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Carey Gardens (Source: Google Maps)

Carey Gardens (Source: Google Maps)

City Council candidate Mark Treyger is outraged at the conditions of Carey Gardens (2955 West 24th Street) and is demanding actions to fix problems still plaguing the housing complex eight months after Superstorm Sandy struck the area.

Carey Gardens, which run between Surf Avenue and Neptune Avenue, running from West 22nd Street to West 24th Street, houses nearly 1,700 residents in 683 apartments, and was hit hard by Sandy. Treyger, who is running for the 47th District City Council seat occupied by Domenic Recchia, toured the grounds with Shirley Aikens, president of the Carey Gardens Tenant Association, this past weekend. Treyger, who penned a letter to New York Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea, found the conditions deplorable.

“It is completely outrageous that almost eight months after Hurricane Sandy, the storm related damage at Carey Gardens Houses remains unaddressed,” Tregey wrote in the letter.

Treyger cited the large sinkholes in the area that can create rainwater ponds that attract West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes and lead to mold growth. The roofs of the building complex still have many leaks which can also lead to mold growth and exacerbate asthma conditions.

Also damaged are the playground and the complex’s community center, which remain closed.

“The families who live in Carey Gardens have limited resources, and depend on the playground and community center to provide summer youth activities,” Treyger said in a release. “The loss of the Community Center is devastating to the residents. The playground is in dangerous condition. Children are liable to get seriously injured, and get themselves into trouble this summer, because NYCHA has ignored Carey Gardens.”

Source: Barry Yanowitz via flickr Source: Barry Yanowitz via flickr

The Astrotower, which is known to all observant Coney Island regulars to sway in the wind at times, was swaying a little more than usual yesterday, spooking Luna Park patrons and forcing an evacuation of the area. The New York Times reported that police and firefighters cordoned off an area surrounding the tower so engineers could perform an inspection.

Luna Park was closed, as was the Cyclone, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, and a broad stretch of Surf Avenue. FDNY responded promptly, then called in Department of Buildings engineers to inspect. The engineers, however, took hours to arrive, leaving would-be parkgoers to stand around and scratch their heads, and perhaps send out a few panicked tweets.

The 272-foot tall tower has stood tall over the Coney Island boardwalk since the early 1960s, once giving passengers a ride to the top in the “big bagel in the sky” observation apparatus. Now the tower stands as a sort of ornamental remnant of an era when interest in all things outer-space dominated the popular consciousness. The tower, according to “unofficial mayor of Coney Island” Dick Zigun, sways all the time.

“Maybe six times a year it sways to the point where it would shock you if you didn’t know better,” Zigun told the Daily News.

Yeshiva World News was the first to dig up this 2010 YouTube video, showing the Astrotower doing just that:

Apparently, the sight of the swaying tower spooked nervous patrons, unfamiliar with the attraction’s semi-normal behavior, into calling authorities.

DOB reps said Tuesday night that they found no immediate risk of danger or instability, but were continuing to evaluate the structure anyway. It was previously inspected just after Superstorm Sandy, and the donut-shaped observation deck was removed after a window panel fell off during the storm.

Source: akdetrick via flickr

Source: akdetrick via flickr

On a whim, I hopped down to Coney Island to catch the fireworks on July 4 last year. It was hot and crowded with no good place to steal a glimpse of the fireworks show without cramming myself between a bunch of sweaty, drunk people. Luckily, for those like me looking for a better seat, you can fill up the Cyclones baseball stadium, MCU Park, for free to watch the fireworks on Independence Day this year.

The Cylcones baseball team will be out of town this year on July 4, but they are opening their doors at 4:30 p.m. to the public. Once inside, you’ll be able to scout out some choice seats, use the public bathrooms and buy food from the concession stands. That’s not all, though. The Cyclones have a litany of events all leading up to the fireworks show at 9 p.m.:

•  A pig roast presented by Thomas Joseph Catering

•  “Beers of New York” beer garden

•  A special performance by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn

•  Live music from oldies and Top 40 cover bands

•  Family activities including the “Fastest Arm in Brooklyn Competition” on the Cyclones speed pitch

The events are a joint operation between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Alliance for Coney Island, and while admission is free, guests are encouraged to donate on behalf of the Brooklyn Public Library and Coney Recovers, an initiative of local organizations working in partnership to assist with the recovery of the Coney Island community.

This actually all sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to loosen up the traffic on the boardwalk on one of Coney Island’s busiest days.

