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The serial killer who murdered two shopkeepers earlier this year has senselessly gunned down a third.

Rahmatolla Vahidipour is the latest victim. He was found shot inside of his Flatbush store on Friday evening. Police have linked the .22 caliber gun used in the previous murders to the shell casings found on Friday.

“Now it’s like he’s telling us, ‘It’s me again,’ ” a police source said to the New York Daily News.

The killer took the life of Mohammed Gebeli on July 6 in his Bay Ridge store, Valentino Fashion Inc. Then on August 2, he murdered Isaac Kadare in his Bensonhurst store, Amazing 99 Cent Deals.

Police are floating around several theories as to motive of the killer. Vahidipour was a devout Jewish man originally from Iran. Gebeli was a Muslim man hailing from Egypt and Kadare was Jewish from Egypt as well.

All three were of Middle Eastern descent.

“I hope he’s not targeting owners because they’re Jewish or from the Middle East because that’s becoming personal,” said Norman Mann, a Middle Eastern owner of a Flatbush Avenue store.

Investigators think that the killer entered the store right before closing time and shot Vahidipour in the head and chest. Then, he dragged the store owner’s body to the back of the shop and threw clothing on it to cover it up.

“I hope they catch the son of a bitch,” said Gebeli’s son, Mourad, who now runs his father’s Bay Ridge store.

Vahidipour’s family is devastated. The grandfather of nine was supposed to head over to his grandson’s bar mitzvah over the weekend.

“We are miserable,” said his daughter Yasmin Vahidipour at the family’s home in Great Neck, Long Island. “He was kind. He was loyal. He was the best father. He was the best (husband) that ever lived.”

Another theory police are investigating is a theory based on the addresses of the stores and a numerology link. Kadare’s store was at 1877 86th Street, Gebeli’s store was located at 7718 Fifth Avenue and Vahidipour’s She She Boutique was at 834 Flatbush Avenue. The address for each crime scene features the number 8.

Robbery is not considered a motive as money was taken from Gebeli and Kadare, but not Vahidipour.

Police are hunting for the killer, who is about 5-feet-5 and 140 pounds. They are offering a $12,000 reward for any information that leads to a conviction of the killer.

Pre-Sandy seawall. Source: Retrofresh! via Flickr

From the offices of Senator Marty Golden:

State Senator Martin J. Golden announced that he has written to Colonel Paul E. Owens of the Army Corps of Engineers regarding damage to the Belt Parkway seawall and has requested an emergency fix and replacement of the entire 2.5 mile section from the Verrazano Bridge to Bay Parkway.

In his letter, Senator Golden wrote, “It is imperative that work on the damaged section being immediately to prevent further erosion as well as to protect the safety of the community and use of the Belt Parkway.”

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons

Growing up in Bensonhurst, rarely anyone I knew went by their real names. From Joey Sticks to Chewy Louie, nicknames are a regular part of neighborhood lore.

Dave Mandl, writer for the “Wire, the Believer, the Rumpus, the Register, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the Village Voice and literally millions of other publications,” as well as the music editor at the Brooklyn Rail and host of a weekly radio show, “World of Echo,” at WFMU has deep Brooklyn roots. He often posts about his childhood spent roaming around the streets of Southern Brooklyn.

In his latest musing for Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, an online publication that gathers original stories from all over New York City, he has compiled an incredible collection of the nicknames he can recall the kids in his neighborhood had from 1966 – 1980. He also provides explanations as to why kids carried these weird, yet somehow familiar, monikers.

Among the jewels, he lists:

Joey All-Star because “Joey was a congenital liar who was constantly bragging about what a great athlete he was. In fact he wasn’t very good at all.”

Seedy Edie because “Edie was a middle-aged woman who dealt pot out of her apartment, a block away from the police station. Everyone in the world knew about her, so we assumed she had some kind of arrangement with the cops. The low-quality weed she sold was allegedly full of seeds.”

