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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, September 9, 2022

September 9, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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VICTORY ON MERCHANT CATEGORY CODES FOR GUN SALES: Credit card companies are now required to create a Merchant Category Code for gun and ammunition purchases, after a ruling from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Attorney General Letitia James, who with her counterpart in California had sent letters to the major credit card companies last week, applauded the ISO’s decision, calling it “a big victory that will help us better address gun violence and avoid tragedies. Labeling gun and ammunition sales is a responsible, common-sense way to help protect Americans and I thank Amalgamated Bank for their bold leadership on this critical issue.”

Attorney General James also urged the credit card companies to go further, flagging suspicious transactions on gun and ammunition sales, in the same way they do for fraud and money laundering.

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

SEPTEMBER 11 PROCESSION ON THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE: The Diocese of Brooklyn and the New York City Fire Department on Sunday will participate in a procession over the Brooklyn Bridge and to the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, in Prospect Heights, to commemorate the lives lost in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, will first meet the marchers on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, and then process with them to the Co-Cathedral on Pacific St., where he will be the main celebrant and homilist at a Mass dedicated to the FDNY.

Battalion 57, consisting of several fire stations and multiple fire companies including four Battalion Chiefs, Engine Companies 217, 219, 230, and 235, as well as Ladder Companies 102 and 105 in Brooklyn will lead the procession that starts around 9:30 a.m., carrying 25 flags — including the American flag, to represent the members of Battalion 57 who were lost at the World Trade Center, a Battalion member’s brother who also died that day.

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FORMER CITY WORK CONTRACTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO BRIBERY, TAX EVASISON: A former contractor for the New York City Water Board who was responsible with providing sewer and water pipe repair services to homeowners in Brooklyn and other boroughs pleaded guilty to bribery earlier today federal court in Brooklyn. The defendant, George Djurasevic, admitted that he accepted more than half-a-million dollars in bribe payments — in violation of the Travel Act — in his role as a company manager; and he also pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo presided over today’s guilty plea. When sentenced, Djurasevic faces a total of 10 years in prison.

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NEW ORAL RABIES VACCINE FOR RACCOONS: The City Health Department, NYC Parks and federal and academic partners, are launching an effort to vaccinate raccoons against rabies in New York City. Starting this Monday, September 12 through October, wildlife biologists with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will distribute individual baits containing an oral rabies vaccine, using bait stations or hand tossing, in wooded areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. The small, brown colored baits are fish-scented, a scent to which raccoons are attracted, and resemble a ketchup packet which conceals a small amount of pink, liquid vaccine.

The bait is not harmful to pets and cannot cause rabies, but it can cause vomiting if several baits are consumed. If pets find the bait, do not try to confiscate it from them, to avoid being bitten and exposed to the vaccine.

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STATE LAUNCHES NEW SUICIDE PREVENTION CAMPAIGN: A new digital public service campaign and other statewide initiatives will raise awareness of suicide prevention efforts and the mental health resources available to all New Yorkers, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced. The digital campaign, running through November, will feature ads promoting these services on many social media platforms, including YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat, informing them of available suicide prevention resources and crisis services throughout New York.

The governor also issued a proclamation in advance of Suicide Prevention Day, and recognizing September as National Suicide Prevention Month, marking both by illuminating state buildings and landmarks in purple and teal for two days starting September 9. 

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TONY’S EXPRESS ROLLERCOASTER LAUNCHES AT LUNA PARK

Coney Island’s iconic Luna Park today holds the soft opening of its newest roller coaster, Tony’s Express. This brand-new family-friendly ride is Luna Park’s eighth roller coaster, perfect for all ages to experience, and features thrilling bends and curves around the upcoming bespoke log flume, Leti’s Treasure, at more than 30 mph with more than 1200 exhilarating feet of track.

Guests who purchase the Extraordinary Wristband will have unlimited access to Luna Park in Coney Island rides including Tony’s Express.

Coney Island Luna Park’s newest rollercoaster
Photo courtesy of Luna Park/Coney Island
The rollercoaster as viewed after dusk.
Photo courtesy of Luna Park/Coney Island

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PUBLIC ADVOCATE URGES CITY TO AD HYBRID WORK MODELS: As the city sees historic vacancy rates in the municipal workforce, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams pushed the current mayoral administration to adopt hybrid work models wherever possible for city employees. Williams emphasized during testimony to the City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor  that adapting workforce policies to embrace, rather than reject, hybrid work would improve employee retention and help to attract top talent to the city at a time when such recruitment is critical.

