Brooklyn Boro

What’s News, Breaking: Tuesday, April 25, 2023

April 25, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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SUBWAY CARS DEFACED WITH GRAFFITI
BEFORE THEIR MAIDEN RUN

CONEY ISLAND — A set of brand new R211 subway train cars hadn’t even gone into full service before it was defaced with graffiti, reports Gothamist. The subway cars, which were discovered to be vandalized in the Coney Island train yard on Monday, were still undergoing testing before the graffiti was found.

Another set of R211 subway cars, which are equipped with modern signals, wider doors and digital displays, went into service in March. Gothamist lamented that the new cars lack graffiti-proof exteriors.

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MAIMONIDES HEALTH’S NEW GLATT KOSHER KITCHEN
OFFERS EXPANDED, INTERNATIONAL MEAL CHOICES

BOROUGH PARK — Maimonides Health officially cut the ribbon Tuesday morning, April 25, on two brand-new kitchens at its main campus, Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park. The new kitchens are Glatt Kosher, adhering to the strictest rules of Kashrut, with all food prepared under the supervision of the Maimonides Rabbi and mashgichim. An enhanced dining program has been launched alongside the new kitchens, with an expansive menu that will cater to a wide variety of dietary and healthcare needs, including low sodium and low protein meals, gluten-free and plant-centric options, and international cuisines and dishes.

As part of the new dining program, a Patient Ambassador will now visit each patient’s room to discuss menu options and take food orders, providing bedside diet education and a warm, personal interaction during every meal.

Maimonides Health’s leadership and dining staff cut the ribbon on the medical center’s new Glatt Kosher kitchen. Photo: Maimonides Health.
A “Chicken Taco Bowl” served to patients as part of the new menu at Maimonides. Photo: Maimonides Health.

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OVERTURNED VEHICLE CLOSES 2 LANES ON BELT PARKWAY

OCEAN PARKWAY — Commuters in southern Brooklyn are alerted that an overturned vehicle has closed the eastbound Belt Parkway at Ocean Parkway near Coney Island, reported Notify NYC just before 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25. According to 511NY Traffic, Travel and Transit Information, the vehicle closed the left two lanes and was first reported at 3:48 p.m. NOTIFY NYC reported, however, that all three eastbound lanes were closed.

Notify NYC subsequently reported at 4:52 p.m. that the road had reopened.

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MAYOR’S NEW ‘LEAD CZAR’ WILL STEER
COMPLIANCE MONITORING

BROOKLYN — Jasmine Blake, whom Mayor Eric Adams has tapped as the city’s new ‘lead czar,” will take on the role of citywide lead compliance officer while continuing to serve as chief of staff in the office of the chief housing officer, which sets the Adams administration’s housing strategy and oversees several agencies, including NYCHA, HPD and the New York City Housing Development Corporation. Identifying herself on her LinkedIn profile as being from Brooklyn, Blake first worked with lead compliance monitoring at NYCHA, where she was the deputy chief communications officer and oversaw public management and engagement for the Authority while it established NYCHA’s debut lead compliance program.

Blake brings to her expanded role 15 years of government, political and strategic communications experience, including as vice president for public affairs at BerlinRosen, where she managed that firm’s affordable housing portfolio.

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‘TAKING THE LEAD ON LEAD’ REPORTS ON PROGRESS
IN FIGHTING EXPOSURE

CITYWIDE — Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday, April 25, released a new report, titled “Taking the Lead on Lead” that highlights the city’s efforts in the fight against exposure to this dangerous metal. The report provides updates from every city agency with lead-related compliance requirements to proactively monitor and mitigate lead exposure, and serves as a measure of progress since “LeadFreeNYC” — the city’s roadmap to eliminating childhood lead exposure — was released four years ago. Moreover, Mayor Adams on Tuesday also appointed Jasmine Blake as the city’s new citywide lead compliance officer to monitor ongoing compliance at city agencies.

Heavy, malleable metal with the atomic number 82, abbreviation Pb on the Periodic Table of Elements, lead turns gray when exposed to air; its dust is toxic to humans and many animals.

