chess master teaches kids in brooklyn

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    Mar. 21-27, 2014 including KINGS COURIER & FLATBUSH LIFE

    BY DANIELLE FURFAROBrooklyn chess whizzes and

    novices are about to get some les-sons in strategy from one of the worlds most well-known play-ers.

    Bruce Pandolfi ni, a United States Chess Federation national master and a contemporary of Bobby Fischer, began coaching in the borough this week. He is not doing it for the money or the glory, he said.

    I do it because I love it, said Pandolfi ni, who grew up in Ben-sonhurst and Flatbush and now lives in Manhattan. Once you show a kid that she or he can do well at something like this, they can use it as a springboard to be good at other things.

    Pandolfi ni fi rst got bitten by the chess bug when he was a kid.

    I was walking through the Brooklyn Public Library when I was 13 and I came across the chess section. I became obsessed with the fi gures and names, he said. I took out all 32 books by going back six times that day and didnt go to school for a month.

    He began teaching in 1972, which is the same year that he of-fi ciated at the World Chess Cham-pionship match between Fischer and Russian defending champion Boris Spassky.

    Pandolfi ni was portrayed by Ben Kingsley yes, the guy who played Gandhi in the 1993 movie Searching for Bobby Fischer.

    Continued on page 12

    Cops tapped dealers in probeBY WILL BREDDERMAN

    Turns out drugs really can get you wired!

    Cops used phone taps to bust three rings of dial-up Bay Ridge drug dealers, authorities an-nounced on March 17.

    Police commissioner William Bratton and District Attorney Ken Thompson alleged that the six men in custody ran a narcotic delivery service that let custom-ers order an array of illicit entrees including cocaine, ecstasy, and horse tranquilizers just by pick-ing up the phone.

    Cellphones are essential to operating any business, but these drug dealers unlawfully used the device as a means to distribute narcotics on the streets of Brook-lyn, and put money in their pock-ets, Bratton said.

    Authorities claim the six sus-pects delivered drugs throughout Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, and Sunset Park neigh-borhoods that have suffered sev-eral deadly overdoses this year.

    We will continue to work day and night with the NYPD to fi ght

    Continued on page 12


    Gabriel Weiss of Bath Beach dressed as a young Jedi for Purim, juggling his lightsaber and a plate of Hamantashen at the Bay Ridge Jewish Center on March 15. For more on the fun, see page 7. Photo by Steve Solomonson


    Purim padawan

    Chess Master teaches kids in Brooklyn

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    BY WILL BREDDERMANThe corner pharmacy

    that all-but forgotten place fi lled with mortars and pes-tles, pills, powders, potions, ice cream on a hot summers day, and the friendly shop-keeper with an apron on behind the counter was Frank Giordanos world for 50 years.

    In fact, he was that friendly shopkeeper.

    Known as the mayor of the neighborhood of Coney Island (that area outside the amusement district where people actually live, eat, shop, and, occasionally, en-joy a swim in the nearby pond), thanks to his mem-bership in some 50 civic groups, including such au-gust organizations as the Alliance for Coney Island, Community Board 13, the Bensonhurst West End Com-munity Council, the Brook-lyn Cyclone Baseball Com-mittee, the Federation of Italian-American Organiza-tions, the Coney Island Hos-pital Coalition, and the Jew-ish Community Center of Greater Coney Island, Gior-dano has owned the Friscia Pharmacy at the corner of W. 15th Street and Mermaid Avenue for more than half the stores oak tree-like exis-tence of nearly a century.

    And it all started with a jerk a soda jerk, that is.

    Giordano, a son of Gra-vesend and Italian immi-grants, was just 11 or 12 years old when his hard-working parents bought a pork store in 1947. But he didnt work there. Nor did he help out his uncles-op-erated pharmacies in Ma-rine Park and Bay Ridge. In fact, Franks fi rst job was not in any of his fam-

    ilys businesses, but at an-other drug store at Avenue X and West Street. There he mixed malts and lime rick-eys, in the humblest of all old-fashioned occupations, where he earned an hon-est days pay for an honest days work.

    It was 57 and a half cents an hour then, on the books, Giordano recalls.

    The job taught him the

    nuts and bolts of the busi-ness and in 1953 he de-cided to study the fi ner arts of Rx at Saint Johns University, which in those days had a campus right Downtown, on Schermer-horn Street. It was while he was in school that a class-mate and childhood friend left a junior pharmacist job at then-36-year-old Fris-cia Pharmacy and urged Giordano to apply to be his replacement. Now, Frank had never spent much time in the Peoples Playground before, but he dazzled the drug stores owner with his skills and, in 1960 three years after graduating from college the freshly mar-

    ried pharmacist bought the business to make his own.

    As fate would have it, that would be that same year that Giordano would be pulled into the current of Coney Islands civic life. Thats because the store he now owned was staring down the barrel of a bull-dozer: Nathans Famous whose delectable tube steaks did and still do attract millions to nearby Surf Avenue for a taste wanted to turn three blocks of Coney Island into park-ing to handle the hungry throngs. One of those blocks happened to be Friscias.

    This was my fi rst year of paying my mortgage on the building. I would have lost my business and my property. I would have had nothing, Giordano said.

    So the new kid on the block joined forces with a team of legendary luminar-

    ies Coney Island Board of Trade leader and renown haberdasher Lou Powsner , Coney Island Neighborhood Improvement Association founder Ralph Perfetto , Ho-meowners and Landlords Association leader Charles Gabay, and local environ-mental activist Frank Pane to stop the hot dog giant from gobbling up the neigh-borhood. The quintet orga-nized neighbors, enlisted politicians, and most im-portantly got themselves on the cover of the local Courier Life newspapers. In the end, the Peoples Play-ground Davids defeated processed meats Goliath, as Nathans abandoned its ef-fort to level Friscia and its neighbors.

    Following his triumph in the famed Frankfurter Folly, Giordano was no lon-ger content only providing cures to Coneys medical ail-ments he had also to treat the communitys social ills. He joined Powsners Coney Island Board of Trade and Perfettos Neighborhood Improvement Association, and eventually became the president of both for 15 and 30 years, respectively. He became Coneys passionate advocate for improved sani-tation, police, and fi refi ght-ing services and he still had time to raise three chil-dren, money for local youth and church programs and the Salt and Sea Mission . He was even able to enlist the Handwerker family, the then-owners of Nathans, to join in his altruistic efforts proving there was no bad aftertaste of resentment from their confl ict.

    To this day, I tell peo-

    Mail: Courier LifePublications, Inc., 1 Metrotech Center North 10th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201

    General Phone: (718) 260-2500

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    Aviators chili fest has ostrich on the menu

    Some like it hot: Tyler shows off one of the chilis hell be serving at Aviator Sports and Event Centers first-ever chili fest.

