Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, June 13, 2022
CITY, MAYOR AGREE ON FISCAL 2023 BUDGET: Mayor Adams and City Council and its leaders agreed on an early and balanced city budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). The budget protects the city’s fiscal health by building record levels of reserves — more than $8.3 billion. Other highlights in the budget include Resources for the Subway Safety Plan, including funds to expand the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division, Expansion of the Precision Employment Initiative to connect as many as 3,000 individuals at risk of participating in gun violence with green jobs.
Summer Rising enrichment programs for K-12 students, the upgrades for school cafeterias in Racial Inclusion and Equity Neighborhoods, and ensuring annual funding for city youth were also in the budget.
PILOT PROGRAM FOR BETTER BIKE LANE BARRIERS: Better Barriers pilot program will be testing new materials that will better protect bicycle lanes across the city, New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced on Friday. The pilot is part of the administration’s ongoing commitment to harden half of the city’s existing delineator-protected bike lanes in two years, using sturdier materials that can keep lanes clear for cyclists The pilot plan’s Brooklyn location will be on Quay St. between Franklin and West streets along the waterfront in Greenpoint.
The materials will be evaluated for durability through the winter, at which point the DOT will determine which materials are most effective for wider use. DOT encourages all riders to check them out and provide feedback (https://bit.ly/BetterBarriers) to help determine the future use of these products.
DOT TALK ON 86TH ST. BUS STOP: The Department of Transportation will make an informational presentation on the 86th Street Bus Stop Under the El project, within Community District 11, which serves Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend and Mapleton. Community Board 11 Transportation Committee will meet virtually for the presentation this Wednesday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m.
PRATT NAMES HELIO TAKAI AS PERMANENT DEAN: Helio Takai has been named Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Pratt Institute in Fort Greene. An accomplished physicist and educator whose work has ranged from research for the CERN Large Hadron Collider to promoting science curriculum for students of all disciplines. Takai became dean effective June 6, 2022, having led the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences as interim dean since July 2019.
Prior to arriving at Pratt, Takai earned tenure and the rank of physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory where he pursued a research career for nearly 30 years.
PRATT NAMES NEW CHAIR OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN: Pratt Institute’s School of Design has named Industrial Designer and Educator Ignacio Urbina Polo as its new Chair of Industrial Design, effective July 1. A distinguished industrial designer and a tenured professor at Pratt where he has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses since 2011, and has concentrated his research on the intersection of industrial design and interaction, designing with minimal resources, decolonized material culture, aging, and cities.
His professional and academic practice has included work in Brazil, Venezuela, and the United States, spanning many areas of design, from product research to publications.
THE WIZARD OF OZ, BAY RIDGE STYLE: The students of Bay Ridge Catholic Academy recently performed the beloved classic The Wizard of Oz to sold-out crowds for three nights in the Our Lady of Angels Auditorium. The students cast for the show participated in an after-school program sponsored by the Federation of Italian American Organizations.
The show’s directors were Anthony Marino and Eddie Rodriguez; choreographer was Brittany Colon.
‘WEAR LIME GREEN’ BENEFIT FOR 7TH GRADER WITH CANCER: Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy in Gravesend will host a special “Wear Lime Green” dress-down day tomorrow, June 14, 2022, as a fundraiser and solidarity event on behalf of 7th grader Marco Wilen, who was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The fundraiser will include a special sale of desserts and treats donated by Frost-A-Cake, and a basketball tournament for the students of grades 4-8, featuring a Free-Throw and Three-Point contest as part of the fundraiser.
All funds raised will go to Marco Wilen’s family to support medical and related expenses.
IPS NEWS: DiNAPOLI REPORT: NY RANKS SECOND-WORST IN UNEMPLOYMENT FUND REPAYMENT RECORD: Bad marks for New York, one of only seven states or territories with unemployment insurance (UI) funds that are in debt to the federal government. A new analysis by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli shows that, despite recent significant payments to the federal Unemployment Trust Fund (UTF), New York and the $8.1 billion owed in the outstanding loan balance is second only to that of California.
The unemployment claims brought about by the pandemic caused a larger payout of benefits. But, says DiNapoli’s report, if New York’s outstanding balance is not fully repaid by November 10, 2022, interest costs will mount, as will the federal portion of employers’ 2022 tax bills.
BARRON, OTHERS DENOUNCE BUDGET: Not everyone is happy with the Fiscal 2023 budget that was released on Friday. A group of elected officials and racial-justice advocacy groups, including Councilmember Charles Barron (D-42/East New York, East Flatbush and Starrett City) will gather for a rally and press conference today at 11 a.m. to denounce the backdoor city budget deal that they claim will harm New York City.
Calling it “the worst budget process ever,” Councilmember Barron said. There was no transparency. This budget is going to cut money from every social and human service and will be detrimental to the Black, Brown, and working class communities of this city.”
IPS NEWS: DATA ON LGBTQ: Legislation to address gaps in the collection of data pertaining to LGBTQ+ people in the United States, to curb disinformation about the U.S. Census, and make additional good government reforms are part of the agenda for a meeting of the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-12/northern Brooklyn), committee chair, convenes this meeting tomorrow, June 14. The committee will discuss H.R. 4176, the LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act; H.R. 5815, the Honest Census Communications Act; H.R. 7951, the Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act.
They will also discuss H.R. 7941, to amend the District of Columbia Home Rule Act to permit the Chair of the Council of the District of Columbia to transmit Acts of the District of Columbia to Congress in electronic form.
IPS NEWS: AG JAMES APPROVES RULING ON NRA: New York Attorney General Letitia James is pleased with New York State Supreme Court Justice Joel Cohen’s ruling that rejected the counterclaims brought by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that were made in response to Attorney General James’ lawsuit against the organization. The court on Friday rejected the NRA’s claims that Attorney General James’ investigation into the organization’s self-dealing, abuse, and unlawful conduct were an unconstitutional, politically-motivated “witch hunt.” Instead, the court maintained that Attorney General James’ claims against the organization’s wrongdoings are serious and viable, and are well within her office’s jurisdiction to investigate.
The NRA had also filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy even though the organization still claimed to have healthy financial reserves. But a federal bankruptcy court in Texas, in May 2021 rejected the organization’s claims of bankruptcy after the NRA sought to reorganize in Texas, finding that the NRA had filed for bankruptcy to avoid regulators.
IPS NEWS: TOWN HALL TUESDAYS: Assemblymember Brian Cunningham (D-43/Crown Heights, Flatbush and East Flatbush) and City Councilmember Rita Joseph (D-40/ Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Kensington, Ditmas Park, and Southern Crown Heights) are holding “Town Hall Tuesdays” meetings with their constituents during June to discuss community and civic issues, such as housing, transportation and public safety.
The meetings take place via Facebook Live and in-person, with the next one tomorrow, June 14, at 7 p.m., according to a notice from Community Board 9.
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