Archive for the tag 'manhattan beach'

Menorah Home in Manhattan Beach (Source: Landow & Landow)

A new, 16-suite building opened in Manhattan Beach on June 30, providing hospice care for terminally ill children.

The site, called Sixteen Lights and operated by MJHS, is located on the Menorah campus at 1516 Oriental Boulevard, wedged between Kingsborough Community College and Manhattan Beach Park.

Wall Street Journal reports:

The 16-suite building will cater to younger patients, offering a playroom, a playground and a homelike atmosphere with kitchens where parents who live there with their children can cook.

“The sad part is that today in our community, other than using a hospital-bed setting there really is no extended-stay place that a family can go to be with a child,” said Eli Feldman, MJHS’s chief executive. “It’s just not natural that a child dies before their parents.”

… MJHS was started by four Brooklyn women in 1907 to take care of the elderly. Its budget has grown to $1.1 billion from $45 million in the past four decades.

Dying adults also will be able to stay there. Their foundation paid the $7 million cost of the new hospice and so far they have raised $2 million to offset it.

Families can use the hospice as a respite, staying for up to five days, to relieve some of the pressure of constantly caring for a terminally ill child.

An artist’s rendition of the interior of a hospice unit, used in the planning stages. (Source: MJHS)

It appears to have been a long road to the site’s creation. After years of fundraising – which still continues – they broke ground in September 2012.

Here’s how the foundation describes the facility and its purpose:

When asked, people overwhelmingly choose to spend their last days at home, surrounded by family. Unfortunately, in the New York City area, too many people with advanced illness, especially children, must spend their final days in the sterile, impersonal environment of a hospital.

This 16-suite hospice inpatient residence will be a private home-like setting and it will be the first in New York City, and one of the few in the region, to serve children as well as adults. It will redefine hospice care by offering patients and their families a home away from home without sacrificing the best in medical care.

There are volunteer opportunities offered at the hospice. Learn more by clicking here.

President Farley Herzek

Herzek (Source: CUNY Newswire)

Kingsborough Community College has appointed Farley Herzek, a New York City native who has most recently been leading the largest community college district in the nation out in California.

The local school has been without a president since the retirement of Dr. Regina Peruggi last summer after nine years serving the school. Peruggi was the first woman at the helm, and oversaw a period of tremendous growth at Kingsborough.

Herzek has been serving as interim president of Los Angeles Harbor College – Los Angeles Community College, and has previously served as interim president of East Los Angeles College.

“It is a privilege to come back to Brooklyn, to serve the communities and the CUNY system that gave me my start in life. I was launched into the middle class because of open access, quality educational programs and the affordability of the CUNY system,” said Herzek in a press release. “I have had an opportunity to meet Kingsborough Community College faculty, staff, alumni and administrators during the interview process and I was very impressed with their passion for doing what is best for students. My beliefs, values and leadership qualities embrace collaboration, full participation, trust, and transparency, while valuing the greatness of our diversity. With all of us of working together, I am certain we can move Kingsborough Community College to the No. 1 position in the nation.”

From CUNY’s press release:

President Herzek’s appointment to Kingsborough is a homecoming for him as a first-generation American who grew up in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn and who was the first in his family to graduate from college. A product of New York City public schools including P.S. 115 and Isaac Bildersee I.S. 68, as well as a graduate of Canarsie High School, President Herzek began his college career at Brooklyn College and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The City College of New York. He completed his Master of Arts degree and Teaching Credential in Technology Education at California State University, Long Beach, and his Professional Clear Administrative Services Credential from the University of La Verne. President Herzek is also the past Chair of the National Legislative Committee for the Association of Career and Technical Education.

Photo by Max T.

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.

The MBCG encourages members of the community to attend and participate in their monthly civic meetings. For more, contact MBCG at (718) 200-1845 or, or visit

Community Board 15 is meeting tomorrow, June 24, at 7:00 p.m. at Kingsborough Community College (2001 Oriental Boulavard) in the faculty dining room. It will be the final meeting of the season, and will be preceded by a 6:00 p.m. collation, featuring light refreshments.

The following zoning item is on the agenda.

  • 1112 Gilmore Court – An application for a special permit to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling.

Additionally, there will be a presentation by a representative from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, and a presentation by the City Planning Commission.

