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Around Brooklyn: ‘Sopranos’ star gets involved in Brooklyn political race

December 29, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Schirripa relaxes outside a favorite restaurant. Photo courtesy of Steve Schirripa
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‘Sopranos’ star gets involved in Brooklyn political race

Brooklyn-born-and-bred actor Steve Schirripa, best known as toy train-loving mobster Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri on “The Sopranos,” has begun making phone calls to registered voters and hanging campaign signs in his old neighborhood of Bensonhurst to support 24-year political newcomer Steven Patzer, who seeks an upset win in a highly competitive race in southern Brooklyn to succeed term-limited Councilman Mark Treyger. “I’m not a political guy in the least bit, but I am looking for a guy who takes care of business, and this kid does,” Schirripa told the New York Post. Schirripa now co-stars with Tom Selleck on “Blue Bloods” playing Detective Anthony Abertemarco, who assists prosecutor Erin Reagan.  He said he was impressed by Patzer’s volunteer work during the coronavirus pandemic. Schirripa now lives in Lower Manhattan.

Over 500 bodies still on ice in Brooklyn

More than 500 bodies are still stored, frozen, in about 20 trailers at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park. The bodies have been there since the early days of the coronavirus in March and April, with their huge death toll. These bodies are as yet unclaimed — funeral directors come her to claim bodies. Now, states and cities across the country are following Brooklyn’s lead and have been ordering or using refrigerated trailers for excess morgue capacity, according to The New York Times. Still, a repeat of last spring’s high death tolls is unlikely, as hospitals have become more experienced in treating coronavirus patients.

Driver plows through front yard in Canarsie

A driver plowed through a front yard in Canarsie on Sunday morning, just narrowly missing the house, according to police and photos taken at the scene. Police said a man in his 50s was behind the wheel of the Kia when he lost control of the car just after 8 a.m. barreling into the property at 8923 Avenue A. Photos show the vehicle crashing through the front yard fence and turning on its side near the basement steps, just short of hitting the home. No one was injured, and the driver has not  been charged, according to the New York Post.

Condo building to replace former post office

A former post office building in Boerum Hill will soon be replaced by an 11-story condo building designed by Issac & Stern Architects and developed by Sterling Town Equities. The building at 542 Atlantic Ave., which also has the address 533 Pacific St., will rise on a site that was purchased last year for $2.8 million. The building will feature red brick masonry and double-height arched windows. Along Pacific Street, one arched pathway will take residents through a private garden, a second will go toward the residential lobby, and the third will lead to the private townhouses, according to New York YIMBY. The basement will contain residential storage and parking spaces.

Firefighter suffers burn after two-alarm fire

Fire marshals investigating a two-alarm blaze in East Flatbush on Saturday night that heavily damaged a home. The fire broke out at about 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 26 at the two-story dwelling on East 38th Street between Avenue R and Fillmore Avenue. One firefighter suffered burns and was treated at a nearby hospital. More than 100 firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, using two hose lines to put out the flames. Within about 30 minutes, the fire had been extinguished. No other injuries were reported, according to published reports.

New councilmember already faces primary opponents

Darma Diaz is one of the newest members of the New York City Council, having recently won the election to represent Brooklyn’s District 37 after an unexpected vacancy at the beginning of December. The district covers Bushwick, East New York, Cypress Hills, Ocean Hill and Brownsville. The district was vacant after former office-holder Rafael Espinal resigned for a private sector job in January. She ran opposed in the election because her primary opponents were disqualified due to technicalities. Three of those candidates are now running again in the June 2021 Democratic primary, although she now has some advantage of incumbency, according to Gotham Gazette. Originally, Diaz was backed in her bid for office by the Brooklyn Democratic Party and its newly elected leader, Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte. 

From household aquarium to Coney’s aquarium

 Steven Matassa, president, and Joseph Graffagnino, president emeritus of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society, recently presented a check to Jon Forrest Dohlin, Wildlife Conservation Society  vice president and New York Aquarium director, to support the aquarium and its conservation mission. “We are grateful to the Brooklyn Aquarium Society for their generosity and support,” said Dohlin. “As a community, New Yorkers have a history of coming together to support each other when times are tough.” Founded 111 years ago, the Brooklyn Aquarium Society is the oldest organized club for home aquarium enthusiasts in the United States. The organization’s members have been meeting at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island for the past 48 years. 

Colton praises Cuomo on rent relief

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) says that Governor Cuomo has reopened applications for NYS COVID Rent Relief Program with expanded eligibility. “New York State Homes and Community Renewal has announced that the COVID Rent Relief Program was reopened on Friday, December 18 with expanded eligibility criteria to serve tenants who may have been previously ineligible or did not initially apply. Applications will be accepted through Monday, February 1, 2021,” Colton stated.

BP Adams distributes toys for holidays

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined the Salvation Army of Greater New York on the day before Christmas to distribute a variety of toys donated to families who live in Howard Houses, a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) development in Brownsville, for the holidays. The distribution event came amid an unprecedented holiday season, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate the city and make in-person gatherings more challenging.  “In the midst of an extremely challenging holiday season, we can still show up for each other while remaining physically apart. Now, we are proud to partner with the Salvation Army to spread holiday cheer to families in NYCHA,” he said.

Louis decries shooting, denounces violence

Council Member Farah N. Louis (D-Brooklyn) issued the following statement after two separate shootings in Flatbush killed 62-year-old Daniel Romulus and wounded a woman listed in stable condition at Kings County Hospital. The shootings, which occurred on Saturday, were 2.5 hours and about a mile apart. The perpetrator has not been identified or apprehended in either case. NYPD has not confirmed whether the two shootings are related. ““Instead of spending the holiday season at home among loved ones and counting down to the New Year, one family will be planning a funeral while another family hopes for a speedy recovery. These incidents — related or not — are amoral. To break the cycle of violence, we must break our silence to hold these individuals accountable for their actions,” she said. 

Compiled by Raanan Geberer. 

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