Councilman Michael Nelson is offering free legal service to constituents of all income ranges, thanks to a partnership with the CUNY School of Law Legal Resources Network.

Advice and consultation will be served up in four locations throughout the district. Constituents can get help on civil litigation, landlord and tenant disputes, the drafting of legal documents and more – but actual representation will not be available.

Appointments are expected to last about 45 minutes to an hour.

We wonder if some of his colleagues will stop by to save on campaign funds

Check out the schedule and locations after the jump.

Courtesy of Koonisutra via Flickr

We’ve been following the news that Walmart may be moving to the Gateway Center ever since rumors surfaced last April. In the face of a City Council hearing about the big box retailer, Walmart has launched a massive advertising blitz, with direct mail, broadcast advertisements and a NYC-oriented website. The nation’s largest retailer is taking its case to the people.

They are decidedly not, however, taking it to the City Council. The business declined to participate in the hearing, blasting the politicians for singling them out while other retailers, including Target, get by with no scrutiny. They claim the city is cowtowing to special interests.

Keep reading, and see our list of resources about Walmart’s effects on local economies.

Chopstix Restaurant Sheepshead Bay Hot and Sour Soup

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.

This week I got tired of dodging snow so I took a quick trip to China and visited Chopstix Chinese Restaurant and Sushi Bar on Nostrand Avenue for some Hot and Sour Soup.

So how was the soup? Keep reading!

Coney Island Hospital Blood Donations Brooklyn

by Samantha Diaz

You may have recently read in a certain local newspaper that the blood donation center at Coney Island Hospital has shut down for good. Well, luckily for us residents, that’s not quite accurate.

A representative of the Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) told Sheepshead Bites on Monday that the blood donation center’s doors are only temporarily closed while they upgrade their protocol system. The hospital expects to have service back up, by appointment only, within the next few weeks. No word yet on if their blood donor room will reinstate walk-in donor services.

Until the service is up and running again, potential donors are urged to contact the New York Blood Center at 120 Lawrence Street, Brooklyn, or call (800) 933-8566.

Photo by Laura Fernandez.

The first flakes of tonight’s storm hit the ground just minutes ago, and the city has sent a flurry of notices to residents.

Notify NYC alerted residents that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued a Weather Emergency Declaration citywide. The city’s failure to issue such a declaration during the December 26 blizzard is widely seen as a critical misstep in their response.

As part of the weather emergency, the public is urged to avoid all unnecessary driving for the duration of the storm and use public transportation (remember to check the MTA website for status updates).

Given the widespread problem of cars abandoned in the middle of the street during the last blizzard, hampering cleanup efforts, the city is also warning residents that any vehicle found blocking roadways or impeding the ability to plow streets will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Alternate Side Parking, payment at parking meters, and garbage collection are also suspended citywide until further notice.

Councilman Michael Nelson gave his account of the City Council’s hearing on the government’s blizzard response during last night’s Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association meeting.

The Council’s widely-publicized hearing spanned most of yesterday, as representatives from across the five boroughs grilled representatives of Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, including the Department of Sanitation.

In Nelson’s report to the MBNA, he assured residents that the city would likely be prepared for tonight’s storm, given the heat they’ve taken for their bungled response to the December 26 blizzard.

“I really have a feeling that by Thursday all the [primary and secondary] streets will be plowed,” Nelson said of the storm expected to hit tonight. “Let’s hope they come through this time.”

Keep reading for a summary of other things Nelson mentioned during his report to the MBNA.

The scoping hearing for the Four Sparrows Marsh Retail Mall has been cancelled due to snow forecasts.

The hearing was scheduled for tonight, and was to provide a detailed explanation of a new retail shopping center proposed on the city-owned nature preserve near Kings Plaza.

A new date for the meeting will be announced shortly.

We’ve been peppered with questions these last few months about that empty NYPD scooter on Sheepshead Bay Road, in front of the Bally’s Total Fitness (1720 Sheepshead Bay Road). Everyone wants to know why it’s there.

Well, we finally got around to asking officials about the so-called “dummy” scooter. A police source tells Sheepshead Bites that the gym has seen a spate of grand larceny incidents throughout 2010. Someone, the source said, has been breaking into lockers and stealing wallets and other personal property.

To combat the threat, officers parked the empty scooter in front of the gym several months ago as a deterrent, and, in combination with a few other things they’re doing, it seems the sneaky stealer has gone into hiding; the incident rate has gone down.

That’s one mystery solved. Go Sheepshead Bites!

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

2010 is over – for better or worse. You can’t change your 2010 financial decisions. For now, it’s just waiting for your W-2, interest forms from the bank, final summaries from the stockbroker or mutual fund, and a few other pieces of tax information. While you’re waiting, why not organize your files, get ready to prepare your tax return, and prepare some family records.

Read a checklist of things to do to get your finances – and more – in order for 2011.