LONG-TIME BAY RIDGEITES AND TENNIS PLAYERS WHO RECOGNIZE THOSE IN ABOVE PHOTOS. TO WIN ACCLAIM AND FAME SEND NAMES OF THOSE SHOWN TO CHUCKOTEYSBAYRIDGE!

Anyone who can identify the 2 office holders in this Home Reporter photogragh should send names to this blog. Anyone who can identify ALL the people in this photogragh will receive $100 cash! Offer expires 5/1/2010.

Anyone who can identify the 2 Bay Ridge office holders in this Home Reporter photograph should send their names to this blog. Any person who can correctly name All of the people in this photograph will receive $100 cash! Offer expires 5/1/2010.

Anyone who knows the names of the office holders in this Home Reporter photograph should send them to this blog. The first person to correctly identify All of the people in this photograph will receive $100!

M.T.A. To Showcase ‘Power’
Of 3,000 Local Busines
ses

FOR over 15 years a high-performing umbrella business organization with a name too long for some to remember has been doing a commendable job of spurring positive community activity throughout our part of Brooklyn.
ITS name: The Bay Ridge & Bensonhurst Beautification & Preservation Alliance, or as long-time Executive Director Patrick Condren succinctly puts it: The BRB!
SINCE 1994, starting with a $200,000 grant from then Sen. Robert Di Carlo, the BRB has served as a conduit for expediting and funneling millions of dollars in grants to worthy recipients.
ITS constituent members include the Merchants of Third Avenue, the Fifth Ave. (Bay Ridge) and 86th St. (Bay Ridge) Business Improvement Districts, and a number of boards of trade on 11th, 13th and 18th Avenues.
THANKS to the expertise of E.D. Condren, former president Bill Girasole (also president of the 13th Ave. Board of Trade), banker Dick Conti and others, local groups– which are often puzzled at the arcane talents and tedious filling out of forms required to complete grant applications– have been able to obtain funds which previously had been out of their administrative reach.
FOR the better part of the last two decades the BRB, now headed by Bob Howe (the same guy who capably leads the Merchants of Third Ave.) has helped provide grant funds to organizations as varied as the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Parade, the Brooklyn Information and Culture Committee, the Bensonhurst Cluster of Youth Ministries, the Kassenbrock Scholarship Memorial Foundation in Bay Ridge and many others.
IN COMMENDABLE cross-party camaraderie, erstwhile kayak competitors, R-C. Sen. Marty Golden and Dem. Councilman Vinnie Gentile have worked hard to steer grants to valued community groups through the BRB.
AT the same time the BRB serves as a unifying force for commerce throughout our local neighborhoods and brings to bear on any issue the collective power of 3,000 businesses under its banner.
IN these challenging economic times, local businesses need the backing of broad-based units such as the BRB. And, that’s why the next, April 19 meeting of the Merchants of Third Ave. is entitled “What The BRB and The Power Of Its 3,000 Local Businesses Can Do For You”.
THE BRB boasts many other achievements–banners, promotions, benches, B.I.D. formations just to name a few. Headlining the M.T.A. meeting April 19, hosted by Greenhouse Proprietors John Keegan and Bob Daquara, will be BRD E.D. Condren, a one-time head of the M.T.A.
ALSO on the agenda will be reports by Third Ave. Festival Chair Chip Cafiero and his cohort, the Festival Chair, who will explain how this year’s Second ‘Green Festival’ will develop on Oct. 3.

OTHER OFFICERS of the M.T.A. include 1st Vice Pres. Jay Sessa (McLaughlin Funeral Homes); 2nd Vice President Wade Jabour (Jabour Realty); Treasurer Cathy DiTirro (Capital One Bank); Secretary Lloyd Berg (Verrazano Vision). Corr. Secretary Rhea McCone (Harbour Abstract); Rec., Secretary Kelli Kilbride (Lavender Blue). Chadwicks Restaurant owners Steve Oliver and Gerry Morris are among the M.T.A. zone coordinators. This writer serves as Executive Secretary. We always like to point out that Jay Sessa is the M.T.A. officer who oversees the $20,000 holiday lights program–paid for by member dues–which brightens the avenue starting at Thanksgiving each year.

