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What’s News, Breaking: Thursday, January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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‘BEST NEW RESTAURANT’ IN JAMES BEARD SEMIFINALS IS KRU IN WILLIAMSBURG

WILLIAMSBURG — The James Beard Awards 2023 has named as a semifinalist the Williamsburg restaurant KRU Brooklyn. Located on North 14th St., KRU describes its cuisine as a “Modern Interpretation Of 100-Year-Old Thai Recipes.” According to the restaurant’s website, “the restaurant’s name, KRU, is Thai for “guru” or “mentor” and honors the many teachers and books that have enriched Chef Ohm’s profound culinary understanding and vision.”

One of the menu choices is Winter Melon Chicken Soup, created with a half Cornish hen, shiitake mushrooms, pickled lime, cilantro root.

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COME TO BROOKLYN TO SAMPLE DELICACIES OF JAMES BEARD AWARD SEMIFINALISTS

COBBLE HILL & WILLIAMSBURG — Brooklyn has a rich culinary heritage, and several of its chefs and restaurants have made the menu in the semi-finals for the NYC James Beard Awards 2023, according to Patch. This year’s nominees for Outstanding Chef are the husband-wife team of Eder Montero and Alex Raij, of La Vara on Clinton St. in Cobble Hill, which specializes in the Sephardic and Moorish cuisine of Southern Spain; and Erik Ramirez, of Williamsburg’s popular Llama Inn, serving up Peruvian fare and nigiri sushi. Among those making the list for the Best Chef/New York State category is Sohui Kim of the landmark Gage & Tollner, on Fulton St. in Downtown Brooklyn.

Finalist nominees will be announced on Wednesday, Mar. 29, and winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, Jun. 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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OASIS SINGLES MINISTRY HOLDS POPULAR VALENTINE’S TRADITION

DYKER HEIGHTS — OASIS Singles Ministry welcomes people of all ages from all denominations, throughout the tri-state area, to its 26th annual Oasis Singles Valentine’s Event on the weekend before that popular holiday. Lefferts Park Church, 7524 14th Avenue in Dyker Heights, hosts the dinner featuring a hot Italian buffet, dessert and live music, on Saturday, Feb. 11, $15 at the door/no reservations needed.

OASIS leader Cindy Galdal-Ruperto will speak on “The Healing Power of God’s Love.”  Musical guest Phil Triolo will share his poignant comedy.

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FDNY WILL HAVE MOST WOMEN FIREFIGHTERS IN ITS HISTORY, AS NEW PROBATIONERS GRADUATE

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh will preside at the graduation ceremony of 288 probationary Firefighters on Friday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. at the Christian Cultural Center (viewable live on the Department’s website). During their 18 weeks at the FDNY Training Academy, this class trained in all aspects of firefighting: fire suppression and medical response, hazardous materials, collapse and confined space rescue training, auto extrication, building inspections and procedures for engine and ladder operations.

The probationary Firefighters, 47% of whom identify as people of color, 28% as Hispanic, 15% as Black, and 4% as Asian American, will be assigned to firehouses throughout the city. There are seven women in the class, bringing the total number of female firefighters to 148 – the most in FDNY history.

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GOVERNMENT ISSUES RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST COMPANIES PRODUCING GUN CONVERSION DEVICES

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — As legislators on the local and congressional levels discussed viable ways to halt mass shootings, federal law enforcement has issued a restraining order against companies that sell machine guns illegally. The United States on Thursday, Jan. 26, filed a civil complaint in federal court in Brooklyn against two firearm companies, and two individuals associated with these companies (collectively, “Defendants”), alleging mail fraud and wire fraud, by unlawfully selling machine gun conversion devices. The devices, called FRT-15s, are specifically designed and intended to be used to convert AR-15-type rifles into machine guns and are therefore, themselves, “machine guns” under federal law.

With limited exceptions not applicable to Defendants’ conduct, the manufacture, sale and possession of machine guns is illegal under the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968.

