Brooklyn Boro

What’s News, Breaking: Tuesday, November 21, 2023

November 21, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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SCHUMER UNVEILS BILL ALLOWING FAMILIES
TO FLY TOGETHER AT NO EXTRA CHARGE

NATIONWIDE — U.S. SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER ON MONDAY UNVEILED THE ‘FAMILIES FLY TOGETHER ACT,’ NY1 reported. His proposed legislation would make it easier for parents to sit near their children under 13 with no additional fees outside the base ticket costs.

“Whether it’s Thanksgiving or any other time, airlines should not be forcing parents to plead once they get on the plane to sit with their kids or forcing parents into a game of musical chairs,” Schumer said.

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THREE ‘ZOMBIE’ CHARTER SCHOOLS SET TO
OPEN NEXT YEAR IN BROOKLYN

 

BOROUGH-WIDE — THREE NEW CHARTER SCHOOL WILL BE OPENING IN BROOKLYN beginning next year, BKReader reports. They include Bed-Stuy New Beginnings Charter School, Kwenda Collegiate Girls Charter in Central Brooklyn and Math, Engineering, and Science Academy High School in Bushwick. The three schools were originally approved by the State University of New York Trustees in 2019 but were unable to move forward because of the charter cap.

In her 2024 budget proposal, Hochul promised to lift the cap, particularly for “zombie” charter schools, which refers to schools that were closed or never opened, including these three, according to BKReader.

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NYPD ARRESTS WOMAN WHO ACCOSTED
FAMILY; CHARGES INCLUDE HATE CRIME

FORT GREENE — POLICE HAVE ARRESTED THE WOMAN WHO TWO WEEKS AGO THREW COFFEE IN THE FACE OF A MAN with his child at Edmonds Playground in Fort Greene, an NYPD public affairs officer told the Eagle by phone on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and then later announced in an email (Patch also reported that the woman, whose name police spell as Hadasa Bozakkaravani, 48, of Ashland Place, was arrested on Nov. 21). She faces nine charges, including hate crime, assault, aggravated endangerment and harassment in connection with the Nov. 7 attack at Edmonds Playground. The woman was caught on video making anti-Muslim comments and hurling a hot coffee at the man, who was playing with his son. The man was wearing a keffiyeh, a scarf internationally recognized as a symbol of Palestinian nationalism. As of press time, the NYPD did not yet have information on an arraignment date for Bozakkaravani.

City Councilmember Crystal Hudson, who represents this neighborhood within Community District 2, commended the victim, Ashish Prashar, for the courage to share his story, published in New York Magazine on Nov. 20.

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FORMER CORRECTIONS OFFICER SENTENCED
FOR SMUGGLING AT RIKERS AND IN BROOKLYN 

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A FORMER NEW YORK CITY CORRECTION OFFICER HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 29 months’ imprisonment for accepting nearly $10,000 in bribe payments in exchange for smuggling contraband into Rikers Island and, later, to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. United States District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto presided at the Tuesday, Nov. 21 sentencing of former New York City correction officer Krystle Burrell. Court documents showed that Burrell accepted nearly $10,000 in bribes from co-conspirators on behalf of co-defendant Terrae Hinds in exchange for smuggling contraband into the Anna M. Kross Center on Rikers Island. Burrell also accepted payments on behalf of Hinds for narcotics and other contraband so that Hinds could resell the contraband on Rikers Island. Later, after pleading guilty and being released on bail, Burrell again conspired with Hinds, who had been transferred to the Brooklyn detention center.

This past March, Burrell was charged with the later crime. Hinds, who had already pleaded guilty, also awaits sentencing.

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NY’S COMPOSTING REGULATIONS
UPHELD AS A MODEL FOR OTHERS

STATEWIDE — NEW YORK STATE’S COMPOSTING REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN PRAISED AND IDENTIFIED AS A MODEL for others, according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. New York State was recently applauded for its composting regulations, which have created a friendly regulatory environment for composting facilities to transition to composting food scraps, not just yard trimmings, and developed a friendly environment for small-scale food scrap operations. As part of a study to better understand the viability of retrofitting existing composting infrastructure, the Composting Consortium worked with Coker Composting & Consulting and BioCycle Connect to evaluate if state composting regulations would help or hinder the use of existing yard waste composting infrastructure to process food waste and food-contact compostable packaging.

