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What’s News, Breaking: Thursday, May 25, 2023

May 25, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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CENTRAL BROOKLYN AND NATIONWIDE — The Biden-Harris Administration on Thursday, May 25, released the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, covering more than 100 new actions it will take to fight the threat of antisemitism, amid an alarming reported increase antisemitic incidents, among other acts of hatred.

This strategy encompasses raising awareness of antisemitism and its threat to American democracy, protecting Jewish communities, reversing the normalization of antisemitism, and building cross-community solidarity.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The strategy will incorporate workshops with the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to raise awareness and counter antisemitism. Other components involve annual threat assessments that the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center will conduct; a resource guide on protecting houses of worship that the Justice and Homeland Security Departments will produce, and the challenging task of reversing the normalization of antisemitism that spreads through conspiracy theories and rhetoric from political leaders.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-9/central Brooklyn) applauded the new strategy, stating (in part), “The disturbing rise of antisemitic sentiments in America and across the world demands we prioritize the protection of Jewish-Americans at every level — this critical announcement not only acknowledges the truth of growing antisemitic proliferation and the violent consequences it foments, but demonstrates the administration’s stalwart commitment to defeating hate and bigotry through a whole-of-society approach.”

In 2024, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will launch the first-ever U.S.-based Holocaust education research center which, once it is fully operational, “will undertake systematic, rigorous, and actionable research into teaching and learning about the Holocaust and study the impact and effectiveness of Holocaust education.”



DUMBO — Building service employees at a luxury DUMBO waterfront apartment complex were set on Thursday evening to protest their employer’s refusal to agree to a fair union contract. The service workers are rallying against the building management which has refused to provide union benefits and wants to keep the workers on at-will-employment status with no benefits, even though the employees voted unanimously last September to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 32BJ. Joining them are members of 32BJ, considered the city’s largest building services union with more than 175,000 members, and elected officials and allies.

Units at the 1 John St. apartment building, which was built in 2016, have been listed with sale prices of $5-6 million. StreetEasy showed also that some units were rentals, going for as high as $15K per month, though none are now available. StreetEasy indicates the name of owner as “Unavailable.”



CLINTON HILL — A teen is missing from his Bedford-Avenue home and the NYPD seeks the public’s assistance in finding him. Jonathan Marsh, 14, was last seen three weeks ago, on Friday, May 5, at his school on Clinton Avenue near the Brooklyn Navy Yard (within the 88th Precinct)

Jonathan is described as a Black Hispanic with a medium complexion, brown eyes and long black curly hair, approximately 5’0” and weighing 103 lbs.

Anyone who has seen this youth, who went missing from his school on the morning of May 5, and last seen wearing a dark blue jacket, a black hooded sweatshirt and brown pants, should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477); or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782); or via the CrimeStoppers website at or on Twitter @NYPDTips. Photo: NYPD/CrimeStoppers.



WESTERN BROOKLYN & CAPITOL HILL — Saying that the nation’s public defense system is understaffed, underfunded, and has been overwhelmed for decades, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-10/western Brooklyn) has teamed with his colleagues serving New Jersey, Illinois and Texas to introduce the “Providing a Quality Defense Act.”

Goldman pointed out that last year, New York City’s largest provider of criminal and civil services for indigent clients lost 10% of its staff in one year with other organizations losing as much as 40% of staff, and that the nationwide public defender shortage contributes heavily to the country’s criminal justice crisis, particularly in low-income communities. The Providing a Quality Defense Act, to remedy this, would establish a grant program for public defense offices to hire public defenders or panel attorneys, case workers, social workers, investigators, or paralegals. These grants could also be used to achieve pay parity for public defenders or panel attorneys with prosecutors’ offices, would establish grants for educational programs for public defenders, including for ongoing training and support, and would provide grant funds to public defense offices to establish loan repayment assistance programs for public defenders.

Additionally, the Providing a Quality Defense Act would direct the Attorney General to develop best practices and recommendations for public defenders’ caseloads and for the compensation of public defenders.

Joining Congressman Dan Goldman were Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), and freshman Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX/Dallas-Ft. Worth), who brings to her freshman term in Congress experience as a public defender, and civil rights and criminal defense attorney.



BROOKLYN BOROUGH HALL — Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso has denounced and rejected Mayor Eric Adams’ call to end-Right-to-Shelter, an NYC law that is the only one of its kind in the United States to guarantee a bed to anyone in need.