Take a look at his list and tell us your favorite childhood nicknames.


Source: Onderwijsgek via Wikimedia Commons

From the offices of Councilman Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield is pleased to announce that residents in Kensington, the northern part of Midwood and the eastern part of Borough Park once again have a neighborhood library branch to visit with the soft opening of the new, state-of-the-art Kensington branch of Brooklyn Public Library. Local residents have been without a nearby library branch since the old location was closed three weeks ago and the opening of the new building was delayed for two weeks due to Hurricane Sandy. Brooklyn Public Library officials are planning a formal ribbon cutting ceremony at the new branch, located at 4207 18th Avenue, in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Councilman Greenfield wanted to inform the public that the branch is now open to residents. This marks the first brand new library branch in Brooklyn in years. This new library replaces the leased temporary facility at 410 Ditmas Avenue.

“I know how important public libraries are for many residents, so I am thrilled to have worked on the completion of this great addition to our neighborhood. Libraries are an integral part of any community and serve a wide range of constituents, from book lovers to students to job seekers. This new state-of-the-art building is a great investment in our community and will be enjoyed by generations of families and residents,” said Councilman Greenfield.

The 18,500-square-foot, two-story building is handicapped accessible and features self-checkout machines, external book drops and pre-teen, teenage and adult reading areas. It also has computers for children and adults, wireless internet access and public meeting spaces. Greenfield thanked his predecessor, former Councilman Simcha Felder, for initiating the project, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for supporting the new library. Most of the funds for the $15 million project were allocated by the New York City Council.

Maimonides Medical Center opened a new two-floor, 5,5000-square-foot care center in order to turn their attention on caring for children.

The new Bay Parkway Multi-Specialty Pediatric Center is located at 6701 Bay Parkway. It has 12 examination rooms and is open five days a week, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

“Our goal is to accommodate children and their families in a comfortable, supportive environment to relieve anxiety and optimize healing,” said Dr. Danielle Laraque, Pediatrics Chairman at Maimonides Medical Center. “The open, bright and airy offices in this new location have a playful aquatic theme that mimics the aquariums found at the Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital.”

The pediatric center’s services include a variety of medical services such as neurology, endocrinology, gastroenterology and more. Medical officials hope that in the near future, services will also include pediatric surgery, genetics and others. Further, they hope to remain open nights and weekends to accommodate the needs of the neighborhood.

The specific needs of the location also prompted officials to ensure that the various languages of the neighborhood are considered such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Urdu, and Bengali.

Visit for more information on the new center.

Source: Liquor and wine store owner via

This is always kind of interesting: Two local establishments are for sale, but neither are explicitly named.

One is a pizzeria that has been in business for 11 years. The owner writes:

I own the building so I can give a great lease. Outdoors seating, full basement, all equipment. I live in NJ so I want to open in a store in NJ is the reason I’m selling.this is a turnkey operation the employees will stay if interested call 3473927074 …I will accept 65000 down and finance the rest thank you!!

The other, a liquor and wine store where the owner is moving out of state. The ad states:

Very profitable Liquor and Wine Store for sale due to owner moving to another state. Been in business since 1995.

Store: 450 square feet

2011 Gross is $490,000

New 10 year lease – $2300 per month

Liquor and Wine – 50/50

Two partners are currently working as well as one part time employee. Busy foot traffic location that is a half of block from 86th street in Brooklyn’s neighborhood of Bensonhurst / Bath Beach.

Business sale price $275,000 / Inventory is separate . Call 646-580-0289. No Broker FEE.

Who wants to take a crack at guessing which businesses these are?

With commercial vehicle parking on residential streets growing as a quality of life issue in Bensonhurst, Community Board 11 leaders have decided to take action.

Community Board 11 Chairperson Bill Guarinello and District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia, have sent a resolution to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly asking for more police enforcement overnight. They hope that frequent monitoring of this illegal parking will help mitigate this problem.

