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Source: Politicker

Ever since Councilman Domenic Recchia announced last month that he wouldn’t be seeking the borough president’s seat, the race to replace term-limited Marty Markowitz grew quiet. State Senator Eric Adams appeared to have it all locked up.

Enter Bensonhurst native and attorney John Gangemi, a former councilman-at-large who says he’s the right man for the beep’s office.

“I think Marty did a heck of a job, but there’s more to Brooklyn,” Gangemi told City & State, which broke the story. “Brooklyn needs a lot of work with the infrastructure, with the legislation, with projects, and that’s what I want to involve myself with, that type of activity. I have time, I do practice law, but I have time now to do my part for the community.”

When asked whether he would be able to match Markowitz’s relentless visibility, appearing at every event he possibly can make, Gangemi said that while he respects Markowitz, he would have a different style of leadership.

“There’s visibility and then there’s visibility,” he said. “I think Marty is great, but that was Marty’s thing. I have a different thing, I’m in the courts. I’m always trying to be creative in my presentation of the law, the arguing of the law, and I’m more of a law person, although I’m not adverse to cutting ribbons.”

Gangemi said he has looked at the credentials of his opponent Adams and finds him “formidable”, but that, “He doesn’t have the experience I have.”

In the 1970s, Gangemi served in another borough-wide office, that of councilman-at-large. The position represented the entire borough in the City Council until it was eliminated in the 1980s.

Gangemi, 73, also served as an assistant District Attorney and assistant Attorney General, and last year mulled a run to unseat Congressman Michael Grimm.

Takeshi Yamada, a taxidermist and one of Coney Island’s more interesting local artists, is getting a huge spotlight as he is set to star in AMC’s new competitive taxidermy show, Immortalized.

Chances are you were as confused reading those sentences as I was writing them, but yes, competitive taxidermy is apparently a thing. Well, if it wasn’t a thing, it is now thanks to AMC’s outside the box reality programming.

It should be interesting to follow the exploits of Takeshi Yamada (featured above), the local Coney Island freak-show taxidermist who takes special pride in assembling fake creatures like his disturbing two-headed baby corpses, (shudder…)

The talented Yamada works an incredible 16 hours a day and has been described as a “rogue taxidermist.” There is something beautiful and disturbing around the 50-second mark in the video above when Yamada is combing the Coney Island creek in his magical-steam-punk outfit for dead things to turn into fresh art.

To see the first episode, click here and watch it on AMC’s website. To catch Immortalized on TV, tune in on Thursdays at 10 p.m. on AMC.

Source: FArepublicans via Flickr

Have you been to a job interview recently only to be stunned when your potential future employer asks for your Facebook password as a condition for being hired?

It’s a disturbingly real trend that has provoked outrage from citizens coerced into handing the keys of their private online worlds to employers and educational institutions. Looking to protect people from these intrusions, Congressman Michael Grimm has joined a bipartisan effort to pass legislation that would ban these controversial practices, according to a report by SI Live.

The Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA), if passed, would protect employees and students and those seeking jobs and school admittance from forcing to divulge passwords to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

The SNOPA bill would also protect employees and students from facing disciplinary actions should they refuse to allow access to their personal social media worlds as well.

While legislation similar to SNOPA has already been passed in other states, Grimm is hoping to take the protection to the federal level:

“While social media may seem like a public outlet, an individual’s log-in information is private. When employers and universities require access to personal user-names and passwords, they are crossing a line that violates personal privacy. An individual’s job should not be threatened by refusal to divulge personal information, which is why I fully support SNOPA in order to draw a clear line on the privacy protections safeguarding account information.”

Location of the crime scene (Source: Google Maps)

Police have established a crime scene after responding to a call for a body that was spotted in the waters near Caesar’s Bay, at 8973 Bay Parkway.

The call first came in around 3:00 p.m. Harbor Units and Emergency Service Units were dispatched to assist in recovery of the body.

A reader of our sister site, Sheepshead Bites, Tweeted about the scene:


We have sent a request for information the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs and are awaiting a response.

Update (5:38 p.m.): Reader Boruch Z. just sent us over this photo he took while sitting in traffic. It looks like the scene is just outside Ceasar’s Bay, near Bay 14th Street.

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: jasoneppinke via Flickr

Last week we reported on Dominic Cenatiempo’s quest to fight the impending plan set by the MTA to hike the toll on the Verrazano Bridge to an even $15. Despite Dominic’s efforts, and others equally outraged by the increasing cost of commuting around the city, the MTA is moving ahead with all of their fare increases on March 3, according to a report by SI Live.

