What’s News, Breaking: Thursday, August 24, 2023
BROWNSTONER: SECTION OF BED-STUY CHURCH,
ONCE A FACTORY, WILL BECOME CONDOMINIUMS
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A CHURCH THAT WAS ONCE PART OF A RUBBER FACTORY IS SELLING off part of its Bed-Stuy property that may also become the site of condominiums, reports Brownstoner. The site, home of The Glorious Church of God in Christ, will remain open and active, but has to sell a parcel in order to pay for repairs. The noted Brooklyn architect Thomas Englehardt designed the factory that was built in 1887 and remodeled during the 1920s. The site was eventually expanded to include three buildings on a single lot, but the oldest building’s top story will have to be sacrificed in order for Seventh Street Development Corp to secure the air rights for a five-story condo complex.
A website for the Glorious Church of God in Christ at that same intersection indicates that it is part of the major COGIC denomination within the Black community, and that the congregation maintains two sister sites: on Malcolm X Blvd. and Bedford Ave.
JUST ONE BROOKLYN WEED RETAILER ON LIST OF 30 ALLOWED TO OPEN
MARINE PARK — JUST ONE BROOKLYN CANNABIS RETAILER is on the list of 30 — out of more than 400 licensed statewide — to be exempt from a preliminary court injunction that blocks any further expansion of the state’s weed retail market. State officials submitted the roster to the court on Tuesday, according to Gothamist. If the judge accepts the list, the Brooklyn company, Grow Together, LLC, will be able to move forward with plans to open under the state’s Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary program.
According to NY Company Registry, Grow Together’s CEO is listed as Steven Sapoznik, and the company is headquartered on Avenue R near Marine Park.
WEST INDIAN AMERICAN DAY PARADE, KIDS’ VERSION
CROWN HEIGHTS — THOUSANDS OF COLORFULLY-DRESSED CHILDREN and scores of costumed junior “mas” (masquerade) bands will be parading through the streets of Brooklyn on Saturday, Sept. 2 starting at 9 a.m. for the West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s Junior Carnival. The parade assembles at Kingston Avenue and St. John’s Place, near the Brooklyn Museum. According to WIADCA, the events will include a “World Stage” Junior Competition and youth fest on the Brooklyn Museum grounds with music, revelry and exciting activities for families until 4 p.m.
To participate or see information about the spectacular (adult version) seven-hour long West Indian Day Parade, which traditionally draws more than a million spectators, visit wiadcacarnival.org.
COFFEE AND MUSIC TOGETHER AID
BRAINWAVES THAT HELP MEMORY TASKS
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — MUSIC AND COFFEE GO HAND-IN-HAND TO IMPROVE COGNITIVE performance in certain tasks, a research team at NYU Tandon School of Engineering has found. Rose Faghih, an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tandon, and her team discovered that music and coffee measurably altered subjects’ brain arousal and placed them in a physiological state of mind conducive to memory tasks. They conducted a Mindwatch Study that analyzes a person’s brain activity from data collected on a device on the person’s wrist and from a headband.
The study’s authors, who envision utilizing safe, noninvasive stimuli such as music to encourage desired brain states, discovered that listening to music and drinking coffee activates higher levels of beta band power in brain waves.
TANDON PROFESSOR SPEAKS AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING
ABOUT CYBER-HUMAN INTERACTION RESEARCH
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN AND CAPITOL HILL — NYU Tandon School of Engineering Professor Quanyan Zhu last month participated in a congressional briefing in the U.S. Capitol that the National Science Foundation and Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee hosted. They focused on the importance of funding research that strengthens infrastructure. Zhu and his research partner, NYU College of Arts & Science Emily Balcetis, discussed their work on creating AI-enabled technologies to help alleviate security risks involved with cyber-physical-human infrastructure systems.
Among Professor Zhu’s research interests are Game Theory and Applications Dynamic Games and Control Theory, cybersecurity, power systems and renewable energy.
NYU TANDON AWARDED ONE OF FIRST GRANTS
FOR PUBLIC WIRELESS RESEARCH AND ENHANCEMENT
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — NYU TANDON SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING HAS RECEIVED ONE OF THE FIRST GRANTS from the Biden Administration’s new Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund, the university announced on Thursday, Aug. 24. The Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund is part of a federal CHIPs Act program supporting the development of open and interoperable 5G and future generation cellular technologies. The grant will support NYU Tandon’s NYU WIRELESS research center’s work on optimizing cellular services within the upper mid-band 7 to 24 GHz frequency range, known as FR3.
