Eagle columnist died of cancer in 2011
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The late Tom Kane, a legendary Bay Ridge actor, playwright and all-around promoter of the arts, will be honored posthumously by New York City, which is moving forward with a plan to name a street corner after him.
Community Board 10 voted unanimously Monday night to recommend that the City Council vote to rename the southwest corner of Colonial Road and 88th Street in Kane’s memory. Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) has already agreed to carry the legislation through the council. The council is expected to approve the measure. The final step will come when the mayor signs the bill into law.
If all of the necessary legislative steps are completed, Gentile will host a street dedication ceremony sometime in the spring.
Kane, who was born and raised in Bay Ridge, died of cancer in 2011. He was famous for his role in co-founding brooklynONE Productions Inc., a theater and film company that produces original works.
Kane, a graduate of Xaverian High School, was active in youth sports at Saint Patrick’s Church. He was a diehard Boston Red Sox fan.
Kane was also a community editor for the Bay Ridge Eagle, a paper owned by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He wrote the popular weekly column “Citizen Kane,” which focused on the arts and community groups in the neighborhood.
Doris Cruz, chairman of Board 10’s Traffic and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over street dedication applications, said Kane met all of the board’s criteria for a street renaming. The board requires that the person whose memory is being honored to have contributed to the community in many capacities over a long period of time.
“Tom Kane is eligible for a street renaming under CB 10's guidelines. Tom was a baseball coach, umpire and commissioner of the St. Patrick's Little League. He organized and supported children’s theater, worked with the Xaverian theater group. He was a fund-raiser for the Locciasano Foundation, a supporter of the Ridge Chorale. And he was a columnist for the Bay Ridge Eagle. These are just of few of his contributions,” Cruz told the board at the meeting.
Kane was on the board of directors of the Francisco Loccisano Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization named in memory of a teenager who died of cancer in 2007. The foundation offers financial and emotional assistance to families of children with cancer.
Several members of Kane’s family attended the board meeting to witness the vote.
Fran Vella-Marrone, chairman of the board’s Police and Public Safety Committee, interrupted her own committee report to pay tribute to Kane. “I knew Tommy Kane for pretty much my whole life. If there’s anyone who deserves a street naming, it’s him,” she said.
Kane is most famous for his artistic endeavors. In addition to his role as a co-founder of brooklynONE, he was also a playwright and an actor who often played musical comedy roles. In 2009, he made audiences roar with laughter as the crooked Max Bialystock in the Ridge Chorale’s production of “The Producers.”
Anthony Marino, who co-founded brooklynONE with Kane, said he was happy when he heard the news about the board’s vote. “He was such as icon in Bay Ridge. He was such a supporter of the arts. His name should be forever attached to the community he loved,” Marino told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on Tuesday.
For Marino, the tribute to Kane is personal. The two worked closely together to get brooklynONE off the ground. “I miss him every day. I hope he’s looking down on us and is proud of us,” he told the Eagle.
Another friend of Kane’s Camille Orrichio Loccisano, founder of the Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation (Francesco was her son), shared the news of the board’s vote on her Facebook page.
“The Tom Kane street sign is officially approved! ‘TOMMY KANE WAY’ will be a beautiful part of Bay Ridge just as he was,” she wrote.