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Officer Rosa Rodriguez, still recovering from injuries sustained during a Coney Island fire that killed her partner, will receive a reduced disability pension under new NYPD rules.

Photo: GREAT NEWS!! PO Rosa Rodriguez who was critically injured in the arson on April 6th opened her eyes yesterday for the first time and saw her children and gave them a thumbs up as they were talking to her. Please continue to keep Rosa and her family in your prayers as she continues to fight!!

Source: New York Police Department Hispanic Society

DNAinfo broke the story:

A pension change enacted five years ago says police officers and firefighters hired after July 2009 who become disabled in the line of duty are no longer eligible for the traditional tax-free pension calculated at three-quarters of their final year’s salary.

Instead, these newer members of New York’s Finest and Bravest will receive pensions equal to 50 percent of their final year’s salary.

And officials say that pension will be further cut by an amount equivalent to half of any Social Security disability payments they receive.

Officer Rosa Rodriguez, a 36-year-old mother of four, joined the force in July 2010 and is making $53,270 a year.

Had she been hired a year earlier, Rodriguez would have received a combined disability pay of $61,552. But because of the new rule, that will be slashed nearly in half, to $37,400.

The outlet notes that Rodriguez will likely be forced to retire due to her injuries.

Sixteen-year-old Marcell Dockery is accused of starting the April 6 fire in 2007 Surf Avenue’s high-rise building because he was bored, and he has been indicted.

Source: FriendsofOceanParkway.org

Our friend Allen Shweky of Friends of Ocean Parkway notes that the Department of Transportation has kicked off the latest round of rehabilitation along the nation’s second oldest parkway.

The east mall of the corridor between Avenue N and Kings Highway is closed off to pedestrians, as the city preps to redo the asphalt, landscaping and benches. Shweky said there’s no timeline for the work.

The entire length of the mall has seen major construction over the last few years, with the most recent stretch being completed in 2012. Work stopped then until fresh funding was allocated through Councilman David Greenfield’s office.

Shweky writes that the section most in need remains untouched:

The real immediate work that really needs to be done on the west mall between Avenue U and Avenue X remains a dangerous hazard especially to bike riders.  Seems that that critical part of the entire mall renovation project is still a long way off.

Source: Murdock Solon

Source: Murdock Solon

A real estate management company linked to the owner of one of the city’s leading necktie manufacturers and wholesalers has taken over a swath of Kings Highway real estate, with plans to redevelop the property into a five-story retail and office development.

Several stores on the northern side of the corridor, from East 16th Street to East 17th Street, have shuttered in recent months, including the area’s McDonald’s restaurant. The building appears to still be owned by Kingsway Realty, according to city records, which has had its name inscribed on the facade since taking over the property in 1973.

1601-1607 Kings Highway, where several stores have shuttered in recent months to make way for redevelopment.

1601-1607 Kings Highway, where several stores have shuttered in recent months to make way for redevelopment. (Photo by Ned Berke)

Now plans are being considered by the Department of Buildings to tear down the two-story structure occupying the 17,880-square-foot lot, originally built in 1930, and replace it with a brand new facility, anchored by two floors of retail shopping and three floors of office space.

The building is being designed by the architectural firm of Murdock Solon. Renderings on their website show an ultra-modern design, featuring large bulked-out windows, a patterned facade and setbacks with rooftop gardens to be viewed by the office workers on the upper levels.

With escalators drawn into the middle of the retail space, it appears the developer may be aiming to attract a large retail tenant to occupy the bulk of the space.

There is parking for 25 vehicles and five bicycles in the basement level of the property, according to documents submitted to the DOB. The new building will stand 79 feet tall, and have 67,355 square-feet of space.

Although Kingsway appears to still be the owner of the property according to ACRIS, the online database of the City Register, the plans were submitted to the DOB on behalf of Lake Realty Inc., naming Walter Schik as the officer.

Schik is an Austrian-Jewish immigrant who fled Nazi persecution. Resettled in New York, he founded Bentley Cravats in 1947, which manufactures neckties, bow ties and other neckware.

Lake Realty Management LLC, which appears to be the official name of the company as registered with the state, manages a handful of properties in Brooklyn and Manhattan, including a nearby apartment building at 1233 East 19th Street.

Calls to Schik’s office were not returned.

The plans for the new five-story building were rejected in March, with the Department of Buildings stating that the drawings were incomplete. Calls to Murdock Solon for a status update were not returned.

Photos via Murdock Solon.

Source: MichaelTapp/Flickr

B LINE

From 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday to Friday, Manhattan-bound B trains run local from Sheepshead Bay to Prospect Park.

Q LINE

From 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday to Friday, Coney Island-bound Q trains run express from Newkirk Plaza to Sheepshead Bay.

All times until summer 2014: Coney Island-bound Q trains skip Parkside Av, Beverley Rd, and Cortelyou Rd.