    Photo by Steve Solomonson

    By Max Jaeger

    Something spicy is cooking at Floyd Bennett Field.Marine Parks Aviator Sports and Events Center is stirring up a chili festival, where adventurous attendees can sample up to 15 variations on the famous stew, includ-ing an exotic ostrich chili. Aviators staff will be cooking up the many offerings, which are inspired by flavors from around the world.

    As a chef, I worked a lot of different places and also lot of different countries so Im familiar with different spices and

    flavors, said Aviators in-house chef Chris Tyler.

    Tyler said he created the entire menu using recipes he has picked up in his travels as well as a little ingenuity.

    For instance, he is not just swapping out beef for poultry in his turkey chili. Instead, Tyler is making Jamaican-style jerk turkey chili.

    Other offerings include a marinated pork shoulder chili, seafood chili, a bittersweet beer-and-chocolate chili, and even a vegetar-ian chili. For the iron-tongued, there will

    also be a dragons breath chili which Tyler said is sure to melt your mouth.

    Diners who cant handle the heat can still chow down, with a variety of fair-style foods available including pulled pork, hotdogs, and hamburgers plus cotton-candy and ice cream to soothe the burn.

    Tyler said the event center was initially slated to host a firehouse chili cook-off. When that fell through, the idea kept sim-mering in his mind, so he devised his own homage to the southwestern staple.

    Admission includes chili samples, car-

    nival games, and snacks, he said, and 35 percent of the days proceeds will ben-efit St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Tennessee.

    I figured what better way to promote a chili fest than to also donate to a worthy charity? Tyler said.

    Aviator Chili Fest at Aviator Sports and Events Center [3159 Flatbush Ave. off the Belt Parkway in Marine Park, (718) 7587500,] March 29 from 16 pm. $25 ages 14 and up, $10 ages 1013, free for kids under 10.


    Your entertainmentguide Page 35


    Police Blotter ....................8Letters ..............................22Its Only My Opinion .....23A Britishers View .........23Not For Nuthin ..............23Sports ...............................45

    Coney pharmacist and activist Frank Giordano retiring after decades

    This newspaper is not responsible for typographical errors in ads beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error. All rights reserved. Copyright 2014 by Courier Life Publications, Inc., a sub sidiary of News Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. The content of this newspaper is protected by Federal copyright law. This newspaper, its advertisements, articles and photographs may not be reproduced, either in whole or part, without permission in writing from the publisher except brief portions for purposes of review or commentary consistent with the law. Postmaster, send address changes to Courier Life Publications, Inc., One MetroTech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

    BREAK TIME: Frank Giordano (above today and at left in days gone by) is fi nally retiring after decades on Mermaid Avenue. Photo by Elizabeth Graham


    Continued on page 33

  • MAR. 21-27, 2014, C






    BY MATTHEW PERLMANWhat do mac and

    cheese, velvet Elvis paint-ings, and pots of chili have in common? They are all the building blocks of a career.

    The Takedowns are a series of pub contests in which entrants take a ubiquitous food, like mac and cheese or meat-balls, or a kitschy art form, like cat drawings or velvet Elvis paint-ings , and compete to come up with the tastiest or best-looking creation in a short time period. And the Bushwick resi-dent behind the wacky events treats organizing them like it is his job because it is.

    This is all I do now, said Takedown organizer Matt Timms (pictured above). Im supposed to be an actor.

    The events started a decade ago as informal cook-offs in Timms Wil-liamsburg pad (see page 2 for a history of the events through fl yers). But soon he was hosting his unique brand of food face-offs in watering holes around the borough and, before long, they had grown too big for venues such as Matchless and Union Pool, forcing them into their current home in Gowanus Bell House.

    Timms charges admis-sion to the Takedowns, but

    it is free to compete. All gas-tronomical gladiators have to come up with are their own supplies. Prizes are of-ten furnished by corporate sponsors usually they consist of a food proces-sor, a set of knives, or some cookware. The master mas-ter of ceremonies would not divulge how much he makes per event, but said that it covers his rent. His only concern now is that the Takedown brand could one day get too big.

    I just want to make sure they stay like a Takedown, like I used to have in my living room, he said, explaining that amateurism is key to the events, as opposed to the polished approach of pro-fessional cooks.

    This thing about emerging home cooks is really important, he said. Chefs suck.

    Timms takes excep-tion to formally trained chefs because they have to make the same dish over and over again, whereas home cooks get to impro-vise and do what they feel like.

    [Cooking is] not an art, no matter what a chef says, he said. Anyone who says it is is full of s---.

    The frank impresario donates a small portion of what he makes at the cooking contests to the

    BY MAX JAEGERWhats in a name? Would

    not a sauce by any other name taste as tangy?

    That is the question among connoisseurs of Ital-ian cuisine, when it comes to whether you should call your favorite pasta toping sauce or gravy.

    Its an age-old food fi ght thats still simmering to-day, and not even Italian-American chefs can agree on which to call what or why. Some say it depends on what color it is. If it is red, it is sauce, according to Anthony Russo, one of the owners of Gargiulos in Co-ney Island.

    I always know it as sauce, Russo said. Gravy, I always thought of as brown sauce.

    Others say it depends on what you put in the pot.

    Traditionally, gravy has meat in it, said Joe Cosenza, who manages the sauce-making operation at Michaels of Brooklyn in Sheepshead Bay.

    But if you take the Italian language as a guide, a sauce with meat in it should be called a ragu, not gravy, according to one chef.

    Italian Americans con-note gravy to mean a sauce with meat in it, but thats a ragu, said Pasquino Vi-tiello, a co-owner of Queen Italian Restaurant in Down-town Brooklyn.

    Vitiello said that linguis-tically, sauce is a more ac-curate term coming from the Italian word salsa meaning a topping.

    So where did the term gravy come from and why did so many people jump on the gravy train?

    Food writer Concetta DeLuco believes the con-fusion probably started when newly arrived Ital-ian Americans anxious to assimilate started calling their ragu the same thing other Americans called meat sauces gravy.

    The term stuck, and peo-ple have been using it ever since, though some will tell you they also call gravy Sunday sauce because it is what their grandmothers served at big family gather-ings after Sunday Mass.

    I think if somebody said gravy, we would say its

    WHERES THE BEEF?: This meatless tomato sauce is certainly not a gravy, says a panel of Brook-lyns Italian restaurateurs.

    Debate: Sauce vs. gravy

    Sunday sauce, Russo said.As the debate rages,

    some prefer not to stir the pot.

    People say Oh, its sauce; No, its gravy call it whatever you want, said Fred Cacace, co-owner

    of Michaels of Brooklyn. Cacace sells authentic Ital-ian toppings under both names .

