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Assembly members Matthew Titone, Nicole Malliotakis, Michael Cusick and Joe Borelli during yesterday’s press conference. Source: Malliotakis’ Office

Three Southern Brooklyn Assembly members joined a bipartisan group of colleagues during a press conference yesterday to demand that Governor Andrew Cuomo waive registration fees and up to $1,000 worth of state sales tax on vehicles purchased by those whose previous vehicle was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Nicole Malliotakis, William Colton and Alec Brook-Krasny — also joined by Staten Island Assembly members Michael Cusick, Joe Borelli, Matthew Titone, Joseph Saladino and Brian Curran — are also pushing for rebates on sales tax already paid on such purchases.

Malliotakis, whose district covers both Bay Ridge and a swath of Staten Island that was devastated by Sandy, said that, “The victims of Hurricane Sandy have been left in personal and financial ruin. We must do all we can to ease the long rebuilding process.” The Transportation Committee member went on to explain that: “By eliminating registration fees and up to $1,000 worth of state sales tax for vehicle purchasers whose car was destroyed by the storm, we are extending a helping hand to those who need it most. We are creating incentives for consumers to shop in-state, helping dealerships that were also impacted by the storm and avoiding any state budget shortfalls as this revenue could not have been anticipated prior to the storm. Helping our neighbors rebuild is the right thing to do, and this measure will ease the crushing burden that so many of our families are feeling.”

Her partners in government concurred.

Borelli explained that “the rebuilding process is one that will not happen over night” and that “Anything we can do to help make the rebuilding process easier must be done,” while Lopez pointed out that “These storms have united upstate and downstate with a common understanding of how fragile our communities are.” He has urged for movement on the issue, “to provide the same benefit to those devastated by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.”

Much of Brook-Krasny’s Southwest Brooklyn district, which covers parts of Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Sea Gate and Bay Ridge was also heavily affected by the October superstorm.

To see Malliotakis’ comments during the press conference, click here.

Source: Echolocation

New York City has become a major player in the world of tech start-ups. The push has been felt by New Yorkers all over the five boroughs. For example, commuters can now use MTA phone apps to determine more accurate train or bus arrival times.

Another new Brooklyn-based start-up has also just rolled out an iPhone app to help connect community members with other locals, whether they need access to a specific store location or a dose of community news. Echo by Echolocation connects users with their location through 140 character messages. It’s similar to Twitter except that it automatically detects which city you’re in, and provides you with the most recent content from Echo users in that city.

“Our goal for Echo is to provide people in Bensonhurst with an effective way to communicate with other people in the community. As part of the roll out  we’ve integrated content from Bensonhurst Bean so people can easily get access to your blog directly from their mobile devices,” writes Echolocation founder Brian Donohue.

Is it wrong that we love the integration of our blog into this app’s usage? If it is, we don’t want to be right. Nice job developers. We hope to see more Bensonhurst-inspired apps in your future.


From the office of Councilman Vincent Gentile:

Do you have questions about your property taxes? Want to know how you can appeal them? Are you looking for ways to lower property taxes?

Councilman Vincent J. Gentile invites you to a presentation and Q&A on “How To Appeal Your Property Taxes”.

Have your questions about residential, commercial, condo, and co-op property taxes answered by the Honorable Kirk P. Tzanides, Commissioner of the New York City Tax Commission.

Monday, February 11th at 7:30 PM at Our Lady of Angels Auditorium (7320 4th Avenue). Parking will be available in the OLA lot.

For more information, call Councilman Gentile’s office (718) 748-5200, extension 203.

The Daily News got the scoop that Coney Island Councilman Domenic Recchia is pulling out of his race against State Senator Eric Adams for the Brooklyn Borough President’s seat – and turning his energies to giving embattled Republican Congressman Michael Grimm the boot.

City Councilman Domenic Recchia is dropping his bid for Brooklyn Borough President – paving the way for an outspoken Afican American state lawmaker to make history.

Recchia (D-Coney Island) now plans to challenge embattled Republican Rep. Michael Grimm, several friends told the News.

… Recchia is term limited out of the Council and has been scrambling for months to find a new spot.

He long sought to run for City Controller, but begrudgingly dropped that dream after political party bigs backed Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s bid.

Recchia, who serves as the Council’s powerful finance chair, then planned to run for Borough President, promising to formally announce his bid earlier this month.

But he was never excited about the idea of seeking a post that carries little legislative power or political influence, a source said.

“That’s a step down for the Council finance chair,” a Recchia ally said.

The Grimm seat has long been a possibility for the city lawmaker, political insiders said.

Recchia contemplated running against the embattled congressman last year.

In November, Grimm defeated his Democratic challenger, Mark Murphy, 53 percent to 46 percent.

Predictably, Recchia’s office refused to confirm or deny the report to the Daily News.

Grimm, meanwhile, is still limping along after his mild victory against lackluster candidate Mark Murphy. Despite Murphy’s failure to appear at any debate against Grimm, weak fundraising, and a rather embarrassing moment of dim-wittedness captured by the New York Times, Murphy only lost to the incumbent Grimm by seven percent of the vote – probably due to the fact that Grimm is hounded by numerous scandal allegations.

