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Brooklyn gets set to crown a new Senior Idol

Older adults all over Brooklyn are spending the summer rehearsing for the chance to become a star.

Auditions for the Eighth Annual Brooklyn Senior Idol contest are a little over a month away and would-be finalists are busy preparing to impress the judges so that they can get into the final.

The auditions are set for Monday, Sept. 8, at Xaverian High School, 7100 Shore Road in Bay Ridge, at 4 p.m.

Brooklyn Senior Idol will take place on Saturday, Oct. 25, also at Xaverian High School, at 7 p.m.

The contest is open to anyone age 50 or older.


Gentile takes trip to Taiwan to promote stronger ties

Councilmember Vincent Gentile has traveled halfway around the world in the interest of strengthening ties between Asia and New York City.

Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-parts of Bensonhurst) was hand-picked by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to join her as a member of a City Council delegation visiting Taiwan.


Recchia launches grassroots campaign push

With a little over three months to go until Election Day, Democrat Domenic Recchia, hoping to wrest the congressional seat that covers Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Staten Island away from Republican Michael Grimm, focused his campaign on the Brooklyn end of the two-borough district on Saturday, organizing a group of volunteers to go door to door for him to talk to voters.

Recchia came to the Stars and Stripes Democratic Club on 15th Avenue to kick off what his campaign labeled a weekend of volunteering.


Gentile calls Bay Ridge illegal home conversions an epidemic

The troubling practice of gutting one and two-family homes and constructing multiple units is becoming an epidemic in Bay Ridge and other southwest Brooklyn neighborhoods, according to Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who called together top-level city officials to begin formulating a plan to stop it.


Commodore Barry biographer earns salute

Members of the Commodore Barry Club of Brooklyn were on hand at a recent gala dinner at historic Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan as writer Tim McGrath was honored for his literary contributions to naval history.

McGrath, who wrote the “John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail,” was the guest of honor at the dinner co-sponsored by the Naval Historical Foundation and the National Maritime Museum.

McGrath is also the author of “Give Me a Fast Ship,” an account of the early years of the American Navy.


Arab-Americans distribute safety tips for mosques

In the wake of two anti-Muslim attacks outside Brooklyn mosques, Arab-American leaders are urging members of their community to consult a booklet offering tips on keeping religious institutions safe.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations of New York (CAIR-NY) first issued “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety” in 2013, but Sadyia Khalique, director of operations for CAIR-NY, said the booklet has timely advice.


Congress members speak out after courts issue Affordable Care Act rulings

Two members of Brooklyn’ congressional delegation spoke out, voicing opposing viewpoints, on the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, after two federal courts issued opposing rulings on the controversial law on Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-C-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Staten Island) and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Crown Heights-Brownsville) both issued statements after the flurry of court activity on July 22.


New Fort Hamilton commander has close ties to Brooklyn

Col. Joseph D. Davidson, the new commanding officer of the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton, officially assumed his new post at the fort Wednesday morning during a ceremony filled with military tradition.


Coalition condemns attacks on Brooklyn Muslims

Leaders from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities came together for a press conference in Bay Ridge on Tuesday to denounce two shocking acts of religious intolerance against Muslims that took over the weekend.

In one of the incidents, assailants threw eggs at Muslims arriving at the Tayba Islamic Center at 2165 Coney Island Ave. for Ramadan services Friday night. The egg throwers also shouted anti-Islamic slurs, according to Manaf Abdul, a spokesman for the mosque. An egg struck one of the victims, a 72-year-old man, on the left side of his face, Abdul said.


Met Council gives kids a chance to sit around the camp fire

Sixty kids from Brooklyn and Queens are getting the chance to enjoy swimming, camping, volleyball and other fun-filled activities at summer camp, thanks to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, which expanded a scholarship fund it runs to enable the kids to get out of the city.

The funds were provided by Lizzy and Bryce Markus, according to the Met Council, which is providing the camp scholarships to 60 children from families living below 300 percent of the poverty level ($71,550 for a family of four). The families got to select the summer camp their child is attending.



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