New York was the only state among the 50 assessed to have a dark green final Infrastructure Retrofit Score because the team determined that the DEC’s regulatory framework serves as a model for other states to utilize.

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UNEMPLOYMENT UP ACROSS NY STATE,
WITH THE BRONX, BROOKLYN THE HIGHEST

STATEWIDE — UNEMPLOYMENT INCREASED ACROSS NYS IN OCTOBER 2023 compared to October 2022, with the Bronx and Brooklyn underperforming the rest of the state, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday by the NYS Department of Labor. In Brooklyn, the unemployment rate jumped to 6.1% in October 2023 from 5.2% in October 2022. The unemployment rate in the Bronx was 7.3% this past October, compared to 6.8% in 2022. The state’s unemployment rate increased overall to 4.4% in October 2023, compared to 3.7% last year.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits nationwide increased to a three-month high in early November, Reuters reported, suggesting that the labor market was cooling overall.

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MTA & BROOKLYN OFFICIALS CELEBRATE NEW
ADA ELEVATORS AT PARK SLOPE’S 7TH AVE. STATION

PARK SLOPE — MTA CHAIR/CEO JANNO LIEBER, DISABLED RIDERS AND A HOST OF BROOKLYN OFFICIALS celebrated the opening of new ADA elevators at the 7th Avenue subway station serving the F/G lines on Tuesday. “Over the years, the Park Slope community has pushed hard to make this station accessible, and we have delivered,” Lieber said, adding that MTA was knocking out lifts with ADA accessibility “faster, better, and cheaper than ever before” using grant money from FTA and the design-build process. Former and current Brooklyn officials, including Comptroller Brad Lander, Borough President Antonio Reynoso, state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, Councilmember Shahana Hanif and Assemblymember Robert Carroll, applauded the new elevators.

“As a disabled New Yorker, I know how difficult it can be to navigate our city’s subway system and how critical ADA accessibility is for our public transit network,” Hanif said.

Janno Lieber at an NYC subway elevator.
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA

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FDA WARNS AGAINST USE OF NEPTUNE’S FIX,
CITING DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL INGREDIENTS

NATIONWIDE — THE US FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION IS WARNING CONSUMERS NOT TO BUY NEPTUNE’S FIX, A POPULAR PRODUCT SOLD IN BODEGAS AND GAS STATION STORES to help people focus. Neptune’s Fix products contain tianeptine — a potentially dangerous substance not FDA-approved for any medical use but illegally sold with claims to improve brain function and treat anxiety, depression, pain, opioid use disorder and other conditions. The FDA has received severe adverse event reports after use of Neptune‘s Fix products, including seizures and loss of consciousness leading to hospitalization. Consumers who experience a bad reaction to any tianeptine product should seek immediate medical help.

Neptune’s Fix is usually purchased at gas stations, vape or smoke shops, and online. The product is believed to also contain other harmful but unlisted ingredients.

FDA recalled elixir: Neptune's Fix, image courtesy the FDA.
Neptune’s Fix, image courtesy of the FDA.

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REP. GOLDMAN, HOUSE DEMOCRATS ACCUSE
X PLATFORM OF PROFITING FROM HATE SPEECH

CAPITOL HILL — BROOKLYN REP. DAN GOLDMAN (D-10/western Brooklyn) is leading a group of Congressmembers in accusing Elon Musk’s X platform (formerly Twitter) of “profiting off violent content by a terrorist organization.” The House Democrats demand that Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino address Hamas-related content on the social media platform. They also want to know what changes the company “plans to implement to ensure that the harmful spread of terrorist propaganda does not happen again.” The Congressmembers wrote that the already “inexcusable” issue of antisemitic content on X had become “outright indefensible” since the deadly Oct. 7 terror attack in Israel by militants from Hamas, which the US has labeled as a terror group since 1997.

Goldman and other House Democrats pointed out that much of this content violates X’s platform policies, which prohibit “engaging in or promoting violent acts” and “recruiting, providing or distributing services (such as media/propaganda) to further stated goals.” 