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‘PATTY DUKE’ HOUSE DAMAGED IN MASSIVE FIRE

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — The Remsen Street apartment building where “The Patty Duke Show” was filmed in the 1960s was devastated in a fire on Sunday night, April 23. More than 12 FDNY units responded to the blaze, and three firefighters were injured in the fire that broke out around 8:45 p.m. on the fifth floor of 8 Remsen Street, which is in a cul-de-sac at the western end of the street that is closest to the Promenade.

The Patty Duke Show, which aired from September 18, 1963 to April 27, 1966, followed the life of a loquacious teenager Patty Lane (played by Patty Duke, who also doubled as Patty’s identical-twin-cousin Cathy Lane, European and Southern Belle with a completely different persona and tastes.

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CUEUP URGES CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR TO RETOOL TREATMENT OF OUTDOOR DINING SPACES

ATLANTIC AVENUE — The gruesome death of a pedestrian here at the corner of Clinton St. last week, and the resulting damage when the speeding car hit an improvised outdoor café put the spotlight on a couple of major issues. First, the unfortunate lack of traffic mitigation at that corner of Atlantic Ave. But second, the issue of potential danger to patrons of restaurants when they sit outside, literally on the street, in informal dining structures.

Earlier this year Mayor Adams declared that “it’s time to retire those COVID cabins and replace them with something better.” CUEUP (The Coalition United for Equitable Urban Policy) could not agree more. CUEUP is now leading an active lobby against the City Council’s proposed bill to make these temporary and potentially unsafe structures permanent. Click here for a full description of CUEUP’s alternative plan.

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DUMBO ART STUDIOS OPENED WITH A BANG

DUMBO — The DUMBO Open Studios program brought excited crowds to the streets of the artsy neighborhood last weekend to get good looks at the studios of more than a hundred local artists in a dizzying array of disciplines. Visitors interacted with the artwork and talked shop with the creatives at the Saturday and Sunday celebration, sponsored by Art in DUMBO and organizations including the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Triangle Arts, the New York Studio School and BRIClab.

Missed out? See the full report and photographs here.

Local artists showed off their creations at DUMBO Open Studios last weekend.

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GANG MEMBER CONVICTED FOR KILLING OF RIVAL

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A federal jury in Brooklyn returned a guilty verdict on Monday against 5-9 Brims gang member Marvin Pippins for shooting and killing rival Real Ryte gang member Sean Peart in Bed-Stuy in 2015, as the result of a feud between the two gangs. A law enforcement source said that while Pippins admitted to the murder at trial, he claimed the killing was not gang-related, but instead motivated by fear and revenge against Peart, who he believed to be his brother’s murderer — an argument rejected by the jury, as the victim had been in California at the time of the murder of Pippins’ brother.

Pippins, 32, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, murder-in-aid-of racketeering, murder conspiracy, narcotics trafficking and use of a firearm; he faces a mandatory term of life imprisonment.

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MTA TO ALLOW E-BIKES, SCOOTERS

CITYWIDE — The MTA on Monday adopted a policy that allows personal electric vehicles like e-bikes and e-scooters on MTA property and on board transit (with the exception of express buses), a move that supports city micromobility initiatives encouraging the use of bikes and scooters and that will increase access to public transit for people who do not live within walking distance of a transit station. The MTA also released a list of rules: no charging or riding in stations, fold vehicles if possible, keep walkways and doorways clear, and vehicles must be under 100 pounds and under four feet high and 80 inches long.

A full list of rules can be found on the MTA’s website; the authority also clarified that hoverboards and rented equipment like Citi Bikes are banned, and that none of these rules apply to mobility devices for people with disabilities.

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DISABLED WIN SETTLEMENT TO MAKE MTA ACCESSIBLE

CITYWIDE — The Southern District of New York and the State Supreme Court on Monday granted final approval to a settlement agreement requiring the MTA to dedicate nearly 15% of its budget to adding elevators or ramps to at least 95% of the system’s inaccessible subway stations, resolving two lawsuits alleging violations of the city’s Human Rights Law related to the inaccessibility of the current subway system and the consistent renovations of subway stations that ignored stair-free access. In total, the MTA committed that in addition to the 81 stations currently slated for accessibility upgrades in the 2020-2024 Capital Program, 85 more stations will be accessible by 2035, another 90 by 2045 and the final 90 by 2055 — up from only a quarter of stations that are accessible today.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment since I was 15 years old. I am thrilled that the subways will be more accessible for the next generation of 15-year-old disabled children to ride the subway in their city like every other New Yorker. But it doesn’t stop here MTA, let’s keep going!” said plaintiff Jessica De La Rosa, who uses a wheelchair.

