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Source: US Department of Agriculture via Wikimedia Commons

Department of Health officials found the West Nile Virus at zip code 11228 in Dyker Heights on August 3. It was detected in Windsor Terrace, Greenwood Heights and Starrett City as well.

The DOH used an aerial larviciding technique to rid the area of mosquito larvae on August 8. According to their website, aerial larviciding is “dropping natural bacterial granules by helicopter to marshes and other large natural areas to kill mosquito larvae before they grow into adult mosquitoes. Does not take place in the residential areas of NYC.”

Residents of other neighborhoods like Windsor Terrace have been peeved about the confusing West Nile spray communications the DOH releases, and in this instance, the communication is not clear either. It seems the Dyker Beach Golf Course may have been the area that was treated, although the 11228 zip code extends beyond the golf course.

After being bitten by a mosquito, symptoms of West Nile appear similar to the flu, ranging from headaches, fever, muscle aches and fatigue. Though, not all of those afflicted will experience any symptoms.

West Nile Virus can be deadly so anyone exhibiting symptoms should get to a doctor.

The DOH advises residents to wear long long pants and sleeves around dusk, drain or dump standing water and repair window screens to avoid being bitten.


A.J. Donofrio, otherwise known as AJ, the son of “Mob Wives” star Angela “Big Ang” Riola, was at the Brooklyn State Supreme Court yesterday for his arraignment on drug charges.

He stood accused of being involved with a group that sold drugs. Instead of jail time, he will be sent to an in-patient facility for 18 to 24 months. Had he received a prison sentence, he may have served up to 25 years in prison and a minimum sentence of one to three years.

He was caught selling cocaine in Bensonhurst during an undercover sting. His attorneys argued that he is an addict and needs rehabilitation.

“These people should go to jail,” assistant district attorney Jonathan Laskin said when referring to AJ.

If AJ cleans up his act while in rehab, he’s free to go. If not, he may face the maximum prison penalty.

Photo courtesy of the JCC Rockland

Olympics shmolympics.

The competition-ready youth of the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst  (7802 Bay Parkway) want to bring home the gold in the 30th annual Maccabi Games, a major sports event held all over the United States by the JCC.

Over 6,000 teens attend the summer competition. It is the second largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world.

The two-week games often feature top ranking Jewish athletes. In the past, Mark Spitz, Mitch Gaylord, Ernie Grunfeld, Danny Schayes, Brad Gilbert and Dick Savitt have all come down to show their support and officiate ceremonies.

The event takes place in several cities simulatiously. This year the Maccabi Games that will take place in Houston, Memphis and Rockland County.

The JCHB Maccabi team is competeing in volleyball and table tennis in Rockland County.

Go JCHB, show ‘em how Bensonhurst does it!

Local Assemblyman William Colton has been advocating for the installation of additional sources of free wireless internet around Southern Brooklyn.

Colton expressed that he feels it is unfair that wealthier neighborhoods in northern Brooklyn and Manhattan are dominating much of the city’s free internet service at parks and public spaces. He said that his constituents deserve to be serviced as well as those residing in other areas.

“Many here feel that the city often caters to the needs of the few and privileged elsewhere and leaves us stranded,” Colton said in a letter fierce letter sent to the City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, according to the New York Post. “We pay our taxes like everyone else, and we are entitled to the same level of services just like everyone else.”

Following his letter, the Parks Department said they will be adding free wireless internet to the Coney Island beach and boardwalk, MCU Park, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park’s Nature Center, and possibly Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge.

Colton will be holding a press conference later today announcing the new locations.

Source: Hunter O’Eeils via Wikimedia Commons

The fight against the waste transfer station situated in Gravesend Bay has come full circle for neighborhood activist Dorothy Mortman.The 87-year-old Mortman was diagnosed with breast cancer 15 years ago. Given that she has no cancer in her family, she believes it was caused by the smoke and ash from the old incinerator located two blocks from her Bensonhurst home.

“It’s not genetic. Nobody in my family had it and I don’t carry the genes,” said Mortman, 87.

Mortman refuses to allow a new waste transfer site to be built in that location. She is standing alongside other environmental and community activists in suing to block the proposed $87.7 million waste transfer site at the edge of Bay 41st Street near Gravesend Bay.

“For more than 30 years, that incinerator spewed contaminants into the land, water and air and the effects are still being felt by residents today,” Assemblyman William Colton said to the New York Post. “There’s no way we’re going to allow those contaminants to be dug up and pose another threat to the community.”

Colton is leading the suit against the waste transfer station.

Vicki Grubman, who has lived blocks away from the proposed Brooklyn site for many years, remembers an anonymous survey conducted in the 90s asking residents to discuss their health problems.

“One person said there were 15 people on their floor who died from cancer and they had no one left from their family to respond to the survey,” she said.

Local environmental groups like Wake up and Smell the Garbage and the No Spray Coalition state that the site will further pollute the water, killing off a delicate eco-system that already suffers from pollution and harming children and residents in nearby areas.

For Mortman, though there has been no conclusive scientific link between the site and her cancer, she knows it to be true. And her fight is not for her own health, but for the health of the future generations who will play in the local parks.