    BY MAX JAEGERSome say that the boroughs manu-

    facturing base is withering, but one Brooklyn small business is looking to expand production.

    Michaels of Brooklyn, the iconic Sheepshead Bay restaurant, sells its sig-nature, home-style pasta sauces nation-wide, giving people across the country a little taste of Old Brooklyn, while pro-moting the boroughs brand with an au-thentically local product.

    There are sauces out there that have Brooklyn in the name, but theyre made in Jersey, said co-owner Fred Cacace. Brooklyn has a certain cachet to it.

    The half-century-old, family-run res-taurant fi rst dove into the sauce-selling game four years ago and began by mar-keting locally.

    For years, the Cacaces sent patrons home with take-out containers of their famous sauces, but as time passed, they saw an opportunity and began packag-ing the stuff in shelf-stable jars.

    Now gourmands can get the res-taurants gravy (actual, brown gravy), marinara, puttanesca and arrabbiata from grocers such as Fairway, Elis, and Whole Foods Market.

    Michaels products are available coast to coast and they even have Tex-ans saying fugheddaboudit.

    Texas is one of our largest markets, Cacace said.

    The restaurants cooks make every-thing on-site at the Avenue R restaurant. The production is not complicated, but that is what makes the product so good, Cacace said.

    Its simple, he said. Its the way you would make it at home.

    Stay saucy, Brooklyn!

    PUT A LID ON IT: Michaels of Brooklyn sauce-makers pass jars through a fi lling ma-chine, top each one off, seal them, and slap on a label. Photo by Steve Solomonson

    Takedowns on the move

    HOT SAUCE COMMITTEE: The founder of Brooklyns strange pub game series the Takedowns, is taking his show on the road these days. Photo by Stefano Giovannini

    Continued on page 10

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    BY MEGAN RIESZSaint Patricks Day could

    not come early enough for Park Slope.

    Emerald-clad kids and their parents swarmed the neighborhood on Sunday for the 39th annual Brook-lyn Saint Patricks Day Pa-

    rade. It was a grand, green time, one fi rst-time spec-tator and local business owner gushed.

    We had a blast, said Thistle Hill Tavern and Pork Slope co-owner David Massoni, whose son Luca marched with his Windsor

    Terrace school PS 154. My son was very proud. He was adamant about not quitting and fi nishing the march.

    The parade, which be-gan at 15th Street and Pros-pect Park West and con-tinued to Seventh Avenue and Garfi eld Place, boasted

    hundreds of Irish step-dancers, bagpipe players, and fl ag-waving spectators who came out to celebrate Irelands patron saint.

    The event also included a ceremony commemorat-ing the heroes and victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    ERIN GO BROOKLYN: (Above) Windsor Terrace student Luca Mas-soni fl ies the Irish fl ag alongside his classmates. (Center) Little Elvis gets into the spirts with green fur and a sweater. (Right) The OMalley Dance Academy class gets ready to do a jig. Photos by Elizabeth Graham

    Slope hits the street for Saint Pat

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  • MAR. 21-27, 2014, C






    BY MATTHEW PERLMANBrooklyns housing

    court, where judges are supposed to settle landlord-tenant arguments with an even hand, is doing little more than helping building owners throw renters out on the street, according to activists and local pols.

    A coalition of tenant or-ganizations and elected offi -cials descended on Borough Hall last Thursday evening to put housing court on trial with a mock hearing meant to send the message that the system needs reform now.

    I think the housing court forgot why it was set up in the fi rst place, said Delcina Biggs, a Pratt Area Community Council tenant leader who spent four years fi ghting off a bogus eviction. Now its all about landlords getting their money.

    Housing court handles complaints from landlords trying to toss their tenants and from renters who have trouble getting owners to fi x up their buildings. Ad-vocates contend that the system is slanted in favor of owners, which they say you can see clear as day if you consider the fact that 14 of 15 courtrooms in Brook-lyns housing court are ded-icated to eviction proceed-ings, while just one handles tenant complaints.

    Equality does not live in housing court right now, said Assemblyman Walter Mosely (DFort Greene), in his testimony at the elaborate fake hearing in Borough Halls ceremo-nial courtroom, where, in-cidentally, court scenes on the TV show Law and Or-der were fi lmed.

    Tenant leaders posed as witnesses and talked about the issues tenants encounter in the courts af-ter remarks from Borough President Adams, Public Advocate Letitia James, and other offi cials.

    Biggs story has as many twists and turns as advo-cates say the court system does. She lived in the same rent-stabilized apartment on E. 17th Street in Flatbush for 30 years and her landlord never pursued a major rent increase. But when her build-ing was bought in 2009, the new owner tried to get her to sign bogus leases dating back fi ve years in order to justify a massive rent hike.

    When she refused, he tried to evict her. The case dragged on for years.

    It had become so twisted because everything was based on fraudulent papers, said Michael Grinthal, a lawyer for Mobilization For Youth Legal Services, which provides legal representa-tion to people who cannot af-ford attorneys.

    The eviction bid was eventually thrown out, but without a connection to an advocacy group like the Pratt Area Community Council, who got Grinthal involved, Biggs might still be fi ghting it, said Jonathon Furlong, an organizer with

    the council.The problem of landlord

    supremacy extends to the courthouse at 141 Livings-ton St., said the pols, point-ing out that the city rents the building from David Bistricer, a big-time land-owner who made now-Mayor DeBlasios list of worst land-lords in the city back in 2010, when DeBlasio was public advocate. The space is run-down, too small to handle todays caseloads, and is dif-fi cult for disabled people to access, tenants said. They demanded more translators, better legal services, and easier access to information about how the byzantine court proceedings work.

    The protest was orga-nized by Brooklyn Tenants United, a consortium of community organizations from across the borough that includes Saint Nicks Alliance, the Flatbush Ten-ant Coalition, and the Fifth Avenue Committee.

    Tenants want to renovate dispute system

    RENT REGULATORS: (Above) Beverly Rivers holds a protest sign at the event organized by Brooklyn Tenants United. (Right) Delcina Biggs, a tenant leader for the Pratt Area Com-munity Council, beat a bogus eviction. Photos by Stefano Giovannini

    Housing court put on mock trial

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  • COUR

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    BY WILL BREDDERMANCops are on the look-

    out for a goon who they say managed to expose himself to three different underage girls within a three-block radius in Bensonhurst in-side of 15 minutes.

    Authorities report that the fast fl asher struck for the fi rst time at 7:25 am on March 17. The perv de-scribed as a 30-something heavyset, pockmarked, bearded Hispanic pulled his white Ford F-150 up to the corner of W. Ninth Street and Avenue O, where

    an 11-year-old girl was wait-ing for her school bus. After talking to the child for a few moments, the man bared his genitals to her, then fl ed.

