Archive for the tag 'gravesend'

3027 Avenue V, the address of one of the shell companies affiliated with the alleged scam.

3027 Avenue V, the address of one of the shell companies affiliated with the alleged scam.

Ten people – including three Brooklynites – were arrested and charged for their roles in an alleged $70 million scheme to defraud Medicaid and Medicare by submitting phony claims to the programs through three sham medical clinics, including one based on Avenue V.

The bust was announced December 3, when the suspects were slapped with charges including conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering. Three of the suspects – Vadim Zubkov, Nikoloz Chochiev and Jason Brissett – hailed from Brooklyn while the remaining seven were Queens residents.

Prosecutors say that the defendants recruited homeless people and the financially vulnerable who were insured by Medicare or Medicaid, hauling them to the three clinics to undergo unnecessary medical tests. The procedures were administered by unlicensed personnel, and the clinics ultimately billed more than $70 million in fraudulent claims, according to prosecutors, paying kickbacks to the phony patients.

Find out who was arrested, where the clinic was and how the alleged scam operated.

Source: Brooklyn Historical Society

Source: Brooklyn Historical Society

Almost 100 sites across the city — including our own Lady Deborah Moody’s House in Gravesend — could lose the chance of achieving landmark status in an effort by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to clear up a decades-old backlog of items, reports DNAinfo.

There are 94 sites and two historic districts that have been on the LPC’s calendar for consideration for decades — DNAinfo notes that 31 have been sitting there for 40 or more years — and the LPC hopes to push them aside to allow the commission to focus on new work.

“This is all about clearing out projects that are not active so we can focus on ones that are,” LPC chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan told the Times.

Preservationists are concerned about this action not only because it could potentially lead to historic buildings being torn down, but because the public hasn’t been given enough time to weigh in and testify.

“Previous landmark commissions voted that these sites should be considered as landmarks so they deserve their day in court,” Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the preservation organization Historic Districts Council, told DNAinfo.

State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz echoed that sentiment today in a statement.

“The Lady Deborah Moody House is an irreplaceable piece of Brooklyn history dating back before the American Revolution and it therefore deserves to be protected from random demolition,” Cymbrowitz said. “Removing the house from landmarks consideration, and doing so without any formal public input, shows a lack of respect for Brooklyn’s past and deprives residents of the right to weigh in regarding the house’s fate.”

Gravesend historic sign
Lady Deborah Moody’s House (27 Gravesend Neck Road) — which has been awaiting approval for landmark status since 1966 — was never lived in by its namesake, who established Gravesend in the 1600s. The house was built on land owned by the Englishwoman some time around 1700, possibly by the Van Sicklen family, according to Brownstoner. Across the street from the home are historic Van Sicklen and Gravesend cemeteries, as well as a plaque commemorating the historic origins of Gravesend and Lady Moody herself.

In addition to Lady Moody’s House, the sites include several churches (like St. Augustine’s on 6th Avenue in Park Slope), Green-Wood Cemetery, the Snug Harbor Historic District in Staten Island, and more.

The commission is set to vote on the issue at an LPC meeting on December 9. Even if they’re removed, sites with a lot of public support could be reconsidered for landmark designation in the future — if they’re still around for that.

With additional reporting by Rachel Silberstein.

Richie Randazzo (Source: Legacy.com)

The doorman from Avenue U who won the $5 million jackpot died from lung cancer last week.

Richie Randazzo, who had been battling the disease for a year, died on November 14 at age 50. His funeral mass was held at St. Simon & St. Jude Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn at 11:45am today, according to Cusimano & Russo Funeral Home.

Randazzo spent most of his life opening doors at a posh Park Avenue building until he was catapulted to tabloid fame in 2008 for winning a $10 Set For Life scratch ticket – guaranteeing him $5000 a week for life.

After his win, things got complicated for the Gravesend native. Randazzo, who described himself as “New York’s most eligible bachelor,” said he intended to keep his $40,000 a year gig as a doorman, but he was fired after going on a gambling binge with his 23-year-old Swedish model girlfriend, Sabina Johansson. Their relationship ended shortly afterwards when Johansson was busted for promoting prostitution. One of Randazzo’s dreams was to make a name for himself in reality television, but after his diagnosis, Randazzo chose to spend the rest of his time close to home, reports the New York Post:

…he kept things simple and mostly tooled around Brooklyn, fishing in Sheepshead Bay or passing time with friends at Caffe Caggiano on Avenue U.

