Generally Speaking: Brooklyn Lunar New Year Parade starts out with a big bang!

According to the FDNY explosives unit that supervised the event, over 50,000 firecrackers were ignited in the middle of Sunset Park’s Eighth Avenue at 50th Street this past Sunday, to commemorate the Year of the Monkey and to launch Brooklyn’s 29th annual Lunar Year Parade. The fiery festivities which were hosted by the Brooklyn Chinese American Association (BCAA) had been postponed earlier this month due to the record frigid weather on the 14th.
Leading the happy celebrants was Paul Mak, the founder and president of the BCAA, a former member of the old District 20 School Board and longtime friend. The Sunset Park neighborhood now has the city’s largest Asian population. Among the many elected officials attending were Public Advocate Tish James and City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

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If City Council Deputy Majority Leader Vincent Gentile does leave his post prior to the end of his 2017 term, the Board of Elections will have to hold a non-partisan special election to fill out the balance of his term. The last time a special election was held for this Council seat was back on February 25, 2003. It was the year that then-Councilmember Marty Golden beat Gentile for the New York State Senate seat he has been continually re-elected to. So Gentile then entered a five-way race.

With only about 17 percent of the eligible voters coming to the polls, Gentile won with 3,261 votes. The other candidates were the late Rosemarie O’Keefe, 3,230; attorney Joanne Seminara, 2,750; attorney Stephen Harrison, 781 and Carlo Scissura, 691, then a school board member and now the president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

You can bet with the new annual salary of 148,500 there will be fierce competition to try and win the Council Seat Gentile has continually held and been re-elected to since 2003!

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A virtual bouquet of roses to retired NYPD photographer (and one-time photographer for this paper) Valerie Hodgson, who was just elected as president of the Fort Hamilton High School Alumni Association. The first president of the association was Vincent Gentile who went on to be the youngest president of the Bay Ridge Community Council and you know the rest!

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