Police are on the hunt for a suspected anti-Semitic vandal after several Jewish artifacts were ripped off doorways in a Brighton Beach apartment building over the weekend, in the latest Southern Brooklyn bias crime.

Police are investigating this as a hate crime. Get the details.

Eric Kaplan, 47, shows off the street sign immortalizing his mom, Brighton Beach activist Frances Kaplan. Photo by Erica Sherman

Dozens of friends, loved ones, community leaders and elected officials came out Friday afternoon to witness the unveiling of a new street sign on the corner of Brighton Beach Avenue and Brighton 1st Place, renamed “Fran Kaplan Way” after Frances Kaplan, a kind-hearted community stalwart who owned the dry cleaning establishment, York Cleaners, with her father Louis Levine for more than 60 years.

Read more about Kaplan, and view photos from the renaming.

Tzar Restaurant is celebrating its fifth birthday and, to help commemorate, in conjunction with the 41st Assembly District Democrats Club, they will be holding their “Toys for Tots” drive at 6:00 p.m., December 12 at Tzar, 2007 Emmons Avenue.

While the event is billed as being “in the Russian-speaking community,” monetary donations and new toys will be distributed as holiday gifts to all needy children. According to Tzar, “Bringing joy and happiness to the deprived kids is the best present.”

You can either donate a new, unwrapped toy, or you can make a check payable to the “Community First Toy Drive” in the amount of $25 minimum to send a message of hope to kids whose families may be struggling to make ends meet during this time of economic uncertainty. All donations for “Toys for Tots” are tax-deductible.

Food will be provided. You must RSVP prior to December 9 by calling Sam Khalitov at (862) 242-6678 or Raisa Chernina at (347) 613-5332.

Source: nych.com

A beloved 89-year-old Brooklyn mother passed away at a Midwood hospital, and administrators waited seven days before notifying her children, according to the New York Daily News.

“The thought that she laid there cold and dead — it’s a horror,” said Michael Hawa, 64, son of the deceased Catherine Hawa. “It’s just too sad to digest.”

Hawa passed away on November 16 at New York Community Hospital (2525 Kings Highway) and was left in the morgue. Hawa’s daughter Jeanette was about to head over to visit her mother on November 23, when she received a call from a worker at the hospital who told her the news and how her mother was left in the morgue for seven days. The worker apologized to Jeanette. Michael received the same call that day, with the same message and an apology.

Hawa lived on East 5th Street in Kensington until moving into a nursing home two years ago. She married a Penn Central railway clerks’ union member named Edward Hawa in 1946, who passed away in 2000.

A wake and religious service was held for Hawa at Herbst-Trzaska-Waldeck Chapels in Bay Ridge last Monday and she was properly laid to rest at The Evergreens Cemetery on Tuesday.

“Transportation 2030: Five Borough Blueprint” ticket stub. Courtesy of Allan Rosen

THE COMMUTE: Having retired from the MTA in 2005 and not actively working in Planning for quite a number of years, I do not often attend Planning conferences. The last ones I attended were a series of workshops held over a four-year period from 2002 to 2006, sponsored by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, the agency responsible for doling out federal funds in this area. Those sessions part of the Southern Brooklyn Transportation Investment Study looked forward to 2020 and primarily focused on medium and long range planning. That study, costing approximately $6 million, resulted in not a single accomplishment, because of the MTA’s refusal to concur with any of the numerous suggested bus or rail improvements. They stated that they do their own planning and no one tells them how to plan.

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Source: Wikipedia

The following are planned weekday service changes from our friends sworn nemeses at the MTA. The changes go into effect as of 10 a.m. THIS MORNING, so if riding the Manhattan-bound B and Q trains, it is advised that you give yourself additional travel time to allow for the usual bullsh… er, I mean inconveniences.

The changes are as follows:

B Line — Weekday Planned Service Change:

  • 10 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Fri, Dec 5 – 9
  • Manhattan-bound B trains run local from Kings Hwy to Prospect Park
  • Allow additional travel time.

Q Line – Weekday Planned Service Change:

  • 10 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Fri, Dec 5 – 9
  • No Q trains running between Manhattan and Queens – Take the N
  • Q service operates between 57 St-7 Av and Stillwell Av.
  • 10 AM to 3 PM, Mon to Fri, Dec 5 – 9
  • Coney Island-bound Q trains run express from Prospect Park to Kings Hwy

Simply breathtaking (and shot with the 5D Mark II… probably the most awesome full-frame camera that Canon has ever produced).

Photo by Robin Michals

Photo by Yuriy Semenov

City Smokes, the latest in a New York City trend of “roll your own cigarette” stores, has opened at 2695 Coney Island Avenue, the former site of Easy Leasing.

The store sells cheap cigarettes – $29.95 for a carton, according to a sign outside – but there’s a catch: you’ve got to roll them yourself.

RYOC stores provide their own blends of tobacco, usually designed to emulate the flavors from the big brands, and provide machines, papers and filters for rolling. By doing this, they manage to sell their wares as loose tobacco, which has much lower tax rates than pre-rolled cigarettes. There are only a handful of such stores operating in the city, and this appears to be the only one in Brooklyn.

But City Smokes is coming to town at a dubious time. Just last month, New York City filed a lawsuit against RYOC operators in Staten Island and Manhattan, claiming they’re illegally skirting tax laws and are effectively selling rolled cigarettes. If the City wins the case, City Smokes won’t have much of a business model.

What do you think? Should these be taxed as rolled cigarettes, or as loose tobacco?

The remainders of a tree toppled by Hurricane Irene have plagued residents of East 22nd Street between Avenue W and Gravesend Neck Road, but, despite complaints, the city said it’s in no rush to get rid of it.

The tree fell over into power lines during the August 28 hurricane, and the city took days to remove the branches – leaving some on the block without power. But the stump lies on its side, at least three feet high, with roots dangling over the sidewalk on one side and the stump’s top creating a hazard for cars attempting to park. Underneath, the tangled fibers have proved a fine trap for garbage.

“It has to be removed,” said Tanya Brouk, a resident who works within spitting distance of the stump. “A child or anybody else could get hurt whenever they pass there.”

Though the city is ordering residents to repair the most minor of cracked sidewalks, they don’t seem to see the same urgency in the case of this stump.

“There is no sidewalk damage nor any trip hazard present and the sidewalk is passable for pedestrians,” said Meghan Lalor, press officer for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

But neighbor Fannie Kleinman and her son disagree. Her son, who asked not to be named, walks with his elderly mother, and embraces her for support. When they come to the stump, the usable sidewalk narrows, forcing them to walk single file and leaves his mother vulnerable.

“Until it becomes an emergency, the city won’t do anything,” Kleinman’s son said.

The Parks Department said they “hope to remove it by the end of next week.” However, residents told Sheepshead Bites that they’ve lodged multiple complaints over the three months since the tree fell, and the city has said before that it would be removed “next week.”