The date is getting closer. Sheepshead Bites Night at MCU Park (Brooklyn Cyclones stadium) is this Friday, August 19! Find out more about the event and buy your discounted field box tickets now using the promo code “BITES.”

And our reader contest, Pitch-to-Pitch, which will determine which of our lucky readers will get to throw the first pitch, comes to an end tomorrow afternoon. Don’t forget to cast your vote now!

Oh, and, of course, here’s the open thread…

Reader Michael S. wrote in to tell us about a number of car break-ins that occurred overnight, around Shore Parkway and Bedford Avenue. The scene sounds similar to that of April 2010, when dozens of cars were broken into in one night by a team of thieves. Here’s what Michael writes:

My car and a few other cars in the area got broken into overnight i was parked on Bedford and shore parkway the broke the rear passenger window and thats how they got into the trunk. The took everything xbox360, macbook pro, dslr camera, remote control gas car.. Hit the jackpot. Another car on the street was broken into as well. At the glass shop now and there a few people that had there cars broken into overnight seems to be a trend all cars with tints.

Not to rub salt into your wounds, Michael, but why on earth would you keep an Xbox 360, Macbook Pro, DSLR and other high-value stuff in your car? We write all the time about how even pennies in your cup holder or GPS suction cup rings on your windshield can be enough of a justification for a thief to break your window. It’s not a joke; we hear these incidents from the police all the time.

Please, readers, the 61st Precinct’s Midnight Conditions Unit may be doing a good job reducing incidents like this, but they can’t eliminate it. Don’t leave anything of value in your car. Especially when you’re parking on a dark street like Shore Parkway.

I’m guessing most of us know which song the title references? Superb photo by Tinx Chan.

MNI have nothing to say about this.

A shameless Bonnie and Clyde team clipped a bunch of teddy bear centerpieces Friday from a sacred circumcision ceremony hosted by a Brooklyn city councilman, police said.

The daring theft came following the religious ceremony, called a bris, on Avenue T in Brooklyn for the 8-day-old twin grandchildren of Councilman Michael Nelson and his wife, Maureen.

“It really hurt a beautiful affair,” said the Sheepshead Bay councilman. “Everything was going so nicely.”

The brazen theft came as close to 100 guests ate in the ground-floor catering hall of the synagogue that hosted the bris.

Working together, the woman entered the catering hall and began collecting donations for charity while the man gathered the balloons and teddy bears that made up the centerpieces and took them upstairs.

“My wife asked me who they were,” Nelson said. “But I tried to be a nice guy and let them stay.”

Nelson said guests figured the pair were with the caterers, while the caterers assumed they were family members.

… Not only was the sticky-fingered partycrasher seen on video as he fled with the bears, but he left behind other gifts that included envelopes stuffed with cash.

Cops were examining the video to take a look at the uninvited guest, who Nelson said was wearing a yarmulke. His female accomplice was in traditional black garb, he said.

Read the full story from the Daily News.

The first of 19 cases pending against a fraud ring that scammed millions of dollars from a Holocaust survivors fund has ended with the defendant receiving a year in prison and an order to pay back $105,000.

Polina Anoshina, a 63-year-old Brighton Beach resident, was accused of plundering the Conference on Jewish Material Claims for $9,000 for her own benefit. But authorities also say she played a key role in helping about 30 friends and neighbors scam the fund for an additional $100,000. In addition to paying back the fund and a year in prison, Anoshina received two years probation.

“My entire life I lived a very hard life and a very difficult life; I never broke the law,” Anoshina said. “I swear that for the rest of my entire life I will never break the law again.”

The case first came to light in November, when federal authorities unveiled charges against the criminal ring of largely Brighton Beach residents, and included a number of caseworkers at the fund. The feds alleged the caseworkers colluded with the scammers over a 16-year period to find Russian-Jewish emigres to claim they were Holocaust survivors, often making up stories and forging documents, which the caseworkers then approved. In all, the fund claims it lost an estimated $40 million to the scam, though some have offered to repay what they took.

Nine defendants have already pleaded guilty to charges relating to the case.

THE COMMUTE: Select Bus Service (SBS) is due to arrive either later this year or mid-2012 on the B44 (Nostrand Avenue) bus. If you want an overview of how it will work you can get it here. According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, SBS on the B44 is the greatest invention since sliced bread. I have written on more than one occasion how the B44 SBS has been poorly thought out and how it can be improved.

