Brooklyn Boro

What’s News, Breaking: Wednesday, August 30, 2023

August 30, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Share this:

SPEAKING WITH HURRICANE-STRICKEN STATE GOVERNORS,
PRESIDENT BIDEN DIRECTS STORM-RESPONSE SUPPORT

WASHINGTON DC AND SOUTHEASTERN U.S. — AFTER HURRICANE IDALIA’S LANDFALL Wednesday morning on Florida’s Gulf Coast, President Joe Biden called the governors of the four states thus far impacted to offer his full support to storm recovery efforts. Speaking with Florida Governor DeSantis of Florida, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina, the President had directed the federal government prior to landfall, to preposition personnel and resources for the immediate response and recovery efforts. Biden also told the governors that federal teams will continue to work closely with the first responders and local officials in their states as the storm progresses.

As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 30, a tornado warning had been issued for Statesboro, Georgia, which is about 55 miles northwest of Savannah; and, several coastal counties in North Carolina are also expecting 80 mph winds and rain by mid-afternoon. School districts in North Carolina are switching to remote classes for Thursday.

✰✰✰

CORRECTION

BROOKLYN IRAQ WAR VETERAN TO ADDRESS
FT. HAMILTON ARMY BASE’S 9/11 REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY

FORT HAMILTON — THE NAME OF A CEREMONY AT THE U.S. ARMY GARRISON at Fort Hamilton that will take place on Sept. 8 was misnamed as the Days of Remembrance in a brief published on Wednesday, Aug. 30, due to incorrect information received. The event, held annually and taking place on Friday, Sept. 8, is the FORT HAMILTON Patriot Day/9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Ceremony.

✰✰✰

HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO SPRAY SOUTHERN BK FOR MOSQUITOES

SOUTHERN BROOKLYN — THE CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT ON MONDAY ANNOUNCED that following the discovery of West Nile virus in three city patients last week, workers will conduct further mosquito spraying in marshy areas of southern Brooklyn for mosquitoes. Spraying with the insecticides Anvil 10+10, Duet and/or MERUS 3.0 will begin on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 8:30 p.m. and last overnight until 6 a.m. on Friday, and will be delayed until Tuesday, Sept. 5 in case of bad weather. According to a press release from the department, the risks of these pesticides in low doses are minor, but those who are sensitive to spray ingredients or who have respiratory conditions may experience eye or throat irritation, rashes or other effects. Residents are advised to stay indoors, consider using the recirculation function on air conditioners and wash exposed skin, clothing or produce with soap and water.

In addition to using approved insect repellents and installing window screens, the most effective way to beat mosquitoes is to eliminate any standing water, in which mosquitos lay eggs, and monitor places that may collect water, such as empty barrels, roof gutters, pools and pool covers. Residents can report standing water and find more information about West Nile virus by calling 311 or visiting the Health Department’s West Nile city webpage.

A rough map of the areas expected to be sprayed for mosquitoes, including parts of Bergen Beach, Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, Madison, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Old Mill Basin, Seagate and Sheepshead Bay.

✰✰✰

BROOKLYN WOMAN RESCUED FROM MOUNTAIN BY HELICOPTER

ULSTER COUNTY — A 25-YEAR-OLD BROOKLYN WOMAN WAS AIRLIFTED BY HELICOPTER off of Wittenberg Mountain in Ulster County on Saturday after suffering an ankle injury that left her unable to make it back to safety. Forest rangers alerted by the woman’s hiking party climbed 3,300 feet up the trail to provide first aid, and turned to state police for assistance due to the remoteness of her location, near the summit; after lifting her into the helicopter, she was flown back to the mountain’s visitors center to be evaluated by paramedics.

Forest rangers then escorted the rest of the hiking party back down the mountain, arriving several hours later.

An injured hiker was rescued by helicopter on Saturday after suffering an ankle injury.

