Photo by Randy Contello | RandyCPhotography

Photo by Randy Contello | RandyCPhotography

Photo by Randy Contello | RandyCPhotography

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

Photo by Stephan Levine

Photo by Stephan Levine

A Lexus erupted in flames on the corner of Neptune Avenue and Cass Place this morning, prompting firefighters to rush to the scene.

The late-model Lexus RX350 became engulfed while making a right turn onto Cass Place, witnesses said.

Fire officials told us the blaze was called in 10:19am and put out by 10:55am.

Tipsters Stefan Levine and Giorgi Mchedlishvili sent us these dramatic photos:

Photo by Stefan Levine

Photo by Stefan Levine

There were no reported injuries and Mchedlishvili said he saw an “older”-looking man he believed to be the driver speaking to police.

“I was standing outside and heard a loud bang and black smoke. I walked towards it and saw two fire trucks, two police cars, but no ambulance,” Mchedlishvili said.

The totaled car was towed away by Ridge Towing.

Photo by Giorgi Mchedlishvili

Photo by Giorgi Mchedlishvili

Mchedlishvili sent us this footage of the blaze:

Source: Robert S. Donovan | Flickr

Source: Robert S. Donovan | Flickr

The next meeting of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association will be held tomorrow evening, November 20, 7:30pm, at the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park, Fillmore Avenue and Marine Parkway.

The meeting will feature a discussion and analysis on what the implications of the most recent election for Brooklyn mean, particularly in the southern end. Featured participants include Jerry Kassar, chairman of the Brooklyn Conservative Party and vice chairman of the New York State Conservative Party, and Lew Fidler, Democratic District Leader of the 41st Assembly District and former New York City councilman.

Additionally, Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic is concluding its Thanksgiving food drive to help its less fortunate neighbors. Residents are being asked to please donate non-perishable foods, kosher and non-kosher, that you might serve on Thanksgiving to the following places: Michael’s Bakery, JoMart Chocolates, and Pronto Pizza (all situated on Avenue R at Nostrand Avenue); Tom’s Cleaners (2917 Avenue S); the Avenue U Fish Market (2704 Avenue U), G & S Pork Store (2611 Avenue U), T & D Bakery (2307 Avenue U), and the Roosevelt Savings Bank (2925 Avenue U). Food items and donations may be brought to the civic meeting on November 20 and checks to purchase turkeys, payable to “Madison-Marine Civic Assn.” can also be sent to: MMHCA, PO Box 432, Homecrest Station, Brooklyn, NY 11229.

For additional information, call (718) 375-9158.

Source: Flickr/haagenjerrys

Source: Flickr/haagenjerrys

Once again, the MTA has announced plans to raise fares and tolls - this time by 2 percent a year for the next two years. The 30-day MetroCard will definitely jump from $112 to $116.50, but the MTA is deliberating on whether to raise the price of the single ride MetroCard to $2.75, or keep it the same, effectively eliminating the bonus on the 30-day card.

Here’s a chart via Gothamist:

111714chart1

As you can see, both options kind of suck.

Fares on the LIRR and Metro-North will also see varying increases, as will bridge tolls – including the dreaded Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll, which may jump a dollar. You can read more about that on the MTA website. The MTA plans to make a decision in March after hearing from commuters next month.

If you’d like to tell the MTA to take their fare hikes and shove it, be at the Walt Whitman Theater at Brooklyn College, 2900 Campus Road (near the Flatbush junction), on Thursday, December 11. Registration is open from 5pm to 9pm. The hearing begins at 6pm.

Comments can also be submitted online through the MTA website, or by letter to MTA Government Affairs, 347 Madison Ave., New York, 10017.

Source: Flickr/44551921@N04

Source: Flickr/44551921@N04

Middle school applications for the 2015-2016 school year are now available at elementary schools across the city.

How to apply

Students in 5th grade and 6th grade (for K-6 elementary schools) can apply to middle schools in their district, as well as certain boroughwide and citywide schools. Each student will receive a customized application that includes all of the middle schools he or she is eligible for. To complete the application, students should rank schools in order of preference and return the application to their guidance counselor. Private school students in 5th grade can fill out an application at a local enrollment office.

Before deciding on a school, it’s always a good idea for families to check out these middle school directories, contact schools of interest, and attend any open houses and information sessions that are offered. This middle school admissions checklist might be helpful.

Also check out the 2015-2016 Charter School Directory for information on the city’s 197 public charter schools.

Deadline

  • Applications must be submitted no later than Tuesday, December 2.

For more information see the Department of Education website.

Avenue U and Stuart Street, the scene of the accident. (Source: Google Maps)

Avenue U and Stuart Street, the scene of the accident. (Source: Google Maps)

Two women have been hospitalized and two police officers were injured after a routine traffic stop turned into a police chase yesterday, ending when the suspect’s van collided with another car on Avenue U and Stuart Street.

Officers stopped what appeared to be a white dollar van on Flatlands Avenue and East 42nd Street at approximately 3pm. They suspected the vehicle had been connected to a robbery pattern.

