York’s iconic cathedral named for the 5th century saint who is believed to have brought Christianity to Ireland. Previously scheduled to give the homily at the Mass, which precedes the annual St. Patrick’s Parade in Manhattan, Bishop Brennan will be the main celebrant at the 8:30 a.m. Mass, covering for Timothy Cardinal Dolan, whose mother died last weekend.

Bishop Brennan traces his Irish ancestry to his maternal grandfather, who arrived in New York in 1927 from County Sligo located in the Ireland province of Connacht.

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RALLY FOR BETTER SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION: The Department of Education and Office of Pupil Transportation have failed special-needs students, claims Parents to Improve Student Transportation, a group that is pushing for a School Bus Bill of Rights that will help protect the human and civil rights of all children, particularly those who are medically fragile, children within the foster & shelter systems and special schools. PIST NYC is planning a Transportation Inclusion, Equity & Reform Event — rally and march — this Saturday, March 19 at Cadman Plaza Park (Cadman Plaza West), starting at 1 p.m.

The march to City Hall in Manhattan follows immediately afterward.

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TOP HONORS AND A SECOND AWARD FOR PARK SLOPE SCHOOL: Two Brooklyn Catholic schools won top honors at last weekend’s First Lego League City Championship, which featured STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) projects from 75 Catholic and public schools from across the five boroughs. St. Saviour Catholic Academy, in Park Slope, took home the First Place trophy for its project focused on mail delivery in medical facilities, and ways to assist with the burden on medical staff and trying to limit potential contagion spread through the use of robots. St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy, in Windsor Terrace, placed second in the contest with their project, tackling the issue of package theft.

The first-place winners, “The Demericorns,” from St. Saviour Catholic Academy’s Class 8A, will now be heading to the national competition in Texas this spring.

St. Saviour Catholic Academy’s first-place winning team “The Demericorns” take a picture with their trophy.
Photo courtesy Diocese of Brooklyn

 

Students from St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy with their project on display at the competition.
Photo courtesy Diocese of Brooklyn

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WORKPLACE HARASSMENT BILLS BECOME LAW: During a Women’s History Month celebration yesterday, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a package of legislation to address workplace harassment and discrimination. The new laws establish a toll-free confidential hotline for complaints of workplace sexual harassment, includes the State and all public employers as subject to the provisions of the Human Rights Law, and prohibits the release of personnel files as a retaliatory action against employees. The legislation was signed with advocates for gender equity and women’s rights.

The Governor is also calling on the legislature to pass the Equal Rights Amendment this session.

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AG JAMES APPLAUDS NEW ANTI-HARASSMENT LAWS: New York Attorney General Letitia James is applauding the new laws that combat sexual harassment in New York, saying, “Sexual harassment is pervasive, corrosive, and has been a silent barrier for women in the workplace for far too long…. Every workplace should be safe from harassment or abuse, and these new laws will go a long way towards ensuring we have the proper tools to protect people from harassment and retaliation.”

Attorney General James thanked all the advocates and legislators who pushed for the bills to become law.

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HIGH SCORERS ON THE ENVIRONMENT: Several Brooklyn elected officials placed high scores from The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV)’s latest NYC Council Environmental Scorecard, in which Councilmembers are evaluated based on their support of environmental issues in the previous year. Two Brooklynites received scores of 100 percent: Carlos Menchaca (D-38th District, who was term-limited) and Farah Louis (D-45th District) got 100 percent. Moreover, key committee chairs while in City Council with high scores were Justin Brannan, (Resiliency and Waterfronts) 92%; Antonio Reynoso (who is now Brooklyn Borough President, 92% for his work with Sanitation & Solid Waste).

Each councilmember’s score is calculated based on voting and sponsorship records on 13 key environmental bills identified in this year’s scorecard. As the only organization that provides a New York City Council environmental scorecard, NYLCV’s assessment of the Council’s record is important for determining which Council Members are working to protect New York City’s environment and which are not. 

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City Councilmember Ari Kagan (D-47th District/Coney Island)
Photo credit: Office of Councilmember Ari Kagan

NO UTILITIES AT CONEY ISLAND NYCHA RESIDENCE: Councilmember Ari Kagan is demanding that NYCHA distribute rent rebates to households living without cooking gas, heat and hot water, to residents whose homes are infested with mice and roaches, and to senior residents who contact his Council office about broken elevators that they heavily rely on.

For residents of a community that already suffers from food insecurities, the size of the crock pot that NYCHA provided has a serving size of three and takes upwards of 3 hours to prepare meals in while a hot plate serves two people.

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CEREMONY HONORING LOCAL WOMEN’S ACHIEVEMENTS: Assemblymember William Colton (D – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) will be recognizing a number of distinguished women in his district. As part of a neighborhood tradition, the award event will take place on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at 1 p.m., at 29 Bay 25th Street.

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‘FALSE URGENCY’ TO SELL TRAVEL PACKAGES: New York Attorney General Letitia James secured $2.6 million from an online travel agency, Fareportal Inc., for misleading consumers with deceptive marketing tactics. The investigation revealed that the company, which operates several travel-related websites and mobile platforms, including CheapOair.com and OneTravel.com, created false urgency around availability to sell airline tickets and hotel rooms.

The Attorney General explained that such “dark tactics” are used to trick consumers into buying goods or services. As a result of her agreement with the online travel company, Fareportal is required to pay $2.6 million to the state and display accurate, real-time information to consumers.

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PROMOTIONS AT DA’S HOMICIDE BUREAU: The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office has elevated three prosecutors to top positions in its Homicide Bureau, in response to an increase of shootings and murders in the city, reports the New York Law Journal. Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez has named Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini as his office’s first woman to serve as Chief of Homicide. Moreover, assistant DAs Howard Jackson and Chow Yun Xie have been promoted to first deputy chief and deputy chief of the bureau. (See story, page 1.)

New York City, as a whole, experienced a rise in murders and shootingsHowever, according to the Brooklyn DA website’s newsroom, homicides (down by 16%, shootings (down 20%), and other violent crimes had actually declined.

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GUILTY PLEA INCLUDES DEPORTATION: Dzenan Camovic pleaded guilty this week in federal court in Brooklyn, before U.S. District Judge Rachel P. Kovner, to robbing a NYPD officer’s firearm and discharging the firearm at multiple NYPD officers during the course of the June 3, 2020 robbery.  When sentenced, Camovic faces 30 years’ imprisonment pursuant to the terms of his plea agreement with the government. (See story, page 20.)

As part of his plea agreement, Camovic, a Bosnian citizen who is illegally in the United States, agreed to the entry of an order of removal so that he will be deported after completing his sentence.


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