✰✰✰

MISSING SENIOR IN FLATBUSH

FLATBUSH — POLICE ARE ASKING THE PUBLIC TO HELP LOCATE MISSING FLATBUSH WOMAN Sonia Marie Jean Charles, 81, who was last seen on the afternoon of Monday, August 28 inside her East 28 Street residence near the Beverly Road 2/5 station. Jean Charles is described as Black, around 5’4” and 125 pounds, with a medium complexion, prescription eyeglasses, brown eyes and orange hair, and was last seen wearing Adidas track pants, black sandals and a silver necklace.

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 crimestoppers.nypdonline.org.

An injured hiker was rescued by helicopter on Saturday after suffering an ankle injury.

✰✰✰

HEIGHTS BOOKSTORE TO HOST DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR KARAOKE NIGHT

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — MONTAGUE STREET BOOKSELLER, BOOKS ARE MAGIC, IS set to host a karaoke night fundraiser next week in support of drag queen story hours, with performances by NYC drag queens, food and drink from local restaurants and live portrait drawings by Brooklyn illustrators. All proceeds from the event will go to the Drag Story Hour nonprofit, whose goal is to “celebrate reading through the glamorous art of drag, capture the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood, and give kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”

The all-ages karaoke night will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8; tickets can be purchased online on Eventbrite, with prices starting at a $10 donation, or any higher amounts.

✰✰✰

JAMES CATHEDRAL CONCLUDES JUBILEE YEAR MARKING CHURCH’S BICENTENNIAL

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A SPECIAL MASS CONCLUDED THE JUBILEE YEAR FOR ST. JAMES CHURCH — now a Cathedral — on Monday, Aug. 28, with Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan and Father Bryan Patterson, Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St. James, concelebrating the liturgy. The Jubilee Year marked the 200th Anniversary of the parish of St. James Church, which was officially dedicated on August 28, 1823. Situated on Jay St. north of Tillary, the parish of St. James was founded in 1822 and was the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn — in fact, on Long Island — and predated the diocese. St. James was designated a cathedral 31 years later, in 1853 when the Diocese of Brooklyn was established, and was elevated to a minor Papal Basilica in 1982.

Prior to this church’s establishment, residents of the Village of Brooklyn had to take a ferry across the East River to attend Mass in Lower Manhattan. They petitioned the Archbishop of New York to establish a parish in Brooklyn.

Clergy, acolytes and lectors in the recessional for the closing Bicentennial Mass at St. James Cathedral-Basilica
Photo courtesy John Quaglione/DeSales Media

✰✰✰

COLTON HOSTS RALLY TO RETAIN SPECIALIZED HIGH SCHOOL TEST 

GRAVESEND — THE SPECIALIZED HIGH SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST and the NYC schools’ Gifted & Talent Program received a boost from Assemblymember William Colton (D-47) and advocates during a Monday, Aug. 28, rally at his district office in Gravesend. The test is used to determine which students are admitted to the city’s eight public specialized high schools, including Brooklyn Tech and Brooklyn Latin School (offering classics and oration). Colton, who taught in the NYC public schools for 11 years, and the test’s supporters maintain that the SHSAT “has served for years as a “pathway for newcomers to this country to achieve the American Dream.” Monday’s rally — and an accompanying petition drive — are first steps in mobilizing parents and community members to get the test retained.

Opponents of the SHSAT say that the test has significantly lessened diversity among students who attend the city’s specialized high schools, a point that Colton disputes, stating that the problem is not the test itself but rather the city’s elimination of many gifted & talented curricula.

Supporters of keeping the Specialized High School Admission Test hold up signs attesting to its importance.
Photo courtesy Office of Assemblymember William Colton

✰✰✰

NEW COVID-19 BA.2.86 VARIANT ‘ALMOST CERTAINLY’ IN NYC

STATEWIDE — FOLLOWING INCREASED HOSPITALIZATION RATES and CDC reports of the highly-mutated COVID-19 variant BA.2.86, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday advised New York residents to take precautions such as stocking up on N-95 masks, washing hands and getting vaccinated. Already-vaxed folks may want to delay getting boosted as an updated vaccine is expected to arrive in September, health experts say. However, BA.2.86 is so different from previous variants that the new vaccine may offer limited protection.

