Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, October 6, 2022
DISTRICTING COMMISSION VOTES 13-1 IN FAVOR OF NEWLY-DRAWN CITY COUNCIL MAPS: The New York City Districting Commission today voted 13-1 today to submit the 51 newly drawn City Council district maps to the City Council. The challenge in drawing these plans this year was determined to be the city’s explosive population growth to 8.8 million according to the 2020 Census: the city grew by 630,000 people – the equivalent of the entire population of the city of Memphis.
The population of non-Hispanic Blacks in the city decreased by 84,000 while the white population decreased by 3,000 people overall, and 55 percent of this new population is Asian, and 24 percent is Hispanic.
JUDGE RESTRAINTS NEW GUN LAW’S REQUIREMENTS ON HOUSEHOLD AND SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION: Pointing out that “The Concealed Carry Improvement Act was carefully crafted to put in place common-sense restrictions around concealed carry permits,” Governor Kathy Hochul, criticized Judge Sudabby’s restraining order on the gun law. “It is deeply disappointing that the Judge wants to limit my ability to keep New Yorkers safe and to prevent more senseless gun violence,” she said.
Among the provisions Judge Suddaby blocked were the state’s requirements that touched on privacy laws: mandating that applicants have an in-person meeting with the licensing officer, disclose the names and contact information of all adults residing in their home or provide a list of all current and former social media accounts from the past three years.
ATTORNEY GENERAL WILL APPEAL FEDERAL JUDGE’S RESTRAINING ORDER ON NEW GUN LAW: State Attorney General Letitia James said she will appeal the decision of a federal judge in Syracuse (in the U.S. Northern District Court of New York) who granted a temporary restraining order on some provisions of New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA). Pointing out that “Today’s decision comes in the wake of mass shootings and rampant gun violence hurting communities here in New York and across the country,” Attorney General James emphasizes, “We believe the entire law must be preserved as enacted. We will appeal this decision.”
Chief Judge Glenn Suddaby agreed to honor the request of six New York residents belonging to Gun Owners of America, which competes with the National Rifle Association in political influence, but the Attorney General’s Office noted that all CCIA provisions remain in effect until next week because the trial judge stayed his order to permit the state to consider and pursue appellate options.
PROCEEDS FROM SOCIAL BONDS TO FUND AFFORDABLE HOUSING: The City of New York (“the City”) has sold $1.35 billion of General Obligation Bonds, comprised of $950 million of tax-exempt fixed rate bonds and $400 million of taxable fixed rate bonds designated as Social Bonds, Comptroller Brad Lander’s office reported today. The proceeds of the sale of the taxable social bonds will be dedicated solely to reimburse City spending on affordable housing projects, supporting the creation of over 3,000 homes under the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Extremely Low- and Low-Income Affordability program, Supportive Housing Loan Program and Senior Affordable Rental Apartments.
Proceeds of the tax-exempt bond sale will be used to fund capital projects.
DiNAPOLI: MTA MUST COVER BUDGET GAP IN TWO YEARS: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has two years to bring back riders and rebuild fare revenue before federal relief aid runs out, and in that time, it must develop plans to cover budget gaps, according to a report on MTA’s financial outlook released today from State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office. The report indicated that, entering July 2022, transit ridership continued to lag at the low end of MTA’s projections, forcing it to revise projections downward and to plan spending of federal relief funds faster than expected to cover shortfalls in fare revenue.
Gaps are forecast at $2.5 billion in 2025 and 2026 as spending outpaces inflation projections, but could be as high as $4.6 billion in 2026 if the MTA’s unspecified gap-closing program falls short.
BROOKLYN DENTAL SITES PART OF MEDICAID FRAUD AGREEMENT: Performing medically unnecessary pediatric root canals got two Brooklyn pediatric dentistry locations affiliated with Dr. Barry L. Jacobson and his company HQRC Management Services LLC into a joint investigation between the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. New York Attorney General Letitia James and HQRC have reached a $753,457 agreement with the corporate entity and 13 other of its locations, including Pediatric Dentistry of Avenue U and Pediatric Dentistry of Boro Park.
The case against Dr. Jacobson, HQRC, and the affiliated dental practices was initiated by a former employee, who will receive a portion of the settlement. The whistleblower lawsuit was filed under the qui tam provisions of the federal and New York False Claims Acts, which allow people to file civil actions on behalf of the government and share in any recovery.
CITY EXPANDS ITS MOBILE COVID TEST & TREAT CORPS: The NYC Test & Treat Corps’ first-in-the-nation mobile “Test to Treat” program will double in size over the next three weeks, expanding to 75 mobile units all of which will provide rapid antigen testing, PCR testing and on-site treatment by the end of October. By that time, New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test at all 75 mobile Test to Treat units will be offered the opportunity to engage with an onsite clinician and, if eligible, walk away with free Paxlovid anti-viral medication provided onboard the mobile unit.
To date, the mobile Test to Treat Program has administered approximately 60,000 tests and immediately connected nearly 1,700 patients to life-saving treatment.
VICTORY RALLY FOR HOUSE PASSAGE OF BILL TO HELP 9/11 FAMILIES: Congress Member Nicole Malliotakis (R-11/southern Brooklyn and Staten Island) tomorrow will join widows, widowers, and children of individuals killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, to celebrate the passage of her bill, the Fairness for 9/11 Families Act, to equitably compensate victims through the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund. First introduced by Rep. Malliotakis on August 5 under H.R.8667, after months of work with 9/11 victims groups and broad bipartisan Congressional support, the bill was then reintroduced by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-10) and passed the House last week.
