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Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced the launch of a Public Integrity Hotline this week, giving Brooklynites a place to call to report public corruption.

“My office is committed to rooting out public corruption in Brooklyn, and we take every complaint about corruption seriously. For that reason, I created a dedicated Public Integrity Hotline to encourage people to come forward with information about government wrongdoing,” said Thompson in a press release.

The DA’s Public Integrity Bureau will review complaints received through the hotline involving allegations of bribery, malfeasance by elected officials and public servants, election fraud, corruption of government contracting process, as well as fraud, waste and abuse of government programs and funds.

Anyone with information about government corruption is encouraged to call the Public Integrity Hotline at (718) 250-2747. People also have the option of filling out a Public Integrity Complaint Form on the Brooklyn DA’s website.

The launch of the hotline comes after a wave of scandals in recent years, including the conviction and imprisonment of Sheepshead Bay State Senator Carl Kruger, who was busted for accepting as much as $1 million in bribes. Senator John Sampson is currently under scrutiny for a number of alleged abuses of his office, including misusing funds and stealing money from the sale of foreclosed homes.

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.


The Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst (7802 Bay Parkway) held their popular annual Purim Carnival last Sunday afternoon. This year, the themed “Purim Spiel” incorporated a live theatrical performance and drew close to 700 locals to celebrate this festive Jewish holiday, almost double that of last year.

purimProgram Director of Leadership Development Michael Abdurakhmanov was the emcee at the carnival and said that turnout at the event trumped all expectations. A popular photobooth, costume contest, and hamantashen stand greeted event-goers inside the adorned first-floor gymnasium.

Alena Gomulina, the director of community engagement and communication at the JCH, said that this strong turnout was likely a result of complimentary admission.

“We started having these events for free after [Superstorm] Sandy. We’ll take a small loss if it means benefitting the community,” Gomulina said.

Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from the wicked villain, Haman, in the days of Queen Esther of Persia. Boys and girls wear costumes as part of the celebration.


Under the agreement, the new driveway will be exit-only, and cars will not be allowed to turn from 19th Avenue onto 50th Street. (Source: Google Maps)

Under the agreement, the new driveway will be exit-only, and cars will not be allowed to turn from 19th Avenue onto 50th Street. (Source: Google Maps)

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield and ShopRite officials have come to a win-win agreement regarding the use of the driveway connecting the store’s rear parking lot to 19th Avenue in order to reduce the impact this new exit will have on the adjacent residential area. Under the deal, the driveway will only be used for customers to exit the ShopRite property and will be one-way from the dead end at 19th Avenue to 50th Street. The driveway’s use is limited to vehicles, with no truck traffic allowed in order to prevent backups on 19th Avenue and to maintain safety on local streets. The city Department of Transportation is now conducting a study to determine whether a traffic signal is needed at 19th Avenue and 50th Street due to the increase in traffic that will occur, and will install signage alerting drivers that the driveway is only used for exiting the parking lot and that left turns onto 50th Street are not permitted.

This agreement on behalf of the community between ShopRite and Councilman Greenfield comes after months of negotiations and meetings involving company officials, residents and community leaders including Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein. During the course of the discussions, Councilman Greenfield insisted that ShopRite conduct a traffic study to properly measure the impact that opening up this driveway would have on nearby residents, especially those near the intersection of 19th Avenue and 50th Street. In addition, Councilman Greenfield personally met with Brooklyn DOT Commissioner Joseph Palmieri at the location to give him a firsthand look at the residents’ concerns. Finally, he met with representatives of the community to ensure that they were happy with the proposed agreement. Greenfield recently wrote to the DOT to formally spell out the details of the agreement and to discuss the traffic signage necessary to lessen the impact on nearby blocks.

“I started working on this issue last year on behalf of residents immediately after hearing that ShopRite had begun construction without any notice to my office or the community. It literally took as a year to resolve, but I am very pleased that company officials listened to our concerns and agreed to take steps to minimize the impact this new exit will have on this residential corner of Boro Park. My thanks to everyone involved in reaching this deal, which I am confident will help maintain the quality of life that the residents in that area currently enjoy,” said Councilman Greenfield.

Councilman Greenfield’s involvement in this situation began in February 2013, when he asked the Buildings Department to immediately revoke all permits issued to ShopRite after hearing from concerned neighbors when the work suddenly began without notice to the community. After the city issued a stop work order, Councilman Greenfield began meeting with ShopRite officials, the DOT and community members to reach this agreement.

“Now that this agreement is in place, I will continue working with residents, the DOT and ShopRite to address any issues that might arise or to take any additional steps if necessary. This is a great example of how a local issue can be resolved when the community comes together for a common goal. I am very pleased that we have found a way to protect the community while meeting the needs of this important business,” added Councilman Greenfield.

