Archive for the tag 'mill basin'

Sampson (File photo)

State Senator John Sampson had just scant hours to celebrate his victory in Tuesday’s primary elections before a former top aide and Democratic consultant was found guilty on Wednesday of conspiring with the pol to defraud the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee out of $100,000.

Melvin Lowe, 52, was found guilty by a federal jury of wire fraud, tax violations and swindling the DSCC out of the cash in 2010. He faces up to 82 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines, according to the New York Post.

Crain’s details the scam, in which prosecutors said Lowe directed the funds to a political consulting firm that then kicked it back to him.

Twenty-thousand dollars also went to political consultant Michael Nieves, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Nor has political operative Elnatan Rudolph, a former Brooklynite who owned Cornerstone Management Partners and who received $5,000.

In addition, Mr. Lowe was convicted for tax violations for his failure to report more than $2 million in consulting income, causing his bank to make a false statement to his mortgage lender, and for defrauding a Yonkers resident of $66,000.

Lowe told an IRS agent that Sampson ordered the $20,000 payment to Nieves, although prosecutors found the consultant was owed no money from the party’s campaign fund. The fund was controlled by Sampson, who at the time was the head of the Democratic conference, and Sampson approved the $100,000 payment. Prosecutors told the New York Times that they had not yet decided if they would pursue charges against the pol in connection to the kickback scheme.

Sampson faces unrelated criminal charges for allegedly lying about his ownership of a liquor store and, separately, for allegedly embezzling $400,000 from the sale of foreclosed homes.

He won his primary election on Tuesday with more than 54 percent of the vote, and is expected to win reelection in November.

Sampson (File photo)

State Senator John Sampson is well on his way to reelection after besting three primary opponents last night despite multiple criminal indictments for corruption.

Sampson garnered 7,218 votes, or 54.17 percent of those cast – nearly double that of his closest rival, union organizer Dell Smitherman, who pulled in 3,981, or 29.88 percent of the vote. Homeless advocate Sean Henry, who ran a spirited and well-funded campaign, pulled in 1,668 votes, or 12.52 percent. A fourth candidate, Elias Weir, earned 3.44 percent.

It’s a strong win for the embattled pol. Prior to the election, some observers wondered if Henry and Smitherman would split the anti-Sampson vote and help usher in a victory for the incumbent; however, even if there was only one challenger, Sampson still would have won the Democratic nod.

The district is a Democratic stronghold, making reelection almost a sure thing for Sampson.

The pol will return to Albany in January, but will lose his seat if found guilty of the criminal charges on which he’s been indicted. He allegedly embezzled 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.

Photo by John H.

Photo by John H.

Tipsters let us know that Pizza D’Amore is preparing to open up shop at 3003 Avenue U, the former storefront of Pizzeria Del Corso and Sammie’s Pizza.

It’s the latest outpost for the pizzeria, which also has locations in Mill Basin and Bensonhurst’s Ceasar’s Bay. The storefront is being fully renovated and the exterior got a major facelift.

The previous tenant, Sammie’s Pizza and Restaurant, opened in 2011 and closed up shop some time ago after failing to make much of a mark in the neighborhood. And, to be fair, they had big shoes to fill after taking the spot over from Pizzeria Del Corso, run by pizza prodigy Nino Coniglio.

We’ve heard good things about Pizza D’Amore, though, and readers of our sister site Bensonhurst Bean nominated it as one of that neighborhood’s best slices.

Best of luck to the new owners, and we look forward to grabbing a bite soon!

West Nile DOH map

The city Department of Health will be spraying mosquito-killing pesticides throughout parts of our neighborhood tonight, between 8:15pm and 6am – which was supposed to happen last week but ended up being canceled because of the rain, according to a DOH spokeswoman.

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

Here’s a .pdf from the city detailing the spraying, and here’s more information about the West Nile Virus.

And, to prepare yourself for tonight, check out the suggestions we detailed last week about what to do to protect yourself, including staying indoors and closing air conditioner vents.

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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