What’s News, Breaking: Thursday, November 17, 2022
VEHICLE FIRE CLOSES ALL LANES OF PROSPECT EXPRESS WAY AT 11TH AVE: A vehicle fire has closed all lines of the Prospect Expressway at 11th Avenue in Brooklyn’s Windsor Terrace neighborhood. Commuters should find alternate routes and allow for longer travel times.
Alternate routes include McDonald Avenue, and Prospect Park Southwest, which becomes Coney Island Avenue after the Park Circle roundabout near the Parade Grounds.
SENTENCED FOR STALKING AND THREATENING WITNESS IN R. KELLY TRIAL: United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly today in federal court in Brooklyn, sentenced Donnell Russell to 20 months’ imprisonment for his participation in a scheme to stalk, harass, intimidate, and cause substantial emotional distress to Jane Doe, a victim in the Eastern District of New York racketeering case against Robert Sylvester Kelly, also known as “R. Kelly.” Russell, a self-described manager, advisor and friend of Kelly, harassed and threatened Jane Doe and her mother after Jane Doe filed a civil lawsuit against R. Kelly, and continued the harassment after it was clear that Jane Doe was a victim in Kelly’s criminal case in this District and would likely testify against Kelly.
Between November 2018 and February 2020, Russell threatened to reveal sexually explicit photographs of Jane Doe and to publicly reveal her sexual history if she did not withdraw her lawsuit against Kelly.
RUSSIAN PAIR CHARGED WITH BOOK PIRACY, FRAUD: Two Russian nationals arrested last week in Argentina are at the center of an indictment and complaint filed today in Brooklyn federal court for copyright infringement, wire fraud and money laundering. The defendants, Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova, operated Z-Library, an online e- book piracy website billing itself as “the world’s largest library” and claiming to offer more than 11 million e-books for download. However, Z-Library first stripped the materials of their copyright protections and encouraged users to download them for free.
When the pair were arrested at the United States’ request, Z-Library’s network of online domains was also taken offline and seized by the U.S. government, pursuant to a court order that was also unsealed today.
STATE AWARDS $7M TO REVEL FOR RED HOOK CHARGING AND JOB TRAINING SITE: NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) has awarded $7 million to Revel, the Brooklyn-based electric mobility and infrastructure company, as a grand prize awardee for the $85 million New York Clean Transportation Prizes Program in the Electric Mobility Challenge category. Revel and its community partners, Green City Force and Empire Clean Cities, will receive the $7 million in funding on top of a previously awarded $200,000 to develop their winning project, the Red Hook Recharge Zone — a Revel Superhub with 20 ultrafast EV charging stalls and a multi-use community center that will provide green jobs training to local residents.
The Superhub site will include solar canopies, a fleet of 30 vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable electric vehicles and battery energy storage infrastructure.
NYU LANGONE-BROOKLYN RECEIVES BOROUGH’S ONLY ‘A’ GRADE FROM LEAPFROG: NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn in Sunset Park has once again earned the only A rating in the borough, among 14 surveyed hospitals on the fall 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. The Brooklyn facility joined NYU Langone Health hospitals in Manhattan and Long Island in receiving A ratings, which are updated every six months, based on a hospital’s performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections, and other harm to patients.
Tisch Hospital, Kimmel Pavilion, NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, and NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island each earning the top grade in the fall 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.
BED-STUY NEIGHBORS GIVE CITY LIST OF DEMANDS FOLLOWING DANGLER MANSION DEMOLITON: Community members of Bedford-Stuyvesant near the now-demolished Dangler Mansion have compiled a list of demands directed towards the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the New York City Department of Buildings, the Mayor’s Office, and the developer Tomer Erlich. The coalition claims that Bed-Stuy residents were put in danger in July when developer Tomer Erlich of Brooklyn 360 Realty “violently and recklessly demolished a beloved 120-year-old building after the Landmarks Preservation Commission and New York City Department of Buildings let the landmarking process slip through the cracks.”
The list includes demands that Tomer Erlich, associates, or affiliated anonymous LLCs, (“Tomer Erlich, et al”) must NOT be permitted to build at 441 Willoughby Ave. — the site of the Jacob Dangler Mansion; that the developer must be banned from obtaining any demolition permits in the state of New York; and that any building on the site of 441 Willoughby Avenue must require community approval. They demand also that the city government overhaul and reform the LPC and break up the Department of Buildings into multiple entities.
CITY OF NEIGHBORHOODS MAP SHOWS TOPOGRAPHY: The Department of City Planning has released the newest City of Neighborhoods map. The 2022 edition of this map, which was first published in 1994, better represents topographical relief: the hills, valleys, and ridges that have inspired many neighborhood names throughout the city. For example, the map shows a long elevation ridge that stretches from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Windsor Terrace all the way across Queens, with other elevation shown in Brooklyn Heights, Bay Ridge and Williamsburg.
The map, which can be downloaded for free via the webpage https://www.nyc.gov/assets/planning/download/pdf/data-maps/city-neighborhoods/dcp-city-of-neighborhoods-2022.pdf., also offers important statistical information, including key data from the 2020 Census, a legend with geographical and ethnic breakdowns.
APP-BASED DELIVERY WORKERS WOULD EARN $23.82 UNDER PROPOSED PAY RATE: A first-of-its-kind proposed minimum pay rate would boost the hourly earnings to $23.82 per hour for NYC’s more than 60,000 app-based restaurant delivery workers. Making the announcement, NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga indicated that the pay hike — if fully implemented — would consist of a $19.86 base rate, $2.26 to cover workers’ expenses, and $1.70 to reflect the absence of workers’ compensation insurance, because the apps consider the delivery persons to be independent contractors rather than employees.
