Good Morning, Brooklyn: Wednesday, May 25, 2022

May 25, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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TESTIMONY FILED ON CON ED’S PROPOSED RATE HIKE: The Public Utility Law Project of New York (“PULP”) and a coalition of elected officials and environmental intervenors in the Con Edison rate case have filed initial testimony on the Company’s massive proposed rate hike, as part of their response to thousands of complaints from vulnerable customers. The testimonies (found in the rate case’s dockets, Case Nos. 22-E-0064 and 22-G-0065) pertain to Con Edison’s initial proposal from late January to increase its electric delivery revenues by $1.2 billion (a 17.6% increase), its gas delivery revenues by $500 million respectively (a 28.1% increase), and its return on equity (or, how efficiently the company generates profits) by 10 percent.

The environmental intervenors — including Alliance for a Green Economy (“AGREE”), SANE Energy Project, and We-Act for Environmental Justice — argue that the rate increases are uncalled for, given the “unprecedented and disproportionate economic harms and hardships the pandemic continues to have on New York City residents, and the significant economic harms customers experienced due to the unprecedented “bill surge” of January to April.

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

COMPTROLLER: BOLSTER NYC’S RAINY-DAY FUND: New York City Comptroller Brad Lander has proposed a policy framework to govern the City’s Rainy-Day Fund, including a formula for annual deposits. According to this formula and the Comptroller’s Office projections, the City should deposit a total of $2.5 billion to the Revenue Stabilization Fund in Fiscal Year 2022, $1.8 billion above the $700 million already allocated in the Executive Budget, and the Comptroller’s office projects a $3.1 billion surplus this year,

The comptroller proposes establishing a target of 16 percent of the city’s total tax revenues for the Revenue Stabilization Fund (RSF) in order to weather the full length of a recession.

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COLTON PRAISES INCREASED TRANSIT COP PRESENCE: In the wake of last Sunday’s unprovoked, senseless shooting that ended the life of a commuter on a Q train, Assemblymember William Colton (D-47) commended the return of transit cops to the NYC subway system. Colton, who serves Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights, said “I commend the Transit Bureau Chief for his swift decision to bring back transit police to walk subway trains in the evenings and overnight hours.” Colton expressed approval also that transit cops are already walking the trains, and that approximately 2,500 officers from the Transit Bureau will be patrolling across the city’s subway.

Earlier this year, Colton had demanded that the City and State of New York provide more funding to put Transit Police back into the subways and the subway stations as was the case in 1990. Within a few weeks, his office had amassed close to five hundred petitions, with more still coming in.

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MET COUNCIL INTRODUCES ANTI-HATE INITIATIVE: The Met Council, a leading Jewish charity, last weekend welcomed Gov. Kathy Hochul as a special guest, and honored over fifty elected and public officials, including Brooklyn City Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-43/Bay Ridge) and hundreds more community leaders and policymakers at its annual Legislative Breakfast, one of the city’s premier public-policy events of the year. This year’s Legislative Breakfast also featured Met Council’s new anti-hate initiative, “Hate Has No Home Here,” a campaign to combat the proliferation of hate crimes and food insecurity that has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Hochul described her experience speaking recently at a Holocaust survivors’ group in Borough Park, where one of the attendees told her, “I am feeling the same thing I saw as a child happening now, I feel it happening now, and that is something that we must say, not just Never Forget as a slogan or a message; it’s something we need to live with every day.”

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RECORD TAXPAYER EXODUS FROM NEW YORK: A record number of federal income tax filers and their dependents moved out of New York between the 2019 and 2020 tax filing seasons, according to newly released migration data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). During the latest period tracked by the IRS, which compares forms filed and processed during calendar years 2019 and 2020, New York lost a total of 479,826 tax filers and their dependents to other states, with nearly all of the loss traced to New York City.

The losses were partially offset by 231,439 filers and dependents who moved into New York from elsewhere.

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LEGISLATURE PASSES BILL ON PRESCRIPTION COVERAGE: Patient and provider advocacy groups from across New York are celebrating the passage of S.5299-A/ A.1741-A, legislation that is critical for any patient who uses prescription drug assistance programs to defray the out-of-pocket costs passed on to them by their insurance company. The bill, which the State Senate passed with a 61-0 vote, and last week which the Assembly passed with bipartisan support, will require insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers to apply any third-party payments made on behalf of an insured individual to the individual’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.

Currently under what is known as ‘co-pay accumulator programs’, insurance companies continue to accept third-party payments, but make these payments ineligible from counting towards patient’s out-of-pocket payment requirements.

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EVENT ON ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE: Brooklyn College’s School of Education and the Brooklyn College Asian/Asian American Faculty and Staff Association recently hosted an event that examined the inclusion and visibility of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) history, heritage, and experiences in New York City public schools and communities. The event, titled “A Path Forward to Unity and Diversity: AAPI History in School Curriculum,” featured as a speaker State Sen. John Liu, who has introduced Senate Bill (S6359A), requiring New York State public elementary and high schools to provide instruction in Asian American history and civic impact.

Panelists shared the latest legislative initiatives, Department of Education missions and efforts, community movements, and personal experiences.

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GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM ENROLLMENT: Applications for the expanded kindergarten and third grade Gifted & Talented programs will open next Tuesday, May 31, announced Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks. The Department of Education’s Office of Student Enrollment is hosting virtual information sessions on May 26, and June 1, with live interpretation in Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.

The sessions will give families an introduction to Gifted & Talented program types, eligibility, and how to apply, and they will have the opportunity to ask questions.

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NETS TEAM WITH SCHOOLS TO STUDY ARTIST BASQUIAT: The Brooklyn Nets, along with the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, are sending 2,400 NYC public school students to Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure©. The educational tour, which began this month for public school classes, will allow students to experience Basquiat’s work in person and learn about his heritage, family, and ties to NYC’s public schools and museums. NYC public school classes are visiting the exhibition beginning this month.

As part of the program, the NYC DOE’s Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP) led a team of Brooklyn visual arts teachers in the creation and dissemination of a two-month art unit, currently being held across more than 75 schools, during which the pupils study various Jean-Michel Basquiat works, learning how art can both serve as a vehicle for communication and to facilitate societal change.

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF COMPOSING FESTIVAL: Irondale, Brooklyn’s leading theatrical and artistically ambitious think-tank theater ensemble, joins forces with the Walter Thompson Orchestra, to present The New York Live Composing Festival, June 16-18. A three-day event that puts the Soundpainting and Conduction live, composing sign languages into the spotlight to create music, theater and movement, the festival brings together multi-disciplinary New York artists hailing from all over the world to explore the language of real-time composition. Conduction utilizes a conductor’s baton and works with a vocabulary of ideographic signs and gestures activated to modify or construct a real-time musical composition.

Though different creative languages, both Soundpainting and Conduction share the concepts of transmitting generative information for interpretation to provide instantaneous possibilities for altering or initiating harmony, melody, rhythm, articulation, phrasing, or form.

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CHILDREN’S THEATER PERFORMANCE: “The Animals and the Emerald,” a creation of Brooklyn Children’s Theatre students, presents its closing performance of the Spring 2022 Show-In-A-Season Class. The performance, this Thursday May 26, at 5 p.m., free and via Zoom, was written and performed by BCT students. (Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcscuyoqTovHNMvAUfIgJjCpmWEo6Uc_zle

The students wrote under the guidance of Cassidy Dermott, Paris McPherson and Lawrence Rush.


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