Archive for the tag 'east 17th st'

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CKO Kickboxing is coming to 2615 East 17th Street, just off Jerome Avenue.

The fitness franchise originated in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1997 and has since opened in more than 40 locations, mostly throughout the metro area. This will be their fifth location in Brooklyn.

The business takes over the long-empty space, which is below condominium units and a second floor office space used by AHRC, a center for adults with developmental disabilities.

There’s no word on opening date yet and no equipment has been installed, but the business’ website says it’s “coming soon.”

Welcome to the neighborhood, CKO!

It’s not the first time we’ve asked that question, and the answer we’ve gotten in the past from readers and local officials is “No.”

Yet, following the mid-July meeting between Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and Department of Sanitation Borough Superintendent Joe Lupo, in which the pol said Lupo agreed “immediate action needs to be taken,” it seems the only action taken so far is the removal of a handful of public litter baskets. 

There’s this one at Avenue Z and East 17th Street that we were keeping an eye on. It was overflowing the day Cymbrowitz had his meeting, and despite the “immediate action” it stayed overflowing for nearly a week, with debris blowing into the intersection.

Photo by Vickie P.

Photo by Vickie P.

And then when they finally emptied it, they took the can away as well:

Submitted by reader.

Submitted by reader.

And while people who would normally litter continue to litter, those who are responsible are the ones burdened by the removal of these trash cans.

“Had to carry doggy poop for blocks because apparently their solution to the overflowing garbage situation was to remove the garbage can,” the reader who submitted the above photo said.

We also noticed fewer cans on Sheepshead Bay Road.

Now, we have shown in the past that removing a bin can lead to less litter on a corner, but more pickups would have the same effect without inconveniencing anybody.

And before we hear this “budget cut” nonsense, it’s worth noting that except for one year, the budget of the Department of Sanitation has increased every year for the past five years. Womp womp.

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It appears a driver lost control of his car on Monday, swerving across Avenue Z and slamming into the garage door of 1702 Avenue Z at East 17th Street.

The accident happened at approximately 6:30 p.m., according to tipster Mike Nemoy, who sent the photos and the following note:

I didn’t see the accident itself, only the immediate aftermath. People who saw it said the guy just randomly slammed into the building. Possibly lost control or hit the wrong pedal. He immediately ran out of the car, holding his head, and into the car wash across the street. I left before the cops came but he didn’t return for the 10 minutes I was there.

The damage and debris are still there, and it appears little effort has been made to clean it up.

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I’ve long wondered about those garage doors, which were a late addition to the structure. The building wrapped up construction in early 2010, and shortly thereafter began advertising indoor parking. However, there was no garage, and the newly paved sidewalk lacked curb cuts and sported a group of freshly planted trees. All of that work was ripped out in 2011 when they finally decided to add the garage doors – which appear fairly flimsy, with thin glass and light metals.

Apparently my concerns were unfounded – it handled a car ramming into it without the car going fully through it, right?

P.S. 255 (Source: Google Maps)

P.S. 255 (Source: Google Maps)

A report of a suspicious device or package on the third floor of P.S. 255 (1866 East 17th Street) spurred police and school administrators to take extra precautions yesterday, evacuating their building and that of Cunningham Junior High School next door.

The evacuation took place at approximately 10:45 a.m., as a large presence from the NYPD arrived on scene – including bomb squad units.

Tipster Mike G. wrote to Sheepshead Bites that kids were taken several blocks away. Adding to the chaos, the school had brought in additional teachers for the day. He writes:

all kids outside three blocks away. Today they brought in teachers from other zones/districts to check tests. As soon as they walked in this morning, the alarm went off and a ton of cops showed up.

Police searched the school but did not find any suspicious device, reports News12.

Students were back in their classrooms by noon.

UPDATE (1:50 p.m.): A parent of a student at P.S. 255 sent us a copy of the note sent home with kids yesterday:

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Click to enlarge

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Bill Brown Square just got a whole lot browner.

One of only two green spaces near Sheepshead Bay Road has had all of the green plucked from it. Bill Brown Square, named after the World War I hero who made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields of France,  boasted a tree and several sizable shrubs until recently.

But now the square, which is located at Jerome Avenue and East 17th Street and is also home to a plaque honoring football legend and Bay native Vince Lombardi among other notables, is almost entirely barren. Parks Department officials removed all but two dying shrubs from the square in the past week or so.

According to a Parks Department employee, the greenstreet was flooded during Superstorm Sandy, killing the spruce tree and several shrubs at the site. The agency told Sheepshead Bites that they plan to replant the area in the spring, using salt tolerant shrubs.

We’re looking forward to it. Perhaps we can even get a nice new spruce to decorate when the holidays come around.

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So this is what I stumbled across on my walk to the coffee shop this morning, a putrid stream of slop and waste stretching a quarter of a block long, and filling the air with rancid scent.

The mess is in front of Chikurin, at 1702 Avenue Z. Unfortunately, I can’t say it’s the first time I’ve seen this. Over the past few weeks, there have been at least three instances of spilled waste, including a full bucket of grease knocked over into the tree bed, poisoning the soil, and creating a foul smell on one of the hottest days of the summer.

All businesses are required to hire their own private carting companies to haul off trash. Some hire better ones than others, and it appears Chikurin’s carter is skirting the strict regulations imposed on them by the Business Integrity Commission that require them to have proper seals and other measures installed on trucks to prevent such spillage.

