From our friends at the Bay Improvement Group (BIG):

Some of the backstory.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Surveillance video of April 22 theft.

Surveillance video via NY Post

Authorities have nabbed a man they say stole many of the 30 manhole covers in the last two months in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

The New York Post reports that they’ve arrested Andrew Modica, 46, in connection with the theft of Con Edison’s 320-pound cast iron covers, which he confessed to selling for about 12 1/2 to 15 centers per pound – or approximately $40 each. They cost the company $200 each to replace.

He was busted yesterday, when officers pulled him over in a stolen pickup truck near his home on 67th Street and 21st Avenue in Bensonhurst. He is charged with criminal possession of stolen property and criminal impersonation – the latter due to the fact that he dressed as a Con Edison worker in the course of his crimes.

According to the Post, Modica stole to fuel his addiction to crack, cocaine and heroin.

File:Adam Yauch 2.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s impossible for teachers to know which of their students over the years will go on and do great things, but sometimes a teenager’s character stands out so strongly they make an impression.

Such was the case with Adam Yauch, also known as MCA of the legendary Beastie Boys. Yauch was a Murrow High School student (1600 Avenue L) – a quiet one, at that – but he made a lasting impression with at least one instructor.

Judith List taught English at Murrow from 1978 to 2007. Yauch was in her class, and upon hearing of his death last week, she broke out into tears.

Thirty years after seeing him last, List penned a recollection of her time with Yauch for Murrow’s website, inspired by MCA’s lesson to her about all students. “We can never know which of our students will bring about the next revolution or create the next new idea and inspire a generation,” she wrote. “Therefore we must passionately believe that every student will surely be the next one to move us all forward and bring us that unwavering message of hope.”

In the piece, she remembers Yauch as a sweet, quiet boy – not the best student, she says, but a very human one.

Adam was my student in Writer’s Workshop. I can still remember where he sat, near the window in the front of the class in 210A. He was thin and so his jeans and sweaters always seemed big on him. That year Adam seemed to grow much taller, and his face became more masculine and less of a boy’s face. He was quiet and unassuming, but always a presence in the class. Was he an angel and an ideal student? No. But then, I never did favor those angelic types!! But I’ll tell you what he was: Adam Yauch was a regular kid, who sometimes needed to be pushed to do his homework—but not always, and sometimes came late—but not often, and who ultimately worked and learned some stuff about reading and writing in my class. He liked his fellow students, he enjoyed a good laugh, and he had depth and humanity, even then. When we discussed biographies for book reports, Adam read and wrote about Tony Hawk, the superstar skateboarder. Thirty years later I still remember it for its unbridled admiration of Hawk’s talents, and for his respect for Hawk’s philanthropy and good character. It never surprised me that Adam himself became a man of prodigious talent and who was concerned with people and philanthropy.

Often Adam and I would ride the subway together, as we lived on the same Brooklyn street. On those rides home from school, he spoke about his band and the gigs they were starting to get. One day he excitedly told me that his band would soon be getting a record contract. I really liked this kid, and so I cautioned him about not being too disappointed if it didn’t work out, and that he sure had plenty of time to find success. Oh boy, was I wrong! Adam and the Beastie Boys became, well… you know how great and influential they were.

… I still see Adam’s sweet face in the classroom, at the age of 16 or so, writing from the heart whenever possible.

Read the full piece.

After deciding last month to shutter Sheepshead Bay High School, as well as 23 other high schools, the Department of Education chose a name this week for the new school in the old building: Academy of Career Exploration of Sheepshead Bay.

John Dewey High School – also slated for closure – will be renamed Shorefront High School of Arts and Sciences at John Dewey Campus.

Both schools will close doors in June as part of a federal “turnaround model” – which requires firing at least half the staff. The plan has spurred condemnation from parents, teachers and students as we’ve previously reported.

The schools will reopen under the new names in September, flooded with as much as $1.5 million each in federal funds to get the schools back on track.

We didn’t think the DOE could make it any more difficult to report on school issues, but, alas, they found a way to nearly double the number of characters to type. That’s city efficiency at its very best!

Regardless, we think it’ll be known colloquially as Sheepshead Bay High School and John Dewey High School for years to come. What do you think?

The Internal Revenue Service. Source: dctim1 / Flickr

Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

Why file an amended tax return?

A. To correct a filing status.

B. You used the wrong stock basis in a prior year and paid too much tax.

C. A natural disaster destroyed your home.

D. You filed a short form (1040A or 1040EZ) and you realized you could itemize.

E. All of the above.

Answer: E: All of the above.

Every year millions of amended returns are filed. Mistakes occur, and if you need to file an amended return, you should not hesitate. Why file an amended return? Some reasons amended returns are filed are to correct a filing status (single or head of household to married, to report income that was overstated or omitted, to claim a deduction, exemption or credit that was overlooked, or to comply with a Congressional change in the tax laws, just to name a few).

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Source: mRio / Flickr

A health educator from Coney Island Hospital will visit the Brighton Neighborhood Association (BNA), May 11 at 11:00 a.m. to discuss “Women’s Health” at the civic group’s headquarters, 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue, corner of Coney Island Avenue (inside Chase Bank).

Questions and concerns on women’s health issues will be addressed during the talk, including learning how to receive medical treatment if you do not have health insurance. The event will also feature a free raffle.

To learn more about this and any upcoming BNA events, contact Pat Singer at (718) 891-0800, visit, and “Like” BNA on Facebook.

Photo by Michelle Selwa

Gothamist ran this old Sheepshead Bay photo today, drawn from the city’s Municipal Archives, and captioned “Sheepshead Bay Restaurant, Emmons Avenue, August 5, 1953.”

Well, it looks a heckuva lot more like a bait-and-tackle and rowboat rental shop – and it also looks like it’s older than 1953 – but, hey, back then some of Sheepshead Bay’s old staples sold you a plate o’ clams for your gullet and a bucket of worms for the fishes’.

So, anyone recognize this place? If not a name, could you give it a location? Or, better yet, anyone know the bloke in the photo?


Administrators of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Congressman Bob Turner and New York City Parks Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined together with nature enthusiasts and history buffs over the weekend, celebrating the grand reopening of the William Fitts Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd Bennett Field.

The event capped off a three-year effort that saw the building’s interior – once an unfriendly mess of paint chips, splintered wood and decrepit infrastructure – painstakingly restored to its 1930 appearance, including beautiful art deco furnishings and detail work on the interior.

Check out our photos of the stunning new center, as well as photos from Floyd Bennett’s Hangar B, home of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Project.