What’s News, Breaking: Friday, August 18, 2023
REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NJ TO FACE OFF AGAINST MAIMONIDES DOCS, STAFF IN EPIC SOFTBALL BATTLE
CONEY ISLAND — PLACE YOUR BETS: THE FULL CAST OF Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey (known to fans as RHONJ) will be facing off against the staff and physicians of Maimonides Hospital in what Maimonides calls their 4th Annual Battle for Brooklyn (no relation to next week’s Battle of Brooklyn reenactment at Old Stone House). The softball game, to be played at Maimonides Park on Surf Avenue, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, will be filmed by Bravo and will be featured in the 2023-24 season of the popular reality series. Proceeds will benefit Maimonides Breast Center.
The Real Housewives team captain is the vivacious Dolores Catania, while the Maimonides team will be helmed by Dr. Patrick Borgen, chair of the Department of Surgery. The first pitch takes place on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m.
JERRY MOSS, 88, PARTNERED
WITH HERB ALPERT ON RECORDING LABEL
MIDWOOD TO CALIFORNIA — JERRY MOSS, A 1957 ALUMNUS OF BROOKLYN COLLEGE WHO WENT ON TO EXPAND an independent recording label into a superstar business, has died at age 88, according to a NY Times obituary by Ben Sisario. Moss partnered with trumpeter Herb Alpert, now also 88 and still doing concerts, to create A&M Records, using the initials of their last names. Their roster of artists and bands included Cat Stevens, Carole King, Supertramp and the grunge band Soundgarden. The British musician Sting pointed out that Moss and Alpert stood out as gentlemen in what is known as a ruthless industry. “They were artist friendly,” Sting told the Times.
Longtime business partner, Herb Alpert’s website indicated that he was scheduled to make his debut at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023.
BATTLE OF BROOKLYN WEEK AUG. 20-27 AT OLD STONE HOUSE
PARK SLOPE — A SERIES OF EVENTS CULMINATING IN THE ANNUAL REENACTMENT of the epic Battle of Brooklyn — the largest battle of the Revolutionary War — will take place Aug. 20-27 at the historic Old Stone House and Washington Park, where the battle took place in 1776. Battle Week events include a scavenger hunt, book talk, exhibits, walking tour and performances. On Aug. 26, British and American reenactors will gather at the Old Stone House from noon to 3 p.m. for the annual commemoration of the Battle of Brooklyn with military drills, fencing, spinning, ladies taking tea, and, at 2 p.m., a community dance with Brooklyn Contra.
For more information, visit www.theoldstonehouse.org or 718–768-3195.
GODSQUAD’S ‘OCCUPY THE CORNER’ HELPS
EAST FLATBUSH AREA HEAL AFTER SHOOTINGS
EAST FLATBUSH — MEMBERS OF GODSQUAD/67TH PRECINCT CLERGY COUNCIL HELD A COMMUNITY EVENT in East Flatbush on Friday night, Aug. 11, as part of its Occupy The Corner series. GodSquad clergy and community partners gathered in front of the Minsterio Eben-Ezer Church, on Clarkson Ave. and East 95th St., to bring healing after a shooting that had recently taken place in the neighborhood. Also participating were the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board and local residents, to provide resources and encouragement in the fight to end gun violence.
The 67th Precinct Clergy Council, Inc. — “The GodSquad” — is a faith-based organization of clergy focused on defusing neighborhood tensions and serving as a liaison between their communities and law enforcement. GodSquad also founded Clergy for Safe Cities, a national coalition working to end gun violence.
REP. GOLDMAN COMPLETES JOB OF PLACING COPIOUS ASSETS INTO BLIND TRUSTS
BROOKLYN/MANHATTAN — IT’S BEEN A BIG JOB, BUT REP. DAN GOLDMAN (NY-10) HAS FINALIZED THE PROCESS of placing his abundant assets into blind trusts, he said in a statement on Friday. Goldman divested all of his individual stock holdings over the past several months; individual stocks will no longer be traded on his behalf by his financial advisors. Under the terms of the blind trusts, Goldman is prohibited from directing or even discussing his investments with his financial advisors. “As I did while serving as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, I will always strive to represent the 10th District of New York with the highest ethical standards,” Goldman said.
Goldman, the heir to the Levi Strauss & Co. fortune, is among the wealthiest members of Congress, with an estimated personal net worth of up to $253 million as of July 2022, according to Bloomberg.
