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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, October 13, 2022

October 13, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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DIOCESAN MASS OFFERED TONIGHT FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE: The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn’s sixth Mass of Hope & Healing for victims and survivors of sexual abuse takes place tonight, October 13, at 7 p.m. Resurrection-Ascension Roman Catholic Church in Rego Park, Queens, hosts the Mass of Hope and Healing (and also viewable online) with the Most Rev. Robert Brennan as celebrant and homilist at this special liturgy for the first time since he become Bishop of Brooklyn.

This liturgy, first offered in 2015 according to a Brooklyn Eagle article from that year, originated from the work of the diocesan Office of Victims Assistance Ministry and a group of survivors who joined forces to pray for the ongoing healing of sexual abuse survivors, their families, the Church, and for continued vigilance toward the protection of children and youth. This Mass is held for the first time since 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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BILLION OYSTER PROJECT GETS $75K FOR NEW CENTER: The Billion Oyster Project Harbor Education Center is one of 23 projects awarded a grant to help communities along the Hudson River Estuary improve water quality and enhance environmental education and stewardship, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced. Billion Oyster Project, which has been featured extensively in the Eagle and which is receiving $75,000, will design and equip a newly renovated building on Governors Island to house the Billion Oyster Project Harbor Education Center, which will include a public education exhibit, a classroom, and a training center for city public school teachers and community scientists.

The announcement coincides with the 20th Annual ‘Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor,’ where 5,000 student scientists are gathering along the Hudson River and New York Harbor to collect data on the Hudson’s fish and invertebrates, track the river’s tides and currents, and examine water chemistry and quality.

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Avien Henry is the new principal of Helen Keller Services Children’s Learning Center.
Photo credit: Helen Keller Services

NEW PRINCIPAL AT HKS PRE-SCHOOL LEARNING CENTER: Helen Keller Services (HKS) Children’s Learning Center recently welcomed its new principal, Avien Henry to lead this school that serves kids who are blind, have low vision, DeafBlind, have combined hearing-vision loss or are on the Autism Spectrum. An ABA and special education early Intervention provider who has taught in a variety of public and private schools throughout New York City, Ms. Henry was most recently Assistant Principal in a K-8th grade District 75 school here in Brooklyn, where she supervised teachers and planned the master schedules for the school’s five locations.

Ms. Henry holds master’s degrees, including in Early Childhood Education for Students with Disabilities from CUNY Brooklyn College, where she is an adjunct instructor, teaching pre-service special educators and professionals who aim to specialize in working with individuals with Autism.

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NEW INJUNCTIONS FILED AGAINST TRUMP ORGANIZATION: New York Attorney General Letitia James is taking new measures to stop Donald Trump and the Trump Organization from continuing to engage in the significant fraudulent and illegal business activity outlined in her September 2022 lawsuit pending trial. A motion for a preliminary injunction filed today, October 13, would prohibit the Trump Organization from transferring any material assets to another entity without court approval; it would require that any new financial disclosures to banks and insurers contain all supporting and relevant material, and it calls for the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance with these measures.

The Attorney General’s office reported that, the Trump Organization appears to be taking steps to restructure its business. On September 21, 2022, the same day OAG filed its lawsuit, the Trump Organization registered a new entity with the New York Secretary of State: “Trump Organization II LLC,” which has been found to bet a foreign corporation, but was incorporated in Delaware, current U.S. President Joe Biden’s home state.

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NY STATE DOUBLING INVESTMENT IN MED SCHOOL PIPELINE FOR UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS: State Department of Health Commissioner Mary Bassett was set within the hour to announce the state’s increased commitment to diversifying the physician workforce by doubling its investment in diversity in medicine pipeline programs that the Associated Medical Schools of New York manages. The programs are designed to help students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in medicine enter and graduate from medical school in New York, including the Bridges to Medicine Master in Physiology Program, AMSNY’s newest funded post-baccalaureate program at Brooklyn’s SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.

While more than 30 percent of the state’s population is Black or Hispanic, only about 12 percent of physicians represent those demographics.

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NEW LAW ENDS EXCESS STUDENT DEBT FEES: State agencies are now prohibited from charging an additional fee for outstanding student debt, according to a new law that Governor Kathy Hochul has signed. Legislation S.7862B/A.10261 adds a provision to the state finance law prohibiting various state agencies from collecting a 22 percent fee when enforcing debt collection on educational debt when traditional means have been exhausted.

While such debts may be referred to the Office of the Attorney General’s Civil Recoveries Bureau, Attorney General Letitia James said that she pushed for the legislation: “Charging fees to students already struggling with debt only compounds the problem. This law addresses that inequity and is an important step in helping these New Yorkers become financially stable.”

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STUDENTS STILL FIGHT FOR DIWALI HOLIDAY: Families of students who observe the Hindu festival of Diwali (starting on October 21) will again have to make a tough choice between their schooling and keeping their children home for this religious holiday, reports Chalkbeat, a non-profit news organization covering education. The issue centers around a campaign promise that then-Mayoral-candidate Eric Adams made to several communities in the city —including Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains — to make Diwali an official school holiday; but the process has been hindered because of a state requirement that schools be in session at least 180 days a year.

Chalkbeat reports that Stuyvesant High School students have obtained more than 1,500 signatures on a petition urging Adams to make official a school holiday for Diwali, which celebrates the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.

