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Galina Basova, left, and Roza Murdokhayeva, right. (Source: Be Proud Foundation)

Another year, another two talented beauties crowned Your Highness Grandmother.

The 12th year of the event took place October 19 at National Restaurant, where Roza Mordukhayeva, 80, was crowned Queen Grandmother and Galina Basova, 68, won the Grandmother title for the younger batch of beauts.

Murdokhayeva was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She worked as a nurse for more than 45 years, and adores children. Dancing and singing are her true passion, and Murdokhayeva has performed in the pageant, organized by the Be Proud Foundation, multiple times. She has four grandchildren, and one great grandson.

The other lovely lady, Basova, is from Russia. She’s seen her family grow tremendously stateside, and is now the proud grandmother of five. She studied communications at the institute of Leningrad, and has just one hobby: travel.

The event celebrates the lives of grandmothers across Southern Brooklyn. It’s a good-natured competition, based on dancing, singing, talents, costume design and more. It’s judged by a panel of those who love grandmothers best: grandfathers.

Congratulations to Basova and Mordukhayeva!

Engine where he worked. (Source: Google Maps)

Engine 329 in Queens, where Schreiner worked. (Source: Google Maps)

An FDNY firefighter arrested in 2013 for assaulting a black postal worker while yelling racist slurs was ordered to attend diversity classes and complete an anger management course on Wednesday.

The New York Post reports:

Luke Schreiner, 49, was convicted on misdemeanor attempted assault and harassment raps for his ugly attack on mild-mannered Rene Isidore, 57, in a September bench trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

“A fireman is supposed to save lives. Mr. Schreiner almost ended my life instead,” Isidore said in his victim impact statement.

“He grabbed me by my chest and pulled as if I was an animal.”

Schreiner originally faced a hate crime charge for the assault, which stems from a November 13, 2013 incident, but was acquitted on that charge last month because it was not the motivation for the assault, the judge determined.

“The defendant was upset and he struck [the mailman] because he believed the postal truck grazed his vehicle,” the judge said.

He was suspended for a month after the incident, in which he allegedly smacked Isiidore in the face, broke his sunglasses, and shouted racial slurs at him and a black woman passing by – all in front of his own Gerritsen Beach home.

A previous report from the Post likened the court transcriptions to Django Unchained screenplay, with the N-word repeated numerous times.

“You’re nothing but a f—— n—–! That’s why you work for the Postal Service,” testified postal worker Rene Isidore…

“You’re a n—-r​,​ too!” Schreiner yelled at a black passerby, prosecutor Damani Sims said in his opening statement. “You’re all n—–rs! You’re the color of my s–t!”

Schreiner was ultimately convicted of misdemeanor attempted assault and harassment charges.

The Daily News reports that he has two previous assault arrests, including one for road rage.

suspect

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Thief.

A man and a woman wormed their way into a Coney Island Avenue apartment building, knocked on someone’s door, and ripped an iPhone right out of the tenant’s hand when he answered, police say.

The 29-year-old man was robbed at 4:45pm on September 19, sparking a hunt for the two perps now wanted for grand larceny.

The male thief is described as white, between 30 and 35 years old, approximately 6’0″ and between 220lbs and 240lbs. He was wearing a white tank top and tan pants.

The woman is described as light-skinned, between 25 and 30 years old, also 6’0″ and was wearing jeans and a hat.

The two were caught on surveillance camera fleeing the lobby of the building.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Photo by Knightmare6

Photo by Knightmare6

A Brooklyn court ruled that the city was not responsible for the drowning of a 10-year-old girl in 2008, saying that the city is “not an insurer” of the safety of parkgoers.

The case stems from the July 2008 drowning of Akira Johnson, who was swimming with her cousin, also 10, on Coney Island. They became distressed and a nearby lifeguard came to their aid, only saving Johnson’s cousin. The girl, lost to the water, washed ashore days later.

Brooklyn Eagle reports:

The family filed a wrongful death suit against the city with claims of negligence. A lower court judge found merit in the family’s suit and allowed the case to proceed. The higher appeals court, however, acknowledged the city’s responsibility to its park users, but held that the city’s lifeguards did not deviate from its public safety obligations.

