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What’s News, Breaking: Monday, January 9, 2023

January 9, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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MAN WANTED IN STRING OF OVERNIGHT COMMERCIAL BURGLARIES

WILLIAMSBURG/GREENPOINT – A string of burglaries in Williamsburg and Greenpoint have police in the 90th and 94th Precincts, respectively, asking the public to help track down the perpetrator(s). The eight incidents, between December 20, 2022 and last Thursday, January 5, all involved commercial establishments in those precincts and took place between 2 and 7 a.m., with the assailant removing $10,000 from a safe at a Wythe Ave. business in the most recent burglary.

Anyone who recognizes this individual wanted in connection with eight burglaries, including incident 6, where surveillance cameras startled him on December 30, should contact the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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

 

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BROOKLYN SURROGATE COURT JUDGE RESIGNS

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – Brooklyn Surrogate Court Judge Harriet Thompson has resigned effective March 1, just days after her courthouse keys were returned to her, reported the New York Law Journal on Monday, January 9. The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a statement indicating that Thompson resigned from the bench for medical reasons, and has agreed to never again seek public office.

The Surrogate Court handles probates, estates of decedents and adoptions.

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EASING CONVERSION OF OFFICE SPACE INTO NEW HOUSING

CITYWIDE – Mayor Eric Adams on Monday, January 9 unveiled recommendations from a city-led task force to facilitate the conversion of underused office space into new housing for New Yorkers. The Office Adaptive Reuse Task Force crafted the report, which presents 11 concrete recommendations — under three main heading categories — that would make changes to state laws and city zoning requirements in an effort to extend the most flexible conversion regulations to an additional 136 million square feet of office space.

The three main recommendations, which would be implemented via amendments to New York State Multiple Dwelling Law and New York City Zoning resolution, are: expand the range of buildings eligible for the most flexible conversion regulations; make existing conversion regulations work better; and, provide financial incentives for affordable housing and childcare facilities.

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SERIAL BIZ BURGLAR TARGETS PARK SLOPE

PARK SLOPE – A Park Slope man has been sentenced to two to four years in prison for a string of commercial burglaries of businesses in his neighborhood and other parts of Brooklyn. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendant as Charles Wold, 59, of Park Slope who, during the robberies spanning from October 5, 2021 to January 6, 2022, also caused thousands of dollars of damage to equipment: at Simply Sweet (2106A Avenue U) in Sheepshead Bay; Hipster Deli (168 7th Ave.), Park Slope Ale House (356 6th Ave.), Just Salad (252 7th Ave.), Tava Turkish and Mediterranean Restaurant (318 5th Ave.) and 390 Social Bar and Restaurant (390 5th Ave.) in Park Slope; and, Blue Collar Burger (187 Court Street) in Cobble Hill.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Evelyn LaPorte sentenced Wold to six concurrent prison terms of two to four years following his November 2 guilty plea, although Gonzalez had urged a sentence of 9 to 18 years.

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IN MEMORIAM: EDUCATOR, ACTIVIST NORM FRUCHTER

BAY RIDGE – The Bay Ridge pedestrian who was struck by the driver of a Hyundai Elantra on December 22 and who died on January 4 was prominent educator and activist Norm Fruchter, 85. A community organizer, school leader, novelist and academic, Fruchter was front and center during some of the most significant battles of the past 50 years, including the fights for parents to gain power in running schools and to desegregate city schools, according to an obituary published in Chalkbeat. Fruchter, who was also a civil rights activist, was instrumental in the founding of Brooklyn New School, a successful elementary school in District 15.

“The passion and commitment embodied by Norm Fruchter has been a source of inspiration to everyone at Yaffed,” stated Beatrice Weber, executive director of Yaffed, a non-profit with the mission of improving education for children of Hasidic and Haredi families, in a statement released on Monday, January 9.

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JENNIFER MITCHELL, WITH SOLID EXPERIENCE FREEING PEOPLE FROM HOMELESSNESS, NAMED DOE FUND’S PRESIDENT/CEO

Jennifer Mitchell. Photo: The Doe Fund.