    The deviant dashed over to W. Seventh Street and Bay Parkway, where a 14-year-old girl said he stalked her into her friends apartment building at 7:30 am. Inside the front door, the girl reported he tried to talk to her for a few mo-ments, before again pull-ing out his privates. The second victim fl ed into her friends pad, and the weirdo

    scrammed over to W. Sixth and 65th streets.

    There, he pulled his truck up and intercepted a 13-year-old girl walking down the street. After again trying to strike up a conver-sation, the freak showed the minor his nether regions and then took off.

    Cops ask that anyone with info call (800) 5778477, submit the leads to , or text their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then en-ter TIP577. All tips are con-fi dential.

    BY MAX JAEGERPolice are asking for

    the publics help in fi nd-ing three men suspected of eight armed commercial robberies since October 2013. Half of the incidents went down in Canarsie, re-ports show.

    The story has been the same in all eight robberies, police say. The perps bust into Western Union and Caribbean Air Mail money-transfer stores fl ashing a gun and demanding cash and patrons personal prop-erty. With loot in hand, they fl ee on foot, according to po-lice.

    Law enforcement of-

    ficials believe the same trio of bandits have hit the following locations within Canarsies 69th Precinct:

    The Western Union on Flatlands Avenue near E. 79th Street at 1:25 pm on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013.

    The Caribbean Air Mail on Rockaway Parkway near Avenue J at 6 pm on Satur-day, Dec. 21, 2013.

    The Western Union on Flatlands Avenue near E. 84th Street at 5:40 pm on Saturday, Jan. 11.

    The Caribbean Air Mail on Flatlands Avenue near E. 91st Street at 5:16 pm on Friday, March 14.

    Police describe the sus-pects as three black males. Surveillance footage from the most recent incident shows the trio wearing hooded sweatshirts, and one suspect appears to have facial hair.

    No injures have been re-ported, police said.

    Anyone with informa-tion is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 5778477. The public can also sub-mit tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website at or by texting tips to CRIMES (274637), then en-tering TIP577. All calls are strictly confi dential.

    TRUCK OR TREAT: The fl eet-footed fl asher drove this white truck, police say. NYPD

    Trio wanted for robbery spree

    Privates eyed in Bensonhurst

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  • MAR. 21-27, 2014, C






    BY WILL BREDDERMANIt was pure fun at the Pu-

    rim celebration at the Bay Ridge Jewish Center.

    Some 130 costumed characters turned up at the Fourth Avenue syna-gogue on March 15 for its third-annual Purim party.

    Leaders at the religious institution said that the crowd was big increase

    from last year, when only about 90 people came out.

    They attributed the events growing popular-ity to the synagogues swelling congregation which added 15 families since last July and to longtime residents who fi-nally decided to take part in festivities.

    Theres a lot of people who say theyve walked by

    the synagogue for years but never set foot in the door, said Rabbi Dina Rosenberg, adding that she suspects the newcom-ers will become a per-manent part of the shul. Once they walk in the door, they almost always stay around.

    On top of cavorting in their costumes and eating traditional Hamantashen

    cookies, the partygoers read the Megillah, which tells the story behind Pu-rim.

    The scroll describes how Haman, a power-hun-gry aide to the king of Per-sia, tried to force people to bow to him personally. One Jewish man among the populace, Mordecai, refused to revere Haman

    MINI MINNIE: (Above) Eleanor Arbeny dressed in her fi nest Dis-ney garb for the celebration on Saturday. (Center) The Halpert clan came as a clown, a cat, and Superman. (Left) Heather and Bob Goldberger came to the party as fi gures from Exodus. Photos by Steve Solomonson

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    Continued on page 18

  • COUR

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    Jacked jacketA lowlife lifted a mans coat from a

    Fifth Avenue watering hole on March 11, police report.

    The victim said he left his jacket with his wallet in one of the pockets on a hanger near the entrance of the estab-lishment at the corner of 79th Street at 2:45 pm. When he went back for it shortly afterward, the coat with his billfold containing $60 in cash was gone.

    Battery jumpA bandit jacked the tires and rims from

    a car parked on Battery Avenue overnight on March 11, according to cops.

    The victim reported parking his sedan between Fort Hill and Poly places at 11:30 pm, and returning at 8 am the next day to discover his wheels stripped.

    Childs playA crook swiped a womans purse from

    atop her baby stroller inside a grocery store on 63rd Street on March 14, authori-ties say.

    Security tapes show the villain snatching the bag containing $400 in cash, a checkbook, and several credit cards inside the store near Eighth Avenue at 11:35 pm, while the woman

    was distracted by her shopping.


    HijackedTwo thugs stole a green cab at gunpoint

    on Cropsey Avenue after getting a lift from Bay Ridge to Bath Beach on March 16, police report.

    The victim told cops that he picked the pair up outside a club at the corner of 88th Street and Third Avenue and drove them to the corner of 19th Avenue at 3:10 am. When the driver pulled over to let the duo out, one of them pulled a gun and pointed it at the back of his skull.

    Get out of the car, the fi end ordered.The cabbie complied, and the two vil-

    lains climbed in the front seat and sped away.

    FlooredA burglar hotwired an elevator and

    made off with an electric tile cutter from the basement of a 64th Street building on March 12, according to cops.

    The super at the residence between Bay Parkway and 23rd Avenue told police that at 9 pm, the bandit removed a panel from the lift of the building and re-routed the circuitry to bypass the lock blocking access to the cellar.

    Once downstairs, the super alleges the villain broke a padlock and grabbed the tile cutter, then fl ed.

    Rhinestone cowgirlA fi end raided an 18th Avenue shop of

    fake jewelry, womens clothes, and cash sometime overnight on March 15, authori-ties state.

    The storeowner said he shut the busi-ness between 77th and 78th streets at 7 pm, then returned the next morning to

    discover the window of the bathroom re-moved and the bars pried apart.

    Searching the store, he saw that the looter had taken several bras, shirts, rhinestone necklaces and earrings, and $475 in cash.

    At-taxedA scammer posing as an Internal Rev-

    enue Service agent extorted more than $1,780 from a 77th Street woman on March 13, cops said.

    The victim reported that her young son got a call from the schemer at their apartment between 18th and 19th avenues at 5 pm. The con man told the boy that his family owed the government money, and had to cough it up soon or his father would go to jail.

    The victim said she rushed to put $1,780 on prepaid cards, and read the numbers over the phone to the chiseler, who imme-diately drained the funds.

    Van-dalizedA crook stole a mans work van parked

    on 20th Avenue on March 10, according to police.