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‘ROADS’ LEGISLATION WOULD CRACK DOWN ON RECKLESS DRIVERS

CITYWIDE — “New Yorkers should not have to fear for their lives every time they cross the street or bike to work. Vision Zero means exactly that: Zero fatalities,” said Mayor Eric Adams, pledging to crack down on dangerous driving during his State of the City “Working People’s Agenda” address on Thursday, Jan. 26. Adams said the city is working with Albany to advance new legislation called ROADS — Removing Offenders and Aggressive Drivers from our Streets — that would increase penalties for serious crashes, running red lights, and impaired driving — in some cases revoking offenders’ driver licenses.

The initiative will also increase the number of NYPD tow trucks to address the growing number of abandoned or illegally parked cars blocking traffic and visibility, help keep delivery zones and bus and bike lanes clear, and crack down on illegal placards.

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MAYOR PLEDGES GROCERY PROGRAMS TO SERVE NEEDY AREAS

BROWNSVILLE — “You can’t have Whole Foods in Park Slope and junk food in Brownsville, Mayor Adams quipped during an announcement during his State of the City address on Thursday, Jan. 26, launching the Groceries 2 Go and Green Stands programs. Adams pledged to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to fresh food, including fruit and vegetables.

“We will fight the continuing crisis of obesity and chronic disease by expanding city investment in healthy food access for lower income New Yorkers,” said Adams.

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MAYOR ANNOUNCES CRACKDOWN ON TENANT EVICTIONS

CITYWIDE — The City of New York is investing more than $22 million in tenant protection programs — including more staff to increase investigation and enforcement against bad landlords — to keep people in their homes, Mayor Eric Adams announced during his State of the City Address on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 26. His administration will invest “stronger partnerships with community groups and legal service providers to protect tenants from being pushed out of rent-regulated apartments.”

This city will also crack down on landlords who discriminate based on source of income, said Adams. “If you tell a potential tenant that you don’t accept Section 8 vouchers or other rental assistance, guess what? That tenant might be an actor hired by the city, and we are going to take enforcement action against you.”

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MAYOR ADAMS VOWS TO ‘FIGHT SCOURGE OF ILLEGAL GUNS’

CITYWIDE — “Fighting the scourge of illegal guns is a top priority for our city,” Mayor Eric Adams said during his State of the City Address on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 26. “And we won’t, and we can’t allow that to keep happening in the city,” he declared, commending President Biden and Governor Hochul for understanding the urgency, and announcing a set of neighborhood safety alliances, a partnership between law enforcement and service providers.

 “That means advocating for common-sense gun reform at every level of government…Americans have had enough. We must get this done. Because ending gun violence means stopping it before it starts, especially when it comes to our youth,” said the mayor.

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INVESTMENTS IN NURSE LABOR FORCE AND APPRENTICESHIPS PART OF MAYOR’S VISION FOR CITY

BROOKLYN NAVY YARD — A first-in-the-nation incubator at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, an apprenticeship system, an initiative to increase the nursing workforce and a major investment in Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and the biggest student mental health program in the country — complete with meditation exercises — are all part of Mayor Eric Adams’ plan for the city. Working with City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, and the Council, the city will award $5 billion in contracts to minority and women-owned businesses by Fiscal Year 2026.

The mayor made the announcements during his State of the City address, now in progress.

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NEW ZERO-EMISSIONS REQUIREMENT SET FOR UBER AND LYFT

CITYWIDE — As New York City electrifies its municipal vehicle fleet, for-hire vehicles will also be required to do the same, Mayor Eric Adams announced during his State of the City Address on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 26. “Today, we are announcing that Uber and Lyft will be required to have a zero-emissions fleet by 2030. That’s zero emissions for over 100,000 vehicles on our city streets. And it will be achieved with no new costs for individual drivers,” he added.

“We’re pleased that both companies are embracing this shift, and we look forward to working with them to get it done,” said Adams. However, New York 1 News political anchor Errol Louis pointed out that these for-hire drivers own their vehicles, and that it will be interesting to see how the mandate works.

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MAYOR SET TO ANNOUNCE NEW ‘INNOVATION LAB’ AT NAVY YARD

BROOKLYN NAVY YARDA $20 million boost for a new “innovation lab” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to focus on the biotech industry is part of Mayor Eric Adams’ expected announcement in the State of the City address due to begin by 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26. The CITY news website reports that the 50,000-square-foot incubator — the first of its kind in the U.S. —  is expected to open at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the next few years and provide office space, research lab, and programming space to biotechnology startups and companies, officials said ahead of Thursday’s speech.

