What’s News, Breaking: Tuesday, December 6, 2022

PUBLIC ADVOCATE PUSHES FOR PASSAGE OF WORST LANDLORD ACCOUNTABILITY ACT: Ahead of the release of the 2022 Worst Landlord Watchlist, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams advanced his bill to combat the practices of some of the worst landlords in New York City and support tenants in need of relief and repairs. For its hearing of the City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings on Tuesday, December 6, Williams argued in support of Intro 583, a part of the Worst Landlord Accountability Act, which would correct and prevent what he calls “the disingenuous tactics” that some of those landlords use in their attempts to get removed from this watchdog list.

Within the current system, landlords are often able to self-certify their own repairs without city verification; the new law would end the practice by landlords already identified as bad actors of falsely claiming repairs have been made.


WINTER CLOTHING DONATION AND LUNCHEON FOR ASYLEES: A community group and elected officials are joining forces to help asylees here in Brooklyn during the holiday season. Councilmember Farah Louis (D-45), State Senator Roxanne Persaud (D-19), and The Bridge Multi Cultural and Advocacy Project this Saturday, December 10, will host their second Humanitarian Coat Distribution & Holiday Luncheon of the season. They will provide winter coats, pajamas, diapers, and warm meals will be provided to asylees staying at the Glenwood Win Shelter in East Flatbush, in partnership with the NYC Department of Social Services.

The Flatbush-based Bridge Multi Cultural Project, established in 2013, states as its mission “to unite and energize people of every racial, ethnic, cultural and religious group across New York City and the United States to address social issues facing society today.


STATE OF THE BOROUGH ADDRESS: Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso is eagerly awaiting the New Year so that he can highlight the accomplishments of his first year in office. He has announced his State of the Borough Address, to take place January10, 2023 and hosted at the New York City College of Technology.

The 39-year-old Reynoso, who took office on January 1 of this year, is the first Latino Brooklyn Borough President, and grew up in South Williamsburg, which he most recently served as City Councilmember (District 34) before his election to the borough presidency.


ARREST AND CHARGES IN DOUBLE MURDER: Police have arrested the perpetrator and identified the 17-year-old victim in a homicide that took place overnight into Tuesday, December 6 at the Kingsborough HousesKeyaira Rattray, 17, of Gates Avenue was shot. Oliver Sundance, 28 of South Street in Manhattan faces several charges, including for murder, attempted murder, robbery, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

Rattray, who was found at the Kingsborough Houses (73rd Precinct) with a gunshot wound to the chest, was pronounced deceased at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. Sundance, who later turned himself in, had earlier shot a 96-year-old man in the leg with a stray bullet in a Crown Heights incident,


GUILTY VERDICT IN TRUMP ORGANIZATION CASE: A New York County criminal court jury has found Trump Organization guilty of all charges in a sweeping, 15-year tax fraud scheme, according to several news reports on Tuesday. The jury, which needed just over a day for deliberations, returned guilty verdicts on 17 counts: including on scheme to defraud, conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. When sentenced, the Trump Organization will face approximately $1.6 million in fines.

Former President Donald J. Trump himself was not charged, and took to social media complaining about the court case.


PEDESTRIAN DEATH IN BEDFORD-STUYVESANT: Police have identified a pedestrian who was struck and killed yesterday, December 5, in front of 1252 Bedford Avenue within the 79 Precinct. Glen Fields, 61 of Nostrand Ave. was found lying in the roadway, unconscious and unresponsive, and with body trauma after the 19-year-old driver of a 2007 BMW heading northbound struck him.

The driver remained at the scene, and the NYPD Highway Collision Investigation Squad continues its probe of the incident.


APPELLATE COURT JUDGE IN BROOKLYN GETS TOP RATING AS CANDIDATE FOR STATE’S CHIEF JUDICIAL ROLE: Brooklyn Appellate Court Presiding Justice Hector D. LaSalle is among four of the seven candidates for chief judge of the state who were at the top of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association’s ratings. LaSalle, who presides over the New York State Appellate Division-Second Department, was rated as “highly qualified,” and joins Edwina Richardson-Mendelson, an administrative judge; Appellate Judge Jeffrey Oing and Yale Law School professor Abbe Gluck in the top ratings.

Also a candidate, New York Court of Appeals Acting Chief Judge Anthony Cannataro was rated as “highly qualified.”


Judge Roslynn Mauskopf. Photo: Rob Abruzzese/Brooklyn Eagle

BROOKLYN FEDERAL COURT JUDGE HONORED WITH MEDAL FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE: U.S. District Judge Roslynn Mauskopf of the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn federal court) was awarded the Emory Buckner Medal for Outstanding Public Service at a recent Thanksgiving breakfast that the Federal Bar Council held, reports the New York Law Journal. Judge Mauskopf, whom U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice named last year as the first woman chief administrative officer of the federal courts, has served the Eastern District for 15 years.