Evidence showed that the city “had furnished a sufficient number of lifeguards, that those lifeguards were experienced and competent…that they were adequately trained and properly certified… and that they reacted to the situation in accordance with proper procedure,” the appeals court noted

The victim’s family argued that the training was inadequate as it takes place in a swimming pool.

New York Law Journal reports:

Plaintiff’s attorney Arnold E. DiJoseph argued that the lifeguards were not properly trained to handle rescues in rip currents. “Basically, they are trained in swimming pool rescues,” he said in an interview.

But a unanimous panel of Justices Ruth Balkin, John Leventhal, Joseph Maltese and Betsy Barros held the city had met its duty to maintain the beach in “reasonably safe condition,” citing the lifeguards’ prompt mobilization and the fact that they rescued Akira’s 10-year-old cousin in the same incident. At least six lifeguards responded when they observed the two children in distress.

“[The] city is not an insurer of the safety of the users of its parks, including its beaches,” the court ruled.

The Sheepshead Bay Yacht Club after the storm.

When the sun sets tonight and the clock turns to 8:15pm, thousands of people along the northeast coast will simultaneously light candles and begin a moment of silence, remembering the destruction that swept through coastal communities courtesy of Superstorm Sandy. That moment will mark exactly two years since the high-tide breached the walls of Sheepshead Bay and began dousing our streets, our business, our homes, and claimed 125 American lives.

Like last year, contemplating a slew of “anniversary” articles is a gut wrenching endeavor, and one that I find difficult considering we still wrestle with the effects every day – and cover it nearly as often. It’s not two years since Sandy. Here in Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach and Coney Island and Gerritsen Beach – and dozens of other impacted communities – Sandy is still very much every day.

But there is a need for a long view. Things are getting better. They are returning to normal, and on many fronts we are better prepared for another storm today than we were on October 28, 2012. It is the obsession of just about every citywide media outlet today, so here are some of the best, most enlightening articles published this week on the progress made, and the work still to be done.

If you feel we missed one worth sharing, let us know in the comments or at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com and we’ll add it. And don’t forget to come to the candlelight vigil  tonight to support and be supported by your neighbors.

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CKO Kickboxing is coming to 2615 East 17th Street, just off Jerome Avenue.

The fitness franchise originated in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1997 and has since opened in more than 40 locations, mostly throughout the metro area. This will be their fifth location in Brooklyn.

The business takes over the long-empty space, which is below condominium units and a second floor office space used by AHRC, a center for adults with developmental disabilities.

There’s no word on opening date yet and no equipment has been installed, but the business’ website says it’s “coming soon.”

Welcome to the neighborhood, CKO!

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Sagdiana, a three-year-old Uzbek restaurant at 2612 East 14th Street, has given way to Azerbaijan House.

An employee of the new restaurant told us yesterday that the business changed hands about a month ago. They’ve built a website and are still working on their menu, but have a temporary roster of Azeri offerings.

Azerbaijain House is also somewhat distinct – while the number of Uzbek restaurants in Southern Brooklyn swells dramatically, there are only a handful of Azeri restaurants. Still, the employee said they would keep a number of Uzbek offerings on the menu.

Azeri cuisine is similar to Uzbek, both being nations of the Caucasus region and important stops along the Silk Road. They do have their regional differences, especially their takes on plov, of which Azeris boast of more than 40 different recipes (though the temporary menu offers only one). [Update: informed readers have pointed out that I know nothing.]

Good luck to Azerbaijan House, as well as to the former owners of Sagdiana!

Sampson (File photo)

Sampson (File photo)

State Senator John Sampson’s defense team has taken a rather bizarre approach, practically admitting that he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of foreclosed homes - but that he did it too long ago for him to be prosecuted.

The pol appeared in court on Thursday to have two of the 10 counts against him dismissed, arguing that the funds were embezzled earlier than prosecutors said. According to a New York Times report, the issue revolves around the definition of embezzlement. The prosecution’s charges are based on when Sampson spent the money; Sampson’s defense said it should have been on when he moved it into an escrow account he controlled.

The paper reports:

The defense agreed, for the purposes of the motion, that the embezzlement took place in 1998 and 2002, when Mr. Sampson transferred the money to escrow accounts he controlled.

It is “extraneous” and “irrelevant” how and when the embezzled funds were spent, his lawyer, Nathaniel H. Akerman, said in court on Thursday.