While Hochul said on Tuesday morning that the new strain has not been detected in New York, on Tuesday afternoon NYC Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan contradicted the governor, saying that the new variant was recently detected in NYC sewage. “While we have yet to find it in a specimen from a local resident, it is almost certainly circulating here,” Vasan said. Find a nearby COVID-19 vaccine site online.

✰✰✰

NEW GROCERY STORE TO OPEN ON FULTON MALL

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A NEW GROCERY STORE IS SET TO OPEN ON Fulton Mall near Albee Square, reports the New York Post, with New Jersey grocery chain The Fresh Grocer signing a lease last week to take over most of the ground floor of a block-long building between Duffield Street and Albee Square West. The store will occupy 21,000 square feet of retail space in the century-old building, freshly renovated by landlord RMC Assets to the tune of $20 million.

The Brooklyn Hospital Center also recently signed a lease to occupy the second and third floors of the building, representing more than 51,000 square feet of space.

✰✰✰

KAGAN CLOSING FUNDING GAP WITH BRANNAN IN REDISTRICTING BATTLE

BAY RIDGE — COUNCILMEMBER ARI KAGAN OUTRAISED COUNCILMEMBER JUSTIN BRANNAN in July and August, bringing in $16,884, while Brannan raised just $5,965, reports City and State, shortening a fundraising gap that has left Brannan with a far larger war chest after Kagan was forced to spend significant sums fending off challengers in the Republican primary over District 47. Brannan and Kagan, both current councilmembers, are going head-to-head in the general election this November due to a messy redistricting process that shifted Bay Ridge and other southern Brooklyn areas into Kagan’s District 47 and out of Brannan’s District 43, leaving District 43 with no incumbents and District 47 with two.

An analysis of the two districts by The City shows the extent of the significant boundary shifts, which along with changing demographics lead observers to believe that the election will be hotly contested and difficult to call.

✰✰✰

BROOKLYN JUDGE DEMOTED AS SUPERVISOR AFTER ROAD RAGE INCIDENT WITH TEACHER

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A BROOKLYN CIVIL COURT JUDGE WAS DEMOTED after abusing her power and cursing at a teacher during a road rage dispute last year, according to the Law Journal and other news reports. The state Commission on Judicial Conduct’s report found that Brooklyn Civil Judge Jill Epstein lost her temper in April 2022 when she wound up stuck behind a double-parked car outside a Pacific Street School. Both the teacher and the judge had parking placards displayed in their vehicles. She identified herself as a judge to school staff and  allegedly called out obscenities to the teacher who emerged to move her car.

Epstein was removed from her position as a supervising judge, according to Courts spokesperson Lucien Chalfen. Epstein also sent a handwritten apology to the teacher.

✰✰✰

NYPD RULES CHILD’S DEATH A HOMICIDE; MOM’S BOYFRIEND FACES MURDER CHARGES

BERGEN BEACH/DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A 2-year-old Brooklyn boy was beaten to death over the weekend — the killer being the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother, reports the Daily News. Medics responded to a call at the child’s home on E. 68th St. near Avenue U in Bergen Beach just before noon Sunday. The toddler, who had complained of stomach pains and then lost consciousness, was rushed to Brookdale Medical Center on Sunday with extensive injuries, but doctors could not save him. The NYPD determined that the child had apparently been thrown to the floor; the nature and extent of the injuries led authorities to rule the death as a homicide.

The NYPD had not released the child’s name as of Tuesday morning; however, the boyfriend, identified as 23-year-old Latrell Lewis, was scheduled to be arraigned at Brooklyn Criminal Court Tuesday, Aug. 29, on murder charges. The mother was not named in the Daily News story.

✰✰✰

MISSING MAN IN OCEAN HILL

OCEAN HILL — POLICE ARE ASKING THE PUBLIC FOR ASSISTANCE IN LOCATING missing man Emerol Lewis, age 60, last seen around noon on Thursday, August 24 leaving his Pacific Street residence near the Rockaway Avenue A/C station. Lewis is described as approximately 5’6” and 160 pounds, with a dark complexion and black hair, and was last seen wearing a black shirt, black pants, black shoes and a gray hat.

