Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, July 25, 2022
SENTENCED TO AT LEAST 50 YEARS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT: Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo has sentenced a Queens man to 50-years-to-life for three separate attacks on three women at gunpoint during an early morning crime spree in East New York five years ago. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that the defendant, 31-year-old Keith Wiggins of South Ozone Park, was convicted in March, following a jury trial, of sexually assaulting two women and attempting to assault a third woman (who was able to flee).
The police tracked down the defendant attempting to return a Dodge Caravan —used in his getaways —to a rental agency at John F. Kennedy Airport later that morning.
RETIRED JUDGE NOMINATED TO COMMISSION ON ETHICS: Retired Judge Emily Jane Goodman, who has served on the U.S. District Court-Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn federal court) as well as at the State Supreme and New York City courts, has been named as Attorney General Letitia James’ nominee for Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government. Goodman, who has devoted nearly 30 years in public service, including as a judge in both criminal and civil courts, is a graduate of Brooklyn College and Brooklyn Law School; and she holds a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
As part of the nomination process, members of the public have seven days to submit comments on the nominee, who will then be presented to the Independent Review Committee of New York’s law school deans for review and approval or denial to serve on the Commission.
BROOKLYN ACTOR PAUL SORVINO DEAD AT 83: Brooklyn-born actor Paul Sorvino, who played authority figures in law programs, died earlier today, July 25 at age 83. Sorvino, who was born and raised in Bensonhurst, and whose ancestry was from Molise and Naples in Italy, is known for his roles as Paulie Cicero (based on Paul Vario) in the 1990 gangster film Goodfellas, and NYPD Sergeant Phil Cerreta on the TV series Law & Order. He also played Nikolai Rozhenko in the Star Trek: The Next Generation seventh season episode, “Homeward”
Also an operatic tenor (he starred in New York City Opera’s 2006 production of Frank Loesser’s “The Most Happy Fella”) he was the father of actress Mira Sorvino and Michael Sorvino.
BRAZEN ROBBERY DURING WORSHIP CAPTURED ON VIDEO: The violent robbery of $400K in cash and jewelry from a Brooklyn church during worship on Sunday morning was captured on livestream. According to several news accounts, Bishop Lamor Whitehead was preaching his sermon when armed gunmen broke into the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries church in Canarsie around 11:15 a.m., forcing the bishop and his wife to the ground, and taking their jewelry, including their wedding bands.
As a reflection of recent gun violence in public places, Bishop Whitehead later wrote on Instagram, “I didn’t know if they wanted to shoot the church up or if they were just coming for a robbery.”
POLICE SEEK INDIVIDUAL IN FORCIBLE TOUCHING: The New York City Police Department seeks the public’s assistance in identifying the individual who is believed to have forcibly touched the genitals of a 20-year-old female commuter, in an incident that took place early Saturday morning, July 23, in the Carroll Street subway station at Smith and President streets, within the 76th Precinct (Transit District 30). Police received reports that around 5:53 a.m., the suspect approached his victim from behind, grabbed her buttocks and vagina; and forcefully put his hand over the victim’s mouth to prevent her from screaming, a struggle ensued, the victim was able to yell for help.
Surveillance video, which captured the incident, shows the suspect, who fled the scene, to be approximately 25-years-old, thin build, with brown eyes, a dark complexion, mustache and a Goatee, and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with an American flag graphic on the front, a Brooklyn Nets baseball cap, a hooded jacket, blue ripped jeans and white sneakers.
WANTED IN GRAND LARCENY/67TH PRECINCT: Police are looking also for an individual wanted for a grand larceny of a vehicle that occurred in the confines of the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush. Surveillance video captured an unidentified individual exiting a dark, parked vehicle and entering an unattended blue 2006 Jeep PA license plate LVL1868 that was left running in the parking lot of 736 Linden Blvd. At the time this incident took place, Saturday, July 16, around 3:15 p.m., the Jeep’s operator/victim was picking up a food delivery when the suspect fled in his car.
Anyone with information on either of these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, on Twitter @NYPDTips
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT AGAINST CRIME: National Night Out Against Crime, a community tradition around the United States to foster police-citizen-neighborhood partnerships and build camaraderie, takes place next week on Tuesday, August 2. Several NYPD precincts including the 84th Precinct (Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn), are holding events, including a gathering at Brooklyn Bridge Park, with food and entertainment, starting at 4:30 p.m.
The 84th Precinct (718) 875-6850) will provide transportation will be provided to disabled and elderly persons, who are advised to reserve a sport several days in advance by calling the above number.
MEDICAL STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM LAUNCHED: A new student loan forgiveness program for behavioral health providers has been launched over the weekend during an event with Mayor Eric Adams and the NYC Health + Hospitals system, with applications opening today. The new program, which is made possible through a $1 million contribution from an anonymous donor, is designed to help attract and retain doctors, nurse practitioners, and other clinicians who provide care to for New Yorkers with mental health or substance use needs as the U.S. faces a national mental health professional shortage.
NYC Health + Hospitals will offer psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers between $30,000 and $50,000 of debt relief in exchange for a three-year commitment to serve the public health system. The loan forgiveness program will be available to eligible employees and new hires for the next year or until the $1 million donation has been distributed.
ATTORNEY GENERAL TERMINATES NO-POACH AGREEMENTS: Title insurance companies in New York can no longer mandate no-poach agreements with their employees, after State Attorney General Letitia James ended what she calls “harmful corporate practices” that “limit earning potential.” For years, AmTrust Title Insurance Company and First Nationwide Title Agency (together AmTrust), entered into illegal no-poach agreements with their competitors to thwart labor competition.
As a result of an agreement that Attorney General James has secured, AmTrust — a leader in the New York title insurance market — will terminate any existing no-poach agreements, pay the state $1.25 million, and cooperate with Attorney General James’ ongoing investigations in the industry.
