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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, September 1, 2022

September 1, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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FATAL COLLISION IN FULTON LANDING UNDER INVESTIGATION: A fatal vehicle collision that took place on August 22 near Fulton Ferry Landing is under investigation by the NYPD’s Highway Collision Investigation Squad. According to police reports, a 60-year-old male driving a 2020 Cadillac ran a steady red light at the intersection of Old Fulton Street and Furman Street, within the 84th Precinct. The westbound driver continued at a high speed before striking multiple raised pedestrian safety bollards at the intersection of Furman Street, and causing head trauma to his 76-year-old rear-seat passenger who was treated at a nearby hospital for severe head trauma but later died.

The woman was later identified as Hassan, Soraya of Hassan, Soraya of Bensonhurst.

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DAILY TOP BROOKLYN NEWS
News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

MONKEYPOX 2ND DOSES BECOMING AVAILABLE: New York City will begin making second doses of the monkeypox vaccine available by appointment only. The City will also begin welcoming walk-ins for first doses at City-run sites, though making an appointment in advance is still recommended, with be 8,000 public appointments being made available for reservation on Friday, September 2, starting at 4 p.m.

People who received their first dose at least 10 weeks earlier will be notified by email or text that they are eligible for their second doses so that they can make appointments online or by phone. Second doses will be available only after 10 weeks past one’s first dose.

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LABOR DEPT AWARDS DOMESTIC WORKER $270K IN UNPAID WAGES: A domestic worker employed for an elderly person in Gravesend has received $271,527 in unpaid back wages, wages, following an investigation by the state Department of Labor, representing one of the largest recoveries in the history of NYSDOL for a single worker. The Division of Labor Standards determined that the employee, whom Habib Tawil and Charles Tawil had hired to do domestic work and be a companion for their mother at 372 Avenue U (which involved bathing, changing, and feeding the mother), was getting paid only $260 per week for working 115 hours per week from 2015 to 2018.

The victim, who was released from duties when the elderly mother died,  detailed her experience, saying that she often went months without pay. “In the end, when the years passed, they no longer brought food, I had to look after her alone and I was often going hungry.”

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METROPLUS HEALTH INSURANCE ENROLLMENT INCREASED DURING PANDEMIC: Low-cost and no-cost health insurance coverage is available through a variety of plans to eligible low-income New Yorkers through MetroPlus, a subsidiary of NYC Health + Hospitals. Between February 2020 and June 2022, MetroPlus enrollment reached a record high of 670,915 members, an increase of 159,284 (31 percent, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The amount of MetroPlus spending at H+H facilities has also increased but not yet reached H+H’s target of 45 percent.

DiNapoli’s report attributed increased MetroPlus enrollment to conditions and policy changes spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. The factors that led to this increase, including continuous enrollment, may wind down as the pandemic’s designation as a federal public health emergency expires.

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DINAPOLI: BUILDINGS DEPT. NEEDS TO CONDUCT BETTER OVERSIGHT: The New York City Department of Buildings is not doing enough to protect construction workers on building sites, reports an audit that New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has released. The report found that DOB’s monitoring of construction sites was inadequate and did not ensure contractors and building owners followed the Building Code’s safety requirements.

Auditors visited 43 constructions sites in all five boroughs, of which 18 had active work in progress at the time, finding  77 safety issues at 16 of the 18, including no site safety manager, missing or incomplete safety logs and inspection records, and no proof that workers were given required safety training.

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STORMWATER INITIATIVES TO PREPARE FOR FUTURE EXTREME RAINFALL: Marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ida, Mayor Eric Adams and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) used the occasion to announce a suite of stormwater infrastructure initiatives aimed at making the city more resilient to extreme rainfall in the future. The city is accelerating plans for a multi-layered system of adaptive infrastructure that will make New York City more resilient to Ida-level rainstorms, and an implementation plan to guide this long-term effort is underway. An example is the Department of Design and Construction’s work in Gowanus, to complete — by November — a $39 million storm sewer project that will lead to cleaner water in the canal and reduce flooding in that area.

In Southern Brooklyn, the city completed a $166 million project that included the construction of 6.5 miles of new sewers, that will help create additional capacity in the drainage system to reduce flooding and cut sewer overflows into Fresh Creek by 189 million gallons annually.

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BQE’S COMPLETE REBUILDING URGED IN NY BUILDING CONGRESS’ REPORT: Tearing down and reconstructing the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is one project that the New York Building Congress today is calling on the city to do in its latest report outlining essential transit, housing, and infrastructure projects that New York City must undertake over the next 100 years for economic growth. The report also urges the city to complete, within the next decade several projects affecting Brooklyn, including the Interborough Express (IBX), a rapid-transit system using existing rail freight lines, that would connect Bay Ridge to Jackson Heights in Queens.

The New York Building Congress also put forth other Brooklyn projects to be completed in the next 25-50 years, including the much-debated Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX), a proposed light rail route between Red Hook and Astoria; and diverting the Utica Avenue A/C or 3/4 subway lines to provide an alternative to congested above-ground bus service, extending the Nostrand Avenue 2 and 5 subway lines through Midwood into Sheepshead Bay, and providing direct connections to JFK Airport on the A and to LaGuardia on the N subway lines.

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SECOND CONVICTION BASED ON POSITIVE WITNESS ID: A 45-year-old Brooklyn man has again been convicted of murder dating from a 1995 botched robbery in Bedford-Stuyvesant, following a reversal three years ago, based on the involvement of retired Det. Louis Scarcella and Det. Stephen Chmil. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced yesterday. The defendant, identified as Eliseo Deleon, was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a non-jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dena Douglas, based on a positive identification by the victim’s wife.