Last month, the Public Advocate published an op-ed in the Daily News in which he argued that “By continuing to move ahead with a pre-pandemic idea of employment, ignoring the new workplace reality, this administration is ultimately helping to empty desks across the city’s workforce…”

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HEIGHTS ILLUSTRATOR’S BOOK MAKES LIBRARY’S ‘125 ESSENTIAL’ LIST: Brooklyn Heights’ own children’s book illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg’s classic children’s book Mermaids on Parade made the list of BPL’s 125 “Essential Brooklyn Books,” in commemoration of the Brooklyn Public Library’s 125 anniversary. The book is based on a beloved annual Coney Island tradition, the Mermaid Parade, usually held in June.

Among other classic and contemporary authors and books about Brooklyn making the list are Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, legendary Eagle editor Walt Whitman’s Leave of Grass, Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” “Sunset Park: A Novel, by Paul Auster; How Emily Saved The Bridge by Frieda Wishinsky, and Birding at the Bridge, by Heather Wolf, a current Brooklyn Eagle columnist;

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WELCOMING WEEK AND LANGUAGE FESTIVAL: Brooklyn Public Library and Apple Bank Celebrate Welcoming Week with the Seventh Annual World Language Festival, a series of free programs bringing together ethnically diverse organizations and communities. Among the offerings are MocaCreates (this Monday, September 12, at the New Utrecht Library, where participants can join the Museum of Chinese in America to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Harvest Moon festival and create a festive craft to take home; and a Fiesta with Flor on Wednesday, September 14 at the Mapleton Library, a multicultural musical celebration with singer, songwriter and storyteller Flor Bromley.

A highlight of the World Language Festival will be Community Cooking demonstration on Saturday, September 17, at the Greenpoint Library, with Emma’s Torch, a non-profit organization that empowers refugees through providing paid culinary training, professional development and English language skills. Emma’s Torch alumnus, Jahck Diack, will share his recipe for Yassa, a dish from his home country of Senegal.

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STATE COURT SYSTEM TO HOLD SEPT. 11 MEMORIAL SERVICE: Today, the New York State Unified Court System will commemorate the 21-year anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, paying tribute to all the victims of the tragedy, including the three heroic NYS court officers who perished in the 9/11 World Trade Center rescue efforts: Captain William Harry Thompson and Sergeants Thomas Jurgens and Mitchel Wallace.

The ceremony, which takes place in the courthouse on Centre Street, will include a viewing of the Emmy-nominated video, “9/11 Reflections,” which, dedicated to the memory of these three officers, captures the events of that fateful day through the eyes of other NYS court officers who took part in the World Trade Center rescue efforts.  

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SPECIAL MASS HONORS PARISH NAMED FOR SAINT WHO MINISTERED TO SLAVES: The Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, will lead a special Mass in honor of the Feast Day of Saint Peter Claver today, Friday, September 9, a liturgy that will also commemorate the 101st anniversary of the founding of Saint Peter Claver Roman Catholic Church in Bedford Stuyvesant, the first African American Church in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Father Alonzo Cox, coordinator of the Vicariate for Black Catholic Concerns for the Diocese of Brooklyn, will concelebrate the Mass, taking place 7:30 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights. St. Peter Claver Church’s founder was by Monsignor Bernard J. Quinn, currently under consideration for sainthood for his efforts to establish racial equality.

Throughout his life, St. Peter Claver (1580-1654) cared for African Americans who arrived on slave ships in Cartagena, Colombia by providing them medical care and food; and baptizing more than 300,000 slaves over the course of his 40-year ministry.

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MAYOR ORDERS FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF, PAYING TRIBUTE TO QUEEN ELIZABETH’S DEATH: New York City Mayor Eric Adams ordered all flags on all city buildings, as well as stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs, to be lowered to half-staff, beginning immediately to in tribute to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday at age 96. The mayor also said, “It is with sadness that I learned of the passing of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was committed to a life of service which impacted many.”

“She was a global force who will be remembered for her reign of 70 years,” said the mayor.

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REPORT CHRONICLES HATE CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST NEW YORK’S MUSLIMS: A new report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) summarizes the findings of a survey about Muslim New Yorkers who have experienced a hate crime and/or bias incident. The report, titled “Feeling the Hate: Bias and Hate Crimes Experienced by Muslim New Yorkers,” and released yesterday, details the prevalence of bias incidents and hate crimes impacting Muslim New Yorkers, locations where bias incidents and hate crimes occur, how often Muslims report hate crimes to law enforcement, and reasons that Muslims underreport hate crimes.

