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Source: eagle102.net via Wikimedia Commons

Legislation sponsored by Senator Martin Golden was signed into law today to help returning war veterans find employment.

The law, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, expands the employment section on the Division of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) website. The website will now include links to state and federal governmental programs that will assist veterans in finding employment, as well as resources from the federal and state labor departments.

“Military veterans are highly trained, often in specialized skills that are in great demand in the public and private sectors,” Cuomo said. “It is essential that our returning service men and women have access to the many resources available on the state and federal level to help veterans find jobs in the civilian workforce.”

This legislation builds on other Cuomo-backed efforts to help military veterans find work. In November 2011, he launched the “Experience Counts” campaign. This is a statewide initiative that recognizes life skills gained while in the service as specialized training. For example, if a veteran applying for commercial driving licensing has military experience operating a similar vehicle, the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles will wave a road test.

“Our government must support these men and women as best as possible, for these soldiers have made sure that we remain a safe and free nation,” said Golden.

Freddy Boy. Source: Facebook

Freddy Boy, a pit bull, sat in the getaway car while Dennis Kharitonov, 25, hit up a grocery store on 20th Avenue, then a bodega on 17th Avenue and finally a 99-cents store on 20th Avenue, at gunpoint.

His questionable targets (how much money could a 99-cent store really have?) and his poor choice of getaway driver make his arrest by police officers seem impending.

The car, by the way, was stolen too.

“He [said he] was going to walk the dog and he wasn’t home for two hours,” said his mother, Galina Kharitonov. “I started to get nervous.”

Kharitonov was caught after he crashed into another car near 16th Avenue. He jumped out and ran, abandoning Freddy Boy in the stolen car.

Cops caught up to him based on a description heard over the scanner. He was wearing a “replica Carmelo Anthony Knicks jersey.”

Freddy Boy was found safe and sound and returned to the elder Kharitonov.

The suspect was arrested and charged with grand larceny.

BENSONHURST BEAN EXCLUSIVE: A Gravesend pizza maker who became the victim of identity theft after losing his drivers license last summer is still wondering when he’ll legally be able to get behind the wheel again – even after a judge determined that his driving record is actually clean.

“I did everything I was supposed to do, and, as we speak, I still have to have a friend drive me to work,” said Saverino Careri, 28, owner of Italia Pizza and Restaurant located at 307 Kings Highway (corner of West 6th Street).

Careri’s problems started after another man named Anthony Cabrera began racking up moving violations using the pizzeria owner’s recovered drivers license. When Cabrera was arrested on a DWI charge and gave Careri’s name, authorities released him before receiving the results of his fingerprint identification, according to Careri’s mother Mimma, which would have nailed him as an ID thief and saved Careri a headache.

“Somehow, he was able to convince a whole police precinct that he was me,” Saverino Careri said.

Cabrera was later arrested on September 13, 2011, and initially charged with Criminal Impersonation, Identity Theft and Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information. He ultimately pled guilty to Disorderly Conduct and sentenced to jail time served. Cabrera’s present whereabouts, however, remain unclear.

Careri briefly had his drivers license restored this past spring after a judge heard his case.

“We thought everything was resolved,” said Mimma Careri. “Then we got a letter saying that the license was suspended again.”

Careri has now spent the better part of a year without a drivers license, keeping him from doing deliveries for Italia Pizza and putting a strain on the family’s business.

After that, the Careris were told that they needed to speak to somebody in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, which they did.  But so far, that has only produced more frustration for the pizzeria owners.

“We were told, ‘Oh, it should have been corrected a long time ago,’” Mimma Careri said. “They have to find Cabrera and bring him back before a judge.”

Mimma said that the family doesn’t know Cabrera, but believes he is from the neighborhood, and might have picked up Saverino’s license somewhere on Cropsey Avenue because that’s where her son’s girlfriend lives.

The Distict Attorney’s Office refuses to comment on whether or not Careri is any closer to having his drivers license restored, saying only that the case is “under investigation.”

“I’m disappointed, I’m aggravated, I’m angry,” Mimma Careri said. “My son just leased a car – it’s a Mercedes. He finally rewards himself for hard work and he can’t drive it.”

– Joe Maniscalco

Source: Andrzej Barabasz via Wikimedia Commons

Jazz musician and researcher Vincent Gardner is currently interested in one thing: Brooklyn’s historical Jazz scene.

Thus far, he has been able to document activity in Coney Island, Brownsville, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuvesant, “which proved to have the most activity so far.”

However, he has not been able to find any information about the scene in Bensonhurst. Specifically, Gardner is hoping to find out about “jazz during the heyday of the music in the Borough, from 1915-1970.”

His research has brought him to an old club called “The Golden Note” on 67th Street. The other is bowling alley that was on 59th Street and Bay Parkway that may have featured jazz.

Now, you have your assignment: Find the jazz clubs in old Bensonhurst. Post any tips below, Gardner is surely sitting at the edge of his black rolling computer seat, waiting for us to save his research.

Source: YouTube

Every major media outlet reported that it was Officer Yi Huang who talked a distraught man from the ledge of the Verrazano Bridge in his native Cantonese.

Only that isn’t the real story. Sure, Huang was there, but it was not Huang whose tight bond with the despondent man dramatically changed the course of the events.

