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The Bensonhurst and Bath Beach communities came together with police from the 62nd Precinct yesterday to celebrate National Night Out Against Crime.

NYPD precincts in all five boroughs celebrated the event, a symbolic gathering initiated 31 years ago to show neighbors reclaiming their streets from violence and crime. New York City’s police force is joined by more than 15,000 communities across all 50 states.

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The 62nd Precinct Community Council organizes the event. You can see them above, posing with local officers and members of the auxiliary force.

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Last night’s event saw a packed street, filling up the block on Bay 22nd Street between Bath Avenue and Benson Avenue.

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There were lots of activites, including henna painting, inflatable rides and a DJ.

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Thanks for coming out, everybody! And thanks to the precinct’s Community Council for putting together another great event.

All photos by Elle Spektor.

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It looks like a Dunkin’ Donuts is set to come soon to 2021 Cropsey Avenue, at the corner of Bay 25th Street.

We spotted the banner up last week, although it doesn’t look like any plans have yet been filed with the Department of Buildings. And if it’s a new owner for the 4,450-square-foot lot, the sale hasn’t hit the city’s online database.

Dunkin’ Donuts will replace Auto Center America, a short-lived mechanic’s shop that replaced Double Diamond Limousines.

Whether people are a fan of Dunkin’ coffee or not, neighbors will likely appreciate the lot being put back to use and better maintained than its current state.

Source: Pat Caltablano

Looking for a new place to call home? Bensonhurst Bean has got you covered. Our rental roundup is a new feature showcasing some of the deals on the market now. If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com. And if you live in or near one the places below, let neighbors know what you think in the comments.

French Doors, Cool Curtains on 20th Avenue
Price: $1,250
Location: 6503 20th Avenue
Description: Look, I just like artsy looking real estate photographs, so these guys get the top slot this week. Also, big fan of the agent’s honesty. In her video tour of the apartment, she points out that the floors are not real wood – they’re laminate. Ain’t no one trying to trick you here.
Contact: Pat Caltabiano, (917) 945-9155.

Two Bedrooms at Bay Parkway 
Price: $1,850
Location: Bay Parkway
Description: Decent size, well-lit by sunlight, a surprising number of closets and very white kitchen and bathroom. Not at all a terrible deal.
Contact: Chauncey Palmer, Oxford Property Group, (347) 409-7970.

Two Bedroom Attic of a Private Home
Price: $1,750
Location: 2124 81st Street
Description: As someone who grew up living in an attic, the arched ceilings in the photo gave it away. Looking up the address on Google Street View revealed a house that appears to have been converted into three apartments. Despite the walk-up and low ceiling, it looks like a pretty nice spot for a vertically challenged family.
Contact: Svetlana Aksman, DSA Realty, (718) 629-8722.

If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com.

A clothing donation bin illegally placed on public property at Bay Parkway and 66th Street.

A clothing donation bin illegally placed on public property at Bay Parkway and 66th Street.

Legislation introduced by Councilman Vincent Gentile that would give the boot to illegal clothing donation bins on city property now has the backing of the mayor and several of the pol’s Council colleagues, setting it up for swift passage.

“Vinnie convened a meeting with a bunch of citywide officials and borough presidents’ offices and made his case on why this is important, and we were able to get some action on it and it’s definitely moving in the right direction,” said Gentile spokesperson Justin Brannan.

The bill has picked up 20 sponsors and the backing of Mayor Bill de Blasio since it was introduced on July 24, according to the Council’s website.

The bill will authorize the Deparment of Sanitation to immediately remove clothing donation bins illegally placed on public property. It also gives the agency the power to issue a $250 fine to first-time violators and $500 fines for repeat offenders.

The bins are not only a public nuisance and an eyesore, many are scams. While there are legitimate bins placed with the permission of property owners, several for-profit companies have been posing as non-profits. They take the clothing they’ve collected and sell it to thrift shops and overseas markets.

“Not only are these bins eyesores, they deceive well-intentioned New Yorkers who believe they’re donating their used clothing to charity,” said Gentile in a press release.

The bill is not yet scheduled for a vote or hearing, but Brannan said he expects it to move quickly.

“We’re happy they’re paying attention to it now and now it will be a priority, so that’s exciting,” said Brannan. “This will be fairly fast-tracked and we’re very happy about that.”