Who’s Chandra Hira?
Focus Goes Boldface
IT’S with great glee that we note the revered Bay Ridge Arts Festival, starting its 42nd year April 8 at Good Shepherd Church is chaired this by the skilled and comely Chandra Hira, a one-time participant and now a successful magazine executive. Bob Kassenbrock did a splendid job as Arts Festival chair for many years and has earned a ‘break’! Bridging The Arts columnist Liz Gassimi(a proud ‘graduate’ of the Bay Ridge Writers Workshop),reminds two of the Arts Festival judges are photographers Georgine Benvenuto and David Foss…Congratulations to (the colorful) Maureen Stramka and Ed Moderacki, deserving and joint winners of the coveted Civic Award of the Bay Ridge Community Council who will star at the BRCC’s June 3 Annual Dinner Dance along with then-outgoing President Andy Windsor…. Whether or not you agree with Assemblyman Felix Ortiz’s soda tax it’s undisputable that his battle against obesity and the concurrent diabetes epidemic has done a lot of good…We were in California and missed the big St. Patrick’s Parade but–based on past consistent performance– we would agree with veteran Spectator Columnist Jerry Kassar who wrote that Atty. Michael Connors was a grand choice for Grand Marshal and that Peter Clavin did a fine job of emceeing the event launched 16 years back through (now) Sen. Marty Golden and (then) Fifth Ave. business leader Mike Long…aided by the hard work of (then) Peggy O-Neill’s proprietor Jack Malone. and his crew…Especially in view of all the work she’s done and her trademark demand for discipline in community organizing it would seem that BRCC Executive Secretary Arlene Keating would make an excellent future choice for the above-mentioned Civic Award. …. Sunny warm weather brought thousands to Sen. Golden’s Easter Egg Hunt at McKinley Park presenting a challenge to the many management skills of Chief Egg Guy Chip Cafiero….Enjoying the event with his beautiful family was top Golden aide John Quaglione. Giving much-needed help to the ‘egg-layers’ was the very popular Barbara Slattery and Columnist Jerry Kassar…Because she’s paid constant attention to their needs, Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer has made a lot of friends in the large senior community of Bay Ridge…A reader mentioned she enjoyed researching a past BCAT “View From Bay Ridge” wherein this writer joined the ebullient Courtney Sessa(Jay’s daughter) in a trip around The Ridge in a modifed hearse a la the memorable Laura Ambrose role in the outstanding but now departed HBO series “Six Feet Under”…. Till next week that’s it, folks…we’re out of Focus!

M.T.A. To Showcase ‘Power’
Of 3,000 Local Businesses

FOR over 15 years a high-performing umbrella business organization with a name too long for some to remember has been doing a commendable job of spurring positive community activity throughout our part of Brooklyn.
ITS name: The Bay Ridge & Bensonhurst Beautification & Preservation Alliance, or as long-time Executive Director Patrick Condren succinctly puts it: The BRB!
SINCE 1994, starting with a $200,000 grant from then Sen. Robert Di Carlo, the BRB has served as a conduit for expediting and funneling millions of dollars in grants to worthy recipients.
ITS constituent members include the Merchants of Third Avenue, the Fifth Ave.(Bay Ridge) and 86th St.(Bay Ridge) Business Improvement Districts, and a number of boards of trade on 11th, 13th and 18th Avenues
THANKS to the expertise of E.D. Condren, former president Bill Girasole (also president of the 13th Ave. Board of Trade), banker Dick Conti and others, local groups– which are often puzzled at the arcane talents and tedious filling out of forms required to complete grant applications– have been able to obtain funds which previously had been out of their administrative reach.
FOR the better part of the last two decades the BRB, now headed by Bob Howe (the same guy who capably leads the Merchants of Third Ave.) has helped provide grant funds to organizations as varied as the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Parade, the Brooklyn Information & Culture Committee, the Bensonhurst Cluster of Youth Ministries, the Kassenbrock Scholarship Memorial Foundation in Bay Ridge and many others.
IN COMMENDABLE cross-party camaraderie, erstwhile kayak competitors R-C. Sen. Marty Golden and Dem. Councilman Vinnie Gentile have worked hard to steer grants to valued community groups through the BRB.
AT the same time the BRB serves as a unifying force for commerce throughout our local neighborhoods and brings to bear on any issue the collective power of 3,000 businesses under its banner.
IN these challenging economic times, local businesses need the backing of broad-based units such as the BRB. And, that’s why the next, April 19 meeting of the Merchants of Third Ave. is entitled “What The BRB and The Power Of Its 3,000 Local Businesses Can Do For You”.
THE BRB boasts many other achievements–banners, promotions, benches, B.I.D. formations just to name a few. Headlining the M.T.A. meeting April 19, hosted by Greenhouse Proprietors John Keegan and Bob Daquara, will be BRD E.D. Condren, a one-time head of the M.T.A.
ALSO on the agenda will be reports by Third Ave. Festival Chair Chip Cafiero and his cohort, the Festival Chair, who will explain how this year’s Second ‘Green Festival’ will develop on Oct. 3.

