What’s News, Breaking: Friday, November 17, 2023
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS HISTORIC DISTRICT ANNIVERSARY
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — NOV. 23 MARKS THE 58TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE designation of Brooklyn Heights as the city’s first historic district in 1965, following its achievement of National Historic Landmark status in Jan. of that year. The title was intended to help preserve the area’s historic character and charm, particularly that of its characteristic brownstone townhouses and tree-lined streets. The Landmarks Commission’s designation report from 1965 notes that the area had been economically depressed for decades prior to the Second World War, reaching a nadir in the 1940s, but as young couples began to move back to the neighborhood following the construction of the BQE and Promenade in the 1950s — largely sparing the Heights from the destruction faced by other Brooklyn neighborhoods — pride in the Heights’ historic value led to an upwelling of support, led by the Brooklyn Heights Association, against efforts to demolish or modernize existing buildings.
“From the totality of all this, the interesting old buildings arranged on irregular streets, with unexpected vistas, emanates an appearance and even more a spirit and character of Old New York which no single part thereof, and certainly no individual Landmark, could possibly provide. It is this ‘collective emanation,’ which distinguishes a Historic District, and particularly Brooklyn Heights, from a Landmark and gives it a unique aesthetic and historical value.” – Otis Pratt Pearsall, Brooklyn Heights Association.
FIRE AT BUSHWICK WAREHOUSE
BUSHWICK — A HEAVY FIRE ENGULFED THE LOADING DOCK OF A BUSHWICK COMMERCIAL BUILDING on Thursday, reports Patch, before being eventually contained thanks to the efforts of 140 firefighters. The fire was called in by a local resident in the early afternoon but was brought under control by 3:15 p.m., although one firefighter sustained minor injuries; reports on news app Citizen indicate that first responders said that search efforts were hindered by “heavy clutter” inside the building, which was described as a warehouse or factory by the fire department.
Videos posted from the scene show the FDNY’s Robotics Unit preparing to deploy a drone; the Fire Department uses drones and other robots – including a Dalmatian-spotted robot “dog” — to help search hazardous areas and monitor firefighters during operations.
HEIGHTS PENTHOUSE TOPS SALES CHARTS
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A PENTHOUSE APARTMENT AT ONE BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK took the top spot on the borough’s luxury sales charts last week, reports the Real Deal, with a last asking price of $6.5 million for 3,400 square feet at the top of the refurbished 1928 condo building. The penthouse features three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a massive wraparound terrace with views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline; in addition to luxury touches like oak herringbone floors, building residents also enjoy amenities like an in-house gym, screening room and billiards room.
One Brooklyn Bridge Park is part of a cluster of high-priced residential buildings at the park’s Pier 6 southern end; the pricey penthouse is nowhere near the record for the address, which was set in 2015 by an 11,000 square-foot triplex listed at $32 million.
SCHUMER: ‘HOLD CHINA ACCOUNTABLE’ ON FENTANYL
NATIONWIDE — SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, ON THURSDAY, HAILED A DEAL STRUCK BETWEEN President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday designed to crack down on the production and smuggling of fentanyl and its precursor chemicals, as well as efforts already being made by the Chinese to rein in companies manufacturing these items, but warned that the U.S. should be ready to “hold China accountable” for compliance with its commitments. Under the agreement, China will take action against companies making precursor drugs, as well as join the U.S. in launching a counter-narcotics working group to bolster law enforcement information sharing. According to a press release from the senator’s office, China is the world’s largest producer of illicit fentanyl and could be responsible for over 90 percent of the illicit fentanyl found in the U.S.; in 2022, NYC saw overdose deaths reach record numbers at over 3,000, predominantly driven by illicit fentanyl.
“During my visit to China last month, we were pointed and direct with President Xi. I told him the devastating impact I have seen the opioid crisis have on New York families. I am pleased to see China take what could be a major step forward to cut off the flow of fentanyl, and I am going to be watching like a hawk for progress,” Schumer said in a press statement.
