HEAF CELEBRATES 25 YEARS

The Harlem Educational Activities Fund is celebrating 25 years of success in closing the achievement gap for underserved youth. The educational nonprofit honored Joel Klein, CEO of Amplify and former New York City schools chancellor, at its 25th anniversary gala Wednesday. Funds raised will support educational programming for HEAF’s inner city middle school, high school and college students from Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

The event also celebrated the 10th Anniversary of HEAF’s Legal Negotiations and Moot Court Program, founded by Alexandra D. Korry, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Robin Panovka, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and saluted Daniel Rose, the organization’s founder and New York City philanthropist.

Founded in 1989, HEAF has successfully served students in Harlem and surrounding neighborhoods. Recently, the organization has been sharply focused on expanding its presence into other New York City boroughs, with the ultimate goal of serving students citywide. HEAF has begun this expansion with the launch of its Brooklyn program this year.

REPORT: RODENT INFESTATION ON THE RISE

At a press conference this week in Harlem, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer unveiled findings of a new audit showing widespread deficiencies in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s response to citizen complaints about rodents. “This is a rat race we’re all losing, and it’s one that affects our quality of life,” Stringer said. “When people discover infestations in their homes and on their blocks, they expect a quick and effective response. Our audit found that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene wasn’t managing its pest-control program effectively, even as the number of complaints about pests grew.”

The number of pest complaints in New York City jumped from 22,300 in fiscal year 2012 to 24,586 in fiscal year 2013. Stringer’s audit examined whether one of the agencies primarily responsible for pest control, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, adequately followed its procedures for addressing pest-control complaints during the period of July 1, 2011 through April 8, 2014.

BROOKLYN DA CREATES NEW VIOLENT CRIMINAL BUREAU

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced the formation of a Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau that will bring together prosecutors with expertise in fighting gangs and drug organizations, and use multiple prosecution strategies, to systematically incapacitate and dismantle these dangerous and violent enterprises that are destroying lives and wreaking havoc in our communities.

Thompson said, “The Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau will significantly increase our ability to save lives and protect communities in Brooklyn that have long suffered from gun violence, drug dealing and other criminal acts committed by gangs. I look forward to the success of this bureau as it works to protect the people of Brooklyn from some of the most dangerous and violent criminals on our streets.”

”Thompson said that long-term investigations will include a specific focus on targeting narcotics and firearms traffickers. The bureau will also work closely with the district attorney’s Crime Strategies Unit to utilize the intelligence developed by that unit about target organizations. It also will, at times, work closely with the Consumer Frauds Bureau, particularly the Cybercrimes Unit, to investigate and prosecute the increase in financial fraud associated with these organizations.

NEW HERITAGE THEATER TURNS 50

Monday, Oct. 27, New Heritage presents “A Season in an Evening: A Night to Remember” in celebration of the theater’s 50 years. Actors, musicians, friends and supporters will be treated to an exciting glimpse of history with theater and music performances by a stellar cast of New Heritage alums and invited guests.

Performers include jazz musician and former musical director for Luther Vandross, Nat Adderly Jr., award-winning, classically trained actress and founder of the Harlem Shakespeare festival, Debra Ann Byrd and WBLS FM/WLIB AM/ WBAI FM on-air radio personality and co-songwriter with Stevie Wonder, Imhotep Gary Byrd. Program hosts are NAACP and multi-Audelco award-winning actor/writer/director Daniel Beaty and internationally known on-air host and playwright Esther Armah.

Tickets may be purchased at Aaron Davis Hall box office or from the New Heritage website or by calling New Heritage at 212-926-2550.

—Compiled by Cyril Josh Barker