Brooklyn Boro

What’s News, Breaking: Thursday, December 22, 2022

December 22, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Share this:

SENATE ADJOURNS WITHOUT VOTING ON SAFE BANKING ACT TO HELP FLEDGLING CANNABIS INDUSTRY

As New York City’s first legal cannabis dispensary prepares to sell marijuana next week, the U.S. Senate dealt the entire industry a setback by failing to pass the much-sought-after Safe and Fair Enforcement Banking Act before it adjourned on Wednesday. This law would have given cannabis businesses access to additional financial services, including the ability to conduct digital transactions.

The bill did not make it to a Senate vote even though the House of Representatives had already passed it April 2021 — for the fifth time.

✰✰✰

NEW LAW HELPS SEXUAL-ASSAULT SURVIVORS TRACK THEIR EVIDENCE KIT LOCATIONS

STATEWIDE – A new law that Governor Kathy Hochul signed on December 22 will establish a statewide electronic tracking system for sexual offense evidence collection kits, commonly known as rape kits. The legislation (S7867-A/A9596-A) directs the Division of Criminal Justice Services to create a tracking system for kits in the custody of law enforcement agencies that will allow survivors to access information about the status of their rape kit and will be critical to ensure accountability for timely processing.

Following last week’s fire at an NYPD evidence warehouse in Red Hook, the question remains as to whether the filled evidence collection kits will be stored in areas safe from fires or flooding.

✰✰✰

FIRST DISPENSARY TO SELL LEGAL WEED OPENING IN MANHATTAN HOUSING WORKS SITE… BUT NOT IN BROOKLYN

STATEWIDE – A dispensary on Broadway near Astor Place in Manhattan that Housing Works operates will be the first one licensed to sell legal, regulated adult-use cannabis, starting on December 29, Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Thursday. This historic event will mark a critical milestone in the Seeding Opportunity Initiative, meant to build an adult-use cannabis industry and offset the harm​ ​caused by criminalizing its use​.​

Housing Works, the nation’s largest minority-controlled HIV/AIDS service organization, runs a store at 150 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, but that location will not be selling the cannabis products in the near future.

✰✰✰

GOVERNOR NAMES HON. HECTOR LASALLE AS NEXT NEW YORK CHIEF JUDGE

Hon. Hector LaSalle, selected to serve as the next chief judge of New York State. Photo: Robert Abruzzese/Brooklyn Eagle.

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS The presiding justice of the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court’s Second Department, here in Brooklyn, has been selected to serve as the next chief judge of New York State. Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday, December 22, named the Hon. Hector LaSalle as the chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, pending State Senate confirmation within the next 30 days, and making him the state’s first Latino judge in that role.

“New York’s Court of Appeals has a long history as a beacon of justice, and Judge LaSalle is an outstanding jurist in that tradition,” Hochul said in a statement. “He has the skills, experience and intellect to ensure that our highest court is seen as a leader across the country.”

Hon. Hector LaSalle presiding at the bench. Photo: Robert Abruzzese/Brooklyn Eagle.

✰✰✰

HARSH WORDS FOR MTA BUDGET FROM COMPTROLLER

CITYWIDE – State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli had harsh criticism for the MTA’S 2023 budget proposal in a press statement released on Wednesday, saying that the budget adopted by the beleaguered city agency contained $600 million more in spending than the MTA could reasonably get its hands on. “Using as-yet unspecified means to close the budget gap allows the MTA to put off answering tough questions until its February budget update,” DiNapoli wrote, highlighting what he sees as a lack of communication between the transit authority and other branches of city and state government, as well as the public.

DiNapoli has previously criticized the MTA’s inability to explain how it will close its budget gap, which stems from, among other things, decreased ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

✰✰✰

BROOKLYN POLS, GROUPS ORGANIZE HOLIDAY GIVEBACK FOR NEEDY

NORTH BROOKLYN – In the spirit of giving, a coalition of over 40 community organizations, businesses and civic leaders chaired by State Sen. Julia Salazar, Assemblymember Maritza Davila and Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzales partnered to help New Yorkers at the 3rd Annual North Brooklyn Holiday Giveback on Tuesday, December 20. Hosted and organized by Sustainable United Neighborhoods, this large-scale community event provided whole roaster chickens, fresh produce, and dry goods for over 2,200 area households; toys for 1,800 local children; and for 260 asylum seekers & shelter residents, a ‘Christmas Cafe’ featuring hot meals, winter coats, clothes, and a toy, & a visit from Santa for these children celebrating their first Christmas in NYC.