Sheepshead Bites has had success in the past getting such careless carters fined, such as an incident last year, when a carting company had a broken seal that caused rotting produce and other waste to pour out on East 17th Street near Avenue Y. After surveillance video showing the carting company spill the waste was sent to the commission, they issued several thousands of dollars in fines.

Now we’ve informed the Business Integrity Commission of the latest incident. According to their database, updated quarterly, the carting company responsible is Viking Sanitation. However, a legally required decal on the window at Chikurin indicates only that American By-Products Recyclers is the waste carter – although a phone call to that company confirmed that they only pick up grease and cooking oil, not garbage. Many restaurants have two carters, one for garbage and one for grease, and they’re required to have decals for both. Here’s the lone decal:

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The Business Integrity Commission is looking into the matter, and we hope to have an update soon.

docgoodenNew York Yankees baseball legend Dwight “Doc” Gooden will be in Sheepshead Bay this Saturday, signing photos and copies of his memoir to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Sheepshead Bay’s Ridgewood Savings Bank (2520 East 17th Street).

The feared pitcher, who played for both the Mets and the Yankees, as well as other teams, during his 16-year MLB career will dole out autographed photos for free to those who stop by the event. The youngest player to appear in an All Star Game, Gooden was known for his 98 mph pitch and curveball.

Gooden struggled over the years with alcohol and drug abuse, an experience he eventually overcame and detailed in his 2013 autobiography Doc: A Memoir. Signed copies of the book will be available at the event for $20, with all proceeds from the sale going to support the Bay Improvement Group.

The signing event will kick off at noon and last until 2:00 p.m.

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Several readers got in touch this morning to let us know that the FDNY had blocked off Jerome Avenue at East 17th Street.

Authorities arrived at approximately 8:20 a.m. and began to investigate a barrel left on the sidewalk, adjacent to the bank.

“It looks like they were investigating a  black oil drum that was standing on Jerome. The East 17 approach and Jerome were blocked off but people were still allowed to walk through,” said Gene, a Sheepshead Bites tipster. “They were gently tapping on it and kind of just poking around.”

The streets have since reopened. We have sent out a request for information to the FDNY and will update this post if we hear back.

The tall trees that line East 17th Street (Source: Google Maps)

The tall trees that line East 17th Street (Source: Google Maps)

In Midwood, the tree-lined streets are cherished for the touch of nature they bring to the otherwise concrete jungle known as New York City. Still, they do need to be properly maintained for safety’s sake and the Parks Department’s apparent failure to do so has angered Midwood residents worried that their children might get hurt by falling limbs. The New York Daily News is reporting that residents that live on East 17th Street by Avenue M and Avenue N have been complaining to the Parks Department for years to manicure the trees, but have received little help.

Judy Barides, who has eight children, is one of the parents who fears for her children’s safety.

“I’ve been after the city for over a year now. Four massive branches have fallen on this block. It wasn’t rainy, it wasn’t windy, just out of the blue. I don’t let my kids play there anymore,” Barides told the Daily News.

The trees have already caused their fair share of damage, striking fear in strolling pedestrians:

The leafy, tree-lined block between Aves. M and N has several massive, 100-year-old Dutch elms, says Anne Marie Sabol. She guesses she’s complained to the city at least 15 times in the past four years as have other neighbors, “So many times, it’s ridiculous,” she said.

In February, a 33-foot limb crashed down onto a neighbor’s car, totaling it. The branch wasn’t removed for weeks. Last week, a 9-foot long limb came crashing down just as two women walked by, stunning them Sabol says.

“Someone will have to die in front of my house or my neighbor’s house before someone comes and they act on it,” Sabol said.

She called 311 immediately after the most recent incident and filed two more complaints about the dangerous tree limbs. The city told her to expect an inspection within 30 days.

The Daily News noted that, in Brooklyn, there are 2,200 outstanding tree complaints. Prompted by the Daily News, the Parks Department claims that they will be visiting East 17th Street within 30 days for the first time in five years to remove dangerous trees and prune others.

Despite all the promised action, not all residents are convinced that their requests will be heeded. Irwin Sternglantz, another East 17th Street resident, expressed such cynicism to the Daily News.

“The city’s attitude is ‘yeah, okay, we’ll see,’ and when there’s a tragedy, then everybody gets revved up and they do something. Until a tragedy occurs, they sleep,” Sternglantz said.

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A fire broke out in the basement of New York Mart at 1721 Avenue U, causing smoke to billow into the streets and drawing a heavy response from firefighters.

The fire broke out at approximately 11:00 a.m. As of this writing, the street is still filled with thick smoke, and Avenue U has been closed off between East 17th Street and East 19th Street, and East 18th Street from Avenue T to Avenue V. The B3 bus is being rerouted via Avenue T.

“It’s really crazy. It’s a lot of firetrucks and everything. It’s mostly smoke right now. Hopefully nobody got hurt,” said a Sheepshead Bites reader who witnessed the response.

According to Randy Contello, a Sheepshead Bites photo contributor, there are as many as more than ten firetrucks, and responders on the scene stated they believe the cause is electrical.

“It’s just firetrucks everywhere. There’s a crazy amount of fire trucks,” Contello said.

Contello said firefighters are currently on the roof, tearing holes for venting.

The market was the former site of a short-lived Walgreens, and was converted into the Chinese market last year. It’s their second location in the area, with the first being at 2309 Avenue U.

UPDATE (12:37 p.m.): Randy Contello sent in the following photographs.

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This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

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