Archive for the 'News & Features' Category

Treyger and 61st Precinct Commanding Officer Carlos Valdez at the scene. (Source: Conor Greene)

Treyger and 61st Precinct Commanding Officer Carlos Valdez at the scene. (Source: Conor Greene)

After Sheepshead Bites’ report yesterday about a swastika appearing on the American Legion building at 300 Avenue X, elected officials condemned the hateful act and authorities rushed to have it investigated and removed today.

Members of the Marlboro Memorial Post 1437 American Legion chapter were apparently unaware of the graffiti. Councilman Mark Treyger’s office visited the site to inform them, and the pol called the NYPD’s 61st Precinct commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Carlos Valdez, to the scene to report the incident as a hate crime.

The pol then called the mayor’s office to dispatch the Economic Development Corporation’s graffiti removal service. As of 1:45pm today, police and the EDC were on the scene. When the police wrapped up their investigation, the graffiti was immediately removed.

Treyger said he spoke to members of the American Legion post, which included World War II veterans who were glad to see the symbol of hate eliminated.

Source: Michael S.

The swastika before it was removed. Source: Michael S.

“A swastika is not just offensive to the Jewish community, it’s offensive to everybody,” Treyger said. “An attack against one part of our community is an attack against us all. We have a zero tolerance policy on that.”

He added: “I do want to commend the precinct for coming down quickly, and the mayor’s office for sending the graffiti removal van immediately.”

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz expressed his outrage at the vandalism on Facebook yesterday evening.

“I condemn the spray-painting of a swastika on American Legion Marlboro Memorial Post 1437, whose members include World War II veterans who saw the Nazi atrocities firsthand,” he wrote. “I will continue to work with authorities to ensure that the perpetrator of this hate vandalism is swiftly brought to justice. As the son of Holocaust survivors, I believe we must continue to educate people about this terrible period in our history. Ignorance is no excuse for spreading messages of hate.”

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer also reached out to Sheepshead Bites by e-mail following our report, also to condemn the graffiti. He wrote:

I condemn hate crimes—from the five boroughs of New York City to every corner of the globe. Our extraordinary diversity is one of our greatest strengths. As such, any and all acts against people based on their sex, race, religion, color, or creed are attacks that cut to the very core of who we are as New Yorkers and what this City has meant and always will mean to people around the world. We stand united against these crimes, confident that the light of peace and justice will always triumph over the darkness of hate and prejudice.

While Treyger and others expressed gratitude to Sheepshead Bites for bringing attention to the anti-Semitic vandalism, the real credit goes to tipster Michael S. who was the first to speak up about it.

If you see an issue in the neighborhood that’s not getting the attention it deserves, send details and, if available, photos and video to editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Source: rachelbradley.nyc/Instagram (Click to follow)

Source: rachelbradley.nyc/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:
The Flatbush Frolic is this Sunday – which means music, rides, and food, food, food. [Ditmas Park Corner]

Convict offered undercover cop $10k to kill witness. [Bensonhurst Bean]

A new spot is serving up the most unusual tea we’ve ever had. [Park Slope Stoop]

Clinton Hill is getting its own CrossFit gym. [Fort Greene Focus]

Remembering a wedding dress shop whose old sign was recently uncovered. [South Slope News]

Calaveras, a new Mexican restaurant, is already getting glowing reviews from neighbors. [KensingtonBK]

The Park Slope outpost of Luke’s Lobster is opening soon! [PSS]

Should taxpayers still be footing the bill for the Mayor’s Slope home? [SSN]

Teacher makes her students pay rent, and gets an award for it. [BB]

Red Hook coffee roasters Brewklyn Grind opened their first café. [FGF]

Police addressed anger over tickets being given to pedestrians and bikers in Prospect Park’s Parade Grounds. [DPC]

A neighbor launched a petition to allow biking and walking through the Parade Grounds after sunset. [DPC]

For iconic Brooklyn buildings, is change welcome? [FGF]

Opinion: How The Mainstream Media Marred The West Indian American Day Carnival Parade [NY Daily News]

NYC’s libraries are in shambles. [Capital New York]

A look behind the making of Robert Caro’s momentous Robert Moses biography, “The Power Broker.” [The Daily Beast]

Video: Take a font tour of Brooklyn and Queens. [Gothamist]

The fate of LICH remains uncertain. [CNY]

In governor race, Cuomo won big in districts where turnout was small. [CNY]

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.

