Borough President Vito J. Fossella celebrated "Ralph Lamberti Day" to thank our 12th Borough President for his powerful advocacy of Staten Island during an intimate ceremony with family and friends at Borough Hall.
Mr. Lamberti served as the Deputy Borough President from 1974 to 1984 and then as Borough President from 1984 to 1989.
“There are so many memories,” said Mr. Lamberti, sitting at his old desk alongside former Borough President James P. Molinaro. “It wasn’t just about sitting inside -- but about going outside to make a difference for the public. The public was involved in everything we did.”
Borough President Fossella said the role of the Borough President is to act for the improvement of Staten Island and to work across party lines.
“No matter who we are or where we’re from, it doesn’t matter,” said Borough President Fossella. “The reality is that we all love Staten Island, and we just want to make this place better for our kids and grandchildren.”
Mr. Lamberti's wife, children, and grandchildren spoke about his use of the term “we are family,” to incorporate all of Staten Island.
“Recognition at this point is very meaningful,” said Mr. Lamberti's wife, Susan. “His life was devoted, and I was happy they mentioned ‘we are family,’ because I think that was the spirit that he shared.”
As the ceremony came to a close, Borough President Fossella presented Mr. Lamberti with a framed portrait.
“Your accomplishments are countless: You fought City Hall to expand services on Staten Island, created more parkland, and secured funding for the arts. As a student at Curtis High School, you played football for Andrew J. Barberi and later successfully urged NYC to name a ferryboat after the legendary coach.”
Borough President Fossella also praised Susan for always championing Ralph’s efforts and making her own positive impact on the lives of Staten Islanders.
“To Ralph and Susan, we thank you for your everlasting commitment to Staten Island,” he said. “You are true examples of selfless leadership.”
Borough President Vito J. Fossella gathered his fellow elected officials and representatives from a number of city agencies to discuss traffic and transit issues plaguing Staten Island, as well as to share ideas about potential solutions, during a Transportation Summit in Borough Hall on Tuesday.
“It’s common knowledge that one of the most important quality-of-life issues on Staten Island is traffic and transportation,” said Borough President Fossella. “We thought it would be worthwhile to collect all the elected officials and representatives, as well as some of the major stakeholders who get things done, to highlight what we thought are the major priorities to improve traffic conditions, to enhance safety, to expedite the flow of traffic while maintaining safety and to speak with one solid voice on these priorities.”
Here are the priorities they outlined:
Borough President Vito KJ Fossella kicked off the 27th annual “Readers Are Leaders” challenge at PS 8 in Great Kills on Tuesday, addressing the fourth-grade students about the importance of reading.
“This program is to encourage and to inspire those who like to read, but it’s also trying to get to those who don’t necessarily like to read,” said Borough President Fossella.
“Readers Are Leaders” challenges fourth-grade students in the borough’s public, parochial and private schools to read a minimum of five books in five weeks.
Students then submit a report or interpretation in their own creative way on their favorite book read during the five-week period -- it could be in the form of a skit, a diorama box, video, interview with a favorite character, book report, or another creative way the student chooses. Each school then selects one “Super Reader” to receive an award at a ceremony in May.
The challenge began in 1996 when Borough President Fossella was the Councilman representing Staten Island’s South Shore and it was later taken over by Borough Hall. Since its inception, fourth-graders graders have read more than 780,000 books for the annual challenge -- that amounts to over 29 billion words read.
“It’s something we’re very proud of,” said Borough President Fossella. “It’s one of the better things I ever had the privilege of doing, and I just hope, even if it makes a difference in one child’s life, we’ve done good.”
At the end of program, the PS 8 students wowed us with a dazzling performance of “A Backstreet Valentine’s Day.”
We thank the students and staff of PS 8 for welcoming us into their school and we look forward to another successful year of reading for all of Staten Island’s fourth-grade students.
Schools wishing to participate can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Borough President Vito Fossella Helps NYPD Launch 'Digital Age:' Cyberbullying Workshops For Schools
Borough President Vito Fossella announced the launch of the NYPD’s “Digital Age,” a boroughwide cyberbullying workshop designed for students and parent during an assembly at Totten (I.S. 34) Intermediate School.
“It used to be if there was an argument or a fistfight in the hallway, it was over in about six minutes,” said Borough President Fossella. “People made up, they forgot about it, and who knows, maybe they became good friends for the rest of their lives. But social media now can take that hallway incident and put it around the school and beyond in three minutes. It could lead to tragedy.”
“Digital Age” will bring specially-trained police officers into school classrooms and assemblies to educate students about the potential harmful effects of cyberbullying. There will be workshops for parents in the evenings to teach them how to recognize and react to the signs of cyberbullying, as well as the ways it can be prevented. Mental health resources will also be provided for students who are the victims of cyberbullying.
Students and parents will be educated about the serious criminal charges that can result from cyberbullying, as well as the false sense of security that deleting posts or profiles completely removes them from browser history.
