Southern Brooklyn

Five Stories To Expect In 2011

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Budget cuts will cause major Sanitation problems in 2011. (Photo by Paypaul)

Heading into 2011, there are already some hints to which issues will drive local news coverage throughout the year. Here’s what we think will be the major focus for the next 365 days.

Sanitation

Yes, we’re all pissed off right now for how the blizzard was mismanaged by the Mayor and Department of Sanitation. As hearings go forward we may very well discover that a worker slowdown was in effect and heads will roll. Equally likely, though, is that as roadways clear, people will forget there was ever an issue. Regardless, continued budget cuts to New York’s Strongest will see a pared down workforce and many supervisors demoted. We spent a lot of 2010 documenting garbage problems across Sheepshead Bay, and the coverage paid off with increased basket pickups. But in 2011, we’re expecting to see the return of those problems and more.

Charter Schools

Sheepshead Bay High School may have earned a reprieve from closure for another year, but we’re willing to bet the issue will come up again around the end of 2011. On top of that, the city will continue to move forward with pushing charter schools throughout the city, and the local battles over school management will continue to escalate.

Sheepshead Bay Mosque

Thought the story ended when the group behind the Voorhies Avenue Islamic Cultural Center received their building permits? Think again. Sure, they moved some construction equipment onto the site, but opposition group Bay People has raised tens of thousands of dollars to fight the building. And with tensions high, there’s a strong possibility of vandalism as the project moves forward.

Medicaid Fraud

We saw a striking amount of fraud busts throughout Southern Brooklyn this year, and as the new healthcare bill continues to roll out in stages, the feds are looking to crack down on fraudsters. Just wait and see – Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst and a number of other Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods will make headlines for the dirty docs and insurance hounds filling our local medical facilities.

Car Theft Crackdown

As one of only two major crime categories to see an increase this year in the 61st Precinct (the second was murder), Grand Larceny Auto is going to be the NYPD’s top priority. The Deputy Inspector stated at a recent Community Council meeting that forces have already been deployed to problem areas. But as the economy continues to stagnate, car theft will remain an issue as thieves seek to keep one step ahead of authorities.

Think there’s an issue that’ll be big in 2011? Let us know in the comments!

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