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What’s News, Breaking: Monday, January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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8-WEEK ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAM FOCUSES ON BUSINESS GROWTH STRATEGY

BOROUGHWIDE — Applications are due on Tuesday, Jan. 31, for Project IMPACCT 2023, an eight-week entrepreneurial program for BIPOC and women entrepreneurs based in Brooklyn. During the program, owners devise a strategy to grow their businesses through workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, network-building opportunities, and access to financial resources.

Project IMPACCT (application online) is a program of IMPACCT Brooklyn, with Citi Foundation sponsorship.

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CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS CREATE REGIONAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

CENTRAL BROOKLYN — Democratic House Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who represents New York’s 8th District across Brooklyn, announced from Washington, DC the creation of the Regional Leadership Council, which will consist of twelve Members – one from each of the twelve regions of the Democratic Caucus. In the 11th Region that includes New York, Rep. Grace Meng (D-6th District/Corona, Queens), has been appointed.

Said Leader Jeffries, “The Regional Leadership Council will guide our partnership with the Biden administration as we implement historic legislation signed into law during the previous Congress.”

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ESSAY CONTEST ASKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS HOW THEY WOULD IMPROVE COMMUNITY

BAY RIDGE — Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-11th District is hosting her annual Presidents’ Day Essay contest for Brooklyn and Staten Island elementary school students, inviting them to write about what they would do to improve their community if they were President of the United States. All essays, with a maximum word count of 400, must be submitted via email to [email protected] by Monday, Feb. 20, and include the student’s first and last name, school, grade, class and a parent or guardian’s full name and contact information.

Contest winners will receive a gift card to a local bookstore and an opportunity to meet with Malliotakis to discuss their ideas. Each participant will receive a congressional certificate of recognition from Congressmember Malliotakis.

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FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL GRADUATE 135 PROBATIONARY EMTS

EAST NEW YORK — Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh will preside over a graduation ceremony for 135 Probationary Emergency Medical Technicians on Tuesday morning, Jan. 31, at the Christian Cultural Center in East New York. The ceremony (to be livestreamed on the Department’s website) will recognize the probationers for their 16-week training at the EMS Academy which encompassed CPR; patient medical and trauma assessments; oxygen and ventilation skills; management of hypotension and fractures; and spinal immobilization and emergency childbirth; and emergency vehicle operation.

The new EMTs will be assigned to units throughout New York City.

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BROOKLYN COLLEGE LAUNCHES NEW PRESIDENTIAL LECTURE SERIES

Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Photo: Brooklyn College.

MIDWOOD/FLATBUSH — Brooklyn College is launching a new Presidential Lecture Series with Michelle J. Anderson, with the goal of exposing students and the extended Brooklyn College community to inspiring ideas, courageous leadership, and models of civic engagement and civil discourse. The inaugural lecture takes place on campus this Thursday, Feb. 2, marking both National Cancer Prevention Month and Black History Month, with guest Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS, president and CEO of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The discussion between Dr. Vickers and President Anderson will revolve around healthcare equity, social justice, and career paths for those interested in healthcare.

Dr. Vickers is an internationally recognized pancreatic cancer surgeon, researcher, and healthcare pioneer, and is a member of the Jobs Council, a coalition of CEOs committed to hiring low-income and diverse New Yorkers for career-ladder jobs.

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CUNY CENTRALIZES ONLINE PORTAL FOR REPORTING HATE SPEECH AND VIOLENCE

CITYWIDE — The City University of New York (with several colleges in Brooklyn) has launched a centralized online portal for staff and students to report instances of discrimination and retaliation, covering cases of hate speech and violence. The online portal — which was started in late fall as part of a sweeping effort to address hate in all forms — will standardize reporting across the system and the information will be shared with college presidents and deans, who are required to file semi-annual reports on the cases shared through the portal. The reports will also serve as a basis for the development of policy and training as needed.

This action, which marks the latest action the University is taking to combat hate in all forms, comes as the nation faces an increase in antisemitic attacks, including a 125% increase in such crimes across New York City.

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BENSONHURST WOMAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES IN ASSAULT AGAINST FAMILY MEMBERS

BENSONHURST & DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A 22-year-old Bensonhurst woman has been charged with murdering her father on Dec. 29 with a hammer and a knife, and with seriously wounding her sister with a knife when she tried to intervene. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendant as Nikki Secondino, who was arraigned on a multiple-count indictment — including second-degree murder and attempted murder — on Monday, Jan. 30, before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Warin. The defendant, being held without bail, faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison if convicted.

