Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, September 30, 2022
WEATHER ADVISORY ISSUED FOR HURRICANE IAN’S REMNANT: As the remnant of Hurricane Ian approaches New York City this weekend, the NYC Emergency Management department has issued advisory through the weekend for periods of heavy rain forecast to start early Saturday morning until about noon, which may cause localized flooding in the city, including highways, streets, basements, and underpasses. Wind gusts nearing 45 mph are also expected.
NYC Emergency Management has activated the City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan and is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the storm’s track to determine any potential impacts. The hurricane, which made its third landfall on the coastal boundary of North and South Carolina just after 2 p.m. today, was tracking inland as of press time.
STATE JUDGE RULES AGAINST NRA IN LATEST STAGE OF LITIGATION: A ruling handed down yesterday from New York State Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen allows State Attorney General Letitia James to move forward her lawsuit against the National Rifle Association for failing to manage the NRA’s funds; violating numerous state and federal laws, and even the NRA’s own bylaws and policies; and losing than $64 million. The ruling also allows Attorney General James to seek an independent monitor to oversee the NRA’s finances as part of her lawsuit against the institution.
“Once again, a judge has dismissed attempts by the NRA and its senior management to evade the law and avoid the consequences of their actions,” said Attorney General James, who pledged to hold individuals and institutions accountable for their misconduct, “no matter how wealthy, powerful, or privileged they may be.”
PARADES AND FESTIVALS IN BROOKLYN WILL IMPACT TRAFFIC: Parades and festivals this first weekend in October, include Downtown Brooklyn’s popular Atlantic Antic, will mean traffic detours and road closures for some commuters. The 46th Annual Atlantic Antic, which runs from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 2, will close off the major truck artery of Atlantic Avenue between Hicks St. and Fourth Avenue in Boerum Hill, and on Boerum Place between Atlantic Ave. and State Street.
Another taking place are the beloved Ragamuffin Festival in Bay Ridge, along 3rd Avenue between Bay Ridge Parkway and 94th St., on Saturday, Oct. 1.
JUDGE CANNON NIXES ORDER FROM SPECIAL MASTER JUDGE DEARIE: A ruling from federal Judge Aileen M. Cannon over the documents involved in the August 8 FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago would appear to be a clash with the special master whom she appointed to review the files. The Washington Post reported today that Judge Cannon told former President Donald Trump’s lawyers Thursday that they need not comply with an order from special master Raymond J. Dearie, a senior federal judge in Brooklyn, to declare in court about their belief that the FBI may have lied.
The Washington Post observed that Judge Dearie seems to be more skeptical of the former President than is Judge Cannon, a Trump appointee who named Dearie as an outside expert to review the documents.
HPD: LANDLORDS MUST PROVIDE HEAT AND HOT WATER DURING SEASON THAT BEGINS OCTOBER 1: Tomorrow, October 1, marks the start of New York City’s eight-month-long “heat season,” during which the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) requires all residential building owners to maintain indoor temperatures at 68 degrees when outdoor temperatures fall below 55 degrees during the day, with a minimum indoor temperature of 62 degrees overnight, regardless of outdoor temperatures. If an apartment lacks appropriate heat and/or hot water (which landlords must maintain at 120 degrees year-round), HPD advises tenants to first notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent, and to file a complaint via 311, or its mobile and online counterparts, only if service is not restored.
During Fiscal Year 2022, HPD issued over 4,800 heat violations and 8,000 hot water violations, spent $4.4 million in heat related emergency repairs, and initiated more than 750 heat cases in Housing Court.
MAKING MORE ‘FAMILY-FRIENDLY ADMISSIONS POLICY: New York City Schools Chancellor David C. Banks is making changes to admissions in New York City public schools, beginning in the 2023-2024 enrollment cycle, to make the processes more family-friendly, transparent and fair. Chancellor Banks also stated his commitment to authentically engaging with families and communities around increasing the types of programs and schools they desire, some as soon as the 2023-2024 school year.
The announcement follows six months of community engagement––including more than 30 meetings with families, students, parents, principals, community and advocacy groups, Community Education Councils (CECs), and school counselors, as well as rallies that local elected officials, such as Assemblymember William Colton, himself an educator, organized.
SENTENCED TO 16 MONTHS FOR SPORTS RACKETEERING: United States District Judge Pamela K. Chen, presiding in federal court in Brooklyn, has sentenced Reynaldo Vasquez, the former president of the El Salvadorean soccer federation (“the Federation”) to 16 months’ imprisonment in connection with over $350,000 in bribes. Vasquez pleaded guilty last year to racketeering conspiracy, in which he other soccer officials from El Salvador were involved.
They received the funds from an American company in exchange for the sale of broadcast rights to the El Salvador soccer team’s World Cup qualifier and friendly matches.
RECORD INVESTMENT FOR NEW YORK’S ARTS PROGRAMMING: A record $150 million in capital funding will be available for arts and culture organizations through the New York State Council on the Arts’ Capital Projects Fund, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced yesterday. This unprecedented investment includes $100 million in new, multi-year funding to facilitate large-scale capital projects that prioritize community development and placemaking.