RECONSTRUCTION OF BATHROOMS AT 2 BROOKLYN PARKS: The public bathrooms at the Brooklyn War Memorial in Cadman Plaza Park will go under construction starting next Monday, August 1. This project of the NYC Parks in-house construction team is expected to last take approximately three to four months, also includes a reconstruction of the Eleanor Roosevelt Playground Comfort Station on Dekalb Avenue / Kosciusko Street between Lewis and Stuyvesant avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Porta Sans will be provided nearby throughout construction.
RESTLER: DELIVERY PERSONS MUST OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS, COMPLETE SAFETY COURSE: Delivery persons associated with apps such as UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub must know and obey New York’s traffic laws, says City Councilmember Lincoln Restler (D-33/Brooklyn waterfront to Bedford-Stuyvesant), who wrote a letter to the leaders of these businesses on the role they play in prioritizing speed over safety when it comes to deliveries. After hearing from his constituents on safety-issue complaints, such as bikers going the wrong way on one-way streets, biking on sidewalks, or ignoring traffic signals, Restler wrote, “We are calling on you to require all delivery drivers associated with your platforms to attend a paid, multi-hour training course — such as the Empowering Deliveristas Training Program — from the Streets to the Apps, which cover the topics of safety, legal driving and more. The course should make it clear that drivers using bikes, e-bikes or mopeds should stay off sidewalks and give tips for how to practice defensive driving while obeying trafﬁc rules.”
Restler added, “It’s imperative that your companies stop incentivizing drivers who deliver quickly at the expense of safe driving and instead reward Deliveristas who take this workplace training and drive safely. This also means clearly communicating with customers that safe driving might result in slower delivery times”
TRAFFIC FATALITIES RISE CITYWIDE: Councilmember Restler’s aforementioned letter to food delivery apps reflects a wider citywide spike in traffic fatalities, warns the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives (TA), which reports that such tragedies are still 29 percent higher than in 2018, the safest year of the Vision Zero-era. TA pointed out also that crisis has also particularly devastated people on bikes, e-bikes, or scooters in Brooklyn, where more than three times as many people, in particular those age 18 and younger, using these modes of transportation have died this year alone, as compared to the first six months of 2021.
New data revealed also that hit-and-runs involving critical injury have more than doubled, up 129 percent, in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019 — with just one case solved.
BROOKLYNITE RECEIVES ADVANCED DEGREE FROM ADELPHI: Waleed Abdullah F. Alshahrani, from zip code 11206 in northern Brooklyn, has received the degree in Master of Business Administration, Management from Adelphi University.
The nationally-ranked doctoral research university, based in Garden City, recently held its 126th commencement ceremonies at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
EMPOWER RESIDENTS; BOLSTER ACCOUNTABILITY AT NYCHA: Working together to improve accountability at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is the focus of a roundtable taking place this evening, Monday, July 25, at the Red Hook Initiative on Hicks St. City Comptroller Brad Lander and City Councilmember Alex Áviles will lead a discussion on how residents can function as a key part of NYCHA accountability through people-powered audits.
Interested parties wanting further information may contact [email protected] or call 1-646-761-2971
JAVA WITH JO ANNE ON ZOOM: Constituents of Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D-52) can air any number of issues, from the SCOTUS decision on abortion to gun violence, at her next virtual Java with Jo Anne session. This Zoom meeting, scheduled for Thursday, July 28 from 9:30-11 a.m. will welcome as a guest a representative of the NYC Department of Health to discuss New York’s response to the current Monkeypox outbreak.
Contact Assemblymember Simon’s office at [email protected] or 718-246-4889 for the Zoom link
‘OCEANS OF POSSIBILITIES’ SUMMER READING CHALLENGE: “Oceans of Possibilities” is the theme of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge for Youth that Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon is sponsoring, in partnership with the New York State libraries. The Summer Reading Challenge, geared for students in elementary and middle school, encourages kids to learn more about strange or new worlds, either by reading on their own or with a partner, and marking off the days on a specially-provided calendar.
Assemblymember Simon will award an Excellence in Reading certificate to all who complete and submit the completed calendars to her office at 341 Smith St. in Carroll Gardens. Calendars are available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and other languages upon request.
CONSTITUENT THURSDAYS AT CENTRAL LIBRARY: The Brooklyn Public Library, a renowned center for learning, is also a place where Brooklynites can avail themselves of Constituent Services from Borough President Antonio Reynoso. Anyone in need of advocacy can speak to a representative from Borough Hall in person at the Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with a lunch break from 1-2 p.m.)
During other times, one can reach the Brooklyn Borough President’s Constituent Service Department from Monday-Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling (718) 802-3700 or email [email protected]
FAITH IN BROOKLYN: BIGCITYCATHOLICS: Bishop Robert Brennan, leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, has released Episode 6 of his popular podcast, Big Catholics, to discuss the formation of youth. He joins Father Christopher Heanue on a road trip to Ten Mile River Keowa Summer Camp to celebrate the role of scouting in this diocese.
Listeners can enjoy this and previous episodes on several podcast platforms, and accessible via https://podcast.dioceseofbrooklyn.org/.
SUMMER JOB FAIR AT MAYOR OWENS REC CENTER ON SATURDAY, JULY 30: A Summer Job Fair takes place at the Mayor Owens Recreation Center next Saturday, July 30, thanks to sponsorship from State Senator Roxanne Persaud (D-19). The fair, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will offer information and opportunities in the public, private and government sectors, and a variety of positions in the city, state, federal, and nonprofit agencies. Also, there will be on-the-spot employment opportunities offered by various community partners.
Registration necessary; visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brooklyn-summer-job-fair-2022-tickets-385856967577
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