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Source: USAG-Humphreys via Flickr

(UPDATE [1:52 p.m.]: This event has been canceled due to weather and will take place at a later date.]

Santa and Senator Marty Golden will be at Lady Moody Square at Van Sicklen Street and Avenue U along with the I.S. 228 Cheerleaders for a tree lighting ceremony at  6:30 p.m. The event will feature Christmas caroling and hot chocolate.

Golden asks that you consider bringing a new unwrapped toy to support Toys for Tots to the event.

Source: rageforst via Wikimedia Commons

Senator Marty Golden has announced the start of the annual Toys for Tots campaign.

“I am asking residents to consider donating new, unwrapped, toys to brighten the holidays for military children. I am also continuing collections of toiletries and cleaning supplies to help those effected by Hurricane Sandy,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Donations will be accepted until Friday, December, 14 during normal business hours at Golden’s office located at 7408 5th Avenue or on Monday and Friday mornings and Wednesday afternoons at his office at 3604 Quentin Road.

Source: Sidious1701 via Wikimedia Commons

From the office of Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes:

Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes today announced the indictment of Michael Volpe, 32, and his wife, Alisa Volpe, 25, for possessing weapons and drugs, and keeping an alligator in their West 6th Street home.  Michael Volpe was indicted on charges including three counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree. Michael and Alisa Volpe were both indicted on charges including three counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, Possession of Ammunition, four counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals and Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, Wild Animals Prohibited and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. If convicted, Michael Volpe faces a maximum of seven years in prison and Alisa Volpe faces up to one year in jail.

On October 1, 2012, officers from the 66th precinct executed a search warrant at the home of Michael and Alisa Volpe, a one-bedroom basement apartment. The indictment charges that when the officers entered, they found metal knuckles, a fully-loaded revolver, and a loaded pistol. They also recovered a variety of prescription drugs including Alprazolam pills and Oxycodone pills. Marijuana was also found.  In addition, there was an alligator, which was approximately three feet long, in a tank in the living room, which was taken away by animal control. Under health code 161.01, most people cannot possess wild animals without special permit.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lisa Marie Vellucci from the Trial Bureau Green Zone and supervised by Deputy District Attorney Dianne Malone, Chief of the Animal Cruelty Unit.

Source: USHMM Photo Archives Photo #069 via Wikimedia Commons

For the office of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield invites the community to join him and Councilman Brad Lander this Sunday, December 9th at noon at the corner of 13th Avenue and 50th Street in Borough Park for the unveiling of a new street sign in honor of World War II hero and great humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg. The new street sign will formally co-name the Borough Park stretch of 13th Avenue as “Raoul Wallenberg Way” in honor of the Swedish diplomat whose efforts saved more than 100,000 Jews from death at the hands of the Nazis in Hungary.

The City Council approved the co-naming of 13th Avenue between 36th Street and 60th Street earlier this year at the urging of Councilman Greenfield and Councilman Lander to ensure that Wallenberg’s legacy and heroic efforts live on for generations to come. The co-naming is the centerpiece of the Raoul Wallenberg Centennial Celebration Commission’s efforts throughout the year to commemorate Wallenberg’s 100th birthday.

“I am proud to lead the effort to honor Raoul Wallenberg and urge the entire community to join us for this historic event. Quite literally, there are thousands of people in our community who would not be here today but for Mr. Wallenberg’s intervention. This street co-naming will ensure that generations will know of the sacrifices that this heroic individual made on behalf of so many. It is only right that our community show hakaros hatov for Raoul Wallenberg’s inspiring and selfless actions, so my thanks to my colleague Councilman Brad Lander, the Wallenberg Commission and everyone who worked to make this event a reality,” said Councilman Greenfield.

“I look forward to joining with the community to pay tribute to the life of Raoul Wallenberg. His actions saved so many lives during the Holocaust. He is a hero not just for Jews, but for all of humanity, and his story should never be forgotten,” said Councilmember Lander.

Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who put his life on hold in the summer of 1944 and embarked on a mission that led to the saving of as many as 100,000 Hungarian Jews who were otherwise bound for death in Nazi concentration camps. Serving as first secretary at the Swedish Legation in Budapest, he devised a plan to issue Swedish “protective passports” and establish safe houses in buildings throughout Budapest.

