BSR_p012

BSR11242016

12 NOVEMBER 25 - DECEMBER 1, 2016 BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP This week, we return to a Thanksgiving of yesteryear, 1946 to be exact, thanks to this page from that year’s Brooklyn Spectator. How have times changed? While today, most people get their meat (if they eat it at all) at the supermarket, 70 years ago, 28 different meat markets from Bay Ridge alone could be found in this published directory, which also included a reminder to readers to “turn in used fats,” a still necessary move in the post-war years because of a “shortage of fats for industrial use.” The changed mood of the country, however, was apparent in the Thanksgiving greeting which noted, “This year – more than ever – Americans should be grateful… for bountiful harvests, for cities intact and peaceful skies…for homes where laughing children and serene old people gather once more around the family table” and “for that abiding love of liberty which is our Pilgrim heritage.” 14 BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP • MARCH 14 BROOKLYN GO BACK TO THE 1144 BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUPB R• O MOAKRLCYHN GO BACK TO THE editorial A LOOK BACK (USPS 248.800) A LOOK BACK Compiled by and editorial A LOOK BACK (USPS 248.800) 14 GOOD NEWS FOR BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP • MARCH THE GO BACK COMMUNITY TO THE 14 ASKING FOR EQUITY BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP • MARCH GO BACK TO THE Helen Some welcome news came on the cusp of National editorial A LOOK BACK compiled Gary BROOKLYN MEDIA GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD editorial DRAWING BOARD A LOOK BACK compiled Gary ▲ BROOKLYN MEDIA GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD editorial A LOOK BACK Gary Nilsen and (USPS 248.800) editorial A LOOK BACK Gary Nilsen and (USPS 248.800) SUNY’s public in Brooklyn, Buffalo, With That’s something need. Frederick E. Professions, the staff at SUNY’s public in Brooklyn, Buffalo, With staff at SUNY’s 29 state-operated SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and in Brooklyn, Buffalo, Long Island and With New York has a responsibility to provide care needs of its citizens. The Brooklyn Net Plan—our plan and the community’s viable, workable option for long-term Brooklyn. That’s something that Brooklyn residents need. Frederick E. Kowal is president of Professions, the union representing 35,000 staff at SUNY’s 29 state-operated SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and in Brooklyn, Buffalo, Long Island and With the Photo by Gardiner Anderson Frederick E. Kowal Professions, the union representing staff at SUNY’s SUNY’s public teaching the And the award goes to… Bay Ridge, which has provided the backdrop for many movies and television Photo by Gardiner shows Anderson over the years, from And the award “Blue goes Bloods”to…Photo Bay by Gardiner Ridge, which Anderson And has provided the award the goes backdrop to… Bay Ridge,and “Saturday Night Fever” to “Mad Men” and,for many which has provided the backdrop for many in 2006,movies to “Then She and And television the award Found shows goes Me,”over to… Photo the starring years, Bay by Gardiner movies Ridge, Helen from Hunt which Anderson Compiled by Gary Nilsen and Helen Klein and “Blue And and Bette has television Bloods”provided the award Midler, shows and the goes “Saturday over backdrop to…the Night years, Bay for Fever”Ridge, from many which ““Blue Mad has Bloods”Men”provided and, and the in “2006,Saturday seen backdrop to above “Night Then for in She Fever”many a September, to movies 2006, and television Home shows over the years, to movies from “Found Mad and “Blue Men”television Me,”Bloods” and,starring in shows Reporter 2006,Helen photo taken on location on and “Saturday to over Hunt “Then and the She Night Bette years,Fever” from to Found Midler,““Blue Mad Me,” seen Men”Bloods” Shore starring above and, and in Road Helen at the in a “September,2006,Saturday at Hunt 77th and to Street.“ 2006, Night Bette Then She Fever”Midler to performed Midler,Home “Found Mad Reporter seen Men”Me,”above Beneath photo and,starring in most taken in a September,2006,Helen recent on location to Hunt Oscars,“ 2006, Then on She singing “Wind Home Shore Found Midler,Reporter Road Me,” seen at 77th photo starring above Street.taken My in Helen Wings”Midler a on September,location Hunt performed during and Bette on and 2006, the Bette awards Shore at Home Midler,the most Road at the most Reporter seen recent at show’s 77th above Oscars,Street.photo In Memoriam in singing Midler taken a September,performed on “Wind segment. 2006, “Then She Beneath Home Shore My Reporter Road recent location on Found Wings”at Oscars,77th photo Me,”during Beneath Street. singing which taken the awards Midler on also “Wind location starred performed on Matthew show’s Shore at the In My most Road Memoriam Broderick,Wings”at 77th during segment. Street.was the also awards “Then Midler shot She performed inside a historic show’s Found at Beneath the Me,”In most Memoriam recent My home which recent Wings”also on segment.Oscars,88th Oscars,starred during Street. “ singing “Wind Matthew Then singing She “Wind Found Broderick,Beneath show’s Me,” In was My which Memoriam also Wings”also shot starred the awards inside during segment.Matthew a the historic awards Broderick, was “Then She home show’s Found on 88th Me,”In Memoriam Street. also which shot home also inside segment.starred a historic “Matthew Then She Found Broderick,on 88th Me,” Street. was which Broderick, was also also also shot starred inside Matthew a historic home home on on 88th shot inside a historic 88th Street. Street. That’s something that need. Frederick E. Kowal Professions, union representing staff at SUNY’s SUNY’s public teaching Then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was a guest of honor at an early Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Parade.seen here with members of the military and some of the stalwarts who nurtured the event years outside Hunter’s Steak & Ale House, where the annual pre-parade brunch is held.crowd surrounding the former mayor are Monsignor (then-Father) Jamie Gigantiello, second Larry Morrish, to Giuliani’s right; and Auxiliary Police Chief Tony Christo, to Morrish’s right,VISIT HOMEREPORTER.COM FOR THE LATEST LOCAL NEWS ▲ HOMEREPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS HOMEREPORTER THE AND BROOKLYN SUNSET NEWS (Estab. 1953) AND SUNSET NEWS HOMEREPORTER (Estab. 1953) AND SUNSET NEWS ((Estab. Estab. 1953) 1953) (Established 1933) AND SUNSET NEWS AND SUNSET NEWS (Estab. 1953) (Estab. 1953) 9733 FOURTH AVE. • BROOKLYN, NY 11209 Co-Publisher ... Victoria Schneps-Yunis Co-Publisher ... Joshua A. Schneps Editor in Chief ... Helen Klein Telephone 718-238-6600 Fax 718-238-6630 E-mail [email protected] Periodical postage paid at Brooklyn, N.Y. Published weekly by Brooklyn Media Group, Inc. Single copies, 50 cents. $35 per year by mail, $40 outside Brooklyn. On June 8, 1962, the Bay Ridge Home Reporter (founded 1953) and the Brooklyn Sunset News, a continuation of the Bay Ridge News (founded 1943) were merged into the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS. All letters sent to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and office telephone numbers, where available, as well as affiliation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld on request. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S POSITION. No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without prior permission of the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS. The publishers will not be responsible for any error in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS within five days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed unless paid prior to publication. Brooklyn Media Group, Inc. assumes no liability for the content or reply to any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser agrees to hold the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS and its employees harmless from all cost, expenses, liabilities, and damages resulting from or caused by the publication or recording placed by the advertiser or any reply to such advertisement. Photo by Gardiner Anderson And the award goes to… Bay Ridge, which has provided the backdrop for many movies and television shows over the years, from “Blue Bloods” and “Saturday Night Fever” to “Mad Men” and, in 2006, to “Then She Found Me,” Photo starring by Gardiner Helen Hunt Anderson and Bette Midler, seen above in a September, 2006, Home Reporter photo taken on location on Shore Road at 77th Street. Midler performed at the most recent Oscars, singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” during the awards show’s In Memoriam segment. “Then She Found Me,”which also starred Matthew Broderick, was also shot inside a historic home on 88th Street. Join the ght against skyrocketing tolls Tips for making smart BY DR. MARY BASSETT Each day, thousands of people depend on SUNY Downstate Medical Center for emergency medical care and vital health care services. dietary choices But this state-operated public hospital has been in danger of being closed or privatized for more than two years. Hundreds of jobs have been lost, and numerous health care services have been cut or curtailed due to the hospital’s ill-prepared “Sustainability Plan.” BY STATE BY CATHERINE SENATOR MARTY ABATE GOLDEN Now, there is language in the 2014-15 proposed state budget that would open the door to as many as five corporations to operate SUNY’s public hospitals. United University Professions, the union that represents nearly 3,000 employees at SUNY Downstate, has been fighting to keep SUNY Downstate a fully operational staterun facility. However, UUP isn’t fighting the battle alone. The SUNY Downstate Coalition of Faith, Labor and Community Leaders has become an important ally. The coalition has staged a number of rallies and protests over the past 18 months to save health care services and jobs at SUNY Downstate and keep it a public facility. The latest such effort is a 48-hour interfaith fast. It will begin Sunday, March 9, at 3 p.m., in front of Downstate’s 470 Clarkson Avenue entrance. Interfaith leaders and members of the community will participate to show their strong support for this beacon in Brooklyn SUNY Board of Trustees has openly discussed the possibility of closing SUNY Downstate. There is also language in the Executive to control SUNY’s affiliate with hospital. teaching hospital. Privatizing the state to save We believe the lies in a UUP-backed care throughout This plan several financially including Interfaith Island College Center. You http://www.brooklynhospitalplan.It calls for care centers, with 14 be the network’s and medical with doctors It’s a simple, will work. New York has the city deciding to move forward on most of the school co-locations approved late last year, as Mayor Bloomberg prepared to vacate City Hall, parents in southwest Brooklyn are not only disappointed but angry. While the Department of Education under Mayor de Blasio wisely opted to back out of a planned co-location of a new high school inside Gravesend’s John Dewey High School, the DOE decided to move ahead with two others: the co-location of a charter school inside Seth Low Intermediate School in Bensonhurst and another inside Joseph B. Cavallaro Intermediate School in Bath Beach. These – like others in the borough and the city – are both fiercely opposed by parents, educators, students and the local Community Education Councils, all of whom contend that the co-locations would steal necessary space from students already attending the schools, and those who will be going to them in the near future. While the city has said it only considers under-utilized schools for co-locations, area education advocates say that both Cavallaro and Seth Low are well utilized, and likely to become more crowded as students now in elementary school in both District 20 and District 21 move up to middle school. Indeed, District 20 is one of the most crowded school districts in the city, so much so that the city built a host of new schools for it in the past decade, with more being planned, meaning that public school students in both District 20 and District 21 are likely to feel the squeeze should they have to share space students from a charter school. That strikes us as patently unfair. While some of the charter schools poised to open in September, 2014 may be worthy additions to the city’s educational offerings, their needs should not trump the needs of existing schools with existing students. And, indeed, when a charter school is put inside a public school, the process must involve the school communities at both educational institutions, and parents must also be involved. The city must go back to the drawing board and come up with alternative arrangements for the charter schools planned for Seth Low and Cavallaro as well as other schools where they are opposed.. The students who attend those schools deserve no less. guest op-ed Keep SUNY Downstate BY FREDERICK E. KOWAL ▲ (USPS 248.800) 9733 FOURTH AVE. • BROOKLYN, NY 11209 Co-Publisher ... Victoria Schneps-Yunis Co-Publisher ... Joshua A. Schneps Editor in Chief ... Helen Klein Telephone 718-238-6600 Fax 718-238-6630 Entire contents copyright 2014 by Home Reporter and Sunset News sent to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and office telephone numbers, where available, well as affiliation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld request. TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without prior permission of the HOME AND SUNSET NEWS. The publishers will not be responsible for any error in advertising the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to the HOME AND SUNSET NEWS within five days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed paid prior to publication. Brooklyn Media Group, Inc. assumes no liability for the content or any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser to hold the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS and its employees harmless from all Each day, thousands of people depend on SUNY Downstate Medical Center for emergency medical care and vital health care services. But this state-operated public hospital has been in danger of being closed or privatized for more than two years. Hundreds of jobs have been lost, and numerous health care services have been cut or curtailed due to the hospital’s ill-prepared “Sustainability Plan.” Now, there is language in the 2014-15 proposed state budget that would open the door to as many as five corporations to operate SUNY’s public hospitals. United University Professions, the union that represents nearly 3,000 employees at SUNY Downstate, has been fighting to keep SUNY Downstate a fully operational staterun facility. However, UUP isn’t fighting the battle alone. The SUNY Downstate Coalition of Faith, Labor and Community Leaders has become an important ally. The coalition has staged a number of rallies and protests over the past 18 months to save health care services and jobs at SUNY Downstate and keep it a public facility. The latest such effort is a 48-hour interfaith fast. It will begin Sunday, March 9, at 3 p.m., in front of can deliver a strong message that SUNY Downstate must remain a full-service, state-operated public hospital. The threats facing SUNY Downstate are real. The SUNY Board of Trustees has openly discussed the possibility in the Executive Budget, to control SUNY’s public affiliate with an academic hospital. SUNY teaching hospital. Privatizing or closing the state to save dollars We believe the answer lies in the “Brooklyn a UUP-backed initiative care throughout Brooklyn. This plan would preserve