Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, September 23, 2022
CITY SURPASSES GOAL IN CONTRACTS TO MINORITY AND WOMEN BUSINESSES: New York City has, three years ahead of schedule, surpassed its 10-year OneNYC goal to award $25 billion in contracts to minority- and women-owned business enterprises by Fiscal Year 2025, Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim announced yesterday. New York City’s Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises was created to address the disparity between city contracts awarded to certain ethnic and gender groups as compared to their availability in the relevant marketplace.
City agencies and authorities awarded more than $6 billion dollars to M/WBEs in FY22 — an increase of approximately 50 percent compared to Fiscal Year 2021, and included approximately $1.4 billion dollars in FY22 contract awards under Local Law 1, which governs the city’s M/WBE program.
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS BEGIN YEAR WITH NEW DIGITAL RESOURCES: Educators and students across the Diocese of Brooklyn start the school year with dynamic new digital resources from the Catholic Telemedia Network and Discovery Education. Catholic Telemedia Network, which has been serving the educational and spiritual needs of the children in the diocesan schools and academies of Brooklyn and Queens since 1966, implements initiatives into three main categories: to provide digital content for Catholic school classrooms in the diocese; to offer professional development for teachers and instructional coaches, and to bring technology in the form of personal computing devices/tablets, LTE broadband connectivity, and network infrastructure to schools.
Through this partnership, which is underwritten in part by the generosity of Stanley Black & Decker, 68 diocesan schools will receive access to Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform.
PANEL DISCUSSION ON INCLUSIVITY IN CHURCHES: A panel discussion this Sunday at the St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church and Pro-Cathedral will celebrate the Bicentennial Celebration of the founding of Hobart College, named for Bishop John Henry Hobart of the Episcopal Church. The September 25 panel, focusing on “The Quest for Inclusion: From Bishop John Henry Hobart to Today,” starts at 3 p.m. with opening remarks from The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, honorary chair of the Hobart College Bicentennial Committee Interested readers can attend or in person or via livestream at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKM_Gb0IGfU
The other panelists are The Rt. Rev. R. William Franklin, renowned church historian and retired Bishop of Western New York, the Rev. Dr. Craig Townsend, Historian-in-Residence for Racial Justice in the Diocese of Long Island, Michael Leroy Oberg, Distinguished Professor of History at SUNY Geneseo, the Rev. Nita Byrd, Chaplain and Dean for Spiritual Engagement at Hobart College, and the Rev. Patrick Cheng, visiting professor of Anglican studies at the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary,–
NEW BILL WOULD STREAMLINE RECYCLING OF VEHICLE BATTERIES: The process of recycling and reusing vehicle batteries from the federal fleet of electric vehicles would move the United States closer to energy independence would be streamlined, according to a new bill that U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-12th District/northern Brooklyn introduced yesterday. The bill would require government agencies to work in tandem with the General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget to develop a comprehensive plan for managing electric vehicle batteries; and would implement best practices to maximize the battery longevity of the federal electric fleet to save taxpayer dollars and enhance the United States’ competitiveness in the global market.
By requiring government agencies to recycle vehicle batteries, the bill would enable the United States to collect a supply of minerals from the recycling process, such as cobalt, that are needed to produce more batteries.
REP. MALLIOTAKIS REBUKES MTA HEAD ON CONGESTION PRICING: Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-11) rebuked MTA chairman Janno Lieber for calling opponents of congestion pricing “traffic deniers,” and likening them to conspiracy theorists. “While Governor Hochul and Chairman Lieber are chauffeured around in their private, government-funded, gas-guzzling SUVs with taxpayers paying their EZ-pass bills, everyday New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet,” Malliotakis said. “The last thing our constituents need at a time of record inflation is another $23 tax to commute to work, school, or for leisure”, adding that “The pandemic severely disrupted our local economy.”
Malliotakis has joined Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) in spearheading a bipartisan effort to stop congestion pricing: the Economic Impact of Tolling Act, legislation that would prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from implementing congestion pricing until a thorough economic impact analysis is completed and publicized.
BROWNFIELD APPLICATION FOR SITE NEAR COOPER PARK: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has received a Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) application and Draft Remedial Investigation Work Plan from Maspeth B2 Owner LLC for a site known as Cooper Park Commons Building 2, site ID #C224361. This site, in the Borough of Brooklyn, at 288 Jackson Street, sits between Kingsland and Debevoise avenues, near Cooper Park.
