BP Oddo announces planned added tribute for September 11th Memorial Ceremony
Borough President James S. Oddo announced plans to add a special tribute at his annual September 11th Memorial Ceremony at a press conference on July 22. The video tribute will honor the lives of those we lost by highlighting their families since that day. BP Oddo has asked those who lost loved ones in the attack to send his office photos and descriptions of recent family events for inclusion in the video.
“When the towers fell it may have seemed as if time stood still, but in reality, of course, it did not. Life went on, our children and grandchildren continued to grow, there were weddings, births, graduations; all of the events that those we lost should have been there to celebrate. Those we lost that awful day live on through each of the special moments, in the lives of loved ones they so tragically left behind,” noted BP Oddo. “This year, as an addendum to our Staten Island 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at Postcards, we would like to include the good news families have had in the time since their loved ones passed. Those we lost that awful day live on through each of the special moments in the lives of loved ones they so tragically left behind. Let us celebrate all of these events as a community. In addition to the memorial ceremony we hold so dear, let’s set aside some time to hear about those milestones that make us smile and make our hearts glad.”
He praised his predecessor James Molinaro’s graceful handling of the 9/11 memorial each year, and hopes to continue to honor the victims of that tragic day, as well as their families. Drawing on his own experience of losing his father just months before his wedding last fall, the Borough President explained his wish to show that those lost on September 11 live on in the achievements and milestones of their family members. “I could hear my Dad that day,” he said. “He was with me.”
With this in mind, Borough Hall will collect information and photos regarding families’ joyful milestones such as weddings, births, and college acceptances, all of which will be compiled into a video to be shown during the memorial. Please send via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 7.
BP Oddo also stressed that all Staten Islanders are welcome at the memorial ceremony, to be held on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 PM at the Postcards Memorial, just steps from the SI Ferry terminal. “This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our common humanity and unite as one Staten Island community,” he said.
BP Oddo, NYPD, and DOE announce “Protecting Our Kids” program
On July 15, Borough President James Oddo and NYPD Assistant Chief Edward Delatorre held a press conference at Borough Hall to announce a new initiative called the “Drop Box Program: Police and Parents Protecting Our Kids.” They were joined by executive director of Staten Island YMCA Counseling Services Jacqueline Fiore Filis, executive director of Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness and project director for Tackling Youth Substance Abuse Adrienne Abbate, and DOE District 31 Superintendent Anthony Lodico.
BP Oddo began by explaining the initiative, which helps Staten Islanders safely dispose of unneeded prescription drugs. The program encourages parents to clean out their medicine cabinets of unused medications and bring them to drop box centers at their local precincts. The goal is to prevent children from experimenting with prescription drugs, which all too often leads to addiction.
“We want to encourage Staten islanders to discard expired drugs or medications that are not being used,” said BP
Oddo. “We want them to get rid of them.”
The program is an offshoot of the successful “Too Good For Drugs” program, which was piloted in five Staten Island schools this year. If parents bring their children when they drop off their drugs, the children will be rewarded with Too Good For Drugs placards, which they can present to their school principals for recognition. Involving children in a positive way empowers the students and parents to be a part of the solution to Staten Island’s drug epidemic.
The initiative is an extension of the NYPD’s Found Controlled Substance procedure. The procedure allows people who discover illicit substances in their homes to voluntarily turn the drugs in to a police station without their family members getting in trouble.
“It is critical to develop yet more ways to reach the family members of active addicts. They are suffering in silence, fear, and shame and require a special or concerted effort to engage and break the cycle,” noted Executive Director of Camelot Counseling Center Luke Nasta.
Superintendent Lodico then spoke about the importance of school involvement in curbing prescription drug abuse. “It truly is work that has to be done as a community,” he said. He acknowledged that this program is only the beginning, and said that he looks forward to continued engagement in anti-drug initiatives.
Adrienne Abbate then asserted the essential nature of the initiative. She explained how the majority of youth who have experimented with prescription drugs report that they found them at home. It is essential to break this cycle because, as Abbate said, “people addicted to painkillers are 40 times more likely to get addicted to heroin.”
The good news, according to Jacqueline Filis, is that these anti-addiction programs have been working. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our Borough’s leaders and the cooperation of our community, “Overdose deaths are decreasing. Kids delay experimentation. There are less kids using drugs,” she said.
“We realized early on that our role at Borough Hall was to focus on students,” BP Oddo said. “Ed Delatorre is the driving force behind this. he’s been a tremendous partner and asset to the community.”
