batman

Holy snatch-and-split, Batman!

A man donning the famed crime fighter’s insignia made a not-so-daring escape after snatching an unattended bag from McDonald’s in Coney Island last month.

Now police are on the hunt for the unmasked man, releasing the photo above captured by the 606 Neptune Avenue fast food chain’s surveillance video.

According to authorities, the victim left his personal bag on the counter of the restaurant on June 5. The Batman wannabe grabbed the bag and fled to the street, making off with credit cards, checks and other personal items. No one was injured, other than the reputation of a true, if often misunderstood, superhero.

The suspect is described as a male, approximately 40 years old, with black hair, a partially bald head and a medium complexion.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Photo by Richard Resnick

Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send them to [email protected].

Oh, hey that’s one of them fancy pools you hear about. (Source: Bond)

Looking for a new place to call home? Sheepshead Bites has got you covered. Our rental roundup showcases some of the deals on the market now. If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

One Bedroom in Sheepshead Bay
Price: $1,300
Location: Ocean Parkway
Description: Here is a “Doorman” apartment, not to be confused with an apartment that has a doorman. I’m too much of a plebeian to understand the delicate subtleties between these two differences. But believe “the” realtor. You have to be sponsored by the co-op, so make sure to elevate yourself past the plebeian level.
Contact: Mark Benson, Bond New York, (646) 645-4400

One Bedroom in Midwood
Price: $1,150
Location: Avenue O
Description: This apartment is standard in the fact that it has a small bathroom that passes as a “full” bathroom and hardwood floors. The realtor writes that the kitchen “will be renovated.” When? Before someone moves in or a month after signing the lease? Here at Sheepshead Bites, we ask the tough questions.
Contact: Adrianna Sitner, David West Properties, (347) 346-1508

Three Bedrooms in Brighton Beach
Price: $2,400
Location: Brightwater Court
Description: The bathroom in this apartment has new tiles but it looks like the wood floors haven’t been replaced. The kitchen has cooking space, instead of the usual ultra-narrow spot with barely enough space for a fridge.
Contact: Chauncey Palmer, Oxford Property Group, (347) 409-7970

If you know of a great place available for rent or are a broker representing a property you want included, contact nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

President Farley Herzek

Herzek (Source: CUNY Newswire)

Kingsborough Community College has appointed Farley Herzek, a New York City native who has most recently been leading the largest community college district in the nation out in California.

The local school has been without a president since the retirement of Dr. Regina Peruggi last summer after nine years serving the school. Peruggi was the first woman at the helm, and oversaw a period of tremendous growth at Kingsborough.

Herzek has been serving as interim president of Los Angeles Harbor College – Los Angeles Community College, and has previously served as interim president of East Los Angeles College.

“It is a privilege to come back to Brooklyn, to serve the communities and the CUNY system that gave me my start in life. I was launched into the middle class because of open access, quality educational programs and the affordability of the CUNY system,” said Herzek in a press release. “I have had an opportunity to meet Kingsborough Community College faculty, staff, alumni and administrators during the interview process and I was very impressed with their passion for doing what is best for students. My beliefs, values and leadership qualities embrace collaboration, full participation, trust, and transparency, while valuing the greatness of our diversity. With all of us of working together, I am certain we can move Kingsborough Community College to the No. 1 position in the nation.”

From CUNY’s press release:

President Herzek’s appointment to Kingsborough is a homecoming for him as a first-generation American who grew up in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn and who was the first in his family to graduate from college. A product of New York City public schools including P.S. 115 and Isaac Bildersee I.S. 68, as well as a graduate of Canarsie High School, President Herzek began his college career at Brooklyn College and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The City College of New York. He completed his Master of Arts degree and Teaching Credential in Technology Education at California State University, Long Beach, and his Professional Clear Administrative Services Credential from the University of La Verne. President Herzek is also the past Chair of the National Legislative Committee for the Association of Career and Technical Education.

burger-king-mosque

Photo by Rob Erichsen

Shuttered for more than two years, the former Burger King location at 2481 Knapp Street has been converted into a temporary prayer space for local Muslims to observe Ramadan.

The Muslim American Society has taken over the space with a one-month lease, allowing them to celebrate one of the religion’s most important holidays near their homes. The group sought out a temporary place of worship while their permanent location, 2812 Voorhies Avenue, nears completion.

“The [Voorhies Avenue] building wasn’t going to be ready for Ramadan, and they need a facility, so they rented that place. They have a lease. They have all their paperwork. They’re only there for one month,” said Kenan Tashkent, the 61st Precinct’s liaison to the Muslim community. Tashkent met with the mosque’s congregants and leadership yesterday, and noted that the Voorhies Avenue location remains a few months away from completion.