Many riders along First and Second avenues in Manhattan like it because they believe it saves them time. My main gripe is that, for many, this may only be a perception, since bus travel times and numbers of passengers using SBS are the only indicators being tracked. No one is measuring door-to-door travel time for the passenger, which includes the additional walks to and from the stops that are spaced further apart than the Limited that the SBS replaces.

Also, transferring to the local bus is difficult since the local and SBS stops are separate and distinct and often are not adjacent to each other. It may also cost you an extra fare if you require a third bus or a train. So many who would like to use SBS might not be able to take advantage it.

Continue Reading »

A booth at the 18th Avenue Feast in 2009 (Source:Whiskeygonebad/Flickr)

(UPDATE [8/17/11]: Turns out the feast will be a full 10-day event. The original confusion was due to a typo on an event calendar that had us – and some city officials – confused. Check out this update for more information.)

Original post:

Our sister site Bensonhurst Bean has scooped the mainstream media again, discovering that the annual week-long tradition of the 18th Avenue Feast – aka Festa di Santa Rosalia – has been cut down to a one day event.

The Bensonhurst news blog reports the feast organizers have only requested permits for one day: Thursday, August 25, from 5 p.m. to 10 pm. It will be held on 18th Avenue between 67th Street and 75th Street.

Amidst swirling rumors, the district manager of Community Board 11 sought to clear things up for Bean readers:

“It is my understanding that the city is awaiting additional paperwork from the organizer, which I believe they are addressing,” District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia told the Bean. “Regarding the shortening of the feast, the (city’s) website shows it as one day. Community Board 11 has not received any notification that there have been any changes to the permit.”

That’s being greeted as good news by at least one 18th Avenue business owner, who said a “cancellation would be excellent news, because the Feast takes a lot of business away from 18th Avenue merchants, who pay rent to have stores on the Avenue.”

It appears Brooklyn has been home to a number of festival reductions or outright cancellations this year, including four in Flatbush alone, when the city said financial restraints are too much to justify street closures.

However, Bensonhurst Bean points out that a number of new festivals have popped up in Manhattan and Northern Brooklyn, raising the question – yet again – is Southern and Central Brooklyn getting the short end of the stick?

Read Bensonhurst Bean’s full report.

Firefighters and transit workers teamed up to battle a blaze that consumed a signal room and stretch of tracks at West 8th Street – New York Aquarium F and Q station on Friday evening, taking about three hours to squash the flames.

Tipster Elina N. sent in the above video taken just minutes after the fire erupted onto the second level. The fire originated on the roof of the signal station at approximately 6:30 p.m. and was “under control” by around 9:20 p.m. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Those hoping to visit Coney Island had their plans bungled, though, as transit workers spent all of Saturday repairing the extensive damage, including replacing track panels, wooden track ties and part of a walkway at the station. Q service was terminated between Brighton Beach and Stillwell Avenue for most of the weekend. The F train had no service between Avenue X and Stillwell Avenue.

All trains are now operating on their regular schedules, according to the MTA.

Were your weekend plans disrupted by the fire?

Bedford Avenue and Emmons Avenue was home to a three car accident at around 9:00 a.m. today. It’s unclear what caused the accident, but tipster Andrey G. said the corner is a constant problem in the neighborhood:

I would imagine that today’s accident follows the same scenario. Almost every week an accident happens on that corner because those who want to make a left turn onto Bedford Ave cannot see the oncoming traffic. The DOT either needs to install an additional left turn traffic light (like it did at Ocean and SB Rd) or put up a No Standing sign on W-bound Emmons Ave 25 ft before the corner.

Source: TheFadedPast/Flickr

The “My Turn” program at Kingsborough Community College is offering a special program for New York residents, 60 years or older, who are interested in returning to college. Courses at the school, 2001 Oriental Boulevard in the Manhattan Beach, include art, music, history, health education, literature and more.

In person “My Turn” registration for the Fall 2011 semester is Thursday, September 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room M108. On line registration begins at 3 p.m., Wednesday, August 31. Applications for the Fall 2011 semester must be completed and submitted to the My Turn office by Tuesday, August 16.

There is no tuition; however, a registration fee is required. For more, call 718-368-5079 or go to www.kbcc.cuny.edu/myturn.