Unsung Bay Ridge: Schooled for activism


This week we highlight David Whitebook as our unsung hero of the week. David served as a teacher at Fort Hamilton High School where he met Vincent Kassenbrock and joined him as a volunteer with the Bay Ridge Community Council.

Councilmember Vincent Gentile was his student, and he joined the community council with the encouragement of David. Both were former presidents of the organization. David retired as an assistant principal of Fort Hamilton, but continues at the school as a founder and past president of the Alumni Association.

It is hard to match the countless hours devoted to our community by this dedicated man, and I feel his contribution to our community deserves public recognition.


Adieu to one of Bay Ridge’s great daughters who left our community and this life, creating a gap that no one else can fill. I miss Maureen Stramka dearly. She was truly one of a kind. She continued to volunteer whenever she had the opportunity, in spite of her physical challenges. Maureen kept going long after most people would have given up.

I was happy to see that her viewing was very much a celebration of her life by family and friends. The atmosphere was electric. She would have been pleased. We all miss you, Mo.

Get ready for the annual Fifth Avenue Festival on Sunday, June 1. There will be vendors galore and various activities from Bay Ridge Avenue to 85th Street. Chip Cafiero will ensure that all of the entertainment is in place for your friends and family to enjoy: great food, music and lots of bargains.


Garlic is a powerful healer. The People’s Republic of China released a study that showed residents of one county (Canghan) had an extremely low death rate from stomach cancer while residents of another county (Oixia) had an extremely high death rate.

The only notable difference in the two communities of the same province, was that in one, residents ate an average of 20 grams of garlic per day while in the other province with the high death rate, they did not eat any garlic.

The Pennsylvania State University found that feeding garlic extracts to rats with cancerous tumors reduced the breast tumors by as much as 71 percent. The sulfur compounds in garlic and onions are credited with its health-giving properties.

Please consult your doctor if you have any health concerns, or on any medication.

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