Afternoon Bulletin: State Ready to Abolish Tampon Tax, BK Navy Yard Gets a Park

A woman hands out tampons to demonstrators during the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park.

A woman hands out tampons to demonstrators during the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

A bill to end the controversial “tampon tax” was sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo today, after unanimously passing the State Senate on Wednesday.  The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Sue Serino and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal will remove taxes on all feminine hygiene products. Critics of the tax have called it “discriminatory and misogynistic.” With previous approval by the State Assembly, the bill will await the approval of Gov. Cuomol, who has shown strong support for the bill and it is expected to pass. (Daily News)

The latest public park to arrive in the city resides at an unlikely spot—a Brooklyn cemetery-turned-industrial park. The Naval Cemetery Landscape, at the Southeast edge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, rests just four feet above the former cemetery for the Brooklyn Naval Hospital. The landscape, which served as a cemetery for nearly 80 years with roughly 2,000 people buried between 1831 and 1910, was decommissioned in 1920 with its remains having moved to Cypress Hills National Cemetery. The park space is now filled with grass-lined walking platforms, specially planted wildflowers and a small amphitheater. Located next to Williamsburg Street, the 300-acre industrial park is open Wednesday through Sunday. (Gothamist)

Mount Sinai Beth Israel, a 125-year-old hospital in downtown Manhattan, will close down to be downsized, hospital officials said Wednesday. The hospital, which houses 825 beds will begin construction in 2017 and will reopen with about 70 beds with an emergency department located at a separate location down the street. The downsizing would not affect Beth Israel’s specialties–behavioral and outpatient surgery services–but would rather expand them. Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, president and chief executive of the Mount Sinai Health System, which runs Beth Israel and six other NYC area hospitals, credits the high cost of healthcare as the reason for downsizing. “We have the macroeconomics of health care—which is that it is unaffordable for everyone,” Dr. Davis told the Times.  (New York Times).

With 85 heroin related deaths in Staten Island this year alone, the Gov. Andrew Cuomo met on the South Shore of Staten Island for his “Heroin Task Force” yesterday. Mr. Cuomo told Staten Island residents that the present-day heroin epidemic has surpassed any past narcotic crises in New York, including the crack epidemic of the 1980s. “The numbers of increase in the number of deaths is staggering,” he said. This is a drug that is increasing like fire through dry grass. There are a number of reasons why, but that doesn’t change the end result: that we have a public health crisis on our hands, and it’s only getting worse.” (Observer).

Afternoon Bulletin: State Ready to Abolish Tampon Tax, BK Navy Yard Gets a Park