CITYWIDE – The Doe Fund, a homeless services nonprofit best known for its Ready, Willing & Able reentry program and portfolio of transitional, affordable and supportive housing throughout New York City, welcomes Jennifer Mitchell’s return to the organization as its next president and CEO. Mitchell began her career at The Doe Fund over two decades ago and spent 12 years developing Ready, Willing & Able programs before leaving to become executive director of The HOPE Program, which provides training, skills development, adult education, industry certifications, hands-on learning, job placement and work wellness services, and which she leaves in a strong financial position.

Mitchell will officially rejoin The Doe Fund in April, succeeding president emeritus Harriet Karr-McDonald, who took over the presidency after the death in early 2021 of her husband and Doe Fund co-founder George McDonald.

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REVEL HQ MOVES TO HISTORIC DIME BUILDING, WHERE IT WILL ADD SUPERHUB

SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG – Revel’s South Williamsburg Superhub, which is part of its project to add 136 public charging stalls to New York’s EV infrastructure landscape, will be in the historic Dime building, where Revel recently moved its headquarters. By the end of 2023, it will have 16 stalls accessible to the building’s residential and corporate tenants as well as the general public.

Revel has also unveiled an interactive digital map of every public fast-charging station in New York City, including all existing sites and the five Revel sites currently under development.

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REVEL’S NEW RED HOOK SITE, OPENING IN 2024, WILL INCLUDE COMMUNITY CENTER

RED HOOK/SOUTH BROOKLYN – Revel, a Brooklyn-based electric mobility and infrastructure company, will develop and open five new electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging Superhubs in New York City over the next year, including locations in South Williamsburg and Red Hook — but customers will have to wait until 2024 for the latter. Like Revel’s flagship Superhub in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the five new sites will be open 24/7, accessible to any brand of EV and will be equipped with ultrafast charging, capable of charging an EV in 10-20 minutes.

Revel’s Red Hook Superhub, also known as the Red Hook Recharge Zone, recently received a $7 million New York Clean Transportation Prizes Program award; it will be developed with community partners, including Green City Force and Empire Clean Cities, to include 20 charging stalls and a multi-use community center, which will provide green jobs training to local residents.

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POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING SENIOR

CANARSIE – Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for Martin Pollack, 70, who was last seen leaving his house near the Paerdegat Basin on the morning of January 1. He is described as approximately 5’6″ tall and 150 pounds, and was last seen wearing a blue and white Brooklyn Cyclones hat, a blue jacket and 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, log onto the Crime Stoppers website or Tweet @NYPDTips.

Missing man Martin Pollack.

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FUNDRAISER FOR BENSONHURST WOMAN STABBED BY SISTER NEARS GOAL

BENSONHURST – An online fundraiser for Liana Secondino, 20, who was gravely wounded two weeks ago by her sister in a shocking attack that also claimed her father’s life, has raised more than $84,000 for the young woman, as she remains in the hospital recovering from her injuries. Lucie Swann, the project’s organizer, wrote in an update on GoFundMe that Secondino “told me that she feels all of the love and support and wants to thank each and every person who has taken part in this incredible fundraiser.”

Ms. Secondino’s sister, Nikki Secondino, is being held in Rikers and has been charged with murder, attempted murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, after allegedly confessing to police that she “wanted them dead.”

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WILLIAMSBURG MAN FOUND DEAD NEAR BUSHWICK HOUSES

WILLIAMSBURG – In the early hours of January 3, police responding to a 911 call in Williamsburg discovered an unresponsive man, later identified as Daniel Ryan, 27, lying on the sidewalk across the street from the Bushwick Houses with stab wounds to his neck and torso. Ryan was transported by EMS to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Police say that there have been no arrests at this time and that the investigation remains ongoing.

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SUBWAY STATION BATHROOMS TO REOPEN MONDAY

CITYWIDE – The MTA has announced that it will be reopening the bathrooms in nine subway stations around the city on Monday, January 9 after having closed them due to sanitation difficulties during the COVID pandemic. “When customers have got to go on the go, we’ve now got them covered at select stations,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey in a press statement, which also noted that the bathrooms have been refurbished and updated with new paint, appliances and fixtures.

Brooklyn stations where bathrooms will reopen include the Jay St.-Metrotech station and the Kings Highway station.