Paper signs have been taped up in English and Arabic at the Knapp Street storefront. The interior has been carpeted, with a curtain separating prayer spaces for men and women, as is tradition.

“They were very nice, very cooperative. They told me everything. They’ve got all of their paperwork and they don’t need to disturb  the neighborhood or anything. It’s their holiday,” he added.

Ramadan began this past Saturday, June 28, and ends on July 27. It’s the most sacred month for Muslims, marking Muhammed’s first revelations. It is observed by fasting, donating to charity, prayer and recitation of the Quran.

Local Muslims, of which there is a large community in the Kings Bay and Plumb Beach areas, as well as around Voorhies Avenue, have long sought to establish a local mosque. After raising funds, they submitted plans to construct an Islamic community center at 2812 Voorhies Avenue in 2009 – a proposal that saw vehement, and sometimes racially motivated, opposition from neighbors. After court battles, they won permission from the city to move forward and it has been under construction ever since.

Prior to establishing a local site, area Muslims had to travel to Brighton Beach, Bath Beach or head further north in Brooklyn to attend a mosque. More than just miles away, many of the institutions are far over capacity, causing overflows onto sidewalks and streets during high holidays like Ramadan – which the mosque organizers hope to reduce by establishing a local site.

Organizers from the mosque could not be reached for this article.

seal

The New York Aquarium is celebrating the birth of a still-to-be-named harbor seal, only the second of its species to be born at the facility in the past 15 years.

The cuddly-looking creature was born on May 27 with a weight of 22 pounds, and has already been out and about in the aquarium’s displays.

“He has already made an impression on visitors and staff,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium, in a press release. “He is a delightful addition to the aquarium and a treat to everyone who comes through the facility while we work to recover from Hurricane Sandy and toward the opening of Ocean Wonders: Sharks!”

The pup is one of three harbor seals at the aquarium in Coney Island, all of which live in the Sea Cliffs with their penguin buddies, some sea otters, sea lions and walruses.

The new seal is quite healthy, gaining weight at a rate of a half-pound to a pound a day, much like your editor, and could weigh up to 250 pounds when fully grown.

As our readers ought to know, harbor seals are native to the waters around New York City and their population has been on the rise lately – as evidenced through numerous sightings on area beaches and marinas.

Harbor seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The New York Aquarium works to protect harbor seals through the New York Seascape, a conservation program designed to restore healthy populations of local marine species in New York City waters.

In case the photo above does not convey the appropriate amount of cuteness, I’ve made this gif for you.

seal

macro

These things always remind me of Carl Sagan.

Photo by Randy Contello / RandyCPhotography

Morning Mug is our daily showcase of photographs from our readers. If you have a photograph that you’d like to see featured, send them to [email protected].

Source: iandavid/Flickr

Reminder: On Friday, July 4, Independence Day, all subways, buses and the Staten Island railway operate on a Saturday schedule. 

B LINE

From 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, Manhattan-bound B trains run local from Sheepshead Bay to Prospect Park.

Friday: no B trains due to the July 4 holiday.

Q LINE

From 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Thursday, Q service operates in two sections:

  1. Between 57 St-7 Av and Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr.
  2. Between Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr and Coney Island, every 30 minutes.

From 11:45 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Thursday, Q trains run every 30 minutes between Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr and Coney Island.

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Thursday, Manhattan-bound trains skip DeKalb Av.

From 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, Coney Island-bound Q trains run express from Prospect Park to Sheepshead Bay.

F LINE

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Thursday, F service operates in two sections:

  1. Between 179 St and Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts A/G station – the last stop.
  2. Between Bedford-Nostrand Avs and Stillwell Av.

From 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Thursday, southbound F trains run local from Roosevelt Av to 21 St-Queensbridge.

From 12:30 a.m. to 5 a.m., Tuesday to Thursday, northbound F trains run local from 21 St-Queensbridge to Roosevelt Av.

Loughran (Source: Facebook)

Loughran (Source: Facebook)

Bryan Loughran, 32, died early Saturday morning after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on Gerritsen Avenue in Gerritsen Beach.

Police rushed to the scene at 2:45 a.m., outside of Gather Inn Again (2718 Gerritsen Avenue, near Everett Avenue), where they found Loughran with severe trauma to his body. EMS took him to Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Cops determined that Loughran had left the bar and was crossing the street when a white minivan traveling southbound struck him before speeding off. The Daily News notes that Loughran was thrown several yards, and the impact smashed the vehicles windshield and ripped out its headlight.

