Tuesday Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future. Quite frankly, we forgot to run it (again) this week. So now you get Thursday Tips. Hurray!

Like anything else, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. A good tax preparer can see great opportunities for financial freedom, security, and stability in your life in that return.

Your return shows various sources of income and deductions, as well as your spending and savings habits, your financial savvy, and your opportunities.

Yes, the job of the person you have hired is to reduce your tax liability to the least possible, while keeping you honest. There is another job of that professional, however, and that is to advise you for your financial health.

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Caucasus Garden Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we’ll check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

You gotta love our neighborhood! You can sample just about the entire world’s cuisine and still never leave Sheepshead Bay. This week we move on from our Eastern European foods and friends and head over to Azerbaijan for kutabs. Never heard of kutabs? Neither had I. But that’s the beauty of our ‘hood; new and exciting foods call from almost every corner.

Join The Bite as we knock on the Middle East’s door with kutabs

If you plan to smoke in a park, beach, marina, boardwalk or a pedestrian plaza, don’t even think about it.

Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg signed legislation that prohibits smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas. The smoking ban will go into effect in 90 days, on May 23.

If anyone decides to pop out a cigarette in these places and is caught, he or she will have to pay a $50 fine.

Considering our coverage area is one of the few places in Brooklyn that actually has all of those things – parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas (I just like saying the whole list) – could it hurt our area a little more than others? What do you think?

Shot January 28 by Erica Sherman in front of Pathmark on Nostrand Avenue and Avenue Y. She writes:

The gentleman pictured, whose name escapes me, came up to me after I finished my food shopping and was waiting for a car service to take me and my packages home. He randomly approached me and just started talking to me about life, in general (this is normal for me – I think I must give off a vibe or something). Anyhow, 10 minutes later, and seconds before my cab arrived, he let me take his picture, and then helped me deposit my packages into the back of the cab.

On Monday we wrote about a predatory tow company in Sheepshead Bay that charges illegal rates for unhooking, but what should you do if you find yourself on the hook and don’t want to pay the fine?

One thing you don’t do is this.

When a client of Ginger Rose Hair Studio (1804 Sheepshead Bay Road) saw his minivan being towed from the El Greco Diner (1821 Emmons Avenue) parking lot – a business he was not patronizing – at 4:30 p.m. yesterday, he sprung into action. Witnesses say they saw the man, Vitaliy Khananayev, run from the salon to the parking lot when employees of County Recovery tow service already had his car “on the hook.” Rather than confront the tow operator, Khananayev hopped in his car and “started gunning it.”

Keep reading to find out what happened next, and see video and more photos.

Chanukah 2010

Source: connect2ny.org

Sheepshead Bay and the surrounding areas are home to one of the largest communities of Holocaust survivors in the world, but the numbers of those who remain are thinning. Which is just one reason why you should consider Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island’s (JCCGCI’s) “Connect2″ program, where you’ll be able to help someone live better, while becoming a historical diplomat to better carry the lessons of the Holocaust for another generation.

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Rasputin owner Michael Levitis has agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors investigating a possible pay-to-play scheme focused on State Senator Carl Kruger.

Levitis was arrested last summer for his alleged role as an intermediary between business owners wanting help from the politician, and was recorded telling another restaurateur that he needed to throw a fundraiser in Kruger’s behalf in return for assistance on an official business inspection. The businessman agreed to give Levitis $3,000, with $2,000 going to pay off Jason Koppel, Kruger’s chief of staff and campaign treasurer.

After his arrest, Kruger said that he was a victim of the crime and knew nothing of it, and that the FBI was no longer looking into him as a suspect – a claim that was contradicted by officials.

Now, Levitis is pleading guilty to charges that he lied to FBI agents about the bribe. He faces up to six months in prison.

The New York Post is suggesting that the plea deal may mean that Levitis has agreed to assist prosecutors in turning up evidence against Kruger. According to an anonymous source, Levitis was asked, after his arrest, to help in their investigation of allegations that Kruger has performed official acts in exchange for campaign contributions.

Before last year’s elections, Kruger had one of the largest campaign warchests in all of New York State with nearly $2.4 million, though he did not face a serious challenger.

Kruger was recently replaced as chairperson of the powerful Senate Finance Committee by Syracuse State Senator John DeFrancisco.

Hangar B at Floyd Bennett Field

A new player is getting in on Jamaica Bay development plans: President Obama.

Last week, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis visited New York City and decided it was time for a change.

The two announced that as part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, they plan to create what they call “the largest urban campground in Amerca” in and around the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreational Area.

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We’re running it a bit close to the event (sorry!), but for all those history and pop culture buffs out there, Kings Bay YM-YWHA is holding an event you should definitely check out.

“Theatre is Paramount in Brooklyn,” presented by Long Island University’s Professor Joe Dorinson, will trace the evolution of theatre in Brooklyn. It’s the latest in a series of interesting lectures the Kings Bay Y has been producing, and is totally, 100 percent free to check out.

It will be today at 1:00 p.m. at their facilities at 3495 Nostrand Avenue.

Sheepshead Bites is proud to announce proofreading services for the area’s small businesses. Whether it’s menus, signs, advertisements or business cards, evidence (look up) around town has us convinced you’re going to need it. Unless you enjoy looking silly. If that’s the case, fine. Don’t hire us.

Photo by nolastname.