Courtesy of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA

by Alexandra Ushakova

Local Jewish teens gave victims of a major Israeli fire some small-but-sweet relief, collecting $450 through a bake sale fundraiser on Sunday.

Shocked by news reports earlier this month of a fast-spreading wildfire that claimed dozens of lives and displaced many more around Carmel, Israel, 17-year-old Elizabeth Zavoyskiy organized “Desserts Galore” to help provide aid to those affected. With help from the Kings Bay YM-YWHA’s (3495 Nostrand Avenue) Teen Department, the Midwood High School senior cobbled together 19 teenagers between the ages of 15 to 17 in the lobby of Kings Bay Y.

“The bake allowed me to give back to a cause I really care about,” said Zavoyskiy. “It let me help others while taking the lead in my community.”

The teens baked most of the pastries themselves after collaborating with local businesses such as Pomegranate Kosher Supermarket and Glatt Mart, who sponsored the ingredients for this project. Additionally, they raised awareness of the fire by putting up educational stands which informed the visitors of the devastating event and what the proceeds would do to help.

The buyers of these scrumptious sweets consisted mainly of parents who bring their children to Sunday programs at the Y.

“At the Kings Bay Y, we know that helping those in need is our responsibility,” said Shawn Master, 15. “The event was a great success and the personal experience of knowing that you are helping someone is even a greater success.”

We just received the above photo and a reader report from Sophia T., saying that an accident has occurred on Ocean Parkway and Avenue S. She said that it appeared as if the blue car rear-ended the red car, getting snagged underneath it. She added that no one looked hurt, despite the ambulance.

The accident is causing “major traffic” on Ocean Parkway.

We’ll let you know if we hear any more.

I don’t publish many of the rants I receive, but this guy deserves it. He used the word “supine,” and that counts for something.

Do you get many complaints about the B3 bus? I just sent off a complaint to the MTA about the B3. A couple of years ago, the T.A. was running those “coach” style buses which made riding unbearable, but at least at last they junked them for an upgrade. Of course, Manhattan gets the newest, best, equipment, But my complaint is about lack of service, not which model bus I ride. Last night as usual the wait was 14 minutes and then two buses showed up. This is common. I don’t know if the drivers are lonely or just have fun leap-frogging each other all the way east to Mill Basin. This A.M. I waited nearly 15 minutes and of course the bus got so crowded that many people were left standing at various stops along the route to the Q subway station. If I ran the MTA, I would fire the NYCT bus dispatchers who serve no purpose and then warn and admonish the drivers to stick to their timetable. Riders are so supine no-body complains, do they? Maybe Mayor Bloombucks and his acolyte Ms. Sadik Khan will eliminate busses and replace with bike lanes.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz helping Madelaine Cleaners’ owner, Eric Lederman, load winter coats onto Met Council’s Machson Mobile for distribution to the needy.

Source: Assemblyman Cymbrowitz's office

It’s really cold out. Like… really freakin’ cold. So here’s a bit of warmth from Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’s office:

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz is once again collecting wearable winter coats – both adult’s and children’s – to be distributed to the needy.  The coats may be brought to Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ office at 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road.

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Source: Darny via Flickr

Boaters traversing the Verrazano Narrows will now have to contend with a 110-yard “safety zone” implemented by the U.S. Coast Guard yesterday.

The temporary safety zone marks off the area where 1,500 artillery shells and munitions were discovered in October by local diver Gene Ritter. It sits just underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The discovery, which the New York Post just can’t stop calling the “bombshell revelation” – get it? – is thought to be a lost stockpile that spilled into the bay during a military accident in 1954.

Coast Guard officials said the safety zone will stay put at least until the end of June, or until the explosives are removed. But with the Navy claiming the shells aren’t their responsibility, it’s unclear who’s leading the cleanup effort.

Bonus: Ten points to any local boaters who can get me a photo of the safety zone!

Photo by WallyG, via Flickr.

The 61st Precinct police officer responsible for forcing an Orthodox man to violate Jewish law has been transferred out of the borough; meanwhile, the Deputy Inspector continues outreach to prove his officers respect the area’s residents and their beliefs.