NYC COUNCIL HEARING MONDAY ON POLICE RADIO
ENCRYPTION AND MEDIA TRANSPARENCY
LOWER MANHATTAN — THE NYC COUNCIL IS HOLDING A JOINT HEARING on Monday on the New York Police Department’s radio encryption plans, the press credential issuance process and governmental social media account archiving. On the encryption issue, the Council said in a release, “As the NYPD moves ahead with its plans to further encrypt radio transmissions, and the impacts are better understood, media organizations, journalists and volunteer first-responder groups are expressing concerns about how this interferes with their efforts to serve the public.”
The hearing will take place Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. in the Committee Room, 16th Floor, 250 Broadway in Manhattan, and will be livestreamed at https://council.nyc.gov/livestream/
NY: AMAZON CAN NO LONGER ENTER YOUR APARTMENT BUILDING WHENEVER IT WANTS
ALBANY — GOV. KATHY HOCHUL SIGNED ON FRIDAY A BILL SPONSORED BY BROOKLYN ASSEMBLYMEMBER JO ANNE SIMON that would prevent companies like Amazon from installing keyless devices in residential buildings, which allow company drivers to unlock entrance doors without the knowledge or written consent of owners, board of directors or other authorized party. Under Amazon’s “Key for Business” program, the company installs electronic unlocking devices in residential buildings to speed up their rounds, leaving tenants unaware of who has access to their building and causing serious security concerns. In some cases, the Amazon devices interfere with a building’s own security system or intercoms.
“New Yorkers deserve to feel safe and stay healthy in their own homes,” Simon said in a release, adding, “This law will ensure New Yorkers are aware of any such devices being installed in their building because it will now require written consent.”
HOCHUL WARNS HOLIDAY TRAVELERS:
MAJOR STORM TO HIT NY DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING
STATEWIDE — GOV. KATHY HOCHUL WARNED OF A MAJOR STORM just in time for Wednesday, Nov. 22, the busy travel day before Thanksgiving. In Brooklyn, Wednesday is likely to be cold and rainy. But if you plan on driving upstate that day, Hochul has one word — don’t. “Our state forecasters and National Weather Service are tracking a lake effect snowstorm. We believe it’s going to have major impacts. As a result of those forecasts, I’m directing all of my state agencies from Homeland Security, DOT, Thruway Authority, National Guard, Parks and DEC to be prepared,” she said in a release Friday.
“Do not make next Wednesday be your main day to travel, or else you’ll get stuck,” she urged travelers planning to head north next week.
DOT CLOSES PROSPECT EXPWY. EXIT RAMP 1
FOR PAINTING AND STEEL REPAIRS PROJECT
PROSPECT/GOWANUS EXPRESSWAYS — THE NYS Department of Transportation will close the Exit 1 Ramp from the westbound Prospect Expressway (NY 27) to Hamilton Avenue at 16th Street in Brooklyn this weekend, starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. This closure is needed to facilitate work on NYSDOT’s $168 million Gowanus Expressway (I-278) Painting and Steel Repairs Project from the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel to 6th Avenue in Brooklyn. Motorists are advised to take Exit 2 (3rd Ave./4th Ave.) instead and follow the detour signs. The ramp is expected to open by 6 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 20.
As part of the same project, the Ovington Avenue exit ramp from the northbound (inbound) Gowanus Expressway will be fully closed Saturday from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Monday, November 20.
MALICHITA CANTALOUPES RECALLED
AMID SALMONELLA THREAT
NATIONWIDE — CANTALOUPE IS THE LATEST FOOD TO BE RECALLED DUE TO A SALMONELLA RISK, according to the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Several lots of fresh cantaloupe from Sofia Produce, LLC, doing business as Arizona-based “Trufresh,” have been recalled for potential contamination with salmonella. The cantaloupes were packaged in cardboard containers labeled with the “Malichita” label and include several sales order numbers distributed between October 16, 2023 and October 23, 2023; these numbers are: 128663, 128712, 128713, 128662, 128680, 225252, 225231, 419719, 419721, 419828, 419803, 612235, 612273. New Jersey was the closest state where the fruit batches were delivered, although the USDA warns they may have been further trucked to New York and neighboring states.
HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE SETS STAGE
FOR VOTE TO EXPEL EMBATTLED SANTOS
BAY RIDGE AND CAPITOL HILL — A DAY AFTER TWO BROOKLYN CONGRESS MEMBERS DENOUNCED REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-03), the chairman of the House Ethics Committee has filed a resolution to expel the embattled Queens Congressman, according to several news reports. Michael Guest, a Mississippi Republican who chairs the bipartisan House Ethics Committee, on Thursday, issued a scathing report that called Santos “untrustworthy.” Santos, who has already withstood two attempts to expel him, faces this latest House vote — with his own party holding a slim majority — after the Thanksgiving holiday.
After the report was released, Brooklyn’s only Republican Congressmember, Nicole Malliotakis (R-11), also called for Santos to resign or be expelled. Democrat Congressman Dan Goldman, who serves much of western Brooklyn, also said he’d introduce a bill to expel Santos.
LAB RESULTS ON COUNCILMEMBER’S GUN
COMPEL BROOKLYN DA TO DROP CHARGES
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — GUN CHARGES AGAINST CITY COUNCILMEMBER INNA VERNIKOV WERE DROPPED after forensic lab results showed that the weapon was unloaded, according to several news reports, including the Associated Press and NBC News. A spokesperson from Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office told reporters that the gun belonging to Councilmember Vernikov, a Republican representing several southern Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Brighton Beach, was found to be missing a recoil spring assembly and any bullets. Staunchly pro-Israel, Vernikov had brought the weapon to a pro-Palestine rally at Brooklyn College last month in violation of a city law that prohibits weapons at protests and school grounds alike – even though she possesses a concealed-carry license.
Based on the police lab results, prosecutors cannot bring gun charges against Vernikov; the Brooklyn District Attorney “had no choice but to dismiss” the charge, said the spokesperson, who added that “bringing a gun to a protest is illegal and creates an unacceptable risk of harm that has no place in our city.”
CITY COUNCIL GIVES CUNY SCHOOLS $550K
TO EXPAND ANTI-HATRED PROGRAMS
CITYWIDE — THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK HAS RECEIVED $550,000 FROM THE NEW YORK City Council to expand anti-hate initiatives that address religious and ethnic discrimination on CUNY campuses. The $550,000 builds on the work CUNY has been doing over the last year to confront bigotry and discrimination and to combat antisemitism and other forms of hate. This effort has included the distribution of $750,000 in state funds for Campus Climate Support Grants to address religious, racial and ethnic bigotry across the University. CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez pointed out that “CUNY is reaffirming its mission to root out antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of discrimination and bigotry, building new programs to ensure campuses remain bastions of tolerance, empathy and respect.”
While many groups are focusing only on antisemitism toward Jews, the word “antisemitism” actually relates to hatred of any person from the Semitic language group that includes Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic.
CITY TECH HOSTS TRAVELING EXHIBITS
AS PART OF ANTI-HATE PROGRAMS
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — New York City College of Technology, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, has hosted visual arts exhibits as part of a larger educational program to combat hatred within its schools. The first exhibit held earlier this year, titled “I am a Jew,” explored Jewish identity through portrait photography and testimony. Another exhibit, running now through January 5, titled “Americans and the Holocaust,” is a 1,100-square-foot traveling exhibit of the U.S. National Holocaust Memorial Museum that City Tech is hosting at City Tech’s Ursula C. Schwerin Library.
City Tech is among 50 colleges and universities participating in the exhibit, and its professors have also integrated material from it into their fall 2023 course curricula. Upcoming classes after Thanksgiving include an Overview & Introduction to “Americans and the Holocaust” and “Racism, Eugenics & Antisemitism: Connections between Jim Crow and the Nuremberg Race Laws.”
