Generally Speaking: Italian heritage on parade at Brooklyn Columbus Day march

This past Saturday, Federation of Italian American Organizations commemorated the 521st anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and Italian heritage with its 32nd annual Brooklyn Columbus Day Parade along 18th Avenue from 61st to 84th Street.

One of the musical highlights of the parade was the participation by a contingent known as Band R. Pomili Castelnuovo di Porto and a group of high stepping majorettes known as the Golden Stars Sabine from Italy.

At the reviewing grandstand,the Roman bandsmenplayed both the American National Anthem and Italy’s anthem. Other area bands included Fort Hamilton High School’s award-wining marching band, James Madison High School’s Golden Knights, and Manhattan’s all-girls Cathedral High School Marching Band.

Carlo ScissuraMarty Markowitz.

This year, the grand marshals included attorney Luigi RosabiancaJosephine Sportella-GiustoLenny TillmanMichael GelfantFather Gelfant, former associate pastor ofBay Ridge’s St. Anselm’s Church, is one of the youngest pastors in the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese.He brought along his popular pooch and church mascot he calls Louis Ignatius Gelfant.His parishioners had the largest marching group in the parade.

Among the top brass at FIAO are Jack SpatolaFrank NaccaratoSalvatore FronterreCarlo LauricellaBarbara PascarellaNancy SottileSpatola is well known in education circles for having one of the top performing public schools in the state. His daytime job is principal of Public School 172 in Sunset Park.He also served many years ago as president of District 20’s Community School Board.

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The Bay Ridge Community Council headed by real estate executive Renee Dorsa holds its Great Bay Ridge Debate on Tuesday, October 22 in the school auditorium of the Holy Angels Catholic Academy/OLA, 337 74th Street, at 7:30 p.m.

According to Alex ContiPeter ScarpaScott Stringer (D) and John Burnett (R-C); Brooklyn Borough President candidates State Senator Eric Adams (D) and Elias J. Weir (C); and City Council candidates (43rd District) Councilmember Vincent Gentile (D), John Quaglione (R-C) and Patrick Dwyer (G).

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The MTA has set a public hearing on Thursday, November 14, at 5 p.m. in its 20th floor conference room, 2 Broadway in Manhattan. Among the items of interest to Southwest Brooklyn bus riders are proposed service changes to the B37 (Third Avenue), B70 (8th Avenue) and B8 lines.

New York City Transit hopes to restore service on the B37from Bay Ridge to Barclays Center by the summer of 2014.However,here’s the rub: while local riders are glad to have the B37 return, they are not happy that the bus will end at Atlantic Avenue and Barclays Center.They want the route to terminate on Livingston Street just off Fulton Street (its former route).Some are unhappy with the proposed 20-minute wait between buses on weekdays.

If you want to testify at the hearing, you must pre-register by November 8. Log on to or call 646-252-2660.

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

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