Bullying the Theme of Golden's "State Senator for a Day" Essay Contest

In a media release, State Senator Marty Golden has announced that bullying is the theme of his 2015 “State Senator for a Day” essay contest.

Golden has invited local students in the 3rd through 5th grades to submit an original essay from 150 to 200 words long beginning with the phrase “If I were a State Senator, I would stop bullying in our community by…”.

He chose bullying as a topic this year, Golden said, to raise students' awareness and to get them thinking about the problems caused by bullying. Because bullying takes such a toll, he said, we need to begin teaching anti-bullying lessons from an early age.

Teachers, administrators and/or parents can mail essays to:

Senator Martin Golden
c/o Anti-Bullying Essay Contest
7408-5th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11209

All entries must be received by no later than Friday, April 17, when finalists will be selected.

Golden said he plans to read all of the essays.

Finalists will be invited to read their essays before a panel of community leaders at a ceremony during May, after which the winner will be selected. 

For more information, contact Senator Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044.

The Canny Brothers Band's March Schedule

As we know, St. Patrick's Day in Southern Brooklyn isn't just a one-day affair: it is observed throughout the month of March.

St. Patrick's is a season here. That's why Irish traditional musicians the Canny Brothers are playing six St. Patrick's gigs in and around Bay Ridge next month, including Rockaway Parade Day at the Belle Harbor Club; the Bay Ridge St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee's annual Dinner Dance at Dyker Beach Country Club; The Wicked Monk in Bay Ridge; Molly Maguire's in Clark, NJ; Ulysses Folk House in Manhattan; and the Yellow Hook Grille in Bay Ridge.

For more information about the band, visit the website. 

Gentile Calls on Donovan to Repudiate Walker for Swipe at Public Unions

As reported by Right Wing Watch, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), responded to a question about how he would deal with Islamic terrorist organization ISIS by boasting that he could handle ISIS because he handled massive protests after pushing through state legislation ending the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin's public unions.

“If I can take on 100,000 protesters, Walker said, I can do the same across the world."

He has since declined to retract his comments.

“Is he kidding?!," fumed City Councilman and Democratic Congressional candidate Vincent Gentile. "How could this man," Gentile asked, compare hardworking Americans with Islamic terrorists?

Gentile, running to replace disgraced Congressional Representative Michael Grimm in a special election on May 5, has called on Conservative Republican opponent Dan Donovan to join him today in repudiating Walker's "treacherous" remarks, calling Walker's comments an "insult" to the thousands of union workers who live in the 11th CD.

Gentile Announces Congressional Run

In a statement issued today, City Council Member Vinnie Gentile accepted the Democratic nomination in NY's 11th CD for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Special Election scheduled for May 5.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Gentile said that:
"...Since 1996, when I was first elected to represent Staten Island and Brooklyn in the New York State Senate, I have fought tirelessly for the middle class families that are the the backbone of our city. As an independent voice who has always put people before politics, I promise to lead the charge against broken Washington, D.C. politics that only benefit the super-rich, and have consistently failed to treat the residents of Brooklyn and Staten Island with the dignity and respect they deserve. The support I've received from across the district has been overwhelming, and as one team and one community, tonight Brooklyn and Staten Island have taken the first step together on the road to victory and a brighter future."
More from the Observer. 


Reception for Artist James Rose at Caffe Cafe

Verrazano Winter Trees
From 6:30 to 8:30 PM On Friday, February 27, Caffe Cafe, at the corner of 84th Street and 3rd Avenue, will host an artist's reception for James Rose.

Raised in Kinderhook, Rose, who holds a B.F.A from Maine College of Art in Portland and did post-graduate work at the California College of the Arts, now lives in Bay Ridge.

According to the artist's website, he typically works from direct observation or from digital photos snapped on his cellphone, in oil, charcoal or sharpie on Bristol or glossy paper.

Rose has been a resident artist and has been shown, both individually and with other artists, in numerous venues on both the West and East Coasts, most recently at Spoke the Hub in Park Slope last year, and at Bridges, Two Trees Art Walk and Brooklyn Workshop Gallery in Dumbo this year. He has also given artist talks; produced and curated art shows; and written for publication.

For more information, visit the artist's website.

BPL an IMLS National Medal Finalist

According to a media release from the Brooklyn Public Library, it is one of six New York institutions shortlisted by The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Middle Country Public Library, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New York Hall of Science, The Strong, and The Wild Center are the other New York institutions among the 30 finalists this year.

The National Medal is the highest national community service award given to museums and libraries. For 21 years, it has recognized institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to serving the public that make a difference in the lives of individuals, families and the community.

Today, the IMLS is featuring BPL on its Facebook page, and the library is asking for your support. If you love the Library, share your stories and photos.

You can also tweet at @US_IMLS using the hashtag #NationalMedal, and mention @BKLYNlibrary.

The National Medal winners will be named this spring, and representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the awards ceremony.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the website.

Golden, deBlasio Spar Over New "Right of Way" Law

At a hearing in Albany yesterday covered by Streetsblog, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio jousted with State Senator Marty Golden (R/C-22nd District) over a new local law making failure to yield to a pedestrian, resulting in injury or death, a misdemeanor.

Golden, citing the recent high-profile arrests of bus drivers who have struck pedestrians in crosswalks, questioned the necessity for the "Right-of-Way Law" and whether a bus driver should be arrested and face jail for what may have been an accident.

DeBlasio responded that under the new local law, when a driver who fails to yield seriously injures or kills a pedestrian who is walking legally, the investigating officers, if they find the death or injury was avoidable, must arrest.  But they could likewise determine that the strike was unforeseeable or unavoidable, in which case they would only issue a summons.

The new law, deBlasio said, established a clear standard where there was none. Drivers who injured and killed pedestrians by failing to yield previously faced no consequences, he said. And while he agreed with Golden that public servants deserve respect and appreciation, it should be the officer's call, he said. If the officer believes the driver could have avoided striking a pedestrian, it's an arrest situation, he said.

The post from Streetsblog.


Riders Alliance Hosts Advocate Training

Metrocard fares are going up again for the fifth time in seven years, and according to an email blast from Riders Alliance director John Raskin, there isn't enough money allocated in the state budget to fully fund the MTA's $32 billion five-year capital plan.

Why, with public transit ridership at a 45-year high, is Albany shorting the MTA? Neither Gov. Cuomo nor the state Legislature will talk about where the missing $15 billion needed to fully fund the MTA Capital Program will come from, and that's a big problem for New York City commuters. If Albany fails to come up with sustainable revenue streams to close the MTA budget shortfall,  we could soon be paying up to $3.41 for a single-fare Metrocard.

Riders Alliance, a public transit advocacy organization that supports a funding solution called "Move NY", has mounted a petition drive at FillTheGapNY.org calling on state legislators to fully fund the MTA 5-year Capital Program. On March 2, the organization is hosting a Manhattan training to prepare members for a meeting with state and city electeds calling on them to fully-fund the MTA capital plan. You can RSVP here.

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