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What’s News, Breaking: Wednesday, May 17, 2023

May 17, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BAY RIDGE COMMUNITY BOARD SAYS ‘NO’ TO HIGH SCHOOL PROPOSAL FOR OVINGTON AVE.

BAY RIDGE — Community Board 10, citing traffic issues and overcrowding in the area, as well as concerns that a new high school proposed by the School Construction Authority for Bay Ridge would not primarily serve local students, has voted overwhelmingly to turn down a high school proposed for Ovington Avenue, on a block that already has several schools. The city wants to construct the school on two lots currently owned by the shuttered St. Nicholas Home, at 441-447 and 425-439 Ovington Avenue, with approximately 676 seats, with room for special education students included in that total, according to the proposal released by the SCA. A prior public hearing on the issue had drawn nearby neighbors who had voiced concerns about the use of the site for a high school. The board’s vote, taken during its May meeting at the Fort Hamilton Senior Center, 9941 Fort Hamilton Parkway, is advisory only. In total, 34 board members voted against the school siting and six voted in favor, with one abstention and one recusal.

The site is “situated on a densely populated, narrow, one-way residential street,” stressed the motion read out by Stephanie Simone-Mahaney, chair of the board’s Youth Services, Education & Libraries Committee, which drafted it along with the board’s Zoning & Land Use Committee. The motion emphasized that adding a school at the site would “impact emergency vehicles and exacerbate traffic and overcrowding.” To learn more about this article, read here.

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REP. GOLDMAN INTRODUCES LANDMARK MEDICARE BILL FOR ALL AMERICANS

WESTERN BROOKLYN AND WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Dan Goldman (D-10) on Wednesday, May 16, joined his colleagues Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in introducing the Medicare for All Act of 2023 — landmark legislation which would expand affordable health care access to the nearly 100 million people in America who currently have no health insurance, are at serious risk of being uninsured, or still face prohibitively high healthcare costs. The Medicare for All Act builds upon and expands Medicare to provide comprehensive benefits to every person in the United States. This includes primary care, vision, dental, prescription drugs, mental health, substance abuse, long-term services and supports, reproductive health care, and more. The bill would also give patients the freedom to choose their doctors, hospitals, and other providers without worrying about whether a provider is in-network. The Medicare for All Act of 2023 also provides for universal coverage of long-term care with no cost-sharing for older Americans and individuals with disabilities and prioritizes home and community-based care over institutional care.

The bill, if signed into law, would also help 15 million people who are at risk of being kicked off Medicaid, following last month’s redeterminations of eligibility.

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INDICTMENT IN VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CASE

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A Coney Island man has been indicted for manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment, criminally negligent homicide and other charges for speeding and running a red light, causing a car crash that resulted in two people dying and five people being injured, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said on Wednesday, May 17. The defendant, Vitaliy Konoplyov, 49, of Coney Island, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on a 20-count indictment including second-degree manslaughter, second-, and third-degree assault, criminally negligent homicide, second-degree reckless endangerment, and related charges. Konoplyov is being held on bail of $1 million bond or $250,000 cash, with a court date of June 21.

The investigation found that, on March 20, 2023, around 12:48 p.m., the defendant, driving a 2015 white Toyota Camry southbound on 18th Avenue, allegedly sped through multiple red lights, striking a  2016 black Honda HR-V that was being driven eastbound by 51-year-old, Stancho Stanchev, who was taken to Maimonides Hospital, where he was declared dead. The collision caused Stanchev’s vehicle to spin, jump the curb, and hit and kill pedestrian Leung Yuet, 65. Konoplyov then struck a 2021 silver Chevy Equinox, whose operator, a 71-year-old man, somehow escaped injury.

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25-TO-LIFE FOR MAN WHO DISMEMBERED
HIS SWEETHEART AND STOLE HER GOVERNMENT BENEFITS

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A Dutchess County man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in Kings County Supreme Court for killing his girlfriend, dismembering her body, and throwing it in the garbage so he could collect her Social Security benefits, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced on Wednesday, May 17. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun presided at the sentencing of 39-year-old Ricky Gonzalez of Beacon, convicted in a jury trial last month of the second-degree murder of 58-year-old Maria Quinones of Bushwick, tampering with physical evidence, third-degree grand larceny, first-degree identity theft that led to his collecting $68,000 of his victim’s Social Security benefits, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Ms. Quinones’ body was never recovered.

