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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Paul Sanchez
Photo courtesy of DeSales Media

DIOCESE’S AUXILIARY BISHOP PAUL SANCHEZ RETIRES: Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Diocese of Brooklyn’s Auxiliary Bishop Paul R. Sanchez, in accordance with Code of Canon Law (Canon 538 §3), which sets the maximum age of pastors at 75. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States announced Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Sanchez’s retirement yesterday in Washington, D.C. Born in Brooklyn on November 26, 1946, Sanchez earned his degrees and licenses from Catholic universities and was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1971 at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Throughout his ministry, he was assigned to a number of parishes throughout the Diocese in both Brooklyn and Queens, including as pastor at St. Agatha’s in Brooklyn. He will remain pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Forest Hills, where he has served since 2012, and serve as an Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Sanchez retires just weeks after his colleague, Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto, also retired, on March 7. The two were ordained as Auxiliary Bishops at the same Mass, on July 11, 2012.

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DAILY TOP BROOKLYN NEWS
News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Sgt. Major Eva Commons
Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

HOMECOMING FOR NEW COMMAND SERGEANT AT FT. HAMILTON: When the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton officially welcomes Command. Sgt. Maj. Eva Commons during an Assumption of Responsibility ceremony next week, the occasion will mark a homecoming for the Brooklyn native. Commons, a native of Bay Ridge, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1996 as a human resources specialist. Prior to coming to Fort Hamilton, she led as the command sergeant major of the headquarters and headquarters battalion, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Fort Hamilton remains as the only active military installation in New York City, and this event happens once every two years.

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REPORT SHOWS NYCHA RESIDENTS ARE ENTREPRENEURS: The New York Times has featured a new Center for an Urban Future report showing that a growing number of NYCHA residents are starting businesses but finds that more city support is needed to fully tap the entrepreneurial potential of New Yorkers living in public housing. The Center for an Urban Future’s report was covered extensively in the article by Nicole Hong, “Entrepreneurship is Alive in N.Y. Public Housing. Will the City Step Up?” which shines a light on the entrepreneurial ventures of several residents and echoes CUF’s key findings and recommendations, as well as the catch that many residents fear, earning more than the NYCHA maximum threshold allows, while trying to support themselves and losing government benefits.

The report said New York City has done too little to enroll NYCHA residents into the federal Family Self Sufficiency program, which allows public housing residents to accumulate savings in an escrow account without paying more for rent.

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$1.2 MILLION SECURED FOR COAST GUARD: U.S. Rep Nicole Malliotakis (R-11/Bay Ridge and Staten Island) has secured $1.2 million for U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector New York for construction repairs to its Ft. Wadsworth station as part of the Don Young Coast Guard Authorization Act that passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The $1.2 million authorized under Malliotakis’ amendment to the bill will be used to make repairs to the base’s waterfront, including the concrete pier, replacing floating piers Alpha and Bravo, the South Breakwater and Ice Screen, the North Breakwater and Ice Screen, and the seawall. 

The bill will now head to the Senate for a vote; if passed, it will go to the President’s desk.

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FEMA NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANTS: Rep. Malliotakis has urged local nonprofits to apply for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Nonprofit Security Grant Program, in light of the recent uptick in attacks and threats against nonprofits, community centers, and places of worship in New York City, including the Staten Island Jewish Community Center that was evacuated last week after receiving a bomb threat. The Nonprofit Security Grant Program provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack.

The outreach is intended to integrate nonprofit preparedness activities with broader state and local preparedness efforts, and is designed to promote coordination and collaboration in emergency preparedness activities among public and private community representatives, as well as state and local government agencies.

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REBOUND PROGRAM FOR TOURISM INDUSTRY: The launch of applications for two tourism grant programs designed to support and revitalize New York State’s tourism and hospitality industry is underway, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday. The $100 million Tourism Return-to-Work grant program and the $25 million Meet in New York grant program, first announced in November as part of the governor’s nation-leading “Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs” initiative, will now be making full applications available to tourism businesses, convention and conference centers, and licensed overnight lodging facilities that have qualified for the program.

Through the Tourism Return-to-Work grant program, qualified businesses can receive grants of $5,000 for each net new full-time-equivalent job added, and $2,500 for each net new part-time-equivalent job added between January and June 2022. Grantees must achieve a net employment increase of at least two full-time- equivalents to qualify for funding.

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MORE ON TOURISM: ‘GET LOCAL NYC’: Mayor Eric Adams has announced the launch of ‘Get Local NYC’ — a new five-borough tourism marketing campaign, led by NYC & Company — that will encourage visitors to explore all five boroughs and support small businesses as the city emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the tourism industry begins its rebound. ‘Get Local NYC’ is part of Mayor Adams’ “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery.”

The announcement comes as Mayor Adams addresses NYC & Company’s membership at its first annual meeting held in three years at the Javits Center and as tourism levels in the city are expected to return to 85 percent of 2019 levels by year’s end.

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BOLSTERING RETIREMENT SAVINGS: Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) voted for bipartisan legislation to bolster and protect New Yorkers’ retirement savings. By expanding retirement plan coverage and providing more saving options, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act will ensure more New Yorkers can retire with dignity and stability after a lifetime of work. Known as “SECURE 2.0,” this legislation builds on the progress of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 through several new reforms: expanding automatic enrollment in 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans, strengthening coverage for part-time workers in 401(k) plans, encouraging small businesses to offer retirement plans, increasing and modernizing the Saver’s Credit to reward retirement contributions, and raising the required minimum distribution age to 75, giving people more time to save.

The plan has received endorsements from numerous advocacy groups ranging from AARP to the American Red Cross.

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SUNSET PARK MARINE TERMINAL HAS ROLE IN WIND TURBINE MANUFACTURING: Just a day after a Public Comment period was announced for electrical engineering work to be done for an energy project in Sunset Park, word comes that Jacobs was selected by Empire Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Equinor and bp, for the detail-design of New York’s South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. The terminal, in Sunset Park, will serve as an operations and maintenance base, and a staging and assembly port for wind turbine installation. The site redevelopment will transform more than 70 acres of underutilized property in Sunset Park into a vibrant, working waterfront, one expected to be unrivaled in the nation as a major offshore wind port facility. (See page 1.)

Engineering and design began in March 2022, with construction anticipated to start at SBMT during the second half of 2023.


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