Army Refuses to Change Names of Streets Honoring Confederate Generals

Aug 10, 17 Army Refuses to Change Names of Streets Honoring Confederate Generals

Posted by in All, Politics

In the 1840s two army soldiers who later fought for the South were stationed at Fort Hamilton, twenty years before the eruption of the bloody US Civil War. Those soldiers later became Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, among the most famous of the military men who fought on the side of the Confederacy. After the war was won by the North, the streets were named after these important generals in an act of reconciliation, according to an army spokesperson. But now four Brooklyn lawmakers, Representatives Yvette Clarke, Jerrold Nadler, Nydia Velazquez and Hakeem Jeffries are calling for the street names to be changed. They say they took their inspiration from the city of New Orleans, who took down statues of Lee and other Confederate officers in their city. “These monuments are deeply offensive to the hundreds of thousands of Brooklyn residents and members of the armed forces stationed at Fort Hamilton whose ancestors Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson fought to hold in slavery,” Clarke said. “For too many years, the United States has refused to reckon with that history. I commend the city of New Orleans for initiating this important and often difficult work. I will continue to petition the Department of the Army to contribute to that effort.” The army, however, had refused the request, saying that the streets were named after Jackson and Lee “in the spirit of reconciliation” and that they were honored as individuals and not as the representatives of any “particular cause or ideology.” “After over a century, any effort to rename memorializations on Fort Hamilton would be controversial and divisive,” acting Assistant Secretary of the Army Diane Randon wrote in a letter responding to the lawmakers’ pleas. Clarke says she is not going to give up so easily, retorting that “‘reconciliation’ was actually complicity by the North and the South to ignore the interests of African-Americans and enforce white supremacy, effectively denying the result of the Civil War for generations.” “We are still living...

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Revamped Brooklyn Basketball Courts Name in Memory of Rapper Biggie

Aug 03, 17 Revamped Brooklyn Basketball Courts Name in Memory of Rapper Biggie

Posted by in All, Society

Brooklyn honored one of its own last week when Councilman Robert Cornegy officiated at a ceremony naming a Bedford-Stuyvesant basketball court after rap singer B.I.G. The courts are within the boundaries of the Crispus Attucks Playground at Fulton Street and Classon Avenue. Their official name is, “Christopher “Biggie” Wallace Courts,” and makes good on a promise Cornegy made to the rapper’s mother, Voletta Wallace, at the time her son was killed, in order to honor him and his memory. “The feeling is surreal,” Cornegy said during the ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday. The basketball courts are part and parcel of a larger Parks Department renovation which cost the city $2.5 million and took five years. In addition to the refurbished basketball courts, the part now boasts better handball courts, a spanking new playground, and a completely overhauled safety surface. There is also a new set of stairs and beautiful landscaping all around the playground. Christopher Wallace was a frequent visitor to the park before he became famous with a few hit songs such as “Juicy,” “Big Poppa” and “What’s Beef?” Wallace had a history of dealing drugs and his songs are full of violent language, but his mother has been working hard to change his ultimate legacy, especially by creating the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation. “(His mother) changed the acronym for B.I.G. to stand for books instead of guns,” Cornegy said. “We’re in the process of redoing libraries providing books for young kids in school and that was her commitment.” Wallace was murdered in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997 in a drive-by shooting. No one has ever been charged with the...

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High School Students Learn About Holocaust from those Who Were There

Apr 27, 17 High School Students Learn About Holocaust from those Who Were There

Posted by in All, Society

In order to perfect their roles in an upcoming play, Yeshivah of Flatbush students are paired with survivors willing to recount their experiences during World War II. The annual Witness Theater program brings several of the high school’s seniors together with one of eight Holocaust survivors in order to conduct research for their end-of-year performance. The students and the witnesses meet once a week, and it benefits the students, the survivors, and ultimately the audience watching the play. Survivor Ernest Biederman lost his brothers and sisters during the Holocaust, and his wife of 68 years just last year. “I lost my wife this last year, and it was very sad for me,” Biederman said. “I came here and feel like I’m alive again.” The students portray those survivors’ stories more vividly as a result of their personal connection with them. “I have brothers and sisters that I lost when they were their age,” Biederman added, referring to the students he mentored. “It’s been more than 70 years, and I never forget them.” The Witness Theater program is organized by Selfhelp Community Services, and will culminate with a performance at the Museum of Jewish...

