Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, October 14, 2022
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ARGUES THAT ARBITER NOT NEEDED IN FBI DOCUMENT SEIZURE CASE: The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to overturn a judge’s appointment of an independent arbiter, Brooklyn federal Judge Raymond Dearie, to review documents seized during an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate, according to a development late Friday reported by the Associated Press. The Justice Department argued in court today that no basis existed to appoint a special master, that former President Trump was not entitled to either a special review or a claim of special privilege, and that therefore,” the special-master review process is unwarranted.”
Although not named in the October 14, story, Judge was assigned last month by a judge in the state where Trump now resides to inspect the thousands of records taken in the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago and weed out from the investigation any that may be protected by claims of legal privilege.
FIRE SAFETY EMPHASIZED IN SERIES OF FDNY OPEN HOUSES: More than 200 firehouses throughout Brooklyn and New York City will participate this weekend in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)’s annual citywide Open House program. During Open House sessions each on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16, (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 1 to 3 p.m.), FDNY personnel will educate the public about fire and life safety, conducting demonstrations, discussing careers within the Department, and offering tours of FDNY engines, ladder trucks, and ambulances.
The FDNY Foundation makes possible the Open House events; readers can check the interactive map for a firehouse in their community: https://fdny.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=134c94eabe8d44b7ac62c309f9a763e2
PROMINENT CHURCH MARKS DOUBLE ANNIVERSARY: St. Paul Community Baptist Church on Hendrix Street in East New York celebrates its 95th anniversary this Sunday, as its pastor, the Rev. David K. Brawley, marks his 13th anniversary with the congregation. The Rev. Raymonda Speller, who in 2013 was ordained at the church, is the guest preacher at the Sunday, October 16 service beginning at 8 a.m.
Established in 1927 in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, St. Paul Community Baptist Church expanded from only 84 members at one point to more than 3,000 members, and moved to East New York, under the leadership of the prophetic Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood, who served from 1974-2009; with Brawley as Assistant Pastor until his installation as Senior Pastor that year.
PROPOSED RULES FOR ISSUING FIREARM LICENSES: The NYPD is releasing proposed rules concerning the issuance of firearm licenses and which would amend gun licensing standards in light of the Supreme Court decision earlier this year in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, and recent statewide legislation governing gun licensing. Specifically, the proposed rules would amend the minimum age to obtain a rifle/shotgun permit from 18 to 21; codify hearing procedures for licensees whose licenses have been suspended or revoked; update the rules to allow for electronic filing of applications and documents to obtain or renew a firearm license; add state law requirements to receive a carry license, require applicants for a carry license to certify that they completed the training course and live-fire training course as required pursuant to section 400.00(19) of the Penal Law, among other requirements.
If adopted, the proposed rules will make emergency rules issued in August and September of 2022 permanent.
THEFT AND CREDIT CARD FRAUD RING DISMANTLED: A luxury vehicle theft ring and fraudulent credit card operation in New York has been taken down, State Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced today. Four individuals are charged with 76 counts for their roles in the auto-theft and export operation, following a three-year joint investigation that the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the NYPD’s Grand Larceny Division conducted.
The individuals used stolen credit card information and stolen identifications to steal high-end vehicles from residences and rental car lots in New York and other states, and defrauded luxury hotels and clothing stores in New York City by purchasing thousands of dollars in goods and services using fake identifications.
NYCHA OPENS PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON PRESERVATION TRUST OPTION: The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has released a draft of the voting procedures for the Public Housing Preservation Trust and opens public comment period. The Public Housing Preservation Trust is a fully public entity that will bring billions of dollars in comprehensive renovations to thousands of NYCHA apartments while maintaining residents’ rights (including permanently affordable rent) and keeping NYCHA properties 100 percent public.
Ultimately, NYCHA residents will vote to decide whether or not they want their development to be included in the Trust and its work to fully renovate their development’s buildings and apartments.
REPS. DEMAND CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON MTA’S USE OF $15 BILLION: A bipartisan duo serving New York and New Jersey together have formally called for a Congressional oversight hearing and an investigation into what they assert is New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) mismanagement of federal dollars from both the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. Congressmembers Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican representing the 11th District, and Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat in New Jersey’s 5th District, said they believe taxpayers deserve answers, under oath, from the MTA on how $15 billion of COVID-19 relief taxpayer dollars were spent and why the MTA wants to impose a new Congestion Tax on commuters.
The Congestion Tax would charge drivers upwards of $23 per day to enter Manhattan south of 60th St. Moreover, commuters entering Manhattan from Staten Island and Brooklyn (within Malliotakis’ district) who already pay more than $10 to cross the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge according to an EZ Pass invoice supplied to the Eagle, would be hit with a double toll.