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ELIGIBILITY FOR HALF-PRICED METROCARDS TO INCREASE —
BUT RIDERS SAY NOT ENOUGH

CITYWIDE — NYC IS ABOUT TO INCREASE ELIGIBILITY FOR “FAIR FARE” HALF-PRICED METROCARDS, but riders said at a recent hearing it’s not enough because the definition of “low income” is based on the Federal Poverty level rather than the actual cost of living in New York City. The current Fair Fares rules provide that an applicant’s gross income must not exceed 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in order to qualify for the discount. The city plans to raise that to 120% on Dec. 16. People who commented on the NYC Rules website said even at the new rate, most low-income working people would still not be eligible.

“At 120%, the single mother of two that earns $35,000 a year will ‘make too much.’ A family of four with a single breadwinner earning $50,000 will ‘make too much.’ Essentially, all working New Yorkers will still make too much,” commented Derrick Holmes.

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BROOKLYN ARTS COUNCIL ISSUES RFP
TO BUILD DIGITAL INNOVATION PORTAL

DUMBO — BROOKLYN ARTS COUNCIL (BAC) HAS ISSUED A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL AS THE ORGANIZATION seeks software development services for the upcoming Brooklyn Innovation Portal (BIP) to connect artists to resources, opportunities and each other. Building on BAC’s work of supporting Brooklyn artists, this open site, subscription-service platform will give BAC’s dynamic audience access to investing in both artist content and Brooklyn communities. BAC is now in search of a firm that will deliver Phase I of the BIP as a digital embodiment of BAC’s core work with artists, aiming to develop a mobile-responsive web portal to become the go-to resource for participants in Brooklyn’s creative economy. Formal bids are due Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, by 5 p.m. ET. Questions concerning this RFP must be addressed in writing to Emma Cookson via email at [email protected] no later than Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, at 12 p.m. ET.

BAC envisions the digital resource to have several functions among them: media libraries with content for creative wellness, professional development, and art engagement.

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LATEST USDA RECALL INVOLVES FRUITS
WITH POSSIBLE LISTERIA TOXINS

NATIONWIDE — PEACHES, PLUMS AND NECTARINES from HMC Farms, both in bags and in cardboard containers, have been recalled effective Nov. 17, following a threat of foodborne illness-causing Listeria, the United States Department of Agriculture reports. The HMC Group Marketing, Inc., which does business as HMC Farms, is voluntarily recalling peaches, plums and nectarines that were sold in retail stores nationwide between May 1 and Nov. 15, 2022, and the same period this year. While the affected fruits are no longer in stores, the USDA is concerned that people who may have frozen this produce could potentially become ill when consuming it and is urging anyone with this fruit to discard it.

The fruit is being recalled because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Nectarines; Image courtesy USDA.
Nectarines; Image courtesy USDA.

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BROOKLYN ASSEMBLYMEMBER TAKES HOME ‘THE STARS OF NEW YORK DANCE’ CROWN

DOWNTOWN — NYS ASSEMBLYMEMBER MONIQUE CHANDLER-WATERMAN (D-East Flatbush) and David Myrie of Taylor Lovett Dance Academy were voted this year’s Dance Champions in the popular competition, “The Stars of New York Dance.” Their performance was inspired by the movie “Dancehall Queen.” Students from the Taylor Lovett Dance Academy performed with them. The competition, which raises dance education funds for children, features local officials and business, religious and nonprofit leaders who work with professional dancers. Previous competitors include Mayor Eric Adams, former Comptroller Scott Stringer,  Attorney General Letitia James, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo and many others. 

The event was held in the theater at CUNY’s City Tech in Downtown Brooklyn and was hosted by NY1’s Errol Lewis.

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JEFFRIES, DSA TRADE BARBS OVER PALESTINE WATERMELON PROTEST

FORT GREENE — HOUSE MINORITY LEADER HAKEEM JEFFRIES ANGRILY SPARRED with progressive activists over the weekend after the Democratic Socialists of America used watermelon imagery and watermelon signs at a Friday pro-Palestine protest outside the congressman’s Fort Greene office, reports the New York Post; while watermelons have historically been used in protests to represent the colors of the Palestinian flag, the fruit has also been used in negative racial stereotypes associated with Black Americans. A spokesman for Jeffries told the Post in a statement, “The use of racially inflammatory imagery should come as no surprise given the role NYC-DSA and other gentrifiers have played in aggressively attacking black elected officials;” Jeffries, a leading candidate for house speaker, has been a strong supporter of Israel during the ongoing conflict in the Gaza strip, drawing the ire of some in the Democratic Party who have called on him to push Israel to accept a ceasefire.