Source: Whiskeygonebad/Flickr

The Festa di Santa Rosalia, popularly known as the 18th Avenue feast, should be a go this year – but the dates are still up in the air.

Organizers and Community Board 11 requested that the 11-day festival be pushed up by one week to avoid ending on Labor Day weekend, which would mean a quicker cleanup after the event. But despite the request for a new date, the mayor’s office scheduled it for its traditional window beginning the third Thursday of August. Making matters more difficult, the city only notified the groups of its decision late last week – approximately eight months after the request was made.

“The Street Activity Permit Office advised us they’re not changing the dates, and we’ve written a letter to the mayor outlining why we’re disappointed in this decision,” said Community Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia. “The Board put in a lot of work and effort into addressing issues [caused by the festival] and we hope he hears our voice and backs the recommendations that were made.”

The change of date was made in response to complaints in recent years about the protracted closure of 18th Avenue to vehicular traffic, as well as garbage and waste concerns in the final days of the event. The Board worked with the festival’s organizers, the Figli di Santa Rosalia Society, to end the troubles. By bumping it up to mid-August, they avoid ending on Labor Day weekend, meaning Sanitation Department workers can haul off the trash immediately after the event rather than let it stew in the street for two additional days. The earlier window also means it will be less of a traffic concern as many are still away for the summer.

Aside from the date change, the Board persuaded the group to increase the number of waste containers and to station street cleaners on every block, according to reports.

A flier that appears to be from the event organizers lists the mid-August dates, but they do not currently have permits.

A flier that appears to be from the event organizers lists the mid-August dates, but they do not currently have permits.

“[The Santa Rosalia Society] agreed to the change of the date, so there’s no issue from them and everybody was on board. Except the mayor’s office,” Elias-Pavia said, adding that it should have been a win-win for neighbors and area businesses. “There’s a lot of small mom-and-pop businesses there that would benefit from having the street open and clean so people can shop before heading back to school.”

Community Board 11 passed a resolution in support of the Santa Rosalia Society’s altered application late last year. Both the application and the Board’s note of support were sent to the mayor’s office. But the office dawdled on it for months until late last week, when they notified the Board and the organizer that the event’s date would not be changed. The mayor’s online calendar of events currently lists it as August 21 to August 31.

Organizers at the Santa Rosalia Society could not be reached for this article, but the news must have been a shock to them. Several websites currently list the date as August 14 to 24, as the organization requested. A flier that appears to be from the group says the same thing. But as of now, the Santa Rosalia Society has no permit for those dates.

The mayor’s office did not return a request for comment by deadline. We will update if we hear back from them.

It’s not the first time the group has had to wrangle with the mayor’s office, causing an uncertain future for an event that has lived on for three decades. In 2011, the mayor’s office took so long to dole out the permits that the organizers had no time to put together the event and forced them to cancel. It returned in 2012 and in 2013, when the Board and organizer began discussing alternatives, including shortening the route or the duration.

Whether the event will run August 14 to August 24, or August 21 to August 31, it runs on 18th Avenue between 68th Street and 75th Street, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. each night. It’s free and open to everybody. When the dates are finalized, Bensonhurst Bean will announce it.

Here’s the letter from Community Board 11 to Mayor de Blasio (Note: This letter erroneously notes that the recommendations passed unanimously. Elias-Pavia informs us this was an error, it passed by consensus, and an amended letter has been sent to the mayor):

Photo by Allan Rosen

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman William Colton:

Assembly Member William Colton (47th Assembly District – Brooklyn) is announcing that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has agreed to add service to the B1 bus line in southern Brooklyn.

Beginning on August 31, 2014, the B1 bus line will run on a “School-Open Schedule” only. This translates into additional buses on the line, which will help improve service by decreasing the delays, irregular service, and overcrowding.

Previously, the B1 bus service operated on two different schedules: a “School-Open Schedule” when public school was in session, and a “School-Closed Schedule” when public school was not in session. This created a problem when public school was not in session, because there would be less buses running on the B1 line. Although public school was not in session, Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach was often still open. With the large number of students at Kingsborough, when there were less buses running on the B1 line, the buses often would get full with passengers at the Kingsborough bus stop in Manhattan Beach, creating overcrowding, irregular service, and delays on the entire bus line.

