One of the original proposals for Four Sparrows Shopping Center.

Community Board 18 will present new plans for the Four Sparrow Marsh area, a sliver of parkland in Mill Basin that may be turned over to commercial developers for a shopping center.

The meeting will take place tomorrow, January 18, at 8:00 p.m. in the Kings Plaza Community Room (enter near the garage on Flatbush Avenue; the community room is to your right).

It was about this time last year that we first wrote about the Four Sparrow Marsh, a nature preserve near Kings Plaza that the city was considering developing into a shopping mall. A key component of the plan includes a commercial building to go on the left side of the existing Toys “R” Us building, housing Kristal Auto Mall. That building will house the dealership, showroom and the service space, and there are also plans to expand an existing marina.

On the other side of Toys “R” Us is where the controversy emerged. Two options were being considered. The first was for two commercial structures that would house multiple commercial tenants. The second option was for one large commercial structure that would house one tenant. They’re also planning on-site parking for approximately 820 vehicles.

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Source: Simone Weichselbaum via Twitter

Authorities have arrested a Jewish man allegedly responsible for several recent anti-Semitic incidents, and who is suspected of perpetrating this weekend’s “Die Jews” graffiti in Midwood.

The Daily News reports:

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force tracked down David Haddad, 56, after several complaints were made – one by a relative and at least one other by a person known to him – for harassing them by phone and scribbling anti-Semitic symbols on apartment doors.

“Knowing someone put swastikas and derogatory messages on my door makes me sick,” said Susan Levin, who lives down the hall from Haddad, who allegedly wrote “All Jews Should Die” on her front door.

A neighbor called the cops after spotting five out of eight doors on the floor where Haddad lives scribbled with swastikas and anti-Semitic messages.

… Haddad, a building manager who lives on 8th Ave. in Chelsea, was arrested at his job Monday after the task force traced at least one of his phone calls, police said. He was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime, police said.

In addition to the graffiti in the Chelsea building, police say they believe him responsible for anti-Semitic death threats to an 80-year-old Brooklyn woman on December 11; a harassing phone call and graffiti on the door of an apartment owned by a Manhattan woman on January 10; and anti-Semitic threats via phone to an 87-year-old Chelsea woman and a 78-year-old Brooklyn woman.

Police also believe Haddad responsible for the anti-Semitic graffiti on East 5th Street in Midwood over the weekend, in which “Die Jews” and swastikas were painted on a garage, apartment building and yeshiva. He was not charged for those incidents.

The NY Post has a little more on Haddad’s possible motives:

Haddad had worked for his family’s business – the import/export of socks and underwear – in Linden, NJ, but left to start an off-shoot company, sources said.

That venture recently failed and Haddad began lashing out at family members and others, sources added.

His economic misfortune is being eyed as a possible motive, sources said.

As soon as he was taken into custody, Haddad secured a lawyer and made no statements or admissions to detectives, sources said.

In Midwood, the Daily News notes in a separate article that many of the victims didn’t know Haddad, shedding a sliver of doubt on the NYPD’s assertion that Haddad was responsible for the incidents locally. And, regardless, leaders of the heavily Jewish neighborhood point out that it’s part of a citywide trend most certainly perpetrated by multiple individuals.

“This first arrest is an empowering development,” City Councilman David Greenfield told the Daily News. But “it seems this is happening all over the city. All at the same time. It seems this individual is responsible for a section of it.”

State Senator Marty Golden demands auto insurance reform. Photo by Erica Sherman

The following is a press release from the Office of New York State Senator Marty Golden:

SEN. GOLDEN, NYSAIF: WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT AUTO INSURANCE FRAUD?

Millions of New Yorkers offended by anti-Semitic smoke screen in Midwood car firebombings

Brooklyn, NY – Jan. 13…Millions of New Yorkers were offended and a community was terrified by the seemingly anti-Semitic car firebombings in Midwood, Brooklyn last November. But the crime that rattled the city has turned out to be just a smoke screen to conceal more auto insurance fraud — a crime that costs New Yorkers millions of dollars a year and puts lives at risk. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) and the citizen consumer group NewYorkers Stand Against Insurance Fraud (NYSAIF) ask that the state legislature tackle auto insurance reform this year.

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Erica Sherman passed by this scene moments ago. A bicyclist had just been struck on Ocean Avenue and Shore Parkway. Two drivers stopped to check on the cyclist, but it’s unclear if either one of them was involved in the incident. Emergency responders are en route to the scene.

“It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” [source]

Photo by James Griffin

My block has had a crazy cat lady for several weeks now. I may have to trap her.

