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Source: joestrouth1 via Wikimedia Commons

The recent toll hike on the Verrazano Bridge was a major financial jump for many motorists. Now,  an Advance analysis of the MTA’s toll hikes through the years shows that if the increase in rates doesn’t change pace, those same motorists will be paying upwards of $20 in just five years.

Here’s the breakdown of the most recent increases according to SI Live:

Those numbers are based on the cash toll of five, 10 and 20 years ago. In other words, those numbers are based on the on the 150 percent hike since 1993, when the cash toll was $6; on the 87.5 percent hike since 2003, when it was $8; and on the 50 percent hike since 2008, when a new $10 cash toll was put in place.

A Staten Island representative for the MTA board, Allen Cappelli said that the cost might be closer to $25 in 2018.

Going further into the future, the Verrazano toll could be as high as $28 in 2023 and $37.50 in 2033. Motorists experienced four toll hikes since 2008.

“Those things are going to continue to put pressure on the MTA, and they’re going to be an excuse to raise fares and tolls,” said Capelli of health care costs, debt payments and other continued triggers for MTA’s increasing revenue needs. “This is unsustainable, for the riders and the drivers. We need to change the way the system is financed … to create sustainable revenue streams that don’t put us in that position.”

Image courtesy of Assemblyman William Colton

From the offices of Assemblyman William Colton:

Declaring the B64’s return to Southwest Brooklyn a “victory we can all be proud of,” Assemblyman William Colton (D-Bensonhurst) and his Transportation Improvement Coalition Co-Chairs Mark Treyger and Priscilla Consolo have organized a Celebration Rally to mark the first day of the bus line’s return to Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Coney Island. The community celebration is scheduled for Sunday, January 6, 2013, at 11 A.M., on the corner of Bay 50th Street and Harway Avenue. Colton’s coalition is celebrating the MTA’s July 2012 decision to completely restore B64 service in Southwest Brooklyn, which was partially eliminated in 2010 due to budget cuts and sparked community uproar. The 2010 MTA cuts eliminated B64 service from 25th Avenue in Bensonhurst to Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island, which negatively impacted thousands of riders and the local economy.

The Brooklyn legislator is helping organize the victory gathering to show his appreciation to the enormous support the successful B64 fight received from community leaders, groups, and residents. “Together with the help of countless individuals and community organizations who fought hard to restore B64 service in Southwest Brooklyn, we proved that there is truly strength in numbers,” asserted Assemblyman Colton. “Our formula of success was having families, children, seniors, small businesses, community groups, and concerned residents work together toward accomplishing a common goal, added Colton. “This victory marks the beginning, not the end, of our work ahead to ensure further transportation improvements in Southern Brooklyn,” Colton went on to say.

“The B64’s complete restoration is a victory that solely belongs to the families and small businesses of Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Coney Island,” insisted Co-Chair Mark Treyger, who along with Co-Chair Priscilla Consolo, assisted in organizing residents against the MTA cuts. “The MTA often loses sight of the impact its reckless decisions have on families, children, disabled persons who rely on public transportation, and small businesses. To have cut service from Bensonhurst to Coney Island, especially at a time when Coney Island’s amusement district is being revamped, was an unconscionable decision made by the MTA. I am so proud of our community for coming together and successfully pressuring the MTA to reverse course,” added Treyger.

“The restoration of the B64 is a victory for the entire neighborhood to celebrate. With the return of this vital bus line, the lives of many people, ranging from students to senior citizens to the disabled to working people, will have their quality of life improved. Restoring the B64 will mean residents will be able to travel easier and more people will have access to public transportation,” stated Co-Chair Priscilla Consolo.

From collecting thousands of petition signatures, to holding rallies, to even requesting the federal Justice Department’s intervention on behalf of people with disabilities, Colton and his coalition did not relent in their successful fight to restore bus service for Southwest Brooklyn residents. Additionally, they are determined to keep this alliance in tact to make further transportation improvements that are greatly needed.

Some of the organizations involved in helping make this victory possible include; Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church, Transport Workers Union, United Progressive Democratic Club, Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, Bensonhurst West End Community Council, Harway Terrace Apartments Board of Directors, Contello Towers residents, Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church, Castellammare del Golfo, Aidone Social Cultural Association, ASU of New York, Community Education Council – District 21, NIA Community Services Network, Southern Brooklyn Democrats, and the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn.