Judge Mauskopf directs the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and serves under Judicial Conference of the United States, the policymaking body of the nation’s federal courts policymaking group.


SLASHING AT FULTON MALL: The NYPD is asking the public to help identify and locate an individual connected with an assault within the 84th Precinct, which includes Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn, last Friday. It was reported to police that on Friday, December 2, 2022, at approximately 3:15 p.m., in front of 459 Fulton Street near Jay St., a 39-year-old female was in a dispute with a male known to her, who then slashed the female victim in the face with a razor blade causing a severe laceration.

The victim was taken to Methodist Hospital in serious but stable condition.

This man is wanted in connection with a slashing at Fulton Mall.
Photo credit: NYPD-CrimeStoppers


NEW PARTNERSHIP WILL OFFER FREE TRAINING IN NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: At least 10 Brooklyn hospitals and health system sites are named in a new partnership with Mayor Eric Adams and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, with the goal of providing every New York City health care practitioner with free introductory training in nutrition and lifestyle medicine, enabling practitioners to integrate evidence-based content into their clinical practice to treat certain health conditions. NYC Health + Hospitals, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Maimonides Health, the Mount Sinai Health System, NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System (which includes Brooklyn Methodist Hospital), Northwell Health (which has a facility on New Utrecht Ave. in Borough Park), NYU Langone Health, One Brooklyn Health System, SUNY Downstate Medical Center-University Hospital of Brooklyn and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center are in the group of participating hospitals and hospital systems

The $44 million investment from ACLM will cover training for up to 200,000 doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, and other health care professionals in New York City and is the largest lifestyle medicine training rollout in the world.


NURSING EXCELLENCE AWARDS BESTOWED: NYC Health + Hospitals on Monday honored 32 nurse professionals from across the health system as part of its annual Nursing Excellence Awards. The third annual Structural Empowerment Award was presented to the nursing leadership and staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health for their commitment to achieving higher performance levels, including increases in certification rates and other notable metrics. In addition, the third annual Josephine Bolus Nursing Champion Award, NYC Health + Hospitals’ highest honor bestowed upon supporters of nurses and the nursing profession, was given to Barbara A. Lowe, a retired nurse executive and public health educator and a current Board Member of NYC Health + Hospitals.

The honorees were selected from a record 560 nominations and include nurses from each of the systems’ facilities and clinical service lines, including acute care, post-acute, correctional health services, community care, and Gotham Health.


DISTINGUISHED BROOKLYN COLLEGE PROFESSOR RECEIVES KENNEDY CENTER HONOR: Acclaimed composer, conductor and educator, Tania León, Distinguished Professor Emerita at Brooklyn College, was recognized last weekend with a Kennedy Center Honor, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for lifetime achievement in the performing arts. Professor León becomes the first CUNY-affiliated faculty member, active or retired, to earn a Kennedy Center Honor. Prof. León taught for 35 years at Brooklyn College – and was director of music composition in their Conservatory of Music – and for 30 years at the CUNY Graduate Center’s music doctoral program, before her 2019 retirement.

A two-hour presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors, which lasted more than three hours, will air on CBS at 8 p.m. EST/PST on Dec. 28.

Kennedy Center honoree, Professor Emerita Tania León
Photo courtesy City University of New York/Brooklyn College


DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR REAL ID DRIVER LICENSES: Procrastinators will have more time to obtain a REAL ID driver license or non-driver identification card that will allow them to board domestic flights, or to enter military bases and certain federal facilities, The new deadline for when a REAL ID becomes required to board domestic air travel will be May 7, 2025, federal officials announced on Monday; with the deadline extended for two years in part, because of lingering problems from COVID-19 that caused backlogs in state agencies charged with issuing driver’s licenses. The DMV’s website is now updated with the new deadline. https://dmv.ny.gov/driver-license/federal-real-id

In addition to the stars on REAL ID driver’s licenses, the cards themselves will be built with new technology, making them much more difficult to forge, according to the Department of Homeland Security.


NEW PLAN TO FIGHT ANTISEMITISM UNVEILED AT SUMMIT THAT CONFERRED LEADERSHIP AWARD TO MAYOR ADAMS: During last week’s annual Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism held in Athens, Greece, at which Brooklyn native and NYC Mayor Eric Adams received the Combat Antisemitism Movement’s Civic Leadership Award, a new six-point plan was unveiled for municipal leaders to take impactful action to fight religious bigotry and secure and nurture Jewish life in their cities. Among the points that CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa unveiled: Appointing a coordinator responsible for liaising with the city’s Jewish community and organizing the municipal-level response to incidents of antisemitism; adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Antisemitism; allocating municipal resources for initiatives fostering interfaith tolerance, understanding, and harmony; and enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for antisemitism.

