Revenge of the Standing O

Photo by Donald Hurlbert

Coney Island

Welcome aboard to Dr. Cristian Samper, the newest, bestest president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which, if you don’t know, includes our very own New York Aquarium and Prospect Park Zoo among other awesome places to see animals in the city, including that big place in the Bronx. Our buddy Cristian was named in January by the very trusted trustees to take over the reigns from Dr. Steven Sanderson, who retired on July 1. No stranger to wildlife, Cristian was the director of the Smithsonian Institutions’s National Museum of Natural History and is a scientist and international authority on conservation biology and environmental policy. He is just too thrilled to be a part of the society. “I have admired the work of WCS for many years and am honored to join the talented and dedicated team of staff and partners,” he told Standing O.

And the staff and partners are happy to have him aboard, too.

“I am happy to welcome Cristian to the Wildlefe Conservation Society,” said Ward Woods, chairman of the board. “He has a strong background in conservation, biology, and fund-raising to make him a perfect fit to lead us into the future.”

Standing O couldn’t have said it better, and is honored to give Dr. Samper a big welcome to Brooklyn.

New York Aquarium [Surf Avenue at W. Eighth Street in Coney Island, (718) 265–3474].

Borough Wide

Honorable mentions:

Mortar boards to Kingsborough Community College for earning national recognition as one of 200 intuitions of higher learning selected to be a part of the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, and it’s the only one in New York.

Yia sou! and make way, the Hellenic Classical Charter School is getting bigger by adding an additional 21,154 square feet to its existing building. Wow! That’s a lotta squares!

Three cheers to Lady Steps, a mentoring program for girls 12 to 18 years old. The program’s goal is to foster self-confidence, self-love, and awareness of life’s issues for the borough’s young ladies.

Congrats to the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for receiving the prestigious Challenge Grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies for Arts Advancement for the second year in a row!

Whoppee! Amazin’ Mets Rusty Staub and Felix Millan greeted customers at the Kings Highway Citibank branch and signed autographs. Hold onto those autographs — they will yield high interest in the future!


Look out, Boris Spassky, there are new chess champs in town. These young masters scooped up honors at the “Chess-In-The-Schools Regional Tournament,” a program offered to students who are keeping their minds in the pink during the steamy days of summer by honing their checkmating skill. Jasmine Yang of PS 131 earned first place in the unrated category; Markus Pond of PS 313 slammed third place; Yuen High Lee of PS 131 earned fifth place in the novice category; Manuel Najera of PS 503 clinched eighth place also in the novice class; Yezen Braick of PS 503 tied for 17th place in the unrated category; Edwin Lucero of PS 503 earned third place in the unrated category; and Gabriel Rivera of PS 503 earned third place in the novice category. But no matter what place you finished, you’re all winners, because nothing beats chess when it comes to expanding your mind — and making you sweat! Just thinking about the last time we tried the Sicilian Defense makes Standing O’s little heart race!

Read Standing O every Thursday on BrooklynDaily.com!

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