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Domenic Recchia Source: Facebook

Councilman Domenic Recchia met with Democratic Party leaders last week to further coordinate and strategize his efforts to unseat Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

Earlier in the month, we reported on the targeted ad blitz campaign that painted Grimm as a Tea Party acolyte who was partly responsible for the sequester gridlock mess in Congress. Democrats believe that Grimm is vulnerable as the only Republican legislator coming out of New York City.

Recchia met with Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee Chairman (D.C.C.C) Steve Israel, local Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Congressman Donna Edwards, a Democrat from Massachusetts. While Recchia’s people declined to discuss the specifics of the meeting, the Daily News speculated that fundraising strategies were the likely purpose.

After Sandy, Toys’R’Us installed a temporary warehouse in time for the holiday season. Kohl’s wasn’t able to, and missed out on the holidays. They’ll return April 7. (Photo: Elle Spektor)

After the damage Superstorm Sandy caused to the Ceasar’s Bay Kohl’s, locals, like me, have felt a void in their hearts without the store. Their Kohl’s charge cards have collected dust. The ads on TV were a cruel reminder of what was no more.

Luckily, Kohl’s lovers everywhere can rejoice! The store, located at 8973 Bay Parkway, is reopening on April 7 for all to enjoy.

Kohl’s was one of the worst hit by Sandy in late October, shortly after completing a renovation to much of the store. The storm caused damage to several other stores, including Toys’R’Us, which has moved into a different building in Ceasar’s Bay.

After months of waiting the beloved store will open its doors to a community that welcomes it back with open arms.

The Universal Theater. Source: Bing Maps

Last month we reported on the history of the old Loews Theater at 46th street and New Utrecht Avenue. Originally dubbed the Universal Theater when it opened in 1927, the once glorious theater space now serves as furniture store. Still, most of the Borough Park theater is in place and is now going to be featured on a bike tour sponsored by Transportation Alternatives (Bike NYC), according to a report by DNAinfo.

The 15-mile bike tour not only swings by the old Universal Theater, which hosted acts including the Grateful Dead, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Byrds, but stops by the Brooklyn Paramount on Flatbush Avenue, the RKO Dyker on 86th Street and the Loew’s Kings in Flatbush, which is currently undergoing a $94 million restoration.

If you sign up for the tour, you’ll cruise through Brooklyn, stopping at each site to discuss the theater’s history and architecture. I suppose you can also reflect upon the miserable lack of foresight that led each of these magnificent theaters to share their current states of neglect and disrepair.

The tour is being held Sunday, March 24 and starts at 11:00 a.m. The meeting place for the event is at Washington Park and DeKalb Avenue, on the Southeast corner of Fort Greene Park. To reserve a space on this free bike tour, click here for more details.

David A. Boody Intermediate School 228. Source: Google Maps

The next Community Education Council District 21 (CEC 21) meeting will be held March 20 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Intermediate School 228 (IS 228) – David A. Boody, 228 Avenue S between West 4th Street and West 5th Street. Public comment is encouraged at this meeting.

District 21 Superintendent Isabel DiMola will discuss “Common Core Implementation in NYC” and the “Contract for Excellence (C4E)” in her Superintendent’s Report.

The guest speaker will be NYC consultant and public school advocate Karen Sprowal, who will discuss “Class Size Matters.” Sprowal made headlines in 2011 when her son, Matthew, struggling in an elite charter school, was transferred to a public school, where he then began to thrive.

Entertainment will be provided by the students of the IS 228 Jazz Band. There will also be door prizes and light refreshments. Parking is available in the school yard.

To learn more about CEC 21, call (718) 333-3885, email cec21@schools.nyc.gov, or visit CEC 21 on the web or on Facebook.

Source: mikealex / Flickr

Bensonhurst captured the bronze medal for most speeding tickets issued in all of Brooklyn, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

The 62nd Precinct issued 182 speeding tickets this past year, good for third most in the borough.

Overall, combined with tickets handed out by highway cops, about 15,000 speeding tickets were issued in Brooklyn this past year, far fewer than the 43,920 tickets issued for talking on cell phones or the 37,010 tickets issued for illegally tinted windows.