2752 Homecrest Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Looking for a new place to call home? Sheepshead Bites has got you covered. Our rental roundup showcases some of the deals on the market now. If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

One Bedroom in Brighton Beach
Price: $1,450
Location: 2752 Homecrest Avenue
Description: So apparently there’s a trendy bar and nightlife deal in Brighton Beach. According to the realtor, this apartment is steps away from this supposed cool spot. When you’re not partying it up in the red light district, this apartment has high ceilings for that indoor trampoline and the place is exposed to natural light.
Contact: Omar Dyer, Danrich Family Homes, (347) 785-0140

One Bedroom in Sheepshead Bay
Price: $1,800
Location: Sheepshead Bay Road
Description: This realtor is a true existentialist. Every amenity description ends in a question mark. Or, it’s a way to cover herself when the apartment ends up not having a media room. Either way, the true question is: $1,800 for a one bedroom?
Contact: Julia Korynevska, Oxford Property Partners, julia.kory@opgny.com

One “Desirous” Bedroom in Sheepshead Bay
Price: $1,500
Location: 3310 Nostrand Avenue
Description: Here’s your chance to live in the splendid Lawrence Towers, the jewel of Sheepshead Bay. The apartment includes a stove and a refrigerator, just some of the luxuries.
Contact: Ilene, DSJ Realty, (718) 266-3700

Three Bedrooms in Midwood
Price: $2,350
Location: 1911 East 29th Street
Description: While this apartment description has no mention of closet space, there is “tons of cabinet” space so get used to storing your stuff in cabinets. There is also a balcony. But, based on the realtors use of caps, the most important thing here is that the block doesn’t have alternate side parking.
Contact: Tameka Isaacs, HP Greenfield Real Estate, (718)338-3380
Contact:

If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Q LINE

From 12:01am Saturday to 5am Monday, Q trains are rerouted via the R in both directions between Canal St and DeKalb Av.

F LINE

From 11:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains skip 4 Av-9 St, 15 St-Prospect Park, and Fort Hamilton Pkwy.

From 6:45am to 7pm, Saturday and Sunday, Coney Island-bound F trains run express from Church Av to Avenue X.

All times until 5am Monday, Jamaica-bound F trains skip Van Wyck Blvd and Sutphin Blvd.

Source: Michael S.

Source: Michael S.

Swastika graffiti is hardly new in the Sheepshead Bay area, but seeing it on a building dedicated to war veterans is a bit too much to stand.

Reader Michael S. tipped us off to a new swastika sighted at the Marlboro Memorial Post 1437 American Legion building at 300 Avenue X, submitting the photos yesterday.

He writes:

I was walking on avenue X between west 1st and west 2nd, when I spotted a swastika In front of a building. I will ask and offer my help for the removal in a few days, in an effort to allow management to rid of it themselves. Let me know if you are interested in their reply immediately after I approach them in regards to this matter. Pictures included .

Keeping this symbol Infront of their establishment does NOT register as American nationalism to me.

As we told Michael, the city does operate a free graffiti removal service. You can submit a claim here, call your councilman’s office (in this case, Mark Treyger at [718] 307-7151) or call 311. We recommend doing all three.

Anybody can make a request, but for private property it can take longer as they need the landlord’s consent. We’re sure, once Michael notifies the American Legion post, they’ll be fine with doing away with the symbol of hate that many of them fought against.

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

An elderly woman was arrested after she allegedly tossed it down the trash chute of her Batchelder Street building, causing injuries that led to its death.

Cops were called to 2334 Batchelder Street in the Sheepshead – Nostrand Houses at around 5pm on Tuesday, after a neighbor heard the canine’s cries echoing up the shaft leading to the trash compactor.

The Daily News reports:

“She went to throw out the garbage and she heard the dog crying,” [a neighbor] said. “I ran to housing and got (them) to open up where the (compactors) are because the door was locked.”

She said she found the dog bleeding in the bottom of the trash compactor.

“It was bleeding. It was still crying,” she said.

The dog’s owner, who reportedly lives on the fourth floor, was not identified. Police took her into custody for questioning, but she was later released. It is unclear if she will face charges.

The dog was crippled by its injuries and unable to walk. It was rushed to a nearby vet and later transferred to the care of the ASPCA. It had to be euthanized due to its injuries.

The elderly woman was overheard telling police that the dog “made me miserable, I have pain,” as she was put into the back of a police vehicle.

nashaly

UPDATE (12:15pm): Nashaly Perez was found safe and sound at a friend’s house, and has been reunited with her family.

Original post:

Nashaly Perez, the 15-year-old Coney Island girl who went missing from her school on Monday, was a special needs student who was supposed to be under the constant supervision of a full-time paraprofessional.

Perez suffers from attention deficit disorder and behavioral problems, gets easily confused, and also takes anti-hallucinatory medication, according to reports. But despite being assigned a full-time paraprofessional, she managed to sneak out a back door of her school, P.S. 371 in Sunset Park, around lunchtime.

Now the family is saying the school failed to take the situation seriously until police were called.

DNAinfo reports:

[Perez's mother Sandra] Rodriguez found out her daughter was missing when she went to pick up her up early from school at about 1 p.m. on Monday because she had a doctor’s appointment.