No, I’m not talking about the kind of crazy cat lady that owns 182 cats and, when someone finally calls Animal Care & Control, they find petrified cat corpses behind the couch.

I’m talking about the kind that feeds strays. On other people’s properties. And doesn’t listen when you ask them not to.

I like cats. I’ve got nothing against cats. I feel bad for stray cats.

Feeding them, though, is a risky proposition. Some wingnut animal advocates say it doesn’t hurt, while most agree that it causes a population problem, as well as leads to the spread of diseases (and the mutation of diseases). Those are two good reasons not to feed cats, though not the only ones.

But, crazy cat lady, if you’re reading this, and if you’re still going to feed them, which I know you are… feed them in front of your own damn house. You don’t even live on my block. You don’t have to deal with the problem. And you don’t have to pick up all the garbage you leave around. Clearly my neighbors agree. Half of them have put out signs – which you’ve ignored.

Also, stop lying to me. I’ve caught you twice and you still insist it’s not you (even though I caught you red-handed one of the times). Don’t make me set up a crazy-cat-lady-sized Have-A-Heart trap. I’ll have to buy a lot of peanut butter to lure you in…

Reader Kevin L. was strolling by the former site of Nostrand Avenue’s Pathmark (3785 Nostrand Avenue) when he noticed things were looking a little, er, wet.

“Looks like the sprinkler system exploded or something of the sort. Water is pouring from the ceiling near the entrance. Huge puddle. Gonna be a nice ice rink soon,” Kevin wrote.  “If you look at the ceiling in the pic, it’s bending. Looks like it’s filled with water waiting to pop.”

Kevin said it didn’t look like the sprinklers were going off in the building, but said it was hard to tell.

Oh, and for those wondering what’s going on, we’ve heard through the grapevine that there have been several near-deals with various smaller supermarket chains to take the property – Western Beef among them – but parties have backed out after being unable to agree on a fair rent.

Pathmark has been closed since March April 2011.

A 5-year-old child was struck by a car on East 2nd Street, between Avenue X and Avenue W, according to a call on the police radio.

The incident occurred in front of 2359 East 2nd Street just minutes ago. The child’s condition is unknown, and it sounds as if the driver remained on the scene.

Police are on their way to respond to the incident.

Correction (1/17 at 2:30 p.m.): This incident was on East 2nd Street, not East 22nd as originally reported. The info above has been changed to reflect the correction.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes will sign free copies of his book, "Incident at Howard Beach: The Case for Murder"

The public is cordially invited to attend a complimentary* book signing featuring six-term Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Howard Beach incident and the re-release of his book, “Incident at Howard Beach.”

Click to enlarge

The DA’s book signing will be held at the Law Office of Baron Associates P.C., 2509 Avenue U (between Bedford Avenue and East 26th Street), January 17 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

For those of you too young to remember, here is the book’s description, which paints an apt picture of the racial turmoil that enveloped our city more than 25 years ago:

In December of 1986, “Howard Beach” became a code all over the world for the worst in racial tensions. The story behind the Howard Beach incident, its investigation, and the subsequent trial is a story of hatred, brutality and deceit; of media outcry, political shuffling, and public manipulation: of a cast of characters ranging from petrified politicians and outraged black activists to the quiet citizens of an insular suburb. But it was up to one man to bring the case to trial and steer it to its fair conclusion: Special Prosecutor Charles J. “Joe” Hynes. Incident at Howard Beach is his story — a riveting and candid exposé of his fight to discern what really happened that night, his struggle to make a coherent case out of those events, and the battles and tactics he used during the trial a year later in state supreme court. From the on-site investigation through jury selection, behind-the-scenes deal-making and trial deliberation, here is everything that led to the convictions and helped to quiet a city in turmoil.

*According to a spokesperson from Baron Associates P.C., you are guaranteed a free book** as long as you RSVP. If you have not yet made your RSVP, and there are still extra books, those will be distributed as well.

** Because of demand, organizers have asked we change the above to first 100 RSVP’s received a free book. (Update: 8:15 p.m.)

To RSVP, call Baron Associates P.C. Office Manager Eugene Burko at (718) 934-6501 or email him at eugene.burko@baronassoc.com.

This is just a reminder that there will be disruptions along the Q line during late-night hours this week.

The Q train will operate in two sections every night, Monday to Friday, from 11:45 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

The two sections are:

  1. Between 57 St-7 Av and Pacific St.
  2. Between Atlantic Av and Stillwell Av, every 30 minutes.

To continue your trip, transfer via passageway at Atlantic Av-Pacific St.