Archive for the tag 'neptune ave'

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A man is in the hospital after being shot in the stomach by an unknown assailant in Brighton Beach on Saturday.

The shooting occurred at a gas station at Coney Island Avenue and Neptune Avenue, at approximately 5:45 p.m.

According to News 12, the man is in his 20s and was taken to Lutheran Hospital in serious condition. Police had not made an arrest by yesterday afternoon, but were seen searching a white van near the crime scene.

Sheepshead Bites has sent a request to the NYPD for more information on the incident, and will update this post when we hear back.

Gravesend Houses (Source: Google Maps)

Gravesend Houses (Source: Google Maps)

A 17-year-old was shot dead across the street from a Coney Island playground on Christmas Eve.

Police responded to a 911 call at approximately 7:00 p.m. to find a male shot on Bay View Avenue, near the corner of Neptune Avenue.

The victim, 17 year-old Yaquin English, had multiple gunshot wounds to the leg and torso and was pronounced dead on the scene, according to the NYPD. No arrests have yet been made.

English was gunned down in front of the Gravesend Community Center building of the Gravesend Houses at 3144 Bay View Avenue, across the street from the Leon S. Kaiser Playground in Coney Island.  It is the seventh murder of 2013 in the 60th Precinct, which includes Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Gravesend.

– Steven Volynets

While it is difficult to find those silver linings in events as destructive as Superstorm Sandy, stories of bravery and heroism have surfaced, centering on people saving lives in the face of horrendous circumstances. The New York Daily News is reporting that a group of MTA employees helped rescue a group of residents and themselves in the storm’s worst moments last year.

The amazing acts of heroism involved the rescue of four transit workers trapped in a Coney Island facility, a man and woman who had abandoned their car on Neptune Avenue, and an elderly lady gripping on to a fire-alarm box who was submerged up to her neck in water. The New York Daily News described the rescue effort undertaken by a determined group of MTA workers:

All would escape, thanks to a rescue operation that started with signals division maintenance supervisor Michael Watt and superintendent Eric Williams answering a radio call for help from their four trapped colleagues…

Watt and Williams had just evacuated the signals facility and arrived at another transit building on Bay 50th St. when the emergency call came in.

“We have to get out of here,” superintendent Steve Miller said from his office. “You have to come back and get us.”

Watt and Williams jumped into their MTA Suburban. By the time they reached Neptune and Stillwell Aves., the water was up to the SUV’s door handles. “It had to be moving 15 mph,” Watt said. “It was fast and dangerous.”

The MTA employees trapped inside the facility— Miller, superintendent Sal Ambrosino, and signal maintainers Colombo Solimo and Kevin Puma — couldn’t push open the doors. The water outside was too high, the pressure too great. The building’s windows were locked from the outside, one of the men said.

Members of the group headed to the garage and opened a roll-up door. Afraid the electronic controls would short out if they waited much longer, they opened the door. The ensuing torrent into the garage was so powerful it picked up 5-foot-tall “gang boxes” easily containing more than 100 pounds of tools.

“I was walking down a narrow hallway towards the garage when a 4-foot wave comes shooting throughout the building,” Miller said. “The water’s up to my chest.”

The four fought their way to the Suburban, which was idling on a bit of higher ground on Neptune Ave. Miller waded to the building and shut the roll-down gate to protect the facility from any looters.

“There’s millions of dollars worth of equipment in there,” Watt explained.

Miller, a certified rescue scuba diver, helped the young man and woman reach the Suburban. She was hysterical, screaming “my mother, my mother,” the transit workers recalled.

“I looked down the street and I see this older lady holding onto the fire box,” Miller said. “She’s about 100 to 150 feet away, and the water’s up to her neck.”

Miller and the young man waded to the woman and, taking one arm each, pulled her back to the Suburban.

Wow. The incredible actions of the team has put them in contention for a Hometown Heroes in Transit award, a special award put together by the MTA, the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the New York Daily News that honors transit workers who give extra effort in helping their communities. Best of luck to all the nominees on their amazing work.

