Today’s news:

It pays to screech!

Brooklyn Daily

I’m madder than a one-armed vegetarian at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet over the fact that sometimes it takes the power of the pen to get things done in this town, when all it should take is good, old fashioned common sense.

Look, I’m not going to get too deep into it and rehash a column I wrote two weeks ago — because I know all of youse have photographic memories and, of course, hang on my every word — but a couple of weeks back I told you about a pal of mine who was having a problem with Con Ed not paying him the money he was owed.

To make a long story endless, the electric company owed him $250 for doing some bad things to his roof after the hurricane ripped through here with all get-out, and instead of just paying him what was rightfully his, it threatened to shut off his power. (If you are reading this online, click here for the full story. If you are reading our old-school print edition, just go to your refrigerator, where I’m sure you proudly clipped out and hung this awesome piece of prose, and re-read it so you are completely up to date and know just what in Sam Hill I am writing about).

Well, multiple calls to Con Ed resulted in, well, anger, but one call to the ol’ Screecher — as usual — got results.

Here’s the skinny: within two days of the column appearing either in print or online, I got an email from Con Ed’s public relations team, which was clearly in a hurry to put out the fire.

And two days after their people spoke with me, my pal got his check. How’s that for results!

Now, you all know that I’m not the kind of guy who refuses to give credit where credit is due.

So this week, the Screecher sends out a great big thanks to Con Ed for taking care of the problem expeditiously — and getting my pal that check he so sorely needed.

Now’s the point in the column where I make one of those unexpected left turns that confuses the heck out of my readers.

The Bensonhurst West End Community Council’s (BWECC!) Educator of the Year this time around is Harla-Joy Musoff-Weiss, whom I’ve seen many times at our gala and other District 21 functions throughout the years with her retinue of friends. She is a charming, friendly, loving lady so well deserving of awards and accolades.

Here’s why:

Harla-Joy Musoff-Weiss is a loving mom, wife, daughter, and educator who has inspired children to learn, and fosters her love of knowledge in her teachers.

Her favorite quote is by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Harla’s two awards that she is most proud are from Mark Twain Intermediate School as a former student for “Outstanding Service to the School and Community and District 21 “Teacher of the Year” award which was bestowed to Harla by her former principal at Mark Twain.

She grew up in Coney Island with her parents, siblings, and grandparents. She went to school at PS 188, Mark Twain and Lafayette HS. Most of her teaching career was in District 21 at PS 128 and Brooklyn Studio School. She did her student teaching at PS 177.

Harla went to Brooklyn College, Long Island University and is a graduate of the New York City Leadership Academy. She has a master’s degrees in guidance and counseling and administration and supervision.

She lives with her husband Larry and children Micci, Ilyza, and Torrey. Her hobbies are varied from music, art, travel, cooking, sports, reading, and comedy. She has volunteered her time to Habitat for Humanity.

Her next project is to document interviews for posterity from family members by recording and preserving the life stories through an organization called Story Corps.

Her goal is always to “make a difference in the lives of others.”

Congratulations Harla, your friends, family, fellow educators and staff have come out in full force to show their respect and love and, more importantly, show that you indeed made a difference. I trust that our Educator of the Year Award will join and top the awards your most proud of, awards. As we say in Yiddish, zei gezunt!

Screech at you next week!

Carmine Santa Maria's column appears every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com, so you should read then and only then. Contact him at diegovega@aol.com.

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