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It may be “Black Friday” to everyone else, but to borough residents it will be “Brooklyn Friday.”

So hopes Borough President Marty Markowitz as he launches his “Shop Brooklyn” initiative for the 2009 holidays on November 27.

“Shop Brooklyn” is designed as an awareness campaign that will highlight the uniqueness of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and thriving shopping corridors and encourage residents to “shop local.”

As part of the “Shop Brooklyn” campaign, Brooklyn retailers, restaurants, bars, and other service providers taking part in the initiative will offer special “Brooklyn Bonuses” running through December 25.

Participating retailers will display the “Shop Brooklyn” logo in store windows and will have their special offers posted on www.ishopbrooklyn.com.

Borough state legislators took a giant stand against drunk driving last week by voting in one of the toughest drunk driving laws in the nation.

With the passage of Leandra’s Law, drunk drivers will be facing felony charges if cops find a child 15 years or younger in their vehicle with them.Arizona is the only other U.S. state with such a tough drunk-driving law.

The law is named after Leandra Rosado, who died in a car crash on the Henry Hudson Parkway last month. The driver, a friend’s mother, was found to be intoxicated.

The law will also require the installation of ignition interlock devicesin cars owned by anyone convicted of drunken driving to prevent recidivism. If the motorist fails a quick breathalyzer test at the car, the vehicle won’t unlock.

“While anyone who drives while intoxicated poses a danger to others, the person who knowingly chooses to drive drunk with children in the car has made a conscious decision to put those children at risk of harm or death,” said Sheepshead Bay State Senator Carl Kruger, who voted for the bill. “An adult can take steps to avoid riding with a drunk or impaired driver. But a child may not have that choice, particularly when the driver is a parent or guardian.”

It may be the proximity of Fort Hamilton, but it seems that Bay Ridge elected officials have set their sights on helping members of the military, this holiday season.

While they hail from opposite sides of the aisle, politically speaking, both State Senator Marty Golden and City Councilmember Vincent Gentile have kicked off collections for servicemen and women who are seeing active combat.

“We need your help to give them a piece of home as they undertake a mission of strategic importance,” urges a flyer distributed by Gentile’s office that lists a wide range of things that members of the service would appreciate.

“What better way to say thank you to those brave men and women that are currently serving in the Armed Forces by making sure that this holiday season, they have the personal items necessary to enhance their quality of life overseas,” Golden remarked. “May we continue to remember that it is our military who has allowed us to live in freedom and to celebrate our holidays amongst family and friends.”

Among those items that are mentioned are toiletries, including shaving cream, razors, baby wipes, baby powder, soap, sanitizer, deodorant, lip balm, petroleum jelly, sunscreen, toothpaste and toothbrushes, eye wash, mouth wash, toilet paper and insect repellent.

Foodstuffs are also desirable. These include jerky, instant tee, coffee and hot chocolate, candy, granola, packaged breakfast pastries, breakfast bars, applesauce and fruit cups, ramen noodles, bakes beans, cans of soup, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, tuna or chicken packs and macaroni and cheese packages.

A third category is “general comfort items.” These include phone cards, envelopes, stamps, pens, pencils, paper, batteries, paperback books, DVDs, CDs, tube socks in green and black, boxers, long johns, tan and green tee shirts, playing cards, crossword and Sudoku puzzles and games such as dominos, checkers and chess.

Donations can be dropped off at Gentile’s district office, 8703 Third Avenue, or at Golden’s district offices, 7408 Fifth Avenue or at 3604 Quentin Road, during office hours. Golden’s office will be accepting items until December 5.

For further information, contact Gentile’s office at 718-748-5200 or Golden’s office at 718-238-6044.

There’s a new phenomenon sweeping Brooklyn elementary schools %u2013 children drinking Purell.

So said city Health Department representatives at a local Community Education Council (CEC) meeting.

The reps explained that many parents of very young children have allowed the kids to keep hand sanitizer in their school bags. In some instances, children have licked the sanitizer off of their hands, thereby allowing ethyl alcohol into their system. In the most extreme cases, some children were found drinking Purell.

Parents are encouraged to speak to their children about proper use of hand sanitizers.

Child lead poisonings fell by 19 percent in New York City last year, according to new city Health Department data.

In 2008, there were 1,572 newly identified poisonings among children between six months and six years of age. That’s a 92 percent decline since 1995 when nearly 20,000 lead poisoning cases were reported.

“The new number marks a new low for New York City,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner. “But it also shows that childhood poisoning remains a serious, preventable health problem. Lead paint is the main cause of lead poisoning, and young children are most at risk. It’s critically important that landlords safely repair peeling lead paint in homes with young children. It’s also the law.”

Assemblymember Joseph Lentol announced the passage of a bill enacting reforms to the state’s public authorities, of which there are more than 700.

The bill includes adding additional powers and responsibilities to the Authority Budget Office, providing the state comptroller the ability to pre-approve public authority contracts over $1 million with non-competitively bids, requiring state authorities to maintain a record of lobbying contacts, providing whistle-blower protections for employees of public authorities, and requiring confirmation of the CEO/Executive Director of the Dormitory Authority, Thruway Authority, Power Authority, and Long Island Power Authority.

Lentol sponsored the legislation this past summer with the purpose of increasing oversight, particularly over the ways that public authorities spend taxpayer dollars.

“This legislation has tremendous support from the public and provides the reforms that New York’s public authorities need,” said Lentol. “Especially in difficult economic times, the people of New York deserve to know where and how their money is being spent.”

The 76th Police Precinct is in the process of hiring and assigning a crossing guard to the 2nd and Smith streets intersection.

The guard will be on hand during regular crossing guard hours to help safely guide children across the street as they travel to and from PS 58, the Hannah Senesh Day school and the Brooklyn New School every day.

The implementation of a crossing guard comes after the closing of the 2nd Place Carroll Street F train station. Since then, all subway riders, including hundreds of schoolchildren, have been forced to enter and exit the station across Smith Street at the 2nd Street entrance.

State Sen. Dan Squadron said his office has been receiving many complaints about the intersection since the start of the school year, prompting him to meet with the city’s Department of Transportation and the 76th precinct to implement the safety measures.

While New York’s Court of Appeals ruled in favor of developer Forest City Ratner in the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case this week, another lawsuit was filed.

Brooklyn Speaks, a coalition of eight community groups, formed to question the development several years ago, filed the suit in Manhattan Supreme Court last week, charging that another environmental review is needed because of modifications and an extended timeline to the original plan.

The $4 billion-plus project includes an arena to house the NBAs Nets along with 17 towers for market and mixed affordable housing.

Also signing onto the suit include several lawmakers who have long been critical of the plan.

An Empire State Development Corporation spokesperson called the lawsuit baseless and similar to one filed about a month ago.

“Repeating this claim, however, does not make it any more valid,” the spokesperson said.

To send in tips, e-mail editorial@cnglocal.com attn: Borough Briefs

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