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What’s News, Breaking: Thursday, October 26, 2023

October 26, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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COMPTROLLER LANDER SLAMS NYC DOT FOR BOTCHED ROLLOUT OF RECKLESS DRIVER PROGRAM

CITYWIDE — COMPTROLLER BRAD LANDER ON THURSDAY slammed the NYC Dept. of Transportation for its poor implementation of the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program, which was supposed to hold repeat reckless drivers accountable. The program included driver training followed by vehicle impoundment for repeat scofflaws. The program ended on Thursday, Oct. 26 — but Lander, who sponsored the Act in 2020 when he was a City Council member, said in a policy report that it should be strengthened and renewed. Traffic fatalities have spiked dramatically in recent years.

“NYC DOT commenced the program over a year late, declined to work with the Center for Justice Innovation … and did not follow through on the legislated scale or key elements,” Lander said, adding that DOT “allowed nearly half of these repeat reckless drivers to simply ignore the program altogether. Come on!”

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CALL FOR TRAFFIC ‘DAYLIGHTING’ FOLLOWING DEATH OF 7-YEAR-OLD IN FORT GREENE

FORT GREENE — FOLLOWING THE TRAGIC DEATH of a 7-year-old boy crossing the street near Fort Greene Park on his way to school with his mom Thursday morning, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC) said in a statement, “Daylighting and traffic calming designs should be implemented throughout our city — not simply reserved for streets where a high number of people have already been injured or killed.” State law requires daylighting at every intersection, “But New York City exempts itself from enforcing this law — resulting in parking right up to the crosswalk. The consequence is that drivers do not see people in the crosswalk, and that people crossing the street, especially children, cannot see oncoming traffic,” PHNDC said.

The boy was hit by an NYPD tow truck driver. A witness told the New York Times that the driver was trying to beat a yellow light.

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CREEPY CRAWLY HALLOWEEN AT PROSPECT PARK SUNDAY

PROSPECT PARK — DISSECT OWL PELLETS, EAT YUCKY BUT HEALTHY MYSTERY TREATS or take a creepy, crawly walk at the Audubon Center’s Halloween celebration, sponsored by the Prospect Park Alliance on Sunday, Oct. 29. Take a second look at the creatures that give you the creeps and participate in fun activities and experiments that will make your spine tingle.

Do the kids want to watch the Audubon Center’s snake gobble up a mouse? If so, this Halloween event is for them! Free.

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CARROLL PARK HALLOWEEN PARTY ON SATURDAY

CARROLL GARDENS — BRING THE LITTLE MONSTERS in costume to Carroll Park on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. for a family-friendly Halloween party with music, dancing, treats, scavenger hunt and more. Located at the Park House and Monument area in Carroll Park.

The party is sponsored by the Friends of Carroll Park.

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BKLYN BOO! IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN SATURDAY

ALBEE SQUARE — BKLYN BOO! RETURNS TO DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 1-4 p.m. for fun and exciting family-friendly Halloween activities, live music, and arts in partnership with City Point BKLYN. Activities include Frankenstein slime-making, DJ Mike, puppet shows, a costume dance-off and more.

A photographer will be on hand to snap digital photos, which can be posted to Instagram as entry to win prizes.

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HALLOWEEN IN BROOKLYN HEIGHTS: PROMENADE PARADE AND SPOOKY FUN ON MONTAGUE STREET

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — COME GOBLINS AND GHOSTIES — the Brooklyn Heights Association will be hosting its annual Halloween Parade on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 11 a.m. Always a fun and photo-friendly event, families will gather at the entrance to the Promenade on Clark Street and parade down to the cul-de-sac on Remsen Street. Follow up with Halloween fun on Montague Street after the parade, sponsored by the Montague BID and BHA. The Zing! Kids Fit Zone will feature a SPOOKtacular kids fitness obstacle course, fit games and prizes, and mini fit classes, and there will be numerous free Halloween activities, spectacular performances and a Pumpkin Patch on the street.

