A Letter From Councilman Vincent Gentile On The New Fiscal Year Budget And What It Means For Our Community
Councilman Vincent Gentile Writes:
Even during these tough economic times, this was a banner year for our great city. My colleagues and I came to a $68.5 billion balanced budget deal five days before the deadline. The budget, which will go into effect on July 1, comes without tax increases and staves offpreviously proposed cuts – including all of our firehouses, senior centers, libraries and after-school programs.
I proudly commended Mayor Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Finance Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and all of my colleagues in the New York City Council for coming together and delivering a grand slam for hardworking families all across New York City. Not only will this budget protect our firehouses and our after-school programs but it will restore an unprecedented $90 million in proposed cuts to New York City’s libraries while saving 637 library jobs with no service disruptions or changes.
Tomorrow evening will be the 36th annual Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show. This year, Forty-thousand fireworks will light up the night sky over the Hudson River. While this location is great for New Jersey residents, it’s not too great for Brooklynites.
Remember when the best seat in the house was along the Belt Parkway bike path?
If you want to see the fireworks, you’ll have to troop into Manhattan’s West between 18th and 43rd streets. Get there as early as 5 p.m. to secure a good spot. Entrances to the public viewing sections include 11th Avenue at the following cross-streets: 24th Street, 26th-27th Streets, 29th Street, 33rd to 34th Streets, 40th Street, 42nd Street, 44th Street, 50th Street, 52nd Street, 54th Street and 56th to 57th Streets.
Remember, backpacks and lawn chairs are not allowed. Feel free to bring water and snacks, according to DNA Info.
Otherwise, hop on any of New York’s waterway cruises or find a rooftop party because unfortunately, this show is not easily seen by the folks living on the Southern end of Brooklyn.
“Bizarre Foods” with Andrew Zimmern marks its sixth season and 100 episode with the premier of “Bizarre Foods Celebrates 100,” guest-starring Arthur Zak, a fearless eater from Bensonhurst.
For the commemorative episode, producers put a call out for fans of the show to create a video about the foods they would most detest eating. Winners of the contest would appear on television with Zimmern and eat the food they fear most.
Zak, a recent NYU graduate in biology with a minor in nutrition, has been a great fan of the show since he was in his teens.
“I love Andrew Zimmern [the host]. We have the same initials and it’s a given I’d be on the show with him,” said Zak with a laugh.
For his casting video, Zak chose Palm Weevil grubs because they’re “disgusting looking critters with mouths and claws.”
When a strange number appeared on his caller ID, Zak was in the biology laboratory of his university, dissecting a cat. He recalls almost not answering the call, but quickly changed his mind when something told him it was the Travel Channel.
“I even answered saying, ‘Hello, is this Travel Channel?’ as a joke and it was actually the producers. I was jumping up and down,” he says.
Grubs and other strange foods are at the center of every Bizarre Food episode. For the new season, the theme isn’t the usual foreign fare, but the interesting things Americans eat. From road kill to bugs, Zimmern is road tripping across the land and checking out the unique side of the American palate.
There also happens to be another reason why both Zimmern and Zak are into exploring bizarre foods: Eating bugs and other foods lightens the load on the mass farming of chickens, cows and the other foods Americans normally reply on for protein. Many bizarre foods also happen to be quite nutritious.
“Bizarre foods helps show people that that there are other proteins out there. Grubs are high in protein, sustainable to produce and cheaper by the pound to produce,” said Zak.
When filming began, Zimmer revealed to Zak that Palm Weevil grubs were actually illegal in the United States because they are considered pests. After that news, Zak says he felt a little anxious. He looked down at his empty plate and knew that he would have to eat something crazy, he just didn’t know what.
Zimmern then showed him his new meal, similar-looking cousins of the grub that were still alive. The food show host dished out the wriggling grubs and Zak dug in.
“We shared a toast with a grub,” said Zak. “It tasted just like it looks. It tastes like sawdust with a menacing pop when you bite into it!”
Overall, Zak is thrilled with his experience. To him, Zimmern is a great role model because of his adventurous palate.
“I come from a Russian background. Tongue and head cheese may be bizarre to someone but normal to someone else,” says Zak. “Zimemrn always says, ‘Don’t be afraid to try things more than once even if you don’t like it.’ ”
The special episode guest-starring Zak and his tasty grubs premiers July 9 at 8 p.m. followed by the new season of “Bizarre Foods America” with Andrew Zimmern at 9 p.m.
Open-water long distance swim races have become popular throughout New York. Yesterday, a group of open-water swimmers concluded the last leg of a 120 mile multi-stage race in the Hudson River.
The “8 Bridges Hudson River Swim is the world’s longest open-water race. It runs from the peaceful Catskills to the dramatic Narrows, at the throat of the New York Harbor.
“Compared to upriver, it’s so chaotic and busy; under water you hear all the boats and motors, and after a week in quiet waters, it’s unnerving,” said Rondi Davies, a participant.
