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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Thursday, October 27, 2022

October 27, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Dr. Brenna Farmer, new chief of Emergency Medicine at New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Park Slope.
Photo: Jon Reis/New York Presbyterian

NEW ER CHIEF AT BROOKLYN METHODIST HOSPITAL: Dr. Brenna Farmer has been named chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, effective earlier this month. Dr. Farmer, who most recently served as vice chief of clinical services in the Department of Emergency Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, is a nationally recognized medical toxicology expert and frequent keynote speaker on quality improvement, patient safety, and medication safety, and an associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.

In her new role, Dr. Farmer will expand and enhance emergency services at this hospital, building on its exemplary care and maintaining alignment between the department’s services and those offered throughout NewYork-Presbyterian’s health care system.

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

VOTER ASSISTANCE HOTLINE AND GUIDE AVAILABLE: The Office of New York Attorney General Letitia James will make its Election Protection Hotline available for the upcoming November 8, 2022 election and during New York’s early voting period, which runs from Saturday, October 29 through Sunday, November 6. Voters who experience problems can report issues to OAG by calling the hotline at (866) 390-2992, submitting complaints online, or emailing [email protected]

This hotline will be available to troubleshoot and resolve a range of issues that voters encounter, including by absentee ballot or in-person at polling precinct, and the OAG has also created an online guide that addresses frequently-asked questions to assist voters.

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CITY COUNCIL ACCEPTS PROPOSED DISTRICT MAPS: City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams today sent a letter on behalf of that legislative body to New York City Districting Commission Chair Dennis Walcott, notifying the Commission of the Council’s acceptance of the proposed district maps without objection. Adams noted that 13 members of the Commission passed the plan following extensive deliberation over legal considerations —including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, population deviation limitations and the criteria set forth in the City Charter.

The proposed maps will now go to the City Clerk for certification.

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KAVANAGH SWORN IN AS FIRE COMMISSIONER, AFTER SERVICE IN ‘ACTING’ ROLE: Mayor Eric Adams administered the oath of office today to Laura Kavanagh as permanent commissioner of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). Kavanagh, who has served most recently as acting-fire commissioner, will oversee the day-to-day administration of the agency’s 17,000 employees and $2 billion budget.

Kavanagh directed the firefighter recruitment campaign that yielded the most diverse applicant pool in the department’s history and has led to more women serving as FDNY Firefighters than ever before.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, left, introduces Laura Kavanagh (at right), as New York City’s new Fire Commissioner during a ceremony at FDNY Engine 33/Ladder 9, Thursday, Oct 27, 2022 in New York.
Photo: Yuki Iwamura/AP

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NYC BAR APPROVES MOST JUDICIARY CANDIDATES RUNNING UNCONTESTED IN CITY RACES: The New York City Bar Association has completed evaluations of the candidates in several key and uncontested races for Civil Court and Supreme Court in the November 8 general election. The Association’s Committee on the Judiciary which conducted the review, gave “Approved” ratings to twelves candidates for Supreme Court, 2nd Judicial District, and approved three of the four candidates for Civil Court, Countywide. The candidates for the 1st and 8th Civil Court Municipal Districts were approved, but the review committee gave a “Not Approved” grade to the candidate for the 7th Judicial District

Candidates rated Approved have affirmatively demonstrated qualifications that the committee believes are necessary for the performance of the duties of the position for which they are being considered.

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ASKS NYPD TO CRACK DOWN ON MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES DEEMED ILLEGAL: Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-11) and Assemblyman Mike Tannousis, (R-64) both representing Bay Ridge, tomorrow will demand that New York City crack down on what they say are illegally-operating unlicensed marijuana dispensaries. The legislators, who say that unlicensed dispensaries are popping up next to residential homes, schools, and community centers in Bay Ridge, have sent a letter to NYPD Commissioner Sewell, emphasizing the need to “crack down on these businesses, particularly during a time of skyrocketing crime rates and hard drugs, such as fentanyl, pouring across our southern border and into our cities daily.”

A spokeswoman for Rep. Malliotakis told the Eagle today that while there are several legal medically licensed dispensaries in Brooklyn, none are located in the 11th district, to the best of her knowledge.

