Generally Speaking: Donovan and Gentile to do battle on live TV

After their recent almost no-holds-barred, heated debate hosted by the Bay Ridge Community Council inside the GEC headquarters building on 68th Street; the two main combatants for the special congressional election on May 5, Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan (R, C, I) and Brooklyn City Council Member Vinnie Gentile (D) will be back at it, this time before a much larger audience and televised live from the Williamson Auditorium at the College of Staten Island, on Tuesday, April 14, at 7 p.m.

Their second debate, minus Green Party candidate James Lane, will be broadcast by Time Warner cable TV station NY1 during its “Inside City Hall” program time slot anchored by Errol Louis, who also writes political columns for the NY Daily News. The debate is being co-hosted by the Staten Island Advance.

Getting back to the Bay Ridge debate, it was coordinated by former BRCC Presidents Alex Conti and Dean Rasinya. Council executive secretary Robert Kassenbrock served as the timekeeper, Conti was the moderator and Rasinya served as line facilitator for attendees asking questions of the candidates.

The Bay Ridge Inter-agency Council of Aging hopes to corral the candidates for a daytime debate at the Fort Hamilton Senior Center, 100th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, on Wednesday, April 22, at 9:30 a.m. We’re told all three candidates have been invited. Susan Lavin is the council president. Past BRCC President Peter Killen, who is also at the helm of the Bay Ridge AARP, would be the moderator and former 68th Precinct Council President Frank Grassi, the timekeeper.


Good Friday is the most solemn day on the church calendar for Christians around the world. It is the day when the death of Jesus Christ is commemorated. We once again joined nearly a thousand Catholics and other Christians as we participated in the annual procession over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall Park, then to Ground Zero, past the World Trade Center memorials in Manhattan.  The commemoration started with a service and the reading and explanation of the First Station of the Cross inside St. James Cathedral-Basilica in Downtown Brooklyn.  Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio gave a brief sermon and Cathedral Rector Peter Purpura was in attendance.

The cross-bearers during the procession were first Richard Vega and then retired FDNY firefighter John Bartlett. On the bridge, security was provided by the 84th Brooklyn Precinct and then the NYPD Counter-Terrorism bureau. At the head of the procession were Brooklyn North Commanding Officer Chief Jeffrey Maddrey and NYPD Captain Sergio Centa.


As a prior Bay Ridge Community Council Civic Award recipient, we are especially pleased to note and congratulate the 2015 Civic Award winners — banking executive and business leader  Zoe Koutsoupakis, and former Norwegian-American 17th of May Parade Chair and current Guild for Exceptional Children President Arlene Rutuelo.  Both distinguished ladies will be formally honored at the council’s 64th annual anniversary dinner dance on Thursday, June 4 at Sirico’s Catering Hall, 8015 13th Avenue.

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