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STRICT GUN LAW STILL IN EFFECT PER JUDGE’S STAY: New York State’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) will remain in effect after an appellate judge granted an interim administrative stay earlier today on a restraining order as part of a lawsuit by a gun rights group. The CCIA, which was passed during an extraordinary session of the Legislature, strengthens the requirements for concealed carry permits: among them, a contested mandated social media review and background checks.

U.S. District Court Judge Glenn T. Suddaby’s decision in Antonyuk v. Hochul had put a restraining order on certain provisions of the CCIA, including one that requires a gun permit applicant to name other members of a household; whereas Attorney General Letitia James, wanting all provisions to remain in place, said, “My office will continue our efforts to protect the safety of everyday New Yorkers and defend our common-sense gun laws.”

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FOUR EAST RIVER BRIDGES GET FUNDING: The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $1,600,000 in planning grants for the comprehensive long-term maintenance and fortification of four East River bridges, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-7th District) announced yesterday. The Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge and Queensboro Bridge (in the new 7th Congressional District) will be part of a study to evaluate the best practices in maintenance and asset management to build on and improve previous NYCDOT, NYSDOT, and FHWA work.

The study will address the effects of climate change including sea-level rise, the use of sustainable materials and will analyze potential changes to mode-share as 24,000 bicyclists cross the bridges daily.

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NEW CANNABIS CZAR: 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 to rectify what it identifies as the historic harms of cannabis prohibition. See story, Page 1.

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SCHERMERHORN ST. GETS NEW TWO-WAY BIKE PATH: DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez yesterday 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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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 the state’s special narcotics prosecutor for New York City in 1991; previously he was a police detective.

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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.”

Schumer added, “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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RESTLER WILL FUND IDEAS THAT TACKLE CLIMATE CRISIS: City Councilmember Lincoln Restler wants to hear your best ideas for tackling the climate crisis at the local level. His office, committing $1 million of its budget to fund the implementation of sound ideas, will hold two in-person Neighborhood Assemblies and a virtual forum where constituents will learn about the participatory budgeting process. Register to attend a Neighborhood Assembly: bit.ly/d33neighborhoodassembly.

The two in-person Neighborhood Assemblies will each take place from 6 to 8 p.m.: next Tuesday, October 18 at the Greenpoint Library on Norman Avenue (for residents of Greenpoint, Northside, South Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant) and on Monday, October 24 at the Wyckoff Gardens Community Center, 280 Wyckoff St. (for residents of Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Gowanus, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill). The third assembly, held virtually, will be open to all.

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DAYLONG FOOD AND BEVERAGE CONFERENCE: The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce hosts its inaugural All Day Food & Beverage Conference at Industry City, bringing together the greater restaurant, food, beverage, and hospitality community for a day of education, networking, knowledge sharing, and resource building. Industry leaders, such as Chip Wade, President & CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, is the keynote speaker, at the event taking place next Monday, October 17.

Breakout sessions will cover topics from commercial leasing, HR and workforce trends, to digital content creation and social justice initiatives.

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FREE NALOXONE KITS TO FIGHT OVERDOSES AT NIGHTCLUBS: New York City Mayor Eric Adams today signed Intro 56, legislation aimed at reducing fatal overdoses by providing free naloxone kits of Narcan to nightlife establishments in New York City to administer in the case of an opioid overdose. This bill will put lifesaving tools into the hands of more New Yorkers and train them on how to save lives. With the implementation of this legislation, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) will strengthen its collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and conduct regular overdose response trainings for nightlife venues to ensure that participating staff are equipped to respond to potential overdoses on-site. This bill is part of a larger strategy the city is pursuing to reduce opioid overdoses, including launching the first-in-the-nation overdose prevention centers.

More information on attending the virtual public information sessions is available via https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nycengage/index.page

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RELIEF CENTER WILL ASSIST ASYLUM SEEKER ARRIVALS: New York City will soon open a Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center that will serve asylum seeker families with children arriving here, Mayor Eric Adams announced yesterday. This humanitarian relief center, to be located at The Row hotel in midtown Manhattan, will initially serve 200 families as 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.

The estimated number of asylum seekers in New York City surpassed at least 18,600, as of this weekend.

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NYSERDA SEEKS PROPOSALS FOR LOW-EMISSIONS SOLUTIONS: The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is making $18.1 million available through the Natural Carbon Solutions Innovation Challenge for the development of innovative nature-based solutions that lower emissions and sequester carbon through novel products and services. Accordingly, NYSERDA is seeking proposals from private companies, research institutions, and other organizations for innovative solutions that produce low-emissions products or sequester carbon in durable materials, with applications accepted through November 29. NYSERDA will also host an informational webinar on Thursday, November 3, from 1-3 p.m., with registration, here.

Capital for this initiative is provided through the State’s 10-year, $6 billion Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

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PILOT STUDY WILL TEST EV CHARGER CAPACITY: Con Edison and GM Energy, General Motors’ new energy management business unit, are collaborating on a pilot study to test the ability of electric vehicle (EV) chargers and other customer-owned equipment to record energy usage so the information can be used to measure charging activity and behavior. The pilot study will evaluate the ability of EV chargers and other equipment to distinguish between electricity used to charge a vehicle and power that’s used simultaneously for other purposes by the same customer – an emerging technology known as load disaggregation.

The study, which is targeted to begin at Con Edison’s Learning Center in New York City in early 2023 before potentially moving into field testing with real customers, will assess equipment including on-board vehicle telematics, smart electrical panels, and smart load-level controllers such as outlets and power strips. These technologies will be evaluated on the accuracy of their data, the speed and reliability of their communications with the utility, and their installed cost so they can also be considered in enabling customers to better manage their EV charging use.


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