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What’s News, Breaking: Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November 30, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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NYU BUYS 3 METROTECH CENTER TO EXPAND TANDON SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING’S PROGRAMS: New York University has purchased 3 MetroTech Center, a 350,000 square foot building adjacent to NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. The purchase, which NYU President Andrew Hamilton announced yesterday, will support an ongoing $1 billion investment in Tandon to significantly advance engineering at NYU by recruiting 40 new full-time tenure track faculty, fueling groundbreaking research, and growing and modernizing its Downtown Brooklyn campus.

The funding will enable basic and applied research in key interdisciplinary areas of global import—secure wireless ecosystems and supply chains, health engineering, sustainable engineering, and data science to improve the human condition.

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

MTA UPGRADE PROJECT WILL UPGRADE ACCESSIBILITY AT SEVERAL BROOKLYN SUBWAY STATIONS: A sweeping package of accessibility upgrades will make nine more New York City subway stations more accessible, replace and upgrade elevators at another five subway stations, including the Brooklyn Borough Hall hub, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced on Wednesday. This includes a bundle of stations to be delivered under a Public-Private Partnership (P3) delivery model that will add 21 elevators to make eight stations newly accessible, including, in Brooklyn: the Church Avenue and Sheepshead Bay station on the B and Q lines; the Kings Highway station on the F line; and the Junius Street station in Brownsville, on the 3 line. Moreover, the Euclid Avenue station, in East New York, which is the southern terminus station on the C line, will get a replacement elevator.

 This contract is the first in MTA history to be awarded using the P3 project delivery model, which requires that the developer finances a portion of the project with equity to be repaid only if the project is built and maintained to MTA standards.

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SEPARATE PROJECT WILL MAKE IRT’s 4 & 5 LINES FULLY ACCESSIBLE AT BOROUGH HALL: The Borough Hall station in Downtown Brooklyn, which serves the 2, 3, 4, 5 IRT line, will be made fully accessible along with investments address state-of-good-repair needs and renew the station, as part of a second MTA contract announced today. A new elevator to bring customers from street level to the 4 and 5 train mezzanine and two others between the mezzanine level and the northbound and southbound 4 and 5 train platforms will be added; the 2 and 3 lines already have the street-access and boarding area elevators.

The Borough Hall station’s floors, walls, roof and ventilator structures will all be repaired.

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BROOKLYN ORGANIZATIONS WIN GRANTS FROM EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT: The Brooklyn Alliance — a non-profit arm of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; a theatrical company in Bushwick and NYCxDESIGN have received grants from the Empire State Development, for a total of $15 million through the Market New York Program. NYCxDESIGN, which will host NYC’s Annual Design Week next May, has received a $505,000 Working Capital Grant: NYCxDESIGN for a project to expand impact through new programming that aims to drive more visitors to New York City and target inclusive growth for local businesses. The Brooklyn Alliance’s Working Capital Grant of $25,000 will use the funds to support “Explore Brooklyn”, a comprehensive tourism recovery plan that will increase tourism to and within Brooklyn and NYC as a whole.

The Bushwick Starr, an award-winning Off-Off-Broadway nonprofit professional theater company, will use the $500,000 grant it received to construct a permanent venue for its performing arts organization at 419 Eldert Street that will both increase the Starr’s audience capacity and enable the creation and maintenance of arts employment in the neighborhood.

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CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS ELECT REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES AS LEADER: Brooklyn Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries (D-8th District) has become the first Black American elected to head a major political party in Congress, following Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s retirement from her long tenure of House leadership. House Democrats voted for Jeffries unanimously by acclamation in a closed-door vote this morning.

Jeffries, who was first elected in 2012 at age 42 and represents a large swath of Brooklyn from parts of DUMBO to the Queens border, has become the second Brooklynite to lead a chamber of Congress concurrently. Sen. Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, also from Brooklyn, retains his position after Democrats preserved their majority in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-8th District), Brooklyn and Queens.
Photo: Scott J. Applewhite/AP

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AWARENESS CAMPAIGN TO END GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: The Mayor’s Office also invites New Yorkers to participate in the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. This global rallying campaign for the prevention and elimination of gender-based violence, which runs through Human Rights Day on December 10, is a chance for organizations and individuals to mobilize staff and community to wear orange and post on social media using the hatchhtags: #NYCAgainstGBV and #OrangeTheWorld; to host an in-person or virtual activity or event about GBV, attend and amplify community and agency partners’ public events. (Visit for more information: https://16days-nyc.hub.arcgis.com/?emci=3b72d1b4-fb6f-ed11-819c-00224825858d&emdi=da466c28-0e70-ed11-819c-00224825858d&ceid=4017951

The campaign runs 16 days, starting from November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and ends on December 10, Human Rights Day.