“Parking is difficult enough for residents in our community without all of the box trucks, buses and vans, which are registered as passenger vehicles but meet the definition of a commercial vehicle as defined by law, that park overnight,” Elias-Pavia wrote in the resolution.

According to the Department of Transportation, commercial vehicles cannot park on residential streets between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. A violation of this rule may result in a $65 ticket for the vehicle-owner.

Still, Elias-Pavia said that the number of commercial vehicles bending this rule in Bensonhurst is only getting greater. With this community becoming a “pilot project” for traffic enforcement, she hopes that this can change.

“We need consistent enforcement,” Elias-Pavia said. “Parking in Bensonhurst is difficult enough. We need to address this quality of life issue.”

See a copy of the letter to the NYPD after the jump.

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.

From the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield is inviting all Bensonhurst residents to join him this Thursday, November 15th as he continues his participatory budgeting initiative in the 44th Council District. Participatory budgeting allows residents to decide exactly how $1 million in capital funds are spent on projects right on their block or in their neighborhood. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in PS 205 at 6701 20thAvenue. During this meeting, residents will learn more about exactly how participatory budgeting will work between now and when projects are voted on this spring, and will have a chance to suggest specific projects they would like funded.

“I invite all residents to come out and suggest their ideas for capital projects they feel are most needed in their neighborhood. We have heard lots of creative and interesting ideas so far at meetings throughout the district, so I am looking forward to hear all of the ideas that Bensonhurst residents have in mind for their corner of the district. This is a great way to get involved in the community and have a real say in how your tax dollars are spent,” said Councilman Greenfield.

This meeting follows similar ones in Boro Park and Midwood over the past month. It was originally scheduled for November 1st, but was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. During these meetings, known as neighborhood assemblies, residents will break down into smaller groups focusing on specific areas like transportation, recreation, public safety or education and more. After all three meetings are held, ideas suggested by residents will be researched to make sure they comply with all the requirements, including that they serve a public purpose and have a lifespan of at least five years. This spring, all district residents will be invited to vote on which projects they prefer, and the top idea from each of the three neighborhoods will ultimately be funded to ensure all areas of the district benefit from this initiative.

“These tax dollars belong to the public, so it is only right that residents have a direct say in how they are spent in their neighborhood. I vowed to make the budgeting process as open and transparent as possible, and I am proud to build on that campaign promise by bringing participatory budgeting to our district. This exciting initiative truly puts the power in the hands of the people and gives them a real voice in their government,” concluded Councilman Greenfield.

For more information about Thursday’s meeting, call Councilman Greenfield’s district office at (718) 853-2704. To learn more about participatory budgeting, visit

Source: Justin Goodman, Spokesman for Council Speaker Christine Quinn, via Twitter

As schools throughout the hardest hit neighborhoods in Brooklyn struggle to open, other schools that have taken in extra students face their own struggles like attendance, transporting students to and from the new schools and more.

Due to damage, 450 students from P.S. 188 at 3314 Neptune Avenue were moved to I.S. 281 at 8787 24th Avenue. Educators at P.S. 450 state that most of the relocated students have not been in class.

Most parents say this is due to a lack of transportation to the new schools, according to NY1.

“We don’t have a car,” said a parent. “It’s very hard, because we don’t have the train, we don’t have the bus.”

As of Tuesday, the Department of Education provided shuttle buses for all relocated students. However, this did not prove to be an easy transition.

“A bunch of kids screaming, a little girl screaming,” stated a student. “It was confusing.”

Local politicians also got into the mix in an attempt to help the struggling students. Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilman Dominic Recchia and UFT President Michael Mulgrew distributed backpacks full of school supplies at I.S. 281 yesterday.

Administrators were pleased to announce a 90 percent attendance rate on Tuesday as well, the first high attendance marker since the storm. Perhaps this is a sign of good things to come for the displaced schoolkids.