Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, June 17, 2022
ASSISTANCE FOR UKRAINIANS MOVING TO NY: The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Manuel Castro has launched New York City’s Ukrainian Response Initiative, announcing the nonprofit organizations that will be contracted to help currently residing and newly arrived Ukrainian New Yorkers access immigration legal assistance, translation services, social services, and other resources. Initially announced in April, the Ukrainian Response Initiative will include community outreach, immigration legal assistance, comprehensive case management, direct emergency cash assistance, language access, benefits navigation and community-based organization capacity building.
Legal services will include comprehensive immigration legal screenings, and application assistance for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT RESTORES BENEFITS: The Legal Aid Society the settlement of a class action suit, and the distribution of over $22 million, to 54,280 New Yorkers whose public assistance benefits were wrongfully reduced or stopped between 2007 and 2015 due to alleged violations of employment requirements that mandate recipients seek and maintain work. Under the settlement, the City and State restored benefits to recipients after a court certified the case as a class action and denied the State’s motion to dismiss, finding that plaintiffs presented viable claims that the sanctions were unlawful and were imposed without adequate notice to class members, who were not given time to prove they had legitimate reasons for missing workdays.
After discovering that the City and State failed to issue payments to all eligible individuals, the litigation team returned to court to enforce the settlement. A remaining 5,000 individuals received their payments last month.
VIRTUAL REALITY TECH ADDED TO OBSTETRICS TRAINING: NYC Health + Hospitals has introduced new virtual reality (VR) technology to its course library of obstetrics (OB) simulation trainings. Co-developed with Health Scholars, a provider of innovative VR health care simulations, OB providers across the city’s health care system will be able to hone in on skills to earlier detect and successfully address rare but life-threatening health conditions that can present during labor and delivery.
The new VR technology will complement the training obstetrics providers — attendings, midwives, physician assistants and residents — received from in-person training to experience simulated life-like scenarios through a VR headset, improving competencies and promoting knowledge retention at their convenience during shifts.
GAS TAXES SUSPENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 31: New York Attorney General Letitia James is reminding New Yorkers that the state is taking steps to help them save money at the gas pumps, and has advised gas stations of their obligation to suspend taxes on fuel through December 31. The Gas Tax Holiday Act of 2022 requires gas stations to suspend excise tax, prepaid sales tax, and state sales and use taxes on motor fuel and highway diesel motor to address the rising cost of fuel.
Attorney General James encourages consumers to file complaints online with her office if they believe their gas stations are not complying.
RIBBON-CUTTING FOR MCKINLEY PARK LIBRARY IN DYKER HTS: Assembly Member Peter Abbate and Brooklyn Library President Linda E. Johnson cut a ceremonial ribbon yesterday to celebrate improvements made to the McKinley Park Library during the pandemic. Patrons can enjoy new computers, an area reserved just for teens, a new floor layout and the addition of wired furniture throughout the branch. This renovation tripled the number of public computers and installed over a dozen new outlets for patrons to use for tablets, laptops and other devices.
Assembly Member Abbate allocated $200,000 in state funding for this project; moreover, as chair of the Brooklyn Delegation, he allocated $100,000 on behalf of the Assembly’s Brooklyn Delegation for literacy and youth programming across all Brooklyn libraries. This funding supports early literacy, Library Lab and STEM programs.
ANSELM’S CHURCH CELEBRATES ITS CENTENNIAL: The parish of St. Anselm Roman Catholic Church in Bay Ridge, celebrated its 100th Anniversary last Sunday, June 5. The first parish Mass, with founding pastor, Fr. James Smyth, was held on Sunday, June 4, 1922, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. T. F. Fitzgerald at 8105 Colonial Road, just blocks from where the church now stands at 4th Avenue and 82nd Street. The original table used as the first altar of the parish was on display as part of the celebration.
The Brooklyn Eagle of June 5, 1922 reported, “A new parish, St. Anselm’s was opened yesterday when the Rev. Father James Smith [sic] held the first masses in the home at Thomas Fitzgerald, at 8105 Colonial rd.” (Editor’s Note: This priest spelled his surname as Smyth, and had previously served as the pastor of St. Thomas’ Roman Catholic Church, nearby.
ROMEO AND JULIET— AT INDUSTRY CITY: Brooklyn Shakespeare Festival returns for the first time in three years with a production of Romeo + Juliet at Industry City, with brooklynONE productions (bkONE). Running throughout the summer with two shows in June, July and August, this production brings an energetic, fast-paced, passionate version of the story, while letting attendees bask in the fun, vibe and culture of the Industry City campus.
The shows will be held at The Bandshell in Courtyard 1/2 at Industry City. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10-$20 through Eventbrite or in-person on the day of the performance.
SUMMER MUSIC SERIES AT BUSHWICK INLET PARK: The Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park hosts their second annual Summer Music Series featuring a series of sunset concerts on the waterfront at Kent Avenue and North 9th Street, featuring jazz, Latin, traditional folk music, and other musical genres. Continuing through August 11, the series of Thursday evening (6:30 p.m.) concerts on the North Brooklyn waterfront will showcase local musicians playing a wide variety of musical genres including jazz, Latin, and traditional folk.
The Summer Music Series at Bushwick Inlet Park sponsorship comes, in part, from Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), NYC Parks, City Parks Foundation, Rubenstein Partners’ 25 Kent, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, NYC Ferry, El Puente Academy, Jazz Foundation of America, and The New York State Council on the Arts.
CORRECTION: The photo published as the runner-up prize in Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’ Congressional Art Contest for the 11th District was accidentally mismatched in the Thursday, June 16 editions. This is the correct photo that should have accompanied the caption for “The Hidden Hero,” by Leo Cheng of Bay Ridge, a student at Brooklyn Latin School. The Eagle regrets the error.
Leo described his artwork: “The figure in this painting is my mom who is a nurse practitioner. The left side of the painting shows how she fought with covid in the pandemic, and the right side of the painting represents the freedom of U.S.A.”
RIBBON-CUTTING FOR BABI YAR TRIANGLE: Babi Yar Triangle Park has officially been reopened, with a ribbon-cutting on Wednesday that showcased a $1.48 million complete transformation of the park, Brighton Beach, and for which NYC Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Martin Maher, Council Member Inna Vernikov, Community Board 13 District Manager Eddie Mark, and community members were present. New expanded play areas offer more play value with equipment for kids aged 2-5 and 5-12, and ADA- inclusive features, new seating, game tables, and water fountains were also installed, as part of the redesign plan with the purpose of creating a stronger sense of layout, circulation, and spatial arrangement. The inlaid Star of David was moved from the center of the park to the southeast corner, which has afternoon sun year-round.
Babi Yar Triangle was named in 1981 to commemorate one of the darkest events of World War II — the Nazi massacre of more than 33,000 Jews in the Babi Yar ravine outside Kyiv in Ukraine.
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