What’s News, Breaking: Tuesday, October 24, 2023
NYC LAUNCHES JUVENILE JUSTICE ADVISORY BOARD
CITYWIDE — MAYOR ERIC ADAMS AND CITY OFFICIALS on Tuesday announced the launch of the city’s first-ever Juvenile Justice Advisory Board to advise and provide recommendations to the mayor, the City Council and the Administration for Children’s Services on issues related to juvenile justice. The 20-member board, 13 of which are appointments, includes administration officials, Legal Aid attorneys and health officials. ACS has also created a new school-based team that is responsible for encouraging incarcerated young people to attend school.
According to Councilmember Lincoln Restler (D-Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Greenpoint), there are two times as many young people in jail over the past two years of the Adams administration as there were previously.
19 PROTESTERS ARRESTED IN CLASH WITH NYPD AT PRO-PALESTINE RALLY IN BROOKLYN
BAY RIDGE — DURING A PRO-PALESTINE RALLY IN BAY RIDGE, 19 people, including three juveniles, were arrested following clashes with NYPD officers. The charges brought against the demonstrators included resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and failure to use the sidewalk, as confirmed by an NYPD spokesperson. Over 5,000 individuals took to the streets, waving flags and voicing their support for Palestine, a partially recognized sovereign state not officially acknowledged by the United States or the United Nations. The police issued an order for people to clear the roads, leading to officers forming a human barricade. Video footage obtained by PIX11 News depicted a confrontational situation between NYPD officers and protesters. In response, the police stated that officers were targeted with projectiles such as eggs, bottles, and fireworks during the protest.
The NYPD explained the situation as follows: “During the course of a planned protest for which a permit was not attained, officers encountered a mostly peaceful crowd. Some demonstrators within the crowd chose to act in a combative and aggressive manner. Officers were pushed, shoved, and struck by some demonstrators within the crowd after the LRAD (long-range acoustic device) device was utilized. Officers were struck with flying debris, including eggs, fireworks, and bottles.”
DEVELOPER TO DEMOLISH DOBRO OFFICE BUILDING, REPLACE IT WITH 154 HOME
DOWNTOWN — A PROMINENT DEVELOPER IS POISED TO CONTRIBUTE to the development surge in Downtown Brooklyn. Jacob Schwimmer, the driving force behind JCS Realty, has unveiled plans to erect an impressive 8-story project comprising 154 units at 540 Atlantic Ave. These blueprints, recently submitted to the Department of Buildings, propose a structure reaching a height of 84 feet and spanning approximately 153,000 square feet. The project encompasses 39 parking spaces and ground-floor retail spaces, with architectural design provided by NA Design Studio. JCS Realty’s portfolio includes a 55-unit residential edifice at 101 Bruckner Blvd. and a substantial 215-unit residential complex at 276 Grand Concourse. The company is also engaged in a 447-unit project at 138 Bruckner Blvd. The office building located at 540 Atlantic Ave. is already 42% leased, housing tenants such as the World Martial Arts Center and On Point Security, as confirmed by data from the commercial real estate research firm, CoStar.
Notably, New York City is confronting a housing crisis, with a report from the New York Building Congress indicating that the city is on track to construct a mere 11,000 housing units this year. As a response to this challenge, the idea of repurposing underutilized office spaces into residential ones has gained popularity, serving as a potential solution to address New York’s housing shortage while alleviating the surplus of office spaces, a concept that has gained traction in the post-pandemic landscape.
BED-STUY COMMUNITY ADVOCATE REMEMBERED
BED-STUY — RYAN CARSON, AGE 32, WAS WAITING FOR A BUS in Bed-Stuy before he was attacked. He was stabbed several times, including once, fatally, in the heart, prosecutors say. 18-year-old Brian Dowling stabbed Carson to death in front of his girlfriend. He is currently being held without bail and is due back in court in early December. Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez said in a press release that the killer faces up to 25 years to life in prison. Around 4 a.m. near the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard, Carson and his girlfriend were approached by Dowling, who began kicking what appeared to be trash on the street, surveillance video shows. The man could be heard cursing and threatening Carson saying, “I’m going to kill you right now.” Prosecutors found that Dowling, appearing to hold a knife in his right hand, took a swing at Carson’s face and when Carson tried to run away he tripped over the bus bench. The suspect then attacked Carson, according to the video. The surveillance footage also shows the suspect attacking Carson’s girlfriend. Dowling was arrested later that week after reportedly turning himself into authorities. Police executed a search warrant of his apartment located near the fatal crime and found clothing worn by the suspect during the attack and knives with similar handles to the one recovered near the scene, sources said. “Ryan Carson was a promising and passionate man who worked to make our society better. Many of us watched the horrific video that showed his life being snuffed away senselessly, for no reason at all. We will now seek to hold his alleged killer fully accountable for this unspeakably brutal murder,” Gonzalez said Friday.
