Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Mural Coming to Kensington

Residents of Kensington can expect an addition of color to the neighborhood as Groundswell artists prepare to design and execute an original mural at a hazardous intersection in Kensington.

The Groundswell Community Mural Project sees itself as a “tool for social change” via the medium of art. Groundswell projects add beauty to neighborhoods; encourage local youth to become involved in the projects so that they see themselves as the vehicle for change as well as becoming transformed themselves.

Two Groundswell artists together with 10-15 young artists will commence to design a mural at 338 East 5th Street sending a message of traffic safety at an intersection known as dangerous. The project is organized in conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Safety and Education Office and its Urban Art Program division.

Public sharing and discussion of the mural’s design will take place on July 25 at 2pm at PS 164, while community painting day is scheduled for August 9, from 11am until 2pm. The dedication ceremony for the mural will be on August 25th at 11am at 338 East 5th Street, the mural site.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kletzky Fund Raises Quarter Million in One Week

In less than one week the Leiby Kletzky Memorial Fund has raised almost $250,000. The Fund was created by the parents of Leiby Kletzky, Nachman and Esty, when they finished the tradition seven days of mourning, known as ‘shiva’ in Hebrew, for their eight-year-old son, whose body was found mutilated on July 13th.

The boy was murdered by 35-year-old Kensington resident Levy Aron, and then dismembered and thrown in a dumpster 2 miles away. Part of his body was also found in Aron’s freezer.

Leiby was the only son in a family with five daughters. When the Kletzky’s announced the creation of the fund they said the money would be used to enable “acts of kindness,” especially for troubled children at risk and indigent families. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sufjan Stevens Celebrates Brooklyn

Kensington resident Sufjan Stevens has already sold out his August 2nd benefit concert for Celebrate Brooklyn, but in case you don’t have a ticket yet for that concert you still have another chance; a second show has been added the following evening, August 3rd.

Stevens is popular with the Brooklyn crowd, and not just because he lives here. He has produced some excellent albums which have helped to boost his growing loyal audience. One of his pieces is quite a favorite with the Brooklyn natives; a 2007 ode which was oddly dedicated to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in the film “the BQE” which was scored with instrumental music commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music as an element of the Next Wave Festival which BAM produces.

The shows of Sufjan Stevens are much more than concerts, but are more like musical events. Stevens plays a variety of instruments, makes use of complex and elaborate lighting effects, costumes, and choreography to create a musical experience.

The summer season of free concerts is coming to an end, and what better way to end this glorious season than with an exciting concert with Sufjan Stevens.

Stevens will perform at the Prospect Park band shell at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West in Park slope in what will be the last part of the Celebrate Brooklyn concert series. August 2nd is sold out, but there are tickets still available for August 3rd’s show at 7pm. For more information call 718-683-5600.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Candlelight Vigil Held for Leiby Kletzky this Sunday Night

Organizers are calling for all people who would like to express their solidarity and support for the family of Leiby Kletzky, who was brutally murdered and found dismembered on July 12th, to gather in Kensington this Sunday evening at 8:30pm.

The gathering of mourners and well-wishers are asked to come to the Kensington playground of PS 230 located at McDonald Avenue at Albemarle road.

Leiby’s parents have thanked fellow New Yorkers publicly for all their support during this difficult time, and have created a memorial fund to honor the memory of their tragically murdered son.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Levi Aron Indicted for Murder of 8-Year-Old Leiby Kletzky

Levi Aron, the Kensington man who confessed to murdering Leiby Kletzky last week, has been indicted for murder. Aron confessed to smothering the boy using a towel, but a police autopsy shows that Kletzky had drugs in his body at the time of his death.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced that, “He (Aron) caused the child to ingest large numbers of drugs.”

