The APRIL 2014
Red Hook StarªRevue SOUTH BROOKLYN’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
RED HOOK COALITION HOLDS FIRST-EVER PUBLIC MEETING meeting to work on the project, followed by a community meeting, such as the one we were at, seeking community input. There are two more public meetings scheduled - April 10 and May 7 - both will be at the South Brooklyn High School, 173 Conover Street, at 6 pm.
Councilman Menchaca spoke briefly in support of creating a community disaster plan (photos by George Fiala)
he Red Hook Coalition held a long-awaited public meeting on March 18th, in the lunchroom of the South Brooklyn Community School on Conover Street. The meeting was advertised with flyers and on Facebook, inviting the Red Hook community to give input into a disaster recovery plan they are working on. As the flyer explained “The first 72 hours after a disaster of any kind, official rescue operations will not be on the ground. We need to be prepared with our own plan, unique to the resources and strengths of our community. Friends, Neighbors and Stakeholders... please join together to help forge this plan.” Martha Bowers, founder of Red Hook’s Dance Theatre Etc. addressed the packed cafeteria first. She introduced Nahisha McCoy, who is serving as Coalition Assistant. She passed along a message from Reg Flowers, who was not in attendance, explaining that the project that is being worked on is modeled after something called the National Response Framework. This is a FEMA directive, and is explained in detail on their website http://www.fema.gov/ national-response-framework. She stressed that this is a community project, written by the community, for the community. There is a committee
There was a political presence at this meeting, with Dan Wiley representing Nydia Velazquez and Karen Broughton speaking on behalf of Felix Ortiz. A sharply dressed Carlos Menchaca himself appeared with his staff, and spoke with his usual enthusiasm of the importance of the project. Martha took some questions before introducing the group facilitator, Noel Kepler. Someone asked about the makeup of the Red Hook Coalition. She explained that the coaltion was a steering committee of Red Hook organizations, formed to access funding opportunities such as the Brooklyn Community Foundation. Those groups include the Red Hook Volunteers, Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, Added Value Farm, Red Hook Initiative, Dance Theater Etcetera, Falconworks and Good Shepherd Services.
by George Fiala reports on the filming, including comments from Florence Neal, owner of the Kentler International Drawing Space. One of the last postings on the page explained that the movie debut would be postponed. It was originally to be part of a benefit show, and the following explanation was offered: “Unfortunately, one of our largest sponsors has decided to pull their support of the upcoming benefit citing personal reasons. By pulling out the sponsor took more than half the budget for this benefit with him. Originally scheduled for
June 13, we will now need to postpone and find a new path forward for this event.” A call to Kentler revealed that nobody there had ever seen the promised movie. Victoria Hagman of Realty Collective, whose blog posting about Tell Your Story is featured on the EMMP website, has also never seen the movie. The project fell apart, with only a shortened version that can be seen on YouTube. Kepler said in an email: “We turned over all of the footage and video to the individuals who participated in the project and the Coalition.
Noel Kepler is a very animated group leader.
The day of our video shoot in the Houses, everyone canceled. (continued on page 3)
New Red Hook theater group stands tall at Jalopy!
Emergency Management Methodology Partners (EMMP) has been hired by the Red Hook Coalition to help create the disaster plan. EMMP is headed by Noel Kepler, who facilitated the meeting. She has been in Red Hook before with a project called “Tell Your Story.” Tell Your Story was to be a move about people’s reactions to Sandy. Filming took place over several sessions at Kentler about a year ago. The finished movie would become a tool for future emergency management planning. A Facebook page details the planning and execution of the project, including a teaser for the movie and YouTube news
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Red Hooker Carlos Vogel is on the way to creating our own theater group with the production of “Up For Anything,” a play written by Vogel’s schoolmate Marc Spitz. Four performances at Jalopy were a grand success. Vogel has been after Good Fork owner Ben Schneider to act for years. According to Vogel: “ I finally wore him down - actually I wore Barry (O’Meara) down and Ben’s wife first so that Ben was forced to do it. I then just started asking folks that I thought would be right for certain roles if they had any interest and if they had any theater experience. We did a reading last year and it all worked. The idea was to mix the cast up with newbies and ringers, but I ended up with more ringers than expected (I had no idea that Ben was that good).” Carl already has a new play in mind, and expects to revive Up For Anything in the fall.
SEE PAGE 12 FOR THE STAR-REVUE REVIEW!
Red Hook StarªRevue The Happenings ª Red Hook Star Revue
SOUTH BROOKLYN’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
In just two short years we have grown from a novelty Table of Contents BASIS Update.................... 5 Editorial....................... 8 to an institution. Particip. Budgeting............ 7 Theater Review.......... 12
BROOKLYN’S SOUTH COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
VOLUME 5 NO. 5
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The 7th Annual Red Hook Criterium races begin at 7 pm. The women’s 5K begins at 7 pm; the men’s 5K begins at 7:45 pm; the women’s Crit begins at 8:45 pm; and the men’s Crit begins at 9:45 pm. FREE. Red Hook Cruise Terminal Parking Lot, 72 Bowne Street Red Hook Crit After Party is moving to Red Hook. Six Point Brewery is hosting the event from 11 pm-3 am at Hometown BBQ. Tickets $10; a portion of the proceeds will benefit Crit cyclist Travis Freeman who was seriously injured after being struck by a car. 454 Van brunt Street Jalopy Theatre and School of Music presents Cajun Music Jam from 3-6 pm. The Brooklyn Cajun Jam focuses on the traditional Cajun & Creole music of southwest Louisiana. Bring your instruments, join the music, or just come by and listen to some great traditional Cajun music. 315 Columbia Street Pioneer Works welcomes the NY Theremin Society Orchestra in residence from 8-10 pm. The Theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled by the position of the player’s hands. 159 Pioneer Street
SUNDAY, MARCH 30
SATURDAY, MARCH 29
The current show at Sweet Lorraine Gallery, EXPOSED, will have their final showing from 2-8 pm. The exhibition shows the photography of best friends, kamau ware and, Kamau Z. Akabueze. A curator’s brunch will take place from 2-4 pm. Artwork will be for sale starting at $100. 183 Lorraine Street
Thank you Brooklyn!
SATURDAY, APRIL 5 101 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 Kimberly@redhookstar.com
718 624-5568 www.RedHookStar.com
Red Hook Star Revue ª
SOUTH BROOKLYN’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Day Dream Alston’s for my first book signing event The Not-so-Patiently Waiting Handbook, will be at Red Hook Volunteers from 5-8 pm. The Wine & Sign event will include the books via raffling, signing and selling. A selection from the book will be read, and free wine will be available. 360 Van Brunt Street The Brooklyn Museum honors art from the Civil Rights Movement at April’s Target First Saturday with a music showcase, a curator talk, hands-on art, the Film Freedom Summer and other various activities Museum admission is free from 5 to 11 pm. 200 Eastern Parkway
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9
The Senior Edge Series next workshop will be “Keep the Beat with those Senior Feet” with Dr. Greg E. Cohen, named top podiatric surgeon by the Consumer research Council of America in 2012 and 2013. The workshop will cover the ABC’s of foot care, arthritis and diabetic problems and fitted footwear. Carroll Gardens Library, 396 Clinton Street
MONDAY, APRIL 14
Community Board 6 is hosting an open meeting to discuss rules and regulations of the governing restaurants and bars in the district at 6 pm. Representatives from the State Liquor Authority, City agencies, and local precincts will answer questions at the 78th Police Precinct. 65 6th Avenue
Page 2 Red Hook Star-Revue
Carroll Gardens Association is offering two types of Computer classes: Introduction to Computers (three weeks), and Microsoft Office (five weeks) on Mondays and Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30 pm. For dates and registration, call (718) 243-9301 or email email@example.com The Red Hook Library offers homework help every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:30-5:30 pm. They also offer resume workshops every Thursday from 11 am-1 pm. The library also offers GED Prep sessions every Monday at 10 am. For more information on their other weekly and monthly events, call (718) 935-0203 or visit bklynpubliclibrary.org/locations/red-hook. 7 Wolcott Street Arts and crafts at the Red Hook Recreation Center for kids ages 6-12 begins at 11 am. The next program will be held on April 8. 155 Bay Street between Clinton and Henry Find and Seek, a workshop for 0-5 year olds and their caregivers, meets every Friday from 10:30 am-12 pm. The current program, Curious Cabinet runs through March 28. Red Hook Library, 7 Wolcott Street The Red Hook Justice Center is looking for participants in their Friday night basketball youth program. Sessions are from 5-7 pm (ages 11-14) and 7-9 pm (ages 15-18). Any Red Hook or South Brooklyn youth is welcome to participate. Instruction is offered by professional Pro Hoops Trainers. FREE. Miccio Center, 110 W. 9th Street Dance Theatre Etcetera is offering In Transition: Youth Hip Hop Theatre Ensemble for youth ages 15-22 from April 24-June 6. Workshops are on Mondays 4pm-6:30 pm and Thursdays 4-6:30 pm, with a final performance on June 6 at the Miccio Center. The program is free and does not require experience. Sign up by emailing Jasmin@dtetc.org. Teen chef classes with the Sylvia Center begin April 7 on Wednesdays from 7-9 pm at the Miccio Center. Classes will focus on basic culinary skills, and how to cook fresh meals from scratch. For more info, visit sylviacenter.org.
