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Multi-story scaffolding crashed onto Bay Parkway and West 12th Street early this morning.  Winds and rain contributed to the scaffolding’s fall and the impact crushed a vehicle below sending parts of the structure all over the street.

The building was under construction and luckily no one was hurt, according to Fox. Currently, traffic is being diverted away from the street.

Source: Google Maps

First, there was Y2K. Then, there was that guy who spent his life’s saving taking out bus ads proclaiming the end of the world. And today, the end of the Mayan calendar was supposed to signal doomsday. Except, that was never really the case according to the Mayan’s of Bensonhurst, otherwise known as Guatemalans of Mayan descent.

Bath Beach and Bensonhurst is home to New York’s own little Mayan enclave, and no one there even batted an eyelash.

“Everything is normal,” Balbino Antoño Say Garcia said from behind the counter of Tienda Guatemalteca La Chapincita on Bath Avenue, writes the New York Times. “No one is talking about the end of the world here, not at all.”

A reason why the chatter is mostly skeptical there could be that most of Guatemalans are Christian.

“The Bible says we don’t know when the end is going to come, but we should be prepared,” Say Garcia stated.

At the Jovenes Cristianos Evangelical Church on 17th Avenue church member Jeremiah De Jesus, said that most locals heard of the Mayans apocalypse theories from American-made media.

“In Guatemala,” he said, “nobody that I know who is Mayan is even talking about it.”

According to Ronaldo Camacho of Guatemalan immigrant-rights group, Migua, the end of the calendar signifies a day of celebration, not mourning when the winter solstice brings a 394-year cycle to an end. That cycle is called b’ak’tun. Doomsday believers understood the end of the cycle to mean the end of humanity.  However, according to Camacho, the end of the cycle just means that another one is due to start.

Camacho said that the predictions are actually “a disrespect to the Mayan culture and the indigenous people of Mayan descent.”

Why didn’t anyone just ask these folks to begin with?


From the office of Assemblyman William Colton:

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn) is announcing the creation of an enhanced New York State driver’s license for all veterans. Starting next year, all veterans will have the option to have a notation placed on their license or I.D. card indicating their veteran status. The piece of legislation creating this new option for veterans was co-sponsored by Assemblyman Colton and recently signed into law by Governor Cuomo. Veterans will not have to pay an extra fee for the notation. The new law will take effect next fall.

The purpose of this legislation is to assist veterans in easily providing proof of service when applying for employment opportunities and to receive certain benefits or discounts from businesses. Instead of the hassle of keeping track of numerous service paperwork or waiting years for lost documents/medals due to Hurricane Sandy to be re-issued, veterans will be able to rely on the new state card as a one-stop shop for proof. Once verified, the new card will clearly have stated on it “U.S. Veteran,” to provide some convenience to veterans that reside in New York.

The signing of this legislation also comes on the heels of Assemblyman Colton’s support for the creation of a Veterans’ Jobs Portal on the Division of Veterans’ Affairs website, which aims to help connect unemployed veterans to job opportunities in the state, and his “Veterans’ Appreciation Night”, which was held at the United Progressive Democratic Club and honored local heroes returning to the states from Iraq. The event was organized and emceed by Club President Mark Treyger.

“Each year I look forward to supporting additional veterans’ legislation which builds on the successes of the previous year. While this law is a relatively small gesture compared to the sacrifices made by our brave men and women, it will definitely help veterans to easily obtain benefits and discounts offered by local businesses,” Assemblyman Colton said.

“Whatever our government can do to make the lives of our heroes easier is worth fighting for and getting done. I applaud Assemblyman Colton and his colleagues for making this happen,” stated supporter of the new law and UPDC President Mark Treyger.

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.

We’re just going to have to file this under “Stuff I’ll never get.” A line of just more than 25 people has turned up in front of Modell’s Sporting Goods (8959 Bay Parkway) in Caesar’s Bay, according to tipster Bart E. They’ve brought lawn chairs and tents and whatever else they need to get through the frigid temps for the next 24 hours or so.

The first in line arrived yesterday, around 3:00 p.m.

Why? Apparently the store will begin selling Nike Air Jordan Retro 11 sneakers tomorrow. From what I understand, they cost upwards of $300 and look like this:

Man, ain’t that nice? So cool, right?

Wait, what the heck are we talking about again? People are camping out 24 hours in advance for a generic looking glob of plastic, rubber and nylon stitched together by a one-handed Vietnamese pre-schooler?