“I thank Councilman Greenfield for leading the negotiations on behalf of the community,” said Community Board 12 Chair Yidel Perlstein. “There is no question that we got this result because we as a community stuck together to make sure that the community’s needs were accommodated.”


Our submitter writes of the N train’s Bay Parkway station:

We may have a paint job out of the pages of National Geographic coverage of a post-war developing nation, human urine cascading down stairs and in every corner, green/black mold and pigeon shit stalagmites, and train cars that require face masks/holding your breath for 75 minutes, but at least we have Jaeger Meister! Gotta love South Brooklyn!

It’s just another entry in the continuing saga of the Sea Beach line’s degradation, which includes the ceilings at at least one station literally crumbling onto the platform, rain gutters collapsing, and, of course, peeling paint, water leaks and cracked concrete.

Rehabilitation of all stations from 86th Street to 8th Avenue has been on the table for years. It was planned to kick off in 2012, but was pushed back to October 2014. It’s most recently been delayed a little longer, now scheduled for November 2014.

It will be a four-year project, and if rehabilitation projects along other lines have been any indication several stations will be shut down for long stretches during construction.


Need a beach home for your family? And your brother’s family? A couple of cousins, maybe a neighbor and an old college buddy? And still have a room to spare for the help?

Fortunately, there’s a home in Seagate on the market that’s got you covered. A 7,989-square-foot two-story mansion hit the market last week, sporting 11 bedrooms, 11 full bathrooms and a “south facing beach exposure [that] provides unparalleled experience from sunrise to sunset where every moment is different and unique.” Uhuh. And here I thought once you’ve seen one sunrise, you’ve seen ‘em all.


Anyway, the property is at 4050 Atlantic Avenue – the ocean facing street that saw several homes obliterated during Superstorm Sandy. But according to the broker, the “outdoor living season is long and mild.” Nevermind the superstorms. We can’t imagine why the current owners are heading for the hills.

Some of the neater amenities include three wood-burning fireplaces, an ocean-facing deck, a penthouse master suite, and a “library/music room with Philippines Mohagany wood paneling.” Also: rooftop gardens.


There’s no mention of Superstorm Sandy or flood damage at all – and, really, who would put that in a real estate post. In fact, they even omit the tell-tale “newly renovated” boast that pervades every Zone A listing we’ve seen. Oh, but wait, there is a hint: “This property is equipped with massive new mechanicals: Two Weil McLain furnaces, one with hot water circulating system and one with steam, two huge Smith boilers and a new electric system.”


Still, pretty property and a relatively low asking price. Would you buy a home this close to the water in the post-Sandy age?


[via Curbed]

A drunk driver caused this February 2013 collision on Highlawn Avenue.

Summonses issued for traffic violations have gone up 75 percent in the Bensonhurst area this February when compared to February 2013′s ticket numbers. This increase follows the citywide trend, where increases have been as high as 322 percent in some neighborhoods.

According to data collected and analyzed by WNYC, issued tickets last year were “strikingly low” and this February there has been a rapid increase in traffic enforcement, leading to a huge increase in traffic violations across the city. Last February, the 62nd Precinct, which covers Bensonhurst, issued 77 tickets for major moving violations. This February, they issued 135 tickets.

Here is a look at how Bensonhurst compares to other neighborhoods:

In the Upper West Side’s 24th precinct, where three people were killed in early January, officers wrote 64 tickets in those three major categories, compared to 47 last year. In the 71st precinct in Crown Heights , where a 5-year-old was killed Sunday night, tickets nearly tripled, from 73 to 213. The 110th precinct in Queens, which contains three major thoroughfares (Roosevelt Avenue, Broadway, and Queens Boulevard) wrote the most tickets—317—but that was slightly fewer than the February 2013 total of 340. The 111th precinct, which is in a residential part of Queens, wrote the fewest—just 21 for the month.

February was the first month of the NYPD’s implementation of elements of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero campaign, which aims to reduce traffic-related fatalities. As part of the plan, officers are called on to increase enforcement against the most dangerous kinds of violations, including speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, and using a cellphone while driving. The plan also calls for the reduction of speed limits to 20 miles per hour on many city streets.

Locally, Councilman David Greenfield has called for additional crossing guards to be included in the plan.

The NYPD reports 171 car collisions, which could involve pedestrians and cyclists, in the 62nd Precinct during February 2014. No deaths were reported. There were 15,683 collisions reported citywide, resulting in 2,312 injuries and 12 deaths.


Police are searching for the driver of the above pickup truck, who they believe exposed himself to at least three young girls in Bensonhurst and Gravesend.

