Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, July 5, 2022
GOVERNOR CONVENES EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF LAWMAKERS: State lawmakers convened early Friday for an Extraordinary Session after Gov. Kathy Hochul issued a Proclamation for them to do so. The NY State Senate approved the Equality Amendment and gun legislation to create new concealed carry requirements, with the Assembly expected to do the same later in the day. The governor’s Proclamation also called for adding abortion protections to the state constitution.
The Extraordinary Session was called to address the rights of New Yorkers to protect themselves and maintain autonomy over their bodies in the wake of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions on those issues.
AWARDS FOR TEACHING HEALTH CENTERS: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced $12,146,401 for six awards for teaching health centers, including in Brooklyn, that operate primary care medical and dental residency programs, including high need specialties such as psychiatry, as part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda to address the nation’s mental health crisis.
These awards – supported by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and Fiscal Year 2022 funds – come at a significant moment when the nation’s health care workforce is facing challenges, as recently highlighted in the Surgeon General’s Advisory Addressing Health Worker Burnout.
SUNSET PARK TEACHING CENTER RECEIVES AWARD: As part of the HRSA award program, the Sunset Park Health Council, Inc. has received an HRSA financial award for the 2022-23 academic year. The facility received $1,920,000 for the specialty of Internal Medicine, and an additional $480,000 for its teaching programs in psychiatry.
HRSA has awarded over $155 million, including $135 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, though 72 awards to Teaching Health Centers.
TOUR AND AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT AT NYU-LANGONE: U.S. Rep Nydia Velazquez (D-7th District/western Brooklyn) was scheduled on Friday to tour the Family Health Center at NYU Langone’s Sunset Terrace site health center, meet residents, and announce the new funding awards. The delegation included Carole Johnson, Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), visiting Brooklyn to announce new investments that place internal medicine, psychiatry and dental residents at community health centers in underserved communities.
The announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to expand training and improve the distribution of the nation’s primary care workforce in economically disadvantaged areas.
FIGHTING FOR NURSING MOTHERS’ TRAVEL RIGHTS: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined 13 colleagues who have urged the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to address inconsistent implementation of the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule Exemption travel policy for breastmilk and formula at airport security checkpoints, and ensure that lactating individuals and their infants can travel safely without fear of harassment. Under TSA’s 3-1-1 Liquids Rule Exemption, travelers are permitted to bring formula and breastmilk in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces in carry-on baggage on board an aircraft, as well as ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to prevent formula and breastmilk from spoiling.
The senators asked for clarification on the 3-1-1 exemption policy and requested an outline of TSA’s efforts to increase awareness about the agency’s established screening processes and procedures, investigate reports of mishandled screening processes, and provide training and resources to help ensure that agents will consistently enforce these policies.
NEW LAW EXTENDS OUTDOOR DINING PROGRAM FOR 3 YEARS: Governor Hochul signed legislation co-sponsored in the State Senate by Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-19) that extends the use of municipal space for outdoor dining, enabling New York’s restaurant industry to continue recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While previous legislation signed in July of 2021 extended this program for one additional year, the newly-signed law extends the outdoor dining program for three additional years, preventing the need for continual renewal.
A survey that New York State restaurant industry conducted in January found that 74 percent of operators reported their 2021 sales volume to be lower than in 2019. Additionally, 55 percent of restaurant operators reduced hours of operation on days they opened, and 40 percent are closed on days they would normally be open, limiting sales.
FREE CONCERT SERIES AT SHORE ROAD PARK: A free Summer Concert series comes to Shore Road Park starting tonight, Tuesday, July 5. NIA Community Services Network (NIA standing for Neighborhood Improvement Association) sponsors the Tuesday evening series, which debuts July 5, at 7 p.m., with Tramps Like Us, the popular and talented Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band.
The concerts, running through August 30, will also feature Radio Daze (July 19), Rhapsody Players (July 26), The New York Exceptions Doowop (Aug 2), River of Dreams – Billy Joel Tribute Band (August 9) and more.
BROOKLYN’S BISHOP LAUNCHES PODCAST: Bishop Robert Brennan, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, launches his weekly podcast, “Big City Catholics.” The podcast, accessible on https://podcast.dioceseofbrooklyn.org/, explores questions of faith that impact one’s everyday life as a parent, friend, and professional.
Episode 3, announced on Friday, July 1, features Bishop Brennan and Father Christopher Heanue discuss the recent Supreme Court decisions. Joining them is Julia Chitos, vice president of The Bridge To Life.
FDNY APPOINTS CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT: Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh today appointed John J. Hodgens as Chief of Department, the highest-ranking uniformed position in the FDNY, and John M. Esposito as Chief of Fire Operations. Chief Hodgens, a 36-year veteran who has most recently served as Chief of Fire Operations and, earlier in his FDNY career at several battalions around Brooklyn, will oversee the Department’s 16,000 uniformed Firefighters and EMS personnel and four major agency Bureaus: Fire Operations, EMS Operations, Training, and Fire Prevention.
Chief Hodgens succeeds former Chief of Department Thomas Richardson, who retired earlier this year after 40 years of service.
NEW FDNY CHIEF OF SPECIAL OPS: During the aforementioned FDNY ceremonies, Malcolm Moore was promoted to Deputy Assistant Chief and was appointed Chief of Special Operations, becoming the first Black man in that position. A 26-year veteran of the FDNY, as Chief of Special Operations, he will oversee the Department’s highly trained special units including Hazardous Materials, Marine Operations and Rescue Operations.
Chief Moore joined the Department in 1996, with first assignment at Engine Company 214 in Brooklyn. He would later serve several other Brooklyn battalions.
FIRE ACADEMY CHIEF APPOINTED: Newly-appointed Chief of the Fire Academy Charles R. Downey also has Brooklyn service connections. A 32-year veteran of the Department, he will oversee training for Probationary Firefighters, in-service refresher training for active firefighters, and all operations at the FDNY Training Academy on Randall’s Island.
In the family: Chief Downey’s father, Deputy Chief Raymond Downey had a 39½ year career and was the Chief in Charge of Special Operations Command when he made the Supreme Sacrifice at the World Trade Center on September 11. Chief Charles Downey’s brother, Joseph Downey, is a 37-year veteran and the Battalion Commander of the FDNY Rescue Battalion.
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