Honestly, in a culture that makes spectacles of rewarding the accomplishments of actors and athletes, the Hometown Heroes in Transit award is an honor that actually means something. It puts into perspective what really counts in our society.

Police are on the hunt for two men wanted for a string of armed robberies at three local delis, including A & H Deli at 1202 Avenue Z, which they visited at least three times.

The incidents happened between the beginning of October up until this past Sunday, and most of the attempts have been in Sheepshead Bay, while another was robbed in Coney Island.

CBS reports:

The first incident happened around 3 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the A.H. & F Grocery store at 2811 Ocean Ave. Three men stormed in, flashed a gun, tied up the clerk and took cartons of cigarettes.

On Tuesday, Oct. 22 around 3:30 a.m., one robber struck again at the A & H Deli at 1202 Avenue Z. He flashed a gun and took money and cigarettes.

On Saturday, Nov. 16 shortly before 4 a.m., a lone robber again showed up at A & H Deli and banged on the glass door. But he walked away empty-handed.

Around the very same time on the same day, another lone robber struck the Shop and Smile Bodega at 51 Neptune Ave. He flashed a handgun and took money and cigarettes.

And on Sunday, Nov. 24, a lone suspect returned yet again to the A & H Deli on Avenue Z, walking in and leaving. A second man tried to get in, but was stopped by the clerk, police said.

A & H deli caputred video of the latest attempt, which you can see above.

If you have any information about these incidents or recognize the men in the video, please contact (800) 577-TIPS (8477) or visit NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM.

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It’s a tough choice for voters along the Brighton Beach – Coney Island border. Even this squirrel, stationed outside of the Warbasse Towers voting site, seemed deep in thought, weighing the candidates’ individual merits.

Still, voters are hitting the polls at Warbasse Towers and Trump Village, and at least one said that her search for a candidate focused on storm preparation has left her indecisive.

“We’re worried about another storm. That’s very important to us,” said Allison C., a 12-year resident of Trump Village. She said the candidates in the 48th District Democratic primary have not done enough to convey a plan for the next disasters. “They [didn't] say it was a priority. Just that they want you to vote for them.”

Regardless of how she feels about the race, she felt it was important to cast a ballot.

“I feel like women fought so long for the vote that, as a woman, you have to vote,” she said. “You can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.”

What’s driving you to vote today?

Polls are open until 9:00 p.m. tonight. You can find your polling site here.

This post is published in partnership with B Civil, Brooklyn Independent Television’s online political portal. BIT producer Natasha Gaspard will be sending on-the-ground updates to us throughout the day from various polling sites in an effort to keep readers informed of polling conditions, and remind them to vote.

A home in Sea Gate damaged (in the rear) by Sandy. Photo by Erica Sherman

Damaged schools, health facilities, libraries, abandoned storefronts and treacherous sinkholes. These are some of the major problems still afflicting Coney Island since Superstorm Sandy thrashed the area over eight months ago. Gotham Gazette is reporting that all the damage hasn’t come close to being repaired and that local residents are at their wits’ end in trying to live with them.

On our sister site Bensonhurst Bean, we have covered some of the frustration plaguing Coney Island locals. City Council candidate Mark Treyger was furious over the conditions at Carey Gardens (2955 West 24th Street), a New York City housing complex suffering from leaking roofs, the loss of its community center, a broken playground and the sinkhole problems on Neptune Avenue that could attract West Nile mosquitoes.

In another report, we tracked other frustrations facing Coney residents, namely the surging popularity of the pristinely restored beach area that has caused an uptick in traffic and congestion in the area. The restoration of the beach, Luna Park and other fun spots has been a sore spot for locals not buying the reports that Coney Island has fully rebounded:

“They say Coney Island is open for business. Sure, the entertainment district is, but no one talks about the parts of Coney Island where people actually live. They don’t talk about the neighborhoods,” said Ed Cosme, a resident who formed The People’s Coalition of Coney Island to raise awareness about the problems in the parts of the neighborhood that don’t normally draw tourists and bathers.

