Brooklyn Today: March 2, 2012

 
Good morning. Today is the 62nd day of the year. On this day in 1904, cartoonist and children’s book author Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, creator of The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and countless other classics, was born. After several years as an advertising cartoonist, his first book, And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was turned down by 27 publishers before finally being published by Vanguard Press. His The Lorax, a fable that stresses environmentalism, has just been made into a major motion picture. Geisel died in 1991.

Well-known people who were born today include singer-songwriter John Bon Jovi, author John Irving (Cider House Rules, The World According to Garp), country-folk singer Doc Watson and author-journalist Tom Wolfe (The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff).
 
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This afternoon at 2 p.m., Congressman Bob Turner (R-Brooklyn/Queens) will hold a press conference introducing the Tax and Education Assistance for Children (TEACH) Act of 2012 at St. Margaret School, 66-10 80th St., Middle Village. ...  Tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at the Park Plaza diner, 220 Cadman Plaza West, the Brownstone Poets present readings by three poets, Hassanal Abdullah, Tsaurah Litzky and Nathan Versace. Abdullah, born in Bangladesh, is the author of a bilingual collection, Breath of Bengal, and the editor of a bilingual poetry journal, Shabagucha. ... Lizsky has published 14 poetry chapbooks and has just published her a new major collection, Cleaning the Duck. ... Versace’s poetry and prose have been published in about 50 publications nationwide.
 
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According to the Daily News, Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn are criticizing Deborah Feldman’s new book, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. The Satmar sect of Williamsburg, in which Feldman grew up, calls it pure fiction – especially an account of how a young teen was killed by his father when he was caught masturbating. Records from the New York State Police show that the teen she was referring to died from an injury to the carotid artery, suggesting suicide. Feldman also claimed her mother deserted her household when she was a toddler, but court records show that her mother stayed with her father until 2003, says the News.

According to Crain’s New York Business, upstate health officials are unhappy with rumors that more than 90 percent of this year’s state HEAL NY health-related grant money will go to hospitals and nursing homes in Brooklyn.  “We’ve been watching the whole Brooklyn situation with great concern,” said Gary Fitzgerald, president of the Iroquois Healthcare Alliance. “Rumors are all over the capitol the last few days that Brooklyn applications account for 96 percent of the $450 million.”

According to Sheepshead Bites, another “roll your own” cigarette store, Green Leaf Smokes at 1326 Sheepshead Bay Road, is planning to close. An employee of Green Leaf told the blog that the store had received some tax-related threats from the city.  A competitor, City Smokes on Coney Island Avenue, was recently shut down because of lawsuits that claimed tax evasion.