During the event, which takes place on Staten Island, the group will call on the Senate to pass this legislation.
NEW LAW EXTENDS TIME TO ACT AGAINST WATER POLLUTERS: Declaring that “Every New Yorker deserves access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water,” Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation (State Senate 8763A/Assembly 9824A) allowing local water authorities to take legal action against drinking water polluters for claims that were previously barred due to the statute of limitations. Local water authorities may generally only file legal claims against companies within three years of when misconduct or contamination occurred; whereas, the new law gives providers up to a year and a half from October 5, 2022.
The new law allows public water suppliers to revive any action, civil claim, or cause of action involving an emerging contaminant, to recover the costs of treatment and filtration as a result of contamination; and it defines an emerging contaminant as any physical, chemical, microbiological or radiological substance that is identified or listed as an emerging contaminant in public health or other laws.
NYU TANDON AREA SECURED AFTER GUNSHOT REPORTS: A day after the sound of shots were fired near 2 MetroTech Center, the NYU Tandon School of Engineering wants to assure the community that there is no ongoing threat and that people can resume their normal activities. NYU spokesman John Beckman issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, October 4, reading in part, “The NYPD responded to the incident, and is continuing to investigate. No one was injured, and there is no evidence to suggest that this incident is NYU related.”
Beckman’s statement also said that counseling services are available for students and employees.
SENTENCED FOR SABOTAGING BRAKES IN NYPD VEHICLE: United States District Judge William F. Kuntz II earlier today in Brooklyn federal court sentenced Jeremy Trapp to 18 months in prison for cutting a brake line of a New York City Police Department (NYPD) van in Sunset Park, and 18 months in prison for committing wire fraud in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic-related Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, claiming that he was the sole proprietor of a car wash business located at his home address in Brooklyn, a multi-unit residential building, that he employed ten individuals and that his gross revenue for the 12 months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was $150,000.
The defendant will serve his sentences concurrently and must also pay $9,722.88 in restitution to the United States Small Business Administration.
MAN SOUGHT IN ATTACK ON BUS DRIVER: The NYPD is seeking a man who assaulted and injured an on-duty MTA bus operator, within the 83rd Precinct, on September 24. A male passenger boarded the B20 route bus (between Bushwick and East New York) and, becoming irate when the 34-year-old male driver informed him that it was unsafe to stop the bus where he wanted to exit, punched the victim in the forehead with a closed fist, before fleeing. The victim, who incurred pain and swelling, was removed to Wyckoff Hospital in stable condition.
Anyone knowing of the unidentified assailant, described as being in his 30s, with having a light skin complexion, medium build, and last seen wearing a red, long- sleeve sweater, gray jogging pants, black and white sneakers, gray hoodie, black mask around neck/chin and black sunglasses, should contact NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or via https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/
NEW PROGRAM HELPS FOSTER CHILDREN WITH COLLEGE COSTS: “College Choice,” a new program that Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Jess Dannhauser announced this week, will provide college students in foster care with greater support systems, including financial support, so they can attend the college of their dreams without worries about tuition costs. As part of the program, ACS will help pay remaining costs of college tuition — up to $15,000 each year — in addition to any room and board not covered by a student’s financial aid package.
College students in foster care will also receive a $60 daily stipend per year, which can be used towards food, clothing, transportation, and other essentials.
RECYCLING AND SHREDDING EVENT MOVED TO OCTOBER 29: There is a date change for the Electronics Recycling and Shredding Event that City Councilmember Lincoln Restler is sponsoring. Originally scheduled for Oct. 9, it will now take place on Saturday, October 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., still in Cadman Plaza Park near Tillary St.
No registration is required for the drive, which will accept most types of paper from which staples, clips or rubber band have been removed (other than cardboard (which is difficult to shred). Most electronics are accepted, but not appliances, air conditioners, batteries, light bulbs or ballasts.
WOMEN’S EXCHANGE MOVES TO NEW MONTAGUE ST. HOME: The revered Brooklyn Women’s Exchange, founded in 1854, is closing its location at 55 Pierrepont Street this Sunday, October 9, in preparation for its move to the storefront at 137 Montague St. later this month. The Women’s Exchange, a 501(c)3 non-profit which supports American handcrafts, found a new home earlier this year, thanks to another longtime merchant family, the Calfa Brothers, owners of Lassen & Hennigs Delicatessen. Read more, here.
The Women’s Exchange will be open at 55 Pierrepont until 3 p.m. on Sunday, and will reopen at its new home during the week of October 17. Online orders placed during this time will be filled on October 19.
BROOKLYNITES HONORED AT CATHOLIC CHARITIES DINNER: Among the recipients of the Bishop’s Humanitarian Award Dinner last week was William J. Peterson, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, independent, employee-owned investment management firm. A Brooklyn native who was adopted, Peterson thanked the gathering, declaring that “Catholic Charities cared about me before I was even born!”
Peterson told a poignant story about how “Catholic Charities intervened when nobody else would, including her own family.” Through the intervention of Catholic Charities, Peterson was born in a foundling hospital, which is more of a home for children without families, then placed in a foster home before his adoption into a loving family.
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