Brooklyn Boro

What’s News, Breaking: Thursday, December 15, 2022

December 15, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Share this:

CLIMATE GROUP CALLS FOR STATE BUDGET TO INCLUDE
‘ALL-ELECTRIC BUILDING ACT’

Marking the first anniversary of the passage of New York City’s nation-leading ban on fossil fuels in new buildings, industry professionals, elected officials and activists held a press conference regarding the cost savings from all-electric buildings. The speakers urged Governor Kathy Hochul to include in her budget the All-Electric Building Act, which would require all-electric new construction statewide.

Win Climate, a think tank that uses data science to support legislators and advocates working to pass state-level climate policies, and its team of data scientists, financial analysts, energy modelers and policy researchers, has published a new analysis showing that under the All-Electric Building Act, families living in new homes could save an average of nearly $1,000 per year in heating costs.

✰✰✰

CHRIST CHURCH-COBBLE HILL HOSTS
MARATHON READING OF ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL’

Cobble Hill becomes a 19th-century English village this Saturday, December 17 when Christ Church hosts a marathon reading of Charles Dickens’s beloved classic, “A Christmas Carol.” Fr. Mark Genszler, priest-in-charge at Christ Church, invites the community to pause their schedules as they like and to listen as parishioners and friends of the parish take turns reading.

The reading runs from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Parish House, just past the southwest corner of Clinton and Kane streets. Cider and cookies will be served.

✰✰✰

PILOT PROGRAM NETS $4.1 MILLION RETAIL VALUE
OF ILLEGAL CANNABIS GOODS

CITYWIDE – The Cannabis NYC Interagency Enforcement Task Force, a joint project of several NYC law enforcement agencies, conducted a two-week inspection and enforcement pilot program against establishments selling illegal cannabis (including ingestible edibles), vaping and tobacco products. The pilot, conducted during the weeks of November 14-19 and again November 28-December 3, resulted in the inspections of 53 locations in all five boroughs, the seizure of more than 100,000 illegal products, totaling an estimated retail value of $4,143,647, the issuance of 500 civil violations and 66 criminal summonses, two felony arrests, and one arrest on an outstanding warrant.

Mayor Eric Adams, who announced the task force’s work on Thursday, December 15, also promoted what he called a “more equitable” rollout of the legal cannabis market.

✰✰✰

IN MEMORIAM: DISTRICT LEADER JOANNE SEMINARA

Joanne Seminara is pictured here in her 2016 re-election bid for 64th A.D. District Leader, with Justin Brannan (center, then an aide to City Councilmember Vincent Gentile) and Ms. Seminara’s husband, Pierre Lehu. Photo: Paula Katinas.

BAY RIDGE – The Bay Ridge and Brooklyn law communities are mourning the loss of Joanne Seminara, Esq. who died on Thursday, December 15. An attorney by profession, Ms. Seminara was also Brooklyn Democratic Party District Leader for the 64th Assembly District, which covers a portion of southwest Brooklyn, a member of Brooklyn Community Board 10, and a parishioner at St. Andrew the Apostle Roman Catholic Church.

The Brooklyn Democratic Party on Thursday released a statement eulogizing Ms. Seminara as “a lifelong community advocate with a strong moral compass who selflessly dedicated her life to uplifting the community” and “a tireless worker for human rights, especially human trafficking, using her three decades of legal acumen to help.”

✰✰✰

DIOCESAN CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY
CELEBRATES BROOKLYN’S RICH ETHNIC HERITAGE

The Diocesan Christmas Tree at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch is just a few short blocks from the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph on Pacific St. near Vanderbilt Ave., which flows into the plaza. Photo: DeSales Media.

GRAND ARMY PLAZA – Bishop Robert J. Brennan presided at the official Brooklyn Diocesan Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and blessing of the Nativity Scene, in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza on Wednesday evening, December 14. The 28-foot Norway Spruce tree is decorated with 16,000 multi-colored LED lights to represent the diversity of the Diocese of Brooklyn, which is often referred to as the “Diocese of Immigrants.”

Speaking during the event, which also featured a Christmas musical presentation, Bishop Brennan said, “We are going to push back the darkness in the light of this glorious Christmas tree so that all of Brooklyn can see what we are celebrating, that Brooklyn can see our joy, Brooklyn can see our love, Brooklyn can see our unity.”