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New York City: Center for Cancer Research, Diagnosis and Treatment

Apr 04, 17 New York City: Center for Cancer Research, Diagnosis and Treatment

Posted by in All, Health

New York City is one of the chief centers for cancer care, not only in the United States, but all over the world. With world-renown research hospitals specializing in cancer research and care, such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center, New York Presbyterian, and New York University’s Langone Medical Center, it is not surprising that some of the country’s top doctors, and most advanced treatments are found here. Cancer specialists, such as hematologist Kenneth D. Nahum, ophthalmic oncologist David H. Abramson, and dermatologist David Polsky, are experts in their fields, and up-to-date on the latest research, medications and technologies available for treatment of a large variety of cancers and related ailments. For instance, at New York Presbyterian, new treatments are constantly being developed for blood-related cancers, which, as a hematologist, would be of great interest to Dr. Kenneth Nahum. There are new treatments being developed now which could treat any of the three main types of hematologic cancers: Leukemia, which is a cancer of the bone marrow cells; Lymphoma, which effects lymphocytes which help to fight infections; and Myeloma, which is a cancer of the plasma cells which are also part of the immune system. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, where Dr. David Abramson practices, there are several studies now underway to assess a new technique called photodynamic therapy for patients with prostate, esophageal, breast and bladder cancers. The therapy involves a compound derived from chlorophyll, which is found in plants and bacteria, and its activation with light. So far, the trials have shown much promise, with little side effects and relatively fast results. At the Langone Medical Center, where Dr. David Polsky specializes in melanoma, mole and skin cancer, new gene-based blood tests to identify skin cancers are being developed. In a report from the Center, two new blood tests have proven to be reliable in the detection of hitherto unidentifiable forms of skin cancer. The tests take only 48 hours, and were developed in partnership with Rio-Rad Laboratories in Hercules, California. Currently, the...

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Operation Prom Giveaway Distributes Dresses for Free

Apr 03, 17 Operation Prom Giveaway Distributes Dresses for Free

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

Some of Brooklyn’s high school girls are already getting set for prom night, which usually occurs sometime in June, as the school year comes to a close. For many girls in the city, prom is not a happy occasion, but one fraught instead with alienation and disappointment, simply because they cant afford the hundreds of dollars needed to dress and otherwise prepare for the momentous event. There is an organization that has taken much of the sting out of paying for prom night, “Operation Prom Giveaway.” This generous and innovative program has over 3,000 dresses available for the 230 girls who pre-registered for the event at UAI Math & Science for Young Women in Brooklyn Heights. With such a large number of dresses available, no wonder each girl can find her perfect dress. “My dress represents me,” said one of the girls, a senior at the Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn. “It’s a nice shade of peach, and it’s long and it has sequins and gold. I was skeptical of prom, but I’m super-excited now.” Not only do the girls get to take home some gorgeous dresses, but make-up, shoes and other accessories are also given away. Boys are also outfitted with suits or tuxes, to make prom night special for them as well. “Unfortunately, too many of our students cannot afford all the costs associated with such an event, forcing them to sit on the sidelines and miss out on an important life event,” Public Advocate Letitia James said. Two students of the FDNY High School received a dress and a suit for their special night. “Just to see everybody get a prom dress, feel beautiful, the smiles on everybody’s faces, is amazing,” one of them said. “It feels so good to help and see everyone so...

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Scavenger Hunt in Bay Ridge Rocks!

Mar 06, 17 Scavenger Hunt in Bay Ridge Rocks!

Posted by in All, Lifestyle

A few enterprising women decided the people of Bay Ridge needed a bit of a “pick-me-up,” and proceeded to create a game the entire community can play together: Bay Ridge Rocks! Amie Pappas, age 35, and friend Rana Abu-Sbaih, 42, decided to take the mental health of their neighborhood into their own hands and launched the project in January. “In these tumultuous times, we wanted to add a little joy to people’s lives,” said Amie. “We felt like the community needed that extra little pick-me-up.” She organized the moms of the PTA at PS 102 Bayview School and they set out to Home Depot and purchased 60 smooth brown river rocks and gray Mexican beach rocks. Their kids, and the women, too, painted the rocks in lively, bright colors and in many cases wrote pithy sayings on them, such as: “U Rock,” “Dream Big,” “Take the Next Step” and “Love With Your Whole Heart.” The painting of the rocks was just as important to the project as the hunt for them later. The women then circulated throughout the neighborhood and placed the rocks in a variety of hot spots, like on top of parking meters, flower pots, tree knots, and inside phone booths. Most of the rocks are found on the busier streets like Third, Fourth and Fifth Avenues. When summer arrives the rocks will be found in Owl’s Head Park and Shorse Park. “Any little cranny we can find we’ll put a rock there,” said Amie, mom to a 6-year-son and an 11-year resident of Bay Ridge. When someone finds a rock, first they take a picture of it before they hide it again. The picture is then posted to the group’s Facebook page, “Bay Ridge Rocks.” The group now has 300 members, and the touching stories are starting to come in. “One of the sweetest stories we got was from a woman who found a rock and has kept it next to her husband’s hospital bed for good luck,” said Rana Abu-Sbaih,...

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