Archive for the tag 'east 17th st'

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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.

Muni-Meters across the Sandy-damaged areas have been removed and replaced with traffic cones.

ONLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: The Department of Transportation cut down and removed dozens of Muni-Meter machines this week. But instead of suspending parking regulations on affected streets, the agency is asking residents to walk several blocks to the nearest meter and pay.

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“Bullet Points” is our format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles.

Neighbors Demand Board Rescind Support For Drug Counseling Center: Residents of East 17th Street near Kings Highway rallied at last night’s Community Board 15 meeting, demanding the Board rescind a letter of support for a proposed drug treatment facility at 1670 East 17th Street.

Led by Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association President Ed Jaworski, a group of residents took to the podium, claiming that the Board failed to inform the community that the issue would be discussed and voted on in December.

“The City Charter and the Community Board bylaws say that the Community Board should serve the community, should communicate within the community, should act as a liaison agency, should review services, should develop plans for the community. None of this was done regarding the drug center being located on East 17th Street,” Jaworski said. “What took place at the November meeting was a shortcut. It was cutting the community’s input.”

The center, One World Counseling, received a letter of support from Community Board 15 in November with a 31-4 vote. Dmitri Oster, a rep for One World, told the Board then that they intended to target immigrants in the Sheepshead Bay area who have turned to drugs to cope with cultural integration. They would offer only counseling and would not distribute medication.

Keep reading about this story, and summaries of other actions from last night’s Community Board 15 meeting.

Community Board 15 voted in favor of permitting one drug rehabilitation center in the neighborhood, but voted down another, saying that the owners’ attitudes made all the difference.

At the November 27 meeting, the Board gave the nod to One World Counseling, a newly-formed entity proposing to develop a drug and alcohol abuse treatment center at 1670 East 17th Street, just off Kings Highway. The Board’s 31-4 vote came just minutes after nixing plans of an existing center, First Steps to Recovery at 2990 Brighton 12th Street, to move to 2634 East 21st Street, with a no vote of 34-1.

During the hearing for First Steps, representatives for the outpatient addiction treatment clinic explained that they served “elderly” Eastern European patients who have turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with the struggles of integration. The clinic dispenses medications and has been operating in Brighton Beach since 2002. They were seeking to move to the 2634 East 21st Street location because their current space is too small.

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A large police response has turned out for what initial reports indicate is a self-inflicted gunshot wound suffered by a retired NYPD officer at East 17th Street and Avenue Y.

Scanner reports indicate that the unidentified officer mistakenly shot himself herself in the leg. EMS has removed the victim from the scene and the Emergency Services Unit is now set up in the Petco parking lot on East 17th Street and Avenue Y. The 61st Precinct commander Captain John Chell is also on scene with community affairs, and police units from the 60th Precinct are also present.

We have no additional information at this time about the extent of the officer’s injury.

UPDATE (2:10 p.m.): The officer has been transported to Lutheran Hospital for treatment.

UPDATE (2:32 p.m.): The incident occurred shortly after 1:00 p.m. in the Petco parking lot, and two vehicles (seen above) are taped off in connection to the shooting. There is a small pool of blood near the rear driver’s side wheel of the white Volkswagon.

The victim is female, and expected to survive. The victim’s status as a police officer or retired police officer has not yet been confirmed.

Detectives are on the scene, investigating the circumstances around the firearm’s discharge. Officers are telling Petco customers to return in about an hour, when the store will reopen.

Emergency Services left the scene, and it appears the incident is wrapping up. NYPD’s press office does not yet have information about the incident.

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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