The Biden Administration, which selected NYU Tandon’s project as one of three from the 127 proposals it received, announced the $2 million five-year award, which the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration oversees.
CITY DOESN’T RECOMMEND SWIMMING AT CONEY ISLAND RIGHT NOW
CONEY ISLAND — UNLESS YOU ENJOY SWIMMING THROUGH fecal matter, the NYC Health Department wants to discourage you from taking a dip at Coney Island Beach at this time. DOH’s Beach Water Quality data shows high levels of bacteria, which generally derive from sewage overflow following rains. The beach’s location on the Water Quality Map is marked with a yellow dot, which means “Swimming and wading permitted but not recommended.”
Before heading to any metro beach, call 311, text BEACH to 55676 or go to on.nyc.gov/2eJRxxz to get updated information on water quality.
BROOKLYN-BORN FR. JAMES F. JOYCE,
JESUIT PRIEST WHO MINISTERED IN HOSPITAL AND PRISONS, PASSES AT 78
PARK SLOPE TO FLATBUSH — BROOKLYN-BORN FATHER JAMES F. JOYCE, SJ, who died last month at age 78, would have celebrated his birthday this week, reports The Tablet. A graduate of St. Saviour Elementary School in Park Slope and then Regis High School in Manhattan, Fr. Joyce entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a religious order for men, and studied philosophy at Loyola Seminary. After working at Covenant House, during which time he professed his final vows to enter the Jesuits, Fr. Joyce served as an associate at St. Ignatius Parish in Brooklyn while working as a part-time chaplain at Kings County Hospital during the early 1980s.
Fr. Joyce later ministered as a prison chaplain at Rikers Island and “The Tombs” before being assigned as the local superior at the Manida St. Jesuit Community in Hunts Point.
SAM BANKMAN-FRIED COMPLAINS BROOKLYN JAIL KEEPS FEEDING HIM MEAT
SUNSET PARK — SAM “SBF” BANKMAN-FRIED IS NOT HAPPY being treated like all the other prisoners in Brooklyn’s notorious Metropolitan Detention Center, getting neither his meat substitutes nor his Adderall, online outlet Futurism reports. The alleged crypto-fraudster’s lawyer says that their client, a vegan, is “subsisting on bread and water” and “sometimes peanut butter” because the jail keeps offering him only “flesh meals.”
He’s lucky he wasn’t there in 2019. More than 1,000 people who endured a week without heat or electricity in the infamous hell hole during that year’s freezing polar vortex will share a settlement worth millions, the Brooklyn Eagle reported Wednesday.
WOODHULL HOSPITAL HOSTS
BACK-TO-SCHOOL FEST GIVEAWAY
BUSHWICK, BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES IN BUSHWICK AND SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOODS NOW HAVE BACKPACKS and school supplies, thanks to an event that also fostered the prevention of gun violence. NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull hosted its Third Annual Back-to-School Fest/Gun Violence Prevention Community Event, distributing around 1,750 backpacks and school supplies to the community with donations from generous hospital staff, elected officials and community organizations that collaborated in the giveaway and the collective efforts to address gun violence, build stronger communities and equip students to excel. The event included CPR-practice sessions with mannequins and the FDNY, and a tour inside a garbage truck with the City of New York Department of Sanitation.
Among the donors and speakers were State Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-25) — a former teacher — and Assemblymember Maritza Davila (AD-53). Woodhull’s Cure Violence/Wick Against Violence Program, funded by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, also participated.
NYC LOST 100,000 APARTMENTS. NEW STUDY DISCOVERS WHERE THEY WENT
CITYWIDE — RESEARCH BY A HISTORIC PRESERVATIONIST for his thesis discovered that NYC lost more than 100,000 apartments over the last 70 years due to consolidations of smaller apartments into larger ones, according to a report in THE CITY. In some cases, half a dozen apartments or even a dozen were combined to make a single, one-family residence. Over the last 70 years, Brooklyn lost the most row house units of any borough, through the practice of “brownstoning” dilapidated row houses through historic restoration.
Adam Brodheim reviewed decades of building and planning records on historic row houses for his thesis at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.
