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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 following is a press release from the offices of Council members Mark Treyger and David Greenfield:

Councilmembers David G. Greenfield and Mark Treyger invite all local residents and families to attend a free screening of the classic, “The Wizard of Oz” this Sunday, June 29th. The movie will begin promptly at 8:30 p.m. in Colonel Marcus Park at Avenue P & East 5th. Residents are invited to bring chairs and blankets to enjoy this great family event.

The 1939 Technicolor film, “The Wizard of Oz,” tells the tale of Dorothy Gale, a Kansas farm girl, whose farmhouse is swept into tornado and lands in the magical Land of Oz. She sets out on a mission to return home to Kansas with the help of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. But when Dorothy’s house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, her evil sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, schemes to thwart Dorothy’s plans and avenge her sister’s death.

Starring Judy Garland, the Wizard of Oz is one of the most beloved films in American pop culture. In 1956, it began airing annually, reintroducing the musical to a new generation and cementing its status as one of the most famous films ever made. It earned six Academy Award nominations, including one for best song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

“I am excited to bring our annual Family Movie in the Park to the Midwood and Gravesend neighborhoods this Sunday. I look forward to seeing many families and children at this event. Please be sure to bring a blanket or chair and join me great event on Sunday, June 29,” Councilman Greenfield said.

“This is a great chance for residents to come together and enjoy a classic film in a great setting at Colonel Marcus Park. My thanks to the New York City Parks Department and Council Member Greenfield for their help organizing this free event right in our neighborhood. The entire community is invited, so please spread the word and bring your family, friends, and neighbors with you on Sunday,” said Councilman Treyger.

“The Wizard of Oz” will be shown in the large asphalt area at Colonel Marcus Park, located at Avenue P between East 4th and East 5th Street. For more information, please contact Councilman Greenfield’s office at (718) 853-2704 or Councilman Tregyger’s at (718) 307-7151.

grimm2Congressman Michael Grimm, already in hot water over criminal charges that he evaded taxes and illegally employed undocumented immigrants, may have violated the internal ethics rules of the House of Representatives when he threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony in January.

The New York Times reports:

A one-page report by the office, a quasi-independent investigative body that serves almost like a grand jury, was released on Wednesday by the House Ethics Committee, the panel of lawmakers with the exclusive power to punish colleagues for ethical infractions.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, in a preliminary review, unanimously concluded in March that there was “substantial reason to believe that Representative Grimm threatened a reporter with bodily harm and engaged in a threatening or menacing act that created a fear of immediate injury,” which would violate local law in the District of Columbia as well as House ethics rules.

Grimm made headlines the night of the State of the Union when he was caught on camera threatening NY1 reporter Michael Scotto. He told the reporter he would “break him like a boy” and throw him off the balcony of the Capitol rotunda.

Scotto was interviewing him about a federal investigation into the congressman’s campaign fundraising that later led to criminal indictments of several Grimm associates. Grimm himself has so far escaped charges on that matter, but was slapped with a 20-count indictment alleging financial and employment improprieties in connection to a restaurant he operated before entering Congress.

The House panel will not investigate further at this time, setting it aside at the request of federal prosecutors.

A child was struck by a police vehicle shortly after 11:00 a.m. in Borough Park.

The accident happened at 15th Avenue and 51st Street, according to the Twitter feed of @NYPD911Dispatch, which is not affiliate with the NYPD.

The child is in stable condition.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to nberke (at) bensonhurstbean (dot) com.

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A new eatery called Sooo Delicious Food Court is now serving customers at 1801 Bath Avenue.

Set up as one-stop shop similar to a Manhattan deli, with various counters for pizza, sandwiches, coffee and baked goods, in addition to a selection of standard bodega fare, the store opened doors this week. The owner, Nick Abulawi, was previously the manager of Bay Ridge’s Gino’s Restaurant, on 5th Avenue.

The location was previously occupied by Casa Calamari, which closed in 2012.

sodeli2

I’ve seen several drones – basically, remote control quadricopters with cameras, for you n00bs – up in the skies of Coney Island this summer, so this morning I decided to Google for any videos that have been uploaded.

Sure enough, there are four solid videos from four different drone pilots all filmed this summer. The best by far is the one on top by Eric Alexander, which offers some stunning daytime views and flies, probably irresponsibly, close to the Wonder Wheel.

Here’s a good night time one from David Fitzgerald, taking off on the boardwalk behind MCU Park.

Luna Park filmed their own drone video, capturing construction on the final loop of the new Thunderbolt.

And, finally, Chris Weidner went out on the beach with it in early May, getting some shots of the boardwalk and barren sands.

