The Manhattan Beach Community Group notified the community of the death of Emanuel “Manny” Kahn, a community activist involved in the group. They wrote on their website:

The MBCG was notified of the passing of Emanuel “Manny” Kahn this past Saturday. He was a member of our group for many many years before he and his wife moved to Florida a few years ago.

Manny was committed to our community and to our group in many ways. His dedication to helping his neighbors and the many visitors to our Beach and Parks is unparalleled. Manny was chair of the Parks Committee and dedicated to making our neighborhood a welcoming experience to all who visited. He was also the first to develop a website for our group. He was involved with countles activities and always ready to get involved.

Manny was missed when he moved and now he will be missed forever. His many good deeds are an inspiration to his family and to all of us.

With the dust settling in Albany over redistricting, our neck of the woods is going to see a lot of new faces.

Manhattan Beach, for example, has already seen State Senator Marty Golden at recent civic meetings. The Republican politician representing Marine Park, parts of Sheepshead Bay, a huge swath of Bensonhurst and just about all of Bay Ridge has opened his office’s doors to the neighborhood, telling them he can handle constituent complaints. Of course, he doesn’t quite represent them yet – the new lines take effect in January. But with no political representation (it’s currently in Carl Kruger’s old district), he’s offering to pick up the slack.

And, of course, it also gets his name out there before elections in November, when he’ll be facing off against Democratic upstart Andrew Gounardes.

We’ve interviewed Gounardes before, when he made his case for the seat to Bensonhurst Bean readers.

Last night, Gounardes appeared before the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association to introduce himself and make his case again. In the video above, he talks about funding for public schools, Occupy Wall Street and mass transit.

We live here. We shop here. Some of us even work here. So when it comes to mass transit, we know what we want, what we need, and what we ain’t getting.

That’s why Sheepshead Bites is proud to announce the Sheepshead Bay Transit Town Hall, an evening workshop for brainstorming and proposing key fixes to mass transit in our area.

The event, held in conjunction with Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association and Transportation Alternatives’ Rider Rebellion Campaign, will kick off at 7:00 p.m. at Baron DeKalb – Knights of Columbus (3000 Emmons Avenue).

(TAKE OUR 3-MINUTE SURVEY AND LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON SHEEPSHEAD BAY MASS TRANSIT!)

We know what it’s like out there. If you live in Plumb Beach and want to get anywhere – good luck. Since the B4 was all but abolished (no weekend service, only certain brief hours during weekdays), the tens of thousands of residents south of the Belt Parkway and east of Bedford Avenue have no easy way to get around. If you get off the train at Sheepshead Bay train station, your only destination by bus is Nostrand Avenue or Ocean Avenue, unless you’re heading to Manhattan Beach or Coney Island. And, speaking of getting to other neighborhoods, there isn’t a single good bus option to get to Bensonhurst or Bay Ridge (or for them to get here!)

That’s why we’re asking you to come down next Thursday for the Town Hall, and help us put together a plan – by residents and for residents – to tweak the system to serve us better.

This is not an MTA gripe session. We’re not looking for generic complaints about the system, but proposals to fix the problems plaguing commuters. Among the issues to be discussed are:

  • Restoring full B4 service from Coney Island Hospital to Knapp Street (and perhaps tweaking the route to better serve residents)
  • Propose alterations to the B44 SBS route, which will replace the B44 Limited
  • Suggestions for better riding conditions on other bus and subway lines in the neighborhood

Better service not only means it’s easier for us to get around, but that it’s easier for residents from other Brooklyn neighborhoods to come here, shop here, eat here, sail here and support our local institutions. Better business for the Bay means better living conditions for its residents.

But we need your help. We need your ideas, and we need your presence. Once we as a neighborhood have developed a plan, our elected officials will take it to Albany and to the MTA. And, here at Sheepshead Bites, we’ll keep the pressure on with ongoing coverage.

So join us on May 17, and improve mass transit for all of Sheepshead Bay! (Don’t forget to take our survey, as we’ll be using the results at the Town Hall.)

WHEN: May 17, 2012 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Baron DeKalb – Knights of Columbus (3000 Emmons Avenue)
Refreshments will be served.

The 61st Precinct Community Council will meet at 7:30 p.m., May 9, at the 61st Precinct (2575 Coney Island Avenue).

The Community Council offers neighbors an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns about crime and safety issues in the area. The monthly meetings are attended by Deputy Inspector Georgios Mastrokostas, the commanding officer of the precinct, who will present a report on incidents and trends in the neighborhood, and speak face-to-face with neighbors about specific concerns.

