Archive for the tag 'video'

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and challenger Ben Akselrod sought to distinguish themselves from each other at a candidate’s forum for the 45th Assembly District organized by the Manhattan Beach Community Group last week. Although the rivals agreed on many issues, the two expressed different approaches to campaign financing and improving traffic safety, among a few other disagreements.

Cymbrowitz, Akselrod

Though the campaigns have been in full swing for many months, the two candidates for the Democratic primary had not yet done much to set themselves apart ideologically. Aside from an uninspiring dust-up over nominating petitions, voters had only the incumbent’s record and his challenger’s claims from his 2012 campaign to base their vote until Wednesday’s forum.

The two differed on public financing of campaigns, an initiative that watchdogs say would limit or eliminate the influence of special interests. Public financing sets caps on how much contributors can give to a person seeking office, and offers matching funds for small donations from individuals. New York City has a public financing system for the City Council and other citywide posts, while Albany does not.

Akselrod said he opposes public funding because the public should not pay for it.

“We have too much money going through government and this is where it shouldn’t be. We have numerous examples of people running for office … for one single reason, to get matching funds. I do not want people’s money to be involved in a campaign,” he said.

He did not provide any examples of such candidates. Public financing proposals all impose far stricter spending controls on campaign funds than Albany currently has, and funds cannot be used for personal expenses.

Cymbrowitz threw his support in for public financing, in line with the majority of Democrats in Albany. Public financing of campaigns has so far been blocked by Senate Republicans.

“For the last six years I’ve voted in favor of [public financing] … it has not passed the state legislature because the Republican Senate has not voted in favor of it,” Cymbrowitz said. “We’re very hopeful that this year after the November election the governor will put in a campaign finance program that Democrats in the Assembly and Republicans in the Senate will be able to vote for.”

Akselrod, however, did say that ethics reforms would be at the top of his priority list. One area he hopes to see reform is in the use of discretionary funding, a small pot of money pols are given to distribute to groups in their district. The challenger said he hoped to implement something along the lines of participatory budgeting (although his words were “participatory democracy”), a program in the Council where the community itself proposes and votes on such items.

Cymbrowitz pointed out that this year is the first time in five years that state legislators were given the funds. He didn’t directly answer the moderator’s question on how more controls can be put on the spending, but did note that the funds are used to keep non-profits and community organizations funded. He said oversight is provided by the agencies that the money is allocated through, which have their own criteria, not the legislators who steered it.

On road safety, both candidates said that enforcement technologies like speed cameras were not enough (and outright opposed by Akselrod). Cymbrowitz said more police enforcement was necessary, and expressed hope that the new leadership at the 61st Precinct and in the citywide administration would be more responsive. Akselrod pushed his proposal, first made in June, for mandatory driving courses in high school.

The event was cordial and the two rarely interacted with each other. They agreed on most issues including:

  • Medical marijuana – in favor of the limited program that passed in Albany earlier this year, and oppose full legalization and legalization of smokable forms of medical marijuana.
  • Moreland Commission – Governor Andrew Cuomo should not have disbanded it. Cymbrowitz said he looks forward to the Attorney General continuing the investigations.
  • Democratic National Convention in Brooklyn  - both said they were for it, noting the potential increase in economic activity.
  • Charter schools – a good initiative, but co-locations with public schools should be stopped.
  • Term limits for Albany legislators – they both opposed term limits, saying elections were sufficient.

Primary elections will be held on September 9.

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!

Commisioner Nigro with NYPD Detective William O'Connor, Jr., the son of one of the fallen firefighters.  (Photo by Mike T. Wright)

Commisioner Nigro with NYPD Detective William O’Connor, Jr., the son of one of the fallen firefighters. (Photo by Mike T. Wright)

Friends, family and FDNY colleagues gathered at Saint Brendan’s Church in Midwood on Saturday, marking the 36th anniversary of an historic blaze at the Sheepshead Bay Waldbaum’s that claimed six lives.

The August 2, 1978 fire broke out at Waldbaum’s, then located at Ocean Avenue and Avenue Y (now the site of Staples). As the blaze ripped through the building, area firefighters wrestled to bring it under control. At approximately 9:02 a.m., the roof gave in, plunging at least a dozen of New York’s Bravest into the inferno.

