Welcome back Danny Rodriguez, America’s singing cop

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A hearty welcome back to former 68th Precinct P.O. Daniel Rodriguez, who has gained national fame as America’s singing cop.

Rodriguez will perform as one of “The New York Tenors” on Sunday, March 12 at 4 p.m. at Our Lady of Angels, 7320 Fourth Ave. The extravaganza will include tenors Andy Cooney and Christopher Macchio plus the Big Apple Ensemble and Celtic vocalist Clara Fox. 

Ten years ago, after Superstorm Sandy, Rodriguez performed a sold-out benefit concert at Carnegie Hall that raised more than $1 million to help children affected by the storm and for the Sandy Educational Relief Fund.

Rodriguez has recorded more than 15 albums, sung at 9/11 memorial services and tributes for the Tunnel to Towers Stephen Siller Foundation, and appeared on many TV shows here and around the world. He was a close friend of the late NYPD detective and former Bay Ridge AARP President Peter Killen.

In his early days at Bay Ridge’s 68th Precinct, Rodriguez often drove a patrol car for then-Sgt. Eric Rodriguez (no relation), who later became the precinct commander. We later learned that he often sang arias while driving his boss.

Rodriguez was born and raised in Sunset Park and later became a Bay Ridge resident and a parishioner of St. Patrick’s Church. So for his return on March 12, please consider purchasing a ticket. Premium reserved seats are $50, reserved seats are $30 and there is a post-show reception for $50. Tickets may be purchased at events.ourladyofangels.church. For additional info, call 718-836-7200

***On Wednesday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m., the Bay Ridge Historical Society will host a presentation by Henry Stewart on Bay Ridge’s Barkaloo Revolutionary-era cemetery. Stewart is an author, historian and current first vice president of the BRHS. The free session will be broadcast via Zoom with sign-on passcodes published near March 15 on the society’s Facebook page.

Barkaloo Cemetery Photo courtesy of Bay Ridge Historical Society

Erin go Bragh! Here come the St. Patrick’s parades

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With March almost upon us, celebrants are getting ready for two major St. Patrick’s parades in Brooklyn and, of course, the oldest and biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country, in the Big Apple on Friday, March 17.

The 262nd annual NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at 11 a.m. and moves along Fifth Avenue from 44th to 79th Street.

Kevin J. Conway, grand marshal of the New York City parade. Photo courtesy of St. Patrick’s Day Foundation

The grand marshal is Kevin J. Conway, vice chairman of the global private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier and Rice. One of his aides representing Kings County is Robert Cardinal J.E. Murphy, the longtime drum major of the Knights of Columbus Pipes and Drums, whom we’ll likely see at the Bay Ridge parade as well.

Next up is the 48th annual Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 19. The route goes down to 15th Street, then along Seventh Avenue to Garfield Place, up to Prospect Park West and back to 15th Street.

Mike Coyne, grand marshal of the Brooklyn parade. Eagle Urban Media/photo by Ted General

The grand marshal is Mike Coyne, who serves on the financial committee of Holy Name of Jesus Parish and recently retired as associate executive director of Staten Island University Hospital. His aides are Anthony CaccamoCristin CarrollKevin T. ConlonJoan HeaneyMary F. LennonDonna McGuirePaul NapoliMartina O’Dowd and Claire Marie Hulton. This year’s parade marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade honorees. Photo courtesy of BR St. Patrick’s Parade Committee

The 28th annual Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Parade takes place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 26. It steps off from Marine Avenue and proceeds along Third Avenue to 67th Street.

Matt D’Emic, grand marshal of the Bay Ridge parade. Photo courtesy of BR St. Patrick’s Parade Committee

The grand marshal is Kings County Supreme Court Justice Matthew J. D’Emic. His aides are Scott Lloyd, Jimmy NealonRobert Puglia, Jimmy YoungMaureen McHughMaureen StramkaMegin ReillyMaryann Wood and Patrick D’Emic. This year’s parade is dedicated to “all those lost to COVID-19, and to the hero frontline workers.” Justice D’Emic was also a grand marshal for the Ragamuffin Parade in 1997.