Coalition working on recovery toolkit (continued from page 1)
Something had changed and people decided they did not want to be part of the project, so the video turned out to be very different than what we had planned.” Kepler is a very personable, bouncy woman - a perfect facilitator. Her offices are at 45 Duffield Street, and she told the crowd that she was delighted to be working in Red Hook, as she loves the community and spends time here for fun. She applauded Red Hook’s spirit of community and called the crowd ‘a sea of incredible faces.’ She explained that the community presentation, of which this was the first, followed a committee meeting at which Some of the attendees included Wally Bazemore, Sister Rosanna of Visitation, Martha Bowers, Victoria Hagman, John McGettrick, a recovery plan was worked on. She Lindsay Donnellon and Leroy Banks of Community Board 6. (photo by Fiala) explained that this was to be a living document that would be available in organizations. The next slide explains ing. They have received grants totaling Housing and Neighborhood Recovery the event of a future disaster situation. that plan as including recovery activi- $479,344. An original grant of $100,000 and the American Red Cross. It would include information that the ties, mitigation steps, community re- came from the Brooklyn Community The website explains that these funds community would need in the time pe- sponse roles and a plan for your plan. A Foundation (BCF). BCF, which was have been and are being used for creatriod before other help could show up. It plan outline comes next, and finally a begun many years ago by the now de- ing plans to reach residents and business funct Independence Savings Bank, was was pointed out that Red Hook did pret- listing of future meetings. owners, plans for local recovery and reheaded by Marilyn Gelber. Gelber, who ty well after Sandy, siliency, plans for storm-preparedness, retired last year, is a long time Brookwith emergency plans for long-term community recover, “nothing specific was discussed at the first lynite, resident of Boerum Hill and fan plans and commucommunity planning within NYCHA’s of Red Hook. nications set up as Red Hook Houses, hiring coordinators, committee meeting, so nothing specific was needed, and that a That first grant became the seed money building coalitions, enhancing disaster huge problem was for ReStore Red Hook. When local mer- preparedness, to support housing recovmentioned in this community meeting.” lack of electricity. chants saw that they were going to have ery and rebuilding, to create a health Asked whether a trouble receiving government or insur- and wellness database, strengthening representative from An email sent to the Star-Revue by Red ance help, they created ReStore as a fund- local food independence, produce a Con Ed might not be a good addition Hook Coalition Coordinator Sapna ing source to help them stay in business. 300 person resiliency workshop, an d to the committee, Kepler said that they Advani outlind the next steps as fol- Additional grants have since come from preparedness and recovery activities for did call the utility, but did not get a pos- lows: Next Steps: the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the 135 people, as well as the hiring of an itive response. - Video: we will be sharing, a link to the Fund for the City of New York, NYC outside coordinator for the Coalition. It ended up that nothing specific was discussed at their first committee meeting, so nothing specific was mentioned in this community meeting. Instead, they discussed who they were and why they were. This was all summarized in a slide presentation that was handed out and recited by Kepler. It began with a cover page called “Long-Term Community Recovery Planning,” funded in part by a Service Grant from ProBonoEM. ProBonoEm was one of the entities involved in the Tell Your Story project as detailed above, and seems to be a working partner of Kepler’s company. The next page summarized the purpose, definition and basic principles of the plan. They are community driven, locally controlled, project based and incorporates mitigation, response, and recovery. The team is described as being made up of community leaders, local schools, local businesses, residents, local electeds, public health/local clinics, CERT, local churches and community
video of the gathering yesterday on youtube, in the coming days.
Columbia Street Jiu-Jitsu teaches self-protection
- Suggestion Boxes: Please expect information on neighborhood suggestion boxes - Shared Social Media: please expect information on a uniform #tag to share information via social media Martha Bowers mentioned that a website for the Red Hook Coalition is being created, with some pages already up. The domain is www.redhooksummit. com. The Red Hook Summit was an event that was held last summer. It was a community gathering/celebration where post Sandy ideas were discussed. The two day event included a dinner at Pioneer Works. Media, including local press, were barred from the event. Recent postings on their Facebook page refer to the Added Value farm. The new Red Hook Coalition website includes a page detailing their fund-
A couple of years ago a bright red sign went up on Columbia Street advertising JUI JITSU. During the summer they will often spread tables out in front of their location, 157 Columbia, with schedules of their classes. On Wednesday, March 19 they invited neighborhood woman inside for a free seminar on the importance of self-defense. About 25 woman showed up. All were asked to wear loose fitting clothing, and to leave their shoes in the front. For about 20 minutes they huddled around Professor Josh Skyer in the back as he spoke of self-defense and the importance of attitude and practice of self-defense techniques. He demonstrated a number of maneuvers, and had the woman pair up and practice. Brazilian JIU-JITSU offers classes for men, woman and children with a full schedule from mid-afternoon through the evenings. The courses include karate, kickboxing and of course jiu-jitsu. They offer a very comprehensive website at www.brooklynbjj.com, and their telephone is 347-799-1960.
About 50 people attended the community input meeting of the Red Hook Coalition.
Red Hook Star-Revue
April, 2014 Page 3
Community Calendar CB 6 - ALL MEETINGS AT 6:30 PM
Wed Apr 9: General Board Meeting, P.S. 32 Samuel Mills Sprole 317 Hoyt Street, Auditorium (between Union/President Streets) Wed Apr 16: Parks, Recreation and Economic Affairs, tba Mon Apr 21: Economic/Waterfront/Community Development & Housing, location to be announced Thurs Apr 24: Landmarks, Land Use, location tba Mon Apr 28: Environmental Protection/Permits & Licenses, 78th Police Precinct , 65 6th Avenue, 4th floor Court Room
Tues Apr 1, 7:30-9 pm: 76th Precinct Community Council meeting at the stationhouse on Union between Hicks and Henry Sts. Wed Apr 2, 7:00-8:30 pm: Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association meets at the Hannah Senesh Community Day School, 342 Smith St (1st & 2nd Pl). Tues Apr 8, 6:30-7:30 pm: Red Hook West Tenant Association meets at 428 Columbia Street, 1 C Thur Apr 11, 6:00-7:30 pm: Red Hook Coalition, Community Input Meeting, South Brooklyn Community HS, 173 Conover Street, cafeteria Tue Apr 22, 6:30-9 pm: Gowanus CAG meeting, St. Mary Star of the Sea, 41 1st Street Wed April 30, 7-9:00pm: Red Hook Civic Association, PS 15 Auditorium. All are invited to hear a set program and add what you like to the conversation. Every Friday from 5 pm - 9 pm: Youth Basketball Instruction at the Miccio Center, 110 West 9th Street. See public service ad elsewhere in this issue for complete information.
FOR UPDATED LISTINGS GO TO www.redhookstar.com
PS 15 PATRICK F. DALY MAGNET SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
SPRING FLEA Saturday MAY 3RD SEEKING VENDORS!
This year PUPPETRY ARTS, a school partner, will join the PS 15 PTA in hosting the Spring Flea taking place on Saturday May 3rd from 10am to 5pm. The PTA is seeking local food vendors, vintage clothing and furniture, antiques, crafts and collectables vendors.
Lillie Marshall and Phaedra Thomas at an EPA outreach meeting at PS 15.
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Entry fee will directly support the Puppetry Arts program and the continued PTA sponsored school programs at PS 15 www.RedHookStar.com
BASIS International School will open in this fall in Red Hook by George Fiala
he BASIS Independent School received permission to operate a Red Hook school at a March 25 hearing of the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA). The school, which will be located at 556 Columbia Street, is located in an IBZ manufacturing zone, and needed this approval to open. They immediately confirmed a fall opening BASIS is a nationwide chain of schools that until now have operated only charter schools. This new Brooklyn site, and another school they are building in San Jose, California, will be their first fully private schools. While they have chosen to build in Red Hook, close to the Red Hook Houses, their target market is to the wealthier communities surrounding Red Hook, and most of their students will end up being driven, bused, or ferried back and forth. A BASIS press release states “ BASIS Independent Brooklyn will provide nearly 90,000 square feet of classrooms, laboratories, industrial art labs, and allweather outdoor play areas, as well as a gymnasium and a theater. Starting with two each year, it will eventually offer several dozen full scholarships to residents of Red Hook Houses. “ Corbin Laedlin, who spearheaded a letter writing campaign against the school, commented in an email to the Star-Revue: “I’m not surprised that the Board of Stan-
Red Hook Star-Revue
dards and Appeals approved the BASIS Independent School’s permit application, it was pretty clear at the previous hearing that our our testimonies appealing to the BSA’s sense of social justice had fallen on deaf ears. Which also wasn’t surprising. Bodies like the BSA are not designed to promote social justice or to provide community members genuine participation in decision-making. What has been the most disappointing about this whole thing is how many of my neighbors bought into BASIS’s song and dance about bringing benefits to our community. I don’t understand how one would believe that an institution setting up shop in Red Hook to serve rich, mostly white families, that has shown zero commitment to socioeconomic diversity, and offers no need-based financial aid, would genuinely be interested in giving back to Red Hook. Two scholarships a year for Red Hook’s children is public relations, not justice. Just a little bit of research reveals the BASIS organization’s true face, particularly when one looks at BASIS charter schools’ deceptive “success by attrition” model and the BASIS organization’s ties to the Koch-brothers funded Goldwater Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council. “ Another group who fought the school included the Red Hook West Tenant Association and the Gowanus GBX. Their reason was that the school would
Building will now accelerate at the BASIS School lot on Columbia Street as they advertise Fall 2014 classes. (photo by Kimberly G. Price)
interfere with industry in the area, leading to a gradual shift to residential zoning and a loss of industrial jobs. Phaedra Thomas, who often represents GBX, did not respond to our request for a comment. There were also locals supporting the school. John Battis, usually a supporter of public schools, was glad that a bus parking lot would be gone from Red Hook. John Mcgettrick prefers a school than an operation bringing pollution. Others, including Wally Bazemore, who
lives in Red Hook West and has fought many community battles, thinks the school will be good for the neighborhood, providing jobs and scholarships. BASIS has made some promises to the neighborhood which include a few scholarships and use of their gym and auditorium. These promises are not legally binding and it will be up to the community to see that they are followed through. Tuition at BASIS is a flat $23,500.