Among the drugs found in Kletzky’s corpse were Tylenol and three different types of prescription drugs, including a painkiller, a muscle relaxer and an anti-psychotic medicine, according to the autopsy report.
The city medical examiner stated that he believes the boy died of acute intoxication, and not suffocation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mayor and Police Commissioner Give Condolences to Kletzky Family

Mayor Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly paid a ‘shiva’ call to the grieving family of murdered 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky on Monday night.

They spent about 15 minutes in the Borough Park home of the family. Mayor Bloomberg called it “one of the saddest days in the city.”

“It is very tragic,” said the mayor, “I don’t know why God sometimes does some things. The commissioner and I expressed our condolences to the parents, grandparents and siblings. There’s not a lot else we can say.”

When the police commissioner was asked about the ongoing investigation of the crime, Kelly commented that “the investigation was going slowly.”

Levy Aron, age 35, who confessed to the murder, is a resident of Kensington, an adjoining neighborhood to Borough Park. As the investigation proceeds more of Aron’s furniture has been removed from his attic apartment where he lived with his parents, including most recently the removal of seven dining room chairs and a table.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Police Continue Investigation of Gruesome Murder in Kensington

For the first time in three days, since the arrest of Levi Aron for the murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kretzky, East 2nd street, the street on which the crime was allegedly committed, has been opened to through traffic as of Saturday.

Despite the efforts to get life back to normal on this otherwise quiet Brooklyn street, the police are continuing to search Aron’s apartment for evidence which will give police and investigators a better picture of what happened on that fateful day when Leiby was abducted and murdered.
Removed from the home were a series of items including a mattress, box spring, and other bags containing more evidence.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Eight-year-old Boy Found Dead and Dismembered

After what was an intensive, 36-hour search for eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky by police and volunteers throughout the Kensington, Borough Park and surrounding areas, the tragic truth became known, the ‘angelic,’ Hasidic boy was dead.

Levi Aron was arrested after police raided his Kensington home. They found the severed feet of the boy in Aron’s freezer; then the 35-year-old suspect led the police to the rest of the boy’s body, whose parts were dismembered and stuffed into an old suitcase and thrown into a dumpster next to an auto repair shop two miles away.

New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly held a news conference Wednesday about the gruesome incident.

 "This is every parent’s nightmare," said Kelly. "We understand that. This is what makes this case so horrific."
Kelly told the press that Aron confessed to the murder of the boy and explained to the police what happened when they asked him about the boy. Aron told the police that he had ‘panicked’ when he saw the intense search that was being conducted for Leiby, and that’s when he killed him, by first suffocating him and only afterwards dismembering him.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Boro President Markowitz Supplying Champaign at LGBT Nuptials

Brooklyn LGBT couples in a hurry to tie the knot based on the new law which will go into effect on July 24th, need go no further than the Brooklyn Borough Hall to take their vows.

Borough President Marty Markowitz has promised the alternative lifestyle couples a wedding gift: opening the doors of the Borough Hall on the first possible day they can legally wed, even though it is on a Sunday when city offices are usually shut tight.

Markowitz was a addressing a group of LGBT couples and supporters last Wednesday at a ‘Champaign toast’ in celebration of the new same-sex marriage law. “You don’t have to go to Manhattan to get married,” Markowitz said. “You can go right across the street to complete your paperwork, then you can come right back here. We’ll have some judges ready to do the ceremony for you ASAP.”

Markowitz added that the city would even supply photographers and Champaign.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Brooklyn’s Paul Bunyan Says Anger Made Him Chop Down Tree

In early June a man was caught by surveillance camera chopping down a gingko tree in front of 352 East Eighth Street in Kensington in what was presumed to be a determined heist of a small child’s bicycle.
It turns out the axe murderer is 25 year-old Francisco Marxuach who admits to the deed, but claims he was not motivated by greed but by grudge.

Marxuach explained to New York Post journalists that he lived in that apartment building in the past, and the reason he cut down the 20-foot tall tree was because one of his neighbors in the building had been “very disrespectful” to him.

