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Good Morning, Brooklyn: Friday, October 28, 2022

October 28, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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MAYOR’S NEW PLAN WILL CONVERT SCHOOLS TO ALL-ELECTRIC ENERGY: A $4 billion plan that Mayor Eric Adams announced today will make new school buildings all-electric, and is the nation’s largest project of its kind. Named “Leading the Charge,” the plan includes the completion or the initiation of converting 100 existing schools to all-electric heating by 2030. The plan will end the city’s use of highly polluting No. 4 heating oil in schools — four years ahead of the legal mandate,  install upgraded, more efficient LED lights in 800 schools by 2026 and support training and development for the students who will become the next generation of the green workforce.

Mayor Adams launched the initiative, which is under Local Law 97, during a ceremony at P.S 5 Dr. Ronald McNair Elementary School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, which will become the city’s first existing school to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and provide all-electric heating.

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

AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM BEING BROUGHT TO NYCHA’S HOWARD HOUSES: Resident of the Howard Houses in Brownsville will have the chance to enroll in the Federal Communication Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program during an event this Sunday, that volunteers from the Communications Workers of America and Microsoft will host. CWA and Microsoft have partnered with the NYCHA Howard Houses Tenants Association to spread the word about the event and the opportunity for low-income residents to get online at little to no cost, via the Affordable Connectivity Program, launched in December 2021 to close the digital divide.

Participants at this Halloween-themed event, being organized for NYC Housing Authority  (NYCHA) residents, will include elected officials NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, NYS Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-20), Assemblymember Latrice Walker (D-55) and NYC Councilmember Julie Menin (upper Manhattan’s District 5).

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BROOKLYN PARTNERSHIP AWARDED $312.4 GRANT FROM AGRICULTURE DEPT.: The Bushwick-based RiseBoro Community Partnership, Inc. has received a federal $312,498 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture has awarded through the Farmers Market Promotion Grant Program. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-7th District, who announced the grant award on Friday, October 28, said this funding will help establish a third farmers market location, which will recruit sixteen new local producers to offer heritage agricultural products.

This money will also assist in establishing new collaborations with neighborhood restaurants, markets, and non-farmer RiseBoro Farmers Market producers.

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RALLY TO FIGHT PROPOSED SHELTER AT DERELICT SITE: Declaring that a permanent solution is needed for homelessness, and that “No one ever has looked at how the locations for new shelters are selected,” Assemblymember William Colton (D – 47th District) will hold a conference and rally this Sunday at 2 p.m. to continue his fight against the proposed homeless shelter site at 137 Kings Highway that failed a recent inspection. The city Departments of Health and Sanitation found that the proposed site, (near the intersection with Stillwell Avenue between Bensonhurst and Gravesend in Colton’s district), had overgrown weeds, garbage, and rat conditions; and a deteriorating fence.

“We are not fighting against homeless people; we are demanding that the city administration must stop wasting money on developers through a web of third parties, LLCs, and companies that ultimately pass the cost on to taxpayers,” Colton stated.

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MONKEYPOX VACCINE SITES SHIFT TO EXISTING COMMUNITY CARE FACILITIES: The City opened 24,000 MPV vaccination appointments as of Friday, October 28, as it begins to transition away from pop-up, mass vaccination sites to existing community care infrastructure (appointment portal https://vax4nyc.nyc.gov/patient/s/monkeypox ).  The Health Department’s sexual health clinics in Fort Greene, Jamaica, Chelsea and Morrisania will begin offering MPV vaccine on Nov. 14, while NYC Health + Hospitals will begin providing vaccinations to patients at its 11 acute ambulatory clinics and 5 acute PRIDE clinics.

Community partners have dramatically reduced the spread through referrals to care, public health messaging, and other successful interventions, and the city saw a reduction in cases have from more than 70 per day in July to around five daily during October.

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REPAIR WORK WILL CLOSE PORTION OF BQE THROUGH HEIGHTS: Commuters using the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway between Atlantic Avenue and Downtown Brooklyn this weekend will need to find alternate routes, as the Queens-bound lane on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I-278 eastbound) between Washington Street and Pearl Street will be closed Saturday, October 29, starting 1 a.m. through Monday October 31, at 5 a.m. During this time, the Atlantic Avenue entrance ramp to the eastbound BQE toward Queens) will also be closed to facilitate repair work.

Complicating any detours through local streets are the closures of several Downtown Brooklyn roadways, including: Schermerhorn Street between Flatbush and 3rd avenues (Friday through Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for construction); and  Lawrence Street between Willoughby St. and the Metrotech Roadway (9 a.m. to 6 pm through Sunday, Oct. 30 to facilitate crane operation).

