Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, July 11, 2022
NEW YORK’S CHIEF JUDGE STEPS DOWN: New York State’s Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced today that she is stepping down effective August 31. A Democrat who became the state’s top jurist in 2016 and is just the second woman to hold that post (after former Chief Judge
Judith Kaye), DiFiore will be replaced by an acting chief judge, selected by the six other judges on the State Court of Appeals, until fellow Democrat, Gov. Kathy Hochul appointed a successor.
This spring, DiFiore angered fellow Democrats when she handed down a controversial 32-page ruling that Democratic leaders’ newly-drawn Congressional and State Senate districts (after the 2020 Census, which reduced New York’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives) violated a state ban on gerrymandering.
CITY LAUNCHES NEW PSA ON NUCLEAR PREPAREDNESS: New York City’s Emergency Management Dept. is taking the lead in keeping the public safe, today launching new public service announcement that focuses on nuclear preparedness, even as it projects that the likelihood of a nuclear weapon incident occurring in/near New York City is very low. The PSA outlines three key steps New Yorkers should take in the event of such an incident: Get inside. Stay inside. Stay tuned.
NYC Emergency Management works with several local, state, and federal agencies to organize emergency response, and hosts the PlanNowNYC website, which focuses on preparing for terrorist attacks and other no-notice events, including nuclear events. The City also uses several forms of media to alert the public in an emergency, including Notify NYC, the City of New York’s free, official emergency communications program. r
PFIZER GIVES GRANT FOR SCHOOL STEM PROGRAMS: A $1.5 million grant from Pfizer Inc. to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City earmarks funds for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational programs for middle and high school students. Mayor Eric Adams today announced the grant, which will advance the goals of two STEM-related initiatives: Exploring Futures, geared for middle school students; and College Now for Careers — a partnership between the New York City Department of Education and The City University of New York (CUNY) — that enables New York City public high school students to earn college credits at CUNY by completing required courses for STEM majors.
Both Exploring Futures and College Now for Careers are initiatives that the Mayor’s Office of Youth Employment developed in support of the city’s goal of universal career readiness. In particular, Exploring Futures — launched in 2020 — currently operates in nine middle schools, serving 225 students in sixth through eighth grades.
ISRAELI CORPORATION HELD ACCOUNTABLE IN OPIOID CRISIS: New York Attorney General Letitia James is holding the Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. accountable for its role in the opioid crisis. New evidence uncovered by the Office of the Attorney General shows that, despite sworn testimony provided to the court that Teva Parent transacted no business in the United States, held no property in the United States, and had no role in its American opioids business, Teva Parent was a primary decision maker for its American subsidiary, maintained property and employees in the country, and exerted control over its finances.
. In fact, the OAG found that Teva Parent use a complex web of shell corporations to transfer significant funds out of Teva USA and into offshore accounts it owns and control.
BOLD PROPOSAL FOR SUBWAY: POLICE AT TURNSTILES, METAL DETECTORS: Police should be stationed at every subway turnstile, and new, artificial intelligence-driven metal detectors installed in New York City subways, Samuel Estreicher and Zachary Garrett boldly propose in a New York Law Journal commentary. Attributing the 54 percent rise in subway crime since last year and a 39 percent spike in the last month alone to a lack of deterring police presence, Estreicher and Garrett weigh what many could consider an insurmountable price tag, given the $150K annual salary of police officers, against the “brute necessity — even basic human right” — of safeguarding commuters’ lives.
Moreover, the commentary’s authors posit that “The Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen should have no implications for the legality of our proposal. As Justice Kavanaugh noted in his concurrence, the states and the federal government may still permissibly put into place reasonable restrictions on the carrying of firearms in ‘sensitive places.’”
OVERNIGHT LANE CLOSURES ON BELT PARKWAY: The NYC Department of Transportation will be instituting weeknight double-lane closures on the Belt Parkway from Wednesday, July 13, through Monday, July 18, in order to install protective shielding under the 17th Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, in preparation for its demolition. The DOT and Community Board 11 report that the eastbound lanes will be closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on July 13 and 14; then the westbound lanes, toward the Verrazzano Bridge, will be closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday, July 15, and Monday, July 18.
The new bridge will be built in the footprint of the existing one.
MOBILE SPORTS WAGERING PROGRAM SURPASSES PROJECTIONS: New York’s mobile sports wagering program has far surpassed every other state, as well as the Division of the Budget’s FY 2022 revenue projections, less than six months after its launch, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Friday. According to New York State data, the State has generated more than $302 million in tax revenue from mobile sports wagering since January 8, 2022 – with the entire amount directed for education aid, youth sports and responsible gaming programs.
In January, New York State projected $249 million in mobile sports wagering tax revenue (including $200 million in already-collected license fees) in Fiscal Year 2022, while total collections were $361 million (including the $200 million in license fees).