Reynoso had — just last week — proposed immediate legal opportunities for Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams, and the New York City Council to open up tens of thousands of apartments for New Yorkers living in city shelters and expand immediate and long-term housing opportunities in nearby municipalities.

“Now is not the time to shrink from our responsibility to provide safe and dignified shelter for all in our city; rather we should be doubling down on the values of sanctuary and care that represent who we are. Standing firm requires that we reject any attempts to weaken Right-to-Shelter and instead demand that our leaders from the city to the state to the federal government advance creative solutions that can make a real dent in this housing crisis.

The legal solutions include calling on the City Council to pass legislation that would direct the Mayor to use government power to solve the homelessness crisis through the private sector and that would add the arrival of migrants as an emergency under the Administrative Code; and would direct the Mayor and City to lease market apartments for housing homeless families.

Reynoso’s proposal also calls on Mayor Adams to issue a new emergency executive order declaring a public emergency over homelessness (not only the continuous arrival of migrants) and then for Mayor Adams must also seek state assistance from Governor Hochul under Section 24[7] of the Executive Law, to unlock broader government power.



STATEWIDE — Sports Warehouse, an online athletic goods retailer has to pay $300,000 for failing to protect 2.5 million consumers’ personal data, including more than 100 thousand New Yorkers, as part of a settlement that State Attorney General Letitia James secured with the company. The data security for Sports Warehouse, which also owns the websites for Tennis Warehouse, Running Warehouse, Skate Warehouse, and Tackle Warehouse was so weak that it was vulnerable to a data breach in 2021 which compromised consumers’ private information, including credit card information and email addresses for more than 136,000 New Yorkers.

As part of the agreement with the Office of the Attorney  Sports Warehouse must pay $300,000 in penalties to the state and strengthen its cybersecurity measures to protect consumers’ private information, including better encryption, staying updated on technology, developing a penetration testing program, strengthening password protocols and collecting only the data needed for legitimate transactions and erasing when the need to retain the personal information becomes obsolete.

The action stemmed from a 2021 attack in which the hacker gained access to Sports Warehouse’s subsidiary servers, apparently by attempting to identify login credentials through repeated trial and error. After gaining access to the companies’ servers, the attacker created several web shells to gain remote access to the Sports Warehouse companies’ commerce server, which contained payment card information for nearly every purchase made through their websites for the past 11 years.



ATLANTIC CENTERBrooklyn College will celebrate the accomplishments of 3,809 graduates on June 2, 2023 at 9 a.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. With mentorship being key to College’s mission of student support and success, Professor Emerita Tania León will receive an honorary degree and serve as the keynote speaker and Brooklyn College Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Evan Silverstein ’76 will be the recipient of the Brooklyn College Presidential Medal.

The college will celebrate the accomplishments of 2,871 students who earned baccalaureate degrees, 850 who earned master’s degrees, and 88 students who will receive advanced certificates.

“Congratulations to the members of the Class of 2023, and to their family and friends, for reaching this important milestone,” said Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson. “We are honored to salute Tania León and Evan Silverstein at this spring’s commencement ceremony for their decades of service and dedication to Brooklyn College students.”



CITYWIDE — The MTA on Tuesday announced service details and changes for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and the start of the summer season. For Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, city subways and buses, as well as the LIRR and Metro-North, will run on Sunday or weekend schedules. Additionally, the LIRR and Metro-North will supplement Friday afternoon service with additional trains to help travelers get an early start on the three-day weekend. The authority also issued reminders that some subway lines will experience planned service changes over the weekend for necessary track work and maintenance – the 2 and 3 trains will not be running in Brooklyn due to extensive cleaning of the Clark Street tunnel, while the M train will not be running at all.

The popular Cannonball train from Penn Station to Montauk makes its seasonal debut this Friday afternoon for the holiday weekend, operating express to the Hamptons and Montauk. The westbound Cannonball back to the city will operate on Memorial Day this week, instead of Sunday. Other Sunday inbound trains from Montauk and other points on Long Island will operate on Monday this week as well. For city-bound beachgoers, the Q22 and Q35 buses will begin service on Friday to the Riis Park bus stop from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. weekdays and from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. weekends, lasting all summer.

For more detailed information and updates on other service changes, the MTA advises passengers to check its information website,, or to download the MYmta smartphone app.



BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — The popular Deploy Coffee cart, which holds the first and only Promenade vendor’s license, will return this weekend outside Pierrepont Playground, offering hot and cold beverages to parents and passers-by. The distinctive blue cart slings ethically sourced brews, fresh-ground beans, teas and specialty drinks, including one called the MOAB, the caffeine level of which Eagle reporter Mary Frost described as “You were warned.”

Deploy, which launched its Brooklyn Heights operation last year, is operated by Jimmy Lai and Daniel Singh, two Navy veterans, who hope that they can serve as a model to promote veteran entrepreneurship and to raise awareness of programs designed to help veterans transition back into the workforce – for example, the Promenade license was reserved for disabled vets. The two say that after feedback from residents, they will likely keep the cart off the Promenade itself, and will trial other locations near the entrances of the walkway. 

Deploy will be stationed at the intersection of Pierrepont Place and Pierrepont Street on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this summer.

Deploy Coffee. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle.



DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The New York City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in finding a group of unknown men suspected in a pattern of Brooklyn subway phone robberies earlier this month. Two incidents have been identified as part of this pattern so far.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 3, one suspect approached an 11-year-old boy on the southbound 2 train platform at Borough Hall station and grabbed his cellphone from his hand before fleeing. Shortly after midnight on the following day, May 4, four suspects approached a 40-year-old male victim on the southbound 2 train approaching President Street station, punched him multiple times in the head and body and forcibly removed his cellphone. The victim was able to escape at the President Street station; the four suspects stayed on the train, heading to parts unknown.

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 CrimeStoppers website at or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

Do you recognize these people? All tips given to police are strictly confidential.



NATIONWIDE — UPS package delivery workers may be poised to go on strike if union contract negotiations head south, reports the AP, raising fears of significant supply chain disruptions and delivery backlogs in a time where online shopping has become a part of daily life for millions. The Teamsters, which represent the more than 350,000 front-line workers at UPS, say that their members deserve a fair share of the windfall the delivery company has reaped during and after the pandemic – profits are nearly three times what they were prior to the pandemic, according to the AP – and that they’re prepared to walk off the job if their needs aren’t met by August, threatening to strand the nearly 24 million packages UPS handles daily for an indefinite amount of time.

The issues the union is pressing include increased pay, less overtime, an end to a two-tiered benefits structure and increased driver safety standards. Many in the union are still angry over an unpopular 2018 contract that was accepted, against a popular vote, based on a technicality. This botched contract saw the union leadership change hands, with members voting in a more “combative” and hands-on leader, Sean O’Brien, in 2022, something that observers say represents a sea change in blue-collar workers’ approach to the labor movement. “There’s greater assertiveness and militancy on the part of a lot of young labor activists and some sectors of the labor establishment. Sean O’Brien is representative of that,” said San Francisco State University director of labor and employment studies John Logan. 

UPS leadership claims to be unbothered about the potential for a strike: CEO Carol Tome said, “While we expect to hear a great deal of noise during the negotiation, I remain confident that a win-win-win contract is very achievable and that UPS and the Teamsters will reach agreement by the end of July.” 



ALL OVER BROOKLYN — Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side may still make the city’s best pastrami sandwich, but a Brooklyn eatery ranked second in this popular deli treat, reports EATER NEW YORK.  Hometown Bar-B-Que on 35 St. in Sunset Park, which is also an offshoot of their Red Hook location, makes pastrami that is “spiced and fatty, and its primary distinction is an enhanced smokiness.” The EATER NY blurb pointed out that the Red Hook store conceived its pastrami as a “hybrid between a Texas-style barbecue joint and a New York deli.”

Other Brooklyn eateries also made the Pastrami Top Ten list, including Junior’s Restaurant (Flatbush/DeKalb), Frankel’s Delicatessen & Appetizing (Manhattan & Bedford avenues in Greenpoint), and, this writer’s favorite, David’s Brisket House on Nostrand Ave. in Bedford Stuyvesant, which is described as “maybe the only halal Jewish-style deli in the city.”



DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A Flatlands man was charged in Magistrate Court in Brooklyn on Wednesday, May 24, on a sexual assault charge, with the court’s request for detention as a flight risk. Chad Barclay, 29, of East 32nd St., enticement and coercion, violates Title 18, United States Code. From Sept. 2022 to within days of his arrest on Wednesday, the defendant “engaged in a dangerous criminal pattern of enticing women to meet with him for various purposes and then proceeding to rape and rob them through the use of threatening and coercive means. For the reasons set forth below, the government submits that no combination of conditions can reasonably secure the safety of the victims or the community.” Among other complaints from Barclay’s victim, identified only as Jane Doe #1, he forced her to have sex and refused to wear a condom; he identified himself as a gang member, and said there were others monitoring the area near her residence. He also threatened harm, robbed her of her phone and cash, and even ordered her to pay him a “tax” for working in Brooklyn.

