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Project Safe Surrender

December 1st, 2011 10:35 am

This weekend there’s an opportunity to resolve outstanding warrants (no felonies, or anything through the DMV or MTA, however). Project Safe Surrender on December 2 and 3 from 9am to 3pm:

Brooklyn clergy, partnering with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Office of Court Administration, the Legal Aid Society and the New York City Police Department offer the opportunity for individuals with warrants/summons to turn themselves in to clergy and law enforcement and to have their warrants/summons lifted and their cases adjudicated in a safe environment. This is not a pardon; but rather a solution that is favorable.

Outstanding warrants they can help with include:

· Unlawful possession of alcohol under age 21
· Consumption of alcohol in public
· Aggressive solicitation
· Unlawful possession of handcuffs
· Littering
· Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk
· Making unreasonable noise
· Animal nuisance
· Failure to have a dog license
· Unleashed dog
· Spitting
· Trespassing
· Disorderly conduct
· Loitering
· Unlawfully in a park after hours
· Failure to comply with posted signs in park
· Marijuana possession – New!
· Smoking marijuana – New!

- Mary

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Requesting a Bench for Public Use

November 30th, 2011 11:07 am

Last month the city unveiled a sleek new design for public seating, and you can let them know where you want to sit. The CityBench program aims to install 1,000 steel benches across the five boroughs, and while they have priorities–bus stops, retail districts, near libraries, etc.–the public is welcome to help determine where they go.

There is a form for bench requests available online, so if you know of a spot where a bench is needed, please fill it out. In addition to the top priority locations, there are several restrictions that limit where they can go, including width of the sidewalk and where tree pits and business doors are. But I’m sure there are some good places you can think–any ideas? Or do we have enough?

- Mary

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Midwood HS Teacher Honored

November 30th, 2011 10:03 am

As students put the final touches on their high school applications–which are due on Friday–here’s some news that’s a nice reminder that we have a great option in our area. Midwood High School physiology teacher Margaret DeSimone was one of seven NYC teachers recently honored by the Fund for New York City in the Third Annual Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics.

A teacher at Midwood for 22 years, she tells the Daily News that her students “love to dissect a pig’s heart, a cow’s eye and even a sheep’s testicle for the advanced class.”

The award recipients receive $5,000 each, plus $2,500 for their school’s math or science department.

- Mary

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Midwood HS Swim Team Still Using Competitor’s Pool

November 29th, 2011 11:44 am

Another school year, another season the Midwood High School swim team doesn’t have easy access to a pool–despite the fact that there’s a new one just across the street at its sister institution, Brooklyn College. A recent article in Argus, the Midwood High School newspaper, notes that once again, the students will have to use the facilities at James Madison, which is generously allowing the team to practice there:

Disappointed [Coach Leonard M. De] Virgilio commented that this was “ridiculous” and looked frustrated while talking about the issue.

Jason He ’12 commented, “It is frustrating that we can’t use the pool right next door. However, there is nothing that will hinder our determination this year.”

Brooklyn College spokesman Jeremy Thompson said its simply a matter of availability. The college’s swimming and diving teams are given priority, as are swimming classes.

“In addition to courses and athletic teams that require access to the pool, the West Quad Center is a recreational facility open to our students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the surrounding community, all of whom pay a membership fee,” Thompson explained in an email, adding that for most Brooklyn College students, this is included in a general student activity fee each semester. “Therefore, it is important the pool be made available for recreational use during the remaining hours of operation.”

Finally, Thompson explained that the college is open to making the pool available for rental by outside groups—as it does other campus facilities—during the hours it is not being used for these other activities. “However,” he said, “that window of opportunity is limited and unlikely to correspond to the times the high school swim team requires.”

The boys varsity swim team begins its season this week. Best of luck, Hornets!

- Mary

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24th, 2011 7:34 am

On this day for giving thanks, a gigantic thank you to all of our neighbors who read, comment, and send tips, photos, thoughts, and suggestions–we couldn’t do this without you.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

- Mary

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New Book About Midwood

November 23rd, 2011 6:06 pm

If you’ve ever scoured the web for old Brooklyn photos, then you’re probably familiar with the awesome Brooklynpix.com, which is run by Brian Merlis. With a serious dedication to the history of the borough, Merlis has already published several books on different neighborhoods, and this month he, along with Lee Rosenzweig and Oscar Israelowitz, has given Midwood the honor.

Brooklyn’s Midwood: Farms, Films, Falafel features hundreds of rare vintage photographs, maps, and documents. It traces Midwood’s past from its first settlement back in the 1600s until modern times.

Copies are available for purchase through his site, some local bookstores, and Barnes & Noble.