Make sure to swing by the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange at 137 Montague St. for a carving demo and Slime tricks.

Photo: Mary Frost/Brooklyn Eagle

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7-YEAR-OLD HIT, KILLED BY NYPD TOW TRUCK IN FORT GREENE

FORT GREENE — A 7-YEAR-OLD BOY CROSSING A STREET near Fort Greene Park with his mom on the way to school was fatally hit by an NYPD tow truck driver Thursday morning, the Daily Beast, New York Times and other outlets report. Emergency responders reported that the boy died at the scene at around 7:50 a.m. NYPD said the truck driver, 54, was making a legal right turn onto North Portland Avenue in Fort Greene when she ran into the child, and there are no immediate charges.

A witness told the New York Times that the driver was trying to beat a yellow light.

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EARLY VOTING IN NYC BEGINS THIS SATURDAY

CITYWIDE — EARLY VOTING IN BROOKLYN AND ACROSS NYC  begins this Saturday, Oct. 28, and runs through Nov. 5,  PoliticsNY reports. The deadline to register to vote is also Saturday — and the official Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. Brooklynites will get to choose their city council members as well as judges across various courts. There are also two state ballot proposals that deal with debt limits.

Prospective voters can use the Board of Elections’ “Find Your Poll Site” tool to locate early voting and election day polling places.

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GOVERNOR SIGNS ‘MICKIE’S LAW’ TO PROTECT
PREGNANT WOMEN WITH MEDICAL EMERGENCIES 

ALBANY AND FLATBUSH — WOMEN WHO NEED URGENT MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR FETALS DEATHS are now assured that treatment, since Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law a bill that Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn sponsored. “Mickie’s Law” (A10927) is named in honor of the fetus loss of parents who were denied removal treatment due to a hospital’s religious beliefs. The parents searched for a hospital in New York before the decomposition in the mother’s womb became life-threatening to her. The sweeping bill amends the public health law to require that protocols be established and implemented for fetal demise, and that for the management of fetal demise, the patient be informed of treatment options including for spontaneous miscarriage, surgical evacuation, and that induction of labor be done within a reasonable time in an emergency. Hospitals will also be required to admit maternity patients or transfer to a unit or other hospital for treatment.

 Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn (D-42), who is the Assembly Majority Whip, lost her son and almost died due to negligent maternal care. Many of her bills fighting maternal mortality have passed state legislature.

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POLICE LOOKING FOR PAIR WHO BROKE INTO SAME SMOKE SHOP 5 TIMES

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — POLICE ARE SEARCHING FOR A MAN AND A WOMAN  who broke into the same smoke shop in Bedford-Stuyvesant — through a hole in the wall — five times. The pair entered a vacant neighboring apartment through a window, then broke a hole in the shop’s wall at 4 a.m. on Sept. 11. They returned an hour later, entering the shop through the hole and stealing cash from the register. The suspects returned on Sept. 29, Oct. 2, and Oct. 16, and overall made off with at least $3,500 in cash, thousands of dollars worth of lottery tickets and cigars, and an unknown amount of vape products.

Cops described the suspects as a man with a dark complexion and a thin build, and a woman with a dark complexion and a medium build. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), or visit the CrimeStoppers website.

Photo: NYPD

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BILL TO PREVENT FEDERAL LAND HOUSING
OF MIGRANTS PASSES HOUSE COMMITTEE

CAPITOL HILL AND FLOYD BENNETT FIELD — A BILL THAT BROOKLYN CONGRESSMEMBER NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS (R-11) SPONSORS TO PREVENT MIGRANT HOUSING on federal lands passed the House Committee on Natural Resources with bipartisan support on Thursday, Oct. 26. The bill, which is now approved for consideration by the entire House with a floor vote, is formally named the Protecting our Communities from Failure to Secure the Border Act of 2023 (H.R.5283). It would prohibit federal funding from being used to provide housing for illegal immigrants on any land under the jurisdiction of the Federal Land Management agencies, including the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service.

