Archive for the tag 'dyker heights'

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts Nutcracker (via Center for Performing Arts)

The holiday season in Brooklyn is a great time to be a kid (and a parent!), with the flurry of tree and menorah lightings, abundance of hot chocolate, and, of course, strings and strings of dazzling lights. Here are 15 of our favorite upcoming events around the borough:

Sinterklaas at The Wyckoff House Museum
When: Saturday, December 6 from 1-4pm
Where: Wyckoff House Museum, 5816 Clarendon Road
What: Celebrate Sinterklaas (otherwise known as St. Nicholas Day) at the city’s oldest, and first, official landmark, where you can explore how the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas evolved into the American tradition of Santa Claus. There will be traditional music, treats, stories, crafts, and more. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children under 10. Kids 2 and under are free.

Free Christmas Concert at New Utrecht Reformed Church
When: Saturday, December 6 at 7:30pm
Where: The Parish House of the New Utrecht Reformed Church, 18th Avenue between 83rd and 84th Streets
What: The Grand Street Community Band, led by its artistic director and conductor Brian Worsdale, will perform a free Christmas concert from members of the all-volunteer symphonic wind ensemble. Audience members will also have a chance to purchase holiday baked goods to benefit the church’s restoration fund, which will help to restore the church that was founded in 1677 and is in need of significant repairs.

Family Holiday Party & Tree Lighting at Greenwood Park
When: Saturday, December 6 from 3-6pm
Where: Greenwood Park, 555 7th Avenue
What: While your kids see Santa, you can grab a beer (or hot chocolate!) at this free holiday soirée that includes music from Frank Gallo of Rolie Polie Guacamole, gift bags, and free face painting. Plus, powerHouse Books will be on hand with gifts, and there will be an outdoor market with trees, wreaths, and other decorations for sale.

Alden Moves Performs The Nutcracker
When: Sunday, December 7 at 5pm
Where: East Midwood Jewish Center, 1625 Ocean Avenue
What: Students and company dancers from the Alden Moves Dance Theater take on an immersive production of The Nutcracker, during which audience members will be guests at the Silberhaus holiday party, as well as courtiers in the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Land of the Sweets. Advance tickets (which are available until December 5 and which you can buy here) are $20 for adults and $15 for students. Tickets at the door will be $25 for adults and $18 for students.

A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Brooklyn Lyceum
When: Saturday, December 13; Sunday, December 14; Saturday, December 20; and Sunday, December 21 at 1pm and 4pm
Where: The Brooklyn Lyceum, 227 4th Avenue
What: This may be your last chance to see this annual tradition at the former bath house, which was recently sold at auction. It’s a sweet adaptation of the animated classic featuring a live jazz trio. Tickets are $12 each, or $40 for four.

Free Performance of ‘Scrooge’ The Musical at Brooklyn Central Library
When: Saturday, December 13 at 1pm
Where: Brooklyn Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza
What: You’ll be putting aside all bah-humbugs after you see this musical based on Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol,” presented by Plaza Theatrical. Free admission.

Jingle Bell Jamboree in Park Slope
When: Saturday, December 13 at 7pm
Where: Congregation Beth Elohim, 274  Garfield Place
What: This fun, festive and family-friendly concert will feature the PS 38 pop chorus, kid-favorite Rolie Polie Guacamole, and more. There will also be a Toys for Tots collection site, so bring any new and unwrapped presents you’d like to donate. There is a suggested admission donation of $5 for children and $10 for adults.

Children’s Book Fair at the Shorefront Y
When: Sunday, December 14 from 2-5pm
Where: Shorefront Y, 3300 Coney Island Avenue
What: Take care of your holiday shopping while your kids have a blast during the event that includes children’s book readings, face painting, menorah-making, a large selection of Scholastic books, raffle prizes, photo opportunities with book and movie characters, and more. Admission is free.

