What’s News, Breaking: Friday, October 13, 2023
VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE ON SATURDAY, OCT. 14
BATH BEACH TO GRAVESEND — A VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE TAKES PLACE ON SATURDAY, OCT. 14, AT SETH LOW PARK, with Assemblymember William Colton sponsoring it in conjunction with the Chinese American Social Services Center. The drive will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Seth Low Park, on Bay Parkway and Stillwell Ave. Colton urges people to register in time for the Board of Elections’ Oct. 28 deadline, for the Tuesday, Nov. 7 general election.
The necessary forms will be available at the voter registration drive. For those who cannot participate, the forms are available online or at the Brooklyn Public Library. A New York State Department of Motor Vehicles-issued ID is necessary.
COLTON CHASES CITY FOR SEWER REPAIRS
AFTER MORE FLOODING IN HIS DISTRICT
GRAVESEND — ASSEMBLYMEMBER WILLIAM COLTON (D-47) is blaming the street and home flooding from the recent Tropical Storm Ophelia on city sewers that were already backed up. Colton, who did a check of homes and businesses along Quentin Road between West 10th and West 12th streets within his district, said that a group of constituents asked for his help in the wake of the extreme flooding that hit on Sept. 29 that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage to their homes. “Many areas had flooding because of clogged catch basins, but the problem these people have been contending with goes well beyond that. Days after the storm, water remained high in the catchbasins, clearly because something is clogging the adjacent sewers. The whole block smelled of sewage.” One senior citizen opened her front door and was knocked over by the rising waters. Another had to be rescued from her basement.
Colton also brought attention to the intersection at Avenue O and West 4th Street, which has no catch basins and was flooded, saying that he previously asked the city to correct that problem.
STATE DEPT. CHARTERS FLIGHTS AND SHIPS
TO HELP AMERICANS EVACUATE ISRAEL
NATIONWIDE — THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE on Friday, Oct. 13, began using chartered flights and ships to help American citizens in Israel return to the United States, Rep. Dan Goldman of Brooklyn (D-10) announced that afternoon. These flights and cruises will travel to safe countries near the Holy Land. From there, citizens will have to book forward travel from that location to the United States. Goldman reports that he has urged American carriers to increase flights to these locations so people can get home as soon as possible. The Department of State has also begun collecting the information of Americans who remain in Gaza to give them updates as soon as more information is available.
Americans who are stuck in either Israel or Gaza, are urged to complete the Department of State’s Crisis Intake form.
SIRENS HEARD AROUND BROOKLYN
USHER IN THE SABBATH
BOROUGHWIDE — A REMINDER DURING THE TIME OF HEIGHTENED TENSIONS that the Israel-Hamas war has caused, sirens heard in Brooklyn neighborhoods around 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, were not signaling an emergency but rather the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath. The sirens normally sound 18 minutes before sundown on Fridays, which on Oct. 13 in New York City occurred at 6:19 p.m.
The Sabbath siren reminds members of the Jewish community to light their candles with the traditional prayers, at least 18 minutes before sunset.
MTA, POLICE REVIEW SAFETY PROTOCOL
AT CITY’S SUBWAY HUBS
METROPOLITAN TRANSPORATION AUTHORITY CHARI AND CEO JANNO LIEER on Friday, Oct. 13, joined MTA Chief Safety and Security Officer Patrick Warren, MTA Police Chief John Mueller, and NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper to view safety protocols at Grand Central Terminal and the Grand Central subway station serving the 4, 5, 6, 7 and Times Square shuttle lines. As of Friday afternoon, the NYPD said that law enforcement was not aware of any specific, credible threats against public transit or the region. The MTA remains in contact with Local, State, and Federal law enforcement partners to continually assess threat conditions.
Governor Kathy Hochul had, Thursday night, Oct. 12, directed additional State Police and National Guard to patrol key transportation hubs. Friday’s pro-Palestine rally was taking place at Times Square.
CITY COUNCIL TO HOLD HEARING MONDAY ON PACKAGE OF NOISE BILLS
CITY HALL — THE NYC COUNCIL IS HOLDING A HEARING ON MONDAY on the Dept. of Environmental Protection’s management of noise complaints, and will discuss a package of bills related to noise complaints and noise inspections. One bill would require DEP to measure construction-related sound levels inside dwelling units upon request. Another would require an after-hours variance for the removal of construction debris. Two of the bills would make it harder and less financially lucrative for civilians to submit potentially frivolous noise complaints concerning the use of amplified sound from within a commercial establishment. See the full agenda for details.