The mother said Nashaly’s paraprofessional was standing outside when she arrived at the school and seemed unconcerned and told her “your daughter left school.”

Rodriguez then went to the principal, who she said “seemed surprised” that her daughter was missing.

They then called Nashaly’s homeroom teacher who said she also did not know where the teen was.

Rodriguez said the principal’s staff then “kept working, ignoring her” and told her “they were done with her” and she could go home.

It wasn’t until police arrived that the school even bothered to page Perez over the school’s loudspeakers.

The school’s principal, Joan Antonelli, has been reassigned, the Wall Street Journal adds.

The case is already inviting comparisons to that of 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, an autistic boy who sparked a citywide search when he vanished from his Queens school last year. He, too, was to have full-time supervision while on school grounds and police were not informed for more than an hour after his disappearance. His body was later found in the East River.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who took the helm of the system this year, promised parents that the matter would be fully investigated.

“Under my watch — I’m going to repeat this again — safety is my first concern. Anyone who doesn’t follow procedures will be judged for that purpose,” Fariña told reporters Wednesday evening. She said there was “no excuse” for the lack of supervision.

Perez was wearing a white bandanna, red blouse, black jeans and red and black sneakers at the time of her disappearance. She is 5’3″ tall and weighs 120lbs.

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 or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.

Family, friends and police brass pose with the new vessel named for Harry Ryman; inset: Ryman (Source: NYPD)

Family, friends and police brass pose with the new vessel named for Harry Ryman; inset: Ryman (Source: NYPD)

The fallen officer's grandson, Mathew Ryman, posing with the vessel (Source: NYPD)

The fallen officer’s grandson, Mathew Ryman, posing with the vessel (Source: NYPD)

NYPD top brass helped christen two new police response boats, one of which was named in memory of Police Officer Harry Ryman 24 years after he was shot and killed in front of his Marine Park home.

Commissioner Bill Bratton oversaw the event with members of the NYPD leadership team, Inspector David Driscoll, commanding officer of the harbor unit, and family and friends of Ryman to dedicate the vessels. Ryman was honored alongside fallen officer Joseph McCormack, who was shot and killed in 1983.

“Today we gather with the family, friends and colleagues of two NYPD heroes to remember the sacrifice they made,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “With the dedication of these two Harbor Unit launches we ensure their memories will forever sail on the beautiful waters that surround New York City.”

On August 14, 1980, Ryman was sleeping at his Marine Park home when we awoke to noise in the street. He grabbed his shield and his revolver and went to investigate. Outside he found three men attempting to steal a car. Though off-duty from his post at Coney Island’s 60th Precinct, Ryman jumped to action and identified himself as a police officer. The thugs opened fire, striking him. Even though he was critically wounded, he returned fire and hit one of the assailants, and due to his actions all three suspects were apprended.

Ryman was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was 43 years old when he died, and a 17-year veteran of the force.

His grandson, P.O. Mathew Ryman, is assigned to the NYPD’s Intelligence Division, and he wears his murdered grandfather’s badge.

The vessels, two 62-foot ships to be used for patrol functions, counter-terrorism and rescue operations, are among the largest boats in the NYPD fleet. In addition to sonar equipment, the ships can detect radiation and also have underwater cameras.

d

Gnomiki Day Care at 2221 Ocean Avenue, which was closed due to its history of violations. Its sister site at 2623 Ocean Avenue has been recommended for closure as well. (Source: Google Maps)

The operators of nine child care facilities – seven in Brooklyn and two in Staten Island – were charged last Friday with submitting false documents to the city to cover up a slew of health and safety problems, according to Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation Mark Peters, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, and Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, Jr.

At the centers, which served about 400 children, investigators said they found a long list of egregious conditions, including rat droppings, poison, a mountain of trash, and a fire alarm falling off the wall, the Daily News reported. Additionally, the DOI said they discovered owners had submitted fake educational degrees, forged medical records, and falsified letters stating employees had been trained in child abuse identification.

The city recently closed four of the centers:

  • Gnomiki Day Care, Inc., 2221 Ocean Avenue, closed due to the site’s violation history, city officials said.
  • Next to Home, 1123 Flatbush Avenue, was shuttered due to a city Department of Buildings vacate order issued in response to multiple DOB and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene violations.
  • Next to Home, 1159 Flatbush Avenue was closed because investigators said the program had been operating under an expired DOB certificate of occupancy.
  • One of a Kind Child Care, 6318 Amboy Road, Staten Island, ended operations after DOHMH petitioned to revoke the permit.