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GROUP OF TEENS WANTED IN DELIVERY DRIVER ROBBERY

BROWNSVILLE – A delivery driver was robbed by a group of four teens on Tuesday, December 13 while delivering food to the Howard Houses, according to police, who say that the youths beat the driver with a weapon before stealing two iPhones, his wallet and $300 in cash and fleeing on foot. All of the group members are described as between 16 and 18 years old and have dark complexions.

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, log onto the Crime Stoppers website or Tweet @NYPDTips.

If you recognize any of these teens, police ask that you reach out with any information you can share. All tips are strictly confidential.
If you recognize any of these teens, police ask that you reach out with any information you can share. All tips are strictly confidential.
If you recognize any of these teens, police ask that you reach out with any information you can share. All tips are strictly confidential.
If you recognize any of these teens, police ask that you reach out with any information you can share. All tips are strictly confidential.

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BQE SURVEY DEADLINE APPROACHES

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – The deadline is drawing close for members of the public to respond to a Department of Transportation survey and offer input on the proposed plans for the redevelopment of the 1.5-mile stretch of the BQE that runs between Atlantic Avenue and DUMBO, including under the Heights Promenade. The survey can be found online on the DOT’S city website, and comments can be submitted through January 15.

The DOT revealed its three proposal options in December to mixed opinions from the community.

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MISSING ELDER IN CANARSIE

Have you seen this man? Please help authorities find him.

CANARSIE – Police are looking for Kenneth Bruce of Canarsie, who has been missing since the evening of Saturday, January 7. He is described as approximately 6’0″ tall and 140 pounds, with brown eyes and short gray hair and a thin build, and was last seen wearing a gray sweater, blue jeans and brown shoes and operating a 2006 Subaru Tribeca.

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, log onto the Crime Stoppers website or Tweet @NYPDTips.

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JEWISH MAN RAMMED BY CAR IN CROWN HEIGHTS

CROWN HEIGHTS – On Friday afternoon, an Orthodox Jewish man was struck by a car while crossing a street in Crown Heights in what police are describing as a potential bias attack. The Yeshiva World posted security footage of the event, in which a white sedan appears to accelerate into a turn, striking the man before driving away from the scene.

The victim was transported to a hospital by the Hatzolah ambulance services.

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$300K STOLEN IN BRINK’S TRUCK HEIST

SUNSET PARK – Three individuals distracted a Brink’s vehicle employee long enough to grab $300,000 in cash in front of a Chase Bank in Sunset Park last Friday. The Brink’s employee was making a bank money drop around 1 p.m. at a Chase branch, 5423 8th Avenue and within the 66th Precinct, when two unknown individuals approached him and distracted him by asking for directions, while a third perpetrator deftly removed a bag containing $300,000 that was left unattended on the bumper of the armored Brink’s truck.

Somehow the assailants managed to run while carrying the stolen bag, as they were reported fleeing the scene on foot, southbound on 8th Avenue. Some money bags can be as heavy as 75 lbs.

One of the perpetrators fleeing with what resembled a money bag allegedly stolen from the bumper of a Brink’s truck. Photo: NYPD/CrimeStoppers.

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MAN WANTED IN VIOLENT FORT GREENE HATE CRIME

FORT GREENE – Still looking for the perpetrator in a hate crime that happened more than a month ago, police are asking the public to track down the pictured individual in connection with an incident that took place on Saturday, December 3, around 6 p.m. within the 88th Precinct. The perpetrator approached a 35-year-old man and, making derogatory anti-Asian statements, threatened to kill the victim, continued following him and struck him in the head with an umbrella before fleeing.

Although the victim sustained a minor injury to his forehead, he refused medical attention.

The victim was able to capture a picture of his assailant, shown here and described as having a dark complexion, being approximately 5’9″ tall with a slim build, and last seen wearing a black winter hat, a white face mask, a black bubble jacket with a hood, a black button-down shirt, black pants and white sneakers. Photo: NYPD/CrimeStoppers.

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CHOSE CITY BUS AS PASSIONATE SETTING

These two individuals, photographed by other bus passengers, had engaged in a public lewdness act on a city bus near Bushwick on December 16. Photo: NYPD/CrimeStoppers.

BUSHWICK – Police seek a couple who were spotted performing a sex act on a Queens-bound Q58 bus about a week before Christmas. The 13-year-old victim who had sat in the rear of the bus, reported an incident on Friday, December 16, around 2:40 p.m. in which a man and woman seated across from the girl were involved in sexual activity, before all remaining passengers exited the bus at the end of the line: Wyckoff Ave. and Palmetto St.

