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After a busy week, here’s a chance to catch up on some of the news happening outside of our neighborhood! We’ve pulled together some of our favorite recent stories from our site and our sister sites, as well as some other fascinating pieces that are worth a read this weekend:

A 22-year-old man died after accidentally setting himself on fire in Borough Park. [KensingtonBK]

A sneak peek inside The Finch, Clinton Hill’s new farm to table restaurant from a former Roberta’s chef. [Fort Greene Focus]

Will the landmarked Brooklyn Lyceum be turned into condos? [Park Slope Stoop]

A Sheepshead Bay man and Texas woman locked in a suicide pact committed the deadly deed using cyanide on Monday. [Sheepshead Bites]

New York expands its role in caring for immigrant children, sometimes using shackles during transportation. [Capital NY]

A 20-year-old man was arrested in last week’s fatal home invasion in Ditmas Park. [Ditmas Park Corner]

Locals want to re-imagine what the 4th Ave/9th St subway station could look like. [South Slope News]

Pedestrian-friendly changes are coming to Brooklyn’s Myrtle and Park Avenues. [FGF]

MTA breaks ridership record, still $15B in the hole. [Gothamist]

Puppy City, where the Wee-Wee Pad was invented, closed for good after 50 years in Sheepshead Bay. [SB]

In case you were wondering, even bike share programs are really just for the rich. [City Lab]

After six weeks of no cooking gas, irate tenants push for change. [DPC]

A study on the controversial rezoning proposal for Prospect Lefferts Gardens is going forward. [Brownstoner]

Exploring Midwood, one bite at a time. [SB]

The Statue of Liberty could’ve ended up in Central Park – or, worse, Philly or Boston. [Failure Magazine]

This is an actual photo of the Gowanus Canal. [PSS]

All of Brownstoner’s Buildings of the Day, mapped. [Brooklyn, one (thousand) building(s) at a time.]

Annual Halloween party on Saturday doubles as fundraiser to Cure Huntington’s Disease. [SSN]

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

(Source: Aaron Landry/Flickr)

D LINE

From 11:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound D trains are rerouted via the N from 36 St to Stillwell Av. To 9 Av, Fort Hamilton Pkwy, 50 St, 55 St, 71 St, 79 St, 18 Av, 20 Av, Bay Pkwy, 25 Av, and Bay 50 St, take the Coney Island-bound D to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or Stillwell Av and transfer to a Manhattan-bound D or N. From these stations, take a Manhattan-bound D or N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or 36 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound D.

From 11pm Friday to 5am Monday, D trains run local between DeKalb Av and 36 St.

From 10:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, 205 St-bound D trains run express from 145 St to Tremont Av.

N LINE

From 11:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Ditmars Blvd-bound N trains are rerouted via the D from Stillwell Av to 36 St. To 86 St, Avenue U, Kings Hwy, Bay Pkwy, 20 Av, 18 Av, Fort Hamilton Pkwy, and 8 Av, take the Ditmars Blvd-bound N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or 36 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound D or N. From these stations, take a Coney Island-bound D or N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or Stillwell Av and transfer to a Ditmars Blvd-bound N. To/from 59 St, take the R instead. Transfer at 36 St.

From 11pm Friday to 5am Monday, N trains run local between DeKalb Av and 36 St.

R LINE

There are no service advisories scheduled at this time.

F LINE

From 11:15pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts. Trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.

MetroCard machine don't want your money

Heads up to anyone who might be riding the subway late tonight with a MetroCard that’s low on funds — you better have some cash on you, just in case.

All MetroCard vending machines will experience an outage because of a system upgrade on Saturday, October 25 from 2-6am, during which time no credit or debit card purchase will be accepted. You can still use cash, though.

The MTA says they expect the system to be back up and accepting cards no later than 6am.

A still from the video. The cop in center, in a grey hoodie, is the officer who is now on desk duty.

A still from the video. The cop in center, in a grey hoodie, is the officer who is now on desk duty.

An undercover cop had his badge and gun confiscated and has been put on desk duty after a video surfaced showing him kicking another cop in the head and punching a suspect in the face at Coney Island’s Stillwell Avenue subway station.

DNAinfo reports:

The incident in Coney Island’s Stillwell Avenue station, which officials say occurred sometime in January, began when two NYPD Transit officers stopped a suspected farebeater.

