Congressman Bob Turner will appear on the steps of a Queens Catholic school today to announce his sponsorship of a new bill providing tax relief to families with children in private schools.

The congressman introduced the Tax and Education Assistance for Children (TEACH) Act of 2012 on February 17. If passed, the bill will provide an annual $5,000 tax credit to parents with children in private or religious schools. Congressmen Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) and Peter King (R-Long Island) are among the co-sponsors of the bill, formally known as H.R. 4075.

If approved, any taxpayer with one or more dependents in a non-public school will get the credit beginning in 2014 (for tuition paid in 2013). The credit amount does not increase with the number of dependents in private school.

You can read the full text of the bill here.

What do you think of diverting taxpayer money to private and religious schools?

Ildar Gazizulin

Ildar Gazizulin and a map showing the distance between his last known location and where his body was found. (Source: / Google Maps)

The skeletal remains of a Brighton Beach Russian immigrant who vanished in 2009 have been found, providing authorities with a new lead in a cold case.

Brighton Beach businessman Ildar Gazizulin, 39, vanished the morning of June 20, 2009. He had spent the night and early morning hours partying at Fusion (2007 Emmons Avenue) to celebrate his becoming a U.S. citizen.

Times Herald-Record reports:

He was last seen alone outside the Fusion nightclub on Emmons Avenue near Brighton Beach at around 2 a.m. His 2007 Jeep Cherokee was parked near the club. Eleven months later, on May 11, 2010 about 90 miles north of the city, a hiker found the skeleton lying above ground roughly 150 feet into thick woods and brush and near the bank of Loch Sheldrake Creek, a tributary to the Neversink River. The remains included most of the skeleton, a skull, lower jaw and teeth with expensive dental work.

Gazizulin emigrated to the United States in 1992, and lived in Brooklyn, exporting car and truck parts to his native Russia, Browne said. After his disappearance Gazizulin’s relatives in Russia told the NYPD that they believed his disappearance had something to do with his work, according to Russian media reports.

The remains were not identified as Gazizulin’s until recently, when authorities sent the remains to the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, who matched the DNA using the CODIS database.

The New York Post adds that Gazizulin had $150,000 in the bank at the time of his disappearance, which remains untouched.

The state police’s Major Crimes Unit is working with the 61st Precinct on the case.

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.

Heroic Brighton Beach teen, Jhordan Caballero. Source: Brighton Neighborhood Association

Today is the last day Sheepshead Bites will be accepting donations on behalf of the BNA and Caballero family.

(Please note that donations made to the family or BNA through Sheepshead Bites are not tax-exempt as we are a for-profit business operating solely as a middleman.)

Following the tragic, fire-related death of young Brighton Beach hero Jhordan Caballero, and the incredible outpouring of support from our community — in particular, the Brighton Neighborhood Association, local firefighters, and Sheepshead Bites readers — Congressman Bob Turner has released a statement praising the efforts of the teen, the firefighters, and all who have reached out to his family by opening their hearts and their wallets:

“Jhordan proved himself a hero and was tragically taken too soon. He exemplifies the best of humanity. His selfless and courageous acts to save his younger brother, Renzo, and his 61-year-old neighbor, go above and beyond the call as both a brother and a Good Samaritan. We should all seek to give of ourselves, both every day and in times of great distress, as he did for the good of others.

“I would like to commend the Brighton Neighborhood Association, local firefighters of Engine 246 Ladder 169, and members of the community for their efforts to help the family of our native Brooklyn son and hero as they try to make arrangements for his funeral. These firefighters are a prime example of how seriously our first responders take their role. They not only came to this family’s rescue, but joined the efforts of the Brighton Neighborhood Association and other members of the community in their efforts to help this family honor their son and begin rebuilding their life. Your efforts to assist his family are a testament to his memory, and your willingness to lend a hand to a neighbor reminds others of the type of community that makes New York unique. May Jhordan’s memory be a blessing.”

Senator Golden’s Parents Guide To Internet Safety

We know that if you read Sheepshead Bites, you’re already one savvy internet user. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn some additional tips to help protect your kids.

That’s why we’re bringing you a digital version of Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety, a booklet released by State Senator Marty Golden yesterday to help parents keep their children safe.

A little disclaimer is in order, though. When we read the first few lines of the pamphlet, we were disappointed to see an oft-used line that we believe to be misleading and harmful, so we considered axing this publication. Golden starts with a note to constituents that states, “Did you know that one in five children has been sexually solicited online?”

That’s a line that’s frequently deployed by media outlets, advocacy organizations and lawmakers. Unfortunately, it’s misleading and is tinged with an element of fear-mongering.

The number itself dates back to a 2000 study by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, that casts a broad definition of “sexually solicited,” and is often erroneously repeated as one in five children has been “approached by online predators.” Not only that, but the numbers are outdated.