FOURTH PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES IN TWO WEEKS
AS HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER KILLS ELDERLY WOMAN
FORT HAMILTON — AN ELDERLY WOMAN CROSSING THE STREET IN FORT HAMILTON is the latest victim in what has become a spike in fatal collisions around Brooklyn involving pedestrians and motorists. The woman, whose name police withheld but gave her age as 72 years old, was crossing with her shopping cart near Marine Ave. and 96th St. on Thursday, Nov. 16, around 6:50 p.m. when the driver of a dark-colored sedan crashed into her, sending her onto the vehicle’s roof and windshield before she wound up stuck underneath a parked car, a witness told the Daily News Thursday night. The witness said the driver never slowed down and continued racing up Marine Avenue and that his car dragged the shopping cart for several yards. Medics did not reach the woman in time to save her.
According to statistics from Open Data NYC and Patch, the woman’s death marks the fourth pedestrian fatality in just two weeks.
RUMOR MILL: ANDREW CUOMO AS NYC MAYOR?
CITYWIDE — SOURCES TELL VANITY FAIR THAT REAL ESTATE INTERESTS are urging former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stage a political comeback by running for NYC mayor if embattled Mayor Eric Adams is pushed out of office by his legal troubles. Cuomo is downplaying the speculation — but still keeps up a steady schedule of speeches, tweets, TV appearances and visits to Black churches in Brooklyn.
Cuomo resigned as governor of New York in disgrace in 2021 following allegations of sexual harassment by 11 women.
COPS SEEK TRIO ROBBING COFFEE SHOPS,
RESTAURANTS ACROSS BROOKLYN
BOROUGH-WIDE — POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR THREE ROBBERS who broke into a series of coffee shops, restaurants and one small law office during the early morning hours across Brooklyn, stealing cash in amounts ranging from $200-$1,500 and random property. In the first incident, the men broke into a coffee shop on Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn at 12:49 a.m. on Oct. 23. They struck another coffee shop on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights on Oct. 27 at 3:40 a.m. On Oct. 30 at 3:10 a.m., they broke into a law office on Smith Street in Boerum Hill. On Nov. 15 at 2:40 a.m., they hit a bagel shop on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope — but did not steal anything at this one location. That same night, ten minutes later, however, they broke into a sushi restaurant, also on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, robbing cash and property.
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 https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/
A DIRTIER (& RATTIER) NYC
UNDER ADAMS’ REVISED BUDGE
CITYWIDE — UNDER MAYOR ERIC ADAMS’ MODIFIED CITY BUDGET, the Sanitation Department will cut the number of litter baskets, reduce trash pickup and delay the citywide implementation of composting, Gothamist reports. In addition, the city’s investment in rat exterminators will be slashed, officials told The City.
The reduced sanitation budget is just one of many citywide cuts Adams has imposed affecting education, policing, libraries and basic services.
FACING BUDGET CUTS, NYC LIBRARIES ELIMINATE SUNDAY HOURS, CUT SERVICES
BOROUGHWIDE — THE BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY system on Thursday, Nov. 16, announced it will be eliminating seven-day (Sunday) service to its Central Library and all branches that offer it, including in Brooklyn Heights. Blaming the Sunday closures on Mayor Adams’ administration budget cuts, Library spokespersons pointed out that the revenue shortage will also affect spending on library materials, programming, and building maintenance and repairs. The Library’s statement indicated, “We cannot sustain our current levels of service, and any further cuts to the libraries’ budgets will, unfortunately, result in deeper service impacts.” The last day of service will be Sunday, Dec. 17, for Borough Park, Brooklyn Heights, Central Library at Grand Army Plaza, Greenpoint, Kings Highway, Macon, Midwood and New Lots. The New York Public Library and Queens Public Library are also eliminating Sunday service.
Many of these branches are in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods where, because of the Sabbath, families do not visit the library or do schoolwork on Sundays. Sunday hours were therefore essential at these locations.
NYC PUBLIC ADVOCATE CALLS ADAMS’ BUDGET CUTS ‘IRRESPONSIBLE’
CITYWIDE — PUBLIC ADVOCATE JUMAANE WILLIAMS ON THURSDAY CALLED MAYOR ERIC ADAMS’ FY24 BUDGET MODIFICATIONS a continuation of his “irresponsible” strategy of pitting “New Yorkers who have less against new New Yorkers who have least.” Adams has blamed an influx of asylum seekers for causing a budget shortfall that he seeks to remedy by slashing funds for public education, libraries, sanitation and services for the most vulnerable across the city.
