GENERALLY SPEAKING: Week of December 8

Happy Birthday, Bay Ridge!

December 16 marks the 158th birthday of Bay Ridge. It was backon December 16, 1853, that a prominent group of citizens met at theDistrict No. 2 Yellow Hook schoolhouse, on the east side of ThirdAvenue, about 200 yards south of Ovington Avenue, to change thename of their then-rural village which earlier had been plagued bya Yellow Fever epidemic.

The session was chaired by New Utrecht Town SupervisorTunis BergenJames Weir whoproposed a resolution changing the name of the village to Bay Ridgewas unanimously adopted.

I had the distinct honor of chairing the Bay RidgeSesquicentennial Committee along with GeorgeFontas

Lasting monuments from that 150th anniversary celebrationinclude a bronze plaque at the Bay Ridge Public Library,73rd Streetand Ridge Boulevard, a large mural on the 92nd Street wall of theFood Town Supermarket and the designation by the Borough Presidentof the hydrangea as Bay Ridge’s official flower.

The sesquicentennial mural was designed by local freelanceartist Tom Tracy and painted by the students from Fort HamiltonHigh School, guided by their art teacher, Ellen Cokinese, a proudBay Ridge resident.


We were on hand at Fort Hamilton as the fort’s garrison policeforce held a full-scale installation-wide active shooter drillincluding participation by NYPD, the New York City Fire Departmentand emergency medical teams, and CERT Team volunteers from BayRidge and Bensonhurt’s CERT1NYC and Sunset Park’s Senior CenterCERT Team, acting as fatally injured and wounded victims.

Among the officials viewing the training exercise were baseCommander Michael GouldMichaelMarrone and base police Chief RoccoMandile. Quite an array of emergency vehicles, a mobilecommand center bus, fire apparatus and ambulances responded to thestaged disaster.


While now dozens of other local organizations are collectingtoys for military families and the Toys for Tots program, andthat’s a good thing, the Bay Ridge voluntary arm of the AARP –which has been holding its monthly meetings at the Shore Hillcommunity center, 91st Street and Shore Road, for over 25 years –continues its annual collection of toys, dolls, games and plushanimals for hospitalized, underprivileged children and those fromeconomically disadvantaged families via the Bay Ridge Corps of theSalvation Army.

So, if you’re coming to the free Christmas-Hanukkah Party beingheld by the Bay Ridge AARP, on Tuesday, December 13, at 2:30 p.m.,please bring an unwrapped gift.


The New York City Department of Finance just closed the BrooklynBusiness and Help Center on the first floor in the BrooklynMunicipal Building on Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Now,if you want to challenge a parking ticket or contest property orbusiness taxes, you now have to trek to one of the other fourboroughs or go on line. More on this next week.


A hearty Big Apple welcome aboard to AlisonKohlerJohn Manley


Remember Pearl Harbor! December 7 was the 70th anniversary ofthe sneak and horrendous attack on Pearl Harbor, near Honolulu,Hawaii, by the Japanese empire. Twenty one ships were sunk orseverally damaged, 188 aircraft were destroyed with an additional159 damaged, 2,403 military and civilians were killed; and 1,178were wounded on that fateful day.


State Senator Marty GoldenJoseph Lentol and City CouncilmemberDomenic Recchia are being honored as 2011 ChamberChampions at the Winter Gala sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber ofCommerce.

Both Golden and Lentol, the dean of the Brooklyn delegation ofthe New York State Assembly, are life members of the Society of OldBrooklynites. Also being heralded as Business Champions of the Yearare Bay Ridge Ford, the Luna Park Amusement Park and the BrooklynNets basketball organization. Perry Shapiro of theAstoria Savings Bank is the recipient of the Chamber LifetimeAchievement Award.

Carl Hum is the Chamber’s President andCEO.


The ISO Symphonic Band returns to the St. Patrick’s AldoBrushi Auditorium, 97th Street and Fourth Avenue onSunday, December 18, at 8 p.m., for its annual Christmas Concert.These are the same young, gifted high school musicians, under thebaton of local maestro and founder Brian Worsdale

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