The next CEC 20 meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 9, at The Fort Hamilton School P.S. 104 at 9115 5th Avenue at 7 p.m. There will be a presentation that focuses on safety in our schools given by Community Superintendent Karina Costantino.

Source: Jim.henderson via Wikimedia Commons

The two officers shot in the January 3 gun battle at the Fort Hamilton N train station are expected to survive. The suspect, however, was killed.

The plainclothes policemen were riding a Manhattan-bound N train that had pulled  into the Fort Hamilton stop when they noticed a walking man between the cars, according to DNA info. The officers approached the man and asked for his identification. He stood up, reached into his waistband and pulled a 9-millimeter Taurus gun on the cops. Then, he fired.

Officer Lukasz Kozicki, was hit in the legs and groin, and Officer Michael Levay, a Bensonhurst resident, took a hit in the back. Levay had on a bullet-proof vest.

Levay then returned the shot and killed the suspect. A straphanger in the same cart was injured when one of the bullets grazed his leg.

Witnesses on the scene said that everyone on the train was panicked. People ran from the subway platform and many fell as they scrambled to hide out.

The shootout in the subway car took place only an hour after Officer Juan Pichardo was shot in The Bronx. He is expected to live as well.

Senator Marty Golden responded to the incidents by focusing attention on re-establishing the death penalty. On his Facebook page he writes:

In the wake of the shooting of three New York City Police Officers this week, and the killing of a Nassau County police officer last fall, today I have renewed my call to reinstate the death penalty for criminals who kill police officers.

As a former New York City Police Officer, I know there is evil walking on the streets of the City and State of New York, endangering the lives of every single police officer. We only have to look at yesterday’s headlines for the latest tragic incidents. It is our responsibility to re-establish the death penalty. We can no longer sit back and watch ruthless murderers take the lives of police officers. New York needs the death penalty to protect our society and our police officers who risk their lives every day for our safety and well-being. We must not let danger rule our streets.

In 2004, the Court of Appeals overturned death penalty sentences, saying that judges were improperly required to instruct jurors in capital cases that if they deadlocked and failed to reach a verdict during the penalty phase of a trial, the judge would impose a sentence that would leave the defendant eligible for parole after 20 to 25 years.

The identity of the man who shot the officers on the train is being withheld until his family has been notified. Police did say that he has a lengthy rap sheet from New York and Los Angeles, which includes a bust for possession of a deadly weapon.

Source: Google Maps

At about 6:30 a.m. this morning a three-alarm fire burned through a three-story Borough Park home at 1029 42nd Street, near New Utrecht Avenue.

The fire apparently started in the basement of the residence. More than 150 firefighters fought the major blaze.

“I was sleeping. Next thing I know, everyone was yelling, ‘Smoke!’” said 30-year building resident and owner, Riccardo Grey to DNAinfo.

He made a dash downstairs to check on his 2-year-old pit bull.  When he opened the door, a cloud of smoke penetrated the room. He had to run out and has not been able to find the dog since.

Six people were injured, including five firemen. And all 17 residents of the building who were home at the time of the fire are now homeless.

The fire was under control at about 8:30 a.m.

On Monday, January 7, a parent workshop has been scheduled for parents, educators, and professionals for an overview of the Individual Education Program (IEP) for children with disabilities.

According to the New York Department of Education:

An Individualized Educational Program (IEP) describes the special education and related services specifically designed to meet the unique educational needs of a student with a disability. An IEP is the guiding document for a student’s educational program. It includes all of the goals, objectives, present levels of performance and related services that are recommended for the student.

The workshop will be held at David A. Boody I.S. 228 School for Magnet Studies 228 Avenue S, starting at 9:00 a.m. The workshop will be presented by Raphael Rivas, Outreach and Information Specialist Brooklyn Parent Center (www.bcid-bpc.org) Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID) (www.bcid.org)

Seats are limited and registration is required by January 3. R.S.V.P. with name and phone number: via email CEC21@schools.nyc.gov or phone(718) 333-3885.