The Muslim advocacy group’s report also provides reasonable recommendations for law enforcement, government agencies, elected officials, and the public.

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STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL COMMENDS REPORT SURVEYING HATE CRIMSS: New York State Attorney General Letitia James quickly issued a statement commending the above-mentioned report on Muslim New Yorkers’ experience as victims of hate crimes and bias, and pledging her office’s work to combat such incidents. “The findings in CAIR-NY’s survey demonstrate that more needs to be done to protect and support Muslim New Yorkers. It’s clear that years of unjust policies and prejudice have left deep wounds in Muslim communities in New York.”

Attorney James added, “No New Yorker should be targeted or discriminated against because of what they believe, what they wear, or the color of their skin.”

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TAX RELIEF ON ITS WAY TO ELIGIBLE LOW-INCOME FAMILIES: Eligible low-income New Yorkers and families will receive a total of $475 million in tax relief for as part of New York State’s ongoing effort to combat inflation and improve affordability. Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders announced on Thursday that the New York Department of Taxation and Finance will soon begin sending direct financial assistance to 1.75 million New Yorkers who received the Empire State Child Credit and/or the Earned Income Credit on their 2021 state tax returns.

New Yorkers can expect to receive their checks by the end of October.

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MOSQUITO SPRAYING IN NORTHERN BROOKLYN: Residents of northern Brooklyn, particularly in parts of Broadway Triangle, Bushwick, East Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Williamsburg, and Newtown Creek should prepare their gardens and yards for mosquito adulticide spraying this coming Tuesday, September 13. The city Health Department will spray these areas with very low concentrations of Anvil® 10+10, Duet®, between f 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning.

After the adulticiding spray is applied, residents should wash their skin and any exposed clothing to pesticides with soap and water, as well as outdoor furniture and fruit and vegetable gardens.

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PRESENTATION ON ZONING VARIANCE REQUESTS FOR CHARTER SCHOOL IN WILLIAMSBURG: A school gym facility for the Williamsburg Charter High School will be the focus of one of the presentations at a combined public hearing and Community Board 1 meeting on Tuesday, September 13. (Virtual registration via the Community Board 1 website: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/brooklyncb1/calendar/calendar.page)  Presenters for this portion of the hearing — Carlyn M. Maksy, Land Use Planner & Patrick Sullivan, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. — will discuss a request to allow a school gym facility located partially in an MI-1 zoning district and partially in an MI-2 zoning district, contrary to Zoning Resolutions.

The school also requests an amendment to the plans of a previously approved special permit (43-09-BZ) and variance (93-10-BZ) to allow internal connections to a new gym building.

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‘BROOKLYN’S PLANT DAD’ GIVES WORKHOP AT GREENPOINT LIBRARY: Meet Brooklyn’s Plant Dad, also known as landscaper and horticulturist Gerald Volel, for a demonstration on how to re-pot growing plants, for an event taking place at the Greenpoint Library tomorrow, Saturday, September 10. Participants (registration required via . https://www.bklynlibrary.org/calendar/repotting-101-brooklyn-greenpoint-library-20220910) should bring with them a seed packet or plant to swap or trade at the event, starting at 11 a.m.

Volel’s web page showcases his passion for ecology, native plants and their respectful pollinators.

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STARGAZING AT EVERGREENS CEMETERY: The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York wants New Yorkers to take their learning to the stars. A free Stargazing event tonight, Friday, September 9 at the Evergreens Cemetery will offers the rare opportunity for attendees, who should plan to bring their own binoculars or telescope, to observe the night sky in an area relatively free of glare from the lights of the city. Registration is encouraged (via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stargazing-at-the-evergreens-cemetery-tickets-414214265017).

The event will take place weather permitting; it will be canceled in the case of rain or thick clouds.

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IN MEMORIAM: NOVELIST PETER STRAUB: Peter Straub, an acclaimed novelist of horror, mystery and supernatural themes, died at age 79, on Sunday, September 4, reports Clay Risen of the New York Times. Straub, who at the time of his death was a Brooklyn resident, won praise from reviewers and topped best seller charts with his novels, notability his third, titled “Julia,” about a woman who is haunted by a spirit that may or may not be her dead daughter.

Straub is said to have revived and given respectability to the horror and mystery genre.


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