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Source: tobyleah/Flickr

D LINE

From 12:01 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound D trains run local from 145 St to 59 St.

N LINE

All times until October 2014: No N or R trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

R LINE

All times until October 2014: No N or R trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

F LINE

From 11:15 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Jamaica-bound F trains run express from W 4 St to 34 St-Herald Sq.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains skip 4 Av-9 St, 15 St-Prospect Park, and Fort Hamilton Pkwy.

From 12:30 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday, Jamaica-bound F trains run local from 21 St-Queensbridge to Roosevelt Av. Coney Island-bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.

Republic City Council candidate John Quaglione. Source: Facebook

Republican City Council candidate John Quaglione. (Source: Facebook)

Step one: get elected.

John Quaglione, the Republican candidate hoping to unseat City Councilman Vincent Gentile, has published a “to-do list” if elected, setting forth his priorities in the Council.

A vast majority of items on the list revolve around community quality of life concerns, as well as public safety.

“Since my campaign for City Council started, I have made the need for us to improve our quality of life a top priority.  Now, with just about two weeks to go until Election Day, I am outlining some of the key plans I have for our district and for the residents who live, work and raise their family here in Nay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach,” said Quaglione in a press release.

While the candidate has dubbed it a to-do list, it appears to be more of a wishlist, advocating more classroom seats, more police, and more funding for various programs – without providing a roadmap to obtaining the funds in an increasingly cash-strapped city.

Moreover, many – though not all – of the items on the list are also stated priorities by his rival, Gentile, such as fighting the waste transfer station (albeit, this is a point of attack for Quaglione), creating a graffiti removal program, restoring X28 weekend service, and conducting community cleanups.

View the full to-do list after the jump.

Click to enlarge

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.

Source: Cari/Foursquare

Since Superstorm Sandy struck Coney Island, the recovery of the area has been a mixed bag. One the one hand, the boardwalk has never been more popular, inviting a glut of tourists and new businesses to the area. On the flip side, many of these businesses are corporate in nature, sapping authenticity from the historic site in hopes to capitalize on all the increased foot traffic. The Epoch Times is reporting that the folks running the custom t-shirt shop Brooklyn Rock hope to win the hearts of Brooklyn locals and not their disdain.

Brooklyn Rock, which is located along a renovated strip of businesses on Stillwell Avenue, sells used books, records and other homespun items, and features its bright and colorful t-shirts as the main draw. Chris Smith, a designer at the store, told the Epoch Times that all the shirts are made with cotton grown in the United States.

“I’m using American stuff because I know I’m hurting the least amount of people and I’m benefiting the most amount of people in my environment. And they’re good product. They last a long time,” Smith told the Epoch Times.

The shirts, which feature clever messages like, “Brooklyn: Entertaining Manhattan since 1646,” are a bit pricey at $24, which Smith admitted has surprised customers.

“People are so used to buying at discount stores that they’re a little shocked at the price sometimes,” Smith said.

Still, the shirts and the store are a cool place. I recently walked in there and observed the artists in the back crafting the shirts, creating a relaxed and artistic atmosphere. It was a welcome respite from the blaring music and screaming kids found running around the area. My friends and I also had fun browsing the diverse and eclectic selection of cheap books and records. It is worth ducking into and exploring when you have had your fill of roller coasters and hot-dogs.

21K281_school1

Source: schools.nyc.gov

The planned protest of a co-location proposal at I.S. 281 Joseph B. Cavallaro Junior High School (8787 24th Avenue) drew hundreds of concerned parents, students and educators to the Monday evening hearing.

The proposal is one of many last-minute attempts by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to shove charter schools into public school buildings before he leaves office, presumably to be succeeded by Bill de Blasio, who has opposed co-location efforts.

At Joseph B. Cavallaro Junior High School, Department of Education officials are hoping to win permission to co-locate Coney Island Preparatory charter school within the building, a proposal that the junior high school’s administrators say will gobble up space and resources.

The biggest bombshell during the hearing came from Councilman Domenic Recchia, who revealed that a permanent building was offered for Coney Island Prep, but that school administrators “dropped the ball” on seeing it through.

The Home Reporter reports:

“CIP parents shouldn’t be yelling at us or at the DOE. They should be yelling at this guy,” he said referring to Mnookin’s decision to drop the ball on a permanent building to house the charter school last year.

“If I was sending my child to CIP, I would be mad as hell. We shouldn’t be here tonight fighting like this and it’s all because of what you and your board decided to do,” Recchia said. “If you want to find a home, there’s a building down on West Eighth Street with the second floor available.”

If the proposal moves forward, Coney Island Prep would begin accepting 55-70 kindergartners each year until it reaches full size in 2017.

The Panel for Education Policy will vote on the proposal on October 30, at 6 p.m., in the Prospect Heights High School at 883 Classon Avenue.

