“So is Sheepshead Bites your full-time job? Is it your vocation?”

That’s a question I get asked a lot. It surprises some people that I dedicate more than full-time hours to Sheepshead Bites, trying to build not just a news outlet, but a sustainable business model for the next generation of journalism. But on the day I was asked this particular question in this particular way, it came with this particular follow-up:

“Is that all you aspire to do with your life?”

Yikes. I’m about to turn 27. Us quarter-lifers, as the media has termed us, don’t like to wrestle with such questions. But there it was, drooping in front of me like a gnarled apple rotting on the limb. And it came from a rather prominent figure in the community who, apparently, didn’t “get it.”

There’s no easy answer of course. There’s a lot I aspire to do. I hope to write a book one day. I’ll eventually be married – this beaut of a face can’t stay on the market forever. Then there are all the places I plan to travel. Oh, and let’s not forget the billion dollars I’m going to make; can’t forget that.

But you know what? There ain’t a bit of shame in aspiring to own and run the premiere online destination for a community of more than 160,000 people. There’s no fault in wanting to reconnect neighbors with neighborhoods, and communities with their local government. My role is to create a place for civic discourse, and, of course, make a living out of it.

And by doing that I get to be the master of my own domain, and doing something I believe is crucial to democracy.

Read my manifesto for independent local news coverage.

State Senator Carl Kruger privately told confidants that he intends to take a plea deal and resign by the end of summer. But, publicly, the embattled pol is saying he plans to stick around and will fight the charges.

An anonymous source told the New York Post about the state senator’s plans, noting that the resignation and potential guilty plea will give Kruger some wiggle room in negotiating with prosecutors. But it’s not just his own self-interest fueling the decision; according to the Post, Kruger is trying to buy a better deal for his presumed lover, Michael Turano, as well.

“The importance of his decision is so that he can negotiate better for his boyfriend,” an Albany source told the Post. “It’s better to be able to negotiate the terms of your own surrender.”

Continue Reading »

Source: Dereilanatureinn.ca

Ever wonder what a typical day in the life was like in Sheepshead Bay nearly 80 years ago? What might have been going on back on November 1, 1933? According to Wikipedia, nothing of note occurred that day — no notable events, no famous births, no remarkable deaths. It was the year FDR was elected, the Nazis began burning books and banning all political parties other than their own, and Prohibition was repealed (thank heavens). And yet, on November 1, 1933, the Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon — apparently suffering through a miserably slow news day, and anxious to fill its pages — saw fit to print this titillating story:

Gull Battles Clam; Coppers Come To Aid

New York. Nov. 1—(AP)—There’s one sea gull flying around Sheepshead Bay that has learned a bitter lesson—never poke your beak at a clam.

This gull spied the clam—a big fellow—lying just under the water yesterday with its mouth open. The bird stuck its nose into the clam which was disastrous, for the latter snapped its jaws shut.

Then began a battle and much churning of water as the bird tried to free itself. The clam held on and pulled the gull beneath the surface.

A crowd collected. Policeman James Kelly ran up, pulled off his shoes and waded out to where the struggle was going on.

He reached into the water and brought out a clam as big as his two fists with the gull still hanging on. The policeman tried to pry open the steel jawed clam with a pocket knife, but was unsuccessful.

Then he drew his club and whacked. That did the business. The clam’s shell broke and the gull was free . . . with just pep enough left to fly away.

Kind of makes you wonder… where might that gull be today? Oh, the stories it can tell. That is, unless it got its beak caught in another oyster shell, of course.

For the photography enthusiasts out there, this was shot with a Canon EOS 50D, using a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 lens, on a 30-second exposure. Photo by Boris Shekhman.

Photo by nolastname.

Capital Tonight is reporting via Twitter that the GOP is choosing Bob Turner to face off against David Weprin in the September 13 election for New York’s Ninth Congressional District.

