Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, June 2, 2022
CERTAIN FUEL TAXES SUSPENDED: The suspension of certain taxes on motor fuel and diesel motor fuel took effect yesterday, Wednesday, June 1. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the motor fuel excise tax, State sales tax, and Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District sales tax on motor fuel and diesel motor fuel will remain suspended through the end of the year, to provide a reduction of at least $0.16 per gallon statewide, with some counties providing additional savings per gallon.
Twenty-five counties across the State have also taken action to set temporary caps on the sales tax charged per gallon of gas and diesel. This program was authorized as part of the State’s FY 2023 Enacted Budget.
CHARGE IN MURDER OF INFANT’S MOTHER: A Brooklyn man has been charged with second-degree murder after he allegedly killed his 18-year-old girlfriend while the couple’s five-month-old son slept in a crib nearby. Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendant as Dylan Diaz, 26, of Bensonhurst, who was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Warin and is being held without bail with a return court date of July 13.
According to the investigation, last month on May 5, the defendant allegedly strangled, sexually assault and then broke the neck of his girlfriend after they argued over the care of their five-month-old son.
UNITED AIRLINES DONATES FLIGHTS TO TRANSPORT BABY FORMULA: The Biden Administration has arranged the third Operation Fly Formula flight for the first shipment of Kendamil infant formula entering the United States. United Airlines has agreed to transport Kendamil formula free of charge from Heathrow Airport in London to multiple airports across the country over a three-week period. These Operation Fly Formula flights, scheduled to begin on June 9, will contain over 300,000 pounds or approximately 3.7 million 8-ounce bottle equivalents of Kendamil infant formula.
The Kendamil formula available through Operation Fly Formula will be distributed and available for purchase at selected U.S. retailers nationwide, as well as online, with the first shipment becoming available at Target stores across the country in the coming weeks.
NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR EMPIRE WHOLE HEALTH HEROES: Empire BlueCross BlueShield, in partnership with the custom division of Crain’s New York Business, is launching the 2022 Empire Whole Health Heroes Awards program. This year Empire and Crain’s are continuing this program to recognize individuals and organizations that are committed to innovation and leadership, with this year’s awards specifically distinguishing those who are innovating a medical treatment or a new procedure, implementing employee wellness strategies, advancing financial health in their community, and improving social health in their organization and their broader community.
The nomination process began yesterday, and can be accessed online – entry point (essay) is at crainsnewyork.com/Empire2022. Nominations will be accepted midnight Eastern Standard Time Sept. 16, at crainsnewyork.com.
END OF YEAR CELEBRATION: Brooklyn Preschool of Science’s end-of-year celebration yesterday featured the Bilingual Birdies, with the young students and bilingual teaching musicians transforming the room with their magical guitars and percussion instruments to introduce basic vocabulary through song, dance, and puppetry.
BPOS mascots, Kai Birdie and Zee Birdie are bird puppets who join each session to promote social-emotional development while teaching new concepts through exploratory play.
TRASH BLITZ ACROSS NY STATE: The NY State Department of Transportation held a “Trash Blitz” across the state to commemorate Earth Day 2022 and to encourage motorists to properly dispose of trash. A contingent of 1,650 Department maintenance employees and office staff participated in teams across regions, which collected 11,146 bags of litter along State highways, including 80 bags in New York City (Region 11).
The purpose of the Trash Blitz, according to State DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez, is to remove litter from numerous State-owned highways and bring awareness to motorists that littering tarnishes the beautiful New York landscape.
FDNY MEDAL DAY TRADITION: The New York City Fire Department on June 1 observed FDNY Medal Day, a tradition that recognizes outstanding courage and dedication among FDNY Members. Among the honorees were Lieutenant Paul Ardizzone from HAZTAC and Paramedics Shewain George of Station 32 and Hugh Smith of Station 39, who received the Christopher J. Prescott Medal for administering lifesaving advanced life support treatment to two trapped civilians at a collapse in Brooklyn.
FDNY-Uniformed Fire Officers Association President Lt. James McCarthy remarked, “The past few years have created unprecedented challenges for all members of the FDNY, and Fire Officers have been among those who have risen to the occasion. While each and every response of Fire Officers makes this city safer, today, we have the good fortune of recognizing a few of these extraordinary actions that display lifesaving bravery and courage.”
DIGITAL ARTS STUDENT IN OPERATIC PRODUCTION: Ying Shi Zhang of Brooklyn, a Digital Art major at New York Tech, is serving as production assistant in the production of Teatro Grattacielo’s Giulietta è Romeo in Battery Park City’s Robert F. Wagner Park on June 4 and 5. The outdoor operatic performance, featuring a 30-piece orchestra and a 30-member chorus, will include multimedia imagery and animation backdrops created and rendered by students and faculty.
Teatro Grattacielo, led by Artistic Director Stefanos Koroneos, and known for its forward-thinking, progressive, and multimedia-based exploration of opera, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the opera, which premiered in February 1922 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome.
IPS NEWS: REDUCING PASSPORT BACKLOG: U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-11th District/Southwest Brooklyn) is reminding constituents to check their passports to avoid delays due to application backlogs as the summer vacation season begins. Since taking office, the congressmember’s office has helped roughly 700 constituents who ran the risk of missing their travel plans obtain passports and renewals.
Rep. Malliotakis was among those who advocated that passport agencies return to pre-pandemic staffing levels to deal with backlogs, with the Department of State announcing the pre-pandemic staffing level took effect this week
IPS NEWS: GETTING LEGAL RECOURSE FOR FREELANCERS: The ‘Freelance Isn’t Free’ Bill (S.8369) passed the New York State Senate yesterday. The bill stipulates that freelancers or contract workers, who make up one third of the American workforce, would receive contracts and legal recourse for non-payment, explains State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, the Senate sponsor of the bill.
“From our state’s journalists and graphic artists to independent mechanics struggling to make rent or afford groceries, it is New York State’s responsibility to ensure these self-employed workers have all the tools they need to get paid on time and in full,” said Gounardes.
IPS NEWS: STATE SENATE PASSES HEAL ACT TO CAP HOSPITAL COSTS: Sen. Gounardes also praised the State Senate’s passage of the HEAL act to stop skyrocketing hospital bills. “Accessible, affordable, high-quality health care is a human right, and no New Yorker should be unable to receive the health care they need because of exorbitant costs,” he said.
Gounardes also thanked his colleagues, the union 32BJ, and the Coalition For Affordable Hospitals for working to get this bill passed in the Senate.
IPS NEWS: MADD URGES ASSEMBLY PASSAGE ON IGNITION INTERLOCKS: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) calls on the New York State Assembly to pass a bill that would help reduce repeat drunk driving offenses in New York by up to 70%. The legislation, S. 6598B by Senator Jeremy Cooney, would close loopholes in New York’s drunk driving law by including an ignition interlock requirement for all plea agreements and new incentives for drunk drivers to install this device.
In 2009, New York became one of the first states to require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers as part of Leandra’s Law. Yet in the state only 26 percent of arrested drunk drivers install these lifesaving devices. Earlier this year, MADD released a report that gave New York’s interlock law a D+.
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