The Colonial Nutcracker at Brooklyn Center For The Performing Arts
When: Sunday, December 14 at 2pm
Where: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Campus Road at Nostrand Avenue
What: This annual holiday favorite features the Dance Theatre in Westchester performing its family-friendly, full-length version of Tchaikovsky’s ballet set in wintry colonial Yorktown, complete with a red-coated mouse army, an enchanted nutcracker prince, and simultaneous narration to help young audience members enjoy this timeless classic. You’re also invited to a pre-show holiday card decorating workshop at 1pm. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased here.

Holiday Flea Market and Cookie & Latke Party at The Bensonhurst Jewish Center
When: Sunday, December 14 from 9am-4pm
Where: Shore Parkway Jewish Center, 8885 26th Avenue
What: Get some great holiday gifts at this flea market, which will include household items, jewelry, children’s items, and much more. The event will include kosher homemade latkes with apple sauce and will feature holiday cookie decorating for people of all ages. Vendors are wanted for the event, and you can rent a table for $35. For more information, call 718-449-6530 or email

The Muppet Christmas Carol at BAM Rose Cinemas
When: Sunday, December 14 at 2pm
Where: BAM Rose Cinemas, 651 Fulton Street
What: This adaptation of Dickens’ Christmas classic includes the whole Muppet gang, who will perform alongside a scowling Michael Caine as Scrooge. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for cinema club members, and $7 for children 12 and under.

Chanukah Party at Congregation Israel of Kings Bay
When: Wednesday, December 17  at 7:30pm
Where: 3903 Nostrand Avenue, Sheepshead Bay
What: The annual Chanukah Family Fun Party, featuring menorah lighting, chocolate gelt, donuts, dreidels and more – for free! For more information, call (718) 934-5176.

“The Ugly Duckling” Holiday Special, Performed by the Galli Theater
When: Saturday, December 20 at 10:30am to 12:00pm
Where: 330 Neptune Avenue
What: Learn & Explore Preschool brings in the Galli Theater troop for a dance and music-packed rendition of the children’s classic. After the show, there will be a 15-minute actor’s workshop where kids can participate in warm-up exercises and act out characters in the show. Adults $8, children $4. Call (718) 513-3600 to RSVP. Space is limited.

Chanukah Extravaganza at The Kings Bay Y
When: Sunday, December 21
Where: Kings Bay Y, 3495 Nostrand Avenue, between Avenue U and Avenue V
What: One of the largest holiday events in Sheepshead Bay, this Chanukah party features a huge array of activities for the entire family, including a symbolic menorah lighting ceremony, arts, crafts, rides, performances, and more.

The Steadfast Tin Soldier & Nutcracker Sweets
When: Friday, December 26; Monday, December 29; Tuesday, December 30 at 12:30pm, 2:30pm & 4:30pm, and on December 27 & 28 at 12:30&2:30pm
Where: Puppetworks, 338 6th Avenue
What: These two fun puppet shows (both are shown at each performance) are adaptations of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale and Tchaikovsky’s Land of Sweets dances. Appropriate for ages 3 and up. Tickets are $8 for children and $9 for adults. Reservations are suggested; call 718-965-3391.

Holiday Lights Spectacular in South Slope
When: To be announced here; the shows typically start the second weekend in December.
Where: 310A 22nd Street
What: Several years ago, two friends rigged up some lights for a show outside their house, and now it has grown to be an incredibly popular interactive show that includes music. Plus, other neighbors on the block are getting involved with their own light extravaganzas!

Tour of the Dazzling Dyker Heights Christmas Lights
When: Any time before the New Year.
Where: Dyker Heights neighborhood (around 83rd through 86th Streets, between 11th through 13th Avenues)
What: If you haven’t checked out the Christmas lights bonanza that happens each year in Dyker Heights, you’re missing out. The neighborhood has drawn national attention for its wild holiday decorations, which include 30-foot tall toy soldiers, glowing nativity scenes, motorized displays and more. Grab a coat, a cup of hot chocolate and join the rest of the city as we all gawk at the displays.

Photo by Margarita Corporan, via Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts.

Assemblyman Brook-Krasny (left) and challenger Lilikakis (right). Photo by Bailey Wolff.

