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Source: Sixsevenclassic/Instagram (click to follow)

Source: Sixsevenclassic/Instagram (click to follow)

After a busy week, here’s a chance to catch up on some of the news happening outside of our neighborhood! We’ve pulled together some of our favorite recent stories from our sister sites, as well as some other fascinating pieces that are worth a read this weekend:

Sunday is your last chance to check out 18th Avenue’s delicious Festa di Santa Rosalia. [Bensonhurst Bean]

A Flatbush resident and Brooklyn Tech teacher was arrested this week after allegedly sending his student a photo of his genitals. [Fort Greene Focus]

The city’s most obscure islands! [Curbed]

After collapsed ceilings, mold, and rats, these tenants are standing up to their landlord. [Ditmas Park Corner]

Civilian Complaint Review Board recommends discipline of hundreds of officers; NYPD does nothing. [WNYC]

Construction at the Atlantic Yards complex shuts down. [New York Times]

For $90 million, you can buy a Kensington development with a pet-grooming spa. [KensingtonBK]

A jogger was attacked by teenagers in Prospect Park. [DPC]

An all-Nutella restaurant is opening next month! [Park Slope Stoop]

This year marks New York City’s 350th birthday. Who cares, right? [NYT]

Cops are looking for an alleged groper on 4th Avenue. [South Slope News]

A non-profit working with people with disabilities and veterans lands $500K for a therapeutic center in Prospect Park. [DPC]

In Coney Island, forging neighborly ties with soapbox cars. [WFUV]

Two Myrtle Avenue hubs get more pedestrian-friendly. [FGF]

Which Brooklyn neighborhoods will gentrify next? [Capital]

Meet Oona, the 5-year-old behind the missing monkey posters. [DPC]

Hanging around Fort Greene or Clinton Hill? Here’s where to get amazing ice cream. [FGF]

Calling out the MTA on lengthy repairs at the 4th Ave-9th St subway station. [PSS]

Another condo development is on the way on 4th Ave. [SSN]

There’s more to Brooklyn than hipsters and coffee. [The Guardian]

Greenpoint’s Permanent Records is making a move south. [SSN]

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

This is an awesome photo, taken in 1976 near Coney Island. (Source: Whiskeygonebad/Flickr)

B LINE

On Monday, Labor Day, all lines will run on a Sunday schedule. There will be no B service.

Q LINE

From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound Q trains run express from Kings Hwy to Sheepshead Bay.

F LINE

From 11:15 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts.

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.

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!

papusa-1

THE BITEAfter wrapping up my visit to the Brighton Jubilee this weekend, I walked up Coney Island Avenue and passed one the neighborhood’s staple Mexican joints, Tacos El Rey (3168 Coney Island Avenue). It had been a long time since my last visit, and I spotted a sign in the window declaring that the kitchen now offered up pupusas, a traditional Salvadoran treat that has long been unavailable in this area. I had to give it a try.

We have "rich" pupusas.

We have “rich” pupusas.

With a sister-in-law of Salvadoran heritage, I’m no stranger to pupusa – but this neighborhood sure is. Think of it as a pan-fried pancake made of cornmeal and stuffed with beans, cheese and other assorted awesomeness. It’s been made in the Central American nation for nearly 2,000 years, but remained the secret of a small hamlet until migration carried it across the nation, then to bordering countries and to our shores over the past half century or so.

The fillings vary depending on regions, but cheese, pork and refried beans are usually on the menu (individually, or mixed). At Tacos El Rey, they also offer shrimp, chicken, and “queso y loroco,” cheese mixed with a vine from a Central American flower bud. The restaurant charges $5.00 for a plate of two, with shrimp costing $8.00.

Disappointingly, Tacos El Rey was out of loroco when I stopped by. So I went with beans and cheese and the revuelta – a blend of chicharron, cheese and beans.

It took some time to arrive at the table, suggesting it’s not a frequently ordered dish at El Rey and had to made from scratch. To bide my time, I ordered a limonada ($3.00).

limonada-1

If you’re thinking this is the lemonade you grew up on, you’re wrong (well, unless you’re Latin American). It’s made from freshly squeezed key limes, some water and a liberal amount of sugar – and then blended with ice into a heavenly froth. It is a spectacular refreshment on a hot summer day.

Just as I slurped the last drops through my straw, the pupusa arrived piping hot, followed by the traditional sides of curtido – think spicy, pickled cole slaw – and a runny tomato-based salsa.

The outside was crispy; perhaps a little overcooked to some, but just how I like it. And the cornmeal dough was grainy and a touch sweet; again, how I like it.

In hindsight, I regret ordering two fillings that were so similar. They were at first difficult to tell apart. Those that are thinking of chicharron as deep fried pork rind beware – although it shares the same name, Salvadoran chicharron is simply cooked pork meat, and in the pupusa it’s ground to a paste and mixed with the beans. While I couldn’t tell the two apart by looking them, the revuelta had noticeably more flavor.

After a taste, I heaped the salsa on top, followed by a mountain of the slaw and blissfully dug in. As good as the pupusa was alone, the curtido was the perfect companion, accentuating the grain’s sweetness with vinegar and a spicy bite. The salsa, unfortunately, added little flavor or heat and just seemed to make my pupusa wet.

The verdict? While it’s not the best pupusa I’ve had, it’s the only one I’ve seen south of Prospect Park and I’ll definitely be returning to satisfy my occasional cravings. And it was a damn good approximation – much better and more authentic than I had expected for a Mexican restaurant.

(Also: check out our previous review of Taco El Rey’s Burrito Grande and food from other Mexican restaurants.)

Tacos El Rey, 3168 Coney Island Avenue (at Brighton Beach Avenue), (718) 769-0116.

The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ column exploring the foodstuffs of the Sheepshead Bay area. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

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)

Gunshots rang out on Mermaid Avenue yesterday afternoon, when Coney Island resident Ronnell Bradley, 21, was gunned down outside of a bodega as children played nearby.

Cops were called to the scene just after 4:00 p.m. for a person shot outside of 2327 Mermaid Avenue. They arrived to find Bradley with several gunshot wounds to the torso and legs. He was taken to Coney Island where he was pronounced dead.

There were no arrests and police had no suspects as of early this morning.

According to NBC, two young girls were also nearly clipped by bullets until a member of the Guardian Angels volunteer crime patrol pulled them to safety.

“The two little girls were shouting ‘Mommy, mommy,’” the Guardian Angel, Jose Colon, told the outlet.

Colon also spoke to NY1, telling them that violence remains a serious problem in the community and neighbors are afraid to speak out.

“Too much, a lot of people and they see something suspicious—they be quiet. And they say, ‘You snitch, you get…’ You know what I mean,” Colon told NY1.

The intersection where Bradley was gunned down is the same corner where a 10-year-old boy and 25-year-old man were struck by stray bullets in June. In May, another double shooting on Mermaid Avenue led local pols to call for more cops in the residential portion of Coney Island.

As of August 10, that latest date for which there are statistics, there have been 13 shootings, with 15 victims, in 2014 in the 60th Precinct, which patrols Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Gravesend. That’s a decrease from the same time period in 2013, which saw 17 shootings and 23 victims. Though shootings are down in the 60th Precinct, citywide gun violence is surging, with a 10.3 percent increase in incidents.

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