BROOKLYN – It’s Thursday and so much is happening across our borough. Don’t forget to get your flu shot! And don’t forget to complete your census!
Let’s start with schools. Just a few days before the physical re-opening of NYC public schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio delayed it again. Here’s what will happen as of now: Only children in 3K, Pre-K, and District 75 will return to school this Monday, September 21. Kids in K-5 and K-8 schools will return on Tuesday, September 29. And those in middle school and high school will return Thursday, October 1. Regardless of when in-person learning begins, ALL public school students will be remote learning beginning on Monday, September 21.
Are you a teacher? A parent? How are you feeling about these abrupt changes? Let us know!
Salvatore “Buddy” Scotto, a native of Carroll Gardens who became a beloved funeral director and community leader, died peacefully early Friday morning, September 11, 2020. He was 91. He was “a larger-than-life neighborhood leader and unofficial Mayor of Carroll Gardens who could never be ignored,” the Brooklyn Eagle quoted Mike Racioppo, district leader of Community Board 6, in its obituary.
Garbage has been top of mind for quite a few neighborhoods, especially those in less well-heeled areas, but also worrying some CEOs who penned an open letter to the Mayor last week. Either way, our mayor is finally taking notice. The city will be restoring approximately 64 litter basket trucks in areas across the city most impacted by COVID-19. In Brooklyn, the areas will include Bedford Stuyvesant, Brighton Beach, Brownsville, Bushwick, Canarsie, East Flatbush, East New York/Starrett City, and Sunset Park, we reported yesterday.
And speaking of litter, there’s a ton of it occupying Corporal Wiltshire Square. It is often occupied with people breaking bottles, shouting profanities, urinating, and littering throughout the night, residents told us. According to NYC Parks, this summer they had 371 fewer people doing maintenance compared to last year in Brooklyn, impacting their ability to do their normal upkeep of park facilities. Additionally, the budget for NYC Parks was cut by $84 million to $503 million, precluding them to hire seasonal staff this year.
From an app for picking up from the food pantry to a sukkah for enjoying your hot meal outside – Masbia Soup Kitchen is treating those in need with dignity and respect. The Executive Director of Masbia, Alexander Rapaport, told us said the demand for food increased by 500% right as the pandemic hit and the soup kitchen needed to find a better way to serve as many people as possible. So, now they use an app. The app allows people to reserve a time slot one day a week to get groceries from Masbia, via an app or text message. Five people are given a time slot every 15 minutes. Those with an appointment show their ticket at the front of the line and then fill their cart up with groceries from one table.
Thirty-three guns are now off New York’s streets thanks to a gun buyback held in Brooklyn on Saturday. People that arrived carrying firearms in bags left with $200 per gun after surrendering them, no questions asked. The event was hosted by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and the NYPD as the city faces an uptick in gun violence. Shootings have increased this year– we write about some every single week. Earlier this week, a 33-year-old man was shot and killed in his car in Dyker Heights. And just a few days ago, an East NY man was arraigned on two indictments, charged with first-degree murder for two separate incidents in June where he allegedly killed three people.
Wear a face mask! Customers refusing to wear masks on the subway, buses, or commuter rail are now subject to a $50 fine. While mask compliance remains above 90% across the transit system, the fine follows Governor Cuomo’s executive order directing the MTA to develop a plan to increase mask-wearing compliance even further.
We’ve had several injured firefighters this week. First, a five-alarm fire ripped through three homes late Saturday night, injuring 12 firefighters and displacing families. (To help out the families, check out our story and scroll to the bottom for GoFundMe links.) And early this morning, one person dead and several were injured after a fire truck crashed into an ambulance as both had their sirens on and were responding to emergencies. The patient in the ambulance died. His sister is in a coma. Two paramedics, one person in the car, and six firefighters suffered injuries.