What’s News, Breaking: Friday, June 9, 2023
NEW COMPOSTING LAW REQUIRES SANITATION DEPT.
REACH ZERO WASTE & REPORT ON PROGRESS
CITY HALL — More components of the Zero Waste legislative package would require the Department of Sanitation to reach a zero divertible waste goal within the next seven years and would require the agency to submit reports on their progress. City Councilmember Sandy Nurse (D-37/northern Brooklyn) sponsored the two components: Introduction 274-A, which would establish a goal of zero divertible waste for New York City by 2030, and would require the Dept. of Sanitation to report to City Council if this goal cannot be met. Furthermore, Intro 275A requires the Department of Sanitation to report on their progress in increasing waste diversion rates, incorporating detailed information on specific materials and their recyclability.
“The Zero Waste Act is a major environmental justice victory for New York City and beyond,” said Councilmember Sandy Nurse. “These bills are an act of solidarity with predominantly low-income and communities of color living near landfills and incinerators in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania…” where the city sends its waste.
NEW NYC LAW WILL REQUIRE SEPARATION
AND COMPOSTING OF FOOD WASTE
CITY HALL — Composting food waste is now the law in New York City, since City Council on Thursday passed a bill Intro. 0244 as part of the “Zero Waste” legislative package. This bill, of which City Councilmember Shahana Hanif (D-39/Sunset Park) was a prime sponsor, requires the Department of Sanitation to create a citywide curbside organics program for residential buildings by Oct. 2 of this year, for residential properties in at least 30 sanitation districts, according to the City Council’s legislation web page. The DSNY would have until Oct. 7, 2024 to implement a curbside organics program for remaining sanitation districts.
The new law, which City Council’s website listed as “Enacted/Mayor’s Desk for Signature” also requires the Department of Sanitation to develop outreach and education materials, in particular instruct residents on how to properly source and separate out organic waste.
NAVAL LIEUTENANT ATTRIBUTES VALUES
TO GROWING UP IN BROOKLYN AND PERSEVERANCE
NEW YORK HARBOR — Also serving aboard the USS Wasp and participating in Fleet Week was Lt. Kevin Smith, a native of Brooklyn and 1995 graduate of Boys and Girls High School. Lt. Smith, who joined the Navy 16 years ago, attributed his current accomplishments to the Skills and values in which he was raised in Brooklyn. “Having a strong work ethic and overcoming obstacles in my younger years have definitely helped me succeed in the Navy,” said Smith. “I’ve learned that you always have to adapt. Each command will bring its own challenges as well as rewards,” he said.
Lt. Smith serves as security officer aboard USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship that supports U.S. Marines in combat and provide disaster relief and medical support to those in need, and one of the ships offering free public tours during Fleet Week New York.
BROOKLYN-BORN NAVAL OFFICER
TOOK PART IN RECENT FLEET WEEK
NEW YORK HARBOR — Among the participants in the recent Fleet Week New York, held annually right before Memorial Day, was Brooklyn native and Master Chief Petty Officer Hawa Prudence Riley, a 28-year-old career servicewoman. Riley, who joined the Navy almost three decades ago, today serves as an aviation boatswain’s mate aboard USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship that supports U.S. Marines in combat and provides disaster relief and medical support to those in need. Riley, who later grew up in Monrovia, Liberia, points to her Brooklyn and Liberian experiences, skills and values as being instrumental to her success in the military. “Growing up, the phrase “respect your elders in Liberia” translates for me; respect for rank regardless of age, gender or race,” said Riley, who said she joined the Navy to further her education and travel.
Fleet Week New York incorporates a series of outreach events, giving citizens an opportunity to interact with sailors and learn more about the Navy.
REP. GOLDMAN HOLDS FORUM ON
LGBTQIA+ PERSONS AND HEALTH
Rep. Dan Goldman (D-10/western Brooklyn) on Friday, June 9, hosted a forum on the state of LGBTQIA+ Health in New York and across the country. During the event, held at the NYC Health + Hospitals Judson Center in lower Manhattan, Congressman Goldman convened medical leaders, community advocates, and elected officials to highlight the high-quality health care services that NYC Health + Hospitals provides for New York’s LGBTQ+ community. Congressman Goldman and Admiral Levine also discussed the Biden Administration’s priorities in advancing LGBTQ+ mental and physical well being, including strengthening the Affordable Care Act’s Non-Discrimination Provisions, providing resources to transgender kids and their families, protecting access to gender-affirming care, and fighting to pass the Equality Act.
