Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kensington Man Loses Musical Parrot

Calling all Brooklynites! Keep on the lookout for a 25 year old female parrot who will sing harmony with you, and even dance. Going by the name “Captain,” the yellow and green Amazon parrot was sitting on the shoulder of her owner, Allen Kirson, while he was biking down Ocean Parkway in Kensington last Friday when she suddenly decided to take flight.

Kirson is worried that because Captain had her wings clipped, she will not be able to escape from marauding cats and other dangers of the Brooklyn jungle-like neighborhood of Kensington.

Captain is a talented bird who has performed with Kirson at children’s hospitals and homes for senior citizens.

“She was a ham,” Kirson told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “If I played my harmonica she would almost always start singing along with that. But her real love was singing harmony — she has perfect pitch.”

If you see Captain, please call the following number: 347-350-5914

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bikers Bearing Gifts Ride from Kensington to Coney Island

For the twenty-third time in its history, Bikers for Brooklyn hosted a toy giveaway in the holiday spirit of helping the less fortunate.

The ride took place on November 19 and began in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn. They biked to their final destination, the Coney Island community Day Care center on West 27th Street, where the over 100 participants handed out gifts to the children there.

George Barker, the president of the biker’s club, explained that they hold this special event on the eve of the holidays to help give something back to kids in under-served New York City communities.

The 100 riders, including several dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, made an imposing site riding down the streets of Brooklyn on their way to deliver board games, sports equipment, stuffed animals and more.
The enthusiastic Coney Island residents were appreciative of the kind gesture.

“My son’s very happy,” said Shieshia Taylor, whose 4 year old was pleased with his new toy truck — and the chance to sit on Santa’s lap. “I didn’t know [bike clubs] did things like that.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shenanigans Pub in Kensington Fun Night Spot

Great bartenders, cheap drinks all night long, karaoke and even a barbecue in the back, makes Shenanigans Pub at 802 Caton Avenue a unique place to relax and have a great evening out.

As Kensington continues its climb into the realm of gentrification, places like Shenanigans Pub will become more popular. This is just one more place which makes Kensington an awesome place to live.

For more information call 718-633-3689.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Brooklyn Bike Patrol Gearing Up for Beefed Up Service

Jay "Rocket" Ruiz of BPP
As the Southbound F and G subway line service interruption in Kensington begins, extra patrolling by the volunteer Brooklyn Bike Patrol is getting into gear.

As was mentioned in an earlier blog post, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, (MTA) will be suspending service of its southbound F and G trains at the 15th Street-Prospect Park and the Forth Hamilton stations. Service was curtailed on November 14th, and will continue until May of next year.

The closing down of service at these stations means that people will have to get off the train either before or after the closed stations, lengthening their travel time above ground, where several attacks on women have  taken place, spreading fear in the neighborhood.

Augmenting the increase in police patrols in the neighborhood is the Brooklyn Bike Patrol, whose president Jay “Rocket” Ruiz has stated that his volunteer organization will be at the F/G Seventh Avenue Station beginning last Monday night to make sure women will get home safe.

Before the suspension of service began Ruiz stated, “We are going to be out here tonight, we will be out here all week,” Ruiz said on Monday, explaining that BBP will be paying close attention to the F/G suspension.

“We will actually be out here all year long, until service is resumed at these stations.”

Beginning at 8pm each evening, Ruiz and 11 additional volunteers will be there on their bikes to escort women safely home.  Women can call for an escort or they can contact BPP using e-mail, Facebook or Twitter and get volunteer to accompany her home from any of 25 different subway stations in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Park Slope, Kensington, Sunset Park, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights, and now, Fort Greene-Clinton Hill.

Keep these numbers handy:

•    Tel: 718-744-7592
•    E-mail: brooklynbikepatrol@gmail.com
•    Facebook: facebook.com/BROOKLYNBIKEPATROL
•    Twitter: @BKbikepatrol
•    Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 8 p.m. to midnight
•    Friday through Saturday, 8 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kensington Man Survives Brighton Beach Building Collapse

Oleksandr Kushch of Kensington described last week how he was knocked unconscious when the steel skeleton of the condo complex he was helping construct collapsed and woke up several moments later under a pile of rubble.

Oleksandr Kushch
Kushch, 26, explained that he was using a buffer to smooth out freshly poured concrete on the fourth floor of the partly constructed building when the accident happened.

“When I woke up, I saw all the metal beams. Everything was on top of me,” he said while recovering at his home in Kensington.

“Oh my god, I was buried,” Kushch continued. “I started digging myself out. I don’t know how I got out. ... I have two small children. I had to get out.”

One floor below two other construction workers were also injured, and one of them, Ivan Lendel, a Ukrainian immigrant, died later from his wounds.

Preliminary investigations by city officials are guessing that the building collapsed because the concrete was poured on the top floors before the bottom floors were completely fortified.

Kushch himself did not notice any problems with the way the construction was being conducted.

