New York Health Act – What’s Stopping Us From Having Universal Healthcare In NY

Virginia Bechtold – January 15, 2018

Flatbush forum NYS Health Act 010718 photo 13

From left to right: Nazrul Islam, Anthony J. Finkel, Devki Joshi, Dr. Donald Moore (Photo: David Newman)

About 40 physicians, community organizers, business owners and activists gathered last Sunday at the Pakistani American Youth Society to discuss health care in New York, and in particular – the New York Health Act (NYHA) that has been languishing in the Senate’s Health Committee.

The event was organized by the Campaign for New York Health, a statewide coalition of constituents, nurses, doctors, unions, businesses, nonprofits, legislators, faith leaders and community organizations who believe universal single-payer health care is the way forward for Nee York State.

Panelist Anthony J. Finkel, a Brooklyn born and raised entrepreneur, said he could plainly see an imbalance in services available to different communities in Brooklyn, after receiving care at New York-Presbyterian, Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Park Slope and at Kings County Hospital in East Flatbush. “You see it in overcrowded waiting rooms, in the condition of the actual facilities.”

Prior to working at his business full time, Finkel worked on NYS Senator Jesse Hamilton’s Small Business and Economic Development committee and led Flatbush Development Corporation’s Economic Development department from 2013 to 2016.

Read More: New York Health Act – What’s Stopping Us From Having Universal Healthcare In NY





New Security Cameras Installed At Newkirk Plaza Via ‘Safe Shopper’ Initiative

Carly Miller – May 18, 2017


Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams with Council Member Mathieu Eugene, police, and civic leaders at Almac Hardware, May 16. (Photo by Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP’s Office)

On Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams visited Newkirk Plaza to install surveillance cameras intended to thwart crime, as part of his ‘Operation Safe Shopper’ initiative.

Operation Safe Shopper, a pilot program between civic groups and the NYPD in which security cameras are installed on commercial strips to aid in crime investigation, was introduced last summer and added to Brooklyn Birdge Park last month after a string or fights broke out.

The program allocates $2,500 for the street-facing cameras at storefronts identified by local civic organizations and police, but the businesses are responsible for the maintenance, upkeep, repair and registration of their security cameras. In the event of a police investigation, businesses agree to make the footage available to the NYPD.

Read More: New Security Cameras Installed At Newkirk Plaza Via ‘Safe Shopper’ Initiative



Brooklyn Borough President Unveils New Security Cameras In Ditmas Park And Flatbush

Marc Torrence – May 16, 2017

Op3 copy

Photo Courtesy of JoAnne Finkel 

DITMAS PARK, BROOKLYN – Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Tuesday watched as workers installed the first of what will be several new security cameras to help fight crime across Brooklyn.

Adams opened the day in front of Almac Hardware in Newkirk Plaza, where the first camera was installed. He then took the Q train up to Church Avenue and walked along the corridor to visit other businesses that will get cameras of their own.

“We’re not chasing the numbers, we’re chasing the criminals and we want to decrease crime,” Adams told a crowd that included several local leaders and law enforcement officials outside the hardware store.

Read More: Brooklyn Borough President Unveils New Security Cameras In Ditmas Park And Flatbush




KarmaBrooklyn Blog

Recycle Electronics Year-Round At Ditmas Park Helpers

KarmaBrooklyn – September 4, 2016

Ditmas Park Helpers‘ first End-of-Summer Electronics Recycling Campaign was a big success. During the month of August, more than 60 major electronics (lots of computers and air conditioners) and 100 cans of used paint were properly recycled and disposed of, convincing the Helpers of the importance of turning it into a year-round campaign.

Ditmas Park Helpers, founded by Anthony Finkel, offers professional services for anything that people in the vicinity of Ditmas Park need help with: home cleaning, furniture assembly, pet-sitting, house-sitting, laundry, grocery shopping, car washing, and more, more, more.

Read More: Recycle Electronics Year-Round At Ditmas Park Helpers


Ditmas Park Patch

Ditmas Park Fire Injures 8, Engulfs 3-Story Victorian

John V. Santore – March 23, 2016

House Fire

Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

DITMAS PARK, BROOKLYN – A fire engulfed a vacant three-story Victorian home in Ditmas Park Wednesday afternoon, injuring two civilians and six firefighters, according to the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze at 474 Stratford Road around 12:40p.p., and brought it under control by about 2:30p.m., an FDNY spokesman said.

