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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Monday, September 19, 2022

September 19, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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MTA LAUNCHES OPEN STROLLER BUS PILOT PROGRAM: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Friday announced an open stroller pilot program on buses across all five boroughs that includes one route in Brooklyn. Starting this week, the B1 buses that run between Manhattan Beach and Bay Ridge will begin to be outfitted with a designated space for one open stroller. The buses that are part of the pilot program will be identified with a stroller decal on the outside of the bus that customers can easily see before boarding.

By early October, every bus that serves the B1 and other designated routes will have a designated stroller space in place.

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

WORKSHOP ON LOCAL LAW 97: A practical workshop on Local Law 97, governing energy compliance in local buildings, is being offered this coming Wednesday at the Brooklyn Heights Library on Cadman Plaza West. City Councilmember Lincoln Restler and NYC Accelerator will lead the 8:30 a.m. workshop, titled “Decarbonizing Our Community – Navigating Local Building Energy Law Compliance” which will include a presentation and Q&A about efficiency requirements and available financing and incentives.

NYC Accelerator, a program of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, offers free technical assistance and services to help building owners meet new building efficiency requirements and learn about available financing and incentives.

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PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT BEGINS FOR BQE SOLUTIONS: Public engagement processes have been launched to develop a long-term solution for the city-owned section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street, (referred to as “BQE Central”), and improvements north and south of the city-owned section (“BQE North and South”). These engagement processes which will include in-person and remote public workshops, a public survey, a new project website, pop-up outreach in neighborhoods along the corridor, and meetings with community stakeholder groups.

For the BQE Central portion, the City will leverage a rare funding opportunity through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. In the interim, DOT will continue with repairs scheduled for 2023 that were presented earlier this year, and will continue outreach throughout the fall and early next year.

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COMMUNITY DISTRICT 2 BEGINS SURVEY PERIOD: Brooklyn Community Board 2 wants to know which issues are most urgent for its constituents as board members prioritize the Fiscal Year 24 District Needs Statement and City Agency Budget Requests. Each of the 59 Community Districts complete the Community District Needs Process annually. The statements are key to informing the City’s infrastructure planning, and the equitable and efficient delivery of services to all neighborhoods, as city agencies are required to respond to each Community District’s requests in the City’s annual budget.

Residents and businesses can confirm their Community District location by entering their address at mygovnyc.org

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PET FOOD ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR MILITARY COMMUNITY: Military families and veterans who need assistance in feeding their pets now have a resource, thanks to a new partnership between Points for Patriots and the store, My Natural Pet, at 8318 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge. Points for Patriots is accepting requests from military families in need and sending gift certificates. Visit for applications: https://www.pointsforpatriots.org/patriot-pantry

Brooklyn has a significant military community, with the US Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton and the Veterans Hospital on Poly Place.

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VOTING THURSDAY ON REVISED CITY COUNCIL MAPS: The New York City Districting Commission, which is responsible for redrawing a new City Council plan, will vote on the release of the Revised Plan Of City Council Maps on Thursday, September 22. Following the publication of a Preliminary Plan for the City Council in July, The Commission held another round of public hearings last month which has resulted in a total of nearly 9,000 submissions of public testimony, via in-person, Zoom, e-mail and mail.

Under the NYC Charter, the Commission must submit this Revised Plan to the City Council. A link to stream the Public Meeting will be available on the Commission’s website at nyc.gov/districting.

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DINAPOLI AUDITS: STATE DEPARTMENT IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED: New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued several audits on Friday that pertain to oversight and improvement in a number of state departments. One of these audits, for Department of Corrections and Community Supervision: Oversight of Transportation Services and Expenses (2021-S-1), found that the department has not established adequate controls to effectively monitor and ensure accountability over transportation expenses and performs minimal central monitoring of payments made through the contractor responsible for serving vehicles.

This audit found also that the contractor data fails to include sufficient detail needed for the department to adequately monitor vehicle repairs and maintenance costs.     

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STATE COMPTROLLER’S AUDIT: IMPROPERLY-MADE MEDICAID PAYMENTS: More than $36.1 million in improper Medicaid payments were identified in State Comptroller DiNapoli’s audit of the Department of Health-Medicaid Program: Claims Processing Activity (2021-S-7). Auditors also identified seven providers in the Medicaid program who were charged with or found guilty of crimes that violated laws or regulations governing certain health care programs.

By the end of the audit fieldwork, about $5.5 million of the improper payments had been recovered and those providers were removed from the Medicaid program.

