unnamed (1)

More than 300 antique automobiles rumbled over the asphalt of Floyd Bennett Field and took up their positions in front of the appropriately retro Ryan Visitor Center on Sunday, June 8, for the Antique Automobile Association of Brooklyn’s annual spring show.

unnamed (2)

Reader Vladimir Korostyshevskiy, who has sent us photos of the event in previous years, was again on hand to capture the event. 

unnamed (3)

The annual spring show brings auto collectors from around New York City, New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut for a “friendship meet,” free to car owners and spectators alike. It’s organized by the group’s president, Leonard Shiller, who owns a fleet of  58 automobiles dating from 1924 to 1968. Most of his cars are kept in a warehouse near his Park Slope home. He recently opened up the warehouse to the public as part of a fundraiser to fight Methodist Hospital’s expansion plans.

unnamed (5)

Thanks to Korostyshevskiy for sending over these great photos!

unnamed (4)

unnamed (6)

unnamed

Colgan (Source: P.S. 254)

Colgan (Source: P.S. 254)

Teachers, students and faculty gathered in the cafeteria of P.S. 254 (1801 Avenue Y) yesterday to honor the passing of a longtime school aide by renaming the facility Mary Colgan cafe in her memory.

Colgan served 43 years in the New York City school system, first at P.S. 52 on Nostrand Avenue, and then at P.S. 254, where she stayed for more than 33 years. She passed away from cancer on September 21, 2013.

The beloved school aide was born May 13, 1935, and grew up with a large family of 11 brothers and sisters. She married Ronald Colgan in 1955, and had two children, Donna and Ronald, who she raised in Sheepshead Bay. In addition to her six grandchildren, Colgan found herself with an even larger extended family – that of the entire P.S. 254 community – which grieved her passing.

The Tuesday ceremony featured student performances in her honor, while colleagues, students and her family shared recollections. In addition to renaming the cafeteria, the school is launching the “Mary Colgan – You Have to Believe Award,” which will be given to a student leader who fosters a positive attitude.

Here’s the statement from the school:

Mary Colgan’s NYCDOE Start of Employment was January 1, 1970 at PS 52, and then start of employment in our school, PS 254 was September 8, 1980. She worked in our school for over 33 years. She devoted a great amount of her life to providing the BEST opportunities to students in our school community. From ensuring a safe morning arrival, supervising breakfast being served, requesting busing for school/class trips, monitoring student daily attendance, to calculating after school snacks, calling parents, distributing/receiving/organizing important legal school documents to directing an Extra Curricular After-school program for the Greater Sheepshead Bay; she did it all and then some!

Mary Colgan’s face, spirited voice, and her passionate work mostly took place in our school cafeteria each day. She ensured the safety of our students who arrived early on the school bus, that those students who needed to eat breakfast, did so, timely and that they had enough recess-time before morning line-up at 8am.

Mary was an active, outspoken member of several school committees such as: the SLT, Safety/BRT, Attendance and subcommittee member for various school Performances, such as a Ticket Agent/Distributor and Collector, Ice Cream Purchaser and School Trip Coordinator. She also believed in the importance of UNITY. She diligently represented and supported school DC37 Union members as their Shop Steward. These are just few titles and duties Mary Colgan upheld to the best of her ability however, she did WAY MORE than just maintain these responsibilities.

Mary added joy and sometimes a sprinkle of humor to the school’s Main Office as she sat at her desk situated at the very front counter. She welcomed concerned parents, visitors of many titles; from Mom, Dad, Sibling or Relative to Superintendent, District Representative, Salesperson, Prospective Educator, Substitute or Teaching Observers completing their Educational Prep Courses. Mary was the First Impression of the Heart of our school. She demonstrated the general pulse of the school without hesitation as guests arrived. She always remembered that she herself was a Mother, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother, and Wife and therefore treated our guests as if they were a member of this school family. She never hesitated to help ANYONE or to give a SWEET TREAT to someone in our school community.