The defendant was also found to have given a false account of the incident to responding officers; an investigation revealed that the defendant and her father had a history of domestic incident reports, and that the father had expressed fear of the defendant in the past.

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BUSH HOOK LIQUORS SELLS 2ND-PRIZE POWERBALL TICKET

RED HOOK — A Red Hook merchant sold a second-prize winning ticket for the Jan. 28 Powerball drawing, worth $1 million. The ticket was purchased at Bush Hook Liquors, LLC on Lorraine Street.

The winning numbers for the Powerball are drawn from a separate field of 1 to 26, with the Powerball drawings televised every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 11 p.m. The next drawing, on Jan. 30, now has a $613 million jackpot.

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CITY’S TEMPORARY WATER BILL AMNESTY WILL FORGIVE INTEREST ON AMOUNTS

CITYWIDE — A new temporary water bill amnesty program has been launched to help New Yorkers save up to $150 million of interest when they pay their overdue water bills. The limited-time program will forgive up to 100 percent of interest when customers pay a portion or all of their outstanding water bills, Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala announced on Monday.

Nearly 200,000 customers owe a combined $1.2 billion in water bill charges to DEP, with the unpaid amounts becoming an urgent matter as they are considered a lien against a property. For example, a large number of black homeowners in Central Brooklyn who were unable to pay their water bills lost their homes through the city’s Third-Party Transfer program.

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VERRAZZANO BRIDGE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE DURING OVERNIGHT HOLLAND TUNNEL CLOSURES

BAY RIDGE — The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island might get busier nights and weekends, as it is a designated alternate route while the DOT closes the westbound Holland Tunnel tube for planned work expected to last into 2025.  Starting Sunday, Feb. 5, all New Jersey-bound lanes of the Holland Tunnel will be closed Sunday through Thursday nights from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., and Friday nights 11:59 p.m. to 9 a.m. Saturdays.

During the New Jersey-bound tube repairs, motorists are advised to use alternate routes based on their origins and destinations, with the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge being the access point for Staten Island or southern New Jersey, the Lincoln Tunnel for Hudson or Essex Counties, or the George Washington Bridge for northern New Jersey.

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L TRAIN HITS COMMUTER; SERVICE NOW RESTORED

BUSHWICK/QUEENS COUNTY LINE — L train service in Brooklyn was suspended for about an hour and a half on Monday, Jan. 30, after reports that emergency teams were treating a person who had been struck by a train at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Ave. station on the boundary with Ridgewood in Queens. During the disruption, L trains were running on the 8th Ave./Manhattan-bound track between the Williamsburg stations of Bedford Ave. and Lorimer St., in both directions.

The MTA announced at 9:16 a.m. that service has been restored — with residual delays on the route, which runs from 8th Ave. in Manhattan to Canarsie, with a stretch through northern Brooklyn.

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BROOKLYN MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN CHAIN-REACTION CRASH

NAVY YARD/VINEGAR HILL — A Brooklyn motorcyclist was killed in a late-night collision on the northbound FDR Drive on Sunday, Jan. 29. A preliminary investigation determined that a 40-year-old male, whom the NYPD has since identified as Nathaniel Knight of Sands St., was operating an electric motorcycle northbound on the FDR Drive near East 55 Street when the 19-year-old drivers of two Honda Civics cars of different model years got into a chain-reaction crash with him.

Knight, driving the electric motorcycle, was pinned underneath the 2008 Honda Civic that hit him, and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

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IN MEMORIAM: LISA LORING, WHO PLAYED WEDNESDAY ADDAMS

NATIONWIDE — Lisa Loring, who at age 6 had debuted the role of Wednesday Addams on the ABC sitcom based on the macabre cartoons of Charles Addams, died on Saturday at age 64, according to news reports, after Ms. Loring’s family confirmed the death being from natural causes. Loring played the original Wednesday Addams, an emotionally-distant and reserved child who contrasted with her brother Pugsley, on the sitcom that ran for two seasons between 1964-66 and is now in syndication.

Netflix’s new series ‘Wednesday’ (which premiered in November), based on the Addams’ girl’s adolescence and portraying her as “smart, sarcastic and a little dead inside,” also co-stars former Brooklynite Christina Ricci as a botany teacher at Nevermore Academy. Ricci is reportedly selling her Fort Greene townhouse that was built in 1901.

