Guess. I dare you. Here’s a hint: it’s in Sheepshead Bay. Photo by Erica Sherman.

Moments ago, at around 6:25 p.m., a police car collided with another vehicle on Avenue Y and East 13th Street, leaving the car “wrecked” according to a witness.

“It sounded like a gunshot, I think the whole neighborhood heard it,” said a Sheepshead Bites reader who witnessed the accident.

According to witnesses, the police car was traveling east on Avenue Y, speeding with its lights on. The officer did not sound his siren, and a car that a witness said was speeding came into the intersection, going north on East 13th Street. The two collided, wrecking the front of the police car and causing damage to the front driver side of the civilian vehicle.

No one was seriously injured, though the civilian driver – a senior citizen with handicap plates – was complaining about minor pains.

Police, FDNY and other emergency services are arriving on the scene as we write, and Avenue Y was closed off from East 12th Street to East 14th Street.

This is breaking news and will be updated as we receive more information.

View more photos of the accident.

The MTA has spent the last four to five months clearing scores of trees and hundreds of pounds of garbage out of a once wild lot next to their substation on East 15th Street and Avenue Y.

The clearing, which stretches the entire block between Avenue Y and Avenue Z, will most likely be done in about a month, a worker on the scene told Sheepshead Bites. It began in late December, and the worker said they pulled out “some nasty stuff” from the lot, which residents have been complaining for years has doubled as an illegal dumping ground. The contractor said they found all kinds of garbage and waste, as well as dead cats and raccoons.

When we stopped by earlier today, an MTA Community Affairs liaison was on the scene, and said that the agency was clearing it in response to the complaints. The trees, he said, needed to be taken down because they’re sick. Some healthy trees are being left along the fence line close to the tracks in response to criticism from neighbors that they wanted some to remain.

The Community Affairs liaison also told Sheepshead Bites there are no plans for usage of the lot, contradicting rumors that it might be built upon or be used as a staging area for construction on the train line.

Now that the lot’s almost completely cleared, what do you think the the city could do to make this area more useful to residents? Hint: we’re thinking “dog run.”

Leaders of the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) launched a three-pronged political offensive last night, two against familiar enemies – the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association (MBNA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) – and a third against the neighborhood’s only representative to the City Council – Councilman Michael C. Nelson.

While topics during the group’s monthly meetings bounced back and forth between security, traffic safety and beachside barbecuing, the tone remained consistently hostile. They lashed out against the MBNA for their attempt to ban charcoal grilling in Manhattan Beach and they threatened a civil uprising against the DOT. But some of the choicest words were reserved for Councilman Nelson, who MBCG President Ira Zalcman said has broken promises, ignored the community and plays the politics of division in the neighborhood’s leadership struggles.

The publicity the neighborhood has received lately – whether it be from the feud between groups, the shenanigans of politicians, or some residents’ “exclusionary” proposals – has Zalcman feeling “humiliated” as a resident.

“I’m embarrassed when I go places and tell people I’m from Manhattan Beach,” he said. “I sometimes say I’m from Sheepshead Bay because I don’t want to get into it.”

Keep reading for the MBCG’s criticism of Nelson and the MBNA, and their threat to DOT – as well as more video.

What makes this Passover different from all other Passovers?

Well, for one thing, we’re still in the throes of an economic downturn. That means, with money being tight as it is, it may be a bit more difficult this year for observant Jews to purchase the necessary items to make a proper Passover seder.

To that end, the not-for-profit Be Proud Foundation will hold a Passover food distribution event on Friday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in conjunction with The Russian Television Network of America, at Aqua Health Rehabilitation Center, 2753 Coney Island Avenue.

Co-sponsored by Aqua Health and Nevsky Yablokoff Memorial Chapels, the organization will distribute packages of kosher food, including matzah, to seniors and people in need for the second year in a row.

“Passover is the best time for us to show that we care about our neighbors. We are going to share our joy and happiness with those who count on us more than ever in this current economic climate,” said Raisa Chernina, president and founder of The Be Proud Foundation.

For more, contact (718) 788-7773.

