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Hey, Bay Ridge: Fight for a real lifesaver!

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Our local elected officials have been demanding, “Save Victory Memorial!” But Yellow Hooker wants to know, why stop with the beleaguered hospital?

When Gourmet Grill, a health food restaurant at 7812 Third Ave., closed earlier this week, there weren’t any press conferences by local politicians trying to save the jobs of a dozen or so employees.

Gourmet Grill’s motto was “Eat Smart, Eat Healthy,” and it prided itself in serving food that both tasted great and was good for you. Trans-fats? Gourmet Grill didn’t even own a fryer. This was a place that sold enough “Ginseng Fling” power smoothies and bison burgers to make a Williamsburg hipster blush.

When I saw them hauling their patented “Chicken Lite” open-flame grill machine onto Third Avenue last Saturday, I began to ask myself why Victory deserved so many would-be saviors, yet no one was rallying for Gourmet Grill — which has kept me under 200 pounds (give or take a few) for years.

Certainly, a case could be made that this fledgling health food restaurant makes a far greater contribution to the well-being of Bay Ridge than Victory. Healthy eating is, after all, the first line of defense against so many diseases and ailments that later get treated, for better or worse, at Victory.

And even some activists admit that Bay Ridge isn’t going to miss Victory anyway: “We have two excellent hospitals, Lutheran Medical Center and Maimonides,” area leader Peter Killen told The Brooklyn Paper recently.

On some level, I blame myself: I never saw Gourmet Grill’s impending closure coming. Perhaps I should’ve noticed that the place was never that crowded, or that my fellow Ridgites were reluctant to plunk down $13.25 for veal parmigiana.

But it’s not as if Gourmet Grill gave its short-order cook a $1.1-million golden parachute like Victory’s departing CEO got (despite the fact that the hospital was going broke).

Why should Victory’s incompetence should be rewarded when honest Bay Ridge businesses tank everyday for no reason other than the public’s inability to see a good thing when it’s grilling on a no-added-fat machine right in front of them?

“What can I say?” one former Gourmet Grill employee told me. “The ‘Chicken Lite’ thing never caught on like we thought it would.”

At least Gourmet Grill took its best shot. Unlike Victory’s managers, the people behind the “Chicken Lite” grill can walk away with dignity.

The Kitchen Sink

See a pothole? State Sen. Marty Golden wants you to call his office and report it. No, really. He’s been giving out the number — (718) 238-6044 — to everyone. …

Looking for a haircut? The word is that Chad at Spin on Third Avenue and 78th Street gives the best cut in Bay Ridge — but you’d better be prepared to stand on line for him. …

Hey Babies “R” Us! How about getting rid of that ridiculous 25-cent shopping-cart fee (a neatness tax?) at your Bensonhurst store? The other day, a lady with two kids couldn’t get the machine to unlock the cart, forcing her to wait 30 minutes for a store employee to help her …

Bay Ridge’s Andrew Gerardi and his band “The AGB” are trying to gain fame — for their pursuit of fame. They’re filming a pilot about a Brooklyn band trying to make it big. The filming is structured as a countdown to the band’s concert on Jan. 20 at Crash Mansion in Manhattan. …

While rumors of Griswold’s death abound, the owner of the Third Avenue pub says he’s staying open. Amen, and pass the ribs! …

Rep. Vito Fossella, one of the president’s staunchest New York allies, is now urging the now-Democratic Congress to distribute Homeland Security funds based only on risk. Here’s hoping the Democrats listen to Fossella more than his own party did when it was in power. …

Kevin Carroll is the new president of the liberal group, Brooklyn Democrats for Change. He beat Scott Klein by just two votes out of 80 cast. Recount! …

“Don’t feed the fish. Don’t tap on the glass. Don’t put your hand in the tank,” says a handmade sign taped to a six-foot long aquarium that stands guard at meetings held at Community Board 11’s Bensonhurst offices. The sign is up for good reason: four imposing foot-long pacus fish, a relative of the piranha, live in the aquarium. Those devils have sharper teeth than CB11 District Manager Howard Feuer. …

He’s fought higher taxes and now he’ll help you do them. Golden said this week that his office will again provide free basic tax preparation this year. It’s the eighth year that Golden has offered the service at his office, which is at 7403 Fifth Ave. To get the financial help, call (718) 238-6044 for an appointment for a timeslot on any Thursday night or Saturday morning between Feb. 1 and April 14. Oh, and one other thing: The program is only available to residents of Golden’s district who earn less than $30,000.

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