For one week, each day’s marathon swim begins with the ebb tide at one bridge and ends at the next, covering distances ranging from 13.2 miles to 19.8 miles.
Swimmers participate in one or all of the seven stages. Each stage of the 8 Bridges Swim costs about $800 and the final stage, which includes New York City harbor, costs about $1,300.
The race concluded yesterday at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. This is the second annual open-water race of this kind in New York, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This summer, New York will host about five other distance swimming races.
Kayakers follow closely behind the swimmers through the entire race to ensure their safety.
The winners have not been announced as of yet.
Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave Staten Island E-Z Pass holders a discount on the Goethels Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, and Outerbridge Crossing. Local politicians like Vincent Gentile and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis responded by asking the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, “What about Brooklyn?”
Today, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis is pleased to announce that the Port Authority approved a bridge toll discount plan for residents of Brooklyn as well.
Under the plan, the toll for enrolled E-Z Pass users with non-commercial plates will be $4.75 per trip after three trips are completed within a calendar month at the Goethals Bridge, Outerbridge Crossing or the Bayonne Bridge, taking effect within the next 40 to 60 days.
“We have made our need for toll relief heard loud and clear, leading to the vital discount program approved by the Port Authority,” said Malliotakis. “With Brooklyn’s residents facing skyrocketing tolls on crossings like the Verrazano Bridge and other structures, we must drive down the cost of visiting the Garden State wherever possible. The fight for toll relief has been a community based, grassroots effort that proves, by taking a stand and never giving up, we can spur government action and make a real change in our community.”
Prior to this announcement, Gentile called the Staten Island deal “one sided” and accused transportation authorities for forgetting Brooklynites who regularly cross the Verrazano as well. Gentile said that people in his strict pay $3.84 to $5.28 more per crossing than Staten Islanders do, according to the Bay Ridge Journal.
Information pertaining to enrolling in the discount program will be announced by the Port Authority within the next 40 to 60 days.
In a recent Stoop Stories, librarian Rita Meade pleaded for the restoration of funds for New York’s public libraries. We’re happy to report that the new 2013 budget keeps library funds intact. Further, money in the budget has also been put aside for after-school childcare.
The final budget restores $25 million in city funding for the Library, which would have been 33 percent of the their operating budget and would have signified staff layoffs and reduced library services, according to Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.
“We are very grateful the budget agreed to by the Mayor and Speaker restores funding for libraries and I want to thank Chairman Dominic Recchia and the entire Brooklyn delegation for their continued support of Brooklyn Public Library. The adopted budget will allow the Library to maintain our existing service levels and avoid layoffs,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library.
As for after-school childcare, Councilman Vincent Gentile said the $68.5 billion for various services allotted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council a “grand slam” for working families.
The deal, Gentile said, saved firehouses and senior centers and left many after-school programs in operation for next year.
After-school programs at P.S. 186, the Dr. Irving A Gladstone School at 7601 19th Avenue; P.S. 229, the Dyker School at 1400 Benson Avenue; and P.S. 200, the Benson School at 1940 Benson Avenue and others are all safe, according to the Bay Ridge Journal.
The nonpartisan bill provides the first-ever comprehensive international conservation strategy for the U.S. government and will enhance America’s ability to address natural conservation as an international issue.
President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society Steve Sanderson said, according to a media release, ”It is invaluable that the U.S. lead the way toward more effective measures to protect our Earth. The Global Conservation Act provides a much-needed roadmap toward that end. We look forward to being a part of a new era in conserving our biodiversity in the United States and around the world.”
Every year, U.S. businesses lose $1 billion due to illegal logging in developing countries, and the global economy as a whole loses $23 billion due to forbidden fishing activities. Experts cite national resource scarcities as a key factor in many cross-border conflicts that require international resources to stabilize. The GCA aims to preserve world’s remaining ecosystems and help global leaders implement comprehensive conservation strategy.
The GCA includes a broad coalition of advocacy groups including the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, North American Bear Foundation, Safari Club International, The Nature Conservancy, Tread Lightly!, Wild Sheep Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society, Wildlife Forever, and World Wildlife Fund.
Police are asking for help in finding a young boy who went missing from McDonald’s at 2413 86th Street and 24th Avenue.
Amir Hussein, 12, disappeared from the fast-food restaurant and has not been seen since.
He was last seen on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. wearing a gray shirt, black shorts, black socks, blue sneakers and a blue hat.
He is 5-foot-5 and weighs 160 pounds.
He’s a local terror. He’s been bombing Bensonhurst since the 80′s. And now he’s got an art show in Williamsburg.
The house was packed on Sunday at the Pandemic Gallery at 37 Broadway. The audience wasn’t the usual group of art snobby purveyors but a younger, rougher set.
It was white undershirts, SB Dunks, sharpies, blackbooks, and the barely healed over acne of youth. The crowd was there to see the work of Mutz, or Moody, a graffiti vandal turned street artist and now, gallery artist.
“He’s a legend,” said a barely 16-year-old kid from the Bronx. “He’s been bombing since the 90’s.”