The Gotham Gazette described the state of a massive sinkhole present on Neptune Avenue:

On Neptune Avenue in Coney Island, state Sen. Diane Savino and a group of community activists walked a cracked and broken sidewalk on a recent day this summer — taking a tour of damage that remains nearly a year after Hurricane Sandy pummeled some of the city’s notable coastal neighborhoods.

At one point, the group stopped to look past a contorted chain-link fence at a massive sinkhole filled with bags of trash, milk cartons and diapers. The crevasse yawned with fault lines that zigged and zagged onto the sidewalk and towards the street. It looked to be growing.

“That thing goes down a ways,” said Ken Jones, a longtime community activist, referring to the sinkhole. “It’s probably right under the sidewalk.” The fact that it has apparently been used on more than one occasion as a dump only added to the activists’ concern that no one — not the state, not the city — is paying enough attention to their neighborhood…

Councilman Domenic Recchia, whose district includes Coney Island, said he has been in contact with multiple city agencies that are working together to study the sinkhole problem in particular.

“They are trying to find out why we are having this problem,” Recchia said. “It isn’t clear if the earth is moving or the sand got pushed out from under the pavement by the flood. But I know it is a problem for a lot of people. They are getting them in their driveway or backyards. I get calls about it all the time.”

While the problems afflicting Coney residents are extensive, a small measure of relief is coming in the form of a $6 million grant provided by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program. The plan is unique in that it allows local community leaders and officials to decide the best way to spend the federal money allotted to them, removing the sometimes disconnected overreach of authorities with no sense of what’s going on the ground.

The report goes on to describe other problems facing the area, including abandoned storefronts, broken docks and lost community outreach programs:

But it isn’t just the sinkholes that have residents concerned that their part of Coney Island is being ignored. Looking past the massive sinkhole on Neptune Avenue, the tortured skeleton of a wooden dock uprooted and smashed by Hurricane Sandy could be seen. A number of boats remained lifted out of the water, stranded on rocks, water-damaged and rotting. “No one has claimed them yet?” Savino asked rhetorically.

The owners are likely long gone. Just like the proprietors of the closed Chinese food restaurant and bodega across the street. “They were just hanging on before Sandy,” Savino said. “They were already in debt. After that storm, another loan wasn’t going to save them.”

Aida Leon is the executive director of the Amethyst Women’s Project, a group that helps women struggling with substance abuse, domestic violence and HIV/AIDS.

As the tour of Coney Island progressed, she said she was concerned that established charitable organizations had been ignored by the larger groups that came in with funding to address problems caused by Sandy.

“They haven’t been on the ground like we have,” she said. “We lost a lot of people after Sandy. They didn’t come back to the programs and I don’t think they are coming back because the people with funding don’t know how to reach them.”

Councilman Domenic Recchia tried to find bright spots in the otherwise bleak picture, claiming that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was out fixing the sinkholes and that not all of the community programs were gone.

“We have summer programs like the Cornerstone program and others out of Kaiser Park. They may not all be open but there are programs,” Recchia told the Gotham Gazette.”Compared to other parts of the city, I think we’re doing pretty good. Take a look at the NYCHA facilities — they are working on them. It’s not like the work isn’t happening.”

The Plumb Beach bike path – part of the Brooklyn Greenway that extends around most of the borough’s waterfront – has reopened several months earlier than expected, as the Army Corps of Engineers subcontractors working on the nearby beach have found a way to accommodate cycling enthusiasts.

The bike path was closed in May, when the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it needed the parking lot and path to serve as a staging area for construction to replenish Plumb Beach. Initially, they said the bike path would be open, but decided to close it for safety reasons. The plan was to keep it closed until the end of the year, when construction wraps up.