OTHER OFFICERS of the M.T.A. include 1st Vice Pres. Jay Sessa(McLaughlin Funeral Homes); 2nd Vice President Wade Jabour(Jabour Realty); Treasurer Cathy DiTirro(Capital One Bank); Secretary Lloyd Berg(Verrazano Vision). Corr. Secretary Rhea McCone(Harbour Abstract); Rec., Secretary Kelli Kilbride(Lavender Blue). Chadwicks Restaurant owners Steve Oliver and Gerry Morris are among the M.T.A. zone coordinators. This writer serves as Executive Secretary. We always like to point out that Jay Sessa is the M.T.A. officer who oversees the $20,000 holiday lights program–paid for by member dues–which brightens the avenue starting at Thanksgiving each year.

Who’s Chandra Hira?
Focus Goes Boldface
IT’S with great glee that we note the revered Bay Ridge Arts Festival, starting its 42nd year April 8 at Good Shepherd Church is chaired this by the skilled and comely Chandra Hira, a one-time participant and now a successful magazine executive. Bob Kassenbrock did a splendid job as Arts Festival chair for many years and has earned a ‘break’! Bridging The Arts columnist Liz Gassimi(a proud ‘graduate’ of the Bay Ridge Writers Workshop),reminds two of the Arts Festival judges are photographers Georgine Benvenuto and David Foss…Congratulations to (the colorful) Maureen Stramka and Ed Moderacki, deserving and joint winners of the coveted Civic Award of the Bay Ridge Community Council who will star at the BRCC’s June 3 Annual Dinner Dance along with then-outgoing President Andy Windsor…. Whether or not you agree with Assemblyman Felix Ortiz’s soda tax it’s undisputable that his battle against obesity and the concurrent diabetes epidemic has done a lot of good…We were in California and missed the big St. Patrick’s Parade but–based on past consistent performance– we would agree with veteran Spectator Columnist Jerry Kassar who wrote that Atty. Michael Connors was a grand choice for Grand Marshal and that Peter Clavin did a fine job of emceeing the event launched 16 years back through (now) Sen. Marty Golden and (then) Fifth Ave. business leader Mike Long…aided by the hard work of (then) Peggy O-Neill’s proprietor Jack Malone. and his crew…Especially in view of all the work she’s done and her trademark demand for discipline in community organizing it would seem that BRCC Executive Secretary Arlene Keating would make an excellent future choice for the above-mentioned Civic Award. …. Sunny warm weather brought thousands to Sen. Golden’s Easter Egg Hunt at McKinley Park presenting a challenge to the many management skills of Chief Egg Guy Chip Cafiero….Enjoying the event with his beautiful family was top Golden aide John Quaglione. Giving much-needed help to the ‘egg-layers’ was the very popular Barbara Slattery and Columnist Jerry Kassar…Because she’s paid constant attention to their needs, Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer has made a lot of friends in the large senior community of Bay Ridge…A reader mentioned she enjoyed researching a past BCAT “View From Bay Ridge” wherein this writer joined the ebullient Courtney Sessa(Jay’s daughter) in a trip around The Ridge in a modifed hearse a la the memorable Laura Ambrose role in the outstanding but now departed HBO series “Six Feet Under”…. Till next week that’s it, folks…we’re out of Focus!

(Editor’s Background Note: Democrat Councilman Vinnie Gentile recently helped obtain a $250,000 grant for a kayaking ‘base’ at the 69th St Pier. Over the years he and Rep-Con. Sen. Marty Golden have had a…uhh…complicated relationship. Did the following ‘column’ really appear in a Bay Ridge newspaper on April 1?)

As Sen. Golden 'trained' for the upcoming kayaking race by directing traffic on Third Ave....


…a confident Counilmen Gentile relaxed at a Bay Ridge Manor affair.


IN the spirit of this special day this writer has received exclusive word that Councilman Vinnie Gentile is putting his $250,000 69th St. pier kayaking grant to a very positive use.

