Good Morning, Brooklyn: Tuesday, November 8, 2022
‘CONCEALED CARRY’ LAW ESSENTIALLY BLOCKED, INCLUDING ‘GOOD CHARACTER’ REQUIREMENT: A large segment of New York’s concealed carry law has been blocked from enforcement as part of a legal challenge by members of Gun Owners of America, according to a Spectrum news report that broke Monday night. U.S. District Court Judge Glenn Suddaby not only blocked the power of officials to require people to submit social media data when applying for a concealed carry permit, and blocked a ban of concealed guns in public parks, but also removed the requirement that applicants prove they are of “good moral character.”
Judge Suddaby’s ruling, on the eve of Election Day, comes into conflict with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s endeavors to limit gun violence through new laws and to block illegal firearms trafficking into New York, in what she declares are measures to keep the citizens safe.
MURDER SUSPECT CHARGED WITH DISMEMBERING VICTIM: Murder charges have been made against a man who allegedly dismembered his girlfriend in August, and hid the body parts in suitcases in the victim’s East New York apartment. The defendant, Justin Williams, 24, was arraigned Monday, November 7, before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun, who ordered him held without bail, on one count of second-degree murder and one count of concealment of a human corpse. The defendant faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Brooklyn District attorney Eric Gonzalez said that, according to the investigation, victim D’Asia Johnson was believed to have dated Williams for several years.
SUBWAY HITS RIDERSHIP RECORD ON MARATHON WEEKEND: The MTA New York City Subway reached 2.11 million riders on Sunday, November 6, the day of the NYC Marathon, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Monday. The record surpassed the previous pandemic-era Sunday ridership record set on June 26, 2022, of 2.01 million. The ridership was 12 percent more than last year’s marathon Sunday subway ridership of 1.89 million, and 13 percent more than the previous Sunday ridership of 1.88 million.
Moreover, on the eve of the NYC Marathon, 2.45 million people rode the subway, surpassing the previous Saturday’s record of 2.44 million. The records come on the day that MTA officials had announced plans to reduce planned maintenance-related service changes in the subway system to ensure New Yorkers could move around the city with minimal disruptions during Marathon Sunday.
BATTERY FIRES, NOW CAUSING DEATHS AND INJURIES, GET ATTENTION: The fire that occurred in a high-rise apartment building on November 5 underscores the dangers of mishandling devices that use lithium-ion batteries, from phones to e-bikes and scooters, warns the National Fire Protection Association®. Fire officials report that, within the city alone, six fatal fires involving lithium-ion batteries have occurred in 2022 to date, with FDNY responding to more than 130 fires involving e-bikes and e-scooters.
Among the precautions urged: Only purchase and use devices, batteries, and charging equipment that are listed by a nationally recognized, independent testing laboratory and labeled accordingly; only use the battery and the charger that were designed for — and came with — the device; and do not leave the device plugged in after it has been fully charged.
NO TRASH COLLECTIONS ON ELECTION DAY: No trash, curbside composting or recycling will be collected on Tuesday, November 8, in observance of Election Day, the NYC Department of Sanitation announced late Monday, as it amended the pickup schedule in a week containing two public holidays. Residents who normally receive Tuesday trash or curbside composting collection may place their material at the curb between 4 p.m. and midnight Tuesday evening, for collection beginning Wednesday, but should expect collection delays, as is common after holidays.
However, the Sanitation Department will collect trash, recycling and curbside composting on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11. While the Sanitation Department referred to Election Day as a federal holiday, that designation has not yet passed Congress.
NONPROFITS CAN APPLY FOR INCREASED SECURITY FUNDING: Applications are now open for community and faith-based nonprofit organizations to apply for $50 in funding through New York State’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program — representing the most capital ever made available for this purpose, Governor Kathy Hochul announced today. Federal funds totaling $46 million has also been awarded to 240 nonprofits through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, allowing the money to be used for plans detailing security risk management, continuity of operations, and incident response; physical security enhancement equipment, and inspection and screening systems; active shooter training, and security training for employees, members or the congregation; response exercises; and contracted security personnel.
Today’s announcement comes as hate and bias incidents persist throughout New York and federal authorities have warned of security threats in neighboring states targeting faith-based institutions, with such hate crimes tracked separately so that trends can be monitored, and steps can be taken to prevent more from occurring.
ENROLLMENT DECLINE WON’T CAUSE SCHOOLS TO LOSE MONEY: New York City Public Schools will hold school budgets harmless for any lower than projected enrollment in this year’s mid-year adjustment process — ensuring that no school will lose money due to mid-year enrollment losses, announced Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David C. Banks earlier today. Although enrollment in the K-12 grades has dropped by almost 10 percent, the arrival of asylum-seeker families seems to have mitigated that decline.