“The continuing support of the Borough President is essential in helping our Too Good for Drugs program evolve as issues for young people do,” said Detective Derek Brown of Patrol Borough Staten Island. “Our youth are immersed in the digital world so it’s our team’s responsibility to make sure it is a safe space for them to grow as they step into the Digital Age.”
Borough President Fossella called on students to take action when they witness a case of bullying.
“For the life of me, I can’t fathom watching someone who is being hurt, abused, or pummeled and standing there and doing nothing,” he said. “I can’t imagine why you would want to videotape it and broadcast if for the world to see. If you’re ever in that situation, don’t be the one videotaping it -- step in and call for help instead of being a spectator. As much as technology has changed, one thing that hasn’t changed is the fundamental principle of treating somebody as you want to be treated yourself. If everybody does that in life, we wouldn’t have these issues of bullying and cyberbullying.”
Schools interested in setting up a workshop should contact Detective Brown or Police Officer Kevin Moore at 718-667-2200.
Watch the full press conference here.
Borough President Vito Fossella was joined by Robin Vitale, Vice President of Health at the American Heart Society, and Rachel Volpe, Executive Director of the Staten Island Heart Society, in launching “Be the Beat,” a nationwide call-to-action to ensure every household has at least one family member trained in hands-only CPR.
“Be the Beat” provides free resource tools to help start and sustain hands-only CPR and AED training programs in communities to teach the lifesaving skill. Hands-only CPR -- which involves chest compressions, rather than mouth-to-mouth resuscitation -- is recommended by the American Heart Association as it increases the likelihood of people performing CPR in an emergency.
“The fundamental truth remains that if we can administer and provide CPR in the first minute or two, we can save a life,” said Borough President Fossella during a CPR training session for staff members in the offices of Borough Hall, as well as those from the District Attorney’s office and court personnel. “The recent on-field cardiac arrest of Buffalo Bills’ player Damar Hamlin underscores the importance of this training in the event of an emergency.”
Each year, 350,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest -- when the heart stops beating and the individual is unresponsive. About 90% of individuals who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting will not survive.
“We are challenging every family to train at least one person in hands-only CPR, and if possible, to be certified,” said Dr. Ginny Mantello, Borough Hall’s Director of Health and Wellness. “This is important because most cardiac arrests don’t occur in the hospital. They happen at home, or at work, or in the community. This very simple measure, this very simple training can potentially save the life of a loved one.”
Watch the full press conference here.
Borough President Fossella joined NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue to cut the ribbon on the $3.72 million renovation to Gerard P. Dugan Playground in New Dorp.
“The playground has been a beloved mainstay in New Dorp since it opened in 1931," Vito said. "The brand-new features will ensure it remains a safe place for children to play and for the community to gather. It continues to serve as a wonderful tribute to its namesake, Gerard P. Dugan, a Marine Corps veteran who was a dedicated civic leader.”
Renovations include new play equipment for children ages 2-5 and 5-12, large and small swing sets, and spray showers. Parks also installed new water utilities, ADA accessible seating areas, and game tables; planted more trees and shrubs; and provided more shade in the center of the site.
(Photo credit: NYC Parks/Malcolm Pickney)
Vito presented the Patrick F. Daly Award to two outstanding educators who exemplify the selfless leadership of the fallen principal.
Patrick F. Daly lost his life in a gang cross-fire thirty years ago in Red Hook, Brooklyn, while searching for a student who had left the school building.
The award was presented to John K. Boyle, the principal of Totten Intermediate School 34, and Lisa Friscia, a K-5 English As A New Language teacher at P.S. 39, during a ceremony in Borough Hall.
John K. Boyle was named the principal of Totten Intermediate School in 2011. Mr. Boyle is committed to ensuring that every day is “Just another Great Day at IS 34” for all of his students, faculty, and staff. He has been appointed both a Model and a Master Principal by New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks. He is a graduate of Monsignor Farrell High School and holds a master’s degree in Secondary Education from the College of Staten Island and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Touro College.
Lisa Friscia has been teaching for 14 years and currently works with new students entering P.S. 39 from around the world. She developed an interest in working with and supporting culturally diverse student populations while writing her thesis on shared reading strategies to support English-language learners. She currently serves as a NYS TESOL Advocacy Committee Member and as a mentor teacher for new classroom teachers and TESOL teaching candidates from Touro College.
It was a wonderful and truly inspiring evening at Borough Hall. Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating these two worthy educators. And a special thank you to the Port Richmond High School Culinary Department, the Susan Wagner High School Jazz Combo, and the St. George Theatre for their participation in making this evening special.
Borough President Vito Fossella proclaimed "Impractical Jokers Day" in the Borough of Staten Island on Monday, Feb. 6.
The Impractical Jokers accepted their proclamations in front of 1,000 fans at the St. George Theatre, where they kicked off the 10th season of their TruTV show with a special screening of the first episode.
Brian (Q) Quinn, Sal Vulcano and James (Murr) Murray have never forgotten where they come from and continue to show their love and support of their hometown.