Officers exchanged words with the suspect and then struggled with him as they began to place him under arrest. Then several other officers from the nearby 60th Precinct rushed into the station via an emergency door — including a burly plainclothes officer dressed in a sweatshirt, jeans and heavy construction boots, according to the video.

The plainclothes officer walked up to the scrum, paused and then reared back with one leg, letting his boot fly into the back of the head of a hat-wearing police officer wrestling with the suspect. The kick had enough force that the sound can be heard on the recording above the din.

After accidentally hitting his colleague, he then piled on the alleged farebeater, reeled back and slugged him in the face.

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau and Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson are investigating the incident.

St. Ephram's school (Source: Google Maps)

St. Ephram’s school (Source: Google Maps)

Hailed as a “miracle workor,” Madeline Scotto, a teacher at Dyker Heights’ St. Eprhem’s elementary school, turned 100 years old on October 16, and the community honored her with a special mass and reception on Sunday.

DNAinfo reports:

She climbs the stairs to her classroom, where she works to prepare students for the math bee. She pores over photocopied worksheets with complicated problems, coaching kids on how to stay calm on stage while multiplying and dividing in their head.

… “Last year I thought, ‘This can’t be, that I’m going to be 100.’ I sat down and did the math actually. I thought, I could not trust my mind. This I had to put paper to pencil — I couldn’t believe it myself.

“It just kind of happened. I guess I’m very lucky.”

Scotto graduated from the school she now works in in 1928, when Dyker Heights was mostly farmland. She came to work there accidentally, when the nun slated to teach a class was injured in a bus accident on her way to the job. The church asked congregants if anybody could help, and with encouragement from her mother, Scotto began helping students in 1954, at the age of 40.

“I came over and then they wouldn’t let me go,” she said.

The profile has more on Scotto’s remarkable life and career.

The teacher was honored on Sunday with a special mass at the church, located at Fort Hamilton Parkway and Bay Ridge Parkway. It was a packed house, filled with current and former students, friends and four generations of her family. She was honored by local pols including State Senator Marty Golden and City Councilman Vincent Gentile, according to a separate DNAinfo article.

Scotto thanks many of her colleagues, but saved her most abundant gratitude for the parents.

“I want you to enjoy it, as much as you have brought joy to me,” she said. “My life has been very rich. Thank you.”

Happy birthday to Ms. Scotto!

An example of Diwali decorations. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Alternate side parking regulations will be suspended Thursday, October 23, for Diwali. All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.

You can check out the rest of the 2014 parking calendar here.

Diwali is a Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair. The five-day event culminates with the new moon. In the days leading up to it, the approximately 80,000 Hindus in the New York metropolitan area will clean and decorate their homes, light lamps and candles, before gorging on a family feast and exchanging gifts.

It sounds like fun, and this editor is accepting invitations.

coney-island-summit

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson will be in Coney Island tomorrow night to hear residents’ concerns about safety and the justice system.

The summit is open to any and all Brooklyn residents, and will be a town-hall style, allowing attendees to ask questions of the borough’s top prosecutor and share their concerns. It’s the second such event Thompson has done, following one in Brownsville over the summer.

The meeting will take place at Liberation Diploma Plus High School, 2865 West 19th Street. It begins at 6:30pm and lasts until 9pm.

grimm

The trial of Congressman Michael Grimm, facing tax fraud allegations and other charges, has been postponed until February 2. At a hearing on the postponement, prosecutors hinted that some of the charges could be split from the indictment and prosecuted in a separate trial.

During a hearing on Tuesday, Grimm’s defense landed a minor victory, winning the postponement from an early December date until February 2 so that they can review materials. Prosecutors turned over approximately 100 hours of recorded conversations, including 10 hours conducted in a foreign language. The defense team said they’d need extra time to review them because, “I’d be sitting at my desk for two full working weeks,” said defense lawyer Jeffrey Neiman, according to the Staten Island Advance.

The judge also denied Grimm’s legal team’s request earlier this month for information from the prosecution that they thought would prove the investigation was the result of a political witch hunt and professional vendettas. That included knowing the involvement of particular FBI investigators and the role played by a prosecutor now running as a Democratic candidate for State Assembly.