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FIRST PHASE OPENS OF VITAL BROOKLYN INITIATIVE HOUSING: State officials, and developers tomorrow will celebrate the ribbon-cutting for Vital Brookdale, the first development to be completed under the Governor’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative to improve the quality of life in the central part of the borough. New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, One Brooklyn Heath System, development team MGD, Smith & Hensey Advisory Group, and New York Foundling, will mark the completion of the 160-apartment affordable and supportive $82 million Vital Brookdale, on East 98th Street, near Hegeman Avenue.

This is the first of ten large-scale, health- and community-centered developments to be built under the state’s major Vital Brooklyn Initiative.

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SUNY DOWNSTATE AWARDED $439K GRANT FOR BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH RESEARCH: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded SUNY Downstate School of Public Health, Downstate’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Arthur Ashe Institute of Urban Health a $439K grant for Black maternal health research, aimed at addressing the growing maternal mortality rate, specifically in Central Brooklyn. The grant will fund the National Institutes of Health H R21 Intervention Study, a joint project between Downstate and the Arthur Ashe Institute, and test the efficacy of an intervention prototype called We Care About Brooklyn (WeCAB).

We Care About Brooklyn uses a combination of community health workers, digital health screenings, and an integrated referral system to better address patients’ needs, by integrating the principles of an evidence-based community health worker model and leverages a digital social determinant of health screening and a close-loop referral system.

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NYU LANGONE HEALTH AWARDED FUNDS TO EXPAND ACCESS TO FAMILY MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS: NYU Langone Health is one of 80 community-based organizations to be awarded a total of $3.3 million statewide to increase access to mental health services for children and families across the state. Governor Kathy Hochul yesterday announced that the federal funds, administered through the state Office of Mental Health, will be applied to helping community-based service providers better serve children and youth who are dually diagnosed with mental illness and a developmental disability or substance use disorder.

These awards, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, will support expanding suicide prevention initiatives, respite programs, family and youth peer support services and children’s non-Medicaid managed care programs. 

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BROOKLYN ARTS ORGANIZATIONS WIN MAJOR STATE FUNDING: Several Brooklyn organizations are among those receiving a total of $45 million in grants through the New York State Council on the Arts in what is a record level of state funding for the arts, Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday. Among the awardees are BRIC Arts (receiving $49,500); the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Book Festival, Inc ($40,000); the Brooklyn Botanic Garden ($40,000); Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy ($40,000); Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service ($15,000); Brooklyn Children’s Museum ($49,500); and the Brooklyn Public Library ($49,500).

The Support for Organizations grants will provide $38,452,500 to 1,214 arts groups including museums, visual arts programs, arts education organizations, and music, dance, and theater companies.

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BED-STUY GATEWAY BID OPENS WINTER WONDERLAND HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE: The Bed-Stuy Gateway BID hosted its annual ribbon cutting ceremony launching the Winter Wonderland Holiday Marketplace, and in the process celebrated Small Business Saturday last weekend. Wells Fargo presents this shop-small initiative that provides local merchants with opportunities to increase foot-traffic, while offering crafters, creatives, and small business owners a viable platform to showcase and sell their goods and services.

The Winter Wonderland is also a collaboration with Neighborhoods Now, the initiative from the Urban Design Forum and Van Alen Institute to support local organizations leading their communities’ pandemic recovery.

Left to Right Back aisle -Bill Stomp, Wells Fargo; Daniel McPhee, Executive Director, Urban Design Forum; Krissy Moore, Sr. VP, Wells Fargo; Catherine Domenech, VP, Wells Fargo; Moshood Model; Devonte Deshong, Bed-Stuy Gateway BID; John Sloan, Buro Happold; Trevor Reynolds, Buro Happold, NYC; Wanda, Saez, Wells Fargo; Deborah Marton, Van Alen; Chi Osse, NYC Councilman; Dale Charles, Executive Director, Bed Stuy Gateway BID, Blondel Pinnick, CEO, Bedford- Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation; Hakeem Jeffries, US Congressman; Joyce Turner, Chair, Bed-Stuy Gateway BID Board of Directors.
 Photo: Bed-Stuy-Gateway-BID/Keith-L-Forest

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IN MEMORIAM: CHOREOGRAPHER, DANCER SUSAN KIKUCHI: Susan Lynn Kikuchi, a Brooklyn native who followed her mother’s legacy as a Martha Graham dancer, and choreographer for “The King And I,” has died at age 74, reports Anna Kisselgoff, in a New York Times obituary published on Tuesday. Kikuchi was acclaimed internationally for her staging of the iconic Martha Graham’s dances and for her revivals of the Jerome Robbins musical.

Kikuchi’s mother, known familiarly as Yuriko, who died in March 2022 at age 102, had been a leading dancer with the Martha Graham Company over the course of three decades.