The board’s chairperson and district manager and various committee heads will deliver their monthly reports. There will also be time to hear residents’ concerns and discuss the reports, and elected officials may be in attendance.

This will be the last meeting before summer recess. Meetings will resume in September.

The following is from the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association:


Public School 195 is located at 131 Irwin Street. For additional information, call (917) 747-5863.

Captain Chell. Photo by Erica Sherman

Captain John Chell. Photo by Erica Sherman

The next meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) will be Wednesday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m. inside Public School 195, 131 Irwin Street at Hampton Avenue.

Members and attendees will discuss the anti-Semitic graffiti that was discovered earlier this month on several properties on Exeter Street.

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.

The MBCG encourages members of the community to attend and participate in their monthly civic meetings. For more, contact MBCG at (718) 200-1845 or, or visit

Cortez (Source: NYPD)

Cortez (Source: NYPD)

The Friday disappearance of an autistic 14-year-old student kicked off a weekend search throughout Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach, ending this morning when the boy was safely reunited with his family.

Ninth-grader Elicio Cortez went missing after he wrapped up the school day at Leon M. Goldstein High School (1830 Shore Boulevard). Cops tracked his last-known whereabouts down to Voorhies Avenue, near the Sheepshead Bay subway station, where he was caught on surveillance camera.

Cortez was known to spend time in the Coney Island area, and authorities, friends and family fanned out throughout Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach and Coney Island, passing out fliers over the weekend as they hoped for his safe return.

They were seen at Bayfest on Sunday, and fliers now hang on nearly every light-pole and bus station in the neighborhood.

Cortez usually takes a yellow school bus home after classes, not mass transportation, which his mother, Nancy Reavis, said he’s unfamiliar with.

The school’s bus driver was the first to tip Reavis off to his disappearance, PIX11 reports:

When his bus driver didn’t see him, she called his mom.

“She tells me, ‘Eliceo is not on the bus.’ She said, ‘[T]hey called him on the loudspeaker at school,’” the frantic mother recalled.

Reavis said she also received a call from the school’s principal who confirmed that her son was not in the school.

The Department of Education said they were assisting with the search.

“School officials are in contact with his mother and we are all deeply concerned about his well-being. Since this situation was identified on Friday we have worked and continue to work closely with NYPD in its investigation,” department officials said in a statement.

Ultimately, Cortez was found at 7 a.m. this morning near Oriental Boulevard in Manhattan Beach, according to the Associated Press. He was unharmed and reunited with his family in Flatbush. It is not yet clear where he spent the weekend.

Reavis told reporters over the weekend that she feared this was a situation bound to happen. She has been urging the school to provide a bus helper to ensure Cortez gets on the school bus after classes, a request the administration has resisted.

CBS reports:

Reavis said that her son went to the train station after leaving Leon Goldstein high. She is angry and said that she has fought with school officials about getting her son a ‘para’ or bus helper to make sure that he makes it home safely.

“I spoke to his counselor and they said ‘yes, we’re gonna do something, we’re gonna do something,’” she said, “This is what has to happen so they can help me?”


Associate Executive Director Robert Cooper speaks with one of the student artists.

Fifth-grade students from Manhattan Beach’s P.S. 95 (131 Irwin Street) today donated a dozen framed watercolor works they painted to Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway), and they will soon hang in patient areas to help lift patients’ spirits.

The works were produced by the students in Mr. William Lawson’s art class as part of a project called “The Art of Giving,” an annual program coordinated by the United Federation of Teachers to connect elementary school art classes with local hospitals.


Student artists pose for a photo with Cooper and teacher William Lawson.

The Art of Giving, now in its fifth year, was inspired by the late Sharon Coates, a teacher at P.S. 156.While Coates was hospitalized, she was presented with student art.

“Seeing the children’s artwork on the walls lifted my spirits,” Coates later said, according to UFT Vice President for Elementary Schools Karen Alford, who was Coates’ union representative at the time. Alford later launched the program and continues to oversee it.


A hospital staffer heaps praise on one of the student artists.

While at the hospital for the unveiling ceremony today, the students were treated to cookies and juice – as well as showered with gratitude from hospital staff including Associate Executive Director Robert Cooper and Chief Nurse Terry Mancher.

Mancher in particular was rigorously interrogated by the students, some of whom said they’d like to be doctors or nurses. She told them of the tremendously rewarding experiences she’s had, explained the difference between medical school and nursing school and clarified that, no, doctors are not bosses to the nurses.

She also talked about the vital role Coney Island Hospital nurses played during Superstorm Sandy, when much of the staff stayed on-site even as power in the facility failed, and how they assisted in the evacuation after the storm.


The New York Police Department has released footage from a neighbor’s surveillance camera that appears to show four teenagers believed to be responsible for spraying anti-Semitic graffiti in Manhattan Beach this weekend.

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.

Here’s the video, via ABC News:


Residents of Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and Sea Gate will gather tomorrow night for what will be their last chance to weigh in on how the state will spend millions of dollars to strengthen the Coney Island peninsula from future storms.

The meeting kicks off at 7:00 p.m. at MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue), and all are welcome to attend.

Organizers will present information and solicit feedback for the final time on a set of proposed projects to help the communities recover and become more resilient. It’s the culmination of nearly a year of work by the New York Rising project, a state-sponsored, federally-funded program to bolster the neighborhoods. The state brought together a committee of grassroots stakeholders with planning experts and consultants to identify shortcomings and vulnerabilities in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and propose ideas that would fill those gaps.

After several public hearings and draft plans, they’re finalizing the plan that the state will begin implementing. You can read the full report here, but we’re boiling it down to what you need to know ahead of tomorrow’s meeting.

The first thing to note is that there’s already millions of dollars allocated to each community to see these projects through. The committee’s job is to come up with the list of projects to receive those funds. This is basically the highest priority stuff that they’re asking the state to pay attention to. Once the report is finalized, the state will pluck from the list and give their final go-ahead.

Some of the projects require multiple phases, of which only the first phase is funded. We’ve tried to note that in the entries below.

There are also projects that the committee thinks is a good idea, but not good enough to receive money from the existing pot. Those will require separate funding from what’s already been doled out by the feds. To keep it simple, we’re not including these in our list.

If you think any of these ideas are a waste of money, or you have suggestions for a tweak or change in plans, make sure you attend tomorrow’s meeting. A similar plan has been drawn up for Sheepshead Bay and Gerritsen Beach, which we’ll be breaking down before their meeting next Monday.

Without further ado, here’s the list of projects that the local committee is recommending for funding through federal money already held by the state (and, where noted, the unfunded second phases). We’ve organized them in order of estimated price tag.