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BUILDING THE CITY’S CLIMATE RESILIENCY: Marking the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Mayor Eric Adams this week took a number of critical steps to build the long-term resilience of New York City, by breaking ground on the Brooklyn Bridge-Montgomery Coastal Resilience (BMCR) project which will install a combination of flood walls and deployable flip-ups for a Manhattan neighborhood. He announced also that the city will finish some critical resiliency projects, including the Coney Island Creek Raise Shoreline, the Coney Island Boardwalk & Beach and Bushwick Inlet Park

Moreover, the Adams administration’s new program — Climate Strong Communities (CSC) — a community engagement and project development program that will help create the next pipeline of resiliency projects that target multiple types of hazards, with a focus on neighborhoods that did not benefit from existing or planned Sandy recovery projects.

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REPORT HIGHLIGHTS RESILIENCY MEASURES BEING TAKEN: Ahead of the ten-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall in New York, City Comptroller Brad Lander and Urban Ocean Lab will release a report today that highlights a dozen local initiatives and organizations that developed disaster emergency response and environmental resiliency projects in the wake of the storm. The report will be presented outside the Red Hook Initiative, 767 Hicks St., and live-streamed across the official NYC Comptroller’s social media accounts.

Red Hook, a low-lying coastal Zone A area with the highest risk of flooding during a hurricane-strength storm, was particularly devastated during Superstorm Sandy, flooding residents including those in Brooklyn’s largest public housing complex, and damaging businesses that were unable to reopen for a long time.

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NEW LAWSUIT AGAINST MTA ASSERTS THAT PLATFORM GAPS HINDER ACCESSIBILITY: The gaps between subway cars and platforms at several stations are at the center of a class action lawsuit that has been filed against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The litigation, which attorneys with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and the firm Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello filed on Tuesday, October 25, argues that the subway gaps constitute discrimination in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law because they are an “insurmountable barrier” and a dangerous trip hazard to riding the subway for many passengers, particularly children, elderly people, those with vision or mobility issues, parents with strollers and those commuting with heavy bags.

Platform doors and tactile warning strips at the edge of platforms could make the subway more accessible, but the MTA has yet to install any doors and 17% of platforms lacked warning strips as of May 2022, according to the complaint.

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HUGE GRANTS FOR BROOKLYN ARTS INSTITUTIONS: Several Brooklyn arts and educational institutions were among 1,032 who received capital totaling $32 million statewide, as part of the New York State Council on the Arts grants to increase access to vital arts funding in local communities and provide critical support to organizations still in recovery. Among the Brooklyn organizations were BRIC Arts, the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Brooklyn Book Festival, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum Corporation, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy.

Last month, Governor Hochul announced a record $150 million in capital funding available through NYSCA’s Capital Projects Fund, an unprecedented investment that includes $100 million in new, multi-year funding to facilitate large-scale capital projects that prioritize community development and placemaking.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY CREATES GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE DIVISION: A new Gender- Based Violence Division has been established at Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office, which will encompass the Domestic Violence and Sex Crimes Bureaus, the Human Trafficking, Crimes Against Children and Victim Services Units, Family Justice Center operations and the U-Visa practice that allows non-citizen crime victims to remain lawfully in the United States. Cases handled by the new Division share common evidentiary issues, require a trauma-informed, victim-centered response and benefit from a unified management.

Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kaminsky will lead the Division in a newly created executive position. Read more on page 1 and page 19.

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VOTERS URGED TO ‘FLIP THE BALLOT’ FOR PROPOSALS ON RACIAL JUSTICE: New Yorkers will be selecting more than candidates for governor, legislatures and judges when Early Voting begins this Saturday, October 29. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams urges voters to “flip their ballots “to vote on three charter revision proposals, developed by the city’s Racial Justice Commission in collaboration with advocates. The first proposal would add a statement of values to guide the government; while the second one would establish an ongoing Racial Equity Office, Plan, and Commission. The final measure would require the City to create a “true cost of living” measure to track how much the actual cost in New York City of meeting essential needs which include food, childcare, housing.

