A message from our friends at the Shorefront YM-YWHA:

The Shorefront YM-YWHA announces its participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Meals will be provided to all children attending Shorefront Y program age 18 years and under without charge. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

The times meals are served are:

Persons interested in receiving more information should contact Amanda Kaplan at the Shorefront Y, 3300 Coney Island Ave, (718) 646-1444 ext. 334.

Source: wheany/Flickr

I swim like I run. Slowly. And for short distances. And followed by heaving and, eventually, a nap I didn’t earn.

So this Sunday’s event isn’t for me to take part in, but it should be fun for spectators – not to mention the party afterwards.

The Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers is hosting Grimaldo’s Mile, a one-mile, straight-line ocean swim, parallel to shore along – you guessed it – Coney Island Beach and Brighton Beach. The July 17 event kicks off at 8:00 a.m., with the race starting in Coney Island at Stillwell Avenue; it finishes at Brighton Beach by the Shorefront Y at Coney Island Avenue.

The after-party at the Y includes yummy food, live music and a great goodie bag. It’s too late to register to swim, but we recommend showing up with a box of cigars, giving all the swimmers silly names like racehorses, then cheering on your favorite one. When you lose, you should have some papers to tear up and throw in the air while you stomp around and spit. It’ll bring back some of that ol’ Brighton Beach we all miss so much.

Or, you know, you can just watch and go to the party like a normal human being.

Click to enlarge

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.

ILI Flag

Source: ilination.net

There are lots of people who often joke about New York City seceding from New York State, and I admit, I’m one of them. But imagine my surprise to hear that there’s a secessionist movement for Long Island. As it turns out, Brooklyn is the capital of The Independent State of Long Island. That’s right.

I was watching the most recent episode of “How The States Got Their Names” on History Channel. This episode focused on the various accents across the country and eventually they got to discussing the accent’s from Long Island. This led to a small segment about The Independent State of Long Island and their dream of Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk succeeding into it’s own state. There’s even a pretty clever flag! Well, it got me to thinking. If Brooklyn was the capital of Long Island the 51st state then what would that mean for Sheepshead Bay?

How would things be different around here? Would we get more tax money for infrastructure? Would the port and bay get more development? Would we be a tourist destination? Without the MTA would we retain the focus for public transport to New York, or would easy access to the rest of the island become a priority?

Kinda makes you think doesn’t it? As for The Independent State of Long Island, the movement has been around since 2007. Check out the website for a whole bunch of interesting statistics, they even have a news page! As for me, I kinda wanna get that flag…

Photo by Erica Sherman.

Police search the backyard of a Sheepshead Bites reader living near the scene of the crime.

Residents watch the search efforts unfold from East 23rd Street and Avenue Z. (Photo by nolastname)

Two thugs allegedly assaulted a man on Avenue Z between East 21 Street and East 22nd Street this evening, sparking off a police pursuit lasting nearly an hour.

According to police officials, the assault happened at approximately 9:13 p.m. It’s unclear what led to the fight, but after dealing out blows to their victim, the suspects fled on foot as police arrived on scene.

NYPD began searching after they arrived, with several low flying helicopters lighting up streets, backyards and roofs as police hunted for their suspects. The focus of the search appears to have been around East 24th Street, between Voorhies Avenue and Avenue Y.

All three people involved were taken into custody before 10:00 p.m., and no suspects remain on the loose.

The victim did not appear to have any major injuries and was taken to the 61st Precinct to be interviewed, where EMS responders met him to tend to his wounds.

The heightened police activity sparked numerous messages to Sheepshead Bites, with various accounts describing the chaotic scene as it unfolded. Some of those witness accounts can be read on our previous post.

Photo by nolastname

FINAL UPDATE (11:00 p.m.): The incident related to an assault on Avenue Z between East 21st Street and East 22nd Street. All involved have been taken into custody. You can read the full story here.

Original post:

Beginning at 9:30 p.m., we’ve been receiving numerous reports of helicopters hovering over various parts of Sheepshead Bay, specifically around Bedford Avenue. We’ve heard several choppers and police cars were near Voorhies Avenue and Bedford, then further up Bedford. Within 20 minutes, we received several other reports that at least five helicopters were in the sky over Avenue U near Bedford Avenue.

