Unless you’ve been living on the other side of the globe, you know that most of the United States has been under a high heat dome for the last week or so. It doesn’t look like it’s going to get better soon, so it’s time to start taking some precautions.

Con Edison has already reduced the juice they’ve been supplying to the neighborhood. They’re also asking customers in our area not to use appliances such as washers, dryers, and other energy-intensive equipment, and to turn off lights and televisions when not needed.

Now, they’re taking this one step further. This just in from Con Ed….

Notification issued on 7/23/2011 at 7:30 PM. Con Edison will be distributing dry ice from 9 AM to 9 PM tomorrow, 7/24. Distribution will occur at Sheepshead Bay High School, at 3000 Avenue X in Brooklyn. For more info please contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED or online at http://www.coned.com/newsroom/news/pr20110723_2.asp

For residents picking up dry ice, instructions for safe handling and disposal are printed on the paper bag containing the ice. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Keep children and pets safely away.

They’re taking this heat wave seriously. So should you. Pick up some dry ice for your fridge and turn off those air conditioners and TVs – but not your computers. Computers are essential equipment. Everyone needs to keep reading Sheepshead Bites.


Shot within the first week of my owning my D90. It will be one year on July 29. Photo by Erica Sherman.

Source: schools.nyc.gov

School’s Chancellor Dennis Walcott is reaching out to NYC school families. The newly-appointed head of the Department of Education is collecting parent feedback in his Chancellor’s Family Feedback Form, asking what information is important to parents and how they’d prefer to hear from the DOE. Here is the letter, in full:

NYC Public School Parent/Guardian,

Families are valued partners, and we know that your feedback and suggestions are key to improving your child’s education.

Chancellor Walcott wants to know what information about your child’s education is most important to you and how you’d prefer to hear from us. Tell him by completing the Chancellor’s Family Feedback Form.

Our goal is to do a better job of providing tools to help you support your child and this is just another way to help make that happen. The deadline to complete the form is Monday, July 25th. So what are you waiting for? Get started!

If you’ve already completed the form, we ask that you forward this email to a friend, post it on facebook or Twitter or share the flyer with your community (available in 10 languages).

Enjoy your summer and thanks in advance for your feedback!

Don’t forget — the deadline is this Monday, July 25th.

THE COMMUTE (Special Edition): Since I have been writing The Commute, I really haven’t said anything really bad about Jay Walder. In fact, I have complimented him several times. I gave him credit for being the first MTA Chairman to admit that the MTA could be doing a better job managing its money and eliminating waste. I have also given him credit for attending some of the public hearings last year for the massive service cuts he instituted due to Albany stealing dedicated funds for mass transit. He was sensitive to the concerns he heard and vowed that these would be the last major service cuts.

But now that he will be leaving, none of his promises matter anymore. If you want to read about Walder’s accomplishments during his short tenure, you have come to the wrong place. You can read about the money he saved, the new projects he initiated, and the reactions to his departure elsewhere. Ben Kabak at SecondAvenueSagas.com wrote a fine summary.

Now that he will be leaving, he’s shown his true colors. His promises no longer matter, and he has betrayed us.

Find out how.

Sheepshead Bites has snagged the first publicly-available look at Russian Dolls, the new Brighton Beach-based reality show that will air on Lifetime on August 11 at 10:30 p.m.

Lifetime says the show, which had the working title Brighton Beach, provides a “rare and entertaining look at Brighton Beach’s colorful multi-generational families whose dramas and dreams contend with their Russian heritage while living in this famous, alluring, vibrant and highly protective community.”

The series, originally pitched as the Russian response to the MTV hit Jersey Shore, continues to fuel chatter throughout the neighborhood, with some Russian-American leaders excited for the spotlight, and others worried about a poor depiction of the Russian community based on stereotypes. Everything from the name - a term for prostitutes – to some of the people it revolves around, has been criticized. Sheepshead Bites was the first news outlet to reveal a Brighton Beach reality show was in the works, breaking the story in February 2010.

We’ve been asked not to give too many details about the show away – and, yes, we’ve seen full character bios and episode synopses – but we will tell you that it focuses on eight local Russian-Americans.

And we’ve got the character rundown after the jump.

It’s been a while since we checked in with the folks over at the Edible Schoolyard, an experimental educational program to bring children closer to their food sources. The program launched with private and public funds at P.S. 216  (350 Avenue X) in October, and in good time it began looking mighty lush.

The verdant schoolyard is full of fruits, vegetables and herbs, and a stroll through its narrow, mulch-covered path is more reminiscent of a trip to a national parkland than a New York City playground. But a playground it is, tended to by students, teachers and their families.

The schoolyard launched, touting plans to help raise funds by selling their produce to the public, and that program has finally kicked off. Every Thursday while the harvest lasts, they’ll be hosting a small farmer’s market, with goods plucked straight from the ground. Tables will hawk the goods from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., giving a narrow window to get some of the freshest goods available in Gravesend.

Available at the market this season is eggplant, lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, flowers, radishes, tomatoes, a variety of herbs and more.

“Everything is grown and harvested by the summer program here, and originally planted by the students,” said Vera Fabian, the head garden teacher. The summer program invites families of P.S. 216 students to tend the grounds during the recess months, and enjoy a meal made from the produce.

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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.

Some time last week this street corner changed. Something that was there isn’t now. Can you spot what it is?

To make it easier, we’ve included a couple of signs you should look for. Not to advertise the fact, but they’re there, staring you in the face, like bills on a board.

It’s a vertical photo of a semi-vertical post, within a post. Just thinking about that makes my noodle hurt. Photo by Laura Fernandez.

When Nicole Hidalgo sings the National Anthem, it’s not just to honor the nation. It’s not just for her singing career, or the experience of winning. When she sings it, it brings her a little closer to her uncle, Charles “Chuckie” Mendez, a firefighter who died in the September 11 World Trade Center attacks. And now she’s poised to have that experience in front of the largest audience of her life.

Hidalgo, a Gerritsen Beach native,  is one of four finalists competing for the chance to sing in honor of the Stars & Stripes to a crowd of 80,000 before a Jets game. The competition ends tomorrow, July 22, at midnight, and she needs all the help she can get from neighbors to boost her into the spotlight.

Keep reading to find out how you can help.