The DSA did not respond to a Post request for comment, but fellow Brooklyn official state Sen. Jabari Brisport, who has advocated for the ceasefire demand, fired back at supporters of Jeffries on Thursday on X (Twitter,) writing, “It’s pretty racist to say that Palestinians can’t use a watermelon symbol because *only* Black people eat watermelon.”

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BOTANIC GARDEN LAUNCHES ‘LIGHTSCAPE’ WINTER SHOW 

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — THE BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN ON FRIDAY OFFICIALLY OPENED “LIGHTSCAPE,” its annual holiday light art show, as Brooklynites gathered on the Cherry Esplanade to watch BBG president Adrian Benepe “flip the switch” and illuminate the mile-long, million-plus-light trail; guests will take an “otherworldly nighttime journey” through 18 separate installations, accompanied by a curated playlist (including a Brooklyn hip-hop zone celebrating the genre’s 50th anniversary) and holiday treats like hot buttered rum and s’mores. New installations include “Submergence,” an interactive experience featuring thousands of points of suspended light; “Sea of Light,” a moving sequence illuminating the full Cherry Esplanade; “Trinity,” a display of botanical archive illustrations projected on three ancient horse chestnut trees; and “Supernova,” a 24-foot-high illuminated Moravian star.

Lightscape will be open through New Year’s Day; hours and tickets are available online at bbg.org/lightscape

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FDNY JOINS COAT DRIVE

CITYWIDE — THE FDNY ON FRIDAY ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL BE PARTNERING WITH New York Cares for its 35th annual winter Coat Drive; the department will be opening up donation sites at 49 firehouses across the five boroughs to drop off clean, new or gently used jackets and coats for the New Yorkers who need them most. New York Cares will distribute the donated items to social service agencies, public schools, religious institutions, and transitional housing shelters that serve vulnerable populations.

FDNY Battalions are now accepting donations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 31 at stationhouses across all five boroughs; for a full list of locations, visit the Coat Drive Map on New York Cares’ website. Please note: FDNY members at these locations may not be present during drop-off hours if they are responding to an emergency.

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BROOKLYN BARISTAS JOIN STARBUCKS STRIKE

BUSHWICK — BARISTAS AND OTHER WORKERS AT BROOKLYN STARBUCKS locations in Bushwick and Clinton Hill joined the nationwide Starbucks Workers United union in striking on Thursday, reports Patch, as part of the “Red Cup Rebellion” protest, designed to hit sales on Red Cup Day, a promotion during which the coffee chain gives out free reusable cups that typically represents one of its busiest days of the year. Union organizers said they hoped to draw more attention to ongoing Starbucks unionization efforts and held surprise protest actions at several non-union Starbucks locations around the city on Wednesday; the group is demanding wage increases, an end to understaffing and limits on online orders, which baristas say can quickly outpace stores’ capacity to fill them during busy periods.

SWU expected as many as 5,000 workers across the country to join in the protest; city Starbucks workers on Thursday picketed at local stores before joining larger protest actions at central points, including in Downtown Brooklyn and at Astor Place in Manhattan.

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PARKER ACCUSED OF 2004 RAPE IN LAWSUIT

FLATBUSH — STATE SEN. KEVIN PARKER IS FACING A LAWSUIT OVER THE ALLEGED rape of a volunteer worker in 2004, during his first term in the state Senate, reports amNY; the lawsuit was filed on Friday, ahead of this week’s deadline on a statewide one-year suspension window of the statute of limitations on sex crime civil suits by adults. Plaintiff Olga Jean-Baptiste alleged in the suit that the two met while coordinating relief efforts for Haiti following a devastating earthquake in the Caribbean island nation. After meeting Parker in her apartment at his request, Jean-Baptiste says the senator grabbed hold of her against her will, led her to her bedroom and then forced her to have sex. 

Parker in 2005 was charged with assault for punching a traffic agent, and in 2009 was again charged with assault for attacking a New York Post photographer, an offense for which he was sentenced to three months’ probation. 

