Archive for the tag 'pat singer'

Source: niznoz/Flickr

Source: niznoz/Flickr

by Jennifer Szulman

It has been more than a year since Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the East Coast, yet Brighton Beach leaders say Con Edison and local landlords have not yet fully recovered – and it could cost residents a small fortune due to ongoing billing issues.

A series of billing and infrastructural snafus, some on behalf of the utility company, and others due to landlords’ sluggishness with repairs, will lead to large future bills for many customers. That has local business and tenant advocates concerned.

Makhnin

Yelena Makhnin, the executive director of the Brighton Beach Business Improvement District, said that Brighton Beach residents are concerned about their Con Edison bills since the storm damaged their electricity meters. Some residents have received bills as low as $20 per month when they’re used to seeing $80; others have received estimated bills or no bills whatsoever.

That means the company has not been billing for actual usage, and plans to make up the shortfall on future bills.

According to Con Edison’s Public Affairs Manager Sidney Alvarez, a future bill will consist of the months that customers haven’t been charged. It will be estimated on a case by case basis and calculated from each resident’s typical use of electricity prior to Superstorm Sandy. Alvarez suggested that residents stay in close contact with Con Edison for questions about bill adjustments, accommodations or payment plans.

Most of the billing problems stem from damaged electrical meter systems in large buildings, which some landlords haven’t remedied. When Con Edison finds that a meter has not been properly repaired, they may suspend billing.

“Building owners are responsible for making repairs, upgrades and modifications,” Alvarez said. “Once work is completed Con Edison will make the necessary inspections to service the area and issue the required orders.”

In large buildings, though, building owners aren’t the ones that need to worry about electrical bills, since those are handled directly by the residents. So there’s little incentive to make repairs, and some landlords are dragging their feet due to the high costs, Makhnin said.

“The landlords have to pay for it. They are not talking about $2,000 or $3,000, but a much greater amount,” Makhnin said. “Take into consideration the amount of money already spent [to repair boilers, etc]; they might see changing meters as an expense they cannot afford.”

Residents, meanwhile, are left at the utility company’s mercy.

Singer (Photo by Erica Sherman)

Singer (Photo by Erica Sherman)

When Brighton Neighborhood Association founder and local resident Pat Singer started receiving estimated bills from Con Edison shortly after Superstorm Sandy, she thought it was going to be a temporary way to cope with the aftermath of the storm. In April, Singer paid an estimated bill of roughly $17, as opposed to her typical charge of $80 to $150, depending on the season. Singer later received a letter from Con Edison saying that while they would still provide electricity to the complex, they were not going to bill her anymore until the meters in her 96-unit building are replaced.

The meters in her building are due to come soon, according to Singer, but she fears the “estimated” expense of her future bills.

“They’re going to have to pull the figure out of a hat if you don’t have a meter,” Singer said. “Of course they’re going to pull the figure out on their side, not on our side. They should waive some of these fees; it shouldn’t be a blow like this with one big giant bill. They shouldn’t have stopped billing. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

Both Singer and Makhnin agree that this is a serious issue that needs to go beyond a “he said, she said” debate. Both women feel the government needs to intervene and Sandy relief money should be used to help the residents pay for the mounting costs.

“I’m not saying that the city, federal government or FEMA has to pay for changing meters, but there should be a way to give landlords some kind of incentive to help them a little bit,” Makhnin said. “I believe the city has to step in – not by issuing fines but trying to find a solution to help both sides. People should not have to choose, especially elderly on a fixed income, between paying Con Edison bills and buying food.”

BNA’s office inside the Chase Bank at 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue. Source: Google Maps

In an event that had to be rescheduled to a later date, the Brighton Neighborhood Association (BNA) will be hosting a “Senior Benefits” workshop at 11:00 a.m., February 22 inside BNA’s Chase Office, 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue on the corner of Coney Island Avenue (inside Chase Bank’s Community Center — just come inside, turn left, walk past the tellers, and look for the red sign).

Representatives from the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) will be conducting the meeting and BNA staff will also be on hand to answer and help address any of your housing-related issues.

The meeting will be conducted in English, with Russian and Spanish translators on hand. Light refreshments will be served. Bring your friends and neighbors!

To learn more, call (718) 891-0800, go to www.brightonbeach.com and follow BNA on Facebook.

