Archive for the tag 'domenic recchia'

Source: downtown_boston_2004 / Flickr

Source: downtown_boston_2004 / Flickr

District Attorney Charles Hynes is teaming up with the NYPD and City Councilman Domenic Recchia for a gun buyback event tomorrow, July 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Coney Island Gospel Assembly Church, 2828 Neptune Avenue between West 28th Street and West 29th Street, directly across from Kaiser Park.

According to the press release from the DA’s office:

The gun buyback initiative is aimed at taking illegal, functioning guns off the streets by offering a $200 reward for each eligible weapon surrendered, no questions asked. You will receive a $200 bank card for operable handguns and assault rifles and a $20 bank card for operable rifles and shotguns. The program was launched in Brooklyn in July 2008. A total of 2,714 guns have been collected through the gun buyback program.

Although the reasons may be obvious to some, it may not be obvious to others: The guns must be placed in a plastic or paper bag or a box. This is not Wyoming or Kentucky (or any other open carry state for that matter). Also, the DA’s Office also warns that, if you are transporting the gun by car, the gun must be transported in the trunk of the car. You may surrender as many guns as you wish, but you will only receive payment for up to three guns. (Ed. — There’s incentive for ya.)

In other words, don’t show up waving your guns in the air, yelling, “Now where’s my $200 bank card?!” at the top of your lungs.

To learn more, contact the DA’s office at (718) 250-2300.


The following is a press release sent yesterday from the offices of City Councilman Domenic Recchia:

The City Council passed legislation today renewing and improving upon the J-51 tax abatement and exemption program. Sponsored by Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., Chair of the City Council’s Finance Committee, the legislation builds upon the State Assembly’s property tax relief bill passed earlier this year, which extended the previously expired program, offering tax exemption and abatement for qualified homeowners who undertake renovation and development projects. Passed unanimously, the exemption will be retroactive from December 31, 2011 and will last until June 30, 2015.

“The J-51 program revitalizes our neighborhoods and communities by incentivizing apartment owners to rehabilitate and improve their buildings. It has been a great success in the past and I’m proud to sponsor its renewal and improvement now to ensure that we remain committed to the betterment and beautification of our City for the future,” said Council Member Recchia. “I’m grateful for Speaker Quinn’s leadership in moving this legislation forward.”

A 2012 report noted that over 580,000 New Yorkers have directly benefitted from J-51. With this extension, improvements will be made to the program, restricting eligibility to developers focused on creating or preserving affordable housing. These changes will allow the City will both cut costs and ensure that needed housing rehabilitation continues in the future.

Source: bitchcakes via flickr

The walkway connecting the West 8th Street train station to the Coney Island Boardwalk will soon be no more. Brooklyn Daily reports that the city is tearing down the rusted shark-painted bridge for safety reasons.

The bridge, which spans over Surf Avenue, will be replaced by broadened sidewalks and a new crossing light. A new entrance to the boardwalk will be created at West 10th Street.

The walkway was originally built more than 50 years ago to compel people coming off the Culver and Brighton lines to head to the then newly built aquarium.

Chuck Reichenthal, the Community Board 13 district manager, welcomed the end of the walkway.

“It started looking like hell 15 years ago. It has to go,” Reichenthal said.

Todd Dobrin, who is running to replace term-limited Domenic Recchia on the City Council, was angry at the news of the bridge’s impending dismantling.

“It’s a safe gateway into Coney Island and directly onto the Boardwalk,” Dobrin told Brooklyn Daily. “What about all those kids who come here on field trips, and the old people?”

Runners on Ocean Parkway during the 2012 half marathon. Photo by Allan Shweky.

The Brooklyn Half Marathon is back and bigger than ever. New York 1 is reporting that the marathon has grown from 6,000 runners in 2011, to 15,000 last year, and now a staggering 20,000 runners signed up for this year’s event.

(See photos from last year’s half-marathon.)

The run, set for May 18, is now the country’s second largest half marathon. A half marathon’s total distance is 13.1 miles.

“Brooklyn’s big in every way, and it’s time for its half marathon to be that much bigger, too,” Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners, told NY 1. “So we’re really excited.”

In attempting to account for the marathon’s growth in popularity, organizers claim that the switch of the running date last year from March to May played a big role. Although last year locals fumed about potential traffic snarls from the thousands of runners heading down Ocean Parkway, organizers say it’s worth it to have the finish line in Coney Island, which makes for a more exciting and picturesque finish for runners speeding along the boardwalk and will help local businesses.

On that note, event organizers are collaborating with local Coney Island businesses to make sure that the runners have incentive to stay and spend money in the area when the race ends.

Coney Island business owners and elected officials met with New York Road Runners to come up with strategies on how to keep the thousands of runners in Coney Island after the race. One way is to offer special deals on rides and food.

“You just don’t run home,” said City Councilman Domenic Recchia of Brooklyn. “You stay. You enjoy Coney Island. It’s up and running. We have great family activities. We have free events.”