Atlas Foundation joins in fight against litter
Borough President James S. Oddo announced on June 29 that the Atlas Foundation’s Cops and Kids Boxing Program will join the Borough President’s Clean Team on Mondays and Fridays.
Before Oddo took office in 2014, the Clean Team was on a two day a week schedule. Oddo immediately increased it to three days per week. With the participation of the Atlas Foundation it will now operate five days per week, a 150 percent increase during this BP’s tenure. From Tuesdays to Fridays, those performing community services from the organization CASES will continue to assist with the Clean Team. Starting July 6, cleanup activities on Mondays and Fridays will be performed by participants in the Cops and Kids Program, run by legendary boxing trainer and philanthropist Teddy Atlas.
“These young guys will be out there and be part of the positive change that is happening on Staten Island,” noted Oddo.
Atlas was only too happy to partner with the Borough President – his friend – and said it just makes sense for the organization to join forces with the Clean Team. “We teach these kids much more than hooks and jabs,” noted Atlas, who runs three gyms for kids to give them positive role models and to help them stay out of trouble. “We teach them to care and have respect for themselves, to care about your community.”
The new additions to the team will be led by Marcus Brown, a Golden Glove champion and alumnus of the Atlas Cops and Kids Program. He joins the Borough Hall staff leader, Larry Collins, to make the Clean Team bigger and better and cover more ground.
BP Oddo to host Summer Sunset Concert
The Summer Sunset Concert Series is sponsored by BP Oddo, CM Ignizio, and Council Members Steven Matteo and Debi Rose. The free concerts will take place every Thursday night of the summer in various parks throughout the Island.
Below, please find a list of upcoming summer concerts, including the bands currently scheduled to perform. Please note that some slots are still being filled. Click here to view a map of the upcoming concert locations.
8/6 – Bloomingdale Park
8:15 PM - The Rhythm Rascals
8/13 – Snug Harbor Cultural Center
7:00 PM - SI Community Band
8:15 PM - Lovemedo
8/15 - Doo Wop Under the Stars at Freedom Circle
A special Saturday Doo Wop Show under the stars starring Vito Picone and The Elegants at Freedom Circle
8/20 – Willowbrook Park
7:00 PM - Joan Cadell and the Midnight Choir
8:15 PM - London Fogg
8/27 – Silver Lake Park
7:00 PM - Rachel Isaacs Band
8:15 PM - Natalie Jean
9/3 – Clove Lakes Park
Featuring Rock Farm
Click here to download the Sunset Summer Concert schedule
Staten Island to see its normal allotment of 240 lane miles paved over the next two years PLUS AN ADDITIONAL 125, bringing the total to 365 over the next two years
At a meeting of the Staten Island Transportation and Traffic Task Force at Borough Hall on June 9, Department of Transportation (DOT) officials informed Borough President James Oddo and Council Members Steve Matteo and Debi Rose that 25% of the additional lane miles to be resurfaced under the Mayor’s recently announced plan to resurface 500 more lane miles citywide (200 additional miles in FY 2016 and 300 in FY 2017) would be paved in Staten Island. This means that 125 extra lane miles will be resurfaced on Staten Island in the next two fiscal years.
In a typical year when the city paves 1,000 lane miles, Staten Island, which consists of 12% of the total lane miles in the city, receives approximately 12% of the resurfacing (or 120 lane miles). As a result of the Mayor’s unprecedented commitment to resurfacing an additional 500 lane miles in the next two years, in FY 2016, which begins July 1, 2015, Staten Island will have 160 lane miles resurfaced, forty more lane miles than in a typical year. In FY 2017, Staten Island will have 205 lane miles resurfaced, eighty five more miles than in a typical year. Taken together, this equals an additional 125 lane miles resurfaced in FY 16 and 17 (in addition to the 240 already slated to be resurfaced) and 25% of the total new lane miles to be resurfaced.
“We asked the Mayor for an unprecedented commitment to road resurfacing to make up for the omissions of the past, and he delivered,” said Borough President Oddo. “Without this commitment, we would have seen about 240 lane miles resurfaced over the next two years; instead, we will see 365 lane miles resurfaced. This means that we will finally start to see progress in our quest for more drivable roads. It’s time to ‘pave, baby, pave.’”
At the meeting, the elected officials also learned that the following major thoroughfares will be resurfaced during nighttime hours in the coming months: Portions of Bay Street, Clove Road, Richmond Road, Victory Blvd, and Hylan Blvd. Bay Street will be the first one done over the summer. These are in addition to previously scheduled and announced nighttime resurfacings of New Dorp Lane, Ocean Terrace, and Arthur Kill Road.