The Brooklyn Diocesan Christmas Tree lights up the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza. Photo: DeSales Media.

✰✰✰

PART TWO OF CATHOLIC SCHOOL PRINCIPAL’S TRILOGY
SET FOR RELEASE THIS FRIDAY

Bay Ridge Catholic Academy Principal Gary recently celebrated the launch of his “Gone But Not Forgotten” trilogy with one of his first-graders. Photo: DeSales Media.

BAY RIDGE – “Gone but Not Forsaken,” the second book in a historical fiction trilogy authored by longtime New York City educator Gary M. Williams, is set to be released tomorrow, Friday, December 16. Williams, a teacher and principal with the New York City Department of Education for thirty-five years, and who currently serves as the Principal of Bay Ridge Catholic Academy, was inspired to write a historical fiction novel spanning the 20th century.

Set in America and Europe during the period of 1918–1945, the book parallels post-World War I through the end of World War II, and parallels the birth of Hollywood glitz, the Pearl Harbor bombing, the rise of Nazism, the Third Reich and the American/Allied victory.

The book jacket for Part II of Brooklyn educator Gary Williams’s “Gone But Not Forgotten” trilogy. Photo: Austin Macauley Publishers.

✰✰✰

MASS WITH MARIACHIS, TORCH PROCESSIONS
HONOR OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

Bishop Robert Brennan lights the torches that representatives from 44 parishes carried throughout to their respective churches in Brooklyn and Queens. Photo: DeSales Media.

PROSPECT HEIGHTS – The Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12 with two Spanish masses (for Brooklyn and Queens parishes) at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, 856 Pacific Street. About 3,000 pilgrims and a Mariachi band filled the cathedral to venerate St. Mary and her early 16th-century appearance to Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Christianity.

Following each Mass, Bishop Brennan lit the torches carried by representatives from 44 parishes. An estimated 175,000 Mexicans live in Brooklyn and Queens.

Worshipers at the annual Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe carry their parish banners into the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph for the Opening Procession. Photo: DeSales Media.

✰✰✰

CITY PUTS PRESSURE ON ASIAN ADVOCACY GROUP
TO REPAIR LANDMARKED BUILDING IT OWNS

SUNSET PARK —The City of New York may use legal pressure to get the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association to repair a crumbling landmarked building that it owns on Sunset Park’s Fourth Avenue, according to news reports. An attorney with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which in 1983 designed the old 68th Precinct House and Stable at 4302 Fourth Ave. as an NYC Landmark, has notified Borough Hall that it may utilize the court system to pressure the Asian advocacy organization to fix the property.

Built in 1886, the old 68th Precinct House and Stable were last used in 1970. As Landmarks, they cannot be demolished, but a number of preservation groups are protesting the fact that buildings like it have been allowed to fall into disrepair.

✰✰✰

CONEY ISLAND MAN MISSING

CONEY ISLAND – Police are seeking help in locating Nelson Baez, 43, last seen leaving his residence at Surf Vets Place in Coney Island on the morning of December 8. He is described as being approximately 5’11” tall, weighing 180 lbs., bald-headed and was last seen wearing blue jeans.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) or to log onto the Crime Stoppers website or to Tweet @NYPDTips.

If this man looks familiar, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the police. All tips are strictly confidential.

​✰✰✰

BROOKLYN MAN ARRESTED IN MANHATTAN HOMICIDE

EAST NEW YORK – East New York resident Lashawn Delima, 32, along with Queens resident Lmani Delima, 30, has been arrested in connection with a shooting incident in Chelsea last month that left one man dead and two others injured. On the night of Nov. 12, police officers responding to a report of a shooting outside a Chelsea art gallery found Rasithamar Grant of Queens deceased at the scene, as well as an injured woman who was transported to the hospital by EMS and an injured man who was transported to the hospital by private means.

The investigation remains ongoing.

​✰✰✰

NORTH BROOKLYN RESIDENTS FEAR IMPACT OF GAS PROJECT

GREENPOINT – Activists have issued a statement urging community and government leaders to pump the breaks on a proposed project to add two new fracked gas vaporizers, said by National Grid to be a necessary reliability upgrade but found by a report last month to be redundant, at the National Grid gas storage facility in Greenpoint. The addition of these vaporizers, the activists say, would raise rates for consumers and could run afoul of a New York law that requires consideration to be given to historically marginalized areas designated as “Environmental Justice Communities.” Jessica Azulay, executive director of Alliance for a Green Economy, said, “National Grid has flouted this law by continuing to propose and build unnecessary fossil fuel projects like the LNG vaporizers and the North Brooklyn Pipeline in disadvantaged communities.”

