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This man will not eat a still living, half deep-fried fish. Whatever happened to leadership, America? (Source: council.nyc.gov)

Councilman Vincent Gentile is gallivanting around Taiwan, a.k.a. the Republic of China, on a diplomatic exchange with Taiwanese government officials and tech entrepreneurs. He hopes to learn about the nation’s bustling high-tech sector, particularly in their waste disposal systems, and in forging connections between New York City’s tech scene. Here’s the press release from his office:

Led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Deputy Leader Vincent J. Gentile will visit Taiwan as a part of a select delegation from the New York City Council.

The unique trip was organized by the Washington, DC-based Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the United States in the absence of diplomatic ties. Gentile and the group will be abroad until Saturday.

“I am honored to represent the 43rd District and its great diversity to the people of Taiwan,” Councilman Gentile said. “I am looking forward to a very busy, working trip of great mutual benefit – and I hope some of my Mandarin Chinese lessons will pay off!”

Indeed, Gentile and the select delegation will have a packed schedule for the 6-day trip abroad including meetings with the Taipei City Council along with the Ministry of Education, the Council for Economic Planning and Development, the Bureau of International Trade and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Transportation and technology will be a particular focus of this learning excursion as the delegation will visit the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation and discuss how to strengthen ties between Taiwan and New York City’s growing technology sector.

Taipei’s approach to garbage collection has been lauded for its efficiency and the delegation plans to meet with the Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan and will later tour the Mucha Refuse Incineration Plant.

In an email sent upon landing at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport, Gentile said he looked forward to meeting with the leaders of Taipei’s high tech sector, exploring ways of improving civic engagement through technology, learning about Taiwain’s innovative sanitation system, and discussing ways to strengthen the already strong ties between Taiwan and New York City.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office will cover the costs of airfare, lodging, ground transportation and meals, and the trip has been approved by the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, according to spokesperson Justin Brannan.

Gentile’s district has a sizable population of Taiwanese immigrants, as well as many immigrants from mainland China’s Fujian province, across the Taiwan Strait.

Bensonhurst Bean issued a challenge to the councilman through Brannan, requesting dispatches on the nation’s unique delicacies, including duck tongue, blood on a stick and century eggs – as well as the famous Ying Yang fish.

“That is horrible,” was the only response we received.

Eid a Fitr is also called the Sweet Festival for all the yummy sweets (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Alternate side parking regulations are suspended Monday through Wednesday, July 28 to 30 for Eid al-Fitr, and there will be no street cleaning on those days.

All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated by Muslims worldwide. After fasting from dawn to sunset the previous month, Muslims are not permitted to fast during Eid al-Fitr and usually attend large celebrations full of food and gifts. It’s one of the most important festivals on the Islamic calendar.

You can download your own 2014 Alternate Side Parking Suspension calendar from the NYC DOT’s website.

Source: Barbara L. Hanson/Flickr

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) is our new Sunday feature, giving you a place to find some of the big stories you may have missed this past week.

Of course, you can keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood all week long. Just 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: cgc76/Flickr

D LINE

There are no subway service advisories scheduled at this time.

N LINE

From 11:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, there are no N trains between Times Sq-42 St and Queensboro Plaza – take the 7 or Q instead. N service operates in two sections:

  1. Between Stillwell Av and Times Sq-42 St.
  2. Between Queensboro Plaza and Ditmars Blvd.

All times until October 2014: No trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

R LINE

From 5:30 a.m. to 12 midnight, Saturday and Sunday, R trains are rerouted in both directions as follows:

  1. Via the D between DeKalb Av and B’way-Lafayette St.
  2. Via the M between B’way-Lafayette St and Queens Plaza.
    • N trains make R stops between Canal St and Times Sq-42 St; Q trains make R stops between DeKalb Av and 57 St-7 Av.

All times until October 2014: No trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

F LINE

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, F trains run local in Queens.

hydrant-sprinklers

In the middle of a hot July day, we can understand wanting to do whatever it takes to cool down — just don’t waste water!

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection just launched their 2014 Hydrant Education Action Team (HEAT) program to remind people about the dangers of illegally opening fire hydrants — they release more than 1,000 gallons of water per minute and can reduce water pressure in neighborhoods, making it difficult to fight fires.

So you still want to enjoy a splash through the hydrant’s water? No problem — they can be opened legally if equipped with a city-approved spray cap, which releases only 20 to 25 gallons per minute. That keeps water pressure adequate and won’t knock down any kiddos looking to play.

Spray caps can be obtained by an adult 18 or over with proper identification, free of charge, at local firehouses. Here’s where to go:

Engine 253: 2429 86th Street

Engine 243/Ladder 168/Battalion 42: 8653 18th Avenue

Engine 284/Ladder 149: 1157 79th Street

Engine 330/Ladder 172: 2312 65th Street

Engine 247/Battalion 40: 1336 60th Street

The firefighters will come to the site to install it, and then will return later that evening to remove it. Now have fun out there!