Her passion was for the child who needed it the most. Whether their needs included: nurturing, daily structure, routine, a commanding voice, a soft voice with a Grandma-like hug telling them that they are special, a coat, supplies, or some extra food; Mary gave it to them! At times she may have said “I don’t care!” The reality is, she DID care and sometimes she cared so much that she was frustrated with the limited outcomes or results she saw in short time periods. She ALWAYS gave to those special students that may have been looked at as needing a little more than the norm because they held a special place in her heart as she did in theirs!!!!

Mary rarely missed work unless she had to go shopping for more matching JETS or METS apparel to wear on T-Shirt Tuesday. However, on a more serious note, Mary worked through her colds, coughs and illnesses. She truly LOVED coming to our school each and every day. She was frustrated and saddened when she took ill and just couldn’t beat the discomfort she was in. Each day, she attempted to continue to walk the 12 blocks to and from home to get to work. She finally gave in and accepted car rides from her colleagues at least on the days of inclement weather. Mary fought through and made her impact on all of us in our school community, all the way up to the very last day of the 2012-13 School Year.

When we think of Mary Colgan… we think of a STRONG-MINDED, PASSIONATE WOMAN, who was a DEDICATED, ORGANIZED, HARD WORKER, with PRIDE and CONFIDENCE. She was a SPORTS FAN, DAILY NEWS Reader, SMOKER, LOUD & OUTSPOKEN, TELL-YOU-LIKE-SHE-SEES-IT kind of woman. She was SELFLESS and GENEROUS, THOUGHTFUL, THOROUGHLY ENCOURAGING, SUPPORTIVE and truly a GREAT FRIEND! We were very fortunate to have had her in our school community for such a long period of time.

Mary Colgan is and will always be missed at PS 254 but she will remain in our hearts and memories.

Washington Cemetery, Bensonhurst

Washington Cemetery, Bensonhurst

There are few sights as comforting to the homesick Brooklyn native as the borough’s skyline whizzing by as you sit aboard an elevated subway, looking down on your domain. Yet, despite the sense of place it delivers, it’s not an often celebrated view, perhaps easily taken for granted.

Sheepshead Bay

Sheepshead Bay

Bensonhurst native Dave Mandl gets it. So he took to borough’s many elevated subway lines recently, and captured some of the stunning, purely Brooklyn views it affords – even through its mucked-up windows.

Coney Island

Coney Island

The photos were featured in Flavorwire, where he wrote:

One day this past February, with the city blanketed in snow and illuminated by amazing winter light, I decided to toss my perfectionism aside for a month and make a virtue of necessity, shooting a series of warts-and-all landscape photos from Brooklyn’s elevated subway lines — called, naturally, Elevated Landscapes. Since there’s no other way to capture these particular shots, aside from possibly renting a helicopter, it seemed a shame to let them get away.

Sheepshead Bay

Sheepshead Bay

Although there are many shots of Brownsville, Gowanus and Bushwick, Mandl paid a solid amount of attention to capturing Southern Brooklyn, including Sheepshead Bay, Bensonhurst, Coney Island and Borough Park.

Coney Island Creek and Belt Parkway

Coney Island Creek and Belt Parkway

It’s no surprise that Mandl would spend a great deal of time looking at the neighborhoods below hipster DMZ line. Aside from being a native, he’s also a bit of an emissary for the area, communicating our alien eccentricities to the cool classes up north. He’s done photo essays on “unknown Brooklyn” (yet very known to us), the Bath Beach roots of Iggy Pop, Bensonhurst’s tradition of colorful nicknames, and even finding a few treasures we didn’t know about, like one of Brooklyn’s last unpaved roads.

Coney Island

Coney Island

Check out the rest of the photos here.

Photos courtesy of Dave Mandl, used with permission.

Shot from behind the Breakers.

Photo by Albert Dashevsky (a.k.a. Albert718)

Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send them to photos@sheepsheadbites.com.

relay4

Joe Gilette, organizer of the Bergen Beachh, Mill Basin and Marine Park chapter of Relay for Life, sent us a note and some photos of this year’s event, in which they raised approximately $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during their June 7 event.

