Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, August 30, 2022
EX-SOVIET LEADER MIKHAIL GORBACHEV DIES AT 91: Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union before its 1991 collapse, has died, Russian media reported on Tuesday. During his seven years in power, Gorbachev produced reforms that led to the end of the Cold War.
Even though the reforms led to his political demise, they also made possible the freeing of Eastern European nations from Russian domination and the end of decades of East-West nuclear confrontation at the time.
MORE NYC OFFICIALS JOIN PUSH FOR FIREARMS MERCHANT CATEGORY CODES: A day after a coalition of 50 state legislators called for major credit card companies to establish a Merchant Category Code for gun and ammunition stores, more elected officials are joining the pressure campaign. Today, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, Mayor Eric Adams, trustees of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System and Board of Education Retirement System, and other city officials called on American Express, MasterCard and Visa, three of the world’s largest credit card companies, to support a proposal to create a new code would help financial institutions detect and report suspicious activity, such as unusually large purchases of firearms or ammunition, or purchases from multiple stores, that may be used for criminal purposes.
American Express, MasterCard, and Visa have not supported earlier proposals to create Merchant Category codes for gun retailers.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES QUICKLY MOBILIZES OUTREACH FOR MIGRANTS’ SURPRISE ARRIVAL: Catholic Charities Brooklyn Queens yesterday mobilized on very short notice to welcome a group of bewildered refugees and host informational meetings for them to get re-situated since their arrival in NYC, reports the diocesan newspaper The Tablet. Monsignor Alfred LoPinto, who is CEO of Catholic Charities, and priest-in-residence at neighboring St. Charles Borromeo Church that hosted the outreach meetings, told The Tablet that “The [migrants] came with letters telling them that, from now on, their new residence was 191 Joralemon Street. We had them camping out in front of the building.”
Catholic Charities Brooklyn Queens, whose headquarters are at 191 Joralemon St., provided boxes of food and bags of toiletries, a hot meals and hosted information sessions conducted by staff and volunteers who are fluent in Spanish.
CAMBA AWARDED FUNDING FOR DRUG PREVENTION: CAMBA Inc. in Kings County will receive $450,000 over the course of three years to establish a prevention coalition that Governor Kathy Hochul announced earlier today. The Office of Addiction Services and Supports will administer the funding will help establish CAMBA’s and three other prevention coalitions in New York City and enhance non-medical transportation services for individuals having difficulty accessing addiction treatment.
Gov. Hochul announced a total of $2.3 million to support addiction prevention efforts, with the coalitions developing culturally appropriate and tailored prevention initiatives for underserved communities and populations.
SOLIDARITY FOR PAKISTAN: Brooklynites are urged to show solidarity and comfort for members of the Pakistani community here, whose homeland has been struck with severe flooding and landslides this summer, says Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn in a statement issued on Tuesday. Bichotte-Hermelyn provided information on a Pakistan Flood Appeal and community drive for donations of new clothing, blankets, mosquito nets and repellents, first aid kits, over-the-counter medicines and baby supplies. Among the participating many participating government branches, non-profits and businesses are the NYPD, Council of People’s Organizations, the Bridge Multicultural & Advocacy Project, the Muslim Community Center and Mercy Bakery.
The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing an additional $30 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people affected by severe flooding in Pakistan that has affected an estimated 33 million people and resulted in more than 1,100 deaths.
ASSAILANT SOUGHT IN BEDFORD AVE. SUBWAY ATTACKS: Police are seeking the public’s assistance in tracking down a man who harassed commuters and slapped a commuter in the face last Sunday inside the Bedford Avenue subway station within the 94th Precinct. The assailant also slashed another 36-year-old male victim who had attempted to intervene.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/, on Twitter @NYPDTips.
SENATOR GILLIBRAND HOLDS BROOKLYN TOWN HALL: U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand will be in the borough this afternoon for a public Brooklyn Town Hall at LIU Brooklyn Kumble Theater. During the Town Hall, taking place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sen. Gillibrand will give brief remarks and answer questions, and the Senator’s staff will be available to answer questions and share details about how her office can assist Brooklynites. Proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 24hrs is required for entry.
Sen. Gillibrand’s colleague, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), is from Brooklyn.
STATE LAWMAKERS WANT CREDIT CARD COMPANIES TO ADD CODE FOR FIREARMS SALES: Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-20th District/Central Brooklyn) joined Assembly Member Chantel Jackson and nearly 50 other colleagues in sending a letter to the CEOs of Mastercard and American Express, urging them to do more to monitor unusual patterns of gun purchases by adding a distinct Merchant Category Code for firearms dealers. A simple coding change would enable card companies to categorize firearm dealers as a distinct group of merchants, allowing them to flag suspicious spending patterns.