MALLIOTAKIS BILL WOULD BAN MIGRANT HOUSING IN NATIONAL PARKS
NATIONAL — REP. NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS (R-Staten Island/South Brooklyn) SAID SHE WILL BE INTRODUCING LEGISLATION to ban migrant housing in any national park, including Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, according to the Staten Island Advance. The Biden Administration has drawn up a tentative contract that would allow the state to utilize Floyd Bennett Field as a shelter for asylum seekers, Gov. Hochul said Monday.
“Look, we’re a compassionate city, but this is ridiculous. This is beyond compassion. This is ludicrous,” Malliotakis said at a gathering at Fort Wadsworth in S.I. on Wednesday.
BROOKLYN MAN INDICTED FOR KIDNAPPING FIVE WOMEN
AND NUMEROUS OTHER CRIMES
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A BROOKLYN MAN HAS BEEN CHARGED in Brooklyn federal court on a 20-count superseding indictment for kidnapping, interstate prostitution, device fraud and other crimes, the United Attorney for the Eastern District and U.S. Department of Justice announced. Chad Barclay (address not disclosed) has been charged with a criminal pattern that involved interstate prostitution, Hobbs Act robbery, kidnapping, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding. Those crimes involved five female victims and one male, who was the victim of access-device fraud and aggravated identity theft. The defendant also compelled the victims to unlock their phones so he could take control of the devices and transfer thousands of dollars to himself through various financial platforms.
Arrested in May, Barclay was ordered detained pending trial and will be arraigned at a later date on the superseding indictment — which is an amendment or revision of the original document, usually with new or updated information.
NEW NYS AUTHOR AND POET ARE BOTH BROOKLYN RESIDENTS
BROOKLYN — NEW YORK HAS A NEW STATE AUTHOR AND STATE POET, and they both call Brooklyn home. Jacqueline Woodson will receive the Edith Wharton Citation of Merit for Fiction and Patricia Spears Jones will receive the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit for Poetry at a special ceremony hosted at the University at Albany on Sept. 22. Woodson is the author of more than 30 books for young people and adults. Her memoir, “Brown Girl Dreaming,” won the 2014 National Book Award and her novel, “Another Brooklyn,” was a National Book Award finalist. In 2020, she was named a MacArthur Fellow. Jones is the author of five poetry collections. She is the winner of the 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers and the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The awardees are chosen by panels of jurors, including students, convened by the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany. They serve for two years in their honorary positions and each receives a $10,000 honorarium.
NY WOMEN’S FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANTS TO SIX BROOKLYN ORGS
BOROUGHWIDE — SIX BROOKLYN-BASED ORGANIZATIONS received grants from the New York Women’s Foundation, including Brooklyn GHOST Project, Brooklyn Movement Center, UPROSE, For the Gworls, Del Gracia Corp and Workers’ Justice Project. NYWF works to benefit all women and girls, whether cis or trans, non-binary or gender-expansive.
NYWF, one of the largest women-led grant-making organizations in the world, says it aims to foster “women-led solutions that ignite action and promote the economic security, safety, and health of New York City women.”
SOUTH BROOKLYN HOSPITAL GETS $6M GRANT FOR COLLABORATIVE LEARNING CENTER
CONEY ISLAND — NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/SOUTH BROOKLYN HEALTH HAS RECEIVED $6 MILLION in Fiscal Year 2024 capital funding from NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Chair of the Committee on Hospitals Mercedes Narcisse, Council Members Inna Vernikov and Ari Kagan, and members of the Brooklyn Delegation. The funds will help create a Collaborative Learning Center for the Practice of Medicine, enabling South Brooklyn Health, which is a teaching hospital with 170 residents (those who recently earned MD degrees and are in post-grad training) as part of the Health & Wellness Institute for its medical staff, nursing, and ancillary health care staff. The learning center will include scenario simulation space, classrooms, a medical library and educational conference space, for collaborative exercises, debriefing, and emergency response drills.
One clinical area where this enhanced learning is especially important is obstetrics, with an emphasis on reducing maternal mortality, preventing potentially fatal complications during childbirth.
GREENPOINT AVE. CUL-DE-SAC BECOMING ONE OF BROOKLYN’S HOTTEST RESTAURANT BLOCKS
GREENPOINT — THE DEAD-END CUL-DE-SAC at the end of Greenpoint Avenue is fast becoming one of the borough’s hottest restaurant blocks, Eater reports. In the last two years, three new restaurants and bars have opened on the end of the block, and three more could open by the end of this year. And they’re serving a lot more than Greenpoint’s traditional Polish cuisine, Eater says.