Brooklyn has, for decades, been a leader in interfaith cooperation, with several local clergy associations active in social justice concerns. Among them is The Bridge Multicultural Project, based in Flatbush.


LEGISLATORS CHALLENGE NEED FOR TRANSIT FARE HIKES: U.S. Rep Nicole Malliotakis (R-11), and Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R-46) on Monday rebuked the MTA for its plan to raise fares and tolls by 5.5 percent after New York Governor Kathy Hochul said fare hikes were “off the table.” The Republican legislators, who serve southwestern Brooklyn and Staten Island, also pointed out U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s announcement in January of a $6.19 billion lump-sum federal grant to help the MTA recover from pandemic ridership losses — money that would “stave off any fare hike for the next few years.”

Malliotakis and Tannousis contend that, despite receiving over $15 billion in pandemic-relief aid from the federal government and additional funds that are available through the IIJA, the MTA is still reporting a $600 million budget shortfall next year, with a deficit of $1.2 billion in 2024 and $1.6 billion in 2026.


TRINITY PARK PROPOSED FOR RENOVATION SO THAT PUBLIC CAN ENJOY FULL ACCESS: Trinity Park, a public space originally imagined as a gateway to the Manhattan Bridge but which is currently derelict, will be the topic of Brooklyn Community Board 2’s Parks & Recreation Committee monthly virtual meeting next Monday, December 12. Sitting directly under an underpass leading to the Manhattan Bridge, Trinity Park is currently filled with trash and illegal dumping, whose 6.3 acres is limited to 0.68 usable acres due to illegally parked vehicles. Bridges 4 People will present a proposal for light renovations to return this public space to full public access and usage, including structures to enforce the existing No Parking rules, and improved public thoroughfares from Nassau Street and the Manhattan Bridge pathway to increase pedestrian access and improve safety.

Trinity Park is named in honor of the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity, also known as the Trinitarian Sisters, according to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation website.


UPDATE ON BRIDGE PLAZA COMMUNITY GARDEN: During that same CB2 Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting, the New York Restoration Project will present an update on the renovation of Bridge Plaza Community Garden in Downtown Brooklyn, on Concord St., and not far from the aforementioned Trinity Park. The participatory design process is now complete, resulting in a preliminary plan based on discussions with gardeners, NYRP maintenance and operational goals, and capital funding requirements.

Construction on the Bridge Plaza Memorial Garden is anticipated to start by fall 2023 and be completed by spring 2024.


BOROUGH HALL TREE LIGHTS UP THIS THURSDAY: A civic tradition to which Brooklynites anticipate each year takes place this Thursday — the Borough Hall Tree Lighting, with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. Opera on Tap will give a performance during the ceremony, that runs on December 8 from 5 to 6 p.m., at Borough Hall Plaza, Court and Remsen Street.

Civic groups, including local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, have been present and have sung at the Borough Hall Tree lightings for at least two generations.


NEW CENTER WILL SERVE SUNSET PARK’S SENIOR ASIAN COMMUNITY: Notable leaders from the Brooklyn and Chinese American communities joined with VNS Health on Monday to celebrate the opening of the home health care nonprofit’s new Community Center in Sunset Park. The new center, which is one of three vibrant VNS Health Community hubs serving the Asian-American community in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, aims to “tackle inequalities” in Brooklyn’s Asian-American neighborhoods, and will be a place where seniors in Brooklyn can access culturally competent care, education, and connect with local health and social support resources.

Another new center opens in Flushing next Monday, December 12.

VNS Health CEO and President Dan Savitt and VNS Health Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer David Rosales participate in a traditional “lion dance” ceremony to mark the opening of the VNS Health Community Center in Sunset Park.
Photo courtesy VNS Health


‘PLANT PERSONS’ WILL HAVE A FIELD DAY — INDOORS: Brooklyn’s urban landscape is getting an experiential plant jungle, as Horti, the popular houseplant subscription company designed to build confidence in plant care, announces the opening of its new Williamsburg storefront at 432 Rodney Street. Spanning nearly 5,000 square feet, Horti PLAY is the largest indoor plant store in Brooklyn that doubles as an and houseplant shipping operation. Horti has outfitted the space with large, rare species that soar over nine feet tall, including the billowy Philodendron Giganteum.

Locals will be able to shop for and connect with houseplants, and participate in community events, apothecary workshops, pop-ups and live performances.

Read More: What’s News, Breaking: Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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