The next meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) will be Wednesday, June 25 at 8:00 p.m. inside Public School 195, 131 Irwin Street at Hampton Avenue.
Members and attendees will discuss real estate taxes that have changed in Manhattan Beach as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Representatives from the NYC Department of Finance will be on hand to answer your questions regarding the methods used to determine why new assessed values did or did not appear on your recent statement.
Guest speakers — Captain John Chell of the 61st Police Precinct and Alexander Gurevich, Esq., Office of the Brooklyn District Attorney — will talk about how the NYPD handles these crimes and what punishment is meted out to criminals involved.
There will additionally be updates on Traffic Committee proposals, Build it Back and NY Rising monies allocated to Manhattan Beach.
The meeting is taking place at the same time as a seminar by the Department of Finance about insurance issues (flier to come on this site shortly). For those concerned about missing one meeting or the other, MBCG said they have booked the DOF to attend their June meeting to go over many of the same issues.
Graffiti depicting a swastika-like icon and messages including “F-ck Jews” were found scrawled on homes, a tree stump and construction site on Saturday morning. The NYPD is investigating the incident as a hate crime, and has released the surveillance video as they seek help from the public in identifying the vandals.
The video appears to show four teens in hoodies walking down Exeter Street. They make two brief stops within the camera’s range, lighting up their marks with a cellphone or flashlight as they quickly scribble their hate-filled messages and move on.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
Anti-Semitic messages and swastikas were found painted on several properties on Exeter Street in Manhattan Beach over the weekend, and police believe the perps were five white teenage males.
The graffiti was discovered on homes, a tree stump and a construction site early Sunday morning, according to a message sent by the Manhattan Beach Community Group.
JPUpdates reports that surveillance video captured the five suspects spray painting the Exeter Street home of Victor Popovsky:
“We are not going to tolerate this nonsense. Not in this neighborhood and not anywhere else,” said Popovsky, a physics teacher at PS321 in Park Slope.
The teenagers sprayed swastika on a tree and lamp post, as well as hate graffiti at a constructs site.
Council member Chaim Deutsch was seen on the scene Sunday afternoon trying to remove the graffiti with no success. “Words of hate and graffiti of hate will not be tolerated, in this community or in any other neighborhood,” Mr. Deutsch told JP. “As a son of holocaust survivors I take these incidents very personal.”
“We need to educate our youth of what such hate graffiti means,” Mr. Deutsch added.
Deutsch told the outlet that the NYPD is investigating it as a hate crime.
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz has called for those responsible to be punished for their actions:
“The appearance of hate graffiti in two predominantly Jewish neighborhoods this weekend — here in my district in Manhattan Beach and also in Borough Park — reminds us that we can never educate people enough about anti-Semitism and the dangers of intolerance.
“Whether the graffiti was motivated by hatred, anger, boredom or ignorance the result is exactly the same: it makes residents feel uncomfortable and frightened to be in the place they call home. This is unacceptable under any circumstances, and particularly in neighborhoods where many Holocaust survivors sought refuge.
“The person responsible for this crime must be punished to the fullest extent that the law allows, and all of us must continue to speak out swiftly and decisively against any act of hatred that takes place in our community.”
When we hit Manhattan Beach last week to get some photos, we came across an unexpected sight: a go kart zooming up and down Exeter Street.
Three people were playing around with the noisemaker, jotting around the dead end block. It was around 3:00 p.m., and no one else seemed to be around, so I just watched them go up and down, up and down. We didn’t get any of the good parts on film, like the miniature Tokyo Drift-style nonsense or the 180-degree spins they were doing.
For the most part, they didn’t seem to be bothering anyone.
But then they did something really stupid. Two of the guys got in the white car and took off. The third stayed in the go kart, sped to the mouth of Exeter Street and turned onto Oriental Boulevard. They zoomed at full speed towards the college, disappearing beyond my view. He never returned.
Again, this was around 3:00 p.m., and the boulevard was busy with buses and cars going to and from the school.
We decided to ask around with local leaders and law enforcement to see if this was a common occurrence. The 61st Precinct told us they never heard a complaint. Ditto Community Board 15 and the Manhattan Beach Community Group.
But apparently leaders of Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association are well aware of the problem, and say it’s a dangerous nuisance for residents.
“They go up the streets the wrong way, they’re extremely loud, and they’re low to the ground,” said MBNA spokesperson Edmond Dweck. “I feel sorry for the car that hits them. [The car's driver will] probably be blamed and get locked up.”
Dweck said the issue has come up a “couple of times” at MBNA meetings.
Because go-karts are not designed for street use, and are not subject to the same safety standards and regulations as permitted motor vehicles, they are illegal on all streets, highways, parking lots, sidewalks and any other area, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Violators can be arrested.
“It’s not just a violation of traffic law, it’s the children and other drivers,” said MBNA President Alan Ditchek. “It’s dangerous. You just can’t see them.”
The current structure, with an overlay of the proposed designs. Scale is approximate.
Community Board 15 voted overwhelmingly to approve a planned Manhattan Beach McMansion on the site of the rectory of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, despite objections from a local community group.
The request for a special permit to enlarge the current building by more than three times its current size and nearly double the size allowed by law came before the board during their Tuesday night meeting. The board voted 26 in favor and five against (with one abstention) to approve major modifications to the 92-year-old structure.
That approval came despite opposition from the Manhattan Beach Community Group, who said the lawyer’s claims about the building were based on faulty data.
“The measurements that they’re using for this house is flawed. The whole procedure is flawed. He shouldn’t be allowed to build that house,” said MBCG President Ira Zalcman.
Reader Lina R. sent in the above photograph, which she shot yesterday. Apparently this guy was strolling Shore Boulevard by Exeter Street in the morning. Lina didn’t know how it got up there, but she said it was still alive and that she guessed a fisherman caught it and didn’t know what to do, which might explain the blood underneath it. She also doesn’t know what happened to it afterwards. We sure hope some brave soul with a heart managed to pick it up and throw it back into the water. Regardless, what a sight!
We got tips from no less than five readers that there was another accident tonight on Shore Boulevard near Exeter Street. A driver in a Mercedes was pulling out of a parking spot between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. tonight when another vehicle slammed into him. We’re told no one was seriously hurt, but this has yet to be confirmed.
This is the second accident in Manhattan Beach this week. FDNY and NYPD were both on the scene, and we believe chemicals were sprayed on the pavement to neutralize leaking gasoline or oil.
Photos are forthcoming. We’ll have more information as it becomes available.