several financially including Interfaith Island College Hospital Center. You can http://www.brooklynhospitalplan.It calls for the creation care centers, and with 14 other Brooklyn be the network’s hub, and medical staff with doctors at the other city deciding to move forward on most of the co-locations approved late last year, as Mayor Bloomberg prepared to vacate City Hall, parents in southwest Brooklyn are not only disappointed but angry. While the Department of Education under Mayor de wisely opted to back out of a planned co-location of high school inside Gravesend’s John Dewey High the DOE decided to move ahead with two others: location of a charter school inside Seth Low Intermediate School in Bensonhurst and another inside B. Cavallaro Intermediate School in Bath Beach. These – like others in the borough and the city – are fiercely opposed by parents, educators, students the local Community Education Councils, all of contend that the co-locations would steal necessary space from students already attending the schools, those who will be going to them in the near future. While the city has said it only considers under-utilized schools for co-locations, area education advocates say both Cavallaro and Seth Low are well utilized, and to become more crowded as students now in elementary school in both District 20 and District 21 move middle school. Indeed, District 20 is one of the most crowded school districts in the city, so much so that the city built a host schools for it in the past decade, with more being planned, meaning that public school students in both District 20 and District 21 are likely to feel the squeeze they have to share space with students from a charter school. strikes us as patently unfair. While some of the charter schools poised to open in September, 2014 may be additions to the city’s educational offerings, their should not trump the needs of existing schools existing students. And, indeed, when a charter is put inside a public school, the process must involve the school communities at both educational institutions, and parents must also be involved. city must go back to the drawing board and come with alternative arrangements for the charter schools planned for Seth Low and Cavallaro as well as other schools where they are opposed.. The students who those schools deserve no less. guest op-ed Keep SUNY Downstate open BY FREDERICK E. KOWAL DRAWING BOARD ▲ ▲ 9733 FOURTH AVE. • BROOKLYN, NY 11209 Co-Publisher ... Victoria Schneps-Yunis Co-Publisher ... Joshua A. Schneps Editor in Chief ... Helen Klein Telephone 718-238-6600 Fax 718-238-6630 E-mail [email protected] Periodical postage paid at Brooklyn, N.Y. Published weekly by Brooklyn Media Group, Inc. Single copies, 50 cents. $35 per year by mail, $40 outside Brooklyn. On June 8, 1962, the Bay All letters sent to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and office telephone numbers, where available, as well as affiliation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld on request. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S POSITION. No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without prior permission of the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS. The publishers will not be responsible for any error in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS within five days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed unless paid prior to publication. Brooklyn Media Group, Inc. assumes no liability for the content or reply to any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser agrees to hold the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS and its employees harmless from all cost, expenses, liabilities, and damages resulting from or caused by the publication or recording placed by the advertiser or any reply to such advertisement. Each day, thousands of people depend on SUNY Downstate Medical Center for emergency medical care and vital health care services. But this state-operated public hospital has been in danger of being closed or privatized for more than two years. Hundreds of jobs have been lost, and numerous health care services have been cut or curtailed due to the hospital’s ill-prepared “Sustainability Plan.” Now, there is language in the 2014-15 proposed state budget that would open the door to as many as five corporations to operate SUNY’s public hospitals. United University Professions, the union that represents nearly 3,000 employees at SUNY Downstate, has been fighting to keep SUNY Downstate a fully operational staterun facility. However, UUP isn’t fighting the battle alone. The SUNY Downstate Coalition of Faith, Labor and Community Leaders has become an important ally. The coalition has staged a number of rallies and protests over the past 18 months to save health care services and jobs at SUNY Downstate and keep it a public facility. The latest such effort is a 48-hour interfaith fast. It will begin Sunday, March 9, at 3 p.m., in front of Downstate’s 470 Clarkson Avenue entrance. Interfaith leaders and members of the community will participate The threats facing SUNY Downstate are real. The SUNY Board of Trustees has openly discussed the possibility of closing SUNY Downstate. There is also language in the Executive Budget, which would to control SUNY’s public hospitals; one affiliate with an academic medical hospital. SUNY Downstate has teaching hospital. Privatizing or closing SUNY Downstate the state to save dollars is shortsighted We believe the answer to Brooklyn’s lies in the “Brooklyn Hospitals a UUP-backed initiative to stabilize care throughout Brooklyn. This plan would preserve SUNY several financially unstable hospitals including Interfaith Medical Center, Island College Hospital and Kingsbrook Center. You can see the proposal http://www.brooklynhospitalplan.org. It calls for creation of a network care centers, and would be controlled with 14 other Brooklyn hospitals. be the network’s hub, educating and and medical staff to the care with doctors at the other hospitals. It’s a simple, effective plan and, will work. the city deciding to move forward on most of the school co-locations approved late last year, as Mayor Bloomberg prepared to vacate City Hall, parents in southwest Brooklyn are not only disappointed but angry. While the Department of Education under Mayor de Blasio wisely opted to back out of a planned co-location of a new high school inside Gravesend’s John Dewey High School, the DOE decided to move ahead with two others: the co-location of a charter school inside Seth Low Intermediate School in Bensonhurst and another inside Joseph B. Cavallaro Intermediate School in Bath Beach. These – like others in the borough and the city –are both fiercely opposed by parents, educators, students and the local Community Education Councils, all of whom contend that the co-locations would steal necessary space from students already attending the schools, and those who will be going to them in the near future. While the city has said it only considers under-utilized schools for co-locations, area education advocates say that both Cavallaro and Seth Low are well utilized, and likely to become more crowded as students now in elementary school in both District 20 and District 21 move up to middle school. Indeed, District 20 is one of the most crowded school districts in the city, so much so that the city built a host of new schools for it in the past decade, with more being planned, meaning that public school students in both District 20 and District 21 are likely to feel the squeeze should they have to share space with students from a charter school. That strikes us as patently unfair. While some of the charter schools poised to open in September, 2014 may be worthy additions to the city’s educational offerings, their needs should not trump the needs of existing schools with existing students. And, indeed, when a charter school is put