Generally Speaking: USNS Comfort lives up to its name

By Theodore General

USNS Comfort Verrazzano Bridge Bay Ridge
USNS Comfort passes under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Photo courtesy of Fort Hamilton

The massive hospital ship Comfort, which arrived here this week, is 894 feet long, has a beam (width) of 106 feet and is approximately 100 feet high. She was built in 1976 as a super oil tanker called the SS Rose City and was converted by the Navy and relaunched as the USNS Comfort in 1987.

In addition to having a helicopter pad, the vessel is equipped with 1,000 patient beds, four radiology suites, 12 operating rooms, 80 ICU beds and a medical lab. It supports 1,200 medical personnel and crew members. The Comfort is now docked alongside the New York Passenger Ship Terminal at Pier 90.

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Fleet Week United States Navy Verrazzano Bridge Bay Ridge
Sailors and Marines man the rails on the flight deck of the USS New York as she steams under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge for the start of Fleet Week 2019. Photo by US Navy

Another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic is the cancellation of Fleet Week, which had been scheduled to start on May 20. The Navy announced that continued spread of the novel coronavirus compelled them to cancel the week-long event.

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We are often asked about the local newspapers that have covered southwest Brooklyn. From what I have been able to determine they include, starting with the Bay Ridge Chronicle in 1872, published by Samuel Winter Thomas, the list is as follows: Kings County Rural Gazette, Kings County Inspector, The Item, Home Talk, Home Talk Star, Bay Ridge News, Shore Road Record, Brooklyn Spectator, Brooklyn Record, Bay Ridge Home Reporter, Brooklyn Star, Brooklyn Sunset News, Bay Ridge Spirit, Home Reporter and Sunset News, Bay Ridge Courier, Bay Ridge Paper, Bay Ridge Eagle, and Bay Ridge Life.

In 1962, the Bay Ridge Home Reporter, founded by Frank Griffin in 1953, and the Brooklyn Sunset News, a continuation of the Bay Ridge News founded in 1943, were merged into the Home Reporter and Sunset News.

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As our Jewish readers and friends get ready to celebrate Passover, here's wishing you and your families happiness, peace, prosperity and all the joys of Passover.

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Assemblyman Bill Colton is calling for not only the suspension of alternate side parking regulations for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, but also for the deferment of metered parking.

Using Muni meters during this pandemic may also be risky. They are constructed of metal and plastic and those types of surfaces are said to possibly retain the pathogens associated with the coronavirus for two to three days. The only safe approach, instead of entering a credit card or coins, would be to download to your smart cell phone the NYC app, NYC Park, and you can pay the meters remotely without the need to secure a receipt to place in your windshield. For details on how it works, click on

However, if the metered parking is not suspended and you still want to physically use the meters, I would strongly suggest you Lysol-spray the meter or wipe it down with hand sanitizer before you push any buttons.

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