 

Councilman David Greenfield (Source: Facebook)

Councilman David Greenfield (Source: Facebook)

Councilman David Greenfield came to the defense of Hasidic store owners who hung signs in their windows demanding that customers adhere to a dress code that reflects their religious beliefs. The Yeshiva World News reported that Greenfield singled out the Human Right’s Commission (HRC) for targeting the businesses’ demands that customers dress modestly.

The HRC brought a lawsuit against a handful of stores located on Lee Avenue in Williamsburg. The Yeshiva World News described the content of the signs hung in the windows by the owners:

The signs posted in the store windows simply read, “No shorts; no barefoot; no sleeveless; no low cut necklines; thank you” or something similar and were not the subject of any formal complaints by members of the public.

Greenfield expressed outrage at the lawsuit in his comments to Yeshiva World News:

“This is only the latest example of New York’s bureaucracy singling out Orthodox Jewish citizens. It’s another clear example of government needlessly overstepping its authority. After all, this request that customers abide by a dress code is no different than a fancy restaurant requiring jackets or a nightclub banning casual clothes, and yet places like Le Bernardin are not being targeted by the commission,” said Councilman Greenfield…

“In my conversations with the commissioners and the chair, I conveyed my deep concern over the negative message that is being sent to the Orthodox Jewish community. I remain hopeful that the commissioners will carefully consider their staff’s actions and instruct them to end this lawsuit immediately,” said Councilman Greenfield.

This isn’t the first time that the world of modernity and the Orthodox have clashed. In May, we reported on a Borough Park-based yeshiva that called for a ban on hipster-style “thick rimmed” glasses, banning students from wearing them for being “vulgar” and not “in accordance with our spirit.”

It is appropriate with Halloween being around the corner that we have the pleasure to introduce more glorious footage of Coney Island’s yesteryear, highlighting the spooky freak shows that help make the boardwalk iconic.

Last month, we came across a 50-second clip uploaded by ChiTownView, which featured the freak shows of Coney Island dating back to the 1940s. Well, this historically minded YouTuber has found even more footage of vintage Coney Island, mashing newsreel bits from the 40s, 50s and 60s together into a glorious and trippy walk down memory lane.

This time, you can see men breathing fire, dancing freaks, creepy wax museum figures that nearly come to life, a racy little striptease and the whirling light show of Coney Island’s best rides set to a creepy laugh track of drunken carnies. Best of all, it ends like all the best nights on Coney Island do, with a fireworks show blasting in the sky.

Great stuff, ChiTown. We hope you can keep finding the lost gems and sharing them for all of us to appreciate.

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Gentile announced the program during a press conference yesterday, in front of a graffiti covered wall on Bath Avenue. (Source: Gentile’s office)

Councilman Vincent Gentile is leading a charge against illegal graffiti throughout the 43rd District, teaming up with a local beautification group to get the job done.

The local pol announced the graffiti cleaning program yesterday, which includes a 24-7 hotline for residents to call and have graffiti removed.

“Graffiti is a blight on our communities and affects our quality of life,” Councilman Vincent J. Gentile said in a press release. “It increases store vacancy rates, decreases property and presents a sense of chaos and disorder on the streets while negatively impacting our civic pride. That is why, beginning today, we will be launching the most aggressive graffiti cleaning campaign ever initiated in southwest Brooklyn!”

Gentile has allocated $33,000 to the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst Beautification Preservation Alliance to operate the program, which will kick off by inspecting all major commercial corridors within the 43rd Council district and removing any graffiti.

“Graffiti continues to be a source of frustration and concern for the business owners and residents of southern Brooklyn,” said Patrick Condren, the executive director of the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst Beautification Preservation Alliance. “Graffiti vandals cost our community tens of thousands of dollars in removal and clean up each year. With the assistance of all concerned merchants and residents we can enhance the image and aesthetic value of our beautiful neighborhoods.”

After inspecting and removing graffiti from commercial streets, including from rolldown gates, side walls, fences, doors and mailboxes, the group will then visit the sites monthly for follow-up inspections and maintenance.

Graffiti has become a prominent issue in Gentile’s reelection bid, with Republican opponent John Quaglione saying that the incumbent has allowed graffiti to proliferate in the neighborhood. But Gentile dismissed any suggestion that the program was a response to his opponent’s allegations, saying that it has been in development long before the race kicked off.

“This program has been in the works for quite a while and will be one of the most aggressive graffiti cleaning campaigns ever initiated in southwest Brooklyn,” Gentile told Bensonhurst Bean. “The secret weapon will be a special 24/7 anti-graffiti hotline that residents and merchants can call to report locations of graffiti or request its removal.”

To have graffiti removed, residents and business owners can call Gentile’s hotline at (718) 748-5200 ext. 201.