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Courtesy Google Maps

If architect Frank Gehry took a dump from the top of the ugly tree, then that dump hit every branch on the way down, and then a naked mole rat ate the dump, vomited it up, ate the vomit, got diarrhea from it – the condo above would be the architectural equivalent of the resulting putrid liquid expelled from that naked mole rat’s rear.

And though this is one of the worst new constructions in the area, it really does exemplify the limits of creative thinking in Sheepshead Bay’s condo architecture.

That’s why I burst into laughter when I received the following message in my inbox. I mean, this guy is looking for the “star architects” of Sheepshead Bay, the neighborhood of the fugliest of the fugly when it comes to condo architecture. In addition to the sack o’ crap above, on Nostrand Avenue and Emmons Avenue, we also have condos like The Breakers, the fanciest storage unit complex in the borough.

Here’s what our reader wrote:

Have a question- I’m looking for a nice/boutique/luxe’ property in the Brighton Beach/Sheepshead area. My lease is coming up in about six months, so I wanted to begin doing some research.

Any recommendations? Are there any local star architects? Are there any local really awesome (modern) clean, glassy buildings?

I particularly like the stuff of Meier, Gehry, etc… it’s probably out of my price league but still would be interesting to know if any great architects really touch our area?

Guh… faw…

Really? I’m being punk’d, right? The nicest condo architecture in Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach would be considered average at best by any other neighborhood’s standard.

But that’s my opinion, and obviously I can’t help this guy. Anyone care to add anything?

Look at how sad Winnie the Pooh is, so overcome with despair that he can’t raise his head. That’s because his buddy, Inflatable Santa Claus, has been inflata-napped.

Reader Lisanne Anderson sent us this photo of the display in front of Carvel on Coney Island Avenue and Avenue Y. The inflatable figures belong to the Christmas tree vendor who leases space in the parking lot. And, according to Lisanne, an employee said the item was stolen from in front of the store.

Was it the Grinch? Maybe Tigger got jealous? Or some union elves got tired of slaving away while bossman stood around ice cream parlors?  Some might say the 61st Precinct should get right on this. But that’s futile. There’s only one detective I know that can sniff out the criminals here.

We’re sending McGruff.

Washington Cemetery (Source: adamsofen via Flickr) - Mike Nelson (Source:

From Councilman Michael Nelson’s office:

Council Member Michael C. Nelson, Chairman of the City Council Jewish Caucus, is outraged over the apparent anti-Semitic vandalism that occurred at Washington Cemetery this past weekend.  The cemetery is Brooklyn’s largest Jewish cemetery, and has been the final resting place for the Brooklyn Jewish community for almost 150 years.  Between 100 and 200 gravestones of Jews, many of which memorialized recent Russian Jewish immigrants and Holocaust survivors, were knocked over and destroyed beyond repair.

Although the police have just begun their investigation, Councilman Nelson implores the NYPD to classify this incident as a hate crime.  “It is obvious that the targets were the deceased Jewish individuals buried in this cemetery and their families who now have to deal with more heartbreak after saying goodbye and burying their loved ones,” said Councilman Nelson.  “As an elected official representing a district with a large Russian and Jewish population, I strongly condemn this and will work with the police to bring the perpetrators who committed these unspeakable and unholy acts to justice and make it known that these actions are not tolerated.”

In an effort to aid the police in their investigation, Councilman Nelson is offering a $1000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of these criminals.  Moreover, Councilman Nelson is disturbed over the fact that the families are responsible for replacing the gravestones of their loved ones.  The councilman is calling upon Washington Cemetery to sit down with the families and discuss some form of financial compensation and will seek possible legislation if needed.

“Having chosen Washington Cemetery as the final resting place for their loved ones, the families of the deceased are entrusting the safety and security of the burial ground to the owners and caretakers of the cemetery,” explained Councilman Nelson.  “Therefore, area security should be provided and the cemetery should have insurance for incidents like this.  It is absurd to have the families bear the full cost of replacing the gravestones.”