Attendees gather in front of the church after the service. (Photo by Mike T. Wright)

Attendees gather in front of the church after the service. (Photo by Mike T. Wright)

In all, six firefighters died and another 34 were injured in what became the largest loss of firefighters in a single fire in Brooklyn history.

In 1999, the city renamed the corner “Firemen’s Corner.” A street sign and plaque continue to honor the fallen.

FDNY's Emerald Society Pipes & Drums performed at the service  .(Photo by Mike T. Wright)

FDNY’s Emerald Society Pipes & Drums performed at the service .(Photo by Mike T. Wright)

The heroic firefighters who died in the blaze on August 2, 1978, are FF George Rice, 38, Ladder 153; FF James McManus, 48; Cov. Lt. James Cutillo, 39, 33rd Battalion; FF Harold Hastings, 39, 42nd Battalion; FF Charles Bouton, 38, Ladder 156; and William O’Connor, 29 of Ladder 156.

The service in Midwood this weekend was attended by newly appointed FDNY Comissioner Daniel Nigro, who said that the event spurred additional training regimes to protect future fire-eaters, and that the department will continue to come together every August 2 to recognize the victims of the Waldbaum’s blaze.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.  (Photo by Mike T. Wright)

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. (Photo by Mike T. Wright)

For the 2010 anniversary, John Dwyer of JGDwyerPhotography put together the below slideshow. Dwyer has been photographing the FDNY in action since the 1970s.

Pedro with JM Legend co-owner Steve Sasson.

Pedro with JM Legend co-owner Steve Sasson.

The man captured on surveillance video being knocked over by a snow tsunami, courtesy of a speeding Sanitation Department snow plow, on Coney Island Avenue is now mulling a lawsuit against the city.

The incident took place on February 5, when a man calling himself only “Pedro” was walking home shortly after 5 a.m. A snow plow speeding down Coney Island Avenue threw up a wall of snow and ice, striking Pedro and knocking him off his feet. It also did $2,200 worth of damage to the storefront of nearby JM Legend Auto, who captured the entire incident on surveillance video and uploaded it to YouTube, where it went viral.

Pedro got in touch with JM Legend Auto after his sister saw the video of hims on the news, and he agreed to be interviewed on video by the store’s co-owner Steven Sasson, which was uploaded to YouTube.

“I remember when I was walking here, and I felt something, and then I just remembered when I tried to stand up. The thing, I don’t remember,” he said. Pedro never saw the snow coming at him, since he was looking at his feet.

He did say he hurt his head, and he still feels pain in his eyes. He said he was upset and considering a lawsuit, because speeding plows that throw snow and slush onto the sidewalk is “not safe.”

As for JM Legend’s damage, they forwarded the bill for repairs to the Sanitation Department, reports the Daily News.

Here’s the video of the incident:

Talk about a tough morning. The man in this video was walking down Coney Island Avenue at approximately 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday when a speeding snow plow created a tsunami of slush that nearly buried him alive.

The incident was captured by surveillance cameras at JM Legend Auto Group (2785 Coney Island Avenue). Owners arrived Wednesday morning to find their glass door broken. When they checked the tapes, they spotted the video of the truck and its hapless victim.

The wave of snow and slush is also what caused damage to the property’s storefront. The man appeared uninjured, and got up, dusted himself off, and walked away.

It’s unclear if it was a city snow plow, and the Department of Sanitation told NBC that they were investigating.

Here’s the incident from another angle:

And here it is from the interior of the store, where you can see some of the damaged cause as the plow goes by:

rickles

A video has been going around the internets of a Kraft Music Hall program from August 9, 1968, hosted by legendary comic Don Rickles, and filmed entirely along Avenue M in Midwood around the subway station.

And that’s no surprise, it was an NBC program, and NBC Brooklyn Studios was once located at 1268 East 14th Street.

The video’s classic Rickles walking through classic Brooklyn: kids playing stickball, classic hot dogs, classic pickpockets – and classic businesses in the background (anyone remember Yen Fung Restaurant?).

Check it out!

burglar

The NYPD is turning to neighbors for help in tracking down a burglar caught doing his dirty deed on surveillance video.

Police say the man broke into an East 27th Street home near Avenue Z through a back window at around 9:30 p.m. on August 31.

The man nabbed approximately $135,000 in stolen property, including an iPhone, jewelry and watches, ABC reports.

They add:

The suspect is described as a male with a light skin complexion, with a tattoo of a bulldog on his right shoulder and a tattoo of praying hands on his right forearm.

