Screenshot of shoddy sidewalk repair work from New 12 broadcast. (Source: News 12)

Screenshot of shoddy sidewalk repair work from New 12 broadcast. (Source: News 12)

A private contractor installed new gas pipes on behalf of National Grid about two months ago on a Midwood block, but residents say they’ve made a dangerous mess of the sidewalk.

According to a report by Brooklyn News 12, a subcontractor for the energy giant had to break open a sidewalk on East 2nd Street to install a gas line. But after the construction, the area was  left hazardous for children and residents, with potholes in the street, trip hazards on the sidewalk, and dust, rubble and debris littering the one-block stretch.

One neighbor is even saying his 5-year-old daughter’s asthma has worsened because of the dust.

National Grid, for its part, told News 12 “that the work is being performed by a subcontractor, and that National Grid crews are not doing any work at the location.” There was no response from the contractor, Hallen Construction.

According to city regulations, utility companies who tear up streets and sidewalks to maintain infrastructure are responsible for repairing the property. But a lack of oversight and site inspections has allowed contractors and subcontractors to get away with shoddy work.

We’ve written about the issue before, even when it included contractors hired directly by the city. Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo has previously called for more oversight, saying that she regularly receives calls from across the neighborhood about such issues. Scavo even brought the issue straight to then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he made a rare local appearance in 2011.

Source: Riverhead Foundation

Source: Riverhead Foundation

It was not too long ago that a baby harp seal was spotted on the sands of Coney Island last month. The seal had parasites and was underweight, but last Saturday it was released back into the Atlantic Ocean after receiving treatment from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.

The foundation, a non-profit, was called in soon after the seal was discovered, and since then the organization has been working to restore the baby’s constitution after it was found to be dehydrated due to parasites. And, finally, this Saturday it was healthy enough to be released into the Shinnecock Bay off Long Island.

On top of receiving antibiotics and fluids through a tube to restore her weight, the seal also received the name Nellie. #FreeNellie.

Newsday reported,

Nearly 200 people watched as Nellie made her way 100 feet across sand and seaweed before splashing into the bay.

“She belongs back in the wild,” said Rob DiGiovanni, executive director of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, which nursed the seal back to health.

While Nellie is still a pup at only one year old, she will eventually grow to be 255 pounds and officials believe she originally came from Canada before gracing us with her cute presence.


Some of you may have heard of him. Shot on West 29th between Surf and the Boardwalk.

Photo by Erica Sherman

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


The following is a paid announcement from the Manhattan Beach Summer Camp (60 West End Avenue, 2nd Floor):

Where has the time gone? It seems like summer camp just ended a short time ago, but the Manhattan Beach Summer Camp is already working on making this year’s experience for your children better than ever.

We’ve got one of the area’s best facilities, including a newly renovated NBA-sized gym, indoor and outdoor heated pools and more.

Sign up now and get access to:

  • A camp specially designed to address the varied needs of our youngest participants
  • Sibling Discount: $100
  • Bring-a-friend discount: $50
  • Door to Door transportation
  • Breakfast, hot lunch and snacks provided daily
  • Air-conditioned facility

The program includes dance, art, karate, swimming and various sports activities. Campers participate in swimming, arts and crafts, health and fitness and group games, reading, and weekly excursions to museums, playgrounds and cultural events.

We take campers ranging in age from Pre-K to 9th Grade (as of September 2014)

What are you waiting for. Sign up! Or come to our OPEN HOUSE on Sunday, April 27, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Manhattan Beach Summer Camp, 60 West End Avenue, 2nd Floor; (347) 788-8669,

The above is a paid announcement by Manhattan Beach Summer Camp (60 West End Avenue, 2nd Floor). Sheepshead Bites has not verified the claims made in this advertisement. If you own a business and would like to announce a special offer to tens of thousands of locals, e-mail us at advertising [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating the following person who was reported missing on April 18, 2014 from within the confines of the 68 Precinct.  Details are as follows.

Soon after the boy went missing, this photo was released. (Courtesy of the NYPD via Daily News)

The nine-hour search for Daniel Ghabra that began Friday afternoon ended on Saturday when the autistic boy was found unharmed in Sheepshead Bay, four miles away from home.

Like Avonte Oquendo, Ghabra is 14 years old with autism and cannot speak properly. The boy went missing from The Good Day Laundromat on 6214 Eleventh Avenue in Dyker Heights, near where he lives with his mother. But unlike Oquendo, Ghabra was safely found on Saturday.

When the Dyker Heights resident first went missing, police quickly released a photo of the boy, according to CBS Local.

A New York Police Department van drove through the neighborhood the night he went missing, according to the Daily News, with a message from Ghabra’s mom.

On Friday night, his mother’s heartbroken voice called out to Daniel from an NYPD Crime Stoppers van touring the neighborhood.

“Daniel, we are looking for you,” she pleaded. “Please come to Mom.”

Grim-faced cops set up a command post near the laundry Friday night and were looking for surveillance video and checking the nearby Fort Hamilton Parkway/62nd St. subway station for any clues.

Details on what led to his safe recovery in Sheepshead Bay were not immediately available.

Source: MichaelTapp/Flickr


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


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.


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.
East 54th Street (Source: Google Maps)

1561 East 54th Street (Source: Google Maps)

Police discovered the dead body of Raphael Sanchez wrapped in cellophane and stuffed into a large, black plastic storage container in a Flatlands home on East 54th Street on Saturday.

Joshua Simser, 24, has been charged with the murder of  Sanchez. The accused lives at 1561 East 54th Street, where the body was found.

According to the Daily News, the murder was the result of Sanchez smoking a cigarette in Simser’s residence despite the host’s wishes.

Cops arrested Joshua Simser, 24, who allegedly had a spat with Raphael Sanchez, over smoking Saturday inside his home on E. 54th St. in Flatlands.

Simser is charged with murder. He stabbed Sanchez several times before tying him up and dumping him in the bin, cops said.

CBS local reported that the authorities first received a tip from a Brooklyn nightclub owner who said that a “bouncer at the club admitted to the owner that he’d killed a man.”

Police then arrived at the two-family brick home where they found the body. Emergency workers pronounced Sanchez dead at the scene.

Simser was arrested on Sunday and was charged with second-degree murder.

Source: Leach84 / Flickr

Source: Leach84 / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Have things really changed that much since I went to school? The way it used to be was, you first identified a problem. Then you did a study to gather data, which included soliciting opinions from those affected. You looked at the past, at what was and what was not tried. You developed some alternative theories. Using the data collected and studying the advantages and disadvantages of each through a cost benefit analysis, you eventually identified the best short- and long-term solutions. Then you investigated ways of getting the funding needed to implement those solutions. That made sense to me.

Continue Reading »

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.

Because I’m fresh out of more relevant headlines. Here’s your gratuitous link to some fine Led Zeppelin tuneage.

Photo by Allan Shweky

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