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HANIF PROMISES ACTION, ASKS D.O.T. FOR HELP AFTER WOMAN’S BIKE LANE DEATH

GOWANUS — Councilmember Shahana Hanif and D.O.T. commissioner Ydanis Rodríguez, along with other Brooklyn pols and neighborhood advocates, conducted a walkthrough last week of the dangerous corridor along 9th Street where a biker, Sarah Schick, was struck and killed by a truck earlier this month. According to Hanif, Rodríguez committed to “a street redesign with community engagement, as well as changes to signal patterns and timing.”

Hanif reports that the signal at the intersection of 9th Street and 2nd Avenue has already been adjusted to give pedestrians more time to cross, and pledged to continue to press for more traffic safety changes in the area.

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NYPD CLEARS COP WHO PEPPER-SPRAYED STATE SENATOR AT PROTEST

CROWN HEIGHTS — A NYPD judge has cleared an officer who pepper-sprayed state Sen. Zellnor Myrie at a protest in 2020 following the death of George Floyd, reports Patch – despite what Myrie says is hard video evidence from the officer’s body camera of the event taking place. While this Civilian Complaint Review Board trial result, which judged the officer’s actions “reasonable,” could mean that the officer faces no internal discipline for the spraying, Myrie has also filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city for the incident, which continues to progress.

Myrie’s is only one of many lawsuits related to aggressive conduct by the NYPD during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 and following years, including one filed by NY AG Letitia James in 2021.

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LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION AT BOROUGH HALL

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Borough President Antonio Reynoso is inviting Brooklynites to join him at Borough Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 31, to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The free event, which starts at 6 p.m., will feature food from Park Asia restaurant, as well as dance performances.

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP online.

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BIDEN TO TRAVEL TO NYC, DISCUSS HUDSON RIVER PROJECT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

CITYWIDE — President Biden will make a visit to NYC on Tuesday, Jan. 31, to discuss the Hudson Tunnel Project, which will be funded by Biden’s landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. Further details on the specifics of his visit have not been made public.

The Hudson Tunnel Project, a longtime goal for the MTA, will see the construction of a new underwater train tunnel connecting NYC’s Penn Station with New Jersey, as well as the rehabilitation and repair of the currently existing train tunnel, which Superstorm Sandy damaged.

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LOTTERY LAUNCHES FOR AFFORDABLE SENIOR APTS IN SUNSET PARK

SUNSET PARK — A lottery has opened online for 57 affordable apartments for seniors in a brand-new Sunset Park apartment building, reports Brownstoner. The apartments, which are studios and one-bedrooms, will be open only to households where one or more members are over the age of 62, and have a variety of different income tier restrictions, which interested applicants can find on the city’s Housing Connect website until March 17.

The building, which sits on the former site of Zion Norwegian Lutheran Church, reuses and incorporates some of the church’s architectural details like stained glass windows and stonework, as well as having a museum display about the history of the church, alongside five new Universal Pre-K classrooms on the ground floor.

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PRINT OF BOB DYLAN’S BROOKLYN HEIGHTS PAINTING SELLS AT UK AUCTION

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A signed giclee print of a painting of Brooklyn Heights by superstar musician Bob Dylan sold at a UK auction for £2,000 last week. Auctioneer Dawson’s, which featured the print in their January Fine Art & Antiques event, notes that it is one of 295 limited editions of this print and belongs to Dylan’s 2019 ‘The Beaten Path’ series.

While Dylan is primarily known for his musical career, he is also a talented painter, focusing on capturing scenes of daily life in America.

The print shows a sunny Brooklyn Heights street in the fall. Photo: Dawson’s Auctions.

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NYPD ADDS CROWN HEIGHTS PATROLS AFTER VIOLENCE IN JERUSALEM

CROWN HEIGHTS — The NYPD announced on Friday that it had added extra police patrols in Crown Heights over the weekend, reports COLive, after a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue claimed the lives of seven people. The department said that while there was no specific threat known to them, coverage would also be increased at houses of worship around the city.

The attack at the synagogue on Friday night was the most deadly attack on Israelis by a Palestinian since 2008, and while the gunman appears to have acted alone, the incident has raised fears that violence may yet again be poised to engulf Israel.

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CITY LAUNCHING NEW SOCIAL SERVICES CUSTOMER SERVICE LINE

CITYWIDE — The New York City Department of Social Services is set on Monday, Jan. 30, to launch a new Interactive Voice Response system. Called the DSS OneNumber, this system will consolidate the Agency’s systems into one public-facing customer service number, modernize and expand the Agency’s capabilities, and provide clients with the ability to remotely request assistance and receive information about their benefits and services.

