BP Adams To Honor Greek American Culture
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will commemorate the rich contributions and history of Greek-Americans in the borough at his annual heritage celebration today.
The event is being held in partnership with the Greek-American Heritage Committee, an organization whose mission is to educate the public on Greek culture, literacy, and history across New York City.
The festive occasion will feature Greek cuisine and libations as well as traditional dancing from the A. Fantis Parochial School in Downtown Brooklyn, D.G. Parochial School in Bay Ridge, and Hellenic Classical Charter School in South Slope.
Joined by dignitaries such as Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece in New York, Adams will thank members of Brooklyn’s Greek-American community for their service to improving the lives of people across the borough.
The event is slated for 5:30 p.m., today, March 19, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, at 209 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
Felder Introduces Bill To Stop Credit Card Surcharges
State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Borough Park, Midwood, Bensonhurst, Kensington) sponsored legislation last week, that prohibits certain surcharges on credit or debit card transactions in New York City.
The bill, S6113, eliminates NYC surcharges associated with online payment of tickets, fees and fines. Currently, New York State law bars retailers from charging any additional fee to customers paying with a credit or debit card, but continues to allow government agencies to levy a 2.49 percent surcharge for every payment made to them online.
“This fee is just unfair. Online transactions are quick, efficient and cost-saving. While the City saves money, by reducing the time and personnel involved in processing a check or any other type of payment, they continue to punish New Yorkers who are fulfilling their financial obligations,” said Felder.
“This is simply extortion. It’s offensive to New Yorkers that NYC holds itself above the laws that govern everyone else. Over-fined, over-ticketed and over-taxed New Yorkers deserve a break when they are paying what they already owe to the City and its agencies,” added Felder.
CM Williams Reacts To Cuomo NYCHA Funding
City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) applauded Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent investment into the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) over the weekend.
On Saturday, Cuomo announced an additional $250 million investment toward improving the living conditions of the 390,000 NYCHA tenants. The investment will be proposed for inclusion in the State Budget to support the ailing authority, where an independent construction manager will be selected.
The additional proposed funding comes off the heels of a lawsuit filed against the city in recent weeks by residents who are accusing NYCHA of “years of neglect” and “systemic violations of the law,” according to reports. NYCHA has been fighting multiple controversies in recent months including fraudulent lead inspections and a heating crisis that left over 80 percent of public housing residents without heat or hot water during the Winter.
“While this is only a fraction of what is required to address the chronic problems NYCHA faces, it is certainly encouraging that the Governor is willing to commit funding, as I called for him to do on his next visit and as neglected tenants demand. Still, it is unclear whether this commitment makes the final budget,” said Williams.
“All of us who are dedicated to providing relief and support to suffering residents will continue to push the Governor and the Mayor to to make good on their new promises, and ultimately to increase investment and improve accountability and management. These NYCHA residents will still be here long after this year’s election cycle and the political squabbling that seems to have finally brought the Governor to acknowledge the importance of their plight,” added Williams.
Donovan Applauds Sanctions Against Russia
Congressman Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) applauded President Donald Trump’s recent sanctions against Russia for their involvement in the 2016 Presidential Election.
Last week, the White House announced new sanctions on two-dozen Russian individuals and entities for U.S. cyberattacks and meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to The Washington Post.
Those targeted by the new sanctions may not travel into the United States, and all their assets under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. U.S. individuals are barred from engaging in transactions with them. Additionally, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his department intends to impose additional sanctions to hold Russian officials and oligarchs “accountable for their destabilizing activities by severing their access to the U.S. financial system.”
“The Trump Administration’s sanctions against Russia for meddling in the 2016 election are right on target. As a former prosecutor, I’ve long said that we should let investigators determine exactly what happened, and then use their findings to take appropriate action,” said Donovan.
“The media obsession with anonymous leaks and incomplete information has been a major distraction from this effort. Hopefully, both parties can come together to support the core mission of gathering all the facts and punishing America’s adversaries,” added Donovan.
South BK Lawmakers Demand MTA, DOT Put Kings Highway Changes On Hold
City Council members Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Midwood) and Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) alongside Assembly members Dov Hikind (D-Borough Park) and Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) and State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Borough Park, Midwood, Bensonhurst, Kensington) are uniting to express reservations about the current plan to institute a “bus-only” lane on the Kings Highway commercial strip.
Over the weekend, the coalition of South Brooklyn elected officials called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to halt the implementation of the project until community concerns are addressed. The current plan proposes removing more than 100 parking spots on the already highly congested commercial corridor in favor of a select bus service lane (SBS).
“I’m immensely frustrated that our district is being forced to endure a project that we believe will have negative effects on the small businesses and residents that are struggling to survive in our community. Just in the past few years, we lost the 250 car parking garage on Kings Highway, as well as the municipal lot that used to house more than 100 cars,” said Deutsch.
“I am requesting a meeting with DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, the MTA, relevant elected officials and civic leaders that represent both the residents and small businesses of this community so there can be direct dialogue with the decision makers that have say over the B82/SBS route. There must be a path forward that improves bus service without having significant adverse impacts on critical small business corridors in our community,” said Treyger.
“Once again, here is government telling people what’s good for them, as if they know better! We have an amazing community that continues to grow. Why is it necessary to hurt them—to hurt residents and businesses? This is what we saw on Ocean Parkway and it’s happening all over again!” said Hikind.
“I have previously written to DOT about the detrimental impact such a large loss of parking will have on the retail and residential community. The area cannot and will not support such a loss and I stand with the countless number of constituents, business owners, and community groups who have called and emailed my office raising objections to this plan,” said Cymbrowitz.