Merchant Category Codes, that financial institutions like American Express and Mastercard assign, would allow them to effectively track sales at stand-alone gun and ammunition stores separate from other merchants without limiting gun sales or creating new regulations, Myrie and his fellow legislators believe.
NYC ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN’S SERVICES HAS EXPANDED: The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) has expanded into Brooklyn’s “A Safe Way Forward,” preventive services program for survivors of domestic violence/intimate partner violence, the persons causing harm and their children. MercyFirst, a child welfare agency, works to help break patterns of abuse and trauma within families and will serve Brooklyn families participating in “A Safe Way Forward.”
Based on positive outcomes from evaluations, survivors of domestic violence described an increase in self-esteem and confidence in their ability to execute a safety plan and make decisions that would keep their family safe. Likewise, more than half of the persons causing harm said that the people around them had noticed a positive change in their behavior since they began participating in the program.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MISSING BEDFORD-STUYVESANT WOMAN?: Police are still looking for a woman missing from her Bedford-Stuyvesant home since August 5, and are asking for the public’s help in tracking her down. Wanda Cradle, a 67-year-old Black female, was last seen on Friday morning, August 5, 2022 at 7 a.m. inside her residence, 459 Gates Avenue, within the 79th Precinct. She is described as being approximately 5’9″ tall, weighing 165 lbs., with a medium build, dark skin complexion with black and grey straight hair.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, which also handles missing persons reports, at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
DOT WANTS TRANSPORTATION FEEDBACK FROM CONEY ISLANDERS: New York City Department of Transportation is looking to collect feedback from the residents of Coney Island regarding potential transportation issues that commuters experience as they travel throughout the area. The survey is accessible online: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/43fb18ec8ca746c68e39105b4810bdbc
An MTA ambassador team plans to hang flyers along the project corridors this week.
RESEARCH CORRELATES WAR COMBAT WITH INFERTILITY: Researchers are launching a new study to discover reasons why veterans from recent wars are more likely to struggle with infertility than their civilian peers, according to a report from Military Times that was conveyed through the NYC Veterans Alliance. Officials from the fertility clinic Legacy will partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs for the study, which will test sperm collected from more than 1,000 Global War On Terror veterans to look for common problems among the population.
Their goal is to use the findings to expand the fertility services for the Veterans Administration to offer in coming years.
MILITARY EXCLUDED FROM WTC HEALTH PROGRAM MEMBERSHIP: A language technicality has excluded members of the military who responded to 9/11 from the World Trade Center Health Program that is available to anyone else who answered the call of duty, according to a story that the Daily News broke yesterday. First established in 2010 by a bill named after late NYPD Officer James Zadroga, the World Trade Center Health Program currently provides screenings and treatment for more than 110,000 responders and survivors, from all 50 states, according to data compiled by Chevat’s organization.
“This language does not allow for the enrollment of the majority of employees at the Pentagon (whether active duty, retired, reserve, civilian, or contractor),” said Christina Spring, a spokesperson for the World Trade Center Health Program, told the Daily News, adding that the only solution is legislative: Congress must specifically name military personnel as first-responders.
RALLY TO URGE SAFE STAFFING AT BROOKLYN VA CENTER: The Brooklyn Veterans Administration Medical Center is suffering a staffing crisis, and the National Nurses United (NNU) and veteran leaders want the community to know the urgency. They will hold a Rally For Safe Staffing at the Brooklyn VA Front Gate, 800 Poly Place, tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31, 4:45pm.
The NNU nurses issued a statement pledging they “will never stop advocating for patients and ask for your support at this rally.”
GRANT PROGRAM FOR PROMOTING LOCAL FOLKLORE: The William G. Pomeroy Foundation is now accepting online applications for its Legends & Lore® Marker Grant Program, which helps communities commemorate their local folklore and legends, and promote cultural tourism with roadside markers. Prospective applicants must apply through a local 501(c)(3) organization such as a historical society, nonprofit academic institutions, or local, state, or federal government entities in the 13 states where there is a Legends & Lore partner organization, including New York. Grant funding includes the full cost of a marker, pole, and shipping.
The Legends & Lore grant application deadline is Monday, Oct. 17. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website.
IN MEMORIAM: ROBERT LuPONE: Brooklyn-born Bob LuPone, 76, a Tony Award nominee in the original run of the Broadway hit “A Chorus Line,” who later helped found and lead the influential off-Broadway theater company MCC Theater for almost 40 years, has died. Lupone, who was fighting pancreatic cancer, was the brother of Broadway star Patti Lupone.
When founded, MCC stood for Manhattan Class Company, with the mission of creating new work for the American stage, according to MCC’s website.
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