Yup, definitely in the “Things I’ll never get” file, right behind Fabergé eggs.

Feeling the holiday spirit? Great, so am I. Here’s a little photo album documenting the festivities all around our area.

If you’ve got a photo to add, send it to

Credits: 1. Bruce Plumbing donates toys for kids of Hurricane Sandy. Image courtesy of Marty Golden’s Facebook; 2. Image courtesy of Helen H.; 3. Image courtesy of Robert Z.; 4. Image courtesy of Robert Z.; 5. Image courtesy of the David A. Boody I.S. 228 PTA; 6. Christmas Tree at Hollywood Tans. Image courtesy of Hollywood Tans’ Facebook.; 7. The Susan E. Wagner High School Symphonic Band. Image courtesy of the Friends of Historic New Utrecht’s Facebook.; 8. Local Sandy Clause Michael Sciaraffo. Image courtesy of Michael Sciaraffo’s Facebook.; 9 – 13. Image courtesy of Donna Berlingieri and her brother Anthony Berlingieri.

Source: irek64 via Google Maps

Talent scout Michael Albanese wanted to throw a disco-themed party to kick off the opening of his new agency, Natural Image Talent & Photography, at Club B66. Except, instead of a Studio 54 atmosphere, he claims that the event was ruined due to bad music, lousy drinks and name calling.

Albanese is now suing the club’s owner, Eric Krasucki. He states that an agreement was made wherein the club owner would receive $10 for every guest that showed up. The deal also included a discount on drinks and the DJ spinning hits from the 70′s.

According to the suit, the 200 or so guests that showed up to the 6612 New Utrecht Avenue location were sold expensive watered down booze and had to listen to hip hop all night.

Albanese’s lawsuit further alleges that Krasucki called his friends “mobsters” and he was called a “gumba” when he came to see Krasucki the next day. Albanese also says he is owed money, according to DNAinfo.

Krasucki refutes Albanese’s claims and said that the party planner got $2,000 from the event and the rest of the allegations are untrue. He denies ever calling him any racist names.

“I got this business 16 years. I’ve seen a lot, but I’ve never seen a guy like this guy,” Krasucki said. “I kept my word.”

Source: William Alatriste

From the offices of Councilman Vincent Gentile:

It was the Irish statesman Edmund Burke who so famously said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” And in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut those words have never been more relevant.

In the midst of unspeakable horror, many lawmakers and politicians have called for stricter gun control laws at the federal level, including revisiting the 1994 former assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 but has yet to be reinstated.

“Whether it’s a conversation about gun control, mental health or security in our schools, there may not be a panacea but the time for national action is now,” Councilman Vincent Gentile said joining his colleagues on the steps of City Hall earlier today.

“Yes, as civilians we all have the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment but there is no useful purpose for semiautomatic rifles – weapons similar to those used by troops in Afghanistan – other than mass killing.”

The most frequent and commonly asked question around the world over the past few has been, “How many more times!?”

“My heart and my prayers have not left the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Gentile said. “The impact of this sick and evil act will be felt in every household across our nation. We must do everything in our power to ensure this never happens again or else these people will have died in vain.”

After two months of discussion at Community Board 11 meetings, the NYPD is cracking down on illegal parking of commercial vehicles on residential streets in Bensonhurst.

Community Board 11 Chairperson Bill Guarinello and District Manager Elias-Pavia told boardmembers last week that police towed four illegally parked trucks from residential streets during Thanksgiving week, and another four the following week.

The crackdown follows a board resolution last month, calling for New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to direct the department to increase enforcement against trucks who parked overnight on neighborhood’ streets.

“It spoils the neighborhood,” Guarinello said.

Department of Transportation regulations state that 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 – but for commercial truckers, the penalty is small enough to be ignored.

“It’s not the price of doing business,” Guarinello said. He noted that enforcement actions will continue into the foreseeable future.

Leaders hope that frequent monitoring of illegal commercial vehicle parking will mitigate this quality of life matter in the community.

Source: Antonio Martínez López / Flickr

Whether by car, bus or subway, getting around in New York City is about to become a little more expensive.

The MTA Board approved the agency’s 2013 budget this morning, which included a set of mass transit, bridge and toll hikes across the metropolitan region.

Find out what the new rates are, and how the MTA’s budget is looking overall.