Councilman Lew Fidler held a press conference on Avenue J today, joined by Charles Schumer, to announce that the Democratic U.S. Senator is endorsing Fidler in the race to replace State Senator Carl Kruger. But Fidler took a moment during the presser to address the ongoing coverage of his earlier claims that Republican opponent David Storobin has “ties to skinheads and neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist groups.”

PolitickerNY reports:

“I want to answer that, and my campaign folks would probably tell me that I shouldn’t,” he began. “I never, ever, ever did, or would have, called David Storobin a neo-Nazi.”

“I’m not so internet savvy … I used the word ‘ties’ instead of ‘links,’” he explained.  Adding that he “never once raised it in public,” while Mr. Storobin “continues to raise it in public.”

… “Again, he’s responding to comments that I made to a group of young Democrats at a bar, where I thought we were in a private room,” he added. “Look, if I was 25, I’m sure I would have used ‘links’ instead of ‘ties,’ I wish I was 25.”

Indeed, Fidler did make the comments at Wheeler’s in a pep rally-style speech to the Brooklyn Young Democrats, saying that the Brooklyn GOP was making a mistake backing a candidate whose past they hadn’t done their homework on. It had recently come out on the Gatemouth political blog that Storobin’s writings were repeatedly linked to by white nationalist groups. Storobin’s articles mysteriously vanished around the same time his campaign launched.

Fidler wasn’t all apologies, though. He managed to throw a barb at his opponent, saying he’s been using the issue to distract from real issues.

“He’s trying to make an issue out of things that’s not all that relevant to the people who live in this district who are more concerned about whether or not we’re going to have safe streets, clean streets, about whether or not they’re going to be able to afford yeshiva tuition for our kids, how good our public schools are, whether our parks are maintained – all of those issues,” Fidler said. “David Storobin seems to want to talk about anything else. I wonder why.”

Fidler’s got some evidence on his side to back that up. A member of Storobin’s team leaked a four-point “game plan” for their campaign strategy. Top of the list? Focus on Fidler’s “lies about David Storobin.”

“Lew Fidler made repeated, baseless accusations that David Storobin was a neo-nazi who had ties to skinheads,” the Storobin memo states. “After days of spreading despicable lies and suffering the condemnation of Jewish leaders throughout the community, Fidler finally backpedaled…but not because he knows he’s wrong but because he got caught in a lie.  If you can’t trust Lew Fidler’s word on David Storobin’s Jewish faith, you can’t trust anything he says.”

 

Oh? You’ve never heard of the Holocaust, you say? Have I got a YouTube video for you…

And, no, it doesn’t have cats making weird sounds while they eat, or falling off tables. It doesn’t even tell the story of the Holocaust through cats. I know, it’s like, “Hey, YouTube, I hardly knew ye!” Right?

What it does have is hundreds of actors and technical staff, a $100,000-plus budget and 7-minutes of story told by song.

Manhattan Beach resident Daniel Finkelman bankrolled the YouTube film, a project he says is to increase Holocaust awareness among American youth.

Finkelman, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, put the video together at a time when the number of Holocaust survivors continues to dwindle.

“As those voices fade, the voices of Holocaust deniers are amplified,” he told Haaretz.com.

The report continues:

This thought had plagued Finkelman for the past few years, and drove him to initiate a campaign aimed at non-Jewish teenagers in the United States.

“There is an entire generation that is growing up in a fast-paced world, in which something new happens every moment. That young generation hasn’t got the patience to learn about the Holocaust,” says Finkelman. “For us it is an inseparable part of the Jewish history; for them it is another black and white entry in the encyclopedia.”

Finkelman explained that the goal of his campaign was to grab the attention of those teenagers via a medium that interests them, and – in a five-minute clip – encapsulate the horrors of the Holocaust alongside the tremendous hopes of the Jews who suffered there.

Now maybe we can get those Stormfront guys to watch this…

The next meeting of the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association (MBNA) will be this Monday, February 6, 8:00 p.m. at the Public School 195 Elementary School, 131 Irwin Street between Shore Boulevard and Oriental Avenue.

The group will discuss “Traffic Conditions in Manhattan Beach: Speeding, Reckless Driving, Abusive Parking.” The public is invited to attended to share their relevant opinions and experiences.

As always, refreshments will be served and the community is invited to attend.

To learn more, call (917) 747-5863.