Assemblyman Brook-Krasny (left) and challenger Lilikakis (right). Photo by Bailey Wolff.

By Bailey Wolff

The Bay Ridge Real Estate Board hosted a “Meet the Candidates Event” Wednesday night at the Dyker Heights Golf Course. Present at the forum was four-term incumbent of the 46th District, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, and his opponent, first time political hopeful, Stamatis Lilikakis.

Vice President of the Bay Ridge Real Estate Board Aldo Iemma and his wife Deborah organized the forum in order to establish communication between members of the community and elected officials who represent them in government.

“We want to educate, and encourage connections so that everyone is involved with the political process,” said Deborah Iemma.

Stamatis Lilikakis was the first of the two candidates to speak. He discussed the need to lower taxes to stop the “exodus” of businesses from New York State.

“I actually know what most people in this room feel,” said Lilikakis. “And I’m running for office because I’ve had enough of being a blank check for Albany and for our federal government … my goal is to try and lessen some of that burden.”

The 46th Assembly District spans the waterfront from Brighton Beach to Bay Ridge.

The 46th Assembly District spans the waterfront from Brighton Beach to Bay Ridge.

Running as a Republican-Conservative, Lilikakis said that he has united “different factions” in his party, and if elected, wants to create more opportunities for business and education in the district.

He also spoke about illegal conversions—the process of turning singe-family homes into multi-family, non-permitted housing units. “They’re illegal. They shouldn’t be here. There should be a task force, by the police department and fire department to go in and stop these things.”

Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny took the floor after Lilikakis and defined the 46th voting district as “very diverse.”

“From very liberal Coney Island to the more conservative part in Dyker Heights … you have people speaking more than 50 different languages with many different political opinions.” Because of these reasons, Krasny stated, the district needs a “balance minded politician” to represent every member of the district.

“One of the first priorities of every government,” said the assemblyman, “should be supporting the economy and increasing the number of jobs in his district.” He pointed to low state income taxes and universal Pre-K as two of his achievements, but also quoted the statistic that 70 percent of his constituents rely on government funding “in one form or another.” For this reason, he said, “I have to be very careful when cutting taxes.”

When a member of the audience asked Krasny about government funds to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, he quoted recently announced numbers of $25 million to build jetties and $2.9 million for a seawall to protect his district’s waterfront.

“Some services, some departments, some programs—like Build it Back—they didn’t do the right job,” the assemblyman said. “I know as a private citizen what is going on with Build it Back. It’s terrible. But it’s getting better.”

These two opponents will debate at 7:30pm on October 14, at St. Phillip’s Church in Dyker Heights. The church is located on 80th Street and 11th Avenue. The General Elections will be held November 4, 2014.

The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating the following person who was reported missing on April 18, 2014 from within the confines of the 68 Precinct.  Details are as follows.

Soon after the boy went missing, this photo was released. (Courtesy of the NYPD via Daily News)

The nine-hour search for Daniel Ghabra that began Friday afternoon ended on Saturday when the autistic boy was found unharmed in Sheepshead Bay, four miles away from home.

Like Avonte Oquendo, Ghabra is 14 years old with autism and cannot speak properly. The boy went missing from The Good Day Laundromat on 6214 Eleventh Avenue in Dyker Heights, near where he lives with his mother. But unlike Oquendo, Ghabra was safely found on Saturday.

When the Dyker Heights resident first went missing, police quickly released a photo of the boy, according to CBS Local.

A New York Police Department van drove through the neighborhood the night he went missing, according to the Daily News, with a message from Ghabra’s mom.

On Friday night, his mother’s heartbroken voice called out to Daniel from an NYPD Crime Stoppers van touring the neighborhood.

“Daniel, we are looking for you,” she pleaded. “Please come to Mom.”

Grim-faced cops set up a command post near the laundry Friday night and were looking for surveillance video and checking the nearby Fort Hamilton Parkway/62nd St. subway station for any clues.

Details on what led to his safe recovery in Sheepshead Bay were not immediately available.