BNA’s office is located inside the Chase Bank at 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue. Source: Google Maps

In the first of a series of three February meetings, the Brighton Neighborhood Association (BNA) will be holding a housing meeting on “Senior Benefits and Housing,” February 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at BNA’s office, 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue on the corner of Coney Island Avenue (inside Chase Bank’s Community Center — just come inside, turn left, walk past the tellers, and look for the red sign).

Roy Carmona, representing the NYC Department of Aging, will be discussing Section 8, SCRIE, DRIE, HEAP, SNAP (food stamps), as well as any housing issues and concerns you may have.

The meeting will be conducted in English and Russian. Light refreshments will be served. Bring your friends and neighbors!

To learn more, call (718) 891-0800, go to www.brightonbeach.com and follow BNA on Facebook.

Brighton Neighborhood Association Executive Director Pat Singer, left, and her staff (not pictured) have returned to their office at the Chase Bank in Brighton Beach following Superstorm Sandy. Photo by Erica Sherman

After being displaced and working from remote locations to serve their community in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, our friends at the Brighton Neighborhood Association (BNA) are back!

The social services and tenant advocacy organization officially re-opened for business today in its location at the Chase Bank, 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue on the corner of Coney Island Avenue.

Displaced from her own Brighton Beach apartment in the weeks following Sandy, BNA’s Executive Director, Pat Singer, as well as staff members Janet Veksler and Claudia Escoto, continued to reach out to the community in its time of need.

To learn more about the BNA and the work they do for the community, contact Singer at (718) 891-0800, visit www.brightonbeach.com, and “Like” BNA on Facebook.

Correction (12/18/2012): The original version of this article indicated that the BNA coordinated with Shorefront Y on Sandy relief. Shorefront Y has notified us that this was erroneous, and we have updated the article. We regret any confusion this may have caused.

The Brighton Neighborhood Association is inviting people to an instructional event tomorrow morning, September 29 at 10:00 a.m., which will educate people on how to use the new voting machines as well as how to protect the privacy of their vote.

Items and topics to be covered will include:

  • How to vote with the new system
  • How to protect your privacy
  • What to do if your name cannot be found on the registration list
  • Register to vote if you are not already registered

The event will be taking place at BNA’s office inside the Chase Bank, 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue on the corner of Coney Island Avenue. Light refreshments will be served.

To learn more, contact BNA Executive Director Pat Singer at (718) 891-0800.

Our friends over at the Brighton Neighborhood Association are celebrating the 36th Annual Brighton Jubilee, a half-mile street festival on Brighton Beach Avenue featuring, food, entertainment and tons of bargains.

Above is the flier, and below is the text of a news release the organization sent us:

36TH ANNUAL BRIGHTON JUBILEE SUNDAY, AUGUST 26TH
10AM TO 5PM…IN THE ‘RUSSIAN CAPITOL OF BROOKYN”, BRIGHTON
BEACH…ON BRIGHTON BEACH AVENUE TURNING DOWN CONEY ISLAND
AVENUE TO THE BOARDWALK….PRESENTED BY THE BRIGHTON
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION.

ONE OF BROOKLYN’S MOST POPULAR EVENTS IS TAKING PLACE THIS
SUNDAY FEATURING THREE STAGES OF ENTERTAINMENT….PERFORMERS

FROM DANU RUSSIAN RADIO, GREAT SOUNDS FROM FRANKIE MARRA AND
OTHER BROOKLYN BANDS INCLUDING NEPTUNE JAM. THE BROOKYN NETS
WILL BE PARTICIPATING ALONG WITH THE NEW YORK ARM WRESTLING
ASSOCIATION WHICH WILL BE HOLDING A COMPETITION FOR ‘BROOKLYN’S
STRONGEST ARM”.

THE JUBILEE FEATURES BLOCKS OF BARGAINS, GREAT FOOD,
KIDDIE RIDES, INFO TABLES INCLUDING HUMAN RESOURCES
AND HUMAN RIGHTS….

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL PAT SINGER AT
718 891-0800 (UP TO FRIDAY)

718 541-3866 (SATURDAY AND SUNDAY)
718 646-9715 (SATURDAY AND SUNDAY)

OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE VISITED THIS FAIR IN PAST YEARS…
WE INVITE YOUR COVERAGE.

