What’s News, Breaking: Wednesday, November 1, 2023
MTA OPENS THREE MODERN ELEVATORS AT FLUSHING AVE. IN BED-STUY
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — MTA ANNOUNCED ON WEDNESDAY THE OPENING of three newly replaced elevators at the Flushing Avenue station in Bedford–Stuyvesant. The brand new elevators replaced the original elevators, which were more than 20 years old. NYC Transit crews also made station enhancements during the replacement work including power washing the platforms, stairs and mezzanine areas; new lighting; newly painted staircases, ceilings, and railings and replacement of tiling.
“By bundling this elevator replacement into a larger package of ADA upgrades, MTA C&D was able to deliver this project better, faster, and cheaper,” said MTAConstruction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer.
RACCOONS IN BROOKLYN ARE GETTING VACCINATED AGAINST RABIES
BOROUGHWIDE — THE CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT said it started vaccinating raccoons against rabies in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan on Monday, BKReader reports. The oral vaccine is being deployed in wooded areas to prevent the spread of the deadly but preventable disease, which can be spread to people and pets through bites.
So far in 2023, 12 animals in New York City, including 8 raccoons in other boroughs and one skunk in Brooklyn, have tested positive for rabies.
BISHOP WILL BLESS NEW MEMORIAL
DEDICATED TO 19TH CENTURY SOLDIERS
EAST FLATBUSH — WHEN BISHOP ROBERT BRENNAN PRESIDES AT THE DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN’S ANNUAL ALL SOULS’ DAY MASS ON THURSDAY, he will also bless a new memorial at Holy Cross Cemetery in East Flatbush. Catholics observe Nov. 2, the day following All Saints Day, as All Souls’ Day, honoring their loved ones who have departed this life. The Mass will be celebrated starting at 10:30 a.m. in The Chapel of the Resurrection at Holy Cross Cemetery, 3620 Tilden Avenue in East Flatbush. The new memorial at the cemetery’s entrance acknowledges all Medal of Honor recipients buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, with the memorial stone listing 18 Veterans who served in the U.S. military during the 19th century, from the Civil War through the Spanish-American War.
The researcher who worked on the memorial stone project will be in attendance.
ASSEMBLYMEMBER COLTON, FDNY
TREAT YOUNGSTERS TO HALLOWEEN
GRAVESEND — PRINCESSES, SUPERHEROES AND EVEN THE OCCASIONAL GOBLIN VISITED THE OFFICE OF ASSEMBLYMEMBER WILLIAM COLTON on Tuesday, not to lodge any complaints but as part of his Halloween celebration, hosted in tandem with the city Fire Department. Assemblyman Colton welcomed hundreds of neighborhood children at this Trick or Treat Event, held outside his district office on Kings Highway. Several creatively attired youngsters received goodie bags, as well as activity books and puzzles from a representative of the New York City Fire Department, who was present for the event.
“I think my office staff and I enjoy the day as much as they and their families do,” said Colton. “I always enjoy meeting my constituents and sharing the day’s festivities with them.”
COMMUNITY BOARD 9 SUED OVER
OPEN MEETINGS LAW, OTHER ISSUES
CROWN HTS. TO FLATBUSH — TWO FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE MOVEMENT TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE are suing Community Board 9, its sitting board chair, district manager and a member of its Uniform Land Use Review Procedure Committee, reports BKLYN Reader. The lawsuit, served in person on board members during the Oct. 23 monthly general meeting, alleges that the leadership violated the city’s Open Meeting Law Requirement. Moreover, Plaintiffs Alicia Boyd and LaShaun Ellis, who allege the board lacks representation from East Flatbush residents — a community where Vital Brooklyn has real estate developments — said that one of the ULURP Committee members is an architect involved with Vital Brooklyn, and that his involvement represents a conflict of interest. The board members refute these accusations, saying that they convened behind closed doors only to discuss logistics.
Boyd was also involved in the 2019-2021 fight to save the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s sunlight access from a developer of a high-rise at 972 Franklin Avenue, also within that Community Board district, which serves an area stretching from Crown Hts. to parts of Flatbush. That project was rejected.