No direct interaction between the victim and individuals was reported.

These two individuals, photographed by other bus passengers, had engaged in a public lewdness act on a city bus near Bushwick on December 16. Photo: NYPD/CrimeStoppers.

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ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 52 CHANGES, NOW ENCOMPASSES NAVY YARD

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D-52) reminds constituents that, because of the decennial redistricting and population growth in the southern sections of the 52nd District, some longtime constituents may find themselves with new representation. The 52nd District lost a portion of Gowanus south of 9th Street (now part of Assembly District 44, which Assemblymember Robert Carroll represents) and a section of Park Slope south of 2nd Street (now AD 51, represented by Marcela Mitaynes).

However, Simon’s district has now gained the Brooklyn Navy Yard, previously in the 57th District, which now stretches from a patch of Fort Greene down to westernmost Crown Heights.

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WINNING TAKE 5 TICKET SOLD IN GREENPOINT

GREENPOINT – Another Brooklyn merchant, 887 Pizza & Deli Corp at 887 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint has joined the club of those which have sold winning lottery tickets over the past several weeks. The one top-prize winning ticket from Saturday, January 7, Take 5’s Midday drawing is worth $20,538.50,

A Lottery draw game prize of any amount may be claimed up to one year from the date of the drawing.

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PRATT INSTITUTE OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS FOR HIGH SCHOOLERS TO STUDY DESIGN

CLINTON HILL – Thirty high school students will have the chance to attend a ten-week course in design at Pratt University’s Design Initiative for Community Empowerment (DICE) program, as Pratt Center for Art, Design and Community Engagement has released 30 scholarships for this purpose. The course, which runs on Wednesdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus in Clinton Hill beginning February 8, includes all art supplies and materials provided at no cost to students. Application deadline is January 18.

Students will be able to select their passion in a number of offerings, including Graphic Design As Activism, Design Entrepreneurship, Animated Worlds: The Art Of Animation, Architecture and Painting.

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COMMUNITY KICKOFF FOR ATLANTIC AVE. MIXED-USE PLAN

ATLANTIC AVENUE – The first public meeting on the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan, a community-led planning process for a mixed-use stretch of Atlantic Ave., will take place on Tuesday, January 17 via Zoom. All interested residents and organizations wanting to offer input on plans for the stretch of the Atlantic Ave. corridor, which includes blocks in Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant are invited to participate in this 6 p.m. kickoff, in which they will learn about the community planning process, how to share priorities and help identify key issues .and opportunities.

Leading this process are the Department of City Planning in collaboration with WXY Studio, local elected officials, and a Steering Committee of representatives from all impacted Community Districts.

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POLICE AND COMMUNITY DIALOGUE THROUGH CREATIVE THEATRE AT IRONDALE

FORT GREENE – Participants in an innovative training program designed to ease tension between police and community members will be giving a public performance for the culmination of their work, as part of To Protect, Serve, and Understand (TPSU)™, which is now in its 10th season. To Protect, Serve, and Understand, which has gained local and national acclaim, gives the free performances on January 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m., at the Irondale Ensemble Project, 85 South Oxford St. (in the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church building) in Fort Greene.

The workshops begin with dinner and discussion, with group theater games and actor-training techniques for problem-solving and communication skills in a creative non-judgmental atmosphere.

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AS MANY BOOKS AS YOU CAN CARRY

BROOKLYN NAVY YARD – The Brooklyn Book Bodega invites readers ages 14 and up to enjoy a surplus of well-loved and overstocked books during a Community Day Free Book Event taking place on Saturday, January 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brooklyn Navy Yard Book Hub, 141 Flushing Avenue. Organizers are emphasizing that only readers aged 14 and up will be admitted to the event; parents wanting to bring younger youths are asked to await another event.

Attendees can take as many books as they can carry.