April, 2014 Page 5
Return of Columbia Street stoplight discussed at merchants meeting by George Fiala
The Columbia Street Merchants Association met at the Carroll Gardens Association’s Columbia Street office on March 20. A healthy number of local businesses showed up, including representatives from Pok Pok, Margaret Palca, Kings Coffee, Realty Collective and the Red Hook Playgroup. Also present was a woman named Julia who is planning to open a restaurant with her mother next to where Sokol’s used to be, in the space that was once the satellite post office on Columbia. The meeting was led by Lindsay Donnellon, who took everyone through a set agenda. The first item was a follow-up on a merchant request for parking meters along the business blocks of Union and Columbia. The reason for this is to allow a greater amount of parking spots to become free during the shopping day. Donnellon explained that an answer to her letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT) was sitting on someone’s desk, and until it was actually sent back to her, she had no new update.
responsible for the signs and it was they who took them down. The Merchants Association agreed to help in restoring the stop sign or a traffic light. At this point, Adam Frank, who owns a lighting studio on Columbia, brought up fighting on Columbia Street. He recounted hearing a fight break out because a truck was blocking traffic outside of his store. It was mentioned that there is a light police presence in the Columbia Waterfront District during the day, despite the precinct being just over the highway, and the suggestion was made to attend the monthly precinct meetings. The next meeting of the 76th Precinct Community Council will be on Tuesday, April 1, at the station at 7:30 pm.
In addition to fighting, a dog waste problem was revealed. Paul of the House of Pizza pointed out that the proliferance of dog wastes could be because the melting snow revealed the wastes. He said that with big piles of snow around it might be more difficult to pick up the Emily, from the Red Hook Playgroup offending material, as required by law. spoke next. The Playgroup takes care of More garbage cans were recommended. children, and on nice days they spend Donnellon brought up the Tour de some park time at the Urban Meadow. Brooklyn. Originally, there was to be an Emily’s problem is that the stop signs event at Harold L. Ickes park, at the foot that enabled an orderly walk across of Hamilton Avenue, on June 1. She Columbia were removed once the Van had suggested that the merchant’s asBrunt Street renovation work was fin- sociation be part of it, but since the last ished, earlier this year. She explained meeting the venue has been switched to that crossing is much harder, as cars IKEA. and trucks barrel through the crossThe next topic was the Brooklyn Grewalk often without slowing down. She enway’s Initiative’s Columbia Street has tried on her own to get DOT to park activity. Since the park, which is put back the stop signs and they could to be alongside Columbia Street beonly tell her that they would study it. tween Degraw and Kane, does not ofIt turns out that Trocom, the contracficially exist yet, what was discussed was tor who did the Van Brunt work, was not for publication. However, it can be
written that composting will be taking place. The gradual reconnection of the streets cut apart by the BQE since the early 1950’s is an ongoing project of the Association. Letters were drafted and sent to local officials, thus far to no response. Frank, who lives near the highway, pointed out that the highway noise was also a nuisance. He feels that a repaving of the BQE would go far to mitigate the noise. Others suggested a canopy. A few years back a study was made about BQE mitigation of sound, pollution and access. Pedestrian walkways, planting and canopies were all part of the results of the study. It just so happened that Donnellon had made copies of the report, and she passed some out. Nydia Velazquez had obtained $300,000 for the study, and the money produced a very nice report. However, thus far nothing has been done with the study, so the Association has taken on the task of urging reconnection of one or two streets. The next agenda item was NYSERDA. That stands for the NY State Energy Research and Development Agency. It assists with energy assessments, often free of charge. Victoria Hagman of
Realty Collective is familiar with this program and promised to help anyone interested. The meeting ended with another familiar topic - the replacement of the tall clock that used to stand at the corner of Union and Columbia. Carmine Balsamo, a longtime resident, was a guest of the Paul D’Agostino of the House of Pizza and Calzone. He remembered the clock being on the northeast corner, while Paul said no, it was the southeast corner. Further research revealed Paul to be correct. The clock was in front of the Robert Corn Jewelry Store, who placed it there. It stood until the early 1980’s, when the area was being rebuilt following the decline that followed the BQE and a failed Columbia Street sewer project, when it mysteriously disappeared. There was a rumor that the developer Ted Hilles took the clock, but it was reported at the meeting that Hilles denied taking it. At some point a fundraising drive may be started to collect funds to purchase a new clock. The next meeting was scheduled for April 30, at 4 pm.
Help Wanted at the Red Hook Star-Revue Reporters needed for news and arts coverage in Red Hook and her environs. Enthusiasm more important than experience. Learn on the job. Full and part-time positions available. Call Kimberly Gail Price
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Page 6 Red Hook Star-Revue
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PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING VOTE IN RED HOOK MARCH 30 - APRIL 6
The above photos were taken on March 27th at the Red Hook Library. District 38 is allocating $2 million for projects chosen by the community. The greater part of the district lies in Sunset Park, and an expo was held the week before at a Sunset Park community center. The participants returned to show off their projects locally. Voting is open to all residents 16 and older. Times and places are listed in an advertisement on the page to the left. The photos above feature the Red Hook projects. PS 15 PTA President Lydia Bellahcene is shown standing with her projects for the school and Lindsay Donnellon (far right) is shown with a Greenstreets project adding plantings at various sites under the BQE. Councilman Menchaca showed up with his staff, including Lee Wellington. Local projects inlclude: enhancing the air conditioning at PS 15; a technology upgrade for four schools including PS 15; building a fitness area at Red Hook Park on Halleck between Clinton and Columbia Sts.; a greening/bioswales project under the BQE at Mill Street; electronic bus location signs at stops of the B 61; a garden behind the Red Hook library and an upgrade of the outdoor basketball court behind the Miccio Center.
Red Hook Initiative hosts Career Day for women RHI hosted their annual Women’s Career Day on March 20. A roomful of young woman listen raptly to the stories of panel members as they described their career path. The panelists included Ana Ortega Williams, a Licensed Master Social Worker, studying for her Ph.D, and currently Director and Training and Evaluation at RHI. Dina Simon was born in Haiti and came to Brooklyn with her family at the age of nine. She is currently Director of Human Resources for the City of NY. Jean-Michelle Lopez is a marketing consultant who has previously worked for MTV and Americorps. She is a graduate of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Bethany MichaelaJones is a professional photographer who
owns her own studio in Brooklyn. Bernice Wooden is a freelance movie/ video producer and director who has also worked at MTV. She is a graduate of Brooklyn College. Mia Hall is a Harvard graduate who has written for and about sports. She is currently the Community Manager for the Barclays Center. She is a frequent speaker at fundraisers and events and also produces video and digital content for different sports outlets. Charisma J. Ross is a children’s advocacy association. The audience gave these women their rapt attention as they listened to their stories. The evening was produced by Sheryl Nash-Chisholm, RHI’s Youth Job Developer.
Last row: Bernice Wooden, Daphine Gachette, Charisma J. Ross,Mia Hall ( Community Manager @ The Barclay Center), Genevieve Smith ( Young Life Org.) Anna Ortega-Williams (LMSW, Director of Training and Evaluation at RHI Front Row: Jean Michelle-Lopez (Consultant), Sheryl Nash-Chisholm (Youth Job Developer) Bethany Jones (Photographer).
Help Wanted at the Star-Revue Reporters needed for news coverage in Red Hook and her environs. Enthusiasm more important than experience. Learn on the job. Advertising positions also available. We also accept submissions from the community on topics of local interest. Call Kimberly Gail Price
718 624-5568 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Red Hook Star-Revue
April, 2014 Page 7
Coalition needs even more presence
few weeks ago we were contacted by the Red Hook Coalition. Nahisha McCoy sent an email inviting us to their first community input meeting. We are happy that this Coalition, bearing the name of our community, has finally come out of the shadows and introduced itself. While their existence was not exactly a secret before this, many residents we spoke with were unsure of who they were. In our front page story we note that they have raised close to a half million dollars. We already knew that the Coalition had used some money for ReStore Red Hook, some for the Red Hook Summit, and more for the ongoing work of the Red Hook Volunteers, we were not clear about anything else. At last week’s meeting we were informed about another project - a localized disaster plan. However,
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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At Tuesday evening’s St. Francis gathering regarding the future of Long Island College Hospital four bids had hospitals. Two of the four bids had 100 bed hospitals and a New Hospital to be built, one estimating 9-10 years and the other starting to build in 2-3 years. Result: many years with a 100 bed hospital where LICH now stands, still proudly. Builders plans change (St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan was promised 100,000 square feet for medical use, but that never happened, they got zero). Result: because a 100 bed hospital is Not large enough to provide a full service, acute care hospital in a downtown metropolitan area, the 460 thousand people being served by LICH and the LICH ER which sees > 60,000 people each year will be badly served. And nearby hospitals will be overrun. LICH was a 250 bed Full Service, Acute Care Hospital until 11 months ago, and into the distant past, 90% occupied. The CCACO bid starts with a 150 bed hospital increasing to 200 bed in the first year and 250 beds in the second year. Their plan is to use the present buildings and reestablish the Hospital, then consider other uses for available space and nearby properties. The CCACO focus is on the Hospital. The other bids are focused on Real Estate. The CCACO is made up of 250 Local Doctors and Administrators. The members of CCACO live here and
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while the cafeteria at South Brooklyn HS was packed for this meeting - we are talking about maybe 50 residents. There are at least 12,000 living in Red Hook. We believe that funds raised by the Red Hook Coalition are funds raised on behalf of the entire community. A needs statement is an important part of every grant request. Most probably the needs of the Red Hook community following Sandy are a part of these successful grant requests. As every Red Hooker is a partner in this process, it is only obvious that every Red Hooker should be informed about it. More can be done to let the whole community know about the Coalition plans and activities. We were fortunate to receive an email - others have friends on the committee or perhaps saw a flyer or Facebook post. These are all good, but a better tool should also be utilized. work here and raise their families here. CCACO’s approach is to include the LICH staff that remains and invite those that left to return, including Senior Administrators. A fast and smooth transition, compared to the upheavals resulting from an outside management team that lives Indiana or Atlanta and has never before visited NYC-Bklyn, is assured.