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TASTES OF BED STUY EVENT THIS WEEKEND

BED-STUY — Tastes of Brooklyn is highlighting Bed-Stuy this weekend as part of its local food walk series,  featuring more than 20 culturally rich and diverse chefs and bars offering cocktails, Caribbean fare, sweet treats, gourmet burgers, vegan food and more, as well as showcasing works from local artists. Tickets for the event can be bought online on Tastes of Brooklyn’s website; the food crawl will take place on Saturday, April 29, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

In recognition of the disproportionately high rates of illnesses in Black and Brown communities linked to a lack of healthy food choices, the event is highlighting Seeds in the Middle, a charity that helps students and communities access and produce farm-fresh food; and the Lloyd Porter Dinner Parties program, where at-risk youth learn culinary arts skills from local chefs by cooking and serving fresh meals for their communities.

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TEENS TO MARCH AGAINST DATING VIOLENCE

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Teenage activists and survivors are holding a rally against teen dating violence this weekend at Korean War Veterans Memorial Park in Downtown Brooklyn, before marching over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall. The 11th annual NYC Teen Dating Violence Awareness Walk will feature talks and testimonials from advocates and impacted people, and is sponsored by The Healing Center, an organization that works against family violence.

The rally will begin at 10 a.m. at the corner of Cadman Plaza West and Tillary Street before marching to City Hall at noon; more information about the walk-a-thon campaign can be found on The Healing Center’s website.

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LIBRARY TO HOST INCLUSIVE FASHION SHOW: ‘PEOPLE’S BALL’

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — The Brooklyn Public Library is hosting The People’s Ball this Sunday at the Central Library: a fashion-forward ode to inclusivity that invites New Yorkers of all stripes to flaunt their unique styles on the catwalk and dance the night away to music by singer Cunio and DJ Rimarkable. Hosted by actress Delissa Reynolds on the eve of the Met Gala, the free event declares that fashion is not found in exclusivity, but in the everyday New Yorker and the colors, textures, and styles that make up the city’s urban runway; and features special guests Dapper Dan, Cindy Campbell and the 2023 People’s Heroes nominees.

The ball will take place on Sunday, April 30, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; RSVP tickets are sold out due to “overwhelming demand,” but the library invites guests to join and pose on the Plaza, as standbys will be admitted as capacity allows

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SEN. MYRIE MOVES FORWARD ON CLIMATE NEGLIGENCE ACT
AFTER SCOTUS RULING FOR STATE COURTS

CENTRAL BROOKLYN NEIGHBORHOODS — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for a bill that State Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-20) has introduced to protect the environment. The April 24 SCOTUS ruling denied a request from five major fossil-fuel corporations to shield them from being sued in state courts for their role in the climate crisis, instead permitting state – rather than federal — to hear climate-related lawsuits against big polluters, according to a Reuters news report. Senator Myrie’s legislation package, currently in committee, will hold big polluters accountable and establish legal penalties for the harm done to communities.

The bill also prohibits deceptive and false advertising by fossil fuel companies, a common practice that can obscure the environmental hazards that its products cause.

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GREENPOINT LIBRARY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER AWARDED $100K GRANT FOR PROGRAMS

GREENPOINT — The Greenpoint Library and its Environmental Education Center (Greenpoint Library) have received a $100,000 grant for educational environmental programs from New York Attorney General Letitia James and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos, who presented the award on Saturday, April 22, in honor of Earth Day. Funds from the grant will support environmental education and community engagement programs at Greenpoint Library, such as the Greenpoint Environmental History Project, gardening clubs for children, teens, and adults, science and sustainability workshops and community environmental justice meetings, among other projects.

Joining Attorney General James and Commissioner Seggos on Saturday were Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, Councilmember Lincoln Restler, Friends of McGolrick Park, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance and other community members.