    The victim told cops he left the vehicle between 65th and 66th streets with his tools and company tax form inside at 9 pm and returned the next morning to fi nd the van gone. Will Bredderman

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    Coney Island native Lou Gossett, Jr., received an Alumni Award on March 12 from his alma mater, Mark Twain Intermediate School. He was also honored as the fi rst inductee into the schools new Hall of Fame. On the right, student Evan Lynch applauds the man known to millions of movie buffs for his Oscar-winning role as Sgt. Emil Foley in the 1982 fi lm An Offi cer and a Gentleman. Of course, others know him for Iron Eagle, which was awesome. Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

    A scholar and a gentleman

    Womens Education Proj-ect, an organization that helps young women pur-sue higher education in India, and the art battles are entirely for charity, he said. He auctions off the art pieces afterwards and do-nates the proceeds to a dif-ferent cause each time, he said.

    Timms has an arts back-ground thanks to his father,

    a museum director, and his mother, a painter, but he is quick to point out he is no Van Gogh.

    Im a s----- artist, my-self, he said.

    Timms fi rst non-food match was a Bob Ross Take-down , where he projected an episode of the smooth-talking painters how-to show and contestants tried to paint along.

    I thought it would be more of a competition, he said. But artists are such hippies.

    These days, Timms often takes his show on the road, sharing the joy of competi-tive home cooking with cit-ies all over the country. He books about 15 events a year and the job has brought him to San Franscisco, Port-land, and Boston, to name a few, he said.

    A Mac and Cheese Take-down is coming up on March 23 at the Bell House. Thirty competitors are signed up and the 250 spectator tick-ets have already sold out for $15 a pop.

    ChefContinued from page 3

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    BY MAX JAEGERSome Bergen Beach resi-

    dents say they may sue the city because traffi c noise from the Belt Parkway has become unbearable since a bridge reconstruction proj-ect last year decimated the sound-blocking trees and brought the parkway closer to their homes.

    When our windows are open, its like the Belt Park-way is coming through our living room, said Kevin Hiltunen, who lives on Ber-gen Avenue near Avenue X.

    In 2013, the city and state completed a project that moved the parkway about 20 feet closer to Bergen Ave-nue because the previous lo-cation was deemed unstable after the erosion resulting for Sandys storm surge. To accommodate the shift, con-tractors also chopped down a grove of trees that had long sheltered the neighbor-hood from the traffi c noise.

    With trees gone and the parkway closer than ever, residents say the nuisance has really revved up.

    The noise is too much, said Valentino Buono.

    Last year, Hiltunen cir-culated a petition that gar-nered more than 100 neigh-borhood signatures asking the city to install a sound barrier. He also alerted then-Councilman Lew Fi-dler, state Sen. John Samp-son, and then-Assembly-man Alan Maisel all of whom wrote letters to the Department of Transporta-tion urging the department to install sound barriers.

    But earlier this month, the city told Hiltunen that it would not install a noise barrier instead promising that the Parks Department will plant $9 million worth of saplings to create a natural sound barrier eventually.

    Hiltunen said it will take too long for the saplings to

    grow large enough to muffl e the noise.

    Ill be six feet under by the time those trees come to full growth, he said.

    Maisel, now a council-man, agreed that the fi x falls short.

    Theyd have to be pretty fast-growing trees to make a difference now, he said.

    A city spokesman said the project was planned and designed in accordance with federal and state environ-mental impact guidelines,

    and the state Department of Transportation determined that no sound barriers were warranted.

    Maisel vowed to con-tinue pushing for the bar-riers, and is working to set up a meeting with newly minted transportation com-missioner Polly Trotten-berg. But he said there are two road blocks standing in the way of getting the bar-rier: precedent and money.

    There are no sound bar-riers along the parkway, and few anywhere in Brook-lyn a fact the city has cited when turning down requests for a barrier in Bergen Beach, Maisel said.

    Theyre very common, but we dont have them in Brooklyn, he said. How-ever, I think if there have never been, that doesnt mean there shouldnt be.

    Maisel said the depart-ment has also expressed concern that granting a

    barrier to one community would open the fl ood gates for more requests. But Ber-gen Beach residents say that if they let the city get away with moving the parkway closer to their neighborhood while removing their natu-ral sound barrier, it could put other communities at risk of similar treatment.

    What they did to us set a precedent, Buono said. They took the liberty of shoving a three-lane high-way into our homes.

    Then there is the cost, which might exceed the $9 million the Parks Depart-ment has set aside for trees, but the Department of Transportation spokesman would not say how much such a barrier would cost.

    Buono said the next step is legal action, and he has al-ready consulted his attorney.

    He said we could pos-sibly do some sort of class-action suit, he Buono.

    Citys changes to Belt Parkway brings new noise thats not music to neighbors ears

    CAR-CAUPHONY: Valentino Buono lives on Bergen Avenue across the street from the John Malone Fields and says the Belt Parkway is unbearably loud now that the city moved it closer to his home and removed trees shielding his block from noise. Photo by Steve Solomonson

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    drug dealing that occurs anywhere in Brooklyn. The cost in lives is too high not to make this a priority, said Thompson.

    To net the defendants, cops recorded phone con-versations and went under-cover at bars where they

    say the accused made their dirty deliveries unbe-knownst to the establish-ments owners. This let them collect enough info to obtain warrants, and raid the suspects bases of opera-tion.

    Cops said they recovered huge stashes of cash and il-legal weapons not to men-tion designer drugs, equine sedatives, steroids, crack,

    and weed. Police said they are in the process of seizing the suspects cars and bank accounts.

    This is the second drug bust in Bay Ridge in less than a year. Last August, police picked up the opera-tor of an ice cream truck routinely parked at the 69th Street Pier, where he alleg-edly sold coke and pain-kill-ers .

    Continued from cover


    The masters Brooklyn tour is being organized by the group Chess NYC, which for years only operated in Williamsburgs IS 318, the middle school whose award-winning chess club was the subject of a documentary

    called The Brooklyn Cas-tle. The group has now ex-panded to two elementary schools one in Greenpoint and one in Prospect Heights and the Ella McQueen ju-venile detention center in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

    Chess NYC offers early-bird, lunch, and after-school programs, as well as chess camps on every day

    that school is not in session, with the goal of making the game less elitist.

    When I was a kid, it was four quarters or nine innings or I was not inter-ested, said Michael Prop-per, who runs Chess NYC. We are working on mak-ing chess more mainstream so that it is in the kids con-sciousness.

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    BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME: Bruce Pandolfi ni, a United States Chess Federation National Master, is returning to his hometown borough to mentor young players. Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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    BY MAX JAEGERThe 94-year-old Marine Park woman,

    who police say was savagely beaten with her own cane earlier this month, died on March 11.

    Police report Dorothy Farrell was assaulted on March 3 by her own son, who then allegedly used a pillow to si-lence her screams.

    Mark Farrell was arrested at the Burnett Street home where the attack took place, police said.

