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The Kings County American Legion Band, led by Irwin Meyer. Source: Facebook

The Kings County American Legion Band, led by Irwin Meyer. Source: Facebook

UPDATE: This event has been canceled.

Original post:

The Kings County American Legion Headquarters Band will perform a free concert this Sunday, March 16 at the New Utrecht Parish House, 18th Avenue and 84th Street. The concert, conducted by the indefatigable Irwin Meyer, begins at 2:30 p.m.

Steeped in history and diversity, these days the band is actually a concert band and a marching band rolled into one. Its members are musicians from the John Philip Sousa Band, the Goldman Band, a number of the famed big bands of the 1940s, as well as professional musicians, students, mechanics, teachers, police officers and health care professionals.

The concert is open to the public. To learn more, call (718) 256-7173.

Source: USPS

Source: USPS

The United States Postal Service issued a brand new stamp depicting the Verrazano Narrows Bridge on March 4, commemorating the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s largest suspension bridges.

From the postal service’s description:

[T]he stamp captures the grandeur of the Verrazano, not only showing its sheer size and scale, but also giving a sense of the sweeping curve of the double-decker roadway. The artist chose to showcase the bridge at twilight, which offers an interesting play of light and shadow.

Not to mention that sunrises and sunsets are the best times to view the iconic bridge, so it’s no surprise that illustrator Dan Cosgrove chose to capture it then.

1964 Verrazano stamp

1964 Verrazano stamp

The 4,260-foot-long, 690-foot-tall bridge opened on November 21, 1964, the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time (it remains the longest in the Americas today). It’s named for Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer credited with discovering New York Bay in 1524. He was leading what was believed to be the first exploration by Europeans of the North American northeast coastline since the Norse expeditions more than 500 years earlier.

It’s not the first time the bridge has graced postage. On the occasion of the bridge’s opening, the USPS issued a 5-cent stamp. And in 2006, a stamp featuring the bridge was issued as part of the “Wonders of America” series.

The stamp itself is neither a forever stamp or a standard 49-cent stamp, but comes in at a whopping $5.60. It’s fitting, given that it depicts the bridge with the highest toll in the nation. We wonder if Staten Islanders will get a discount.

Source: BPL

Source: BPL

The Brooklyn Public Library is pursuing a bid to buy the property currently leased for the McKinley Park branch (6802 Fort Hamilton Parkway), but has struggled to strike a deal with the landlord. The city is now considering going over the landlord’s head using the power of eminent domain to seize it for the public’s good.

The Daily News reports:

The Brooklyn Public Library is making a bid to seize the Dyker Heights building that houses its McKinley Park branch, threatening to use the power of eminent domain after the owners scoffed at its $2.4 million offer to buy the property.

… The library’s $20,000-per-month lease for the McKinley Park branch expires in June. If the city takes it over, the library would save money on rent and utilities.

The McKinley branch is one of just seven in the 60-branch system that remains on private land. The city is also hoping to buy the property that houses the Gravesend branch (303 Avenue X) when its lease comes up this year.

According to the paper, the city made its offer in September. It’s owned by a trust overseen by an Arizona-based bank, which has been raising rents in recent years in an attempt to bring it to market rate. That’s been an increased burden for the cash-strapped system.

Brooklyn Paper notes that the leasing agreement has caused the library to delay needed maintenance work:

The library has been putting off more than $5 million in needed plumbing work, roof repairs, window replacement and other basic repairs at McKinley for years to avoid investing scarce resources in a facility it does not own.

Eminent domain allows the government to seize private property to be used for the public interest. The owner of the property is paid “fair market value” in such a case.

McKinley Park branch originally opened in 1911 at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 70th Street in a 1,500 square foot storefront. It opened in its current 7,425 square foot location in 1959 and was renovated in 1995.

I wonder if there's a policy about taking trees on the subway... (Source: NYRP/Flickr)

I wonder if there’s a policy about taking trees on the subway… (Source: NYRP/Flickr)

The New York Restoration Project, a non-profit dedicated to building greenspaces and the lead partner of the MillionTreesNYC initiative, is going all out this spring with a huge giveaway of 12,000 trees distributed directly to residents throughout New York City.

Here are some details from the group:

NYC home and property owners can choose from over 90 events where they can pick up trees to bring home and plant in their front or back yards. Participants can visit to check out dates and locations and find out more. They can register online approximately two weeks in advance, to reserve a tree. If registration is full, a limited number of trees is available on a first-come, first-served basis at the event. We’re offering popular tree species, including various dogwood, fig, magnolia and serviceberry trees to New Yorkers. Aside providing cleaner air, planting trees has many benefits, including enhanced curb appeal, offset of climate change, cooler temperatures, and more.

Giveaways are scheduled between March and May for Marine Park, Coney Island, Gravesend, Borough Park, Bay Ridge and elsewhere – so there’s no shortage of nearby locations to pick one up in the coming months. Just check their schedule and register in advance.

The MillionTreesNYC program is a public-private initiative. Seventy percent of the trees will be planted in parks and public spaces, while 30 percent are being given to private organizations, homeowners and community groups. More than 800,000 trees have been distributed to date.

ridersThe Riders Alliance, an advocacy organization for subway and bus riders, is launching an initiatve to bring together Southern Brooklyn straphangers to demand improved public transportation services.

To kick off the initiative, they’re holding a brainstorming session on March 27, at 7:00 p.m., at the Homecrest Presbyterian Church (1413 Avenue T). It’s an any-idea-goes kind of event.

The group has been going neighborhood to neighborhood since it formed in 2012 and setting up local, grassroots coalitions to advocate for improved service.

