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Archive for the 'News & Features' Category

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.

via Citizens Committee for New York City
Does your area have a project that needs some love — maybe a vacant lot that needs cleaning up, a street that needs more trees planted, walls that need graffiti removed? Show your love for your block by applying for a $1,000 grant to transform and beautify it.

The Love Your Block Grant from the Citizens Committee for New York City and NYC Service provides offers resident-led volunteer groups the chance to receive a grant of up to $1,000, as well as access to city services from the Departments of Transportation, Parks and Recreation, and Sanitation.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The applicant has to be a volunteer-led group (can be long-established, or even in the process of forming), no individuals, for-profit projects, businesses, etc.
  • The project should strengthen your community — they’re looking for things that address important community concerns, contribute to building stronger communities through neighbors working together, and result in concrete and sustainable improvements.
  • The project should be able to be carried out between April and June 2015.
  • In your application, you have to provide a budget totaling up to $1,000, and indicate which city services your group is requesting.
  • Applications are due Friday, November 7 at 11:59pm.

Any questions? Contact Imani Brown at 212-822-9567 or ibrown@citizensnyc.org.

Photo via Citizens Committee for New York City

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.

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.”

waldbaums

A spotless Waldbaums parking lot sat silently in the dark Autumn evening. The grocery chain, which nests at 18th Avenue and New Utrecht, has become the subject of complaints for trash build-up on its property.

At its October 7 meeting, Community Board 11 members reported grievances due to litter at the Waldbaums parking lot at 8121 New Utrecht Avenue.

District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia said that at an earlier local merchants’ meeting held on September 15, Bensonhurst business owners discussed the onslaught of trash surrounding the lot.

“Nobody wants to shop and look at garbage,” Elias-Pavia said.

Since the establishment is private property, the Department of Sanitation cannot be held responsible for maintaining the refuse. Therefore, the board hopes to ensure close monitoring of the establishment to promote upkeep of the lot.

Elias-Pavia, who added that she personally walks around the neighborhood as often as twice a day, promised to keep an eye on the situation.

“It’s not just about improper disposal. It’s about education as well,” Elias-Pavia said. “We need to teach both residents and store owners about proper sanitation practices.”

Elias-Pavia added that since the 18th Avenue strip is both commercially and residentially populated, the occasional litter might be coming from overhead apartment dwellers who don’t properly dispose of trash.

Still, on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday early evenings that Bensonhurst Bean visited the site, the parking lot appeared to be spotless. There was no idle garbage, aside from the overflowing clothing donation bins and a few tied trash bags behind 18 Hipot, a neighboring Chinese hot pot-style restaurant.

Sal, an assistant manager at Waldbaums who asked us not to use his last name, said that the supermarket chain has been working with an external waste disposal company to take care of the garbage.

“Look outside and tell me if you see any trash,” Sal said.

Community Board 11, which meets monthly at the Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, serves as a local channel to the government of New York City, and tackles city agency and hyperlocal quality of life issues.

Should the litter-problem return, don’t hesitate to call 311 or phone Community Board 11 at (718) 266-8800. You can also let us know in the comments or by emailing nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com.

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.

homeless

Police have arrested Elliot Baez, a homeless man they say is responsible for vandalizing the September 11 Wall of Remembrance in Coney Island on Friday.

A surveillance camera caught a person authorities believe is Baez, 58, smearing white paint over the memorial and encircling the image of Police Officer Moira Smith at approximately 2:38am Friday.

After video was released, a tipster led authorities to Baez on Saturday afternoon even though initial descriptions suggested the vandal was a woman. Baez was charged with criminal mischief after making self-incriminating statements to police, according to reports.

The Wall of Remembrance, located at MCU Park, honors first responders killed on September 11, and has an image of each of the fallen heroes. Smith’s image appears to have been targeted, but cops told her husband Baez was “deranged” and had no apparent motive or agenda against Smith or her surviving family, according to the Daily News.

Smith was the only female first responder who perished during the terrorist attack. A survivor who worked at the World Trade Center was one of the last people to see her alive, and he has built a website detailing her courage as she helped conduct the evacuation, and has called for a public statue in her honor.

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries praised the NYPD’s quick apprehension of the vandal.

“The heroes who laid down their lives to save others on September 11 deserve our reverence and respect for the sacrifice they made that day,” said  Jeffries. “The Memorial at MCU Park in Coney Island stands as an important reminder of the courage and valor displayed by American patriots in the face of unspeakable terror. The officers from the 60th precinct who tracked down this suspect should be commended for their thorough work, and the perpetrator should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

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