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What’s News, Breaking: Monday, February 13, 2023

February 13, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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TENANT LOVE + POWER ON VALENTINE’S DAY

ALBANY — State Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-20) and members of Right to Counsel coalition will rally for Tenant Love + Power on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, launching their 2023 legislative platform, consisting of Statewide Right to Counsel and a Winter Eviction Moratorium. The Right to Counsel coalition aims to end all evictions across New York State, and transform New York State’s housing courts from eviction machines to places that hold landlords accountable and uphold tenants’ rights. The Winter Eviction Moratorium (S1403/A4093) will ban evictions from Nov. 1 through April 15 each year.

They will emphasize the effectiveness of universal eviction moratoria during the pandemic that kept tenants securely housed, prevented homelessness, and protected tenants from exposure-related health problems and death.

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SENATORS MYRIE, GOUNARDES PUSHING FOR VIOLENCE INTERVENTION LAWS

ALBANY — Two state senators from Brooklyn will join their colleagues in Albany legislature, and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, national and local gun violence prevention advocates, to urge the passage of state legislation to expand coverage of community violence intervention services. Senators Andrew Gounardes (D-22/Bay Ridge) and Zellnor Myrie (D-20/central Brooklyn) will be among those encouraging the passage of bills that cover expanding coverage of community violence intervention services through Medicaid reimbursements, provide fair access to victim compensation, impose an excise tax on ammunition sales and to fund school anti-violence education programs.

Tuesday’s announcement will recognize the fifth anniversary of the school shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and will allow for an expression of grief for all of the lives lost to gun violence day after day across the nation.

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PROTESTING RIKERS POLICY OF DENYING PERSONAL MAIL TO DETAINEES

CITYWIDE — Just in time for Valentine’s Day, family members and other loved ones of people in custody at Rikers Island will rally Tuesday to prevent the Board of Correction from banning personal correspondence and other mail.  The city’s nine-member Board of Correction and the NYC Department of Correction want to replace physically-sent mail with images scanned onto tablets and, under the proposed variances, would deny people in custody access to correspondence from their loved ones. The plan to scan mail onto tablets relies on technology provided by Securus, a private contractor with a history of severe privacy and contract breaches.

Comptroller Lander will join loved ones of people in custody on Rikers Island, former detainees of that facility, criminal justice advocates, in urging the Board of Correction to reject the proposal, and many will speak from personal experience about the fractured communication with their loved ones on Rikers Island.

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RECLAIMING THE MANHATTAN ANCHORAGE OF BROOKLYN’S ICONIC BRIDGE

BROOKLYN BRIDGE — Congressmember Dan Goldman (D-10th District) has called for reimagining and redevelopment of the Manhattan anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge. This redevelopment will transform aging, unused, and dilapidated infrastructure into a public park and community hub, with the first phase of the project reclaiming shuttered open space, including half of the Banks and the adjacent basketball courts, reimagine the Park Row landing with digital art and improved connectivity to Chinatown, and install uses focused on community well-being. Phase 3’s anticipated completion year would be 2034.

“The Chinatown community on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge has for too long received the short end of the community investment stick, and it’s long past time we reimagine how we can make use of the dilapidated Manhattan anchorage,” Congressman Goldman said.

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‘WRECKLESS SPENDING’ REPORT SHOWS CITY’S DOLLAR PAYOUTS SOARED IN TRAFFIC SETTLEMENTS

CITYWIDE — Payments to settle city-owned vehicle crashes have nearly doubled over the past decade, a new report from NYC Comptroller Brad Lander’s office has determined. The report, titled “Wreckless Spending: The Accelerating Cost of City Car Crash Settlements,” points out that despite a decrease in the number of crash claims that the city settled, the dollar amounts of the city’s settlement payouts have soared from a low of $67.4 million in Fiscal Year 2015 to a high of $130.1 million in FY 2021. Moreover, city fleet-related personal injury settlements over the past decade have cost the city a total $653.9 million.

Comptroller Lander’s report includes recommendations, as well: accelerating efforts to upgrade vehicle technologies like Automatic Emergency Braking and Intelligent Speed Assistance, reducing the size and number of vehicles in the city fleet, and strengthening measures to hold city drivers and agencies accountable.

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VOICE OF GOWANUS URGES ‘COMPREHENSIVE CLEANUP’ OF UNION STREET VENUE

GOWANUS —The Voice of Gowanus neighborhood coalition is charging that the Department of Environmental Conservation failed to notify Gowanus residents of toxic indoor air pollution concerns at a popular entertainment venue on Union Street. The group is asking Governor Kathy Hochul to require a comprehensive cleanup of high-level chlorinated solvents, toxic metals and petroleum contamination documented at a popular entertainment venue at 514 Union Street, in strict compliance with all applicable State remediation requirements, and is urging her not to adopt what it calls the “fatally flawed proposed “expedited cleanup of contamination at 514 Union Street, Brownfield Site # C224318.”

The group points out that the brownfield site “is woefully inadequate because it would fail to remediate the site in strict compliance with all state regulatory requirements” with regard to massive contamination involving petroleum, chlorinated solvents, metals and other toxic pollutants.

