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What’s News, Breaking: Wednesday, April 12, 2023

April 12, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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ROAD RUNNERS’ HALF MARATHON CLOSES SOME LOCAL STREETS ON APRIL 23

WILLIAMSBURG TO PROSPECT PARK — Roads stretching from McCarren Park in Williamsburg to Prospect Park will be closed for the NYC Runs Brooklyn Half Marathon coming up on Sunday, April 23. The race, which goes along Manhattan Ave., Kent and Flushing avenues to Grand Army Plaza, will close off several major Brooklyn thoroughfares, including the eastern outline of Brooklyn Heights: traffic along Cadman Plaza West from Furman, Court St. from Montague to Joralemon streets, and Fulton Mall from Boerum Place to Hudson Ave.

Runners will also proceed along parts of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Flatbush Ave. and Eastern Parkway will also be impacted.

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REAL ESTATE FELLOWSHIP OFFERED TO CUNY STUDENTS

BROOKLYN NAVY YARD — The Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Trust for Governors Island have joined forces for a 2023 Real Estate Fellowship Program geared for students at the City University of New York, according to an announcement from Community Board 2.  During the yearlong program, which runs from June 2023 through May 2024, students will gain direct real estate work experience, develop personal work products and on-the-job professional and technical skills, and build a network of local real estate contacts.

The program is for students pursuing careers in real estate development, leasing, property/facilities management, horticulture or engineering, architecture and/or construction management; current CUNY students entering their final year in an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree programs.

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JAPANESE VEGAN CHOCOLATE COMPANY GOT ITS START IN FORT GREENE KITCHEN

FORT GREENE — Japanese vegan chocolate bars, a mother-daughter team and Brooklyn as the locale during the pandemic, all these coalesced into a creative venture between designer Yuki” Hayakawa and her young child that is now a company named Noé No Omise. Hayakawa and their vegan confection, which has attracted top chefs, is featured in this week’s EATER NEW YORK edition.

The confection is available on the Noé No Omise website and in pop-up shops around Brooklyn.

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THREE CUNY PROFESSORS NAMED GUGGENHEIM FELLOWS; TWO TEACH AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE

FLATBUSH/MIDWOOD — Three faculty at the City University of New York (CUNY), including two at Brooklyn College, have been awarded 2023 Guggenheim Fellowships recognizing their careers of exceptional work in the arts and humanities. Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor Todd Chandler, creator of the acclaimed documentary Bulletproof about school gun violence, won his fellowship in the film and video category; and Professor of English Tanya Pollard, who specializes in Shakespeare received her fellowship in the early modern studies category. The third Guggenheim Fellow winner is Wayne Koestenbaum, a distinguished professor at the Graduate Center, influential American writer and artist, and one of the founders of the queer studies field.

Moreover, Brooklyn College alumna Kelly Cooper a 2007 M.F.A. graduate in playwriting was selected in the drama and performing arts category.

From left: Wayne Koestenbaum, Tanya Pollard and Todd Chandler. Photo: City University of New York.

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NEW PILOT PROGRAM WILL MEASURE ROADWAY ACTIVITY AT SPECIFIC INTERSECTIONS

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN AND WILLIAMSBURG — Two Downtown Brooklyn intersections, one near the Navy Yard and one in Williamsburg have been selected as pilot locations for the NYC Department of Transportation’s newest pilot program that uses advanced technology to measure safety. DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced on Wednesday that the pilot involves the placing of sensor cameras at 12 locations around the city which view the street then classifies and counts roadway users in real-time. The Brooklyn intersections are Schermerhorn Street & Smith Street, Flushing Avenue & Vanderbilt Avenue, Hoyt Street & Warren Street in Boerum Hill, and Berry Street & North 6th St. in Williamsburg.

The devices, which are designed to collect data and generate detailed reports on pedestrian and wheel movement, allowing planners to better understand the uses of city streets — will respect privacy with the almost instantaneous deletion of video frames from the sensors, and the recording of only anonymous features.