Among the services for which recipients can obtain information includes SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Cash Assistance, Medicaid, HASA (the HIV/AIDS Services Administration), and HEAP (the Home Energy Assistance Program).

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BROOKLYN DEMOCRATIC PARTY CALLS FOR FULL PASSAGE OF GEORGE FLOYD JUSTICE IN POLICING ACT

BOROUGHWIDE — Responding to last Friday’s release of the body-camera video footage from the Memphis police, Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn released a statement, excerpted here. The videos, which “depicts in graphic detail the brutal and senseless murder of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, by five police officers are infuriating, abhorrent and profoundly saddening…More action is needed to stop this tragic – yet, far-too-common – despicable and unjust violence, racism, and bias in policing that plague our nation, and we’re calling for the House to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”

That bill (H.R. 1280) was approved in the House of Representatives in March 2021, under the previous, Democratic-controlled Congress, and was received in the Senate, with no further action yet recorded.

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MISSING WOMAN FOUND SAFE

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The story of a missing Bedford-Stuyvesant woman had a happy closure when she was located and safe over the weekend.  Carmen Negron, 69, 4’4 and 133 lbs., had last been seen leaving La Providencia Family Health Center in Bushwick, just before 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27.

The NYPD reported on Saturday evening that the woman is safe.

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ADAMS’ ADMINISTRATION PROMOTES NEW NYC FREE TAX PREP SERVICE

CITYWIDE — Kicking off this year’s tax season, which runs until the Tuesday, April 18 deadline, Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga encourage single-filing New Yorkers who earned $56,000 or less in 2022, or families who earned $80,000 or less, to file their taxes for free using NYC Free Tax Prep.  This service offers professional, tax preparation that can help New Yorkers keep their full refund, including valuable tax credits like the newly enhanced New York City Earned Income Tax Credit.

A new NYC Free Tax Prep for self-employed New Yorkers will also provide income tax services to freelance workers and small businesses.

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BROOKLYN TECH, REP. JEFFRIES HOST COMMUNITY INAUGURATION

FORT GREENE — Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries, the House Democratic Leader, was set to host and deliver remarks at a Community Inauguration at Brooklyn Technical High School on Sunday, Jan. 29. Expected participants as of press time, included New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York City Mayor Eric L. Adams, U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-7th District) and other elected officials representing Brooklyn, the city and the state.

Last month, Rep. Jeffries was unanimously elected Democratic Leader for the 118th Congress by his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus.

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SECOND PRIZE WINNING LOTTO TICKET SOLD IN GRAVESEND

GRAVESEND — Neck Road Wine & Liquor, serving the Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay communities, sold a second-prize winning ticket for the Jan. 28 New York LOTTO drawing, worth $21,137. With no first-prize winning ticket sold, the jackpot for Saturday’s drawing has been increased to $18.4 million.   

The winning ticket matched five of the six numbers and the bonus number, which were 5-16-22-24-26-54 and Bonus Number 11. Although a typo in some announcements from the NY Lottery gave these as being from the Wednesday, Jan. 25 drawing, their website indicated that they were actually Saturday night’s numbers.

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CITY LAUNCHES NEW FUND TO HELP STARTUPS AND THOSE REBOUNDING FROM PANDEMIC

NORTH BROOKLYN — The City of New York has launched the NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund, a new $75 million capital loan source to meet the financing needs of merchants and small firms trying to rebound from the pandemic, the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce announced. The NYC Small Business Opportunity Fund, is a partnership with the city, the Community Reinvestment Fund, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard, and a set of local Community Development financial institutions to create new solutions to meet the financing needs of small businesses — especially those hardest hit by the pandemic and who have experienced historic disinvestment or discrimination.

Businesses could apply the monies toward emerging and startup costs that need working capital or to underwrite for inventory, equipment, and other operating expenses.

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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. (More information on the full national list: https://www.jamesbeard.org/blog/the-2023-james-beard-awards-semifinalists.)

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STATE TAX DEPT.’S AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON EARNED INCOME TAX CREDITS

STATEWIDE — The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is observing National Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day with an outreach campaign, urging taxpayers to review their eligibility for this useful benefit.  Each year, thousands of New Yorkers qualify for the first time for the income tax credit (EITC) – a refundable credit for working taxpayers earning less than $59,187 — as their filing status or personal financial situation changes. (Visit the IRS EITC or New York State Dept. of Taxation’s website for more information). 

