What’s News, Breaking: Thursday, November 2, 2023
WORKSHOP HELPS CONGREGATIONS
ASSESS THEIR SECURITY NEEDS
CROWN HEIGHTS AND CITYWIDE — A SECURITY TRAINING WORKSHOP IS BEING OFFERED FOR HOUSES OF WORSHIP within the city this Saturday, Nov. 4. The New York Disaster Interfaith Services organization is holding the free workshop, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Bright Light Baptist Church, 1676 Park Place, in Crown Heights, with the intention of helping congregations balance their mission of welcome with protecting their members. The workshop will also help congregations address unique challenges, guiding them in recognizing security vulnerabilities, practicing de-escalation techniques if incidents arise, and developing emergency operations plans.
Participants will also receive preparation to apply for the National Security Grant Program.
MAN DISPLAYS FIREARM ON COURT STREET IN BROOKLYN HEIGHTS
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN DISPLAYED A FIREARM in the vicinity of Court Street at Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights at roughly 9:17 a.m. Thursday morning, police said. A witness told the Brooklyn Eagle that numerous police officers briefly flooded nearby Montague Street at that time.
No shots were fired and the man disappeared, police told the Eagle. No description is available at this time.
REP. GOLDMAN TARGETS GUN ADS AIMED AT CHILDREN
NATIONWIDE — REP. DAN GOLDMAN (NY-10) IS CO-SPONSORING A BILL authorizing the FTC to study the gun industry’s advertising aimed at children as young as ten years old. “It is entirely unacceptable that gun distributors are advertising weapons of war to children,” Goldman said in a statement on Thursday. The Responsible Firearms Marketing Act would investigate ads targeting youth younger than 18; ads that encourage the illegal use of firearms; and ads related to the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons.
A report from the non-profit Sandy Hook Promise found that the firearm manufacturers use powerful psychological ad techniques on kids, including R-rated content for boys with messaging about sex, power and masculinity, and TikTok ads for girls showing women in sexually provocative clothing holding weapons, with the caption, “Girls don’t want flowers for Valentine’s Day, we want guns.”
NYT: ADAMS CANCELS D.C. MEETINGS FOLLOWING FBI RAID ON HOME OF CHIEF FUNDRAISER
CITYWIDE — MAYOR ERIC ADAMS ON THURSDAY CANCELED SEVERAL HIGH-LEVEL MEETINGS in Washington D.C. regarding the migrant crisis after agents from the FBI raided the Crown Heights home of his chief fund-raiser, Brianna Suggs, sources told the New York Times. According to the Times, Suggs, a campaign consultant who has helped raise millions for Adams, is “deeply entwined with efforts to advance the mayor’s agenda.” Evan Thies, Adams’ campaign spokesperson, did not respond to the Times’ texts or calls. Adams had been scheduled to join Denver Mayor Mike Johnston and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson on Thursday morning to meet with senior White House officials, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and members of the U.S. Senate.
“The mayor returned to New York City to address a matter,” Adam’s First Deputy Press Secretary Charles Kretchmer Lutvak, told the Brooklyn Eagle. “These meetings will be rescheduled as soon as possible,” he added.
FREE EVENT AIMS TO PREVENT CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFTS
MANHATTAN BEACH — BROOKLYN VEHICLE OWNERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND A FREE catalytic converter theft prevention event that State Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (D-southern Brooklyn) is sponsoring in collaboration with Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. During the first-come, first-serve event, being held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kingsborough Community College parking lot (2001 Oriental Blvd.), etching and stencil services are provided free of charge. This simple yet effective measure takes about 8-10 minutes per vehicle. In the unfortunate event that a vehicle’s catalytic converter is stolen, the New York Police Department (NYPD) now has the capability to track the part, prevent it from being accepted at scrap yards and return it to its rightful owner.
Catalytic converter theft has surged across the nation, posing a significant public safety challenge in our neighborhoods.
REP. CLARKE URGES AN END TO ‘WEAPONIZATION OF HATRED’
FLATBUSH AND CAPITOL HILL — U.S. REP YVETTE D. CLARKE (D-09) HAS RELEASED A STATEMENT ON THE ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR, condemning the original Oct. 7 attack on innocent civilians, and calling for an end of what she believes are root causes of the entire conflict: the weaponization of racial hatred, white supremacy and the mistakes that the United States government has made since initiating the war on terror 22 years ago in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Urging “the immediate release of all hostages and the safe return of all American citizens in the region, including the hundreds of Palestinian-Americans stranded in Gaza,” Rep. Clarke stated, “It is imperative that we ensure the viability of a corridor to allow for the safe evacuation of civilians and the import of humanitarian aid, immediately.”
Describing her 9th District of NY as “home to one of the most diverse populations in the nation, Clarke said, “It is up to all of us — elected officials, parents, teachers, members of the clergy and people of goodwill — we must stand together against the rise of hate and violence.”
