Palestinian Flag Unfurled on Manhattan Bridge

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Pro-Palestinian activists marching along the Brooklyn Bridge got an eyeful when a giant flag banner in Palestinian colors was unfurled on the nearby Manhattan Bridge.
The flag had the words “Boycott, Divest, Sanction” and was lowered from a part of the bridge near the Manhattan side Wednesday evening. Activists on the Brooklyn Bridge met its appearance with cheers.
The BDS movement is an international effort against Israel over the settlements.
The banner was taken back up a short time after. Police said no one was arrested in connection with its display.
It’s the second time in recent months that flags have unexpectedly shown up on city bridges. In July, two white flags were put in the place of American flags on top of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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22 Year Old Shot to Death in Coney Island

A 22-year-old man has been shot to death in Brooklyn’s Coney Island section.
Police say the shooting happened shortly after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday on West 21st Street.
They say 22-year-old Victor Rosado was shot in the torso. He was taken to Lutheran Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
No arrests have been made.
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Cymbrowitz: Ambulatory Health Facility Unhealthy for Local Parking

coney island vAssemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz  is urging the Board of Standards and Appeals to reject a special permit application by a Sheepshead Bay ambulatory health care facility that would severely impact residential parking.

The applicant, Eric Palatnik, P.C., for 2464 Coney Island Avenue, wants BSA to reduce the facility’s required number of parking spaces in the building’s indoor garage. Thirty-four spaces are currently reserved but BSA can reduce that number to 17. BSA is conducting a hearing on the matter tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Community Board 15 has already voted against the proposal.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz says eliminating indoor parking spaces will cause parking woes for people on East 9th Street, located around the corner from the facility, in addition to other nearby streets. “East 9th Street consists of attached homes with no garages. Residents here must rely solely on street parking, which is already in short supply,” he said in a letter to BSA.

Curb cuts have been installed on East 9th Street for the health care center’s underground parking garage, limiting parking for residents even further, he said.

Exacerbating the situation is a car rental business on the first floor of the same building, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. The car rental business will use the underground garage spaces when necessary, meaning that patients at the health care facility will need to look for available street parking when the indoor spots are occupied.

“In order to minimize the impact on residents’ quality of life, it is essential that BSA vote against the application to reduce the required number of parking spaces for the ambulatory health facility,” he said.

New Bill to Ban Hydrofracking Waste in New York City

Today, Council Members Stephen Levin and Corey Johnson are introducing legislation that would ban the discharge, disposal, sale or use of any wastewater or natural gas waste produced by hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking. The legislation, Introduction 853, will be formally introduced at today’s stated meeting of the New York City Council.

The process of hydraulic fracturing produces millions of gallons of wastewater that is often laced with toxic chemicals, including highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other chemicals that include carcinogenic materials are also commonly added to wastewater during the hydrofracking process. These chemicals pose significant health and environmental risks.

The legislation would prevent hydrofracking waste from being treated at wastewater treatment plants in New York City. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection owns and operates 14 wastewater treatment plants and there are also a number of privately owned wastewater treatment plans that operate within the City of New York. These facilities release effluent back into the surface water throughout the City and it is important that it be free of the dangerous contaminants found in hydrofracking waste. Additionally, the legislation would prevent wastewater and other waste products produced from hydrofracking from being used during deicing and snow removal.

“Hydrofracking waste is highly toxic and doesn’t belong in any of the five boroughs,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “With this legislation we can keep this toxic waste out of New York City and send a clear message that we are opposed to fracking in our state. Millions of gallons of wastewater filled with toxic chemicals are produced from fracking and my hope is that every locality throughout New York will introduce and pass similar bans. I want to thank Council Member Johnson and all of the environmental advocates who stand together in opposition to fracking waste in New York City.”

Council Member Corey Johnson said, “Extracting natural gas by fracking creates a tremendous amount of toxic waste and we must ensure its disposal or alternative use does not endanger our city” said Council Member Corey Johnson “This legislation will prevent the sale, use, or dumping of the waste from fracking in New York City. While hydro-fracking should be banned outright in New York State, it is important to put protections in place while the process is still in legal limbo.”

“Toxic, radioactive waste is the dirty underbelly of the fracking process, and it certainly has no place in New York City. We need to do what our neighbors on Long Island and upstate have already done, and protect ourselves by banning fracking waste once and for all,” said Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region director at the advocacy group Food & Water Watch. “We’re working hard to get this waste ban enacted, and we’re grateful for Councilmen Levin and Johnson’s leadership on this critical issue.”

 

“Riverkeeper applauds the important step that New York City is taking today to protect New York City residents from the improper reuse and disposal of fracking waste, an action that more than a dozen counties across the state have also taken to safeguard the health and environment of their citizens,” said Misti Duvall, Staff Attorney at Riverkeeper. “We urge the City Council to pass strong legislation as soon as possible.”

Rabies Alert: 78th Street and 16th Avenue

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Brooklyn Cigar Distributor Owes Millions in Taxes

An indictment was unsealed Tuesday against a Staten Island man who was accused of not paying more than $6.1 million in state taxes for cigars his distribution company brought into New York state.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an indictment against Aamir Sulaiman, who faces charges including criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records.
Authorities said Sulaiman’s company, Brooklyn-based Delta Distribution Services Corp., brought in millions of cigars from Pennsylvania and re-sold them in New York without paying all the taxes he owed. Authorities said between March and November 2013, Sulaiman only paid about $100,000 in taxes when he owed millions.
Authorities accused Sulaiman of filing false tax returns and falsifying business documents.
“Operations like these undermine law-abiding mom-and-pop shops and other businesses in New York by putting them at a competitive disadvantage, not to mention damaging our public health efforts to discourage smoking,” Schneiderman said in announcing the indictment.
The 45-year-old Sulaiman faces up to 25 years in prison. A call to his attorney seeking comment was not immediately returned.

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