Said SUN Co-Founder & CEO, Jay Solly, “We want to say thank you to the 80+ volunteers, donors, and partners who helped give back this holiday season.”

✰✰✰

MAJOR FULLY AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT SECURES FUNDING

BROWNSVILLE – Slate Property Group and RiseBoro Community Partnership announced the closing of a construction loan for a 215-unit development in Brownsville on Wednesday, December 21. The developers say that when built, sixty percent of the units will be dedicated to supportive housing for young adults and young adult families, and will feature amenities such as case management and service planning, counseling and crisis intervention, family support, opportunities for community engagement/leadership, and mentoring and empowerment services in collaboration with RiseBoro’s Education program; with the remaining 40 percent of the units reserved for families earning below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

This represents a major step forward for the planned building at 326 Rockaway Ave., which was first announced last year.

✰✰✰

MAN WANTED FOR PUBLIC LEWDNESS ON SUBWAY

If you recognize this man, please reach out to police with any information you can share.

PARK SLOPE – Police are searching for a man involved in a flashing incident on the 4 train on the night of Monday, December 5. A young woman reported that the man exposed his genitals to her and began to pleasure himself, causing her to leave while he remained on the train to parts unknown.

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.

✰✰✰

‘CRITICAL VACANCIES’: CITY AGENCIES FACE STAFF SHORTAGES

CITYWIDE – City agencies are facing critical staffing shortages that threaten NYC’s ability to provide essential services, warned City Comptroller Brad Lander in a newly-released report. The report, which focuses on the causes of and solutions for the shortage, criticizes City Hall actions that have led to hiring freezes and eliminations of necessary positions and also calls for increased pay for in-demand skills, for expedited hiring practices and for embracing the possibility of remote work – a suggestion that Mayor Adams may not easily accept.

It was reported in November that city agencies are down by around 21,000 workers overall, prompting concerns that slowdowns in worse-hit agencies could hamper the city’s economic growth.

✰✰✰

PUBLIC ASKED FOR INPUT ON MTA BUS MAP SHAKEUP

CITYWIDE – The MTA is considering making changes to the city’s bus network to improve efficiency and coverage, and is asking the public for feedback on route changes, additions and reductions. A series of public workshops will be held in January of 2023, with the first happening on Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m., and will cover routes in Community District 1 (Williamsburg and Greenpoint).

The times and dates for other areas can be found on the MTA’s website, as can the Zoom registration info.

✰✰✰

OFFICER SHOT BY CAREER PERP IN DOMESTIC DISPUTE ARREST

CLINTON HILL – A police officer was shot in the foot on Wednesday morning by a career criminal with an active warrant on a gun possession charge while responding to a domestic dispute, Mayor Adams and other police officials told the public at a press conference outside the hospital where the officer was being treated. According to the chief of detectives, the officer and his partner were arresting Raheen Joye, 41, for punching holes into a woman’s wall when Joye, who has two prior arrests in Georgia on weapons charges and an outstanding warrant for weapons possession in the upstate NY town of Troy, pulled his gun and traded shots with the officers before being himself wounded in the leg.

“This is the 10th officer shot this year in nine separate incidents,” said Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.

✰✰✰

BROOKLYN ROASTING COMPANY OPENS NEW STORE

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – A new branch of local coffee shop chain, the Brooklyn Roasting Company, has hung its hat in the 1 Clinton Street building, alongside the freshly-opened library location. Caffeine fanatics will be happy to welcome BRC’s tasty treats and hot drinks back to the area, after the closure of their flagship DUMBO space in 2020.

The coffee shop is the perfect snowy-day companion to the new library, which opened in June.

✰✰✰

CHRISTMAS CAROLING IN THE HEIGHTS

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – A Brooklyn Heights tradition continues this evening, Thursday, December 22, when a group of carolers will process from Plymouth Church and sing around the neighborhood. Interim minister of music Raymond Trapp is coordinating the carol sing.

Plymouth Church will hold Christmas Eve services on Saturday, December 24, at 6 p.m. (Candlelight Service). Plymouth’s Christmas Day service will take place at 11 a.m., the usual Sunday service time.

✰✰✰

RE-DEVELOPING FORMER GREENPOINT HOSPITAL FOR MEN’S SHELTER, AFFORDABLE HOUSING

NORTH BROOKLYN – Financing of about $66 million has been closed for the first phase of redeveloping the former Greenpoint Hospital Campus, a mixed-use project in East Williamsburg, thanks to a partnership with The Hudson Companies, St. Nicks Alliance and Project Renewal in partnership with the New York City Department of Homeless Services, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York State Historic Preservation Office. The development will transform the former Greenpoint Hospital campus into affordable housing, community facilities, public open space and a men’s shelter with services provided by Project Renewal.