 

Gelman at his arraignment on Tuesday. (Source: NYDailyNews.com)

Maksim Gelman says he’ll be back on the streets in no time at all, claiming he’s too crazy to convict and will escape prosecution for his alleged 28-hour stabbing spree more than two months ago.

“It’s okay, I’ll beat this,” Gelman told an officer before his February arraignment, according to court documents first reported in the Daily News. “I’ll go to a mental hospital for a few years and then I’ll get out on the street again, you’ll see.”

Continue Reading »

Touting it as a celebration of springtime, AHRC — a consumer-based nonprofit organization serving more than 15,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities — is inviting those looking for a fresh start in the workforce to attend their open house/job fair/meet-and-greet. The event goes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 15 at the Stephen B. Siegel ADC Center, 2621 East 17th Street, between Avenue Z and Jerome Avenue.

Attendees are encouraged to apply for the F/T and P/T positions offered from AHRC’s various departments citywide. The Parks and Recreational Department will be on hand to answer all your questions, as will B2H, which provides services to individuals in the community, and representatives from other departments. An MTA representative will also be available to accept half-fare applications for those who are qualified.

And even if you already have a job, AHRC still wants its neighbors in the community to drop by for some food, refreshments, and maybe even to do a little impromptu gardening with them on their patio, commensurate with the day’s Earth-friendly theme.

To learn more, call the center at (347) 875-4880 or e-mail hannah.choi@ahrcnyc.org.

 

Grashorn Building in 1969.

Grashorn Building in 1969. Photo © Charles Denson via Coney Island History Project (and via Amusing the Zillion)

What more appropriate place in the world is there for the third installment of Men in Black III (MiB III) to be filmed than beautiful and bizarre Coney Island? And who better to save an endangered Coney Island building than Will Smith? (Ed. - Uh… anyone?)

The movie, centered around a top-secret agency that “polices, monitors and directs alien activity on Earth,” will see the return of original cast members Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, as well as Josh Brolin (who will play a younger Agent K, Tommy Lee Jones’ character, in a time travel twist). They’ll be be filming in Coney Island from May 2 to 6, according to a report by Amusing The Zillion, and Coney’s oldest building — the dilapidated Grashorn, on the corner of Surf Avenue and Jones Walk — has also been given a stay of execution from the clutches of Thor Equities.

Amusing The Zillion’s Tricia Vita further notes that construction workers are currently repairing the interior of the Grashorn for use as the crew’s location headquarters, so they’ll be pulling the structure out of the dredges. The Grashorn was erected in the 1880s, but has recently fallen into extreme disrepair and inhabitation by squatters, and was slated for demolition.

Bonus points? A retro ’60s transformation for the film’s time travel scenes will be incorporated into some of the buildings along Surf Avenue, Jones Walk and the Bowery, as well as on the Boardwalk and in Wonder Wheel Park. The film is slated for release on May 25, 2012.

MiB III, time travel, the ’60s and Coney Island? It’s time to whip my hair back and forth in joy.

That’s his name. No joke.

Photo by Laura Fernandez.

Who could resist seeing a musical extravaganza with songs such as “Don’t Touch My Junk,” “The Sarah Palin Ballad,” and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz making a guest-star appearance to sing his “Bike Lane Cantata.”

Resist no more, since New York City’s “only political cabaret series” — Symphony Space’s “Thalia Follies: A Political Cabaret” — is coming to the Kingsborough Performing Arts Center (KPAC – 2001 Oriental Boulevard), April 16 at 8 p.m. Public radio host and Symphony Space Founding Artistic Director Isaiah Sheffer will lead a colorful cast of Broadway and cabaret entertainers, including Ivy Austin, David Buskin, Nora York, The Chalks, and more, in “Divided We Stumble,” a special edition of The Follies.

The series, which features songs and comedy sketches on issues New Yorkers hold dear, was created by Sheffer with producer Martin Sage, and will surely turn the day’s issues and events into insight and laughter… something we could all use a little more of these days.

Tickets for the “Thalia Follies: A Political Cabaret” are $25 and are on sale now at KPAC, 2001 Oriental Boulevard. Box office hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more, call (718) 368-5596 or go to www.kcckpac.org.