Carson was active in public policy advocacy on a range of issues, including climate change and harm reduction. “He is a larger than life character,” Blair Horner, told reporters. Horner is the executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, and worked with Carson. “He’s very, very jovial, and charismatic. Staff loved him. His students loved him. It’s a terrible tragedy. The world will be somewhat less well off because of his absence.” The investigation is ongoing.
PARK IT… OR NOT: A NEW ART INSTALLATION OPENS IN WILLIAMSBURG
WILLIAMSBURG — THE NONPROFIT OPEN PLANS, WHICH ADVOCATES FOR “LIVABLE STREETS,” SET UP A ONE-DAY INSTALLATION recently to talk about parking space in the city. The group is a part of “Open House New York,” a citywide program of exhibits and tours. Open Plans’ goal was to show that parking takes up valuable living space and that its hefty price tag could be better spent on housing. The group is working to build support for a proposal Mayor Eric Adams put forth last month — City of Yes — which proposes to eliminate a city requirement that developers must include parking in new buildings. The pitch to eliminate the parking mandate by reforming city zoning rules aims to address the housing crisis, while also supporting small businesses and promoting environmental sustainability. According to the Department of City Planning, building underground parking in new buildings costs about $67,500 per space, and with the money used to construct four parking spaces, developers could build one additional apartment. Organizers with Open Plans said they had surveyed developers who reported spending as much as $150,000 per parking space. “This was such a great space to do it because we’re right next to the L and the G and, again, we don’t see demand for this,” Sarah Lind, Open Plans’ co-executive director, told reporters. “It shows that when we build new buildings, especially in transit-rich areas, people are making the choice not to own cars.”
The mayor’s City of Yes housing proposals must still undergo a lengthy public review process before being finalized. The city is holding a public meeting on the environmental impact of the proposals on Oct. 26. Those interested can find more information or submit a written comment.
MAKING STRIDES HOPES TO REACH ITS $400K GOAL FOR BREAST CANCER RESEARCH
CONEY ISLAND — IN HONOR OF BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, AN OCEAN OF PINK TOOK OVER the beaches at Coney Island during the annual “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer March,” this past Sunday. The goal is raise $400,000 to support breast cancer research. Nearly 10,000 Survivors, supporters and sponsors participated in the march. One woman told News 12, ” There are hundreds of women here today who are survivors. There are more survivors today than there have been years ago. I mean, we’ve made so much progress, but we still have a lot more work to do to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to prevent detection, survive, and get treated.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. The ACS is also investing $78.1 million in breast cancer-specific research through grants.
JAMES MADISON HIGH SCHOOL RENAMING ATHLETIC FIELDS IN HONOR OF 9/11 HERO FIREFIGHTER DANNY SUHR
BROOKLYN — EARLIER THIS WEEK, STUDENTS AND FAMILIES GATHERED at James Madison High School to honor the life and service of Firefighter Danny Suhr. The football field at James Madison High School, where Suhr was a star, now bears his name. Suhr was the first confirmed firefighter death on 9/11. His memory and his legacy live on in the firehouse, on the field and with everyone who knew him best. “It really evidences the community. We are renaming our fields in memory of Danny Suhr,” Principal Jodi Cohen told CBS News.
“First firefighter to [die on 9/11], former captain of the football team, baseball team, and just have that sense of community living on our field forever. Evidence of who we are. And it’s just something for our kids to look up to and recognize that they too can make their mark in our society.”
SEN. GILLIBRAND WILL GIVE FLOOR SPEECH
ON PLIGHTS OF AMERICAN HOSTAGES
CAPITOL HILL — THE PLIGHTS AND STORIES OF AMERICAN HOSTAGES IN GAZA are the focus of a floor speech that U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand of New York is scheduled to deliver at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, her office announced. The Democratic Senator’s speech can be viewed on C-Span.