Williams said the mayor should make cuts “with a scalpel” instead of across the board, and should reconsider his opposition to “common sense revenue raising options.”
BROOKLYN GANG LEADER SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON
DOWNTOWN — A BROOKLYN GANG LEADER was sentenced Wednesday by United States District Judge Diane Gujarati in Brooklyn Federal Court to two terms of life imprisonment to run concurrently, for murder in aid of racketeering and causing death through the use of a firearm. Christopher Acevedo, a founder and leader of the Wood City street gang, named for the Woodhull neighborhood of Queens where some of the gang members lived, was convicted in May.
“Christopher Acevedo showed his indifference for human life when he murdered David Hutchinson in broad daylight over a petty gang dispute, in order to maintain and burnish his status as the leader of a violent street gang whose members felt insulted by the taking of a piece of jewelry,” United States Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
BROOKLYN’S REP. GOLDMAN WARNS ISRAELI SETTLERS’ VIOLENCE SABOTAGES PEACEMAKING EFFORTS
CITYWIDE— THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION MUST NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE GROWING DANGER THAT VIOLENCE ON THE WEST BANK BY ISRAELI SETTLERS could cause the Israel-Hamas war to escalate, warned Brooklyn U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman (D-10) and Sen Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who were the only two members of Congress who were in Israel during the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. The two lawmakers on Thursday, Nov. 16, sent a letter to President Biden, urging him to focus on preventing the war from escalating into a wider regional conflict, protecting innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians, and facilitating the flow of desperately needed humanitarian assistance. Goldman and Booker stated their belief that any government in the West Bank and Gaza — whether it be the Palestinian Authority or another entity — will require intense international support, reforms, and legitimacy to deliver for the Palestinian people.
Goldman and Booker also expressed concern that the Israeli government has not done enough to curb settler violence or to stop settlers from using U.S.-provided weapons to target innocent Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
POLICE ARREST WOMAN WHO ATTACKED PRO-PALESTINIANS ON BROOKLYN BRIDGE
DOWNTOWN — POLICE ARRESTED A 31-YEAR-OLD NATIVE OF ISRAEL who allegedly made anti-ethnic statements, threatened, and slapped at least one person participating in a pro-Palestinian event on the Brooklyn Bridge foot path on Oct. 28 at roughly 6:13 p.m. Eden Atias, a Windsor Terrace resident, was charged with multiple counts of aggravated harassment, grand larceny and endangering the welfare of a child, police said. Videos shared widely on social media showed her slapping or grabbing people on the walkway, including youth, and shouting that they all deserved to die. The incident was investigated as a hate crime.
On her social media accounts, Atias says she was born and raised in Haifa, Israel, and is a dancer.
WOMAN GIVES BIRTH ON SIDE OF HIGHWAY
EAST NEW YORK – A VERY NEW NEW YORKER IS DOING WELL AFTER HIS SCARY WELCOME to city life last month, reports the New York Post: Month-old Temple Osborne was born on the side of the Jackie Robinson Parkway Oct. 1 to East New York parents BelRaye and Tru Osborne. The couple told the Post that after BelRaye’s contractions became unbearable, dad Tru was forced to find a safe spot to stop on the highway shoulder with only seconds to spare as the baby’s head began to crown. Eight-pound, 5-ounce Temple was then escorted to a hospital with the help of a nearby police officer flagged down by the sudden parents, and issued a birth certificate, with place of birth reading “Exit 5 — Woodhaven.”
“We just looked at each other and said, ‘Did that just happen?’ … It wasn’t traumatic at all, it was amazing. It was beautiful. All we had was each other and that’s all we needed,” BelRaye told the Post.