For further information, or if you have questions or comments concerning Community Affairs, call (718) 627-6847.

We all got a little bruised up for our daring escapades as children; adults are there to prevent worse when we don't know better. (Source: sugarsnaptastic/Flickr)

BETWEEN THE LINES: In the aftermath of the death of the 12-year-old Brownsville boy who was crushed to death last Sunday when he got stuck in an ascending automatic parking lot gate, everyone’s been quick to point the finger in blame.

Some residents of the project where the incident occurred hold the management responsible due to the lack of recreational facilities on the property. Some criticized the mentality left over from the pop cultural craze known as Jackass, where daring — reckless seems more appropriate — people performed stupid and dangerous stunts just to get fleeting attention on Facebook or YouTube.

For those who may not know, Jackass was a popular MTV reality show for three seasons. It ended a decade ago, yet spawned three movies, a web site and a bunch of controversy, including condemnation by Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman after a teenager from his state got severely burned. MTV responded by programming the series after 10 p.m., when its youngest viewers were supposed to be fast asleep.

You can imagine how effective that was, knowing from personal experience that when youngsters, especially teenagers, are prohibited from participating in an activity, they routinely attempt to elude the ban.

This tragedy triggered a memory of a personal Jackass moment from my youth, which, thankfully, did not end in tragedy.

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Source: Lola Star (lola_star) / Instagram

Resident Morning Mug contributor, Allan Shweky, who happened upon the finished works of barrel brilliance by artists who participated in Saturday’s “Boardwalk Barrels of Fun,” sent us over a few photos of the event.

The beautiful barrels of boardwalk-y brilliance. Photo by Allan Shweky

The annual art competition, hosted by the NYC Parks Department and City Councilman Domenic Recchia, was held this past Saturday along the Riegelmann Boardwalk, between West 10th Street and West 12th Street.

With the goal being to spruce up the boardwalk in time for the summer beach season, artistically-inclined neighborhood denizens braved the rainy weather and used otherwise unsightly trash barrels as canvases, decorating the receptacles with vibrant landscapes, seascapes and carnival-themed art but, more importantly, with all their Coney-loving hearts.

Coney entrepreneur and all-around colorful personality, Lola Star, was on hand for the barrel-painting extravaganza. She had this to say on Twitter, where she also shared a few Instagram pics of the rain-soaked event: “God bless the die hard Coney lovers painting trash cans in the rain! That’s true Coney love!” and, commenting on the “I [Heart] Coney Island” trash barrel, she wrote: “This summer, when you see the dripping paintings on the Coney trash cans, you’ll know it’s a sign of true Coney love!”

Preach it, sis. It’s always so nice to see people making a concerted effort to beautify their community. Good job, everyone.

You can see more of Allan’s photos after the jump.

“We learn the rope of life by untying its knots.”

— Jean Toomer

Photo by Boris Shekhman

Every wonder why we pay so much in taxes?  It’s because of phenomenal amounts of waste at all levels of government.

Recently, we had several special elections in our district costing millions of dollars. A friend of mine just told me the following story which seems to epitomize goverment waste.  Laid off a few years ago, she attempts to find little bits of work wherever she can find it: temporary census worker, poll watcher, etc. So she signed up to work at the polls during the recent Republican Primary and is assigned to a poll site in East New York.

For whatever legal reason, polls need to be set up in nursing homes because residents are not able to get to other polling locations. She is assigned to one such site. Although there are only four registered Republican voters at the site, a normal complement of 12 poll workers are assigned.  Now here is the best part. Since the last election, three of the four voters passed away. That leaves one voter.  So all 12 workers sit and wait the entire day for the one voter to arrive and must stay there until the polls close although the voter has already voted. Now there has to be a better way.  Absentee ballot perhaps?

Do you have any examples of government waste?

TCC's Executive Director Murat Kaval presents Istanbul's Mayor Kadir Topbas with a gift at the annual Friendship Dinner (Source: TCC)

The Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn hosted its 6th annual Friendship Dinner and Award Ceremony on April 24, bringing together leaders and neighbors from all over Brooklyn’s diverse landscape to celebrate unity and peace building.

The gathering promotes peace and harmony in society by recognizing leaders from a variety of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds for their friendship and goodwill to others.

The event drew guests including Istanbul’s Mayor Kadir Topbas, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Turkish Consul General Levent Bilgen, State Senators Eric Adams and Kevin Parker, Assemblymembers Steven Cymbrowitz and Alec Brook Krasny – among many, many others.

Cymbrowitz was among those honored, as was Leonard Petlakh, executive director of the Kings Bay Y.

View the photos.