Ditmas Park resident Anthony Finkel said he came out of his nearby office at the Flatbush Development Corporation when he and his co-workers “started seeing and smelling the smoke. The whole sky was black,” Finkel said. “You couldn’t even breathe.”

Read More: Ditmas Park Fire Injures 8, Engulfs 3-Story Victorian


New York Times

Block by Block: Ditmas Park – Real Estate Section

Adam Kaufman and Aaron Wolfe – January 12, 2016

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, is the focus of the next video in our new monthly series “Block by Block.” Watch for future installments from neighborhoods around the city.

Ditmas Park, known for its detached single-family homes with open and generous front porches, is often referred to as “the brownstone alternative.”

Ditmas Park proper is an eight-block area that has been designated a historic district, thanks to its collection of early 20th-century homes. But the neighborhood boundaries have stretched beyond to include parts of the surrounding area known as Victorian Flatbush. Many of the original houses in Ditmas Park were built by the developer Lewis H. Pounds in the early 1900s, but he designed the homes in different styles, including Colonial Revival, Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts.

Outside the historic district, apartment buildings can be found on larger thoroughfares; the main commercial strip runs along Cortelyou Road. New restaurants and cafes have opened to cater to recent transplants, who tend to be younger and have shifted the area’s demographics. The median sales price for homes went from $390,000 in 2000 to $1.7 million in 2015.

Read More: Block by Block: Ditmas Park 




Ditmas Park Corner

People Who Made Ditmas Park Great In 2015

Shannon Geis – December 31st, 2015

People Who Made Ditmas Park Great

Anthony Finkel of the Flatbush Development Corporation announcing raffle winners at the Flatbush Frolic. (Photo by Shannon Geis/Ditmas Park Corner)

Flatbush Development Corporation is constantly hosting wonderful community programs and working to improve the neighborhood in all sorts of little ways. From relighting the dark hallway along Newkirk Plaza to running the Flatbush Frolic (the best street fair in the city, in our opinion), the FDC is doing great things in Ditmas Park.

Read More: People Who Made Ditmas Park Great In 2015


Ditmas Park Corner

Fun At The Flatbush Frolic

Shannon Geis – September 21, 2015

Flatbush Frolic

Photo by Ditmas Park Corner

Thousands of people filled Cortelyou Road Sunday for this year’s Flatbush Frolic, which was hosted by the Flatbush Development Corporation. The event drew a diverse crowd from the community and beyond to eat delicious food, shop, listen to music and more.

Robin Redmond, the FDC Executive Director, said the event was a great success, “The Flatbush Frolic always brings out the best of our community. It is a privilege to showcase local talent on our main stage, Tot Lot area and throughout the fair. This year, we had record breaking numbers in both our participating vendors and “Frolic-ers”. We thank our sponsors and everyone who contributed their time and energy to this year’s Frolic.”

Read More: Fun At The Flatbush Frolic


The Wall Street Journal

U.K.’s Ambassador Theatre Group Acquires Five U.S. Venues

Included in the deal: the recently restored Kings Theatre in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood

Pia Catton – September 1, 2015

WSJ Kings Theatre

Photo Courtesy of  The Wall Street Journal

The Ambassador Theatre Group, the leading owner of live-performance theaters in the U.K. and the owner of Broadway’s Lyric Theatre, is set to expand throughout the U.S.

After reopening under ACE, the venue has provided a cultural anchor in the area, said Anthony Finkel, economic development coordinator of the Flatbush Development Corporation: “They’ve made an emphasis to hire local staff from the area and build partnerships with the surrounding businesses.”

Read More: U.K.’s Ambassador Theatre Group Acquires Five U.S. Venues


Ditmas Park Corner

Calling Local Musicians & Vendors!