The fight over the controversial North Brooklyn Pipeline has been ongoing for years. The pipeline has caused much distress over its planned route, which winds through primarily lower-income areas of Brooklyn while avoiding wealthier ones.

✰✰✰

SWEDISH CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION IN BAY RIDGE

BAY RIDGE – The Ridge Creative Center in partnership with the Scandinavian East Coast Museum will be sharing the Swedish tradition of Santa Lucia with the local community on Friday, December 16. The celebration, which features a procession of Christmas characters led by the candle-crowned St. Lucia herself, will also involve a sing-along and other holiday delights.

The event will be held at Union Church of Bay Ridge and will begin at 5:30 p.m.

​✰✰✰

MAN SOUGHT IN CONNECTION WITH TRAFFIC SHOOTING

Urgent help is needed in finding this individual. Any tips given to police are strictly confidential.

CROWN HEIGHTS – A 52-year-old man was shot and injured while driving on Rochester Ave. on Wednesday afternoon, after an unidentified man fired a gun at another group of males before fleeing into the Crown Heights-Utica Avenue subway station. Police are asking for help in finding this man who is described as being in his 20s, having a dark complexion, thin build and large, black hair, and was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a black North Face bubble jacket.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) or to log onto the Crime Stoppers website or to Tweet @NYPDTips.

​✰✰✰

BROOKLYN’S LARGEST MENORAH TO LIGHT UP FOR HANUKKAH

PARK SLOPE – On December 18, as it has since 1985, Brooklyn’s largest menorah will once again shine over Grand Army Plaza in celebration of the Jewish winter festival of lights. Rabbi Shimon Hecht, lifted by a 60-foot boom lift, will do the honors on the first night, accompanied by other public figures and live music, while gifts are given to all children and hot latkes are free for everyone.

The celebration will kick off at 4 p.m. and is free and open to all. Scheduling information for other nights can be found on the Prospect Park Alliance’s website.

​✰✰✰

CAR THEFT VICTIM SURVIVES ATTACK IN BOROUGH PARK

BOROUGH PARK – A Borough Park man sustained only minor injuries after attempting to stop the theft of his car, a black 2016 Honda Civic which had been left unlocked, on the morning of Nov. 10. The thief, described as a male with a light complexion, medium build, black hair and a goatee wearing an Adidas sweatshirt, fought with the victim before striking him with the car as he made his getaway up 14th Ave.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) or to log onto the Crime Stoppers website or to Tweet @NYPDTips.

If you recognize this suspect, please contact police with any information you may have. All calls are strictly confidential.

✰✰✰

PROTESTS CITY’S TREATMENT OF BUILDINGS IN LANDMARK APPLICATION PROCESS

The advocacy group Justice for 441 Willoughby (Bedford-Stuyvesant), will join elected officials, Historic Districts Council preservationists, and community leaders on the steps of City Hall on Thursday, December 15 to accuse the city of demolishing buildings that are about to be landmarked. The groups will protest the deterioration and demolition of buildings that have either been landmarked or are on the agenda for landmark status votes — which is supposed to protect them from the wrecking ball.

The group Justice for 441 Willoughby is named for the address of the now-demolished Jacob Dangler Mansion, which was a 120-year-old French-Gothic building at the corner of Willoughby and Nostrand Avenues. Dangler, a prosperous immigrant entrepreneur, built the French Gothic Revival-style mansion around 1902; it later became a community center.

​✰✰✰

CONEY ISLAND TRAIN CONDUCTOR EARNS MTA’S OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD

A Coney Island train conductor was honored with the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s 2022 Bi-Annual Outstanding Customer Service Award, at a ceremony held Wednesday, December 14 at the MTA headquarters. Michelle E. Smith, who operates trains in Coney Island and is a 22-year veteran of New York City Transit, said, “I love going to work, the customers are my family away from home, and we all do a fantastic job to keep New Yorkers moving safely.”

Smith was among 51 transit employees honored for their work in safety; customer service; teamwork; leadership, and diversity and inclusion.