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STATE COMPTROLLER ASKS CORPORATIONS TO REPORT THEIR POLITICAL-CAUSE SPENDING

STATEWIDE – State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, on the second anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attacks against the U.S. Capitol, has filed shareholder proposals calling on seven corporations in the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s portfolio to disclose their direct and indirect spending on political causes. The proposals sent to Warner Bros. Discovery Inc., Zillow Group, Zoom Video Communications, Caesars Entertainment, Match Group, Penn Entertainment and SoFi Technologies ask the companies to publicly report monetary and nonmonetary contributions and expenditures to any campaign for — or against — a candidate, or to influence public opinion on an election or referendum.

Two additional proposals that DiNapoli sent to The Coca-Cola Company and Travelers Companies ask these corporations to adopt policies requiring trade associations, or other third-party groups receiving money for political activities to report how the funds are being used.

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DRUG TRAFFICKING GROUP ARRAIGNED HERE FOR COCAINE CONSPIRACY

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – Members of a drug trafficking organization from Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, are scheduled to be arraigned in Brooklyn federal court today on international cocaine distribution conspiracy and related cocaine importation charges. The defendants’ drug trafficking organization allegedly imported over one hundred kilograms of cocaine into the United States using corrupt foreign and domestic airport employees to bypass security and customs.

The United States submitted requests for provisional arrests of the defendants, who on Thursday were extradited from Curacao based on the warrants issued in the Eastern District of New York.

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RECENT PEDESTRIAN DEATHS CHALLENGE CITY’S FIGURES SHOWING DECLINE

BAY RIDGE AND CANARSIE – Although New York City experienced a decline in traffic fatalities for the first time since 2019, with the fewest annual pedestrian deaths recorded in history, according to DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez’s announcement on Friday, two recent pedestrian deaths would seem to contradict this trend. Amidst a nationwide increase in traffic fatalities, New York City’s overall traffic fatalities reportedly fell in 2022 by 6.6 percent, with pedestrian fatalities decreasing by 6.3 percent, also defying national trends.

However, these statistics offer little comfort to the families of Brooklynites who died in traffic fatalities last month alone; particularly, two elderly pedestrians who were struck and killed on December 22 in Bay Ridge and December 29 in Canarsie.

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CONVICTION IN RIKERS ISLAND DRUG SMUGGLING CASE

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – A federal jury in Brooklyn on Friday convicted James Albert of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances while incarcerated on Riker’s Island, as part of a scheme to bribe correction officers to smuggle illegal drugs and other contraband into the jail for sale to other inmates. As proven at trial, while he was incarcerated at the George R. Vierno Center between February and June 2019, Albert orchestrated a scheme to bribe at least two officers, and enlisted his wife — a co-defendant — to bring marijuana, suboxone strips and other contraband into GRVC for sale and distribution to other inmates.

The verdict followed a four-day trial before United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly. When sentenced, Albert faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

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SEARCH FOR MISSING BOY IN BATH BEACH

BATH BEACH – Police are searching for 12-year-old Esteban Rivera, who left his house on the morning of Jan. 5 and has not been seen since. Esteban is described as 5’2″ and 120 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair, and was last seen wearing a navy blue uniform shirt and pants and black sneakers.

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, log onto the Crime Stoppers website or Tweet @NYPDTips.

If you know where this boy is, please don’t hesitate to reach out to authorities. All tips are strictly confidential.

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NEW COVID VARIANT SLAMS NYC, HEALTH OFFICIALS WARN 

CITYWIDE – Health officials are warning that a new COVID variant may be the most transmissible yet, raising concerns as the city prepares for a possible nurse strike in the coming days. NBC reports that while hospitalizations for the coronavirus are down overall, the rapidity with which the virus has spread through the Northeast is a sign that it has the potential to mutate into something much more dangerous.

“As we continue to welcome the new year, I urge everyone to remain vigilant and continue to use all available tools to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe and healthy,” said Governor Hochul in a recent COVID update, reminding New Yorkers to stay up to date on boosters and vaccines by visiting vaccines.gov or contacting their local pharmacy or health department to find a provider.

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CITY GREENERY ABSORBS MORE CARBON THAN THOUGHT: COLUMBIA STUDY

PROSPECT HEIGHTS – A just-published Columbia University study of vegetation across the NYC area has found, to the surprise of researchers, that on many summer days, photosynthesis by trees and grasses absorbs all the carbon emissions produced by city vehicles, and even sometimes surpasses them. While previous studies have focused mainly on the ten percent of the metro area covered in forest and grassland, lead researcher Dandan Wei and her colleagues used newly available aerial radar imagery, that mapped vegetation in unprecedented six-inch grids, to include developed areas — the other 90 percent of the region, left out in most models, showed individual street trees, little backyard gardens, overgrown vacant lots and other small features.

