DOT CLOSES QUEENS-BOUND LANE OF BQE FOR MAINTENANCE ON JAN. 20

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – One Queens-bound lane of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I-278) in Downtown Brooklyn will be closed overnight, Friday, Jan. 20 so the Dept. of Transportation can continue maintenance work. The single-lane closure, above Pearl Street from Exit 28 B (Brooklyn Bridge) to Exit 29 A (Manhattan Bridge), will be closed from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. that day, reopening in time for the morning rush hour.

This section of the highway is just southeast of the BQE Central — the corridor between Atlantic Ave. and Sands St., or the cantilevered highway underneath the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, on which urgent repairs are needed.

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INCREASED CONGRESSIONAL FUNDING WILL BENEFIT NORTH BROOKLYN’S LOVELOCAL PROGRAM

NORTH BROOKLYN – The North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will receive much-needed funding for the continuation and expansion of its LoveLocal program, supporting neighboring businesses. LoveLocal was included in the recent Government Spending Bill, the federal budget legislation which also included funding for several projects in New York’s 12th District, thanks to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, former Congresswoman and Chair of the House Committee on Oversight & Reform Carolyn Maloney and the rest of the state’s Congressional delegation.

The program supports the North Brooklyn Chamber’s basic mission to unite and advocate for the businesses of Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg around the shared goal of improving the community’s commercial landscape and stimulating the local economy.

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MOBILE SPORTS WAGERING, ON FIRST ANNIVERSARY BRINGS IN $16 BILLION IN BETS

STATEWIDE – More than $16 billion has been wagered on sports in New York State in the first year of mobile sports wagering, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Friday, Jan. 13, marking the program’s one-year-anniversary. In mobile sports wagering taxes alone, the state has collected more than $709.2 million in taxes — a figure that leads the nation — with an additional $200 million in licensing fees collected, generating a total of more than $909 million in revenue.

For Fiscal Year 2023 (April 1, 2022 through March 31, 2023) and annually thereafter, $5 million of revenues from mobile sports wagering will go to fund sports programs for underserved youths, $6 million to fund problem gambling education and treatment, and the remaining majority to fund education aid.

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BROOKLYN COLLEGE LAUNCHES NEW DEGREE TRANSFER PROGAM FOR INCOMING EARTH SCIENCES STUDENTS

FLATBUSH/MIDWOOD – Students interested in pursuing degrees in earth and environmental sciences can now avail themselves of an agreement with Brooklyn College, a four-year school in the City University of New York (CUNY) system, and Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. The articulation agreement, announced on Jan. 10 during ceremonies with leaders from both colleges, will facilitate the efficient transfer of associate degree credits toward bachelor’s degrees for the major. Brooklyn College’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Department provides students with a cutting-edge curriculum and hands-on experience testing waters and analyzing soils and minerals, and studying how human activities impact the environment.

To apply for Brooklyn College’s Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Guttman students must satisfy a number of criteria, and have junior standing, among other prerequisites.

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KEY STATE LEGISLATOR IS CONFIDENT THAT FULL SENATE FLOOR VOTE ON JUDGE LASALLE CAN BE BLOCKED

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – Appellate Court, Second Judicial Department Presiding Justice Hector LaSalle still faces an uphill battle to be confirmed as Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, now that a key Democrat in the State Senate expressed confidence that a committee can block his nomination from coming to a full vote. State Senator Brad Hoylman of Manhattan, speaking on Friday with the New York Law Journal, said he is confident that Governor Kathy Hochul’s nomination of Judge LaSalle can be blocked from a full floor vote. LaSalle has received pushback from State Senate Democrats for being too conservative, particularly with regard to abortion and labor unions.

Nevertheless, Governor Hochul is standing firm and said she would not withdraw her nomination of Judge LaSalle.

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TEENAGER SLASHED ON SUBWAY

BUSHWICK – A 14-year-old boy was slashed by a man wielding a boxcutter on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at the Jefferson Street subway station, say police, who are looking for the culprit, described as a light-complexioned man of medium height and build around 25 years of age. The NYPD says the attack occurred after the youth got into a verbal dispute with the man that escalated into a physical confrontation when the man pulled the knife, before fleeing to parts unknown.

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); or, log onto the Crime Stoppers website or Tweet @NYPDTips.

