Remember this idiot, who tore up a parked car because he didn’t know how to handle the plow?

If a snow plow truck damaged anything that you own in the wake of the December 26 storm, including your home, your car, or your self, you may receive compensation from the city if you haven’t already. According to Gothamist, the city has paid out $729,677 to people whose homes, cars, or selves were damaged by city crews responding to the snow.

Oh, but the city is far from done. Not even halfway done, actually. So far, the city has only paid 297 of the 842 claims.

Hopefully, those who suffered damages already filed their claims, since they had to be in by this week to meet the 90-day post-storm deadline. Obviously, most involve damaged vehicles or damaged property. However, the Gothamist found out that 65 have claimed personal injury. Some were cases where family members died because ambulances couldn’t reach them in the snow. Perhaps the price tag on this thing will encourage a better response?

Photo by Yura Dashevsky.

Councilman Lew Fidler spent most of his time before Community Board 15 last night discussing the city budget, and his message was an unhappy one.

“I find myself using a few words I don’t use very often, ‘Mayor Bloomberg is right,’” Fidler told the board.

Fidler said the city was handed an unfair deal, with state lawmakers shorting New York City residents by millions of dollars, and leaving the mayor little option but to slash away.

Keep reading about how the city may face even more cuts, according to Fidler.

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we 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.

Avenue U west of Ocean Avenue has a reputation among the foodies of NYC as being Brooklyn’s “Mini China Town.”  Only Sunset Park’s “China Town” surpasses our neighborhood in size, but I believe our restaurants and markets are much better. Maybe I’m biased?

Stroll along the avenue and you’ll find Chinese bakeries, markets, stores and restaurants. Many of the store signs are in Chinese, leaving this guilo wondering what wonders await inside.

Today I followed my nose and stepped into L & U Cafe for a quick bite – a Cha Siu Baau or BBQ Pork Bun. Hmm, did someone say BBQ?

BBQ Pork – Who could ask for more?

An artifact from the Congress of Curious Peoples exhibit (Source: Coney Island USA)

If you think Coney Island is all sorts of wild now, you should have seen it 100 years ago. Coney Island was once a place filled with unforgettable freak shows and spectacles that would be controversial today.

A typical day in Coney Island between 1890 and 1915 would mean seeing shows that included everything from live fires to hundreds of midgets to real premature babies. A year long series of exhibitions, performances and lectures hope to capture everything that Coney Island was back then.

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A rendering of United Methodist Church without steeples, made by Valerie Landriscina.

When I sat down with the New York Times reporter to discuss the United Methodist Church of Sheepshead Bay (3087 Ocean Avenue) and its soon-to-expire steeples, he asked me one hundred different ways: how come no one is trying to stop it? If this were brownstone Brooklyn the community would be up in arms, he said. Why not here?

I gave him the long answer, which involved a lot of convoluted sentences and parenthetical statements about community fragmentation, civic decay and media penetration rates. It was an academic answer so unsuitable for quotation that he wrote me an e-mail asking the same question again – in three different ways – just so he could capture one line to push the narrative forward.

The simple answer? We could blame demographic shifts. Or we could blame weak civic institutions. Or the failure of local media to bridge cultural divides.

But at the end of the day, there’s one thing missing from the equation that’s needed before we can blame anything else: a leader.

Of all the media attention the issue got, and all the “Oh, that’s a pity” statements we heard from history buffs and preservationists, not a darn person tried to rally people, raise the money, and save the steeples.

Until now.

Read about the emerging voice for preservation of the United Methodist Church, and find out how you can help.

You don't know what a kanun is?! Jeez, we have to show you everything around here.

The Turkish Cultural Center at 245 Avenue U will have a presentation on music’s healing powers tonight, March 30, at 7 p.m.

Julie Ann Cunningham, a freelance writer and musician, will discuss her recent article in The Fountain Magazine titled “Music of the Spheres,” which explored different cultures and their use of music to heal body and soul. From Ancient Greeks to Egyptians, Indians to Israelis and Europeans, mere sound waves have long been used to affect people’s health, and Cunningham will talk about the different traditions, notable figures and instruments used by various civilizations.

Oh, but it’s not all talkie-talkie. There will be musical performances with the kanun, a popular Turkish instrument, and light Turkish food will also be served.

Photo by Laura Fernandez.

Smoke billowed from St. Mark School’s yard (Avenue Z and East 18th Street) on Saturday, March 26, while chili and beer flowed freely inside the building itself. And now another Grillin’ On The Bay is over and done with.

View our wrap up, user photos, team scores and links to other coverage of Grillin’ On The Bay 2011.

Source: soukup/Flickr

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

Considering filing an extension on your tax return? Do you know what the consequences of that are? Here are a few terms you may want to familiarize yourself with:

Failure to Pay Penalty
Underpayment Penalty
Underpayment Interest
Failure to File Penalty
Tax Fraud Penalty
Accuracy Related Penalty
Criminal Tax Penalty

Whoa. None of those things sound good, right? Let’s take a minute to learn the best way to file for an extension and avoid penalties.

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