Brooklyn Cathedral Club celebrates 123rd anniversary

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The elite Cathedral Club of Brooklyn, which was founded in 1900, held its 123rd Anniversary Dinner at the El Caribe Country Club catering hall on Strickland Avenue in Mill Basin.

This year’s keynote speaker was former U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican Party’s 2022 nominee for governor. The guest of honor was Christopher H. McDonald, the executive director and head of facilities for JP Morgan Chase Bank. 

Eileen Long gives Lee Zeldin a plaque as Bishop Robert Brennan looks on. Eagle Urban Media/Photo by Ted General

Veteran radio personality Jim Kerr, who does a morning show, once again served as master of ceremonies.

The Cathedral Club program started with a lively strut to the 14-seat dais to the swirl of bagpipes by young pipers and a drummer from Xaverian H.S.  

Xaverian H.S. pipers lead the distinguished guests into the ballroom. Eagle Urban Media/Photo by Ted General

Among the luminaries on the dais were Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan, the club’s spiritual leader; Club President Antonio Biondi; Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello; U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis; and Justices Rosemary Montalbano, Angela Iannacci and Matt D’Emic. The NYPD Ceremonial Unit Honor Guard presented the colors and a female officer sang the national anthem.

The Cathedral Club is a lay organization with members from church parishes in Brooklyn and Queens. One of its key endeavors is providing scholarships to worthy high school students in the diocese.

The anniversary dinner remains the highlight of its social events. Some of the proceeds from the gala are donated to the Brooklyn bishop’s preferred charitable organization.

The co-chairs of this year’s dinner were past presidents Brian Long and Pat Russo. In addition to President Biondi, current officers are Vice President Brian Baslin, Financial Secretary Richard A. Re and Recording Secretary William Neri.

Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan speaks with master of ceremonies Jim Kerr. Eagle Urban Media/Photo by Ted General

Some of the more prominent and noteworthy personalities who have been guests of honor or principal speakers have included Hubert Humphrey, Govs. Hugh Carey and George Pataki, U.S. Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Lloyd Bentsen, Joseph Lieberman, John F. Kennedy and Al D’Amato; and Mayors John V. Lindsay, Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani.


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I know many share one of my pet peeves: too many commercials on TV and cable series, movies and shows. And when they switch to commercials the volume is set much higher than the regular broadcast media. If I recall, some time ago the FCC had promised to remedy this sound issue, but apparently they never followed through!

Old Brooklynites return to Borough Hall

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After a long absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of in-person meetings, President George Broadhead has announced that the Society of Old Brooklynites will return to Borough Hall for a monthly meeting on Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

The society was founded in 1880, when Brooklyn was an independent city – the third largest in the country – and Borough Hall was known as “City Hall.” The portrait of the society’s first president, John Ward Hunter, a former congressman and the 17th mayor of Brooklyn, still hangs in the building.

John Ward Hunter

Other mayors who served as society presidents are Daniel Whitney and David Boody. Seth Low, a previous Brooklyn mayor and then a mayor of New York City, was a prominent member.

Current society officers are Bay Ridgeites First Vice President Theodore General, Second Vice President Michael Spinner and Treasurer Sherman Silverman. Former Flatbush resident Ellen Haywood is the secretary. Past presidents Ralph Perfetto, former ombudsman for the public advocate, and Ronald Schweiger, Brooklyn borough historian, still serve on the society’s board of directors.

The top of the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument.

At the meeting, preservationist and board member Rickie Tyrone James will show a film and discuss the history of the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument and the inhuman suffering and horrendous treatment of incarcerated patriots from the American Revolution aboard British prison ships in Wallabout Bay. 

Rickie Tyrone James

The 149-foot-tall monument on the hilltop in Fort Greene Park has a large crypt below it with the remains of 11,500 sailors, soldiers and citizens. The society has held a public memorial ceremony every August since the monument was built in 1908. U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries was one of the speakers in 2014.

