Lt. Gov. To Host School Renaming In Honor of African-American Suffragette
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul today will host a re-naming ceremony of P.S. 9 to the Sarah Smith Garnet School in honor of the first African American principal and trailblazing suffragette.
Currently the school, P.S. 9 Teunis G. Bergen is named after a Brooklyn politician in the 1800s who was a slave owner. For the past year, parents have discussed changing the name and students got involved. Ninety-three fifth-graders signed a petition for the name change.
The new name was decided by a vote. The Department of Education (DOE) is backing the decision calling Garnet, “a trail-blazing leader who changed our schools and city.” The school’s principal says it is an empowering move for the school, where 40% of the students are black, according to New 12.
Hochul will speak to the school and present a gift to relatives of Sarah Smith Garnet. The Lt. Governor chairs the Woman’s Suffrage Commission and will speak on the importance of honoring this Garnett.
The event is slated for 11 a.m., today, June 3, at P.S. 9, 80 Underhill Avenue in Prospect Heights.
Ampry-Samuel To Host Lien Sale Event To Protect Homeowners
City Council member Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brownsville) will host a lien sale outreach session this week to help protect longtime property owners from losing their homes.
Ampry-Samuel is collaborating with the Department of Finance (DOF), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to present a lien sale event for families in the district.
The event will provide an opportunity for homeowners and their families to take control of their debt and to avoid future lien sales that may lead to the seizure of their homes.
Lien sales are the result of a property owner failing to pay their property taxes or utility bills, which then become tax liens that can be sold in a lien sale. Each year, DOF sells tax liens, selling qualified unpaid debt to an authorized buyer.
The event is slated for 6 p.m to 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 4, at the Brownsville Multi-Cultural Center, 444 Thomas S. Boyland Street in Brownsville.
AM Williams Awards BK School $75K For Healthy Eating
Assembly member Jaime Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach) last week awarded P.S. 276 The Louis Marshall Elementary School a grant in the sum of $75,000.00 to help further their healthy eating initiative.
The funds will go toward the school’s “Growing Garden” which produces a harvest of fruits and vegetables for the students and promotes healthy eating habits. The funding will also go toward the school’s Arts Program.
“Evidence shows that children who attend schools that promote healthy eating and take part in a creative arts program perform better academically. Healthy school environments also set the stage for children to adopt a healthy lifestyle into adulthood,” said Williams.
“However, studies and statistics show many schools face challenges when it comes to implementing policies and programs that help address these factors and I for one am thrilled that we can help facilitate such wonderful endeavors,” added Williams.
Ortiz Denounces Anti-Semitic Graffiti At BK Jewish Children’s Museum
Assembly member Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) last Friday denounced the anti-semitic language discovered Thursday at Brooklyn’s Jewish Childrens Museum.
A note reading “Hitler is coming” was found on a billboard designed for comments by visitors to the Crown Heights museum. Police are investigating the note, left Thursday, as a hate crime, a spokesperson told the New York Post.
Crown Heights has seen a spike over the past year and a half in anti-Semitic incidents, exposing racial tensions in the neighborhood, which is majority black but has a large Hasidic Orthodox population, primarily from the Chabad group, according to The Forward.
“I deplore the scrawling of anti-Semitic hate language found at Brooklyn’s Jewish Childrens Museum last night. It was a deplorable action. I hope that the perpetrator of this hate crime is brought to justice and prosecuted. We must have zero tolerance for actions like this,” said Ortiz.
Treyger Calls For Special Investigation Into Bronx Student Suicide
City Council member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) alongside Councilmember Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) are calling on the city to probe the death of a Bronx student who committed suicide earlier this year following months of bullying.
Mya Vizcarrondo-Rios jumped to her death back in February after she was relentlessly bullied at school for five months and sexually assaulted on the day of her death. While school administrators repeatedly ignored her cries for help and never told her mom and dad about her torment, a new lawsuit by her parents alleges, according to the New York Daily News.
School was still in session on Feb. 28, 2018, when Mya Vizcarrondo-Rios’ broken body was found on the ground 34 stories from the rooftop of the apartment building in which she lived,
“Her death could have been prevented. If NYC Department of Education (DOE) administrators and staff had responded properly, and addressed her concerns, this child’s promising future could have been fulfilled. The Mayor and DOE must answer for this tragedy and deliver accountability, so that when young people speak out about the harassment and/or violence that they are enduring, it is fully and properly addressed,” read a joint statement.
“That is why we are calling for a formal investigation by the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the NYC School District to find out what went wrong here, hold everyone responsible accountable and demand that the findings are reported to the City Council Committees on Education and Women,” continued the statement.
Felder Bill Improving Access To Affordable “EpiPens” Passes Senate
State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Boro Park, Midwood) last week applauded the New York Senate passage of legislation (S3539) aimed at improving consumer access to more affordable generic epinephrine injectors (EpiPens).
Epinephrine auto-injectors are lifesaving, hand-held devices, carried by those who have severe allergies to administer in the event of a severe allergic reaction. The bill empowers pharmacists to substitute a generic device at a lower cost to consenting patients without the additional hassle of replacing their prescription from already overburdened doctors.
Doctors often prescribe the auto-injector using the brand name (EpiPen) that has become an eponym for the device, but owing to a cost in excess of $600, most insurance providers will not cover it. To ensure safety at home and school, a severely allergic child will need at least two of the devices, and whether used or not, they expire annually and must be replaced.
New York law currently authorizes pharmacists to provide generic options to prescription medications. However, the epinephrine auto-injector is both a medicine and a device. Patients have to cover the steep cost alone or take a risk for as long as it takes to replace the prescription. Patients and pharmacists report contending with the struggle regularly.
15 million Americans, including 1 in 13 children, are at risk of the potentially life-threatening condition. FAIR Health (a national, independent nonprofit) reported a 377% rise in severe allergies from 2007 – 2016. Within seconds of exposure to an allergen, an anaphylactic reaction constricts breathing and requires an injection of epinephrine and emergency room follow-up. Especially for children, the condition can be fatal without immediate treatment.
“While the steep price of EpiPens climbs at an alarming pace, more affordable generics have emerged, but shockingly, they remain inaccessible to patients. By simply correcting this technicality we can improve access to this life-saving device. Families shouldn’t be faced with this exorbitant expense and dangerous waste of time. This bill puts the choice for more affordable health options back in the hands of the patient and family, where it belongs,” said Felder.