There are at most 5,000 households in Red Hook. The US Post Office sends letter carriers to every door in Red Hook every day but Sunday. A few years ago the Post Office began a program called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). What EDDM does is turn the post office into a very efficient flyer distribution service. It is no longer necessary to address individual flyers. All one has to do is follow the design guidelines easily available on the USPS website, print a one or two sided flyer and bring them to the post office. They will give them to the carriers who will drop one in every mail box of slot on their route. Since the post office does not need to read individual addresses, the postage is quite inexpensive - about 16 cents each. Including the cost of design and printing, everybody can get a flyer/newsletter delivered to them for much less than $1500.
Out of a half million dollars in grant money, a yearly communication plan of four or six mailings would eat less than $10,000 - an expense at least as important as the studies that much of the money is going for. Speaking of studies - our article indicates that studies are one of the main products of the Coalition. Perhaps consideration should be given to hard goods as well. Generators, gasoline and electricity were in short supply after the storm. Even if one had the money, most stores were out of generators, and gas lines existed all over the city. A suggestion might be for the Coalition to buy a bunch of generators and possibly a large gasoline tank, and find a place to store them for when they may be needed again. Someone had the idea to place old fashioned suggestion boxes around the neighborhood. We like that idea too!
There can be no question that their energy and focus to making LICH vibrant and excellent once again will be dramatically different from the energy of the Condo Builders( to reduce the medical elements) or the Professional Hospital Rejuvinators, for whom this is just another piece to play with on the Board of Their Game. Respectfully, Jonjack Berall, M.D., M.P.H., Lt.Cmdr(Ret) Past-Ombudsman, Long Island College Hospital
I am reader of the Red Hook Star and I am loving the Healthy by Tracey articles! They are always so uplifting and refreshing and they really make you reflect! I would like To respond to how I keep positive during the winter months... Some things that I do are: 1. Enjoy being HOME without any pressures to get out. During the winter months I focus in organizing my home and take on projects like cleaning out my cabinets, closets, etc! 2. Dress in cozy comfy fleece pajamas and cuddle up with my kids and husband..and a nice cup of Tea... Or coffee if its the morning! 3. Cook hearty meals like lentil soup & chili! 4. Enjoy the beauty of fresh fallen snow! - A very happy reader!
The sycamore trees planted by New York City Housing in the 1930’s and 40’s are well loved and bring great shade to Coffey Park and around the buildings. Therefore, it was a scary rumor that went around that all the trees had died because of the Sandy salt water. It is true that a few trees have been chopped down, but according to Lillie Marshall, it is only a few that had been diagnosed as being infested by insects. So expect some nice shade again this summer.
News from the Independent Neighborhood Democrats by Mark Shames, President
That Crazy World of Politics by George Fiala
Community Board overkill?
Just about every public official whose district touches Community Board 6 had a representative at last months General Board Meeting. And, as per custom, each representative was given time to share their latest news. A seemingly endless parade attempted to charm the stony faced board members and guests at the Cobble Hill Wellness Center on March 12. First up was a gentleman named Guy speaking for Eric Adams. He plugged a few of Adam’s ideas and called LICH a work in progress. Next, Matt Ojala from Stephen Levin’s office reminded the members of the participatory budgeting process that Levin is part of. Then Catherine Zinell, a familiar face representing Brad Lander alerted all to the closing of the Prospect Park Residence, a senior facility in Park Slope that is suddenly closing, leaving patients in the lurch. She also plugged participatory budgeting as well as Bridging Gowanus. Next, the new Chief of Staff for Carlos Menchaca, Lee Wellington, spoke of the 38th District’s participatory budgeting, as well as Menchaca’s support for municipal ID’s. Tamar Smith who has been with Joan Millman for some time told everyone that Governor Cuomo should not even think about using $40 million of MTA money to pay down debt, but instead use it to restore the B71 bus, finally. Next, Shawn Ott from Daniel Squadron’s office spoke of Squadron’s continuing battle to make Lunar New Year a school holiday. Felix Ortiz sent a
young man named Peterson Napoleon, who spoke eloquently of the Brian’s Law, advocated by Ortiz, which would retrain the police in CPR. He also mentioned the upcoming SOMO’s conference in Albany. Josh Levin, seem most recently around here working for Joan Millman, is now community liaison with Scott Stringer, and felt obliged to return to CB6 to let us know about Stringer’s work on a dirty milk contract. He also assured us that Scott was on the case regarding missing Build it Back, Sandy rebuilding money. Just to make sure all the recent news was covered he let us know that Scott will be auditing libraries. Yvette Clark sent a representative with not all that much to say. The always effusive Dan Wiley, a CB 6 fixture, representing Nydia Velazquez, spoke of a few of Nydia’s business initiatives, and tipped us about an upcoming Red Hook meeting regarding flood preparedness (covered elsewhere in this issue). He also spoke of Lander’s Bridging Gowanus initiative as well as progress at the Red Hook brand of NY Rising. Oscar Jonas came from Velmanette Montgomery’s office, and was heckled by Jeff Strabone regarding the Long Island College Hospital. The new DA send Lotoya Benjamin, who spoke of a walk-in Action Center.
Our monthly meeting was held on March 20 at our usual location above 104 First Place. It was reiterated that our annual dinner is being held at Pier 6 on May 15, 2014 from 6 PM until 10 PM. Assemblywoman Millman spoke about budgetary matters up in Albany. About the impending eviction of seniors from the Prospect Park Residence and efforts being made to see that they get appropriate placements with particular concern for those suffering from various degrees of dementia. She mentioned that she had attended the Bridging Gowanus meeting and she got caught up on the latest with respect to LICH. Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo dropped by and spoke about passage of the paid sick leave bill and her excitement at getting involved in the advancement of a progressive agenda and the difficult choices confronting us with regard to our libraries. Long time IND member and now Acting Supreme Court Justice, Devin Cohen spoke about the needs of the Judiciary in the upcoming budget negotiations. Judge Evelyn LaPorte spoke briefly of the need to intervene in the lives of young people before they reached the criminal court system where there are still too few diversion options. We got down to the main business of the night with presentations by aspiring Civil Court Judges Jill Epstein and Isela Isaacs. The other known aspirant was invited but could not attend. Female District Leader JoAnne Simon spoke in support of legislation that will
Jill Epstein speaks at the club meeting (photo by George Fiala)
require that those producing campaign literature take public pride in its authorship through disclosure. We will have more on that next month. She and Jesse then spoke of petitioning efforts this Saturday in the 7th congressional district. Bobby Carroll, president of CBID, dropped by and plugged his club’s dinner on April 6, I requested reciprocity at his meeting. Josh Skaller, who is being recommended by JoAnne Simon for male district leader in the 52nd Assembly District, came by and said hello. My friend Oscar Jonas dropped off materials on behalf of State Senator Montgomery. Odds and ends: I was disappointed that John Longo did not bring anything from Esposito’s after pictorially documenting his trip there earlier in the day, and Linda Orlando got satisfaction from putting together a presentation for Participatory Budgeting in the 38th Council District. These events are going on in the 33rd and 39th, as well.
The time just after the new candidates get settled and just before the old candidates gear up for re-election is definitely a time for everyone to show off at the Community Board.
Red Hook StarªRevue SOUTH BROOKLYN’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
Red Hook Star-Revue
April, 2014 Page 9
Red Hook Youth Baseball League plans a new season by Michael Burnett
he Red Hook Youth Baseball League has been providing opportunities for local youth to play baseball for a number of years. In the past they have enjoyed the active support the Red Hook Justice Center and DA Charles Hynes.
week and play Saturdays, and there has been trouble getting commitment from aspiring athletes. The Grays are recruiting players from all over Brooklyn, as
With the election of a new District Attorney, and the loss of Americorps volunteers this year at the Justice Center, some were wondering whether the league would continue. Thankfully, Ian Younge and his organization, the SAYO (Student Athlete Youth Organization) Grays have stepped in and with some help from local politicians have worked to create a new season. The SAYO Grays are a traveling baseball team that was organized in 2006. They work with kids from the Sunset Park, Red Hook and Bay Ridge. Two years ago, the Red Hook Youth Baseball League fielded four teams. Last year they only had enough participation to warrant two teams. Teams practice twice a
Former DA Charles Hynes was a big supporter of the league. Here he throws out a pitch on opening day of the 2012 season.
many in Red Hook opt for basketball instead. The league is actively recruiting teams, players and coaches. There are 3 divisions - Pee Wee for ages 6-8, Cub for ages 9-10, and Bantam for ages 11-12. The only cost is a $10 registration fee. Practice will begin April 5 from 9-11am and opening day is slated for May 3. The season will last approximately 6 weeks. Players and volunteers can sign up at the Red Hook Justice Center Monday, 44 Visitation Place on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 am - 4:45 pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am - 6:30 pm. Contact Luz Gonzalez at 718-9238203 or by email at luzgonzal@courts. state.ny.us.
