Source: davidsonscott15/Flickr

Looks like the city press is catching on to something we’ve already noted at Sheepshead Bites: Sheepshead Bay’s crime rates are up for the year. Oh, and the rest of the city is catching up.

The New York Post is reporting that we are just a couple of crimes away from crossing over into a citywide crime increase. We’re currently down for the year a measly .01 percent, with nine problematic precincts pulling the rest of the city towards and overall increase. And Brooklyn seems to be leading the way in number of precincts with a rise in crime, with five of the nine based in the county of Kings.

The eight other precincts seeing an “alarming spike in crime” are:

  • 34th Precinct in Washington Heights, Manhattan
  • 90th Precinct in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  • 42nd Precinct in Tremont, Bronx
  • 66th Precinct in Borough Park, Brooklyn
  • 76th Precinct in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
  • 77th Precinct in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
  • 100th Precinct in Rockaway, Queens
  • 113th Precinct in St. Albans, Queens

According to the Post, NYPD brass are launching a “get-tough” policy to pressure police commanders to reduce rates.

How have the increased crime rates in Sheepshead Bay affected you? Do you think this is becoming a worse area to live in, or is it just an anomaly that will work itself out?

MTA rider Aaron Goldberg, unfairly summonsed? Source: NY1

THE COMMUTE: There have been new developments this week in previous transportation stories covered by Sheepshead Bites. Here they are:

Unfair Summonses

Last week we reported on the plight of Aaron Goldberg, who received a summons for riding the M15 Select Bus Service without a receipt because both machines that would have dispensed one when he inserted his unlimited MetroCard were out of order. Goldberg appeared this week at the Transit Adjudication Bureau and was found “Not Guilty,” which he accredits to having a TV News station behind him. Others who appeared were not as lucky. New York 1 describes a process that is both time consuming and cumbersome, involving waits of four hours for a five-minute hearing or having to appear multiple times. The relationship between the legal implications and the administrative code in making a ruling can be quite complex as BusMgr shows in this BusChat post.

Clearly, changes are in order.

Keep reading for other updates in recent transportation stories.

Perhaps the most oft-repeated sound bite heard before, during and after the “Sheepshead Bites Night @ MCU Park” this past Friday — a wonderful, if not completely serendipitous occasion, which brought to mind a favorite Yiddish expression: “Mensch tracht un Gott lacht” — “People plan and God laughs.” I am sure a recapitulation is forthcoming — stay tuned.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Photo by ShadowLock, who just loves clouds.

Following reports that the Brighton Beach Post Office at 3157 Coney Island Avenue is slated for potential closure, Congressman Jerold Nadler is fighting to keep it open.

Nadler wrote the following letter to the postmaster general:

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:

As the Congressional representative for the 8th Congressional District in New York, I am writing concerning the proposed closures of several post offices in my district. It has come to my attention the Brighton Retail Station at 3157 Coney Island Avenue in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, the Ovington Retail Station at 6803 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and the 26 Federal Plaza and Port Authority Retail Stations in Manhattan are among the 3,653 retail stations being studied for closure nationwide by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

I understand that difficult decisions need to be made by the USPS in the face of serious budgetary concerns due to declining revenue. However, I strongly recommend that the USPS keep the Brighton and Ovington Retail Stations open, as these stations are located in neighborhoods where the communities rely on their local post offices on a daily basis. Additionally, I have heard serious concerns from the communities served by the 26 Federal Plaza and Port Authority retail stations.

The Brighton Retail Station is the only postal station in Brighton Beach, an area with many elderly, infirm and foreign-born individuals, a large number of whom use their local postal station on a regular basis. The neighborhood surrounding the Brighton Retail Station is home to more than 20 percent of residents above 65 years of age, almost twice the percentage of senior citizens in Brooklyn, and far higher than the national count, according to the U.S. Census. In addition, more than half of the residents of this neighborhood are foreign-born, and nearly a quarter of the population is disabled. Brighton Beach is also home to a thriving retail corridor, and businesses rely on the services provided by their local post office. When the station was in danger of closing last year after a proposed rent increase, my office and the USPS worked together with the landlord to sign a five year lease. I ask that you honor this lease going forward and keep the Brighton Retail Station open, for the good of the community and for local businesses.

