CONTAINERIZED WASTE BINS INTRODUCED: New York City’s first containerized waste bins have been unveiled as part of efforts to clean up city streets and expand the Clean Curbs Pilot to all five boroughs. Yesterday, Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Jessica S. Tisch led the unveiling in a Manhattan commercial district as part of the program, which tests methods for removing unsightly garbage bags from the streets — with the goal of reducing the convergence of rodents, improving aesthetics, and reclaiming parts of city streetscapes currently overburdened by piles of trash.
This pilot is just one initiative underway in the Clean Curbs programs. DSNY and SBS recently announced the Neighborhood Challenge grant program for BIDs and community-based development organizations to make public space and cleanliness improvements with a particular focus on BIDs in underserved communities. Applications for the first round of funding are due this Friday, April 22, and a second round of grant applications will open this summer.
WILLIAMS TO NYCHA: STOP PUNISHING MARIJUANA USE: NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has called on the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to cease using marijuana offenses as grounds for eviction. Pointing out that although the State of New York has legalized marijuana, and that Williams, (in 2019 both a City Councilman (D-45) and elected as public advocate that March), helped pass a resolution calling on NYCHA to add marijuana possession to its list of overlooked “NYCHA’s antiquated and illogical prohibition is still in place.”
Williams said, “This ban is inherently inequitable – people in whiter, wealthier communities are able to openly use recreational marijuana at home, while NYCHA residents – often lower income New Yorkers of more color – could lose their homes for doing the same.”
SENTENCING OF THREE COPS FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING: United States District Judge Rachel P. Kovner has sentenced a former NYPD officer to 97 months of imprisonment for using interstate facilities to commit bribery and attempting to transport heroin. The defendant, Robert Smith, assigned to the 105th Precinct in Queens at the time, before his March 2020 retirement, pleaded guilty last October.
Smith’s co-defendant, Heather Busch, also a former NYPD police officer, was sentenced in February 2022 to six months’ imprisonment, after pleading guilty in August 2021 to using interstate facilities to commit bribery. Another co-defendant, Robert Hassett, also a former NYPD police officer, pleaded guilty in October 2021 to conspiracy to violate the Travel Act and is awaiting sentencing.
COMMUNITY BOARD 13 HOUSING PRESENTATIONS: A presentation on the New Destiny Housing at Raven Hall Apartments, at 2006 Surf Ave. is part of the agenda at Community Board 13’s next General Board Meeting on Wednesday, April 27. The Community Board, serving Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Gravesend and Seagate, will hear a presentation on the matter from Molly Olsen, New Destiny’s Regional Director for Brooklyn and Queens.
The meeting agenda also includes an update on the Coney Island Amphitheatre from Allen Newman of Live Nation.
JOINT COLLABORATION WITH BRIC AND TINY DESK: NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest and BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, New York’s longest-running free outdoor music festival, are launching a first-of-its-kind joint showcase between the two experiential music giants. The June 18 event will bring together two trusted organizations known for discovery of emerging talent and providing platforms for new artists, and will offer to their combined audiences an innovative experience rooted in musical discovery and community as part of the overall free BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! summer programming.
For the past 44 years, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! has been the summer-long outdoor concert and performance series that celebrates talent from around the world and around the block. These shows have become one of the city’s foremost cultural attractions and a beloved summer tradition, with the new season’s lineup set to be announced in May.
CALL FOR END TO SUBMINIMUM WAGE: Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas and Ana María Archila, candidate for New York lieutenant governor, joined restaurant workers yesterday at LOCALS BKNY Foodmarket in Brooklyn to call for the end of the subminimum wage for tipped workers. which too often results in workers being forced to tolerate inappropriate behavior in order to earn tips. One Fair Wage legislation would ensure that the minimum wage applies to tipped workers, with tips on top, as a means of working towards economic justice and curbing sexual harassment in the restaurant industry.
During the event, Archila served food and drinks to LOCALS BKNY customers to highlight the struggles of earning a subminimum wage and being subject to inappropriate behavior from customers, managers and co-workers.
ADVOCATING FOR PREVENTION OF CHILD ABUSE: NYC Administration For Children’s Services recognizes April as “National Child Abuse Prevention Month,” highlighting free services and supports available to New York City families with children. ACS officials, representatives from Mayor Adams’ office, other elected officials, prevention providers and even Mr. Met gathered on the City Hall steps to bring awareness of the ongoing crisis of child abuse and some of the services provided.
ACS and its community-based providers offer a full range of free, voluntary services and supports, ranging from: mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, homemaking services, as well as access to food, diapers, cribs and more. For more information, call (212) 676-7667
A CAR-FREE EARTH DAY: Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez has publicized the full array of programming for the City’s largest-ever Earth Day celebration, scheduled for this Saturday, April 23. Car-Free Earth Day will include celebrations along nine city streets, featuring 150 partner organizations and city agencies that will offer programing about climate change, sustainability, and other relevant topics, plus fun community-based performances, and activities for all ages.
Through the support of Lyft, Citi Bike will also offer free one-day passes this Saturday for new riders. Corridors will all be open for riding and walking, a perfect opportunity to embrace the spring and summer biking season. The 2022 Open Street Season will also officially kick off with over 80 streets activated in communities throughout the city.
IPS NEWS: MORE ENDORSEMENTS FOR MAX ROSE: Former Congressmember and combat veteran Max Rose received an endorsement in his run for congress from Comptroller Brad Lander and Assemblymember Robert Carroll (AD-44), both of whom have served Park Slope and parts of other nearby neighborhoods.
“In Congress, Max Rose took on powerful interests and delivered for our communities. He fought the NRA to get illegal guns off our streets and helped secure billions of dollars to fight the pandemic, prevent a recession, and fund our schools,” said Comptroller Brad Lander. “At this critical juncture, with control of Congress on the line, we need Max fighting for us.”
IPS NEWS: ROAD RUNNERS HONORS LONGTIME VOLUNTEER: Marine Park resident Barbara Brauner-Klasewitz was inducted into the New York Road Runners’ (NYRR) 2022 Volunteer Hall of Fame last evening, for her dedication as NYRR Open Run volunteer for 6 years. Ms. Brauner-Klasewitz has also volunteered as a Run Captain at over 250 runs in Canarsie Park, and has also run the “official” race at the Jingle Bell Jog in Prospect Park in 2016. Along the way, she has done numerous Halfs and 10Ks, multiple NYC Marathons, and has lost nearly 100 pounds in the process.
A major series of NYCRR races takes place around Brooklyn this weekend.
RED HOOK PLAYING FIELDS REOPENED: Four new and remediated playing fields in the Red Hook Recreation Area in Brooklyn were officially opened yesterday, with participants including Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Parks and Recreation Commissioner Sue Donoghue, and United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 Administrator Lisa F. Garcia, elected officials and environmental justice advocates. The updates to ball fields 5-8 were funded by an $18.2 million grant by the city, and are part of a phased-in environmental remediation and reconstruction effort of the fields in the area, receiving nearly $130 million in investments. (See page 1.)
The revamped ballfields boast new, multi-sports fields with synthetic turf, new dugouts, rain gardens, accessible ramps, and plantings, following a cleaning and remediation to protect the community from contaminated soil that an industrial occupant had left behind.