We do not yet have any information on what’s going on, but we’re trying to find out. If you have any information, please send an e-mail or leave it in the comments.

UPDATE (10:08 p.m.): The following message was left by a reader on our Facebook wall:

something big happening right now on East 24th right off Voorhies. Helicopters overhead, and just about every unmarked and marked police car and offices with guns drawn. Anyone have any other info?

Another reader wrote:

A lot of aerial police activity over 26th st btwn Y and Z. Not sure what it is about but they are clearly looking for someone.

UPDATE (10:10 p.m.): Another reader with their ear to police scanners says “it seems like they have transported 4 people already.” We’re still working to find out the story.

UPDATE (10:19 p.m.): The helicopters were apparently flying very low with spotlights on. Still no word from the NYPD, and no one with knowledge of the situation has stepped forward.

UPDATE (10:23 p.m.): It appears it all may have stemmed from a street fight. Reader nolastname writes in:

I was told there was a street fight and the helicopters were looking for the suspects (possibly 2 or 3, I was told by people on the scene).

First was a regular PD heli, then they brought in the big boy and scanned roofs any yards. I heard one officer say something about Nostrand Ave before they all left.

pics are Z/23…..1 is E23 bet Z and Vhoories, the police were searching backyards.

UPDATE (10:31 p.m.): Another reader just sent in this report:

Big police action, cops were running into everyones property, raiding backyards, breaking open sheds on their search for someone.  Heard a couple of gunshots, but not 100% sure. Heard people talking on East 24th Street and Avenue Z that someone had been shot and taken in an ambulance. Again, not 100% sure of that truthfulness either.  Helicopters looming very low to the ground with their spotlights on everyones homes.

We have not yet confirmed gun shots, and we remind readers to take all reports with a grain of salt until they have been confirmed by authorities.

The following was submitted by Ed Jaworski, president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association and director of the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance. Looking to get involved? E-mail Jaworski.

There was the fictional town of Mayberry in the popular 1960′s TV series, “The Andy Griffith Show.”  Who decided that Mayor Stoner would run to succeed Mayor Pike? Were Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife elected or appointed by some never-seen political boss?

Since Mayberry was a small, one traffic sign town, picture ordinary people, rather than a “political machine,” making these decisions.  Perhaps conversations first took place among neighbors at the barber shop or general store, and then solidified at a town hall gathering.  Certainly such citizen participation is what was intended by this country’s founding fathers when town meetings took place in colonial–era churches

The U.S. Constitution begins with “We the people.”  It doesn’t refer to party leaders, or political clubhouses, or backroom deals, or following party rules. It probably envisioned neighbors openly getting together so that they might decide on representatives.

So, where do “We the people” fit into the process of selecting candidates for vacant elected posts – especially Anthony Weiner’s seat in Congress?

Probably about where our Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods were last winter in the snow removal debacle: Buried under excuses, wondering who to trust.

Keep reading Jaworski’s op-ed on returning government to the people.

You cannot deduct medical marijuana from your taxes. But, if you're a stoner, are you really going to remember to keep the receipt anyway? (Source: Dank Depot/Flickr)

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

Benjamin Franklin famously declared that the only things certain in this world are death and taxes. Luckily, in America, trying to stave off the former can save you some money on the latter. To help you out, I’ve compiled a couple of important things you should know regarding your healthcare and the tax code.

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A message from the NYC Department of Education:

Round 2 of the pre-kindergarten admissions process will begin on Monday, July 18. On that date, pre-k directories and applications will be available on the pre-kindergarten admissions web page and at enrollment offices. The directory will include a list of available seats by program. The deadline to submit a Round 2 application online is 11pm on Sunday, July 31.

If you would like to complete a paper application, you’ll need to visit an enrollment office. The deadline to submit the paper application to an enrollment office is 3pm on Friday, July 29. Offer letters will be sent to families in late August.

Key Dates

  • July 18: Directories and applications available online and at enrollment offices
  • July 29 at 3pm:Deadline to submit a paper application to an enrollment office
  • July 31 at 11pm: Deadline to submit online application
  • Late August: Offer letters sent to families