inside a public school, the process must involve the school communities at both educational institutions, and parents must also be involved. The city must go back to the drawing board and come up with alternative arrangements for the charter schools planned for Seth Low and Cavallaro as well as other schools where they are opposed.. The students who attend those schools deserve no less. guest op-ed Keep SUNY Downstate open and BY FREDERICK E. KOWAL Congratulations to law enforcement – the NYPD and Brooklyn’s new District Attorney Ken Thompson – for taking decisive action to combat the scourge of heroin and opioid abuse that has been haunting southwest Brooklyn Thanks to good information from community residents – who have kept up the push to get drug dealers off their streets – cops have arrested six people as a result of a protracted investigation, and charged them with involvement in an illicit drug-peddling scheme in which customers called in orders and dealers delivered them to street corners and bars in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Sunset Park. Given the rising number of people who have fallen victim to overdoses of the illicit substances – including heroin, opiates, marijuana, ecstasy and Ketamine, a horse tranquilizer known in street parlance as “Special K” – it is truly critical that law enforcement stay on top of the situation, and make sure that drug dealers know that their activities will not be tolerated. Sources say this is just the beginning, and that more arrests are to come.While we understand that such investigations are lengthy and delicate, and can’t be rushed, we say, those arrests can’t come soon enough. SENIORS DESERVE SUPPORT Each year, it seems, the budget dance in Albany leaves seniors wondering, what’s in it for them? This year is no different, and local elected offi cials have taken a stand to push the governor to include an extra $26 million in the state budget that would go to help seniors, specifi cally those who are on a waiting list for Meals on Wheels (some 7,000 statewide, as of now) as well as those who use Access-a-Ride and other services. In addition, elected offi cials and senior advocates are pushing for a raise in the income that seniors can have and still qualify for SCRIE, a program that controls increases in rent. The last time the income ceiling was increased (to $29,000) was in 2009, meaning that an increase is now overdue. We join advocates in urging seniors and their families to call their state elected offi cials and let them know – the time has come to make it easier for seniors to age with dignity. A LOOK BACK Compiled by and Photo Helen The Tolls are Too Damn High! That’s the unfortunate reality of trying to commute by car inside the city of New York. The cost to travel round trip across any of our tolled crossing is $15 cash. The discounted EZ-Pass rate is just under $11. For trips into Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, we have several toll-free options which allow for easy commuting between boroughs without facing this daily expense. However, there is no way to enter Staten Island without being hit by this outrageous toll. For those that work, go to school, or visit family in Staten Island, they are paying $10.66 each time they cross the bridge, with EZ-Pass. That is unsustainable, and unrealistic. For two years now, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis and I have been fi ghting for a reduced fare for those who cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge three or more times a month. This discount would mirror that put in place by the Port Authority, allowing for a 58 percent discount from the cash price for crossing the bridge for those who have residency in New York City and travel over the bridge more than three times This would bring the price That would be real savings for from the tolls. Last week, we had a major victory New York State Senate included in its one house budget. This the way to becoming a reality.pressure on. We need to convince the Assembly that this discount plan needs to Please join with us and sign everyone know how important Visit www.TheTollsareTooDamnHigh.onto our petition to make this discount Together we achieve reasonable the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. State Senator Marty Golden Senate District in Brooklyn, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst,Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach,portions of Sheepshead Bay, Park. DRAWING BOARD ▲ ▲ 9733 FOURTH AVE. • BROOKLYN, NY 11209 Co-Publisher ... Victoria Schneps-Yunis Co-Publisher ... Joshua A. Schneps Postmaster: Send Address Changes To: Home Reporter and Sunset News 9733 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11209 Entire contents copyright 2014 by Home Reporter and Sunset News All letters sent to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and office telephone numbers, where available, as well as affiliation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld on request. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S POSITION. No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without prior permission of the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS. The publishers will not be responsible for any error in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS within five days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed unless paid prior to publication. Brooklyn Media Group, Inc. assumes no liability for the content or reply to any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser agrees to hold the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS and its employees harmless from all cost, expenses, liabilities, and damages resulting from or caused by the publication or recording placed by the advertiser or any reply to such advertisement. Each day, thousands of people depend on SUNY Downstate Medical Center for emergency medical care and vital health care services. But this state-operated public hospital has been in danger of being closed or privatized for more than two years. Hundreds of jobs have been lost, and numerous health care services have been cut or curtailed due to the hospital’s ill-prepared “Sustainability Plan.” Now, there is language in the 2014-15 proposed state budget that would open the door to as many as five corporations to operate SUNY’s public hospitals. United University Professions, the union that represents nearly 3,000 employees at SUNY Downstate, has been fighting to keep SUNY Downstate a fully operational staterun facility. However, UUP isn’t fighting the battle alone. The SUNY Downstate Coalition of Faith, Labor and and call attention to the threats it faces. You can take part in the fast or find out more about it by calling 718-270-1519, or sending an email to [email protected] We strongly urge you to join our campaign. Take part in the fast, or come out and show your support. Together, we can deliver a strong message that SUNY Downstate must remain a full-service, state-operated public hospital. The threats facing SUNY Downstate are real. The SUNY Board of Trustees has openly discussed the possibility of closing SUNY Downstate. There is also language in the Executive to control SUNY’s affiliate with hospital. teaching hospital. Privatizing the state to save We believe the lies in a UUP-backed care throughout This plan would several financially including Interfaith Island College Center. You http://www.brooklynhospitalplan.care needs of Net Plan—our viable, workable Brooklyn. the city deciding to move forward on most of the school co-locations approved late last year, as Mayor Bloomberg prepared to vacate City Hall, parents in southwest Brooklyn are not only disappointed but angry. While the Department of Education under Mayor de Blasio wisely opted to back out of a planned co-location of a new high school inside Gravesend’s John Dewey High School, the DOE