Apply Now To Be A Part Of The 40th Annual Flatbush Frolic

Anna Gustafson – July 29, 2015

For this year’s 40th annual Flatbush Frolic, the street fair that brings thousands of people to Cortelyou Road in September, the Flatbush Development Corporation is planning big things — and they’re now looking for local vendors and area musicians to get involved in the event that highlights the incredible diversity of merchants and artists in our neighborhood.

The FDC’s Anthony Finkel wrote to us that they are looking for general vendors, food vendors and corporate vendors/sponsors. In the past, about 150 vendors have set up shop along Cortelyou for the Frolic — and this year, in addition to those vendors, the FDC is planning on launching a craft fair at the festival. The craft fair will specifically be for handmade arts and crafts, with none of the items being mass produced, Anthony said.

Read More: Calling Local Musicians & Vendors! Apply Now To Be A Part Of The 40th Annual Flatbush Frolic


Ditmas Park Corner

Scenes From Our Neighborhood’s Annual Community Cleanup Day

Anna Gustafson – June 3, 2015

Neighborhood Clean Up

Volunteers at Saturday’s neighborhood clean-up, including Flatbush Development Corporation Executive Director Robin Redmond, sitting center; Anthony Finkel, of the FDC, second from right; and community leader Nathan Thompson, third from right.

An enormous thank you to everyone who came out to pick up trash, paint over graffiti, plant flowers, and generally make the neighborhood look a whole lot nicer during Saturday’s annual beautification event led by the Flatbush Development Corporation and the Church Avenue Businesses Improvement District.

Everyone gathered bright and early to tackle the cleaning Saturday, arriving at 9am to get their clean-up tools outside the FDC’s office (1616 Newkirk Avenue), the Flatbush Food Co-op (1415 Cortelyou Road), and Downtown Natural Market (1701 Church Avenue). Then, everyone from students to retirees spread out across the neighborhood and got to work!

Read More: Scene From Our Neighborhood’s Annual Community Cleanup Day


Ditmas Park Corner

Standing Where Neighbor Raphael Kurton Was Fatally Shot In Ditmas Park, Our Community Calls For Peace

Anna Gustafson – June 1, 2015

Community Gathering For Peace

FDC Executive Director Robin Redmond, at microphone, was joined by FDC’s Anthony Finkel, far left to right, Borough President Eric Adams, 70th Precinct Community Council President Ed Powell, Democratic District Leader Jacob Gold, Councilman Jumaane Williams, and other area leaders.

Elected officials, community leaders, anti-violence advocates, the 70th Precinct, and other neighbors attended the Flatbush Development Corporation’s “Community Gathering For Peace” Friday evening outside the Smoke Shop & Deli at 1624 Newkirk Avenue, where police said Raphael was shot in the torso by someone with whom he’d long had a dispute. A neighbor who lived on Ocean Avenue, between Newkirk and Foster Avenues, Raphael walked along Newkirk Avenue after being shot, collapsing at 1710 Newkirk Avenue. He was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he died last Tuesday night.

Ream More: Standing Where Neighbor Raphael Kurton Was Fatally Shot In Ditmas Park, Our Community Calls For Peace

Related Article: Flatbush Community Forum Decries Violence – News 12 Brooklyn


Ditmas Park Corner

Outdoor Street Seating Won’t Happen On Cortelyou, DOT Proposes Ditmas Park Bike Routes, Parade Ground Improvements & More Nots From CB 14’s May Meeting

Anna Gustafson – May 14, 2015

CB14 May Meeting

Community Board 14 Vice-Chairman Ed Powell, left, Chairman Alvin Berk, and District Manager Shawn Campbell at Monday’s meeting.

Morris Sacks also reported that two Cortelyou restaurants (which we later confirmed are Cafe Madeline and Bo Bo Kitchen) have withdrawn their application for the DOT’s Street Seats Program, which would have permitted them to install outdoor seating outside the eateries on Cortelyou Road from April to November. We spoke to Care Madeline’s owner, Adell, about it today and he told us: “We really loved the idea, and we had maybe over 1,000 people sign [a petition] in favor os it.” However, he said they learned a couple of weeks ago that it “would be so much better to have the street seats on the side street rather than [Cortelyou], mainly for safety reasons. We thank the community and everybody who supported us.”