The judge found the claims without merit, calling it “unsupported and random speculation.” The New York Times reports:

Prosecutors pointed out that there were 10 other cases involving cash payrolls to avoid taxes from 2012 to 2014, making it hard for Mr. Grimm to argue that he alone was selected. Mr. Kaminsky, they said, never acted with improper motive and was only one of several prosecutors involved in the investigation. As for the idea that the office chose Mr. Grimm for his politics, the other elected officials the office prosecuted in the last four years were Democrats, prosecutors said.

The judge is still mulling a motion to dismiss three perjury-related charges on the basis of jurisdictional issues. Because it pertained to his Manhattan-based restaurant, the defense argues that charges should have been filed in the Southern District of New York, not the Eastern District, which is where he’s being prosecuted.

The Advance notes:

Prosecutors conceded the jurisdictional issue, but Judge Pamela Chen stopped short of dismissing those three counts without prejudice Tuesday, as Grimm’s defense team is still seeking to dismiss the entire case, perjury charges and all, arguing “selective and vindictive prosecution.”

“In effect, the venue motion is really a separation motion of the perjury and obstruction counts, effectively resulting in two trials for the price of one,” Gatta said. “We’re happy to oblige the defendant if he wants two trials.”

Source: Senator Golden's offices

Source: Senator Golden’s offices

The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:

State Senator Martin J. Golden, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, today is announcing that he has introduced legislation that will allow the email of a person who has passed away to be accessed by the executor of their estate.

The bill, S. 6176, has been introduced in the wake of growing concerns as more and more New Yorkers decide to handle their bills and finances electronically. As a result, individuals designated to settle an estate upon a person’s passing, require the information contained in new e-mail messages, and documents stored in email folders.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “As we continue to encourage people to go green and pay their bills on line, we must be cognizant of the fact that when a person passes away, many of their records are stored and managed through their email account. I look forward to working with my colleagues to create this important law in New York State. I believe this will assist in the difficult work of getting an estate’s affairs in order for we all realize that the despite one’s passing, e-mails of bills and statements do continue.”

Ten states already have similar laws including Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Connecticut. Nine states are working towards creating such a law in their states including New York and New Jersey.

The arsenal of ID theft equipment recovered in the bust.

The arsenal of ID theft equipment recovered in the bust.

Sergeant Christopher Dixon and Officers Joseph Lavelle were making their usual rounds in the 62nd Precinct when they saw two men fidgeting with an ATM machine at TD Bank. What would have been a minor criminal mischief charge turned into a huge bust with hundreds of phony banking cards and identity theft technology seized.

Dixon and Lavelle were passing by the bank at 1630 Shore Parkway at 1:30am on October 15. They spotted Elvin Pineda, 25, and Luis Fernandez, 28, in the ATM using tools to remove parts of the machine.

They immediately cuffed the duo. On Fernandez, they found three counterfeit credit cards when he was searched.

The two were brought back to the precinct, where the command’s Field Intelligence Officer, Sergeant Jeremy Berson, and Sergeant Dennis Chan of the Financial Crimes Task Force began grilling the suspects.

cops

They spilled the beans, telling cops they were removing parts of the machine to ship them to China to be duplicated with skimmer devices attached. Skimmer devices record an ATM or credit card’s data when it’s swiped through, and can be secretly installed over ATM machinery.

Pineda then spilled some more, saying he had more equipment at his Bay 47th Street home.

When officers searched the house they found an arsenal of identity theft and bank fraud equipment. The haul included:

  • two embossers
  • two re-encoders
  • a laminator
  • two color printers
  • a tipper machine
  • six laptops
  • 127 blank Capital One credit cards
  • 76 blank American Express credit cards
  • 338 blank Citibank cards
  • 200 blank credit cards
  • 41 forged New York and out-of-state driver’s licenses
  • A trove of computers, flash drives and other equipment

Blank credit cards can be encoded with the data obtained from skimmers, duplicating a credit or debit card, while items like the laminator could be used to create fake IDs.

Pineda was charged with criminal possession of a forgery device, possession of a forged instrument and possession of a skimmer device. Fernandez was charged with grand larceny, identity theft and possession of a forged instrument.

They both were also slapped with a criminal mischief charge for tinkering with the TD Bank ATM machine.

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