I, for one, am dying to pick up one of these drones and shoot some of my own videos. Unfortunately, due to some very stupid regulations, you can have a billion amateurs piloting drones in the sky for funsies. But because I’m a reporter, using it in any professional way is at the moment strictly prohibited. Figure that one out.

Source: Null Value via flickr

Source: Null Value via flickr

A 20-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in the stomach at the Marlboro Houses (2250 West 11th Street) early this morning.

The man was exiting the elevator on the 16th floor of the building to visit his grandmother at approximately 1:40 a.m. when a gunman opened fire and put a bullet in his abdomen, police told this outlet.

The victim, whose identity was not released, was taken to Lutheran Hospital, where he remains in serious condition but is expected to survive.

Police do not yet have a suspect in the case, and are still investigating.

Marlboro Houses, like the majority of New York City Housing Authority developments, still do not have long-awaited security cameras. Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that work is finally underway on the $27 million installation of closed circuit cameras in 49 NYCHA developments, including the Marlboro Houses and Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses, and should be complete by the end of the year.

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The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Mark Treyger:

In response to concerns over the safety of students, staff and parents walking to P.S. 95 in Gravesend, the NYC Department of Transportation has agreed to Council Member Mark Treyger’s request to install a speed hump by the start of the upcoming school year. The speed hump will be installed along Van Sicklen Street to prevent drivers from speeding past the school, which currently occurs on a regular basis.

Immediately after hearing from worried parents and school leaders after taking office earlier this year, Council Member Treyger led Brooklyn DOT Commissioner Joseph Palmieri on a tour of the area to show him firsthand the constant speeding traffic that passes the school each morning and afternoon. Also on hand for the site visit was Assemblyman Bill Colton, school volunteer Vincent Sampieri, who brought the issue to Council Member Treyger’s attention, Principal Janet Ndzibah, PTA President Christine Schneider Lulu Elaza and other residents. As a result, the DOT conducted the necessary traffic studies and has worked with a homeowner on Van Sicklen Street who agreed to allow the city to install the speed hump near their driveway. The DOT now expects the work to be completed by early September, hopefully in time for the new school year.

“This is a simple but vital step we can take to protect the students of P.S. 95 as they walk to and from school each day. After all, there is nothing as important as the safety of our children. As soon as I heard about this issue, I knew it was imperative to act before any more accidents or close calls occur due to reckless and dangerous drivers speeding through that area. My thanks to Mr. Sampieri and the school’s leadership for bringing this to my attention, to Assemblyman Colton for his partnership on this issue, and to the DOT for agreeing to install this speed hump on behalf of P.S. 95,” said Council Member Treyger.

CORRECTION (4:36 p.m.): We received a note from Councilman Treyger’s office amending the above press release. The PTA president who is pictured and referenced is Lulu Elaza and not Christine Schneider.

The head of the New York City Office of Recovery and Resiliency is getting behind the Bloomberg-era plan to replace the Riegelmann Boardwalk’s wooden slats with concrete, saying that concrete fared better in Superstorm Sandy.

Recovery chief Daniel Zarrilli testified before the City Council last Thursday, telling them that the choice of concrete was a “sound” decision since it performs better in storms.

He added that the de Blasio administration will continue to replace the wooden boards with concrete going forward.

Bloomberg made the decision to replace the boardwalk with concrete after instituting a citywide ban on tropical hardwood in public projects, the material the boardwalk, as well as other fixtures like benches, have historically been made of. It has been fought for several years by locals who want to see the iconic wood stay, and they even filed suit against the city in 2012. Several compromises were sought, including using alternate wood materials, plastic and a combination of all three – although the city made clear its preference for concrete.

But the announcement that the new administration will stick with the plan because it performed well in Sandy is sure to be challenged by critics. In the wake of the storm, locals said that the concrete allowed sand to pile up on the boardwalk, and also served as a less effective buffer protecting the community from the flooding. They also say the concrete accelerates erosion and is less effective at drainage during storms.

The two councilmembers whose districts overlap the boardwalk, Chaim Deutsch and Mark Treyger, both support using wood.

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The sediment-filled waste coming out of a covered sewer overflow pipe. (Source: Pete Castro)

The city’s long-awaited solution to street flooding along the Coney Island peninsula has some locals wondering if the remedy isn’t worse than the disease.

West 33rd Street and Bayview Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

West 33rd Street and Bayview Avenue (Source: Google Maps) Click to enlarge.

The Department of Environmental Protection is in the midst of a massive clearing operation in western Coney Island, pumping years of sand, debris and residue out of long-jammed sewer lines, which neighbors say caused the streets to flood in even the slightest rain. But now the city is fielding a new set of complaints from residents who say the toxin-filled water is flowing into Coney Island Creek through a combined sewer overflow pipe at West 33rd Street and Bayview Avenue, adjacent to Kaiser Park beach.

