At this week’s meeting of the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association, attendees raised several questions about Congressman Bob Turner’s latest legislation: the TEACH Act, which offers families of private and religious school students a $5,000 tax break towards tuition.

Turner’s rep at the meeting, Mike Tracey, had trouble answering those questions.

To be fair, the representatives for legislators are not generally expected to know specifics about the bills and positions put forward by their bosses. They’re meant to be a conduit for channeling news from the legislator to local community groups, and forwarding questions and concerns back up the chain. Tracey, lest it be perceived that we’re attacking him, has always performed his job efficiently and with professionalism.

But we still thought the above video was interesting, as it shows concerns from residents who appear to be critical to the bill. One compared the break to the controversial school voucher system, another asked where the funds would come from, and a third pointed out that under the logic of this tax break, taxpayers with no children also deserve to pay less.

And while Tracey responded to the questions with “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” we decided to go higher up the chain and put the same questions to Bob Capano, Turner’s district director.

The questions and their answers are as follows:

If you don’t use a public school, you get a $5,000 tax credit? 

This will be a $5,000 tax credit per family, per year. If families send their children to a non-public school they would qualify for a tax credit up to $5,000 per family. Taxpayers filing a joint return or filing as an unmarried individual will receive a $5,000 tax credit. Taxpayers who are married filing a separate return will receive a $2,500 tax credit.

How does the congressman plan to make up for the lost revenue from the tax credits?

We will be working on the funding mechanisms as this bill and the budget process moves forward.

If a person doesn’t have children and so doesn’t cause a burden on the tax system, shouldn’t they be entitled to the tax credit?

The goal of this bill is to provide economic relief to parents who choose  to send their children to private or parochial schools.

Sergeant Kerry Carty gave the above police report at last night’s Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association, noting crime activity for the last 28-day period.

In addition to the crimes, Carty urged residents to protect themselves from the continuing scourge of theft of personal property, often resulting from valuables left in cars.

“We can do things to prevent ourselves from being victims, and some of them are not leaving very valuable things in your vehicles,” Carty said. “Even though you have a right and an expectation that you should be able to do that, we all have to realize where we live and that there is crime out there.”

Cyclists have been riding on the Belt Parkway to avoid dismounting at the destroyed portion of the bike path.

Bicyclists will have to endure another summer of rubble on the Plumb Beach bike path, as the city has again postponed repairs to the 300 feet of asphalt swept away by Hurricane Ida in 2009.

Authorities from the Parks Department confirmed to Sheepshead Bites that work on the Plumb Beach bike path – part of the popular Shore Parkway Greenway – will not begin at least until the Army Corps of Engineers replenishes sand at Plumb Beach. That task is not expected to begin until early fall.

Oh, and there may not be funds for the repairs. Keep reading to find out more.

Surveillance images released by NYPD (via Daily News)

Police are on the hunt for two men, photographed above, accused of sexually assaulting a 60-year-old woman at a Marine Park auto leasing company yesterday morning.

Authorities released the surveillance photos above, which show the two men and the red Honda Civic they used to flee the scene. The assailant accused of the sexual assault is described as black, about 5-foot-10, wearing a brown jacket, blue pants and a Yankees hat. His accomplice is described as black, about 6-feet tall, and was wearing a dark jacket, a light blue hoodie over his head, dark sweatpants with a broad white strip down the side and an A’s baseball cap.

The Daily News reports:

A frail 60-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in her Brooklyn office Tuesday morning just moments after arriving for work, cops and neighbors said.

The woman had just stepped inside the car leasing agency on Nostrand Ave. in Marine Park when one suspect rang the doorbell just before 10 a.m., cops and neighbors said.

After letting him in, the man asked if the owner was around so he could give him some papers, cops said. As they were speaking, a second suspect knocked on the door and the woman let him in too.

The second man then put the victim in a choke hold,

took her into the bathroom and sexually assaulted her, cops said.

Meanwhile, his accomplice picked up a box of files and fled.

The accomplice returned twice, both times leaving with boxes of files, cops said.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

THE BITE: Anthony’s Place over on Ave X claims to have invented garlic knots. Now I don’t know if that’s true, but they do make some good garlic knots. However, Five Brother’s Pizza, 2650 Coney Island Avenue, has just upped the game.

In a move so simple that I’m amazed that no one has thought about this before, Five Brother’s takes the lowly garlic knot, slices it open and makes a ham and cheese sandwich out of it. What a fantastic concept. In keeping with the food world’s obsession for sliders, for only 75 cents, they have created the first garlic knot slider. Another foodstuff invented in Brooklyn!