Future plans include investing in a hub that would provide workforce training and space for more industry startups.

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CONTEMPT ORDER AGAINST CITY FOR FAILING TO TRACK PRISON INTAKES

CITYWIDE — The Legal Aid Society and its co-counsel have filed a contempt motion against the City of New York for the Department of Correction’s failure to comply with a Nov. 15, 2021 federal court order to reliably track and process people out of intake within 24 hours after entering DOC custody. Since that time, Legal Aid and co-counsel at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel, LLP have raised serious concerns about the reliability of the DOC systems that track time for intakes leading to the city’s failure to comply with its obligations under the order over the past 14 months.

The plaintiffs now seek additional accountability steps, including live access to the dashboard system for new admissions from all five boroughs and beyond; weekly reports from DOC to be provided directly to counsel for Plaintiffs; and regular updates on the Department’s progress to meet its promise of a reliable intra-facility tracking system.

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‘EPIDEMIC’ OF MASS SHOOTINGS NEEDS CLASSIFIED HEARING, URGES REP. GOLDMAN

WESTERN BROOKLYN — The frequency of mass shootings in the United States has prompted the vice chairs of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, one of them a Brooklyn congressmember, to convene a classified hearing on the matter. Rep. Dan Goldman (D-10th District) and two Congressmembers from Florida, Jared Moskowitz (FL-23) and Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10) expressed concern that their colleagues have become desensitized to the true horror of each one and the impact they have on the victims, their loved ones, and the community. A portion of their letter reads, “…We believe it is the responsibility of elected officials to confront the horrific reality that many of our constituents are forced to face, and to determine a common-sense path forward towards stopping the epidemic of mass shootings our country faces.”

 Goldman and his colleague pointed out that in the first 25 days into the year, already 39 mass shootings have taken place.

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ADAMS TO DELIVER STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS

CITYWIDE — Mayor Eric Adams will deliver his second annual State of the City address on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 12 p.m. While the event, held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, will be closed to the public, interested New Yorkers can watch the livestream on the city’s website or on the mayor’s YouTube channel. 

Mayor Adams’ speech is expected to touch on subjects like crime, economic recovery, the housing crisis and the ongoing migrant situation, according to a Gothamist breakdown.

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STATE D.O.E. ORDERS YESHIVA INVESTIGATION WRAPPED UP

BROOKLYN — Brooklyn’s yeshivas and Orthodox community won a victory earlier this month, reports amNY, when on Jan. 10 the state’s education commissioner ordered the city to wrap up its investigation into the religious schools by the end of June. The city had filed an affidavit claiming that its investigation was slowed by the state’s Board of Regents changing its standards for educational equivalence between public and private schools, saying that it would need more time to gather evidence and conduct school visits, but was rebuffed. 

The hot-button issue of the city’s investigation of the yeshivas has attracted criticism from both sides of the debate, with supporters and detractors alike condemning the slowness of the process. 

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WASHINGTON IRVING LIBRARY WINS ROBOTICS CHAMPIONSHIP

The winners hoist their trophy. Photo: Gregg Richards.

BUSHWICK — A team from Washington Irving Library, located in Bushwick, won top honors at the BKLYN Library’s Robotics League Championship this week, beating out 14 other teams and earning a spot in the citywide championship later this year. The second- and third-place winners were from Kings Bay and New Lots libraries and will join Washington Irving Library to compete in that competition.

The BKLYN Library Robotics League, in partnership with NYC First, is a free ten-week program begun in 2017 in which children and teens, ages 9 to 17, learn how to strategize, design code and build robots, exploring STEM concepts and meeting new friends along the way. 

 

A trio of young roboticists get animated during the Robotics League Championship. Photo: Gregg Richards.

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COBBLE HILL BREWERY LAUNCHES OYSTER BEER TO HELP CLEAN HARBOR

COBBLE HILL — Cobble Hill’s TALEA Beer Co., NYC’s first female-owned brewery, is teaming up with the Billion Oyster Project to produce a unique oyster-themed beer called She Sells Sea Shells, which is brewed using oyster shells from the Project’s stockpile, and from every can sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to fund conservation efforts. The beer will launch at a special oyster pairing event held at the brewery’s Cobble Hill location on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m., where attendees can enjoy an oyster flight along with a presentation from the Project on their mission. 