NY STATE, UBER REACH LANDMARK AGREEMENT
OVER UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE LIABILITY
STATEWIDE — THE NY STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR HAS REACHED WHAT GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL IS CALLING AN “UNPRECEDENTED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT” with Uber Technologies Inc. regarding payment of unemployment insurance contributions. The agreement, announced on Thursday, resolves both past and future unemployment insurance contributions on behalf of drivers and couriers delivering for Uber and Uber Eats. Uber will begin making quarterly payments to the New York State Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and make a retroactive payment to the UI Trust Fund for payments owed since 2013. Even though NYSDOL maintains that Uber drivers and couriers are employees for purposes of unemployment insurance; and Uber holds that they are independent contractors, the two entities agree that drivers and couriers eligible for unemployment benefits should receive them, and Uber should contribute to the State’s UI Trust Fund on their behalf.
This agreement makes New York the first state in the U.S. with which Uber has agreed to a settlement that addresses both past and future unemployment insurance liability.
ADAMS, OTHER MAYORS HEAD TO D.C. THURSDAY TO DISCUSS ASYLUM ISSUE
WASHINGTON, D.C. — MAYOR ERIC ADAMS WILL TRAVEL to Washington D.C. on Thursday, where he will be joined by Denver Mayor Mike Johnston and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson to meet with federal officials and “discuss the impact of the asylum seeker crisis,” according to Adams’ public schedule. Adams, Johnson and Johnston will meet with senior White House officials, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and members of the U.S. Senate from 9 a.m. until noon.
The original plan was that Adams would be back in NYC later Thursday, scheduled to host a reception to celebrate Día de Muertos at Gracie Mansion. At 9:06 a.m., the D.C. trip was canceled.
FDNY: NO FIRE HYDRANTS NEAR MIGRANT TENTS AT FLOYD BENNETT FIELD
MARINE PARK — FDNY AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS CITED A NUMBER OF ‘RED FLAGS’ at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, where the Adams administration is housing migrant families in huge tents, according to the New York Post. An inspection revealed that there are “no hydrants in close proximity” to the shelter site, with the closest being a half mile away on Flatbush Avenue. City Hall told the Post, however, that FDNY drew up operation plans and conducted fire safety drills in advance of the encampment opening.
The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless have also commented that the migrant camp was “a recipe for disaster” because of poor sanitation and other issues, according to a transcript of Wednesday’s News 4 segment provided by the Mayor’s Office.
FORMER NAVY SRO IN BOERUM HILL FETCHED HIGHEST PRICE IN BROOKLYN LAST WEEK
BOERUM HILL — A FORMER BOARDING HOUSE FOR WWII NAVY VETERANS was the priciest home in Brooklyn to find a buyer between Oct. 23 and Oct. 29, according to The Real Deal. The five-story, four-bedroom, four-bath renovated townhouse at 82 Dean St. was priced at $7 million. Metro Loft’s chief marketing officer Mitchell Wasser and his wife Samantha Haber, co-founder of the vegan restaurant chain By Chloe, renovated the building after it had been vacant for five years, according to Curbed.
Haber purchased the former single-room occupancy for $1.75 million in 2014, Curbed reported.
LAWSUIT SEEKS TO OVERTURN NYC’S OUTDOOR DINING PROGRAM
CITYWIDE — A CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT WAS FILED ON MONDAY BY 30 NYC RESIDENTS seeking to overturn the city’s now-permanent outdoor dining program, amNY reports. Petitioners claim the outdoor dining sheds are destructive to neighborhoods, and illegal for not having been subject to a full environmental impact review and public comment. City officials and restaurant industry representatives, however, say the outdoor dining program kept countless eateries from having to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, saving 100,000 jobs.
Critics have said the sometimes-dingy dining structures “take away parking spots, attract rats and other vermin, are havens for homeless New Yorkers and crime, and bring noisy crowds to their blocks for all-night revelry,” according to amNY.
REP. GEORGE SANTOS SURVIVES EXPULSION VOTE
WASHINGTON, D.C. — LYING, SCAMMING AND FACING A 13-COUNT CORRUPTION INDICTMENT was not enough to get Long Island Republican George Santos booted from the House of Representatives on Wednesday, City & State reports. He survived the resolution to expel him by a vote of 213 to 179. Santos, who maintains his innocence, had urged lawmakers to hold off on expulsion, arguing that he deserves due process “and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.”
City & State ranked some of Santos’ top lies here.
ATTACK ON BROOKLYN SUBWAY PLATFORM LEAVES VICTIM WITH BRAIN HEMORRHAGE
PROSPECT PARK SOUTH — POLICE ARE SEARCHING FOR A DANGEROUS INDIVIDUAL who approached a 29-year-old man standing on the southbound Q train platform at the Church Avenue station Tuesday night at roughly 11:10 p.m. and punched him multiple times in the face. The victim fell and hit his head against a departing Q train. EMS transported him to NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County in stable condition, where he is being treated for bleeding in the brain. The suspect is described as a male with a dark complexion, approximately 6 feet tall. He was last seen wearing a black ski mask, a blue Rick and Morty jacket, blue jeans and white sneakers.
Anyone with information is asked to call 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.
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.”
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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