Friday, May 9, 2008



May 9, 2008 -- His simple wish was their willing command.

Responding to terminally ill Yuri Benefeld's modest hope - that a cop and firefighter stop by to say hello on his 12th birthday - some 40 members of the NYPD and FDNY showed up yesterday for a surprise party beyond his wildest dreams.

The Midwood, Brooklyn, youngster, wheelchair-bound and ventilator-dependent, was serenaded with a chorus of "Happy Birthday" - and then chauffeured around in an NYPD Emergency Service truck.

"All the neighbors got scared. They came running out to see what's going on. Nobody was expecting anything like this," said Yuri's delighted mom, Debbie, referring to the maze of firetrucks and police vehicles that descended on their East 28th Street home.

Her son suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder marked by progressive muscle weakness that leads to paralysis and death. Most victims don't survive their teens, according to the Web site

Steve Zakaheim, a community activist, and Raizy Goldberger, of Chai Lifeline, a charity that aids sick children and their families, teamed up to honor Yuri's birthday wish.

First, a small entourage of firefighters came by with a birthday cake, a fire hat and an ax - and their firehouse Dalmatian, who gladly lapped up Yuri's attention.

When the firefighters realized the youngster had a blanket with various police and fire patches sewn on, James Breslin, of Engine Co. 309 took off his own to add to the collection, witnesses told The Post.

Soon more celebrants stopped in, including cops from the 70th Precinct, NYPD Canine Unit and Emergency Service Squad Truck 6.

"Everybody was shocked to the extent that everyone went just to bring a smile to this kid's face," said Jack Meyer, a community resident who serves as a liaison to the NYPD.

Yuri's mom called the impromptu party a "bittersweet" experience for her, but noted her son was "emanating a glow of happiness."

"He was happy," she said.

Added dad Michael Benefeld, "I feel that something like this was above and beyond what anyone could have expected.

"You don't see something like this, of this magnitude, every day."

Read original article on NY Post website.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May 2008 Meeting

Join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, May 28th at 7:30 PM in the United Cerebral Palsy of New York City's Community Room at 175 Lawrence Avenue.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

March 26, 2008 Meeting Minutes

70th Precinct Community Council
March 2008 Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, March 26, 2008
7:30 PM

United Cerebral Palsy of New York
175 Lawrence Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

Officers Present
Ed Powell, President
Beverley Kilpatrick, Vice President
Rosanne Boland, Treasurer
Jonathan Judge, Recording Secretary
Laura James, Corresponding Secretary
Mavis Theodore, Sergeant-at-Arms

NYPD, Elected Officials & Other Guests
Inspector Thomas Harris, Commanding Officer
Captain Peter Venice, Executive Officer
Lt. Jacqueline Bourne, Community Affairs
Det. Dominick Scotto, Community Affairs
Council Member Michael Nelson
Doris Ortíz, District Manager, Community Board 14
Terry Rodie, former District Manager, Community Board 14
Chaim Deutsch, President, Flatbush Shomrim
Eli Slavin for Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Reuven Lipkind for State Senator Eric Adams
Wendy Ann Powell for Assembly Member Rhoda Jacobs
Pinny Ringel for Council Member Simcha Felder

The regular meeting of the 70th Precinct Community Council was called to order at 8:02 PM. President Powell invited everyone to join him in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Powell then acknowledged the various representatives of elected officials and other distinguished guests present at the meeting (see above).

1. Appointment to the Election Committee – Mr. Powell
In accordance with Article E of the 70th Precinct Community Council's bylaws, the President must appoint an Election Committee at its March meeting, which shall consist of three (3) members in good standing who shall work with the Precinct Commanding Officer to compile a list of members eligible to vote and run for office. The Election Committee is also responsible for overseeing the conduct of elections in June for Board positions. The list of eligible voters and candidates will be reported at the April 30th meeting. Nominations for office will be heard at the May meeting. Mr. Powell appointed the following three people to serve on the Election Committee:

Dr. Bruce MacIntyre
Ms. Helen Silverman
Ms. Gretel Weston

2. Tribute In Memoriam for Former Members of the 70th Precinct Community Council
The Community Council paid tribute to those deceased members of the 70th Precinct Community Council who worked to improve public safety in the community.

Marsha Edell, Joe "Papa Yussie" Silverman, and Ben Gluck were remembered for their outstanding contributions. Various community leaders, friends and family spoke about their legacies: Inspector Thomas Harris, Council Member Michael Nelson, Council President Ed Powell, Flatbush Shomrim President Chaim Deutsch, Nottingham Association Board Members Connie Koenig, Bruce MacIntyre, and Blossom Klass, former Community Board 14 District Manager Terry Rodie, current Community Board 14 District Manager Doris Ortíz, local community activist Nelson Soto, and Wendy Ann Powell on behalf of Assembly Member Rhoda Jacobs. At Mr. Deutsch's suggestion and with help from Council Member Nelson, a plaque was dedicated in their memory and for such individuals in the future who have served their community with distinction to improve public safety.

Sadly, Inspector Harris announced that former Sergeant-at-Arms and long-standing community activist, Hynda Schneiweiss, passed away earlier today. A moment of silence was held in her memory.

3. Upcoming Events

Unity Showcase Festival – Sunday, April 13th, 11 AM-5 PM, Bartel Pritchard Square, Prospect Park
Brooklyn South will be hosting the annual Community Precinct Unity Showcase in Prospect Park. There will be entertainment, food, games and refreshments for both children and adults. Catch a glimpse of the entire world right here in Brooklyn! Contact Det. Tommy Nihill for more details: 718-287-1259

4. Cops of the Month: P.O. Florin Kuken, P.O. Ryan Lane, & Det. Bill Simon
Officers Kuken and Lane were on patrol when a man, who had been robbed, informed them that he was approached by the robber to arrange a meeting at his house where he could return the items he had stolen. The victim of the robbery arranged a meeting, during which the officers arrested the robber. Working with Det. Simon, they also arrested a second man connected to the robbery.

5. Captain Peter Venice, New Executive Officer – Inspector Harris
Captain Peter Venice was introduced and warmly welcomed by the Council as the new Executive Officer of the 70th Precinct.

6. Open Forum with Inspector Harris – No issues were raised by members of the audience.

7. Remarks from Brooklyn South Auxiliary Chief Tony Christo
Chief Christo spoke about the close partnership between the Auxiliaries and the officers of the 70th Precinct. He recognized in particular Sergeant Brian Lane and P.O. Shawn Lipstein for their work with the Auxiliaries.

8. Inspector Harris' Retirement Announcement
Inspector Harris, who has served on the force for 23 years, announced his retirement, which will be effective April 28, 2008. He stated that it has been a pleasure to serve at the 70th Precinct and wishes everyone the best.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Jonathan Judge
Recording Secretary