Marty Golden, Photo By Erica Sherman

Marty Golden, Photo By Erica Sherman

The New York State legislative session for 2013 has ended and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) has tallied up some interesting statistics regarding the actions of all the local New York politicians. Based on the NYPIRG’s studies, the New York Daily News is reporting that State Senator Marty Golden passed the most bills while Assemblyman State Senator Simcha Felder uttered merely one official word during the entire year. (Corrected 7/3/2013 @ 10:30 a.m.)

Golden ranked as the bill passing champion, racking up a total of 41, cementing his status as New York’s leading Republican legislator. Overall, the Senate and the Assembly passed a combined total of just 650 bills over 2013, the third-lowest number since 1915.

In contrast to Golden, State Assemblyman Jose Rivera, a Democrat out of the Bronx, failed to sponsor or introduce a single bill last year.

Felder was on record for uttering just a single word the entire year when he declared, “Here,” in the opening day roll call. The assemblyman was sarcastic when asked to comment on his lack of taking to the legislative microphone.

“I may have spoken too much this year,” Felder told the Daily News. “I’ll try to do better next year by not speaking at all unless I have something meaningful to say.”

Compared to the desert of Felder’s remarks, State Senator Liz Krueger, a Democrat from Manhattan, let loose an ocean of words, totaling up 40,064 on record, putting her in the top spot for gabbiest lawmaker.

Source: joo0ey via flickr

Source: joo0ey via flickr

Despite a campaign mounted by local politicians, the MTA is going full speed ahead with its plan to import Chinese steel products in their planned $235 million renovation of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The New York Daily News is reporting that the MTA simply couldn’t find a US steel maker with the ability to manufacture the steel products they need, while union reps have insisted that the MTA is simply searching for the cheapest deal possible.

As we’ve previously reported, State Senator Diane Savino and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis joined forces to condemn the MTA for importing inferior quality steel products. They argued that the MTA was sacrificing safety by using cheaper Chinese steel products and labor. According to the Daily News report, union reps were outraged at the MTA’s cost saving maneuver.

“It’s a kick in the teeth. There’s a lot of New Yorkers who would be thrilled to work on this project. It should be American made,” United Steelworkers’ Vice President Tom Conway told the Daily News.

The MTA countered with a statement that claimed that manufacturing the specific steel products they need produced is impossible in the United States.

“(The agency) worked diligently to find an American steel manufacturer with the capability, experience and desire to fabricate the steel bridge deck … the MTA could not find an American fabricator,” the MTA’s statement read.

The MTA promised that all Chinese steel would have to meet strict US safety guidelines and requirements and that the finished steel parts in China will be reassembled by American workers.

While the MTA claims that logistics and manufacturing limitations were the main reasons they looked to China, Conway pinned the issue entirely on money.

“This job here is about $30 an hour. In China, the workers will get anywhere from $10 to $15 a day,” Conway told the Daily News.

Construction on the project has already commenced.

Censored image. To see the original version, click the link at the bottom of the article.

Censored image. To see the original version, click the link at the bottom of the article.

The shores of Coney Island are quickly becoming the place where dolphins go to die. The “A Walk In The Park” blog is reporting that another dolphin washed up near Stillwell Avenue this past Sunday.

This is the third dead dolphin discovered off of Coney Island in 2013. The first one was a baby dolphin discovered in February and the last one in late April. This dolphin, described as a male bottle-nosed, was found around 6:15 p.m, on June 30.

The seven-foot-long dolphin was carted off on a fork lift by the Parks Department and subsequently transferred to the Riverhead Foundation where an examination will be performed to determine the cause of death. Because the dolphin’s body was an advanced stage of decay, experts noted that determining the cause of death might not be possible.

The photo above in censored as the original image of the deceased dolphin is rather gruesome, as it’s quite decomposed. To see the original image, click here.

Hilna Discount Tires at the Corner of 86th Street and Stillwell Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

Hilna Discount Tires at the Corner of 86th Street and Stillwell Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is forcing Louis Gellman, owner of Hilna Discount Tires (86th Street and Stillwell Avenue) to pay $30,000 to repair the cracked sidewalk in front of his business. Gellman believes that the MTA is responsible for the fractured sidewalk claiming that MTA construction vehicles and tremors caused by the overhead D train caused the damage.

The DOT will soon fix the fractured pavement and send a bill to the beleaguered business owner, but, according to a Brooklyn Daily report, Gellman is outraged and believes he is getting screwed over by the city.