With the B1 bus now only operating on a “School-Open Schedule” only, there will be more buses on the line, which will lead to more and improved service for straphangers.

In June, Assemblyman Colton sent a letter to the MTA, asking them to take action to address the problems plaguing the B1 bus line, especially the chronic bus lateness, passenger overcrowding, and irregular service.

Assemblyman Colton worked with Transport Workers Union (TWU) – Local 100 in order to increase and improve the service on the B1 bus line. The Transport Workers Union played a vital role in securing the service change which will ultimately lead to better commutes and easier, faster travels for southern Brooklyn straphangers.

While this is a major community victory for southwest Brooklyn, Colton is aiming to further improve the B1 bus line, an important public transit service in our neighborhoods.

In July, Colton sent a letter to the MTA asking them to purchase new buses for the Ulmer Park Bus Depot, which services most of southwest Brooklyn. Currently, the Ulmer Park Bus Depot has the oldest fleet of buses in the City. A newer fleet of buses for the Depot would mean less mechanical malfunctions and breakdowns, which causes delays, overcrowding, and disruptions in service for passengers. Constituents have complained that often the hydraulic lifts of these older buses malfunction or don’t operate properly. This mechanical malfunction causes a serious problem for riders, especially the elderly, young children, and those carrying heavy bags or packages, making it ever more difficult to board and exit these older buses.

Additionally, Colton also sent a letter to the NYC Department of Transportation asking for the installation of additional pedestrian islands along the B1 bus line, specifically at the bus-stops at 86th Street & 25th Avenue, 86th Street & 24th Avenue, 86th Street & 23rd Avenue, 86th Street & 21st Avenue. These pedestrian plazas will help riders of the B1 bus line board and exit the buses easier and quicker, since they lift passengers six inches off the ground and higher to the door of the bus. In addition, for riders who are senior citizens, children, disabled, or those with limited mobility, the pedestrian plazas will also make boarding and exiting the buses easier as well. In addition, the pedestrian plazas will create a safe space for riders to wait for the bus, so they don’t have to wait in the middle of the street near moving vehicles. Adding pedestrian plazas to these bus stops will create a protective barrier for riders to keep them safe from oncoming traffic.

“I will continue working to improve public transit for the neighborhoods of southwest Brooklyn. This increase in service to the B1 bus line will greatly enhance the quality of life for local residents by reducing wait and travel times, creating easier, faster commutes for straphangers,” asserted Assemblyman Bill Colton. He added, “The B1 services many important areas of our community, including the busy, comercial shopping area of 86th Street. The additional service on the B1 bus line is a win-win situation for the entire community.”

Councilman Mark Treyger, who has been working to improve public transit in southern Brooklyn, affirmed, “This is great news for the many southern Brooklyn residents who rely on the B1 bus and have been frustrated by overcrowding and constant delays. At a time when our neighborhoods are growing and the need for reliable public transportation is more apparent than ever, I will continue to work with Assemblyman Colton, our community and the MTA to increase service elsewhere as needed. Running the B1 bus permanently on a ‘School-Open Schedule’ is a great first step in our ongoing efforts to provide our neighborhoods with the public service options needed to adequately serve our residents. This is only the beginning as we push for further transit improvements across Southern Brooklyn.”

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Meet Snowy, an adorable all-white cat that belongs to neighbors Matt and Isa Blanco. He’s been missing for nearly two weeks, and his owners are desperate to find him.

The feline was last seen near 20th Avenue and Cropsey Avenue. It shouldn’t be hard to pick him out from all the other all-white cats out there, as Snowy has one blue eye and one green-hazel eye.

He’s timid with strangers, so he might try to run if you grab him. However, he seems to like having his tummy rubbed:

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 If found, please call the Blancos at (347) 336-2705.

Source: Jon Chevier/Flickr

D LINE

From 10:45 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Friday, Coney Island-bound D trains skip 182-183 Sts.

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Friday, Manhattan-bound D trains run express from 36 St to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr and skip DeKalb Av.

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Friday, Coney Island-bound D trains run local from 145 St to 59 St-Columbus Circle.

N LINE

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Friday, Ditmars Blvd N trains run express from 36 St to Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr and skip DeKalb Av.

