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Two Long Island University students were caught dealing ecstasy pills at the Brookville campus to their fellow students.

Frank Catalano, 20, is a sophomore at the school and Bensonhurst resident, according to Newsday.

The students were arrested Tuesday night by detectives from the Nassau County police Asset Forfeiture Unit and charged with possession and distribution.

The juxtaposition of the name “Chuck Taylor” near the old school Italian hand gesture is confounding. What, if anything, could this piece of street art mean?

Chuck Taylor is the famous Converse salesman and the hand gesture roughly translates to, “What are you talking about?” or the cruder version, “What the f#$%.”

So, what is this graffiti talking about?

Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur,” a 1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb via Wikimedia Commons

Have an easy and meaningful fast this Yom Kippur and G’mar Hatimah Tovah, which means “may you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for good.”

Source: Jim.henderson via Wikimedia

The “Room for All Churches” initiative has announced that the New Utrecht Reformed Church has joined them in welcoming people of all gender identities and sexual orientations into their congregation.

The initiative comes from non-profit group, Reformed Church in America (RCA), whose mission is to  advocate “for the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) persons in the life and ministry of the RCA; Offering welcome and support to LGBT persons and allies; And providing space for those similarly convicted to minister within the RCA.”

The church at 1828 83rd Street has been serving the community since 1677. It has also received landmark status as it is the fourth oldest church in Brooklyn.

Sweet Sensations, the neighborhood candy shop, has closed its doors. It’s official, the chocolate-brewing, ice-cream-making boutique of 86th Street has gone out of business.

The store, which is also referred to as “Nuts & Candy” by its dim red awning at 2079 86th Street, has been closed for approximately a month.

Sweet Sensations was nestled between Bay 26th Street and 21st Avenue for close to 30 years. Still, some local proprietors did not seem startled by its unexpected shut down.

Benny Zekiy said that he wasn’t surprised to learn of the close. Zekiy is the owner of ZuZu, a formal dress outlet adjacent to the candy store.

“Everything is shutting down,” Zekiy said. “Business is terrible.”

Zekiy pointed to the general decline in Bensonhurst’s small business success. Because the community demographics are changing, the stores that people want to shop at are different now, he said. According to Zekiy, this means that stores like Sweet Sensations can no longer find the revenue to make ends meet.

But he can only speculate. Despite several attempts to communicate with the owner of Sweet Sensations, the Bensonhurst Bean was unable to make contact.

Still, the neighborhood candy store seemed well-liked by locals. It had three reviews and scored 4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp.

Stephanie B. from Brooklyn, NY commented on Yelp, “This place is an old mom and pop store, which you really don’t see in New York anymore. Candy stores like Dylan’s and It’s Sugar have invaded these types of sweet shops, but it’s nice to see one still standing in the Bensonhurst area of Brooklyn.”

Unfortunately for Stephanie and the rest of the candy shop’s fans, the store is no longer standing. Whether it’s due to bad business or simply a changing of the times, the facts remain unclear.

There are no news yet of another vendor taking over Sweet Sensations’ spot in the community.

Image courtesy of the office of Andrew Gounardes

Andrew Gounardes, who looks to replace State Senator Marty Golden in the 22nd District, opened his second campaign office.

A crowd of about 100 turned out for the opening at 7321 15th Avenue on Saturday, according to a release from Gounardes.

Assemblyman Peter Abbate, who was in attendance, made a comment on Gounardes and his opponent in the upcoming election, “I need Andrew voting with me for the community rather than the incumbent who votes for special interests and upstate and Long Island causes.”

The candidates will duke it out as part of the The Great Bay Ridge Debate, for which the new date has yet to be set.

Image courtesy of Massey Knakal

You know that Food Dynasty market and Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburg shopping strip? It recently went on the market, according to the agents at Massey Knakal.

The shopping center stretches from 86th to 85th Street and is located between 15th and 16th Avenues.

The commercial space also offers 50 parking spaces. In its place perhaps condos, whadya think?

The deadline to submit offers for the property is September 28 at 12 p.m. Check out the specifics, including the assessment price here.

Izote flower jars, green mangos and pacayas on Puebla Market’s shelves, located on 86th Street.

Nohemi takes out her prepaid card from her pocket and sets the time in the dryer. This is her third load this busy morning and, with Nohemi in the eighth month of her third pregnancy, the work has made her physically exhausted.

Her kids, Yulmi and Aarón are running in the MonsterWash (8122 18th Avenue) laundry aisles, enjoying their summer vacation.

The mother has no plans for cooking lunch; if she can finish the laundry soon, maybe she can make something quickly. One of Bensonhurst’s advantages is that she can find almost any kind of ingredient for her traditional Guatemalan dishes, from tamales to the famous Pepian, a meat or chicken stew with home-made pumpkin seed sauce. When she makes “tamales” – three times per year- she takes the time to buy the plantain leaves. Her specialty: pork or chicken.

Since she came to the United States almost nine years ago, she buys groceries in the Italian stores for replacements for the Guatemalan goods she can’t find. They have a variety of Mexican spices, the most similar she can find to those from her native country.

During her three pregnancies, the only craving she could not satisfy is green mangos. Otherwise, Guatemalan stores in Bath Avenue have everything else.

Bensonhurst is home to a growing community of Guatemalans like Nohemi, most of them from indigenous villages in the mountains. Their Mayan faces add more color to the melting pot from the area.

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Source: Google Maps

Police have been stationed outside of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Saint George to ensure that there are no incidents related to the violence that has broken out since the release of the inflammatory anti-Muslim trailer, “Innocence of Muslims.”

The church, located at 1105 67th Street, is the only Egyptian Christian church in Brooklyn. Police were positioned there for the past week because the director of the film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian Christian, and they want to prevent any retribution. 

Anybody might want to break a window or spray paint something,” an NYPD source said to the Brooklyn Daily. “We just want to provide a show of force and let the community know that we’re available for anything that could occur.”

The film was posted on YouTube and showcases the prophet Muhammad as a pervert and the Qur’an as a fraud. Violent protests have taken place in varying places throughout the Middle East after the trailer’s release.

The congregation leaders don’t believe they have a reason to be afraid and say that they did not ask for the police presence. 

They are over there and we are over here, and there is no problem,” said Father Mina Yanni, who has served at the since 1972.

Unfortunatly, the quaint little pet food and pet supply store Garden of Feedin at 1908 Bath Avenue is closing down. This is one of the many stores shutting its doors on Bath Avenue in recent months.

The store specialized in prescription pet foods and other supplies. Wonder where all the pet owners will head to now.