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STATE ASSEMBLY APPROVES BILL THAT REQUIRES
MTA TO NOTIFY COMMUTERS OF BED BUG PRESENCE

SOUTHERN BROOKLYN — The MTA will be required to inform commuters of bed bug infestations on subways, buses, and commuter trains if an Assembly bill that Assemblymember William Colton (D-A.D. 47) sponsored passes the State Senate next. Assembly Bill A2570, which the Assembly passed on Wednesday, May 16, and whose Brooklyn delegation co-sponsors include Assemblymembers Jo Anne Simon (D-52/DUMBO to Prospect Heights) and Latrice Walker (D-55/Bushwick), would amend the public authorities law, in relation to providing notification to customers of bed bug infestations on MTA subways, trains, and buses within 24 hours of such discovery. Calling bed bugs an issue of public safety and health, Assemblyman Colton noted that the vote was 110-37, but with no Republican votes.

“The MTA must notify customers and make them aware of bed bug infestations on MTA subways, trains, and buses as a measure of public safety and public health awareness, to help prevent the spreading of such infestations,” said Colton, who represents Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Dyker Heights in southern Brooklyn.

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PRINCE HARRY REPORTEDLY INVOLVED IN ANOTHER TRAFFIC CHASE, THIS TIME WITH NYC PAPARAZZI

MIDTOWN MANHATTAN — A strange and dangerous déjà vu involving members of the British royal family unfolded on Manhattan streets Tuesday night, when paparazzi were reported pursuing a taxicab in which Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan Markle, and her mother were passengers, according to several news reports. The three were in New York City for the Ms. Foundation for Women benefit, at which Meghan Markle was being honored. According to the Prince’s spokesperson, they were involved in a “near catastrophic” car chase through Midtown, after attending the gala at the Ziegfeld Ballroom, with a gaggle of photographers pursuing the cab and almost causing crashes with other drivers, pedestrians, and even police during their two-hour chase.

Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997, when aggressive photographers chased their limousine.

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MAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED IN 2020 MASS SHOOTING

FLATBUSH — Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of Kamondre Dekattu, 22, of Flatbush, on charges of murder and attempted murder, among others, for allegedly shooting six people, killing one, in a gang-related drive-by on Oct. 21, 2020. Dekattu was allegedly captured on surveillance video emerging from the sunroof of a car and opening fire at pedestrians; police responding to a 911 call at a Flatbush apartment building discovered and transported six victims to area hospitals, where Theodore Senior, 23, passed away from a chest wound and five more victims in their 20s were treated.

Other associates of Dekattu were also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in relation to the incident; a separate statement from the Brooklyn DA alleges that Dekattu boasted of the shooting in social media messages to other gang members, and that Senior’s death was celebrated with a lavish steakhouse dinner thrown by Dekattu’s fellow gang members.

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HATE CRIME CHARGES FOR MAN WHO WAVED KNIFE AT JEWS IN BBP

DUMBO — A man who on Thursday allegedly threatened a group of Jewish students while shouting antisemitic rhetoric in Brooklyn Bridge Park is now facing hate crime charges, reports COL Live. The students say that around midnight they were approached by the man, who confronted them and told them to leave the park, yelling that “he is a real Jew and we are not,” before displaying a knife and demanding money from them; the students contacted the Williamsburg Shmira community watch, who then called police, who arrested the man at the scene.

Video shared with COL Live shows the man shouting at the students, while other photographs from the scene show a police officer showing what appears to be a folding “butterfly knife” to the camera; the man’s alleged statements echo ideas promoted by the controversial Black Hebrew Israelites movement, members of which have committed hate crimes against the Jewish community on previous occasions.