The festivities will also feature extra security in light of the bombings that took place in Boston last month.

“We’ll have extra security,” Inspector Peter DeBlasio of the New York City Police Department’s 60th Precinct told NY 1. “Counterterrorism people will be deployed down here. Radiation pagers, dogs, things like that.”

If you want to join the race yourself, spots are still available. Registration ends on May 14. For more information, you can visit the New York Road Runners website by clicking here.

Nathan’s Famous Is Still Closed, Source: j. reed via wikimedia commons

Six months following Superstorm Sandy, businesses across Sheepshead Bay and Coney Island are still shuttered and the New York Times is reporting that local business owners are growing anxious over what effect the closures will have on the local economy as summer nears.

The Times report pointed to the large number of businesses still closed on tourist-friendly Emmons Avenue.

“Mambo Sushi, gone! Tzar, gone! Fusion, gone!” said Theresa Scavo, the district manager of Community Board 15, as she reeled off the names of destroyed restaurants on a single block of Emmons Avenue, where only a Greek restaurant, Yiasou, managed to reopen.

A block farther along the bay, a few restaurants and cafes where water reached the ceilings were also shuttered. In total, 14 businesses on Emmons Avenue are still closed, Ms. Scavo said, with a dozen more closed elsewhere in the neighborhood. With warm weather approaching, there is concern that tourists will not flock to the bay as they usually do.

“Everybody suffers, because if people are not coming to eat at your restaurant, they won’t shop at my clothing store,” Ms. Scavo said.

(It’s worth noting that the block of Emmons Avenue where they say only one restaurant, Yiasou, is open, there are actually three open restaurants – Yiasou, Baku Palace and Randazzo’s Clam Bar.)

The problems on Emmons Avenue also extend to Coney Island where, among other places, Nathan’s Famous and the New York Aquarium still remain closed.

Along a six-block stretch of Mermaid Avenue, a commercial street in Coney Island that caters to much of the year-round poor and working-class population, many stores are still locked — among them, a Chase bank, a McDonald’s, a bagel store, a Chinese restaurant, a check-cashing place and a Mexican deli. Edward Cosmé, head of the avenue’s trade association, said his 13-year-old beauty parlor, Hair For U, is open only because he spent $40,000 of his own money to replace hair dryers and salon chairs destroyed in the storm, and he received a $25,000 loan at 1 percent interest and $10,000 in cash from the city’s Department of Small Business Services. But the number of customers is down by more than a third, he said, because some residents displaced by the storm have not returned.

Business owners blamed the continued closures on failing to receive timely government assistance that would have made up for money not covered by flood insurance companies. To date, the city has doled out 45 loans to Sheepshead Bay businesses totaling $1 million with 13 grants amounting to $45,000. In Coney Island, 19 loans have been approved totaling $420,700 with eight grants valued at $40,000. According to a NYC Department of Small Business Services rep who spoke to Sheepshead Bites, this represents an 88 to 90 percent approval rate.

Still, the complexity of government forms have tripped up business owners from getting desperately needed assistance from other sources, like the U.S. Small Business Administration, as we’ve previously reported. (UPDATED: See below)

Jim Tampakis, a man who runs a Red Hook-based ship boiler and pump repair shop gave up on trying to seek federal help entirely.

“I became discouraged,” Tampakis told the Times. “There was a feeling that businesses were getting the runaround.”

The problem facing business owners like Tampakis has led Councilman Domenic Recchia, who is currently running for Congress, to urge the city to ease the process.

“It’s imperative that more businesses have access to this type of funding so that they can get back on their feet,” Recchia told the Times.

Whether or not the businesses that are still closed can clear the bureaucratic red-tape and conquer their financial difficulties before the busy summer season starts remains to be seen.

UPDATE (May 2, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.): A previous version of this article noted in the segment providing the loan totals that business owners have had trouble with paperwork for these loans. An SBS representative called us this morning to note that the link we directed viewers to regarded the U.S. Small Business Administration loan rates, which, at the time, was below 30 percent. The SBS rep said the numbers in this article, which are for SBS, actually reflected a much higher approval rate than SBA, at a rate of 88 to 90 percent. We regret any confusion caused by the link, and have separated it out from the paragraph and tweaked the language to more accurately portray the situation.

Source: intweetion via

The city is giving a break to the operators of Luna Park on Coney Island by extending their lease an additional seven years, according to a report by the New York Post.

Zamperla USA, an Italian-based company, will be granted a seven year extension by the City Council. Councilman Domenic Recchia explained the situation to the Post:

“[Zamperla USA] invested a lot of money after suffering damages from Sandy, so it’s fair to give them more time to recoup their money considering they hired so many people from the neighborhood.”

The original lease, given in 2010, was set for 10 years, but now Zamperla USA will be staying put until the far off futuristic year of 2027; a time when flying roller-coasters will be the norm.

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, run by the Vourderis family, is also getting a seven year extension.

The council is expected to officially ratify the extensions at a later date.

The Boardwalk Flyer Ride will surround the proposed plaza space. Source: Facebook

Earlier in the week, we updated you on the somewhat controversial Department of Transportation plan to install a pedestrian plaza space on the southern end of Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island, but those plans have been halted for the time being, according to a report by the New York Post.

Apparently, Councilman Domenic Recchia convinced the DOT to take the project off the table before it reached Community Board 13, deciding that there were more important places to direct city funds in Coney Island these days.

“Right now, spending [city funds] to fix Coney Island’s beaches, parks, playgrounds and school yards [following Hurricane Sandy] is much more important,” said Recchia, who contacted the DOT after The Post first reported of the agency’s plan two weeks ago.

To add to the list of things on which money would be better spent, there’s the post office, library and police station.

Although the plaza isn’t going to happen anytime soon, the DOT promised that they would consider it at a more prudent future date when Coney Island gets back on its feet.

Earlier this week, a boatload of Southern Brooklyn politicians banded together to introduce a bill that would waive fees for businesses recovering from damages sustained during Superstorm Sandy, according to a press release.

The bill whose sponsors include Domenic Recchia, David Greenfield and Michael Nelson would waive fees for permits, applications and inspections for businesses doing their best to rebuild and reopen after the events of Sandy.

Councilman Vincent Gentile, who co-sponsored the bill, stressed the importance of this legislation in a press release.

“Some businesses are literally rebuilding from the ground up and when you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get your business up and running again, you really shouldn’t have to bother with superfluous fees for permits and inspections.”

Businesses that qualify for the special waivers must have been open before Sandy struck and were located in Evacuation Zones A and B or in a building that was inspected for structural damage by the Department of Buildings. These fees have already been waived since Sandy due to an executive order from the mayor, but the pols are looking to extend it beyond its current expiration date.

Here is a list of the fees being waived.

  • Department of Buildings permit and inspection fees required for construction, demolition, scaffolds, boilers, plumbing, electrical work, signs, scaffolds, limited alterations and after hours work.
  • Fire Department fees for inspection of fire protection systems and gas station fuel dispensing systems, as well as for plan review and examination fees for installation of fire protection systems and fuel dispensing systems.
  • Department of Transportation permit fees for opening the street, debris containers, sidewalk construction, vaults, and canopies.
  • Department of Small Business Services permit fees for waterfront construction, equipment use, mooring, fill work, as well as fees for work notices and certificates of completion.
  • Department of Environmental Protection permit fees for fuel burning incinerators, as well as fees for certificates of instruction in the use of and to operate the same.
  • Department of Consumer Affairs licensing fees for salvage and liquidation sales of goods.
  • Taxi and Limousine Commission Fees in connection with the licensing of vehicles, replacing medallions, transferring licenses, and for-hire vehicle inspections.
  • Landmarks and Preservation Commission fees required with respect to obtaining certificates of no affect and certificates of appropriateness.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The government giveth… crippling partisan bickering taketh away.

As across-the-board government cuts known as the “sequester” kick in this week, many New Yorkers are facing the reality that the aid sent to them in the form of the $60 billion Sandy package will be reduced by $3 billion, according to a report by Fox 5.

While it’s hard to tell exactly which parts of the Sandy aid package will get the ax, the changes will be felt in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the immediate impact of the sequester will be felt in the form of flight delays as thousands of TSA screeners and air traffic controllers will be furloughed – a temporary, unpaid leave – leading to slower and reduced service.

Councilman Domenic Recchia, chair of the powerful Finance Committee charged with developing the city’s budget, also weighed in on the negative effects the sequester will wreck on jobs and the unemployment rate in New York City in a press release:

Nationally, it’s been estimated that the sequestration could cost as many as 750,000 jobs and anywhere ranging from a .25 point increase to a 1.5 point increase in the national unemployment rate. Here, in New York City, a spike in unemployment is of significant concern because our rate of unemployment, at 8.8%, is already higher than the national average, 7.9%. For the past five years, we’ve fought hard to overcome a sluggish economy, and now this threat to economic growth is a devastating step in the wrong direction.

The longer the across the board cuts continue, what will be cut and how it will affect the recovery will become more clear.


It’s cold, it’s February and you don’t have work. Perhaps a spanking new job by the beach, courtesy of the Alliance for Coney Island, can snap you out of your winter funk. According to a report by the New York Post, there are hundreds of summer jobs available for those who register now.

This Saturday, the Alliance for Coney Island will begin its fourth annual recruitment drive. They are looking to fill 250 summer jobs with the promise of hundreds more being offered at a later date. The organization will be holding a screening event on February 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lincoln High School (2800 Ocean Parkway.)

Positions are available at Luna Park, Nathan’s Famous and Deno’s Wonder Wheel but to attend the screening, you must register by visiting

The jobs screening event is a joint collaboration between the Alliance for Coney Island, the HireNYC Program, the Economic Development Corp., Workforce 1, Small Business Services  and Councilman Domenic Recchia.

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