All times until October 2014: there are no N or R trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late-night N (11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and weekend R trains operate via the Manhattan Bridge. No service at Jay St-MetroTech, Court St, Whitehall St, Rector St, Cortlandt St, and City Hall. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

R LINE

From 11:45 p.m.. to 5 a.m., Monday to Friday, there are no R trains in Brooklyn between 59 St and 36 St—take the N instead. R trains run in Brooklyn between Bay Ridge-95 St and 59 St.

All times until October 2014: there are no N or R trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late-night N (11:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and weekend R trains operate via the Manhattan Bridge. No service at Jay St-MetroTech, Court St, Whitehall St, Rector St, Cortlandt St, and City Hall. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

F LINE

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Friday, Coney Island-bound F trains run local from 71 Av to Roosevelt Av.

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Police forces across the nation will celebrate National Night Out Against Crime for the 31st year, and NYPD precincts in all five boroughs will be celebrating on Tuesday, August 5. The event is celebrated in more than 15,000 communities across all 50 states, representing the communities reclaiming their streets from violence and crime.

Locally, the 62nd Precinct opens its doors and streets to the community with a fair tomorrow, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The party will take place in front of the stationhouse at Bath Avenue and Bay 22nd Street. There will be a DJ, food, rides and information tables from various community groups.

This is an annual, family-friendly event open to everybody. For further information, please call (718) 236-2519.

Forgetta's Facebook photo shows him donning his phony badge (Source: NYPD)

Forgetta’s Facebook photo shows him donning his phony badge (Source: NYPD)

Cops tracked down and cuffed Jason Forgetta, 37, at 17th Avenue and 62nd Street on Friday, less than 48-hours after the convicted sex offender was accused of posing as a police officer and violently raping a 26-year-old woman in Sunset Park.

Forgetta, who also goes by the name Jason Torres, is charged with rape, robbery and criminal impersonation of a police officer. Cops also fear he may have preyed on other women, and are asking any further victims who recognize Forgetta from photos to call detectives at (212) 741-8401.

Cops say Forgetta encountered his latest victim on Wednesday, July 30 just after 2:00 a.m. The two struck up conversation in front of the Sunset Park hotel where the woman was staying, and Forgetta pulled a gold shield and told the woman he was a lawman.

The victim invited Forgetta up to her room. Once there, Forgetta’s charm soured. The woman said he beat, raped and sodomized her before swiping her cell phone, cash and pocket book and fleeing the scene.

According to the Daily News and information distributed by the police, as badly beaten as the victim was, she pursued Forgetta to the parking lot, where the quick-thinking victim scribbled down the license plate of the car he drove off in.

She was taken to an area hospital, where police interviewed her and obtained a detailed description of the attacker and the vehicle information.

It didn’t take long for cops to identify their alleged perp; Forgetta was already known to cops as a Level 3 sex offender with a rap sheet that spans more than two decades.

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Forgetta’s mugshot (Source: NYPD)

Using information from his past arrests and computer checks on the vehicle, detectives worked through a list of phony addresses until they located his car. On Friday, cops made their bust at 9:30 a.m. at the Bensonhurst intersection. His fake badge, with which he also posed for photos posted on Facebook, was found inside the car.

The Daily News has more on his criminal history:

Police said Forgetta has a criminal record dating to 1992 and has been arrested on charges of robbery, car theft and driving with a suspended license. In 2002, he was convicted of first-degree sexual assault for punching and raping a woman and got a year and three months in prison.

He was also deemed a Level 3 sex offender — the worst of the worst — and ordered to undergo aggression and anti-violence counseling.

… Roughly a year after his release, he was charged with sexual abuse again, this time in the molestation of a 15-year-old Williamsburg girl. The outcome of that case was unclear.

He allegedly lured the girl into a dark alley by pretending to have a knife then told her that he “didn’t want to hear about the attack on TV or in the newspapers,” according to sources.

He was also a suspect in the molestation of a 7-year-old girl, officials said.

Forgetta was required to report to a sex offender monitor every 90 days to confirm his address, listed as a building on Lewis Street in Ditmas Park. Neighbors – including a person who lives in the apartment unit where he claims to live and the superintendent of the building, said he doesn’t live there and they weren’t aware he was a registered sex offender.

It’s not yet clear how Forgetta managed to dupe monitors. He had previously been arrested in 2010 for failing to report to the sex offender monitor.

If you recognize Forgetta and have information about others he may have harmed, please call detectives at (212) 741-8401.