The event will be livestreamed on Monday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m.
CROWN HTS. HASIDIC COMMUNITY GATHERS
TO EMPHASIZE HUMANITY SPREADING LIGHT
‘LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS’ WAS THE EMPHASIS OF A RALLY THAT MEMBERS OF THE CHABAD JEWISH COMMUNITY HELD ON EASTERN PARKWAY IN CROWN HEIGHTS ON FRIDAY, OCT. 13. The Eastern Parkway corridor, where the Chabad world headquarters has its home, was filled with trucks from various Jewish organizations emphasizing the need to see each other’s humanity, said Mendel Meijers, who identified himself as a local photographer to a reporter for News 12 Brooklyn. Earlier in the week, Chabad and other groups distributed prayer cards and tefillin, a set of black leather boxes holding miniature Torah scroll parchments that Orthodox Jewish men wear on their foreheads while praying. A caravan of vehicles also played cheerful music. Meijers told News 12, “We as humans must add light to the darkness and don’t underestimate what light does. It pushes away the darkness.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was leading a bipartisan delegation of senators to Israel to discuss a military assistance package.
DIOCESE ALLOWS CATHOLIC SCHOOLS TO GO REMOTE
DURING ‘DAY OF GLOBAL MOBILIZATION’
CONCERNED WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF VIOLENCE at rallies about the Israeli-Hamas war, taking place around the city on Friday, Oct. 13, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn gave its individual schools and academies the authority to decide whether to hold classes remotely, according to the diocesan newspaper The Tablet and other news sources. Prompting this decision was Hamas’ call for “global mobilization” in support of Palestinians to take place on Oct. 13. Officials at Bay Ridge Catholic Academy decided to go remote, as did St. Bernard Catholic Academy in Mill Basin, St. Bernadette Catholic Academy in Dyker Heights, St. Athanasius Catholic Academy in Bensonhurst, and St. Ephrem Catholic Academy in Dyker Heights.
Deacon Kevin McCormack, the Diocese’s superintendent of schools, said that his office has been in touch with the chief of the NYPD and NYPD’s School Safety Division, and emphasized that there were no known viable threats, only the expectation of a heightened police presence.
DINAPOLI: NYS INCREASES ISRAEL BOND HOLDINGS IN PENSION FUND
ALBANY — THE NYS COMMON RETIREMENT FUND has purchased an additional $20 million in Israel bonds, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced in a release Friday. The purchase brings the state pension fund’s holdings in Israel bonds to $267.8 million. “In addition to providing a steady return for our pension fund’s members, Israel bonds help support one of our nation’s strongest allies,” DiNapoli said. The bonds have a 10-year maturity with a coupon of 5.96%. Altogether, NYC owns $267.8 million in Israel bonds, and $1.5 billion across all Israeli asset classes.
“At a time when Israel is under attack, these investments represent the most powerful and direct way to stand with the State of Israel and its people,” said Israel Bonds President and CEO Dani Naveh.
MAN CHARGED IN THE DEED THEFTS OF
PROPERTIES AND RELIEF CHECKS
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A LONG ISLAND MAN WHO FRAUDULENTLY TRANSFERRED TITLE PROPERTIES in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and sold them for a total of about $925,000, has been formally charged with grand larceny. The defendant, whom the Brooklyn District Attorney identified as Salome Vega, 46, of Hempstead, was arraigned on Friday, Oct. 13, before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. Vega is charged with fraudulently selling 431-435 Autumn Avenue, which includes a two-family house attached to a vacant lot in East New York for $675,000. Vega allegedly impersonated the CEO of the corporate property owner on record, Merit Homes, and he requested that the proceeds from the sale be made payable to him personally. He also attempted to deposit a COVID-19 corporate tax relief check from the IRS for $297,368.51 into an account at a Bay Ridge TD Bank branch, but an alert bank employee spotted the fraud and froze the account before any funds could be withdrawn.
Vega also fraudulently sold the title to 1279 East 222nd Street, a two-family house in the Bronx where Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was convicted of kidnapping Charles Lindbergh Jr., once resided.
