Louis Prima Jr. to perform free concert at Rome Through Richmond Town
On Friday, July 24th, Deputy Borough President Ed Burke, Historic Richmond Town’s Ed Wiseman and Lois and Richard Nicotra announced that Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses will headline Rome Through Richmond Town. The Columbus Day celebration will celebrate all things Italian—including food, entertainment, and education. The free festival will take place on Saturday, October 10th at Historic Richmond Town.
Louis, son of music legend Louis Prima – does an incredibly energetic show playing jazz swing tunes. He and his band previewed one of their songs at the announcement, getting the crowd to dance along with them.
“Last year’s event was a resounding success, and we hope that the performer we have booked will make this year’s festival even better,” said BP Oddo. “I want to personally thank the Nicotras for sponsoring the music at the event again this year.”
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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.”
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.