Currently, the militant group Hamas is holding more than 200 people hostage in Gaza since their Oct. 7 siege, although two elderly hostages were reportedly released on Monday. The Associated Press reported around 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday that Israel launched 400 strikes across Gaza.
ATTORNEY GENERALS’ LAWSUIT ALLEGES
THAT META JEOPARDIZES MENTAL HEALTH
NATIONWIDE — META, THE PARENT COMPANY OF FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and other social media platforms, is the target of a federal lawsuit alleging that it harms young people’s well-being and contributes to the youth mental health crisis. New York Attorney General Letitia James and a bipartisan coalition of 32 attorneys general on Tuesday, Oct. 24, filed the suit in California. The suit alleges that Meta knowingly designed and deployed harmful features on Instagram, Facebook, and its other social media platforms that purposefully addict children and teens through algorithms that exploit compulsive viewing and incessant alerts that disrupt youth from concentrating during school hours or getting sufficient sleep overnight. Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that Meta violated its obligations under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by unlawfully collecting the personal data of its youngest users without parents’ consent.
The coalition aims to force Meta to desist from using these tactics and seeks penalties and restitution.
FUGITIVE TO ISRAEL GETS 9-YEAR- SENTENCE
FOR MOLESTING CHILDREN
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A MIDWOOD MAN WHO FLED TO ISRAEL IN 2010 TO ESCAPE SEXUAL ABUSE CHARGES has been sentenced to nine years in prison, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said on Monday, Oct. 23. Gershon Kranczer, 67, of Midwood, received his sentence from Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser, following his guilty plea this past August, will also have to undergo 10 years post-release supervision, and to register as a sex offender. The investigation revealed that, on multiple occasions from August 1996 to February 2003, the defendant sexually assaulted a child from the time she was six years old to 13 years old, and a second child from 2001-2002. After his arrest, a third victim came forward saying she had been molested starting at age five.
Kranczer fled to Israel to escape prosecution the same day the abuse was first reported, in November 2010. The U.S. Marshals Service, working in cooperation with the Israeli National Police, returned Kranczer to New York on Nov. 3, 2021.
BROOKLYNITE SERVES ABOARD NAVY VESSEL
AS HOSPITAL CORPSMAN ON PACIFIC OCEAN
PACIFIC OCEAN — HOSPITAL CORPSMAN 2ND CLASS ANTOIN MITCHELL (left), who hails from Brooklyn, performs maintenance on a fireman hose aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) with his crewmate, Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Jared Hossley, from New Orleans. The USS Abraham Lincoln is currently underway conducting routine operations in the Pacific Ocean.
Hospital corpsmen function as clinical or specialty technicians, administrative personnel, and healthcare providers and they assist in “providing medical care to Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint Services personnel, according to Navy COOL, an official U.S. Navy website focused on credentialing.
FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL SET FOR NEXT MONTH
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — ST. ANN’S CHURCH IN BROOKLYN HEIGHTS IS SET TO HOST the 2023 Brooklyn Folk Festival next month, featuring a lineup of longtime folk stars and up-and-comers, along with workshops, activities and a celebration of music label Folkways Records’ 75th anniversary, as well as the 100th birthday of artist Harry Smith. The three-day event will see nonstop sets in the church from performers like native Brooklynite Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Peggy Seeger, Dom Flemons, Jake Blount and many more; attendees will also get the chance to learn the steps to country dances, and join in the Banjo Toss! banjo-throwing contest hosted by the Gowanus Dredgers.
The festival is set to run from Friday, Nov. 10 to Sunday, Nov. 12 at St. Ann’s Church; a full setlist and more information, as well as ticket purchase options, can be found on the Brooklyn Folk Festival’s website.
ROAD RENAMED FOR FALLEN FIREFIGHTER
MARINE PARK — THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF FALLEN FIREFIGHTER Steven Pollard gathered in Marine Park on Sunday for the unveiling of a street corner named in his honor, reports CBS News; the corner of Avenue S and 35th Street, where Pollard grew up, is now officially known as Steven Pollard Way. Pollard passed away in 2019 after falling 50 feet while responding to a multi-car accident on the Belt Parkway; he was only 30 years old and had been an active firefighter for under two years.
“Our family is very thankful that he will always be remembered in this community that meant so much to him,” sister-in-law Nicole Pollard said.
