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Murrow High School (Photo: Erica Sherman)

Edward R. Murrow High School is continuing to mold an army of Garry Kasparovs with its latest victory, their eighth win at the National High School Chess Championship on Sunday, according to a report in the Daily News.

The tournament was held in Nashville, Tennessee, and had over 5,000 competitors from high schools across the nation going against one another from Friday to Sunday.

The team qualified for the tournament when they won the state championships for the 16th time in February. They also won the state championships last year, and took home the national title in 1992, 1993, 1994, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The school’s team counts Olympic chess players and world title holders among its alumni, and an award-winning book has been written about the team’s formation.

Azeez Alade, a member of the current team who hails from Nigeria, told the Daily News that now that they have secured their victory – yet again – it’s time to declare check-and-mate on some burgers and video games.

“We’re all going to go to Dave and Busters! No more chess! We’re done with that — we’re celebrating,” said Alade.

Congrats to the Murrow team! We look forward to more victories in the future.



The Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR) Partial Action Plan A, a catchy name if we’ve ever heard one, has been released by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The plan describes the way the first round of federal funding the city has received for Sandy recovery – a sum of $1.77 billion –  will be distributed. This is the plan for only the first round of funding.

The $1.77 billion will be divided with $720 million going to housing programs, $325 million going to business programs, $400 million going to infrastructure and other city services and $327 million going to resilience. A more detailed account of how the money will be distributed is available at

According to a press release, a fourteen day comment period is in effect until April 5 in which people can give their input on Partial Action Plan A . The comments will be considered before the plan is submitted to the Federal government.

Comments may be submitted by calling 311 or by sending written comments to the Mayor’s Office of Operation located at 253 Broadway, 10th floor, New York, NY 10007.


Community Board 15 is meeting today, March 19, at 7:00 p.m. at Kingsborough Community College  (2001 Oriental Boulavard) in the faculty dining room. Please note that the meeting is a week earlier this month than usual.

On the agenda is a public hearing on the following zoning item:

  • 282 Beaumont Street - An application for a Special Permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.

There will also be time to hear residents’ concerns and discuss various committee reports, and elected officials may be in attendance.


Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz lights a yahrzeit memorial candle in memory of the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust.

A ceremony to honor the winners of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s Holocaust Essay, Poetry, Performance and Art Contest was held last Sunday at Kingsborough Community College.

The annual contest had about 600 submissions this year.

In his opening speech Assemblyman Cymbrowitz stated:

As the Book of Genesis tells us, there was darkness and there was light. There was night and there was day. For the children of the Holocaust, the horrors were unspeakable but the human spirit somehow remained alive. They never lost the glimmer of hope that – someday – kindness and decency would once again prevail,

The event was held in the college’s Marine Academic Center and displayed art work and essays the students submitted.

One of the exhibits, “A Suitcase Full of Sorrow and Hope,” had P.S 199 students standing in front of it and reading poems,  according to a press release

“The centerpiece of the display was the actual suitcase brought to America from Poland by Jania and Stanaslaw Zakieta after they lost their entire family to the Nazis. The Daleo family, descendants of the Zakietas, was in the audience.”

A meaningful candle-lighting ceremony was held as a tribute for the six million Jewish people who died during the Holocaust. The ceremony was conducted by the president of the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center, Rubin Margules.

The event featured performances from Edward R. Murrow High School’s Madrigal Chorus, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Winds. One of the pieces performed was composed by Cecelia Margules, a Manhattan Beach resident.

A holocaust survivor, Luba Abramovich, also spoke at the event.

The three first-place schools each received a computer and $200 in prize money. Second- and third-place winners received $100 and $50.

Photos by Erica Sherman.

Elected officials and library administrators gathered at the Kings Bay branch of the Brooklyn Public Library last Friday to celebrate the launch of a new laptop loaner program.

The program kicked off in Brooklyn Public Library branches in Kings Bay (3650 Nostrand Avenue) and Kings Highway (2215 Ocean Avenue), where 18 brand new laptops and charging carts are now available thanks to $50,000 in funding allocated by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein.

“Whether you’re a student using the internet as a research aid or a senior citizen wanting to know your rights, this program will have a positive impact on all library patrons,” said Weinstein in a press release.

The laptops will help busy branches like Kings Bay by allowing people to use the laptops for two hours anywhere in the building – a departure from the policy for current desktop computers, which can only be used for 30 minutes.

Now… we’re on our way over to make sure every browser’s homepage is set to Sheepshead Bites.


Midwood’s P.S 193 Gil Hodges School once had an award-winning music program, but budget cuts have scaled back their capabilities. That’s why school music advocates at organizing the Spring Music and Family Fest, a fundraising musical showcase to restore the program to its former glory.