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NYC CARE WINS TYSON AWARD FOR HEALTH CARE EQUITY: NYC Health + Hospitals’ NYC Care program, which provides access to low or no-cost primary and specialty care, and prescription medicines, was honored during a Tuesday, November 29 ceremony with the 2022 Bernard J. Tyson National Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Healthcare Equity from the Joint Commission and Kaiser Permanente. Named for the late Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson, a champion for health care equity, the award recognizes health care organizations that achieve a measurable, sustained reduction in one or more health care disparities.

Launched in 2019, NYC Care’s success has been credited to a multi-pronged public awareness and outreach strategy, including citywide advertising campaigns in mainstream, community and ethnic media, supplementing ongoing outreach work at the grassroots level, and partnerships with city agencies.

(from left) NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD, Dr. Jonathan Jiménez, Executive Director of NYC Care from NYC Health + Hospitals, and NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Care and Population Health Dr. Ted Long pose with Tyson Award. Photo: NYC Health & Hospitals

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MAYOR AUTHORIZES OFFICIALS TO REMOVE MENTALLY-ILL PERSONS FROM STREETS, SUBWAYS: Responding to a recent surge in crime in the subway system, Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced a new directive clarifying that outreach workers, city-operated hospitals, and first responders have the legal authority to remove from public persons perceiving to have severe mental health illness when that prevents them from meeting their own basic human needs, to the extent that they are a danger to themselves. Adams also sought to dispel what he called a “persistent myth that the legal standard for involuntary intervention requires an “overt act” demonstrating that the person is violent, suicidal, or engaging in outrageously dangerous behavior likely to result in imminent harm.”

The mayor added that the city is developing a tele-consult line to provide police officers in the field with direct access to clinicians, and designed to provide critical clinical advice to police officers when dealing with individuals in distress and ensure a compassionate response for those suffering with untreated serious mental illness.

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PUBLIC ADVOCATE CALLS ‘HOMELESS’ DIRECTIVE ‘NOT SUSTAINABLE OR EFFECTIVE’: Pushing back on the mayor’s announcement to remove mentally-ill persons from the streets and subways, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said, “The city seems stubbornly insistent on using police as main decision makers in mental health emergencies.” Calling the mayor’s directive one that “leaves many details unspecified, questions unanswered.” Williams argued that “mental health is a public health issue – not a criminal one. Unfortunately, as we detailed in our new review just days ago, the city has still not taken many of the steps needed to reform our mental health and public safety infrastructure, and in some ways, has gone backward.”

The Public Advocate said, “A framework that continues to center overreliance on police, diminishes the role of health professionals, and de-prioritizes the role of peer support, will not be sustainable or effective in meeting the needs of New Yorkers in need or a city in crisis.”

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MAYOR ACCUSED OF ‘DRACONIAN’ MEASURES INVOLVING ROUNDUP OF MENTALLY-ILL PERSONS: The mayor’s directive on mentally-ill and, in some cases, homeless persons, has also received criticism from the Boerum Hill-based group VOCAL-NY, which defines itself as “a statewide grassroots membership organization that builds power among low-income people affected by HIV/AIDS, the drug war, mass incarceration, and homelessness.” Jawanza Williams, Director of Organizing for VOCAL-NY said, “New Yorkers will see this plan for what it is: a draconian attempt to say the Adams’ administration is tackling a problem, while only making it worse…Mayor Adams is using progressive language around care and compassion to distract from his continued budget cuts to services and agency staff, while fueling the NYPD budget.”

Jawanza Williams pointed out, “If the Adams administration actually cared about helping people experiencing mental health crises, Daniel’s Law [named in memory of Daniel Prude, a Rochester man in distress whom police killed] would be at the top of his legislative agenda, and he would halt his austerity budget measures immediately.”

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MENTAL HEALTH TOWN HALL CONVENES TONIGHT FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT 13: An Anti-Racist Mental Health Town Hall scheduled for tonight aims to offer stress management to people within Community School District 13, which encompasses Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant. The virtual meeting (registration https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcscu-vqTkjHNLvsSZQqO8_B4k7koHatEFK ) brings in keynote speaker Dr. Angela Moses, with a mental health check-in, and incorporates segments on Restorative Practices, Trauma — Informed Care, Mindfulness and Joy.

A discussion in Spanish will also be offered.

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MAYOR ADAMS TRAVELING TO GREECE TO ADDRESS SUMMIT AGAINST ANTISEMITISM: Mayor Eric Adams will be speaking  at the second annual “Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism” in Greece, starting tomorrow, November 30, his office has confirmed. Municipal leaders from over 50 different cities worldwide will convene in Athens, at the summit which the Combat Antisemitism Movement is hosting, to discuss each leader’s experiences dealing with antisemitism and other forms of bigotry, and to collaborate on new approaches to addressing these escalating issues.

Mayor Adams joins nearly a dozen other U.S. mayors at the summit, bringing together participants from the states and cities around the world.


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