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CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We summarize the week’s statistics for the 61st Precinct reports every Friday. The 61st Precinct is the police command responsible for Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach.

daffodils
We’re only just on the brink of fall, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about next spring! And if you’re anything like us, one of the best indications that winter’s over is the appearance of daffodils all over the neighborhood, from tree pits to community gardens. Want to help make that happen? It’s easy, and it’s free!

New Yorkers for Parks’ Daffodil Project, which was founded in 2001 as a living memorial to those lost on September 11, is still going strong. Last year volunteers around the city planted about 450,000 daffodil bulbs, and they’re hoping to top that number this year.

Registration for bulbs for the 2014 Daffodil Project is now open, and will end at 5pm on Wednesday, September 3. Pretty much anyone can sign up — bulbs are free to civic organizations, individuals, corporate volunteer groups, schools, and community leaders who commit to planting them in parks or public spaces like schoolyards, street tree pits, and community gardens.

There are pick-up locations around the city in September and October. So get to it, and thanks in advance for helping to make our neighborhood more beautiful!

Photo by Dmitri Kalinin

Photo by Dmitri Kalinin

The photo says it all.

Shot at the Marine Park Nature Center. Possibly my favorite Morning Mug photo ever.

Photo by Dmitri Kalinin

Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send them to photos@sheepsheadbites.com.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Mark Treyger and Assemblyman Bill Colton:

Council Member Mark Treyger and Assembly Member Bill Colton are calling on the MTA to provide public notification within 24 hours of cases of confirmed bedbug sightings on any trains, buses or in stations. The proposal comes after a number of incidents involving bedbugs on several trains along the N line, in addition to trains on the Q and 6 lines. On Monday, an N train was taken out of service at DeKalb Avenue and a conductor received medical attention as a result of bedbugs. Currently, the MTA does not have a formal policy for informing the public about these incidents.

In response, Treyger and Colton are proposing state legislation, supported by a City Council resolution, requiring the MTA to take the same steps to inform its customers as it does for other emergencies or service delays, including social media outreach. In addition, the MTA would have to detail the steps it is taking to remedy these situations and protect the public’s health while using public transportation. This proposal has support from the Transport Workers Union (TWU), whose members have been impacted by the outbreaks. Council Member Treyger and Assembly Member Colton were joined at today’s press conference in front of the N train station on Kings Highway by District Leader-elect Nancy Tong and a number of residents who regularly use this line and are concerned about the lack of information from the MTA about the recent outbreaks. Council Member Treyger and Colton now plan to move forward with this legislation, putting a formal procedure in place to respond to outbreaks and notify the public.

“This is an important issue that the MTA has to take much more seriously on behalf of the millions of New Yorkers that ride its buses and trains, as well as its employees. The MTA has an obligation to inform the public of any bedbug sightings or outbreaks due to the health implications that are involved. However, the MTA must also consider the economic consequences of bedbug infestations in a home, especially for working New Yorkers who cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars in fumigation or cleaning bills. The MTA can easily inform the public in much the same manner it does for service delays, and we deserve to know exactly what steps it is taking to respond to bedbug infestations,” said Council Member Treyger.

”The public has a right to know if there is a confirmed detection of bedbugs on trains or buses. The families of riders and transit workers must be given the opportunity to take protective measures to minimize the chance of bedbug infestation being transported to their homes and places of work,” said Assembly Member Colton.

“Families are rightfully worried about the disruption and large economic costs that bedbugs can cause, if carried into their homes. Families have a right to be informed as to how to protect themselves from this risk,” said District Leader-elect Tong.

Polina Groman and her husband Elliot. Source: SpinGreen via Forbes.

Polina Groman and her husband Elliot. Source: SpinGreen via Forbes.

While the city is in the middle of grappling with the explosion of for-profit, often shady, clothing donation bin companies, one Sheepshead Bay-based company is getting recognition for doing it right.

SpinGreen, based at 1733 Sheepshead Bay Road, was profiled by Forbes magazine yesterday for their work in the space, challenging the growing notion that the bins are nothing but a nuisance.

SpinGreen manufactures, distributes, and maintains bins for both indoor and outdoor use that are rust, graffiti, and bedbug proof. While it is illegal to place these containers on public land, [owner Polina] Groman, 34 and originally from Ukraine, works with private property owners. For example, Trump Village, a complex in Brooklyn with about 3,500 residents, hosts a bin.