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FREE TREE GIVEAWAY THIS WEEKEND

CANARSIE — State Senator Kevin Parker, in partnership with the New York Restoration Project and the historic Wyckoff House Museum, will be hosting a tree giveaway this weekend to distribute free trees to the community, in an effort to help combat global warming and reduce NYC’s carbon footprint. While all reservation slots are full for the event, walkups are welcome to take any remaining trees on a first-come, first-served basis after 3 p.m., with species including “Black Cherry, Black Gum, Eastern Redbud, Flowering Dogwood, Highbush Blueberry, Honey Locust, Red Maple and Sweetbay Magnolia,” according to the NYRP

The tree giveaway will take place at the Wyckoff House Museum on Saturday, April 15; hours are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., with walk-ins welcome after 3 p.m.

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HISTORIC SETTLEMENT MADE WITH JUUL REGARDING YOUTH VAPING EPIDEMIC

STATEWIDE — The American electronic cigarette maker, JUUL Labs, must pay $462 million to six states and the District of Columbia for its alleged role in sparking the youth vaping epidemic, thanks to a major agreement that New York Attorney General Letitia James secured on Wednesday, April 12. According to the agreement with JUUL Labs that holds its former directors and executives accountable for the national rise in underage e-cigarette vaping, New York will receive $112.7 million, which will support underage vaping abatement programs across the state. The agreement is the largest multistate settlement with JUUL, and places the most stringent restrictions on JUUL’s marketing, sales, and distribution practices in order to protect and prevent minors from underage vaping.

In one case, JUUL had engaged in direct outreach to high school students, including in at least one New York City school, where a JUUL representative falsely told high school freshmen that its products were safer than cigarettes.

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DINAPOLI: RATE OF UNEMPLOYED PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IS HIGHER IN NEW YORK THAN REST OF NATION

STATEWIDE — After a nationwide spike in unemployment, New Yorkers with disabilities continue to face a higher unemployment rate than their counterparts nationally, according to a new report that State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released on Wednesday, April 12. During 2020, unemployment rates for working-aged people with a disability soared in both New York and the nation, reaching 13.9% and 13.4%, respectively. However, while the national rate dropped last year to 8.2%, in New York the decrease was minimal — by less than 2% — 11.9%.

New York has recently taken new steps to increase opportunities for people with disabilities, including expansion of the state’s preferred source contracting program and creation of the Office of the Chief Disability Officer. The employment data outlined in Comptroller DiNapoli’s report highlights the ongoing need for solutions to help New Yorkers with disabilities find and maintain stable employment.

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TOMCAT DONATES RODENT CONTROL PRODUCTS TO MAYOR’S RAT REDUCTION PLAN

CITYWIDE — The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has also recently received a generous donation of more than 1,000 rodent control products, including 100 bait stations, 1,000 rat snap traps, and refillable bait, from Tomcat (owned by Scotts Miracle-Gro Company) for use in NYCHA, NYC Parks, and Department of Education gardens. Wednesday’s announcement of Corradi’s new role builds on historic investments in rat mitigation and cleanliness that the Adams administration has made, including the launch of ‘Get Stuff Clean’ which invested $14.5 million to clean neglected spaces, drastically reducing the hours that black trash bags sit on the curb, and implementing the nation’s largest curbside composting program citywide.

Meanwhile, since the start of this month through the last collected data on April 11, 925 inspections (including initial, bait and compliance) were made in Brooklyn, according to a filtered spreadsheet in Open Data New York, of which 363 were initial inspections.

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CITY’S NEW RAT CZAR WILL FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY ON ELIMINATING THESE RODENTS

CITYWIDE — New York City has a new rat czar, now that Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday, April 12 appointed the first dedicated staffer to work solely on rodent reduction — Kathleen Corradi, who brings to the newly-created job a background in education and community engagement. As the citywide director of rodent mitigation, Corradi will lead and implement a unified strategy with other city agencies and the private sector to reduce rats in neighborhoods across the city, find new ways to cut off rats’ food sources, and test and deploy new technologies to detect and exterminate rat populations.