Now, I don’t know definitively if Five Brother’s is offering the only garlic knot slider on the planet, but this is the first I’ve seen of it in my travels. I am a little disappointed by the limited selection as they currently offer only ham and American cheese sliders, but, hey, great inventions take time to develop.

I would love to see the offering expand to a greater variety of cold cuts and cheeses. I am hoping that they create sliders more in the tradition of an Italian Salumeria by offering a wide variety of Italian cured meats, sausages, salami, prosciutto, and various types of bologna.

To me, the perfect slider would consist of some extra sharp provolone, topped with Prosciutto di Parma and sun dried tomatoes. What’s yours?

Five Brother’s Pizza, Pasta and Grill, 2650 Coney Island Avenue, (718) 648-1600.

The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

Five Brother's Pizza, Pasta and Grill on Urbanspoon

Photo by nolastname

A massive fire broke out at 1716 West 6th Street in Gravesend early this morning, hospitalizing one and taking more than 150 firefighters several hours to quell.

Bensonhurst Bean is following the story.

I really cannot tell.

Photo by David Talalovky

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Photo by Joe Comper

There was Mario and Luigi, and big ol’ bees, Avatar wannabees and dolled up Barbies. And it’s not even Halloween!

Approximately 1,000 neighbors donned costumes and turned out for Kings Bay YM-YWHA’s annual Purim Carnival this past Sunday, enjoying kiddy rides, clowns, games, giveaways and, of course, Hamantashen cookies.

“This was the largest Purim Party in Brooklyn,” Leonard Petlakh, executive director of the Kings Bay Y, told Sheepshead Bites.

The Jewish holiday commemorates the rescue of the Jewish people from ancient Persia, and has featured costumes since at least the 15th Century to reflect God’s “hidden” role in the miracle of their survival.

Not hidden at the event was Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, as well as representatives of State Senator Marty Golden, Councilman Lew Fidler, Assemblymember Helen Weinstein and Councilman Michael Nelson – who all turned out to partake in the festivities.

Check out our photo gallery of the event!

Source: Nate Steiner / Flickr

Congregation Israel of Kings Bay has two Purim events lined up. Firstly, they will hold a Megillah reading at 6:30 p.m., March 7, followed by a Purim party at 7:10 p.m. at 3903 Nostrand Avenue. The party will feature delicious hamantashen (yummy, triangle-shaped, fruit-filled pastries), graggers (noisemakers), Purim bags, prizes, a raffle and more. The next morning, the synagogue will hold a second Megillah reading, on Purim itself, at 7:00 a.m., March 8. For additional information, call the synagogue at (718) 934-5176.

Kentucky National Guardsmen engage in a search and rescue mission March 3, in West Liberty, Ky., for survivors after torrential storms and violent winds destroyed much of the community there March 2. Photo by Spc. David Bolton, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Kentucky National Guard.

As many of us are aware, a series of deadly tornadoes on March 2 and 3 cut devastating swaths of destruction throughout the southern section and heartland of the United States, including in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. At last count, 39 people were killed by the storms.

Among the more tragic reports emerging from the weekend of unimaginable horror was the death of 15-month-old Indiana toddler Angel Babcock, who lived for two more days after being lifted into the air by one of the deadly vortexes and then dropped in a field. Both of the little girl’s parents and two siblings had also been killed by the tornado.

For those who are looking to help those affected by these storms, State Senator Marty Golden’s office has compiled a list of ways we can contribute financially and help our fellow Americans put their shattered lives back together. According to Golden:

“Many local governments and voluntary agencies are providing shelter for disaster survivors displaced by the storms, but the road to recovery will be a long one and further assistance is always welcome. For those seeking a way to help out our fellow Americans in this time of need, I have provided a list below of some non-profit agencies and the different ways one can contribute.”

By Texting:

  • Sending “REDCROSS” via text message to 90999 will charge $10 to your next cell phone bill to distribute to the American Red Cross.
  • Sending “STORM” via text message to 80888 will charge $10 to your next cell phone bill to distribute to The Salvation Army (You will need to reply “yes” when asked).

Online:

By Phone:

  • The American Red Cross can be reached at (800) RED CROSS (800-733-2767).
  • Feeding America can be reached at (800) 771-2303 (National Office).
  • The Salvation Army can be reached at (800) SAL-ARMY.

By Mail:

  • American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013
  • The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, Ga. 30384-0339