While on supervised release earlier this year, the defendant allegedly continued his rape and extortion pattern against other women.



DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Arts Council is set to honor longtime Con Edison community affairs director Toni Yuille Williams as part of this year’s class of honorees at its June 5 Spring Party at Industry City.

In addition to her work as Director of Regional & Community Affairs for Con Edison Company of New York, Inc., Antonia (Toni) Williams is the creator, on-air personality and executive producer of Brooklyn Savvy, a talk show (airing thrice weekly on NYC Life Channel 25) that explores topical and social justice issues resonant to people living in an urban environment. She has since 2018 served as the Board Chair of the Brooklyn Arts Council. She has also launched a new radio show called Art Movez, which explores the intersection of art, innovation, community development, and social justice, and airs on WNYE 91.5 FM Sundays at 8 p.m.

Active in civic life, Ms. Yuille Williams also serves as chair of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, chair of The Billie Holiday Theater; and on the boards of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, BRIC Arts Media, and New York City Technical College Foundation.

Additional BRIC Spring Party honorees are visual Artist, performance artist and educator Derrick Adams; Alireza Esmaeilzadeh senior vice president of development at Brookfield Properties; and Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham, co-founder and executive Director of Museum Hue.



RED HOOK — The Fire Department, City of New York is observing National EMS Week, with its annual Second Chance Ceremony, held Wednesday morning, May 24, at the Liberty Warehouse in Red Hook. Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, Chief of Department John Hodgens, Chief of EMS Michael Fields and Chief Medical Director Dr. Glenn Asaeda presided at the event, which united 10 patients who have survived cardiac arrest with the Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians, FDNY EMS Officers, Firefighters, Dispatchers, bystanders, and other first responders who helped save their lives. The 10 survivors include a premature newborn baby girl who made a full recovery, an eight-year-old boy, an NYPD Auxiliary officer on his way to work, and a man from New Jersey whom good Samaritans aided before FDNY EMS arrived.

The FDNY CPR Training Unit offers free compressions-only CPR training (without defibrillation), throughout the city and has trained more than 200,000 New Yorkers to perform bystander CPR, including more than 80,000 high school students. (CPR is not the same as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation taught in many first aid courses.) For more information about free bystander CPR training from the FDNY, call 718-281-3888 or visit



BROOKLYN AND WASHINGTON, DC — Safeguarding the nation’s Social Security program is the focus of a new bill that Congressmen Dan Goldman (D-10/western Brooklyn) and John Larson (CT-1) introduced on Wednesday, May 24.

The Social Security 2100 Act would increase benefit payments for current and new Social Security beneficiaries, protect beneficiaries against inflation, reduce taxes on Social Security benefits, and further bolster the benefits of Social Security. This bill would also extend the solvency of Social Security by at least 10 years and potentially decades. The bill would also set the new minimum benefit at 25% above the poverty line, ensuring that seniors who have earned their benefits by paying into the system during their lifetime would not fall into poverty. The new minimum would also be tied to wage levels to ensure the benefit is accurately adjusted for cost-of-living increases.

The proposed benefit increases and enhancements would be underwritten by applying the payroll tax to wages above $400,000 so that the wealthiest Americans pay the same rate as someone earning $30,000 a year. This provision would only affect the top 0.4% of wage earners.



BOERUM HILL  — A man wearing a “Rude” T-shirt is wanted in connection with an assault on an F train near the Bergen/Smith Street station during rush hour on Wednesday, May 10. Around 5:50 p.m., the man allegedly approached a 19-year-old male aboard the northbound train, struck the victim with an unknown blunt object, punched the victim about the face, before exiting the train at the Bergen Street station and fleeing onto the southbound train platform.

The incident, which happened within the 84th Precinct in Boerum Hill, caused the victim, whose name the NYPD did not release as of press time, to sustain a cut to his face. He was treated at New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and last reported in stable condition.

Although the NYPD reported a 6.7% reduction in transit crime during April, the news media have reported a growing number of assaults against commuters over the past week alone, including the woman who was critically injured in an unprovoked attack on Sunday, May 21.