Eddie Fung, an MTA Bridge and Tunnel officer, was the man responsible for talking the suicidal jumper down. He was one of the first to arrive on the scene.

Fung spent hours communicating with the jumper about their common birthplace, the future of their children and a host of other intimate stories. Huang arrived hours later.

When the nightmare came to an end, it was Fung who rode in the ambulance with the jumper to the hospital.

According to the Huffington Post, it is NYPD’s Public Information office that is to blame for the misnomer. The releases praised Huang without any credit given to Fung.

The good news is that some of the police officers who were also present during the rescue noted the inaccuracies and went personally to thank Hung for his hard work.

The better news is that, now, the right man has been named and thanked.

Source: Lana I.

It’s been observed by public transit riders that several stations along the Sea Beach line are corroded and completely falling apart.

Not too long ago, a rain gutter detached from the roof of the 18th Avenue N train station and fell onto the platform.

Peeling paint, water leaks, cracked walls and rusting stairways can be frightening for commuters, but unfortunately, none of this will be dealt with by the MTA until much, much later.

According to the MTA website, stations from 8th Avenue to 86th Street aren’t scheduled for repairs until October of 2014. The work is due to last through September of 2018.

It’s hard to say what’s worse, the dangerous conditions at the stations or the slow like molasses repair work and imminent service changes to come. Actually, it’s all equally horrible. Let us commiserate in the comments section below.

The MetroPCS at 2159 Bath Avenue has closed up shop. Prior to, it may have been a stereo equipment store. If the digital electronics trend continues, it might just be a Mac store next. That, or a holograph rental company.

Source: L. Frank Cabrera via Wikimedia Commons

Bensonhurst brawler Paulie Malignaggi will make his Barclays Center debut on October 20th, reports ESPN.

The “Brooklyn Pride” event will not have Malignaggi headline against Amir Khan as was expected. Instead, the Brooklyn native will fight 22 year-old Mexican Pablo Cano (25-1-1 with 19 KO’s).

Cano is not as well-known as some of the boxers who were speculated to fight, but Malignaggi says he has plans for a much bigger fight in the near future.

“There is a long-term plan. My fans should stay patient, there is a very big fight coming, but it’s hush hush for now,” said Malignaggi.

His promotion team has reportedly been in talks with Zab Judah, another big-name Brooklyn native. There are also rumors that British superstar Ricky Hatton may come out of retirement to fight either Malignaggi or Khan.

For now, Malignaggi says he must take his opponent seriously.

“He’s a very good body puncher, he’ll try to take my legs away,” he said.

The WBA Welterweight Champion also said he expects a lively audience in downtown Brooklyn. He hopes his own home fans will cheer him on, but also expects a large Central American following for Cano and headliner Erik Morales.

Former champion Morales will take on Danny Garcia for the main event on October 20th, which looks to be an exciting debut for boxing at the Barclays Center.

Source: MGA73bot2 via Wikimedia Commons

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to assist low-income New Yorkers whose health issues pose a medical emergency during the hot summer months has garnered applause from Councilman Vincent Gentile.

“Last winter I was proud to team up with Governor Cuomo and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to make my Bay Ridge office an official HEAP Headquarters,” Councilman Gentile said. “We were able to provide assistance to many people – helping them pay their electricity, propane, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene, coal, or any other heating fuel during the cold winter months. It only makes sense that we would team up again in the summer to keep these same low-income New Yorkers cool and safe.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo set aside $3 million in funding so that New Yorkers could receive air conditioners.

Eligibility for the program is determined by:

·         LIHEAP low-income guidelines. For a four-person household, the maximum gross annual income to qualify is approximately $49,500.

·         Having at least one household member who has been diagnosed with a chronic or acute medical condition which is aggravated by exposure to extreme heat situations.

·         A doctor providing written documentation (dated within the last six months) that air-conditioning assistance is critical to prevent a heat emergency.
Those who want to see if they qualify should visit www.mybenefits.ny.gov, call 1-800-342-3009, or contact Councilman Gentile’s office Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am until 5:30 pm at 718-748-5200.

Source: Whiskeygonebad via Flickr

The good news can be heard ’round the hood: The Festa di Santa Rosalia, or 18th Avenue Feast, is back on for this year!

The city approved the permits for the feast to run from August 24 to September 3. It will take place on 18th Avenue, between 67th to 75th.

“It’s happening,” said Carcione Damiano, President of the Santa Rosalia Society to the Brooklyn Daily. “It’s done already. All the paperwork with the city is approved.”

The group has begun to gather vendors, and by all accounts, seasoned merchants from the past are coming back.

However, for residents, the wounds from the previous years’ last-minute feast cancellation are still fresh. After almost 30 years of zeppolis, powdered sugar and music to revel in the few remaining summer nights, organizers suddenly put an end to the beloved event.

The reasons behind the decision were never made clear. Organizers claim that the city didn’t act quickly enough to approve permits, while the city said that the permits filed were only temporary.

“I looked forward to it every year. I love seeing everyone come out and party,” said Belle R., a Bath Beach resident. “It was confusing last year, and even this year, it’s like literally last minute again. I really hope they don’t cancel it again.”

Looks like the biggest question of the 2012 summer has finally been answered. Now let the festivities begin!