Archive for the tag 'kings highway'

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Gnomiki Day Care at 2221 Ocean Avenue, which was closed due to its history of violations. Its sister site at 2623 Ocean Avenue has been recommended for closure as well. (Source: Google Maps)

The operators of nine child care facilities – seven in Brooklyn and two in Staten Island – were charged last Friday with submitting false documents to the city to cover up a slew of health and safety problems, according to Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation Mark Peters, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, and Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, Jr.

At the centers, which served about 400 children, investigators said they found a long list of egregious conditions, including rat droppings, poison, a mountain of trash, and a fire alarm falling off the wall, the Daily News reported. Additionally, the DOI said they discovered owners had submitted fake educational degrees, forged medical records, and falsified letters stating employees had been trained in child abuse identification.

The city recently closed four of the centers:

  • Gnomiki Day Care, Inc., 2221 Ocean Avenue, closed due to the site’s violation history, city officials said.
  • Next to Home, 1123 Flatbush Avenue, was shuttered due to a city Department of Buildings vacate order issued in response to multiple DOB and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene violations.
  • Next to Home, 1159 Flatbush Avenue was closed because investigators said the program had been operating under an expired DOB certificate of occupancy.
  • One of a Kind Child Care, 6318 Amboy Road, Staten Island, ended operations after DOHMH petitioned to revoke the permit.

At the remaining five sites:

  • Next to Home, 5566 Kings Highway, was “never leased and never provided services to children,” the DOI said
  • ABC Little Star, 2345 85th Street, is still operating and city officials said DOHMH inspected it this week, finding no new violations.
  • Gnomiki Day Care, Inc., Group Family Day Care, 2623 Ocean Avenue, has been recommended for closure.
  • Next to Home, 353 Ocean Avenue, closed after the owner stopped operations, city officials said.
  • One of a Kind Child Care, a group family daycare operating at 6306 Amboy Road in Staten Island, is operating, but the owner that was arrested will be excluded from the program, officials said.

The site owners who were arrested were:

  • Viktoriya Federovich, 38, of Brooklyn, was the owner of Gnomiki Day Care, Inc. She was charged with presenting fraudulent documents to the city, including two Certificates of Completion for Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Maltreatment for an assistant teacher and a volunteer, the DOI said.
  • Elena Kaplan, 53, of Brooklyn, was the owner ABC Little Star Day Care, and, according to the DOI’s investigation, she allegedly submitted a number of false documents to the city, including a a fake public school teacher certificate for herself and state Nurses Association Certificates of Completion for various members of the staff confirming they had received training in identifying child abuse, when, in fact, they allegedly had not, the city officials said.
  • Owen Larman, 41, of Brooklyn, a convicted felon who was found guilty of operating a $12 million mortgage fraud scheme in 2007 and who was also charged in this case with stealing close to $60,000 in public funds. He was the owner and operator of Next to Home Child Care, which provided services at three locations in the borough. Next to Home also obtained a registration to operate a fourth child care program at 5566 Kings Highway, but the DOI said this site did not actually provide any services.
  • Gina Schiavo, 44, of Staten Island, was the owner of One of a King Child Care. According to the DOI, she allegedly introduced an individual to a DOHMH inspector under another teacher’s name and fraudulently provided documents with the name and qualifications of the teacher. When the inspector questioned the individual about her identity, Schiavo allegedly admitted that the individual was using another person’s name.

“These defendants forged and falsified documents in order to cover up safety risks and steal money intended for actual child care, as charged,” Peters said in a prepared statement. “Our investigations underscore the importance of continuing to vigorously police the integrity of the city’s child care systems, an effort that is very much continuing.”

In his statement to the press, Thompson too issued harsh words for the defendants.

“Each day parents throughout the city count on child care providers to protect the safety of their children,” he said. “It is disgraceful that greedy operators would circumvent safety provisions for their own benefit. Our parents and children deserve better and that’s why we worked so closely with the Department of Investigation on these cases.”

The teaching center's Sheepshead Bay office (Source: Google Maps)

The teaching center’s Sheepshead Bay office (Source: Google Maps)

A former employee of a New York Methodist Hospital teaching facility in Sheepshead Bay has filed a lawsuit against the facility, claiming staff knowingly exposed the public to potential health risks, and terminated her employment when she tried to make it known.

According to the complaint filed earlier this week with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, plaintiff Shagufta Syed alleges that while working as the program director last year at Methodist’s Center for Allied Health Education, School of Radiation Therapy, located at 1401 Kings Highway, she learned that students who had not received a required health clearance — which would entail providing proof of receiving flu and hepatitis shots and being screened for contagious diseases — were “coming into contact with patients who had significantly compromised immune systems as a result of their cancer radiation treatment,” contrary to the Rules and Regulations of the State of New York.