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HANIF, BRISPORT ARRESTED AT PALESTINE PROTEST

MIDTOWN — BROOKLYN COUNCILMEMBER SHAHANA HANIF AND STATE SEN. JABARI Brisport were arrested on Friday night at a protest organized by the Democratic Socialists of America at Bryant Park in Manhattan, reports the New York Post, along with over 100 other activists calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip. The group was taken into custody by the NYPD after staging a sit-in blocking 5th Avenue in front of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Midtown office; the two politicians called in social media posts for Gillibrand to join them in pressing Israel to halt hostilities: “A ceasefire is the only way to bring all hostages home! #ReleaseTheHostages!” Hanif wrote on Instagram, while Brisport wrote on X (Twitter,) “We will not let our leaders repeat the mistakes of the past by escalating this war.”

Others slammed the rally, including Rabbi Joseph Potasnik of the New York Board of Rabbis, who told the Post, “They have no moral compass. They have shown us who they are… On Election Day we must show them who we are. They can’t even bring themselves to condemn Hamas.”

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ONE INJURED IN PROSPECT PARK SHOOTING

PARK SLOPE — ONE PERSON WAS INJURED BY AN UNKNOWN GUNMAN IN PROSPECT Park on Sunday afternoon, reports the New York Post, near the intersection of Ocean and Parkside avenues. Police said that three people were seen running from the scene of the shooting towards Coney Island Avenue. The victim, a 37-year-old man, was shot once in the leg and taken to the hospital in stable condition. 

No arrests have been made, and no description was provided for the three people seen running; police say the investigation is ongoing. 

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NEW CARIBBEAN FOOD STALL ATTRACTS VIRAL CROWDS

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A NEW CARIBBEAN FOOD BOOTH AT THE POPULAR DEKALB Market food hall in Downtown Brooklyn has been drawing huge crowds thanks to its viral popularity online, reports BK Reader. Fat Fowl, a newcomer to the marketplace, offers unique twists on island classics, such as fan-favorite juicy oxtail grilled cheese sandwiches, lavender rotisserie chicken and curry shrimp burgers. Chef Shorne Benjamin, a St. Lucia native and veteran of several cooking shows and competitions, says he was inspired by dishes from his childhood and that the restaurant’s menu is the product of decades of dreaming. “The oxtail grilled cheese has been in mind for 12 years, even when I was in culinary school. I just wanted to look at oxtail differently … For me, I just wanted to refine it.”

Benjamin also says he’s grateful for Fat Fowl’s social media stardom, with posts regularly earning six-figure “like” counts, drawing crowds from other states to brave the long lines and telling the Reader, “just to be known as Fat Fowl is a blessing.”

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SIENA POLL: 75 PERCENT OF NY VOTERS SAY ANTISEMITISM HAS INCREASED SINCE OCT. 7 

STATEWIDE — NEARLY THREE-QUARTERS OF NEW YORKERS THINK JEWS IN NEW YORK ARE currently experiencing a great deal (37%) or some (36%) antisemitism, and of those, 75% said that the level of antisemitism has increased since the attacks on Oct. 7, according to a new Siena College poll of registered New York State voters released on Monday, Nov. 20. By contrast, 62% say Muslims in New York are experiencing a great deal (24%) or some (38%) Islamophobia, and of those, 59% say that has increased since Oc. 7.

Dr. Don Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute, points out that nearly six in ten people say the Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens are an unspeakable crime that should be condemned without hesitation or explanation, while 25% say they condemn the murder of civilians but believe the attacks were a result of decades of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

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DINAPOLI: STATE’S PARATRANSIT COSTS DECLINED, IN PART DUE TO ‘BROKER SERVICES’ MOVE

STATEWIDE — COSTS FOR THE METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY’S (MTA) PROGRAM TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES have declined in recent years, in part due to the MTA’s move to alternative transit services, according to the latest report from State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The alternative transit services provided $102.7 million in savings during 2022, although there were initially measures of customer dissatisfaction resulting from the move to “broker services.” New Yorkers eligible for paratransit services are offered five modes of transit under NYCT’s umbrella of “carrier services”: primary carrier, broker, voucher, street hails, and E-Hail. The MTA defines primary carriers as NYCT-owned blue and white Access-A-Ride vehicles operated by private contractors. Brokers provide for-hire vehicles, metered taxis, and wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

The MTA’s New York City Transit (NYCT) unit provides paratransit services, known as Access-A-Ride, which, at 180,000 users throughout the five boroughs, is the largest paratransit system in the nation.

