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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Wednesday, October 12, 2022

October 12, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The late Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr.
Brooklyn Eagle File Photo

IN MEMORIAM: JUDGE STERLING JOHNSON, JR.: Brooklyn federal Judge Sterling Johnson Jr., who for 31 years served on the United States Court for the Eastern District of New York, died on Monday at age 88. Johnson, an appointee of then-President George H.W. Bush, ordered the closing of a Guantánamo Bay detention facility, which he called “an H.I.V. prison camp” for Haitian refugees. He later ruled that New York City had failed to adequately assist impoverished AIDS patients.

At the time of his nomination to the federal bench, Johnson was state’s special narcotics prosecutor for New York City in 1991; previously he was a police detective.

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

SCHUMER: JUDGE JOHNSON WAS ‘A LION OF BROOKLYN’: Tributes to the late Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr., who died on Monday, have started pouring in from New York’s elected leadership. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, stated,  “I was heartbroken to learn that Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. passed away this evening. He was a lion of Brooklyn. A dedicated public servant, few have left as indelible a mark on the legal landscape of New York as Judge Johnson. I will miss his friendship and wisdom deeply.”

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LETITIA JAMES: JUDGE JOHNSON WAS ‘A FIERCE ADVOCATE FOR JUSTICE’: Likewise State Attorney General Letitia James grieves Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr., “who was a brilliant legal mind, a generous mentor, and a fierce advocate for justice and human rights. Judge Johnson overcame many barriers and lifted others up with him along his path. In the courtroom and in life, Judge Johnson was a compassionate and conscientious leader who was guided by a strong moral compass.”

Attorney General James added that Judge Johnson “will be remembered for his shrewd ability to balance legal demands and moral obligations to do the right thing.”

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SCHERMERHORN ST. GETS NEW TWO-WAY BIKE PATH: DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez this morning led a group of advocates and elected officials along Schermerhorn Street’s new protected bike lanes to celebrate Biketober. He joined City Councilmember Lincoln Restler (D-33) in the ribbon-cutting for this major street redesign project in Downtown Brooklyn that includes a new two-way protected bicycle path. 

Further details on Biketober are available via: nyc.gov/biketober.

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NEW DIRECTOR NAMED FOR CANNABIS NY AGENCY: Dasheeda Dawson has been appointed as the founding director of the new Cannabis NYC initiative to spearhead the agency’s support of the growing cannabis industry, Mayor Eric Adams and Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim announced earlier today. The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) launched Cannabis NYC to support the development of a thriving and equitable cannabis industry with first-of-its-kind support for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs.

Cannabis NYC aims to create new jobs and also to rectify what it identifies as the historic harms of cannabis prohibition.

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NEW YORK WILL GET $2.7 BILLION FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENTS: New York State is slated to receive $2.7 billion in Fiscal Year 2023 apportionments, to support investment in critical infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has released the funds from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that are earmarked for repairing and improving including roads, bridges and tunnels, as well as for safety improvements and carbon emission reduction.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes the single largest dedicated investment since the construction of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s and 1960s to help address tens of thousands of bridges in need of repair or replacement.

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MAYOR ADAMS SIGNS LEGISLATION TACKLING GUN VIOLENCE: Mayor Eric Adams has signed two bills aimed at tackling the scourge of gun violence in New York City and ensure that the city is safer for all, especially in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The first bill helps track data from illegal gun trafficking within New York City, while the second bill designates the new boundaries of the Times Square sensitive location, which prohibits the concealed carrying of firearms within the sensitive zone, even by permit.

The legislation also authorizes the NYPD to promulgate rules to implement the bill, including those applicable and appropriate to those with a concealed carry license who live or work in the area commonly known as Times Square.

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POLICE SEEK VANDAL OF GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH: Police continue to hunt down a man who vandalized Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church on Avenue P, within the 61st Precinct, back in July. The individual hoisted a ladder in the rain and defaced the exterior of the building and a banner with black paint.

Three Hierarchs Church, which serves both the Greek Orthodox and the wider Orthodox community in southern Brooklyn, was founded in 1922 and named in honor of three laymen who helped establish the parish. As the business leaders’ first names were Vasilios, Ioannis and Gregorios, the corresponding Greek patriarchs became the church’s patriarchal namesakes: Saint Basil the Great, Saint John Chrysostomos and Saint Gregory the Theologian.

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RALLY TO SUPPORT CLIMATE ACTION SCOPING PLAN: City Councilmember Lincoln Restler and colleagues are organizing a rally on the steps of City Hall this Thursday morning, October 13, to support Resolution 169 ahead of hearings scheduled for later that day. Resolution 169 calls on the Climate Action Council to draft, and the Governor to implement a final Climate Action Council Scoping Plan that would also implement environmental justice action in New York.