The tracking of speeding tickets has become a hot-button issue in recent months as multiple hit-and-run tragedies have dominated headlines across the city. As we’ve previously reported, State Senator Marty Golden has been at the forefront of trying to stiffen penalties for reckless drivers, and more local politicians are following his lead.

“This data shows that Brooklyn needs more resources and clearer enforcement goals to deal effectively with dangerous drivers,” said state Sen. Eric Adams (D-Crown Heights), a former police captain and frontrunner to become Brooklyn’s next borough president. “Until these speedsters know that they’ll be caught and harshly prosecuted for their reckless behavior, they will continue to put lives at risk on our streets day-in and day-out.”

To fight speeders, officials and lawmakers have begun pushing for a program that would install speed enforcement cameras.

According to the Daily News, NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Republican Temporary President and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Senator Jeff Klein all sent nearly identical letters to Governor Andrew Cuomo calling for installation of the cameras.

“Motorists know that there will never be a sufficient number of police officers to catch everyone who violates the traffic laws,” Kelly wrote in a letter to Cuomo, “but the presence of speed cameras can create a strong deterrent effect, serving to reduce speeding and the collision and physical injury that it causes.”

Opponents of speed cameras point to the holes they create in law enforcement such as being able to tell if a driver is drunk, if a driver is unlicensed or if a motorist is carrying weapons while fleeing a crime scene.

Speed enforcement cameras are used in more than 120 cities across the country, but in some instances they’ve prompted lawsuits and efforts by state legislatures to ban them.

The City of Baltimore recently moved to replace its entire network of speed enforcement cameras after an investigation found numerous errors in their speed readings.

A 2011 study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety credited speed enforcement cameras with reducing fatal crashes by 24% in 14 large cities where they were used.

Here is a full breakdown of the tickets issued last year, courtesy of the Daily News via the NYPD:

Top five speeding ticket precincts

94th Precinct (Greenpoint) – 555

61st Precinct (Sheepshead Bay) – 198

62nd Precinct (Bensonhurst) – 182

79th Precinct (Bed-Stuy) – 180

60th Precinct (Coney Island) – 173

Bottom five speeding ticket precincts

83rd Precinct (Bushwick) – 8

67th Precinct (East Flatbush) – 45

88th Precinct (Clinton Hill/Fort Greene) — 46

84th Precinct (Brooklyn Heights) — 48

68th Precinct (Bay Ridge) – 63

Top Brooklyn tickets

Cell phone – 43,920

Safety belt – 37,010

Disobey sign – 29,889

Tinted windows -28,815

Uninsured – 18,954

Brake lights – 9,981

Speeding – 2,873*

(Excluding the 13,535 tickets issued by highway officers covering the borough and parts of Queens)

Republic City Council candidate John Quaglione. Source: Facebook

Republican John Quaglione opened his City Council campaign against Democratic incumbent Vincent Gentile with some heated rhetoric, according to a report by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

“Our current council member has failed,” the publication reported Quaglione telling supporters at a fundraiser.

Quaglione, the deputy chief of staff for State Senator Marty Golden, came out hammering Gentile, the 10-year veteran of the City Council, who is limited to serving just one more term:

Quaglione blasted what he called Gentile’s “weak legislative record,” and said that in the incumbent’s 10 years in the council, he has sponsored only 10 bills that have become law. “That’s a rate of one a year,” he said. Quaglione also cited a survey by the Citizen’s Union which found that the 43rd Council District ranked a poor 50th out of 51 council districts to receive city funds for capital projects. “We have sent more money to City Hall than City Hall has sent to us,” he said.

Quaglione promised to fight tax increases, excessive city parking ticket citations and graffiti, announcing a plan for increased quality of life initiatives that include more responsive sanitation pickups.

“Increasing taxes and fees is not helping the community. We have waited a decade for a City Council member to understand this. We can wait no longer,” the Daily Eagle reported Quaglione as saying.

Gentile defended his record against the city’s aggressive parking ticket practices as well as his belief that the Health Department has been taking advantage of small businesses.

“Taxpayers and small businesses should not be used as ATMs,” Gentile said.