It is the state’s largest ever commitment to NYSCA for capital projects for the arts, following on already record-level funding for the arts in the FY 2023 Budget. Governor Hochul was scheduled to discuss her commitment to supporting the arts at last night’s Carnegie Hall 2022-2023 Season Opening.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES HONORS LEADERS AT HUMANITARIAN AWARD DINNER: The president of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Wayne J. Riley, M.D., MPH, MBA, MACP, was among those being honored last night at the 2022 Bishop’s Humanitarian Award Dinner of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. He received the 2022 Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Service Award. Also honored at the event were Paul Capurso, NYC District Council of Carpenters; Dave T. Ferguson, E-J Electric Installation, Co.; and William J. Peterson, Neuberger Berman, all of whom received the 2022 Humanitarian Award.
Held at Cipriani on Wall Street, the annual dinner benefits Catholic Charities’ 160-plus programs and services.
BROOKLYN COLLEGE JOINS HILLEL INTERNATIONAL’S INITIATIVE FOR FIGHTING ANTISEMITISM: Brooklyn College has joined six other CUNY campuses selected for Hillel International’s expansion of its national Campus Climate Initiative, part of an ongoing series of measures to confront the uptick in antisemitism globally, locally, and on campuses across the country Joining Hillel International will allow Brooklyn College and CUNY to be key partners in several areas, including the development of a system-wide web page for reporting campus incidents, including antisemitism, to facilitate and standardize reporting, and the allocation of $750,000 in new funding for events and programs that counter antisemitism and other forms of religious or ethnic bigotry, or for the expansion of diversity, equity, and inclusion training incorporating antisemitism.
Tanger Hillel is the largest Hillel facility at a New York campus that serves a diverse population of students, including Russian-speaking Jews, Israeli, Kavkazi, Bukharin, Orthodox, and American students.
IMPROVING 311 CALL SERVICE: New York City Council voted today on legislation to ensure transparency and equal access at New York City’s 311 Customer Service Center that the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications operates. The Council’s legislation seeks to improve 311 by increasing transparency on wait times, efficiently identifying languages spoken by callers, and ensuring that the 311 Customer Service Center is proactively informed and equipped to address the need for new and updated service request/complaint types.
In addition, the Council will vote on the following legislation addressing storefront vacancies and supporting small businesses in the post-pandemic era.
JUDGE MANDATES NEW DISTRICT MAPS FOR STATE ASSEMBLY: The Independent Redistricting Commission must reconvene to submit new Assembly map lines, a State Supreme Court judge in New York County ruled today. According to the court documents published by City & State, the latest development in the ongoing statewide redistricting saga is that the IRC must draw up new maps by April 2023 that will be in place for the 2024 cycle, ruled Justice Laurence L. Love.
The newly drawn, temporary Assembly district lines would still be used for the 2022 election cycle, reports City & State.
ADA ELEVATORS BEING REPLACED AT J & M STATION: The NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority will be fully replacing the two ADA elevators at the Flushing Avenue J and M station beginning this Monday, October 3. This project is currently scheduled to take nine to ten months to complete, with a scheduled completion date of Summer 2023.
This station will remain open at all times during the ADA elevator replacement project.
NEW REGULATIONS SET ZERO-EMISSIONS GOAL FOR 2035: Gov. Kathy Hochul commemorated National Drive Electric Week by directing the State Department of Environmental Conservation to take major regulatory action requiring all new passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs sold in New York State to be zero emissions by 2035. The regulation, which will build upon existing regulations enacted in New York in 2012, also requires an increasing percentage of new light-duty vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) starting with 35 percent of sales in model year 2026, 68 percent of sales by 2030, and 100 percent of sales by 2035.
New pollutant standards for model year 2026 through model year 2034 passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles with internal combustion engines would also be required.
STREET SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS BEGIN SOON IN GREENPOINT: Street safety improvements will be made in Greenpoint, around Cooper Park on the Sharon Open Street, Olive St., Maspeth Ave. and Morgan Ave., within Community Board District 1, as part of the NYC Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero goals. Starting in October, DOT will add painted curb extensions to create safer, shorter crossings, daylight corners to provide better visibility for pedestrians and vehicles, install bike corrals, planters, and granite blocks along the Cooper Park perimeter to provide amenities and calm traffic, among other improvements.
Intersections would also be daylighted, a process that removes parking spaces adjacent to curbs to increase visibility for both pedestrians and drivers.
PUBLIC HEARING WILL ADDRESS PROPOSED INCREASES FOR BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS: Increases in annual expenditures for five Business Improvement Districts, including two in Brooklyn, will be the subject of a public hearing on Wednesday, October 12, according to City Council’ Resolution 306A. The hearing will cover legislation to authorize the budget increases for the DUMBO BID and the Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID in Downtown Brooklyn.
“A Business Improvement District (BID) is a geographical area where local stakeholders oversee and fund the maintenance, improvement, and promotion of their commercial district,” according to the New York City Department of Small Business Services.
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