Source: Roger McLassus via Wikimedia Commons
The city is planning to hike the water usage rates and local politicians on both sides of the aisle are expressing concerns.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that Democratic Councilman Vincent Gentile and Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis both registered anger at public hearings held in front of the New York City Water Board last week.
“The proposed hike would translate to an average $52 per household annually,” the Daily Eagle reported Gentile telling the board at a Bensonhurst meeting. “You may hear the DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] boast that this is the ‘lowest increase’ we’ve seen in years but ask just about any homeowner and they will tell you their water bills are much too high! In fact, overall water rates have skyrocketed since 2005! So the term ‘lowest increase’ is somewhat of an oxymoron.”
For a Staten Island hearing, Malliotakis submitted a written reaction which expressed her objections on grounds that New Yorkers simply cannot afford the rate increase.
“Here in New York, the cost of living is exorbitant. High taxes, skyrocketing fees and a lagging economy have made every penny precious for our families,” Malliotakis wrote, adding that the proposed rate increase was, “irresponsible, unconscionable, and simply unacceptable for our cash-strapped families and businesses.”
The proposed rate increase, which if approved would jump 5.6 percent and go into effect on July 1.
The Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare. Source: Google Maps
Community Board 11 will hold its next general meeting May 9 at 7:30 p.m. inside the Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, 1740 84th Street.
For further information, call (718) 266-8800, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go towww.brooklyncb11.org.
Source: Perline via Wikimedia Commons
The D line is running clear all week but there are changes to the F, N, and R lines, so here are your subway service advisories fresh from the MTA.
Starting tonight, from 11:45 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., Tuesday to Friday, May 7 to May 10, here are the following service changes.
- Jamaica-bound F trains will skip 14 St and 23 St Stations.
- For service to these stations take the F to 34 St-Herald Sq and transfer to a downtown E or F train
- For service from these stations, take the E or F to W 4 St and transfer for a Jamaica-bound F.
Starting yesterday, from from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Friday, May 6 to May 10, here are the following service changes.
- No trains between 36 St and 8 Ave
- N service operates between Ditmars Blvd and 36 St, and via the D line to and from Stillwell Ave
- Shuttle Service operates in Brooklyn between 8 ave and Stillwell Ave
- For stations between 8 ave and Stillwell Ave take an N shuttle train
- Transfer between D/N trains and N shuttle trains at 62 St/New Utrecht Ave and Stillwell Ave
||Shuttle Bus Stop
||5 Av at 95 St
||4 Av at 86 St
||4 Av at 77 St
|Bay Ridge Av
||4 Av at Bay Ridge Av
||4 Av at 59 St
||4 Av at 53 St
||4 Av at 45 St
||4 Av at 36 St
Starting yesterday, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Friday, May 6 to May 10, here are the following changes.
- No trains between 36 St and 95 St
- Between 10 p.m. and 12 midnight, the R line operates between 71 Ave and 36 St (Brooklyn) and via the D line to and from 9 Ave, the last stop
- Between 12:01 a.m. and 5 a.m. the R line does not run
- Free shuttle buses make R line stops between 36 St and 95 St
- Transfers between buses and trains at 36 St
Happy trails subway friends!
Source: @NYCFireWire via @evgrieve via the Village Voice
A fire broke out at Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island (1310 Surf Avenue) over the weekend, according to a report by the Village Voice.
The famous hot dog mecca is still undergoing construction after the damage it took resulting from Superstorm Sandy. The fire broke out on the roof this past Saturday due to that ongoing reconstruction effort.
The fire was put out by the FDNY in less than 20 minutes and no one was hurt. Nathan’s is still expected to reopen for summer business.
Ban this? “The Hookah Lighter” by Jean-Leon Gerome via Wikimedia Commons
Are you an aspiring hookah fan who one day dreams of starting your own hookah bar in New York City? You might have to hurry up your plans if Councilman Vincent Gentile gets his way. Gentile is leading the effort to bar further construction of any new hookah bars in the city as part of the Council’s overall effort to fight smoking citywide.
Crain’s is reporting that Gentile is citing the destructive effects that hookahs have on the body as justification for limiting the expansion of future spots that offer hookah service.
“Hookah smoke can do as much or more damage than cigarette smoke because you have to inhale more deeply,” Crain’s reported Gentile saying. “In fact, one session of hookah can be like smoking 35 to 100 cigarettes.”
One study, done by a Bensonhurst native in 2011, shattered the myth of hookahs being healthier than cigarettes, and found cancer-causing and addictive elements in hookah smoke.
Under Gentile’s proposed legislation, which he originally introduced in 2010, it would be illegal for new hookah bars to open. Only existing hookah bars would be exempt from the law but they too would be barred from expanding their businesses or opening new locations.
Hookah bar owners have expressed mixed feelings on the proposed bill. While the new laws would damage their ability to expand their business, they would also no longer face competition from new businesses looking to muscle into their territory.