The Billion Oyster Project, which uses donated oyster shells from local restaurants to help baby oysters grow in order to restore the natural state of NYC’s waterways, last year introduced their hundred millionth oyster back into New York’s harbor waters. 

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STROLLER-ACCESSIBLE BUS PROGRAM TO EXPAND

CITYWIDE — A trial program started by the MTA last year to test buses modified to give extra space to strollers and baby carriages has been given the green light to expand onto 1,000 more buses across the city, reports StreetsBlog, in a move sure to delight harried parents. The most popular route thus far with the stroller set in the trial program has been the B1 in southern Brooklyn, which runs from Bay Ridge to Manhattan Beach.

As of now the only Brooklyn line running the modified buses, which use flip-up or removed seats to accommodate the strollers, is the B1, but officials are set to announce new route expansions next month. 

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PRISONER ASSISTANCE NONPROFIT TO OPEN IN VINEGAR HILL

VINEGAR HILL — The nonprofit organization Unincarcerate America, which focuses on providing support to the families of prisoners as well as offering services to newly released ex-inmates, will give a presentation about its mission and its plans to open a new workspace in Vinegar Hill at the next Community Board 2 meeting on Feb. 1. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions and hear more information about the group’s plans after the presentation.

The meeting will take place on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m., and can be attended via Zoom. 

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GRAVESEND MOM STOPS ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING OF SON FROM SYNAGOGUE

GRAVESEND — A Brooklyn man, identified as Yossi Meyer, 42,  has been charged with kidnapping and harassment after trying to pick up and carry off a 9-year-old boy against his will during a religious ceremony at a Gravesend synagogue on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 25, reports ABC News. The boy’s mother noticed the attempt and managed to pull her son away from the suspect, who then fled on foot.

The suspect was later located by Flatbush Shomrim, hiding in a nearby school. 

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MICROBE EVOLUTION STARTUP SECURES $7M IN FUNDING

SUNSET PARK — Melonfrost, a Brooklyn startup that uses AI technology and a proprietary “evolution reactor” to forcefully evolve helpful microbes to improve food production yields, has secured $7 million in its latest round of seed funding. The Industry City-based biotech company says it plans to use this funding to expand its current operation from a small lab space to full warehouse size, and to land their first major customer. 

“It’s not just about aiming to bring new molecules or chemicals to market; rather, we need to fundamentally change the way the world’s resources come to be and move around,” founder Sam Levin told Forbes about the company’s ultimate goal.

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COLOMBIAN NARCOTICS TRAFFICKER PLEADS GUILTY IN BROOKLYN FEDERAL COURT

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The former leader of the violent “Clan Del Golfo” drug trafficking organization that was responsible for trafficking tons of illegal narcotics from Colombia to the United States, and incalculable acts of violence against law enforcement, military personnel, and civilians, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, a.k.a. “Otoniel” and who has other aliases, gave his plea in a proceeding before U.S. District Judge Dora L. Irizarry. When sentenced, Úsuga David will face a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison, and up to life in prison; and, as part of his plea agreement, must pay a $216 million forfeiture money judgment.

“With today’s guilty plea, the bloody reign of the most violent and significant Colombian narcotics trafficker since Pablo Escobar is over, said Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

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ATTORNEY GENERAL PROBES MSG’S ALLEGED MISUSE OF FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE

CITYWIDE — New York Attorney General Letitia James wants to know why Madison Square Garden has been using its facial recognition technology to deny admission to legitimate ticket holders. Her letter to Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation — also known as MSG Entertainment — is part of an investigation into the company’s reported use of facial recognition technology to identify and deny entry to all lawyers connected to clients in pending litigation related to MSG Entertainment, a policy that potentially violates local, state, and federal human rights laws, including laws prohibiting retaliation.

Attorney General James’ letter also questions the reliability and accuracy of MSG Entertainment’s facial recognition software, so that it is not misused to cause discrimination.