Source: flickrized/Flickr

Is your kid the next Roger Federer or Anna Kournikova? They could be, and now there are free programs at local schools to help them get there.

The New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) organization launched their free community tennis summer programs for kids earlier this month, and registration continues to be open.

The program provides free use of tennis racquets, qualified instructors and lessons to kids ages 5 to 18. Participants will learn the basics of tennis strokes and how to rally, and then be put to the test in competition with others of similar skill levels.

The summer season kicked off July 7, but there are no deadlines to register and no wait lists to slog through. Registration is done on-site, and parents or guardians must accompany the child during the registration process. It’s a six to eight week program which runs three to six hours a day, five days a week – although schedules vary from site to site.

Locally, kids can sign up and begin playing at the following area schools during the days and times indicated:

  • P.S. 229 – 1400 Benson Avenue - Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Site director: Colin Clarke
  • McDonald ParkMcDonald Avenue at Avenue S – Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Site director: Gennady Shuminov
  • P.S. 238 – 1633 East 8th Street - Wednesday and Thursday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. – Site director: Colin Clarke
  • Andries Hudde Junior High School Playground2500 Nostrand Avenue – Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Site director: Bob Spigner

More information can be found here. The full list of sites citywide can be found here.

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Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We publish the week’s statistics for the 62nd Precinct reports every Friday. The 62nd Precinct is the police command responsible for Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.

The following was sent to us from the office of City Councilman David Greenfield:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Bensonhurst resident Nancy Tong is on her way to winning a post as female Democratic district leader of the 47th Assembly District, making her the first Asian-American elected official in Brooklyn.

Tong is on the ballot for the September 9 primary, and she’s running unopposed. She will replacing District Leader Jeanette Givant, who is set to retire according to Sing Tao Daily (via Voices of NY).

Colton (Source: Facebook)

Tong helps constituents in her job working for Assemblyman Colton (Source: Facebook)

The district leader post is an unpaid role in the party. All formal parties in New York are required to have one male and one female district leader to represent each Assembly district. They serve as their community’s representative to their political party’s leadership, and help their party’s candidates get elected by organizing ground support.

Home Reporter writes:

Nancy Tong was nominated for the position by Assemblymember William Colton, whose office she has volunteered with and worked in as a community liaison for eight years.

… “Nancy has been helping thousands of people in this community from all over the world. Just last year, she helped 2,000 people,” Colton exclaimed. “Sometimes I wonder whether she ever lifts up her head.”

Over the years, Tong has worked on senior citizen rent issues, helped businesses respond to tickets from the Department of Sanitation, assisted homeowners with tree root problems in dealing with city agencies, volunteered for street clean-ups, and helped educate parents about the rezoning of P.S. 97.

In addition to Colton’s backing, Tong has the support of Councilman Mark Treyger who also worked in Treyger’s office before winning his City Hall seat in November.

Sing Tao adds:

Tong’s family originally came from Toy Shan, Canton province, in China. She was born in Hong Kong and grew up in New York. She had been working as a volunteer at Colton’s office since she moved to Bensonhurst 12 years ago, until five years ago when she became a part-time community liaison at the office.

Tong will be the first Asian-American elected official in a borough that is home to more than a quarter million Asians. Much of the Asian-American population, which is concentrated in areas including Bensonhurst, Sunset Park and Homecrest, are divided between various legislative districts, making it difficult for them to elect a representative that reflects their heritage.

During the redistricting process in 2012, advocates in the community fought for the creation of an Asian-American majority district. It would have united parts of Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Sunset Park into one district in the state legislature. That push was unsuccessful, and no Asian-American has represented Brooklyn in city, state or federal legislatures.

Source: _chrisUK/Flickr

Councilman Vincent Gentile’s office says that the Department of Transportation will begin much-needed road repairs to 86th Street on Monday.

Contractors will begin scraping off the battered top layer of asphalt, a process called milling, between Gatling Place and 7th Avenue in Bay Ridge. After pouring new asphalt and painting lines, the work will move up the street towards Stillwell Avenue throughout the summer. It’s expected that the work will be done in three separate segments.

All work will be done at night in order to minimize impact on traffic. This could mean a few noisy nights for neighbors, as milling requires trucks, machinery and portable lights – although the machinery is fitted with noise reduction equipment.

Gentile and Councilman Mark Treyger said they won agreements from the DOT to do the work back in May. The DOT first said they would make repairs in Treyger’s district, covering 86th Street from Stillwell Avenue to 14th Avenue. Gentile worked to expand the project to include 14th Avenue to Gatling Place, the portion of roadway that falls in his district.

Gentile allocated $400,000 in the city budget to fund the repaving, according to his office.

Know of any other nasty stretches of pothole-pocked roads in the neighborhood? Let us know in the comments!