If enacted, the law would retroactively cancel the contract between New York City and the Biden Administration to house migrants at Floyd Bennett Field. The bill covers any park within the Gateway National Recreation Area.

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GRESHAM: CITY’S LARGEST HEALTHCARE UNION WILL FIGHT NEW HOUSE SPEAKER’S ‘EXTREMIST’ AGENDA

CITYWIDE — CALLING THE NEW HOUSE SPEAKER MIKE JOHNSON (R- LOUISIANA) a “MAGA extremist” and “threat to democracy” who led the charge to overthrow the 2020 election, George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU, NYC’s largest healthcare union, said in a statement on Wednesday that the union’s 450,000 healthcare workers “are ready to do whatever is needed to ensure there is a House majority in 2024 which moves our nation forward for the benefit of all.”

Gresham pointed out that Johnson also voted to “gut nutrition programs for children, criminalize abortion, end Social Security, and eliminate the Violence Against Women Act,” along with voting against protections against workplace violence.

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900 NYPD OFFICERS DEPLOYED ACROSS CITY FOLLOWING MAINE MASS SHOOTING

CITYWIDE — NINE HUNDRED NYPD OFFICERS WERE DEPLOYED to highly sensitive locations throughout New York City on Thursday following a mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, which killed at least 16 people and injured dozens at a restaurant and a bowling alley, Patch reports. NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said the deployment was out of an abundance of caution, given the shooter hasn’t been caught and Lewiston is a five-hour drive from the city.

The suspect, Robert Card, 40, a firearms instructor in the U.S. Army Reserve, had previously been committed to a mental health facility and had said he was “hearing voices and threats to shoot up” a military base, Patch reports.

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FDNY INTRODUCES FREE SMOKE ALARM PROGRAM

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT AND CITYWIDE — NEW YORKERS SHOULD GET THEIR FREE SMOKE ALARMS, says the city’s Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, who, along with the FDNY Foundation and the American Red Cross, held an information program on Thursday, Oct. 26. The program enables New Yorkers to register for free smoke alarms and their home installation. The renewed push for awareness of this critical program comes during Fire Prevention Month and in advance of the winter season, when the FDNY typically sees an increase in fires. Residents can get the QR code in firehouses and EMS stations, and field members will also carry informational palm cards on fire trucks, engines and ambulances.

Since this partnership’s launch nearly a decade ago, more than 275,000 smoke alarms have been distributed and installed in the five boroughs so far. An operable smoke alarm increases the chances of people surviving and being able to escape a fire.

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BROOKLYN’S U.S. CONGRESSMEMBERS TO HOLD BLOW-OUT CAREER FAIR

DOWNTOWN — LOOKING FOR A JOB or a better one? Brooklyn’s U.S. Congressmembers —  Hakeem Jeffries, Nydia M. Velázquez, Yvette D. Clarke and Dan Goldman — are sponsoring a Congressional Career Fair with more than 75 employers in Downtown Brooklyn at 300 Jay St. on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some of the participating organizations include New York Life, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Internal Revenue Service, Kings County D.A., Con Edison, EmblemHealth, Revel, NYC Dept. For the Aging, USPS, CAMBA, NYS Parks, Meta and many more.

Get your resume together and register online.

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TEEN TECH CENTER AT ADAMS ST. LIBRARY IN DUMBO NOW OPEN

DUMBO — THE TEEN TECH CENTER at the Adams Street Library’s Annex at 1 John St. (opposite the library) in DUMBO is now open for teenagers ages 13 to 18, Brooklyn Bridge Parents reports. The space is designed as an interactive environment where teens can experiment with technology, get homework help, socialize, meet tech professionals and acquire skills. According to BPL’s website, the center includes free access to laptops and cutting-edge tech, arts, fashion and jewelry-making resources, video games and classes including video editing.

