Week in Review: Oct. 17

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Carlina Rivera last week announced the publication of the final report on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR) by independent consultant Deltares, hired for the review of the project last month. In her Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) recommendation, Brewer requested an independent environmental expert to review the ESCR Project and prepare comments regarding the City’s Preferred Alternative 4 proposal and the other three alternative designs. The independent review by Deltares was led by Dr. Hans Gehrels.

Among the findings in the report, which studied resiliency in the Alternative 3 and Alternative 4 designs, are: the need for improving transparency and stakeholder engagement; ongoing monitoring for air quality impacts to be made available publicly; release of city documents that provide evidence for the analysis underlying the Final Environmental Impact Statement; further investigation of Interim Flood Protection Measures (IFPM) during the construction period; phased construction for continued use of of portions of the park with additional open space mitigation; and additional clean fill for future flood protection against sea-level rise. The full report can be viewed online.

Parents at PS 116 expressed concern on Monday about the school at 210 East 33rd Street being opened as a voting site by the Board of Elections for early voting for 10 days starting at the end of this month. Parents said that there was no warning about the school being chosen, since the mayor’s office initially proposed high schools and universities but PS 116, an elementary school, was not included on the initial lists. One parent noted that identification is usually required to enter the school building but while it is open for early voting, an unknown number of people will be allowed to enter the school without being checked. 

PS 116 will be the early voting site for Peter Cooper Village residents, where early voting will be available starting on Saturday, October 26 through Sunday, November 3. Early voting for Stuy Town residents will be at the Clinton School for Writers and Artists at 10 East 15th Street.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney held an impeachment town hall with former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman.

Last Friday, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney hosted an Impeachment 101 Town Hall in Brooklyn with special guest former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman. The event, held at Bushwick Inlet Park Community Room, drew participants from all three boroughs the Congresswoman represents (Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens) who wanted to learn more about what impeachment means, next steps in Congress and former Rep. Holtzman’s experience during the Nixon impeachment. Maloney serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which is one of the three committees taking the lead on the investigation into President Trump’s conduct pertaining to his conversations with Ukrainian leaders attempting to gain information on a political rival. The Congresswoman first called for impeachment on June 15 at a rally in Foley Square after President Trump said during an interview on national television that he would accept information from a foreign government in the course of the campaign, putting himself in the debt of a foreign power. Maloney voted yes on Rep. Al Green’s proposition to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in July 2019.

“The news is moving fast these days, and I felt it incredibly important to host an event so that concerned New Yorkers could engage in a dialogue about the future of our democracy and learn more about the impeachment process,” Maloney said. “As one of the nation’s strongest voices during the impeachment inquiry of President Richard Nixon, I’m so pleased that former Brooklyn Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman was able to join me for this discussion and share her perspective. President Trump is jeopardizing our national security in plain sight, and abusing his power for personal political gain. The oath of office that each Member of Congress makes requires us to take this solemn step to protect our democracy and defend the constitution. The seriousness of the impeachment investigation cannot be underestimated, and I thank everyone who joined me for this incredibly important discussion.”

The City Council Land Use Committee passed a resolution last Thursday authorizing the City Council to file an application at the Department of City Planning to remap Rikers Island so that it will not be allowed to house incarcerated individuals after 2026. The application will be co-filed with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and Department of Correction (DOC). The map change at Rikers will be done through the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and will ensure that the island will never again incarcerate New Yorkers. Through this ULURP, the city will seek to have the island designated as a “Public Place” on the City Map, which will ensure future development of the site will be solely for the public benefit.

Attorney General Letitia James joined a group of 18 attorneys general on Tuesday to defend Vermont’s right to ban large-capacity magazines and protect public safety. In an amicus brief filed in the Vermont Supreme Court, the coalition argues that states have the right to enact reasonable firearm restrictions that reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by gun violence. The states filed an amicus brief in State of Vermont v. Max B. Misch, a suit in which the Vermont Supreme Court will determine whether Vermont’s prohibition on large-capacity magazines violates the Vermont Constitution’s right to bear arms. In 2018, Vermont prohibited the manufacture, importation, possession, and sale of large-capacity magazines, with some exceptions, including for magazines lawfully possessed before the law went into effect. The law bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition for long guns and more than 15 rounds for handguns. New York, seven other states, and the District of Columbia have enacted similar prohibitions. The constitutionality of those laws has been consistently upheld by federal courts of appeals under the Second Amendment, which the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized as “analogous” to Vermont’s right-to-bear-arms provision.

On Monday, October 7, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation prohibiting the performance or supervision of a pelvic exam on an anesthetized or unconscious person without informed consent. The legislation also makes it professional misconduct to perform unauthorized pelvic exams. 

“No one should ever have to question what was done to their body when undergoing anesthesia or otherwise unconscious in a healthcare setting,” Cuomo said. “It is a blatant and completely unacceptable abuse of trust for any doctor or healthcare provider to perform an exam that was not previously consented to by the patient, and with this new measure we are making crystal clear that this repugnant behavior will be punished accordingly.”

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