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Source: Bryan Haggerty via Wikimedia Commons

The following is a press release from the office of Councilman Vincent Gentile:

In the wake of three recent incidents where people were pushed into the path of an oncoming train, many have suggested installing barriers in front of subway tracks.

Councilman Vincent J. Gentile is suggesting another solution that is much more cost effective and can be implemented system wide much more quickly.

Councilman Vincent J. Gentile is suggesting trains simply “slow down” when entering the stations.

“If new rules were implemented requiring trains to enter stations at a slower speed, then it would give the train a better chance to stop in time if someone is on the tracks or give that person a better chance to get off the tracks, into an alcove, or run to the opposite end of the track into the mouth of tunnel away from the train,” said Councilman Gentile in a letter to NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast.

“This change can be instituted quickly and at minimum cost to the transit system,” added Gentile.

While Gentile acknowledged that it might lengthen commuter times slightly, the trade-off is worth it if the entire system could be made safer for everyone.

“Let’s make no mistake about it,” Gentile continued, “we still must work in the long term to address the mental health issues of the individuals involved in these shoving incidents. Yet, in the short term, this can be an immediate response to a growing safety issue.”

In 2011, 147 people were hit by a New York City subway – 15% more than 2010 – and 50 of those incidents were fatal.

I’m not exactly sure what the All of Us Solo Quartet is. I’m not sure if they are just filmmakers, musicians, comedians or pranksters, but what I do know is that they released a bizarre new and funny ‘singing’ tour of Bensonhurst.

Member Phil Bianchi (aka Kelly Roberge) puts on his best young Marlon Brando Godfather impression, which I would guess make him more Robert De Nero, and vamps around Bensonhurst, visiting Milestone Park, Casa Calamari, C&C Catering and Riminis Pastry Shop among others.

His goal seems to be getting a bunch of food for his old Italian mother until a crucial lapse in memory provides for a twist ending… sort of.

Despite the zany premise, the film is very well shot, was pretty funny and provides a loving portrait of Bensonhurst.

Councilman David G. Greenfield

Councilman David G. Greenfield took to the steps of City Hall yesterday to announce his opposition of the phrase “mentally retarded” in city documents, a designation which he and other mental health officials consider outdated and offensive according to a press release.

After his press conference on the steps of City Hall, Greenfield is set to officially introduce legislation to the City Council which would end the use of the phrase, following in the steps of the state and federal government, which has already adopted the change.

Greenfield was joined by mental health and special education advocacy group leaders including National Down Syndrome Society Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke. You might remember Chris Burke from his role Corky Thatcher from the ABC show Life Goes On.

Greenfield was also joined by Otsar, Quality Services for the Autism Community, Self-Advocacy Association of NYS, United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Council, OHEL, Center for the Independence of the Disabled in New York City and AHRC New York City.

Additionally, Greenfield is a cosponsor of a resolution looking to change the currently named “City Council’s Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services” to the “Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services.”

Resorts World Casino at the Aquaduct, in Queens. (Source: NYCGO)

Opponents of a Coney Island casino can breathe a little easier today, knowing that Governor Andrew Cuomo has scaled back his support for casino gambling in New York, and is ruling it out entirely in New York City.

During his State of the State address yesterday, New York’s chief executive said the state should begin with only three full-scale casinos – not seven, as is currently being considered by the legislature – and that all three be established upstate.

“We propose a casino plan to boost upstate development,” Cuomo said. “I believe casinos in upstate New York could be a great magnet to bring the New York City traffic up. They now go to New Jersey, they go to Connecticut – why don’t we bring them to upstate New York?”

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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: Spoonchen via Flickr

After Hurricane Sandy, many gas stations around the city were closed. For the ones that remained open, gas lines were so long that a rationing system had to be enacted on November 9. To keep more gas available for motorists after disaster strikes, Senator Marty Golden and Assemblymembers Nicole Malliotakis, Jim Tedisco and Pete Lopez drafted legilature with a focus on tax incentives for gas stations to help purchase and pay for generators.