CORRECTIONS COMMISSIONER MOLINA GETS NEW POST
JUST BEFORE RIKERS ISLAND RECEIVERSHIP HEARINGS
CITYWIDE — NYC DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION COMMISSIONER LOUIS A. MOLINA HAS BEEN APPOINTED AS THE CITY’S assistant deputy mayor for public safety, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Serving under Deputy Mayor Philip Banks who oversees the NYPD and the city’s other uniformed law-enforcement agencies, Molina will be responsible for coordinating with all city agencies on public safety matters. However, the timing of this appointment has raised questions, as it was made just days before a federal judge starts hearing arguments over placing Rikers Island in receivership — appointing a third party to run the troubled jail system, reports The CITY.
A court-appointed federal monitor of the city jails system named Steve Martin has accused Molina of hiding serious violent incidents happening behind bars, and for failing to take substantial action to reform the department. Molina has also been accused of resisting oversight and avoiding Board of Correction hearings, and of leaving Rikers Island in disarray.
MAIMONIDES MEDICAL CENTER HOSTS
LUNG CANCER AWARENESS EVENT
BOROUGH PARK — THE EARLY DETECTION AND SCREENING OF LUNG CANCER is the focus of an event that Maimonides Medical Center is hosting later in November. The event, held as part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 21, in the hospital’s main lobby at 4802 10th Ave., and will include talks with Maimonides Medical Center doctors, including physicians and surgeons from our lung cancer care teams; and patients who are currently receiving or have received treatment in the past. The program will emphasize the importance of routine, low-dose, noninvasive screening for high-risk, asymptomatic individuals, and will help connect community members to this lifesaving resource at Maimonides.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for 20% of all cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. More people die of lung cancer annually than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
WILLIAMSBURG PARISH JOINS COUPLE’S
77TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY PARTY
WILLIAMSBURG — IT IS A RARE BLESSING FOR A COUPLE TO BE ABLE TO CELEBRATE THEIR 77TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. Such a celebration took place on Saturday, Oct. 29, when Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Annunciation Parish members Kazimieras and Sofija Butkus marked 77 years of marriage in a party that their daughter, Astra, hosted. Pastor Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello and Parochial Vicar Valdemar Lisovski joined the Lithuanian community of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Annunciation Parish for this occasion. The couple have attended Mass at Annunciation Church regularly since they arrived in America from Lithuania 65 years ago.
The parish also recently celebrated Mr. Butkus’ 105th birthday.
NYU LANGONE ACQUIRES PEDIATRIC UROLOGY GROUP,
INTEGRATING TREATMENT TEAMWORK
SUNSET PARK — A DISTINGUISHED TRI-STATE PEDIATRIC UROLOGY GROUP HAS JOINED NYU LANGONE HEALTH, which has now tripled its care team in this particular field of medicine. Pediatric Urology Associates, at 745 64th Street in Sunset Park, join the award-winning hospital network; Jaime Freyle, MD will also be the provider in Brooklyn, along with Steven Friedman, MD. The NYU Langone Pediatric Urology Associates care team includes nine physicians equipped to evaluate, diagnose and treat illness or disease of the genitals and urinary tract, such as kidney stones, bladder function and hypospadias. Services also include surgical interventions for circumcision, UDT, and urodynamics.
“Many pediatric urology cases require collaboration with other pediatric subspecialties, including nephrology, endocrinology, pediatric surgery, anesthesiology, and radiology,” said Jordan Gitlin, MD, a physician with Pediatric Urology Associates for two decades, “Now that we’re integrated, if I send a patient for an X-ray, the technician and radiologist have easier access to all the information about the case thanks to Epic, NYU Langone’s electronic medical record. That enhances patient care.”
‘AFRICA FASHION’ EXHIBIT WRAPS UP AT BROOKLYN MUSEUM
CROWN HEIGHTS — THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM LAST WEEK CLOSED OUT THE RUN OF ITS CROWD-FAVORITE Africa Fashion exhibition, a 300-piece celebration of African and diaspora creativity and culture that offered a look at both contemporary styles and historical materials. The touring exhibit, which debuted at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London last year, featured the “exquisitely beautiful” work of dozens of designers from across the continent; curators also sought to engage NYC’s African community in the project, issuing an open call for family archival photographs to be documented by the museum.