Anyone with information in regards is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Members of the 61st Precinct Community Council and Captain John Chell pose with NYFK Sport Center’s Chinese dragons, which danced during the event.

The officers, auxiliary force, leaders and community council of the NYPD’s 61st Precinct celebrated another stellar Night Out Against Crime, with hundreds of children and their parents taking to the precinct’s lot and adjacent street to celebrate a safe community.

With a heated election year, there were tons of local elected officials and candidates on hand, hobnobbing with neighbors while their children ate free burgers, danced to the DJ, were dazzled by a musician, and took home their own personalized airbrushed t-shirts.

It was the 30th year of the event, and the 61st Precinct is known to throw one of the most extravagant affairs of all the Brooklyn precincts. The event is celebrated in more than 15,000 communities across all 50 states, representing the communities reclaiming their streets from violence and crime.

While there was a lot to love about this year’s event – did you see the dragons?! – my favorite part was the impromptu performance by 3-year-old Jordan Wong, who burst out in dance to Gangnam Style and drew a large audience. We caught most of it on video, below, and Jordan was eager to do it for the crowd again, a not-so-uncommon occurrence according to his father Kuey.

“He’ll do it again. He’ll do it any time. He’s crazy about it,” Wong said about his son. The Wongs live in Bensonhurst and came along with NYFK Sport Center, a group based on 20th Avenue, which performed during the Night Out.

See the awesome video of Jordan dancing, and our photos from the event.

Source: puuikibeach via flickr

Source: puuikibeach via flickr

Get your friends and grab your cameras as the On My Block (OMB) “Neighborhood Film Challenge” competition is back with its second annual event. The challenge invites filmmakers to create one- to three-and-a-half-minute movies about their block, using only people that actually live on your block as part of the cast and crew.

The challenge begins on July 1, and just like last year, all films will be screened online and people will have a chance to vote for their favorites until the challenge ends on October 31, 2013.

A special month long Kickstarter campaign was also launched last week that aims to raise $10,000 to fund the second season of OMB, an updated website, promotional material, festival venue fees, and prizes for winning filmmakers.

Here is a list of relevant details from OMB’s press release on important dates and contest rules:

Viewers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite short film on Vimeo from July 1 through October 31, 2013; a panel will judge the 40 films with the most votes the first week of November 2013 of which the top 20 films will be entered into the festival.

The top 20 films will be screened at an awards event November 11, 2013, located at the SVA Theater. Awards will be presented for Best Narrative Film, Best Documentary Film and Best In Show. This year, we introduce a new category for films made outside New York City’s five boroughs as we begin a global expansion of our program.

 Dates:  June 19 – July 19 - Kickstarter campaign

July 1 through October 31 - Films shot, edited, uploaded to Vimeo

July1 through October 31 - Public voting opens

November 6 - Judging panel votes

November 11 - Top 20 films screened at festival

All filmmakers must sign up on the On My Block site and complete the application before the finished film is submitted. For additional information including submission guidelines, neighbor recruitment tools, tips for writing and producing, or to sign up as a filmmaker or sponsor of On My Block, please contact Mary Crosse at mary@onmyblockfilms.com or visit www.onmyblockfilms.com. To view films that were created last year, visit www.onmyblockfilms.com/video. For updates on the festival, follow @onmyblockfilms on Twitter.

Good luck to all participants. And remember, if you end up making a film, let us know so we can watch the film and share it with the community.

For more information on the contest you can visit the OMB website by clicking here.

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Israel got some love on Nostrand Avenue last Sunday, and nearly 5,000 neighbors and children partied in the streets in honor of the Jewish nation.

It was another successful year for Kings Bay Y’s Annual Israel on Nostrand Avenue Celebration, a joyous festival celebrating all things “Land of Milk and Honey,” which took place in front of the institution’s headquarters at 3495 Nostrand Avenue.

Featuring rides and entertainment, a petting zoo, arts & crafts, live musical, magical and dance performances and booths from community organizations and local artists, the Israel on Nostrand event is one of Sheepshead Bay’s largest street festivals, and never fails to draw a tremendous, energetic crowd.

Check out the photos of the event, generously provided by our friends at the Kings Bay Y and photographer Ken Brown.

Kings Bay Y’s Israel on Nostrand Celebration 2013 photo gallery.

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