The city has also provided almost $12 million to support the newest students from asylum-seeking families, over $50 million in hardship supports for schools, $100 million in additional flexibility on existing funding in this year’s budget.
ZELDIN PRESSURED TO END NEGATIVE AD ABOUT SLAIN COMMUNITY LEADER: The family of Saheed Vassell, who was shot and killed by NYPD officers in 2018 while in the midst of a mental health crisis, joined with mental health advocates, elected officials and other community leaders for a press conference Monday at Brooklyn Borough Hall, to demand that Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin remove an ad that they say is racist and that falsely portrays Saheed as an attacker.
Joining them were Victor Dempsey of the Brooklyn Movement Center, elected officials, and other Brooklyn community members who pointed out the Zeldin campaign launched the ad with a seven-figure buy in September and continues to host on his Facebook and Twitter pages as of this writing.
DIOCESAN REVIEW BOARD ADDS EXPERTS IN SEX CRIMES, FAMILY VIOLENCE: Three law enforcement experts in the area of sex crimes and family violence have been appointed to the Diocesan Review Board, Bishop Robert Brennan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn announced Monday. They are new chairman, Robert Boyce, a retired 35-year NYPD veteran with experience in a magnitude of criminal investigations, including sex and cybercrimes; Joseph Fox, who served more 37 years with the NYPD, 21 as a Chief; and Gena Diacomanolis, who has been involved in investigations of criminal child abuse cases and the assistance of victims of family violence.
Chairman Boyce replaces Joseph Esposito, a 45-year veteran of the NYPD, who served as Chair of the Diocesan Review Board since 2013, and who previously served as the Commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management.
PLANS FOR ENHANCING ANCHORAGE PLAZA: The seasonal implementation of programming and development of Anchorage Plaza at the Brooklyn Bridge is a major part of the next meeting of Brooklyn Community Board 2’s Parks & Recreation Committee, being held fully remote via Zoom on Monday, November 14 at 6 p.m. Leaders from the NYC Parks Department will give a presentation and offer a Q&A regarding a Request for Expressions of Interest (“RFEI”) for the temporary and seasonal implementation of programming, amenities, events, and development that will enhance the site.
Anchorage Plaza is a small triangle at the convergence of Fulton, York, Washington and Prospect streets, surrounding the anchorage to the Brooklyn Bridge.
HONORING WORLD WAR II VETERAN: The Cadman Park Conservancy will honor World War II Veteran Jack Vanasco at the Brooklyn War Memorial in Cadman Plaza Park next Sunday, November 13 at noon, as part of its observance of Veterans Day 2022.
The Conservancy is partnering with Veterans for Political Innovation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on fair elections, supporting election innovations like ranked choice voting, final five voting and open primaries.
FREE FISHING DAY — FOR VETERANS AND ALL NEW YORKERS: New York State is honoring veterans with a statewide Free Fishing Day on Friday, November 11. Selected to coincide with Veterans Day, November 11 will mark the final Free Fishing Day of the year, Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Monday, who pointed out that “Fishing is considered one of the most therapeutic outdoor activities, making it an ideal activity for veterans, those currently serving in the military, and all New Yorkers looking to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.
During designated Free Fishing Days, which began in 1991, anglers do not need a fishing license to fish New York’s fresh waters. All other fishing regulations are in effect. For more information on Free Fishing Days visit the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) website.
‘TOXIC MASCULINITY’ IS TOPIC OF RED HOOK TEACHER’S NEW BOOK: Brooklyn teacher and author Torrey Maldonado has just released his newest book, Hands, based on his own and his students’ experiences with toxic masculinity and violence. Author of the critically acclaimed What Lane? and Tight, Maldonado has taught for 25 years in Red Hook, where he was born and raised.
The protagonist in Hands is a youth named Trev who is torn between protecting his mom and sisters from a violent stepfather who is re-entering their lives, and nurturing his talent as an artist.
GRAND OPENING, AND A CHARITABLE GIFT: Supreme Fitness Group, LLC, one of the largest Planet Fitness franchises, last week held the grand opening of its newest New York location in Sunset Park. The new club, at 4802 5th Ave., offers state-of-the-art cardio machines and strength equipment, the Planet Fitness 30-Minute Express Circuit, numerous flat screen televisions, fully equipped Black Card® Spa, among other equipment.
In celebration of the grand opening, Planet Fitness is donating $1,000 to Center for Family Life, a neighborhood-based family and social services organization with deep roots in Sunset Park.
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