decided to move ahead with two others: the co-location of a charter school inside Seth Low Intermediate School in Bensonhurst and another inside Joseph B. Cavallaro Intermediate School in Bath Beach. These – like others in the borough and the city – are both fiercely opposed by parents, educators, students and the local Community Education Councils, all of whom contend that the co-locations would steal necessary space from students already attending the schools, and those who will be going to them in the near future. While the city has said it only considers under-utilized schools for co-locations, area education advocates say that both Cavallaro and Seth Low are well utilized, and likely to become more crowded as students now in elementary school in both District 20 and District 21 move up to middle school. Indeed, District 20 is one of the most crowded school districts in the city, so much so that the city built a host of new schools for it in the past decade, with more being planned, meaning that public school students in both District 20 and District 21 are likely to feel the squeeze should they have to share space with students from a charter school. That strikes us as patently unfair. While some of the charter schools poised to open in September, 2014 may be worthy additions to the city’s educational offerings, their needs should not trump the needs of existing schools with existing students. And, indeed, when a charter school is put inside a public school, the process must involve the school communities at both educational institutions, and parents must also be involved. The city must go back to the drawing board and come up with alternative arrangements for the charter schools planned for Seth Low and Cavallaro as well as other schools where they are opposed.. The students who attend those schools deserve no less. guest op-ed Keep SUNY Downstate BY FREDERICK E. KOWAL ▲ (USPS 248.800) E-mail [email protected] postage paid at Brooklyn, N.Y. Published weekly by Brooklyn Media Group, Inc. copies, 50 cents. $35 per year by mail, $40 outside Brooklyn. On June 8, 1962, the Bay Home Reporter (founded 1953) and the Brooklyn Sunset News, a continuation of the Bay News (founded 1943) were merged into the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS. Postmaster: Send Address Changes To: Home Reporter and Sunset News 9733 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11209 Entire contents copyright 2014 by Home Reporter and Sunset News sent to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and office telephone numbers, where available, well as affiliation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld request. TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without prior permission of the HOME AND SUNSET NEWS. The publishers will not be responsible for any error in advertising the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to the HOME AND SUNSET NEWS within five days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed prior to publication. Brooklyn Media Group, Inc. assumes no liability for the content or any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser to hold the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS and its employees harmless from all expenses, liabilities, and damages resulting from or caused by the publication or recording Each day, thousands of people depend on SUNY Downstate Medical Center for emergency medical care and vital health care services. But this state-operated public hospital has been in danger of being closed or privatized for more than two years. Hundreds of jobs have been lost, and numerous health care services have been cut or curtailed due to the hospital’s ill-prepared “Sustainability Plan.” Now, there is language in the 2014-15 proposed state budget that would open the door to as many as five corporations to operate SUNY’s public hospitals. United University Professions, the union that represents nearly 3,000 employees at SUNY Downstate, has been Downstate’s 470 Clarkson Avenue entrance. Interfaith leaders and members of the community will participate to show their strong support for this beacon in Brooklyn and call attention to the threats it faces. You can take part in the fast or find out more about it by calling 718-270-1519, or sending an email to [email protected] We strongly urge you to join our campaign. Take part in the fast, or come out and show your support. Together, we can deliver a strong message that SUNY Downstate must remain a full-service, state-operated public hospital. The threats facing SUNY Downstate are real. The SUNY Board of Trustees has openly discussed the possibility in the Executive Budget, to control SUNY’s public affiliate with an academic hospital. SUNY teaching hospital. Privatizing or closing the state to save dollars We believe the answer lies in the “Brooklyn a UUP-backed initiative care throughout Brooklyn. This plan would preserve several financially including Interfaith It’s a simple, effective will work. New York has a responsibility care needs of its citizens. Net Plan—our plan viable, workable option Brooklyn. city deciding to move forward on most of the co-locations approved late last year, as Mayor Bloomberg prepared to vacate City Hall, parents in southwest Brooklyn are not only disappointed but angry. While the Department of Education under Mayor de wisely opted to back out of a planned co-location of high school inside Gravesend’s John Dewey High the DOE decided to move ahead with two others: location of a charter school inside Seth Low Intermediate School in Bensonhurst and another inside B. Cavallaro Intermediate School in Bath Beach. These – like others in the borough and the city – are fiercely opposed by parents, educators, students the local Community Education Councils, all of contend that the co-locations would steal necessary space from students already attending the schools, those who will be going to them in the near future. While the city has said it only considers under-utilized for co-locations, area education advocates say both Cavallaro and Seth Low are well utilized, and to become more crowded as students now in elementary school in both District 20 and District 21 move middle school. Indeed, District 20 is one of the most crowded school districts in the city, so much so that the city built a host schools for it in the past decade, with more being planned, meaning that public school students in both District 20 and District 21 are likely to feel the squeeze they have to share space with students from a charter school. strikes us as patently unfair. While some of the charter schools poised to open in September, 2014 may be additions to the city’s educational offerings, their should not trump the needs of existing schools existing students. And, indeed, when a charter is put inside a public school, the process must the school communities at both educational institutions, and parents must also be involved. city must go back to the drawing board and come with alternative arrangements for the charter schools planned for Seth Low and Cavallaro as well as other where they are opposed.. The students who those schools deserve no less. guest op-ed Keep SUNY Downstate open BY FREDERICK E. KOWAL DRAWING BOARD ▲ ▲ 9733 FOURTH AVE. • BROOKLYN, NY 11209 Co-Publisher ... Victoria Schneps-Yunis Ridge Home Reporter (founded 1953) and the Brooklyn Sunset News, a continuation of the Bay Ridge News (founded 1943) were merged into the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS. Postmaster: Send Address Changes To: Home Reporter and Sunset News 9733 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11209 Entire contents copyright 2014 by Home Reporter and Sunset News All letters sent to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and office telephone numbers, where available, as well as affiliation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld on request. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S POSITION. No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without prior permission of the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS. The publishers will not be responsible for any error in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS within five days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed unless paid prior to publication. Brooklyn Media Group, Inc. assumes no liability for the content or reply to any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser agrees to hold the HOME REPORTER AND SUNSET NEWS and its employees harmless from all cost, expenses, liabilities, and damages resulting from or caused by the publication or recording placed by the advertiser or any reply to such advertisement. Each day, thousands of people depend on SUNY Downstate Medical Center for emergency medical care and vital health care services. But this state-operated public hospital has been in danger of being closed or privatized for more than two years. Hundreds of jobs have been lost, and numerous health care services have been cut or curtailed due to the hospital’s ill-prepared “Sustainability Plan.” Now, there is language in the 2014-15 proposed state budget that would open the door to as many as five corporations to operate SUNY’s public hospitals. United University Professions, the union that represents nearly 3,000 employees at SUNY Downstate, has been fighting to keep SUNY Downstate a fully operational staterun facility. However, UUP isn’t fighting the battle alone. to show their strong support for this beacon in Brooklyn and call attention to the threats it faces. You can take part in the fast or find out more about it by calling 718-270-1519, or sending an email to [email protected] We strongly urge you to join our campaign. Take part in the fast, or come out and show your support. Together, we can deliver a strong message that SUNY Downstate must remain a full-service, state-operated public hospital. The threats facing SUNY Downstate are real. The SUNY Board of Trustees has openly discussed the possibility of closing SUNY Downstate. There is also language in the Executive Budget, which would to control SUNY’s public hospitals; one affiliate with an academic medical hospital. SUNY Downstate has teaching hospital. Privatizing or closing SUNY Downstate the state to save dollars is shortsighted We believe the answer to Brooklyn’s lies in the “Brooklyn Hospitals a UUP-backed initiative to stabilize care throughout Brooklyn. This plan would preserve SUNY several financially unstable hospitals including Interfaith Medical Center, Island College Hospital and Kingsbrook Center. You can see the proposal the the city deciding to move forward on most of the school co-locations approved late last year, as Mayor Bloomberg prepared to vacate City Hall, parents in southwest Brooklyn are not only disappointed but angry. While the Department of Education under Mayor de Blasio wisely opted to back out of a planned co-location of a new high school inside Gravesend’s John Dewey High School, the DOE decided to move ahead with two others: the co-location of a charter school inside Seth Low Intermediate School in Bensonhurst and another inside Joseph B. Cavallaro Intermediate School in Bath Beach. These – like others in the borough and the city – are both fiercely opposed by parents, educators, students and the local Community Education Councils, all of whom contend that the co-locations would steal necessary space from students already attending the schools, and those who will be going to them in the near future. While the city has said it only considers under-utilized schools for co-locations, area education advocates say that both Cavallaro and Seth Low are well utilized, and likely to become more crowded as students now in elementary school in both District 20 and District 21 move up to middle school. Indeed, District 20 is one of the most crowded school districts in the city, so much so that the city built a host of new schools for it in the past decade, with more being planned, meaning that public school students in both District 20 and District 21 are likely to feel the squeeze should they have to share space with students from a charter school. That strikes us as patently unfair. While some of the charter schools poised to open in September, 2014 may be worthy additions to the city’s educational offerings, their needs should not trump the needs of existing schools with existing students. And, indeed, when a charter school is put inside a public school, the process must involve the school communities at both educational institutions, and parents must also be involved. The city must go back to the drawing board and come up with alternative arrangements for charter schools planned for Seth Low and Cavallaro as well as other schools where they are opposed.. The students who attend those schools deserve no less. guest op-ed Keep SUNY Downstate open and BY FREDERICK E. KOWAL With the kickoff of a petition campaign to get the MTA to offer toll discounts to Brooklyn drivers and other city residents who use the Verrazano Narrows Bridge at least three times a month, the time has come for the residents of the other four boroughs to make their voices heard. The timing of the petition is no accident. It was created in response to the announcement earlier this year that Staten Island residents – who already pay substantially less than other city residents to use the bridge – will get an added discount, thanks to a recent agreement brokered by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Right now, Brooklyn residents who use the bridge pay $15 roundtrip ($10.66 with E-ZPass), while residents of Staten Island now pay $6, and will pay just $5.50 when the added discount takes effect. The disparity is glaring, and it just isn’t right. We understand that Staten Islanders have no other vehicular access to the rest of the city besides the Verrazano, but many residents of Brooklyn – and southwest Brooklyn in particular – go to Staten Island and New Jersey regularly, and those double-digit tolls add up quickly. The Port Authority gets it; for the past two years, it has offered a 58 percent discount to drivers who utilize crossings between Staten Island and New Jersey at least three times a month. It’s time for the MTA to follow suit, and for New York State to do whatever it takes to make that happen. The cost of offering a discount to drivers who use the Verrazano three or more times a month is $30 million, not insubstantial but in reality a small percentage of the state’s $142 billion budget. The petition can be found on line at Thetollsaretoodamnhigh.com. THE CONEY BOOM CONTINUES With the groundbreaking for the new Thunderbolt roller coaster, Coney Island has taken another step into its own energized future. The 21st century thrill ride, which should be completed by May, salutes the area’s storied past as it builds on the excitement and growth that have characterized the amusement area over the past several years. The continued progress is great news for Coney, for Brooklyn and for the city as a whole, particularly coming in the wake of the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy, which in areas like Coney Island is still a factor. We hope it is a harbinger of more good things to come. Photo The St. Patrick’s Parade is a Bay Ridge tradition stretching back over two decades. Replete bands and folk dancers, the parade – seen here in a vintage photo from this newspaper’s attracts both those of Irish heritage and those who just enjoy the event. Up until the parade marched along Fifth Avenue as seen in this photo; last year, however, it was Avenue, which will host the event again this year, on Sunday, March 23. Heading up the will be NYPD Chief Joe Fox, now chief of transit, but well-known to many in the neighborhood commanding of