“I’M hereby challenging Sen. Marty Golden to a kayaking race in the Narrows,” the Bay Ridge Councilman declared enthusiastically and exclusively to Focus earlier this week.

“FOR too long people here have been reminding me that Marty won our senate race several years back” he said. “They forget that I dethroned R-C. Sen. Robert DiCarlo and then defended my seat successfully against Bay Ridge legend Chris Mega,” a former assemblyman and senator, later a Supreme Court justice of Kings County.

“IN those early days, ” the municipal lawmaker noted waxing nostalgic” even the author of Focus regarded my political rise as a ‘breath of fresh air’ for the Bay Ridge community.”

“NOT only will I be vindicated when I win this kayak contest, I will show that kayaking is the transit mode of the future in Brooklyn.”said the councilman “And, the publicity we receive will put our kayak dock at the Pier on the map! We’re looking for nation-wide TV coverage here” he added.

“ALL of this will help make the 69th St. a recreation destination for kayakers throughout the entire metropolitan area!”

INITIALLY the councilman issued his challenge in person at the senator’s Fifth Ave. office where, oar in hand, amicably confronted John Quaglione, a top Golden staffer. “John was thoroughly accepting of the gauntlet thrown down by me in this most noteworthy cause,” the councilman told us.QUAGLIONE started out a little puzzled. At first, I thought he(the councilman) was kidding,” said a smiling Quaglione, “because, after all, this is April Fools time. Then, I recalled the councilman recently announced his kayaking grant so I immediately contacted Sen. Golden He happened to be driving wife Colleen (the Ragamuffin Parade President,) on a number of her errands along Third Avenue).

WHEN he returned Quaglione’s call a few minutes later, the senator and his wife were dining at one of Third Avenue’s fine gourmet restaurants.” Please don’t quote me on this but he loves those Third Avenue eateries “, Quaglione confided. ” And, of course he agreed to the kayaking challenge,” the aide continued. “


Golden: Kayaking Event

“Great For Bay Ridge”

“THIS will be great for the community!” the one-time cop turned caterer/restaurateur/councilman/state senator told this writer, also on a press exclusive basis.

“I’m glad that Vinnie doesn’t harbor any ill feelings about that senatorial race,”said Golden. ” We’re both here to serve our constituents. And, a kayak race –from the 69th St. Pier out around the Verrazano Bridge and back– is just the kind of event which shows the interparty cooperation which is currently lacking between too many members of our respective parties.”

WHO will win? we asked the exuberant Golden. “Well, please don’t quote me on this but I will beat Vinnie by a good hundred yards or so. I ‘ve learned that he’s been undergoing extensive kayak training at an undisclosed upstate camp for the past two months. “

“BUT, ” he explained, “I have extensive experience dealing with the treacherous currents in and around the pier area. As a boy –when the 69th St. Ferry was still operating by the way—don’t quote me on this– I would often dive off the pier and swim way out toward Staten Island.”

“OF course it was illegal and very risky, but it was fun on a hot Summer’s day for a bunch of Bay Ridge kids” he recalled fondly. “And I’m sure the survival experience I gleaned thereby will put me in very good stead when Vinnie and I face off in our respective kayaks

INFORMED ‘off the record’ of Golden’s certainty of victory, Councilman Gentile pooh-poohed the senator’s prediction. “Let’s face it”, he replied. “Marty’s (a little) older than I and I’m a former prosecutor and we’re known for our competitive zeal! And—don’t quote me on this– we now have a better health plan in case of an accident—no thanks to Cong. Mike McMahon!”

See “Verrazano Lifeway”
Open to Public Next April 1

REGARDLESS of who wins the big kayaking contest, both lawmakers have assured me that our long sought-after Verrazano Lifeway—which will bring better health to thousands of walkers, joggers and everyone else when it’s completed as part of the majestic Narrows span.

IN A rare joint communiqué Messrs Golden and Gentile stated that “We will always be indebted to those who have worked for years to garner public support and the necessary funding to complete the Lifeway fulfilling a promise that Builder Robert Moses broke almost 50 years ago.

HAVING collected thousands of signatures from those who want to see the Verrazano opened to pedestrians and bikers this writer was particularly elated to learn the much needed Verrazano Lifeway is about to become a reality.

SO we asked, when will the Lifeway be open to public use? Their reply was in unison: “When else–next April Fools Day!””


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