- Mary

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New York Cares Coat Drive

November 22nd, 2011 3:11 pm

If you’ve got a coat sitting unused in the back of your closet, consider donating it to the New York Cares Coat Drive. The drive aids many New Yorkers who cannot afford to purchase a warm coat for the upcoming winter. The goal for this year’s drive is 100,000 coats, so they need your help!

Coats are being collected citywide through December 31 at any New York City Police Precinct. The 70th Precinct is located at 154 Lawrence Ave, between Ocean Parkway and Seton Place; and the 63rd Precinct may also be convenient to some, located at 1844 Brooklyn Avenue, between Avenues I and J.

- Mary

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No Q Train Between Prospect Park and 57th Street This Weekend

November 22nd, 2011 12:06 pm

Here’s a little advance notice for anyone getting away for the holiday: The Q train won’t be running between Prospect Park and 57th St/7th Ave from 12:01am Saturday, November 26 to 5am Monday, November 28.

Enjoy free shuttle buses instead. Happy Thanksgiving.

The details:

Q service operates between Stillwell Ave and Prospect Park.

Travel Alternatives
For service between Prospect Park and Atlantic Ave, take the free shuttle bus.
• Transfer between shuttle buses and N/R trains at Atlantic Av-Pacific St.

For DeKalb Ave, take the N/R instead.

For service between Atlantic Ave-Pacific St and 57 St-7 Ave, take the N.

For service between Stillwell Av and Manhattan take the D or N.

Station Shuttle Bus Stop
Prospect Park: Lincoln Rd at station entrance
7 Av: Flatbush Av at Park Pl
Atlantic Av-Pacific St: 4 Av at Pacific St

Note: Shuttle bus service begins 30 minutes prior to service change.

Alternate travel note:
4/5 A/C service is available via the S Franklin Av Shuttle at Prospect Park.

- Mary

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Di Fara’s Closed by the DOH…Again

November 21st, 2011 11:59 am

If you follow the Di Fara’s Facebook page, you’re familiar with the occasional status update that says the popular pizza place will be closed for one reason or another. Last week, one such message went up, but an update added that it was because of “a glitch in some paperwork beaurocracy [sic] with the new grading system … I will need about 24 to 48 hrs to resolve.”

According to the Department of Health website, Di Fara’s was shut down last Wednesday, November 16, after an inspection racked up 67 violation points. Violations include evidence of mice, flies, and inadequate personal cleanliness.

You may recall the last time Di Fara’s was closed by the DOH in 2007, after having failed five of its previous six inspections.

So many customers are incredibly loyal, and this news won’t keep them away. What do you think–does closure by the DOH make you think twice about eating there?

- Mary

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Manhattan-Bound Q Trains Express This Weekend

November 18th, 2011 5:42 pm

The MTA once again says Manhattan-bound Q trains are scheduled to run express between Kings Highway and Prospect Park this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday from 6am to 6pm. But take that with a grain of salt–a couple of people reported that trains were in fact making local stops last weekend.

- Mary

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More Anti-Semitic Vandalism, This Time at New Subway Station

November 17th, 2011 9:51 am


Photo from Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

Less than a week after a shocking incident of arson and anti-Semitic graffiti on Ocean Parkway, a sign at the newly renovated Avenue J subway station was found vandalized yesterday, spray painted to read “Avenue Jew.” A resident took the above photo and sent it to Assemblyman Dov Hikind. The graffiti has been painted over as of this morning.

No arrests have been made in last week’s incident, and police are investigating this case as well. The reward offered for information leading to an arrest in the Ocean Parkway crime is now over $56,000. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477).

- Mary

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Window Shopping at Yakuboff’s

November 16th, 2011 12:44 pm

This merchandise in the window at Yakuboff’s pawn shop on East 16th St and Quentin Road stands out among the watches and jewelry. Does anyone know what they’re supposed to be?

Yakuboff's

- Sarah

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Woody Allen Doc on American Masters

November 16th, 2011 10:24 am

Watch Woody Allen: A Documentary on PBS. See more from AMERICAN MASTERS.

This weekend, PBS’ American Masters is premiering Woody Allen: A Documentary, and we hear that the Midwood native takes a ride to his childhood home and reminisces about the stoop he played on, and more. He also discusses the Midwood Theater, which his family owned for a while. If you’re a fan, or just want to see a little bit of the old Midwood through a former neighbor’s eyes, definitely check it out.

The documentary premieres nationally Sunday, November 20 from 9-11pm (part one), and Monday, November 21 from 9-10:30pm (part two) on Thirteen.

- Mary

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Here’s a Bookstore Is the Best

November 16th, 2011 10:02 am

Here's A Book Store

Here’s a Bookstore was named the best independent bookstore in New York City by the Daily News–even though they said it’s in Sheepshead Bay, which reminds poor Sheepshead Bites that their neighborhood has no bookstore.

