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The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

David G. Greenfield

Source: council.nyc.gov

Councilman David G. Greenfield is thanking the NYPD’s 66th Precinct and neighborhood Shomrim volunteers for their efforts to stem the rise in the number of vehicles broken into around Borough Park in recent weeks, especially during Shabbos, and is warning residents to be aware of this ongoing pattern. Over the past two weeks, a total of 18 vehicles were broken into throughout the 66th Precinct, with incidents spread out across Borough Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. Meanwhile, officers in the 66th Precinct and the four adjacent precincts have made a total of 12 arrests of individuals caught breaking into vehicles over the past month.

After hearing from concerned residents over the past few weeks, Councilman Greenfield reached out directly to Deputy Inspector Michael Deddo, commanding officer of the 66th Precinct, to discuss increasing patrols around the neighborhood and other steps to discourage criminals from taking advantage of residents, especially during Shabbos. These incidents have occurred in nearly all sections of Borough Park, and while areas like 50th Street to 60th Street between 14th Avenue and 18th Avenue have been hit particularly hard, the NYPD warns that no block is immune from this problem.

“Even though we live in a safe neighborhood, it is important to always keep our guard up and take simple measures so that we don’t make it easy for criminals to target us. I am pleased to hear that the NYPD’s focus on this issue has resulted in several arrests, which hopefully will prevent more residents from finding their valuables missing and their windows smashed. My thanks to Deputy Inspector Deddo, the officers at the 66th Precinct and Shomrim volunteers for working hard on this problem,” said Councilman Greenfield.

Individuals have been captured on surveillance footage in several cases simply walking down a block and trying each vehicle door handle until finding one that was left unlocked. As a result, it is imperative that drivers always lock their vehicles, no matter where they are parked or for how long. In addition, Deputy Inspector Deddo is urging residents to remove all items such as electronics from view, and to not leave any bags or containers visible, even if they do not actually contain anything valuable. When possible, park in well-lit, high traffic areas, and always report any suspicious individuals to the precinct or 911.

“This is one of those crimes that takes a lot of time and effort to make arrests, but we have been getting a lot of help from the community on this. The strength of the 66th Precinct is that we have a lot of eyes watching out and a lot of people who care, which makes it a neighborhood that the bad guys don’t come into. We don’t want to see the quality of life impacted for residents, so this is a huge focus for us,” said Deputy Inspector Deddo.

Councilman Greenfield and Deputy Inspector Deddo credited Shomrim members with being instrumental in alerting the precinct of suspicious activity and apprehending several suspects. Inspector Deddo also noted that the large number of security cameras throughout the neighborhood also greatly assists police in making arrests and deters criminal activity.

Residents should always call 911 if they are the victim of a crime or witness a crime in progress. They can also contact the 66th Precinct at (718) 851-5611 and Councilman Greenfield at (718) 853-2704.

Source: FArepublicans via Flickr

A new study found the Congressman Michael Grimm may not be the die-hard Tea Party conservative his opponents make him out to be. In fact, the report says he’s right smack in the middle of the nation’s ideological spectrum.

The Daily News reports:

A National Journal study released Thursday found that Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of Staten Island is at the ideological center of the House of Representatives: 217 members are more liberal and 217 members are more conservative.

In a remarkable coincidence, the lawmaker he replaced, Democrat Michael McMahon, was found to be at the ideological center in the same study of House members released three years ago.

Told of the findings, Doug Muzzio, a political science professor at Baruch College, was stunned.

“I guess if you want to know where the real heartland is, you don’t go to Iowa — you go to Staten Island,” Muzzio said.

The study is based on the votes of Grimm and his colleagues on 116 bills that indicated ideological leanings. Of course, some of those bills included those for Sandy relief, which many Republicans outside of the affected areas opposed and may have pushed Grimm closer to the center.

Still, the report is great timing for Grimm, who is about to be the target of an onslaught of online ads from Democrats, painting him as an out of touch right-wing radical, whose unwillingness to compromise will cost thousands of jobs.

The Daily News, in another article, reports:

The new ad campaign, shared first with the Daily News ahead of its release, seeks to hold Republicans like Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm responsible for the billions of dollars in automatic -many say draconian – spending cuts that are set to take effect starting March 1. The ads from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are targeting a total of 27 House Republicans.

… The new ad campaign, shared first with the Daily News ahead of its release, seeks to hold Republicans like Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm responsible for the billions of dollars in automatic -many say draconian – spending cuts that are set to take effect starting March 1. The ads from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are targeting a total of 27 House Republicans.

The ad targeting Grimm is below:

What do you think? Grimm: Ideological Middle Man? Or Right-Wing Extremist?

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.

Source: Brook-Krasny’s office

Following President Barack Obama’s lead, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny is leading the State Assembly’s initiative to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 per hour, according to a report by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Last year, the Assembly passed a bill that raised the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour, but are now planning to amend the bill to match the raising rate of inflation and Obama’s national missive. Brook-Krasny stressed the importance of New York State taking the lead in this matter.

“While the national attention to this vitally important issue is encouraging, it’s essential that we don’t wait for Washington to take action. With overwhelming public support to increase the minimum wage here in New York State, we have to act now,” he told the Daily Eagle.

If the legislation is passed, the minimum wage will be raised to $9 per hour starting in January 2014. Food service workers who rely on tips will see their base pay increased to $6.21 per hour. The legislation will also index the minimum wage starting in 2015, so that every year, it’s adjusted to reflect the rate of inflation according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

While the bill is expected to pass in the Assembly, its future in the Senate will be tested by Republicans who argue that an increase in the minimum wage will limit job growth and weaken the economy. Brook-Krasny doesn’t agree.

“By increasing the minimum wage, working families will see a rise in their purchasing power and are likely to spend the money from their hard-earned paychecks at local businesses, helping strengthen our economy,” he said.