Corradi began her career as an elementary teacher in Central Brooklyn and program lead at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. At the DOE’s Office of Sustainability, Corradi developed New York City’s Zero Waste Schools program.

New York Mayor Eric Adams, left, introduces Kathleen Corradi, center, as the city’s first-ever citywide director of rodent mitigation, also known as the “rat czar,” in New York, Wednesday, April 12, 2023. Photo: AP/Bobby Caina Calvan.

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WSJ: MALLIOTAKIS TRADED SHARES WHILE WORKING ON SIGNATURE DEAL

BAY RIDGE — A new report from the Wall Street Journal alleges that U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, who represents Bay Ridge and Staten Island, bought between $1,001 and $15,000 of stock in the parent company of Flagstar Bank prior to Flagstar’s acquisition of most of failed Signature Bank’s assets last month, after the announcement of which its stock price rose by 32%. Malliotakis is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, according to the Brooklyn Paper, and had stated on Twitter that she was involved in meetings with government officials on the bank situation, regarded as of critical importance at the time.

A representative for Malliotakis told the Wall Street Journal that she had made the trade on the recommendation of a financial advisor and did not know that Flagstar would be taking Signature’s assets until the announcement was made, six days after the trade.

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RESTLER PROPOSES PLAN TO SPEED RIKERS CLOSURE AS CITY STALLS

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Councilmembers Lincoln Restler and Kevin Riley, alongside prison reform advocates, on Tuesday announced a comprehensive plan for closing Rikers Island and ending mass incarceration by safely reducing the jail population. The new plan has three key components: to prioritize safely moving people off Rikers Island, increasing mental health services for inmates and passing legislation to require population review teams and support early releases; to expand access to supportive housing by amending housing eligibility rules to count time in jail as time homeless and increasing funding for housing programs; and, to expedite case processing and lower pretrial stays by holding the Department of Corrections accountable for keeping court dates, maximizing video conferencing and increasing funding for indigent defense legal services organizations.

“Rather than taking steps to reduce the incarcerated population to facilitate implementation of the smaller borough based jails, the policies of the Adams Administration have increased mass incarceration in New York City. We must focus on real solutions to safely and permanently decrease the number of people in jail and give struggling New Yorkers access to the services they need,” said Restler in a press statement, referring to perceived reluctance on the part of the mayor’s administration to move forward with the jail’s shutdown.

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PUBLIC HOSPITALS TO OFFER DENTAL CARE TO KIDS

CITYWIDE — NYC Health + Hospitals on Tuesday announced that it now offers preventive dental hygiene services at its pediatric practices within the 11 public hospitals, in addition to two neighborhood clinics, as children who begin seeing a dental provider at an early age are less likely to develop tooth problems that may lead to more serious health issues later in life. Dental hygienists will perform assessments, provide oral hygiene education, apply a treatment called fluoride varnish that helps fight tooth decay and assist parents in obtaining pediatric dental referrals so children can get comprehensive dental exams and treatments.

Brooklyn locations are Woodhull Hospital, Kings County Hospital and Coney Island Hospital; parents can call 1-844-NYC-4NYC to make appointments and get more information.

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ED SHEERAN VISITS BROOKLYN TO PERFORM NEW ALBUM

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — British crooner Ed Sheeran performed a live concert at the Kings Theatre in Flatbush on Monday night, featuring songs from an upcoming album. Before the show, Sheeran took to the streets to interact with fans, surprising a subway performer singing one of his songs in the Church St. subway station and breaking into a duet, before offering the singer tickets to the concert.

Sheeran later held an afterparty at Court Street sports bar O’Keefe’s — not a usual celebrity hotspot — after the VIP show, reports Page Six, reportedly quaffing Guinnesses with fans until midnight.

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ST. VINCENT’S U.N. AMBASSADOR, FORMER BK CB MEMBER PASSES, AGE 67

QUEENS — Former Permanent Representative of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the UN and onetime Brooklyn Community Board 17 member Dennie Wilson passed away at age 67 on Friday from cardiac arrest, reports Caribbean Life, after a long career spent in political service in both St. Vincent and in the United States. Wilson was born on Union Island and served as both the Speaker of the House and as a U.N. Representative for his country as well as, in the U.S., a member of Community Board 17 from 1990 to 1994, before joining the NYC Department of Education as an administrator.