WESTERN BROOKLYN IS SITE OF RACING CHAMPIONSHIP: Several streets in Red Hook, Gowanus, Park Slope and Prospect Heights will be closed off for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s action-packed racing on the streets of New York City, the weekend of July 16-17. According to the E-Prix website and the NYPD, the track winds its way around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal site in Red Hook. Among the streets closed off from Wednesday, July 13 at 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, July 17 at 11:55 p.m. are Coffey, Conover, Lorraine St., Van Brunt, Van Dyke, down to the waterfront; Hicks and Court St. Atlantic Avenue, and as far east as Flatbush Avenue, 6th Avenue, Smith St., Dean St. and Union St.
NYC DOT imposes construction embargoes during significant special events, including the New York City Marathon, parades, and for the winter holiday season. During embargoes, all active permits in the affected area(s) are suspended and no new permits may be approved, unless a waiver for the work is granted by NYC DOT. For a full list of closings, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/infrastructure/construction-embargoes.shtml#formula-e for the full list of street closures.
SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION TO CLOSE OFF TRAFFIC IN BAY RIDGE: Construction on a school roof will necessitate another street closure in Brooklyn today, Monday, June 11. 71st Street between 6th and 7th avenues is part of DOT Planned Street Closure so that concrete work can be done on the roof of P.S. 170, between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The rain date for this work is Tuesday, July 12th.
IN PUBLIC SERVICE
IPS NEWS: NOMINEES TO STATE ETHICS COMMISSION: Governor Kathy Hochul announced two of the Executive Chamber’s three nominees to the Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government. The nominees are Michael A. Cardozo, a former New York City Corporation Counsel and currently a Litigation Partner at Proskauer; and Frederick A. Davie, Senior Strategic Advisor to the President at Union Theological Seminary, who holds several external leadership roles related to public policy and social issues, including the Racial Justice/Charter Reform Commission of the City of New York, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board.
The Independent Review Committee’s procedures adopted in June, the public is given seven business days to comment on the nominees (https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Governor-s-Ethics-Commission-Nominees) who are then presented to the Independent Review Committee of New York’s law school deans for review and approval or denial to serve on the Commission.
IPS NEWS: NY’S GUN INDUSTRY LIABILITY LAW MARKS 1ST BIRTHDAY: State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-20 Central Brooklyn) this week recognized the first anniversary of New York’s pioneering, first-in-the-nation gun industry liability law, which allows civil suits to proceed against gun manufacturers and dealers who irresponsibly fuel the criminal firearm market. Last July, New York enacted a law relating to the sale, manufacturing, importing and marketing of firearms and whether such activity constitutes a public nuisance.
While a federal law makes it virtually impossible to hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable, it allows states to pass laws enabling such suits to proceed.
IPS NEWS: COLTON: PERMANENT HOUSING NEEDED; NOT SHELTERS: Accusing the City of New York and developers of building temporary homeless shelters for a profit, Assemblymember William Colton (D-47) vows to continue the fight against two such shelters in his district, which encompasses Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights. After meeting on Friday with Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins, and Deputy Commissioner Intergovernmental and Legislative Affairs NYC Department of Social Services Marricka Scott, Colton said it is clear to him that the community must fight against proposed homeless shelters at 2147 Bath Avenue and 137 Kings Highway.
“The city must build permanent housing to serve the needs of low-income families and supportive housing for those who need addiction or mental health services,” said Colton. “But the city administration, instead of providing permanent solutions for the homeless crisis such as subsidized or supportive housing, is allowing these temporary shelters to become a business that provides an opportunity for developers to make a profit, with the taxpayers’ monies.”
CITY COUNCILMEMBER BRANNAN TO HOST MOBILE TESTING VANS: Although NYC Health and Hospitals will be ending its COVID-19 PCR and rapid-testing sites on July 16, a Bay Ridge elected official will be offering the service at his district office. City Councilmember Justin Brannan’s Office at 8203 3rd Avenue will host a mobile testing van, which will provide PCR tests, daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 16, will be the final day of testing at the 86th Street and 5th Avenue New York City Health and Hospital Covid-19 PCR and rapid temporary location.
COVID TESTS AVAILABLE AROUND BROOKLYN: In addition to the testing van outside Councilman Brannan’s office, free at-home COVID tests will also be made available at several locations around southwest Brooklyn, including: Fort Hamilton Library (9424 4th Avenue); Baltic Street Advocacy, Employment & Housing (9201 4th Avenue); the Bay Ridge Library (7223 Ridge Boulevard); Good Shepherd Church (7420 4th Avenue; the Arab American Association of NY (7111 5th Avenue); Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults (411 Ovington Avenue); 5th Avenue BID (482 80th Street); McKinley Library (6802 Fort Hamilton Parkway); and the Dyker Heights Library (8202 13th Avenue).
To find a vaccination site, use the City’s Vaccine Finder or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).
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