The documents also are available at the document repositories located at the Brooklyn Public Library Bushwick Branch, 340 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11206; and at the Brooklyn Community Board 1, 435 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11211.
ASKS FOR MORE FUNDING FOR HEATING COSTS: With residential energy costs expected to rise nationwide this winter, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for emergency supplemental funding for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that helps millions of Americans, including over one million New York households, heat their homes.
Gillibrand is urging Congress to provide additional funding to the program to ensure that families can continue to afford their heating bills throughout the winter months.
EMERGENCY HUMANITARIAN CENTERS OPEN FOR REFUGEES: New York City will open Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers to support the hundreds of asylum seekers arriving in New York City each day from Texas and other border states, Mayor Eric Adams announced yesterday. As the number of asylum seekers sent to New York City continues to grow, these humanitarian relief centers will provide assistance to newly arriving individuals and families and ensure they continue to be connected to the full range of services and supports they need.
Humanitarian relief centers will become the first touch point for arriving asylum seekers, helping people by immediately offering shelter, food, medical care, case work services, and a range of settlement options including through connections to family and friends inside and outside of New York City, in addition to, if needed, the possibility of direct referrals to alternative emergency supports or city shelter.
NYU TANDON PROFESSOR ELECTED TO FELLOWSHIP: Nikhil Gupta, Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, was elected the 2022 Fellow of the American Society for Composites. He received the honor during the annual conference of the society on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at the ASC’s 37th Annual Technical Conference in Tucson, Arizona. The prestigious distinction recognizes outstanding contributions to the composite materials community through research, practice, education, and/or service.
Gupta, who joined NYU Tandon in 2004 and is affiliated with the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and Center for Cybersecurity, focuses on advanced materials, with current projects related to developing new security methods for 3D printing, developing filaments of advanced composites and using machine learning methods for materials characterization.
PANEL FOCUSED ON FUSING HUMANITIES INTO ENGINEERING CURRICULUM: Jelena Kovačević, Dean of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, was one of four distinguished speakers to participate in a panel discussion last week of engineering education for the 21st century, with a particular emphasis on the role and importance that the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) play in a 21st-century engineering curriculum. The panelists discussed the challenge to incorporate a myriad of additional components into existing engineering curricula, including teamwork, experiential learning, project-based learning, innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, and cross disciplinary senior design and capstone projects, to balance those with the needed disciplinary rigor
Moderating the discussion was Professor Kurt Becker (the Vice Dean for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at NYU Tandon).
ASKS FOR WAIVER OF JONES ACT TO AID HURRICANE-STRICKEN PUERTO RICO: Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) led seven Members of Congress in writing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security calling for the Jones Act to be temporarily waived to expedite supplies being shipped into the Island’s ports in order to accelerate Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Fiona. The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, was enacted to ensure adequate domestic shipbuilding capacity and a ready supply of merchant mariners to be available in times of war or other national emergencies, by restricting domestic shipping services to vessels that are built, owned, flagged and staffed only in the United States. Many believe the Jones Act has instead caused hardship.
In addition to Velázquez, the letter was signed by Representatives: Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Juan Vargas, Ritchie Torres, Raúl M. Grijalva, Carolyn B. Maloney, and Adriano Espaillat.
NEW COLLEGE HOMECOMING KING IS FROM WILLIAMSBURG: Paul Williams of Williamsburg, a senior at Albright College majoring in English and secondary education, was one of 12 Lions named to the Albright Homecoming Court, and was named Homecoming King for 2022.
A graduate of Williamsburg Preparatory School, he and other court members were recognized in front of students, parents and alumni during halftime of the Homecoming football game, Sept. 17.
CORRECTION & AMPLIFICATION: A spokeswoman for National Grid said in a statement earlier today that the worksite where vapors were reported “is not part of the Citizens Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site.” Documents from the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation describe the MGP site as being at the intersection of Smith and 5th Streets, along the Gowanus Canal; and maps from the NYC Parks Department and Google show St. Mary’s Playground sitting along Smith St. between Luquer and Nelson streets, while St. Mary’ Park is between Nelson and Huntington streets, a block away from the Gowanus Canal.
A news brief published yesterday quoted Voice of Gowanus on an assertion that “The worksite is part of the former (MGP), which is currently undergoing partial remediation and toxic containment under the supervision of DEC, an effort that has been widely criticized by the EPA and the community for its inadequacy.”
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