There was no shortage of news in Kings County this month — school started, employees fought for their rights, thousands of asylum-seekers arrived in New York City, and federal officials announced a tentative flood-protection plan for the city’s shoreline nearly ten years after Superstorm Sandy devastated the city. Here are some of the most-relevant and still enduring stories that shook Brooklyn during September.
National Grid gets chilly reception at Greenpoint Energy Center rate case hearings
Utility giant National Grid, which provides natural gas to more than 1 million customers in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, proposed a customer rate hike that would pay for new fossil fuel infrastructure at the Greenpoint Energy Center. The company requested to spend $65 million of ratepayer money to build two new liquified natural gas vaporizers on the banks of Newtown Creek.
“Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure in 2022 is climate denial, and to make all of us pay for that climate denial adds insult to injury.”said local Assemblymember Emily Gallagher.
Dyker Heights residents, pols call on city to finish Y2K-era sewer replacement amid flooding, sewage backups
The city started replacing the sewer system around the turn of the century and never finished quote finished the job. State senator Andrew Gournades’ office said the unfinished renovation has caused even the lightest rainfall sewage backups and flooding of up to four feet south of 77th Street.
Families seeking asylum have few resources at emergency shelter, find warm welcome at Prospect Heights school
In early September, parents and administrators at P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights found out 25 new students, would be enrolling at the school. All of them are recently-arrived asylum seekers from Venezuela who were staying in a nearby emergency shelter with their families.
“It turned out that they really weren’t being helped, they weren’t being connected with all of the resources that could be available to them,” P.S. 9 PTO president Jessica Flores said.
Williamsburg Trader Joe’s mployees file for union election
Seeking better pay and benefits and fairer treatment, 185 base level employees — or “crew members” at the Kent Avenue store sent petitions to the National Labor Relations Board indicating they would like to join Trader Joe’s United.
The union argues management has a history of unevenly applying discipline, disproportionately punishing workers of color.
New York businesses say cash advance firms sent threats and looted bank accounts
Laurence Girard sought out over a million dollars in funding for his new business, Fruit Street Health, from merchant cash advance services — and quickly realized he was in trouble when they broke the terms of their agreement and threatened him via text messages. He’s one of many small businessowners who have found themselves in a dangerous situation after borrowing money from predatory cash advance companies.
As book bans become ‘more numerous, more organized, more effective,’ Brooklyn Public Library fights back
From March 2021 to July 2022, 86 school districts in 26 states have banned more than 1,400 books. The bans, carried out at the directive of local elected officials, affect nearly 3,000 schools and over 2 million students. For Banned Book Week, the Brooklyn Public Library invited students and experts to discuss book-banning and its impacts on students and young people, and touted their “Books Unbanned” Project, which connects readers with restricted books and other materials.