At least 60 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops — serving from Korean fried chicken to Japanese dashi — have opened in the neighborhood since 2021.
GARBAGE-Y CRASH CLOSES BQE NEAR DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN
BQE WESTBOUND — DRIVERS LEFT THEIR VEHICLES TO WALK ALONG the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway as news choppers hovered overhead early Wednesday morning, following a vehicle collision that shut down all four lanes of the expressway. According to ABC7, two tractor-trailers collide heading westbound at 4:50 a.m. One of the vehicles overturned and struck an overhead roadway sign, while debris characterized as garbage was spewed over the roadway and four people suffered minor injuries. Helicopters hovered over Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO until roughly 7:15 a.m.
Video posted on the Citizen App showed drivers hiking along the roadway to figure out what was happening. NotifyNYC did not broadcast an emergency alert; however, it posted a tweet on Twitter/X at 8:30 a.m. stating that the expressway was closed at Tillary St.
PRISONERS LEFT TO FREEZE IN UNHEATED BROOKLYN JAIL WILL BE COMPENSATED
SUNSET PARK — MORE THAN A THOUSAND PEOPLE WHO ENDURED a week without heat or electricity while locked inside the freezing Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn during a polar vortex in 2019 could share as much as $10 million in compensation under a proposed settlement deal, the New York Times reports.
The power outage at the jail first attracted widespread attention more than four days after the heat went out — as desperate detainees banged on the frosted windows of their cells to communicate with demonstrators outside, the Brooklyn Eagle reported in 2019.
MOTHER KILLED IN SAVAGE HAMMER ATTACK IN SUNSET PARK
SUNSET PARK — A MOTHER WAS KILLED after she and two children, age 4 and 5, were savagely attacked by a man with a hammer on Wednesday afternoon just before 2 p.m. in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The incident was reported at 531 52nd St. within the 72nd Precinct, according to a police statement. The children are left with life-threatening injuries, the NY Post reports. A person of interest, who is believed to have been subletting an apartment in the building, was being questioned.
Chief of Patrol John Chell and NYPD executives were set to brief the media late Wednesday afternoon.
WEST NILE VIRUS FOUND IN 3 NYC RESIDENTS & MULTIPLE MOSQUITO POOLS
CITYWIDE — THE NYC HEALTH DEPARTMENT said on Wednesday that West Nile virus disease has been reported in three residents (two in Queens and one in Manhattan), and detected in 569 mosquito pools across all five boroughs. All three of those infected were hospitalized, and two have been discharged. A fourth case is under investigation in Staten Island. Symptoms can include mild or serious headache, muscle aches, rash and extreme fatigue. In addition, some older people or those with a weakened immune system can develop a potentially fatal illness of the brain and spinal cord called West Nile neuroinvasive disease.
Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan advises people to use an EPA-registered insect repellent, especially when outside at dusk and dawn. In addition, empty outdoor containers that hold water or call 311 if you see standing water that you cannot empty.
MAYOR TO CITY AGENCIES: PRAISE MY HANDLING OF MIGRANT CRISIS
CITYWIDE — MAYOR ERIC ADAMS HAS ORDERED ALL CITY AGENCIES TO PROMOTE a positive portrayal of his administration’s response to the migrant crisis, Gothamist reports. The agencies were instructed on Monday to post a video, believed to be part of a well-coordinated social media blitz to counteract the growing criticism that Adams faces over his handling of the crisis, that praises the efforts of city employees who are helping migrants apply for asylum and other services. Gothamist obtained the email from Mayor Adams’ digital strategy team that provided sample language and indicated that his office would be tracking the agencies’ compliance.
The social media campaign is believed to be a counter-argument to Governor Kathy Hochul’s criticism of the city’s failure to help migrants meet application deadlines for asylum and work eligibility.