JEWISH COUNCILMEMBER ARRESTED FOR BRINGING GUN TO PRO-PALESTINE RALLY IS SLAMMED BY NYC OFFICIALS
MIDWOOD — SHOCKED CITY OFFICIALS CRITICIZED pro-Israel Councilmember Inna Vernikov (R- Midwood, Brighton Beach) following her arrest on Friday for bringing a gun to a pro-Palestine rally at Brooklyn College on Thursday. Council Speaker Adams said, “It is unacceptable and unlawful for a civilian to ever bring a firearm to a rally or protest, and especially important for elected officials to model a respect for the law that is expected of all New Yorkers.” She said that she would be “referring this matter to the Standards and Ethics Committee, which may require the recusal of committee members.”
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said in a statement, “Council Member Vernikov carrying and showing off a weapon as a tool of intimidation and seeming threat of violence against protesters shows a dangerous dereliction of our duty as elected officials to help New Yorkers be and feel safe.” State Sen. Julia Salazar (D-North Brooklyn) said, “Allegedly brandishing the gun to intimidate Palestinian students is beyond anything I’ve seen before.”
DOE FUND BREAKS GROUND FOR TRANSITIONAL HOUSING
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — THE DOE FUND, A HOMELESS SERVICES ORGANIZATION KNOWN for its Ready, Willing & Able reentry program and its portfolio of more than one million square feet of housing, broke ground on Wednesday, Oct. 11, for a 200-bed transitional housing residence at 510 Gates Avenue. The new Gates Avenue building will be the first transitional residence The Doe Fund has built in twenty years; with completion expected in 2025. Individuals living at the residence will be eligible to join Ready, Willing & Able, which provides paid work, housing, and support services, including case management; adult basic education, computer skills, and financial literacy classes; occupational training in living wage fields; job search preparedness; legal referrals; and, linkages to employment and permanent housing.
This groundbreaking is a Doe Fund milestone of more than 30 years in the making. Located next to the organization’s first transitional residence, which opened in 1990, 510 Gates Avenue was originally leased by The Doe Fund until 1993.
BROOKLYN WOMAN SAYS SIX COUSINS KIDNAPPED BY HAMAS
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A BROOKLYN WOMAN SAYS SIX OF HER COUSINS are among the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas, according to Pix11 and social media. Alana Zeitchik’s last contact with her family was Saturday morning. “We are shattered,” Zeitchik, a resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant, said. On Friday, President Joe Biden participated in a call with family members of the 14 Americans still unaccounted for following this week’s attacks on Israel, the White House said.
Joining in on the call were National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, Undersecretary of State John Bass, and National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk.
LAWSUIT AGAINST NEW YORK’S BAN ON GAS STOVES
ALBANY — BUSINESSES, TRADE ASSOCIATIONS AND LABOR UNIONS filed a federal lawsuit in Albany on Thursday challenging the legality of New York’s ban on gas stoves and furnaces in new residential buildings, the Times Union reports. The statewide ban was enacted in the governor’s budget this year as part of her push for green energy. It is scheduled to take effect for new buildings below seven stories in 2026, and for taller structures in 2029.
The lawsuit asserts that a federal statute — the Energy Policy and Conservation Act — preempts any state or local regulations on energy consumption by appliances. If plaintiffs win, the ruling could cast doubt over local gas bans across the country.
REPORT: MIGRANTS WITH KIDS MAY HAVE TO LEAVE NYC SHELTERS AFTER 60 DAYS
CITYWIDE — NYC COULD SOON ANNOUNCE that migrant families with children must move out of their homeless shelters after 60 days and reapply for shelter, a City Hall source told the Daily News. The mayor’s office would not confirm or deny the plan. In response, The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless issued a joint statement saying the proposal contradicted the mayor’s and Gov. Kathy Hochul’s previous commitments to prioritize families.
“This plan will disrupt the lives of homeless students and create chaos for their schools, as parents are forced to choose between re-enrolling or spending the day traveling across the city to their current school,” the two aid organizations said.
JEWISH COUNCILMEMBER ARRESTED FOR BRINGING GUN TO PRO-PALESTINE RALLY AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE
MIDWOOD — CITY COUNCILMEMBER Inna Vernikov (R- Midwood, Brighton Beach), who calls herself a “leading voice against antisemitism,” was arrested in Brooklyn on Friday and charged with criminal possession of a firearm after bringing a gun to a pro-Palestine rally at Brooklyn College on Thursday, police told sources including Patch and Politico. Vernikov turned herself into the 70th Precinct and surrendered her firearm and permit license. On her website, Vernikov boasts about “exposing CUNY’s antisemitism.”