Wilson was also an active member of the Anglican church and is survived by his wife, Idica, and two daughters, Denica and Tedra.

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‘BAY RIDGE THROUGH AN ECOLOGICAL LENS’ EXHIBIT THIS WEEKEND

BAY RIDGE — The Stand4 Gallery is hosting a new exhibit, “Bay Ridge Through an Ecological Lens,” highlighting environmental issues relevant to Bay Ridge, opening this weekend, presented in collaboration with ecoartspace and made possible by a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Fund. The interactive, public arts exhibition features works by New York artists focused on social practice and ecology, and consists of nature walks and community interventions in the gallery and outside in the local area.

The exhibit will run from April 15 through June 17; more information can be found on Stand4’s website.

A map of the artworks and locations of the Ecological Lens exhibit.

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KNIFE MURDER SUSPECT CAUGHT BY POLICE

BOERUM HILL — The NYPD has apprehended Joevani Vale, the suspect in a series of knife attacks on Saturday that left one man dead and one woman in the hospital. Vale has been charged with the murder of Ramon Cintron, age 83, as well as with criminal possession of a weapon.

Vale allegedly slashed two people within two hours in Boerum Hill on Saturday; police have not released any information about the suspected motive at this time.

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DIGIDOG NOT BRAND NEW, AND AGAIN FACES CRITICISM FROM CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCATES

WILLIAMSBURG TO EAST NEW YORK — The NYPD technological wonder named Digidog is actually not new, and is being resurrected for a second try at law enforcement, according to a report published in City & State on Tuesday, April 11. The canine robot, originally named “Spot,” had made its first debut in 2023 during the de Blasio administration, but then encountered fierce criticism from civil rights advocates. He was reintroduced on Tuesday alongside two new law enforcement technologies: StarChase, which helps track drivers fleeing a police encounter, and K5 Autonomous Security Robot, a roving photographer droid who will monitor activity in the Times Square subway complex.

While current Mayor Eric Adams says New Yorkers shouldn’t be afraid of technology, Tuesday’s announcement of the technology’s pilot programs quickly garnered criticism from The Legal Aid Society and State Senator Jabari Brisport (D-25), who with his colleague Julia Salazar (D-18), is already sponsoring legislation to prohibit use of robots by police agencies.

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BROOKLYN NATIVE RECEIVES AWARD ABOARD USS IWO JIMA

USS IWO JIMA/NAVY — Fireman Apprentice Warren Allen, left, a native of Brooklyn, on April 6 received an award recognizing the value of ownership while serving aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). Today, Allen serves as a machinist’s mate responsible for operating and maintaining steam turbines and reduction gears used for ship propulsion and auxiliary machinery such as turbo generators, pumps and oil purifiers. USS Iwo Jima, which is named for the 1945 battle in which three divisions of U.S. Marines took control of a tiny island from more than 20,000 enemy defenders, has supported major humanitarian-assistance and combat operations in which the United States has been involved.

The Iwo Jima’s value of Ownership, for which F.A. Allen was recognized, is synonymous here with accountability and the understanding that a leader ultimately takes responsibility for everything the team does or does not do.

Fireman Apprentice Warren Allen (at left) a Brooklyn native of Brooklyn, received an award while serving aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) on April 6. Photo: US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Caitlin E. Mazzola.

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NYPD SET TO LAUNCH NEW POLICING ROBOTICS

CITYWIDE — Starting this summer, the NYPD will deploy three new policing technologies to keep the nation’s largest city safe: the StarChase GPS tag attachment system, the DigiDog mobile robot, and the K5 Autonomous Security Robot. StarChase, which operates via a GPS tag on a hand-held or vehicle-mounted launcher, allows the NYPD to track fleeing vehicles remotely and avoid high-speed chases on crowded streets.

