Sergei Dovlatov, right, with Peter Vail in New York (1981). Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

We received a press release from our friends at the Shorefront YM-YWHA (3300 Coney Island Avenue, corner of Brightwater Court), including an event scheduled this weekend on September 25:

Starting in September 2011, the recognition of iconic Soviet émigré writer Sergei Dovlatov’s 70-year birthday anniversary will take place in Russia, Estonia, and United States, the places where Sergei Dovlatov lived and worked. Dovlatov, whose work is loved by millions all over the world, lived in New York City after his forceful exile from the Soviet Union in 1979. In New York he found great success, publishing 12 stories in the prestigious magazine “The New Yorker,” 11 books, and receiving the Pen Club Prize in 1986, for best story of the year.

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…you make the rockin’ world go round. (Speaking of which, has anyone else seen this unbelievable video? Just…wow)

According to this morning’s featured photographer, the above depicted fat bottomed girl “used to be on the Neck Road Overpass.”

Photo by Robert Fernandez

Staff shortages, underfunded programs and lack of supplies are crippling public schools as the recession forces budget cuts citywide. One local principal, Arthur Forman of P.S. 195 in Manhattan Beach, described the tight constraints faced by his school – one admittedly better off than most – echoing the concerns of his colleagues.

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An American White Pelican lives the good life at Jamaica Bay. Source:

Living here in Sheepshead Bay, one is not necessarily exposed on a regular basis to a diverse plethora of exotic avian wildlife. Although we have pigeons, seagulls, ducks and swans — Lord knows we have swans — and are even graced with the occasional wayward Toucan (at least I think that is what it is), we are by no means a bird watchers’ paradise.

Fret not, budding Ornithologists — the American Littoral Society, Gateway National Park Service, NYC Audubon, and NYC Sierra Club are here to help! From a press release they sent our way:

Announcing a special 3-hour narrated sunset tour of Jamaica Bay aboard the Golden Sunshine. Learn about the history and ecology of the bay and see nesting & migrating hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Oystercatchers, Ospreys, Herons, Egrets, Ibis, shorebirds and waterfowl.

The tour will be led by Don Riepe, Guardian of Jamaica Bay and director of the Northeast Chapter of American Littoral Society and Mickey Cohen, noted local marine biologist. The tour is $45.00 per person and includes wine, cheese, fruit, and snacks. The tour will depart on September 25 from Sheepshead Bay, Pier 2 (Emmons Ave. and Bedford Ave, Brooklyn) at 4:00 pm. To reserve, send a check for $45/person to: American Littoral Society, c/o Don Riepe, 28 West 9th Road, Broad Channel, NY 11693.

The cruise is a cooperative program with the American Littoral Society, Gateway National Park Service, NYC Audubon, and NYC Sierra Club.

To learn more, go to, call (718) 318-9344 or email

Source: ERA Brokers Consolidated

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

Are you a new parent? Here’s a baby present.

You know that a tax credit is worth more than a tax deduction. That’s because the credit is a dollar for dollar offset to tax. The Child Tax Credit allows you to reduce your Federal income tax by up to $1,000 per child, and there is no limit to the number of children, as long as they are under 17 at the end of the year, living with you more than six months (excluding newborns), and a US citizen. So, if you have one child, your tax bill can be reduced by $1,000; triplets? $3,000! So why not think about increasing your family size next year, and the year after? This credit is limited to those with certain incomes, of course.

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Following our reports on Tuesday that locals are fuming over changes to the new Emmons Avenue traffic pattern, the Department of Transportation has issued a statement that suggests critics simply need to adjust and, hey, maybe they’ll add some signage. Not content with the explanation, one of those critics raises doubts.

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Given that we receive a slew of messages every day about incidents on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that cause delays, we rarely ever post anything about it. But this time reader Ed Lane sent in a very cool photo that was just too good to set aside.

At around 8:40 this morning, a truck reportedly carrying bottles of compressed oxygen burst into flames. Emergency responders shut down traffic in both directions on the upper level of the bridge to deal with the crisis, made more perilous by the fact that the canisters could explode if overheated. The fire was successfully put out, and the lanes reopened at 9:40 a.m.

Source: Food Matters

State Senator Carl Kruger will be offering free flu shots on seven separate dates at his district office, 2201 Avenue U at East 22nd Street, in conjunction with Beth-Israel Medical Center-Kings Highway Division.

Flu shots will be given this year, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, September 27; Tuesday, October 4; Thursday, October 6; Tuesday, October 11; Tuesday, October 18; Thursday, October 27, and Thursday, November 3.

From the release:

“As long as budget cuts and rising insurance costs threaten the delivery of health care in our state, I will continue to provide programs at my conveniently-located district office that will help you maintain your good health. While you’re visiting us, feel free to discuss matters of community or personal concern with my office staff, or resolve a consumer complaint with the help of my consumer advocate, or let us know how you feel about important legislative issues,” Kruger stated.

An appointment is required. Call Kruger’s district office at (718) 743-8610 to reserve your spot.


Photo by Kathleen Higgins

Photo by Erica Sherman

Last month’s much-hyped Hurricane Irene became a blessing in disguise for the Brighton Neighborhood Association.

As the Category 1 hurricane-turned-tropical-storm forced the postponement of the group’s annual Brighton Jubilee, fair-goers were finally able to enjoy the festivities – which just celebrated its 35th year – this past weekend in a temperate climate, a welcome respite from last month’s oppressive mid-August heat.

And, boy, did the crowd come out. A steady flow of people moved through the event throughout the day, totaling more than 100,000 attendees according to a police estimate given to the BNA.

“I am thrilled with the number of people who attended,” said Pat Singer, executive director of the BNA. “I am equally thrilled with the number of calls from people expressing their joy that the Jubilee was back.  It took a small army to put this on and I am grateful.”

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