Click to enlarge. Image courtesy of Mark Treyger

From the offices of Assemblyman William Colton:

Declaring the B64’s return to Southwest Brooklyn a “victory we can all be proud of,” Assemblyman William Colton (D-Bensonhurst) and his Transportation Improvement Coalition Co-Chairs Mark Treyger and Priscilla Consolo have organized a Celebration Rally to mark the first day of the bus line’s return to Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Coney Island. The community celebration is scheduled for Sunday, January 6, 2013, at 11 A.M., on the corner of Bay 50th Street and Harway Avenue. Colton’s coalition is celebrating the MTA’s July 2012 decision to completely restore B64 service in Southwest Brooklyn, which was partially eliminated in 2010 due to budget cuts and sparked community uproar. The 2010 MTA cuts eliminated B64 service from 25th Avenue in Bensonhurst to Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island, which negatively impacted thousands of riders and the local economy.

The Brooklyn legislator is helping organize the victory gathering to show his appreciation to the enormous support the successful B64 fight received from community leaders, groups, and residents. “Together with the help of countless individuals and community organizations who fought hard to restore B64 service in Southwest Brooklyn, we proved that there is truly strength in numbers,” asserted Assemblyman Colton. “Our formula of success was having families, children, seniors, small businesses, community groups, and concerned residents work together toward accomplishing a common goal, added Colton. “This victory marks the beginning, not the end, of our work ahead to ensure further transportation improvements in Southern Brooklyn,” Colton went on to say.

“The B64’s complete restoration is a victory that solely belongs to the families and small businesses of Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, and Coney Island,” insisted Co-Chair Mark Treyger, who along with Co-Chair Priscilla Consolo, assisted in organizing residents against the MTA cuts. “The MTA often loses sight of the impact its reckless decisions have on families, children, disabled persons who rely on public transportation, and small businesses. To have cut service from Bensonhurst to Coney Island, especially at a time when Coney Island’s amusement district is being revamped, was an unconscionable decision made by the MTA. I am so proud of our community for coming together and successfully pressuring the MTA to reverse course,” added Treyger.

“As a young community activist, I am deeply proud and encouraged to see the power of people coming together to fight for important services that help make our neighborhoods stronger,” stated Co-Chair Priscilla Consolo, who helped raise community awareness on the B64 issue. “I am eager to continue working with Assemblyman Colton, my Co-Chair Mark Treyger, and community residents to fight to make further improvements to our transportation system,” Consolo added.

From collecting thousands of petition signatures, to holding rallies, to even requesting the federal Justice Department’s intervention on behalf of people with disabilities, Colton and his coalition did not relent in their successful fight to restore bus service for Southwest Brooklyn residents. Additionally, they are determined to keep this alliance in tact to make further transportation improvements that are greatly needed.

Some of the organizations involved in helping make this victory possible include; Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church, Transport Workers Union, United Progressive Democratic Club, Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, Bensonhurst West End Community Council, Harway Terrace Apartments Board of Directors, Contello Towers residents, Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church, Castellammare del Golfo, Aidone Social Cultural Association, ASU of New York, Community Education Council – District 21, NIA Community Services Network, Southern Brooklyn Democrats, and the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn.

Source: Jim.henderson via Wikimedia Commons

Two transit officers were shot last night at 7:30 p.m. inside of the N subway station at 62nd Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

One officer was shot in the leg and the other was grazed by a bullet. It is not known how many shots were fired at the officers or why, according to NY1.

All N line southbound trains were suspended and the northbound trains ran on the D line.

There have been no reports on the condition of the officers who were taken to Lutheran Hospital and no further information on the suspect.

Source: Nadler.house.gov

From the office of Congressman Jerrold Nadler:

Congressman Jerrold Nadler released the following statement on the successful passage last night of legislation to avert a fiscal cliff, provide tax reform, extend unemployment insurance, and postpone the massive spending cuts attached to sequestration.

“While this isn’t a perfect bill, it does provide reforms and certainty to our tax code and postpones painful spending cuts that our nation doesn’t need.  This bill will prevent an immediate fiscal crisis, generate new revenue by asking the wealthiest among us pay a bit more in taxes, and extend unemployment benefits for the millions of people who depend on them.

“While there is still the looming threat of billions of dollars in cuts to our social safety net for kids, seniors, and the most vulnerable among us, we now have more time to try and avoid such a catastrophic outcome.  We must work toward full economic recovery and provide genuine and immediate support for the American people.  Then we must ensure that we never have another crisis in which the American economy is held hostage to advance the political demands of the most unreasonable and extremist Members of Congress.  The simplest way to do that is to abolish the debt ceiling once-and-for-all, and I have introduced and will reintroduce legislation to do just that.”

Click to enlarge

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.