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TEACHER AT YESHIVA OF FLATBUSH
WINS YOUNG PIONEERS AWARD

FLATBUSH/MIDWOOD — A Brooklyn teacher is one of five recipients of the 2023 Robert M. Sherman Young Pioneers Award, presented through The Jewish Education Project, an organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering educators to create transformative Jewish experiences. Brooklyn resident Tziri Lamm, a veteran educator with 15 years of experience teaching in day schools with a background in English, STEM, educational technology and computer science, and the incoming Director of General Studies at Barkai Yeshivah High School that opens in September, won in part for creating several meaningful experiences at Yeshivah of Flatbush High School, such as the “Little Red Box,” a kindness initiative whose mission is to spread positivity across the school. 

Named for the former CEO Robert M. Sherman and launched in 2012, this award has recognized more than 40 Jewish educators, under age 40, from greater New York, that push the boundaries in Jewish education.

Tziri Lamm, a veteran educator and the incoming Director of General Studies at Barkai Yeshivah High School.

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GRACE CHORALE WINS BROOKLYN ARTS COUNCIL GRANT
FOR ‘WE WILL RISE’ PROGRAM

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS AND BOROUGHWIDE — Grace Chorale of Brooklyn’s program “We Will Rise: Music of Resilience, Justice, and Hope,” was among 280 Brooklyn arts organizations and individuals who were allocated a total of $1,657,000 for their programming from the Brooklyn Arts Council. “We Will Rise,” featuring three works by women composers, was performed at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church and Pro-Cathedral in late March, under the direction of Jason Asbury.

Other awardees included the Prospect Heights-based Brooklyn Accordion Club, the Brighton Ballet Theater Company in Brighton Beach, the multidisciplinary Dancers Unlimited based in Downtown Brooklyn and the interdisciplinary STooPS art project in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

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MAYOR ADAMS SPEAKS AT NYPD ACADEMY GRADUATION

MANHATTAN — Mayor Eric Adams, himself a retired police captain, delivered remarks at the NYPD Academy Graduation on Monday, April 24. Reflecting on his own 1984 graduation and oath of office to the then-NYC Transit Police, Mayor Adams said, “…Let’s treat the residents the way we want our families to be treated. Let’s make sure that we show the level of professionalism that’s expected of a police department that sets the tone for global public safety across the globe.”

The mayor added, “There are going to be those individuals who expect for you to be perfect. But you are in a good place because you have a mayor that’s perfectly imperfect so he don’t expect you to be perfect. He just expects you to be dedicated and committed and honest and forthright and serve and protect the people of the City of New York.”

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GOVERNOR LAUNCHES SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK

STATEWIDE — Saturday night’s electrical storms in the NYC metropolitan area seem to have ushered in Governor Kathy Hochul’s launch on April 24 of Severe Weather Awareness Week in New York State. Gov. Hochul leads the annual observance to highlight the urgency of New Yorkers establishing a plan with their families and staying informed when severe weather strikes.

A partnership between New York State, the National Weather Service, local and volunteer agencies and private sector organizations, the annual awareness campaign aims to educate New Yorkers about the hazards of severe weather during the spring and summer months; by definition, this includes flash flooding, hail, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes — which have caused damage to Brooklyn in past years.

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APPLY FOR COMMUNITY PROJECT GRANTS
TO PREVENT BIAS AND HATE CRIMES

CITYWIDE — The Mayor’s Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes and the City Commission on Human Rights have launched their Community Project Grants to Prevent and Address Bias and Hate. Individuals, groups, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and other NYC entities can apply for grants up to $5,000 to implement creative projects promoting community respect, prevent hate violence, with the goal of addressing hate crimes, bias-motivated incidents, and discrimination through pathways outside of law enforcement and the criminal legal system. Applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis through May 17, 2023.

Applicants may propose projects including, but not limited to, community workshops, educational videos, events, conferences and social media campaigns.

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PANEL DISCUSSION AIMS TO CONFRONT
AND STAND UP TO ANTISEMITISM

CITYWIDE — The Brooklyn Borough Director of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Office invites New Yorkers to a panel discussion on May 1 focused on “Confronting Antisemitism: Communities Standing Up, Together.” The conversation, taking place at the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center, at 7 p.m. next Monday, will highlight community efforts to combat antisemitism with a unified voice. Speakers will include former white nationalist R. Derek Black, the Rev. Edward-Richard Hinds of GodSquad/ the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, Hanadi Dolah of the Interfaith Center NY, Heather Fife of the Professional Performing Arts School and Rabbi Kaplan of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

Among the questions to be discussed: “How can we use education, community organizing, and social media to inspire young people — and changemakers of all ages — to build bridges across these divides and bring our city together?”