The NYPD points out that the StarChase system will be deployed only when there is probable cause to believe that the vehicle was used in the commission of a crime.

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DIGIDOG WILL ASSIST NYPD IN HAZARDOUS AND HOSTAGE SITUATIONS

CITYWIDE — One of the new policing technologies that the NYPD announced on Tuesday, April 11, which could replace live K9 units in dangerous situations, is DigiDog, to be utilized in the department’s Technical Assistance & Response Unit. Weighing 70 pounds and moving at a top speed of 3.5 miles per hour, the remote-controlled DigiDog is capable of two-way audio communication, and can be equipped with radiation detectors, gas meters, and thermal sensors. It is designed to traverse difficult terrain and is ideal for hostage negotiations, barricaded individuals, hazardous chemical/radiation zones, and other dangerous incidents.

NYPD pledges that neither of these robotic devices will be outfitted to carry a weapon.

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K5 ROBOT WILL PROVIDE EXPANDED CAMERA COVERAGE FOR CONFINED PUBLIC AREAS

CITYWIDE — The NYPD’s third new crime-deterrent technology is the K5 Autonomous Security Robot, which will provide additional camera coverage of confined public areas, such as transit facilities. The K5 ASR uses self-driving technology with onboard cameras and sensors which enable it to travel a predetermined path set by the operator. The device provides real-time situational awareness and actionable intelligence to first responders, and provides physical deterrence to crime.

The K5 ASR robot has been used by law enforcement agencies, college campuses, corporations, shopping malls, etc., across the country to provide security.

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NEW CITY COUNCIL BILL WOULD REQUIRE FAST-FOOD OUTLETS TO RE-USE PACKAGING AND UTENSILS

CITYWIDE — ‘Choose to Reuse,’ a new bill introduced in City Council on Tuesday, April 11, would require corporate-owned fast casual food establishments in the five boroughs to offer consumers the option to request reusable food packaging and participate in a system for return of the food packaging. The law — officially titled Intro 1003 — of which City Councilmember Sandy Nurse (D-37/Bushwick to East New York) is a co-sponsor, would also mandate certain establishments provide reusable eating utensils and containers for dine-in customers unless otherwise requested by the customer.

Although in recent years, packaging marketed as biodegradable or compostable has been positioned as a solution, those single-use solutions contribute further to climate-warming emissions and waste, and many cities’ organics processing centers no longer even accept such containers for composting.

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BEDFORD AVE. HOUSING COMPLEX SELECTED FOR NYSERDA’s LOW CARBON PATHWAYS PROGRAM

CLINTON HILL/BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The Bedford Place Condominium (1240 Bedford Avenue), a 43-unit post-1980 low rise condo between Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant, is one of six projects selected to participate in the first round of the Low Carbon Pathways for Multifamily Buildings program. The program, through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is awarding a total of $1.9 million for market-rate or affordable multifamily co-op, condo, and rental buildings, to upgrade their building envelope, ventilation, space heating and cooling, or domestic hot water systems and thus improve energy efficiency.

The $7.8 million Low Carbon Pathways for Multifamily Buildings program is an open enrollment opportunity administered by NYSERDA. The program provides financial incentives to implement one or more low-carbon building improvement packages.

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MAN ROBBED AFTER LEAVING CAR TO CONFRONT GROUP

CROWN HEIGHTS — On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 21, a 40-year-old man was sitting inside of a parked vehicle at the intersection of Utica Avenue and Union Street, when an unknown group of approximately ten people approached, one of whom kicked the victim’s vehicle. When the victim stepped out of his vehicle to confront the individual, the entire group began to chase him; after catching him, they punched and kicked the victim multiple times about the head and body before removing his cellphone and fleeing in different directions.

Anyone with information regarding 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); the public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

Do you recognize any of these individuals? All tips submitted to police are strictly confidential.