Source: JohnnyBarker / Flickr

Source: JohnnyBarker / Flickr

The New York City Council is pulling out all the stops to halt the spread of social day care centers that rip off Medicaid. The New York Times is reporting that the Council is looking to implement regulation and enforcement in order to weed out the shady centers that lure in healthy seniors in order to reap a windfall in Medicaid benefits.

In April, we first reported on the proliferation of social day care centers, which exploded from just eight programs citywide to 192 in only two years. The facilities arose in the wake of a new law enacted by Governor Andrew Cuomo, which wished to curb Medicaid costs by steering seniors needing expensive in-house or nursing care to the less-costly, community-friendly centers. The centers are supposed to treat patients with severe disabilities and medical problems but instead, many have been tapping healthy seniors to participate, luring them with cash and free groceries. The Times explains how the managed care plans and social centers profit by this practice:

Under the new system, managed care plans get roughly $3,800 a month for each eligible person they enroll in New York City, regardless of what services are provided. The plans contract with the social adult day care centers to provide services to their members. But advocates for the elderly and for people with disabilities have warned state officials that some plans were “cherry-picking” healthy seniors by using the new day care centers as marketing tools, while shunning the people who needed hours of costlier home care.

Joan Pastore, director of Amico, a city senior center in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, said members of the center told her that they were not only signed up by new centers with enticements like $100 in cash and $50 for bringing a friend, but “coached on how to lie to qualify for home care.”

Members of the Council expressed anger at the practices of the managed care plans and the social day care centers.

“It is just outrageous that these pop-up centers are threatening the well-being of our seniors while draining Medicaid resources from legitimate programs for older adults. Increased oversight and regulation of these programs is needed immediately,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told the Times.

In response, the Council has introduced a bill that would impose minimum requirements on the centers, which as of right now, are unregulated. Centers would be limited to treating seniors with impairments, set minimum safety standards and must register with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The bill would also protect centers that play by the rules and offer robust service to patients with actual disabilities.

Centers that don’t register or ignore the new rules could be fined between $250 to $1,000 a day. Enforcing these new rules won’t be cheap. City officials estimate that it will cost $2 million to police the nearly 200 centers throughout the city.

State Senator Diane Savino is looking to create a statewide bill that is modeled after the Council version.

State Senator Marty Golden and his upstart opponent, Democrat Andrew Gounardes, faced off at a debate last night hosted by the Dyker Heights Civic Association.

The 30-minute debate got heated at points, with Golden and Gounardes occasionally raising their voices and breaking with debate protocol to ask each other questions or attack one another.

Among the issues discussed were gun control, women’s rights including emergency contraceptives for rape victims and fair pay, and education.

Education is how Andrew Gounardes opened the debate, attacking the 10-year incumbent for failing to bring home the bacon for local schools. He claimed Golden has voted 99 percent of the time with the Senate Republican leadership, which he said had been neglecting New York City’s schools, siphoning off funding and ignoring issues of overcapacity in New York City. The Senator responded by calling the claims “pure fantasy” and noted that he had brought funding to local schools, including adding 4,000 seats to the district.

On a separate question about education, Golden received boos for expressing his support for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of the city school system, while Gounardes said the state needed to do a better job ensuring the mayor is fulfilling his obligation to students, which, he said, appears not to be the case given college-readiness rates and school standards.

The crowd appeared to overwhelmingly support Senator Golden, many sporting Golden and GOP stickers – but Gounardes also brought a contingent of supporters who cheered him on. Both appeared to have “plants” in the crowd – or people who posed questions that exposed the weakness of their opponent.

One of those questions came from a female Gounardes supporter, who asked Golden if he supported Missouri Congressman Todd Akin’s statements that rape victims should not have access to emergency contraceptives. It seemed Golden was pretending not to hear the question, and then rephrased it as “Should [rape victims] get emergency services immediately upon rape? Yes, they should.”

Gounardes won a round of applause for immediately shooting back that Golden had voted three times against a bill that would provide contraceptives to rape victims.