Anyone who has seen or knows the identity of this man wanted in connection with a subway assault is urged to contact the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or  or via Twitter @NYPDTips. Photo: NYPD CrimeStoppers.



CITYWIDE — As the Brooklyn Congressional Delegation tenaciously pushes for an end to non-essential helicopter flights within New York City, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-10) and Brooklyn colleagues with Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-12) on Wednesday urged Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams to end non-essential helicopter flights from New York City’s West 30th Street Heliport, East 34th Street Heliport, and Downtown Manhattan Heliport. They observed that New York City has one of the world’s highest rates of non-essential helicopter use, creating untenable amounts of noise and air pollution. The delegation also claims that more than 95% of the 58,000 annual helicopter flights from the NYCEDC-owned East 34th Street Heliport and Downtown Manhattan Heliport are non-essential.

The letter-writers, which included Yvette Clarke (D-09/central and eastern Brooklyn) and Nydia Velázquez (D-07/northern Brooklyn), pointed out also that in the past four decades (since 1983), at least thirty helicopter crashes in New York City have occurred, with at least twenty-five fatalities, according to National Transportation Safety Board records.

The letter, excerpted here, reads “… helicopter safety, noise, and environmental concerns are now one of the top issues we hear about from our constituents. We must work together to address this issue at the local, state, and federal levels.”



CITYWIDE — Mayor Adams on Tuesday announced that he would be heading to court to seek a judge’s approval to temporarily suspend parts of the city’s “Right to Shelter” responsibility on the grounds that the ongoing large influx of asylum-seekers in recent months, as well as a notable spike in daily shelter intake since last week’s expiration of the Title 42 entry restrictions, have made obeying its terms unworkable. Adams wrote in a press statement that “no one could have contemplated, foresaw, or even remotely imagined a mass influx of individuals entering our system… Our city has done more to support asylum seekers than any other city in the nation, but the unfortunate reality is that the city has extended itself further than its resources will allow.” The New York Times reported that the city asked specifically to be allowed to not shelter unhoused adults if it lacked the staff or resources to house them safely; the city has not asked to suspend the portion of the law that relates to families with children, although an executive order issued by the mayor earlier this month allows the city to disregard its mandate to provide those families with private rooms.

Politicians joined in anger in response to the announcement, offering suggestions for alternatives. Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Councilmember Diane Ayala issued a joint statement, saying, “It’s beyond disturbing that so much effort is being spent on rolling back protections for all New Yorkers, instead of implementing immediate and long-term solutions that can help us avoid and move out of shelters,” and urged for the passing of a package of reforms to the city’s housing voucher program that would allow for more new arrivals to receive rental assistance, updating current rules that require applicants to spend 90 days housed in a shelter first. Comptroller Brad Lander wrote, “The Adams administration’s attempt to abdicate its responsibility to uphold this legal obligation undermines the foundation of the social safety net in this city,” and criticized the mayor for not seeking a ruling “that [the Right to Shelter] applies to all municipalities in New York State,” in an apparent reference to attempts earlier this month by Rockland and Orange counties to keep the city from sending migrants to stay in local hotels.

Ayala, along with Councilmembers Pierina Sanchez and Tiffany Caban, also announced a press conference set for 11 a.m. on Wednesday in response to the announcement to more publicly advocate for the housing reforms package, which is currently opposed by the mayor, facing down a potential mayoral veto over what Adams says would be a $17 billion addition to the city budget over the next five years; proponents of the reforms counter that the costs would be offset by reductions in spending on the city’s notoriously expensive shelter system.



STATEWIDE — Applications have opened for the Excelsior Scholarship for new applicants to the state’s public colleges and universities for the 2023-2024 academic year, Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday, May 24.

The Excelsior Scholarship, which the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation administers, allows eligible full-time students, whose families’ federal adjusted gross incomes are $125,000 or under, to attend a CUNY or SUNY two-year or four-year college tuition-free, application deadline August.

Eligible students must plan to attend a two- or four-year college within the City University of New York (CUNY) or State University of New York (SUNY) systems and complete 30 credits per year towards their program of study (including summer and winter terms). Students must also stay on track to graduate with an associate degree in two years or a bachelor’s degree in four years

“The Excelsior Scholarship is one of the most promising programs in New York State, providing access to an affordable college education for thousands of middle and lower-income New Yorkers,” said Gov. Hochul. “At a time when economic disparities are widening, it is more important than ever that every student has access to the resources they need to succeed.”

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