Turner was Weiner’s Republican challenger in 2010. Following Weiner’s resignation, the Queens businessman explained in an op-ed why he ran then, and why he hoped to run again this time. He wrote:

The situation in America is worse now than it was in November 2010. The political climate in my district is now very favorable for a repeat run. But that’s not why I did it then, and not why I’d consider a return. My desire to go to Congress was to fix what’s broken and go home. End subsidies. End government dependencies. Dramatically cut the budget by 30 or 35 percent. Slash capital-gains taxes down to zero. Cut taxes across the board. The rest of America’s economic healing will happen naturally as a consequence. I suffered through Carter’s administration and saw what Reagan did to restore American prosperity. It can happen again. Congress knows what to do. Anthony Weiner knows what to do. They just don’t do it. Call it incompetence or arrogance. It’s a matter of political will, and giving up control is something few in Congress are willing to do.

America is tired of standing outside, looking in. It’s time to oust the remaining dead-weight from the House — and bring the change America so desperately needs.

A man was hospitalized this afternoon after being found slumped over the wheel of his car in the parking lane on Shore Parkway, just off of Sheepshead Bay Road.

The man was passed out at the wheel with his foot on the gas, pushing against a parked car in front of him. When the owner of the parked car arrived at the scene, she at first didn’t notice the man, got into her car, and attempted to pull out of the spot. That’s when she realized the other car was pushing into her bumper as she continued to drive off. She stopped the car and approached the driver, finding him unconscious. The man was believed to be suffering from a medical condition and was taken to the hospital.

The man’s car appeared to have been in a collision, with the front passenger side heavily damaged. The woman’s car was unscratched, and no debris could be found for several blocks up Shore Boulevard, sparking off a mystery as to where the original accident occurred. Police said an accident was reported further up Shore Boulevard, but they were not yet sure if the incidents were related. They said they hope to find out the full story when the man regains consciousness.

If you have any additional information about this accident, please e-mail us.

Father and daughter duo, Veniamin and Alika Smekhov. Source: ShorefrontY.org

As part of its fourth Annual Summer Nights Festival 2011, the Shorefront YM-YWHA, 3300 Coney Island Avenue, will be presenting “Twelve Months of Tango,” a poetry-musical performance featuring the renown father and daughter duo, Veniamin and Alika Smekhov, and the Tango Orchestra, July 10 at 6 p.m.

Veniamin Smekhov, an actor, director, and writer, famed for his work with the Moscow Taganka Theater, starred in the role of Athos in the Russian version of “The Three Musketeers” (1978) and subsequent sequels (1992, 1993). His daughter, Alika, is a Russian actress, singer and television TV hostess.

According to the YM-YWHA’s website (where you can also watch videos of the duo performing):

Veniamin Smekhov wrote new lyrics to the famous Polish Tango 1930 and connected it with the poetry of the Silver Age, resulting in a rich program combining the drama of tango music with the energy of the verse, debuted by the father and daughter duo. The contemporary video art creates a parallel story to the old texts and melodies. Each season is presented in its own color and an actress wears vintage dresses from the 1930s-50s, creating a sense of nostalgia in this magnificent performance.

Tickets, which can be purchased on the Y’s website, are $30 for non-members, $27 for members, seniors and students. The $35 tickets for the first three rows have all been sold out (Wow, they must be really popular!) For more, contact YM-YWHA Cultural and Arts Director Irina Volkovich at (718) 646-1444 extension 326, email volkovi@shorefronty.org or go to www.shorefronty.org/arts.

Source: http://assembly.state.ny.us

Democratic leaders have made their pick for the seat recently vacated by Anthony Weiner, New York’s Ninth Congressional District: Queens Assemblyman David Weprin.

Weprin is widely seen as the establishment’s “safe” choice: a machine candidate well-known enough to win an election, loyal enough not to present a challenge, and boring enough not to steal a spotlight.

The Daily News reports:

The winner of Weiner’s seat may not be in Congress for long, since the seat has been eyed to be redistricted out of existence thanks to recent Census results.

Weprin, 55, was picked by borough party boss Rep. Joe Crowley – who some political insiders feel valued loyalty over charisma when making the selection.

“[Weprin] ain’t exactly a powerhouse,” said one prominent operative. “They wanted to pick somebody who wouldn’t be dynamic enough to present a problem if he was redistricted out.”

Weprin – who lives in Holliswood, a few blocks outside of the district he hopes to represent – was a City Councilman for eight years and former finance chairman.

Weprin’s brother Mark is a City Councilman and their late father, Saul, was a legendary Assembly speaker.

Keep reading for the analysis roundup.

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.