Dr. Raymond Wheeler conducts The Community Wind Ensemble & Concert Band

The Brooklyn Community Wind Ensemble & Concert Band and Kingsborough Musical Society Chorus will present their spring concert at 2:00 p.m., May 6 at the Leon M. Goldstein Performing Arts Center at Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Boulevard.

Click to enlarge

The concert will feature a medley from West Side Story, the “Prayer” from Cavalleria Rusticana, and other selections. The Brooklyn Community Wind Ensemble & Concert Band is a dedicated group of amateur and professional musicians that has entertained more than 200,000 people at concerts on campus for the past three decades. Dr. Raymond Wheeler conducts.

General admission seating is free, and reservations are not required. Parking is also free.

For information on future concerts or to audition, call Ralph Munoz at (718) 434-9279 or go to www.onstageatkingsborough.org.

I have no idea what this thing is — a picture frame with two openings, covered in algae? It was shot during low tide near Kingsborough.

Photo by Randy Contello

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz will face off against Ben Akselrod, a Russian-speaking Orthodox Jew, in a Democratic primary that may unseat the 12-year veteran of the Assembly.

Rumors first surfaced of a potential Akselrod campaign in mid-April on Politicker, and last Friday he registered a campaign committee. He will officially announce his campaign this weekend at Baku Palace, just a stone’s throw from the assemblymember’s district office.

According to Politicker, an Akselrod candidacy in the general election could possibly stymie growing Southern Brooklyn support for Republicans, particularly among Russian and Orthodox voters who turned out to deliver wins to Bob Turner and David Storobin in what was believed to be heavily Democratic areas (True, Storobin’s win is not yet official; however, regardless of whether he obtains the seat or not, the upset from a political unknown is widely regarded as a GOP victory).

In 2010, Cymbrowitz obtained only 57 percent of the vote when he was challenged in the general election by Joseph Hayon, a relatively unknown Orthodox Jew who campaigned on a platform of ultra-conservative social issues - a prequel to the increasing political muscle of the conservative Orthodox community, which more recently revealed itself as a devastating obstacle to Democratic incumbency.

Similarly, whoever wins the Democratic primary for the 45th District will likely have a Republican opponent in the general election, as the GOP sets its eyes on future gains across Southern Brooklyn. And with Kruger’s seat vanishing and a new “Super Jewish” district being created (for which Simcha Felder has announced intentions), some observers suggest David Storobin may make a go for the seat.

Correction (5/7/2012): The original version of this article mistakenly stated that Cymbrowitz faces Joseph Hayon in 2008. It was actually 2010, and the post has been updated to reflect that. 

Our friends over at Zeetron (2765 Coney Island Avenue) have now opened a second local location just a few blocks away at 1603 Sheepshead Bay Road.

Zeetron is an electronics repair shop, focusing on cell phones and video game consoles. They also sell do-it-yourself repair kits and accessories.

The storefront was previously occupied by Boutique Eldorado, a woman’s apparel store.

Tom "Daddy Rocker" Moran during last year's 10th anniversary 9/11 Memorial at Bill Brown Park. Photo by Erica Sherman

Canarsie-born recording artist, Tom “Daddy Rocker” Moran, along with his group the Brooklyn South Band, are joining forces with The Meyer Rossabi Band and Off The Record to present a special musical fundraiser, May 5, to benefit Autism Speaks. The charity performance will be held at the Tamaqua Marina, 84 Ebony Court, in Gerritsen Beach.

“How often does my world center on my problems and I forget to help others in need,” asked Moran, a recovering alcoholic, whose unique music blends facets of country and rock ’n roll. “I’m in a great position as a performer with an inspirational message to give back to those in need. Our focus today is to be of service to others and to put on an amazing show. I want to thank the other bands for participating in this special event.”

The Meyer Rossabi Band performs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., followed by Off The Record from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. and Daddy Rocker & The Brooklyn South Band from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. To learn more about Autism Speaks, go to the organization’s website at www.autismspeaks.org.

Admission to the concert is a $20 donation; $10 for children under 12 years of age. Tickets can be purchased at www.daddyrocker.com. To learn more, call the Tamaqua Marina at (718) 646-9212 or visit their website at www.tamaquamarina.com.

It has been a while since we wrote about the ongoing election boondoggle surrounding the race to replace Carl Kruger. That’s primarily because new developments have pretty much teetered off, as both the campaigns – Republican David Storobin and Democrat Lew Fider – are duking it out in court, with only a three vote difference between them.

Our last update detailed allegations coming from the Fidler campaign that Storobin’s team committed voter fraud when a paid Storobin consultant intentionally gathered 119 absentee ballots for Russian voters who were capable of reaching the polls.

After failing to appear in court on April 26, the consultant – Alla Pometko – was subpoenaed by the judge to appear or face contempt of court. On Tuesday, she finally faced the judge.

“I did nothing wrong,” Pometko told City & State. “I’m here to fight for my name.”

The site reported:

Pometko, who spoke through an interpreter on the stand, was briefly questioned by ex-State Sen. Marty Connor, an election lawyer who is serving as an attorney for Fidler. But after a couple minutes, before Connor made much headway, court was adjourned until 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Pometko, who showed up in court only after being subpoenaed, did not come alone: She was accompanied by an attorney, Arthur Gershfeld, there to tend to Pometko’s own legal situation.