At the remaining five sites:

  • Next to Home, 5566 Kings Highway, was “never leased and never provided services to children,” the DOI said
  • ABC Little Star, 2345 85th Street, is still operating and city officials said DOHMH inspected it this week, finding no new violations.
  • Gnomiki Day Care, Inc., Group Family Day Care, 2623 Ocean Avenue, has been recommended for closure.
  • Next to Home, 353 Ocean Avenue, closed after the owner stopped operations, city officials said.
  • One of a Kind Child Care, a group family daycare operating at 6306 Amboy Road in Staten Island, is operating, but the owner that was arrested will be excluded from the program, officials said.

The site owners who were arrested were:

  • Viktoriya Federovich, 38, of Brooklyn, was the owner of Gnomiki Day Care, Inc. She was charged with presenting fraudulent documents to the city, including two Certificates of Completion for Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Maltreatment for an assistant teacher and a volunteer, the DOI said.
  • Elena Kaplan, 53, of Brooklyn, was the owner ABC Little Star Day Care, and, according to the DOI’s investigation, she allegedly submitted a number of false documents to the city, including a a fake public school teacher certificate for herself and state Nurses Association Certificates of Completion for various members of the staff confirming they had received training in identifying child abuse, when, in fact, they allegedly had not, the city officials said.
  • Owen Larman, 41, of Brooklyn, a convicted felon who was found guilty of operating a $12 million mortgage fraud scheme in 2007 and who was also charged in this case with stealing close to $60,000 in public funds. He was the owner and operator of Next to Home Child Care, which provided services at three locations in the borough. Next to Home also obtained a registration to operate a fourth child care program at 5566 Kings Highway, but the DOI said this site did not actually provide any services.
  • Gina Schiavo, 44, of Staten Island, was the owner of One of a King Child Care. According to the DOI, she allegedly introduced an individual to a DOHMH inspector under another teacher’s name and fraudulently provided documents with the name and qualifications of the teacher. When the inspector questioned the individual about her identity, Schiavo allegedly admitted that the individual was using another person’s name.

“These defendants forged and falsified documents in order to cover up safety risks and steal money intended for actual child care, as charged,” Peters said in a prepared statement. “Our investigations underscore the importance of continuing to vigorously police the integrity of the city’s child care systems, an effort that is very much continuing.”

In his statement to the press, Thompson too issued harsh words for the defendants.

“Each day parents throughout the city count on child care providers to protect the safety of their children,” he said. “It is disgraceful that greedy operators would circumvent safety provisions for their own benefit. Our parents and children deserve better and that’s why we worked so closely with the Department of Investigation on these cases.”

liberty-1

Galina and Lev Berenshteyn in front of Lady Liberty

A retired limo driver from the former Soviet Union is building a 16-foot-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty in his East 21st Street front yard as a tribute to his adopted homeland.

Lev Berenshteyn, 68, began working on Lady Liberty approximately two weeks ago. It’s built of a 7.5-foot-tall replica they picked up from a business in Southampton, Long Island. It sits atop a custom 8-foot-tall concrete base that Berenshteyn is sculpting himself.

If it seems unusual, the purpose appears to perplex even Berenshteyn’s wife, Galina, 65.

“Why [build it]? I don’t know. Just because my husband wants to do this,” she said.

Her husband gave a more definitive answer.

“Why? America. I like it,” he said.

liberty-2

The 16′ tall statue towers over the fence, a beacon of freedom for anyone passing by on Shore Parkway or East 21st Street.

The two became part of the huddled masses to which Lady Liberty beckons when they fled the portion of the former Soviet Union that is now Uzbekistan. Stateside, she worked as a computer programmer, while he was a limousine driver that frequently shuttled passengers to the Circle Line ferry that serves the Statue of Liberty.

The Berenshteyns purchased the rustic corner house at East 21st Street and Shore Parkway in 1996, and are now working on that part of the American Dream in which you build 16-foot-tall statues of French women in your front yard.

And it isn’t cheap: Galina Berenshteyn said it has cost them about $3,500 so far. Soon the statue’s torch will shine, and they will install lights at the base to illuminate the statue, catching the freedom-loving eyes of passersby on Shore Parkway.

“Lights, everything, soon we will make like original. We’ll finish, a couple days it will be nice,” Lev Berenshteyn said. “It looks like the original because we made many, many pictures of the original and made it like that.”

liberty-3

The couple say they still have a few more days of work before it’s completed.

The real Statue of Liberty, dedicated in October 1886, was a gift to the United States from the people of France. A beacon of freedom and welcoming signal to immigrants, it has a long history of inspiring duplicates, including in Paris, the U.K., Germany, China and Israel, among others. The oldest replica in New York City, at approximately 114 years old, is a 55-foot-tall statue that originally stood at Liberty Warehouse, and has since been moved to the Brooklyn Museum.

Little do the Berenshteyns  realize, just around the corner on Voorhies Avenue is the former home of the Circle Line’s founder. Where Sheepshead Bay once brought visitors to the Statue of Liberty, now, thanks to the Berenshteyns, the Statue of Liberty comes to us.

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