Archive for the tag 'mill basin'

Sampson (File photo)

Another allegation has surfaced against indicted State Senator John Sampson, with a former top aide admitting to federal prosecutors that he swiped $100,000 from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and forked most of it over to a senator believed to be Sampson.

The Post reports:

Melvin Lowe admitted during confidential meetings with prosecutors that he defrauded the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee out of $100,000 – and gave $75,000 of the money to “Senator #1,” the filing says. A source said “Senator #1” is Lowe’s ex-boss, Sampson (D-Brooklyn), who is fighting charges that he, himself, also committed fraud and tax crimes.

… Prosecutors also said they have a witness who’ll testify hearing Lowe and Sampson discuss the cash exchange.

Lowe is facing tax evasion charges, as well as allegations that he swindled the DCSS out of the cash in 2010. He faces 80 years in prison if convicted.

Sampson was indicted last year for corruption. Among the list of charges is that he stole nearly half a million dollars from the sale of foreclosed homes.

Despite campaign debt stemming from the legal charges, Sampson is still a formidable contender in this year’s state elections. An incumbent since 1996, it remains to be seen whether union organizer Dell Smitherman or homeless advocate Sean Henry will be able to overcome his name recognition.

He also continues to have the backing of the Kings County Democratic Party chair, Frank Seddio, and an associate of the Gambino crime family.

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The Department of Health is warning residents of the Sheepshead Bay area that they will be spraying pesticides throughout parts of the neighborhood tomorrow night, between 8:15 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

The area to be sprayed is shaded yellow on the map above, although it’s only an approximation.

Like any time a government sprays a bunch of toxic crap in the air, they’re saying the chemical used – Anvil 10+10 – has no known risk to humans. But it’s The Man, man, so here are a couple of things you should do to make sure you stay safe and don’t grow an arm out of your butt (tips courtesy of The Man, not guaranteed to be 100 percent effective):

  • Stay indoors whenever possible during that time period – especially if you have asthma or respiratory issues.
  • Close the vents on your air-conditioner and set it to recirculate.
  • Remove toys, equipment and clothing from outdoor areas. If you leave them out there, make sure to wash them with soap before using them.
  • If you have an outdoor garden, wash your produce thoroughly before eating it.

Here’s a .pdf from the city detailing the spraying and safety tips, and here’s the city’s webpage for West Nile Virus.

Sampson (File photo)

More than 90 percent of embattled State Senator John Sampson’s donations for the last filing period came from one man: George Fortunato, a reputed Gambino crime family associate.

Fortunato gave the pol $10,500 last month. The next largest contribution was $500 from a lobbyist.

According to the New York Post, Fortunato is considered a “dormant” associate and not under investigation, although he has been identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in an extortion plot connected to Peter Gotti.

Sampson described the mobbed up Mill Basin resident as a “close family friend.” His treasurer confirmed that the pol went to Fortunato to seek the contribution.

The Post reports:

Fortunato, of Mill Basin, has been a Sampson supporter since at least 1999.

Sampson was his defense lawyer after he was busted on hate-crime charges in a 2003 attack on a Chinese woman in a Queens restaurant. Fortunato’s wife, Jackie, and a daughter, Annamarie, were also arrested.

Charges against Annamarie were dropped. George and Jackie pleaded guilty to assault in a deal that spared them prison in exchange for taking racial-sensitivity and anger-management classes.

Sampson was a sitting state senator when he represented Fortunto. That was also the same year Fotunato was identified as a co-conspirator.

Sampson is currently under indictment for allegedly embezzling more than $400,000 from the sale of foreclosed homes to finance a political campaign, as well as separate charges for lying to the FBI about a liquor store he owned.

Sampson’s campaign donations came under the scope late last month as well. His rival accused him of running a campaign with a $28,746 deficit, suggesting that the pol was hiding sources of revenue. Approximately a dozen donations also listed the donors’ addresses as the senator’s office, even though they did not work there.