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STATE COMPTROLLER’S AUDIT: PATIENT DISCHARGES WERE MIS-CLASSIFIED: Improper Managed Care Payments for Misclassified Patient Discharges (2021-S-8) were also discovered in one of Comptroller DiNapoli’s audits released on Friday. The audit identified 2,808 managed care inpatient claims totaling $32.3 million for Medicaid recipients who were reported as discharged from a hospital, but then admitted to a different hospital within the same day or the following day (which often meets the definition of a transfer).

These claims are at a high risk of overpayment if the first hospital inappropriately reported an actual transfer as a discharge.

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STATE COMPTROLLER’S AUDIT: IMPROVE AIR QUALITY MONITORING: Poor indoor air quality is adversely affecting the health of individuals with asthma, Comptroller DiNapoli has found. The audit found that while the state Department of Health contracts with local health departments to identify poor indoor environmental conditions, oversight and monitoring of these conditions still need improvement to ensure that individuals identified with asthma in targeted areas continue to receive appropriate assistance.

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STATE COMPTROLLER’S AUDIT: INCREASE PACE OF FEDERAL RELIEF FUND DISBURSEMENT: New York has been slow in using some federal relief funds earmarked to alleviate the state’s affordable housing crisis, according to another audit that State Comptroller DiNapoli released on Friday. The audit found that, under the management of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and its local program administrators, the distribution of funds has been delayed, putting some of the funding at risk if deadlines are missed.

The Homes and Community Renewal program acts as the gateway for the money by awarding it, in the form of grants, to local program administrators.

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WATCH FOR SCAMS IN STUDENT DEBT FORGIVENESS PROGRAM: Consumers availing themselves of the recent student debt relief plan need to be alert for scammers or fraudulent activity exploiting the program and stealing borrowers’ money and personal information. Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday warned that scammers are creating a sense of urgency by impersonating government agencies and promising immediate student loan relief.

The governor has also signed legislation to expand and simplify access to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program statewide; the law establishes what qualifies as full-time employment for the purposes of accessing PSLF, and allows public service employers to certify employment on behalf of workers, eliminating substantial barriers to applying for and accessing the program.

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BILL AIMS TO IMPROVE FDNY DIVERSITY: Speaker Adrienne Adams will join the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus leaders this morning, September 19 at the City Hall steps to announce legislation aimed at improving the diversity, equity and inclusion employment practices at the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) that can help address what they say is the department’s longstanding lack of racial and gender diversity. The legislation would require FDNY to develop a concrete plan to diversify to reflect New York City’s population, and report on its recruitment and retention efforts of female firefighters and those of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

The bill would also survey firehouses and ensure they are equipped to serve a mixed gender workforce; increase transparency on the demographics of members in a firehouse through public reporting; require the development and implementation of a plan for ongoing training on harassment, diversity and inclusion for all FDNY staff and members; and submit a public report on complaints filed with the Department’s Equal Employment Opportunities Office.

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MENTORS NEEDED FOR YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM: Flatbush Leadership Academy (FLA), an innovative 16-week program that supports youth as they journey through personal growth and development, is actively recruiting mentors to help support youth ages 16-24 for its fall cohort beginning in October. GodSquad, which sponsors the Flatbush Leadership Academy, is holding information sessions to learn more about FLA and being a mentor on either September 21st at noon or Sept. 28th from 7-7:30 p.m.

The Leadership Academy seeks adult mentors with experience in professional development, and goal settings, and who have a passion for and can commit to working with urban young adults (16-24 years old).

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BROOKLYN ACADEMY WINS NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL AWARD: At a time when religious private schools, particularly those serving the Orthodox Jewish community — find themselves under the scrutiny of the state Department of Education, one such school has been named as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2022, the only one of 20 New York schools so honored. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates: Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools, and Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools, which measure how well the academic institutions close achievement gaps.

Mazel was originally founded as an outreach of the F.R.E.E. of Brighton (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) – a Brighton Beach synagogue and community center after being approached by a group of Russian speaking Jewish parents who were interested in a preschool program that would cater to their children’s unique family backgrounds.

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POLY PREP GRAD NAMED TO COLLEGE’S RADIO BOARD: Riley Manion, a Poly Prep graduate from Greenpoint has been named to the Hamilton College WHCL Radio Executive Board. Manion, a junior majoring in cinema and media studies, who was chosen to serve for the fall 2022 semester, is acting as the staff and programming director.

WHCL is a non-profit, student-run FM station that operates seven days a week, 24-hours-a-day when school is in session. The station, housed in the Sadove Student Center on Hamilton’s campus, offers music, sports, and public affairs programming.


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