The proposed rate, which would be finalized after a public hearing and consideration of public comments, would be $17.87 upon taking effect, and would increase to $23.82, adjusted for inflation, when it is fully phased-in on April 1, 2025, and must be paid to delivery workers based on trip time—time spent delivering—and on-call time—time spent connected to the app, waiting for a trip offer.
BOROUGH PRESIDENT REYNOSO LAUNCHES HEALTHY PREGNANCY CAMPAIGN: Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso launched a multimedia, Multicultural Healthy Pregnancy Campaign, Wednesday, Nov. 16, as part of his historic maternal-health agenda. Responding to an acute crisis in maternal health – which is most acute among Haitian women in New York City – Borough President Reynoso launched his Maternal Health Taskforce this past April, allocated the entirety of his FY2023 capital funding to maternal health improvements at Brooklyn public hospitals, and earlier this month launched the ‘Born in Brooklyn’ baby box initiative to provide new parents with baby supplies and post-partum resources.
Wednesday morning’s announcement was his latest in a string of maternal health announcements with the goal of making Brooklyn the safest place in New York City for Black and Brown women to give birth.
SERIES CHRONICLES HEALTH EFFECTS OF NATURAL GAS PIPELINES: National Grid’s Greenpoint Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Greenpoint is the subject of a documentary series released this month to give thought to the costs beyond dollars of this energy source’s production. Titled “The Other End of the Pipeline,” and produced through Wayward Z film with Sane Energy Project, the four-part series’ second installation introduces viewers to Elisha “EW” Fye, who lives in Cooper Park Houses, situated in the shadow of National Grid’s Greenpoint Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility and who, like many of his neighbors, suffers from health problems.
Installation 1, released last week, focuses on a Pennsylvania resident fighting to stop the pipeline construction under a creek. Part 3, which will be released next week, focuses on community resistance to a proposed expansion of a compressor station along a massive pipeline that, if approved, will increase the gas flowing into Con Edison’s downstate New York delivery system.
RED HOOK BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT SHOWCASES STUDENT ARTWORK FROM JUSTICE CENTER: The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Red Hook Community Justice Center have completed Red Hook Beautification Project for the Atlantic Basin temporary flood measures. The project places photography by students of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, on banners that were placed on the Interim Flood Protection Measures (IFPM) which were installed last year, until the permanent coastal resiliency design is completed.
Ten local young artists who participated in the center’s “Just Arts Photography” program in Spring 2022, which encourages students to explore their artistic self-expression, build job readiness and life skills, created several works of art to showcase their talent and give back to the Red Hook community.
‘REF-U-GEE’ EXHIBIT AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE FOCUSES ON FORCED MIGRATION: Brooklyn artist Audrey Frank Anastasi presents “ref-u-gee” – a solo exhibition of works on the theme of forced migration. On view at the Library Gallery of Brooklyn College now through January 15, and presented in collaboration of Valentine Museum of Art and Brooklyn College, the exhibition features 57 of the 180 original passport-sized paintings, and four 8-foot tall paintings.
The “ref-u-gee” exhibit has been received favorably. Several visitors, handwriting on notes, remarked that “The ref-u-gee exhibit was able to encapture what many people…and families went through.” Another wrote, “Ms. Anastasi is a fabulous artist who has chosen to dedicate her talent to bringing the plight of refugees. This fact alone speaks volumes to me.”
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS DENMARK-STYLE ON WILLOW ST.: The Danish Seamen’s Church, which serves visitors and newcomers settling in from Denmark, and which makes its home at 102 Willow Street, hosts its beloved annual Christmas Fair this Saturday and Sunday, November 19-20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Sample delicious food and drink, stock up on imported Danish delicacies and holiday decorations.
Eagle editors have enjoyed the Danish open-face shrimp sandwiches, Gløgg mulled wine and other treats in past years.
STATE LANDMARKS LIGHT UP FOR TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: The Kosciuszko Bridge connecting Brooklyn and Queens on the BQE and One World Trade Center, visible from Brooklyn, will be lit pink, white and light blue on Sunday, November 20 in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance. Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced these landmarks’ lightups and issued a Proclamation declaring November Transgender Awareness Month to celebrate the trans community in New York State and across the country.
Governor Hochul said also that the New York State Division of Human Rights has produced a public service announcement in collaboration with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner and the New Pride Agenda on the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the workplace to protect against discrimination.
RESOURCE FAIR FOR NEWLY-ARRIVED ASYLUM SEEKERS: Good Shepherd Services, in partnership with United Community Centers, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, and other member organizations of the Eastern Brooklyn Emergency Response Collaborative, will host a free resource event for recently arrived immigrants and asylum seekers at the United Community Centers in East New York, this weekend. The Saturday, November 19 event, which several elected officials are expected to attend, will provide those in need with access to a comprehensive range of services – including food, clothing, legal assistance, housing support, baby items, personal-care supplies, and help enrolling in health insurance and benefits.
The Eastern Brooklyn Emergency Response Collaborative will host an additional resource event on December 15.
GOOD SHEPHERD SERVICES HOSTS RED HOOK THANKSGIVING DINNER: Good Shepherd Services, one of largest nonprofit providers of youth and family services in New York City, will host its 31st Annual Red Hook Thanksgiving Dinner tonight at the Red Hook Beacon Community Center, providing Red Hook families with a warm meal, live performances, and entertainment ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Catering the 31st Annual Red Hook Thanksgiving Dinner will be Hometown BBQ and feature live performances by MNFST (Manifest), a New York street drummer, and Jabowen Dixon, a tap dancer. Good Shepherd has been hosting Thanksgiving dinners for Red Hook families at the Red Hook Beacon Community Center for over 30 years.
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