By Theodore W. General
Brooklyn Fire Commander moves up the ladder to FDNY chief
Brooklyn native James Leonard, a 35-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, who has been serving since 2010 as the Brooklyn borough commander, has been appointed as the new chief of the department by city Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. This makes Leonard, who now resides with his wife Patricia on Staten Island, the highest ranking uniformed officer in the FDNY. His predecessor, Department Chief Edward Kilduff, will be retiring at the end of the year.
* * *
As part of the annual ceremonies marking Veterans Day, Fort Hamilton garrison commander, Colonel Joseph Davidson invited guest speakers who have served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to give reflections about their tenure in the military.
Among the veterans stepping up to the podium were Navy radioman and WWII veteran Howie Dunn, Korean War Army soldier Donald Feldman, and Vietnam-era Marine Ruben Pratts. They were later joined by Air Force Captain Diane Precil and Coast Guard Commander Steven Frye.
In his talk, Dunn spoke about serving on a submarine chaser and mentioned that his four brothers also were members of the armed services during World War II, and all arrived home safely. However, Dunn added one of his siblings was aboard a ship when it was torpedoed, spending 21 days in a raft before he was rescued.
* * *
According to Maria Makrinos — who heads the annual Halloween storefront window painting competition sponsored by the Bay Ridge Community Council for children from the fifth to 12th grade, and the poster contest for fourth graders — over 400 students took part in this year’s program.
Awards and certificates will be presented by the council on Tuesday, November 25, at 7:30 p.m., in the auditorium at Fort Hamilton High School, 8301 Shore Road. This year’s judges included Jane Kelly, Eleanor Sabbagh, Irene Hanvey, Patricia Killen, Bob Kassenbrock, Madeline Sbarra, Joanna Succar, Janet Gounis and Peter Killen.