A photo showing Vernikov packing a gun can be seen on X/Twitter. State Sen. Julia Salazar (D-northern Brooklyn) commented, “There is no excuse, none whatsoever, for an elected official to bring a firearm to a college campus in New York. To go even further by allegedly brandishing the gun to intimidate Palestinian students is beyond anything I’ve seen before. And I’ve seen some shit.”
GOUNARDES & BRANNAN DENOUNCE HATE CRIME ATTACK ON PALESTINIAN IN BAY RIDGE
BAY RIDGE — FOLLOWING AN ASSAULT ON AN 18-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN man in Bay Ridge on Wednesday by numerous men waving Israeli flags, state Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Councilmember Justin Brannan issued a joint statement condemning the violence. “So many New Yorkers have loved ones in the Middle East who live every single day with the hard reality of this conflict. Jewish, Muslim, Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab communities in our neighborhoods are all in shock, hurting, angry, grieving, and afraid. Escalating violence in Israel and Palestine has inflamed tensions here at home. But we cannot allow these conflicts to cause violence or hateful rhetoric on the streets of New York City,” the officials said.
They added, “No one deserves to be attacked for their identity or their beliefs, and we won’t stand for it in our community or anywhere.”
NYU TANDON TEAM’S WINS $1M AWARD FOR ITS BUILDING INSPECTION AI TECHNOLOGY
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — RESEARCHERS AT THE NYU-TANDON SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING HAVE BEEN AWARDED $1 MILLION FROM THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION FOR THEIR PIONEERING WORK on automated building envelope assessments. Chen Feng, assistant professor in both the Departments of Civil and Urban Engineering (CUE) and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Semiha Ergan, associate professor in CUE, are developing AI-driven technology that identifies building envelope leaks through robot and drone scans, offering a cost-effective and efficient alternative to traditional inspections. The research team’s one-year $1 million Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Homeland Security will support the work. The project’s goal is to provide easier compliance with the soon-to-be-enforced NYC Local Law 97, which limits the allowable level of emissions that large buildings may produce.
Building envelopes — the outer shell of structures — contribute adversely to New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions and quality of life problems.
BQE AND LOCAL STREET PARKING CLOSURES EXPECTED TO SNARL TRAFFIC
BROOKLYN HTS/DOWNTOWN — MOTORISTS ARE BEING ADVISED TO AVOID THE BROOKLYN-QUEENS EXPRESSWAY COMPLETELY THIS WEEKEND, as section and lane closures from overnight Friday to Monday morning are expected to tie up the traffic span also known as Interstate 278. The repairs focus on new concrete and reinforcing steel bars being added at spans on the BQE near Clark Street and Grace Court as part of near-term work critical to the structure’s lifespan. In addition to the BQE lane closures that the Eagle has already published, parking will be banned on the south side of Atlantic Avenue between Clinton Street and Boerum Place, and there will be two dedicated left-turn lanes. Parking will also be banned on the east side of Clinton Street(northbound traffic) between Atlantic Avenue and State Street.
Eastbound Atlantic Avenue drivers will be prohibited from making left turns at Hicks and Clinton streets, with detoured buses exempted.
CLEANUP PLAN FOR 4TH AVE. BROWNFIELD SITE CHANGED TO PROTECT ADJACENT BUILDING
SUNSET PARK — THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION (DEC) HAS ISSUED AN EXPLANATION OF SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE to the public regarding a plan modification of its progress in the cleanup of 737 4th Avenue in Sunset Park near 25th Street. The original Interim Remedial Measure implementation called for installing and operating six product recovery wells (6-inch diameter) to a depth of 28 feet below ground surface in the central and southern portions of the site to remove potentially mobile petroleum product from the subsurface; and installation of a secant pile barrier wall along the southeastern property boundary to prevent off-site contamination from migrating onto the site. However, tests and evaluations determined that drilling of the secant piles next to the existing foundation will cause risk to the structural integrity of the adjacent building; therefore change to the original barrier wall portion would be structurally infeasible.
Recovery activity at the site thus far has shown that contamination is not believed to be continually migrating on the Interim Remedial Measure site.