NEW LIRR SCHEDULES, EFFECTIVE SEPT. 5,
ADD DIRECT SERVICE TO ATLANTIC TERMINAL
ATLANTIC TERMINAL/FORT GREENE — UPCOMING SERVICE CHANGES TO MTA LONG ISLAND RAILROAD will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 5, according to a reminder notice issued on Friday, Aug. 18, from the transit agency. The new schedules will increase service to Penn Station and add more direct service to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, on the Hempstead, Port Jefferson, Long Beach and Far Rockaway branches. The series of changes reflect recent ridership patterns following the railroad’s most recent rewrite of schedules supporting a historic service increase of 41% on Feb. 27, with the opening of full service to Grand Central Madison. The timetables also made small schedule adjustments necessary to support upcoming maintenance trackwork.
Grand Central Madison has opened new travel options and improvements for tens of thousands of daily LIRR riders, including the ability to travel across both railroads through the convenience of one ticket — the Combo Ticket.
GOV. HOCHUL SIGNS BILL BANNING RADIOACTIVE DUMPING IN THE HUDSON RIVER
HUDSON RIVER — NO FUKUSHIMA IN NEW YORK: Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday signed legislation preventing the dumping of radiological substances into the Hudson River in connection with the decommissioning of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. “The Hudson River is one of New York’s landmark natural treasures, and it’s critical we stand together to protect it for generations to come,” Hochul said in a statement. The state will work with plant owner Holtec International and regulators to find other ways to dispose of radioactive wastewater so that jobs can be preserved and the site cleaned up, Hochul’s office said.
The legislation will prevent Holtec International from dumping more than one million gallons of radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River. “The Hudson River is the source of our collective prosperity, not a dumping ground for industrial waste,” said Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan.
TEEN KILLED IN FRIDAY’S FIERY CRASH
WAS PASSENGER IN CAR THAT WAS HIT
COBBLE HILL — THE TEEN WHO WAS KILLED IN FRIDAY’S PRE-DAWN VEHICLE COLLISION ON COURT STREET was a passenger in the car that was hit — not a pedestrian — reports the Daily News. An 18-year-old girl, whose name the NYPD was still withholding as of press time Friday, was a passenger in a white Honda, into which the 25-year-old driver of a dark-colored Mercedes Benz had crashed after running a red light. The vehicles landed in front of the Trader Joe’s supermarket, at the SW corner of Court Street and Atlantic Avenue. with the Mercedes Benz erupting in fire. The Benz driver tried to flee the scene on foot, but police caught up with him and arrested him. All the vehicles’ occupants were taken to and treated at NewYork Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, but doctors could not save the teen’s life. The other Honda occupants are expected to survive, as is the passenger of the Mercedes Benz.
An outdoor fruit vendor who narrowly missed being part of the crash was reportedly not injured.
APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR REUSE GRANTS
TO COMMUNITY GROUPS AND BUSINESSES
STATEWIDE — APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR THE COMMUNITY REUSE GRANT PROGRAM that the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling has established to recognize organizations that work to ensure good stewardship of the environment through the reuse — extending the life of an item for the same purpose it had, or a new purpose. Community-based groups, businesses, partnerships or nonprofit organizations can apply by the Sept. 30 deadline to enroll reuse initiatives and projects activity that lengthens the life of an item, either for its original purpose or for a new purpose. A total of $5,000 (with a minimum award of $1,000) will be awarded, either to a single winner or divided among multiple winners. Applications are online and all completed forms should be emailed to [email protected].
The Community Reuse grant does not cover initiatives that involve composting, or recycling, which is the processing of an item into new material. Reuse initiatives that partner with schools and universities have their own grant program.
FIERY COURT/ATLANTIC COLLISION KILLS TEENAGER
COBBLE HILL — ANOTHER FATAL VEHICLE CRASH NEAR THE ATLANTIC AVENUE CORRIDOR KILLED an 18-year-old on Friday morning, Aug. 18, reports Patch. The teen was killed when a Mercedes-Benz driver ran a red light while crossing Court Street (a southbound roadway) and smashed into a Honda. The collision, which took place near Trader Joe’s supermarket, sparked a fire in the Mercedes. Its driver attempted to flee before police caught and detained him, the NYPD told Patch. Police added that it wasn’t immediately clear whether the Mercedes driver had also been speeding. Four people were rushed to an area hospital, including the teen, the Honda driver and passenger, and a Benz passenger. Doctors were not able to save the 18-year-old girl’s life.
Disobeying traffic signals and speeding have been frequent hazards along the Atlantic Avenue corridor and vicinity. A 31-year-old woman was killed in April at Atlantic Avenue and Clinton Street, and several vigils have been held on ways to stop the traffic fatalities.
BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL, OPENING 9/24, SHOWCASES WORLDWIDE LINEUP
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS/DOWNTOWN — THE BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL, the city’s largest free literary festival, runs from Sept. 24-Oct. 2 with an exciting lineup of local and international writers. The Festival kicks off with Virtual Festival Day (Sunday, Sept. 24), a tradition that started in response to the pandemic, but now allows the festival to welcome authors and audiences from around the world. The centerpiece Festival Day (Sunday, Oct. 1) takes place in the parks and plazas surrounding Downtown Brooklyn’s Borough Hall and other venues, with seven stages overflowing with conversation, as diverse authors of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, comics, graphic novels and young adult literature gather to converse, read and sign books throughout the day. Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Hilton Als, Toluse Olorunnipa, Robert Samuels and Colson Whitehead will be on stage.
As kids are encouraged to start reading early, the Festival includes Children’s Day (Sept. 30) at Brooklyn Commons at MetroTech.
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN COMMISSIONS WORK BY COMPOSER KAMALA SANKARAM
PROSPECT HEIGHTS — ACCLAIMED COMPOSER AND PERFORMER KAMALA SANKARAM HAS BEEN NAMED as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s 2023 Artist in Residence. The Garden has commissioned a new work from Sankaram that will be presented this fall, making its premiere on Sept. 30 and Oct.1, 2023, as part of Power of Trees, a program series centered on the ways trees serve as pillars of the natural and cultural worlds. As part of her residency, Sankaram will spend upwards of 200 hours in the Garden exploring BBG’s collection of trees, the way they are cared for, and their symbolism as places of gathering, shelter, and culture. Publicly-sourced sounds used in the piece included singing, running water, birdsong, frogs, and thunder.
As part of the residency, New Yorkers and visitors alike joined Kamala Sankaram in creating a soundscape of the community around the Garden on Aug. 15.
KIDS GET NEW BACKPACKS AT KINGS THEATRE BACK-TO-SCHOOL PARTY
FLATBUSH — KIDS AND FAMILIES TURNED OUT IN FORCE TO THE THIRD ANNUAL KINGS THEATRE Back-to-School Party on Wednesday to pick up free backpacks, notebooks, pens and other supplies to start the new school year off right. Volunteers, local organizations and politicians, including state Sen. Kevin Parker and Assemblymember Rita Joseph, came together to hand out supplies, donated by community members, to the kids in the historic theater.
“It’s a meaningful opportunity to invest in the future of our community’s students. It fills me with joy to see the smiles on their faces and provide them with the tools they need to succeed in education. Together, we can ensure that every child has equal access to quality education and a brighter tomorrow,” wrote Parker in a press statement.
STUDENTS SWEEP BENSONHURST IN COMMUNITY CLEANUP EVENT
BENSONHURST — FIFTY STUDENTS, ALONG WITH A HANDFUL OF ADULTS including Assemblymember William Colton and his Chief of Staff, Susan Zhuang, took to Bensonhurst streets on Saturday in order to sweep, tidy and brighten up their neighborhood, according to a press release from Colton’s office. The community cleanup event, one of the many that the assemblyman has hosted over the last ten years, focused on 86th Street, 18th Avenue and Bay Parkway around Seth Low Park; the event was intended to help the students develop civic engagement skills and foster a sense of community.
Another cleanup is scheduled to take place on Aug. 26 on Kings Highway, Avenue U and Bay Parkway; more information can be found on Colton’s X (formerly Twitter) account.
CITY REACHES AGREEMENT ON MCGUINNESS REDESIGN AFTER HORROR CRASH
GREENPOINT — THE ADAMS ADMINISTRATION AND THE DOT ON WEDNESDAY ANNOUNCED THAT A COMPROMISE had been reached on the controversial McGuinness Boulevard street safety redesign, which was stalled earlier this summer after protests — characterized as inorganic by safety advocates — spearheaded by local business owners got the administration to put a temporary halt on the plan to add protected bike lanes to the dangerous street, reports StreetsBlog. The original design, which would have seen the boulevard cut from four lanes to two in order to add bike lanes along its full length, has been modified to keep all four lanes open to traffic north of Calyer Street, with the two outer lanes converting to parking space on nights and weekends; the settlement comes after a horrific crash on the boulevard last Thursday left one person critically injured when a reckless driver ran into a moped.