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis and Society of Old Brooklynites President George Broadhead.


Our good friend and fellow Ridgeite Ed Wilkinson, the now retired editor of Brooklyn Catholic diocesan newspaper The Tablet, is out with a new book, “Chasing the Church News.” He had his first book signing Jan. 29 in the auditorium of Our Lady of Angels Church. He will also sign copies at St. Andrew the Apostle Church, 6913 Ridge Blvd., on Feb. 5 after the 9 a.m. Mass.

Ed Wilkinson, author of “Chasing the Church News.”

Guarinello re-elected as citizens panel’s ‘top gun’

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At its recent annual meeting, Fort Hamilton’s Citizens Action Committee unanimously re-elected Bill Guarinello to another term as president. Guarinello also serves as the chairman of Community Board 11, which includes Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Gravesend. For many years he was the president and CEO of HeartShare and recently retired from that top executive post.

A previous board member, former state Sen. Marty Golden, was elected vice president. He is filling the vacancy left by Mike Long, who died last year.

Marty Golden Eagle Urban Media file photo

Other officers re-elected for additional terms were 2nd Vice President Kevin Farrell, former NYPD Brooklyn South chief and a past NYC Sanitation commissioner; Secretary Brian Dolan and Treasurer Craig Eaton, a prominent attorney, former Community Board 10 chairman, past Kings County GOP chairman and a WABC radio host.

Other members of the Citizens Committee are Richard BordonaroJ. Peter ClavinMichael ConnorsLinda Duncan (a former deputy commander at Fort Hamilton), Ret. Col. Mike Gould (a past garrison commander), Ted General, Anthony Grigos, Ret. Col. Michael KingEileen LaRuffa, Coast Guard Capt. David MartinGeorge Prezioso, Lt. Col. David Ryan and Laurie Windsor, Brooklyn operations director for U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis

Also in attendance at the session were Garrison Commander Brian Jacobs, Command Sgt. Maj. Eva Commons and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Director Trevor Loew. Jacobs used the occasion to introduce the garrison’s new public affairs officer, Mark Getman.

What does the FHCAC do? It supports military service members and provides effective communication, understanding and activities between the military and the local community. It has also been tasked to defend the preservation of Fort Hamilton. As the only military base in the metropolitan area, the base serves as a security asset following the tragic attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.


The Cathedral Club of Brooklyn will hold its 123rd anniversary dinner Thursday evening, Feb. 2, at the El Caribe Country Club, 5945 Strickland Ave. Antonio Biondi is the president of the prestigious Catholic lay organization, which was founded in 1900.

Antonio Biondi Eagle Urban Media photo by Ted General

This auspicious event will honor Christopher H. McDonald, executive director and head of facilities for JP Morgan Chase. The principal speaker will be former U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the 2022 Republican nominee for governor of New York. Bishop Robert Brennan, head of the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese, is the club’s spiritual leader.

Bishop Robert Brennan Eagle Urban Media photo by Ted General
Lee Zeldin Photo courtesy of Cathedral Club

Individual tickets are $300 and VIP tables of 10 are $5,000. Tickets can be purchased at CathedralClub.org. For more information call 347-926-3722.

Reynoso gives ‘State of the Borough’ address

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Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso gave his first “State of the Borough” speech Jan. 10 in the large auditorium at New York City College of Technology, 275 Jay St. He was introduced to the audience by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.

City Comptroller Brad Lander with Borough President Antonio Reynoso.

As Reynoso ticked off a list of accomplishments and future plans, the energetic Beep rounded it all out by saying, “We’ll continue to boldly reject incrementalism and never stop pushing the envelope.”

At age 38 he was elected the 20th president of the Borough of Brooklyn. He is the youngest person to hold this office and the first Latino and Dominican.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer introduces Borough President Antonio Reynoso.