The insurgent opponent also won accolades when Golden made a few verbal stumbles, such as suggesting that New Yorkers can’t afford to provide equal pay to women and that importing oil and gas from Canada qualified as energy independence.

Golden, for his part, effectively presented his opponent as rabidly anti-gun and portrayed his own record on gun safety as a more effective and moderate approach. He also scored points by aligning Gounardes’ view on renewable energy investments with that of the Obama Administration, which has recently taken flak for providing $90 billion in breaks for green energy industries with little return shown on the investment.

Watch the debate above – it will likely be the most expansive, interesting and exciting to happen this year in Southern Brooklyn.

Following the death of Amjad Barakat of Sheepshead Bay, who was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Bay Ridge last night, State Senator Marty Golden has issued the press release below:

State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), in response to a tragic hit and run last evening on the streets of his Brooklyn district, is calling for the State Assembly to pass S2918/A3350, which would increase the penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident without stopping and/or reporting it from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class E Felony.

Last evening, an hit and run happened in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Senator Golden’s district, that claimed the life of a Brooklyn man. It was just yesterday afternoon that the New York State Senate approved S. 2918, introduced by Senator Marty Golden.

This legislation would also increase penalties from a Class E Felony to a Class D Felony for repeat offenders and hit and run drivers who injure others. Drivers who flee from the scene of an accident where someone was killed would face Class C Felony charges under the proposed law.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “On the day the State Senate approved legislation to toughen the penalties against those who leave the scene of an accident, another life was lost at the hands of a hit and run driver in my district. It is time that New York State gets serious about making sure that reckless drivers, who take innocent lives and destroy families, face the strictest penalties.”

Golden continued,“Each day that the New York State Assembly fails to act on this legislation, is another day where New Yorkers all across this State are walking, jogging, and riding their bikes in danger. I urge New Yorkers to contact their Assembly representative and ask them to make this the year that the Empire State stands up against hit and runs.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Amjad Barakat and I trust that the New York City Police Department will conduct a full investigation of this accident,” concluded Golden.

This legislation was passed by the State Senate last year but failed in the State Assembly. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) is the Assembly sponsor.

Source: Tony Webster/Flickr

Police are hunting for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed Sheepshead Bay resident Amjad Barakat, 33, in Bay Ridge last night.

The accident happened shortly before 9:00 p.m., according to the New York Daily News.

Barakat was crossing 72nd Street when a beige sedan struck him. The driver then fled south on Seventh Avenue.

Authorities pronounced Barakat dead at the scene.


(NYS 22nd Senate District Banner)

It seems like just yesterday that Senator Marty Golden’s office had a meeting to discuss the issues affecting our area. Hey, wait, it was just yesterday. Oh, that was the Town Hall Meeting on Education. The next Town Hall Meeting will cover Public Safety issues in NY Senate District 22 and will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 19.

While this meeting may not be geared specifically to Sheepshead Bay and the Precinct representatives will be coming from the 68th, not the 61st, it’s still a great idea for residents of Sheepshead Bay to stay informed about what is going on in the neighboring areas of Senate District 22.

This meeting is being hosted in part by the Dyker Heights Civic Association (DHCA) and I’m sure there are things we can learn from them – especially, about how they keep their beautiful mile-wide neighborhood safe, clean, and protected from excess overpopulation and development. By the looks of the NASA Photo linked to on the Dyker Heights Wikipedia information page – so well-referenced and put together by Christian Zaino – there are also chunks of green space there (courtesy of the Dyker Beach Golf Course and the Belt Parkway Park, Promenade & Bike Path). Compared to our South Brooklyn neighbor, Sheepshead Bay looks like a veritable wasteland on that map. Or maybe in a couple of years, we’ll be inviting DHCA to visit our own little green oasis on Brigham Street.

Here are the details:

Town Hall Meeting on Public Safety
Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Knights of Columbus, located at 1305 86th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11228
Hosted by: Senator Marty Golden and the Dyker Heights Civic Association
Contact: Senator Golden’s office (718) 238-6044