“We’re not trying to close down anybody who’s already in business,” Gentile said.
Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny took on hookah bars in 2011, introducing legislation in the Assembly that would ban hookah and water pipe sales to minors.
Tsirlina’s law office (Source: Google Maps)
The feds have accused a Bensonhurst-based lawyer of falsifying applications for foreign nationals hoping to receive U.S. work visas. Reuters is reporting that attorney Anna Tsirlina and her paralegal, Aleksandr Shusterman, allegedly committed visa fraud from 2005 to 2012.
According to the federal complaint, Tsirlina and Shusterman were paid thousands of dollars to lie on H1-B visa forms. H1-B visas are for foreign nationals who are hired by for specialized occupations by U.S. companies. Reuters described how Tsirlina’s scam allegedly went down.
To obtain an H1-B visa, a prospective employer has to file documents with federal agencies describing the type of job the foreign national is being hired for, the rate of pay and the duration of employment, among other information.
Prosecutors said the defendants worked together to submit fraudulent forms and documents that described fake job openings at made-up companies – for instance, “bilingual translator” or “software engineer” – to help obtain visas for clients who were not skilled in the sham positions.
Andrei Kurakin was also arrested for allegedly referred the clients to Tsirlina and Shusterman. Federal prosecutors charged all three with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and visa fraud. Tsirlina, Shusterman and Kurakin plead not guilty before federal judge Joan Azrack and were released on bond.
Tsirlina’s office is located at 1931 86th Street in Bensonhurst.
Source: mikey k via flickr
Two 12-year-old Brooklyn boys, one in Borough Park and one in Bath Beach, were injured in car accidents last week, according to a New York Post report.
The accident in Borough Park occurred when a private religious school bus struck a boy riding a bicycle at 7:45 a.m. on 12th Avenue and 40th Street.
“I saw the kid’s leg under the bus. I called the Hatzollah ambulance,” said She Rosenabum, 38. “He was screaming and yelling in pain.”
Rosenbaum said the child’s mother came to see him, and was distraught. “She was definitely crying ‘what happened? What’s going to be? I want you to live’,” he said. “He comes here every morning.”
In Bath Beach, the accident also occurred at 7:45 a.m. when a car hit a boy on Bath Avenue and 24th Street. The boy was subsequently treated for head trauma at Lutheran Hospital. The child is expected to survive.
I passed by the 62nd Precinct at 1925 Bath Avenue last week and just had to stop and take a photo. I’ve seen the building before, but with it being one of the first nice days of spring and a big, bright blue sky against the umber behemoth, it was set up for a nice shot.
The precinct – formerly the 70th Precinct, as the etched stonework reminds us – was built in 1905. It’s probably outdated as a modern police station house, but the building has far more charm and character than, say, the drab turd of a building that is the 61st Precinct on Coney Island Avenue.
Anyway, this is all to say that we’re kicking off a new semi-regular feature, called Buildings We Like. The Bensonhurst area has a ton of beautiful buildings spanning the gamut of New York architectural history. Of course, there’s a lot of not-so-pretty ones in between, so this is all to shine a spotlight as a reminder of what we have. If you have one you’d like to recommend, or want to send in a photo, just fire it off to nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com.
Some trickery on the N line, but otherwise, pretty clear sailing this weekend. Have a good one – the weather will be beau-tee-ful.
12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, May 4 – 6
N trains are rerouted via the R in both directions between Canal St and Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.
11:45 PM Fri to 5 AM Mon, May 3 – 6
Manhattan-bound N trains skip 30 Av, Broadway, 36 Av, and 39 Av.
12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, May 4 – 6
Manhattan-bound N trains run local from 59 St to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.
5:30 AM to 11 PM, Sat and Sun, May 4 – 5
Manhattan-bound R trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.
12:30 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, May 4 – 6
Jamaica-bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to 71 Av.
Attention drivers! There will be a number of street, bridge and highway closures all over the city this Sunday, as the Five Boro Bike Tour takes two-wheeling participants from edge to edge of New York City.
Most relevant to our area is that a portion of the Verrazano-Narrow Bridge will be closed for most of the day, as will the Gowanus Expressway and BQE.
The lower level of the Verrazano Bridge from Brooklyn to Staten Island will be closed from 12:01 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Brooklyn-bound lower level will also close at 12:01 a.m. Two lanes will reopen about 8 a.m. The upper level will be open in both directions.
From 7:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., the BQE/ Gowanus Expressway will be closed between BQE – West Entrance Columbia Street and the Verrazano Bridge. Beyond Columbia Street, the Bike Tour’s route is mainly on local streets, though their presence on the BQE also means traffic exiting the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel in Brooklyn will be diverted to Hamilton Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
If you’re planning on driving around any other borough on Sunday, make sure you check with the DOT’s advisory.