The $15 fare, which represents a $2 increase, is for cash paying motorists only. E-ZPass users in Staten Island will also see a hike from $5.76 to $6.36 for their first two round trips before it rounds off to $6 for all subsequent monthly crossings.

E-ZPass commuters not hailing from Staten Island will see their Verrazano fare rise from $9.60 to $10.66.

The sadness felt by Verrazano commuters will probably be shared by all New Yorkers come March 3 as practically every MTA related travel expense will rise. SI Live laid out all the details:

Bus and subway riders will also be paying more: The base fare for bus and subway rides will rise a quarter to $2.50. The cost for express bus rides will rise 50 cents to an even $6.

More details:

  • The seven day Express Bus Plus MetroCard will cost $55.
  • The seven-day regular unlimited MetroCard will rise to $30.
  • The 30-day regular unlimited MetroCard jumps to $112.
  • Single-ride tickets, only sold at vending machines, will cost $2.75.
  • A bonus of 5 percent is added to MetroCards with purchases of $5 or more.

There is a new fee of $1 for the purchase of MetroCards, but there are exceptions for cards purchased at out-of-system vendors and for seniors.

For the full list of hair pulling price hikes, you can visit the MTA’s breakdown of the new prices by clicking here.

Signs in the window announce the closure to customers.

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: It’s official –  Brooklyn’s last Blockbuster, located at 6906 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst, is closing its doors as the franchise continues its retreat from brick-and-mortar storefronts.

Lights out at Blockbuster on 18th Avenue.

The store will permanently shut its doors April 7, and this week kicked off a store-wide sale on movies, video games and miscellaneous items. Signs inside the location note that even the furniture and equipment are for sale in a business liquidation that seems to leave nothing off the table.

The storefront became the last location in the borough – and one of the last in the city – after the 3752 Nostrand Avenue location in Sheepshead Bay shuttered almost exactly a year ago.

At its peak, Blockbuster had more than 4,000 stores across the nation, with hundreds in New York City. But facing financial trouble, in part because of digital competitors and management issues, the company declared bankruptcy in 2010 and was acquired by Dish Network, which announced in 2011 that they would only keep 500 storefronts open throughout the country.

Keep reading to find out more about the closure, and how customers are reacting.

Photo By Erica Sherman

State Senator Marty Golden and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis joined forces and called for the preservation of spousal refusal, a provision in state law that provides help for care-giving individuals so they can afford long-term care for their spouses, according to a press release on Golden’s Senate website.

Spousal refusal allows seniors to separate their income from spouses who are in home care due to chronic health issues. The elimination of the provision would force the healthy spouse to surrender a greater portion of their income and resources to pay the health care costs of their partner.

Assemblywoman Malliotakis laid out her opposition to the elimination of spousal refusal during a press conference:

“The new language in the executive budget, changing a single word from ‘or’ to ‘and’ regarding spousal refusal, causes an unbearable financial burden on New York’s most vulnerable. This new language forces the sick and elderly, who for the last 40 years have relied on this system, to lose all their assets and possibly their homes. New Yorkers need to stand up for the seniors and the sick, and spousal refusal is a right which we must preserve.”

Source: Google Maps

A call over the police scanner indicates that a tractor-trailer smashed into the Bay 8th Street overpass of the eastbound Belt Parkway.

The call came over  at approximately 6:40 p.m., spurring a response from the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit and Highway Patrol.

Two lanes of traffic have been closed to accommodate, causing heavy delays.

Commercial vehicles are not permitted on the Belt Parkway.

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.

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

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.

Winter storm Nemo rolled through the region Friday night, covering Southern Brooklyn in about nine inches of snow.

How did Bensonhurst react? Like a bunch of school kids, having fun with some snowballs.

Reader Laura Whitman decided to mark the occasion, carving the storm’s name into a snow-covered car.

“2013 Nemo” – aye, we’ll never forget.

Meanwhile, Annabella Perrone snapped some shots with family and friends, such as this one where she’s about to get nailed by a snowball:

On the other hand, we hope  reader “nectanelson” raised her kids, Joseph and Dominick, well enough to know not to try chucking one of these at mama:

On a side note: what’s with Bensonhurst’s reluctance to take photos? Aside from the awesome contributors mentioned above, we were surprised to see so few submissions. At first we thought it was us, like we had bad breath and no one wanted to tell us or something. But then we turned to Flickr and other photosharing sites to see if we could find any other Nemo photos from around our coverage area. The result? Zilch. There were photos from just about every neighborhood in Brooklyn – except Bensonhurst.

We object! Prove the internetz wrong! Take those fancy-shmancy phones we know you have, or a standard point and shoot, or an iPad or DSLR or any kind of crazy image-capturing device seemingly built into everything these days, and get shooting!

Bensonhurst 4eva (in photos)!