CATHOLIC PARISH WITH LINK TO MSGR BERNARD QUINN MARKS 125TH ANNIVERSARY
PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS — ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI-ST. BLAISE CATHOLIC CHURCH MARKED ITS 125TH ANNIVERSARY with a special Mass, with Brooklyn Diocesan Bishop Robert Brennan as the main celebrant. While the first parish Mass was celebrated on Jan. 16, 1898, in a house at 284 Maple St., it was on Oct. 23, 1898, that the wooden church on Lincoln Road near Nostrand Ave. was dedicated, according to the parish website. During his homily, Bishop Brennan also reflected on the parish’s special legacy and relationship with the former pastor, Monsignor Paul Jervis, who died last month. Monsignor Jervis was the Diocesan Postulator of the Cause of the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God for Monsignor Bernard John Quinn, another Brooklyn priest who had established the diocese’s first Black Catholic parish, consecrated to St. Peter Claver.
The parish of St. Blaise merged with St. Francis of Assisi in Spring 1980. St. Blaise Church, which had been built as an Italian national parish, was at the corner of Maple Street and Kingston Avenue, and was merged with St. Francis Church in 1980.
FORUM ON BULLYING WILL FOCUS ON EARLY INTERVENTION
BENSONHURST — FOLLOWING A SCHOOLYARD INCIDENT THAT BROKE OUT IN HIS DISTRICT, ASSEMBLYMEMBER WILLIAM COLTON (D-47) will hold an educational forum for parents on the issue of bullying. The forum, taking place next Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 11 a.m., will be hosted at and held in conjunction with the Chinese American Social Services (CASS) Center at 124 Avenue O near Bensonhurst and Mapleton. Assemblymember Colton will discuss the anti-bullying law that New York State originally passed in 2010, The Dignity for All Students Law, which meant “to provide the state’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.”
Assemblyman Colton said, “Being alert to early signs of bullying can help prevent incidents like that one. I urge parents to attend to learn about what can be done beforehand to try to ensure that such incidents do not happen in the future.”
NYU LANGONE OFFERS PROGRAM ON SEXUAL HEALTH, HIV PREVENTION
RED HOOK — FAMILY HEALTH CENTERS AT NYU LANGONE WILL HOST A FREE COMMUNITY EVENT THIS WEEK to educate the public about PrEP as an Accessible Option to Promote HIV Prevention and Sexual Health. As part of PrEP Aware Week which runs now through Oct. 29, Family Health Centers at NYU Langone will provide information to boost awareness and knowledge of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a highly effective HIV prevention method. The event takes place on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in the Waiting Area at Red Hook Family Health Center at NYU Langone, 168 Van Brunt St., from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. FHC’S mission is to mitigate Red Hook’s high health disparities and lack of access to care, and provide high-quality primary care to adult and pediatric patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
“PrEP is for Every Body” references two social movements: sex positivity acknowledging that all consensual sexual activities are fundamentally healthy; and body positivity, celebrating all bodies, regardless of size, shape, skin tone, gender, and physical abilities.
UNIONS SPEND TO SUPPORT BRANNAN IN COUNCIL RACE
BAY RIDGE — THREE UNIONS ARE JOINING TO DONATE MORE THAN $200,000 to the campaign of Councilmember Justin Brannan in the contentious race over the newly redrawn 47th Council District in southern Brooklyn, reports City and State, including the NYS Nurses Association, the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council and the NYC branch of the Service Employees International Union, along with others. Union leaders told City and State that labor enthusiasm for Brannan extends beyond cash contributions, too — volunteers from the unions have been going door-to-door, leaving fliers and phone banking in support of the candidate in the district, which after the election will include Bay Ridge, Coney Island and other sections of the south Brooklyn waterfront area.
Democrat Brannan will be facing off in November against Ari Kagan, also a current councilmember, who is running as a Republican after switching his party affiliation last year; Brannan currently represents Bay Ridge in District 43, which will no longer include the neighborhood after this election.
COBBLE HILL ASSN ANNUAL FALL MEETING
COBBLE HILL — THE COBBLE HILL ASSOCIATION WILL HOLD ITS ANNUAL fall meeting next Thursday, to discuss neighborhood issues and allow area residents to meet and speak with local elected officials. The aAssociation will offer updates on issues like pedestrian safety, construction work and the ongoing repairs to the BQE, as well as a featured presentation on street trees by expert Samuel A. Bishop II, Director of Urban Forestry and Education at Trees New York discussing planning, maintenance and care; state Sen Andrew Gounardes, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, Councilmember Shahana Hanif and a representative for U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman will all hold Q&As.