Borough Park is home to the largest population of Holocaust survivors in the United States, and many local families trace their lineage to individuals saved by Raoul Wallenberg, making 13th Avenue a fitting location for Sunday’s ceremony. In addition to local elected officials and community leaders, Honorary Consul General of Hungary Karoly Dan and Honorary Consul General of Sweden David E. R. Dangoor are scheduled to attend the event. This historic event is open to the public. Residents are encouraged to attend this Sunday, Chanukah, at 12 noon at the corner of 50th Street and 13th Avenue in Borough Park.


Let me get this straight, the show about Bensonhurt’s most beloved cantankerous bus driver was not filmed in Bensonhurst? Not even the exterior shots? Well, that’s a let down.

Perhaps this was well-known to you, oh educated reader, but I always held on to the notion that the Honeymooners was, at least in some way, filmed in the neighborhood. Alas, this well-researched blog post from Rockcellar Magazine crushes my pipe dream, much like what happens to every Kramden get-rich-quick scheme.

For the younger folk reading this, the Honeymooners was a sitcom that ran for a single season. Yet, it’s impact changed the scope of sitcoms to come. It was the first to feature a middle-class couple living in grittier, more realistic conditions. This was at the insistence of creator, writer and star Jackie Gleason, who based the show on his own upbringing.

It also inspired the Flintstones, among many other notable television characters.

Here’s a brief summary of where the scenes really took place:

1. Home of the Kramdens and the Nortons: 328 Chauncey Street.

“The place was dull. The bulbs weren’t very bright. The surroundings were very bare,” Gleason said of his boyhood tenement apartment. The exterior shots of their home were filmed in Bedford-Stuvesant.

2. Alice Gets a Job: 383 Himrod Street.

A neighbor suggests Alice get a secret babysitting just a few blocks away from their home because Alice wanted to pay for a telephone she installed. The gig is actually located in Bushwick, which is miles from Bed-Stuy, and even further from Bensonhurst.

Wikiepedia also let me in on a little bit of TV trivia:

328 Chauncey Street in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, NY. In the Honeymooners episodes filmed from 1967 to 1970, the address of the Kramdens’ and Nortons’ apartment house changed to 358 Chauncey Street, and the number of the Kramden apartment is 3B. In actuality, the real 328 Chauncey Street is located in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of the borough, approximately eight miles north of the show’s location.

One of these days, Alice, we’ll watch a Honeymooners New Year’s Eve marathon.

An emergency meeting. Photo courtesy of the Workers Justice Project/Proyecto Justicia Laboral

For more than 12 years, a center in Bensonhurst provided a myriad of services for day laborers and undocumented workers. The laborers depended on the center to keep them off the streets and help connect them to employers. Officials depended on the center because it helped to ensure the safety of the laborers and employers.

When Hurricane Sandy destroyed the space, it forced everyone to start from scratch.

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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.

Photo by David Cohen

Oil Gorillas, a waste oil removal company, is no ordinary company. You may have seen the trucks around our neighborhoods, or sees stickers on the side of some of Bensonhurst’s markets and eateries. What you may not have seen or known is the story of owner and founder Eugene Komissarov.

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Photographer: Urquhart. Source: Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection

This July 17, 1914 photo showcases workers lifting sandbags, operating a cement mixer and examining the newly laid tracks.  during the construction of the Sea Beach line. The title, “Looking West from 18th Ave. Showing Progress of Construction Work” even gives the viewer the location where the photographer stood.

Amazing how ingenuity and hard work got the job done back then, ahem ahem. Sea Beach line repairs anyone?

Source: Ronzoni via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, Councilman Domenic Recchia announced that he has decided not to run in the 2013 Comptroller race.

He says that his decision is based on the amount of relief work Superstorm Sandy inflicted upon his district. Instead, he wants to narrow his focus to rebuild the parts of Southern Brooklyn most affected by the storm. Along with parts of Bensonhurst, Recchia represents Coney Island, Gravesend, Brighton Beach and Sea Gate.

“After months of consideration and conversations with my family, friends, and colleagues, I have decided not to run for Comptroller in 2013. Although as Chair of the City Council’s Finance Committee I remain dedicated to maintaining our City’s fiscal health, in the wake of the storm, my energy, focus, and heart are in Brooklyn,” said Recchia to the New York Daily News.

Recchia has not put all of his ambitions on hold though, he may want to run for Brooklyn Borough President in the future.