✰✰✰

DUO WANTED FOR ASSAULT OF LIVERY CAB DRIVER

Police are asking the public to help locate two unidentified individuals being sought in connection with a robbery that occurred in New Lots/East New York, within the 75th Precinct, on Tuesday, November 22 around 3:25 p.m. The victim, a 61-year-old male livery cab driver, picked up two male passengers in front of 662 Riverdale Avenue in New Lots, who then assaulted and robbed him of $20 upon leaving the cab a few blocks away.

The male individuals fled on foot towards the vicinity of 389 New Lots Avenue. The victim refused medical attention at the scene.

One of two men wanted in connection with an assault on a livery cab driver. Both are described as having medium complexions and being approximately 15 to 17 years of age. Photo: NYPD/Crimestoppers.
The second of two men wanted in connection with an assault on a livery cab driver Both are described as having medium complexions and being approximately 15 to 17 years of age. Photo: NYPD/Crimestoppers.

✰✰✰

LOGAN FOUNTAIN TO TRANSFORM DEFUNCT GAS STATION INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMPLEX

The groundbreaking has taken place for Logan Fountain, a mixed-use project developed under the 2016 East New York rezoning, that will transform a defunct gas station into affordable housing units, transitional housing for homeless families, and new retail space, Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announced on Wednesday, December 14. Named Logan Fountain for two streets surrounding the property (and intersecting with Atlantic Avenue at 265 Logan St.), the new project was designed as a hybrid model that will include an affordable and supportive housing component and a family shelter in a 13-story building.

MHG Architects designed Logan Fountain, which Broadway Builders, an affiliate of The Hudson Companies, will build.

✰✰✰

JUMAANE WILLIAMS TAKES ON ROLE IN ANCIENT GREEK PLAY THE TRIPLE LIVES OF AN AIRLINE EMPLOYEE

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – A Brooklyn man employed as both a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer and airline crew member was arrested Tuesday night, December 13, for defrauding the airline. The defendant, 36-year-old Steven Livingston, had devised a scheme to hold both jobs by convincing his airline employer that that he was on military leave – he is in the National Guard —and submitted forged Army orders between April 2019 and December 2022 in order to qualify for benefits, according to a complaint submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office/Eastern District, here in Brooklyn.

The defendant was a soldier for the New York Army National Guard until his discharge in or around November 2022.

✰✰✰

EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE FUNDING PORTAL TO CLOSE IN JANUARY

STATEWIDE – Litigation that the Legal Aid Society initiated earlier this year has protected more than 136,000 New Yorkers from eviction by qualifying them for funding to address their late rental payments, the advocacy group announced on Wednesday, December 14. The case, Hidalgo v. New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, forced the defendant agency to reopen the Emergency Rental Assistance Program portal (ERAP), and to contact potential applicants whose attempts to apply were rejected due to OTDA’s unlawful policy.

Wednesday’s announcement was made in response to news that OTDA will close the ERAP portal in January 2023, although OTDA agrees that it will continue to accept applications for this relief beyond January 15, 2023, if new and sufficient state or federal funding becomes available to continue underwriting projected costs after January 15.

✰✰✰

PROTESTS CITY’S TREATMENT OF BUILDINGS IN LANDMARK APPLICATION PROCESS

The advocacy group Justice for 441 Willoughby (Bedford Stuyvesant), will join elected officials, Historic Districts Council preservationists, and community leaders on the steps of City Hall on Thursday, December 15 to accuse the city of demolishing buildings that are about to be landmarked. The groups will protest the deterioration and demolition of buildings that have either been landmarked or are on the agenda for landmark status votes — which is supposed to protect them from the wrecking ball.

The group Justice for 441 Willoughby is named for the address of the now-demolished Jacob Dangler Mansion, which was a 120-year-old French-Gothic building at the corner of Willoughby and Nostrand Avenues. Dangler, a prosperous immigrant entrepreneur, built the French Gothic Revival-style mansion around 1902; it later became a community center.

The Jacob Dangler Mansion at 441 Willoughby Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, before its demolition. Photo: Lore Croghan.

