Common Sense: Bay Ridge is booming

November 3, 2014 JERRY KASSAR
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The annual Halloween Art Contest sponsored by the Bay Ridge Community Council in conjunction with several merchant groups is a great local tradition. The kids who painted two art pieces on the window of Senator Marty Golden and Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis’s office on Fifth Avenue where I work were having a great time and very serious in their efforts.

The parents seemed equally to be having a good time working with the children, proudly viewing the final works of art.

I am pleased to note that the children from P.S. 170 who painted the works on the Golden/Malliotakis office won two gold prizes. Of course, every child who participated is a winner. My compliments to the children, the parents, the judges and the Bay Ridge Community Council for organizing this annual contest.

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Speaking of Halloween, the Halloween event conducted each year in Owl’s  Head Park is consistently one of the largest of its nature in the country with literally thousands of visitors ranging from the very young to adults who enjoy the theatrical quality Haunted Walk.

This event is a great tribute to Chip Cafiero who tasks dozens of volunteers to set up the park over several days and run the free event for the community and for that matter much of Brooklyn that drops by to enjoy it.

Bay Ridge has a number of fantastic community events that utilize the various physical aspects of the community. In fact, Bay Ridge has more park acres then most any place in the city with Owl’s Head, the former Bliss estate, being a large acreage. We make great use of our park space and avenues for all sorts of fun things all year round. People who move here often drop by Golden’s office to make mention of just how unique that makes Bay Ridge.

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The two-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy comes with a reminder that this can be a tale of two cities. The large areas of Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens impacted mark the anniversary with solemn events, tributes to the dead and hopes that resilience efforts will prevent a future catastrophe. Many still have not received the government support they were promised; some are still not in their homes.

In the rest of the city, it as though the storm never happened. It is marked only by something on the nightly news. An event as devastating as 9/11 is remembered in a very different way. That should change. Sandy is a continuing nightmare for many New Yorkers. We all need to remember and be invested in how the city takes care of those still affected and plans for the future.

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