Ian Younge, manager of the Sayo Grays, is running the league this year.
The league had just two teams last year and they are a hard push to het players for the league. Due to the heavy basketball in the area a lot of kids choose not to come out for baseball so they will be
going out to different locations in the area for recruitment. They have the 2 returning teams but if they don’t get the numbers then they will have just those two teams again
Volunteers prepare future greenspace along Columbia Street by George Fiala
n a brisk spring morning, over 100 volunteers descended upon the Columbia Waterfront District to pave the way for a natural landscape alongside the Brooklyn Greenway bicycle path that now runs on Columbia Street. Many of the volunteers came from the Student Conservation Association (SCA). Brooklyn Greenway has been very skilled at taking advantage of the many organizations that exist to funnel volunteers to various events. The SCA is a nationwide organization that calls itself a Conservation Corps. They work in parks, public spaces and urban green spaces on a volunteer basis, learning green skills. They hearken back to the Civilian Conservation Corps, part of the new deal which not only helped give jobs to the vast amount of unemployed, but taught lifelong skills. Many of the volunteers this day were from the Cypress Hills Community School. Under the supervision of Brian McCormick and Milton Puryear of the Brooklyn Greenway initiative (BGI) and Ann Pedtke of SCA, the volunteers used wheelbarrows, shovels and rakes to prepare a 20 foot wide strip of land for landscaping. Compost from the Fresh
Kills landfill was brought to the site by the Sanitation Department. They left it in a big pile, and the work of the crews was to spread it out over the long, narrow strip. Right now, there is a fence alongside the bikepath/sidewalk along the west side of Columbia Street from Kane down to Degraw. Much of that has been using by Trocom, a city contractor that was rebuilding Van Brunt Street in the Columbia Waterfront District for the past eight years. That project is now complete, Trocom is gone, and BGI is planning a landscaped park in the area. The last block, up to Degraw Street, is still inhabited by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as the Degraw Street flushing tunnel project slowly nears completion. BGI plans to move into that block as well. The twenty foot wide strip lies inward from the existing fence, but an agreement with DOT means that after the plot is seeded, the fences will be moved inwards, with benches and city bicycle racks installed. Natural grasses and wildflowers will be planted. Milton Puryear, BGI Board Member, commented that this patch of greenery will bring pleasure not only to the local residents,
Lower left: Brian McCormick of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, works the soil. Above: Brad Lander tells the volunteers a bit of history about the Columbia Waterfront District. (photos by George Fiala)
but to the many B61 passengers that travel the bus each day. At some point in the future, DOT will turn over the entire plot, which extends inward a full one hundred feet, to the Parks Department. The plan is for BGI to maintain the park, and they are currently raising funds to do just that.
Local council member Brad Lander, who has always been supportive of the Greenway Initiative, came by to see how things were progressing. He explained to the volunteers, many of them not Brooklyn natives, about the purpose of the Initiative, and thanked them for their work.
Dr. Richard Becker, CEO of Brooklyn Hospital, brought a contingent over to 360 Van Brunt St. on March 10 to pitch Red Hook on his plan to shutter the Long Island College Hospital in favor of condos and clinics. A respectful but ultimately unfriendly audience wasn’t buying.
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(continued on page 15)
Red Hook Star-Revue
April, 2014 Page 11
A STAND UP PERFORMANCE by Kimberly Gail Price
nybody up for a good penis joke? In a fast paced play, Marc Spitz’s Up For Anything creates up the scenario in the opening moments to set up two hours of back to back zingers aimed at Walter Dabney, a poet with an unrelenting erection.
Won’t go away The show opens with Walter (Ben Schneider) under a blanket with his mistress Annie (Jen Storch). His wife is expected home any minute from an out-of-town business trip. As Walter attempts rush Anne out the door, he reveals a staggering erection. After more love making with Annie, it lingers still. After revealing that he experimented with Erectile Dysfunction medication, a whole host of unexpected visitors arrive for various reasons. Walter tries to conceal his predicament with a small pillow to each of them, but is eventually found out by all. After Annie flushes an apple down the toilet, Walter’s Russian superintendent, Danzig Belknap (Geoff Wiley) arrives with Sheridan Ruggles (Arthur Aulisi), a self-proclaimed architect and neighbor. The apple caused a leak in Sheridan’s apartment. Goode (Francis Kerrigan), Danzig’s assistant, also accompanies them, proclaiming, “I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac.” Danzig explains that Goode is “not so bright” because of a tragic accident as Goode snacks on the apple that clogged the toilet. Once Walter’s personal problem is revealed to the super, neighbor and assistant, a massive array of penis jokes are unleashed on poor Walter. Sheridan – because “if Manhattan Chase trusts [him] with their vaults” he says – convinces Walter to let him build a contraption to help “alleviate the pressure” of his massive hard-on. The contraption fails when Walter has to relieve himself. Odean, a piano instructor, arrives shortly thereafter because Walter forgot to cancel his wife’s lesson. Odean rails about his students not practicing and then plays a tune on the piano to alleviate tension, followed by a joke he refers to as “a little pianist humor.” Next
comes Ibrahim Gallagher, a delivery person with extra food he can’t deliver. Walter agrees to pay for the food to get rid of Ibrahim, but his erection reveals itself before Walter can get him out of his living room. Ibrahim quips, “Damn man, you must really like cous cous!” Ibrahim has another solution for Walter: the power of the mind. He asks Anne, “Why don’t you think his pecker down for him?” Walter’s editor, Peter Alderbaran (Reg Flowers) arrives in stunning fashion with a story of his own about a run in with the police. When Cheryl Klee (Maddie Bouchard) - a police officer shows up, more drama ensues between the law and the one running from it. Finally, Walter’s wife, Vera (Tracy Shar) arrives as Walter is shooing everyone into different rooms. During the second sexual encounter with his wife, Walter is able to orchestrate almost everyone out of his apartment without his wife noticing. When Vera’s parents show up for lunch, everything seems to be back on track. A new tension mounts between Vera and her mother, Barbara (Haynes Thigpen). Vera’s father, Arthur Foyle (Barry O’Meara) Arthur is also a writer, a more accomplished one and does not let his son-in-law, whom he calls “Giggles,” forget it. One by one, Walter’s new friends make their way back to the stage. Giggles tries to explain their presence away, but is quickly found out, and the play resumes its routine absurdness. The show climaxes when Annie storms back in with her adamant confession of her love affair with Walter and her blunt confrontation of Vera. Everything else in the room stops, and Annie begs, “Somebody say something!” Sheridan, who hasn’t missed a beat all day quickly chimes in. “I believe – I’ve got nothing.” More drama ensues, and The Foyles and Vera finally leave Walter to his house guests.
Soft landing The end of the play is less energetic and a little, um… softer than it began. And as all good things must conclude, the show ends on a more flaccid note, as self-described Walter becomes “miniscule,” “tiny,” and “barely there at all.”
Reg Flowers, playing Mr. Dabney’s agent, can’t believe his ears.
Page 12 Red Hook Star-Revue
Although the topic seems controversial, Spitz never takes the script to a vulgar level. Director, Carlo Vogel continued this tradition with the script, using
The players never lose sight of their goals to entertain and cajole laughter from the audience. They are starkly serious throughout the hilarity of the action. thumbs up signs instead of other less appropriate gestures.
This farcical play emulates Christopher Durang in its wackiness. A farce is a play with over the top characters thrown into an improbable and highly exaggerated situation; Up For Anything does not exclude either of these elements.
Odean reverts back and forth between the gentle calm piano instructor and a raving madman who cannot cope with his students’ lack of practice.