cer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South. Nutrition Month. The Obama administration announced signifi cant reforms of nutrition labeling to educate consumers better so they know what they’re putting in their bodies each day. That announcement dovetailed with a federal report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing a stunning reduction in the obesity rate of young children. Both display encouraging news, because addressing health and fi tness issues early on produces a lifetime of benefi ts. As a nonprofi t that provides access to primary care for our city’s underserved communities, Community Healthcare Network is on the frontlines of this unrelenting war on obesity. We’re taking our efforts to the streets this month to inform people as they shop – and eat. An alarming proportion of unhealthy foods stock the shelves of corner delis across our city. While these small businesses are the lifeblood of vibrant neighborhoods, the choices many folks make are packing on the pounds. This month, we encourage New Yorkers to put down those salted Wise potato chips and instead make some wise decisions about their health. Here’s our top 10 list of the calorie culprits at the corner stores: •Don’t saddle up to the breakfast bar. Breakfast bars (granola, protein and energy bars) can have more sugars than breakfast pastries and candy bars. •Quenching your thirst. Gatorade and enhanced vitamin drinks usually don’t have vitamins and contain unnecessary salts and sugars. •The low-down on “low fat.” It normally means high salt and higher sugar. •When the chips are down. chips are fried in vegetable oil; cholesterol •Don’t butta la pasta. Tri-color anything other than it’s dyed pasta. •Separate wheat from the chaff.bread contains “whole grains.” •Fruitful? More like full smoothies and fruit juice are loaded fattening yogurt. •When Greek and regular Avoid with added fruit/fruit syrup.kinds usually pack in more sugar •Down the wrong trail. Avoid chocolates (which add in tons sugar) and watch portions. •Low price, but hidden costs.easy to grab on-the-go, but boxed chicken nuggets and processed sodium, sugar and unhealthy preservatives. Consumed over the years, the the recipe for an unhealthy future. Not if you start with some here are 10 healthier picks: sweet plain Greek yogurt or regular (without the add-ins!), whole grain butter, light air-popped popcorn cheese, fruit and eggs. We want to ensure that all New tools to develop better habits Starting with small changes, what plates can make a huge difference.Catherine Abate is the president/Healthcare Network. ▲ ▲ compiled Gary Nilsen and Each day, thousands of people depend on SUNY Downstate Medical Center for emergency medical care and vital health care services. But this state-operated public hospital has been in danger of being closed or privatized for more than two years. Hundreds of jobs have been lost, and numerous health care services have been cut or curtailed due to the hospital’s ill-prepared “Sustainability Plan.” Now, there is language in the 2014-15 proposed state budget that would open the door to as many as five corporations to operate SUNY’s public hospitals. United University Professions, the union that represents nearly 3,000 employees at SUNY Downstate, has been fighting to keep SUNY Downstate a fully operational staterun facility. However, UUP isn’t fighting the battle alone. The SUNY Downstate Coalition of Faith, Labor and Community Leaders has become an important ally. The coalition has staged a number of rallies and protests over the past 18 months to save health care services and jobs at SUNY Downstate and keep it a public facility. The latest such effort is a 48-hour interfaith fast. It will begin Sunday, March 9, at 3 p.m., in front of Downstate’s 470 Clarkson Avenue entrance. Interfaith leaders and members of the community will participate to show their strong support for this beacon in Brooklyn and call attention to the threats it faces. You can take part in the fast or find out more about it by calling 718-270-1519, or sending an email to [email protected] We strongly urge you to join our campaign. Take part in the fast, or come out and show your support. Together, we can deliver a strong message that SUNY Downstate must remain a full-service, state-operated public hospital. The threats facing SUNY Downstate are real. The SUNY Board of Trustees has openly discussed the possibility of closing SUNY Downstate. There is also language in the Executive Budget, which would to control SUNY’s public hospitals; one affiliate with an academic medical institution hospital. SUNY Downstate has teaching hospital. Privatizing or closing SUNY Downstate the state to save dollars is shortsighted We believe the answer to Brooklyn’s lies in the “Brooklyn Hospitals a UUP-backed initiative to stabilize care throughout Brooklyn. This plan would preserve SUNY Downstate several financially unstable hospitals including Interfaith Medical Center, Island College Hospital and Kingsbrook Center. You can see the proposal http://www.brooklynhospitalplan.org. It calls for the creation of a network care centers, and would be controlled with 14 other Brooklyn hospitals. be the network’s hub, educating and and medical staff to the care centers with doctors at the other hospitals. It’s a simple, effective plan and, if will work. New York has a responsibility to provide care needs of its citizens. The Brooklyn Net Plan—our plan and the community’s viable, workable option for long-term Brooklyn. That’s something that Brooklyn residents need. Frederick E. Kowal is president of Professions, the union representing 35,000 staff at SUNY’s 29 state-operated SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health in Brooklyn, Buffalo, Long Island and Syracuse. With the city deciding to move forward on most of the school co-locations approved late last year, as Mayor Bloomberg prepared to vacate City Hall, parents in southwest Brooklyn are not only disappointed but angry. While the Department of Education under Mayor de Blasio wisely opted to back out of a planned co-location of a new high school inside Gravesend’s John Dewey High School, the DOE decided to move ahead with two others: the co-location of a charter school inside Seth Low Intermediate School in Bensonhurst and another inside Joseph B. Cavallaro Intermediate School in Bath Beach. These – like others in the borough and the city – are both fiercely opposed by parents, educators, students and the local Community Education Councils, all of whom contend that the co-locations would steal necessary space from students already attending the schools, and those who will be going to them in the near future. While the city has said it only considers under-utilized schools for co-locations, area education advocates say that both Cavallaro and Seth Low are well utilized, and likely to become more crowded as students now in elementary school in both District 20 and District 21 move up to middle school. Indeed, District 20 is one of the most crowded school districts in the city, so much so that the city built a host of new schools for it in the past decade, with more being planned, meaning that public school students in both District 20 and District 21 are likely to feel the squeeze should they have to share space with students from a charter school. That strikes us as patently unfair. While some of the charter schools poised to open in September, 2014 may be worthy additions to the city’s educational offerings, their needs should not trump the needs of existing schools with existing students. And, indeed, when a charter school is put inside a public school, the process must involve the school communities at both educational institutions, and parents must also be involved. The city must go back to the drawing board and come up with alternative arrangements for the charter schools planned for Seth Low and Cavallaro as well as other schools where they are opposed.. The students who attend those schools deserve no less. op-ed SUNY Downstate open and BY FREDERICK E. KOWAL 9733 Fourth Avenue, Bklyn, NY 11209 TEL 1-718-238-6600 Fax 1-718-238-6630 E-Mail: [email protected] Co-Publisher ... Victoria Schneps-Yunis Co-Publisher ... Joshua A. Schneps Editor in Chief ... Helen Klein THE BROOKLYN SPECTATOR is published weekly by Brooklyn Media Group, Inc., continuing THE BROOKLYN TIMES (established 1974) including Bay Record and Advertiser, The Shore Record and The Flatbush Reporter. Periodical postage paid at Brooklyn, N.Y. Subscription rate $35.00 per year, $40.00 per year out of town. POSTMASTER: Send Address Changes To BROOKLYN SPECTATOR 9733 4th Ave., Bklyn, NY 11209 Entire contents copyright 2014 by Brooklyn Spectator. All letters sent to the BROOKLYN SPECTATOR should be brief and are subject to condensing. Writers should include a full address and home and office telephone numbers, where available, as well as affiliation, indicating special interest. Anonymous letters are not printed. Name withheld on request. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, AS WELL AS OP-ED PIECES IN NO WAY REFLECT THE PAPER’S POSITION. No such ad or any part thereof may be reproduced without prior permission of the BROOKLYN SPECTATOR. The publishers will not be responsible for any error in advertising beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. Errors must be reported to the BROOKLYN SPECTATOR within five days of publication. Ad position cannot be guaranteed unless paid prior to publication. Brooklyn Media Group, Inc.assumes no liability for the content or reply to any ads. The advertiser assumes all liability for the content of and all replies. The advertiser agrees to hold the BROOKLYN SPECTATOR and its employees harmless from all cost, expenses, liabilities, and damages resulting from or caused by or recording placed by the advertiser or any reply to such advertisement. Photo by Gardiner Anderson And the award goes to… Bay Ridge, which has provided the backdrop for many movies and television shows over the years, from “Blue Bloods” and “Saturday Night Fever” to “Mad Men” and, in 2006, to “Then She Found Me,” starring Helen Hunt and Bette Midler, seen above in a September, 2006, Home Reporter photo taken on location on Shore Road at 77th Street. Midler performed at the most recent Oscars, singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” during the awards show’s In Memoriam segment. “Then She Found Me,” which also starred Matthew Broderick, was also shot inside a historic home on 88th Street. Entire contents copyright 2016 by Brooklyn Spectator GET YOUR FLU SHOT…NOT THE FLU THE HOLIDAYS: A GREAT TIME TO REASSESS We hope that you have all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and that, despite the post-presidential election tumult, the conversation around the dinner table was enjoyable, kicking o a holiday season which we can all look forward to. Rather than talk politics, raise your blood pressure and start a food fi ght with that uncle you see only once a year, did you focus on the good? Now and going forward throughout the remainder of 2016 is the perfect time to do so. Though there are plenty of issues to go around, we live in a thriving borough. Jobs are being created and houses are rising. Neighborhoods are being revived and redeveloped, including communities that have long been ignored. It’s symbolic of the incredible demand that people have to live and work in this borough. Enjoy a renewed appreciation of this borough’s diversity. Brooklyn’s ethnic diversity is second to none, and that’s a blessing that we can all appreciate throughout the holiday season, whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or none of the above. You don’t have to travel very far to experience cultures from across the world; all you need is a MetroCard. Bask in glow of a borough which o ers wonderful cultural and art institutions that bring you a better understanding of the world we all live in, from the world-class Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Academy of Music through small local institutions that refl ect the character of their neighborhoods. Be grateful to the soldiers stationed at Fort Hamilton, and the service they provide to our country, as well as for the men and women of the NYPD, the FDNY, EMS, Corrections, Sanitation Department and the other civil agencies who do their part to make our lives better every day. Most of all, be thankful for living in a place where the vast majority of its inhabitants treat each other with the respect and honor that every person deserves, regardless of their background. Be appreciative you live in a place where you can pursue the life you want to live and have every opportunity possible to improve. All of this goes into making Brooklyn the unique place it is – an important realization to keep sight of as we all go forward through the holiday season, and on into 2017. GUEST OPED EDITORIAL A few days ago, I overheard a woman in Brooklyn saying proudly that she and her two children have never gotten the fl u shot, and have never gotten sick. Her statement – the equivalent of saying that you will never use a seat belt, because you have never gotten into a car accident – concerned me. Unfortunately, despite tremendous e orts and progress by health care providers and public health authorities in making the fl u vaccine available and accessible, her posture is not a rarity. The city’s Health Department data show that only 44 percent of New Yorkers 18 and older received a fl u shot last year, and onethird of the most at-risk New Yorkers remain unprotected. Not getting vaccinated leaves you at risk for the painful and potentially fatal symptoms of infl uenza. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, there are over 200,000 infl uenza-related hospitalizations annually in the United States. In a bad fl u season, that number could exceed 400,000. Some cases are fatal. In 2014, 2,220 New Yorkers died from infl uenza and pneumonia (a potential complication of the fl u). About 90 percent of infl uenza-related deaths are in people over 65 years of age. While the statistics are alarming, and the data demonstrate the benefi ts of receiving a fl u shot, misperceptions around the vaccine persist and act as barriers to keeping people healthy. Many people still believe, for example, that taking the fl u vaccine will make them sick, that it is unsafe to get, or that it doesn’t substantially protect against the virus.These are myths. The vaccine does not make you sick, and it is very safe. Generally, there can be some soreness at the injection site, but many don’t even experience that. As for protection, the vaccine includes protection from a number of di erent infl uenza strains, which will confer protection and reduce the risk of complications even if you contract the virus. Everyone six months and older should get the fl u vaccine every year. The fl u vaccine is especially important for those most likely to get a severe infl uenza illness, including children younger than age fi ve and adults aged 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with underlying medical conditions, such as lung or heart disease and diabetes. Finding the fl u vaccine has never been easier. First, check with your health care provider. The vaccine is also available for adults at most chain drugstores. You can also use the Health Department’s fl u shot locator to fi nd a place near your home, text the word “fl u” to 877877 or call 311. In most cases, the shot is free or at a low cost. Getting vaccinated is not only a healthy decision, it is a responsible one, too. Join us in the e ort to ensure that everyone gets smart about the fl u and proudly say #GotMyFluShot! Dr. Mary Bassett is the city’s health commissioner. A LOOK BACK


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