The development is the culmination of a 40-year community-led process to repurpose the former hospital site into affordable housing and community services. The first phase is the adaptive reuse of the former hospital nurse’s residence to become the newly named Barbara Kleiman Men’s Shelter.

✰✰✰

CLEANUP PROJECT COMPLETED AT FORT GREENE BROWNFIELD SITE

FORT GREENE – The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced on Wednesday that Cleanup of Contamination is complete at another brownfield site in Brooklyn, at 205 Park Avenue, Fort Greene, near the Brooklyn Navy Yard and within Brooklyn Community Board 2. According to a fact sheet published on the project, the cleanup consisted of excavation and off-site disposal of about 7,063 cubic yards of non-hazardous soils across the site exceeding the Restricted Residential Use soil cleanup objectives. The site-specific cleanup criteria included endpoint soil sampling and installation of a vapor barrier in the building to protect against soil vapor intrusion. The piping was installed beneath the vapor barrier to protect against soil vapor intrusion.

A Site Management Plan was also implemented for long-term management of residual contamination. The plan documents are accessible online via DECinfo Locator, as well as at the Marcy Branch of the Brooklyn Library, DeKalb and Nostrand avenues, and the Brooklyn Community Board 2 office at 350 Jay St.

✰✰✰

APPLICATION FOR BROWNFIELD CLEANUP ON SITE OF REZONING FIGHT NEAR BOTANIC GARDEN

CROWN HEIGHTS – Public comment is invited regarding a Brownfield Cleanup Program application that the state Department of Environmental Conservation has received from 960 Franklin LLC for a site known as Consumers Park Brewery Site, site ID #C224381. The site, addressed as 122A, 124 and 130 Montgomery Street, is also known as 960 Franklin Avenue, the same location that was in the center of a rezoning conflict that would have cast prolonged shadows over the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program is designed to encourage private-sector cleanups of brownfields and to promote their redevelopment as a means to revitalize economically blighted communities.

The public can access the application and other relevant documents online through the DECinfo Locator, in the document repositories at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238 and at the Brooklyn Community Board #9, 890 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225.

✰✰✰

RETIRED BROOKLYN APPELLATE JUDGE SERVES ON GOVERNOR’S CLEMENCY ADVISORY PANEL

Judge L. Priscilla Hall. Photo: Brooklyn Eagle.

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – A retired Brooklyn judge with more than 30 years of experience on the bench will serve on a Clemency Advisory Panel that Governor Kathy Hochul has convened to advise her on clemency applications. The Hon. L. Priscilla Hall served as an associate justice of the State of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, for nine years; and prior to that she served as the administrative judge of the Criminal Division of the Kings County Supreme Court.

Clemency is the process by which a governor or president may reduce a defendant’s sentence or grant a pardon. Gov. Hochul on Wednesday granted clemency to 13 persons, and has, during the past year, taken a number of steps to improve transparency and communication in the clemency process.

Judge L. Priscilla Hall. Photo: Brooklyn Eagle.

✰✰✰

ARREST MADE IN STABBING DEATH OF BROWNSVILLE MAN

BROWNSVILLE – Police have arrested and charged the man who assaulted and fatally stabbed a 24-year-old male in front of a parking garage in Midtown Manhattan on December 6. John Wright, a homeless 35-year-old male, apparently was engaged in a verbal dispute with his victim, who succumbed to his torso stab wound as he was being transported to NY Health & Hospitals/Bellevue. Wright is charged with murder and Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th degree.

Police have also identified the deceased male as 24-year-old Carlos Rosado of Powell Street in Brownsville.

✰✰✰

TEMPEST WITH ICE HEADING TO NEW YORK

STATEWIDE – As winter officially began on Wednesday, December 21, the NYC Emergency Management Department warned in an advisory to prepare for severe weather and falling temperatures, including potential rain and high winds, Thursday into Friday. Moreover, air temperatures will drop rapidly over a short 1- to 2-hour period as the cold front moves through, with a nearly 40-degree swing, and wind chills near zero are expected from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning. Black ice may form in areas with standing water as temperatures decrease.

The National Weather Service forecast a total of 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain with locally higher amounts possible, which may cause flooding in the city, including highways, streets, basements and underpasses.