The three separate incidents all happened within a 15-minute time frame on Monday. The driver is accused of exposing himself to girls ranging in age from 11 to 14, before fleeing.

Police say the three incidents happened early in the morning, between 7:25 a.m. and 7:40 a.m.

CBS reports:

Around 7:25 a.m. Monday, the suspect got out of his vehicle and came up to an 11-year-old girl at the corner of West 9th Street and Avenue O in Brooklyn, police said. He began chatting with the girl and then exposed his genitals before running off, police said.

Just five minutes later, the suspect got out of his vehicle and followed a 14-year-old girl into her friend’s apartment building near West 7th Street and Bay Parkway in Brooklyn, police said. Inside, he tried to chat with the girl and exposed his genitals, police said. He ran off up the stairs of a building.

And 10 minutes after that, the suspect once again got out of his vehicle at West 6th Street and 65th Street in Brooklyn, police said. He came up to a 13-year-old girl walking down the street, tried to chat with her, and once again exposed his genitals, police said.

Police say the suspect is a heavy set man in his 30s, with a thin beard. MyFoxNY adds that the suspect appeared to be Hispanic and had a “pock-marked face.” He was wearing a grey jacket and black boots.

The vehicle, a Ford-150, had two bumper stickers on the read, and possible damage to the tail light and body on the read passenger side.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Atlas on NY1

Atlas on NY1

At this point, just about every resident of Southern Brooklyn’s boardwalk communities knows Gary Atlas – if not by name, then by sight.

He’s the guy you see out there every morning, regardless of the weather, running shirtless and in thin shorts before taking a plunge in the ocean.

He’s done this every day for 2,369 consecutive days – or six years and counting.

NY1 caught up with him earlier this month, spotlighting his continuous effort to hit 4,000 consecutive runs even throughout this particularly nasty winter.

As workers with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation spreaded salt on the latest dusting of snow Monday, Gary Atlas emerged from his building shirtless and ready to run. About his only acknowledgment of the cold was the socks that he wears on his hands.

“The fingers tend to freeze up, so socks work better than gloves,” he said. “Gloves, after a while, my fingers will get cold. Socks has a mitten effect. The hands stay warmer.”

The cold itself hasn’t been bothering Atlas, it’s the snow, which makes the six-mile treck a particularly difficult slog. But he handled the worst of the days by detouring to the streets and running in the plow’s wake – the second time in seven years he’s had to leave the boardwalk.

Atlas began the routine in 2007 to clear his mind while his mother struggled with health issues. He continues to do it to honor his mother.

“While I’m running, it keeps the memory of my mother alive,” he says. “She was here when I started, and she’s still with me on every run.”

Check out the full profile here.

And, of course, we’ve had our own little Atlas sighting on our sister site, Sheepshead Bites. On the morning of October 29, 2012, as Superstorm Sandy lapped at our coastline, a Sheepshead Bites reader snapped this shot of him emerging from the rough waters:

This is a view of “luxury.” Look how much you’re missing out on.

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.

One “Luxurious” Bedroom in Gravesend
Price: $3,500
Location: West 8th Street
Description: While this apartment has been completely renovated with new floors and kitchen appliances, the real allure of this apartment is in the angles. The realtor writes, “Angles that amaze you.” So if you’re into angles, this place is for you.
Contact: Dan Kogan, Oxford Property Group, (718)864-6688

Three Bedrooms in Mapleton
Price: $2,100
Location: 70th Street between 18th Avenue and 19th Avenue
Description: Located on the first floor, this apartment has been renovated and all of the rooms in the pictures are spacious. Heat, hot water and cooking gas are included.
Contact: James Orlando, St. James Realty, (718) 256-5100

One Bedroom in Dyker Heights
Price: $1,150
Location: Bay Ridge Parkway and 14th Avenue
Description: For a one bedroom, this place is very large. The kitchen, along with the rest of the apartment, has been fully renovated. There is the issue of the bathroom picture. In it, all you can see is the sink so it’s unclear whether all bathroom-related business will have to be conducted through the sink.
Contact: Jessica Lobaito, Ben Bay Realty, (347) 517-3736

Two Bedrooms in Bensonhurst
Price: $1,750
Location: 65th Street and Dahill Road
Description: This apartment gets good lighting, all the better to see the fancy camera angles this realtor employs. Within these shots, he gets down and close to the floor to dazzle you with the light reflecting off that newly renovated wood floor. The apartment also seems to have been painted by a very, shall we say, temperamental person. Each room has its own color (some would say personality) ranging from green to orange.
Contact: David Nissanian, (347) 989-2425

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.