“It’s the most insane thing I ever heard of. They leave their trucks on the sidewalk, the poles are vibrating all the time, and you’ve got veins coming out on the sidewalk,” Gellman told Brooklyn Daily.

Like all property owners, according to the law, Gellman is required to pay for maintaining the sidewalk. He was allowed to request reimbursement from the MTA, but they denied him the money claiming that the sound levels from the train’s brakes, measured at 65 decibels, were within acceptable levels.

As for Gellman’s claims that construction workers had parked their heavy vehicles on the sidewalk, possibly damaging it, MTA spokesman Charles Seaton released the following statement.

“We find no evidence that New York City Transit was working at that location when the damage occurred,” Seaton said.

Gellman, though, had photos to prove it, although the MTA denied it anyway.

While Gellman is continuing to fight the city he has thus far had no luck in successfully pleading his case.

“I’ve got all these agencies telling me, ‘It’s not our problem, you own the property,’” Gellman told Brooklyn Daily. “I’m trying to stop this and can’t get anyone to help me.”

Source: Several seconds/Flickr

The folks at the MTA were good enough to wipe the slate on any construction for Independence Day, but we’ve still got some funkiness throughout the week. Here are this week’s subway service advisories:

D LINE

From 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Wednesday, Coney Island-bound D trains run express from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to 36 St.

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, Coney Island-bound D trains run local from 125 St to 59 St-Columbus Circle.

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, 205 St-bound D trains run local from 59 St-Columbus Circle to 145 St.

From 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Manhattan-bound D trains run express from Bay Parkway to 9 Av.

Addition (12:47 p.m. on 7/20/2013): From 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Coney Island-bound D trains run express from 62 St to Coney Island.

N LINE

From 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Wednesday, Coney Island-bound N trains run express from Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to 36 St.

From 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Wednesday, Ditmars Blvd-bound N trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge from DeKalb to Canal St.

F LINE

From 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Friday, except on the evening before and the morning of Independence Day, 179 St-bound F trains run express from W 4 St to 34 St-Herald Sq.

Dollah, dollah bills, yo. (Source: 401(K) 2013/Flickr)

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Vincent Gentile:

New York State is holding over $11 billion in unclaimed funds, and some of it may be yours!

For your protection, banks, insurance companies, utilities, investment companies and many other businesses are required by State law to surrender inactive accounts to the State. These accounts are known as “lost,” “abandoned,” or “unclaimed” funds.

Some common examples include: savings accounts, checking accounts, uncashed checks, telephone/utility deposits, rental security deposits, wages, insurance benefits/policies, safe deposit box contents, mortgage insurance refunds, stocks and dividends, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, trust funds, and estate proceeds.

The Office of the State Comptroller serves as custodian of this money – and if you can prove you are entitled to the money, they will gladly return it to you, at any time, without charge. Until the money is claimed, it is used by the State’s General Funds, serving the citizens and taxpayers of the State of New York.

Join Councilman Vincent J. Gentile along with New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli at one of their upcoming “Unclaimed Funds”events happening in our area.

Trained staff will help you search the New York State unclaimed funds database to see if you or a member of your family is owed money!

Tomorrow!
Tuesday, July 2nd
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Our Saviors Church
414 80th street
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Monday, July 15th 
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Stars & Stripes Club
7321 15th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11228

Everyone in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst is welcome to come join Councilman Gentile at one of these free events.

6th and 65th Street (Source: Google Maps)

6th and 65th Street (Source: Google Maps)

A large white flat bed truck slammed into a bicycle rider this past Friday morning in Borough Park, killing him. CBS News reported that after the accident, the driver left the scene to order lunch before he was arrested.

The details of the alleged hit-and-run are slightly bizarre. The victim, described as a man in his late 60s, was hit at the intersection of 6th Avenue and 65th Street. The truck driver, possibly unaware that he was the cause of the accident, pulled over on the side of the road, a block or so ahead of the incident. Witnesses say he went to check on the man lying dead in the street before he returned to his truck to continue making deliveries.

“I just saw someone pull over here,” Rocky Chong told CBS. “He just walked right down there and he just walked right back and drove off.”

The driver then was spotted ordering some chicken and a cheeseburger at a Kennedy Fried Chicken spot a few blocks away from the scene of the accident. Maggie Zhent, the worker who took the driver’s order, told CBS that there was nothing strange about the man’s demeanor when he ordered his lunch.

Cops then closed in on the man at the restaurant and arrested him.