Last year, he said he was searching for the love of his life, while also forgoing a risky surgery for lung cancer.

“Things are always going to change. When you’re on a losing streak, you have to start winning,” Randazzo said from his boyhood home in Gravesend, where he lived even after the windfall.

Randazzo’s Legacy.com page was flooded with condolences Sunday. We are sure he will be missed.

Here’s an interview with Randazzo on Fox News shortly after his win:

Source: Youtube/Global Ambassador NYC

Source: Youtube/Global Ambassador NYC

Oh, Taylor. First you released that terrible, terrible single about our beloved city. Then we learned that it was just a publicity stunt for your new role as the “Global Welcome Ambassador” for New York City’s tourism department.

Well, some folks are not impressed with Taylor Swift’s shiny informational videos (such as this Tribeca-centric NYC vocabulary lesson). In a hilarious parody site (with a perfect domain: www.globalambassador.nyc), three native New Yorkers give the singer some pointers about what New York is really about.

“Brooklyn is not a bunch of bearded hipsters eating kale salad. It’s just good, working-class people in a lot of places,” Paul Bomba, 35, the writer and producer behind the site, told us. “I think Taylor Swift was chosen as a symbol of gentrification.”

Bomba, who grew up in Gravesend, was shocked when he learned that Swift was selected as Welcome Ambassador. So he decided to do something about it. He registered the NYC domain name and put out a casting call for native-born New York actors.

Queens-born Tommy Ray and Inwood-native Brianne Berkson responded, and last week the trio shot three videos on the rooftop of a Bushwick apartment building. Within days, Bomba had edited the footage and loaded them onto the site.

Bomba says his goal is to make people laugh and highlight the ridiculousness of the city’s choice of Swift.

“I just don’t think she gets it yet,” said Bomba. “Yes, New York City has more millionaires than any other city in the U.S. At the same time, there are eight million other people who don’t just show up in New York and can buy whatever apartment they want.”

“I’ve been here my entire life and I still have a lot to learn about the city,” he added.

Bomba has no hard feelings towards Swift, though.

“If she reaches out to me, I’d love to meet her and take her out for a slice of pizza at L&B Spumoni Gardens,” he said.

h/t Village Voice

Atlas-Meat-Market.jpg

Atlas’ current storefront on 18th Avenue (Photo by Anna Gustafson)

Gravesend is about to get a new butcher in Atlas Meat Market, an acclaimed Kensington business that is moving to Avenue X in early November.

The news comes via our sister site, Ditmas Park Corner, which writes that shop is leaving its 4311 18th Avenue location and taking over 387 Avenue X, which was most recently the call base for Prestige Car Service.

Since its opening just last year, the business has built up a loyal following in that neighborhood for quality cuts and knowledge of meat.

Ditmas Park Corner previously profiled the business, writing that owner Andrey Nevelskiy, a Borough Park resident, learned his trade during a 15-year stint in the Meatpacking District from seasoned veterans with more than 50 years of experience. As that neighborhood began to give way to gentrification and the fashion industry, he sought to revive the profession in Brooklyn.

“I know meat very well,” Andrey says, pointing to a board on the Kensington shop’s wall that spells out customers’ options for meat, a list far too dauntingly long to list in its entirety but which includes chuck roast, ribs, sirloin steak, brisket, hamburger meat, and so on. “I know every muscle, everything about it. I can give advice on anything we sell, whether you want to cook for 15 minutes or you want to cook for two hours.”

…“I live in this neighborhood, and I never saw a butcher shop like this,” Andrey says, explaining why he and [co-owner David Khanateyev] wanted to open their business in the area. “The whole point of this place is fresh meat. I cut the meat in front of the customer, so they can see it’s fresh. I can marinate the meat, and I’ll put it on in front of the customer.”

Rendina (Source: Facebook)

Rendina (Source: Facebook)

A woman is in critical condition after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while she was attempting to save her dog, which was struck moments earlier by another hit-and-run driver.

Kristin Rendina, 31, was hospitalized after the Friday night incident at West 2nd Street and Avenue Z. The dog, a miniature pinscher named Pasquolino, died at the scene.

