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When the News was the Snooze

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April Fools!

In the 1990s your beloved Bay News attempted to show our staffers had an incredible sense of humor, with our annual April Fools edition, ingeniously bannered the Bay Snooze. Unfortunately, some readers — and polititians who were routinely the butt of our jokes — weren’t in on the gag. Letters to the editor routinely followed, and apologies graciously accepted. Well, most times. Here’s a peek:

In a 1994 issue, we reported that an “upscale topless club” was coming to Emmons Avenue.

We called it “Runway 21” and reported it would be located on Emmons Avenue just off of East 21 Street. It was reported that Councilman Anthony Weiner said, “‘After the loss of Loehmann’s, this may be the best thing we get on the waterfront.’”

In the same 1994 issue, readers got the news that Brooklyn cable subscribers would be treated to a new channel — “Schumer-vision” — seven days a week, 18 hours a day footage of Charles Schumer in interviews, at home and during leisure activities.

Schumer would even take viewers on tours of his kitchen and living room, “for a look at the man behind the omni-present public image.”

The channel didn’t seem to be widely viewed.

Schumer made another appreance in our 1995 article about an investigation that traced him to New York City’s weapons market.

Schumer “claimed” he was only selling firearms to protect his constituents — since at the time a crime bill was about to be reversed.

The congressman’s gun company was reported as very successful — with more than 35,000 pistols and automated weapons sold.

That same year, it was reported that a local assemblyman had come up with an idea to eliminate the growing problem of lost and stolen pets.

Assemblyman Jules Polonetsky was said to have announced that pet branding would be required of all Brooklyn registered pets.

It was said an officer at local precincts, “specifically trained in pet branding would burn a small but identifiable mark into the left side of each animal.”

Apologies to any cats and dogs whose owners fell for the gag.

A 1996 Bay Snooze reported that the city would begin paying Brooklynites for their recycled newspapers.

“‘All you have to do is leave a 12-inch bundle of newspapers in front of my office, with your name and address attached … In a week or so you’ll get a check for $5 for each bundle.’” City Councilmember Noach Dear was quoted as saying.

It’s Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition — Brooklyn style.

In 1996 a dozen Brooklyn city councilmembers were said to have stripped down to their trunks in their own calendar based off of the magazine’s wildly successfully swimsuit edition.

We paired local politicians’ heads with buff, or scrawny, bikini-clad bodies.

Talk about bathing beauties.

— Courtney Donahue

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