A raving piano instructor
Ibrahim is so uncouth in his resignation for his job that he is willing to deliver
The plot of the show is not the reason to see it. The jokes, puns and references carry the story. And with this cast, lines are delivered without flaw. In addition to a well-written script, a farce will only work if the characters are up to the challenge. Timing must be fast-paced, and actors must em- The cuckolded wife, played by Tracy Shar, listens to dad, played by brace their char- Bait and Tackle’s Barry Meara. Barry’s wife flutters above food to the first person that will take it acters with grandeur and oomph. – and demand payment for it. Vogel kept the energy high and added nuances to each character. Each actor Annie tells the crowd, “It’s sorta beautiplayed out their own story with much ful in its persistence – like it wants to aplomb. They brought their own con- speak.” Walter responds, “My penis has troversies and neatly joined the main nothing to say to any of you.” plot. British Sheridan, a touch flamboyant Lines were delivered with punch, and and quite egotistical, turns out to be not despite the high drama, the audience what he has proclaimed to be throughfell quickly into the arms of the scenar- out the majority of the play. io. With just enough reality to keep the Barbara, who it must be noted is played unbelievability suspended, we bought by a man dressed in very unstylish drag, into not only the circumstance, but barbs Walter, saying, “If only the fureach and every character. nace still worked; you could burn your With lines like, “that’s as big as it gets?” rejection letters.” She later has an (Arthur to Walter), and “this one’s got unspecific sexual encounter with her an attitude,” (Cheryl about Walter’s daughter’s husband. erection), the audience was splitting Twist, turns, and subplots are aplenty, their sides with laughter from beginning but the ending is fairly predictable. The to end. players never lose sight of their goals Cheryl hears her police radio, but can’t to entertain and cajole laughter from find it; she spins in circles as if a dog the audience. They are starkly serious throughout the hilarity of the action. chasing her tail. Goode, a little mixed up at the idea of hiding from Vera, conceals himself against the wall while holding a plant to cover his face. When things get noisy in the apartment, Belknap bursts into the apartment with Goode and screams, “Can’t you keep it down?!?” to which Walter replies, “No, I can’t!” Peter tells his dramatic story of nearly being caught by the police with grandeur as he reveals how close he was to being caught with one handcuff around his wrist and a stolen police baton in his
Walter seems to be the only normal character in the show, much like the plays of Christopher Durang. He becomes the butt of all jokes and the tormented by nearly all on stage. At a point of defeat and a torrent of torment, he finally accepts his new circumstance and his fate. The audience can believe the story because Walter keeps us grounded in reality, while chaos swirls madly around him. In the second act, more conflicts begin to appear on stage, complicating the (continued on page 13)
Red Hook Glass Bottom Dramatical Players romp at Jalopy (continued from page 12)
role of each character. Arthur and Walter verbally spar over their writings. To escalate things, Peter gains the commission of Arthur, even though he is Walter’s agent.
moment of revelation. Timing is a big building block, and Vogel has it dead on. From the opening seconds, the audience is drawn in, and until the curtain closes we are amused until we hurt, and then some. Vogel even carries this jovialness into the program of the show. Bios of the cast and crew are short, quirky one-liners that amuse the audience even before the curtain parts. Aulisi “lives on the tiny island of Manhattan and is quite tan.”
Vera and Barbara compete against each other, beginning with the challenge to Walter to guess Barbara’s age.
O’Meara is “the proprietor of Bait and Tackle where they continue not to sell any bait.”
Peter also realizes his very physical relationship with Cheryl is not symbiotic when their personalities clash. She is after all a cop, and Peter is on the run.
Vogel himself is “a double Gemini, if that counts for anything.”
And of course, Walter’s marriage is divulged as a sham when Annie makes her announcement of the affair. The actors are true to their roles, never exposing subplots and secrets until the
The show ran at Jalopy Theatre for four sold-out performances in late March. Vogel plans to revive the show in the fall. He offered the Star-Revue one pertinent answer. “The erection isn’t real,” he says, sparing Schneiderman the same embarrassment of his character, Walter.
Jalopy’s Geoff Wiley is a smash as an old-style Russian communist, now a Greenwich Village landlord. His mentally challenged assistant is in the back. Jen Storch is the mistress and they are all discussing the situation with the downstairs tenant, who complained of a leak.
Cast: Walter Dabney, the poet.............................. played by Ben Schneider Annie Claire, the young mistress....................................... Jen Storch Danzig Belknap the Russian landlord................................ Geoff Wiley Sheridan Ruggles the faux architect............................... Arthur Aulisi Goode, assistant to the landlord.............................. Francis Kerrigan Odean Paice, the piano teacher............................ William Robertson Ibrahim Gallagher, the delivery man......................... Bob Koutourakis Peter Alderbaran, the agent.......................................... Reg Flowers Cheryl Klee, the police woman............................... Maddie Bouchard Vera Dabney, the wife.......................................................Tracy Shar Barbara Foyle, the mother-in-law...............................Haynes Thigpen Arthur Foyle, the father-in-law.....................................Barry O’Meara
Directed by Carlo Vogel Produced by Jalopy Theatre Original set design by Deb O Costumes by Anne O’neil Original sound design by Jens McVoy Lighting consultant Christopher Studley Original Graphic design by David Vertino
Maddie Bouchard, who many of us know from the Ice House, is a riot as a policewoman put into this madhouse because she had to deliver a summons. Here she is putting the fear of god into Mr. Dabney, played by the amazing restaurateur Ben Schneider.
Red Hook StarªRevue SOUTH BROOKLYN’S COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
William Robertson, who many of us know from chatting outside of Bait and Tackle, is an unexpected hit as a misanthropic piano teacher. He is a composer and claims to have never acted before. (photo by Kimberly Gail Price)
Red Hook Star-Revue
April, 2014 Page 13
Mother Cabrini is a Saint of our own by Mary Ann Pietanza
other Cabrini was to me what Padre Pio is to my children - the living saints of our time whom we could identify with through direct stories, or claim as one of our own. Like Padre Pio, Mother Cabrini led a physically frail life from a young age. When we think of saints, it is the tireless efforts they are capable of enduring for the sake of others that gives them the reverence they deserve. When that is coupled with an ailing or chronically tired body, you have the makings of Godliness, I think. In my house Mother Cabrini’s name was a staple, especially from my grandmother, who came to this country some twenty years after Mother Cabrini had expeditiously swooped down upon Red Hook to open a much needed school for its enormous Italian population. It was impressed upon us as kids that she was a salvation of sorts to the Italian immigrants in our neighborhood, opening this school and enrolling scores of children who otherwise would have no opportunity to learn and re-kindle their faith and devotions. For us, she was the real deal. It’s been said that “God wished to give the Catholic faithful an example of industriousness...and as such they were given the individual soul of Mother Cabrini.” When reading about Mother Cabrini’s life, one might consider that the speed at which she accomplished the great volumes of work in her modest and moderate time on earth, was done in anticipation to live out her true devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was to evangelize the Orient, a place where her esteemed, the Jesuit Francis Xavier performed his missionary work. A Jesuit whose stories were repeatedly read to her as a child by her father, from the Annals of the Propagation of the Faith. A Jesuit whose name she added to her own upon professing her religious vows. From the time she
This Hicks Street mural celebrating Mother Cabrini was a project of St. Stephens Church a few years ago.
was a young teen she worked toward realizing this dream. Her works of charity, her numerous attempts to become a nun, her years of teaching, and all her missionary work in the western world, was a vehicle for her dream to be a missionary in China. Her dream never came true, though. A course of work was preordained for her by clergy and Bishops who felt her delicate health was reason enough to use caution in directing her missions. Guided by their hand, she founded the Institute of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1880 in Codogno, Italy. The Bishop originally rejected the use of the word “missionaries” for the Institute which implied mission work abroad, but Mother Cabrini insisted on keeping the boundaries open to missionary work outside its Lombardia borders. She then went on to establish a universal missionary in Rome, and was eventually given the go ahead for a second missionary in the Eternal City, believing she was closing the gap to her eventual travels east to the Orient. But to her dismay, she was summoned to travel westward to New York, to help manage the ever growing hardships of the American-bound population of Italian immigrants who worked menial jobs,
experienced discrimination and who were without pastoral care. She didn’t take her summons lying down, though, and petitioned a meeting with the Pope to seek support of her work in the Orient. Her travel diaries expressed her disappointment of Pope Leo XIII’s words to her, “Not to the East, but to the West.” When she and her companion Missionary Sisters arrived in New York City in 1889, they began the overwhelming task of organizing a society of families to receive schooling, orphanage facilities and religious instructions. They visited families in their homes daily offering help, guidance, counseling and kindness. They solicited young interested women in their cause and went doorto-door begging for donations since the monetary help they received from other religious congregations and donations weren’t enough. Amazingly, her work there lasted just four months. When she appealed to extend her work further, an undecided Archbishop Corrigan, of Irish heritage, re-directed her to Brooklyn. He wasn’t sure that her services were needed any longer. She arrived in Red Hook and joined the parish of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, located at the foot of President Street, which overlooked the bustling New York Harbor with its marine activity, and serving as the gateway to the New World from Ellis Island. Recognizing the need to educate the Italian immigrant children there, she and
Mother Cabrini Park, next to the Urban Meadow, is where Sacred Hearts Church once stood.