The dog was hit first by a vehicle heading south on West 2nd Street. Rendina came into the street and was kneeling by the dog when a car raced down Avenue Z and struck her without stopping.

The vehicle that hit the woman was a black Jeep Wrangler. Neither driver has been apprehended.

“They have her sedated for the weekend,” Rendina’s mother told the Daily News. “She has massive chest injuries and her lung collapsed. The doctor couldn’t tell me more than that.”

Anyone with information in regards to this missing person is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

armed-robbery

Cops are hunting a man that they believe is responsible for four muggings at gunpoint in Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach and Mill Basin.

Police say their man is a black male in his mid-20s, between 6’0″ to 6’2″, with a light complexion and last seen wearing rectangular eyeglasses. He was slightly unshaven, and may drive or have a co-conspirator who drives a white Acura TL.

The four robberies police believe him responsible for are:

  • On September 6, at 3:45pm, the 67-year-old  male victim was parking his car in his Marine Park garage, near Stuart Street, when the suspect put a gun to his head and demanded his watch, ring and cellphone. After getting the goods, the robber ran north on Gerritsen Avenue and then jumped into a waiting white Acura TL on Avenue R.
  • On September 10, at 10:55am, in front of 325 Whitman Drive in Mill Basin, the 35-year-old female victim was getting out of her car when the man came up to her. He pointed a gun at her and forced her to hand over her watch and wallet, which contained $300 and credit cards. He fled on foot.
  • On September 14, at 9:35pm, approached his victim near West 1st Street and Village Road South in Gravesend as the 56-year-old man walked out of his driveway. He flashed a gun and pulled off his wedding ring and his watch before running off to a car and driving away.
  • A 78-year-old man and 74-year-old woman were robbed next, on September 17 at 9pm, on the corner of Avenue Z and Batchelder Street. The two were walking when the man approached, flashed his gun and took a watch before fleeing.

No one was injured in any of these incidents. Using descriptions from the witnesses, cops were able to make the sketch above.

Anyone with information in regards to this missing person is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

savino-1

State Senator Diane Savino fumed on Facebook about cyclists, telling her followers that she drives through her district shouting at the two-wheeled menaces to “find a fucking bike lane and get in it.”

The comment from the pol, who represents Brighton Beach, Gravesend, Coney Island and Bath Beach in addition to Staten Island’s north shore, was in response to a labor lobbyist’s post blasting cycling “apologists” following the Central Park collision that left a pedestrian dead. Another follower suggested requiring bike registration and licensing, to which the pol also said she was “intrigued.”

bikelane-savino

The Daily News reports:

Savino said her comments were meant as a joke but she continued to express frustration with bicyclists who don’t obey traffic laws.

“Unfortunately, those who don’t follow the rules of the road create problems as we saw with that terrible tragedy in Central Park,” Savino said.

“Minimally, there’s got to be greater enforcement,” she continued. “And bikers have to take responsibility for what’s happening. They’re moving sometimes at 40 miles an hour. We just went through the whole process of reducing the city speed limit to 25 miles an hour, unless it is otherwise posted. That should apply to bikes as well. We are all in this together.”

The pol also said she had no plans to introduce new bike safety legislation when she returns to Albany.

DNAinfo went to the author of the blog post that sparked the Facebook discussion:

Eben Weiss, who writes the blog, Bike Snob NYC, drew attention to Savino’s comments on Twitter and on his site on Thursday.

“A state senator bragging on Facebook about engaging in acts of road rage is inappropriate, alarming and representative of a disregard for public safety,” Weiss told DNAinfo New York.

“It’s an insult to her constituents. It’s also totally ironic because the conversational thread that inspired her comment is based on a total misreading of comments I made in which I excoriated reckless bicycling.”

savino-district

Savino’s district

It appears cyclists in her district are taking notice. Streetsblog notes that Brooklyn Spoke author Doug Gordon, a constituent of Savino’s, sent an open invitation for the elected official to ride with him and his two children and see what life is like from the saddle.

I ride my children to school almost every day and then head to work. We bike to swim lessons, gymnastics, birthday parties, parks, and to the grocery store. With or without my children, I have been harassed many times by drivers who think New York City’s streets belong solely to them. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing – riding in a bike lane or legally exiting a bike lane to make a turn or avoid an obstruction such as a parked car – there is truly nothing I can do to stop an angry driver who simply doesn’t like bicycles from getting upset with me.