The official ribbon-cutting takes place Nov. 2, but teens can enjoy the facilities now, according to BPL. The facility is one of five teen tech centers opening in Brooklyn.

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LATEST MURAL UNVEILED AT HOSPITAL CELEBRATES CONEY ISLAND HERITAGE 

CONEY ISLAND — NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS ON WEDNESDAY, OCT. 25, UNVEILED A NEW MURAL as part of the Community Mural Project, run by the health system’s Arts in Medicine department. Artist Kristy McCarthy developed the latest mural, titled “Together We Heal” at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health, through a series of focus groups with community members, staff and patients. “Together We Heal” is a two-part mural that pays homage to the vibrant history and culture of Coney Island. Located in the waiting room of the adult emergency department, the first section of the mural includes rabbits, which originally inhabited the area and gave Coney Island its name. The mural pays tribute to the hospital’s origins as a modest beachfront first aid station, the hospital’s Hammett Pavilion, which is set for demolition this year and the newly constructed Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital.

The first 26 murals are featured in a new book, Healing Walls: New York City Health + Hospitals Community Mural Project 2019-2021.

The first section of Together We Heal (2023) by artist Kristy McCarthy, located in the waiting room of the adult emergency department at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health
Photo credit: NYC Health + Hospitals-South Brooklyn Health
Community-Mural-section2-pediatric-waitroom_credit-NYCHplusH-SouthBklyn
The second section of Together We Heal (2023) by artist Kristy McCarthy, located in the waiting room of the pediatric emergency department at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health
Photo credit: NYC Health + Hospitals-South Brooklyn Health

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ANNUAL DIOCESAN MASS OF HOPE & HEALING DEDICATED TO VICTIMS OF CLERGY SEX ABUSE

MILL BASIN — EACH YEAR THE DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN HOLDS ITS ANNUAL MASS OF HOPE AND HEALING for victims of the clergy sex abuse trial. This tradition, which began in 2015 when a support group of sex abuse survivors decided they needed closure on the incidents and their suffering, worked with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio (now bishop emeritus) to plan the liturgy. Hosting this year’s Mass, on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. will be St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church on East 69th St. in Mill Basin. Bishop Robert Brennan will be the main celebrant and Homilist at the Mass. The Mass will be broadcast live on the Diocesan cable channel NET-TV and can be viewed online.

The Brooklyn Diocese’s Office of Victims Assistance Ministry was established in April 2004 to handle allegations of past or current sexual abuse by clergy, religious, or any layperson working or volunteering for the Diocese; its mission includes creating a safe and compassionate environment for victims.

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MAN FILMED TEARING DOWN POSTERS OF ISRAELI HOSTAGES SUSPENDED FROM JOB — BY HIS FATHER

BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK — A BROOKLYN MAN SEEN TEARING DOWN POSTERS of Israelis who were taken hostage by Hamas has been suspended from his job as an Executive Strategist by his Jewish father, the Daily Mail reports. Noah Schaffer, 41, was filmed laughing in the face of a Jewish woman who confronted him and his wife, Kelly, while they ripped down the posters at Brooklyn Bridge Park. “What about the Palestinians?” he fired back when asked why he was removing the signs.

On Sunday his father, Dr. Eric Schaffer, issued an email to staff at Human Factors, the Consumer Experience company he founded, to tell them his son had been placed on immediate, unpaid leave for four months.