Peter Abbate Source: assembly.state.ny.us

Assemblymen Peter Abbate and William Colton introduced eight new bills that would increase pensions and retirement benefits for government workers, according to a report by the New York Daily News - and that’s got the paper’s editors fuming.

The cost of the new bills would total $1.35 billion dollars a year, a figure that opponents of the legislation feel are too high and irresponsible during the ongoing economic slump. The Daily News jumped over the news of the proposed legislation in a scathing editorial:

 As overgenerous public employee pensions hammer taxpayers and push governments to the edge of bankruptcy, Assembly Democrats are dreaming up ways to make retirements richer.

They filed no fewer than eight pension-fattening bills on Valentine’s Day eve — pitching woo to their labor sweethearts at huge public expense. The potential cost to taxpayers, as calculated by the Citizens Budget Commission: $1.3 billion.

Labor lovebird-in-chief Peter Abbate of Brooklyn, head of the Governmental Employees Committee, sponsored seven. The eighth was authored by fellow Brooklynite William Colton.

… The most outrageous of Abbate and Colton’s proposals would boost payouts to workers with more than 30 years’ service, adding $1.1 billion to the taxpayers’ tab. Other schemes enable various groups of employees to retire even earlier than they already do, or make it even easier for them to qualify for disability benefits — whether or not they were actually injured on the job.

Abbate, was quick to try and stem the outcry from conservative voices opposed to the legislation.

“No one is saying they are going to pass, but you give everybody a chance to be heard and to explain the bills,” Abbate told the Daily News.

 

A driver was taken into custody by police after plowing into another vehicle and flipping her car causing it to flip on Highlawn Avenue near Stillwell Avenue, a reader tells us.

The reader sent us the accompanying photos and said that the accident happened around 2:15 p.m., around the same time P.S. 97, located one block away, was dismissed. Luckily, the reader noted, no children were hurt.

“Never seen a car crash like this,” the neighbor wrote to Bensonhurst Bean. “Everyone survived but it looks like a scene from a movie.”

The tipster said the driver was arrested for driving under the influence, though we have not yet confirmed that with police.

Update (4:30 p.m.): Another reader pipes in to correct us, letting us know that the driver who was intoxicated and arrested was in the small car, not the truck, and that the SUV was driven by a man. We made the change above.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to nberke (at) bensonhurstbean (dot) com.

 

Source: Flickr Metropolitan Transportation Authority Patrick Cashin

Influential New York City Republican State Senator Marty Golden lent his endorsement to Joe Lhota in this year’s upcoming mayoral race, according to a report by the New York Post.

According to the Post, Golden’s endorsement represents a small fissure in a Republican Party looking to capture the city’s top post through a more independent route:

Golden’s endorsement of Lhota puts him at odds with his GOP Brooklyn chairman, Craig Eaton, who is backing former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, a former Democrat turned independent who is expected to run on the Independence Party line while also seeking GOP support.

Despite these divisions Golden predicted that the entirety of the New York City Republican base will end up rallying around Lhota, the former MTA chief and deputy mayor under Bloomberg.

“A lot of the elected leaders will go with Lhota,” Golden told the Post. “There will be an endorsement across-the-board.”

Bensonhurst Bean reader Kaffy sent over this snazzy photo of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Got a photo for “In Focus,” our weekly photo feature? Send it over to nberke [at] bensonhurstbean.com!

Source: angiepontani.com

It’s cold, it’s February and you don’t have work. Perhaps a spanking new job by the beach, courtesy of the Alliance for Coney Island, can snap you out of your winter funk. According to a report by the New York Post, there are hundreds of summer jobs available for those who register now.

This Saturday, the Alliance for Coney Island will begin its fourth annual recruitment drive. They are looking to fill 250 summer jobs with the promise of hundreds more being offered at a later date. The organization will be holding a screening event on February 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lincoln High School (2800 Ocean Parkway.)

Positions are available at Luna Park, Nathan’s Famous and Deno’s Wonder Wheel but to attend the screening, you must register by visiting www.coneyislandjobs2013.com.

The jobs screening event is a joint collaboration between the Alliance for Coney Island, the HireNYC Program, the Economic Development Corp., Workforce 1, Small Business Services  and Councilman Domenic Recchia.

Source: Facebook

The New York Times has an excellent article on the famous little shack located at the edge of the Ceasar’s Bay Bazaar (8973 Bay Parkway) parking lot, updating the progress made since our last report on the center. According to the Times, the center has raised the necessary funds needed to bring a in a new spacious trailer to replace the small wooden shack.

In the article, the Times also tracks the origins and progress of the center, which has been an invaluable resource to immigrant laborers since its formation in 2001.

Since its founding, the center has found jobs for approximately 5,000 day laborers.

When Superstorm Sandy swept into the region late last October, the 8-by-12 wooden shack was blown off its foundation 120 feet and there was an immediate effort to restore its place at the corner of 18th Avenue and 69th Street due to the immense symbolism the shack has come to represent to people in the community:

The center has served not only as a physical space where immigrants find work, but also as a rare symbol of empowerment in a city where day laborers, usually illegal immigrants, often find themselves tethered to the lowest rung of the social totem pole.

“This center has provided for me,” said Victoriano de la Cruz, 35, who first came to the job center 10 years ago. “We didn’t want it to disappear.”

Through grants gathered from three foundations, the center was able to raise the $20,000 needed to bring in a 40-foot trailer that now serves as the center’s new headquarters. The trailer was painted bright red.

With the new trailer in place, the beloved original shack’s days are numbered, according to community organizer Yadira Sanchez.

“The house means that there are many things that we can do together,” Sanchez told the Times. “Only when the other one is ready, then this old one is going to be completely destroyed.”