When the federal, New York State, and New York City earned income tax credits are combined, they can be worth nearly $11,100 for a family with three or more children.

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OVERNIGHT LANE CLOSURE FOR BQE SECTION UNDER PROMENADE

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Continuing maintenance work on the westbound Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will require additional nighttime closures on the span between the Brooklyn Bridge and Atlantic Avenue on specific days in February, the New York City Department of Transportation has announced. Single-lane closures in the Staten Island-bound direction will take place from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. on all the Fridays (2/3, 2/10, 2/17 and 2/24) and on Wednesdays, Feb. 8 and 22.

Also known as Interstate-278, the BQE’s affected stretch will include the lower cantilevered roadway underneath the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The upper roadway is Queens-bound.

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MAYOR APPOINTS JUDGES WITH EXPERIENCE SERVING BROOKLYN COURT DIVISIONS

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Brooklyn jurists are among the 21 judicial appointments and reappointments to Family Court, Criminal Court, and Civil Court that Mayor Eric Adams made on Friday, Jan. 27. Mayor Adams appointed Judge Marty J. Lentz to Criminal Court, whose experience included work with the Brooklyn Criminal Defense Practice, Misdemeanor Brooklyn Treatment Court, and Red Hook Community Justice Center. Judge Melody Glover, who began her career with The Legal Aid Society and served in various capacities including as assistant attorney-in-charge of the Kings County Juvenile Rights Division, was among those reappointed to Family Court, where she has presided since June 2017.

Altogether, Mayor Adams appointed three Family Court judges, and one Criminal Court judge, and reappointed three Family Court judges, 10 Criminal Court judges, and four interim Civil Court judges.

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MAYOR REAPPOINTS JUDGES TO CRIMINAL COURT

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Among the judges whom Mayor Eric Adams reappointed on Friday to the NYC Criminal Court are Judge Miriam Best and Judge Dale Fong-Frederick. Best, who has experience in this particular jurisdiction, also served as a former prosecutor for the Appeals Bureau of the Kings County district attorney’s office and assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn federal court) Criminal Division. Fong-Frederick has worked in various capacities for the NYS Unified Court System, the Kings County Surrogate Court and the Legal Aid Society.

Also appointed were Judge Sarah Litman, a former Kings County assistant district attorney who eventually became a senior assistant district attorney in the Sex Crimes Bureau, Judge Gia Morris and Judge Michael Ryan, both former prosecutors in Kings County.

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PUBLIC SERVICE RETIREES GROUP THANKS CITY COUNCIL FOR NOT VOTING ON MEDICARE CHANGE PROPOSAL

CITYWIDE — Following a Jan. 19 City Council decision not to vote on Mayor Eric Adams’s proposed legislation affecting the health care coverage for municipal retired persons, the New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees has expressed gratitude to this legislative body for its concern in a statement, excerpted here: “Retirees presented testimony for almost six hours at City Hall on Monday, January 9th explaining why Medicare Advantage poses a serious threat to their health. The organization will request meetings with the mayor’s office and City Council to present alternative ways to achieve significant savings and to urge passage of a bill to “protect retirees from having to live in fear of their hard-earned benefits being stripped away from them when needed most.”

The plan would have authorized Adams to force elderly and disabled retirees into a Medicare Advantage plan by withdrawing funding for their existing health insurance.

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BREAKING: MAYOR URGES PROTESTORS, NYPD TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT AT RELEASE OF TYRE NICHOLS VIDEO

CITYWIDE — Mayor Eric Adams delivered a live address around 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, in anticipation of the release of video that is expected to depict a violent encounter between Tyre Nichols and Memphis, Tennessee, police officers earlier this month.  City law enforcement officials were also bracing for protests and other civil unrest in connection with the video’s release, that shows Nichols’ fatal beating at the hands of police. Mayor Adams urged protestors to express their anger peacefully and he urged police covering protests to exercise restraint.

Mayor Adams was also scheduled, as of press time, to appear on NY1 News’ “Inside City Hall,” in a pre-taped segment.

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BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK PENTHOUSE HITS MARKET FOR $17.9M

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A penthouse apartment in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s luxury Quay Tower, located at the foot of Atlantic Avenue, has gone on sale for a jaw-dropping $17.9 million, and features 5 bedrooms, a total 6,100 square feet of living space and floor-to-ceiling windows with dazzling views of the NYC skyline. While steep, the apartment’s price doesn’t quite break the record for the most expensive Brooklyn property, however, with a separate penthouse in the same building having sold for more than $20 million in 2018.