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SEN. GILLIBRAND SECURES MORE THAN $54 MILLION TO REIMBURSE CITY FOR PANDEMIC COSTS

CITYWIDE — NEW YORK CITY WILL BE REIMBURSED MORE THAN $50 MILLION FOR PANDEMIC-RELATED COSTS. U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand on Monday, Nov. 20, announced $54,677,371.55 in federal funding, allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to reimburse the New York City Office of Management and Budget for the cost of emergency protective measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccine administration and distribution.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency protective measures were vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Senator Gillibrand.

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DOE FUND WILL DONATE CARE PACKAGES TO ITS CRYSTAL TOWER RESIDENTS

EAST FLATBUSH — TENANTS AT THE CRYSTAL TOWER RESIDENCE ON ROGERS AVENUE WILL RECEIVE A PRE-HOLIDAY THANKSGIVING giveaway on Tuesday, Nov. 21, from The Doe Fund, which opened the apartment complex in 2020. A prominent homeless services nonprofit serving New Yorkers, The Doe Fund, along with generous community partners in East Flatbush, will distribute kits of essentials and winter clothing that the students of KIPP AMP Elementary School have donated. Moreover, Selin Olmsted Studio will donate designer eyewear to the tenants and other residents of The Doe Fund’s housing portfolio. Kula for Karma, a nonprofit that provides mindfulness-based mental health care for marginalized populations, will lead a guided meditation for the residents.

The Doe Fund, which manages permanent affordable and supportive housing in Brooklyn, will also kick off its #DoeTogether campaign, which provides people chances to get involved throughout the holidays to combat homelessness. 

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BROOKLYN MUSEUM ACQUIRES 300 NEW WORKS, EXPANDS EXHIBIT SPACE FOR AMERICAN ART 

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM HAS MADE MORE THAN 300 NOTEWORTHY ACQUISITIONS THIS YEAR. The American holdings, in particular, have continued to broaden to represent the diversity of the United States, with more space created for Black and Asian American artists such as Laura Wheeler Waring, Grafton Tyler Brown, and Hisako Hibi. The Museum has strengthened its Contemporary Art collection by representing Native American artists such as Dyani White Hawk, Dwayne Wilcox and other notable contemporary artists such as Rashid Johnson and María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Together, these works deepen the Museum’s commitment to representing generations of emerging and established artists in a wide range of disciplines.

The Museum will host an unveiling next year of reinstalled American Art galleries, slated to open in late 2024.

One of the new Brooklyn Museum acquisitions: Corner of Laura Wheeler Waring’s Studio, Cheyney, PA (circa 1940), by Laura Wheeler Waring, Gift of Charlynn and Warren Goins.

Photo courtesy of The Brooklyn Museum

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NAVY APPRENTICE FROM BROOKLYN TAKES JOY IN BECOMING US CITIZEN

CANARSIE AND MISSISSIPPI — SEAMAN APPRENTICE ABRIL ROJAS LOPEZ of Brooklyn is training with the United States Navy. The 2023 graduate of Victory Collegiate High School in Canarsie is currently attending the Naval Technical Training Center (NTTC) Meridian, where instructors teach sailors to be combat-ready warfighters while providing the tools and opportunities for continuous learning and skill development. Rojas Lopez, in particular, is training to be a personnel specialist, in which she will be “responsible for performing administrative work and handing sailors’ pay,” she explains and credits the Navy with helping her get her US citizenship.

“Becoming a citizen was a goal of mine,” she said. “The Navy helped me throughout the whole process, and everything was paid for. I got my citizenship during boot camp, and I’m now the first person in my family to become a citizen.”

Seaman Apprentice Abril Rojas Lopez.Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Patricia Elkins, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Seaman Apprentice Abril Rojas Lopez.
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Patricia Elkins,
Navy Office of Community Outreach

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CERT TRAINEES WILL PARTICIPATE IN DISASTER SIMULATION DRILL

CADMAN PLAZA EAST — NEW YORK CITY POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENT personnel will be in action around Red Cross Place on Tuesday, Nov. 21, as part of a Community Emergency Response Team (Cert) Training class. They will be conducting a disaster simulation drill starting around 6:30 p.m. CERT is a volunteer corps that provides basic response skills needed for fire safety, light search and rescue, community disaster support, disaster medical operations and traffic control.

Readers wishing to learn more about or undergo training can visit http://www.NYC.gov/CERT.


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