Gentile also pointed to his bill that would end discrimination against the unemployed, a bill vetoed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that he expects the council will override. The Daily Eagle also noted Gentile’s success with getting funding for local parks:

The incumbent said that Parks Department officials call him the “$10 Million Man,” because of all the money he has brought back to the district for parks projects. Along the projects is an eco-dock slated to open at the 69th Street pier in the spring.

“The good news is that there’s more to come,” Gentile told his supporters. “There is much more I want to work on over the next four years,” he said. 

Also running is Tea Party Republican Andy Sullivan who surprisingly shared common ground with Gentile on the issue of the city’s heavy fining and regulation of local restaurants and small businesses.

“It’s not worth it to have your own business,” Sullivan told the Daily Eagle. “And a lot of this has happened on Mr. Gentile’s watch,” he added.

UPDATE (12:46 p.m.): The above article has been modified to reflect that Andy Sullivan is also a candidate in the race for the Republican and Conservative lines for the Council seat.

Source: Mr. Inky / Flickr

Well, the situation looks better than last week. But, hey, it’s the MTA, and there are still some things to watch out for. Here are this week’s advisories.

D Line

Starting at 10 p.m., evening service on D trains will run local in both directions between DeKalb Avenue and 36th Street, from today to Thursday. Schedule additional travel time.

F Line

Through first quarter of 2013, F trains will skip Smith-9th Streets in both directions. Use bus service to and from 4th Avenue-9th Street or Carroll Street instead.

Furthermore, from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., Monday to Friday, there are no F trains between Roosevelt Avenue and 21 St-Queensbridge.

N & R Line

Coney Island-bound N trains run express from 57 St-7 Av to Canal St.

Meanwhile, from 10 p.m. to midnight, Monday to Thursday, R service ends early between 71st Avenue and 36th Street.

This is a paid announcement from il Fornetto, Sheepshead Bay’s premier waterfront dining establishment at 2902 Emmons Avenue.

Click to enlarge

For more information, visit il Fornetto’s website.

The above is a paid announcement by il Fornetto. Sheepshead Bites has not verified the claims made in this advertisement. If you own a business and would like to announce a special offer to tens of thousands of locals, e-mail us at advertising [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Source: Sheldon Pincus via Flickr

From the ground level, New York City is sort of an infinite space with unlimited destinations, all connected by endless streets and filled with millions of people. From the sky, the scope of the city is reduced, allowing for a single flyby to take in all its wonder in a matter of minutes. Its massive population is rendered nearly invisible under the shadows of its colossal skyscrapers.

That’s why I find these aerial movies of the city so mesmerizing. While we’ve all seen flybys of Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, it’s rare that we get to take in Southern Brooklyn’s glory from a bird’s eye view. While there isn’t much of it available on YouTube  I managed to find a couple of beautiful short film flybys for you to enjoy.

This video was uploaded by Knightmare6 and features awesome slow swooping flybys of Seagate, Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. You get great views of the beach and attractions on Coney including the Wonder Wheel and the Parachute Jump.

This video features a cool and relaxing trip over the Verrazano and Hudson River, past lower Manhattan. The clip is set to the dulcet tones of City Never Sleeps by Death Ships, what a spooky name. Thanks to Carl Tyler for uploading it.

This is a short and sweet clip of the Coney Island coastline. The shaky cam attached to the craft here really gives me a sense of hovering in the sky going along for an adventure. The video was produced by Hector Mosley of the US Army Corp of Engineers.

A warning first before playing this one. The volume is a little loud and ragged, so make sure your speakers aren’t set too high. This video is still worth watching because someone attached a Tony Hawk Helmet Cam to a Firebird Freedom RC plane and set it loose over the coast of Brighton Beach. The video is courtesy of sebasitsme, and that person did a fine job of dropping in references to famous landmarks like the Verrazano Bridge, Coney Island and Staten Island as they jet their model plane high off the coastline.

This last clip is less Brooklyn focused but really cool nonetheless. Skycamusa uploaded this beautiful footage of New York City which was amazingly taken from an RC helicopter. Set to the Chemical Brothers song Galvanize, the little RC copter scopes shots of the beautiful Coney Island shore, Astroland and my dearly departed Shea Stadium in Queens.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual trip through Brooklyn’s southern skies, and if you have any new aerial videos of the area, please share them with us.

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.