Those students, she claims, worked with patients receiving radiation therapy at Methodist, SUNY Downstate Medial Center, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, LEROS, and the Lutheran Medical Center.

Upon telling one of her supervisors, Syed claims in the lawsuit that she received this response:

“Don’t worry about it. Nothing’s ever done right here.”

The complaint says Syed then reached out to the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology about the situation, and once her Methodist supervisors learned of this, she claims she was fired for doing so.

The complaint further alleges that upon submitting a claim for settlement, Methodist’s lawyers sent a letter claiming they had “documented facts” that could “prove costly” should Syed decide to pursue the litigation, but that those facts were not presented when requested pre-litigation.

Syed is claiming a loss of income from what she says is a wrongful termination, along with emotional distress, and is suing for the sum of $75,000.

“We cannot comment on the lawsuit brought by the individual whose employment was terminated,” Methodist said in a statement responding to the lawsuit. “However, we can assure you that, as required by regulatory agencies and accrediting bodies, our radiation therapy students receive the same health clearances as our employees before they are allowed to enter into clinical rotations.”

– Mary Bakija

wantedAuthorities are on the hunt for the man photographed above, who is a suspect in two commercial burglaries including the ransacking of an office within the Beth Israel Medical Center at 3131 Kings Highway.

The man allegedly broke into two offices over the span of three nights in June, stealing roughly $60,000 in cash, equipment and other valuables.

Cops say the suspect waited until after closing to break into the Kings Highway medical center on Monday, June 23. He entered the property at approximately 6:05 pm., swiping a laptop and $160 in cash.

Just two days earlier, on June 21, the same man is believe to have broken into Glenwood Road Dental, at 5520 Glenwood Road in Flatlands. He made off with approximately $58,600 worth of dentistry equipment in that heist.

The suspect is described as a black male with long black braids and dark facial hair.

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.

For one intersection in Marine Park, red lights seem to mean nothing. On Kings Highway and East 34th Street, vehicle drivers have thrown out the rule book on traffic lights.

Residents there have witnessed all types of vehicles from a bus to an ice cream truck run a red light, and local video journalist Shimon Gifter shared videos with CBS showing violators blowing through the red in broad daylight.

“They just come around and keep on going,” Flatlands resident Eleanor Ortiz told CBS.

Witnesses even took a video of a driver running over those flimsy lane dividers often seen in construction sites. Short of the supernatural, it remains unclear why this intersection seems to be such a magnet for law-breakers.

CBS interviewed a few people familiar with the area who had their own speculations.

Some drivers familiar with the area said you can break the law and not even know it since the multi-colored row of traffic lights can cause blurred lines.

“Even though the red light is for you, you’re also seeing the other light which is green. So you sometimes tend to ignore the red light even though it’s for you and focus on the green light which is visible to you, but not really for you,” said Flatlands resident Boris Siper.

When CBS reached out to the Department of Transportation to comment on this, they said, “Safety is DOT’s first priority. The agency is looking at the location to see if additional signage can enhance safety.”

 

Source: FriendsofOceanParkway.org

Our friend Allen Shweky of Friends of Ocean Parkway notes that the Department of Transportation has kicked off the latest round of rehabilitation along the nation’s second oldest parkway.

The east mall of the corridor between Avenue N and Kings Highway is closed off to pedestrians, as the city preps to redo the asphalt, landscaping and benches. Shweky said there’s no timeline for the work.

The entire length of the mall has seen major construction over the last few years, with the most recent stretch being completed in 2012. Work stopped then until fresh funding was allocated through Councilman David Greenfield’s office.

Shweky writes that the section most in need remains untouched:

The real immediate work that really needs to be done on the west mall between Avenue U and Avenue X remains a dangerous hazard especially to bike riders.  Seems that that critical part of the entire mall renovation project is still a long way off.

Source: Murdock Solon

Source: Murdock Solon

A real estate management company linked to the owner of one of the city’s leading necktie manufacturers and wholesalers has taken over a swath of Kings Highway real estate, with plans to redevelop the property into a five-story retail and office development.

Several stores on the northern side of the corridor, from East 16th Street to East 17th Street, have shuttered in recent months, including the area’s McDonald’s restaurant. The building appears to still be owned by Kingsway Realty, according to city records, which has had its name inscribed on the facade since taking over the property in 1973.

1601-1607 Kings Highway, where several stores have shuttered in recent months to make way for redevelopment.

1601-1607 Kings Highway, where several stores have shuttered in recent months to make way for redevelopment. (Photo by Ned Berke)

Now plans are being considered by the Department of Buildings to tear down the two-story structure occupying the 17,880-square-foot lot, originally built in 1930, and replace it with a brand new facility, anchored by two floors of retail shopping and three floors of office space.

The building is being designed by the architectural firm of Murdock Solon. Renderings on their website show an ultra-modern design, featuring large bulked-out windows, a patterned facade and setbacks with rooftop gardens to be viewed by the office workers on the upper levels.

With escalators drawn into the middle of the retail space, it appears the developer may be aiming to attract a large retail tenant to occupy the bulk of the space.

There is parking for 25 vehicles and five bicycles in the basement level of the property, according to documents submitted to the DOB. The new building will stand 79 feet tall, and have 67,355 square-feet of space.

Although Kingsway appears to still be the owner of the property according to ACRIS, the online database of the City Register, the plans were submitted to the DOB on behalf of Lake Realty Inc., naming Walter Schik as the officer.

Schik is an Austrian-Jewish immigrant who fled Nazi persecution. Resettled in New York, he founded Bentley Cravats in 1947, which manufactures neckties, bow ties and other neckware.

Lake Realty Management LLC, which appears to be the official name of the company as registered with the state, manages a handful of properties in Brooklyn and Manhattan, including a nearby apartment building at 1233 East 19th Street.

Calls to Schik’s office were not returned.

The plans for the new five-story building were rejected in March, with the Department of Buildings stating that the drawings were incomplete. Calls to Murdock Solon for a status update were not returned.

Photos via Murdock Solon.

funkiberry

It was less than a year ago that Funkiberry, a frozen yogurt outpost, opened on Avenue U and Ocean Avenue.

The franchise continues to expand, with a new location set to open soon at 1917 Kings Highway (between East 19th Street and Ocean Avenue).

A third location already exists on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, and the website indicates plans for international locations in Russia, Italy, the Ukraine, France and China.

The storefront was most recently occupied by a dry cleaners.

The suspects. (Source: NYPD via NBC)

The suspects. (Source: NYPD via NBC)

More details have emerged in the bank robbery spree we told you about earlier this week, in which four banks were hit in a span of just two hours.

Originally, it was reported that police were looking for one suspect in a case that saw robberies or attempted robberies from Gravesend to Bergen Beach.

Now police say they’re seeking two men for the Monday afternoon heists.

The men hit the four banks between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., getting away with a $6,300 haul.

NBC reports that the suspects entered each bank and gave the teller a note demanding money.

The suspects made off with $1,800 from Capital One at 2102 Ralph Avenue, and $4,500 from Santander Bank at 301 Avenue U in Gravesend.

They also hit Chase Bank at 1987 Flatbush Avenue and Northfield Bank at 1123 Kings Highway, but tellers refused to cooperate at those locations.

Surveillance video captured the above images of the suspects.

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.

The location of Santander bank at 302 Avenue U, where the first robbery took place.  (Source: Google Maps)

The location of Santander bank at 302 Avenue U, where the first robbery took place. (Source: Google Maps)

Cops are hunting for a man described as black, approximately 6-foot-2-inches tall, with a scar on his face in connection with a string of bank robberies that happened across Southern Brooklyn yesterday. The suspect was wearing a black hoodie at the time of the robberies.

Police say the man robbed four banks between Gravesend and Canarsie within just a few hours, according to News 12.

The spree began at Santander bank at 301 Avenue U, just off McDonald Avenue, at 2:30 p.m. He then went on to Ralph Avenue’s Capital One bank, hit a Flatbush Avenue Chase bank, and ended with a Northfield bank on Kings Highway.

In at least one of the cases, he passed tellers a note demanding money. It’s not yet known how much he made off with.

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.

The suspects were captured by surveillance video at the Avenue U Telco.

The suspects were captured by surveillance video at the Avenue U Telco.

Officers from the 61st Precinct are turning to the public in their search for two women accused of stealing another woman’s wallet in Telco Discount Store.

The women were caught on surveillance cameras in the 2901 Avenue U store, where they’re believed to have attempted to steal another woman’s wallet. Police told News 12 that the women grabbed the wallet from the woman’s purse and then pushed her into a clothing rack.

The incident happened on March 22. The would-be thieves dropped the wallet in the store during their getaway, and it was later recovered.

The women bare a striking resemblance to two members of a crew of alleged wallet thieves who hit other local clothing stores last year. At that time, the police distributed photos from surveillance video, saying that the thieves had hit stores including the Sheepshead Bay Marshalls (1623 Avenue Y), the Kings Highway T.J. Maxx (1630 East 15th Street), and the Kohl’s at Ceasar’s Bay, swiping wallets and credit cards from unattended purses. They had been connected to at least four incidents between July and August 2013.

Police at the 61st Precinct did not return calls from Sheepshead Bites regarding a connection between the cases.

During the precinct Community Council meetings, Captain John Chell has repeatedly told residents over the past year that wallet theft from unattended purses and bags in department stores and at beaches continues to be a problem, and has reminded them to keep their property in sight at all times.

If you have information regarding these crimes or suspects, please call the  61st Precinct Detective Squad at (718) 627-6620 or the 61st Precinct at (718) 627-6611.

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