    He had shared the home with his mother for at least the last six months, according to neighbors.

    Paramedics who arrived at the Farrells home on March 3 found the woman on the fl oor, battered and bloody, and rushed her to Kings County Hospital, where doctors said she suffered fractures to her face and skull, two broken ribs, and three bro-ken fi ngers, according to court re-cords.

    Neighbors who had known the Far-rells for decades were aghast.

    I was in shock, said one neighbor who has known the son for 15 years and declined to give her name. Thats not who he was.

    Another neighbor painted a simi-

    lar picture of Farrell, who they said took his mother in several months ago, after his father died.

    He was a very nice man, but dis-tant, said Audrey Perry, who lives next-door to the Farrells.

    Perry was home during the attack, and heard a commotion but didnt catch the nature of the argument, she said.

    After the ruckus subsided, Mark Farrell knocked at her door, she said. Her son answered, and Farrell alleg-edly made a chilling admission.

    He told my son, Ive just killed my mother. Call the police for me, Perry claimed.

    Farrell was initially charged with attempted murder as well as two counts of felony assault, attempted felony assault, and criminal posses-sion of a weapon, according to police reports.

    Police would not confi rm whether the charge has been upgraded to mur-der following the mothers death.

    Mark Farrell is being held on Rikers Island and could not be reached for com-ment. A spokeswoman for the district at-torneys offi ce said it does not know the name of Farrells defense attorney.

    Neighbors say son declared: I just killed my mother

    TROUBLED HOME: The Marine Park home where 94-year-old Dorothy Farrells son al-legedly attacked her with her cane. Photo by Steve Solomonson

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    As people age, they often want to remain in the com-fort of their homes yet, they may need physical as-sistance to stay there.

    Elite Care can provide this help and more.

    The company offers ge-riatric care management, sending licensed home health aides, certified nurs-ing assistants, and regis-tered nurses to the homes of those who need them.

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    Elite Care will send aides who can read books to people, play games with them, or simply get them out of the house to go for a walk. Kohn says the company dif-ferentiates from others be-cause, We dont send just any warm body. Instead, he develops a plan of care with the family, taking into consideration factors such as age, language spoken, and whether someone who is able to drive would make the best companion.

    One thing we pride our-selves in is that our aides are from all different places, and speak different lan-guages, to cover a full ros-ter of client needs, he says. Family members may have to work during the day, and Elite Care offers them peace of mind, knowing that loved ones are in good hands, and that they feel comfortable. If medication is needed, Elite Care can see that it is ad-ministered properly, and at

    the right time of day. The company handles

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    A nurse can evaluate the specific needs of each individual, he says. We can pair people with other care providers in the com-munity, including doctors

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    The company offers hourly fees, 12-hour fees, and live-in fees. Many pa-tients pay for the service privately, he says, as Med-icaid and Medicare will not pay for companionship. However, they do pay for medical needs, he notes.

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    The race to take on penni-less Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (DSea-gate) is quickly becoming a Re-publican pile-on.

    Two candidates from rival GOP camps have announced their intention to run for the Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Co-ney Island seat, while two more are waiting in the wings and the incumbent is desperately short on funds.

    Ridge fur-clothing retailer Stamatis Lilikakis and Bath Beach lawyer Marcus Nuss-baum have announced their in-tentions to take on Brook-Krasny while Brook-Krasnys 2012 opponent Tom Mc-Carthy and Timothy Cochrane, who ran unsuccessfully for Brooklyn Republican Party chairman last year, are also consid-ering jumping in.

    Lilikakis is a political newcomer, but sources said he is committed to spending more than $50,000 of his own money to fl ip the seat while Brook-Krasnys cam-paign is $135 in the red. Nussbaum, on the other hand, became the areas GOP district leader last year an unpaid position rep-resenting Assembly districts in the county Republican Party machine by defeating an incumbent heavily backed by state Sen. Marty Golden (RBay Ridge).

    Golden attempted to replace Kings County Republican Party chairman Craig Eaton with Cochrane in September of last year. Eaton forged an alliance with long-time rival, former Assemblyman Arnaldo Ferraro founder of the Fiorello LaGuar-dia Republican Club, to which Nussbaum belongs to get enough votes to withstand the challenge. But Arnaldo and Eaton reportedly suffered another falling out shortly after the partys convention. Eaton is close to McCarthy, and is on record as likely to endorse him if he runs.

    Goldens offi ce said the powerful Bay Ridge pol is still undecided, but sources said he could back either Lilikakis or Co-chrane.

    The district has been Demo-cratic since 1948 , thanks largely to the loyally Demo-cratic black vote in Coney though several sources pointed out that more people show up at the polls in p r e d o m i n a n t l y white Bay Ridge and Dyker, which have historically leaned conserva-tive.

    Brook-Krasnys offi ce said the empty-pocketed pol is planning a pair of high-powered fund-raisers to refi ll his depleted coffers.

    A former aide to disgraced Assembly-

    woman Diane Gordon is climbing into the race for her bosss old seat, which rep-resents East New York, Starrett City, and parts of Canarsie.

    Community Board 5 member James Tillmon is seeking to replace Council-woman Inez Barron, who replaced Gordon in 2009 and stepped down this year to join the Council.

    Gordon went to prison in 2008 on eight charges of offi cial misconduct and taking bribes after an architect secretly taped her offering assistance in a bid for a $2 million parcel of city land in exchange for design-ing her a new home .

    Anti-poverty activist and fellow CB5 member Chris Banks who challenged Barron unsuccessfully in 2011 and 2013 announced his campaign earlier this year .

    The person heavily favored to win the Assembly contest, Councilwoman Barrons husband Charles Barron ex-Council-man, former Black Panther, and a longtime political pariah has yet to fi le to run. But Barron assured us he still intends to seek the seat.

    Tillmon declined to comment for this column.

    Penniless pol faces up to four challengers



    Republicans taking on broke Krasny


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    BY DANIELLE FURFAROShe sang for her pi

    and threw it, too.A student whose jingle

    helped her memorize more than 125 digits of the in-fi nitely long number that begins with 3.14 was al-lowed to smear a real pie in the face of her math teacher during a competition that was part of the March 14 Pi Day festival at Bedford-Stuyvesant Collegiate school on Gates Avenue. Even she was surprised by the feat.

    It is exciting to know that I was able to memorize a larger amount of pi, said 14-year-old Yolanda Dun-bar. I am impressed with myself.

    As a reward, Dunbar got to throw a pie the edible kind in the face of her math teacher. The second- through fourth-place win-ners were awarded the op-portunity to challenge the teacher of their choice to a pie-eating contest.

    Dunbar said she learned half the digits of pi by lis-tening to a song she found on YouTube and half by rote memorization.