KUSHNER COS. FILES TO DISMISS LAWSUIT OVER BROOKLYN HEIGHTS PORTFOLIO
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — THE KUSHNER COMPANIES filed a motion in court to dismiss a complaint alleging mismanagement of its Brooklyn Heights portfolio, brought by investor BLS Holdco in June, according to reporting in The Real Deal and Crain’s. Kushner’s motion described the lawsuit as a “misguided attempt to shake down” the firm. The dispute centers on six former Brooklyn Law School dorms Kushner and BLS acquired in 2014 for $36.5 million. Plans were to convert half of the properties into luxury single-family homes and rent out the other three as apartment buildings. But BLS alleges Kushner covered up the fact that the apartments could be subject to the rent stabilization law, according to TRD.
“At no time and in no manner, not even in investor disclosures of potential ‘deal risks,’ did Kushner raise the possibility that the remaining 70 units [out of 77 total] could be subject to rent stabilization,” the lawsuit states.
FORMER NONPROFIT SENIOR OFFICER CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING $2.3M FROM EMPLOYER
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A FORMER SENIOR OFFICER OF A NON-PROFIT HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH WIRE FRAUD RELATED TO EMBEZZLEMENT OF AROUND $2.3 MILLION. A criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charging Marcia Joseph with embezzling the funds from her employer, a non-profit organization providing employment and education services for those in need. The criminal complaint states that Ms. Joseph submitted fictitious invoices for services to the nonprofit, “some of which purportedly related to city contracts, for payment to an entity that the defendant created and controlled, according to the criminal complaint,” according to Department of Investigation Commissioner Strauber. The defendant was arrested on Wednesday, Oct. 11, made her initial appearance that afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo, and was released on a $50,000 bond.
While the U.S. Attorney did not identify the non-profit organization, a Daily News article disclosed it as Goodwill.
CLEANUP BEGINS SOON ON DOUGLASS ST. BROWNFIELD OPPOSITE A PLAYGROUND
BOERUM HILL — CLEANUP OF A CONTAMINATION SITE AT 251 DOUGLASS STREET, OPPOSITE THE THOMAS GREENE PLAYGROUND IN BOERUM HILL, is set to begin this month, the State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Wednesday, Oct. 11. The 10-point cleanup plan includes excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil from the top 2 feet below grade surface across the entire site, and to approximately 6-8 feet below grade service in the southeast and northwestern corners of the site that have more significant contamination; removal of underground storage tanks; collecting and analyzing post-remedial soil and groundwater samples; installing a low-permeability hydraulic barrier to prevent off-site migration of coal tar and groundwater contamination; placement of a cover system over areas without hardscape (buildings, asphalt or concrete) to address contamination remaining above restricted residential use standards; among other actions.
Conducting the cleanup activities will be Gowanus Douglass Street LLC (“applicant”) with the DEC providing oversight. Having determined that the Remedial Action Work Plan protects public health and the environment, DEC has approved the plan.
FORMER HEAD OF BORO PARK SHOMRIM SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS FOR SEXUALLY ABUSING 15-YEAR-OLD GIRL
DOWNTOWN — THE FORMER HEAD OF THE BORO PARK SHOMRIM SOCIETY, a private Orthodox Jewish crime-patrol group associated with the NYPD, was sentenced on Wednesday by United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis to 210 months in prison and a $250,000 fine for transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Jacob Daskal, 64, took a 15-year-old girl who was having issues with her family into his home and subjected her to numerous sexual acts at his house in Brooklyn, at his summer house in South Fallsburg, New York and at a hotel in Chicago.
Daskal warned the victim that it would ruin her life if she told anyone about their relationship. In fact, she was expelled from her religious school after disclosing what was going on to her school principal, according to the statement by Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, NYC FBI.
APARTMENT RENTS IN BROOKLYN KEEP HEADING UP
BROOKLYN — AVERAGE RENTAL PRICES IN BROOKLYN edged up .55% in one month, from $3,675 to $3,696, according to Brooklyn-based MNS Real Estate’s September 2023 Market Report. The neighborhood with the largest month-over-month increase was Cobble Hill, where the rent for a one-bedroom shot up 10.7%, from $3,573 to $3,954. (Right next door in Boerum Hill, however, the price of a one-bedroom actually decreased, from $3,890 to $3,518.) The most expensive apartments in September were located in DUMBO, with rent for a one-bedroom averaging $5,007. The cheapest one-bedroom could be found in Bay Ridge, with a price of $2,156 — less than half the DUMBO rent.