“There is a lot more greenery than we thought, and that’s what drives our conclusion. This tells us that the ecosystem matters in New York City, and if it matters here, it probably matters everywhere else,” said Wei.

Zooming in on several completely built-up blocks in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn: pink areas are buildings; purple ones are paved surfaces, including sidewalks and parking areas; while in backyards and along the streets, dark greens signify tree canopy; light greens, shrubs or grass. Photo: Wei et al., Environmental Research Letters 2022.

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BARNES & NOBLE MOVING TO ATLANTIC 

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – The Barnes & Noble bookstore on Court Street will be moving a few blocks away to a currently-vacant space on Atlantic Avenue, next to the Trader Joe’s, on January 18, according to signs posted in the window of the store. The move is part of a nationwide shakeup for the bookseller, which is also opening another 15 new storefronts across the country.

The Atlantic store space was last occupied by an outpost of luxury clothing retailer Barneys New York, which closed its doors in 2019 after the company filed for bankruptcy.

Signs decorate the future storefront on Atlantic Avenue. Photo: Mary Frost/Eagle.

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URGENT ALERT FOR MISSING GIRL

BROOKLYN – The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has put out an urgent alert on Twitter for missing girl Destiny Scott, 13, who was last seen in Pleasantville, NY on December 27. The Center believes that Destiny, who is described as 5’1 and 100 pounds, with dark skin, brown hair and brown eyes, might be in either Brooklyn or the Pleasantville area.

The Center urges anyone who may know where Destiny is to call 1-800-THE-LOST or to contact local authorities for help.

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SLIWA STAGES CAT EVENT AT ADAMS’ HOUSE AS RAT CZAR SEARCH GOES ON 

BED-STUY – Former mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa staged a press conference on Wednesday in front of a Brooklyn brownstone owned by Eric Adams that has been ticketed for a rodent infestation, after Adams responded to Sliwa’s possibly facetious application for the “rat czar” position by saying that the Republican was welcome to the job, as long as he didn’t mind working as an unpaid intern. The Post reports that Sliwa brought two cats with him to the conference, where he advanced the idea that a colony of cats could solve Adams’ rat problem, as well as that of the city overall.

Sliwa, the notorious founder of the Guardian Angels and the Republican candidate for mayor in the last election, is known to be an animal lover, owning/fostering 16 cats with his wife and managing multiple colonies of feral cats.

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CITY TO OFFER FREE PHONES, SERVICE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS

CITYWIDE – The mayor’s office announced on Thursday that it has expanded its partnership with T-Mobile and will use its Assurance Wireless program to offer free phones and service to victims of domestic and gender-based violence at NYC’s five Family Justice Centers. The Assurance Wireless program combines federal Lifeline Assistance and Affordable Connectivity Program benefits to offer free unlimited data, talk and text, as well as free 10GB mobile hotspot data every month, plus a free smartphone to eligible recipients. Phones and network plans can be obtained at the Family Justice Centers.

Interested participants can access these services starting January 5 at Family Justice Centers around NYC, including the Brooklyn NYC Family Justice Center, which can be reached at 718-250-5113.

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MAN MURDERED IN SHEEPSHEAD BAY 

SHEEPSHEAD BAY – On the night of January 5, police responded to a report of a male assaulted at a liquor store in Sheepshead Bay, where officers discovered a 32-year-old male with trauma to the head and gunshot wounds to the torso. EMS transported the man to the nearest hospital, where he was pronounced deceased, while another man was taken into custody at the scene.

The identity of the deceased is pending family notification.

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ICE RINK TO OPEN AT METROTECH

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – The Rink at Brooklyn Commons Park (formerly known as MetroTech) is back again this year, and is sure to delight skaters of all skill levels. The 5,000-square-foot rink will be open daily afternoons until February 26.

Admission to the public is $15 per session, with $8 skate rentals and $20 skating aid rentals. More information about hours and locations can be found on the website of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

Skaters enjoy the inaugural season of the ice rink in 2020. Photo: Mary Frost/Eagle.

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