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AG JAMES, OFFICIALS TO HOST GUN BUYBACK

WILLIAMSBURG — New York Attorney General Letitia James, alongside Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, state Sen. Julia Salazar, Assemblymember Maritza Davila and Councilmembers Jennifer Gutierrez, Chi Osse and Lincoln Restler, on Monday announced that her office will be hosting a voluntary gun buyback event later this month at All Saints Roman Catholic Church in Williamsburg. Anyone is allowed to drop off guns of any type, no questions asked, in exchange for preloaded gift cards with rewards of amounts ranging from $500 for an assault rifle or ghost gun to $25 for a non-functioning firearm or 3D-printed model.

Members of the public are asked to bring their unloaded firearms in bags or boxes to the church, located at 115 Throop Ave., on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

ID is not necessary to drop off guns.

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NEW VERSION OF TARTUFFE TO PREMIERE IN PROSPECT PARK

PARK SLOPE — Theater group Molière in the Park on Monday announced the cast for its production of the English language premiere of a new version of Molière’s “Tartuffe,” a historical edition reconstructed from original sources by French scholar Georges Forestier as a recreation of the saucy play’s original script, which was banned by French King Louis XIV and long thought lost. Matthew Rauch (“Junk” on Broadway, Amazon’s “The Terminal List,” HBO’s “Banshee”) stars as Tartuffe, with Michelle Veintimilla (“The Visit” on Broadway, ABC’s “The Baker and the Beauty,” “Which Way to the Stage” at MCC) as Elmire, alongside a diverse case that includes actors Kim Awon, Kaliswa Brewster (Showtime’s “Billions”), Yonatan Gebeyehu (“Merchant of Venice” with TFANA), Thijs Hogenboom, Keshav Moodliar (“Queen” with Long Wharf/NAATCO) and Luis Vega (“The Underlying Chris” at Second Stage).

The play will run from May 6 through May 27 at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park; tickets are free, and more information can be found on Moliere in the Park’s website.

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COUNCIL TO VOTE ON BANNING GUINEA PIG SALES

CITYWIDE — The City Council is set to vote on legislation that would ban the sales of guinea pigs in pet shops, on pain of a $500 fine and the potential loss of pet shop licenses. Animal lovers and activists have backed the bill, which would still allow guinea pig adoptions from shelters, citing a spike in guinea pig abandonment by erstwhile pandemic pet owners as proof of its necessity.

The vote will take place on Tuesday at a general meeting of the Council at City Hall, beginning at 1:30 p.m.; the meeting will be livestreamed to the public on the Council’s official city website.

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FORMER FINANCIAL INDUSTRY AUTHORITY BROKER BEING CHARGED IN CRYPTOCURRENCY SCHEME

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A former investment banker and registered broker with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority was scheduled to be arraigned in Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday, April 11. The defendant, identified as Rashawn Russell, faced charges of perpetrating a cryptocurrency investment fraud scheme, as alleged in court documents, in which he is accused of defrauding multiple investors by falsely promising that their money would be used for cryptocurrency investments that would generate large — and sometimes “guaranteed” — returns. In reality, Russell misappropriated much of the investors’ money, using it for his personal benefit, to gamble, and to repay other investors.

Arrested on Monday, April 10, Russell was to appear before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. on Tuesday afternoon.

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HEAD OF LARGEST POLICE UNION WILL STEP DOWN IN JUNE

CITYWIDE — Pat Lynch, the Police Benevolent Association’s longest serving leader, has announced he will step down from that leadership in June, according to a report on Spectrum New York 1 News and a press release from the PBA. Lynch, who joined the NYPD in 1984, has served six terms as head of the PBA. As he is not seeking re-election, the union will vote on its new president in two months; the winner will begin his or term in July.

Lynch, who made his announcement on April 11, less than a week after the PBA and the city and the PBA reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, said he will not stand for re-election to avoid the union’s having to deal in 2026 with both a leadership change and contract negotiations.

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GOVERNOR DIRECTS NY STATE TO STOCKPILE MISOPROSTOL IN PROTECTING ACCESS TO ABORTION

STATEWIDE — New York State will stockpile the abortion medication Misoprostol as part of ongoing efforts to protect access to abortion, Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday, April 9. She has directed the state to begin purchasing Misoprostol in order to stockpile 150,000 doses — a five-year supply — in order to meet anticipated needs. Building on a nation-leading $35 million investment to support abortion providers last year, New York will also commit up to an additional $20 million to providers to support access to other methods of care. 