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ASYLEE ADVOCACY GROUPS DENOUNCE MAYOR’S POSITION ON RIGHT-TO-SHELTER LAW

RED HOOK — Just two days after he announced a new Emergency Relief Center in the Red Hook Cruise Terminal, Mayor Eric Adams is being criticized for comments he made on Wednesday, Jan. 25, during WABC 77 Radio’s “Sid & Friends in the Morning,” when he suggested that asylum seekers are not entitled to New York’s Right to Shelter protections. Demanding that the mayor clarify his remarks, the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless stated, “Anyone in need of shelter, including asylum seekers, is entitled to such, as prescribed by multiple long-standing court orders and local law. This is not a responsibility that Mayor Adams can decide to shirk, and he knows better.”

Ironically, Mayor Adams seemed to separate New York’s status of being a sanctuary city from the right-to-shelter law when he also told the ABC host (in response to a question),“When we talk about a sanctuary city, that is codified in law…The courts ruled that this is a sanctuary city. We have a moral and legal obligation to fulfill that.”

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THE FOUNTAINS RENEWAL HOUSING COMPLEX REACHES FULL OCCUPANCY

EAST NEW YORK — The Fountains, a critical affordable housing development providing 1,163 affordable homes to New Yorkers in East New York, has reached 100 percent occupancy since its ribbon-cutting ceremony two years ago, reports The Arker Companies Real Estate Development. The $425 million, 7-acre development on the site of the former Brooklyn Developmental Center has helped revitalize the neighborhood with housing and supportive services for thousands of Brooklyn residents and a new public plaza, with 200 units reserved for senior adults 62 or older, and 192 apartments are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities who have access to onsite supportive services provided by the Block Institute.

State financing for The Fountains included over $216 million in resources from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and more than $35 million from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The Fountains in East New York, pictured at its October 2021 ribbon-cutting, has now reached 100 percent occupancy. Photo: The Arker Companies.

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NEW STREETEASY REPORT: GREENPOINT IS THE SPOT FOR RENTAL DISCOUNTS

GREENPOINT — The top neighborhood in both Brooklyn and the city for renters to find a discount is Greenpoint, according to StreetEasy’s latest Market Report. Among the other findings: Priced-out buyers are pushing relief for renters further out, coupled with higher mortgage rates that are keeping would-be buyers in the rental market for longer, causing current rental inventory levels to stay too low. Moreover, increasing rent prices and higher mortgage rates have made it significantly more challenging for New Yorkers to break into home ownership on their own.

On a brighter side: Concessions are also making a comeback, with 15% of all rental listings citywide offering at least one month of free rent.

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NEW REPORT SHOWS BROOKLYN’S INCREASE IN OLDER, IMPOVERISHED ADULTS

BOROUGHWIDE — A new report published that the Center for an Urban Future published on Wednesday, Jan. 25, finds that older adults make up a larger share of New York City’s population than ever before, with New York’s 65-and-over population growing by more than 360,000 over the past decade, and with Brooklyn experiencing the second-highest increase of older adults, up by 104,507 persons, representing a 35.7% growth. Brooklyn’s older immigrant population grew by 46% over the past decade, while its U.S.-born older adult population increased by 24%.

Immigrants now account for 58% of Brooklyn’s older adults, up from 54% in 2011. Brooklyn also saw a large increase in the number of older adults living in poverty, with 81,085 older adults in the county now living in poverty, second-most of any county.

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COLOMBIAN NARCOTICS TRAFFICKER PLEADS GUILTY IN BROOKLYN FEDERAL COURT

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The former leader of the violent “Clan Del Golfo” drug trafficking organization that was responsible for trafficking tons of illegal narcotics from Colombia to the United States, and incalculable acts of violence against law enforcement, military personnel, and civilians, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, a.k.a. “Otoniel” and who has other aliases, gave his plea in a proceeding before U.S. District Judge Dora L. Irizarry. When sentenced, Úsuga David will face a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison, and up to life in prison; and, as part of his plea agreement, must pay a $216 million forfeiture money judgment.