‘TOW-A-PALOOZA’ ON LIVINGSTON BUS LANE
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – DRIVERS PARKED ON THE BRAND-NEW LIVINGSTON Street expanded bus lane got an unwelcome surprise on Tuesday, reports Streetsblog, when three NYPD tow trucks turned up in the middle of the afternoon to haul away vehicles blocking the right-of-way. Several of the offending cars bore signs indicating that they belonged to city workers, including apparently faked parking permits, despite pleas from the MTA earlier this week for employees at its downtown HQ not to park illegally. Livingston is now a westbound-only street between Hoyt and Flatbush.
New York City Transit president Rich Davey said in a statement, “There’s no excuse…. It’s simple: if you’re not a bus, get the heck out of that busway.”
POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING FLATBUSH MAN
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – POLICE HAVE REISSUED A CALL FOR INFORMATION ABOUT missing Flatbush man Marlon Philip, age 38, who was last seen on the afternoon of Monday, August 7, in the vicinity of Smith and Schermerhorn streets in Downtown Brooklyn. Philip is described as approximately 6’0 and 185 pounds, with a dark complexion.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on X (Twitter) @NYPDTips.
EAST MIDWOOD JEWISH CENTER, MARKING CENTENNIAL, HOSTS INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE
FLATBUSH/MIDWOOD — THE INTERFAITH COALITION OF BROOKLYN CONTINUES A LONGTIME TRADITION THIS SUNDAY, Nov. 19, with its 23rd Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. This year’s service, which starts at 4 p.m., is being held at the East Midwood Jewish Center (1625 Ocean Ave.) to commemorate the synagogue’s centennial. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable packaged or canned food item as a donation for the OLR Food Pantry at neighboring Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church.
Interfaith Coalition member Our Lady of Refuge Church, about a mile and a half to the north on Ocean Avenue, marked its centennial in 1911 when it was founded for predominantly Irish and German Catholics. The parish has grown and now serves about 30 nationalities and three language groups — English, Spanish and Creole.
LIFESTYLE MEDICINE PROGRAM EXPANDS TO WOODHULL HOSPITAL IN NORTH BROOKLYN
BUSHWICK TO WILLIAMSBURG — THE CITY’S PUBLIC HOSPITALS’ NATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED LIFESTYLE MEDICINE PROGRAM HAS EXPANDED TO NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/WOODHULL. The expansion, announced on Thursday, Nov. 15, marks the second in addition of six new sites to make the program available citywide, following the recent launch at NYC H+H’s Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. The Lifestyle Medicine Program gives patients the tools to make healthy lifestyle changes, including access to plant-based diet resources and one-on-one counseling. Adults living with pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or health concerns related to excess weight are eligible to enroll (contact number 347-507-3695). Once all of the sites are launched, the program will be able to accommodate nearly 4,000 patients per year. NYC Health + Hospitals, receiving city support, will commit $3 million this year and approximately $5 million annually in future years to fund staffing and programmatic services for the Lifestyle Medicine Programs.
NYC H+H/Kings County is already participating in Lifestyle Medicine, as are the system’s Gotham Health locations.
AS HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE EXCORIATES SANTOS; BROOKLYN’S REP. GOLDMAN WILL MOVE FOR EXPULSION
BROOKLYN AND CAPITOL HILL — FOLLOWING THE HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE’S RELEASE OF ITS MUCH-ANTICIPATED AND SCATHING REPORT ON THE INVESTIGATION of freshman Congressman George Santos (R-03), Rep. Dan Goldman of Brooklyn says that after Thanksgiving break he will introduce a bill to get the embattled Queens/Nassau County congressperson expelled. Goldman, in a Nov. 16 published statement, wrote, “More than 10 months after Congressman Torres and I filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee, the Committee has finally announced their findings and, as I anticipated last December, concluded that George Santos defrauded his donors, filed false FEC reports, and repeatedly broke the law in order to fraudulently win his election last November… Now that Republicans no longer have any fictional excuse to protect Santos in order to preserve their narrow majority, I hope they will join Democrats in expelling him from Congress immediately.”
Meanwhile, after the Ethics Committee’s scathing report was publicized, Rep. Santos announced that he would not seek re-election to Congress in 2024.
