Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kensington Kids May Attend District 22 School on Coney Island Avenue

The Department of Education of New York is clearing the way to make it possible for an undisclosed number of Kensington children to attend school in District 22 on Coney Island Avenue.

The proposed new school will accept some students from District 15, which includes the Kensington area, but the number of children which will be allowed in is still uncertain. Assurances to the parents of Kensington children were made by the DOE spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld, who added that the number of children will be determined by admissions criteria and demand.

A large influx of school-age children is expected into the district when families begin to move into the newly approved housing project, the Culver El Estates, which has yet to be built.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Snow Delays Ambulance, Results in Elderly Man’s Death

A 73 year-old Kensington man died while waiting for an ambulance in his Kensington home last Monday, December 27th.

At about 12pm Joel Grossman called 911 and explained to the dispatcher that he was “not feeling well.” The operator took Mr. Grossman’s words to mean that his illness was not life-threatening, and therefore, due to the bad weather and extreme backlog of calls for emergency assistance, and ambulance was not sent immediately.
Mr. Grossman kept in touch with the 911 dispatcher, with at least two additional calls made between them. No ambulance was sent because he said that he “only felt sick.”

Unfortunately Mr. Grossman died in his Ocean Parkway home in Kensington before an ambulance could reach him.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kensington Pumpkin Weighs in at 502 Pounds

John Zambito, resident of Kensington, Brooklyn, and his wife, grew a pumpkin capable of filling more than 450 pumpkin pies on land in upstate New York. Using nothing but donkey manure and fish fertilizer, this oversized pumpkin could only be transported back into the city in time for Halloween by the removal of Zambito’s car’s backseat.

Mr. Zambito is an MTA supervisor, and will keep his giant pumpkin on display in front of his house on McDonald Avenue until Thanksgiving, when the pumpkin will be forced to succumb to the will of a chainsaw.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hikind Loses Temper at Fringe Baptist Protest

A small group of members of the fringe Westboro Baptist Church held a protest in front of Chabad Lubavitch of Kensington when things turned ugly.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, known for his support of Jewish causes in Brooklyn and even throughout the world, was participating in a counter protest in support of the Brooklyn synagogue and against the beliefs of the Westboro group, when he lost control.

Suddenly Hikind ran from his protest and approached the small fence which was holding in the Westboro protestors.

Hikind screamed at Westboro member Shirley Phelps, “You’re a whore! Just be careful the rest of your day in Brooklyn.”

Hikind was pulled away by the police, but was not arrested.

The assemblyman explained that he was infuriated by one particular sign that Phelps was holding which read, “Thank God for dead soldiers” a reference to the group’s belief that God punishes America’s tolerance for gay people by allowing US soldiers to die.

"It was an emotional moment," Hikind said. "I just wanted to take that sign from her. They're a despicable group."

Phelps said that she would not press charges against Hilkind although she did comment that “he needs to get over himself.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

Errol Cockfield: Running Communications for Democrats

Beginning in September Guyanese born Errol Cockfield will run communications for Democrats in the New York State Senate.

The Democrat Majority Leader, State Senator John Sampson, also of Guyanese descent, hired Cockfield, who is 36 years-old, to be the Communications Director of the Senate Democratic Majority.
Cockfield went to SUNY at Stonybrook, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor in Journalism. He has been a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times as well as the head of Newsday’s Albany Bureau.

More recently Cockfield held the position of head spokespman and advisor for New York Governor David Paterson, as well as Eliot Spitzer, the previous Governor to Paterson. Cockfield became well-known for his leadership and crisis management expertise during the historic power transfer from Spitzer to Paterson.
"I'm very humbled and excited that Senator Sampson saw fit to tap me for this important role. Under the Senator's leadership, Democrats have accomplished important victories, including reforms that allowed New York to get $700 million in federal education funding announced this week," Cockfield told reporters.
Senator Sampson was elected in 1996 to the New York State Senate where he represents Brooklyn’s 19th Senatorial District. Among the many sections of Brooklyn included in the 19th District are Kensington, Midwood, Crown Heights and parts of Old Mill Basin.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Van Service Replaces Busline

Starting on August 16th, 2010 the old B23 bus line servicing Borough Park, Kensington, and Flatbush, will be discarded in favor of a pilot commuter van service.

The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) announced the start of the Group Ride Vehicle Pilot Program, and are hoping that its success will lead to expanded service.

Other bus lines which will be replaced by the new service are the B39 and B71 in Brooklyn, and in Queens the Q74 and Q79.

The B23 carried 1500 daily weekday customers and 1240 daily weekend riders until it was cut to help get the MTA budget deficit of $800 million under control. Unfortunately without the B23 commuters were left stranded with no way to get to work, school and other places. Alternative routes commuters were forced to take added an average of 15 minutes to each person’s commute time.

"Throughout the last few months, I have heard from many constituents who relied on the B23 to get to work, to family, or even school. It’s been very difficult for commuters who relied on the B23,” said Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn).

“The innovative decision by the TLC to place the Group Ride Vehicle Pilot Program along the discontinued B23 line goes a long way towards providing residents with a safe and affordable way to travel."

The vans which will replace the B23 can carry between six and eight people at a time, and will cost each traveler only $2. The new stops of the route have not yet been announced.

“This community desperately needs public transportation and the TLC’s innovative program will ensure that residents have a safe and affordable way to travel, something the MTA should, but clearly cannot, provide,” Greenfield says.