MAJOR UNION LAUNCHES TEXT-ATTACK ON CITY COUNCIL’S BILL TO PROTECT RETIREES’ PUBLIC MEDICARE PLAN
CITYWIDE — THE CITY’S LARGEST MUNICIPAL UNION APPEARS TO BE PUSHING BACK ON A RETIREES’ COALITION’S RECENT COURT VICTORY over protecting their traditional Medicare coverage, reports the Daily News. The leadership of District Council 37 (DC37) has sent text blasts urging its membership to conduct a targeted blitz of phone calls to City Councilmembers who support Councilmember Charles Barron’s Intro 1099 bill to protect the traditional Medicare plan that covers most of the city’s retirees — a combination of the federal program and a city-financed Medigap. However, the retirees’ coalition leader, Marianne Pizzitola, accused DC37 Executive Director Henry Garrido of causing a schism between active and retired employees. Many union leaders support Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed change to the private Medicare Advantage Plan that they believe will save the city money, but the retirees recently won their argument in court that the city’s private Medicare Advantage Plan would harm them financially and medically.
“This is not how labor treats labor. We built these unions and built NYC,” Pizzitola told the Daily News. “Active workers are basically being told,’ If we can’t screw the retirees, we need to screw you.’”
NY ATTORNEY GENERAL’S COALITION PUSHES SOUTHERN STATES’ COMPLIANCE OF CLEAN AIR ACT
NATIONWIDE — PROTECTING CLEAN AIR ACROSS STATE LINES is the focus of a multi-state coalition that New York Attorney General Letitia James is leading. The coalition has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the case of Texas v. EPA to defend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority under the Clean Air Act, and is pushing to ensure that each state does its fair share to reduce the air pollution that it sends to other states. The EPA is rejecting the claim by Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana that the agency lacks authority to independently review their state implementation plans, and points out that Congress included the Good Neighbor Provision in the Clean Air Act to address the problem of interstate pollution.
The coalition urges the court to reject the efforts of Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana to ignore the Good Neighbor Provision and undermine the EPA’s power to protect neighboring states, which include New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama.
FDA WARNS OF UNDISCLOSED INGREDIENT IN POPULAR MALE ENERGY SUPPLEMENT
NATIONWIDE — CONSUMERS OF A POPULAR MALE ENERGY and sexual enhancement supplement are being warned not to purchase or use them after the Food & Drug Administration confirmed that it contains an undeclared ingredient used only in prescription drugs. An FDA analysis found that BIG GUYS Male Energy Supplement, a product promoted and sold as an energy booster on the Amazon website, contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in the FDA-approved prescription drug Viagra, used to treat erectile dysfunction, and which can only be used under the approval of a licensed physician. Sildenafil, which was not listed as an ingredient, may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs that treat hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease, and can cause dangerous drops in blood pressure.
Consumers and health professionals are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
UPS UNION WORKERS APPROVE 5-YEAR CONTRACT
NATIONWIDE — GO AHEAD AND PLACE THAT ORDER: The union repping 340,000 UPS workers said Tuesday that its members voted to approve their tentative contract agreement, sealing the deal on last month’s labor negotiations, Cheddar News reports. The Teamsters said in a statement that 86% of the votes cast were in favor of ratifying the national contract — the highest vote for a contract in the history of the Teamsters at UPS.
Under the tentative agreement, full- and part-time union workers will get $2.75 more per hour in 2023, and $7.50 more in total by the end of the five-year contract.
GIULIANI SURRENDERS IN GEORGIA ELECTION RACKETEERING CASE
GEORGIA — DISGRACED FORMER NYC MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, Donald Trump’s former lawyer, surrendered at the Fulton County jail on Wednesday on charges that he helped lead a racketeering enterprise and conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, the Guardian reports. His bond was set for $150,000. Trump is expected to turn himself in on Thursday.
Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor who made his name with aggressive RICO cases, now faces RICO charges himself for his alleged role in assembling fake slates of electors to reverse Joe Biden’s legitimate election victory.
WAGNER GROUP MERCENARY LEADER PRIGOZHIN REPORTEDLY KILLED IN PLANE CRASH
RUSSIA — RUSSIAN MERCENARY LEADER Yevgeny Prigozhin is presumed dead after his Wagner Group-owned plane crashed on Wednesday, the Daily News reports. The business jet, with three pilots and seven passengers, crashed en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg, with Prigozhin listed among the passengers, although his own death has not been definitively confirmed as of press time. Prigozhin, whose troops fought for Russia — often on the front lines — earlier this summer had staged an aborted rebellion against Russian President Vladimir Putin over the latter’s handling of the war against Ukraine. After the rebellion was cut short, Prigozhin cut a deal that exiled him to Belarus, an ally of Russia.
Prigozhin on Monday, Aug. 22 had appeared in a recruiting video for the mercenary group, with a mission of “making Russia even greater on all continents, and Africa even more free.”
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