REP. MALLIOTAKIS JOINS THOSE CALLING FOR SANTOS’ RESIGNATION OR EXPULSION
SOUTHERN BROOKLYN AND CAPITOL HILL — REP. NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS, who is Brooklyn’s lone GOP Congressmember, joined her voice to those calling for Rep. George Santos’ resignation or expulsion following the release, on Thursday, Nov. 16, of the House Ethics Committee report. Malliotakis told Americans that The House Committee on Ethics unanimously voted to refer to the Department of Justice (DOJ) substantial evidence that Representative Santos knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission, used campaign funds for personal purposes, engaged in fraudulent conduct in connection with RedStone Strategies LLC, and engaged in knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act as it relates to his Financial Disclosure Statements filed with the House.
“The House Ethics Committee report only reaffirms that his actions are unbecoming of a Member of Congress,” said Malliotakis. “I believe it’s not enough for Santos to simply say he won’t seek re-election. He should immediately resign or be expelled so his constituents can be represented by someone who isn’t a fraud.”
REP. VELÁZQUEZ PUSHES FOR BILL ADDRESSING CLIMATE-RELATED HUMAN MIGRATION
NORTHERN BROOKLYN — REP. NYDIA M. VELÁZQUEZ (D-07) AND SENATOR ED MARKEY (D-MA) ON THURSDAY, NOV. 16, REINTRODUCED THE BICAMERAL CLIMATE DISPLACED PERSONS ACT, which aims to address the growing effect of climate change on human migration. The bill creates a new humanitarian program for those who have been displaced by environmental disasters or climate change and who need durable resettlement solutions. This program will function separately from the U.S. refugee admissions program but will afford the same benefits. The bill directs the Secretary of State, in coordination with the USAID administrator and the Special President Envoy for Climate, to devise a Global Climate Resilience Strategy. “In order to fight climate change, we must all be in this together,” said Congresswoman Velázquez. “However, we must not only find solutions around climate equity and climate justice but recognize the need for security assistance and resettlement opportunities for climate-displaced persons.”
One of the co-sponsors from the New York Congressional delegation is Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-13/Harlem to NW Bronx).
CLEAN SLATE ACT, NOW LAW, WILL BOOST EMPLOYMENT AND FILL VACANT JOBS, SAY LEADERS
BROOKLYN AND STATEWIDE — THE CLEAN SLATE ACT, WHICH GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL SIGNED INTO LAW TODAY, THURSDAY, NOV. 16, allows certain criminal records to be sealed years after an individual is sentenced or released from incarceration if that individual is not subsequently convicted of an additional criminal act with exceptions for with sex crime convictions. The Governor’s signature makes New York the 12th State to enact Clean Slate Legislation, which gives former prisoners a second chance at a meaningful career and boosts the economy. Gov. Hochul said, “The best crime-fighting tool is a good-paying job. That’s why I support giving New Yorkers a clean slate after they’ve paid their debt to society and gone years without an additional offense.”
Likewise, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Randy Peers said, “Everywhere I go in Brooklyn, small businesses are struggling to find employees to fill job openings, and this will help to greatly expand the talent pool. The Clean Slate Act is about economic justice, development and helping New York’s workforce develop and grow.”
BREAKING NEWS: JURY CONVICTS DEFENDANT IN 2022 ATTACK ON HOUSE SPEAKER’S PELOSI’S HUSBAND
CALIFORNIA/NATIONWIDE — A FEDERAL JURY IN CALIFORNIA HAS CONVICTED THE MAN WHO ATTACKED FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI’S HUSBAND, PAUL, IN HIS HOME, just days before the Nov. 2022 midterm elections, report the Associated Press, Reuters and other news agencies. The jury on Thursday, Nov. 16, found David DePape guilty of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official. DePape, 43, who now faces half a century in prison, had also planned to kidnap Nancy Pelosi, who at the time was still Speaker of the House; however, she was in Washington, DC on Oct. 28, 2022, the day of the assault.
During his trial, DePape also admitted to bludgeoning Paul Pelosi with a hammer after San Francisco police officers showed up at the home, an attack that was captured on law enforcement’s body cameras. His motive to end what he believed to be government corruption was “unraveling,” he told the court.
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