 ✰✰✰

HOSPITAL SERVING SOUTH BROOKLYN WILL GET NEW ECHOCARDIOGRAM EQUIPMENT

SOUTH BROOKLYN – NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health has  received $1 million from State Assemblyman William Colton (D-47th District) to replace six echocardiogram machines that will in turn support the expansion of the medical center’s cardiac se

CITYWIDE – Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will be participating in a unique online adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy “Antigone,” in which a young woman fights to uphold her values in the face of public opposition, on Wednesday, December 14. “The Nurse Antigone”, which will feature professional actors such as Anthony Edwards and Taylor Schilling, as well as other public figures performing dramatic readings from the ancient play backed by a chorus of nurses, “dramatizes the heavy cost of silencing and marginalizing caregivers, especially during times of crisis.”

Attendees will need to register in advance for the play, which will be held on Zoom at 5 p.m. and is presented by Theater of War Productions.

✰✰✰

CHRISTMAS DISPLAY LIGHTS UP SOUTH BROOKLYN

DYKER HEIGHTS – The Dyker Heights Christmas light display, which has quickly become a beloved New York tradition, is once again lighting up south Brooklyn this year thanks to neighborhood residents, who are known for going all-out in their efforts to decorate their homes and bring holiday cheer to the borough. For those new to the magic, Time Out magazine has a helpful guide on the best ways to experience this urban winter wonderland.

Although the festive display delights visitors, some Dyker Heights residents have become concerned with the amount of traffic and noise sightseers can bring to the area, especially in the years since the initial outbreak of the pandemic.

✰✰✰

SUPERMARKET CLOSURE WORRIES LOCALS 

FLATBUSH – The impending closure of a local Stop & Shop supermarket has alarmed Flatbush residents, who worry that grocery options in the neighborhood are dwindling even as food prices rise. Community activists say that they are concerned that parts of the neighborhood are in danger of becoming food deserts, a term that describes areas without ready access to affordable and healthy food options.

PIX 11 reports that the store will remain open until Jan. 19, after which some employees will be transferred to other Stop & Shop locations in the city as a new store takes over their lease.

✰✰✰

NEW BQE PLAN: ONLINE MEETING ANNOUNCED

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – DOT will be holding an online meeting to display its preliminary designs for the “BQE Central” section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, on Thursday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held on Zoom and attendees are required to register before attending.

The preliminary designs are based on feedback DOT received at a series of meetings held in October.

✰✰✰

POLICE SEEK HELP IDENTIFYING ASSAULTER

CYPRESS HILLS – The NYPD is asking the public for help identifying an individual suspected of assaulting a man in Cypress Hills in November. In the early afternoon of Nov. 15, this person engaged a local man in a verbal dispute on the corner of Fulton and Essex streets before punching the man in the face and fleeing on foot.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), or to submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

If you recognize this person, please contact the NYPD with any information you can share. All tips are confidential.

✰✰✰

TRAGIC DEATH IN QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD

SUNSET PARK – The NYPD reports that a 48-year-old woman was found deceased with a stab wound to the neck at a home in Sunset Park on Tuesday following a 911 call. A man who lives at that address, Rubu Zhao, 52, has been taken into custody and charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

The NYPD have not released the woman’s identity pending notification of the family.

✰✰✰

NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS IN PROSPECT PARK

PARK SLOPE – Spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks are returning this year to Prospect Park after two years of absence during the worst of the pandemic. The family-friendly event will start at 10 PM with live music before the display itself begins at midnight.

Tickets are recommended but not required, and can be reserved on EventBrite.

✰✰✰

COUNCIL SEEKS TO BAN GUINEA PIG SALES

CITYWIDE — The City Council is set to finally hold a meeting on Wednesday morning on the proposed bill to ban the sales of guinea pigs in city pet shops. The legislation is intended to address the skyrocketing numbers of guinea pigs being surrendered to shelters or abandoned after adoption by erstwhile pet owners during the early days of the pandemic.

The bill, which activists have been advocating for since February, has achieved a supermajority of supporters in the council but has not yet been passed, reportedly due to reluctance by Speaker Adrienne Adams as well as backlogs in council business.

✰✰✰

FIRE DEATH RECLASSIFIED AS HOMICIDE, SAY POLICE 

The NYPD has announced that they are now investigating the suspicious November death of a Broadway Junction woman as a homicide. On Nov. 11, emergency services personnel responding to an early morning fire at a building on Van Siclen Avenue discovered the body of an unidentified woman in an apartment after extinguishing the fire.

Police say that the Fire Marshal will determine the cause of the fire and that the investigation is ongoing.


Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment