Councilman Lew Fidler will host a Home Owners Forum this Thursday, March 24 at 7 p.m. at the Glenwood Senior Center at 5701 Avenue H, between East 57th and East 58th Streets.

Representatives from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development will be in attendance and Councilman Jumaane Williams will also be guest speaking.

Some topics for discussion will include housing codes, building permits, water conservation, foreclosure prevention and other important issues.

The “We ♥ Japan” relief fundraiser of Gravesend held by the “Ice Cream Girl” came out to be a successful night bringing more than 100 residents to the event and raising $1,097 for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

Maria “The Ice Cream Girl” Campanella collected donations for the American Red Cross as she served Gravesend residents and young kids ice cream sundays, and all that donated enjoyed plates filled of pasta donated by Queen Anne Ravioli.

Read our coverage of the event, learn how to donate through the Ice Cream Girl.

Source: Google Maps

Passover is on its way. This year, you can celebrate it at the Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush, located at the corner of Homecrest Avenue and Avenue T.

The center will be hosting its communal Passover sederim on Monday, April 18, and Tuesday, April 19, at 8:30 p.m. The cost per person is $30.00 per evening. Each night is a traditional glatt kosher seder. The sederim will be jointly conducted by Rabbi Pinchas N. Pearl of the Beth El Jewish Center and Rabbi Zalman Drizin of Chabad.

Call the synagogue office to make reservations at (718) 375-0120.

With the fallout over State Senator Carl Kruger’s indictment, the media has been exploring his personal life a whole lot more than his financial connections.  But when your personal life is as weird as Kruger’s appears to be, it’s easy to see why. The New York Times is no exception, recently running a piece on his twisted relationship with Mill Basin’s Turano family.

The article gives a detailed history on how Kruger met the Turanos and explored how the family depended on Kruger financially. The Turano family consists of mother Dorothy, 73, her two sons Michael, 49, and Gerard, 47, two gynecologists. The article goes back in time to when Dorothy’s first marriage, and an ex-husband who said Kruger stole his family.

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It was just a month ago that a seal was spotted on the docks of Miramar Yacht Club, and now a reader said another one took to the shores of Brighton Beach on Sunday. Sure, it’s not the first time some under-dressed blubbery mammal covered in hair took in some rays on the sands of Brighton Beach, but this guy’s a lot cuter than most. Apparently, the unhealthy looking thing wedged in his back is a GPS device meant to track him. And when he showed up on the beach, reader Katerina M. said he looked ill, and calls to 911, 311 the aquarium and others yielded no real response. Katerina also claims some fishermen were catching fish with dynamite, possibly disorienting him, which we really hope is not true. Regardless, after four hours the seal took to the waters again.

[UPDATE via Gothamist]: Riverhead tells Gothamist, “This is a male, yearling, harp seal which was initially observed at Hither Hills, East Hampton on 2/24/11. The animal was assessed as healthy and determined to be a release candidate. He has been tracked offshore to Hudson canyon over the last three weeks and has moved along the NJ coast. It has recently been observed on the south shore of LI in Jamaica Bay. The Riverhead Foundation received a call about this animal on the beach (Breezy Point) but it returned to the water before our biologist arriving on scene. There were no indications of injury noted in the photographs.

These animals are protected under the marine mammal protection act and the public is required to stay at least 50 yards away from a marine mammal. If you see a seal, whale, dolphin or sea turtle please call our Hotline (631) 369-9829.”

Check out the account by Katerina, as well as more photos of the baby seal.

This guy knows how I feel. Photo by Vlad S.

Got a photo you’d like to have considered for Morning Mug? Send it to nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

The infamous “Ice Cream Girl” of Gravesend is holding a fundraiser today in efforts to help the people of Japan.

The “We ♥ Japan” relief fundraiser will be held outdoors on the corner of Avenue U and West 10th street at 7:30 p.m.

Keep reading to find out more about the Ice Cream Girl and her fundraiser.

There’s an amount of pleasure to be taken from a conversation between a real Brooklynite and a yuppie, especially when the yuppie is grasping for – and not finding – a degree of authority on the subject of Brooklyn. You know what I’m talking about. Think about the last time you read the New York Times, with its Metro desk completely staffed by Northern Brooklyn hipsters, and they were forced to write that bi-monthly article about Southern Brooklyn. They always end up jumbling neighborhoods, screwing up demographics and local legends. You roll your eyes, but really, you wish they had said that in front of a local just so you can see them blush when corrected.

That’s why when a Park Slope writer interviews Howard Schultz, the founder and CEO of Starbucks, for the Financial Times, there was a lot to be amused about. First, writer John Gapper provides us with this sweeping assessment of Canarsie as “a rugged district between Coney Island and John F Kennedy airport” (cue eye roll), then when he tries to find some common ground with Canarsie-born Schultz, he gets hilariously shut down. And, irony of ironies, it comes from a Brooklyn boy who moved to a hipster nest (Portland) to show them how to properly launch and manage a business.

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

Well, amidst all that hot air that has come out of Washington, here’s another little piece of tax news that you may not have heard.

The mileage rates for 2011:

  • 51 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Let’s focus on the first rate of 51 cents per mile for business miles – it’s a slight increase from the 2010 rate, which is 50 cents per mile. This is good news for small business owners and self-employed folks who are looking for an easy way to increase your business deductions.

You need look no further than your driveway – assuming you drive the same number of miles for business in 2011 as you did in 2010, your vehicle deduction will increase by 2 percent (Okay, so it’s not as much as you were hoping for, but, hey, every little bit helps).

So this is a good time to review the rules for deducting car expenses in your business or self-employment activity.  Here we go…

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It’s not easy to get a job as a DJ nowadays, but that’s not stopping the Kingsborough Community College Radio crew from chasing their dreams.

The group was recently profiled by the campus paper, and they say they’re just doing what they love best. Take Elissa Nieves, 25, who is currently an assistant to the general manager at Kingsborough’s radio station, WKRB. Since she was 13 years old, Nieves knew she wanted to be a part of the radio industry.

“One day I was listening to the radio, and I realized that would be such a great job. That would be so much fun. I can talk on air, I get to listen to music, I get to meet people. Ever since then I fell in love with it. I decided that was what I wanted to do,” she told the paper. Nieves recently graduated Kingsborough with a broadcasting degree.

The broadcast program at Kingsborough started in 1979 under the charge of radio producer Dr. Cliff Hesse, who still runs the program today. Dr. Hesse set up the program in a way where it betters chances of landing a job in a hard field. The program gives a wide-range of courses in broadcasting to build up more experience for the students.

“It’s pretty all-involved,” Dr. Hesse told the paper. Students “take courses that are required in every area… not just radio broadcasting but other uses of sound, which is where it’s really exploding: live sound, theatrical sound, Internet, all of these are radio elements that have now moved into other venues. Sound for video and television and film is extraordinarily complex, and we do that at the end of our sound course.”