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Joe Gilette, organizer of the Bergen Beachh, Mill Basin and Marine Park chapter of Relay for Life, sent us a note and some photos of this year’s event, in which they raised approximately $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during their June 7 event.

Gilette writes:

We recently held our 3rd annual Relay for Life on June 7th. I am proud to say we expect our final tally this [year is] to total $100,000!! We owe a great deal of success to our FIGHT BACK WITH FITNESS program in which we brought volunteer fitness instructors into over 24 schools to hold fitness classes. This was all in furtherance of our agenda of spreading cancer awareness and prevention through the positive message of fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

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By comparison, the 2012 Relay for Life event brought in $50,000.

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Featuring live entertainment, food, raffles, and a variety of interactive and fun activities for the whole family, community members form teams and walk around Aviator Sports Center’s outdoor track for eight continuous hours, symbolically conveying their message that, until there is a cure, the fight against cancer never ends. It’s highlighted by the Luminaria Ceremony, in which paper bags decorated by neighborhood children are illuminated in memory of loved ones who have passed away from cancer.

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The whopping $100,000 total is in addition to the $20,000 the group raised by putting together Brooklyn SINGS!, an inter-school SING! competition that pitted Murrow, Midwood and Madison high school students against each other for a good cause and bragging rights. The events Gilette organizes just keeps getting more diverse. Last year he also helped put together the world’s largest indoor zumba class, with more than 400 people participating.

Keep up the good work for a good cause!

To learn more about the Bergen Beach, Mill Basin & Marine Park Relay for Life, contact Nancy Colt of the American Cancer Society at (718) 622-2492 extension 5134 or visit their website.

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SkyRocketsLogoA new professional sports team is headed to Brooklyn – and no, we’re not talking about the Islanders.

The semi-pro American Basketball Association has announced the formation of a new team, the Brooklyn SkyRockets, to be based out of the Aviator Sports Center at Floyd Bennett Field. The team will begin playing this November and is currently recruiting players.

Floyd Bennett Field has been without a sports franchise since the Brooklyn Aviators disbanded amid financial crisis in 2012, just three years after it debuted.

If the American Basketball Association sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s the same name as a a previous league founded in 1967. That league rivaled the NBA and included the New York Nets among its roster, until the NBA and the ABA merged in 1976. The new, semi-pro ABA was founded in 1999 and leases its name from the NBA. Other than that, it has no affiliation with the original ABA.

Here’s the ABA’s press release regarding the SkyRockets’ launch:

The American Basketball Association (ABA) www.abalive.com today announced the Brooklyn SkyRockets will begin play in November. “We are absolutely thrilled to be coming back to Brooklyn,” stated ABA CEO Joe Newman. “We really thought we would have a team there this season, but it just didn’t work out. In Dylan Gioia, we have a great young owner with a terrific background in sports management, economics and marketing. He should have no problem being very successful there.”

An avid basketball fan, Dylan was born and raised in Brooklyn and has degrees in Sports Management and Business Economics from SUNY Cortland. He has worked with the Walt Disney World Resort, cityHUNT Team Building and manages the family business, Key Advertising.

“I will be personally running the Brooklyn Skyrockets,” added Gioia. “The name was chosen to celebrate the rich aviation history of Floyd Bennett Field, where home games will be played. Two ABA programs that are of great interest to us are Fast Break for Reading that helps with children’s literacy – and Proud to Serve America, that honors our veterans, police, firefighters and teachers. We are very excited.”

The ABA also signed a broadcast deal this year, with 40 games airing on ESPN3 beginning in September.

The team is currently recruiting with events around Brooklyn through June and July. For details on how to tryout, check out the Brooklyn Game’s write-up.

The team has already signed free agent players Keenan Belle, Deylon Bovell, and Cyrano Providence. All three are accomplished players scouted from community college teams, including Providence, who played for Kingsborough Community College.

