Source: Robert Hoge (Lincoln Memorial) and Sarah Korf (Ash Wednesday) / Flickr

As previously reported here (where you can also get a complete listing of the entire 2012 NYC Parking Calendar), alternate side of the street parking regulations for street cleaning will be suspended on Monday, February 20, in observance of Presidents Day, and Wednesday, February 22, in observance of Ash Wednesday. All other street parking regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.

Photo by Robert Fernandez

And the story behind this compelling image, shot on the fence of the municipal parking lot on Avenue Z, is: The New York City Department of Transportation invested $25,000 into haikus and stick-figure illustrations, such as the one you see above (sans haiku), in an attempt to curb increased pedestrian fatalities and “prod the city’s plugged-in throngs to put down their smartphones and pay more attention” [when they cross the street].

The $25,000 transportation grant from the state was comprised of accrued fines generated from DWI arrests. DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who is also a strong proponent of bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, touted the initiative as a “way to surprise people on the streets of New York.”

Surprise! Not everyone is impressed, though.

Queens City Councilman Eric Ulrich, a member of both the City Council’s Public Safety and Transportation committees, told the New York Post that, “I can think of better ways to spend $25,000 of the state’s money — it’s a waste,’’ and his colleague, City Councilman James Vacca, chair of the Transportation Committee concurred: “I think most drivers would feel safer if DOT forgot about the haikus and fixed potholes within three days instead of 10.’’

John Morse, the East Village artist who designed the artwork, told the Post that, he just wants people to “think about the fragility of your body. You’re just a human. You’re nothing against these cars.”

Thanks for the reminder, John.

It makes other failed initiatives that attempted to “prod the city’s plugged-in throngs to put down their smartphones and pay more attention” seem not all that crazy after all.

What do you think of the initiative?

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.

The Brooklyn District Attorney has not yet filed charges related to yesterday’s multi-agency rescue of 23 dogs living in squalor in a Sheepshead Bay couple’s two homes, though the city did issue a slew of health- and safety-related violations.

The DA’s office is still investigating the case, and the dogs are in the custody of Animal Care & Control.

“The dogs need to be evaluated to see what condition they’re in, and that can take up to two weeks,” said a spokesperson for the DA.

The city first needs to determine the severity of the treatment before it can raise animal cruelty charges, the spokesperson said.

Sheepshead Bites broke the story yesterday of the rescue of 23 dogs from a Bedford Avenue couple. The duo kept 13 dogs in their primary residence at 4215 Bedford Avenue and 10 dogs in a second home at 2713 Avenue Y that had no heat or running water.

An on-scene investigator mistakenly told us that the couple was facing 20 counts of animal cruelty. We have corrected the original report to reflect the latest update.

According to the Tri-State Shetland Sheepdog Rescue organization, which the DA noted was involved in bringing the case to their attention, the dogs were malnourished, anemic, flea-ridden and unvaccinated.

Apparently, the city agrees. The Department of Health gave the couple violations for owning dogs without rabies vaccine certificates.

At the Avenue Y address, the Department of Buildings has issued violations and ordered the couple to clean and make repairs within 30 days or face a vacate order. They also cited the couple for an illegal apartment in the Bedford Avenue home.

The FDNY issued violations for blocking exits at the Avenue Y house.

From our friends at the Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn:

Only four-plus months away.

Photo by Yura Dashevsky

Just under a month ago, Maksim Gelman was sentenced to 200 years by a Brooklyn judge for the four stabbing deaths during his 28-hour rampage. Now a Manhattan judge has tacked on 25 more years for the non-lethal slashing in Manhattan – his last victim before being locked up.

Before his sentencing, though, Joseph Lozito – the man he stabbed, but who also fought back and eventually subdued Gelman – took the opportunity to get a little psychological payback for his victims.

The New York Post reports:

“When you attacked me, you went down real easy,” Lozito said, setting off an exchange of insults between the two men.

“You didn’t take me down, you jerk—,” Gelman roared back.