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32 ALLEGED GANG MEMBERS CHARGED IN MAJOR BUST

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez on Tuesday announced that 32 alleged members of the Flatbush- and Canarsie-based 8 Trey Crips and 9 Ways gangs have been named in a 140-count indictment, with counts including murder and attempted murder, in a war against rival gangs Folk Nation Gangster Disciples and ICG Babiiez between March of 2019 and the present; 13 victims, including one fatality and three innocent bystanders, were harmed in these shootings. Drill rapper Sheff G allegedly used his music earnings to fuel the violence by gifting money and expensive jewelry and hosting gang members in his New Jersey mansion; the statement describes an alleged revenge campaign after a Babiiez member shot at that mansion, with the rapper acting as a getaway driver during a shooting in April of 2021 that wounded two bystanders, and ten other defendants in June of 2021 kidnapping and beating the 8 Trey member they believed betrayed the location of the mansion in Holy Cross Cemetery.

The indictment is the result of a long-running investigation into the two gangs; the DA’s statement says investigators used surveillance videos of the incidents and social media and text messages in which defendants allegedly boasted about their criminal activities.

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HOUSE DEMS MOVE TO EXPEL LIAR REP SANTOS

WASHINGTON — House Democrats on Tuesday brought a measure to the House floor to expel disgraced U.S. Rep. George Santos, of Long Island, from Congress, reports NY1, following Santos’ arrest last week on multiple fraud charges; GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters that he would refer the measure to the House Ethics Committee before allowing the House to vote on it. “We believe that George Santos should be expelled months ago. There hasn’t been action, and so now is the appropriate time to make sure that Republicans are on record if they’re going to actually stand by someone that is a serial liar and a fraud,” said Rep. Robert Garcia of California, who introduced the resolution; House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote in a statement, “Instead of peddling conspiracy theories about President Biden and his family, House Republicans should expel this serial fraudster from the House of Representatives.”

Santos also last week agreed to a deal with the Brazilian government, according to the AP, to avoid prosecution over and wherein the congressman in 2008 confessed to stealing checks from an elderly patient being cared for by his mother and then fraudulently using those checks to buy clothes, but then failed to appear before the Brazilian courts, who lost track of him until his election to the House of Representatives; Santos allegedly agreed to pay around $5,000 to the defrauded shopkeeper and various charities.

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KIDS ‘STROKE FOR HOPE’ AT CHARITY SWIM-A-THON

CROWN HEIGHTS — Junior swimmers splashed for cash last Friday during the inaugural Imagine Swimming Stroke-For-Hope charity fundraiser at the Major Owens Community Center pool in Crown Heights, raising $26,000 for Hope Floats, which gives swim lesson scholarship assistance to underprivileged children. Special guests included three-time Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin and National High School Champion Roman Jones, who attended to raise awareness for water safety and drowning prevention and to advocate for increased diversity in the sport of swimming. 

Children from lower-income families and marginalized communities can face greater drowning risks, due to the inaccessibility of swim lessons; a 2017 survey from the USA Swimming Foundation found that 79% of children from families earning less than $50,000 a year had little to no swimming ability — a trend Hope Floats and Imagine Swimming intend to reverse.

Young swimmers prepare to kick off at the fundraiser.

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CONEY ISLAND CELEBRATES 100-YEAR BOARDWALK ANNIVERSARY

CONEY ISLAND — The historic Riegelmann Boardwalk on Coney Island’s shores celebrated its 100th anniversary on Monday, a beloved city fixture that was considered groundbreaking at the time for opening up the formerly restricted waterfront to the general public, according to the Coney Island History Project, which is opening an exhibit on the boardwalk’s history this weekend at its exhibition center (located, of course, on the boardwalk). Named after a former Brooklyn BP and opened on May 15, 1923, the 80-foot wide wooden promenade initially touched the water’s edge, and was supplemented with an artificial sand beach later to enable easier bathing for visitors; while lawsuits from property owners delayed its construction by 10 years, construction took just 18 months from start to finish — a speed the Project notes is “a miraculous achievement considering that now it can take longer than that to get a single board replaced.”

Some locals were upset by the city’s lack of official celebrations of the occasion, such as the Riegelmann Boardwalk Working Group, which sent a letter to the mayor and city officials this week calling for increased funding for repairs, enforcement of anti-driving rules and the preservation of historic aspects of the structure such as its wooden boards and cast iron water fountains.