Lagos-based boutique Alára, which collaborated on a pop-up shop attached to the exhibition, last week celebrated its successful run with a catered pan-African dinner at the museum’s concept restaurant The Norm, attended by the city’s style notables and featuring a fall menu of “gulf shrimp, kaluga caviar, okra, seafood, jollof rice” and pecan thiakry pie, according to okayafrica.
THINK TANK: NYS’ IMPROVED FISCAL OUTLOOK COULD FREE UP FUNDS FOR MIGRANT AID
STATEWIDE — THE NON-PARTISAN FISCAL POLICY INSTITUTE’S MID-YEAR ANALYSIS of New York State’s financial health projects the state’s budget gap for fiscal year 2025 has narrowed significantly — from an earlier estimate of $9.1 billion to $4.3 billion. This improved outlook reflects stable tax receipts since May and slightly lower spending than projected. FPI Executive Director Nathan Gusdorf said in a statement on Tuesday that if the trend continues, the budget gap could narrow further, or even become “negligible.”
Gusdorf said the state might consider providing more funding to offset the cost of aid to migrants in New York City. However, the state and city should use their bargaining power “to negotiate preferable terms for sheltering expenses and finding other cost efficiencies,” he said.
HOCHUL: STATE ACTION AS HATE CRIMES SURGE; JUDGE LIPPMAN TO INVESTIGATE ANTISEMITISM AT CUNY
STATEWIDE — GOV. KATHY HOCHUL ON TUESDAY ANNOUNCED that New York State is deploying “all available resources” to keep New Yorkers safe following a surge in hate and bias incidents in the weeks following the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks. The actions include an additional $50 million in funding for local law enforcement; $25 million for security funding for at-risk community and cultural centers; an expansion of the NYS Police social media analysis unit; and other actions.
Hochul also announced that Judge Jonathan Lippman, the former chief judge of New York and chief judge of the NYS Court of Appeals, will conduct an independent third-party review of the City University of New York’s policies and procedures related to antisemitism and discrimination.
ONE BROOKLYN ZIP CODE MAKES U.S. MOST-EXPENSIVE LIST
CARROLL GARDENS — ONE BROOKLYN ZIP CODE made RealtyHop’s list of the 100 most-expensive U.S. ZIP codes this year: that’s 11231, covering Carroll Gardens and Red Hook, where the median asking price is $2,175,000, 3.57% higher than last year. NYC overall is home to five of the most expensive ZIP codes, one less than last year, according to RealtyHop.
For the fourth year in a row, 94027 in Atherton, California, is the most expensive ZIP code in America, with a median price of $7,950,000. RealtyHop’s survey was released on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
NY CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION AGAIN SUES NYPD FOR DELAYS IN SENDING VEHICLE STOP DATA REPORTS
CITYWIDE — THE NEW YORK CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION ON TUESDAY, OCT. 31, FILED A LAWSUIT against the New York Police Department for what the NYCLU calls “unreasonably delaying the release of its vehicle stop data” for the third quarter of 2023. The NYCLU released an analysis on Sept. 21 that revealed for the first time, the sheer volume, stark racial disparities, and geographic disparities of the NYPD’s vehicle stops. This latest lawsuit seeks to address the Department’s unreasonable timeframe for the release of the data. NYCLU Staff Attorney Ify Chikezie charges that “This obstruction is part of the NYPD’s broader pattern of routinely delaying requests for public records and attempting to shield itself from public scrutiny.”
In 2022, roughly one million people were stopped in vehicles by the NYPD. 90% of those who were searched or arrested during the vehicle stops were Black and Latinx.
MAN ARRESTED AT JFK WITH LOADED GUN AND TWO FULL AMMO CLIPS
QUEENS — A PHILADELPHIA MAN WAS ARRESTED AT John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday after TSA officers detected a handgun fully loaded with 12 bullets and two gun magazines with 24 additional bullets in the man’s carry-on bag as he entered a security checkpoint. TSA notified Port Authority Police who confiscated the firearm and ammo, and arrested the man on weapons charges. Federal civil penalties can reach as high as $15,000 for bringing a weapon to an airport checkpoint.
“The only way to fly with your firearm is to ensure it is unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case and taken to the airline check-in counter and declared,” John Essig, TSA’s federal security director for JFK, said in a release on Tuesday.