“I’ve worked in a lot of places in nine years. This is the way we’ve always done it. It’s easier to bring the machines down than up,” he said.

“The building was all metal, not wood. It should have held. It should have been strong,” he added.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kensington Residents in for a Ride on F and G Lines Beginning Monday

Kensington residents should take note that beginning this coming week there will be more than the usual inconveniences of traveling the city by subways.

Commuters of Kensington as well as Windsor Terrace will no longer be able to take the F and G trains to Fort Hamilton and 15th St/Prospect Park until this coming spring.  The F and G trains will not be able to stop at those above mentioned stations due to ongoing work on the Culver Viaduct, which caused previous delays for northbound trains which were forced to skip those stations for five months at the beginning of this past year.

The closures will affect about 11,000 commuters. But those commuters should feel safer as, according to Brad Lander’s office the NYPD will be dedicating extra manpower to protecting the area, “particularly during the darker evening hours,” because of the well-known recent surge in sexual attacks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Despite Lawyers' Protests Levi Aron’s Trial Will Take Place in Brooklyn

Despite the protests of Levi Aron’s lawyers, the court decided on Tuesday to allow the accused murderer of the eight year old Leiby Kletzky of Boro Park to be conducted in Brooklyn.

Aron’s lawyers tried to move the trial venue to the Bronx or Suffolk County, complaining that the enormous media coverage and “propaganda campaign” orchestrated by District Attorney Charles Hynes along with the police department, had caused any prospective jurors from the area to be biased towards their client.

“The DA’s office and the police have fallen all over themselves to poison the public’s mind against the defendant,” said Howard Greenberg, one of Aron’s lawyers. “I wanted to try this case in Brooklyn in front of 12 fiercely independent jurors.”

Aron’s lawyers contend that Aron is crazy and that the confession which Aron, a Kensington resident, scrawled on a piece of paper was forced from him shortly after he was arrested in July.

Pretrial motions will take place on December 21st with the defendant appearing in court, but the trial itself, including the opening arguments are not scheduled to begin until early in 2012.

Levi Aron is accused of kidnapping, killing and then butchering the eight-year-old Hasidic Brooklyn boy in July.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blind Man Saves Himself After Tumbling Onto Train Tracks

An as yet unidentified blind man, was standing on the subway platform at the Church Avenue/McDonald Avenue Station in the Kensington section of Brooklyn, when he stepped off the platform as the G train was approaching the station.

Witnesses said the man, appearing to be in his 60s, believed the train had already arrived at the station and thought he was about to enter it, when he mistakenly stepped off the platform instead. With only seconds to spare, the man rolled away from the oncoming train and found a space under the platform to escape the train’s crushing wheels.

The incident happened at about 7am on Tuesday. Soon after the man was pulled back onto the platform by emergency responders, where witnesses noticed that the man seemed to be doing fine. He was then taken to Maimonides Medical Center, but his condition has not yet been disclosed.

One man who saw the accident, a construction worker said, “I am sure he was scared out of his mind. But I do not think he had even a cut or a bruise. He is extremely lucky.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kensington Resident Cari Jackson Organizes Rally for Paid Sick Leave Legislation

Many New Yorkers are not aware that a huge percentage of employees in the private-sector workforce are not entitled to paid sick leave. In order to bring a solution to this problem, Kensington resident Cari Jackson, along with several others, organized a rally in mid-October, demanding legislation which would give workers in New York between five to seven accrued paid sick days each year.

More Than You Think

The estimated number of private-sector workers in New York is about 1 million, or 37%.

“Many people aren’t aware of how many New Yorkers don’t have paid sick time,” said Cari Jackson.  “A million don’t have it, and even if you do, many can’t use it if their kids get sick — that puts a real burden on parents.”

Shelved Legislation

Christine C. Quinn
New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn introduced a measure in 2009 addressing this issue, but she chose to shelve it temporarily in the hopes that with an improvement in the economy the law’s chances of passing would improve. Others believe that the postponement of pushing ahead with the legislation was a way to please the business community to pave the way to a successful mayoral bid in 2013.

Public Health Issue, Too

Supporters of the legislation add that the issue is not just economic, but affects the public health of New Yorkers as well. When faced with the choice of staying home and losing money, or going to work sick, most people will go to work which poses a threat to everyone else in the work place. In addition, when workers are not able to stay home with sick children they will send their sick kids to school to avoid having their pay docked.

Good Business or Bad?

Business leaders are opposed to the sick leave legislation, stating that it could be an extra burden on business during difficult economic times. However the Bureau of Labor Statistics have data which shows that paid sick leave, on average, makes up only 1 percent of all payroll costs. Supporters of the law say this is not much of a burden for businesses to bear.

“We had to mandate a minimum wage and minimum age for work, and we have to mandate this,” Jackson later explained. “If you don’t offer paid sick time it’s just pure greed. Businesses have a responsibility to ensure the health of their employees.”