When Superstorm Sandy swept through our lives last October, it wrecked the Coney Island Seaside Senior Center. In light of the mess left by Sandy, the center, sponsored by the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI), have been the thankful recipient of some donated furniture courtesy of Jonathan Tisch, chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts, according to a press release.

The Loews Regency Hotel donated more than 3,600 pieces of furniture including refrigerators, rugs, conference tables and televisions to replace the items destroyed by Sandy.

“After more than three months, many families, businesses and organizations are still feeling the effects of Superstorm Sandy,” said Jonathan Tisch, “I’m pleased to partner with the Mayor’s Fund and U. Santini to donate these items from the Loews Regency Hotel and assist in the recovery process.”

Good work Mr. Tisch.

(l t r) President Treyger’s parents Norman and Tatyana Treyger, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and UPDC President Mark Treyger

Local community advocate Mark Treyger marks his 10th year anniversary as president of the United Progressive Democratic Club at their general membership breakfast. The guest speaker was New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“I was re-elected president of the club, which marks the 10th year anniversary for me as club president. The UPDC is a powerhouse grassroots organization located in Bensonhurst that is involved in numerous community issues,” says Treyger.

Treyger has been working with club members and other community stakeholders since he was a mere 20-years-old. His presence has been felt at many of the neighborhood’s most important rallies and events. For example,he worked alongside Assemblyman William Colton to help bring back the B64 bus route and has been integral in assisting neighborhood cleanup efforts.

Congrats Mark! May you continue to be a positive influence on our community.

Photo courtesy of Albert Dashevky

As we all know, New York City is a huge sprawling megalopolis populated by millions of people with a seemingly infinite amount of streets. These realities make it convenient for many dog owners to not care about cleaning up after their dogs. Well, you should clean up after your dog and not just because it keeps your neighborhoods clean, but because the piles of unattended dog feces creates an unfair obstacle course for those in wheelchairs trying to navigate our streets.

Remember, a lot of wheelchair users still propel their wheels forward with their hands, so if they roll over dog doodie, it becomes a horrible situation for someone just trying to get around town. You can use your imagination.

State Senator Marty Golden, after receiving letters from families of handicapped constituents dealing with this problem, has vowed to take action, according to a press release.

“Those who do not clean up after their dogs destroy the quality of life for all residents, and this letter highlights the impact that it has on our disabled neighbors,” Golden said. “I do hope that these concerns raised in this letter will not be ignored. The next time you are out walking your dog, stop and think for a moment, and pick up after your dog.”

Golden has petitioned the Department of Sanitation to place more signs that remind owners to pick up after their dogs.

The headline here is a tweak of two suggestions that came to us on Facebook, thanks to readers Ben Jonjak and Hillary Stackpole.

Source: Bill Tucker via

This Thursday, January 31 at 6:30 p.m., the teachers and students of David A. Boody Art Magnet are putting on an art show. “An Artistic Winter Evening: An Exhibition of Student and Teacher Art,” is a collaborative show from the school’s Art Magnet department.

Under the direction of Ms. Lisa Banker, Art Magnet Teacher at I.S. 228, students created over two hundred pieces of artwork that will be auctioned off to benefit the School’s Art Program, according to a release.

Proceeds from the auction will equipment and an art facility. David A. Boody is located at I.S. 228, 228 Avenue S.

“Our Art Program consists of many talented student artists. At Boody, the arts are a major component of our academic program. We want to build well-rounded talented students who are college ready and beyond,” said Domenick D’Angelo, Principal of I.S. 228.

Teachers and artists from The Barsky Gallery in Hoboken, New Jersey have also donated professional works to be auctioned off.

All community members are invited to check out the collection in the lobby and interact with the artists. The silent and live auctions will take place in the school’s brand new auditorium. I.S. 228′s music students will entertain guests and light refreshments will be served.

Tickets will be sold at the door, or in advance at $10.00 per adult. Students are free with accompanying adult. For reservations or information, call the PTA of I.S. 228 at 718-375-7635 at extension 1301.

Don’t forget tonight’s Bensonhurst West End Community Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Harway Terrace Community Room at 2475 West 16th Street.

Source: micurs via Flickr

A man stopped by police for riding a bicycle on the sidewalk turned out to be a local career criminal sought in connection with two other crimes.

Efrain Gauthier was at the 68th Precinct, which services Dyker Heights and other local nabes, last Thursday. When police searched him, they realized the bike was stolen and he had drugs and burglary tools on him.

The 76th Precinct had issued two bench warrants for Gauthier, and had been after him for years. According to the Carroll Gardens Patch, Gauthier has 43 previous arrests and 25 convictions.

The Patch writes:

Captain Jeffrey Schiff was so fed up with the recidivist returning to the streets that he visited the Red Hook Justice Center and requested Judge Calabrese impose a higher bail. As a result of the conversation, the bond was set at $10,000.

Gauthier didn’t show for sentencing to another crime and has been on the lam since then.

Further, the Patch states that:

Captain schiff has previously stated that whenever Gauthier is arrested, the number of car break-ins and stolen bicycles in the 76th Precinct goes down immediately afterward.

Glad to have this perp out of our areas and behind bars, where he belongs.