The Ovington Retail Station’s closure would negatively impact many of my constituents in the neighborhood who rely on the station for their postal needs. In particular, the closure would affect the many seniors and the disabled who reside in this part of Bay Ridge. This neighborhood has a high percentage of disabled residents when compared with the rest of Brooklyn and with the national average, according to the last U.S. Census count. In addition, about half of the residents in the surrounding neighborhood are foreign-born, according to Census data. These populations, as well as local businesses, have come to rely on the Ovington Station, and its loss would make it difficult for them to access postal services.

As you study the impact of the potential closures, I also urge you to strongly consider the impact of closing the 26 Federal Plaza and Port Authority retail station on their surrounding communities. My office has been contacted by community members who utilize these two Manhattan post offices with concerns about their closure, especially regarding the impact on disabled individuals who use these stations.

I ask that you keep these postal stations open to ensure that residents and business communities do not lose vital resources.

I appreciate your attention to this important matter.

Brooklyn Federal Savings bank has been bought out, and the bank that gobbled it up – Investors Savings Bank – will hang new signs at the 3780 Nostrand Avenue branch in the next few days.

Keep reading to find out how this could affect you.

It’s on. It’s off. It’s on again. It’s off. Really, this time it’s actually off. And possibly for good.

The 18th Avenue Feast – a.k.a. Feast of Santa Rosalia – has been cancelled, organizers told our sister site, the Bensonhurst Bean.

“There isn’t gonna be a Feast,” Joe LaMotta, one of the festival organizers, told Bensonhurst Bean. “The Festa di Santa Rosalia is cancelled.”

“Everyone thinks it’s on based on what was reported [by Courier-Life and Brooklyn Paper], but that was very inaccurate,” said a staffer for a local politician who requested to remain anonymous. “It’s definitely not on as of right now.”

According to the Bensonhurst Bean’s report, delays in obtaining permits, changing demographics and even lasting effects from a massive FBI mafia bust earlier this year are among the many reasons that organizers have been unable to pull it together.

Organizer Joe DeMarco, though, is asking residents to be at peace with the decision, and instead help them plan for a new event next year – which could be hampered by the city’s tough permit-approval process.

Meanwhile, we’re wondering what it must feel like over at the Brooklyn Paper, who gloated earlier this week on Twitter when they claimed the event would be 10 days, rather than one as the Bean previously reported.

“Brooklyn Daily [the new website for Bay News and other Courier papers] gets the story right (unlike #sheepsheadbites): 18th Ave. fest to go off without a hitch,” they said via the Brooklyn Paper’s Twitter account.

Another day, another story that needs to be corrected at the News Corp.-owned publication…

Photo courtesy of Bona Weiss

Accomplished photographer, filmmaker and Sheepshead Bites reader Bona Weiss contacted us about a cool project he’d been working on:

A few years back, I started experimenting with 360 degree panoramas and took a few around the neighborhood. There wasn’t a Sheepshead Bites then (or at least I didn’t know about it yet), so there wasn’t much of a way to share any of it with neighbors. Anyway, these panoramas may not mesh with the content of the blog exactly, but I thought readers may find them interesting.

Futuristic-looking Emmons Avenue panoramas not “mesh” with Sheepshead Bites?? Pish-posh. Click here to behold some of the coolest photos I have ever seen.

In a second correspondence, Bona — who describes himself on his Facebook page as “[s]hooting and editing visual nightmares at 24 fps” [Ed – “fps” = “frames per second”] — explains that he used a program called “The Panorama Factory,” which he says allows you to select ‘stitching points’ between photos. “That outputs a jpg of the panorama,” he explains, “usually with a few errors in the seams (mostly ghosting), which I touch up in Photoshop. Then I convert it to flash with a program called ‘PanoSalado.’”

If you want to see more of Bona’s amazing work, check out his website or “like” him on Facebook.

UPDATE (10:36 a.m.): The NYPD tells Sheepshead Bites that they are “99 percent sure” they’ve found Rosenthal. They have him in custody and are awaiting a family member to confirm his identity. Thank you for any and all help in this case.

Original post:

Authorities have issued a Silver Alert for Leon Rosenthal, an 87-year-old last seen in Marine Park.

The alert was issued just after midnight. Rosenthal suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease and may be in danger due to last night’s storms. He is described as a white male, 5’6″ tall, and 140lbs. He is balding and has brown spots on his face.

He was last seen near Burnett Street and Avenue U in Brooklyn wearing brown slacks, a white button down shirt, and brown sandals.

If you see Rosenthal, please call 911.

Sent in by a reader with the following note: “[M]y name is JoAnne, (Georgia’s daughter) I saw this beautiful cloud when I got off the train & thought I would share it.”

Photo by JoAnne, Georgia’s daughter.