We’re lucky to have them, so if you haven’t been, do stop by. As Sarah noted recently, they’ve got an eclectic selection, and the staff is friendly and accommodating of special requests.

Here’s A Book Store
1964 Coney Island Ave, between Ave P and Quentin Road
718-645-667

- Mary

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Rally Against Hate on Ocean Parkway Draws Hundreds

November 14th, 2011 1:52 pm

Yesterday hundreds of people, including politicians, religious leaders, and neighbors, took to Ocean Parkway to march in solidarity against intolerance following the arson and anti-Semitic graffiti that was discovered early Friday morning. Participants in the march told the Associated Press that they were shocked by the level of vandalism:

“I am the child of a Holocaust survivor, and this makes me uncomfortable,” said Judy Pfeffer, 62, a retired city education department employee who lives blocks away. “Even then, it was just vandalism. But it led to the Holocaust.”

Police are still investigating, and so far, no arrests have been made. The reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for this crime has risen to $25,000.

The 66th Precinct is spreading the message far and wide–I saw several police vans driving slowly around the neighborhood over the weekend playing a recorded message about the incident and how witnesses should call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477).

- Mary

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Anti-Semitic Arson and Graffiti Under Investigation on Ocean Parkway

November 11th, 2011 12:59 pm

Several cars were torched and multiple anti-Semitic pieces of graffiti were found on Ocean Parkway between Avenues I and J this morning. Three cars were destroyed, and swastikas and “KKK” were spray painted on a van and on benches along the mall. The Flatbush Scoop has several photos of the damage.

No arrests have been made, and the 66th Precinct, along with members of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, are investigating. Councilmember David Greenfield is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the incident.

Fox notes that the incident occurred the morning after the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a series of brutal attacks launched by Hitler against Jews in Nazi Germany and parts of Austria.

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 CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. Police say all calls are kept strictly confidential.

- Mary

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EMJC Celebrates Oneness on 11/11/11

November 10th, 2011 9:16 am

Join neighbors at the East Midwood Jewish Center to celebrate “oneness” on the awesome date of 11/11/11:

Meet & Greet at 6pm, Shabbat Service in the round at 6:30 led by Cantor Sam Levine, followed by a festive light meal. You’ll enjoy a lively evening filled with song, conversation, friends, new & old. We look forward to welcoming one and all–singles, couples, and families. FREE

East Midwood Jewish Center
1625 Ocean Avenue (between Aves K&L)
Friday, November 11, 6pm

- Mary

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Grants Available for Neighborhood Improvement Projects

November 9th, 2011 8:36 am

If you’ve got an idea to help the neighborhood, and you’re in a local community group, or you’re looking to start one, take note: The New Yorkers for Better Neighborhoods Award is now accepting applications.

Citizens Committee for New York City awards grants of $500 to $3,000 to volunteer-led groups to work on projects that bring neighbors together and that have a positive impact on the community. They also offer project planning assistance and skills-building workshops.

Recent awards have enabled neighbors to come together to make healthy food available in their communities, transform empty lots into community gardens, organize tenants to advocate effectively for better housing conditions, and start school recycling programs.

The application deadline is January 31. Grant applications are available online here. For more info, contact Emi Wang at 212-822-9563 or ewang@citizensnyc.org.

- Mary

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This Is Just a Test: Nationwide Emergency Broadcast Beep Tomorrow

November 9th, 2011 8:35 am

At 2pm on Wednesday, November 9, all television and radio systems will broadcast the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). You may be familiar with the message and beep that is occasionally broadcast on the local level, but this will be a little different, and a little longer–up to three and a half minutes.

The national test will help federal agencies such as FEMA determine the reliability of the system and its effectiveness in notifying the public of emergencies and potential dangers nationally and regionally.

- Mary

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Avenue H Station House Is Open

November 7th, 2011 11:31 am

The landmarked Avenue H station house has finally reopened. It’s not completely finished–a worker told me today that they still have some minor things to do, including hanging shingles on one side, all of which he estimated would take another couple weeks to complete–but it is open, and the agent booth is manned.

The installation of bronze rocking chairs outside the station as part of Arts for Transit will happen in the spring. But the tree trunk columns on the front porch and the beautiful wood ceiling inside are enough of a reason to stop by and check it out now.

Granite Construction did a really terrific job–compare the renovated building to the original, and you can see that though they’re slightly different, the spirit is definitely there.

The entrance on the opposite, southbound side of the tracks is currently closed while the booth is dismantled. It was put in as a temporary structure, and once it’s removed, access will be available to the platform via the wheelchair ramp that is already in place. Construction is expected to be complete on that side by December 31.

- Mary

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