“Yes, you’ve got to clean out the drain. But my logic, my god-given common sense, is that you don’t foul it up, you don’t create another foul condition when you solve that problem,” said Pete Castro, a resident of West 35th Street.

Castro has been on the beach almost daily for the past week and a half, filming and taking photos of the Department of Environmental Protection’s private contractor, National Water Main Cleaning Co., as they pump water into the sewer and it flows out of a nearby outfall pipe, onto the beach. The 30-year resident said the water is thick and black with sludge, oil and other contaminants, mucking up a habitat in the midst of a revival.

“I’ve been seeing wildlife come back to the beach, egrets, the occasional swan, ducks go over there. And they’re dumping that oil there and apparently DEP is okay with it,” he said.

The DEP confirmed that they’re clearing out the sewer lines, and that some debris was simply destined to enter the environment.

“We are working to clear out the sand-impacted storm sewers. This is in response to flooding complaints in the area. We have been cleaning out the sewers for weeks and we understand there have been complaints about pumping stuff into the sewer, but in reality this is what we have to do to clean the sewers,” a spokesperson told this outlet.

Despite years of flooding complaints on the Coney Island peninsula, the latest round of work began after a site visit by Superstorm Sandy recovery honchos Bill Goldstein and Amy Peterson. Led by Councilman Mark Treyger, the team visited P.S. 188, where the students and faculty shared the following video showing the extent of flooding outside of the school in even modest rain.

“This is not Sandy, it’s just an average rainstorm,” Treyger told this outlet about the video. “It is a eye-opening video that shows severe flooding that is so bad that a car floated from the street and crashed into the front of the school, that’s how bad the flooding is. We showed the video to Amy Peterson and Bill Goldstein and they were very alarmed by it.”

“It is a damning video that just absolutely validates and confirms portions of Southern Brooklyn had been neglected by the [Bloomberg] administration.”
- Treyger

The Sandy team put pressure on the Department of Environmental Protection to address the flooding immediately. After inspection, the DEP determined that the sewers were clogged near the outfall pipes that go into Coney Island Creek, and dispatched contractors to clear it out.

Treyger admitted that solving one problem for residents caused concern for others. Castro and neighbors made complaints to his office, and he forwarded the video and photos to the DEP for a response.

As a result, Treyger said, the DEP conducted a review, meeting with the contractor and also bringing in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which has jurisdiction over area waterways.

“My sense was that they’re going to review and basically provide greater oversight of the work being done,” said Treyger. “For many years the infrastructure has been an issue here and as we move forward to fix it, we’re not looking to create more environmental disasters. This type of work has to be done in accordance with all environmental regulations and we’re going to make sure that that happens.”

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The vactor truck at work on West 33rd Street and Bayview Avenue. (Source: Pete Castro)

But Castro fears the agencies are being less than thorough in their review. Shortly after Treyger met with the DEP, officials from both the DEP and the DEC spoke directly to Castro about his concerns, assuring him they would investigate the spillage and make sure it was in compliance. But instead of investigation, Castro said he received a call from the DEC rep several hours later saying that they had reviewed the operation and concluded it was safe.

“According to his dubious investigation, some guy [from the DEC] just miraculously put his finger in the air and said it’s okay to put that foul oil onto the beach,” said Castro, adding that there was about six hours between the phone calls – four of which was during hours when the trucks were not pumping. “You can get chemical results like that, with a snap of the finger?”

The DEP spokesperson said she did not know of any specific involvement of the DEC in this matter, but said, “I’m sure we’ve been in touch with DEC at some point.” Asked over the course of multiple phone calls if there was knowledge of the contaminants flowing from the pipe, she said, “I have to double check, but don’t forget it’s the sewer system and it has to get out of the sewers. It can be anything.”

She did not have an answer about contamination when we followed up, instead pointing out that the city uses vactor trucks – essentially giant vacuum cleaners that suck out debris, suggesting that there should be no spillage into the waterway. When we noted that there was spillage, as evidenced by video, she reiterated, “We’re doing work out there.” She did not respond to further questions.

Treyger said he requested the DEP hold a meeting in the community in the upcoming weeks to discuss their operations and respond to potential concerns. He said it will be announced soon.

Until then, Castro said he’ll continue to document the filth and hopes to find someone’s help analyzing water samples. In addition to the wildlife and habitat, he’s also concerned about the numerous indigent locals who turn to Coney Island creek to fish for their meals.

“I can’t see it getting much worse. I’m just waiting for the dead fish to pile up,” he said.