I ask you to kindly join me and my children, along with any other families who would like to come, on a short bike ride. It might be helpful for you to experience what it feels like to bike on New York City streets.

Savino, who lives in Staten Island, is already well-known for her outspoken Facebook posts. In February, for Valentine’s Day, she reminder her colleagues to stop taking photos of their genitals because “no one wants to see your penis pop up in a text message.” She also railed against supporters of indicted Congressman Michael Grimm, who claimed he’s the victim of a conspiracy.

Treyger and 61st Precinct Commanding Officer Carlos Valdez at the scene. (Source: Conor Greene)

Treyger and 61st Precinct Commanding Officer Carlos Valdez at the scene. (Source: Conor Greene)

After Sheepshead Bites’ report yesterday about a swastika appearing on the American Legion building at 300 Avenue X, elected officials condemned the hateful act and authorities rushed to have it investigated and removed today.

Members of the Marlboro Memorial Post 1437 American Legion chapter were apparently unaware of the graffiti. Councilman Mark Treyger’s office visited the site to inform them, and the pol called the NYPD’s 61st Precinct commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Carlos Valdez, to the scene to report the incident as a hate crime.

The pol then called the mayor’s office to dispatch the Economic Development Corporation’s graffiti removal service. As of 1:45pm today, police and the EDC were on the scene. When the police wrapped up their investigation, the graffiti was immediately removed.

Treyger said he spoke to members of the American Legion post, which included World War II veterans who were glad to see the symbol of hate eliminated.

Source: Michael S.

The swastika before it was removed. Source: Michael S.

“A swastika is not just offensive to the Jewish community, it’s offensive to everybody,” Treyger said. “An attack against one part of our community is an attack against us all. We have a zero tolerance policy on that.”

He added: “I do want to commend the precinct for coming down quickly, and the mayor’s office for sending the graffiti removal van immediately.”

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz expressed his outrage at the vandalism on Facebook yesterday evening.

“I condemn the spray-painting of a swastika on American Legion Marlboro Memorial Post 1437, whose members include World War II veterans who saw the Nazi atrocities firsthand,” he wrote. “I will continue to work with authorities to ensure that the perpetrator of this hate vandalism is swiftly brought to justice. As the son of Holocaust survivors, I believe we must continue to educate people about this terrible period in our history. Ignorance is no excuse for spreading messages of hate.”

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer also reached out to Sheepshead Bites by e-mail following our report, also to condemn the graffiti. He wrote:

I condemn hate crimes—from the five boroughs of New York City to every corner of the globe. Our extraordinary diversity is one of our greatest strengths. As such, any and all acts against people based on their sex, race, religion, color, or creed are attacks that cut to the very core of who we are as New Yorkers and what this City has meant and always will mean to people around the world. We stand united against these crimes, confident that the light of peace and justice will always triumph over the darkness of hate and prejudice.

While Treyger and others expressed gratitude to Sheepshead Bites for bringing attention to the anti-Semitic vandalism, the real credit goes to tipster Michael S. who was the first to speak up about it.

If you see an issue in the neighborhood that’s not getting the attention it deserves, send details and, if available, photos and video to editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Source: Michael S.

Source: Michael S.

Swastika graffiti is hardly new in the Sheepshead Bay area, but seeing it on a building dedicated to war veterans is a bit too much to stand.

Reader Michael S. tipped us off to a new swastika sighted at the Marlboro Memorial Post 1437 American Legion building at 300 Avenue X, submitting the photos yesterday.

He writes:

I was walking on avenue X between west 1st and west 2nd, when I spotted a swastika In front of a building. I will ask and offer my help for the removal in a few days, in an effort to allow management to rid of it themselves. Let me know if you are interested in their reply immediately after I approach them in regards to this matter. Pictures included .

Keeping this symbol Infront of their establishment does NOT register as American nationalism to me.

As we told Michael, the city does operate a free graffiti removal service. You can submit a claim here, call your councilman’s office (in this case, Mark Treyger at [718] 307-7151) or call 311. We recommend doing all three.

Anybody can make a request, but for private property it can take longer as they need the landlord’s consent. We’re sure, once Michael notifies the American Legion post, they’ll be fine with doing away with the symbol of hate that many of them fought against.

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