During a hearing yesterday, Oct. 26, of the City Council Committee on Civil and Human Rights, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams discussed the importance of these ballot initiatives – which aim to address structural injustices, eliminate barriers and promote racial equity – and encouraged New Yorkers to flip their ballot and vote on the measures.

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‘DIA DE LOS MUERTOS’ AT GREEN-WOOD CEMETERY: The Green-Wood Cemetery invites neighbors with children of all ages to Día de los Muertos Family Day, taking place on Tuesday, November 1, a fun afternoon with traditional crafts, activities, sweet treats and other food from local vendors, and music and dance performances. This year’s celebration will be themed around the monarch butterfly, a species associated with Día de los Muertos, traditionally believed to contain the spirits of the departed returning to earth.

The observance will feature performances by Las Mariposas (The Butterflies), an elementary-school-age group of Mexican folkloric dancers, as well as a Mariachi group, Mariachi Nuevo Amanecer, performing in full Día de los Muertos face paint.

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CORRECTION DEPARTMENT’S DASHBOARD SHOWS PERVASIVE ISSUES IN CITY JAILS: The Department of Corrections’ Dashboard has the latest monthly update from the New York City Comptroller’s Office on pervasive issues in the city’s jails, including staff absenteeism, missed medical appointments, and incidents of violence among detained people and staff. This month’s release includes the Comptroller’s report on the number of deaths per year of people in custody.

Among the report’s findings: As of October 2, the jail population was 5,849 – two percent higher than last month and up five percent over October 2021. The share of staff out sick remains at 12%, unchanged over the last three months. And the average number of people in custody diagnosed with serious mental illness increased again to 1,033, still approximately 18% of the population.

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EXPANDED PAYMENT METHODS FOR REDUCED-FARE COMMUTERS: Reduced-Fare MTA customers can now put their reduced fare benefit on any personal payment device compatible with OMNY, becoming the first major transit system to offer reduced fares on personal payment devices. Seniors and people with disabilities who qualify for Reduced-Fare will now have more choices on how to pay their fare on public transit.

Customers will no longer need to track a card that must be replaced upon expiration nor pre-load value onto a MetroCard. OMNY also gives Reduced-Fare customers the opportunity to benefit from the MTA’s ongoing “Lucky 13” fare capping program, where customers ride free after 12 paid OMNY taps in a week from Monday to Sunday.

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DISPARITIES EXISTED IN CITY’S GIFTED STUDENTS PROGRAM: An Examination of the Test-Based Admissions System to the City’s Gifted & Talented Program, a new report from the  New York City Independent Budget Office examines the demographic differences at each step of the admissions process for students entering kindergarten in the 2018-2019 school year, when the test was still in place.

For years, entry into the city’s public gifted and talented program was based on scores on an admissions test—largely taken by 4-year-olds — and one that had been widely criticized for contributing to segregated classes; and that demographic disparities at nearly every part of the process.

Following changes that Mayor Eric Adams announced last spring, eligibility is now based on universal screening by pre-K teachers for kindergarten and on grades for older-elementary students, with seats awarded by a lottery, a process that has also been criticized.

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HIZZONER BECOMES HIS EXCELLENCY: Mayor Eric Adams was somehow promoted to “His Excellency” — an honorific usually reserved for ambassadors or high-ranking archbishops — during a flag-raising ceremony at Bowling Green to mark the 31st anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence. During the joy-filled ceremony, Ibrahim Kurtulus, Vice Chairman of Bowling Green Association was a speaker, and the Republic of Kazakhstan. Consul general, the Republic of Kazakhstan were saluted for their work on behalf of Kazakhi persons in the United States and the Central Asian nation and former Soviet republic that stretches from the Caspian Sea to the border with China and Russia.

Although “His Excellency” is normally used in North America in reference to a governor or official with higher rank, overseas it could also be properly used in addressing the head of a government, including one that’s local.

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CITY AGENCIES ISSUE HALLOWEEN PRECAUTIONS: Ahead of Halloween, the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the American Red Cross in Greater New York gave pointers on keeping trick-or-treaters safe. Among the precautions parents should take: making sure the children can see where they are going, and be seen, should never trick-or-treat by themselves, and should never go inside buildings, only collecting candy at the entrances.

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