Board 10 committee approves street name for Maureen Stramka
A proposal to memorialize a beloved Bay Ridge civic leader by renaming a street corner after her cleared an important hurdle when the Traffic and Transportation Committee of Community Board 10 voted to approve the idea.
At a committee meeting on Jan. 11, members signaled their approval of the proposal to name the corner of Third Avenue and 78th Street in memory of Maureen Stramka, a leader of the Bay Ridge Community Council and many other groups. Stramka died in 2014.
Stramka, who was known for her friendly manner and her sharp wit, was an active member of several Bay Ridge groups, including the Bay Ridge Lions Club, Community Board 10 and Ragamuffin Inc., the organization that sponsors the annual Children’s Ragamuffin Parade. She also served as a volunteer at the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton and helped the Merchants of Third Avenue organize its annual Pioneers of Third Avenue Awards dinners.
So popular was Stramka, that the application submitted to the committee by Bay Ridge Community Council member Irene Hanvey for the street corner renaming was accompanied by letters of support from several key figures in the neighborhood, including state Sen. Marty Golden, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura, 68th Precinct Community Council President Ilene Sacco and Peter Clavin, owner of the funeral home Joseph P. Clavin Sons, Inc.
“It was mentioned that she put her heart into volunteering and her persistence and advocacy had a positive impact on our community and New York City. It was mentioned that she was an advocate for the blind and handicapped, organizing many holiday events to benefit children. A binder of newspaper clippings and awards was presented to the committee to review as evidence of her years of service,” Transportation Committee Chair Jayne Capetanakis said in a statement.
The committee voted to recommend that the full community board approve the proposal.
Street corner namings in New York are voted on by the City Council. But many councilmembers gauge whether a proposal is viable by looking at a local community board vote.
The next step for Stramka’s advocates will take place when the full Community Board 10 takes up the proposal at its meeting on Jan. 25.
The committee also voted to recommend approval of a proposal to rename the corner of Fifth Avenue and 94th Street after the late Sal D’Amato, who owned Harborview Car Service for more than 30 years. The car service is located at 9419 Fifth Ave.
Capetanakis, who said D’Amato was “a well-known businessman and philanthropist who gave time to many local organizations,” added that he provided services to the Kiwanis Club, the Guild for Exceptional Children and the organization Advocates for Services for the Blind and Multi-Handicapped.
D’Amato also organized car services for local doctors in snowstorms and was known to use his own car to get them to local hospitals, his friends told the committee.
“Mr. D’Amato was also a Korean War veteran and on his own helped to maintain Pigeon Park,” Capetanakis said.
Pigeon Park is a nickname Bay Ridge residents use for Fort Hamilton Memorial Park, a small park located in a traffic triangle on 94th Street where Fourth and Fifth avenues meet.
The committee postponed two other street corner naming proposals until February.
The family of Howard Dunn, a World War II veteran famous in Bay Ridge for his painstaking efforts to plant thousands of American flags in front of stores, will resubmit an application to have a corner of Third Avenue and 78th Street (opposite of the corner designated for Stramka) named after him.
Dunn, who died last year, was active in the American Legion, the Kings County Memorial Day Parades, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Boy Scouts of America.
Under the committee’s bylaws, a person must be deceased at least two years for a street corner to be named in their memory. “Although Mr. Dunn passed away recently, the application was requested now due to the fragile health of immediate family members,” Capetanakis said.
The committee will also vote next month on an application to rename the block of 71st Street between Eighth Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway in memory of Carol Lemmon, a longtime resident of the block who was honored by the Knights of Columbus for her volunteerism and generosity.
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