Authorities tracked down the driver, Michael Casale, 51, and cuffed him at approximately 5:00 a.m. He had ditched the car a few blocks away on Frank Court near Cyrus Avenue. Casale lives on 13th Avenue in Bensonhurst, where cops made the arrest.

Casale is facing charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. His prior rap sheet dates back to 1984, with arrests for drug possession, robbery, impersonating a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon.

MTA representative Andrew Inglesby responding to a request to add Avenue R as an SBS Bus Stop. Photo by Allan Rosen

MTA representative Andrew Inglesby responding to a request to add Avenue R as an SBS Bus Stop. Photo by Allan Rosen

THE COMMUTE: Since the elimination of B44 Limited service and initiation of the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS) on November 17, bus riders using the Avenue R stop as well as some who previously walked along Nostrand Avenue from Quentin Road or Avenue S to take advantage of the faster Limited service, have been forced to rely on slower local bus service. It is not only the slower service that they find annoying, but the excessive waits for local buses they have been experiencing, up to 45 minutes.

A few riders had the opportunity to express their thoughts on the matter directly to the MTA this past Tuesday, as they met with Andrew Inglesby, assistant director of Government Affairs for MTA New York City Transit. Operations Planning and Road Operations also represented the MTA. Organized by Councilman Chaim Deutsch, the event was held from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the northbound Avenue R B44 local bus stop. In addition to Deutsch, Colin Mixson of his staff, and a half dozen invited bus riders, Councilman Alan Maisel and Assemblymember Helene Weinstein were also in attendance and quizzed those representing the MTA.

The attendees wanted to know why there is no SBS bus stop at that location when the closest SBS stops are a half-mile away at Avenue U and at Kings Highway, distances that are too great for many to walk. They claimed more people would use an Avenue R SBS bus stop than use the recently created SBS stop at Avenue L, which was requested by Deutsch and Councilman Jumaane Williams as well as Assemblymember Rhoda Jacobs.

Inglesby, who claimed the number of transfers at Avenue L greatly exceeded those transferring from the two bus routes on Avenue R, disputed that. This reporter stated that not only riders near Avenue R would use an SBS bus stop, but passengers currently boarding at Avenue S and Quentin Road would also walk over to an SBS stop at Avenue R if one were created there. Also, that transferring passengers from the B100 should be counted along with B2 and B31 passengers.

Inglesby responded that even if transferring passengers from all three bus routes were counted, it still would not exceed the numbers of passengers transferring from the B9 at Avenue L. He also stated that of all the bus stops checked that were not SBS bus stops, passengers transferring at Gates Avenue and at Avenue L were the highest, and those stops already have been added. Other reasons precluding turning the current northbound local stop into an SBS stop is a residential driveway situated directly in front of the bus stop, which would have to be lengthened if converted to an SBS bus stop.

Responding to a question of why the nearside of the intersection could not be used instead, Inglesby cited trees as an obstacle to buses opening their doors. Weinstein stated that she is aware of other bus stops where there are trees. When asked about SBS buses arriving three at a time, Inglesby stated that the MTA was quite aware of service irregularities on the route and that they are working to address them. He also stated that additional local buses have been added to the route twice, once several weeks after inception, and again last April. When asked why the MTA website still shows a local bus schedule dated November 17th, he responded that he would look into that.

Not ready to give up, Deutsch requested a six-month trial for a new SBS stop to see how it works out and how many use it as well as another public hearing, whereupon bus riders could sound off about how they feel about the SBS and local bus service. Inglesby responded that the MTA does not do trials and is concerned about how to best serve the majority of its riders, which is the entire purpose behind the SBS service, which 97 percent of its riders approve. Inglesby was referring to initial passenger surveys of the M15 SBS in Manhattan. Official statistics regarding the B44 SBS have yet to be published.

Another public hearing was not ruled out and Inglesby stated it was not within his jurisdiction to recommend any additional bus stops. If Deutsch would like to take the matter further, he should write to the president.

I arrived at the bus stop one hour early and recorded arriving locals and SBS buses passing by. I will share my observations a week from today in the next Commute.

The Commute is a weekly feature highlighting news and information about the city’s mass transit system and transportation infrastructure. It is written by Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).

Disclaimer: The above is an opinion column and may not represent the thoughts or position of Sheepshead Bites. Based upon their expertise in their respective fields, our columnists are responsible for fact-checking their own work, and their submissions are edited only for length, grammar and clarity. If you would like to submit an opinion piece or become a regularly featured contributor, please e-mail nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.