From their website:

We believe that lawmakers respond best to their own constituents, and that an organized group of local residents, trained and empowered to demand results, fills an important gap in transit advocacy, helping win the sustainable, long-term funding needed to fix public transit in New York.

You can sign up to attend  here. There’ll be snacks.

Lawyer Mark Nussbaum

Nussbaum (Source: RUNY)

Activist and Republican District Leader Marcus Aurelius Nussbaum will challenge seven-year incumbent Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny for the right to represent a district spanning the coastline from Brighton Beach to Bay Ridge.

The announcement came from the Fiorello LaGuardia Republican club, which lends its backing. Nussbaum is the Republican leader for the 46th Assembly District, an unpaid office he won in 2013.

“I am a public servant at heart…this is the reason why I decided to join the military and proudly serve my country. I believe that it is my duty to use my abilities to help those who cannot help themselves, and it is my goal to make tangible improvements in the quality of life for the members of our community,” he said in the club’s press release.

Nussbaum, a Trump Village resident, is an attorney and former Army captain who received a Bronze Star for service in Iraq. A Russian-language speaker, Nussbaum is involved in the Holocaust Memorial Committee and Bay People – a group of residents who organized to block the establishment of an Islamic community center in Sheepshead Bay. He is involved in various other Russian and Jewish organizations.

Nussbaum made headlines following the City Council elections, attacking fellow Republican David Storobin for attributing his loss to a belief that Russians didn’t turn out to vote for him. Nussbaum said Storobin lost because he failed to to reach out to those voters, or perhaps sided with the wrong faction of the Brooklyn GOP – a county club currently mired in a power struggle.

The tattoo given to a sedated dog that sparked outrage last week. (Source: Instragram via Post)

After a news story went viral last week about a Prospect Heights tattoo artist who gave his elderly dog some ink while he was still under anesthesia from an unrelated surgery, State Senator Marty Golden and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis have reintroduced a 2012 bill to ban animal piercings and tattoos statewide.

A joint press release issued by the Republican lawmakers directly attributed the bill’s revival to the New York Post news story about Mistah Metro.

“Animals should not undergo cosmetic surgeries, tattoos and piercing, not only because it is cruel, but general anesthesia puts them at a tremendous health risk. Seeing this practice become more and more common is incredibly disturbing. These animals can not give consent and end up suffering from the pain of recovery and possible infection, or post-surgery complications,” said Malliotakis in the release.

The dog in the Post story was under general anesthesia because it was having its spleen removed. The tattoo artist said he received the veterinarian’s blessing to do the artwork. But pet piercings and tattoos smack of abuse, the pols argued.

“As an owner of two dogs, I am horrified by how people mistreat animals that have long have been rightly named ‘man’s best friend’. Tattooing a dog is a form of abuse, and New York State should not stand for it,” Golden said.

Malliotakis first introduced the bill in 2012 after viewing “Pet Crazy,” a 20/20 segment about pet owners who tattoo and pierce their animals.


Police are on the hunt for two men believed to be behind a violent home invasion that occurred late last month in SunsetPark.

On February 27, just before 2:00 a.m., the suspects followed a 28-year-old man into his apartment building on 39th Street and 10th Avenue.

The suspects bound the victim’s hands with a cell phone charger cord and stole $150 and an iPhone 5.

They then fled the location.

Police have released a photo of the suspects, seen above.

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.

67th St, Brooklyn, NY 11219

The broom and pan can be included in the rent for an extra fee.

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.

Three Bedrooms and Prominent Radiators in Dyker Heights
Price: $2,300
Location: 67th Street
Description: In many of the pictures for this apartment there are radiators awkwardly standing against the wall like a miserable teenager. The apartment looks spacious and it’s on the third floor. The only down side might be a lack of sunlight. But that will be for you to judge.
Contact: James Monteleone, All Points Real Estate, (718) 907-5442

Three Bedrooms in Bath Beach
Price: $1,650
Location: 122 Bay 13th Street
Description: The three bedrooms in this apartment all appear to be very small (shoebox size) but the kitchen looks huge. So my suggestions is, set up your bed in the kitchen. It’ll save you time grabbing those late-night snacks.
Contact: Rapid Realty, (646) 494-4623

Two “Immaculate” Bedrooms in Dyker Heights
Price: $1,500
Location: 67th Street and 13th Avenue
Description: Heat and hot water are included and “good credit is a must.” The realtor also describes the two bedrooms as “immaculate,” which seems unlikely for a place that is constantly being rented out.
Contact: Patti Tran, New Century Realty Group, (917) 238-8431

One Bedroom in Bath Beach
Price: $1,250
Location: Bay 29th Street at Bath Avenue
Description: This apartment has been freshly painted and there is a large kitchen with enough space for a table.
Contact: Jean-Claude Ho, JC Realty, (718) 513-1885

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 rendering of the bridge after rehabilitation. (Source: DOT)

A rendering of the bridge after rehabilitation. (Source: DOT)

As part of the ongoing reconstruction of Belt Parkway bridges and overpasses, the Department of Transportation has scheduled lane closures on the highway at Bay Ridge Avenue, beginning Thursday night.

The closures kick off Thursday, March 13, at 10:00 p.m. One lane in each direction will be closed at alternate times.

The closures are to prepare the work zone for construction. Contractors will place temporary concrete barriers, erect signs and restripe travel lanes.

At Bay Ridge Avenue, the existing bridge will be reconstructing using pre-cast concrete deck section, increasing the clearance beneath it t 14-feet-6 inches (it’s currently 12-feet-10-inches).

Pedestrian access under the bridge, as well as the Shore Parkway Seawall pedestrian and bicycle paths, will remain open throughout the construction.

The project was announced in 2009, and kicked off with the first closures at Paerdegat Basin in 2010.