The New York Post reports that the building is a favorite of celebrities as well, with Gen Z icon actress Zendaya having purchased a unit in the building in 2020.

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GOLDMAN GETS HOUSE COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Freshman U.S. Rep. Daniel Goldman has received his new committee assignments in the House of Representatives from Democratic leadership, announced leader Hakeem Jeffries. Goldman will sit on the Committee on Homeland Security, as well as joining rising Democrat stars like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Katie Porter on the newly-renamed Committee on Oversight and Accountability, which was previously known as the Committee on Oversight and Reform and was chaired by former Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Greenpoint, who lost her seat due to redistricting.

“What the QAnon Caucus and MAGA extremists plan to use the Oversight Committee to achieve is nothing more than political propaganda. Even worse, it’s a waste of time and taxpayer money. I look forward to using my prior experience to expose MAGA conspiracy theories and conduct meaningful oversight in support of NY-10’s families, freedoms, and future,” said Goldman in a press statement.

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LAWYER WHO MADE MOLOTOVS DURING RIOT SENTENCED TO YEAR IN PRISON

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Disbarred lawyer Colinford Mattis was sentenced to a year and a day in prison by Judge Brian Cogan on Thursday, Jan. 26, over his involvement in the riots following the death of George Floyd in May of 2020. Mattis helped to make homemade Molotov cocktails and drove a minivan to the scene of a protest, where fellow lawyer Urooj Rahman used them to light an empty police vehicle on fire.

While Mattis’ prison sentence is shorter than the 18-24 months prosecutors had asked for, he will also have to pay the city $30,107 in restitution for the destroyed van.

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WILLIAMSBURG FORECLOSURE HALTED AS DEVELOPERS TRADE SCAM ACCUSATIONS

WILLIAMSBURG — Foreclosure proceedings begun in 2021 at a 25-unit South Williamsburg condo project have been halted as the building’s backers squabble amongst themselves. Aron Lebovits, a business partner of lead developer Ezra Unger, is suing Unger in civil court after alleging Unger stole from him and attempted to defraud him of his investment, and has filed for bankruptcy as a result; while Unger claimed Lebovits had been duly paid before filing to move the proceedings to Jewish religious courts, known as the Beth Din.

The situation, described as “bizarre” by The RealDeal, was kickstarted when Unger defaulted on a $31 million loan to lender DW Partners.

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BRANNAN TO LEAD FIGHT AGAINST BROOKLYN BUS SERVICE CUTS

BAY RIDGE — Southern Brooklyn City Councilmember Justin Brannan announced on Monday his plans to spearhead the fight against the MTA’s proposed bus service changes in the borough. While the MTA has asserted that its Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign plan, announced in December and viewable on its website, will simplify and modernize transit for commuters, Brannan told the BK Reader that some of the changes will include service cuts and even full-route eliminations that would take away “crucial lifelines” for residents.

Opponents of the plan, including Brannan, launched an online petition against it on Drove, and are encouraging locals to register for the upcoming public bus feedback sessions, also available on the MTA’s website.

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GREENPOINT PAYS TRIBUTE TO ECO ACTIVIST IRENE KLEMENTOWICZ, 94

GREENPOINT — Ecological activist Irene Klementowicz passed away on Jan. 20 at the age of 94, after a lifetime spent fighting to improve environmental conditions in her neighborhood, reports the Brooklyn Paper, which interviewed local residents in a tribute to Klementowicz’s work. Among the victories she contributed to are the cleanup of Newtown Creek and the shuttering of the Greenpoint Incinerator; her impact was recognized in 2001 by the federal EPA, which awarded her the New York State Environmental Quality Award.

“Every single time you breathe in Greenpoint, you say ‘Thank you’ to Irene,” her friend Scott Frasier told the Brooklyn Paper.

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STATE CONSUMER DEPT. WARNS PARENTS ON INFANT SLEEPER RECALLS, DEATHS

STATEWIDE — The New York State Division of Consumer Protection has urged parents and caregivers to pay attention to product recalls after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission earlier this month re-issued recalls for two inclined child sleep products, the Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper and Kids2’s infant rocking sleepers, following reports of additional infant deaths. Inclined sleepers are dangerous for babies and increase the risk of suffocation, but these dangers are not well-known by many parents, and many of the sleepers remain in circulation.

The Fisher-Price sleeper has been linked to over a hundred infant deaths, 70 of which happened following the initial recall, while the Kids2 product has been linked to a further 15.


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