Generally Speaking: Week of December 27

Build on higher ground!

BJ’s Wholesale Club recently broke ground along Shore Parkway near the Ceasar’s Bay shopping mall in Gravesend, for their newest Brooklyn outlet.The firm is having built a two-story structure, at the foot of Bay 38th Street.

Since the new club building will be in a flood zone, let’s hope their architects and the construction company is taking a good lesson from what occurred as a result of Superstorm Sandy in its newest neighborhood.Big box stores like Kohl’s and Toys ‘R’ Us at Ceasar’s Bay received extensive storm surge damage.

BJ’s corporate management should ensure the new building has re-enforced concrete walls and places its HVAC, fire suppression and electrical boxes, and backup generators in a reinforced, watertight mechanical room on the roof or on the second floor.

Perhaps Community Board 11 should request a meeting with the architect and/or builders so they can show what preventive measures they will have to prevent future storm damage. There are currently nearly 200 BJ’s clubs in the eastern United States. The company also operates 107 gas stations.

While we are on the subject of storm damage, the city’s Department of Transportation should also consider adding battery backup connections to its traffic signals that control major traffic intersections. If possible, maybe solar panels similar to the muni parking payment and receipt dispensers can be employed to trickle charge the batteries.


New York State Supreme Court Justice Artie Schack formally installed the 2013-2014 officers of Ragamuffin, Inc.The parade group has been holding the annual Children’s Ragamuffin Parade in Bay Ridge for over four decades.Officers include President Colleen Golden, Vice President Marie Lane, Secretary Arlene Keating and Treasurer Sonia Abi-Habib.


Korean War Army Veteran Tom Kane, a post commander of Bay Ridge’s American Legion Amity Post, recently died. Kane, also a member of the Catholic War Veterans, was waked at the Lockwood funeral home and a funeral service was held at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, at 60th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Kane was also a member of the post’s color guard which often took part in local community events. He also worked closely with World War II Navy veteran and legionnaire officer Howie Dunn planting American flags on sidewalks in front of businesses and store-shops in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.

Back in November of 2011, Kane toured Ground Zero with fellow legionnaires and wounded warriors where we snapped his photo by one of the two reflecting memorial pools. Outside the church on the day of his funeral, members of the Amity Post and Catholic War Veterans formed an honor guard as Tom’s casket was carried through their ranks.


The Cathedral Club of Brooklyn held its annual Christmas Party at Mama Rao’s Italian Restaurant on 11th Avenue. Our table guests included banking executive and former Club President James McHugh, and Attorney Mike and Beth Connors. Other attendees included State Senator Marty Golden, City Councilmember Vinnie Gentile, Bay Ridge Community Council Secretary Frank Lombardi, Mary Bocchino, Maureen McHugh, New York State Supreme Court Justice John Ingram, past Club Presidents Frank Keating, Craig Eaton, Bob Johnson, George Prezioso, Tom McCarthy, Robert Guarinello and Joseph Bova, to name a few.

President John Heyer gave the dinner blessing and welcomed all the celebrants. He also mentioned the club’s annual gala will be held on February 12, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, 1535 Broadway in Manhattan.


Music history was made in Bay Ridge on December 16 with the performance by the renowned Knox Grammar School Symphonic Wind Ensemble from Sydney, Australia, which did a joint concert with the NYC ISO Symphonic Band conducted by Bay Ridgeite and maestro Brian Worsdale.

First, each musical contingent performed separately and, near the finale of the program, jointly. First, Worsdale conducted the combined ensembles, then Knox’s maestro James Brice. The Knox Ensemble featuring 68 young Aussie musicians is on a two-week national tour of the U.S.A. It has performed in Los Angeles and Harlem, and will perform next in Chicago and San Diego.

The Christmas program was held in the Aldo Bruschi school auditorium of St. Patrick’s Church, 97th Street and Fourth Avenue. Since it was admission free, and for the sterling caliber of the performance, it had to be the biggest bargain on this side of the Brooklyn and Verrazano Bridges. It was quite an incredible and stirring performance to see and hear a symphony of over 100 musicians playing together.

Our sincere best wishes for a healthy, prosperous New Year.


To reach Ted General via the Internet, his e-mail address is:

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