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ART INSTALLATION DEBUT AT EMPIRE STATE PARK

DUMBO — A new public sculpture by Alaskan indigenous artist Nicholas Galanin, titled “In every language there is Land / En cada lengua hay una Tierra,” is set to be unveiled on Tuesday in Brooklyn Bridge Park; the monumental 30-foot Pop-Art sculpture’s airily placed steel beams, designed for the US-Mexico border fence, spell out the word “LAND.” The piece by Galanin, who uses his heritage and connection with the land to create culturally relevant projects, is a comment on colonization’s impact on migration and human relationships with the earth; by repurposing wall materials, it “questions the concept of border walls, which are designed to cut across land and water, restricting access to the migratory routes necessary for various life forms,” turning a former barrier to entry into an embodiment of respect for life.

The sculpture will be on display from May 16 through Nov. 12, 2023, on Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn.

“Land/Tierra,” on display at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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MAYOR ADAMS APPOINTS KINGS COUNTY JUDGE TO FAMILY COURT

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Judge Robert A. Markoff, who has served Kings County in the Unified Court System for more than two decades, has been named to Family Court, and is one of eight judicial appointments that Mayor Eric Adams made on Tuesday, May 16. Judge Markoff has in past roles served as a court attorney in Supreme Court, Kings County, senior court attorney in Civil Court, Kings County, and principal law clerk in Supreme Court, Kings County.

Most recently, he served as a senior principal law clerk in the Appellate Division, Second Department, on Monroe Place.

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JUDGE MCPADDEN APPOINTED TO NY CRIMINAL COURT

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Judge John N. McPadden, an alumnus of St. Francis College, has been named to NYC Criminal Court. Judge McPadden, who has since 2006 been serving with the New York State Office of Court Administration and has been registered in the Second Judicial Department (seated in Brooklyn), and also as supervising court attorney to the supervising judge of New York County Criminal Court. 

Judge McPadden is one of the most recent judicial appointments that Mayor Eric Adams announced on Tuesday, May 16.

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LEFFERTS HISTORIC HOUSE GETS RIBBON-CUTTING WITH COMPLETED $2.5M RESTORATION

PROSPECT PARK — The Lefferts Historic House, within the Prospect Park grounds, will be at the center of a ribbon cutting at noon on Friday, May 19, following a $2.5 million restoration that the City Council’s Brooklyn delegation helped underwrite. The Prospect Park Alliance, NYC Parks, elected officials, and civic leaders will cut the ribbon on Lefferts Historic House, at an event marking a rare occasion when four tribal chiefs will gather together to celebrate the reopening of the house, and which will incorporate moments by Indigenous tribal leaders and African cultural bearers.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and City Councilmembers representing Brooklyn helped fund the restoration, which will also be feted on Sunday, May 21, with a Pinkster celebration.

The Lefferts Historic House will be at the center of a celebration on Sunday, May 21.
Photo: Elizabeth Keegin Colley/Prospect Park Alliance.

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PINKSTER, ORIGINALLY MARKING CHRISTIAN PENTECOST, EVOLVED INTO FESTIVAL OF AFRICAN CULTURE

PROSPECT PARK — The Prospect Park Alliance is hosting a Pinkster celebration in the yard of Lefferts Historic House, an 18th-century Flatbush farmhouse, now the park’s historic house museum, to coincide with the completion of a multi-year restoration. Chief Baba Neil Clarke, the Pinkster Players, and friends, including long-time Lefferts storyteller Tammy Hall, will lead this free, family-friendly event which will feature music, history, performances, storytelling, demonstrations, games, and food connected to this historic celebration of Africans in New York.

Pinkster is the Dutch word for Pentecost, a spring festival that celebrates the birth of Christianity, and it marked the only time each year that Africans enslaved in New York were legally allowed to gather with their families, play music, dance in public, and trade goods. In the early 19th century, white landowners in New York outlawed the celebration of Pinkster, which was finally revived in the 1970s.

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CONSUMER REPORTS STORY CHRONICLES POLLUTION MONITORING AS AMAZON WAREHOUSES INCREASE

RED HOOK — The expansion of e-warehouses in Red Hook, and their impact on the neighborhood is the focus of an extensive investigative report that the magazine Consumer Reports published on Tuesday, May 16. Consumer Reports, which has joined The Guardian to track the hidden costs of e-commerce, tracked the increase of respiratory illness congestion on Red Hook streets, particularly since the opening of two large Amazon warehouses directly across from a large housing project, and the expected opening of a third facility later this year. They purchased camera-based sensors from Numina — a Brooklyn-based company — placing these in Red Hook for data charting of vehicle types. Other devices were utilized to monitor the impact of e-commerce delivery traffic, such as particulate pollution, and sound (decibel) levels.