Gilette writes:

We recently held our 3rd annual Relay for Life on June 7th. I am proud to say we expect our final tally this [year is] to total $100,000!! We owe a great deal of success to our FIGHT BACK WITH FITNESS program in which we brought volunteer fitness instructors into over 24 schools to hold fitness classes. This was all in furtherance of our agenda of spreading cancer awareness and prevention through the positive message of fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

relay6

By comparison, the 2012 Relay for Life event brought in $50,000.

relay1

Featuring live entertainment, food, raffles, and a variety of interactive and fun activities for the whole family, community members form teams and walk around Aviator Sports Center’s outdoor track for eight continuous hours, symbolically conveying their message that, until there is a cure, the fight against cancer never ends. It’s highlighted by the Luminaria Ceremony, in which paper bags decorated by neighborhood children are illuminated in memory of loved ones who have passed away from cancer.

relay2

The whopping $100,000 total is in addition to the $20,000 the group raised by putting together Brooklyn SINGS!, an inter-school SING! competition that pitted Murrow, Midwood and Madison high school students against each other for a good cause and bragging rights. The events Gilette organizes just keeps getting more diverse. Last year he also helped put together the world’s largest indoor zumba class, with more than 400 people participating.

Keep up the good work for a good cause!

To learn more about the Bergen Beach, Mill Basin & Marine Park Relay for Life, contact Nancy Colt of the American Cancer Society at (718) 622-2492 extension 5134 or visit their website.

relay5

The Carmine Carro Community Center

The Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association’s final meeting for the season will be held this Thursday, June 19, 7:30 p.m., at the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park, Fillmore Avenue between Madison Place and Marine Parkway. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

The election of officers and directors, reports from local elected officials and the police, plus refreshments, are all on the program. The announcement of “Mary Powell Awards” will also be presented to active students at Cunningham and Marine Park junior high schools.

The group’s next meeting will be October 16. For more information, call (718) 375-9158 or email coachedj@aol.com.

SkyRocketsLogoA new professional sports team is headed to Brooklyn – and no, we’re not talking about the Islanders.

The semi-pro American Basketball Association has announced the formation of a new team, the Brooklyn SkyRockets, to be based out of the Aviator Sports Center at Floyd Bennett Field. The team will begin playing this November and is currently recruiting players.

Floyd Bennett Field has been without a sports franchise since the Brooklyn Aviators disbanded amid financial crisis in 2012, just three years after it debuted.

If the American Basketball Association sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s the same name as a a previous league founded in 1967. That league rivaled the NBA and included the New York Nets among its roster, until the NBA and the ABA merged in 1976. The new, semi-pro ABA was founded in 1999 and leases its name from the NBA. Other than that, it has no affiliation with the original ABA.

Here’s the ABA’s press release regarding the SkyRockets’ launch:

The American Basketball Association (ABA) www.abalive.com today announced the Brooklyn SkyRockets will begin play in November. “We are absolutely thrilled to be coming back to Brooklyn,” stated ABA CEO Joe Newman. “We really thought we would have a team there this season, but it just didn’t work out. In Dylan Gioia, we have a great young owner with a terrific background in sports management, economics and marketing. He should have no problem being very successful there.”

An avid basketball fan, Dylan was born and raised in Brooklyn and has degrees in Sports Management and Business Economics from SUNY Cortland. He has worked with the Walt Disney World Resort, cityHUNT Team Building and manages the family business, Key Advertising.

“I will be personally running the Brooklyn Skyrockets,” added Gioia. “The name was chosen to celebrate the rich aviation history of Floyd Bennett Field, where home games will be played. Two ABA programs that are of great interest to us are Fast Break for Reading that helps with children’s literacy – and Proud to Serve America, that honors our veterans, police, firefighters and teachers. We are very excited.”

The ABA also signed a broadcast deal this year, with 40 games airing on ESPN3 beginning in September.

The team is currently recruiting with events around Brooklyn through June and July. For details on how to tryout, check out the Brooklyn Game’s write-up.

The team has already signed free agent players Keenan Belle, Deylon Bovell, and Cyrano Providence. All three are accomplished players scouted from community college teams, including Providence, who played for Kingsborough Community College.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Locals are finally beginning to see the benefits of the Build it Back program after the de Blasio administration promised to ramp up its efforts last month, but remain cautiously optimistic as the program moves forward.