They also discussed the ongoing threats LGBTQIA+ individuals, especially youth, face to their health and well-being, including from legislative proposals that would strip them of access to healthcare and other civil rights.
REP. NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS HONORED AS
NYPD’S CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
BAY RIDGE — The NYPD’s Honor Legion, the department’s oldest fraternal organization on Thursday, June 8, named Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-11/southwestern Brooklyn) its Citizen of the Year for her steadfast support of the nation’s law enforcement officers. Rep. Malliotakis has secured nearly $6 million in Congressional funding for the NYPD, allocating $350,000 for Critical Response Command K9-training and equipment, $550,000 for personal protective equipment, $1 million for patrol response vehicles, $2 million for forensic equipment and $2 million for Fixed Plate Reader Systems. Malliotakis’ latest funding request to Congress includes $2.2 million for the replacement of out-of-date tasers and belt-work trauma kits.
Rep. Malliotakis has supported several pieces of pro-police legislation, including a resolution expressing support for local law enforcement officers.
STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, IF PASSED,
WOULD RAISE JUDICIAL RETIREMENT AGES
STATEWIDE — The retirement age for judges in several of the state and county judges could rise to 76 if a constitutional amendment passes the NY State legislature before it adjourns on Friday, June 9, reports Spectrum News’ State of Politics. The constitutional amendment, which has advanced this week with the State Senate approving the first passage, would raise the mandatory retirement age from 70 years old for state judges to 76 for the Court of Appeals judges, justices of the Supreme Court, and judges of the Court of Claims, County Court, Surrogate’s Court, Family Court and Court for the City of New York.
Under current law, judges must retire by the end of December of the year in which they reach their 70th birthday, although judges on the Court of Appeals and State Supreme Court can apply to an administrative review board to continue serving past that time.
NY COURT SYSTEM SUPPORTS BILL REQUIRING
TOWN AND VILLAGE JUDGES TO BE ATTORNEYS
ALBANY — The Office of Court Administration now supports a bill that would require judges in town and village courts to be attorneys, reports the New York Law Journal. Lucian Chalfen, OCA spokesman, said that while the administration previously abstained from a position on the issue, it now “substantively supports” the proposed requirement that attorneys preside in these smaller municipalities, and that the courts cease using the services of judges who aren’t also lawyers.
The State Senate on Tuesday passed this bill, titled “An act to amend the uniform justice court act,” (S139-B/A1358-B), which is currently in an Assembly committee.
NYU TANDON EXPERT ON TRAFFIC INFORMATION
WINS SPOT IN MARQUIS WHO’S WHO
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s Jingqin Gao, Ph.D., has been included in Marquis Who’s Who, a volume of bios for noteworthy persons who are prominent in their respective fields, from medicine, law to arts. Dr. Gao, Assistant Director of Research at NYU’s C2SMART University Transportation Center, specializes in traffic engineering and transportation solutions.
According to her NYU C2SMART profile, Dr. Gao focused her doctoral dissertation on an ubiquitous NYC problem: double parking, and among her solution projects are Off-Hour Deliveries, Taxi GPS analysis and a Manhattan traffic model.
HOCHUL LAUNCHES CRACKDOWN ON UNLICENSED WEED SHOPS
STATEWIDE — Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced on Thursday that the state is launching a multi-agency effort to crack down on unlicensed cannabis shops and weed trucks. Officers from the Office of Cannabis Management and the Department of Taxation and Finance will inspect storefront businesses, issue violations and order unlicensed activity to cease. Hochul said unlicensed vendors have undermined the state’s effort to generate social equity funds for underserved communities — but some licensed vendors claim the state has bungled its rollout, allowing rogue weed dealers to fill the void.
Fines could go as high as $20,000 a day for the most egregious conduct, a release from the Governor’s Office said. A new law also created a tax fraud charge for businesses that are failing to collect or remit the required cannabis taxes.