New York could become the first state to hold warehouse operators accountable for air and noise pollution, as the state legislature is considering the Clean Deliveries Act, with co-sponsors in each house being: Andrew Gounardes (D-26) and Zellnor Myrie (D-20), and Assemblymembers Robert Carroll (D-44) and Jo Anne Simon (D-52), whose district includes Red Hook.

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POLICE ASK PUBLIC’S HELP IN FINDING MAN REPORTED MISSING LAST MONTH

BUSHWICK — The NYPD asks the public to help locate a man who was reportedly last seen in August 2022 but just reported as missing just six weeks ago. Police, who may have had reasons to withhold information until now, indicate that 47-year-old Kareem Alvarez of Knickerbocker Ave. in Bushwick (83rd Precinct) was reported missing on Tuesday, April 4.

The NYPD report indicated also that Alvarez was last seen on Friday, August 26, 2022, around 7 p.m., leaving 9 West 8th St., but did not specify whether this was in Brooklyn’s Gravesend section or in the West Village, Manhattan. Google Maps shows only four-digit addresses for West 8th St. in Brooklyn.

Have you seen this man? He is described as Hispanic, approximately 5’11” tall, 190 pounds, with a medium build, dark complexion, brown eyes, and black hair; he was last seen wearing green cargo pants, a black tank top, and black high-top shoes. If so, call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Photo: NYPD/Crimestoppers.

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POLICE WARN OF G TRAIN GROPE CREEP

BED-STUY — Police are warning subway riders to be on the lookout for a male suspect who on the morning of Monday, May 15, approached a 51-year-old female victim on the G train near the Myrtle-Willoughby station and asked her a question about the train route, before touching the victim’s genital area over her clothing against her will. The man fled at the Flushing Avenue station and is described as approximately 60 to 65 years old with a light complexion, and was last seen wearing what police called ”traditional Jewish garb”: a black hat, black coat, black pants and white shirt.

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, on Twitter @NYPDTips.

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

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MORE BROOKLYN SCHOOLS TO HOUSE ASYLUM SEEKERS

CITYWIDE — A widely criticized move to house asylum seekers in a Coney Island public school gymnasium has now expanded to involve five more Brooklyn schools, including P.S. 17/M.S. 577, P.S. 18 and P.S. 132 in Williamsburg, P.S. 172 in Sunset Park and P.S. 189 in Crown Heights, reports the New York Post, with outraged parents voicing worries over security risks and health concerns, as well as anger over potential restrictions to playground time and physical activities: M.S. 577 PTA member Virginia Vu told the Post, “The school will be under lockdown all day. The students will be trapped inside and will not be able to go outside for recess or physical education, which will be a huge detriment to their wellbeing. These kids just came through COVID, and now they’re being locked inside the classroom.” City and school officials, including Mayor Adams, have insisted that the use of the gyms will be temporary and will not have a great impact on students, as schools will be out in a month; and say that the city has run out of options for sites to handle the daily influx of asylum seekers.

CBS News filmed an overnight camp-out protest by parents at P.S. 172 on Monday against the transfer of migrants to their childrens’ school, saying they don’t feel safe with school buildings housing unknown adults; parents at other schools held similar rallies, where kids held signs calling the decision unfair – some saying that the housing situation would cause them to withdraw keep their children at home.

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MTA SEES RISE IN SICK DAYS AHEAD OF CONTRACT STRUGGLE

CITYWIDE — Around 175 discontented MTA workers at the Flatbush Bus Terminal are conducting a “sick-out” strike to protest managers at the site, according to a source for the New York Daily News, calling in sick in order to work around a controversial state law that bars public-sector employees from striking and possibly contributing to bus service slow-downs. The action comes as the MTA workers’ union, TWU Local 100, is negotiating a new contract with the MTA ahead of the current contract’s expiration next week, with the union pushing for hazard pay, parental leave and coverage for mental health services, along with changes to pension plans.

A spokesperson for the MTA told the Daily News that the service slowdowns were being investigated; if the MTA and the union are unable to come to an agreement by Monday, the workers are legally required to continue under the current contract’s terms — although the transit authority has accused the union of intentional slowdowns during previous disputes.