The moment of impact was captured by surveillance video. (via Daily News)

The moment of impact was captured by surveillance video. (via Daily News)

Two people were killed in a devastating car accident outside of Kings Plaza Shopping Center on Monday, in which the deceased’s car was ripped nearly in half. The accident has spurred police to launch a 48-hour crackdown on speeding throughout the city.

Police issued the following information yesterday:

On May 19, 2014 at approximately 1840 hours [6:40 p.m.] police responded to a 911 call of a motor vehicle collision at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U in the confines of the 63 Pct. Upon arrival police determined that vehicle #1 a Nissan Maxima traveling southbound on Flatbush Avenue struck vehicle #2 a BMW which was turning onto Avenue U from northbound Flatbush Avenue. The driver of vehicle #1 a male 20 was taken to Coney Island Hospital where he was pronounced DOA. The passenger of vehicle #1 an unidentified female was pronounced DOA at the scene. The driver and passenger of vehicle #2 were taken to Kings County Hospital with minor injuries. Investigation is ongoing.

DNAinfo reports that the two killed were Philbert Martin Williams, 20, and his passenger, 18-year-old Christina Wipper.

Police believe Williams had been speeding when he hit the BMW, although no criminality is suspected and no summonses have been issued.

Security video from the 7-Eleven at that intersection captured the accident, which shows the Nissan darting down the street as the BMW made a turn. Police told the Daily News the BMW’s driver had a left-turn arrow.

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It’s not often you see a member of one of the nation’s most dysfunctional legislative bodies appropriately shaming members of another dysfunctional legislative body, but that’s what we wake up to this morning.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is calling on Albany lawmakers to send resources to those Brooklyn neighborhoods that are currently without representation in either the State Senate or Assembly. Locally, that includes Marine Park, Mill Basin and Gerritsen Beach, who are currently without an assemblyman.

In fact, there are currently five open seats in the two houses of state legislature that represent about 700,000 Brooklynites. Governor Andrew Cuomo has not called a special election to replace them, and those seats will be empty until January 2015.

That means that an entire budget season will come and go, and no one will be representing those districts in negotiations, depriving civic groups and community organizations of operating funds that are allocated annually.

“We cannot allow the failure to schedule a special election to prevent the allocation of resources to the people who lack representation. The legislators whose positions are now vacant supported many of the most important social service organizations and cultural institutions in Brooklyn. I believe we should continue that level of support,” Clarke said.

The Assembly seat representing Gerritsen Beach and Marine Park was vacated when Alan Maisel left the house to become city councilman. Some of the groups that depended on his voice for funding from Albany, according to Clarke, include the Marine Park Community Association and Amity Little League.

Clarke sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, urging them to keep these organizations in mind.

The letter, in full, is after the jump.

Neighbors packed the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park on Tuesday night to question representatives of the 63rd Precinct about the NYPD’s security plans a day after teenagers ran rampant through Kings Plaza mall.

Lieutenant Vito Ardito of the precinct’s special operation’s unit that oversees response to disturbances like that at Kings Plaza, sought to emphasize the NYPD’s proactive handling of the teenage “riot” during the Marine Park Civic Association meeting.

Ardito said the police were aware of the plans to overtake the mall well in advance, having monitored the situation on social media sites including Facebook. However, he noted that it’s not illegal to host a “get together,” but the number of people put the precinct on guard. The NYPD sent additional cars from Manhattan, giving the local force 13 cars in total to preserve order.

The teens were allowed to enter the mall, but police and mall security decided to send them on their way after concerns that the growing numbers would become unmanageable. Ardito emphasized that none of the kids, who appeared to be between the ages of 13 and 16, were violating the law, and all but two complied with officers’ requests to leave, leading to arrests.

Both arrests were of minors, and Ardito said the precinct is working with their parents. One received a summons.

The community, though, demanded a tougher response and more police officers to be stationed at the mall, saying they feared for their safety when shopping at the mall.

Although Ardito noted reiterated that the teens did not violate any laws and were compliant with police officers’ requests, he did note that they are working with mall security to improve the situation – especially as the mall moves forward with renovations, including a $3 million camera system.