Other Brooklyn elected leaders who are expected to join Councilmember Restler include Councilmember Sandy Nurse, Assemblymember Emily Gallagher. Representatives from Sierra Club, We ACT, Jewish Climate Action Network and Food & Water Watch will also participate.

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OCTOBER 11 IS GENERAL PULASKI MEMORIAL DAY: President Joe Biden today proclaimed October 11, 2022, as General Pulaski Memorial Day to honor a Revolutionary War hero who led a skillful counterattack to slow the British advance, and helped save George Washington’s life. Known as “Father of the American Cavalry,” Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski ultimately gave his life fighting for independence and democracy.

The Pulaski Bridge, a drawbridge over Newtown Creek that connects McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint to 11th Street in Long Island City, Queens, bears the namesake of General Pulaski, in homage to Greenpoint’s significant Polish-American population. Another bridge named for a Polish Revolutionary War hero (Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko) is the Kosciuszko Bridge, which also spans Newtown Creek but is situated further from the mouth of the East River.

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FIREFIGHTERS FROM BROOKLYN MEMORIALIZED: Two Brooklynites were among 11 FDNY personnel were memorialized today during the 25th Annual New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony with Governor Kathy Hochul. Lieutenant Joseph W. Maiello, 53, who died on December 26, 2021 at his stationhouse in Staten Island, was a Brooklyn native, graduate of Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge, and had attended Brooklyn College and Brooklyn Tech. Probationary Firefighter Vincent Malveaux, 31, collapsed and died during a training exercise on Randall’s Island in 2021, only six weeks into his career with the FDNY.

Maiello and Malveaux’s names were added to the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial, which recognizes 2,631 individuals from across the state who died in service to their communities.

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NEW LAWS BENEFIT MINORITY AND WOMEN-OWNED COMPANIES: Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law two bills that Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn sponsored to benefit Minority and Women-Owned Businesses. The Assemblymember’s sponsored legislation (A.10459/S.9351) allows New York City to increase the award amounts that MBWEs can get from City contracts from $500,000 to $1 million without a formal competitive process. And her legislation (A.6420/S.571) now allows businesses in New York to use funds from the Minority- and Women-Owned Business Development and Lending Program to refinance existing debt.

New York’s MWBE utilization rate is the highest in the nation, with nearly $3 billion in State Contracts awarded to MWBEs.

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PRIVATE EQUITY CAPITAL IMPACTS RECOVERY AND RENTAL MARKET: Inflows of Private Capital into Existing Rental Real Estate are cited as a factor in both the city’s economic recovery and in the number of reported evictions, according to City Comptroller Brad Lander’s monthly report, “New York by the Numbers.” Private equity firms spending billions of dollars on acquisitions and “emerging as one of the biggest forces in the city’s post-pandemic recovery as multifamily investment reaches levels not seen since … the peak of the last cycle,” Comptroller Lander’s report indicated, quoting a September article from The Real Deal.

However, rent-paying tenants in multi-family buildings throughout the city, including in Brooklyn, started receiving eviction notices shortly after new private equity acquisitions, further lowering the availability of affordable housing.

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SCHOOL SHOWCASES FOR DISTRICTS 13-15: Two School Showcases will give public school parents an opportunity to learn about district schools in advance of the Department of Education’s upcoming enrollment season. The first showcase, on Saturday, October 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., is for School Districts 13 and 15 in Downtown Brooklyn and will be held at the Dock Street School. The second, on Wednesday, October 26 from 3:30 to 6 p.m., and co-hosted with Councilmember Jennifer Gutierrez, is for District 14, covering Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

City Councilmember Lincoln Restler (D-33) is hosting these showcases so that families can learn about the special programs offered in Districts 13, 14 and 15, and to talk with school leaders and enrollment specialists.

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Davone Times. Photo: Noah Elliott Morrison

BAM INTRODUCES INSTITUTIONAL ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE: Davóne Tines will join BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in January 2023 as its first institutional artist-in-residence in more than a decade. During this time, Tines will deepen and investigate his musical practice by pursuing both independent and BAM-related projects.

Thanks to seasonal sponsorship from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Tines will be equipped with rehearsal space, financial support, and cross-departmental assistance, to realize collaborative artistic opportunities that aim to expand BAM’s programmatic lens, participate in engaging and enlightening events with the BAM community, and advance other initiatives including his work with the American Modern Opera Company.

 


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