  • Upgrades for Manhattan Beach bathhouse - $4 million – No timeframe given – Even though the bathhouse has been shuttered for years, and even though the report notes that “the project would not directly reduce risk to the Community,” Rising has given the largest allocation to this project, which would upgrade the structure to allow it to reopen year-round. It would also explore the use of renewable energy systems and solar panels, and evaluate floodproofing measures. There’s a catch though – before a dime is spent, the Parks Department and the committee will have to come to an agreement on the building’s ultimate use. Once the use is figured out, the $4 million covers basic upgrade costs, but an estimated $15 million to $20 million is expected to be needed to fully reactive it. Potential uses include recreational amenities, retail concessions or a community center.
  • Sea Gate bulkhead replacement - $3 million – Two-year project – This project seeks to replace the crumbled bulkhead around the Sea Gate community, helping mitigate the effects of future storm surges. The bulkhead was in bad condition before the storm, and Sandy nearly obliterated them, causing water to gush into the streets and homes of Sea Gate. The project requires the cooperation of property owners, which would allow the bulkhead to be extended in length, and protect more neighborhood assets.
  • Community streetscape enhancement - $2.5 million – $3 million – One-year implementation – This isn’t just to replace to the dead trees in the neighborhood. It’s also mean to create more tree pits and vegetative areas, which provide important drainage in the wake of a storm. A better looking streetscape has also had measurable effects on commercial activity and property values. It wouldn’t really help in a storm like Sandy, but the communities involved already suffer flooding issues in much less severe rainstorms, which this could efficiently address. It appears though, that this doesn’t include Mermaid Avenue, which could raise the price tag by $2.2 million. The committee decided that the corridor needs significant infrastructure improvements before streetscaping could be done.
  • Installation of sewer cut-off valves for one- and two-family homes - $2.4 million – $3.5 million – One of the most frequently heard complaints after the storm was that homes flooded not from actual stormwater, but from overflowing sewers that backed up into homes. This proposal would provide funds for the purchase and installation of 1,000 cut-off valves for local homeowners. Essentially, the valves seal off the home if waste is heading the wrong way through the pipe.
  • Solar-powered street lights - $2 million – $3.5 million – 18 month implementation – It took weeks to restore street lighting on the peninsula after Sandy. This would help ensure they never go out again by making the lights independent of the power grid. Not only would this lower city utility costs, but it improves the real and perceived safety of the area in the wake of an outage. The proposal covers between seven and 10 miles of local streets.
  • Small business support center - $1.96 million – Two year project – This basically creates a temporary facility for small business owners to turn to as they continue to recover. The staff here may also help establish merchant associations or business improvement districts, in addition to guiding business owners through the various city, state and federal resources for grants, loans and more. Part of the price tag here is also to help fund additional streetscape improvements and even create a fund to help flood-proof commercial properties.
  • Designate Emergency Response & Recovery Centers – $980,000 – 12-month timeframe to find location – This is only a partially funded project. The price tag includes the cost of finding and evaluating potential sites, as well as some construction, equipment and operational costs. But the plan notes that once a site is identified, additional funding would likely be required to activate it. The center is proposed in response to concerns that there was no formal or efficient place for stakeholders to organize, or from which disaster recovery services could operate. This could end up sharing space with an existing or future organization.
  • Pilot small-scale renewable power project - $900,000 – Three-year project – This would establish a small solar-powered backup system for a senior or nursing home in the area to help residents get back into their homes quickly after a disaster event. If it works, it could be rolled out elsewhere with additional funding.
  • Beach grass planting on Coney Island, Brighton Beach - $800,000 – One-year implementation – In cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Parks Department, this plan will see the creation of small dunes and beach grass to be planted on the eastern and western ends of the peninsula’s beach, immediately south of the boardwalk. Similar implementations can be seen in Atlantic City. The grass helps keep the sand where it is – a major concern after Superstorm Sandy, which saw several tons of sand pushed into residential streets and commercial corridors. The dunes also help weaken the force of storm surges. The estimated cost of the project also covers the relocation of water supply valves from the water side of the boardwalk to the land side, a more accessible and protected space for Parks Department access.
  • Boardwalk surge protection at Ocean Parkway and West 25th Street - $750,000 – The Riegelmann Boardwalk has two gaps at these locations that allowed surge waters to push further inland than anywhere else on the boardwalk. The price tag here covers a study to assess the best way to plug the gaps, which could include reconstructing the berms beneath the boardwalk, as well as part of the construction cost. More funding will likely be needed.
  • Southern Brooklyn Emergency Response plan - $640,000 – Two-year project – Pretty self-explanatory. Identify who the local groups on the ground are, and make sure city, state and federal agencies are working with them before, during and after a disaster event.
  • Vocational training program  – $500,000 – $750,000 – Two-year project – Employment on the peninsula was bad before the storm, and worse after it. With all the projects being proposed, the committee hopes to create the workforce needed by employing local high school graduates. This proposal creates a vocational high school curriculum, and connects students with local internship opportunities.
  • Energy resiliency for NYCHA and Mitchell-Lama properties – $340,000 – Two-year study – NYCHA and Mitchell-Lama residents are still suffering from heat, hot water and power breakdowns in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. This study is to figure out the best way forward, which could include creating green solutions, or the creation of independent, flood-proof “micro-grids” that keep the densely populated housing facilities full of vulnerable residents up and running during and after a storm. Once the options are figured out, funding will need to be obtained to carry it out, which is believed to be in excess of $10 million.
  • Disaster preparedness outreach campaign - $160,000 – Two-year project – Following complaints that disaster preparedness and recovery information was poorly distributed to non-English speakers and elderly residents, the campaign would seek better ways to reach those audiences and hold preparedness workshops that suit their needs.
  • Storm surge protection for Sheepshead Bay -  $100,000 – Two-year project – New York Rising stakeholders for Manhattan Beach repeatedly complained that much of their flooding came from the Sheepshead Bay side of the peninsula, not the ocean. As such, they’re proposing a “reconnaissance study” to identify viable options to keep the bay contained in future storms. If some options seem doable, a feasibility study will commence, and then implementation. There is not yet funding for either the feasibility study or the implementation.

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