“With today’s guilty plea, the bloody reign of the most violent and significant Colombian narcotics trafficker since Pablo Escobar is over, said Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

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SCHUMER, JEFFRIES MEET WITH PRESIDENT ON DEBT LIMIT SHOWDOWN

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Schumer and House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries delivered brief statements to the media on Wednesday, Jan. 25, after meeting with President Biden at the White House to discuss the impending showdown in Congress on the subject of the nation’s debt limit. Schumer called on Republicans to outline their plans for handling the debt, while Jeffries said Democrats were ready to work with the GOP to have discussions about the future.

The fight over the debt ceiling could have dramatic economic consequences for the nation, as the U.S., having passed the Jan. 19 deadline, will struggle to pay its bills by June, according to Treasury secretary Janet Yellen, unless Congress takes action.

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BROOKLYN HOSPITAL CHAIN ADMITS DATA BREACH BEGAN IN JULY

BROOKLYN — The recent data breach and subsequent ransomware attack on One Brooklyn Health, a hospital system that administers several Brooklyn hospitals including Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, began significantly earlier than previously reported, with patient data exposed potentially since July according to a new investigation of the attack released by the group. TechTarget reports that the breach, which was discovered in November, resulted in some patient data being copied, including names and medical records, but that the full extent of the leak is not yet known as One Brooklyn’s investigation continues.

The associated “ransomware” attack in November resulted in the hospitals being forced to use pen and paper after being locked out of their computer systems, leading to what some staffers described as a chaotic environment.

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CITY COUNCIL MEETS ON TRANS EXPERIENCE IN CITY JAILS

CIVIC CENTER — On Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 10 a.m. the City Council’s Committee on Criminal Justice and Committee on Women and Gender Equity held a joint hearing on issues facing transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary and intersex individuals in custody. The committees pursued answers from the administration on how it is responding to the TGNCNBI task force report recommendations and managing violent incidents against those individuals, and will also consider a legislative package that would address the needs of that population.

The hearing comes as the state legislature took action on Tuesday to protect New Yorkers from discrimination based on gender expression.

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COUNCIL EDUCATION COMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON ADMISSIONS

CIVIC CENTER — The City Council’s Committee on Education scheduled an oversight hearing for Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. on the Department of Education’s new admissions policy. Last fall, the Department of Education announced changes to the enrollment process for the 2023-24 school year, including moving the application timeline for middle and high school, reinstating the selective middle school admissions process and placing a greater emphasis on core course grades for admission into selective high schools.

The Committee also heard legislation related to the establishment of a bullying task force, the distribution of IDNYC applications to high schools and bicycle safety. The meeting took place at City Hall and was livestreamed on the council’s official website.

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BK LANDLORD JAILED AFTER IGNORING COURT

BUSHWICK — A Brooklyn landlord was jailed last month after repeatedly refusing to make repairs to a Bushwick apartment building he owns, reports Gothamist, and could face more time if the necessary fixes demanded by HUD aren’t made. Aron Stark owes more than $650,000 in fines after neglecting to keep the building in habitable condition and was arrested for contempt of court on Dec. 8, before being released a week later.

“A landlord being a tenant of a jail cell isn’t just rare, it’s nearly unheard of,” said activist Aaron Carr, founder of the pro-tenant group Housing Rights Initiative.

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ARMED ROBBER PROWLING LINDENWOOD

LINDENWOOD — The NYPD is warning the public to be on the lookout for an armed robber wanted in connection with a series of armed muggings last week in Lindenwood. The robber, who is described as a tall, dark-complexioned man in his 30s, twice approached pedestrians at night before brandishing a gun and demanding their wallets, before 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, log onto the Crime Stoppers website or Tweet @NYPDTips.

Have you seen this man? All tips are strictly confidential.

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BALD EAGLES SPOTTED IN MIDWOOD

MIDWOOD — A sighting of a pair of nesting bald eagles in Midwood, captured on video by local resident Anthony Finkel, has generated excitement in the neighborhood, reports CBS News. The sighting comes as bald eagles have begun to move back into the city’s wild spaces, with other birds making their homes in Prospect Park as environmental preservation efforts have brought the species back from the brink of extinction.

“It’s an incredible thing. As far as we know, bald eagles have not nested before in Brooklyn. If they did, it was more than 100 years ago,” said David Barrett, an avian enthusiast who manages the Brooklyn Bird Alert Twitter account.


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