GENERALLY SPEAKING: Week of March 22

March 23, 2012 Theodore W. General
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GM Comerford says he was floating!

Bay Ridgeite Frank Comerford — when asked at last Saturday’s 251st annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade how he felt about being the grand marshal — said, My feet haven’t touched the ground.

Comerford, if you recall, is the senior NBC Universal executive chosen to lead the big parade. Fellow former Bay Ridgeite Roseanne Scotto of Fox 5 TV referred to him as the Mayor of Bay Ridge.

And what a specular parade it turned out to be. Since it was dedicated to our veterans, there were several military marching contingents including the Army ceremonial units from Washington, D.C.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg marched alongside Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in front of a large battalion of New York’s Finest. Xaverian High School’s Pipe and Drum Corps led the New York City Council delegation up the Avenue. GM Comerford marched in front of the Cathedral High School marching band. The all-girls school musicians wore their new blue and gold uniforms.

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On Sunday, it was Brooklyn’s turn to hold its annual Irish march. The parade started at 15th Street and Prospect Park West, went down 15th Street to Seventh Avenue to Garfield Place and then back up to Prospect Park West, looping back to 15th Street.

State Senator Marty Golden and Brooklyn South Police Chief Thomas Chan marched behind the NYPD Marching Band which led the parade. While their school band was competing down in Florida, the Fort Hamilton Army Junior ROTC cadets were in fine form.

Other bands we spotted along the line of march were the Bishop Kearney High School band, James Madison High’s Golden Knights marching band, the Columbus Council, Knights of Columbus Pipe Band and Bay Ridge’s Clann Eireann Pipe Band.

James McDonagh did a first rate job as the parade announcer. Among the many marchers were Bay Ridgers Cody McCone and Mary Nolan

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Spousal refusal! What a downer. While hoping the powers-that-be come up with a nicer and more user-friendly term, we attended the recent press conference held by Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis at the St. Nicholas Home on Ovington Avenue, site of the old Bay Ridge Hospital.

Among the participants were elder care attorney Judie GrimaldiJoanne SeminaraSherman Heller

We were also representing the Bay Ridge Interagency Council on Aging, pinch-hitting for Susan Lavin who chairs the council. Coincidentally, it was Grassroots Senior Advocacy Day for elder and health issues by the State Wide Senior Action Council. It was in conjunction with the proposed 2012 State budget.

Spousal refusal cuts are one of the key issues the action council is lobbying state legislators about. If the governor’s plan is approved, sickly husbands or wives will be pushed into nursing homes because they will be unable to live on the amount allowed for home health care. We won’t go chapter and verse here on this issue because reporter Heather Chin wrote a comprehensive article on the problem and Malliotakis did a well-prepared op-ed piece in last week’s edition of this newspaper.

However, we did ask Malliotakis, a Republican who sits on the Assembly Aging Committee, whether she and her fellow assemblymembers were against the cuts and whether the Assembly Aging Chair, Democrat Joan Millman

Another major issue the action committee is concerned with are the cuts associated with the EPIC prescription program. They want a return to the co-payment cap of $20 per drug. Right now, some seniors are faced with paying co-payments which are 25 percent of the cost, often $100 or more.

We also had a brief chat with an old friend; Staten Island Advance Political Editor Tom Wrobleski

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Since it was the start of daylight savings time, the Bay Ridge AARP chapter had FDNY Firefighter George Tabeek return to its March meeting for some timely tips on fire safety and to hand out free batteries and ask those present to make sure they swap out the battery in their smoke detector even if they didn’t think it was necessary. Also on hand to address the group was Clorinda Annarummo representing Congressmember Mike Grimm.

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Be sure to come about and watch Bay Ridge’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 25th. It kicks off at 1 p.m. from Marine and Fourth Avenues. OLA’s pastor, Monsignor Kevin Noone


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