F LINE

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Friday, Coney Island-bound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to 21 St-Queensbridge.

From 9:45 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, and from 9:45 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday, 179 St-bound F trains skip 75 Av, Briarwood-Van Wyck Blvd, and Sutphin Blvd.

From 11:45 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the A from W 4 St to Jay St-MetroTech.

  • To B’way-Lafayette St, take the Coney Island-bound F to W 4 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound D.
  • To 2 Av, Delancey St, and East Broadway, take the Coney Island-bound F to Jay St-MetroTech and transfer to a 179 St-bound F.
  • From these stations, take a 179 St-bound F to W 4 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound F.
  • To/from York St, use nearby High St A station instead.

Source: minnepixel/Flickr

A fight broke out in Coney Island’s McDonald’s (1403 Mermaid Avenue) on Easter Sunday, spilling out into the street where two men were stabbed, one fatally.

DNAinfo reports:

The two men, neither of whose identities were immediately released, had been inside the fast-food restaurant at the corner of Stillwell and Mermaid avenues when the fight erupted just before 11 p.m., sources said.

In the melee, a 20-year-old man was stabbed in the gut and another man was stabbed in the lower back, police said. The 20-year-old was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital, police said.

The second man is in stable condition.

According to the Associated Press, the fight involved two “groups,” and investigators are piecing together the victims’ relationships to each other and the groups involved. They’re also still working to determine the number of people involved, and if the brawl was gang related.

There were no immediate arrests.

Source: john weiss/Flickr

Q LINE

All times until early summer 2014: Coney Island-bound Q trains skip Parkside Av, Beverley Rd, and Cortelyou Rd.

F LINE

There are no scheduled subway service adjustments at this time.

Source: Wikimedia Common

Source: Wikimedia Common

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled details of his hotly anticipated overhaul of Superstorm Sandy recovery operations yesterday, committing the administration to getting 500 Build it Back checks in the mail and 500 construction projects kicked off before the end of the summer.

In addition to getting the long-delayed aid to some of the 20,000 homeowners in the Build it Back system, the plan calls for expanding the eligibility of those seeking aid, including eliminating priority levels so that income is no longer a cause for disqualification from several Build it Back recovery options.

“We’ve laid out a blueprint to provide critical financial relief to homeowners and directly engage communities in the rebuilding process—all while continuing our work to ensure a stronger and more resilient New York,” said de Blasio in a press release.

The New York Times reports:

Under the new rules, about 4,000 more residents than initially planned will be eligible to receive compensation from the government for repairs they have already performed on damaged homes. Hundreds more will be eligible to receive the full value of their property if they decide to vacate.

By the end of summer, the mayor said, the city planned to have started construction on 500 new homes and to have mailed out 500 reimbursement checks for previously performed repairs. As of Thursday, only 30 residents had received the payments.

The report, titled “One City, Rebuilding Together” and which can be read in full here, also calls for reassigning Department of Buildings inspectors to support Build it Back efforts, offering relief from city water bills for vacant homes, and providing tax relief to Sandy-impacted residents, among other proposals.

Aside from just doling out money and getting projects underway, the city is developing a plan to house residents displaced by recovery construction at their homes.

Several proposals are also being pushed to increase coordination and communication, including the appointment of borough directors and locally-based Build it Back staff.

Councilman Mark Treyger, who represents Coney Island and is chairman of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, praised the report but noted that residents need to see action, not proposals.

“I understand that this administration has only been in place for a few months, but the reality is that it has been 18 months and counting for residents struggling to rebuild and get back on their feet,” said Treyger in a statement. “The bottom line is that this recovery will ultimately be judged not by announcements and presentations, but by action on the ground in communities still feeling the impact of the storm. We must make sure that local residents and organizations are included in this process so they have an active role in the rebuilding of their own neighborhoods.”

Conservation groups, meanwhile, criticized the plan for focusing too much on recovery, and not enough on protecting coastal communities from future disasters.

Source: Dara Skolnick/Flickr

Alternate side parking regulations will be suspended Monday and Tuesday for Passover.

All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.

You can download your own 2014 Alternate Side Parking Suspension calendar from the NYC DOT’s website.

i-am-the-tree

I spotted this sign hanging from a tree on Avenue Y and East 13th Street the other day. It was a pity I didn’t have a better camera on me.

Hopefully more stuff like this pops up around the neighborhood. It was a welcome sight to shake me from my post-accountant shell-shock. (Speaking of things to nail to a tree…)

Anyone know the story here?

 

funkiberry

It was less than a year ago that Funkiberry, a frozen yogurt outpost, opened on Avenue U and Ocean Avenue.

The franchise continues to expand, with a new location set to open soon at 1917 Kings Highway (between East 19th Street and Ocean Avenue).

A third location already exists on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, and the website indicates plans for international locations in Russia, Italy, the Ukraine, France and China.

The storefront was most recently occupied by a dry cleaners.

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