And don’t forget to check out our Brighton Jubilee coverage from 2011, or that from 2010, a year that we also did an audio feature, “Sounds of the Brighton Jubilee.

SHEEPSHEAD BITES EXCLUSIVE: The city suddenly shut down a medical center in Brighton Beach in June, leaving several doctors with no place to work and no access to their medical records for as long as two weeks.

At least one local activist believes that barring doctors from their records creates a dangerous situation, and feels that the city should implement a procedure to ensure that commercial tenants of a building have the ability to reach vital information in situations such as this.

The medical center, located at 2965 Ocean Parkway, was closed June 13 by the New York City Department of Buildings for lacking a secondary means of egress, a technical term for an entrance and exit. The four-story building had only one open staircase, but, Department of Buildings regulations require an additional staircase for a building of such size in case of an emergency.

The building was locked immediately, without notifying the doctors who worked there.

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Source: mRio / Flickr

A health educator from Coney Island Hospital will visit the Brighton Neighborhood Association (BNA), May 11 at 11:00 a.m. to discuss “Women’s Health” at the civic group’s headquarters, 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue, corner of Coney Island Avenue (inside Chase Bank).

Questions and concerns on women’s health issues will be addressed during the talk, including learning how to receive medical treatment if you do not have health insurance. The event will also feature a free raffle.

To learn more about this and any upcoming BNA events, contact Pat Singer at (718) 891-0800, visit www.brightonbeach.com, and “Like” BNA on Facebook.

Heroic Brighton Beach teen, Jhordan Caballero. Source: Brighton Neighborhood Association

Today is the last day Sheepshead Bites will be accepting donations on behalf of the BNA and Caballero family.


(Please note that donations made to the family or BNA through Sheepshead Bites are not tax-exempt as we are a for-profit business operating solely as a middleman.)

Following the tragic, fire-related death of young Brighton Beach hero Jhordan Caballero, and the incredible outpouring of support from our community — in particular, the Brighton Neighborhood Association, local firefighters, and Sheepshead Bites readers — Congressman Bob Turner has released a statement praising the efforts of the teen, the firefighters, and all who have reached out to his family by opening their hearts and their wallets:

“Jhordan proved himself a hero and was tragically taken too soon. He exemplifies the best of humanity. His selfless and courageous acts to save his younger brother, Renzo, and his 61-year-old neighbor, go above and beyond the call as both a brother and a Good Samaritan. We should all seek to give of ourselves, both every day and in times of great distress, as he did for the good of others.

“I would like to commend the Brighton Neighborhood Association, local firefighters of Engine 246 Ladder 169, and members of the community for their efforts to help the family of our native Brooklyn son and hero as they try to make arrangements for his funeral. These firefighters are a prime example of how seriously our first responders take their role. They not only came to this family’s rescue, but joined the efforts of the Brighton Neighborhood Association and other members of the community in their efforts to help this family honor their son and begin rebuilding their life. Your efforts to assist his family are a testament to his memory, and your willingness to lend a hand to a neighbor reminds others of the type of community that makes New York unique. May Jhordan’s memory be a blessing.”

St. Mark Roman Catholic Church hosted a mass for Jhordan Caballero.

Family and friends of Jhordan Caballero were joined by firefighters, community leaders and others at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church this morning, to give the 18-year-old a hero’s farewell.

St. Mark Roman Catholic Church offered the space and the service after hearing of the teen’s noble actions and tragic death, in which he saved his 8-year-old brother from their burning home, then rushed back into the blaze to attempt the rescue of an elderly neighbor before succumbing to the thick smoke last Friday.

After the mass, Caballero’s remains were transported to All Faiths Cemetery in Queens, where he will be buried. John J. Healey Funeral Home, Dignity Memorial held a viewing and memorial yesterday.

Sheepshead Bites readers, meanwhile, have also done this publication and this community proud. Those readers who donated through our PayPal link have sent the family nearly $1,000 to assist in their recovery, whole those who donated directly to the Brighton Neighborhood Association have contributed another $7,000.

That’s just a drop in the bucket for what this family will need to replace all their clothes, goods and furnishings in addition to finding a new home. A list of material goods they need can be found here. If you’d like to contribute financially, you can use the button below.

(Please note that donations made to the family or BNA through Sheepshead Bites are not tax-exempt as we are a for-profit business operating solely as a middleman.)

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