… The partnership requires little work for property owners since the bins have a weight sensor technology and GPS tracking that ensures the containers never overfill, and SpinGreen also has a 24/7 customer service line in case of emergency. Each owner is also provided with $2 million liability insurance.

Groman and SpinGreen are constantly battling the negative perception clothing bins are gaining. Community leaders and neighbors have been blasting the bins for adding squalor to the streets, and for their illegal placement on public property. Some of the operators also appear to imply the “donations” are going to a charitable cause, when in reality they’re being sold overseas.

The controversy has led one City Council member to introduce a bill that would get the bins tossed from public lands and the operators fined, while having legal bin operators register with the city and provide data on collections. That bill has overwhelming support and is likely to pass following hearings next month.

SpinGreen is combating this by working with reputable charities, donating all wearable items (about 10 percent of its haul) to partners instead of selling it overseas. The remains are sold to recyclers who process it for reuse in materials like industrial wiping rags or furniture padding. A portion of the proceeds of those sales go back to the property owners who host the bins, and a portion goes to charity, the owner told Forbes.

For Groman, the biggest challenge she faces isn’t the unscrupulous competition, it’s simply getting people to understand the positive impact of recycling. More than 13 million tons of textiles goes to U.S. landfills every year, with Americans recycling only about eight percent. Groman hopes to change that.

 Groman was inspired to launch an educational component to her business — an effort that would contribute to establishing a good social enterprise reputation and also increase her customer base. She said she sees education and awareness, not competition, as her biggest challenge. “Not everybody recycles cans. That’s the reality. But you know that blue bin is for recycling,” Groman said. She created a nonprofit called the Barefoot Foundation that provides free after-school programs on recycling for local schools and foundations.

dunkin-donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts will soon open at 273 Avenue X, replacing an independent coffee house with a franchise.

The storefront, at the corner of Stryker Street and a block shy of McDonald Avenue, is the former home of Amori Baci,, a nice Italian cafe that served gelato and crepes in addition to standard coffee house fare. Amori Baci opened in 2011, but we’re not sure when it shuttered.

Dunkin’ Donuts appears to be making moves in the area. Another location is popping up on Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach, as well as on Cropsey Avenue in Bath Beach. Those are the ones we know about, and their website lists dozens of existing locations in the area. With the latest additions, it’s nearly at the point where you’ll be able to find a D-n-D within five blocks of any spot in the neighborhood.

We’re not so sure that’s a good thing. What do you think?

missing

Keep an eye out for Gerald Kinnison, a 65-year-old man who went missing in Coney Island Tuesday night.

Kinnison, who suffers from dementia, was last seen August 26 just after 11:00 p.m. at Surf Manor (2316 Surf Avenue), the assisted living facility where he lives.

He is 6’1″, 175 lbs, with salt and pepper hair and brown eyes. He wears a metal necklace with identifying information.

If you see Kinnison, please call 911 immediately.

Photo by Max Bolotov / ACMB Photography

You can check out some more little planet photography here.

Photo by Max Bolotov / ACMB Photography

Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send them to photos@sheepsheadbites.com.

West 23rd Street and Mermaid Avenue, the scene of the shooting (Source: Google Maps)

West 23rd Street and Mermaid Avenue, the scene of the shooting (Source: Google Maps)

Following a shooting yesterday in broad daylight that left one dead, and other recent violence in the neighborhood, fed up residents of Coney Island are holding a rally to call for an end to area violence.

The rally will kick off today, August 27, at 6:00 p.m. on West 24th Street and Mermaid Avenue – the site of yesterday’s fatal shooting.

It is being organized by the Coney Island Anti-Violence Collaborative, which formed in December after a spate of fatal shootings in Coney Island around Christmas last year.

Local elected officials were slated to hold a legislative softball game at MCU Park this evening, but they canceled it out of respect following the shooting. Several, including Councilman Mark Treyger and Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, will attend the rally instead.

sweet-island-1

Sweet Island, a bonafide candy store, is now open at 1214 Avenue U.

The owners told us they opened up shop about a month ago, and the place seems like a slightly Eastern European twist on the candy shops of my youth. They’ve got the staple candies, including collectible M&M dispensers and such, but they also carry some imported candies and Eastern European baked sweets.

They also have ice cream, milkshakes, cakes, coffee and regular, not sweet snacks.

It replaces IMJ Kosher Market.

Good luck, Sweet Island!