The school has lined up as many as 20 accomplished musicians and performers, including a handful of school alumni, set to rock P.S. 193′s 2515 Avenue L auditorium this Saturday, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Genres range from hip-hop to opera, and features well-known performers like Yah Supreme and The Lords of Liechtenstein.

The school’s music program was once thriving, with the students winning awards in the Riverside Symphony Music Memory competition and elsewhere, and a choral teacher who wrote original scores for the end of the year school musicals. The school hopes to close a budget gap created by September 2012 budget cuts.

It’s not just music on tap for the night; the event will feature activities such as free face painting and a raffle with prizes from local businesses such as a gift card from Tête-à-Tête Café.

Purchasing the tickets online cost $12 per ticket with a V.I.P package available when four tickets are bought. Tickets at the door will cost more.

The school’s music teacher, Nonie Schuster, wrote in an essay the school posted on their site, “As music teachers, if we can instill a love and appreciation of music in our students, we’ll give them a gift that will nourish and sustain them throughout their lives.”

Check out the school’s site to learn more.

Source: Google Maps

A Coney Island church that played a major role Sandy relief efforts is now in need of help, according to a story in The New York World.

According to the article, the largest church in Coney Island, the Coney Island Gospel Assembly at 2828 Neptune Avenue, opened its doors following Sandy to be filled with supplies such as canned foods and bottled water and had medical staff working inside. Later, the Red Cross set up just outside the church.

Even before Sandy, the church had deep roots serving the community’s neediest.

Over the years the church had hosted a variety of social services within its walls, including a homeless shelter, summer activities for children, a truancy reduction program and a food distribution service run by Operation Blessing, the Rev. Pat Robertson’s nonprofit. She has counseled families through addictions, illnesses and interventions, and more gang-related deaths than she can count.

The church may have been a lifesaver to those affected by the storm, but it too could use a helping hand. The basement of the church had flooded, causing $1.5 million in damages.

According to the article, the church has received some of the generosity that it has been giving out. In November, it received $125,000 from a non-profit organization called Mercury One and in December it received $75,000 from the Robin Hood Foundation.

These donations have made a difference but the church is still struggling.

The church is currently surviving on weekly offerings at Sunday service. It can’t apply for a loan because there is no way to pay back the money. FEMA can’t help because a house of worship is not eligible for aid, although the House of Representatives has passed a bill that may change this.

Source: Wally Gobetz via Wikimedia Commons

The Brooklyn Cyclones have announced that they will raising moneyfor various Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts, through a new program dubbed “Meaningful Mondays.”

The way it works is that $3 out of every ticket sold at MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue) on Mondays will go to several charities involved in the recovery process. This will start in July.

According to the press release, each week the “Meaningful Monday” will focus on a different neighborhood affected by the storm. Here is a schedule the press release provided of which neighborhoods will go with which week:

•           Monday, July 1 –Coney Island Night to benefit

•           Monday, July 8 – Gerritsen Beach Night to benefit Gerritsen Cares.

•           Monday, July 22 –Nassau County Night to benefit the Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund.

•           Monday, July 29 – Red Hook Night to benefit the Red Hook Initiative.

•           Monday, August 19 –Staten Island Night to benefit The Stephen Siller Foundation.

•           Monday, August 26 – Breezy Point / Rockway Night to benefit The Graybeards.

Cyclones General Manager Steve Cohen states in the press release, “We hope that through our Meaningful Monday efforts, we can help the countless people still struggling to recover from the storm, recognize the heroes who were leaders in their communities during their time of need, and provide a night of fun and laughter at the ballpark as we all recover from Hurricane Sandy.”


If you are unemployed, between the ages of 18 and 24, and looking for a good paying job, than this may be the opportunity for you. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is hiring 200 people to help with the “clean-up, restoration, and reconstruction of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge,” according to a post on Workforce1. The job is full-time and will pay employees $11 per hour.

It is preferred that the candidates live near the Jamaica Bay area but all applicants from NYC will be considered.

No formal education is required. These are the tasks the website stated would be preformed by workers:

  • Working with NYCParks’ Natural Resources Group (NRG) and Natural Area Volunteers (NAV) to restore natural areas, woodlands, wetlands, and parkland in and around the Jamaica Bay Area
  • Removal of tree debris, tree care, and potential new tree planting
  • Trail creation and restoration
  • Removal of wood, metals, docks, concrete, housing, boats, and other inorganic floatables from the sand areas inJamaicaBaypark
  • Community outreach and educational efforts including needs surveys, customer satisfaction assessments, and interventions for residents of surrounding areas

All applications must be submitted today!

To apply fill out the form here.

Thanks to Councilman Lew Fidler’s office for tipping us off to this.