Moreover, Gov. Hochul is currently working with the State Assembly and Senate on new legislation to require private insurers to cover Misoprostol when it’s prescribed off-label for abortion and to ensure that no provider is charged increased medical malpractice coverage rates or loses coverage due to prescribing Misoprostol off-label. 

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MAYOR ADAMS RESOLVES TO KEEP MEDICATION ABORTION ACCESSIBLE TO ALL WHO NEED IT

CITY HALL — Responding to a Texas federal judge’s ruling last week to rescind FDA approval on an established abortion drug, Mayor Eric Adams outlined other plans, as part of a virtual press conference he gave on April 11 with Planned Parenthood. A stay has been requested on the ruling but, if the latter does take effect this week, the mayor said, “New York City’s public hospital system and its Health Department will continue to make medication abortion accessible to all by shifting to a different treatment regimen that will comply with the law.”

Mayor Adams extolled New York City’s legacy in women’s rights, referring to the place “where Eleanor Roosevelt, Shirley Chisholm, and Gloria Steinem blazed in new path for women in America, who will never let these freedoms be taken away, especially the right to live life on your own terms without conservative judges deciding what’s best for you.”

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COUNCIL SIGNS ON TO UNION GREEN INITIATIVE

CITYWIDE — Thirty members of the City Council on Monday sent a letter to Mayor Adams urging his administration to take advantage of available Inflation Reduction Act funding, in order to accelerate the installation of solar panels on public school buildings and to complete school energy-efficiency retrofits by 2030, and announcing their support of the union-led Carbon Free and Healthy Schools Initiative ahead of Earth Day. The council cites estimates that meeting those goals would create 45,000 new union jobs, save the city’s schools $8.5 billion in energy costs over 30 years, and help the city meet its emissions reduction targets — but says that these initiatives will be underfunded without using funds from the IRA, which must be spent within the next ten years.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed last year, also offers a variety of benefits and incentives for homeowners and small businesses to adopt green technologies and energy-efficient practices, alongside the funding it provides to governments and other groups.

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POLICE SEARCH FOR CROOKS IN CITIBANK PICKPOCKET SCAM

CITYWIDE — Police are warning the public to keep their wallets safe as they hunt for the crooks behind a citywide robbery spree targeting Citibank customers. On at least 15 different occasions, victims reported being approached in Citibank locations by unknown individuals and asked if they had dropped money, only to have their debit cards swapped out as the victims checked themselves for the money, with the thefts only being discovered after the victims’ bank accounts were drained of thousands of dollars. Police believe that the robbers may be observing customers as they use ATMs in order to learn their PIN numbers, and say that they are currently unsure whether the incidents always involve the same people.

Anyone with information regarding 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); the public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

Surveillance footage from some of the incidents. Do you recognize these people? All tips submitted to police are strictly confidential.
Surveillance footage from some of the incidents. Do you recognize these people? All tips submitted to police are strictly confidential.
Surveillance footage from some of the incidents. Do you recognize these people? All tips submitted to police are strictly confidential.

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NYC BAR ISSUES STATEMENT ON TRUMP ARREST UNREST

CITYWIDE — The New York City Bar Association on Monday issued a statement condemning the conduct of former President Trump in relation to his arrest last week on charges of falsifying business records in order to pay hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. The bar affirmed that the former president has the right to express himself, but condemned Trump’s own inflammatory rhetoric and that of his supporters, called on legal professionals to speak out against threats and violent language, and called for enhanced security measures for those involved in the Trump case, as well as for anyone facing threats, in what the bar sees as “a stress test of the rule of law in America.”

“We cannot wait to consistently and forcefully express to each other, our colleagues, and our elected representatives our absolute intolerance for violence, or the incitement of it, against the public servants whose well-being is essential for the independence of the judiciary and the fair administration of justice. That line has surely been crossed,” wrote bar association president Susan J. Kohlmann.


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