Photo by Robert Fernandez

Oh. My. Goodness. Isn’t this America? We thought this was America. We believe it is, and, yet, in less than six months two fast food chains – McDonald’s and Burger King – have shuttered in Sheepshead Bay. It must be a tough economy…

We noticed it yesterday, but we’re told the 2481 Knapp Street location closed on Saturday. According to a worker who was there yesterday taking out kitchen equipment, the landlord refused to renew the lease.

The employee does not know what is planned for the property, which is now entirely stripped of all Burger King signage, except for the large sign on the pole in the parking lot.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Photo by Yuriy Semenov

Gravesend Neck Road Deli & Grocery will soon open on… lo and behold… Gravesend Neck Road.

The precise address is 1223 Gravesend Neck Road, at the corner of East 13th Street. The storefront was previously occupied by a home decoration business, which closed a few short months ago.

No word yet on when the deli will be open, but it looks like it should be soon.

The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:

State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is announcing that the Department of Transportation is giving attention to two areas of concern related to parking signs in Gerritsen Beach.

Senator Golden has received notification that through his bringing it to the attention of the Department of Transportation, a No Standing Anytime sign, outside a closed physical therapist has been removed. The sign, which has now been removed from in front of 2408 Gerritsen Avenue, was causing the issuance of wrongful parking summonses. The sign was originally requested for the purposes of ambulance and ambulette transport to and from the physical therapist which closed in 2008.

Senator Golden has also received notice from the Department of Transportation that they will be replacing No Standing Anytime signs across from the Gerritsen Beach Volunteer Fire Department, located at 52 Seba Avenue, in an effort to provide access and parking for the Department’s fire truck and ambulance. Since the signs were incorrectly removed and cars have parked there, the emergency vehicles have had a difficult time getting into and out of the garage when responding to calls. The signs will be replaced by the end of March.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “I thank the Department of Transportation for their attention to both of these matters. It is important that we make sure that our parking signs are up to date so to guarantee a greater quality of life for all residents of Gerritsen Beach.”

It took awhile, but it appears the race to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger is finally getting back to issues.

After weeks of negative campaigning surrounding a slew of vanishing blog posts by Republican candidate David Storobin… and Lew Fidler’s statements that it was because his opponent was embarrassed of the content, which was linked by hate sites… and after negative mailings from the Republican State Committee touting Fidler’s “special perks” and position at LawCash… and after press conferences full of heckling… and after Storobin replaced his campaign manager and Fidler chastised his

Well, after all that, the issue is now school vouchers.

David Storobin issued a press release today vowing to make school vouchers a top priority in the State Senate if elected.

“School vouchers are not only an education issue, they’re an issue that strike at the heart of social and economic fairness,” Storobin claims. “All over New York, there are families on fixed incomes who are scared to send their children to failing public schools. But they don’t have the means to pay private school tuition either. What kind of choice does that leave?”

Storobin says that a state sponsored voucher program would level the playing field for families who want to send their children to private school but can’t afford tuition.

“The voucher issue is a big one in this district,” explains storobin referring to the more than three dozen private secondary schools within his senate district. “For the orthodox Jewish, it’s particularly important. Private tuition for yeshiva can be as much as $10,000 or more per high school student, and almost as much for children in primary school. To a family with five or six children, that is a tremendous burden.”

The press release ends with a challenge to Fidler, saying he has yet to “make known his stance on school vouchers.”

Of course, within the Orthodox Jewish community, where Fidler is targeting most of his advertising funds, he has made his position known.

Fidler sent out a direct mailing to Orthodox portions of the district, saying he too would make increasing state funding for Jewish education institutions a priority. According to Politicker, the mailing put forward the following five-point plan:

1. Tuition Tax Credits to reimburse parents up to $5,000 in tuition per yeshiva student.

2. Provide State funding for security cameras around all yeshivas.

3. Increase funding for after-school Priority 5 vouchers so that all eligible children receive vouchers.

4. Give parents vouchers to choose their own bus transportation–one that works best for their schedule.

5. Force the State to reimburse private schools the $350 million already owed for mandated services — funds that would go directly to yeshivas.

The special election for the 27th State Senate District is March 20. In the meantime, for those of us who are not Orthodox Jews, you can wonder why the candidates are acting as if our votes don’t matter.

Source: poka0059/Flickr

The introduction and use of personal communication devices that began some 20 years ago continues to evolve. As is customary with technological advances, it’s largely a blessing, but, regrettably, it may also be a curse with potential hazards.

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The promo for Saturday's event at Oceana Hall

It’s not often we at Sheepshead Bites need to publish a correction, and it’s even less often when the correction merits its own post. However, we had one heck of a blunder yesterday, and we thank our readers for catching it and pointing it out.

In our story about the two women shot in Brighton Beach over the weekend, we wrote that we had received complaints about Millenium Theatre and the increasingly rowdy parties they’ve been throwing. In reality, the concerned neighbor was writing about Oceana Hall – a separate venue in the same building at 1029 Brighton Beach Avenue.

Millenium Theatre and Oceana Hall have different owners and management.

Apparently local leaders have been hearing complaints about Oceana Hall from neighbors for about a year, since the landlord took hold of a banquet-style restaurant. Police from the 60th Precinct have also spoken to the business about the complaints.

And we were also wrong about there being no events at the venue (since we were searching for Millenium, not Oceana). The original anonymous e-mailer who sent us the complaint over the weekend followed up, pointing out that they had an event called Presidents Weekend Shut Down with Hot 97 Live.

A source tells us that police confirmed that the shooting occurred as the party was letting out.

The brown-eyed/green-eyed former New York Mets catcher, Gary Carter (1954-2012). Credit: Bernard Brault / AP

Contrary to what Tom Hanks would have us believe, there is, indeed, crying in baseball.

With the possible exception of those who have the misfortune of never having watched Gary Carter play baseball, there were few people last week who were not deeply saddened by the heartbreaking passing from inoperable brain cancer of the famously affable yet hard-playing Hall of Fame catcher and slugger.

Carter was much more than just the sum of his Hall of Fame stats, and, for that, Senator Marty Golden is hoping to introduce a Resolution in the New York State Senate remembering the smiling, warm-hearted, philanthropic catcher, whom everyone called “Kid,” because of his bottomless well of childlike enthusiasm.

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The above photo reminds me of this also very nice image.

Photo by Boris Shekhman

Me as an old man, according to

I think I’ve stopped thinking.

My head-meats hurt and where once there was a cacophony there’s now just a fizzle and a pop. And gurgles. Gurgles are the best I can manage.

They say this happens when you hit middle age. That it gets harder to remember words. You walk into the kitchen and forget why you’re there. You’re telling a story and see something shiny and it all gets lost.

Is 27 too young for middle age?

Is 27 too young for dementia?

Whenever people meet me, they always say the same thing: “I thought you’d be older.”

Before I started showing my face on the site, when we had a considerably smaller audience, I asked readers to guess my age. Of 30 or 40 submissions, the average age was 57.

Is 27 too young for 57?

The point is, I couldn’t think of something interesting to write for this week’s open thread. I’m going to go hang out at one of the senior centers (Is 27 too young for that?). You come up with the topic…