If you recognize this man, don’t hesitate to reach out to police with any information you can share.
If you recognize this man, don’t hesitate to reach out to police with any information you can share.

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SCHUMER AND GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCE GRANTS TO NONPROFITS

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand on Thursday announced $2,947,210 million in grants distributed by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will bolster humanities projects and organizations across New York City and on Long Island, including a $500,000 grant to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for the rehabilitation of its climate control system and a $500,000 grant to construct a research center at Green-Wood Cemetery. The grant program will fund educational resources, curricula and other projects that enhance teaching and learning in the humanities at universities and cultural institutions across the state, as well as support advanced research and writing projects by humanities scholars.

“This funding will foster important projects in our communities, including the rehabilitation of Brooklyn Children’s Museum, an exciting new welcome center at the wonderful Green-Wood Cemetery […] and much more. I am proud to deliver another year of this critical federal support to help these organizations and their projects thrive,” said Schumer.

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REPORT: CONGESTION TOLL WOULD UNFAIRLY TARGET BLACK AND POC DRIVERS

A report released by The Black Institute, headed by longtime Brooklyn civil rights activist Bertha Lewis, has concluded that the MTA’s proposed congestion pricing plan for the downtown Manhattan area would have a disproportionate effect on minority drivers for ridesharing companies, who make up the bulk of the city’s private drivers-for-hire. The report notes that the proposed fee could mean fees of as much as $69 on the first three rides of the day for rideshare drivers and that nearly 100,000 families in NYC rely on rideshare earnings to get by, and charges that the MTA has not sufficiently addressed how these drivers, who are predominantly people of color, would be compensated for the loss of earnings.

The proposed congestion fee would be more bad news for rideshare drivers following a judge blocking a fare increase earlier this month, despite protests from the drivers.

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BROOKLYN OFFICE LEASES SPIKE IN FOURTH QUARTER

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – Office space leases in Brooklyn, primarily in the Downtown area, are up 91 percent from last quarter, reports the Commercial Observer, and up 30 percent from the average amount of the quarter for the last five years. The average asking rate for those leases is nearly $49 per square foot, and $56 for Downtown Brooklyn.

Despite the increase in activity, Brooklyn still trails Manhattan, with only 404,000 square feet of office space leased in the quarter in this borough, compared to more than 5 million square feet across the river.

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HYENA CRIPS GANG MEMBER CHARGED WITH MURDER OF BKLYN TEEN

LITTLE HAITI – An indictment was partially unsealed on Thursday afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn charging Martial H. Amilcar, a senior member of the Hyena Crips gang, also known as “Drippy,” and a co-defendant with the murder of 15-year-old Samuel Joseph in front of his teenage sister on Feb. 22, 2019. As alleged in court documents, Amilcar and the co-defendant drove to Joseph’s apartment building near the Little Haiti section of Brooklyn and waited outside until Joseph’s sister arrived at the building’s entrance and opened the door to exit, at which time Amilcar walked into the building behind her, pulled out a gun and shot the boy three times at close range, supposedly in retaliation for an altercation earlier that day between one of Amilcar’s relatives and Joseph’s older brother.

“The brutal cycle of gang violence in this district, including the violence perpetrated by members of the Hyena Crips, must be stopped. We and our law enforcement partners are committed to that end. It is my hope that today’s indictment brings some measure of justice for the victim’s family,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace.

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FREE ‘WINTER VILLAGE’ FOR KIDS AT BOROUGH HALL

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – Borough President Antonio Reynoso is inviting Brooklyn kids and their parents to join him at Borough Hall on Jan. 26 for a Children’s Winter Village, an afternoon of winter-themed fun running from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature snacks, face painting, Legos, a pop-up playground and more.

Parents are asked to RSVP for the event online.

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DEPT. OF CITY PLANNING TO HOLD Q&A ABOUT BK HOSPITAL, LIU DEVELOPMENT

FORT GREENE – Community Board 2 will be having a monthly meeting of its Land Use Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m., which can be attended on Zoom. The meeting will feature a Q&A with the Department of City Planning over future proposals for the expansion and development of Long Island University and The Brooklyn Hospital Center, among other projects.

The agency plans to solicit feedback to inform ongoing advanced planning efforts and to help shape future developments.






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