The meeting is set for Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. at Christ Church at 326 Clinton St.; more information on speakers can be found online on the CHA’s website.
TWO MEN ARRESTED IN ATTACK ON PALESTINIAN TEEN
BAY RIDGE — POLICE ON FRIDAY ANNOUNCED THAT TWO arrests had been made over the assault of a Palestinian teen last week by a group of nine men, apparently motivated by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza Strip militant group Hamas. Eddie Zaibak, age 26, and Gabi Zaibak, age 28, both of Mill Basin, were both arrested on Friday morning and charged with assault, aggravated harassment and menacing; the case is being investigated as a hate crime by police.
According to previous reports, the attack came after the teenager and two friends exchanged yells about Palestine with the nine assaulters as the group drove past them on a Bay Ridge street; the attackers then parked their cars and began punching and kicking the 18-year-old before driving away.
PLAYGROUND AT OLD LICH TO BE CLOSED, RENOVATED
COBBLE HILL — THE FIRST COMMUNITY INPUT SESSION ON THE REDESIGN of the Blue & Yellow Playground on the former Long Island College Hospital campus, hosted by new owner Madison Realty Capital, is set for next week, offering a chance for local residents and families to steer the changes made by the park’s new owners after renovations conclude. For safety reasons, Madison will have to close the playground during the construction of the incoming 36-story condo tower next door within the next year; the developers plan to use the estimated 30-month shutdown period to repair Blue & Yellow’s decaying foundations — which requires scrapping the current playground structures — and install updated equipment before the eventual reopening.
The input session is set for Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. at Brooklyn Heights Montessori on Court Street; Madison Realty Capital isn’t obligated to abide by public requests but is working with the CHA to listen to community concerns over the playground, which it must maintain as long as it controls the property.
PROTEST FOR PALESTINE IN BAY RIDGE ENDS WITH ARRESTS
BAY RIDGE — PROTESTERS AT A RALLY IN SUPPORT OF PALESTINE clashed with police on Saturday night in Bay Ridge, reports ABC News, resulting in 19 arrests and citations for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and other charges. Thousands of peaceful marchers packed 5th Avenue during the day at the Flood Brooklyn for Palestine rally, but some became confrontational after sunset when police moved in and began using an LRAD noise cannon to clear the streets, according to a statement made by the NYPD to PIX News. Many in the crowd, which included demonstrators of all ages from both the city’s Muslim and Jewish communities, were there in support of a ceasefire between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas; others demanded an end to Israeli military action in the Palestinian territories, as well as the right of Palestinians to return to Israel.
The Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas fighters, known as “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” launched an outpouring of sympathy from Americans for Israelis, but also incited an extensive bombing campaign of the embattled Gaza Strip; with the death toll now estimated to be in the thousands on both sides, many in the city’s Palestinian community fear that the suffering of innocents in Gaza is being sidelined, and that bigotry towards Muslims could be encouraged by pro-Israel rhetoric from New York politicians.
MAJOR FIRE AT E-BIKE WAREHOUSE
SUNSET PARK — THE FDNY DOUSED A THREE-ALARM FIRE AT A Sunset Park self-storage warehouse on Sunday afternoon, reports ABC News, that started in a unit where hundreds of e-bikes and scooters were being kept. Firefighters responding to the scene initially saw three of the battery-powered vehicles ablaze, with the building’s sprinkler system being insufficient to douse them; the FDNY worked into the night to stop the fire from spreading, with one responder sustaining a minor injury.
The surge in popularity of e-bikes and other micro mobility vehicles has led to an attendant rise in fires caused by the high-strength lithium-ion batteries that power them; city officials have pinned the majority of the blame on cheap batteries made without quality control, and have asked the public to steer clear of substandard models and to always recharge safely.
MALLIOTAKIS PUSHES FOR GLOBAL SAFETY STANDARDS IN AIRCRAFT REPAIRS
BAY RIDGE AND JFK AIRPORT — LEGISLATION IS NEEDED TO ESTABLISH GLOBAL AIRLINE MAINTENANCE STANDARDS, says Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-11/southwestern Brooklyn) who is scheduled to meet on Monday, Oct. 23, with Transport Workers Union (TWU) International President John Samuelsen, Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMT) and elected officials. Meeting at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, the group will be urging Congress to pass H.R.1716, the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act. This is bipartisan legislation that would not only establish a global safety standard for American aircraft repairs but also remove incentives for companies to offshore aircraft maintenance jobs to what Malliotakis calls questionable foreign facilities.