A prosecutor, Alexander A. Solomon, argued that embezzlement was “not complete until the defendant used the funds in the escrow account,” which occurred within the five-year window.

The judge said the pol’s failure to return the money “shows some intention,” but also noted the prosecutor’s logical flaw that, if the money was not returned but also never spent, then the pol could never be prosecuted.

The case stems from two incidents in 1998 and 2002, when Sampson, a lawyer, was appointed the referee in foreclosure proceedings. He was to oversee the sale of the homes, pay off the debts, and return the surplus funds to the state within five days. According to the prosecution, and now apparently the defense as well, he did not return those funds and instead began using them for personal benefit in 2008.

The judge will rule on the motion by the end of the month, according to Capital New York. Sampson faces eight other counts for obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying to federal prosecutors.

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Sheepshead Bay Road’s Global Wholesale Market may reopen two years after it sold its last apple, as the building is currently undergoing major renovations.

The building at 1414 Sheepshead Bay Road sat silently since the business’ closure in September 2012, nearly a decade after it first opened. But, as any straphanger using the Sheepshead Bay Road subway station has noticed, workers have been on the roof installing new steel support beams.

Photo by Eugene Zhukovsky

Photo by Eugene Zhukovsky

According to paperwork filed with the Department of Buildings, it’s a renovation of an “existing supermarket” with plans to replace the storefronts, reinforce the roof (via the steel columns), and excavate beneath the building to create a cellar.

In terms of usable space created by the new cellar, the building is expanding from 18,350 square feet to 21,600, the maximum allowed by zoning.

wholesalemarket-2

That’s not all. The oddly-shaped lot currently has storefront space on East 14th Street, adjacent to CVS’ parking lot. This will be torn down, according to the plans, and replaced with an 18-car parking lot.

The plot diagram submitted to the Department of Buildings. It will remain a one-story supermarket, but they're adding parking and digging out a basement.

The plot diagram submitted to the Department of Buildings. It will remain a one-story supermarket, but they’re adding parking and digging out a basement.

There’s no word on when the work will be done. The owners – the same as under Global Wholesale Market, according to the paperwork – were not available to comment when we called.

Apparently they’ve gotten into a bit of trouble, though:

wholesalemarket-3

A Department of Buildings spokesperson confirmed that the Stop Work Order is still active, and was issued on September 29 because some demolition and the installation of the structural steel was being done without permits. The only work they’re currently allowed to do is back-fill behind the building, and by hand only. The spokesperson noted that any other work witnessed at the site should be reported immediately to 311.

While we’re sure that will slow down the work, we’re still happy to see this space being put back to use. We’ll keep you posted if we hear back about an opening date.

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Atlas’ current storefront on 18th Avenue (Photo by Anna Gustafson)

Gravesend is about to get a new butcher in Atlas Meat Market, an acclaimed Kensington business that is moving to Avenue X in early November.

The news comes via our sister site, Ditmas Park Corner, which writes that shop is leaving its 4311 18th Avenue location and taking over 387 Avenue X, which was most recently the call base for Prestige Car Service.

Since its opening just last year, the business has built up a loyal following in that neighborhood for quality cuts and knowledge of meat.

Ditmas Park Corner previously profiled the business, writing that owner Andrey Nevelskiy, a Borough Park resident, learned his trade during a 15-year stint in the Meatpacking District from seasoned veterans with more than 50 years of experience. As that neighborhood began to give way to gentrification and the fashion industry, he sought to revive the profession in Brooklyn.

“I know meat very well,” Andrey says, pointing to a board on the Kensington shop’s wall that spells out customers’ options for meat, a list far too dauntingly long to list in its entirety but which includes chuck roast, ribs, sirloin steak, brisket, hamburger meat, and so on. “I know every muscle, everything about it. I can give advice on anything we sell, whether you want to cook for 15 minutes or you want to cook for two hours.”

…“I live in this neighborhood, and I never saw a butcher shop like this,” Andrey says, explaining why he and [co-owner David Khanateyev] wanted to open their business in the area. “The whole point of this place is fresh meat. I cut the meat in front of the customer, so they can see it’s fresh. I can marinate the meat, and I’ll put it on in front of the customer.”

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