Gonzalez explained: “The guilty verdict handed down by a judge today, which correctly focused on the eyewitness identifications, validates the approach my office has taken when reexamining cases involving Det. Scarcella: we ask to vacate when we find misconduct or violations of due process rights and stand by convictions when the evidence supports findings of guilt. In this case, compelling eyewitness accounts provided proof beyond reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt at both the original trial and again today.”

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STATEN ISLAND MAN CONVICTED OF ATTACK IN BOROUGH PARK: A Staten Island man has been convicted on several counts for an unprovoked attack against three Jewish men wearing Hasidic clothing that took place in Borough Park four years ago, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced. Farrukh Afzal, 41, of Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, was convicted of second-degree attempted assault, third-degree assault and third-degree menacing following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Laporte. When sentenced in two weeks, he faces four years in prison.

However, the defendant was acquitted of hate crime enhancements that were attached to each of those three counts.

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JUSTICE DEPT. SHARING FORFEITED PROCEEDS WITH PERU’S GOVERNMENT: The U.S. Department of Justice is sharing with the Republic of Peru approximately $686,000 in forfeited criminal proceeds linked to the corruption and bribery of former Peruvian President Alejandro Celestino Toledo Manrique (Toledo) by Odebrecht S.A. (Odebrecht), a Brazil-based global construction conglomerate. According to a civil forfeiture action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn federal court), the United States alleged that Toledo, while holding public office as president of Peru, solicited millions in bribe payments from Odebrecht in connection with government contracts awarded for construction of the Peru-Brazil Southern Interoceanic Highway (“Southern Interoceanic Highway”), a Peruvian government infrastructure project.

Odebrecht subsequently made bribery payments to Toledo through accounts maintained by Toledo’s co-conspirators.

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BROOKLYN COLLEGE GETS HIGH RANKING FROM PRINCETON REVIEW: Brooklyn College, a landmark four-year school in Midwood, was one of five CUNY colleges to make The Princeton Review’s “The Best 388 Colleges: 2023 Edition,” a selection featuring only about 14 percent of senior colleges in the U.S. and based on annual surveys of 2,000 college administrators about their institutions’ academic offerings. Brooklyn College also ranked number 12 in Best (public colleges) Schools for Financial Aid; and 39th Best Value Colleges; also placing well for the categories of Best Northeastern Region and Green Colleges.

Moreover, all seven CUNY two-year schools placed among the top 25 on a DegreeChoice list that evaluates schools based on cost and financing; education; and career outcomes.

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COLTON AND TEAM CLEAN UP NEIGHBORHOOD: Assemblymember William Colton (D–47/ Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Dyker Heights) mobilized an intergenerational team of volunteers to beautify the streets of his district’s neighborhoods, as part of his Speak Up and Clean Up campaign launched many years ago. Colton joined the volunteers in cleaning 86th Street and Bay Parkway.

Colton said that in previous events, the volunteers cleaned areas from Bay Parkway and 60th Street to Stillwell Avenue, 18th Avenue from Bath Ave. to Bay Ridge Parkway, and Kings Highway from McDonald Avenue, and other areas.

Assemblymember Colton with some of his adult neighboring-cleaning volunteers.
Photo: Assemblymember William Colton’s Office

 

An intergenerational group of volunteers helps clean parts of southwestern Brooklyn.
Photo: Assemblymember William Colton’s Office

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BLOCK PARTY HONORS INDEPENDENCE OF JAMAICA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Central Brooklyn) hosted his second annual Back-To-School Block Party last weekend, featuring giveaways, food, games, entertainment and more. During the event, Senator Myrie presented the Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago Consulates with resolutions in honor of the Independence of their respective nations.

Alongside 23 partner organizations present, with performances from Tropical Fete, the Panamanian Marching Band, and the Sunrise Band senior singing group, Senator Myrie’s office gave away hundreds of backpacks with school supplies to families in attendance.

State Senator Zellnor Myrie honors members of the Jamaican and Trinidadian Consulate
Photo: Office of State Senator Zellnor Myrie

 

Youths get free backpacks and school supplies at a block party that State Senator Zellnor Myrie organized.
Photo: Office of State Senator Zellnor Myrie

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WEBINAR ON HOUSING LOTTERY: Neighborhood Housing Services of Brooklyn is hosting a webinar next Thursday, September 8, on Understanding Housing Connect: the city’s portal for apartment lotteries, in response to questions from residents and issues in navigating their system.  The 6 p.m. event will cover creating a profile, correctly submitting documents and applications, vouchers and Housing Connect, community preferences, among other topics.

To RSVP, go to  www.bit.ly/AffordableLotteries_09082022

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BOOKS BENEATH THE BRIDGE TRADITION: The Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy continues its annual tradition of Books Beneath the Bridge under the Manhattan skyline. The programs, taking place select Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. at Pier 1 Granite Prospect, showcase book readings and performances by featured authors and poets, representing some of Brooklyn’s best independent bookstores.

The Books Beneath The Bridge events take place on September 8 with Adanne Bookshop; September 15 with Cafe Con Libros and September 22 with Freebird Books.

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FAD POP-UP MARKETS IN BROOKLYN: FAD Market, featuring the crafts and handiwork of local Brooklynites, returns — after a successful spring debut — to Dumbo’s Empire Stores at 55 Water Street, with a monthly pop-up from September to November. This pop-up, showcasing over 30 talented local makers and artists, kicks off next weekend, September 10 and 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of October.

FAD Market also makes its way back home for the annual fall pop-up at an all-time favorite, The Invisible Dog Art Center in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, on October 22 and 23, with more than 50 makers, designers, and small businesses ready to show the best of homemade everything,


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