When the cops approached the vehicle, the driver slammed on the gas, clipping one officer and running over the other one’s foot.

Neither were seriously injured, reports CBS Local.

The outlet reports:

Police pursued the driver in the van for several miles, but the chase was called off. The driver ended up crashing into a civilian vehicle at Avenue U and Stuart Street in Marine Park, Brooklyn, police said.

Three women were in the small gray car – all from the same family, source said. They were pinned inside the vehicle and had to be extricated, according to the FDNY.

Police said two of them were taken to Kings County Hospital Center, and one of them – a 19-year-old who had been a front-seat passenger – was in critical condition.

The driver of the vehicle — the mother of the 19-year-old — was also hospitalized, while the back seat passenger was not injured, police said.

NBC adds that the driver of the civilian vehicle was an off-duty sergeant, and said his car was T-boned. Video sent to Sheepshead Bites by reader Jennifer Ginter, seen above, shows that the van jumped the curb and was partially in the grass of Marine Park after the accident.

Witnesses told ABC News that the suspect attempted to flee on foot after the crash, but was quickly apprehended.

Charges were still pending as of yesterday evening.

Photo by Lisa

Photo by Lisa

Photo by Lisa

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

Hrm. I wonder why Avenue Y's overpass gets so messy. (Photo by John)

Hrm. I wonder why Avenue Y’s overpass gets so messy. (Photo by John)

The trash problem beneath the Brighton line subway overpasses in Midwood and Sheepshead Bay is finally going to get a little better after years of complaints from residents.

Councilman Chaim Deutsch is sending $15,000 in additional funding to the Midwood Development Corporation to expand its Project Sweep Program, which is now responsible for cleaning garbage, debris and graffiti from beneath all subway overpasses spanning from Avenue M to Avenue Z. The project will also send cleaners to Sheepshead Bay Road, the Holocaust Memorial Park and a handful of other areas known to be eyesores.

The group goes out twice a week to hit several of the spots, according to information from Deutsch’s office. Cleanups began in October and will continue until the end of June.

Project Sweep employs adults with developmental disabilities who work alongside job coaches to clean commercial strips. Since 1990, they’ve been tidying up other business corridors including Newkirk Avenue, Courtelyou Road and Avenue M.

“Graffiti and litter adversely affect our quality of life, and can even cause an innocent homeowner to incur summonses due to littered trash blowing onto their property. My goal is to enhance the beautification of our neighborhoods,” said Deutsch in a press release. “I am eager to work with the leaders and members of Project Sweep on this endeavor.”

If you’d like to report an area you want to see cleaned, contact Deutsch’s office at (718) 368-9176.

Similar cleanups are being announced in other neighborhoods, including funding from Councilman Mark Treyger to local groups for cleanup initiatives on Mermaid Avenue and Stillwell Avenue.

Coat Drive, via New York Cares

The 26th annual New York Cares Coat Drive kicks off today and runs through December 31. There are more than 280 locations around New York City where you can drop off a clean, gently used coat to help neighbors in need — let’s warm our city up! Here’s where you can donate locally:

NYPD 66th Precinct (5822 16th Avenue)

  • All hours, every day

NYPD 62nd Princinct  (1925 Bath Avenue)

  • All hours, every day

Life Quality BMW (9326 4th Avenue)

  •  Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm; Sunday 11am-4pm

61st Precinct (2575 Coney Island Avenue)

  • All hours, every day

Organizations interested in hosting a public collection site or setting up a drive of your own for the New York Cares Coat Drive should register online; coats will need to be delivered to their warehouse by December 31, 2014.

There are also ways beyond coat donations to help the drive. Volunteers are needed at several upcoming coat distribution events, and there are some benefit events, as well. Also, New York Cares estimates that for every $50 given, 16 coats can be dispersed. Financial donations can be made here.

Image via New York Cares

The next meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group will be November 19, 8:00pm at Public School 195, 131 Irwin Street. The meeting will focus on the topic of home values with regard to Superstorm Sandy. Among the issues to be addressed are: Will new building laws affect your property values? What will Manhattan Beach look like five years from now?

Guest speakers will include 195 Principal Bernadette Toomey, who will discuss school overcrowding, what is new and exciting at PS 195, whether PS 195 has dedicated staff for art, music, and physical education, and if the community could help the school in any way, as well as Winston von Engel, director of the Brooklyn Office of the NYC Planning Department. He will discuss what is currently mandated for reconstruction/construction in Manhattan Beach, why some homes are going to be built higher than zoning allowed before the storm, whether there can there be legal basement apartments, how the Special Permit law will change what Manhattan Beach will look like, and if there should be a rule keeping the footprint of a building within certain boundaries.

All are welcome to attend. If you have questions, it is requested by MBCG that you send them in via email to manhattanbeachbrooklyn.org@gmail.com prior to the meeting.

Additionally: PS 195 is holding a holiday food drive to help less fortunate families. Canned goods are being collected at the meeting.