Area politicians, including BP Antonio Reynoso, Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, state Sen. Kristen Gonzalez, Councilmember Lincoln Restler and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez in a press statement praised the compromise, writing, “While the new plan does not include every element that we have advocated for or was part of the DOT’s announcement in May, we believe it’s a critical step in the right direction and represents the most significant safety interventions on McGuinness Boulevard since Robert Moses expanded the road 70 years ago. Our offices will push for swift implementation in the weeks and months ahead.”
NYU TANDON TEAM AWARDED GRANT TO DEVELOP INTEROPERABLE 5G NETWORK
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A TEAM FROM NYU TANDON SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING HAS WON one of the first three grants that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded from the new Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to support the development of open and interoperable 5G and future generation cellular technologies. Professor and Associate Director Sundeep Rangan leads the team that works to develop “testing and evaluation procedures for next-generation cellular wireless systems in the upper mid-band, a promising new frequency range that has attracted considerable interest from wireless carriers,” he explained. Reporting on the award were the New York Business Journal, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NTIA journal and the university’s own newsletter.
The NTIA indicates that the first round of funding will support R&D and testing activities related to evaluating energy efficiency, measuring performance of interoperable equipment and testing methods for sharing spectrum.
BROOKLYN LAW SCHOOL TO HOST DISCUSSION ON EXPANDING SWIM ACCESS
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — BROOKLYN LAW SCHOOL IS SET TO HOST A SYMPOSIUM this Friday on expanding access to aquatics activities and swimming pools to more Brooklynites, focusing especially on reducing the racial and economic inequity that leads to Black youth facing significantly higher drowning risks than white youth. Community leaders will join swim activists and educators from LIU and St. Francis to discuss strategies to teach more children swimming and water safety skills, as well as to make more swim opportunities and activities available citywide.
The symposium will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, at Brooklyn Law School in Downtown Brooklyn; refreshments will be served starting at 9 a.m.
MYRTLE AVE. RESTAURANT WEEK EXPANDS
FORT GREENE/CLINTON HILL — NEW YORK CITY’S RESTAURANT WEEK may be a tradition, but Myrtle Avenue has its own celebration of fine dining. The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership will present its second-ever Myrtle Avenue Restaurant Week, running from Aug. 18-27, with 11 locally-owned Myrtle Avenue restaurants crossing through Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, an increase from its February event. Participating restaurants include Casa Nono (499 Myrtle, corner of Ryerson Street); Castro’s (511 Myrtle, between Ryerson and Grand); Dunhuang Miss Noodle (531 Myrtle, between Grand and Steuben); Glin Thai Bistro (330 Myrtle, between Washington Park and Carlton Avenue); Lula Mae, (472 Myrtle, between Washington Avenue and Hall Street); Mint Heights (368 Myrtle Ave, between Adelphi Street and Clermont Avenue); Myrtle Thai (438 Myrtle Avenue between Waverly and Clinton avenues); Osteria Brooklyn (458 Myrtle, between Waverly & Washington avenues); Putnam’s Pub & Cooker (419 Myrtle Ave., between Clinton and Vanderbilt avenues); U-Gu (541 Myrtle, between Steuben Street & Emerson Place) and Yamashiro (466 Myrtle Ave., between Washington Avenue and Hall Street).
Nine restaurants participated in last February’s Myrtle Avenue Restaurant Week, two of which saw an increase in sales of up to 70% and the other seven seeing a sales increase up to 30%.
NEW BROOKLYN TOWER FACADE GETS MIXED RESPONSE: ‘EYE OF SAURON’
PROSPECT HEIGHTS — THE NEWLY-COMPLETED FACADE OF THE BROOKLYN TOWER, a black-copper-and-bronze design that echoes the neo-Gothic skyscrapers of the early 20th century, is receiving mixed reviews from Brooklynites online, reports Dezeen. While some praised the construction as attractive, dramatic and innovative, other commenters on the site considered it a bit too much, offering responses like “A vertical castle: heavy, defensive, dominating,” and “All it needs is the Eye of Sauron.”
The Brooklyn Tower is the borough’s only supertall skyscraper, topping out in 2021 at 93 stories and 1,066 feet; no word yet on whether the developers intend to add a burning malevolent eyeball to its roof in order to watch for pesky hobbits attempting to sneak over the Verazzanno.