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 crimestoppers.nypdonline.org.

Missing man Emerol Lewis. All calls are strictly confidential.

✰✰✰

VICE MEDIA GIVES UP WBURG OFFICE, SHIFTS TO REMOTE-ONLY

WILLIAMSBURG — BELEAGUERED MILLENNIAL NEWS OUTLET VICE MEDIA EARLIER this month decided to give up its central Williamsburg office, reports MediaPost, telling staff in an internal email that workers would be switching to remote-only operations while it searches for a replacement for the 77,000 square foot space. The troubled outlet, known for its cutting-edge culture and obscure news reporting, has faced multiple difficulties in recent years, and this spring laid off 250 employees before filing for bankruptcy, allegedly owing $834 million to creditors.

Once hailed as a model example of Brooklyn’s innovative sector, Vice is now described as a “cautionary tale,” reports the New York Times, with difficulties in competing in the online publishing space, management shakeups and allegations of sexual harassment all contributing to the downfall of a company once valued at over $5 billion — now set to be acquired out of bankruptcy for just $350 million.

✰✰✰

STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL SECURES REVISED WATER POLLUTION SETTLEMENT WITH 3M 

STATEWIDE — THE 3M COMPANY (3M) HAS AGREED TO MAKE SIGNIFICANT changes to improve the terms of a proposed $10.5 to $12.5 billion settlement for its role in contaminating millions of Americans’ drinking water, State Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday. The company, and not taxpayers, will be held liable for the pollution, according to the revised agreement, which stipulates the creation of a settlement-specific website with information that will allow water systems to have a good-faith estimate of what they may receive under the 3M settlement agreement if they participate in it.

3M’s initial proposed settlement would have required eligible public water systems to waive their legal claims against 3M without knowing what settlement funds they could receive, and it had contained provisions that would have required water providers to assume future liability, potentially leaving taxpayers to cover the costs of damages that 3M’s pollution caused.

✰✰✰

TIMES SQUARE WATER MAIN BREAK DISRUPTS SUBWAYS, NOTIFY NYC LEAVES SOME COMMUTERS UNINFORMED 

CITYWIDE — SUBWAY SERVICE WAS DISRUPTED AFTER TUESDAY’S EARLY-MORNING WATER MAIN BREAK at Times Square sent water pouring into the subway station hub there, reports Gothamist. The report indicated that the MTA had to reroute or suspend service on the IRT lines, and that the area south of Times Square — all the way downtown to Union Square/14th St. was also affected. NYC Transit President Richard Davey told Gothamist, “At 14th Street, the water is actually over the rail, which is obviously a dangerous condition.” The broken water main dates back to the 19th century.

Although the city’s emergency notification service NOTIFY NYC sent a notice at 12:07 p.m. about service restoration of those subway lines, some Brooklyn commuters told the Eagle that they never received alerts about the flooding or service disruption when it happened. However, a notice was posted to X (formerly known as Twitter) regarding the closure of 7th Avenue between West 42nd Street and West 39th Street due to the water main break at 3:48 a.m. Tuesday morning.

 ✰✰✰

MTA’S OMNY FARE SYSTEM DELAYED AND OVER BUDGET

CITYWIDE — THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MTA’S NEW OMNY FARE SYSTEM is behind schedule and over budget, with the city no longer on track to meet its original deadline of a 2023 MetroCard phaseout, leading some critics to question the agency’s leadership, according to an editorial in Mass Transit Magazine by former Federal Transit Administration director Larry Palmer. The project has so far cost taxpayers $130 million more than initially projected, with potential further cost increases to come before the new projected finish date in 2025, and Palmer raises the concern that the MTA has not submitted any plans for making up lost time or reducing fare evasion with OMNY — something that loses the agency as much as $600 million a year. 

MetroCards were originally set to be phased out this year with the full adoption of the OMNY system, but this has since been delayed until 2025; New Yorkers have also not taken to the new payment method, with more than 50% of subway riders preferring to stick with MetroCard.


Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment