The above clip may well go down in the annals of New York State history as the most bizarre moment of gushing hypocrisy to spill forth from that Deepwater Horizon of political corruption known as Albany. In it, State Senator Carl Kruger addresses his peers on the occasion of the 11th appropriation special extender to this year’s budget – passed on June 14.
Kruger, ever the champion of civil service, took the opportunity to remind the senators that service must come before politics. He said, “For these past 10 weeks, this Democratic majority has kept government functioning while the unanimous sentiment of the Republican minority was to close down government. Our obligation was to put service over politics … After all the rhetoric is over, and after all the speeches are made, the fact is the campaigning has to end, and governing has to begin.
“So lets talk for a moment about this extender…”
He then continued to take a fat dump upon his Republican colleagues.
As part of the deal to reinstate student metrocards, Albany is giving a thumbs up to camera enforcement of 50 miles of bus lanes along Select Bus Service / Bus Rapid Transit routes, for which Nostrand Avenue is slated for conversion.
Dedicated bus lanes are a key component of the MTA’s SBS service, which aims to make commuting by bus speedier and efficientto increase ridership. But even advocates note that without proper enforcement to keep them clear of idling cars, bus lanes will amount to little time saved. In the MTA’s Select Bus Service FAQ, the agency says cameras monitoring the bus lanes “would automate the enforcement process by issuing violation notices to vehicles that illegally drive or park in the bus lane.” Camera enforcement requires approval from State legislators.
According to Streetsblog, “If the MTA would eat the cost of student fares, Albany would allow it to keep its bus lanes free of traffic.” With the MTA’s part of the bargain fulfilled, the State has worked the following language into a budget bill:
WITHIN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, SUCH BUS LANE PHOTO DEVICES SHALL ONLY BE OPERATED ON DESIGNATED BUS LANES THAT ARE SELECT BUS SERVICE LANES WITHIN THE BUS RAPID TRANSIT DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND ONLY DURING WEEKDAYS FROM 7:00 A.M. TO 7:00 P.M.
Down in our neck of the woods, this may affect the stretch of Nostrand Avenue from Emmons Avenue to Avenue X, where dedicated bus lanes are planned for a Select Bus Service route replacing the B44, according to the MTA’s website. From Avenue X to Flatbush Avenue, buses will travel in mixed traffic, before returning to dedicated lanes for the remainder of the trip.
A two-week project by British artist Luke Jerram places 60 pianos in public venues across the five boroughs. When we heard that one of these magical devices sat somewhere on the Riegelman Boardwalk in Coney Island, we knew we had to pay it a visit. If you’ve been to any of the events where Sheepshead Bites had a table, then you’ve probably met our self-appointed mascot, Jobana. She plunked down and started playing Enya’s “No Holly For Miss Quinn” before segueing into “Moonlight Sonata.” A crowd formed behind her, making it her first public audience in her life. Meanwhile, I got to take this pretty photo.
As I mentioned on Sunday, I went down to Coney Island to enjoy this year’s Mermaid Parade. And by “enjoy,” I emphatically mean “to be there and not work.” So I hung out, had una cerveza on the beach, watched the parade after a meal at Pio Pio Riko (muy bien!), then hit up the Cyclones’ opening game (courtesy of BKSouthie.com‘s Brian Hedden).
It was a glorious day; unfortunately, I had no photos for you lovely readers.
But then you all came to save my butt. We received a couple hundred photos from readers who attended the parade, which we slash-and-burned down to 147. The theme of the parade was unquestionably, “Screw BP and the oil spill, we’re mermaid survivors!” Some in the crowd were discussing if it was appropriate. But then again, there are tons of tit-wielding bombshells marching down the boardwalk – where the heck does “appropriate” come into play in Coney Island?!
All photos courtesy of nolastname, Ariela Baranov, Nelson Wan and Alissa Ambrose. Thanks guys!
Royal Crown Pre-School Academy and Day Care Center (1018 Avenue Y) is temporarily closed for business after having its permit revoked on June 15 by the New York City Health Department. The department’s report appears to substantiate some of the parents’ complaints in an earlier Sheepshead Bites article, while the other accusations continue to go unaddressed.
The shut-down came after two inspections – on June 11 and June 14 – that found that 14 staff lacked required clearances, four teachers lacked required qualifications and the program did not employ an on-site educational director as required by the Health Code. The Health Department also found Royal Crown Day Care to be packing students into rooms and exceeding capacity, while not meeting the required staff-to-child ratios.
Other violations included improper maintenance of children’s medical records and overall adequate child supervision.
This came in from Borough President Marty Markowitz’ office. We’re not sure if “other routes” includes the B4, which serves many elderly residents and will see weekend service eliminated, but we thought we’d pass it along for those who may be interested:
BP MARKOWITZ, ELECTED OFFICIALS, DISABILITY ADVOCATES TO PROTEST MTA CUTS TO B51, B39 AND OTHER BUS ROUTES
Student MetroCards saved, but not service for seniors and riders with disabilities
TUESDAY, JUNE 22
BROOKLYN BOROUGH HALL
209 JORALEMON STREET
BETWEEN COURT AND ADAMS STREETS
On Tuesday, June 22, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will join elected officials, seniors, riders with disabilities and disability advocates at a press conference to denounce MTA service cuts, including the elimination of the B51 and B39 bus lines and cuts to other routes that service passengers who are elderly or have disabilities.
Seventeen men were indicted and a dozen medical supply companies were raided last week for their alleged involvement in a health care scam that netted more than $3 million for the conspirators. Most of those involved hailed from the Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend and Midwood neighborhoods.
According to SILive.com, federal authorities say the defendants submitted false invoices to insurances companies for medical equipment with “payments that were well in excess of the price they initially paid through their individual retail medical supply companies.” Paybacks were given in checks issues to the wholesale companies, and the checks were cashed at check-cashing stores and delivered to the defendants.
Each of the 17 defendants could face up to 20 years in prison.
“The type of health care fraud and money laundering scheme these individuals allegedly constructed and engaged in affects all Americans and directly impacts America’s health care system,” said James T. Hayes Jr., special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, which conducted the investigation with the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York, the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service.
Looks like there’s some new competition for Sheepshead Bay staple Vinnie’s and last year’s newcomer Kastattoo. The gas-station-turned-shopping-plaza on Harkness Avenue and Knapp Street is filling up its real estate vacancies. The latest entry is Inkheart, a tattoo and piercing shop. Given the other business occupying the corner, one can have a helluva night on that little corner. Get drunk, have a sandwich, get a tattoo and then cry about it all when you sober up with some coffee… all before the catching the latest 3-D movie around the corner! Any guesses as to what will fill the final spot? My guess is an OTB outlet; though a headshop would be nice.
The Guider Avenue / East 8th Street bridge is almost entirely gone, with only a couple of supports and steel spans remaining. If you haven’t noticed, there have been late-night/early-morning lane closures since the beginning of the month. Construction began in February to remove the overpass, and they’ll soon begin building a whole new structure.
Make Music NY 2010 website dropdown listing Brooklyn venues.
Today is June 21, 2010. The long-awaited start of summer. It’s also the longest day in the year. To celebrate this day, Aaron Friedman, the founder of Make Music NY and his team, have coordinated a city-wide block party. This party consists of music in all types and forms happening in every borough and in almost every neighborhood. Based on the variety of musical acts and interactive participation planned, this event sounds like a lot fun. It’s just that absolutely none of this fun is happening in Sheepshead Bay.
Now, this is not in anyway a criticism of the Make Music NY 2010 organizers, just a point of inquiry: Just how was this block party organized with not even one single performer or instrumentalist in Sheepshead Bay? Many Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Coney Island, have acts planned — but nothing in our neck of the woods.
On its ‘about’ page, Make Music NY mentions some of the unique acts that will perform, “Tamil Church choirs in Middle Village, high school Christian rock bands in Sunset Park, and a kazoo jam session outside a Morningside Heights church.” Are we saying that in our neighborhood we don’t even have some junior high school chorus group or worshippers to represent? Whatever happened to the Sheepshead Bay High School Sing performers?
Oh, well. It’s too late for this year, but maybe next year, we can drum up some musicians who would love to bang in the summer with a performance on Emmons Avenue. As I’m thinking about it, there are a few composers and artists already popping into my head. I’m sure there are many you can think about. Write in and let’s make Make Music NY know that we’re here and ready to play! Or better yet, tell your favorite musician that Sheepshead Bay’s sidewalks are awaiting and direct them to the website where they can find out how to participate in next year’s event.