AUTISTIC CHILD DROWNS IN ERIE BASIN AFTER WANDERING FROM RED HOOK STORE
RED HOOK — A 9-YEAR-OLD NON-VERBAL AUTISTIC BOY IS BEING MOURNED after he drowned in the Erie Basin Wednesday night, the Daily News reports. According to surveillance cameras, the child, identified as Hasbul Hehan, had last been seen inside the Ikea on Beard Street, which recorded him leaving the store and walking toward the water. A team of first responders and divers searched for the child, who was wearing a black shirt, blue shorts and orange Crocs — the shoes surfaced on the water before the boy was located. They rushed the boy to NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, but he could not be saved.
The NYPD organized a search team that included harbor and aviation units, and drone technology. Divers entered the water at 10:13 p.m. Wednesday but it wasn’t until early Thursday morning that the child’s body was found.
BLOODS GANG MEMBER ARRESTED FOR FATAL PUNCH OF BED-STUY DAD
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — WEDNESDAY’S ARREST OF A GANG MEMBER IN LAST YEAR’S SUCKER-PUNCH MURDER of a 61-year-old father has the victim’s family relieved at the relatively-short investigation, and hopeful for justice, reports the Daily News in an exclusive story. Police on Aug. 16 arrested Isaih James, a 20-year-old linked to the Bloods, on charges of murder and robbery on the night of May 25, 2022 — an attack captured on surveillance video. James and an accomplice allegedly targeted neighbor Victor Vega outside the victim’s home on Lexington Avenue near Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Vega, who was found unconscious with a massive head injury, died four days later at Kings County Hospital.
Vega was described as a compassionate man who loved and often rescued animals. He had been speaking to his assailants before they attacked and then robbed him as he lay unconscious.
A MILE FOR EACH YEAR: NY HALF-CENTURY BIKE TOUR MARKS TRANSALT’S 50TH BIRTHDAY
CITYWIDE — A 50-MILE BIKE TOUR WILL CELEBRATE TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES’ 50th ANNIVERSARY on Sunday, Sept, 10. Around 2,000 cyclists of all abilities and experience levels, and hailing from New York City and beyond, will participate in the one-time-only NYC Half Century bike tour through Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. The 10-, 35- and 50- mile routes highlight iconic sites of TA advocacy wins such as the Brooklyn Bridge’s fully protected bike lane.
Bike Rent NYC will provide convenient bike rental options. Other sponsors include Industry City, which is hosting the Finish Line Festival; Brooklyn Brewery, Vaccaro Law, Adam White Law, and NYC Ferry.
BROKER FEE FAIRNESS BILL GETS MAJORITY SUPPORT IN COUNCIL
CITYWIDE — A BILL REQUIRING LANDLORDS TO TAKE ON THE COST OF SOME BROKER FEES, sponsored by Councilmember Chi Osse, now has majority support in the City Council, despite sustained anger from property owners over its terms. The bill, known as the FARE Act, would require whichever party in a rental arrangement to hire the broker to pay their fees, shifting the burden off tenants in most cases; earlier versions of the bill, which would have capped broker fees, did not garner enough popularity to make it across the finish line.
The bill will now have to pass through committee approval before heading to the Council floor for a full vote; Osse in a press release stated, “The current paradigm is bad for the housing market, bad for consumers, and bad for many brokers. It also makes no sense… The FARE Act is profoundly necessary as it is shockingly simple: You get what you pay for, and you pay for what you get.”
FDA LISTS SEVERAL UV STERILIZER WANDS ON ‘UNSAFE’ LIST
NATIONWIDE — ULTRAVIOLET WANDS UTILIZED TO STERILIZE PHONES and other devices are included in the FDA’s latest hazard warning. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday, Aug. 17, updated the list of ultraviolet (UV) wand products that may present a potential risk of injury and warns consumers to not use these UV wands, as they could expose the user or any nearby person to unsafe levels of ultraviolet-C (UV-C) radiation and may cause injury to the skin, eyes or both after just a few seconds of use. The newly-listed wands include Purple Glow Ultraviolet Sterilamp, model: BP52, made by In My Bathroom LLC; “dba” IMB; UVILIZER UV Light Sanitizer, model: Razor, made by In My Bathroom LLC; “dba” IMB; OttLite Compact Travel Disinfecting Wand, model: UV11001M, made by OttLite Technologies Inc;
WBM Smart UV Portable Sterilizer, model: UV-03, made by World Business Management; Safe and Healthy Disinfecting UV Light, model: 2090, made by Ontel Products Corporation; and, 59S Wand Disinfector, model: 5F1025917, made by Shenzhen UV Guard Technology Co., Ltd.
UV wands are used to disinfect surfaces and kill germs in the home or similar spaces outside most health care settings; ironically, the ones named “Safe and Healthy,” reportedly cause injury.
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