✰✰✰

WOMEN’S CAUCUS DENOUNCES CUTS IN FUNDING TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROVIDERS

FLATBUSH – A City Councilmember from Brooklyn and her colleague from the Bronx who are co-chairs of the Women’s Caucus are the latest group to come forward denouncing Mayor Eric Adams’s decision to cut funding of what they say are critical non-profit services. City Council Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs Farah Louis (D-45/Flatbush area) and Amanda Farías (D-Bronx) released a statement that reads, in part: “At a time when access to abortion and reproductive health care are under attack, we cannot afford attempts to cut funding from the organizations that provide these essential services.”

Denouncing “drastic and shortsighted cuts to committed investments,” and declaring that the city must honor its commitments to support service providers, the Women’s Caucus co-chairs said, “Any suggestion to strip vital resources from the Council’s women’s initiatives is insulting and dangerous, especially after we took action to provide access to abortion health care through this funding.”

✰✰✰

NAVAL ORDNANCE SPECIALIST FROM BROOKLYN SERVES IN 7TH FLEET IN INDO-PACIFIC REGION

PACIFIC OCEAN – U.S. Navy Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Quentine Bartone, who hails from Brooklyn, is currently serving as an aircraft weapons specialist in the Pacific Ocean, aboard aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway in the 7th Fleet — the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet — which routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free Indo-Pacific Region.

Ordnancemen/airmen are responsible for managing all types of ammunition carried on an Navy aircraft, including the inspection, maintenance and repair of mechanical and electrical weapons and ordnance systems.

U.S. Navy Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Quentine Bartone, from Brooklyn, N.Y., collects aircraft chains on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin Tang.

✰✰✰

SANTA’S TOY SHOP VISITS HELP FAMILIES IN NEED THIS CHRISTMAS

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – Santa’s Toy Shop comes to a Queens parish on Thursday, December 22, the third event throughout the diocese that Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is sponsoring. The Santa’s Toy Shop will provide toys and gift cards to families in need for children ages 17 and younger, with volunteers from the Carpenters Union, DeSales Media and other community members — and a visit from Bishop Robert J. Brennan as the celebrity on Thursday morning — distributing the presents. The Catholic Charities Toy Shop model gives parents the dignity to pick age-appropriate gifts for their children.

Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens began distributing donated toys and gift cards last week at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church in Flatbush, and expects to help 1,000 families facing hardships in this time of crisis and rising inflation.

✰✰✰

ORTHODOX UNION PRAISES SENATOR SCHUMER, COLLEAGUES FOR INCREASE IN SECURITY FUNDING

NATIONWIDE – The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, or Orthodox Union,  the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization with several member synagogues in Borough Park, Flatbush and Williamsburg, on Wednesday welcomed the inclusion of the newly-released Omnibus federal spending package, which includes $305 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). Congressional leaders and appropriators released the massive spending package for the 2023 federal fiscal year today.

Orthodox Union Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament thanked Sen. Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) – a Brooklynite – and other key Congressional leaders for their work to increase funding to $305, which they consider to be essential, given the disturbing rise in antisemitism nationwide.

✰✰✰

DINAPOLI NOTES NYC FISCAL IMPROVEMENT, BUT CAUTIONS ABOUT EXPECTED FUNDING FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS

CITYWIDE – New York’s City’s continued fiscal improvement from June is reflected in a projected rise to $109.4 billion in the 2023 budget, according to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s latest analysis of the city’s November financial plan update, released on Tuesday, December 20. However, DiNapoli also cautions that city finances could come under pressure amid a slowing economic recovery and an increase in demand for city services.

Some items not reflected in the city’s projected budget gaps are also notable, among them: the city’s assumption of $1 billion in not-yet-approved revenue from the federal government for expenses related to the recent influx of asylum seekers when there is a risk it may not receive the full amount.

✰✰✰

CITY’S REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL WOULD CREATE CAFÉ AT CADMAN PLAZA PARK

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – A new café may be coming to Cadman Plaza Park, which borders Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn, now that the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation has released a Request for Proposals. The RFP would be for the transformation of an existing maintenance building, at Cadman Plaza West and Tillary St., into the development and operation of a new café to serve park-goers.

Cadman Plaza Park, named for the Rev. S. Parkes Cadman (1864-1936), a famous liberal Protestant preacher, journalist and Christian broadcaster, is a central gathering spot for families, joggers, courthouse employees, sports teams and dog-walkers alike.

✰✰✰

PARKS DEPT. CELEBRATES ARRIVAL OF WINTER SOLSTICE

BOROUGHWIDE – NYC Parks is celebrating the winter solstice, which begins today, Wednesday, December 21, with a full slate of winter activities, from campfires to ornament-making and a Festival of Lights: Winter Solstice Astronomy tonight from 6-7:30 p.m. in Marine Park. The Urban Park Rangers invite the community to observe the December moon and constellations (gathering point is the Carmine Carro Community Center).

Another Brooklyn Parks event takes place on Christmas Eve morning (11 a.m. to noon at the Fort Greene Park Visitors Center). Urban Park Rangers will lead a Holiday Origami Ornament Making and teach participants how to fold various paper evergreen trees and animal-themed tree ornaments. Rangers will provide paper and guide folds and steps.

✰✰✰

ATTORNEY GENERAL HELPS PRISON RESIDENTS WIN TECH EQUIPMENT FIGHT

Incarcerated persons who had to deal with defective or missing tablets to communicate with family get refunded, thanks to an agreement that New York Attorney General Letitia James reached with JPay LLC, a technology and financial services provider for facilities owned and operated by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The Attorney General’s Office had received numerous complaints about JPay’s failure to provide adequate media and communication services to incarcerated individuals, who complained about tablets that were defective, arrived late or never arrived. The OAG’s investigation also found that refunds were never issued for technical support that JPay promised but failed to deliver.

As a result of the agreement reached on Wednesday, December 21, JPay will provide $500,000 in credits to incarcerated individuals that can be used to communicate with people outside DOCCS facilities.

✰✰✰

NEW LAW REQUIRES EMPLOYERS TO POST SALARY RANGES FOR ALL NEW JOB OPENINGS

STATEWIDE – New legislation that Governor Kathy Hochul signed on Wednesday, December 21, establishes a statewide pay transparency law that requires employers to list salary ranges for all advertised jobs and promotions. The mandated disclosures in this new law aim to empower workers with critical information, reduce discriminatory wage-setting and hiring practices and to help level the playing field for all workers.

The law also seeks to repair disparities found in U.S. Department of Labor statistics, showing that women made 83 cents for every dollar made by men in 2020; these disparities are even greater among Black women (64 cents per dollar) and Hispanic women (57 cents per dollar).

✰✰✰

FOOD ASSISTANCE BENEFITS WILL BE PROTECTED IN 2023 FEDERAL BUDGET

Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will now have better protection from thieves, announced U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D-New York), whose SNAP Theft Protection Act is included in the end-of-year omnibus funding package for Fiscal Year 2023. Gillibrand’s legislation responds to the theft of more than $730,000 from New York SNAP beneficiaries by directing states to promptly reissue these benefits using already allocated federal funds, and by helping states track SNAP fraud data and develop mechanisms to enhance security technology.

SNAP benefits were stolen through identity theft and skimming scams at EBT card readers.

✰✰✰

DOMINO SUGAR SIGN LIGHTS UP AGAIN

WILLIAMSBURG – The iconic Domino Sugar sign that adorned the Brooklyn skyline for more than a century is now back and shining atop the historic Domino Refinery building. The new 40-foot replica was illuminated for the first time Tuesday night, December 20, on top of the Thomas Havemeyer building, which served as the Domino Sugar Factory plant from the 1880s until the first decade of the 21st century.

The premier real estate development firm, Two Trees Management, is transforming the landmark 19th-century Thomas Havemeyer Company building in the heart of Williamsburg’s Domino Park, into an architectural masterpiece that will have 460,000 rentable square feet of office space, local ground floor retailers and on-site amenities including a penthouse open dome for gatherings. Projected completion date is late 2023.

The historic Domino Sugar sign has lit up again, for the first time since the summer of 2014. Photo: Wes Tarca.

✰✰✰ 

SUBWAY SHOOTING PROMPTS NYPD PRESS CONFERENCE

PARK SLOPE – A revenue collector working for the MTA was forced to shoot an aggressive passenger on Tuesday night at the Union Street subway station after the man threatened to beat up the collector and a co-worker while riding the R train, NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said in a press conference yesterday evening. Police sources told CBS that the person who was shot may have been attempting to rob the MTA employees, who were collecting money from automated fare machines.

The suspect is reported to be in critical condition at a local hospital.

