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Archive for the tag 'coney island'

Takara McDuffy (Source: Facebook via Daily News)

Takara McDuffy (Source: Facebook via Daily News)

A good Samaritan yanked a 10-year-old girl and her 9-year-old sister from the water at Coney Island beach after seeing them fall off a nearby rock jetty, but the older girl did not survive.

Takara McDuffy was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital shortly after the 7 p.m. beach rescue near Stillwell Avenue. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death, but it is presumed to be a drowning.

The girls, from Staten Island, were playing at the beach with a group of family friends. Witnesses told reporters that they were playing on the jetty unsupervised and fell into the water. Bystanders jumped to action, and pulled both girls to shore.

The New York Post reports:

“People came rushing from all over to help out. It was horrible, it was chaotic,” said witness Ena ­McCaskill.

After a frantic, 10-minute search, a man found the girl floating about 100 yards from the jetty.

“He had a sound of desperation in his voice,” McCaskill recalled. “He was yelling for somebody to help him save the girl.”

Another good Samaritan administered CPR on the beach.

“A regular guy grabbed her and started doing CPR,” said witness Joseph ­Josephs, 24. “He was pounding her chest for a good minute. A lot of water was coming from her mouth.”

McDuffy’s parents lashed out at those who were supposed to be watching over their daughters, the Daily News reports.

The gathered friends and family demanded to know why little Takara – who could not swim – was apparently unsupervised by the group of adults she had gone to the beach with.

“It took a man to jump into the water and pull her out. Some man saw Takara’s body floating and he jumped in,” the family member said.

“Why wasn’t nobody paying attention? You was there all day and let her go in the water. Why wouldn’t you ask if she could swim?”

The incident happened less than an hour after lifeguards packed up for the evening. Swimming is prohibited at city beaches after 6:00 p.m., and there were no lifeguards on duty.

According to Borough President Eric Adams, it’s the sixth drowning death of the summer. Along with Councilmember Mark Treyger, who represents Coney Island, Adams will hold a press conference near the beach today to reiterate his call for citywide reforms to make public beaches safer, and will also be distributing the following fliers sharing water safety tips.

Water Safety Tips

Remember parkour, the sport described by The Office‘s Jim Halpert as “the internet sensation of 2004 … and the goal is to get from point A to point B as creatively as possible”? Well, it just happened in Coney Island. And it’s much cooler than when Michael and Dwight did it.

Brooklyn-based parkour collaborative Bullettrun posted the above video over the weekend, showing their members jumping, flipping, rolling and generally being more awesome than the rest of us on the Coney Island boardwalk, Child’s Restaurant, on the beach and in front of housing developments.

The group has been around since 2007, performing their craft in streets, on the stage and on screen. Under the creative direction of Nadia Lesy, who shot the video above, Bulletrun describes itself as a “collaborative, performance, Multi-media Parkour group” that “produces live shows that are presented in theaters, galleries and in non traditional settings, such as a a high school gymnasium and city parks.”

Neat. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go parkour my way over to the deli for a bacon, egg and cheese. Strolling, slowly, while struggling to breathe under the weight of my own man-boobs counts as creative expression, doesn’t it?

Check out more awesome videos from Bullettrun.

Source: Alexander Rabb/Flickr

The owner of the landmarked Shore Theater has been declining all proposals to rehabilitate and reactivate the building, including one by a Manhattan restaurateur to turn it into a sprawling restaurant and culinary school.

The 1301 Surf Avenue building was inherited by Jasmine Bullard following the 2013 death of her father, Horace, a Coney Island visionary who long fought to revitalize the neighborhood during its darkest days. Although the building was on the market at the time of his death, Bullard has declined to hear out would-be buyers, Brooklyn Eagle reports.

“I have clients who are ready, willing and able to write a check for the Shore today,” broker Joe Vitacco told Eye on Real Estate.

He has tried to submit purchase offers to her, but in vain: “She won’t even look at them.”

Vitacco said he has four “solid” suitors for the Shore Theater:

* A “very well known restaurateur” from Manhattan who wants to build a cooking school downstairs and a restaurant on the top two floors.

“The view from the seventh floor is magnificent,” he said, and there’s a Juliet balcony where diners would be able to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones playing baseball at MCU Park.

* A “nationally known athlete” who would turn the Shore back into a movie theater — and no, it’s not Magic Johnson (who isn’t actively involved in Magic Johnson Theatres’ operations these days, anyway).

* A billionaire with a home in Brooklyn who “thinks it’s a beautiful building and should be restored,” Vitacco said.

This interested party made an offer when Horace Bullard was alive, but it wasn’t high enough. Now, “he’s willing to come to the table with more money,” the broker said.

* A real estate developer who is involved in Coney Island.

Vitacco marketed Horace Bullard’s properties for about a decade. When the Shore was Vitacco’s listing, the asking price was $12 million.

It is estimated that it will take approximately $35 million to renovate the 115,000-square-foot, seven-story structure.

Source: mikey k/Flickr

Source: mikey k/Flickr

Police took a 54-year-old man into custody on Saturday after finding the body of his 62-year-old brother in the bathtub of his Luna Park co-op, with chemical burns to his chest and leg.

Cops were called to the scene at 8:46 a.m. following a 911 call for a man in need of help. It’s unclear who called the police, but when they arrived at the ninth floor apartment at 2819 West 12th Street the man attempted to block their entrance.

After a struggle, they restrained the man who authorities described as emotionally disturbed.

Once inside, cops discovered the unconscious and unresponsive body in the bathtub and called EMS. Medical responders declared him dead at the scene, and told the police that the male had chemical burns to the chest and leg.