Judge Evelyn LaPorte of the Brooklyn Criminal Court ordered that Marxuach finish two entire days’ worth of community service. The judge also told Marxuach at his arraignment of June 11 that, as long as he stayed out of any further trouble for the next six months, the charges would be dismissed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shooting in Kensington Bar by Off-Duty Cop

As two off-duty New York City police officers were leaving the Old Gallery Bar in Kensington, Brooklyn at 4am Thursday morning, when a third man, 21 year-old Jonathan Leduc, came over to one of the cops and asked, “What are you looking at?”

The police officer replied that he was a police officer, pulled out his shield, and said he did not want any problems. Leduc responded by saying “I don’t care who you are.” He then punched the policeman so hard in his head that the cop’s earring was knocked out.

Then Leduc called into the bar, and several additional men came running out, attacking the other officer. Then one of the men, Roberto Negron, 26, punched the policeman and grabbed him and held him in a headlock. The officer took out his gun but it fell out of his hand, and Negron got hold of the gun and started to shoot at the officer, who fled.

When the other officer heard the shots he ran to help his fellow cop. He took out his own gun, crouched down and yelled at Negron to “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!”

Instead Negron continued shooting and the officer shot and hit Negron on the side of his body and in his thigh. Negron was taken to Lutheran Medical Center where he is listed in stable condition.
Kim Royster, the NYPD Deputy Inspector related the incident, and added that the police are still investigating and no charges have yet been filed.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Glass Litters 18th Avenue in Kensington

It is not known yet why, but there is a much greater amount than usual of broken glass strewn across the north side of 18th Avenue in the Kensington section of Brooklyn.
The glass takes up at least half of the block between East 5th Street and Ocean Parkway, making a worrisome hazard on a hot, sunny day, when the glass will not be particularly visible, creating a real and present danger to those going either barefoot or in open shoes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Opossums and Other Critters Find Home in Kensington Vacant Lot

In what Kensington residents say has been a nuisance, if not a danger, for years, a vacant lot has become a home to feral cats, rodents, and even an opossum, while the trash and other debris continue to pile up.
The lot is located on Ocean Parkway between Cortelyou Road and Ditmas Avenue, making life unpleasant for the neighbors that live close by. The residents have been complaining for years about the trash, dead trees coming dangerously close to power lines, and dropping branches which can become fire hazards if left un-tended.

The residents say the city has never taken responsibility for the mess in the lot, although they have passed the buck on to others.

Tim Fitzgerald lives directly behind the property in question.

“We [always] get the same answer: call this other agency or office or precinct,” said Fitzgerald, the owner of a condo on E. Seventh Street. “It’s a slap in the face.”

The city has, however taken action in the past. In 2008 the city fined the owner of the lot $150,000 for several violations, including not properly fencing in the area; dangerous construction conditions; illegal advertising on the plywood walls, and non-compliance with previous violations.

However, the health department insists there are no health hazards associated with the trash and debris on the property.

“How is this not a health hazard? There’s garbage everywhere,” exclaimed Michele Israel, who lives in an adjacent condo overlooking the lot.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wrongly Accused Kensington Man Released Based on Cell Phone Records

After spending eight months in prison for crimes he did not commit, Lanell Dowling was released with all charges dropped.

Dowling’s ordeal began last April, when he was identified, based on a police sketch created by the victims of four robberies at gunpoint, as the man who committed the crimes and arrested. A ‘tipster’ who had seen the police sketch informed the police of Dowling’s whereabouts, usually hanging out on Church Avenue in Kensington, where he was known by the nickname “Country.”

Jay Schwitzman, Dowling’s lawyer, who finally was able to recover his cell-phone records which proved Dowling was not at the scene of any of the crimes, said that Dowling had also passed a lie detector test, and added that there was no other evidence that Dowling had committed any of the robberies.

"It really shows how [witness] identification in general is a very dangerous process because people often misidentify," Schwitzman said.