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MENENDEZ MOVES TO KILL CONGESTION PRICING PLAN

MANHATTAN – Following last week’s release of the MTA’s final environmental impact report on the proposed congestion pricing plan for lower Manhattan, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez moved on Monday to introduce legislation designed to force New York to back off on the plan, reports CBS News, by rescinding federal highway and MTA program funding; the senator also said he was considering taking steps to implement tolls on New York drivers entering New Jersey. The city is currently waiting for final approval of the plan by federal officials; if implemented, New Jersey drivers could face fees of up to $23 to enter downtown Manhattan.

Menendez also said he would write a letter to transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, describing potential harms for New Jersey commuters and urging him to reject NYC’s proposal.

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BILL WOULD ENABLE VICTIMS OF ID THEFT, ABUSE TO RECOVER ONLINE ACCOUNTS FROM LOCKOUTS

STATEWIDE — A bill that would allow victims of identity theft to access their online accounts passed the New York State Senate on Tuesday, May 16. State Senator Kristen Gonzalez (SD59/Williamsburg/Greenpoint) is the main sponsor of this legislation, which would help victims of ID theft and domestic abuse recover their accounts by presenting an ID at a store’s in-state physical location, particularly if they cannot access multi-factor authentication because of locked out or stolen devices.

“This bill will help those whose devices have been stolen or whose accounts are compromised by giving them a chance to recover their accounts by presenting an ID at a business’s in-state location,” said Gonzalez. The bill (with corresponding index number A.7048) must next pass the state Assembly before it reaches Governor Hochul’s desk for signature.

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GOLDMAN CO-SPONSORS BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH BILLS

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman this week joined other congressmembers in introducing the “Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act,” a package of 12 individual bills addressing the nation’s high maternal mortality rates, with a focus on racial and ethnic disparities. The bills would significantly extend WIC food funds eligibility time for postpartum and breastfeeding mothers, implement local initiatives alongside community groups to address maternal mental health conditions and substance abuse, and guide and fund training sessions for health workers on antiracism, cultural communication and trauma-informed maternity care.

“Black women are disproportionately impacted by the growing maternal health care crisis. Systemic inequities create barriers to Black women seeking care, and the care they do receive is too often inadequate… I am committed to elevating the voices of Black women in the fight for equal health care access and treatment,” wrote Goldman in a press statement.

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BILL WOULD SAFEGUARD SOCIAL SECURITY CREDITS FOR PEOPLE LEAVING WORKFORCE TO BE FAMILY CAREGIVERS

NATIONWIDE — Taxpayers who leave the workforce to become caregivers for loved ones would benefit from legislation that U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a member of the Senate Aging Committee, reintroduced on Tuesday, May 16. Gillibrand’s Social Security Caregiver Credit Act would provide retirement credits to unpaid caregivers who spend at least 80 hours a month providing care to a dependent relative under the age of 12 or to a chronically dependent individual, defined as a person who cannot perform basic activities without assistance. Social Security credits are “units” the Social Security Administration uses to determine whether an individual has qualified for retirement, disability, and other benefits.

Gillibrand’s legislation would make sure that retirement funding would not be jeopardized for millions of Americans as a consequence of having to leave the workforce to become unpaid caregivers for sick, disabled, or elderly loved ones.

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ATTORNEYS GENERAL SUPPORT PROPOSED RULE ON PROTECTING RIGHTS OF TRANSGENDER STUDENT ATHLETES

NATIONWIDE — Transgender athletes should be afforded anti-discrimination protections, say NY Attorney General Letitia James and a coalition of 12 of her counterparts in other states, who have submitted documents in response to a rule that the U.S. Department of Education has proposed. The rule would clarify how schools receiving federal funding can remain in compliance with Title IX, a federal civil rights statute, when determining a transgender student’s eligibility to participate on school athletic teams. The letter that Attorney General James and her colleagues sent to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona expressed support for aspects of a proposed national rule that would prohibit institutions that receive federal funding from excluding transgender students from school sports.

Moreover, the attorneys generals’ letter recommends revisions to the rule that would guarantee the inclusion of all transgender students in school sports, including due process protections at the college level.


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