Source: jasoneppinke via Flickr

Source: jasoneppinke via Flickr

A federal judge ruled that the MTA was well within its rights to charge different prices for different people on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. According to a report by Court Reporter News, US District Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled against a trio of residents who waged a lawsuit against the MTA, arguing that the high costs for non-Staten Island natives to use the bridge was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The issue of the cost of tolls on the Verrazano Bridge is one we have covered extensively. Many have argued that the prices on the bridge are outrageously high. As it stands right now, non-Staten Island residents paying with cash fork over $15 for the right to cross the bridge, or $10.66 if they have E-Z Pass – the highest bridge toll in the nation. If you are a Staten Island resident, you pay $8.53 in cash or $6.36 for E-Z Pass users (dropping to $6 after three round trips taken in a month). The non-Staten Island residents bringing the lawsuit against the MTA argued that this system was unconstitutional. Judge Engelmayer thought differently:

“The tolls on the bridges here are not, in an absolute sense, so high as to constitute more than a minor burden on travel,” Engelmayer wrote.

Riva Janes and the other plaintiffs “have not demonstrated that such a toll presents more than a minor restriction on travel,” the judge added.

Because the Verrazano is the longest suspension bridge in the United States, “a higher charge for use of such a facility, in one of the most expensive cities in the world, is not unreasonable,” the decision states. “It does not shock the conscience.”…

“Plaintiffs point to no case, within this circuit or beyond, in which a differential toll policy has been held in an ‘invidious distinction’ so as to require application of strict scrutiny,” Engelmayer wrote. “Instead, in every case of this type, courts have held that a differential toll policy does not violate the right to travel.”

Well, let’s face it, throughout human history, tolls collected on bridges have caused controversy, and fights led against them are not easily won.

Take the advice of Little John from Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

“A toll is a toll, and a roll is a roll. And if we don’t get no tolls, then we don’t eat no rolls.”

Wise words.

“I can see for miles and miles…” – An articulated subway car in Canada. Also, cool piano tie, dude. (Source: R. Flores/Flickr)

For decades, Americans were endlessly hyped about what bold and novel wonders the 21st Century had in store for us. Flying cars, apartments on the moon, and sassy robot butlers were promised to all. But, instead, we got computer phones, Wikileaks and unlimited access to pornography. While these advancements have their benefits, they don’t reflect the Jetson-esque utopia of our collective imaginations.

In this spirit of reduced expectations, the MTA rolled out their plan to build a fleet of new subway cars, which promise to be more logically spaced, allowing for increased flow and more space, blah, blah, blah. To the surprise of only the most optimistic futurists, the trains will not be streaked with pulsating neon, hovering over the rails on magnets, and will not be equipped with turbo drives.

According to a report in the New York Times, which spotted the plans laid out in a document by the MTA for 2015-2034, the new articulated and logic-friendly (boring) trains are being seriously discussed by transit planners.

Articulated trains would connect all the cars of the subway, allowing people to stand in accordion-like spaces between the cars.

“This will both maximize carrying capacity,” an MTA official told the Times, and allow passengers to “move to less-crowded areas of the train, balancing loading and unloading times at all doors.”

This type of train is already used in Paris, Toronto and Berlin. Still, implementing a whole new type of train to the system isn’t something that can be done simply. The Times noted that the plan will take years of planning and also touched on the history of articulated trains in the city:

Adam Lisberg, the authority’s chief spokesman, said that increased capacity could improve “dwell time” — the period during which a train is stopped in a station, often because of overcrowding — and allow more trains to run. He cautioned, though, that with a 109-year-old system, any major change required extensive review.

“If you make a bad call on changing equipment in a new subway car order,” he said, “the consequences can be pretty serious.”

In fact, New York City has a history with articulated trains. In 1924, the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation introduced plans for the “Triplex,” with a hinged, multisectioned body. It operated on the B, D, N, Q and R lines over a period of 40 years, representing “the height of transit modernity” at a moment when elevated lines often still featured wooden cars, according to the New York Transit Museum.

Despite offering greater space and flow, articulated trains have some serious drawbacks. For example, if someone vomits, urinates or God-knows-what-else in a car, train operators won’t be able to seal off that section like they normally would, forcing passengers to flea as far as possible from the mess. Andrew Albert, another MTA official, spoke to how articulated trains also have a downside when it comes to crime.

“Remember the time when we were in the high-crime era and gangs were roaming through the trains? Everybody loved the locked end doors,” Albert told the Times.

Personally, I guess that if the kinks of an articulated train system could be managed effectively, it would represent an upgrade over what we have now. Still, I’m bummed that the new trains, which we may not see for decades, are essentially going to be what people in Germany and Canada have been using for a while. When is New York going to really become the “city of tomorrow” and do something bold and incredible with their public services?

Sometimes it feels like the future is slipping through our fingers. Tube transport system, anybody?