Efforts to memorialize four Bay Ridge icons have finally come to fruition.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday, August 3 signed into law a batch of street co-renamings for four late, well-loved locals: Howie Dunn, Maureen Stramka, Sal D’Amato and former State Senator Christopher Mega.
All four co-naming proposals were sponsored by Councilmember Vincent Gentile, with strong support from Community Board 10.
“These individuals are some of the very best that our community has ever had to offer,” said Gentile. “Their names will live on perpetually on the streets and neighborhoods that they served with class and dignity, and I am proud to see these co-namings become law today.”
Dunn’s memorial, “Howard Dunn Way,” will sit at the corner of 78th Street and Third Avenue.
A naval veteran who served in World War II, Dunn was known throughout southwest Brooklyn for his numerous efforts on behalf of veterans, the Boy Scouts, the American Legion and, of course, his own backyard.
“Howie is fully deserving of this,” noted friend and Executive Director of the Bay Ridge Memorial Day Parade Raymond Aalbue when the application was first introduced in December. “What he did for this community was unprecedented.”
Dunn died this past September at the age of 88.
Efforts to memorialize the Bay Ridge icon were expedited, according to the board, so that some of his closest relatives – including his wife, Mae – would get the opportunity to see the street sign hung.
“Maureen Stramka Way” will also be at the corner of 78th Street and Third Avenue, opposite Dunn’s.
Stramka, who was just 76 when she succumbed to cancer in May of 2014, served as a member of various organizations, including the Bay Ridge Community Council, the Bay Ridge Lions Club and Ragamuffin Inc., all of which she once led as president. Stramka also served with Bay Ridge Ambulance Volunteer Organization (BRAVO), the 68th Precinct Community Council, the Fort Hamilton Citizens Action Committee and CB 10, among others.
“This is such a great tribute and most fitting to honor the life of Maureen for her work and dedication to Bay Ridge,” said Stramka’s longtime friend Irene Hanvey, who submitted the application to the community board, and spoke on its behalf at CB 10’s January meeting. “Thank you to the community, and to the entire staff of Community Board 10.”
D’Amato, the longtime owner of Harborview Car Service who provided vehicles for Bay Ridge on the Move, aiding seniors, as well as for such organizations as the Guild for Exceptional Children, will be commemorated on the east side of Fifth Avenue at 94th Street, near Harborview’s base, to be co-named “Salvatore (Sal) D’Amato Place.”
An Air Force veteran of the Korean War, D’Amato routinely gave free rides to troops from the Fort Hamilton Army Base as well as senior citizens from the Bay Ridge Center. He died in July of 2014 at the age of 83.
Lastly, the corner of 80th Street and 10th Avenue will be home to “Senator Christopher J. Mega Way,” in honor of the longtime community advocate.
Before his career in public service, Mega spent a great deal of his time serving in the Dyker Heights Civic Association as well as the Bay Ridge Lions Club. He served as a New York State assemblymember for five years, and as a state senator for 11. He followed that up with two terms as a New York State Supreme Court justice. He died in October, 2011.
“Chris was a leader all his life and was such a positive force and presence in our neighborhood and so this naming on the street in which he lived will remind us of that,” said Gentile.