Overall, the average rental pricing in Brooklyn is up 2.30% from this time last year, according to MNS.
MOUNT SINAI HEALTH RECEIVES $12M GRANT FOR NEW SICKLE CELL DISEASE TREATMENT PLANS
CITYWIDE — THE MOUNT SINAI HEALTH SYSTEM, WITH LOCATIONS IN BROOKLYN, including a hospital on Kings Highway in Midwood, has received a $12,180,625 grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to compare new treatment options for sickle cell disease and determine which work best for specific patients. The study, known as REAL (Registry Expansion Analyses to Learn) Answers, is a collaboration among 10 sickle cell centers across the United States that will implement a novel observational study approach called target trial emulation. The study will enroll and collect data from 1,200 sickle cell patients using a structure similar to that of a clinical trial, including blood draws, tracking hospital admissions, and documenting drug administration and adverse events.
The researchers will also explore genetic predictors of response to medications, so that clinicians will be able to provide more personalized treatment plans based on each patient’s genetic makeup as well as their other unique characteristics.
CITY ANNOUNCES MAJOR EXPANSION OF GREENWAY NETWORK
CITYWIDE — NYC OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED ON THURSDAY A MAJOR EXPANSION of the city’s greenway network, planning to fill in gaps to create 60 miles of greenway corridors. Mayor Eric Adams, DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue, and NYC Economic Development Corporation President Andrew Kimball said in a joint statement that the city would build more than 40 miles of new protected bike infrastructure and explore improvements to existing greenways to expand safer, greener transportation options. The city will explore new connections to the United States’ oldest bike lanes on Ocean and Eastern Parkways in Brooklyn, addressing gaps in the network running from the southern tip of Brooklyn at Coney Island to the border of Brooklyn and Queens.
The expansion will be funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grants, said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi.
TREETOP GRANTS PROGRAM OPEN FOR GROUPS THAT ADVOCATE FOR PARKS AND OPEN SPACES
CITYWIDE — THE CITY PARKS FOUNDATION HAS REVAMPED ITS TREETOPS GRANT PROGRAM FOR MID-SIZE ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE FIVE BOROUGHS, reports Community Board 16. The NYC Green Fund Treetops Grant Program provides funding for mid-size organizations that program, steward, and advocate for parks and open spaces, supporting a range of projects, including open space stewardship, environmental action, organizational development, health and wellness, youth engagement, and live arts and culture. Organizations with annual operating budgets between $175,000-$2,500,000 could be eligible for one-year or two-year grants of up to $50,000 annually. Interested groups may register online before Nov. 7.
The grant’s evaluation process gives priority to open spaces located in and serving Environmental Justice Areas, and to applicant organizations led by individuals who identify as BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color).
DiNAPOLI: WALL ST. PROFITS DOWN FIRST HALF, POLITICAL TURBULENCE COULD SPELL UNCERTAINTY
WALL STREET AND STATEWIDE — WALL STREET’S PROFITS OF $13 BILLION FROM THE FIRST HALF OF 2023 WERE DOWN 4.3% from the same period last year, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s annual report on the performance of New York City’s securities industry. However, the report also observed that the profits during this period tracked the industry’s return to pre-pandemic revenue levels after record profits in 2020 and 2021. Interest rates are expected to remain elevated for some time, which could further increase borrowing costs and reduce market activity. However, the uncertainties of the current geopolitical situation, the political turmoil in Washington and changes in inflation and employment could alter the economy quickly, says the report.
New York state relies more heavily than the city on tax collections from Wall Street because of its greater dependence on personal income taxes.
NYS PSC DENIES RATE HIKE REQUESTS BY OFFSHORE WIND & OTHER RENEWABLE ENERGY COMPANIES
STATEWIDE — THE NYS PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ON THURSDAY DENIED petitions filed by a group of offshore wind developers and a state renewable energy trade association seeking billions of dollars in additional funding from consumers for four proposed offshore wind projects and 86 land-based renewable projects, PSC said in a statement. The commission said it “opted to preserve the robust competitive bidding process that provides critically needed renewable energy resources to New York in the fairest and most cost-effective manner that protects consumers.” The petitions were submitted by Empire Offshore Wind LLC and Beacon Wind LLC, Sunrise Wind LLC, and the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Inc.
Granting the request would have resulted in as high as 6.7% increases for residential customers and as high as 10.5% for commercial or industrial customers on monthly bills, the Commission said.
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