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MISSING GRAVESEND WOMAN FOUND: NOT KIDNAPPING, SAY POLICE

GRAVESEND — The woman whose apparent kidnapping off a Gravesend street on Friday sent the city into an uproar has been found by police – who say the event was not a kidnapping at all. The NYPD on Monday announced that both the man, seen in surveillance footage picking the woman up and putting her in his car, and the woman had been located, and that an investigation determined the two were known to each other. 

Gravesend residents will be relieved by the news – many expressed feelings of dismay and fear after the incident, such as local worker Espie Glow, who told CBS, “I close a little late, so it’s like, now I’m gonna be like, damn, somebody gonna come kidnap me … It’s scary.”

The photo of the man carrying the woman that caused many to assume the event was a kidnapping.

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E-BIKE RIDER DIES FROM INJURIES SUSTAINED IN CRASH WITH STOPPED VEHICLE

BOROUGH PARK/KENSINGTON — Spurring the city to install bike lanes are fatal collisions involving e-bikes similar to one on April 16, in which an e-bike rider in Borough Park succumbed to injuries from a collision in which he hit an SUV at a stoplight. The man, whom the NYPD has identified as 45-year-old Apolonio Aguirre of McDonald Avenue, was riding an e-bike with pedals, southbound near his McDonald Ave. residence, and sharing the roadway with other vehicles, when he hit the 2018 Ford SUV from behind. According to an ongoing investigation, the 38-year-old female Ford driver, also southbound, was stopped at a red light at McDonald and Webster Avenues, within the 66th Precinct, when the collision occurred.

The 38-year-old female driver remained on the scene and no arrest was made. Aguirre was transported to Maimonides Medical Center in stable condition but succumbed to head trauma last Saturday, April 22.

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EATER NEW YORK SETS SIGHTS ON MONTAGUE ST.’S L’APPARTEMENT 4F

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Montague Street’s own L’Appartement 4F, the French boutique bakery that originated as a pandemic home venture, received a shout-out from EATER NEW YORK in its latest feature on innovative pastry shops around the city. Of course, Heights locals who discovered L’Appartement 4F and its pastry chefs Gautier Coiffard and Ashley some time ago, delight in the sweet and savory croissant offerings.

EATER NEW YORK described L’Appartement 4F as “a stylish standalone venture in Brooklyn Heights,” and mentions in particular the croissant cereal — for $50. Read the May 17, 2022, feature on L’Appartement 4F bakery at www.brooklyneagle.com 

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HALAL MEAT DISTRIBUTOR BARRED FROM SELLING OR SHIPPING UNBRANDED PRODUCTS

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Consumers of Halal foods may be relieved that an agreement reached between the U.S. Attorney’s Office (the United States) and a Queens-based Halal poultry distributor prohibits the sale or transport of any misbranded meat products. The agreement follows the government’s lawsuit filed earlier this month after several Food Safety and Inspection Service investigations revealed that for five years until 2022, USA Halal Foods, Inc., also known as As-Salaam Halal and Fine Foods Wholesale Distributors (USA Halal Foods), and its President, Kashiif Saeed, repeatedly offered for sale or transportation goat, lamb, beef and chicken products that were misbranded or that hadn’t undergone or passed federal inspection.

Meat and poultry products are “misbranded” if, among other criteria, the products are missing labels showing the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor, an accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count, and the inspection legend.

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STONY BROOK TO BUILD CLIMATE HUB ON GOVERNORS ISLAND

GOVERNORS ISLAND — Mayor Adams, Trust for Governors Island head Clare Newman and Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis on Monday announced the selection of Stony Brook’s “New York Climate Exchange” proposal: a 400,000-square-foot campus intended as the anchor edu­ca­tion­al and research insti­tu­tion at the Governors Island-based Cen­ter for Cli­mate Solutions initiative. Chosen after a two-year search process, the mayor’s office says the Exchange will create over 2,200 union jobs at prevailing wages, generate $1 billion in economic impact for the city, develop innovative climate solutions, train New Yorkers for the green jobs of the future and expand public access to the island. 

The campus is expected to serve 600 postsecondary and 4,500 K-12 students, 6,000 workforce trainees and 250 faculty and researchers every year, while supporting up to 30 businesses annually through its incubator program; the $700-million project will be funded in part by $100 million from the Simons Foundation and $50 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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‘BLING BISHOP’ SUED FOR $5M BY CHURCH OVER ILLEGAL EVICTION

CANARSIE — Brooklyn’s controversial “Bling Bishop” Lamor Whitehead, a longtime ally of Mayor Adams, has been hit with a $5 million dollar lawsuit by a Brooklyn congregation Whitehead illegally evicted from their church building last year, reports amNY. A judge in January sided with the congregation and ruled that the sale of the building to Whitehead at a foreclosure auction was invalid – yet Whitehead has not returned the building to the congregation, claiming that a bankruptcy filed the same day as his courtroom loss “operates as a stay” and therefore that he does not have to comply with a court order to restore the property to its owners.

Whitehead is also currently facing federal fraud and extortion charges for allegedly attempting to extort a Queens businessman and defrauding a parishioner out of $90,000, and subsequently lying to FBI agents; and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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HEIGHTS WINE STORE OWNER SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SHIPMENT BILL

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Heights business owner Michael Correra, owner of Michael Towne Wine & Spirits owner and executive director of the Metro Package Store Association, on Sunday released a statement speaking out against a bill being considered in the legislature that would legalize interstate direct-to-consumer shipments of wine and other alcohols. The association argues that the bill would make underage drinking easier and would harm local liquor stores, as small businesses would struggle to compete against retail giants.

“After struggling to survive the pandemic this law would put us out of business once and for all while handing the industry over to Amazon, COSTCO, and WalMart,” Correra wrote.

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SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND TO PUSH LITHIUM BATTERY LAW AFTER FIRES

CITYWIDE — Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand on Sunday announced bipartisan legislation, co-sponsored by Brooklyn U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman and others, to create safety standards for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries after a recent spike in fires caused by the devices – the FDNY battled 216 such fires in NYC in 2022, up from only 44 in 2020, and 30 so far this year that have left 40 injured and two dead. According to the FDNY, no federal standards currently exist for the batteries, used in devices like cell phones, laptops, electric cars and scooters, which has helped allow the cheap and faulty batteries that have been the cause of most of the NYC fires to remain available. 

The FDNY also issued several battery safety tips: always follow manufacturer guidelines and use approved chargers; never charge or store batteries in hot places or around flammable materials; look for the Underwriters Laboratories “UL” mark, which indicates that the battery has been safety-tested; and discontinue use and call 911 if a battery overheats or you notice an odor, change in shape or color, leaking or odd noises. 

Victims and families gathered at the announcement to speak about their experiences with lithium battery fires.

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FDNY TO DEDICATE PLAQUE TO FIREFIGHTER KILLED IN LINE OF DUTY

CANARSIE — Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh will preside over a plaque dedication ceremony to honor firefighter Timothy P. Klein on Monday morning at his Canarsie firehouse, paying tribute to his heroic actions after Klein became the 1,157th FDNY member to die in the line of duty while battling a three-alarm fire in April of last year. Klein, 31, joined the fire department in 2015, following in the footsteps of his father Patrick, also a firefighter, and was known as a selfless worker and loyal friend by his fellow FDNY members. 

The dedication ceremony will be held Monday, April 24, at 11 a.m. at Engine Company 257, Ladder 170, Battalion 58 at 1361 Rockaway Parkway; the ceremony can be viewed live on the Fire Department’s website.

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DOT: CITY WILL GET INCREASED DEDICATED BIKE LANES AND BARRIERS TO PROTECT CYCLISTS

CITYWIDE — The city, in response to a rise in e-bike fatalities — particularly single-bike deaths — will install a record number of protected bike lanes during 2023, harden more than 10 miles of existing bike lanes, and use sturdier materials in these new lanes, NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced on Monday, April 24. Upcoming protected bike lane projects include a range of high-ridership corridors, bridges, priority investment areas in underserved communities, and innovative bike boulevards. Hardening efforts will include the installation of cement Jersey Barriers and the continued testing of new materials along bike lanes in all five boroughs.

This work comes as the agency also announced Monday that cycling in New York City has reached an all-time high.