Photo by nolastname

It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper update on the Sheepshead Bay mosque (2812 Voorhies Avenue). Last we heard, the opponents of the mosque, Bay People, lost their zoning challenge against the construction, but vowed to push forward with their lawsuit against the mosque’s backers (who, it should be noted, have filed a countersuit).

As the picture above illustrates, construction at the site has been moving along swiftly. The steel and cinder block frame is just about done on the first two stories, and work has started on the third (and final) floor. The third floor will be recessed from the front.

For what it’s worth, several readers have sent us e-mails noting that it’s not nearly as big as they expected.

That hasn’t soothed the fears of Bay People members, though. The opposition distributed an informational packet to media and local leaders in January summarizing their complaints and compiling letters to and from elected officials, attorneys, city agencies, et cetera. The packet also blasted some leaders that they felt were ignoring their concerns.

Though the group insists in the document that their concerns are about traffic, parking and quality of life, they also cast doubt on the background of the organizers.

“The organization behind the project ‘has a troubling history of associates with radical organizations and individuals that promote terrorism, anti-Semitist and reject Israel’s right to exist,’” they write.

The complete packet can be seen at the end of this post.

Keep reading to see how the mosque’s backers are fighting back.

Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We summarize the week’s statistics for the 61st Precinct reports every Friday. The 61st Precinct is the police command responsible for Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach.

Psha, screw the crusty old intelligentsia of Park Slope. New York City’s 2012 Youth Poet Laureate is a Kingsborough Community College student.

Nineteen-year-old Ishmael “Ish” Islam snagged the title with his winning poem “Daydreaming at the Voting Booth” (above), tallying the most votes in a poetry slam competition at Cooper Union in November. The contest is a partnership between Urban Word NYC and the NYC Campaign Finance Board designed to energize young voters through poetry.

Islam recently gave an interview to School Library Journal, discussing how he got interested in poetry, its resurgence in the mainstream and his inspiration.

Apparently, a good chunk of that inspiration is Brooklyn. Islam is currently writing his first book of poetry, and here’s how he described it:

What I hope for the reader to get at the most surface level is a full perspective of a genuine Brooklynite. The upbringing in my hometown has everything to do with me as an artist and person.

Check out the full interview.

Shot two Mondays ago.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Source: Golden's office

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

Brooklyn – State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) has issued the following statement following the State of the Borough Address delivered by Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz last evening:

“As a long time advocate for waterborne transportation, I commend Borough President Marty Markowitz for announcing that among his priorities is that which seeks to bringing ferry service to Brooklyn. I am especially looking forward to working with him and the City to get the boats in the water from Manhattan to the 69th Street Pier and Sheepshead Bay.

I join my fellow Brooklyn residents in calling for ferry service for Kings County. As motorists are faced with an increase in gas prices and tolls, as well as traffic congestion, taking the waterways instead of the highways, will be more cost efficient and convenient. Brooklynites deserve the chance to have ferry service and I will continue to make the case for that in upcoming discussions.”

Senator Marty Golden, in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, worked with City officials and Community Board 10 to institute ferry service at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. The ferry service operated with periods of interruption from that time until July, 2010.

Sheepshead Bites wrote about Markowitz’s plans, the ferry proposal and some of the drawbacks in a post published yesterday.

Three thugs attacked two students across the street from John Dewey High School (50 Avenue X) this morning, hospitalizing one after bashing him in the head with a pipe.

The thieves grabbed a bag with a cell phone and headphones from the 16-year-old victim, then struck his 17-year-old friend in the head with a pipe. The 17-year-old was taken to Lutheran Hospital, where he required staples to close the head wound, according to the New York Post.

The other student was treated for minor scratches and cuts to the face.

Police eventually caught up with all three of the suspects – ages 17, 18 and 21 – charging them with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

The current structure, with an overlay of the proposed designs. Scale is approximate.

Community Board 15 voted overwhelmingly to approve a planned Manhattan Beach McMansion on the site of the rectory of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, despite objections from a local community group.

The request for a special permit to enlarge the current building by more than three times its current size and nearly double the size allowed by law came before the board during their Tuesday night meeting. The board voted 26 in favor and five against (with one abstention) to approve major modifications to the 92-year-old structure.

That approval came despite opposition from the Manhattan Beach Community Group, who said the lawyer’s claims about the building were based on faulty data.

“The measurements that they’re using for this house is flawed. The whole procedure is flawed. He shouldn’t be allowed to build that house,” said MBCG President Ira Zalcman.

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