Page 14 Red Hook Star-Revue
her Sisters established a school in 1892, which was placed under the direction of her order. At that time, Brooklyn’s Bishop McDonnell bought a former Moravian church building to be used as the school on Van Brunt and President Streets. Mother Cabrini named it St. Charles School, in honor of Bishop McDonnell. She and the Sisters established the curriculum and fostered the needs of the children who were part of the mounting stream of Italian citizens that became the largest immigrant presence in the United States at that time. And to meet the demands of the required teaching staff, she established several convent houses in the area as well. One, which no longer exists, was located on Henry and Summit Streets. What was impressive is that she and her Missionary Sisters accomplished their tasks with extremely limited knowledge of English. While Mother Cabrini’s work ended there for Red Hook, it by no means ended for her elsewhere. She returned to New York City and resumed the work she started in lower Manhattan with Bishop Corrigan’s new decisive blessings to work in upper Manhattan as well. Eventually, crossing the Trans-Atlantic many times over, she continued her missionary work in New Orleans, Denver, Newark, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Central and South America, and England, France and Spain. And her work wasn’t limited to orphans, the poor and the uneducated; it went on to include - from a sign of the Blessed Virgin Mary - hospitals. In her twenty-eight years of being a missionary, she established 67 missions of the Institute of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus administering healthcare, teaching, social services and pastoral support to the needy. There are and have been schools, churches, hospitals, and streets named in her honor. Her tireless devotion and diligence to work swiftly and systemically makes her a likely honoree for Women’s History Month when choosing a woman of character, courage and commitment. In 1909 Mother Cabrini became a citizen of the United States. She died in December of 1917, at the age of 67 coincidentally the same number of missions she created - in a hospital in Chicago that she helped to establish, while (continued on page 15)
site of the old St. Charles School which became St. Charles Chapel after Sacred Hearts Church relocated to Hicks and (continued from page 14) Warren Sts. in 1907 where the church preparing Christmas candy for the lo- was built to seat the burgeoning concal children. Her ministries of work on gregation. And a mural was established earth proved to be so great that her de- in her honor on Hicks Street between cree of canonization came only 25 years Kane and Degraw Streets, an area close after her death. to the location of the 1907 church that A statue of Mother Cabrini stands in St. was ultimately demolished in 1941 Stephen’s Church, which is said to be to make way for the BQE, and which the most accurate of renderings, vividly was the church that primarily served featuring her “striking blue eyes.” A park the Italian immigrant population that is dedicated to her here in Red Hook, Mother Cabrini laid the foundation for at Van Brunt and President Streets, the its future generations.
March was Woman’s History Month The National Women’s History Project is honoring the “extraordinary and often unrecognized determination and tenacity of women” this year. Their 2014 theme, Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment, honors outstanding achievements. This year’s twelve honorees include: Chipeta (1843 – 1924) Indian Rights Advocate and Diplomat
Chipeta was a peacemaker who did not consider all settlers to be the enemy, often giving food to starving white families. In 1879 when her tribe was about to start a war with settlers, Chipeta successfully convinced Chief Ouray to call off all fighting, arguing the war would be devastating to the Utes.
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1858 – 1964)African American Educator and Author
Anna J. Cooper was among the leading intellectuals of her time. Born into enslavement, she wrote “A Voice from the South,” widely considered one of the first articulations of Black feminism. Throughout her long life, Cooper worked for the betterment of African American women’s lives, which she saw as the foundation for a more just society for everyone.
Agatha Tiegel Hanson (1873 – 1959) Educator, Author, and Advocate for Deaf Community
Unable to hear and blind in one eye from a childhood illness, Agatha Tiegel Hanson was among the first women admitted to Gallaudet University, which is still the only college in America dedicated to the education of deaf and hard of hearing students. Graduating first in her class, her valedictorian speech argued for the recognition of the intellect of women, a cause she advocated throughout her life.
Katharine Ryan Gibbs (1863 – 1934) Women’s Employment Pioneer
Katharine Ryan Gibbs founded Katharine Gibbs School in 1911 to provide women with high-level secretarial training and the opportunity to earn their own incomes. Gibbs was a mother and housewife for much of her life, until she was widowed at 48 and left with no means to support herself or her two sons. Teaming up with her sister, Mary Ryan, they purchased a failing Providence, Rhode Island secretarial school in 1911. Her school quickly expanded, opening branches near many ivyleague universities.
Frances Oldham Kelsey (1914 – Present) Pharmacologist and Public Health Activist Frances Oldham Kelsey as a Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) pharmacologist refused to approve thalidomide, a drug that was later proved to cause severe birth defects. The thalidomide crisis brought to light inadequacies in both drug clinical trials and the FDA’s approval process, leading Congress to pass legislation giving the FDA more power and requiring manufacturers to disclose side effects.
Roxcy O’Neal Bolton (1926 – Present) 20th Century Women’s Rights Pioneer
Roxcy O’Neal Bolton is the founder of Florida’s first battered women’s shelter and the nation’s first hospital-based Rape Treatment Center. Her extensive work also includes convincing National Airlines to offer maternity leave to (instead of firing) pregnant flight attendants, lobbying for passage of the Equal
Red Hook Star-Revue
Mother Cabrini Facts • Born Maria Francesca Cabrini on July 15, 1850 in Sant’ Angelo Lodigiano, Italy in the Lomardia region, just south of Milano. • Born two months premature when her mother was 52 years of age. • The 10th child of 11 children (though some say 13!), 7 of whom died in their teen years. • Took on the name “Xavier” during her religious vows in tribute to Frances Xavier, a Jesuit missionary of the Orient that she admired. • Became an American citizen in 1909 and was the first American citizen to be declared a saint by the Catholic Church.
Rights Amendment (ERA), and persuading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to name hurricanes after both women and men. Bolton led the effort to create the Women’s Park in Miami, which opened in 1992 as the first outdoor space in the nation-- honoring past and present women leaders.
Arden Eversmeyer (1931 – Present) The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project Founder
Arden Eversmeyer founded the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project (1999), to ensure that the stories of lesbians born in the first part of the 20th century, who were labeled “mentally ill,” fired from their jobs, rejected by their families, and even raped and murdered with impunity, are recorded in history. Project volunteers have documented over 320 diverse life stories recording the sacrifices and obstacles faced by lesbians of that era.
Carmen Delgado Votaw (1935 – Present) International Women’s Rights Activist
Carmen Delgado Votaw served on the International Women’s Year Commission, collaborated with all United Nations Conferences on Women, and significantly influenced the advancement of women in Latin America. In 1996, she wrote “Puerto Rican Women,” a bilingual women’s history book.
Ann Lewis (1937- Present) Women’s Rights Organizer and Women’s History Advocate
Ann Lewis served as a White House Communications Director, is a national commentator on public policy, and champions the recognition of women’s history. Ann Frank Lewis grew up in a Jewish family who witnessed the Holocaust and its aftermath.
Jaida Im (1961- Present)Advocate for Survivors of Human Trafficking
Jaida Im founded Freedom House, the first residential shelter for adult female survivors of human trafficking, in Northern California in 2010. Im left her 20-year career as a health care professional to found the non-profit organization. In fall 2013, Freedom House opened The Nest to serve girls ages 12-17.
Red Hook Superstar
Tammy Duckworth (1968 – Present) Member of Congress and Iraq War Veteran
Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Representative from Illinois, became the first disabled woman elected to serve in the House of Representatives. In 2004, she was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. She was one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom until her helicopter was hit by an RPG on November 12 2004. She lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion and was subsequently awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries.
Lisa Taylor (1974 – Present) Civil Rights Attorney
Lisa Taylor has worked for over twelve years to ensure that civil rights laws are enforced around the country. Working with the Department of Justice, Taylor focuses primarily on educational and disability law and shows an unwavering commitment to ending discrimination and promoting equality and justice. Taylor became a lawyer out of a strong desire to serve those who could not serve themselves.
March is Women’s History Month. Information courtesy of National Women’s History Project, www.nwhp.org.
That’s Robert Berrios, who is seen at numerous local meetings all over Red Hook. He is a huge defender of bus service, and attends MTA Board meetings lobbying for increased Red Hook. He is a devotee of Visitation Church, and lends much time and energy to them. He recently graduated from the Peacemaker program at the Justice Center. This month we are proud to honor Robert as a Red Hook Superstar.