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CONCRETE OPERATION CLOSES BLOCK IN FORT GREENE: Brooklyn residents and commuters should be aware also that a block immediately west of Fort Greene Park will be fully closed from today through Friday of Thanksgiving weekend for concrete operation, reports the NYC Department of Transportation. Willoughby St. between Ashland Place and St. Edward St. will be closed off between the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Commuters needing more detour information can visit https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/wkndtraf.shtml.

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ILLNESSES REPORTED FROM CAMPYLOBACTER, FOUND IN UNDERCOOKED CHICKEN, TAINTED WATER: Health officials investigating a potential outbreak in Brooklyn of the bacterial infection campylobacter say that about 50 cases have been reported in the borough since the beginning of October. Campylobacter is a gastrointestinal bug that one can get from having eaten raw or undercooked poultry or any food or animal that comes in contact with it. Campylobacter can also come from drinking contaminated water, but its detection from that source is hampered by the fact that the bacteria cannot be detected in sewer water.

According to news reports, a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) spokesperson declined to detail which neighborhoods have been most affected. As of this morning, the Health Department’s website contains an undated page devoted to this bacteria, but no updates about the inspection’s hot spots.

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COMMUNITY CLEANUP AT SHORE ROAD PARK: The Bay Ridge Environmental Group has organized a Community Cleanup at Shore Road Park this Saturday, October 29, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. RSVP is necessary ([email protected]). The meet-up will be at the Shore Road Promenade at 82nd Street.

The group defines itself as “current and former Bay Ridge residents who engage in advocacy and volunteer work to advance sustainability, environmental justice, and climate change solutions in our community and elsewhere,” according to its Facebook page.

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SYMPOSIUM ON PROGRESS IN SHUTTERING RIKERS ISLAND: The Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration with John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Data Collaborative for Justice this week hosted the “Half to History: Progress and Challenges in Closing Rikers” symposium. The symposium featured three panels, with moderators Errol Louis, and Dean Meminger of New York 1 News; and David Brand, a past reporter at the Queens Daily Eagle, with elected leaders, government officials, corrections experts, criminal justice advocates and community members. The focus of each panel touched on the status, and roadmap of New York City’s plan to close the Rikers Island jails.

Judge Jonathan Lippman who, until his retirement, was Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 2009 through 2015, pointed out the advantages of potential money saved by shifting to a borough-based jail system.

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DEADLINE IMMINENT FOR PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM: New York Attorney General Letitia James reminds public servants to apply for the Limited Waiver Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program ahead of Monday’s October 31 deadline. The PSLF program offers forgiveness of any remaining federal student loan debt after a borrower makes 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for a government or qualifying nonprofit.

The Limited Waiver PSLF Program expands access for loan forgiveness, counting and consolidating payments on multiple federal loans and past payments, including missed, partial, or late payments, as qualifying repayments towards the 120-payment threshold for forgiveness.

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LIBERTY AVE. MERCHANT SELLS A WINNING POWERBALL TICKET: Krishna Bazaar on Liberty Avenue in Brooklyn was one of three merchants who sold a winning third-prize ticket, worth $50,000 for the October 26, 2022 Powerball® drawing. The winning numbers for the Powerball drawing on October 26 are: 19-36-37-46-56 and the Powerball is 24.

The jackpot for the next Powerball® drawing to be held Saturday night, October 29, is an estimated $800 million.

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KEEPING HALLOWEEN SAFE FOR PEDESTRIANS: Motorists should not be a scary part of Halloween, so the New York State Police and local law enforcement will increase patrols to target impaired and reckless drivers during the trick-or-treating weekend, from Friday, October 28, through Tuesday, November 1. Motorists traveling during this period can expect to encounter sobriety checkpoints and additional DWI patrols, who will also be on the watch for drivers using hand-held devices while behind the wheel.

State Police also will target the illegal sale of alcohol to minors through underage drinker enforcement details statewide during the five-day period.

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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 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, 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 twelve 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: Congressmember Nicole Malliotakis (R-11) and Assemblymember 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 spokesperson 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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BIPARTISAN TEAM ON PROPERTY TAX REFORM: York City Comptroller Brad Lander and Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-51st District/Staten Island) joined forces on a joint Op Ed published in the New York Times yesterday, urging legislators in Albany to prioritize comprehensive city property tax reform for the upcoming 2023 legislative session. The city lawmakers pointed out that New York City’s property tax system has long put an undue burden on middle- and working-class homeowners, with parts of Brooklyn (including Lander’s Park Slope) taxed at a lower effective rate than in Staten Island, parts of the northern Bronx and Queens.

New York City’s outdated code also taxes new rental developments at nearly double the rate of condo buildings – leading to multi-billion-dollar tax giveaways like 421a to overcompensate for what many residents consider unequal tax treatment.

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Dr. Brenna Farmer, new chief of Emergency Medicine at NewYork 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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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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