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MAYOR’S ‘RAT WAR’ GETS CLOSE TO HOME

BED-STUY — Mayor Adams went before an administrative court on Thursday to attempt to fight a ticket related to a rat infestation at a Brooklyn house that he owns, making the claim that the rats were a problem for the whole block and that the owner of the neighboring building was the actual party responsible for the trouble, reports Gothamist. Adams has received several previous tickets for rodent issues at the residence, but says that he and his tenants have taken extensive efforts to mitigate the problem, and that he has spent several thousand dollars on exterminations and inspections.

“I have two machines that collect and kill rats,” said Adams, in reference to a bespoke rat drowning tank deployed outside the home that generated controversy after the mayor used the traps to make a pickled “rat soup” at Borough Hall during his tenure as Brooklyn BP.

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BROOKLYN’S TURKISH COMMUNITY HELPS EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

CONEY ISLAND — Brooklyn volunteers, organized by the Turkish Cultural Center, are working to raise funds and solicit donations of supplies for victims of Monday’s devastating twin earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, reports News 12. The organization, many of whose members have friends and relatives directly impacted by the disaster, began to coordinate the donation effort shortly after news broke of the tragedy, and has so far shipped dozens of trucks’ worth of goods like winter clothes, medicine and childcare supplies collected from its donation center at the Brooklyn Amity School to relief organizations in Istanbul.

The two massive earthquakes that struck in Turkey’s southeastern region in the early hours of Monday morning have so far claimed 22,000 lives, with the death toll in Turkey and Syria expected to rise further as hopes begin to fade of rescuing many more people from the thousands of collapsed buildings in the region, following a week of freezing temperatures and a disjointed disaster response.

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POLICE SEEK SHEEPSHEAD BAY MUGGER

Have you seen this man? Any tips you offer the police are strictly confidential.

SHEEPSHEAD BAY — On Sunday, Jan. 22, at around 1 a.m., two unknown male individuals attacked a 25-year-old man standing in front of a Sheepshead Bay apartment building, striking him in the head with an unknown blunt object while kicking and punching him. One of these men was apprehended on Feb. 2, but police are still searching for the outstanding individual, who is described as a light-complexioned man of medium build, last seen wearing a black top and black pants.

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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BROOKLYN TEEN CHOSEN FOR CHANGE LEADER AWARD SPOTLIGHT

BROOKLYN — Brooklyn native Aaliyah Duah, 19, was named on Thursday as one of ten 2023 Black & Positively Golden Change Leaders as part of a program created by McDonald’s to shine a light on Black youth who inspire and positively advance change in their communities. Duah is the founder of Financial Revolutionn, a platform that creates daily financial literacy content on Instagram and TikTok; has published an eBook on the fundamentals of investing and financial literacy; and, has a scholarship fund that last year awarded aid to two female HBCU students — all while being a student herself at Virginia State University.

Each Change Leader will receive $20,000 and have access to elevated platforms to amplify their community missions, in addition to attending culturally impactful events, having their stories profiled on McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Instagram and being featured in a national ad campaign voiced by actress Keke Palmer.

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HORRIFYING TRAIN TRACKS DEATH CLASSED AS HOMICIDE: POLICE

MIDWOOD — On the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 7, police discovered the body of Deandre Matthews, 19, on the freight train tracks near Brooklyn College, with significant burn wounds throughout his body and a gunshot wound to the head. Following an investigation that determined Matthews had been reported missing after leaving his house on Monday, Feb. 6, and that the body showed signs of smoke inhalation prior to death, police have announced they have deemed the case to be a homicide.

The investigation is ongoing, and police have not made any arrests or announced any suspects at this time.

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NYU  LANGONE RECEIVES GRANT FOR AMBULANCES

COBBLE HILL — NYU Langone Health announced on Thursday that it had received a $2 million federal grant from Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis to support the purchase of six new Advanced Life Support, energy efficient ambulances. This grant will allow NYU Langone, which responds to 80,000 911 calls and transports 51,300 patients in the NYC area each year, to replace older ambulances and ensure reliable vehicles are on the road, in addition to helping decrease air pollution in the communities it serves.

“These additional ambulances will help provide lifesaving care to our patients across Brooklyn as well as Staten Island,” stated Bret J. Rudy, executive vice president and chief of hospital operations for NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn.

NYU Langone will purchase six new advanced life support, energy-efficient ambulances. Photo: NYU Langone Staff.

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BROWNSVILLE GUNMAN WHO KILLED TWO IN WEST INDIAN RESTAURANT CAUGHT

BROWNSVILLE — Police apprehended on Thursday the gunman who fatally shot two patrons of a West Indian restaurant in Brownsville in October of last year. The man, identified as Sawandi Galara of Fort Lauderdale, FL, was charged with murder and eight counts of criminal possession of a weapon, and is believed to have been arrested on previous firearms charges in Florida.

The victims of the October shooting were Eyon Johnson, who passed away shortly after the incident on Oct. 27, and Damien White, who succumbed to his injuries in the hospital on Oct. 30.

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AUTHORITIES SEARCH FOR MISSING BROWNSVILLE TEEN

Missing girl Yaddelin Cruz. Don’t hesitate to reach out to authorities with any information you can share.

BROWNSVILLE — Police have asked for help in finding Yaddelin Cruz, 14,  last seen on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 31, leaving her Brownsville residence. She is described as 5’2″ tall and 100 pounds, with a medium complexion, thin build, brown eyes and blonde hair; and was last seen wearing a blue jacket, gray leggings and black and white 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.

 

 

 


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