PINK RUNWAY SUPPORTS BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS: Maimonides Medical Center yesterday hosted its 9th annual Pink Runway fashion show at The Dyker Beach Club. Held each year in October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the fundraiser event honors breast cancer patients and survivors in support of Maimonides’ world-class Breast Center and pays tribute to those who support the center’s life-saving work in Brooklyn and beyond, with this year’s honorees being Dr. Kevin Becker, Cancer Center Medical Director & Chief, Division of Hematology Medical Oncology; Dr. Adriana Corben, Vice Chair, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine; and Dr. Fleure A. Gallant, Radiation Oncology.
Pink Runway promotes the importance of preventative care measures such as routine mammograms and other early detection procedures, which are crucial in the fight against breast cancer.
RECKLESS DRIVING GETS HIM 35-COUNT INDICTMENT: A Bedford-Stuyvesant man has been indicted for depraved indifference murder, assault, and related charges in connection with a reckless driving spree on June 25, which was chronicled on surveillance video. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendant as Tyler Green, 20, who was arraigned Thursday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dena Douglas on a 35-count indictment. Green is charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, second-degree manslaughter and other related counts, for ignoring red lights and stop signs, fatally striking a 68-year-old woman, seriously injuring her grandson, t-boning another vehicle, crashing into a bodega and then fleeing.
The defendant was ordered held without bail, with a November 2 court date, and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.
GROUP ARRAIGNED ON SEVERAL COUNTS OF FRAUD, CONSPIRACY: Four Brooklynites were among a group arrested and arraigned Thursday before United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo in Brooklyn federal court on several fraud charges including a scam called “pig butchering.” They are charged with money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, bank fraud conspiracy, passport fraud conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.
The Brooklyn defendants are Yanbing Chen (age 28), Changgui Huang (age 30), Xin Jin (age 33) and Lingming Zeng (age 37).
URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM RETURNS FROM HURRICANE IAN-STRICKEN FLORIDA: The New York City Emergency Management Department, New York City Fire Department and New York City Police Department today welcomed back 48 members of the Urban Search and Rescue team — New York Task Force from their deployment to Florida responding to Hurricane Ian recovery work. New York Task Force 1 specializes in urban search and rescue, disaster recovery, and emergency triage and medicine.
The 48-member team, along with four canines, deployed with a number of capabilities including in-water rescue, technical search, canine search, a medical team and logistics/base of operations.
HIGHER MININUM RAISE FOR HOME CARE AIDES: Home care aides will be receiving a higher minimum wage, effective this month, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) announced yesterday. Through Public Health Law § 3614-f, the minimum wage for home care aides has been increased to $17.00 per hour in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester, and $15.20 per hour for the remainder of New York State. Home care aides may also be owed extra pay in addition to minimum wage rates for overtime, call-in pay if they are sent home earlier than their scheduled close of day, workdays longer than 10 hours and uniform maintenance if they clean their own uniforms.
Interestingly, the wage raise was announced during the same week as an 8.7 percent increase in Social Security benefits.
LATEST AGREEMENT ON HALTING GHOST GUN SALES: An agreement between the city and online ghost gun retailer Arm or Ally will halt the company’s illegal selling and delivering of gun components to New York City residents, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Thursday. These ghost gun components are used to assemble illegal and untraceable firearms and pose a grave risk to New Yorkers. As part of the agreement, Arm or Ally must also implement a technological bar to any such future sales, and provide the city with its sales data for all such sales since 2020.
The agreement with Arm or Ally — based in Kansas City, Missouri — is the fourth of its kind that the city has reached with online ghost gun retailers following a lawsuit filed against five companies in June 2022.
THE GREEN-WOOD CEMETERY PARTICIPATES IN STORMWATER RESILIENCY INITIATIVE: The Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, is receiving a $600,000 grant to participate in a major stormwater resiliency initiative—one of the largest in scale to be undertaken at a private property in New York City. Made possible through the Department of Environmental Protection’s Resilient NYC Partner’s Program and EFC’s Green Innovation Grant Program, this project is an inventive example of how public and private entities can work in partnership to increase New York City’s stormwater resilience in a changing climate.
The project is the first to benefit from DEP’s $53 million Resilient NYC Partners program that engages private property owners across the five boroughs to green their properties and manage stormwater onsite.
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.
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, requiring that any new financial disclosures to banks and insurers contain all supporting and relevant material, and asking 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 be a foreign corporation, but was incorporated in Delaware, current U.S. President Joe Biden’s home state.
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.”
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.
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.
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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