NEWLY SUNSET PARK LIBRARY AND APARTMENTS
MARKS FIRST-OF-KIND MODEL FOR DEVELOPMENT
SUNSET PARK — A RIBBON-CUTTING FOR THE NEW SUNSET PARK LIBRARY AND APARTMENTS CELEBRATED A FIRST-OF-A-KIND DEVELOPMENT MODEL IN NEW YORK CITY. Leaders from the Brooklyn Public Library and the Fifth Avenue Committee joined local and state elected officials for the Wednesday, Nov. 15 ceremony opening the complex, the first of its kind, which has created 100 percent affordable housing paired with new and expanded public library facilities. Part of an innovative partnership between the Brooklyn Public Library and the Fifth Avenue Committee, this building contains over 50,000 square feet of residential space ranging from one to three-bedroom units for several income levels. Eight units have a Section 8 subsidy, and nine are for formerly homeless households.
The new library features the largest dedicated space for teens of any library in the borough, as well as a community program room available for scheduled community functions both during and outside of library hours.
SENATOR PARKER PAYS TRIBUTE TO RUBY BRIDGES
TAKING PART IN AAA’S WALK TO SCHOOL DAY
EAST FLATBUSH — STATE SENATOR KEVIN PARKER (D-21) let his feet do the talking on the 63rd anniversary of Ruby Bridges’ walking to school on Nov. 14, 1960, after schools in the South were desegregated. Sen. Parker partnered with AAA Northeast to participate in the Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day this week on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The annual walk, initiated by AAA School Safety Patrollers, was established in 2018 to honor the legacy of Ruby Bridges, a Civil Rights icon who became a symbol of courage and equality on her first day of school. Students from P.S. 198 and P.S. 109, both in East Flatbush, engaged in fruitful dialogue about civil rights and the significance of equality in education.
The Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day, a student-led movement, originated from a question posed by a group of AAA School Safety Patrollers from Martin Elementary in South San Francisco.
IT’S OFFICIAL: DIWALI IS NOW A NYC SCHOOL HOLIDAY
CITYWIDE — GOV. KATHY HOCHUL SIGNED LEGISLATION ON TUESDAY, making Diwali a school holiday for New York City public schools. From here on out, public schools in the city will be closed on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Indian calendar each year. More than a billion people worldwide of the Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist faiths observe the festival. “New York City is rich in different religions and cultures, and we’re taking an important step to recognize and celebrate this diversity in the school calendar,” Hochul said in a release.
Diwali holiday’s message is “the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil,” state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-15 Queens) said in a release.
AUTOMATIC FINES FOR OVERWEIGHT TRUCKS ON BQE HAVE BEGUN
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — OVERWEIGHT TRUCKS DRIVING ON THE QUEENS-BOUND LANES OF THE BQE started getting hit with fines Monday thanks to cutting-edge Weigh-In-Motion technology. The WIM system automatically records the weights of vehicles using pressure-sensitive sensors. Cameras take offending vehicles’ license plate numbers, and a notice of fines is automatically mailed to the owner. The rollout for trucks traveling south towards Staten Island is expected to begin in the spring, according to Councilmember Lincoln Restler.
Massively overweight trucks have caused significant damage to the BQE, in particular to the rapidly deteriorating section underpinning the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
MISSING MAN IN BROWNSVILLE
BROWNSVILLE – POLICE ARE ASKING THE PUBLIC TO HELP FIND MISSING MAN Bryan Ubaldo, age 30, last seen on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 11 inside his Sterling Place residence in Brownsville. Ubaldo is described as Black, approximately 5’7″ and 160 pounds, with a medium build, medium complexion, brown eyes and black hair; he was last seen wearing black pants, a black hoodie and a ski mask.
Anyone with information in regard to the whereabouts of this missing person 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.
STATE MAY NIX REGENTS EXAM REQUIREMENT
STATEWIDE – STATE EDUCATION OFFICIALS ARE SUPPORTING A MAJOR SHAKEUP OF New York’s high school graduation requirements, reports the New York Times, citing an Education Department advisory group’s recommendation released Monday that the state expand the options available for students to demonstrate competency. While the Regents examinations have long been mandatory for nearly all high-schoolers in New York, most other states have phased out test-only graduation requirements, according to the advisory group, out of concern that they may be unable to recognize the efforts of marginalized and disadvantaged students; the Department’s proposal would allow students statewide to instead opt for capstone projects, oral presentations or other alternative assessments to evaluate skills.
The panel’s recommendation is partly based on a pilot program at a small group of public schools who have implemented these standards for their students; some private schools have long been exempt from Regents requirements.
PROPOSED BROOKLYN-QUEENS LIGHT RAIL NOT A PRIORITY, MTA SAYS
CITYWIDE – SUPPORTERS OF A PROPOSED PLAN TO CONNECT OUTER AREAS of Brooklyn and Queens via a commuter rail line will have to wait, reports Gothamist. Sean Fitzpatrick, deputy chief of staff of the authority’s construction department, told attendees at a planning meeting last week that service expansions like the project, known as the Interborough Express, or IBX, which would run over currently existing freight train tracks, would “only make sense… if we’re able to take care of our existing infrastructure for our existing subways, railroads and buses,” although he reassured commuters that the MTA is still committed to its implementation.
The IBX’s planned route would connect Bay Ridge, Midwood, Canarsie, East New York and Bushwick before continuing into Queens, according to current MTA plans.
WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON WOMEN’S HEALTH
FLATBUSH AND WASHINGTON, DC — BROOKLYN CONGRESSWOMAN YVETTE D. CLARKE APPLAUDS THE CREATION OF A NEW WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON WOMEN’S HEALTH RESEARCH that President Joe Biden And First Lady Jill Biden introduced on Monday, Nov. 13. The initiative’s goal is to identify “bold solutions to uncover the answers that every woman and her family deserves,” explained the First Lady, who holds a doctorate in education and several other degrees. The initiative will also explore new public-private partnerships and engage private and philanthropic leaders to drive innovation and ensure the combined power of public, private, and philanthropic sectors advances research on women’s health, particularly in cardiac health, menopause and certain cancers.
Saluting the memory of the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio, Rep. Clarke said, “The White House’s Initiative represents a strong demand by the American people to achieve real equity in women’s health. I look forward to continuing working alongside the administration to address and eliminate the persistent health disparities affecting women across the nation
PEDESTRIAN KILLED IN DOUBLE HIT-AND-RUN NEAR FT. HAMILTON PARKWAY
GREENWOOD HEIGHTS — ANOTHER PEDESTRIAN HAS BEEN KILLED IN A FATAL DOUBLE HIT-AND-RUN COLLISION, this time near Greenwood Heights, marking the sixth such incident since late October. Police found the victim, since identified as Mohammed Hossain, 56, of 42nd Street, lying in the roadway near 37th St. and Fort Hamilton Parkway, near where Sunset Park and Borough Park meet, and within the 66th Precinct. A preliminary investigation determined that he was trying to cross 37th Street westbound when the driver of a 2021 Honda CRV, traveling southbound on Fort Hamilton Parkway, struck him. After the pedestrian fell, another unknown vehicle struck him; neither driver remained on the scene. EMS responders pronounced the man deceased on the scene.
Gothamist reported on Tuesday that another pedestrian, a woman whose identity has not been released, was hit near 11th Avenue and 64th St. in Borough Park; both the pedestrian, who at press time was in critical condition at nearby Maimonides Medical Center, and the driver of a GM truck had the green light.
MOURNING FAMILY KILLED IN FIRE, SEN. GILLIBRAND CALLS FOR FEDERAL ACTION ON DANGEROUS BATTERIES
CROWN HEIGHTS AND CAPITOL HILL —SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY) IS URGING PASSAGE OF THE SETTING CONSUMER STANDARDS FOR LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES ACT in the aftermath of a Crown Heights house fire that claimed the lives of three generations of a family. FDNY officials blamed the early Sunday morning blaze to a lithium-ion battery. The bill, which Sen. Gillibrand introduced earlier this year, and which is still in committee (Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), would improve the safety of e-bikes, e-scooters, and other micromobility devices to help prevent future tragedies. Sen. Gillibrand said, “In New York City alone, the FDNY reports that lithium-ion batteries have caused more than 400 fires over the last four years – with the tragedy of the West family, that number is only growing. Federal action is needed to set safety standards and address improperly manufactured lithium-ion batteries that cause these fires.”
The House version of an identical bill that Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Queens) sponsored is also in committee, according to copies of the legislation that a spokesperson for Senator Gillibrand provided on Tuesday.
SEN. GILLIBRAND WILL STATE URGENCY OF AVOIDING ANOTHER SHUTDOWN, DETAILING COST TO NEW YORKERS
NEW YORK AND CAPITOL HILL — TRYING TO AVERT A POTENTIAL SHUTDOWN, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will hold a video press conference in Washington, DC, to outline the economic consequences and will call on Republicans and Democrats to work together to fund the government. She will detail the cost of a government shutdown to New York families, pointing out that a government shutdown would cost New York’s economy millions and force thousands of New York service members to work without pay.
Senator Gillibrand, in the conference scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. EST, will urge Congress to pass funding bills and a supplemental package for Ukraine, Israel, border security and humanitarian aid.
LIVINGSTON GAINS PROTECTED BUS LANE
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – DOWNTOWN BK THOROUGHFARE LIVINGSTON STREET UNDERWENST a major traffic pattern change starting Tuesday, reports StreetsBlog, trading one of its two car lanes for a second bus lane in a bid to reduce commute times along the busy route. Livingston is now one-way westbound only for cars between Hoyt and Flatbush; the two red-painted bus lanes will be partially shielded from car traffic by interspersed concrete islands, while enforcement of lane boundaries will be done via NYPD cameras.
The MTA told Streetsblog that it’s accepting no excuses when it comes to keeping the bus lanes car-free, including the stretches next to its Hoyt Street HQ: “We’re serious about getting Transit employees, MTA employees, out of bus lanes in those hopefully rare circumstances where they thought it was a good idea to park there… They’re going to find out it’s not as smart as they thought, because they’re going to get summonsed or towed,” said MTA spokesman Tim Minton.
AMA: DRUG SHORTAGES POSE SERIOUS THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH
NATIONWIDE — DRUG SHORTAGES CONTINUE TO WORSEN AND NEGATIVELY IMPACT PATIENT CARE across the nation, the American Medical Association said on Monday. To address the crisis, AMA has developed a new policy aiming to diversify drug manufacturing and supply chains and stabilize the generic drug market. The organization supports moving away from single-site (mostly overseas) manufacturing and maintaining a minimum number of manufacturers for essential medicines. Ther AMA also wants to end the practice of preferring scarce drugs on approved pharmacy formularies when similarly effective drugs are available, among other steps.
For the first quarter of 2023, the five classes of drugs facing the largest number of shortages include central nervous system therapies, antimicrobials, fluids/electrolytes, hormones and chemotherapies.