Signs showing kidnapped Israelis, like these in DUMBO, have been popping up all over Brooklyn.
Photo: Mary Frost/Brooklyn Eagle

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MOPED-RIDING THIEVES ARE RIPPING OFF NECK CHAINS IN CENTRAL BROOKLYN

EAST NEW YORK — THREE MEN RIDING SEPARATE BLACK, GREEN AND BLUE MOPEDS are ripping neck chains off women in East New York and Bushwick, and then escaping on their wheels, police said. Three incidents took place on Oct. 17: at 6 a.m. near 892 Glenmore Ave., one of the thieves ripped the neck chain off a 39-year-old woman; at 6:45 a.m., two of the thieves, working together, snatched the chain from a 15-year-old girl walking near Liberty and Pennsylvania avenues; and, at 7:13 a.m., one of the men stole the chain from a 36-year-old woman walking near Central Avenue and Madison Street.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), or by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website.

Moped-riding thieves are stealing neck chains in East New York and Bushwick.
Photo: NYPD

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DRIVER FLEEING POLICE SMASHES CAR INTO BUS, INJURING SEVEN

MIDWOOD — A DRIVER TRYING TO EVADE A POLICE STOP SMASHED their car into an MTA bus in Midwood on Tuesday afternoon, leaving seven people hurt, NBC New York reported. The crash occurred around 2 p.m. near the corner of Avenue N and McDonald Avenue. Police had tried to stop the car because a person claimed to have seen someone inside it with a gun.

Seven people were taken to nearby hospitals with minor injuries, including three people in the car and the driver of the bus. Firefighters had to remove two passengers who got trapped inside the car.

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OLYMPIA IN DUMBO RACKS UP HIGHEST SALES PRICE IN BROOKLYN

BOROUGHWIDE — THE MARKET FOR NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN DUMBO is on fire, according to real estate platform MSN’s New Development Market Report for the third quarter of 2023. DUMBO scored the largest quarterly up-swing by price per square foot, which increased by 26.9% to $2,174. The median sales price in DUMBO also increased by 32.1%, from $2,145,000 to $2,833,188. The highest sales price in all of Brooklyn during the quarter was paid at the celebrity-filled Olympia on 60 Front Street, where unit 29A sold for $13,042,633. Olympia also scored the highest price per square foot, where unit 31B sold for $2,912 psf ($4,950,000).

The neighborhood with the lowest median sales price this past quarter:  Prospect Lefferts Gardens, at $630,000. The neighborhood with the lowest price per square foot was Kensington/Brough Park, at $839 psf.


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AGATE COURT HOMEOWNERS AWARDED LPC AWARDS FOR NEEDED REPAIRS

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — THREE HOUSES ON AGATE COURT — PART OF A CUL-DE-SAC HISTORIC district in Bedford-Stuyvesant — are among four in Brooklyn that have been awarded grants from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, through its Historic Preservation Grant Program. The funds help low-to-moderate-income homeowners and non-profit organizations make needed repairs to their landmark properties. The owner of 5 Agate Court, part of the Alice and Agate Courts Historic District, was awarded $36,000 for window replacement to match the historic configuration and lead paint remediation. The owner of 14 Agate Court was awarded $34,000 and the owner of 16 Agate Court was awarded $24,000, both for front door replacement to match the historic configuration and lead paint remediation.

Agate Court is just off Atlantic Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. One gets a bird’s-eye view of the enclave while riding on the northbound side of LIRR trains heading between Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica.

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LPC AWARDS GRANT TO OWNER OF NOBLE ST. HOME FOR REPAIRS

GREENPOINT — A NOBLE STREET HOUSE IN THE GREENPOINT HISTORIC DISTRICT WILL GET SOME REPAIRS AND REFURBISHMENT, thanks to a $60,000 Landmarks Preservation Commission Grant as part of the LPC’s Historic Preservation Grant Program. The house at 134 Noble Street will get cornice repair and painting, brownstone stoop resurfacing, and lead paint remediation. The grants, funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program, are awarded based on the number of applications received and funding available, income eligibility and financial need, building conditions and repairs, and the effect the grant will have on improving the building and/or historic district.

Grant recipients also receive help with preparing the contractor bid documents and selecting qualified contractors. LPC grant program staff makes site visits as work is underway and they oversee the project through to completion.

