After years of relying on volunteer fire brigades, in 1865 the City of New York, then independent from the City of Brooklyn, founded its first salaried Fire Department. The FDNY, known as “New York’s Bravest,” is currently celebrating its year-long sesquicentennial.
While historically inconvenient, Brooklyn’s paid department wasn’t established until 1870. In 1898, Brooklyn became a part of the City of New York, and the firefighters in the new borough then became members of the FDNY. In commemoration of their 150th year birthday, all the FDNY fire houses are holding open houses.
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This past week, we attended a memorial tree planting ceremony in memory of an NYPD School Safety Agent Linda Russo, who had served over three decades at Fort Hamilton High School, and who died on April 22, 2014. She was also an alumna of the Shore Road school.
We’re told Russo was a particularly caring person, not only about the safety and welfare of her students but also with homeless cats that took up residence under one of the school’s modules. During her personal time, before and after work, and even sometimes on weekends, she would come by to ensure the cats were cared for.
Among the participants at the ceremony delivering remarks were FHHS Principal Kaye Houlihan, Assistant Principal for Security Mike Kozlowski, NYPD School Safety Supervisor Dewitt Williams, New Dorp High School Principal Deidre DeAngelis, and Janet General who emceed the program.
After the tree was set into the earth by school Custodial Engineer Harold Stein, each of the attendees took turns adding shovel-fulls of soil, starting with Russo’s daughter Danielle.
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As a result of the splendid coordinating efforts by St. Patrick’s Development Director Anne Strafaci and Catholic Academy Principal Andrea D’Emic, the Annual Taste of the Ridge drew record crowds.
Musician extraordinaire Frankie Marra gets high marks here for raising nearly $20,000 in support of the annual Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade at a Salty Dog fundraiser featuring five bands from 2 to 8:30 p.m. Kudos to tavern owners George Kabbez and Ron Fadel for their courtesy and cooperation.
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Bouquets and congratulations to Arlene Rutuelo who was just presented with the Ronald Reagan Americanism Award at the Kings County Conservative Party Luncheon at the Bay Ridge Manor. County Chair Jerry Kassar did the honors, and Fran Vella Marrone emceed.
Among the more prominent guests was Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan. Other elected officials present were State Senator Marty Golden, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, New York State Conservative Party Chair Mike Long and Brooklyn Democrat District Leader Kevin Peter Carroll. * * *
If you live in the 11th Congressional District, please remember to vote on May 5.