NOT EVEN A FORMER PRESIDENT IS ABOVE THE LAW, REP. DAN GOLDMAN SAID ON TRUMP’S INDICTMENT
BOROUGHWIDE — Rep. Dan Goldman (D-10 ) issued a statement late Thursday on the indictment of former President Donald Trump by Special Council Jack Smith: “Once again, a grand jury has found probable cause to indict former President Trump, this time on seven counts related to his possession of, and refusal to return, national security materials. This country was founded on the principle that we are a government of laws, not people, and that no person, not even a former President, is above the law,” Goldman said. He praised Smith as a career prosecutor of the utmost integrity, adding, “And despite the surefire attacks that will come his way from Trump’s supporters, I am confident that the Special Counsel has considered only the facts, evidence, and the law — without fear or favor, as he swore to — in deciding to pursue these charges.”
“This case should be litigated in the court of law, not the court of public opinion and most definitely not the halls of Congress,” Goldman said.
NYC DAs & HOUSING GROUPS: MAKE DEED THEFT ILLEGAL NOW
STATEWIDE — Calls are mounting for the Legislature to make deed theft punishable as a criminal offense before the session ends, City & State reports. The theft of home titles by scammers has been especially prevalent in Central Brooklyn as property values have increased over the past decade. All five NYC district attorneys along with a coalition of groups including New York Communities for Change, New York Housing Conference and New York Legal Assistance Group sent a letter backing the bill to state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. Attorney General Letitia James joined several legislators in introducing such a bill last month.
“(The) lack of meaningful repercussions emboldens scammers, who have stolen millions of dollars in property and promise from some of the most at-risk communities in New York with impunity,” the letter reads.
BROOKLYN STUDENTS EARN SCIENCE DEGREES FROM RENSSELAER POLYTECH
NORTHERN BROOKLYN — Three students from Brooklyn have graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (north of Albany), with a bachelor of science degree. Jaylen Campbell of Fort Greene/Navy Yard area (11205) earned her degree in civil engineering; Monika Dabrowska of Greenpoint (11222) earned her degree in biological neuroscience. Billy Wu of East Williamsburg (11206) earned his degree in mechanical engineering.
Many graduates will continue their post-graduate studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and other schools, including Columbia University, Stanford University, and Cornell University. Others will begin professional positions with companies such as Dow Jones, Rockstar Games, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pfizer, Volvo Group, Boston Children’s Hospital, Edwards Lifesciences, Mastercard, Consigli, and WL Gore.
NYC PARTNERS WITH NYU TANDON ON FLOODNET TO DETECT REAL-TIME PROBLEMS
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The city has teamed with NYU Tandon School of Engineering to utilize the university’s innovative FloodNet technology solar-powered ultrasonic flood detectors to help fight potential flooding in the 2023 hurricane season. NYC FloodNet “is a flood data collection program for real-time street-level flood information to city agencies, residents, emergency response teams, and researchers.” NYU Tandon Professor Andrea Silverman (CUE, CUSP, SEI), co-developer of Floodnet and Assistant Professor in the school’s Department of Civil and Urban Engineering, told NBC News last Friday during a June 2 segment titled “The Battle for Safe and Legal Basement Apartments” that “The NYC Emergency Management, with this data, might have a better understanding of where flooding is happening in real time.”
Dr. Silverman focuses her research on “developing sustainable and appropriate wastewater treatment systems, in an effort to protect public health and environmental quality,” according to C2Smart.
TANDON RESEARCHERS: CHATS WITH AI CAN HELP BUILD MICROPROCESSING CHIPS
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A team of researchers at NYU Tandon School of Engineering have discovered that conversations with Artificial Intelligence (AI) models can help fabricate microprocessing chips. The team, Hammond Pearce, Ramesh Karri and Siddarth Garg, built a microprocessing chip using plain English “conversations,” and achieving a precedent with the potential for faster chip development. The Tandon researchers, whose abstract of this discovery was published in arXiv explained that the first steps in developing any type of hardware — including chips, entail describing what the hardware should do in normal language. Specially trained engineers then translate that description into Hardware Description Languages (HDLs).
The breakthrough could allow individuals without specialized skills to design chips.
NYC SCHOOLS TO OPERATE REMOTELY FRIDAY AS AIR REMAINS UNHEALTHY
CITYWIDE — Students attending NYC public schools are required to attend remotely on Friday, JUNE 9, because the city’s air quality from wildfires in Canada remains at unhealthy levels, according the city’s Department of Education. “All New York City Public School students and staff will pivot to remote learning and work on Friday, June 9, 2023—including school-based, district, and central staff,” DOE said.
The Air Quality Index in Brooklyn at roughly 4 p.m. on Thursday was 164, and over 200 in some areas of the city, down substantially from Wednesday’s “Hazardous” level API of 484. (Anything over 150 is deemed “unhealthy for everybody.”) You can find the current air quality in your neighborhood at AirNow.gov.