There are nearly one thousand FAA-certified maintenance and repair stations outside the United States service American aircraft, but they are allowed to operate at a far lower safety standard than their American-based counterparts, which the Congressmembers say could jeopardize the safety of the flying public and flight crews.
BROOKLYN-BORN CAROL BERMAN DIES AT 100; LED FIGHT TO BAN CONCORDE JET AT JFK AIRPORT
FLATBUSH AND LAWRENCE, NY — BROOKLYN-BORN CAROL BERMAN, WHO WAS BOTH THE FIRST DEMOCRAT AND THE FIRST WOMAN TO BE ELECTED TO THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE from Nassau County, died on Oct. 17, almost a month after turning 100, reports the Long Island Herald. During the three terms that Berman was a state senator, she led the fight to prevent the supersonic Concorde jet from operating from John F. Kennedy International Airport, due to the excessive noise it produced; and she led protests. She chaired the Emergency Coalition to Stop the SST, According to a news report, in May 1977, the coalition protest brought out about 1,000 cars in a slow (5-10 mph) procession at the main airport roadway.
An obituary of Ms. Berman published on Oct. 21 indicated she graduated early from both high school and college — and was class valedictorian at Erasmus Hall High School in Flatbush.
BEDBUG COMPLAINTS REACH NEW HIGH
CITYWIDE — NYC BEDBUG REPORTS HAVE REACHED THEIR HIGHEST level since 2019, reports Patch, reversing a years-long decline that bottomed out in 2022: 311 recorded 540 bedbug-related complaints in August of this year. The increase comes amid fears of a bedbug surge in Paris and other European capitals, part of a global rise in infestations spurred on by travel, urbanization and an acquired resistance to insecticides on the part of the notoriously hard-to-kill pests.
The city offers some tips on combating bedbugs, including inspecting pre-owned and hotel room furniture before use, using bedbug protection covers on beds and mattresses, and keeping homes and areas vacuumed and clutter-free; more tips and suggestions for pest control companies can be found on the Health Department’s website.
CITY REACHES AGREEMENT WITH SCHOOL ADMIN UNION
CITYWIDE — MAYOR ADAMS AND OFFICE OF LABOR RELATIONS commissioner Renee Campion on Saturday announced a tentative five-plus-year contract agreement with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, which represents 6,400 public school principals and other administrators, that will grant yearly wage increases (retroactive to Jan. 2023) between 3% and 3.5%, as well as a one-time $3,000 contract bonus and annual December bonuses. The agreement also gives principals and administrators input into the design and implementation of the city’s new virtual learning program, increases schedule flexibility, and increases pay equity among administrators, targeting an income gap between elementary principals and others.
The agreement must now be ratified by CSA membership; its total cost is estimated to be approximately $500 million through Fiscal Year 2027, which the city says is fully funded.
MISSING BOY FOUND AT BROOKLYN SHELTER
BRONX — A MISSING BOY WITH AUTISM WAS FOUND safe at a youth shelter in Brooklyn, reports PIX News, after a search that lasted more than two weeks. Jason Ramirez, age 15, who lives in the Bronx, was reported missing after walking out of his school in the middle of the day on Oct. 4 and was last seen boarding and then exiting a city bus five blocks from the school; Ramirez’ mother told PIX that her son had been treated at Bellevue under another name before being sent to the Brooklyn shelter where he was eventually found.
She also told the news channel that her son had been bullied by other children in the school about riding yellow school buses prior to his disappearance: “He said he got overwhelmed by the kids bothering him.”
GILLIBRAND TO CONGRESS: EXTEND AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY FUNDING
NATIONWIDE — CONGRESS NEEDS TO EXTEND FUNDING FOR THE AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM (ACP), state U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and her colleagues from 26 states expressed in a letter to the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives and Speaker Pro Tempore McHenry. The Affordable Connectivity Program (federal) provides financial assistance to 21 million low-income families nationwide — including over 1.5 million New York households — who rely on it for high-speed internet. When the funds are depleted in a few months, these households will risk losing access to broadband services. Established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the ACP lowers the out-of-pocket cost of broadband service and devices for working families by providing a monthly discount of up to $30.00 off the cost of Internet service and equipment as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 off a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.
Families in qualifying rural communities and qualifying Tribal lands receive a discount of up to $75.00 per month.
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