The 54-year-old was taken to Staten Island University Hospital for psychological evaluation and treatment of chemical burns on his arms.

Neither of the men were identified by police, and the 54-year-old has not been charged with a crime.

The New York Times identified the two as brothers, and police told the paper that they’re struggling to get answers from the surviving sibling.

“Some of the stuff he’s saying doesn’t make sense,” a police department spokesman said.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of the death, and police are still investigating.

contaminent

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

flier

Event flier. Click to enlarge.

We broke the story last week about neighbors’ concerns over potentially toxic runoff from a Department of Environmental Protection operation to clean out the sewers in Coney Island. Now Councilman Mark Treyger is keeping good to his word, organizing a public meeting with the agency to bring its representatives into the community to hear residents out and answer questions.

Treyger announced yesterday that the meeting will take place Tuesday, July 8, at 4:00 p.m. at the Coney Island YMCA (2980 West 29th Street). The topic isn’t just the spillage occurring on West 33rd Street, where black gunk is flowing from a sewer outfall pipe into Coney Island Creek. It’s also about the project behind it – a long-awaited effort by the agency to clear out blocked sewer lines peninsula-wide, which they say will reduce the amount of street flooding during storms.

The local pol will be at the meeting, joined by Deputy Commisioner for Water and Sewer Operations Jim Roberts, and they’ll be giving an overview of the project and answering questions from the public.

The meeting is open to everybody. For more information, contact Treyger’s office at (718) 307-7151.

batman

Holy snatch-and-split, Batman!

A man donning the famed crime fighter’s insignia made a not-so-daring escape after snatching an unattended bag from McDonald’s in Coney Island last month.

Now police are on the hunt for the unmasked man, releasing the photo above captured by the 606 Neptune Avenue fast food chain’s surveillance video.

According to authorities, the victim left his personal bag on the counter of the restaurant on June 5. The Batman wannabe grabbed the bag and fled to the street, making off with credit cards, checks and other personal items. No one was injured, other than the reputation of a true, if often misunderstood, superhero.

The suspect is described as a male, approximately 40 years old, with black hair, a partially bald head and a medium complexion.

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.

seal

The New York Aquarium is celebrating the birth of a still-to-be-named harbor seal, only the second of its species to be born at the facility in the past 15 years.

The cuddly-looking creature was born on May 27 with a weight of 22 pounds, and has already been out and about in the aquarium’s displays.

“He has already made an impression on visitors and staff,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium, in a press release. “He is a delightful addition to the aquarium and a treat to everyone who comes through the facility while we work to recover from Hurricane Sandy and toward the opening of Ocean Wonders: Sharks!”

The pup is one of three harbor seals at the aquarium in Coney Island, all of which live in the Sea Cliffs with their penguin buddies, some sea otters, sea lions and walruses.

The new seal is quite healthy, gaining weight at a rate of a half-pound to a pound a day, much like your editor, and could weigh up to 250 pounds when fully grown.

As our readers ought to know, harbor seals are native to the waters around New York City and their population has been on the rise lately – as evidenced through numerous sightings on area beaches and marinas.

Harbor seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The New York Aquarium works to protect harbor seals through the New York Seascape, a conservation program designed to restore healthy populations of local marine species in New York City waters.

In case the photo above does not convey the appropriate amount of cuteness, I’ve made this gif for you.

seal

The suspected gunman in Coney Island. (Source: NYPD)

The suspected gunman in Coney Island. (Source: NYPD)

A 10-year-old boy and 25-year-old man were injured by stray bullets after an unidentified man opened fire on Mermaid Avenue near West 23rd Street on Saturday.

The two were among at least 21 people shot across all five boroughs in a shockingly violent weekend that left four people dead and 17 injured. Nine were victims of shootings that took place in Brooklyn.

Police responded to the Coney Island incident at 7:30 p.m., finding the boy shot in the knee and the man in the arm. They were both treated at Lutheran Hospital and expect a full recovery. The two did not know each other.

Police are now searching for a man they believe to be the shooter, who was captured on nearby surveillance cameras wearing a yellow t-shirt, yellow shorts, white sneakers and a multi-colored hat.

The 10-year-old is identified by the Daily News as Eddie Abdelrahaman. The paper caught up with the boy and his father:

When Kamal Ismail, 51, heard a string of gunshots outside his Coney Island home, he immediately did a head count for his children. All but one of his six kids, 10-year-old Eddie Abdelrahaman, was in the house.

“My heart went down, like I was having a heart attack,” Ismail said Sunday.

His son was grazed in the thigh when the barrage of gunfire erupted at 7:20 p.m. Sunday.

“It just stinged a little bit. It didn’t hurt,” said Eddie, who’s out of school for summer vacation and was going into a store on 24th St. and Mermaid Ave. to get juice with two friends when bullets went flying.

“Whenever we heard the first shot, everyone got on the floor and ducked,” he said, “When we heard it, we thought it was fireworks.”

Ismail said he is constantly concerned about violence in Coney Island.

ABC News helps put the shootings in context:

It marks the third time in June that at least a dozen people were shot over a weekend. But police commissioner William Bratton says the number of shootings is actually lower than this time last year, and that 1,200 additional officers will be hitting the streets this week.

They include 600 new officers who are graduating Monday from the Police Academy. They will be partnered with veteran officers and sent out to target the most violent, crime-ridden neighborhoods in the city.

Two other shootings took place nearby over the bloody weekend, including one in Flatlands on Avenue J and another in Flatbush on Church Avenue.

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.

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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