According to the Legislative Gazette:

The legislation would provide a tax credit of up to $15,000 to encourage gas stations and convenience stores across the state to install commercial generators to keep gas flowing when the power grid is down. A commercial-size generator costs between $5,000 and $30,000 to install and up to another $8,000 a year to maintain, according to the lawmakers.

On his Facebook page, Golden wrote:

Today, I joined Assembly members Nicole Malliotakis, Jim Tedisco and Pete Lopez in announcing that we are drafting new legislation to help prevent the long lines and long waits for gas that occurred following Superstorm Sandy. The legislation would provide a tax credit of up to $15,000 to encourage gas stations and convenience stores across the state to install commercial generators to keep gas flowing when the power grid is down.

As we begin a new legislative session, the people of New York City and State will look to see how New York’s government will address, and thus take measures to prevent, a gas crisis like we saw following Superstorm Sandy. This tax incentive will encourage gas stations to take the necessary steps to be ready for such instances. A common sense solution like this will prevent the long lines, the arguments and give people peace of mind, knowing they will be able to get gas and subsequently travel.

This plan is one of many that have been presented to Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding effective disaster planning for the future.

Source: www.joannfrombensonhurst.com

Worlds collided when two Bensonhurst reality stars, JoAnn from Bensonhurst and Big Ang met at a “Mob Wives” premiere party. From the looks of things, they were like two peas in a pod.

Courtesy of Lisanne Anderson

Councilman Domenic Recchia of Coney Island, Gravesend and Bensonhurst sent a letter to the New York City Department of Sanitation pleading with them to extend the January 14 deadline for Sandy-related bulk pickup services.

The increased sanitation service has been vital for small business owners and residents who are experiencing prolonged clean-ups and rebuilding efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Sanitation has already extended the deadline once, having previously planned to terminate service on December 31.

In the letter, Recchia asked the Department of Sanitation to extend the increased services an extra three months.

“Over the past several weeks, I have met with many residents and small business owners in Brooklyn who have communicated to me the importance of additional sanitation pickups during this recovery phase,” Recchia wrote in the letter.

Recchia noted that delayed payments from FEMA, insurance companies and other governmental agencies have not allowed business owners and residents to begin the process of gutting out and cleaning up their properties. Assuming this money kicks in soon, and the sanitation deadline is not extended, the clean-up and rebuilding efforts for many people will be hampered and slowed.

Recchia concluded his letter praising the work of the Sanitation Department, describing their efforts as “herculean.”

The Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare. Source: Google Maps

Please take notice that Community Board 11 will hold its next general meeting and public hearings on January 10 at 7:30 p.m. inside the Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, 1740 84th Street.

The scheduled agenda features two public hearings:

  • Pizza Daddy, 6422 Bay Parkway, seeks a revocable consent to construct and operate an enclosed sidewalk café with 10 tables and 31 seats on the 65th Street side.
  • Also, 8973/95 Bay Parkway (Toys “R” Us)/Building C: 1684 Shore Parkway, seeks an amendment of variance permitting a department store (use group 10A), not currently permitted as of right.

For further information, call (718) 266-8800.

City Council analyst John Lisyanskiy officially threw his hat in the ring for Coney Island’s 47th District on December 16 with an e-mail blast to supporters, making him one of two candidates for the district to forego the political hand-wringing over redistricting and jump in the race. Meanwhile, others in what was expected to be a somewhat crowded field for the Democratic nod, are reconsidering their runs – and almost all are urging constituents to turn out to tomorrow’s Districting Committee hearing to oppose the plan.

Lisyanskiy is one of four Democratic contenders vying to replace term-limited Domenic Recchia that have registered committees with the Campaign Finance Board. Lisyanskiy is joined by activist Todd DobrinMichael Treybich, an attorney and deputy legal director for the New York State Young Democrats; and Brian Gotlieb, former chairman of Community Board 13.

Lisyanskiy, who serves as a legislative budget aide in the City Council under Speaker Christine Quinn, jumps in the race with tens of thousands of dollars collected for a 2009 run that ultimately fizzled after term limits were extended. The campaign’s announcement came weeks before the council’s district lines are set to be finalized, a process which could see a campaign’s key constituencies flung into a neighboring district.

But Lisyanskiy said the latest district lines were of little concern in determining whether or not to run.

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