Brooklyn Today: March 1, 2012

March 1, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Good morning. Today is the 61st day of the year. It is the birth anniversary (1810) of Polish-French composer Frédéric Chopin. Chopin is mainly known for his piano works, but also wrote several orchestral pieces. He died in Paris in 1849.

Well-known people who were born today include singer-actor Harry Belafonte (“Banana Boat Song,” “Jamaica Farewell”), actor Robert Conrad (“The Wild Wild West”), singer Roger Daltry of The Who and director Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind).

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Today in Albany, members of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) will hold a rally at noon in front of the state Office of Mental Health to protest the state’s plan to close Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in Brooklyn. … Today at 2 p.m., hundreds of students, teachers and parents will march from the Department of Education headquarters at 52 Chambers St., Manhattan, to Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn as part of a national day of action called for by Occupy Education, which is connected with Occupy Wall Street. The rally will protest tuition hikes at SUNY and CUNY schools and recent closings of public elementary, intermediate and high schools. … Tonight from 6 to 8 p.m., residents of Cypress Hills will gather at I.S. 171, 528 Ridgewood Ave., to protest budget cuts.  “Our residents are fed up with these cuts,” says Michelle Neugebauer, executive director of the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. “We’re finally taking steps toward a healthier local economy. Working families desperately need day care and after-school programs which are threatened by massive retrenchment this year.”
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According to Billboard, reggae pioneer Jimmy Cliff will open the 34th season of the Celebrate Brooklyn! concert series on June 5 at Prospect Park. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Cliff’s signature hits, “You Can Get It If You Really Want” and “The Harder They Come.” Cliff performed at MetroTech as part of the BAM MetroTech Rhythm and Blues lunchtime concert series several years ago.

A police officer has been arrested on charges of driving drunk while in his patrol car. Police say Officer Christopher Morris was on duty early Tuesday morning when he drove his patrol car into a telephone pole in Brooklyn. Morris was charged with driving while intoxicated and refusing to take a breath test.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Authorities say a skeleton found in the woods in Sullivan County in May 2010 has been identified as that of a Russian immigrant who vanished in Brooklyn in June 2009. The Middletown Times Herald-Record reports that the bones found in the town of Thompson were identified as 39-year-old Ildar Gazizulin, a businessman who disappeared after celebrating becoming a U.S citizen. Gazizulin emigrated to the United States in 1992 and lived in Brooklyn, exporting car and truck parts to his native Russia.

The New York Post reports that FBI agents yesterday arrested a reputed mob associate in Brooklyn on bank robbery charges. Gary Fama, an ex-con with a string of arrests, was charged with the armed robbery of a Capitol One branch on New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst on Dec. 29. His reputed partner, Jack Mannino, is still being sought by the FBI. According to the Post, feds believe Mannino is responsible for nearly two dozen robberies within a five-month period in 1999.

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