But Sheepshead Bites learned that the path was quietly reopened recently, and the Army Corp confirmed that the contractor finished up initial work and found a way to reorganize equipment, allowing for safe usage.

It’s just in time, too, as nearly 1,000 cyclists plan to roll through the neighborhood and onto the bike path as part of the 5th Annual Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride this Saturday, promoting the greenway. (Oh, and they’ll be using Neptune Avenue and Emmons Avenue to get there, so expect to see hundreds of bicyclists this weekend.)

However, the path might be officially open, but that doesn’t mean it’s repaired. As we’ve reported - somewhat exhaustively – the 300 feet or so of path that crumbled into the sea in 2009 remains a sandy mess, and cyclists will be forced to get off their bikes and walk it the distance. Money has been allocated for the repairs, but that won’t happen before next year – if not later.

The barber shop at East 14th Street and Neptune Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

The barber shop at East 14th Street and Neptune Avenue (Source: Google Maps)

A Brighton Beach man turned on his Sheepshead Bay-based barber when he realized that the man who cuts his hair was carrying around some big bills. Brooklyn News reported that 35-year-old Joseph Tabaczek allegedly attacked and robbed the barber before being arrested.

The incident took place on June 30 on East 14th Street and Neptune Avenue, across the street from a barber shop. Tabaczek was smoking cigarettes with his barber and asked if he could borrow some money to go bet on races down at the Aqueduct Racetrack. The barber admitted to be carrying over $1,300 in cash but turned down Tabaczek’s request. Seeing the huge wad of cash that the barber was carrying, Tabaczek punched him several times in the head, grabbed the bills and ran.

Tabaczek was later tracked down by police with all the money stolen still in his pocket. He is being charged with assault and robbery.

Source: Google Maps

A Coney Island church that played a major role Sandy relief efforts is now in need of help, according to a story in The New York World.

According to the article, the largest church in Coney Island, the Coney Island Gospel Assembly at 2828 Neptune Avenue, opened its doors following Sandy to be filled with supplies such as canned foods and bottled water and had medical staff working inside. Later, the Red Cross set up just outside the church.

Even before Sandy, the church had deep roots serving the community’s neediest.

Over the years the church had hosted a variety of social services within its walls, including a homeless shelter, summer activities for children, a truancy reduction program and a food distribution service run by Operation Blessing, the Rev. Pat Robertson’s nonprofit. She has counseled families through addictions, illnesses and interventions, and more gang-related deaths than she can count.

The church may have been a lifesaver to those affected by the storm, but it too could use a helping hand. The basement of the church had flooded, causing $1.5 million in damages.

According to the article, the church has received some of the generosity that it has been giving out. In November, it received $125,000 from a non-profit organization called Mercury One and in December it received $75,000 from the Robin Hood Foundation.

These donations have made a difference but the church is still struggling.

The church is currently surviving on weekly offerings at Sunday service. It can’t apply for a loan because there is no way to pay back the money. FEMA can’t help because a house of worship is not eligible for aid, although the House of Representatives has passed a bill that may change this.

Newly sworn-in Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, representing a broad swath of Brooklyn’s southern coastline walloped by Superstorm Sandy, is hosting a Post Sandy Town Hall Meeting, according to a last-minute press release his office sent out.

The release states:

Too many New Yorkers are still struggling to recover and get back to normal after Superstorm Sandy. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) will be hosting his first town hall meeting and will be joined by local elected officials and representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, the Rapid Repairs Program, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and other government agencies to address concerns and provide up-to-date information on Post-Sandy relief.

Jeffries will be joined by State Senator Diane Savino, Assemblyman Alex Brook-Krasny, Councilman Domenic Recchia and representatives from FEMA, the American Red Cross, Rapid Repairs Program, SBA, NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) and other government agencies.

The event will be at 7 p.m. at Coney Island Gospel Assembly, 2828 Neptune Avenue (between West 28th Street and West 29th Street).

Watch the video above to see Jeffries urging his colleagues in the House to pass Sandy relief legislation.

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