Residents hard hit by the storm stated at last week’s Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association meeting that several people in the area have begun receiving reimbursements and construction agreements. The group’s president, Kathy Flynn, noted that her own application has moved forward and she has a meeting with her appointed design team this week, while others in the group relayed progress reports from their neighbors, including two who are in the post-design phase, and another whose home is in the process of being raised.

“They’re not the bad guys anymore,” Flynn said before the group. Still, Flynn noted that, although there appear to be improvements, they’re taking a wait-and-see approach toward the program.

It’s a stark contrast in tone from several months ago, when frustrated residents tore into city officials for the lack of progress or clarity on the situation. At one point, members of the group chastised a Department of Buildings liaison who came to speak about new zoning regulations in the wake of Sandy, but ended up serving as a proxy target on which to vent Build it Back frustrations.

Progress isn’t just being seen in our neck of the woods. City & State reported on Thursday that 61 construction projects are underway with Build it Back funding, and 254 reimbursement checks totaling $4 million have been disbursed. Additionally, 10,309 homes have been inspected, 4,808 people have had an “option review meeting,” and 1,872 applicants are ready to move forward with the program.

It still falls far short of the approximately 20,000 applicants to the program, but it represents significant strides from where the program was in March. At that time, only six construction projects were underway, and only $100,000 in reimbursement checks had been mailed.

De Blasio promised an overhaul of the program upon appointing a new director, Amy Peterson. That announcement was followed by the release of an internal report on Sandy recovery, which recommended getting 500 construction projects underway and 500 checks in the mail by the end of the summer. De Blasio said at the time that he would seek to meet the report’s goals.

Are you a Build it Back applicant? Are you seeing better results since Peterson’s appointment? Share your experiences in the comments section.

gentile

Gentile (Source: Gentile’s office)

Councilman Vincent Gentile of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst confirmed to the New York Observer that he is considering a challenge to State Senator Marty Golden, and told the paper that he sees the Republican’s support drying up.

If he runs and wins it will be a sort of homecoming for the pol, who represented the district in the State Senate between 1996 and 2002, before being unseated by Golden. After losing office that year, Gentile ran in and won the special election for the City Council seat vacated by Golden – meaning the two effectively swapped seats.

Gentile told the paper that the recent show of support for restoring Democratic control of the State Senate is galvanizing his interest. The Observer reports:

“It would take a lot to pull me away but certainly I understand the bigger issues in our state and the goal of getting a Democratic State Senate so based on that I am getting the input I should be getting and we’ll see in a week or two,” Mr. Gentile said at City Hall yesterday. “I am enjoying my job but I’m saying there are bigger issues here.”

The Observer’s story came on the heels of another report that a coalition was emerging to flip Republican seats in the Senate, and was eyeing Golden in particular. The coalition was birthed during the Working Families Party convention, during which Cuomo pledged to support Democrats running for the legislative body and to break the power-sharing alliance between the Republicans and the Independent Democratic Caucus in exchange for their nomination.

NY State of Politics was the first to report that the coalition was floating Gentile as a challenger, but it had not been confirmed until the Observer report. A source told the outlet that approximately $1 million has already been earmarked to unseat Golden.

Gentile is optimistic that the Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst portions of the Senate district are increasingly Democratic, boosting his chances – although he also slipped in a slap at the incumbent Senator for gerrymandering the district to rope in as many Republican enclaves as possible.

“I think my area has become more Democratic and eventually there will be smaller and smaller pockets that Marty Golden can rely upon so if it’s not this cycle, there will be a cycle very soon where he will not have the same deep support that he used to have in the same district that he drew, that he drew the lines for,” Gentile told the Observer.

While that may be true in Bay Ridge, Golden remains popular in Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach – conservative-leaning areas where Gentile is relatively unknown.

What this means for another Democratic challenger to Golden, Jamie Kemmerer, is not yet known. Kemmerer told this outlet last month that he decided to run only once Gentile personally urged him to do so. Kemmerer could drop out and throw his support behind Gentile if he chooses to run – or he could squabble with his former backer in a primary.

I actually remember this day. About a month ago, the Bay had risen dramatically, and the waves were more choppy than I had ever seen them.

Photo by George Burshteyn

Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send them to photos@sheepsheadbites.com.