We’re not going to get into all the dirty details – you can find a pretty comprehensive analysis of the statement here. We’re also, for the record, not accusing the senator of fear-mongering – this statement is so frequently repeated that it’s become part of common lore, and we’re reasonably sure Golden has heard it so often he didn’t think to look up the backstory.

So why do we say all this? Misinformation is dangerous, and while parents should take appropriate measures to monitor their children online and ensure their safety, we worry that parents will take their precautions too far, preventing their children from not only the bad, but all the wonderful things the internet has to offer. Like Sheepshead Bites.

That said, the tips are effective and important. Check it out.

Members of the New York Mets, circa 1968, from left: Pitcher Dick Selma, southpaw pitcher Jerry Koosman, catcher Jerry Grote, pitcher Nolan Ryan and Tom "Terrific" Seaver. Source: Mets Merized Online

For all you New York Mets diehards out there, Long Island University Professor of History and noted authority in the field of popular culture, Joseph Dorinson, will deliver the lecture, “Here Come the Mets,” March 5 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Kings Bay YM-YWHA, 3495 Nostrand Avenue between Avenue U and Avenue V.

Coming on the heels of the heels of the recent death of beloved New York Mets catcher Gary Carter, Dorinson will present an encapsulated history of New York’s Amazin’ National League underdogs — from their early “lovable loser” days under the helm of the legendary Casey Stengel, through their “Miracle” championship years with managers Gil Hodges and Davey Johnson, to the present day struggles — leading up to the franchise’s 50th Anniversary.

Here’s a little video to get you in the mood:

To learn more, call (718) 648-7703, email or visit

Technically we don’t post inside-the-home shots, since you generally can’t tell if it’s inside an apartment on Ocean and Voorhies, or inside a home in Dubuque, Iowa, but I’m making a special exception here because:

  1. You can kinda see the outside world, even if you have no idea what you are looking at (somewhere in Sheepshead Bay).
  2. Randy hasn’t sent us a photo in so very long.
  3. I love cats.

Photo by Randy Contello

This is a paid announcement from Brainy Academy, a new educational institution on Sheepshead Bay Road that is holding two open houses this weekend.

Brainy Academy offers unique enrichment classes and intensive tutoring for children ages 3 to 16.

At Brainy Academy, we teach children to take learning to the next level using innovative educational methods, emphasizes independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development to cultivate a superior learning experience for every pupil, and to get them into elite schools.

Among the advanced learning techniques Brainy Academy uses, are:

  • English and Math classes for children ages 3 to 6. Kids learn to read, write, do mathematics and prepare for the New York City gifted and talented test (OLSAT).  Classes are two hours each and can be attended up to twice a week. Children learn under the guidance of a professional Montessori teacher in a small group setting.
  • Lego® Education enrichment classes, in which children ages 6 to 14 learn science, math and computer programming.  Students create machines using products specifically made by the Lego® Company for the educational environment.  Older students create and program sophisticated robots. Classes focus on developing the student’s ability to think logically, build up a strong scientific knowledge base and prepare for entry into elite junior high schools and high schools.
  • Intensive tutoring classes are available to help students score that elusive “4” on New York State Math and ELA tests.  Success on the standardized tests ensures the best chance possible for entry into elite schools.
  • Lego®-based birthday parties are here! Themes include Star Wars®, Harry Potter®, Pirates of the Caribbean® and much more.  All birthday parties include the use of our adults-only 1,000 square foot terrace.

Visit our open house on Saturday, March 3, and Sunday, March 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
We are conveniently located at 1733 Sheepshead Bay Road, 4th Floor
(Across the street from Bally’s)

Call (347) 450 3123 for more information.

The above is a paid announcement. Sheepshead Bites has not verified the claims made in this advertisement. If you own a business and would like to announce a special offer to tens of thousands of locals, e-mail us at advertising [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

It took just hours after State Senator Carl Kruger resigned for his name to be scrubbed from signage on his district office at 2201 Avenue U, and now, two and a half months later, the sign fixtures themselves have been stripped from the building.

A crew of workers arrived on the scene today taking down what little remained: a blanked-out sign with the State Senate seal, address and a small line that marked it as a community office of the State Senate. The office, though, is still open with staffers on hand to provide assistance to neighbors.

The workers also hit the Friends of Carl campaign office around the corner, leaving quite the desolate sight:

816 Avenue U (Source: Robert Fieseler/The Brooklyn Ink)

Just over three months after local leaders emerged victorious in a fight barring a new bar and lounge from opening on Avenue U, the establishment’s owners have tweaked their plans and requested Community Board 15′s approval for a liquor license.

The owners of the business at 816 Avenue U, previously named Pleasure Island, have changed the proposed name to Galaxy, and met with Community Board 15′s executive committee to stress that they were planning a calmer environment by making it a full-fledged restaurant rather than a bar, in an apparent concession to neighbors’ wishes.

The board voted to reject the business’ new proposal, saying that the owners’ histories cast doubt on their promises of working with the neighborhood.

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