April, 2014 Page 15
Attention local artisans, artists and just about anyone who produces something interesting in Red Hook We would love to feature your work on July 12th in back of Ikea. There will also be opportunities to sell food. This is a community event meant to show the rest of the city how great we are. To get involved in any way, call George at 718 624-5568
Page 16 Red Hook Star-Revue
11/20/2013 11:38:35 AM
offee, we rely on it, love it and drink it in massive quantities. It’s estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day worldwide. New Yorkers are said to drink 7 times the amount of any other US city, which may be why it seem like there is a coffee shop on every corner. There’s a popular Ethiopian legend that tells the tale of a goat herder, named Kaldi, who found his goats frolicking and full of energy after eating the red berries of the coffee shrub. Kaldi tried them for himself and had a similar reaction. A monk had witnessed this strange behavior and brought the berries back to his fellow monks, they too had a similar result, spending the night awake and alert. Of course, they were reacting to the caffeine found in the fruit. This natural stimulant also serves as an inborn plant pesticide, protecting the coffee berries from insects. In its most basic form, coffee is a cherry like fruit, which becomes red when ripe, the coffee bean is found at the center of the red coffee berry. Although, we love to drink coffee, there are some problems with caffeine. But - don’t fret - there’s also some perks. I received some valuable information from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition that may help you decide for yourself about the coffee controversy. Let’s start with the good news: 1. Alertness: Even in relatively low doses of 250 milligrams, which is equivalent to 8 1/2 ounces, caffeine had been shown to improve alertness and overall mental performance. 2. Mood: At 250 milligrams, some report an improved sense of well being, happiness, energized, alertness and sociability. 3. Concentration: Studies have shown that caffeine can improve a variety of cognitive tasks including recognizing visual patters, more quickly. 4. Performance: Some sources note that caffeine allows athletes to exer-
cise for longer durations without hitting exhaustion. 5. Reduced Muscle Pain: Some research has found that caffeine may potentially stimulate the release of Bendorphins (involved in pain management ) and hormones that depress the sensation of pain and discomfort. 6. Faster Effects of Medication: Caffeine constricts blood vessels and helps the body absorb medications more quickly, which is why it is added to some pain medicines. 7. Diabetes Prevention: Coffee contains minerals and antioxidants which help prevent diabetes. A recent study theorizes it may be because caffeine stimulates muscles to burn fat and sugar more efficiently. 8. Antioxidants: Antioxidants in caffeine help to stabilize free radicals and stop them from doing damage. If a free radical is formed in a cell and is not neutralized, it can damage the DNA of the cell. 9. Disease Prevention: Caffeine keeps dopamine molecules active, preventing diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Harvard researchers have found that men who drink four cups of caffeinated coffee a day are half as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease as those who refrain from consuming caffeinated beverages. 10. Asthma Relief: Drinking a moderate amount of caffeine can be therapeutic for people with asthma. Caffeine in the form of coffee may be used to prevent an asthma attack in emergency cases, but it is not intended to replace medication. It’s great to know that there are some valid reasons to drinking caffeinated coffee. Now, I have the unfortunate job of telling you the top 10 Problems with caffeine…sorry to burst your coffee bubble. 1. Cardiovascular Problems: Approximately 4 cups of coffee or a beverage with equivalent amounts of caffeine can raise blood pressure for many hours. The measured blood pressure levels are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. 2. Stress: Caffeine consumption in
the early morning affects the body until bedtime, amplifying stress levels throughout the day. Caffeine increases stress hormones and elevates one’s perception of stress. Decreasing coffee and caffeinated beverages will help lower often exaggerated stress reactions. 3. Emotional Disturbances: When more than 2 grams of caffeine enter the body, the heart becomes stimulated and blood vessels dilate. Shortly after, blood pressure increases, causing bronchial relaxation in the lungs and increased breathing. These physiological reactions tend to cause irritability, restlessness, insomnia, and agitation. 4. Blood Sugar Cravings: Type 2 diabetics should be aware that caffeine may potentially impair insulin’s action, causing a detectable rise in blood sugar levels. Approximately, 2 to 2 1/2 cups per day may cause this effect. 5. Gastrointestinal Problems: Because it’s a stimulant, caffeine can cause increased contractions of stomach muscles, possibly causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and increased bowel movements. Those who have irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, or colitis may want to be extra cautious before choosing caffeinated beverages. 6. Nutritional Deficiencies: Caffeine inhibits the absorption of some nutrients and causes the urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, iron, and trace minerals. 7. Male Health Problems: Research shows that men can significantly reduce their risk for urinary and prostate problems by making dietary changes, which include eliminating coffee and caffeine. 8. Female Health Problems: Fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, osteoporosis, infertility problems, miscarriage, low birth weight and menopausal problems such as hot flashes are all exacerbated by caffeine consumption. Women on birth control pills are particularly at risk since they tend to have a decreased ability to detoxify caffeine. 9. Aging: Caffeine tolerance may decrease with age. Production of DHEA, melatonin and other vital hormones decline with age. Caffeine helps to speed up this process. Caffeine also dehydrates
the body, contributes to aging of the skin and kidneys, inhibits DNA repair and slows the ability of the liver to detoxify foreign toxins. 10. Adrenal Exhaustion: Caffeine is a stimulant which binds to adenosine receptors in the brain. This leads to a range of complex reactions which causes an increase of stimulation at the adrenal glands. This can increase vulnerability to a variety of health disorders related to inflammation and fatigue. Well, there you have it folks. Ten reasons to love coffee and ten reasons to take a second look at how much coffee you’re drinking. I will be the first one to say that i LOVE a cup of coffee in the morning. I’ve been a one cup of Joe kind of girl for a while. But, I also have tried to make it a bit healthier: I’ve cut out my teaspoon of sugar, and on most days I try to drink only organic coffee. Why organic coffee? Unfortunately, the conventional coffee bean is suffocated with pesticides, carcinogens, chemicals and toxins. Fancy coffee shops have been serving toxic coffee to their customers - unless otherwise noted that it’s organic. Want another alternative to regular coffee, try Teeccino. It’s a delicious blend of herbs, grains, fruits and nuts that are roasted and ground to brew and taste just like coffee. They have many different flavors and I love the Hazelnut! You can find Teeccino at Fairway, behind the exposed coffee beans. Reader’s Voice: How will you try to change your coffee habit this week? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send your letters to 101 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231. Tracey is a Red Hook resident and graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She works with her clients to build and maintain healthy lifestyles. For more healthy lifestyle info visit her website HealthybyTracey.com.
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April, 2014 Page 17
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This is a photo of the east side of Columbia Street between Union and President Street, probably around 1935. Right in the middle there is the famous clock that people used to meet by. It was placed there by the Robert Corn jewelry store, right by the clock. Some people today would love to find that clock and put it back there.
Our clients have included:
The buildings were abandoned in the 1970’s and torn down to build the (then) affordable condos that was the last local project of Kings Restoration. Unfortunately, those condos were built without storefronts facing Columbia Street.
St. Ann’s Warehouse, Eastern Athletic Club, Al Vann, BWAC & Red Hook Initiative Services Offered: • Lettershop • Political Mailings • Non-Profit Fundraising Letters • Postcards • Brochures & Newsletters • First Class & Bulk
We thank Sunny and Nancy’s for use of the photos that hangs on their wall. They have the cigar store with the wooden Indian out front, next to Ferdinando’s on Union Street.
Gaelic Rights march in Red Hook
There’s always something good going on at Rocky’s of Red Hook!! Tuesday Night is Irish Language Night Beginning Irish at 7 Advanced at 8 Taught by Brian Mallon Irish Traditional Music Sundays at 4, Tuesdays at 9 MONDAYS ARE NOW
Rangers, Devils, Islanders Best Place to watch the games!
Available for Private Parties Shepherds Pie, Bangers and Mash and yummy Pizza made in our kitchen
While Ireland fights for rights to carry on their native tongue, Brooklyn held a walk to support them on March 16. The walk started at rocky Sullivan’s and snaked through Red Hook to the Erie Basin near IKEA. The march was the only one of its kind in the United States. The translation of the signs they carried is “Language Rights Now”(photos courtesy of Club Leabhar Nua Eabhrac)
Waterfront Museum, 2014
“From Shore to Shore: Boat Builders and Boat Yards” an exhibition at Waterfront Museum aboard the 100 yearold Lehigh Valley No 79 in Red Hook, Brooklyn will open in April. The show runs from April 18 – July 12, Thursdays 4-8pm & Saturdays 1-5pm Contemporary boat builders reflect over 200 ears of a maritime tradition. From Shore to Shore explores the worlds of craftsmen and the places where boats and ships are still being worked on today. Thirteen exhibition panels, accompanying audio video interviews and a timeline highlight profiles of master craftsmen, their tools and the historic boat yards where they work
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Pictures at Jalopy
A photo exhibition “The Open Session” by Matt Diaz of portraits and performance shots of NYC based folk musicians will be mounted at the Jalopy Theater opening April 10th . The same night, there will be a fiddle and pipes concert starring Troy MacGillivray, Katie McNally and Ben Miller, plus Iona session regulars Amy Beshara, Calum Pasqua, Andrew Forbes and Matt himself, wearing his musician hat. The show starts 8pm at Jalopy, 315 Columbia Street, Brooklyn 11231 and admission is $15.
Open Letter to LICH Staff by Susan Raboy
New art at Brooklyn Crab
Patients4LICH have been circulating an open letter to the staff of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) for their dedication and commitment to keep the hospital up and running with limited services and constant setbacks from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center (SUNY DMC). Without the dedicated strength and commitment to keeping LICH functioning, the hospital would have closed many months ago. The majority of the staff have continued to man their posts throughout more than a year of uncertainty. While SUNY diverted ambulances, closed down entire units, padlocked doors, sent numerous termination letters, and transferred patients, LICH’s staff has come to work every day and continue to advocate for the hospital. While all of the proposals for the hospital have been submitted, the battle to save LICH is still raging. But community groups, doctors and staff continue to act as one to fight for the health needs of the local communities that are greatly affected. The letter in its entirety is below. An open letter to the staff of Long Island College Hospital Now that the bids are all in and we await the outcome, the Patients for LICH want to thank the staff of Long Island College Hospital (LICH). This past year’s fight to save LICH has brought together a coalition of healthcare workers, nurses, doctors, community groups, patients, and elected officials. However, you are the ones who demonstrated tremendous courage, dedication and grace each and every day as you reported for work to care for your patients under the most stressful of working conditions. Many of you report to work under the threat of being laid off. You worked at the hospital despite being confronted by SUNY officials, private security guards and even armed NY State troopers both inside and outside of the building. You provided medical care to patients although SUNY tried to prevent you from doing so. You saved lives. Before and after your 12-hour shifts, you stood outside LICH throughout the year -- albeit in sweltering heat, pouring rain or freezing snow -- to protest the closing of the hospital. You attended every rally, press conference and trip to Albany. You marched over the Brooklyn Bridge, testified before the SUNY Board of Trustees and were even arrested. And, while some may think you were simply fighting for your jobs, we know differently. We know you have been fighting for the care of all patients – now and in the future. You have been speaking out to save lives and continue to care for those whose lives you save. For you, it is a vocation and we cannot thank you enough for your caring service. You have shown our communities, borough, city and state what dedication truly means. You never once neglected your duties. Your primary concern has always been your patients.
Seattle based Artist Jonathan Wakuda Fischer works on a new mural in the backyard of Reede Street’s Brooklyn Crab. The mural was finished on March 28th. photo by Pauline Iedra
During this stressful time, we want you to know that we are grateful and proud to stand by your side. So on behalf of Patients for LICH and our friends and families we thank you. What you have done is truly heroic. Sue Raboy, Patients4LICH
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