VIOLENT ROBBERS ATTACK MAN IN WILLIAMSBURG FRIED CHICKEN JOINT
WILLIAMSBURG — THREE MEN ENTERED THE CROWN GRILL FRIED CHICKEN SHOP at 802 Grand St. in Williamsburg at roughly 5 a.m. Sunday morning, violently attacking and robbing a 25-year-old man inside, police said. After starting a verbal dispute, the suspects punched the victim multiple times in the face and body, and threw a table at him. They stole approximately $500 cash, plus property from the man valued at approximately $1,900, including his electric scooter. The suspects fled on foot and on the scooter, traveling southbound toward Bushwick Avenue. The victim sustained minor injuries but refused medical attention.
Police described the suspects as males with medium complexion, roughly 20 to 27 years old. 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.
ELDERLY, DISABLED CITY RETIREES GRANTED CLASS-ACTION STATUS IN CO-PAY CASE
CITYWIDE — A GROUP OF MORE THAN 200,000 ELDERLY AND DISABLED CITY RETIREES HAS BEEN GRANTED CLASS-ACTION STATUS in a case involving co-pays that violated their rights. Late last week, Justice Lyle E. Frank of the New York Supreme Court granted the class-action status to the retirees, many of whom are elderly and disabled, in the case Margaretann Bianculli et al. v. City of New York Office of Labor Relations et al. The plaintiff group’s lawsuit alleges that they are charged co-pays every time they receive medical care, and that these fees are a violation of the retirees’ statutory, contractual and common-law rights. Marianne Pizzitola, president of the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, has praised Justice Frank’s latest action.
This past January, Justice Frank prohibited the defendants from repeatedly imposing copays on retirees, holding that the retirees were likely to prevail in their lawsuit and that the copays were causing them irreparable harm. Upon appeal, Justice Frank’s injunction was unanimously affirmed on appeal in May.
NATIONAL DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME DEBATE CONTINUES; BUT HERE, IT’S ALSO NYC MARATHON WEEKEND
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME IN MOST OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ENDS THIS WEEKEND, but some people might need more than one day to prepare. The usual “spring forward, fall back” slogan means changing one’s clock to read an hour earlier before bedtime on Saturday; as 2 a.m. becomes 1 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5. For nocturnal employees, this translates to an extra hour on the job. The only states that currently do not observe Daylight Saving Time are Hawaii and Arizona. People in different parts of Indiana have been on either side of the Daylight Saving Time observance debate, given regional commerce, farming or religious worship needs.
The end of Daylight Saving Time always falls on the same weekend as the New York City Marathon, which presents lots of rerouting for people trying to get to church on Sunday.
NEW PROGRAM WILL ADDRESS NEW YORKERS’ MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING
CROWN HEIGHTS —EMBLEMHEALTH’S NEIGHBORHOOD CARE IN CROWN HEIGHTS WILL LAUNCH its Serenity and Soul Well-Being program on Wednesday, Nov. 1, with a free, public event at its 546 Eastern Parkway facility. The Soul and Well-Being program aims to address the mental health and emotional challenges that New Yorkers face, particularly with an increasing number of crime and safety incidents. U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-09) has presented a grant to enable Neighborhood Care Crown Heights to begin offering free resources to help individuals build community, manage stress, and prioritize healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices. The launch event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Serenity and Soul Well-Being programs will be available starting Nov. 1 through September 2024.
CERTAIN LOTS OF VICTOR BEEF DOG FOODS ARE RECALLED AMID SALMONELLA RISK
NATIONWIDE — A POPULAR DOG FOOD SOLD THROUGH CHEWY AND AMAZON is being recalled due to possible Salmonella contamination, the Food & Drug Administration announced on Tuesday. Mid America Pet Food has issued a voluntary recall of three lots of its Victor Beef Meal & Rice Dog Food Select Beef Meal & Brown Rice Formula produced at its Mount Pleasant, Texas, production facility due to a possible salmonella health risk. This voluntary recall was initiated after a third party conducted random sampling and product associated with three lots tested positive for Salmonella. The lot numbers are Victor Super Premium Dog Food, Select Beef Meal & Brown Rice Formula: 1000016890 (5-pound bag), Best By 6/12/2024; 1000016891 (15-pound bag), Best By 6/12/2024; and 1000016892 (40-pound bag), Best By 6/12/2024.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is a risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
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