We were seated about four rows center stage and saw his fellow borough presidents Donovan Richards (Queens), Vanessa Gibson (Bronx) and Mark Levine (Manhattan). While Staten Island BP Vito Fossella didn’t attend, Reynoso graciously gave him a shout-out. Also attending were Mayor Eric Adams, the former Brooklyn BP; City Comptroller Brad Lander and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.


Jan. 17 to Feb. 12 is NYC Restaurant Week – but it actually runs about five weeks! Of the 49 Brooklyn restaurants offering discount and/or prix-fixe menus, only three in southwest Brooklyn are participating this year. They include Greenhouse Cafe, 7717 Third Ave.; Hunter’s Steak and Ale House, 9404 Fourth Ave., and Tanoreen, 7523 Third Ave.


We previously mentioned two of the Democratic primary candidates running for the newly reconstituted 43rd City Council District. A third candidate who recently announced is Stanley Ng, a former member of the Community Education Council for District 20 and later the Citywide Education Council on High Schools. The primary will be held June 27.

Rhapsody Players perform Yuletide show at St. Patrick’s Academy

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We’re back after a two-week publisher’s hiatus and we couldn’t let another week go by without reporting about the marvelous Christmas concert performed by our good friends, the popular and talented Rhapsody Players. The event was held as a fund-raiser in the Aldo Bruschi Auditorium at St. Patrick’s Catholic Academy on Fourth Avenue and 97th Street.

John Heffernan at center stage.

The stellar ensemble headed by founder and producer John Heffernan included fellow vocalists Eileen Monahan, Colleen Martin-O’DonnellDonna HeffernanAnthony MarinoKevin Sweeney and Kiernan Hamilton. It was an entertaining mix of rock, pop, classics and Christmas carols.

John Heffernan with Academy Chairman Romeo Petric.

John Heffernan was born and raised in St. Patrick’s parish, where he was a musical student under the tutelage of Maestro and Music Director Aldo Bruschi. We even recall a stint when he wrote a weekly column for the old Bay Ridge Eagle. John’s day job is president of the NYC Newspaper Pressmen’s Union. We recall seeing him marching with his fellow tradesmen in the 2022 NYC Labor Day Parade.

Girls belt out a popular song.
A female vocalist sings a pop tune.

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With the City Council primary coming up in June, our former editor Helen Klein writes that she has signed on as publicist for Democratic contender Susan Zhuang, who is running in the newly remapped 43rd Council District. Zhuang is the current chief of staff for Assemblyman Bill Colton. One of her announced opponents is Wai Yee Chan.

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We finally saw some concrete movement on the construction of the new public school, designated as I.S. 322, on the former site of Nathan’s Famous on Seventh Avenue and 86th Street. When we passed by a few days ago, we saw a concrete foundation was in place. Still no hurry! A sign posted on the property indicates the school won’t be ready for students until September 2024. The Verrazzano Bridge was built in less time!

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Fare beating continues to plague the MTA. We saw a good local example. When the B1 articulated bus pulled into its first stop on 86th Street near Fourth Avenue, for some strange reason the bus operator opened the exit door and about 15 people dashed into that door, stealing the fare. The group was both young and old, male and female.

St. Patrick’s hosts Christmas Spectacular

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Bay Ridge’s St. Patrick’s Church and its Catholic Academy held a glorious Yuletide celebration Dec. 13. It started with a concert in the school’s auditorium, where students from each grade sang traditional carols. Principal Kathleen Curatolo emceed the program.

Eagle Urban Media photos by Ted General

After the concert, the children, parents, friends and well-wishers packed Fourth Avenue, which was closed to traffic from 95th to 97th Street, to await the arrival of Jolly Old St. Nick. With Christmas music filling the air via a local DJ, Santa arrived in a white carriage drawn by two horses. The nighttime program concluded with a colorful fireworks display. The outdoor festivities were hosted by St. Patrick’s pastor, Rev. Brian Dowd, and Parochial Vicar Rev. Michael Falce.

