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Brooklyn Heights, News

Memorial Service for Martha Atwater Friday, March 1

February 26, 2013

A memorial church service for Martha Atwater, who was tragically killed Friday at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue & Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights, will be held this Friday, March 1, at 3:30 p.m. at Grace Church, 254 Hicks Street.

The Brooklyn Eagle has published the 48-year-old Emmy-winning local resident’s obituary. Atwater, who produced children’s TV shows like “Clifford The Big Red Dog,” and “Goosebumps,” was married to Tom Wallack and had two young daughters. (Photo: Brooklyn Eagle, courtesy of the Atwater family)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, History

St. Francis College Chancellor Frank J. Macchiarola Dies At Age 71

December 18, 2012

St. Francis College shares with BHB that Chancellor, past-President and alumnus Frank J. Macchiarola died Tuesday, December 18. Macchiarola was 71. After graduating from St. Francis in 1962, he returned to his alma mater as President in 1996.

“The college flourished under his 12-year tenure and Dr. Macchiarola relished the time he spent with current and former students,” the organization said. “As President, Macchiarola would continuously go through student transcripts, looking to help those that seemed to be struggling and to reward others who showed improvements. A constant sight in the hallways and often as a professor in the classroom, students, faculty and administrators universally referred to him as Dr. Mac.”

Under his leadership, the College completed a $40 million fundraising campaign that resulted in construction of the Frank and Mary Macchiarola Academic Center, a 35,000sf building with a 3-floor library, black box theater, HDTV studio and multimedia classroom. That money was also used to build the Anthony J. Genovesi Center, a multipurpose athletic facility that hosts home volleyball matches, intramurals, lectures and special events.

Dr. Macchiarola held a number of other positions in public and private roles, serving for five years as New York City Public Schools Chancellor under Mayor Ed Koch. He also served five years as Dean of Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where he also taught. He was a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and at City University of New York (CUNY) for more than 20 years. Dr. Macchiarola was President and CEO of the New York City Partnership, Inc., Deputy Director of the New York State Emergency Financial Control Board for New York City and Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Columbia Business School Community Collaboration.

Mayor Bloomberg appointed Macchiarola to serve as chair of the New York City Charter Revision Commission. He mediated the 2003 strike of Local 802 Musicians Union against the League of American Theaters and Producers; chaired the New York City Districting Commission, which drew City Council District lines for the 1991 election; and acted as special referee in the case that drew New York State congressional lines for the 1992 election.

Dr. Macchiarola will be waked at St. Francis College at 180 Remsen Street on Wednesday, December 19 and Thursday, December 20 from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A funeral mass will be held Friday, December 21 at 10 a.m. at The Cathedral-Basilica of St. James on Jay Street and Cathedral Place in Brooklyn (one block North of Tillary Street). The burial will take place following mass at Holy Cross Cemetery, 3620 Tilden Avenue.

He is survived by his wife Mary T. Macchiarola, his three sons and seven grandchildren. He is also survived by brothers Joseph, James and Henry.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web


Barry Commoner, “Planet Earth’s Lifeguard” and Brooklyn Heights Resident, Dies at 95

October 2, 2012

Dr. Barry Commoner, the scientist and environmental advocate whom the New York Times calls “Planet Earth’s Lifeguard,” and a resident of Brooklyn Heights, died Sunday after a long illness. He was a Brooklyn native, a graduate of James Madison High School and Columbia University, and received his doctorate at Harvard. On the occasion of the first Earth Day, in 1970, Time magazine put his image on its cover, and he was a candidate for President on the Citizens’ Party ticket in 1980. During that campaign, the Times notes, a reporter asked him, “Are you a serious candidate or are you just running on the issues?”

According to the Times:

Dr. Commoner was a leader among a generation of scientist-activists who recognized the toxic consequences of America’s post-World War II technology boom, and one of the first to stir the national debate over the public’s right to comprehend the risks and make decisions about them.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa Feiner, two children by a previous marriage, and a grandchild.


Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web


Times Remembers Eagle’s Dennis Holt, Civil Rights Hero

July 9, 2012

In the Sunday New York Times Metropolitan section, Kevin Baker remembers his friend of many years, Dennis Holt, who died last month. Baker paints a colorful portrait of Holt as “a classic New York eccentric” who once chased an intruder from his Boerum Hill townhouse while brandishing a Civil War era dress sword.

Baker also discloses that, as a student government leader at the University of Alabama in 1956, Holt faced down thugs who rioted when an African American woman, Autherine Lucy, attempted to enroll there. He later sponsored a resolution “that mob violence be denounced at the University of Alabama and that means be found to protect the future personal safety of the students, white or Negro — and the faculty and the reputation of the university.” He was also a national collegiate debating champion. Who knew?

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Arts and Entertainment, Brooklyn Heights

RIP Marilyn J. Beck, Local Actress

July 2, 2012

Marilyn appears in 2008 film "Rag Doll."

Marilyn J. Beck, a longtime Remsen St. resident and active member of the Heights Players, died at Long Island College Hospital Saturday night. She was 80. Marilyn hailed from Indiana, where she attended St. Mary’s College and Ball State University. She worked for many years as a New York City public school teacher, retiring in 1989, but devoted much of her time to studying acting at HB Studio, in addition to pursuing African dance and ballet. A member of the Screen Actors Guild, her credits included “Going in Style” (1979), “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), and a 2003 episode of “Chappelle’s Show,” in which she played the wife of Chappelle’s blind, white supremacist character Clayton Bigsby.

Marilyn kicks up her heels in "Waiting in the Wings" at the Heights Players. Photo by M. Hermann

Marilyn appears opposite Dave Chappelle in 2003.

As a literacy advocate, she organized a program of dramatized short story readings that toured local libraries and nursing homes in the early 1990s, and volunteered with the SAG BookPALS program. Local audiences may remember her collaboration with legendary jazz violinist Noel Pointer on the production “Loving Henry,” a musical based on the Henry Ward Beecher adultery scandal of the 1870s. Marilyn was a fixture at the Heights Players, appearing in countless roles over the years. Dedicated to her craft, in 2005 she collapsed backstage during a production of “The Women,” but insisted on finishing the show before being brought to the hospital. Despite failing health, she appeared on stage as recently as last month in a tribute to Heights Players founding member John Bourne.

Scene from independent film "El Delivery" in 2004.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, News

‘Dean Of Brooklyn Reporters’ Dennis Holt Dies At 77

June 8, 2012

Dennis Holt, a longtime columnist and staff writer for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and sister publication Brooklyn Heights Press, died at age 83 77 Thursday after complications from a fall in his home on May 14. He had suffered broken ribs and a blow to the head, made worse by a blood thinner he had been prescribed.

After serving many years as press advisor to a number of elected officials, including former Rep. Stephen Solarz, Holt was one of the founding editors of the Brooklyn Phoenix newspaper in 1972. In the mid-1990s, when the Brooklyn Daily Eagle was revived and merged with the existing Brooklyn Daily Bulletin, he became a senior editor and columnist. He was an active contributor to the Eagle family until his fall, writing the “Brooklyn Broadside” column and other features.

Born in Kansas, Holt moved to Boerum Hill with his wife 40 years ago and raised his family there. Holt has been called a Brooklyn treasure—like Junior’s cheesecake—and the Dean of Brooklyn reporters.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz released the following statement this morning:

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of longtime Boerum Hill resident Dennis Holt, a veteran columnist and writer who really set the gold standard for journalism among Brooklyn reporters. In addition to his informative reporting for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and other publications during his storied career, Dennis had a keen political insight that he developed as a press advisor to elected officials such as Brooklyn Congressman Stephen Solarz, also of blessed memory. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dennis’ work and he always gave me and this office a fair shake—he was the antithesis of today’s ‘gotcha’ style of ‘journalism.’ On behalf of Dennis’ loyal readers and all Brooklynites, I extend my condolences and prayers to his wife, Susan, and children, Debbie and Matthew, as we mourn the passing of a true Brooklyn legend.

Read more in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle here.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web