“What you have, ladies and gentlemen, the funniest Russian since Yakov Smirnoff,” Lozito shot back in response to the hulking Gelman’s outburst.

The trash-talking came as the crazed killer replayed the vile rants that highlighted his earlier sentencing, when he berated the boyfriend of a young woman he killed and bellowed at a Brooklyn judge to “suck my Russian d—.”

“F—ing moron! Jerk—!” Gelman yelled at Lozito.

… Lozito, whose head is massively scarred from the knife attack, named each of Gelman’s victims, telling the madman to “just think about the lives that you changed.”

“They’ll never get to walk the face of the Earth because you’re a spoiled little boy,” Lozito said. “Instead of taking your ball and going home, you threw a tantrum.

“I hope you rot in your cell,” he continued. “You have hell to look forward to, so enjoy it.”

The Seven Bridges Project on the Belt Parkway sure is plodding along, but we’re sure there are still plenty among you wondering why the heck such a large-scale project needed to be done.

Well, worry not. Crazeenydriver is here to explain it to you… and with a spectacular Brooklyn accent.

In Crazee’s video, Exploring The Belt Parkway Plum Beach Bridge, we see there’s still plenty of work to be done. The January 29 video focuses on the undercarriage of the bridge as well as the walkway. Throughout the slideshow video, he shows some photos of eroding metal and pavement that’s on top of the bridge, and rust that has coated parts of the bridge.

When he arrives at the bottom of the bridge, you can see that a good portion of the concrete has worn off. However, he did notice some beams that were placed under the bridge that weren’t there during his last visit a year ago.

“It’s in poor condition,” said Crazeenydriver in the video.

The $365 million contract for the Seven Bridges Project started in 2009, beginning with reconstruction three significantly deteriorated bridges on the Belt Parkway. The federal- and city-funded initiative is part of the $5 billion tab that the Bloomberg administration has picked up on bridge rehabilitation.

The project is expected to be completed by 2013.

The owner attempts to get the dog back from an Animal Care & Control worker.

Authorities raided two Sheepshead Bay homes owned by one couple, leading to the rescue of 23 dogs living in deplorable conditions.

Officials from a slew of agencies – including Animal Care & Control, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, FDNY, NYPD, Department of Buildings and Department of Health – descended first on 2713 Avenue Y this morning with a warrant, eventually bursting into the house to find clutter, garbage and 10 poorly cared for Shetland Sheepdogs.

Afterwards, authorities moved on to the pet owners’ primary residence at 4215 Bedford Avenue, where they pulled out 13 more dogs – mostly Shetlands.

According to a volunteer organization involved in the case, the dogs were underfed, anemic and flea-infested. They had also never seen a veterinarian to receive vaccinations or checkups.

The owners are being charged with at least 20 counts of cruelty to animals, according to a representative from the DA’s attorney on the scene. (CORRECTION [2/17/2012]: The DA has not yet filed charges against the couple.)

They were also given fines for various violations related to health and safety matters.

Get more information, and view photos and video from the rescue.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

TELLING TIPS: You can read earlier installments of “Tips For The Taxed” here (“Tips For The Taxed I”) and here (“Tips For The Taxed II”).

Here are a few non-obvious considerations.

The NY State 529 College Plan: College isn’t cheap, but you can save a few dollars with the NY State 529 college plan, even if you or your child is presently in college, and you are paying the expenses. The plan allows you to contribute up to $5,000 each year, and an equal amount from your spouse. If you are going to pay tuition, fees, books, supplies, even room-and-board within a few months, just make a contribution to the plan now, and then take out the money in a couple of weeks. Many of you are in the eight percent to 10 percent effective tax range for New York. That means that, by following this suggestion, you can save eight percent to 10 percent on your contribution to the plan, and get the savings back on your tax return. Can you use an extra $800 or $1,000? To compute your effective tax rate, divide your total tax (Form IT-201, line 61) by your taxable income (Form IT-201, line 39). Attention grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of the family: This savings is available even if the student is not your dependent. (If anyone would like to help me out with my kid’s college, please contact me.)

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