    This is the second year Dunbar won. Back in the sixth grade, she beat out her

    classmates and creamed then-math-teacher Caitlin Webster, who says the an-nual party is an excuse to inject some fun into the sometimes-dry subject.

    We celebrate Pi Day to create some joy and excite-ment around math, said Webster. It is something that is fun and not strictly challenging.

    The school hosts a hand-ful of other wacky math events. For example, it cel-ebrates a Fun Facts Friday, where teachers dressed as ninjas randomly storm classrooms and students have to correctly multiply to help free their space-trav-eling tiger mascot, Cosmo, whom the ninjas have sup-posedly kidnapped.

    Kids have a blast on maths sweetest day

    PI(E) IN THE FACE: (Above) Yo-landa Dunbar, an eighth grader and two-time winner of the pi digit contest, chose teacher Kristen LaPlante to hit with a pie. (Right) Sixth grader Jada Peters names pi digits while a faculty member counts the dig-its behind her. Photos by Jason Speakman

    Student recites pi, gets to throw one

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    and so Haman con-vinced the king to slaugh-ter all the Jews.

    But it so happened that the king was seeking a queen, and had fallen in love with Mordecais niece, Esther not real-izing the beautiful woman was Jewish. Esther told the king that Haman was conspiring to kill her and her family, though she still did not share the truth of her identity. The king had Haman hung on the gallows once intended

    for the Jews. Rosenberg said that

    the tale speaks to Jewish people living in commu-nities where they are in the minority like Bay Ridge, which is predom-inantly Christian and Muslim.

    The costumes symbol-ize how both Haman and Esther disguised their true motives. But they also give people a chance to enjoy themselves while taking part in Jewish tra-ditions.

    What were trying to show is its fun to be Jewish, and there are a lot of great

    people here to be part of a community and embrace, the rabbi said.

    The congregants also took part in another Purim tradition charity.

    The children and their parents made gift baskets at the party to deliver to the homebound elderly, which many of them dropped off personally.

    Part of this is realiz-ing we have to give to our family, Rosenberg said. The question of Purim is how do you both fi t in the community and still have a strong Jewish faith and practice.

    Continued from page 7


  • MAR. 21-27, 2014, C






    BY MAX JAEGERAn elderly woman is dead

    after a sport utility vehicle struck her on the sidewalk while attempting to parallel park near a school in Sheep-shead Bay on Tuesday.

    Police identifi ed the vic-tim as Marlene Baharlias, 77, and eyewitnesses say she was strolling with a loved one along E. 19th Street between Avenues T and U when the car lurched onto

    the sidewalk and struck her on March 18.

    She was walking on the sidewalk with her husband, the poor woman, said Sh-lomo Hava, a neighbor who saw the accident unfold.

    Hava said he wanted to help, but seeing her injuries, he knew there was little he could do.

    All her face was smashed I was shocked, he said.

    Baharlias was hit at 2:21

    pm, police say just as school was letting out.

    Locals said the end of the school day may have contrib-uted to the fatal accident. Parents jockey for the posi-tion when picking up their kids, sometimes double- or triple- parking, one neighbor said.

    If you see a spot, its like a race to see who can get that spot, said William Perry, who lives on the block. Its

    just an accident waiting to happen.

    Paramedics rushed Ba-harlias to Coney Island Hos-pital, where she was pro-nounced dead on arrival, offi cials said.

    Witnesses said the driver remained at the scene and was the fi rst on the phone to 911.

    No charges have been fi led, but the investigation is ongoing, according to police.

    A LITTLE TOO MUCH GAS: Witnesses say it looked like the driver hit the gas instead of the break when she was backing into a parking spot on E. 19th Street and as a result lurched over the curb to fatally hit a pedestrian on the sidewalk. Photo by Steve Solomonson

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    Medical doctors are a bit like detectives, says Dr. Zhanna Tsukerman, a Board-certifi ed physician with a private practice in Brooklyn that offers com-plete medical diagnosis and treatment. We act like de-tectives because we cannot miss any detail in pursuit of the root cause of an illness.

    Dr. Tsukerman pro-fesses that peoples beliefs and feelings are integral to their successful treatment so she takes time to talk with her patients. You will always be heard because our philosophy is to put the patient fi rst, says the physi-cian. Indeed, her keen eye and thorough exams have been instrumental in sav-ing lives. It was Dr. Tsuker-man who connected the dots to a potentially perilous sit-uation when a patient with a swollen leg thought his injury was due to a stumble. Instead, a blood clot was the cause. It could have trav-eled to another part of the

    body and become deadly says the doctor, who exam-ined the man and sent his tests to her on-site labora-tory. The results confi rmed that he had a critical clot in his lung. Just imagine the consequences if we had not determined this right away, she says. This timely treat-ment saved the mans life.

    The medical services the doctor provides in-clude sonograms, allergy and nerve tests, and physi-cal examinations. She per-forms diabetes and asthma treatments, vaccinations, preventive medicine, and more. In addition, her clinic is able to provide same-day blood tests, electrocardio-gram diagnostics, and med-ical clearance.

    Another benefi t is that Dr. Tsukerman offers hospi-tal procedures at her clinic, including intravenous deliv-erance of antibiotics, multi-vitamins, and another nec-essary medications. This is a convenient one-stop

    location for many of her pa-tients medical needs!

    Dr. Tsukerman com-pleted her residency in in-ternal medicine in Brook-lyn, New York. She is affi liated with Beth Israel Hospital, Lutheran Hospi-tal and works as an attend-ing physician at Coney Is-land Hospital. Now, she is a member of the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians. As a leader in her fi eld, Dr. Tsukerman confi rms her qualifi cations annually and incorporates the latest therapies. One example is the treatment of chronic migraines and hyperhydrosis through the use of Botox injections. This procedure is usually covered by most medical plans. Also in the offi ce she provides treatment for skin tags and wart removal.

    She takes pride in devel-oping a good doctor-patient relationship which takes trust and teamwork.

    S e l f - d i a g n o s i n g through the Internet does not work she says.

    Her plans for the future include inviting a Cardiolo-gist, Gynecologist and an Endocrinologist to join the Physiotherapist and the Po-diatrist who are already on board. Her goal is to develop a comprehensive network of health-care professionals, all under one roof.

    Testimonials on her website praise Dr. Tsuker-man for her warmth and at-tention to detail.

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    I had a good fi rst visit with Dr. Tsukerman says another. She looked over my history and all the meds I was taking. She was able to give me alternatives to cer-tain things.

    Dr. Tsukerman has ac-tive credentials at Beth Israel and Lutheran Hos-pitals, and is an attending physician in Coney Island

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    . 21-2

    7, 20






    at two schools in Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay wowed peers, parents, and teachers last week with mind-blowing displays of scientifi c skill.

