Political Potpourri: Golden Says State Should Salute ‘The Kid’

By Paula Katinas

State Sen. Marty Golden wants New York State to pay tribute to “The Kid.”

Golden said he will introduce a resolution remembering New York Mets legend Gary Carter, who died last week of brain cancer.

Golden said he intends to honor the Mets’ great catcher, Number 8, with official recognition when the Senate resumes session later this month.

“New York has lost one of the heroes of 1986, a legendary ‘Boy of Summer,’ with the passing of Gary Carter. A Hall of Famer, a World Series champion and a humanitarian, the good life that was Gary Carter’s ended at the young age of 57. Gary Carter may have lost his battle with cancer, but we must honor him, so to guarantee his legacy will inspire people for future generations,” Golden said. “I join with fellow New York Mets fans and all fans of baseball in mourning his loss. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”

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U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm stood up on the floor of the House of Representatives to pay tribute to Timothy Cardinal Dolan, who was elevated to the rank of cardinal on Feb. 18 by Pope Benedict XI in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

“His Holiness, Pope Benedict, could not have picked a better man of faith for this prestigious role. Three years ago, New Yorkers were blessed when the pope appointed him the 10th Archbishop of New York. He has warmed our hearts with his big personality and quick wit, and he has strengthened our faith with his guidance,” Grimm said. “On a national level, his leadership has shed positive light on the Catholic Church and continues to raise its profile.”

Grimm, who is Catholic, lives on Staten Island, a borough that is part of the Archdiocese of New York. Cardinal Dolan is the head of the archdiocese.

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Both state Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis are praising a court ruling that will allow a church to use public school space for religious services. The court overruled a decision by the New York City Department of Education banning religious groups from using public schools. The ban began on Feb. 12.

Golden said the court ruling “is in line with the protections of freedom of religion, expression and equality that is outlined in the Constitution.”

Religious organizations “cannot and should not be discriminated against, as they deserve the same rights as all groups do,” he said.

Golden is the sponsor of a bill that would allow religious groups the right to use schools, when classes are not in session, as a place to worship. The bill passed the Senate on Feb. 6 and has been sent to the Assembly.

Malliotakis called the judge’s decision “a victory for the litany of religious institutions that make our city a better place through the use of these properties.”

Malliotakis, who has sponsored an Assembly bill to allow the groups to use public schools, pointed out that religious groups provide a great deal of community service.

“New Yorkers count on the services religious groups provide and support their right to inhabit public spaces. To exclude these groups based solely on religious affiliation is just plain wrong,” she said. “My colleagues and I who have championed this cause will continue to push this issue to the finish line through whatever means necessary, be it a permanent injunction by the courts, or through the legislation I have co-sponsored to protect our religious groups.”

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Malliotakis, who is running for re-election in November, may have a businessman opposing her. Democrat John Mancuso, a Staten Island restaurateur, has announced that he will run against the freshman Republican-Conservative lawmaker.

Mancuso is the executive chef/owner of Silvestro’s Gourmet Deli & Caterers, located in Westerleigh, Staten Island.

He is also a captain in the auxiliary police for the 122nd Precinct and Highway Patrol Unit 5, both located on Staten Island.

Mancuso previously served as chief of staff to Bay Ridge Councilman Vincent Gentile.

He is a member of the board of directors of the local nonprofit organizations New York Center for Interpersonal Development and Community Health Action of Staten Island.

The district Malliotakis represents is dominated by Staten Island, but includes parts of Bay Ridge. The assemblywoman is often seen attending events in the Bay Ridge end of the district.

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Sunset Park Councilwoman Sara González said that one of her more pleasant tasks as a lawmaker is to present proclamations to constituents for their outstanding accomplishments. She said she got particular pleasure from bestowing a proclamation on a retired school principal last week.

The retired educator, Yvette Aguirre, is a childhood friend of González. The two women attended P.S. 140 in Sunset Park together when they were children.

Aguirre was feted by a host of elected officials at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held for the opening of the Yvette Aguirre Wing at P.S. 169, where she had once served as principal.

The event included performances from the P.S. 169 Children of the World Chorus, as well as children showcasing their ballroom dancing skills.

“Although Ms. Aguirre retired in 2005, she can be proud of the tremendous impact she has made throughout the community, for her legacy will continue to resonate not only within the walls of several schools, but also within the hearts and minds of students, parents, teachers and alumni across our city and beyond,” González said.