He added that when looking at the precinct’s command as a whole, the mall only accounted for a marginal amount of crime, and that slashes to their personnel – from 180 to 120 officers in recent years – meant prioritizing areas with greater incidents of violent crime.

The NYPD is also investigating the organizer of both Kings Plaza “get togethers” for a possible “incitement to violence” charge.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Two people were arrested in connection with yesterday’s mayhem at Kings Plaza Mall, in which at least 100 teenagers created chaos as they ran through the complex in the second such incident in as many months, Councilman Alan Maisel informed Sheepshead Bites today.

The two busted were charged with disorderly conduct, according the councilman, who was briefed on the situation this morning by the NYPD’s 63rd Precinct Community Affairs division.

The NYPD’s 63rd Precinct has not returned calls from this outlet for confirmation. The NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information at 1 Police Plaza had no information regarding arrests in connection with the incident – but such a discrepancy could be caused if the arrests did not happen at the mall’s address.

According to the councilman, as well as accounts from leaders of local civic associations who were also briefed by the precinct, the 63rd Precinct knew about the planned disorder in advance. The mob was organized on Facebook under an event titled “Kings Plaza Maddness Part 1.”

“[The police] knew about it happening because apparently they were the same group [that organized the mob in December], or the same person that posted it last time. So the police department was prepared to be there. They made a couple of arrests,” Maisel told Sheepshead Bites.

Maisel added that this week’s disruption included about 150 culprits, scaled back from the 400 or so estimated by mall security following the December riot. Police told him that there was no damage, larceny, injuries or any other criminal behavior evident during yesterday’s incident other than the disorder created by the sheer number of unruly teenagers.

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The councilman met just last week with mall security and the 63rd Precinct’s Deputy Inspector John Rowell about beefing up the shopping center’s security.

“This is the kind of thing that’s going to happen time and time again because apparently this is like the hoot for these kids. I don’t understand it, but this is what they like to do,” said Maisel.

Maisel said he’s trying to convince the mall to bring in a paid detail – NYPD officers commissioned specifically to keep order within the mall.

“Kings Plaza is spending a lot of money to upgrade the mall. They’re going to spend millions. We asked them to put in a paid detail. They claim the mall security is well trained, but they weren’t very forthcoming about their security arrangements,” he said. “A paid detail would seem like a very good thing for them. If you’re going to spend millions of dollars on upgrading the mall, you want people to come.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons

We’re hearing from tipsters at Kings Plaza (5100 Kings Plaza) that there’s heavy police presence at the mall in response to another flash mob, with some on social media saying that stores may again be shut down.

One Twitter user counted as many as 14 NYPD vehicles near the entrances:

A Facebook user writes that police helicopters are also hovering in the area, and people are scrambling:

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At least one person using Google+ claims the mob was organized on social media:

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One tipster is calling it a riot, and said the stores are closing up as was done during an incident a few weeks ago. She left to avoid being locked into a store.

Apparently it’s causing problems for commuters trying to get past the mall:

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The whole incident echoes the situation on December 26. The mall’s chief of security told Sheepshead Bites at the time that approximately 500 teenagers became rowdy, forcing security to call for backup from the NYPD and to shutter the mall for two hours until order was restored.

Then, as now, students had off from school.

No arrests were made in the December incident, and police from the 63rd Precinct sent an e-mail to community leaders calling the perpetrators “rambunctious teens acting like children,” but noted that there were “no reports of injuries, larcenies or property damage.”

That incident was also reported to have been “promoted” in advance on social media.

The mall was also the scene of a brazen mid-day smash-and-grab jewelry heist last week.

UPDATE (6:49 p.m.): Cops took heat from local elected officials after the previous incidents for not making any arrests. If our tipster is right, officers took the hint and are preparing to detain some of the offenders:

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(“Tons and tons” is in response to our question about how many teens appeared to be involved.)

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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