In New York, voters can only cast absentee ballots if they are physically unable to get to the polls. However, at least 16 of those “permanently disabled” voters cast a vote in person on election day.

The Fidler camp also says every one of the absentee ballots appeared to be written in the same handwriting, and the voter signed the envelope with a mark instead of a signature – with Pometko again named as the witness to the mark.

Pometko, herself not a registered voter, was paid at least $1,470 for her work as a consultant to the Storobin campaign, financial disclosure reports indicate.

From Newsday:

The fluke and porgy seasons open in New York waters Tuesday with less restrictive rules on the number and size fish anglers can take.

For fluke, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation cut the size of keeper fish this month to 19.5 inches from 20.5 last year. Anglers can keep four fluke of that size, compared with three last year. The season ends Sept. 30, same as last year.

… In January, the DEC said the easing was likely because anglers didn’t catch their full allotment last year. Some said that was because the larger size and smaller amount made fishing unfeasible, particularly compared with states such as New Jersey, which can catch more, smaller fluke.

“These regulation changes reflect improvements to populations of scup, black sea bass and summer flounder,” said DEC Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources Kathy Moser, who added the scup, or porgy, fishery is “particularly robust.”

… The DEC also eased rules for porgies, or scup, doubling the number anglers can keep to 20 from 10, and extending the season to Dec. 31. The size limit remains the same at 10.5 inches for those on shore or in private boats. Those on licensed party/charter boats face an 11-inch size limit, but they can take 40 fish during September and October.

The DEC eased the black sea bass restriction to include 15 fish during a season that starts June 15 and ends Dec. 31, with a minimum size of 13 inches.

That should be good news to Sheepshead Bay’s fishing fleet, the operators of which have long complained that New York State’s heavy-handed restrictions hurt their ability to compete with nearby fleets in New Jersey and elsewhere. It hasn’t been all good news from the DEC this year, though; the agency tightened restrictions on blackfish in March.

Source: 401K / 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.

Tax Freedom Day

May 1 is the day for those living in New York and New Jersey to pay off their total tax bill for 2012. This includes federal, state, and local income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and sales tax, excise, and property tax. You citizens can take pride in the fact that you are not the highest taxed in the nation — the citizens of Connecticut have to work until May 5. For your information, Florida, on April 12, is number 28; Hawaii, on April 6, is number 45; and Tennessee, on March 31, is number 50.

If you’re past your ‘tax freedom day’ and still looking for extra money, check out the federal government, as well as the states:

Check For A Missing US Savings Bond

Over the years, many of us have misplaced or have forgotten about savings bonds we were given as a gift, or bought through payroll deduction, or other ways. The bonds are returned to you, the investor, at maturity — if the investor can be found. The Treasury Department says 25,000 payments come back annually as undelivered. Give this a try and find out if you are owed a U.S. savings bond.

The first and easiest step is at the U.S. Department of the Public Debt’s Treasury Hunt site. Just type in your Social Security number and, if there’s a match, follow the subsequent instructions. This tool identifies bonds issued after 1973 or have reached final maturity.

If you have bonds but are not sure if they are still earning interest, go to the site, Treasury Securities That Have Stopped Earning Interest. Continue on the site for additional and valuable information.

Check Your State For Missing Money

You can check for free, or pay $35 or more to some companies to help you find your missing money. Your forgotten bank accounts, uncashed stock dividends, and unused deposits on merchandise at Macy’s or other retailers all must be turned over to the state after a set period of time. A long-time stock broker at Morgan Stanley, Matthew Gershon [(212) 613-6751] has done the homework, for free, for his clients, and has been notifying them of their lost funds. You can do this for free for yourself at The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) site.

Tax Loopholes

And if you are looking for a way to save some tax dollars, consider moving to one of the following states:

  • Alabama: $1,000 deduction for building a radioactive fallout shelter.
  • Arkansas: Blind combat veterans may buy a new car every two years tax free.
  • Hawaii: Claim a $3,000 deduction for taking care of ‘exceptional trees’ on their property.
  • Louisiana: an annual ”second amendment weekend tax holiday,” which lets shoppers buy guns, knives, blinds, and other hunting gear sans sales tax each September. You can be sure that one will be around as long as there are deer to shoot in Cajun country.
  • Florida: Rent a cow, put it in your yard, and get a property tax break.
  • New York: Become a politician.

One more thing: Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?

Have a good week.

Joseph Reisman, of Joseph S. Reisman & Associates, has been serving tax prep and business accounting expertise from his Coney Island Avenue office for more than 25 years. Check out the firm’s website.

Many of you may recall Allan Shweky’s photo of a somewhat intimidating sea creature that plonked its bad eight-legged self down on the boardwalk a few weeks ago. He posted a follow-up in the comments section of that post (along with a photo of the same creature, different perspective), and also writes that:

[The] [c]reature was gone the next morning.  Here is a pic of who I suspected had a nice meal.

Photo by Allan  Shweky

Long established Sheepshead Bay’s Circle Bistro located at 2801 Coney Island Avenue has closed its doors for good. Michael Amodo & Co. hosted an auction last Sunday for all of the building’s furnishings and furniture. Now all that remains is an empty shell.

This is sad. My then fiance and I took my mother to dinner at Circles over 25 years ago to introduce her to the neighborhood. Goodbye Circles Bistro, you’ll be missed.