✰✰✰

LEGAL AID SOCIETY CALLS ON NYPD, ADAMS FOR FIRE ANSWERS 

RED HOOK – The Legal Aid Society, in a recently issued letter, called on Mayor Eric Adams to work with city agencies to develop a plan of action in response to a fire at a Red Hook evidence storage warehouse on December 13. “The recent fire in Red Hook extinguished the hopes of scores of people who were eagerly awaiting DNA testing to exonerate them, and this loss of critical evidence has far-reaching consequences for New Yorkers,” wrote David Loftis, attorney-in-charge of the Post-Conviction and Forensic Litigation Unit at the society.

The fire at the evidence warehouse, which potentially destroyed decades of evidence, is still under investigation by authorities.

✰✰✰

NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS TO OFFER COVID SHOTS FOR KIDS 6 MOS. AND UP

CITYWIDE – NYC Health + Hospitals is now offering COVID-19 bivalent vaccines for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, following the CDC recommendation that children as young as 6 months receive the updated vaccine that helps protect against the newer variants of the virus. According to the CDC, the first two shots should be the original, monovalent vaccine given three to eight weeks apart, while the third dose, given at least eight weeks after the second, should be the updated bivalent vaccine.

The city’s municipal health care system will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children under the age of 5, and as young as 6 months, in its pediatric practices at all 11 hospitals. New Yorkers can use the City’s Vax Finder or call 877-NYC-4NYC (877-692-4692) to schedule an appointment.

✰✰✰

SCHOOL CAFETERIA UPGRADE PROGRAM TO EXPAND

BROOKLYN –  Mayor Eric Adams and NYC DoE Chancellor David C. Banks today announced a $50 million expansion of the Cafeteria Enhancement Experience program, which will transform more than 80 cafeterias into warm and welcoming spaces for students to enjoy nutritious meals. The announcement also included a doubling down of the city’s commitment to expanding access to halal options to schools across New York City – interested principals will work with their communities and the Islamic Leadership Council of New York to add the service to their schools.

“I’m so thrilled that some New York City students will soon be able to make new friends and enjoy their meals in transformed and renovated cafeterias, and I’m especially excited that schools will have greater opportunities to fill that cafeteria with halal foods so that more of our students can find the foods at school that make them feel at home,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.

✰✰✰

NYC’S WORST LANDLORD LIST: BROOKLYN OWNER TAKES NUMBER 2 SPOT

FLATBUSH – New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams unveiled on Tuesday the 2022 Worst Landlord Watchlist, which spotlights the 100 most egregiously negligent landlords in the city as determined by conditions at their buildings, to outrage and calls for reform from local elected leaders and housing organizations. Landlord Brian Ritter came in second place citywide, with an astonishing average of 1816 open HPD violations across his eight properties on the watchlist, of which five are in south Brooklyn.

At the launch, the Public Advocate also directed New Yorkers to LandlordWatchlist.com, as well as his office’s text line, 833-933-1692, to learn about whether their landlords are featured on the list, how to report violations, and access resources for tenants to organize and seek relief.

✰✰✰

NY UNEMPLOYMENT STATS RELEASED: STILL ROUGH, BUT GETTING BETTER

BROOKLYN – The New York State Department of Labor released preliminary local area unemployment rates for November on Tuesday. The report showed improvement from November of last year for Brooklyn, although Kings County is one of only two counties in New York to still have an unemployment rate over 5 percent, the other being the Bronx.

Revised estimates for prior months are available on the Department of Labor’s website.

✰✰✰

CITY COUNCIL TRADES BARBS WITH MAYOR OVER PROGRAM CUTS 

CITYWIDE – The City Council released a statement on Tuesday condemning a lack of communication between the city government branches, after Mayor Adams threatened to demand the Council swallow $600 million in cuts to discretionary funding as a way to raise money for the impending migrant crisis. “It’s disappointing that the Mayor’s word on a budget agreement seems to have decreasing value and he is attempting to renegotiate via the New York Post editorial board,” the Council wrote in a press release, referencing the mayor’s remarks to the Post earlier on Tuesday.

The expiration of pandemic-era border policies that may lead to increased migration to the city has been placed on hold temporarily, but concerns remain about how to handle the potential influx of asylum-seekers.

 ✰✰✰

ZELENSKYY TO VISIT WASHINGTON, ADDRESS CONGRESS

NATIONAL – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is on his way to Washington, D.C., reports the New York Times, marking the first time the president of the embattled European nation has left it since February. He is expected to meet with President Biden at the White House and later deliver an address to Congress, Wednesday, December 21.

Further details of the visit are not known due to the risks of the situation, say officials.


Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment