Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, April 11, 2022
ETSY ORGANIZERS TO MEDIA: END TO EXTRA SERVICE FEES AND SELLER CHARGES: Etsy labor organizers spoke to media today and asserted that they are prepared to hold a strike in response to a seller fee bump, echoing previous demands for a decrease in Etsy’s service fees and extra charges, which they say are eating into profits. The company, which was founded in Brooklyn in 2005, had planned to increase its seller transaction fee from 5.5–6.5 percent.
Sellers will enforce their demands with a week-long selling freeze, enacted by turning on “vacation mode,” in their online profile settings. Over 12,000 of the website’s online merchants are involved in the movement.
‘A PROVEN LEADER’ JOINS BROOKLYN’S 70TH PRECINCT: Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct is getting Deputy Inspector Bruce Ceparano, an 18-year veteran of the NYPD and one of Staten Island’s prominent police officials, reported the Staten Island Advance/Staten Island Live last Friday. D.I. Deputy Inspector Bruce Ceparano, who is leaving the 121st Precinct in Staten Island after three years, will be the commanding officer of the 70th Precinct, which covers parts of Kensington, Midwood, Fiske Terrace, Ditmas Park and Prospect Park South.
A tweet from the NYPD Brooklyn South states Ceparano is a “proven leader.” Prior to his role at the Graniteville-based 121st Precinct, Ceparano commanded the Strategic Response Group 3 in Brooklyn, served in the 120th Precinct in St. George, and served various assignments in Brooklyn and Queens.
TOP REAL ESTATE FIRM INVOLVED IN SUBPOENA FOR TRUMP RECORDS: New York Attorney General Letitia James today filed a motion to compel Cushman & Wakefield to comply with subpoenas related to her office’s ongoing civil investigation into Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings. Cushman & Wakefield (Cushman) is a publicly traded, global real estate firm with billions of dollars in annual revenue that provided real estate services in connection with Trump Organization properties for many years. Those services included appraisals and brokerage services for properties that Attorney General James believes are relevant to the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) investigation.
Cushman has refused to comply with subpoenas for information related to its appraisals of three specific Trump-owned properties — the Seven Springs Estate, Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles, and 40 Wall Street — and information about Cushman’s larger business relationship with the Trump Organization.
COALITION REBUKES GEICO OVER SARSOUR EVENT: A coalition of more than 60 Jewish, Muslim and Arab-American groups, including the local Arab American Association of New York, is rebuking leading insurance company GEICO, for what it says are offensive and declamatory statements against prominent Brooklyn civil rights leader Linda Sarsour. They are criticizing GEICO for canceling its plans to host an event celebrating Arab-American Heritage Month and for publicly attacking its invited speaker, American Muslim community activist Linda Sarsour. After GEICO announced that Sarsour was scheduled to speak at an event celebrating Middle Eastern and North African history, organizations at odds with Palestinian and Muslim civil rights policies attacked both Sarsour and the company, which then cancelled the entire event and accused Sarsour of practicing “hate” and “exclusion.”
The Council on American Islamic Relations also sent a separate letter on behalf of Ms. Sarsour to GEICO CEO Todd Combs calling on the corporation to reverse course.
MEETING ABOUT BROWNFIELD CLEANUP PLAN: Brooklyn Community Board 7 is holding an important virtual meeting regarding the Brownfield Cleanup Program Application with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the NYS Department of Health (DOH) and the 737 4th Avenue LLC. Meeting Agenda: 737 4th Avenue LLC submitted a Remedial Investigation Work Plan to NYSDEC in January, with the investigation of the nature and extent of contamination in soil, surface water, groundwater, and any other parts of the environment will to be performed by 737 4th Avenue LLC with oversight by NYSDEC and the NYS Department of Health (DOH). The meeting’s public Zoom link was provided as https://bit.ly/3uNowZD
737 4th Avenue (between 24th and 25th streets) was rezoned earlier this year from a Manufacturing to a Residential district, to develop a 14 story apartment complex.
BAMKIDS SPRINGFEST FEATURES MUSIC AND ART OF INDIA: Families are invited to join BAMkids on Saturday, April 23 for a full day of fun outdoor and indoor performances, interactive activities, and showcases of local talent celebrating the spirit of spring and themes related to environmental advocacy and care. Presented in collaboration with Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the free BAMkids SpringFest, running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., celebrates the spirit of the season and themes related to environmental advocacy and care. (RSVP recommended at BAM.org).
Highlights include a program of springtime ragas from Indian classical musicians that melodically evoke joy and renewal; a kick-off concert from Grammy-nominated children’s musician Uncle Jumbo; mural-making with a visual artist.
PROMOTING A PERMANENT OUTDOOR DINING PROGRAM: A tour of Brooklyn restaurants on Tuesday will give restaurateurs the opportunity to tell their elected officials and industry advocates about the importance of a permanent outdoor dining program. Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, Brooklyn Borough President Reynoso, and other elected officials will hear directly from restaurateurs about the vital lifeline outdoor dining has provided these small businesses since the start of the pandemic and to see their enhanced outdoor dining set ups.
According to a survey by the NYC Hospitality Alliance, more than 90% of restaurant operators believe a permanent outdoor dining program is “very important” to the future of their business. The temporary outdoor dining program is credited for saving 100,000 industry jobs throughout the pandemic.
IPS NEWS: GOVERNOR LAUDS WORK OF GUN TASK FORCE: Police investigations across the state have taken 1,753 guns off the street since the formation in January of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Friday. Moreover, New York State Police alone have increased gun tracing investigations by 75 percent and doubled the numbers of guns seized
The New York State Police, New York City Police Department, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and law enforcement agencies from several New England states, and New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio continue to meet and share information to stop the flow of illegal guns across state lines and prevent further gun violence that is plaguing cities across the country.
FORDHAM BROOKLYNITES INDUCTED INTO HONOR SOCIETY: Three Brooklynites attending Fordham University were initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Janez Koprivec and Robert Lesniewski of Brooklyn, both of Greenpoint (zip code11222) and Felipe Scavuzzo of Bushwick (zip code 11206) were part of the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors eligible for membership in the honorary society, which was founded in 1897 under the leadership of undergraduate student Marcus L. Urann.
They are among approximately 25,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year, with membership by invitation only
IPS NEWS: JEFFRIES’ DISTSRICT OPENS CONGRESSIONAL ART CONTEST: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-8th District/Crown Heights) is among those Brooklyn members of Congress who are sponsoring the 8th annual Congressional Art Competition. The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students living within the 8th Congressional District; while exceptions may be made for schools that have 7th through 12th grades on one campus. any U.S. copyright laws.
All artwork entries must be submitted along with a completed Student Information and Release Form and an image of the artwork to [email protected] by Thursday, May 5, 2022.
IPS NEWS: COLTON HAPPY ABOUT BUDGET’S EDUCATION PRIORITIESS: Assemblyman William Colton (D-47 – Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) expressed approval that the state’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget addresses key priorities, particularly in higher education and in particular to the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY). “Another good news is that the childcare funding has been increased to $7 billion over three years,” said Colton, who remains in Albany to vote on other reforms.
“The one disappointing agreement was the failure to provide fair pay for home care workers, even though home care workers will get a $3 per hour increase in pay over 2 years,” Colton said, adding that “the hourly pay should be more, taking into consideration that the job is not easy and that these workers are taking care of our loved ones.”
IPS NEWS: MAX ROSE GETS ENDORSEMENT FROM HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Former Congressman and combat veteran Max Rose and Majority Whip Representative Jim Clyburn (SC-6) met as Clyburn gave his endorsement to the Brooklynite seeking to regain his Congressional seat in the (current) 11th District) and to address public safety concerns and gun violence in NYC. “Congressman Clyburn could not have been clearer in his remarks; defunding the police is wrong and we must do everything that we can to get illegal guns off of our streets,” said Max Rose.
Max Rose is the former Congressmember for New York’s 11th Congressional District which is currently made up of Staten Island and parts of Southern Brooklyn. He served in the war in Afghanistan, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze star for his service. After Congress, Rose served as a Senior Adviser to the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin.
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