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NYC UNEMPLOYMENT UP IN SEPTEMBER, WITH BROOKLYN LAGGING

CITYWIDE — New York City’s unemployment rate increased to 5.2% in September 2023, compared to 4.5% in September 2022, according to figures released Tuesday by the NYS Department of Labor. Brooklyn had the second-highest unemployment rate of any county in the state at 5.5%, compared to the worst at 6.5% in the Bronx. Manhattan’s unemployment rate was 4.7% in September, as was Staten Island’s; Queens was 4.5%. Roughly 10,400 more people in Brooklyn were unemployed in September 2023 than were in September 2022, DOL said.

Unemployment across NYS overall increased in September, from 3.6% to 4.0%.

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 NY’S HEATING COST ASSISTANCE PROGRAM GETS $360M IN FEDERAL FUNDING 

STATEWIDE — U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has helped secure $360,015,351 in federal funding for New York through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), she announced on Wednesday, Oct. 25, via video conference. The money will help thousands of households across the state afford their heating bills and make cost-effective home energy repairs this winter. Sen. Gillibrand also announced her bipartisan push to secure additional funding for LIHEAP to make sure that as many qualifying families as possible get the assistance they need during the cold months.

Starting on Nov. 1, 2023, households in New York City can apply for the HEAP Regular benefit online at https://access.nyc.gov/. Households outside New York City can also apply online.

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TWO CUNY PROFESSORS WITH BROOKLYN TIES RECEIVE NATION’S HIGHEST SCIENCE HONOR

WASHINGTON, D.C. — TWO PROFESSORS AT THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK were awarded the nation’s highest honor in science by President Joe Biden at a ceremony on Tuesday.  Sheldon Weinbaum, born and raised in Brooklyn, and Myriam Sarachik, who lived briefly in Brooklyn after immigrating to the U.S., received the National Medal of Science. (Sarachik died in 2021, and her award was accepted by family members.)

Weinbaum was honored for pathbreaking research in biomechanics, driving innovation in physiology, bone biology and blood flow, leading to lifesaving treatments. Sarachik was honored for her seminal contributions to fundamental experimental studies of molecular nanomagnets, quantum spin dynamics, and spin coherence in condensed matter systems at low temperatures.

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BROOKLYN’S REP. MALLIOTAKIS PRAISES MIKE JOHNSON’S ELECTION AS HOUSE SPEAKER

BAY RIDGE AND CAPITAL HILL — FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY’S ELECTION OF LOUISIANA GOP CONGRESSMAN MIKE JOHNSON as the 56th Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-11) Brooklyn’s lone Republican, praised him for his work as a “team builder.” Speaking “as someone who has publicly and privately advocated for an end to the House’s stalemate, I’m pleased to see our conference finally come together and elect Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House. As Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference, Mike Johnson has proven to be the team-builder who can unite our conference across the Republican spectrum.”

Rep Malliotakis pointed out the urgency of the war between key ally Israel and Hamas, and blamed this conflict in part on “Iranian-backed terror.” She also blamed the Biden Administration for various issues, including securing borders.

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REP. YVETTE CLARKE HELPS ESTABLISH CAUCUS TO HELP PREDOMINANTLY BLACK INSTITUTIONS

FLATBUSH AND NATIONWIDE — BROOKLYN REP. YVETTE D. CLARKE (D-09) ON WEDNESDAY, OCT. 25, ANNOUNCED A NEW CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS focused on educating policymakers and uplifting the needs of Predominantly Black Institutions. The Congressional Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Caucus will unite policymakers who share the goal of understanding and advancing policies to support PBIs, established in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. Their goal is to expand access to important federal grants to assist institutions with limited institutional wealth, including colleges and universities serving large percentages of low-income African-American students.

During her time in Congress, Rep. Clarke, whose district stretches from Park Slope to Sheepshead Bay, has secured more than $31 million in funding for New York PBIs, including Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights, a four-year school part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system.


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