WCC Project Elf Fundraiser at Brooklyn Brewery

Superstorm Sandy hit just two months before Christmas, 2012.  In the aftermath, thousands of displaced families either couldn't provide gifts for their children or couldn't replace gifts destroyed in the storm surge.

Two years later, contrary to the public perception of recovery and resiliency, many of those hard-hit families are still struggling to put their lives back together.

From 7:30 to 10:30 PM Tuesday, December 2, not-for-profit disaster recovery organization World Cares Center (WCC) and Brooklyn Brewery will co-host "Project Elf", a Christmas fundraiser for the hundreds of children Superstorm Sandy left homeless, at Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th Street in Williamsburg.

Project Elf and WCC, with the help of volunteers from the Food Bank for New York City, Blackstone, Ajilon, Raveis Realty, and Con Edison, will transform three community centers into Winter Wonderlands, with free toys and gifts for children whose families are still working their way back from Sandy.  The goal is to serve 1,000 children.

To donate to Project Elf, visit the donation page at World Cares Center. 100% of donations go to support the event.

WCC was on the front lines in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy aiding affected communities, training nearly 23,000 volunteers and reclaiming 1,400 homes.

For more information on World Cares Center and Project Elf, visit the World Cares Center website or call 212-563-7570.

Trottenberg Wants Better Bike Access to City Bridges

As reported by AMNY, the city Department of Transportation, in a move sure to give hope to advocates for a bike lane on the Verrazano bridge, will study ways to improve bike access to the city's four East River bridges and the Harlem River bridges.

In accouncing the study to the City Council last week, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said that DOT would also work with MTA to install bike racks on city buses along key routes, hinting that routes over the Verrazano Bridge could become a test site.

Echoing the statements of Harbor Ring advocates, Trottenberg told the City Council she regards all of our island city's bridges as a "critical component" of the area's transportation system, especially important as access points for the area's bicycle network.

The article from AMNY.


Local Toys for Tots Drop Off Sites Open Through December 19

According to Toys for Tots Brooklyn, the following Bay Ridge sites are now accepting toy drop-offs through December 19:

Fort Hamilton High School Key Club: Tanja Larsen
11/10/2014 - 12/19/2014
8 AM - 3:40 PM
8301 Shore Road, Brooklyn, New York, 11209
Bay Ridge Honda: Mime Quinones
11/26/2014 - 12/19/2014
Mon- Thur 9am to 9pm, Fri 9am -7pm, Sat 9am - 6pm Sun 11am -5pm
8801 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11209
Velsor Realty: Erin
11/03/2014 - 12/19/2014
8027 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11209

Drop site applications are closed now, but you can drop off toys at the nearest site using this site locator. If you need more help locating a site, email Dropsites.T4TNYC@gmail.com.

This year, you can donate toys through the yougivegoods website or donate money online here.

Not-for-profit agencies can request toys using this form. Faxed, mailed or dropped off requests will not be accepted this year. Families can request toys through Toys for Tots partner the Secret Sandy Claus Project.

Volunteers can sign up online here or email volunteer@toysfortotsnyc.org.

For more information, call Toys for Tots NYC at 347-450-8697.

Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance Meets

At 7:30 PM on Monday, November 24, in the basement meeting room at St. Ephrem's Rectory at 929 Bay Ridge Parkway in Dyker Heights, the Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance will convene to plan a town hall meeting in January, 2015 on illegal home conversions in Brooklyn.

Members, concerned local residents and their friends, family and neighbors are welcome to attend the meeting.


Gentile Bucks City Council on Chokehold Bills

In a statement issued by his office today, City Council Member Vinnie Gentile, a former prosecutor and State Senator, strongly opposed the legislation, which he said would "handcuff" the NYPD.

If passed, the new City Council legislation would make it a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine, for a New York City police officer to use a chokehold, and would require consent for certain types of searches.

NYPD officers, who risk their lives on a daily basis, Gentile said, need to have every tool at their disposal in a close situation. With crime in the city at its lowest since 1994, he said, it should be possible to keep the streets safe without putting new burdens on the NYPD.

Jeff Samaha Theater Presents True-Crime Musical "Parade"

Coming off of its enormously successful production of musical "Les Miserables", Jeff Samaha Theater Productions/Ridge Chorale will open a limited run of the powerful, Tony Award-winning musical "Parade", the rarely-presented true story of an infamous miscarriage of justice in the American South, at 8 PM on Friday, December 5 at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology (Bay Ridge High School), at 350 67th Street in Bay Ridge.

Additional performances are scheduled for Saturday December 6 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM, and Sunday December 7 at 3:00 PM.

In 1913, Brooklyn native Leo Frank was convicted of murdering 13-year-old Atlanta resident Mary Phagan. "Parade" recounts the media frenzy and public outrage surrounding Frank’s trial, as his devoted wife seeks justice for her husband. "Parade" explores how her love and hope survived against all odds.

Jeff Samaha directs, with music direction by Evan Alparone and choreography by Gabrielle Mangano. Many of the 35 cast members also appeared in "Les Miserables".  Produced by Karen Tadross, with technical direction by John Olsen and Rich Konert. Book by Alfred Uhry; music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.

You can make a reservation online at the website, by phone at  (718) 989-9566, or through Brown Paper Tickets here

A local cultural institution since 1968, Jeff Samaha Theater Productions/Ridge Chorale is one of the many significant arts and cultural groups supported by City Council Member Vinnie Gentile.

Golden: Flatbush Fire Illustrates the Illegal Conversion Problem

In the aftermath of an early-morning fire on Wednesday at an illegally-subdivided building at 1434 Flatbush Avenue that killed a young father, left six in critical condition, and injured a total of 15, State Senator Marty Golden again called on Mayor Bill deBlasio to create a multi-agency task force to confront the illegal conversion problem in his district and citywide.

Continuing to ignore illegal conversions, Golden said, will only cause the problem -- and its negative fallouts, like school overcrowding -- to worsen.

The fatally injured man at 1434 Flatbush was a third-floor resident, found burned black and unconscious on the sidewalk outside the building. The city fire marshal is investigating the cause of blaze.

On three separate occasions in September, the city department of Housing Preservation and Development served landlord Luckner Lucient with violations based on the illegal subdivision of the basement, as well as the second and third floors of the building.

Lucient, an elderly man who is the pastor of the church located on the building's ground floor, blamed his tenants for the violations, claiming that they had been renting out space in the upstairs rooms without his permission.

One of his two tenants, who Lucient said hadn't paid rent in 17 months, had 21 people living in her subdivided apartment.

Daily News coverage of the Flatbush Avenue fire.

More from Queens Crap.

Free Flu Shots at NYU-Langone in Cobble Hill

The best way to avoid coming down with a winter flu, which can be life-threatening for someone who is elderly or has chronic lung disease, is to get an annual flu shot. 

NYU-Langone in Cobble Hill (formerly Long Island College Hospital) is offering free flu shots to adults 18 years and older on Saturday November 22 from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday, November 23 from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Enter through the Emergency Department on Amity Street between Hicks and Henry Streets.

For more information, visit the NYU Langone website.

The hospital is also on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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