TEEN WITH JUNIOR LICENSE LOSES CONTROL OF TESLA IN FATAL MIDWOOD COLLISION
MIDWOOD — A teen driving an expensive Tesla on a junior-grade driver license caused a fatal and destructive collision Wednesday night in Midwood, reports the Daily News. The youth, whose name NYPD withheld because he’s juvenile, was speeding northbound along Ocean Parkway when he lost control of the Tesla at Avenue M, hitting the curb and smashing into a 76-year-old man, since identified as Milorad Rajacic, killing the elderly man on impact. The Tesla, which still spun out of control, then knocked over a traffic signal pole, hitting a 25-year-old man sitting on a median bench, causing him serious injuries. Both the teen and elderly victim were believed to be local residents.
The teen’s license, as part of New York’s Graduated License Program, required him to drive with a licensed adult in the front passenger-side seat, unless traveling to school or work, although police reported that he was alone in the vehicle when he lost control.
ROBERT DE NIRO, TRIBECA FILM FEST’S CO-FOUNDER, RECEIVES KEY TO THE CITY OF NY
TRIBECA — Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday, June 7, awarded a Key to the City of New York to legendary actor and co-founder of the Tribeca Festival Robert De Niro for his lifetime of achievement and service to New York.
Mayor Adams presented the key to De Niro on the festival’s opening night, celebrating the actor and philanthropist’s decades of contribution to film and over 20 years since the founding of the Tribeca Festival, which De Niro established in 2002 to help revitalize New York City after 9/11. De Niro, born and bred in New York City and one of its most iconic actors, has been honored many times including two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Golden Lion, the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
First presented in 1702, The Key to the City of New York has become “a beloved symbol of civic recognition and gratitude reserved for individuals whose service to the public and the common good rises to the highest level of achievement, according to the Mayor’s Office.
STATE JUDGE DENIES NRA’S MOTION TO USE PREVIOUSLY-REJECTED COUNTERCLAIMS IN TRIAL
STATEWIDE — New York State Supreme Court Justice Joel Cohen has denied motions by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to use previously-rejected counterclaims as part of their defense in the upcoming trial. Among these claims were assertions that Attorney General James’ investigation into the organization’s self-dealing, abuse, and unlawful conduct was unconstitutional and politically motivated, as a defense for the upcoming trial. As he did in 2022, Justice Cohen held that Attorney General James’ claims against the NRA are serious and viable, and are well within her office’s jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute.
Attorney General James, who first filed a lawsuit against the NRA and its senior management in August 2020, said, “For over two years, the NRA and its senior management have used every tool and trick to try and avoid the consequences of their bad actions. Bringing up arguments that have already been rejected is just the latest example of how far the NRA will go to distract from the serious charges of misconduct it is facing.”
CLEAN SLATE ACT NEGOTIATIONS INCH IT TOWARD VOTE
STATEWIDE — The Clean Slate Act that Brooklyn State Senator Zellnor Myrie (D-20) co-sponsored has made progress in negotiations toward a vote and becoming law, the New York Law Journal reports. The language of the bill which, if it becomes law, would automatically seal certain criminal records of thousands of New Yorkers, was tweaked to narrow the scope of who would be eligible. While the bill would automatically seal certain old convictions that could hinder job seekers’ prospects — particularly for persons of color — an 11th-hour change would mandate an eight-year wait period for automatic sealing of felony convictions, except for Class A felonies, which would not be eligible at all.
Supporters hope that both legislative houses can pass the Clean Slate Act by Thursday, June 8, the last scheduled day of the New York legislative session.
NEW YORK AWARDED $1.5M TO BOLSTER MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS.
STATEWIDE — The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced $1.5 million for New York to strengthen the Medical Reserve Corps network — focusing on emergency preparedness, response, and health equity needs. As part of this, the American Rescue Plan has provided funding for the first-ever MRC State, Territory and Tribal Nations, Representative Organizations for Next Generation grant program. The New York State Department of Health and Health Research, Inc. will use the funding to enhance the state’s system for volunteer registration and verification of volunteer medical professionals’ credentials and will provide support for background checks.
The MRC is a national network of 300,000 volunteers organized into approximately 750 local community-based groups, with units of local volunteers who donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and support steady-state preparedness initiatives.
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment