Cumbo Announces Community Meeting Focusing On Playground Shootings
Majority Leader City Council member Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights) announced yesterday an upcoming community meeting focusing on the recent gun violence incidents in the vicinity of Stroud Playground in Prospect Heights.
Earlier this week, police confirmed that gang-related gun incidents near the newly renovated playground on Park Place, sparked two separate “shelter-ins” at a nearby school just hours apart on Friday, March 15. They apprehended two armed individuals in relation to the incidents, and ballistics from a third unrecovered gun, according to the Bklyner.
Parents say this is the fourth gunshot-related incident since September that has sent the adjacent schools – P.S. 316 (Elijah G. Stroud Elementary School) and M.S. 353 – to “shelter-in”. Last Friday, the building at 750 Classon Ave. and Sterling Pl. was locked down just after 3:00 p.m. when shots rang out near the playground. Three hours later, during a PTA bake sale for P.S. 316, authorities, once again, locked down the school’s exits. A week later, on March 22, officials sheltered-in students because of suspected gunshots again.
Since the incidents, the 77th precinct has installed 24-hour police presence at the playground. Additionally, a group of about 35 neighbors in the immediate vicinity of play area have come together to begin a conversation about how to organize local police and elected officials in securing the newly renovated playground, keep further violence off the streets, and bring support to the young people who can sometimes get caught up in illegal activity.
“Thank you to the families and neighbors that have organized several functions thus far, and are working to bring all stakeholders to the table. We pledge to be partners in making our community safe for all, no matter what it takes!” said Cumbo.
The event is slated for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, March 28, at Elijah Stroud Campus, at 750 Classon Avenue in Crown Heights.
Rose Takes NYC Counterterrorism Tour, Pledges Close Coordination & Federal Support
Congressman Max Rose (Staten Island, South Brooklyn) Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, joined the New York Police Department (NYPD) last week for a tour and briefing of the city’s needs and capabilities in addressing threats of terrorism.
As part of the tour, Rose toured St. George Ferry Terminal for a briefing on ferry security, received technology demonstrations at Police Headquarters, and Special Operations briefing and demonstrations at Floyd Bennett Field, a critical training facility for the NYPD.
Rose, an Army veteran who currently serves in the National Guard, pledged to use his position as Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee—the first Member from New York City to hold that post— to be, “laser focused on ensuring threats are being identified and addressed, and that New York’s first responders who are our first line of defense have the resources and information they need to do their jobs.”
The tour comes in the years since the Sept. 2017 deadly vehicle terror attack in Manhattan that killed eight people and injured 11 others and the Chelsea bomber attack in Sept 2016 perpetrated by 29-year-old New Jersey native, Ahmed Khan Rahimi, who planted two bombs in NYC streets that injured dozens of people.
“We all know New York City is the biggest target for terrorist threats—and we need to be prepared as such. In seeing firsthand the incredible work and capabilities of the NYPD, it’s clear that no threats are taken lightly. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the NYPD in making sure they have the tools and resources necessary to continue protecting our city,” said Rose.
Cornegy Named Tallest Male Politician By Guinness World Records
City Council member Robert Cornegy, Jr. (D-Northern Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant) will be presented as Guinness World Records’s tallest male politician in a ceremony at City Hall today.
Officially measuring at 209.6 cm (6 ft. 10 in.), Cornegy was bestowed the coveted honor earlier this year by the internationally-recognized organization. Cornegy played basketball as a youngster. He was a star center for Andrew Jackson High School in Queens when New York was a basketball mecca, he averaged 2.2 minutes and 0.4 points per game as a redshirt freshman stuck on the bench behind Chicago Bulls legend Bill Wennington.
Cornegy went onto play backup center for St. John’s University’s historic 1984 Final Four team before eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Mercy College.
The event is slated for 12-noon, today, March 27, at City Hall, Blue Room in Lower Manhattan.
Gounardes Co-Sponsors Bill To Enhance Accountability Of STAR Program
State Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend) co-sponsored a bill this month increasing the duties of the STAR and Enhanced STAR (School Tax Relief Program), the most common personal tax exemption for homeowners in New York State.
The bill, S4024, otherwise known as the “STAR Bill of Rights,” directs the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance to notify taxpayers who apply for the credit if they are deemed ineligible, and provides for an appeals process, while also creating the Office of STAR Ombudsman, responsible for communicating with taxpayers awaiting their rebate check:
Over the years, the program has faced significant criticism resultant of the fact that homeowners must proactively register for the credit and the huge delays associated with it.
“As a result of a system overwrought with bureaucracy, applicants are often forced to wait an excessive period of time, sometimes years, to receive their rebates. For families and seniors struggling to make ends meet, these rebates are critical.This bill will help to cut through the red tape and ensure that all those who apply for the STAR or Enhanced STAR credit are informed of the status of their application in a timely manner and finally create a communications infrastructure accountable to New York taxpayers,” said Gounardes.