Santa arrives in a horse-drawn carriage.
Eagle Urban Media photos by Ted General


Fort Hamilton High School held a lively holiday concert and art show. The two-day event featured performances by the choruses, jazz band, orchestra, symphonic band and the award-winning marching band. Additionally, the art department displayed large panels of students’ work in the lobby. The program and show were directed by Assistant Principal and Maestro Thomas Oberle.


The Bay Ridge Historical Society will present a free Zoom session by guest authors Stuart Blumin and Glenn Altschuler on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m. They will discuss how the Town of New Utrecht, which included Yellow Hook (later Bay Ridge), evolved from a community of farms and summer homes to become part of the expanding metropolis of Greater New York. Blumin and Altschuler, who wrote “The Rise and Fall of Protestant Brooklyn,” will also talk about the denominations, history and extent of Protestant churches in this section of Brooklyn. 

The Fort Hamilton jazz band rocks the stage. Eagle Urban Media photos by Ted General


For all who celebrate the birth of Jesus, we wish you and your families a blessed Christmas filled with love, peace and happiness.

Happy 169th birthday to Bay Ridge!

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Prior to 1853, this section of Kings County, then part of the old Town of New Utrecht, was known as Yellow Hook. Historical records reveal that on Dec. 16, 1853 a group of prominent landowners and citizens met in the District No. 2 Schoolhouse on Third Avenue and present-day 73rd Street. Concerned about the stigma attached to a name like Yellow Hook, because of earlier yellow fever epidemics in other areas, the village folks met to consider a name change.

Florist James Weir, who had greenhouses and plant nurseries in the area, came up with the new name. Taking into consideration the bay along Shore Road and the high buff (ridge) just up from the bay that was formed by the Glacial Moraine, he suggested “Bay Ridge.” The new name was unanimously approved and a resolution was passed adopting it.

Members of the Bay Ridge Historical Society raise a toast at a previous Bay Ridge birthday celebration. Eagle Urban Media photos by Ted General

The meeting was chaired by Tunis Bergen, the town supervisor (mayor) of New Utrecht and a resident of Yellow Hook. Fellow resident Joseph Perry served as the secretary of record for this session. Also in attendance was Henry Cruse Murphy, a former mayor of the City of Brooklyn, who later became a congressman, state senator and a Democratic presidential candidate. The present-day Senator Street was later named in his honor.

In 1894, the Town of New Utrecht along with Bay Ridge was annexed by the City of Brooklyn, and in 1898 Brooklyn became a borough and was consolidated into the City of New York. A large bronze plaque marking the 150th anniversary of the name change was attached near the main entrance to the Bay Ridge Public Library by the Bay Ridge Sesquicentennial Committee. The area known as Yellow Hook was first settled by the Dutch in 1652.


Dec. 7 marked the 81st anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Each year a small group of veterans assemble on the American Veterans Memorial Pier to commemorate National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The morning  program, coordinated by Navy veteran and VFW Commander Jack Sanford, began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Then followed the invocation by Past VFW District 1 Commander Gary Wasserman, a brief narrative, the striking of eight slow bells, “Taps” and the tossing of ceremonial wreaths  from the pier.

This year’s participants included veterans from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Coast Guard. They were joined by a group of FDNY firefighters, members of the Knights of Columbus and the public relations director of the United Military Veterans of Kings County.

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The Archbishop John Hughes Council of the Knights of Columbus held its annual festive Christmas tree lighting in the large lobby of their headquarters on 13th Avenue and 86th Street. Rev. Guy Sbordone, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church and a chaplain to the council, conducted an invocation and then blessed the tree. Council member John Bottalico also unveiled his large tabletop diorama featuring a nativity scene and items he fashioned representing a small Italian village. A reception followed in an adjoining room.

Rev. Guy Sbordone blesses the Christmas tree in the Knights of Columbus hall.
The Christmas tree in the Knights of Columbus hall.

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As the Jewish community gets set to celebrate Hanukkah, we add our blessings to you and your family for a happy and joyous festival of lights.