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FOX NEWS, TUCKER CARLSON PART WAYS

NATIONWIDE — Popular conservative commentator Tucker Carlson no longer works for FOX News, the network announced Monday morning, April 24. The network announced in a terse, four-sentence statement excerpted here, “FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”

Carlson’s last program was Friday, April 21; Fox News Tonight will air live at 8 PM/ET starting Monday evening, April 24, as an interim show that rotating FOX News personalities will anchor until a new host is named.

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CNN PARTS WAYS WITH DON LEMON, BROOKLYN COLLEGE DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS

MIDWOOD AND NATIONWIDE — Almost immediately after news broke of Tucker Carlson’s departure from FOX NEWS, several media sources reported that CNN’s political commentator Don Lemon had also been axed from that network’s program “CNN This Morning.” Lemon, CNN’s 57-year-old star anchor, a 1996 graduate of Brooklyn College, had become a household name in the network’s prime-time lineup before his brief and controversial stint as a morning host; he’d been criticized for making comments viewed as sexist, according to a New York Times report published on Monday.

Don Lemon earned his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism in 1996, interning at WNYW TV, a Fox affiliate. According to Brooklyn College’s website, Lemon was honored as Distinguished Alumnus at the 2010 Commencement.

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BILL REVIVED TO REPORT ILLEGAL PARKING IN BIKE AND BUS LANES, MINUS THE BOUNTY REWARD

CITYWIDE — City Councilmember Lincoln Restler (D-33) was among the legislators rallying on Monday, April 24, to support two bills to protect cyclists and bike lanes from violators. The bills, Intro 501-A and 417, which are coming up for hearings before the New York City Council Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, would allow New Yorkers to report directly to the Department of Transportation vehicles that are illegally parked in bike lanes, bus lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks and fire hydrants. Intro 417, co-sponsored by 39 Councilmembers and four Borough Presidents, would consolidate the Community Board and Councilmember notice requirements for bike lanes, creating one single streamlined process and eliminating unnecessary 90-day delays.

One of these bills stalled last year after opponents objected that a portion of the ticket revenue would be paid to New Yorkers who report illegally-parked vehicles. The monetary component has been scrapped.

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LEGAL DEFENSE ADVOCATES OPPOSE ROLLBACKS TO DISCOVERY AND SPEEDY TRIAL REFORMS

CITYWIDE — A group of legal defense advocates is urging the two leaders of the New York State Senate to oppose any rollbacks of what the coalition asserts has been successful discovery and speedy trial reforms (also known as “Kalief’s Law”). Brooklyn Defender Services, its counterpart in three other boroughs (including Manhattan) and The Legal Aid Society are praising the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council for urging New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris to oppose the last-minute rollback efforts from Governor Kathy Hochul and local District Attorneys, calling on them to instead appropriate funding to both District Attorney and public defender offices, which the 2019 reforms omitted.

The advocates pointed out that, before the reforms, New York’s old “Blindfold Law” discovery law often prevented Black and Latinx New Yorkers from reviewing the evidence against them in a timely manner, as prosecution teams were permitted to withhold evidence that potentially exonerated defendants.

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LISTENING TOUR BEING LAUNCHED ON ENVIRONMENTAL BOND ACT

STATEWIDE — Governor Kathy Hochul next month will begin a statewide educational listening tour for the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022, which voters overwhelmingly approved last November. The tour will provide an opportunity for the public and potential funding applicants to learn more about the Bond Act, which prioritizes investments in environmental justice, climate change mitigation, shoreline restoration, flood resilience, water quality, open space land conservation, recreational resources and green jobs.

While the first meeting is scheduled for May 30 at the University of Buffalo, Brooklyn will be part of the tour, with future dates for in-person and virtual meetings to be announced.

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NEW PILOT PROGRAM COVERS COST OF MEDICINE USED IN TREATING OPIOID USE DISORDER

STATEWIDE — New York State has launched the Buprenorphine Assistance Pilot Program to assist New Yorkers with the cost of buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). Bupe-AP will cover the cost of buprenorphine for eligible uninsured and under-insured individuals with no out-of-pocket costs for their medication. Buprenorphine is used to help manage OUD involving substances such as heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioids, and decreases the risk for opioid-related mortality (overdose).

The pilot phase will allow for select Office of Addiction Services and Supports and Department of Health programs to roll-out the benefit, make modifications as necessary and expand to additional agencies in the future.


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