    In Sheepshead Bay, about 500 kids at PS 52 devised ex-periments and tested their hypotheses during a three-day science fair.

    They were very exten-sive there was data, pho-tos, graphs, said Rachel Ganc, the schools sole sci-ence teacher.

    Ganc has been teaching at PS 52 for 17 years, and said this years fair was one of the best, because of the variety of projects and the ingenuity students dis-played.

    Pupils at the Kthird school had a month to work on their projects many of which they conceived of and built themselves, Ganc said.

    The winner had a sweet project she demonstrated how to grow rock-candy crystals. The runner-up proved robots can make art by crafting a self-propelled drawing machine. Some honorable mentions built green energy machines like a windmill and a hydro-electric generator. Ganc said the range of experi-ments mirrored the student bodys cultural variety.

    We had such variety in this fair like our stu-dents, Ganc said.

    The students at PS 253 in Brighton Beach showed off

    their inner Einsteins with experiments on everything from pathogens to plants.

    The kids are actually doing research, said sci-ence teacher Sharon Elfi e. It shows that the children are really grasping what science is about, and how to think outside of the box and go further.

    Elfi e, who teaches grades

    pre-Ksecond, teamed up with the older-grades teacher Hayley Kus to guide the students through the steps of the scientifi c method. The children had to meet deadlines starting in mid-November, progress-ing gradually through each phase of discovery.

    If theres anything they need, they come to us and

    we give them advice and guide them, said Elfi e.

    The childrens projects were graded, and the top projects went on display in the gym, while the rest got showcased in the classroom on open-school night.

    The whole school ev-ery grade participates, said school secretary Shelly Smith.

    Brighton and Bay kids shine in science fairs





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    SUPER SCIENTISTS: (Clockwise from top) Third-grader Alexandra Calabrese won fi rst prize at the PS 52 science fair growing rock candy crystals. Fifth-grader Nora Almansoob made a mini hydro-electric generator. Third-grader at PS 253 Hasan Rashid shows off his project, Magic Milk for his schools science fair. Photos by Elizabeth Graham

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    Traffic-clogged Jay Street has the scariest bike lanes around, according to our readers, but road-safety activ-ists say it would be less hair-raising for all if the city installed a protected path for two-wheelers along the bus-tling corridor. (Downtown cops vow to give double-parkers the full-court press, online March 12).

    The online commentariat put the pedal to the metal.

    Great idea. Hopefully they will in-clude a concrete barrier that rises out of the ground and blocks the cyclists from blowing through the red light in front of MetroTech Center. I see cyclists go through the red light there at an alarm-ing rate.

    The whole place is a mess, but cyclists are far from innocent. Making this a no-parking zone is not a good option. All no parking means is that these spaces are reserved for cops and court officials. A Class A walled-off bike lane is the only thing that would work, but the cyclist have to do their part. Lots of pedestrians cross these streets SwampYankee from Ruined Brooklyn

    A crowd of 50 in a borough of 2.5 million? How many of those 50 even live there? Or is it just the same group of Transportation Alternatives advo-cates who show up just about every community board meeting in the city? Mike Bike from N.Y.C.

    Where do you think Transportation Alternatives advocates live? I am one and I live just down the street from Jay Street, which means I cant avoid taking it to and from work when I bike or drive. I salute these advocates for getting off their butts and doing something about a very dangerous street. Some people just whine; others do something. Keep up the great work! Brooklynite from Downtown

    I am one of those cyclists who basi-cally never runs lights, but every once in a while I find myself there at that

    very intersection, next to a very ag-gressive driver who is first in line or a driver who is trying to use the park-ing and-or bike lane as a passing lane to get around the line of cars waiting at the light. In that case in order for me to be safe, ironically, I have to do what is generally deemed as the unsafe thing, and run the light only in order to get in front of the aggressive drivers, who may otherwise run me over if I were still at that intersection when the light turns green. In general that intersec-tion never has cars crossing or entering Jay from the cross street.

    I definitely dont advocate just blowing through lights or even going through one after stopping, but at this intersection in particular I can under-stand people wanting to get in front of the drivers here and arrive at the next light ahead of them, which they tend to wildly speed towards without any regard of the safety of everyone else around them. Because of the fact that this intersection is so unsafe and I re-ally do hate running lights, and I gener-ally feel unsafe waiting at the light, I ac-tually just avoid the street entirely and take an alternative route.

    If the bike lane were to be separated and the traffic pattern were made more safe for cyclists and pedestrians Im sure far fewer people would feel the need to take their safety into their own hands by running that light. Cyclist from Bed-Stuy

    Jay Street is the best way for people from quite a lot of Brooklyn to cycle to the Manhattan Bridge, you dont have to live near Jay Street to use it. Brandon from Sunset Park

    I attended the forum and it was ex-cellent. People who walk, bike and drive along this dangerous road have come together to make it safer. Part of Vision Zero is moving forward boldly with street redesigns that make every-one safer. Protected bike lanes and a protected busway would go a long way to improve conditions for the hundreds of cyclists and thousands of bus passen-gers who travel this road daily.

    Given the current dangerous con-ditions, it is somewhat amazing there hasnt been a death on this street in the last decade. However, there have been several hundred serious injuries to bi-

    cyclists and pedestrians due to unsafe conditions. When we redesign streets to be safer for all road users, we prevent needless deaths and injuries to our most vulnerable road users. Ben Kintisch from Bed-Stuy

    Keep in mind that if you have a wall blocking access to vehicles reaching the curb that Access-A-Ride will not be able to drop people with disabilities off or pick them up in front of their location. A plan has to take all stakeholders into account. Jeanwheels from Bay Ridge

    I live just a few blocks east of Jay Street and often commute by bike through Jay to the Manhattan Bridge during rush hour (and sometimes have to drive there, too). Its a terribly chaotic street. A two-way separated bike lane sounds like a really good idea.

    A.S. from Boerum Hill

    Jay Street is also the illegal U-turn capital of New York. Another thing that gets my goat is the MetroTech Drive that runs under the cantilever buildings. It is the most un-pedestrian friendly street in the area. You cannot even walk on the sidewalks because its blocked by use-less bike racks that MetroTech set up and parked cars. I call the bike racks useless because if you park your bike there for more than an hour it will get stolen due to its hidden location, and at best MetroTech will leave an angry note on your bike.

    Even if you avoid walking down this street, you risk your life crossing with the crosswalks at Lawrence or Bridge streets entering into the MetroTech Commons. Cars, and even MTA buses, shoot through the stop signs without slowing down. You should do a story on this street. You wouldnt have to even leave the block since you are shacked up in the Tech. You could get me to pose in a picture pointing at the street like you like to do in every article.

    OK, now point to the street like youre mad.

    Cyclists do blast through the peds there. And this i