“It’s too late for me because I’m an old woman, but we have young children here,” she said.

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield is inviting community residents to attend a participatory budgeting information session tonight, August 14, at 7 p.m. to find out how they can get involved in this exciting initiative that he is introducing to the district this year. Participatory budgeting aims to give the public more say in how their tax dollars are spent locally by having residents brainstorm, nominate and vote on capital projects they would like to see completed in their neighborhood.

Greenfield will allocate $1 million from the upcoming 2014 New York City budget to fund this effort, and is urging the public to attend tonight’s 7 p.m. information session at P.S. 205, located at 6701 20th Avenue, to find out how they can become charter members for this exciting exercise in open government and democracy. At tonight’s meeting, residents will learn more about how participatory budgeting works and how to get involved. With that in mind, Greenfield is urging anyone who would like to learn more about participatory budgeting to attend this meeting.

“Residents know the types of projects that are needed most in their neighborhood, and participatory budgeting gives them a voice in determining how their tax dollars are spent. I am proud to bring the power directly to the taxpayers and to bring greater transparency to the budgeting process. I hope that people from every part of the district will get involved and make their opinions heard,” said Greenfield, who has followed through on his campaign promise to make the budget process more open and transparent by holding annual workshops for any non-profit and charitable group seeking discretionary funding. He is furthering that effort this year as one of eight Council Members bringing participatory budgeting to their constituents.

In all, 1.3 million New Yorkers, including the approximately 180,000 residing in the 44th Council District, will have the opportunity to take part in participatory budgeting this year, making it the largest such program in the nation. Last year, 6,000 residents in four districts across the city voted on projects such as $150,000 for an E-Tech Campus at a public school Beacon program, $80,000 for new books and equipment at the Kensington public library, $100,000 for senior transportation services and a Meals-on-Wheels delivery van, and $147,000 for equipment for a neighborhood volunteer fire organization. This year, residents in the 44th District, which includes Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst, will have a similar opportunity to identify needs within their neighborhood that could be funded with part of the $1 million in government funds set aside for this effort.

Participatory budgeting will take place over the next eight months or so as meetings are held and ideas are brainstormed and eventually formally nominated. Tonight’s meeting will provide an overview of the process and answers to residents’ questions. Additional meetings will be held over the next two months to begin coming up with ideas and selecting delegates to sit on the formal committee. Delegates will meet in committees over the winter before presenting draft project proposals to the public next spring. Final proposals will be presented to the public in March or April, at which time the entire public will be allowed to vote on which should move forward. The delegates will then work to implement the projects next spring and summer.

“I’m very excited to see what types of projects residents come up with for their neighborhoods. This is a great chance for every member of the public to get involved and take an active role in their community. I hope to meet and work with many constituents on this exciting initiative over the next few months,” added Greenfield.

Tonight’s information session will be held in P.S. 205, located at 6701 20th Avenue in Bensonhurst, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, call Greenfield’s district office at (718) 853-2704 or visit

When out-of-towners ask for a bakery recomendation in Bensonhurst, the name that comes up again and again is Villabate at 7001 18th Avenue.

Villabate-Alba has been a Bensonhurst institution for over 30 years. Hot bread, espresso, cappuccino and cannolis are all specialties at the bakery.

Though this clip is from 2010, the panetteria still stands as a neighborhood favorite. Check out the BRIC episode starring the Alaimo family (the family that has ran the shop since its opening).

Let us know, is Villabate’s your go-to place for Sicilian pastries or do you recommend another local bakery?

Source: Jack Keene via Wikimedia Commons

When Grace Di’turi was walking on 86th Street three years ago, she was hit in the head with a flying watermelon.

Workers from Big Apple Produce were apparently unloading the fruit from their truck by chucking it to each other. Di’turi was caught in the line of fruit fire when one of them must have fumbled.

Di’turi fell and had to be rushed to the hospital. Now, she is suing the produce stand for unspecified damages.

Papers filed in court state that “throwing watermelons across a public sidewalk . . . was dangerous and unsafe.”

Source: Lana I.

The recent media coverage of the dilapidated N-line subway stops has Assemblyman William Colton demanding that they be repaired before the slotted 2014 date.

“They [the staircases] need a significant amount of structural work done and if that doesn’t get done soon we’re going to have a tragedy. Somebody will get seriously injured or killed because of the disrepair,” said Colton.

He also stated that the repairs needs to be “done sooner” and that this is an “emergency.”

The nine subway stops at the outdoor N-line stations are in shambles. They have water leaks, peeling paint, rusty stairs and cracked cement.

The nearly 100-year-old stations have not been fixed up since the 80s, according to MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

Being outdoors, the wear and tear has made the Bensonhurst and Sunset Park stops ugly to look at and dangerous to visit.

While the MTA plans to do a major overhaul of the stations in October of 2014, thus far, no work is set to begin sooner.

The next CEC 21 meetings is Wednesday, August 15 at 5:30 p.m.

First up is the business meeting followed by the regular calendar meeting at 6:30 p.m. Public comment is encouraged for the calendar meeting.

The location is I.S. 303, the Herbert Eisenberg School at 501 West Avenue in the first floor library.