Anthony Finkel, of the Flatbush Development Corporation, read a statement from the FDC and the Cortelyou Road Merchants Association at the meeting in regards to the Street Seats Program, saying: “We’d like to thank Community Board 14, Morris Sacks, and the transportation committee for taking the time to listen and consider the application for Street Seats on Cortelyou Road. Although it is both surprising and disappointing that the applicant withdrew their application, especially this far into the process, we hope that this hiccup does not deter CB14 from approving Street Seats on Cortelyou Road at a different location in the near future.”

Read More: Outdoor Street Seating Won’t Happen On Cortelyou, DOT Proposes Ditmas Park Bike Routes, Parade Ground Improvements & More Nots From CB 14’s May Meeting


Ditmas Park Corner

Listen Up, Councilman Eugene! 

Neighbors Call On Lawmaker To Change Stance On Participatory Budgeting

Anna Gustafson – April 14, 2015

Participatory Budgeting

Neighbors are now joining forces to call on Councilman Mathieu Eugene to become involved in participatory budgeting.

A group of neighbors have a message for Councilman Mathieu Eugene: it’s time to change your stance on participatory budgeting.

The neighbors – William Cerf, Anthony Finkel Sarah Garvey, and Carmen Mason Browne – announced at last night’s Community Board 14 meeting that their new group, names The Residents of District 40 For Participatory Budgeting, has officially launched. Now, the members are signing up other neighbors to help them push for participatory budgeting, a city program that allows residents to directly vote on $1 million to $1.5 million in projects they’d like to see funded in their Council district (so, for example, legislators have funded projects like air conditioning in school, computers at libraries, renovations at parks, and so on).

Ream More: Listen Up, Councilman Eugene! Neighbors Call On lawmaker To Change Stance On Participatory Budgeting


Ditmas Park Corner

Breaking News: Dunkin’ Donuts In Newkirk Plaza Robbed Late Friday Afternoon

Anna Gustafson – March 20, 2015

Dunkin Donuts

Photo courtesy of Anthony Finkel

A man claiming to have a gun, but not actually showing it, robbed the Dunkin’ Donuts in Newkirk Plaza just before 5pm Friday, making off with about $100, a spokesman from the 70th Precinct told us.

Anthony Finkel, of the Flatbush Development Corporation, said the FDC is working on getting more details… “The 70th Precinct responded immediately and are collecting camera footage and fingerprints,” Anthony wrote to us.

“The Newkirk Plaza Merchants Association is already working with the police to supply camera footage from the surrounding businesses and have extended a helping hand to the Dunkin’ Donuts in this troubled time,” Anthony continued.

Read More: Breaking News: Dunkin’ Donuts In Newkirk Plaza Robbed Late Friday Afternoon


Ditmas Park Corner

Neighbors, Politicians & More Celebrate Grand Opening Of Cortelyou Market By Key Food

Lillian Knoepp – March 2, 2015

Cortelyou Market By Key Food Ribbion Cutting

Left to right: Key Food Executive, Cortelyou Market By Key Food Owner Tony Doleh, Councilman Mathieu Eugene, Community Board 14 Chair Alvin Berk, Economic Developer Anthony J. Finkel

Cortelyou Market By Key Food celebrated its nearly one million dollar renovation with the fanfare of a performer on stilts, balloons, and free sandwiches on Friday, February 27.

“We’ve been here for 25 years and we plan to be here for another 25 years,” said owner Khalid Doleh in his speech during the ribbon cutting ceremony in the newly renovated produce section of the market, located at 1610 Cortelyou Road, between East 16th and East 17th Streets.

Economic development coordinator for Flatbush Development Corporation, Anthony Finkel hopes that the expansion will encourage more business in the area, further helping the area’s economy.

“It’s great to have an expanded business on this side of Cortelyou,” said Finkel. “We hope that this will help attract more people to this side of the road. It will help business in the area.”

Read More: Neighbors, Politicians & More Celebrate Grand Opening Of Cortelyou Market By Key Food


Ditmas Park Corner

The Lights Are Back On! Flatbush Development Corporation,

CB 14 & Business Leaders Work To Fix Dimly Lit Newkirk Plaza Passageway

Anna Gustafson – January 22, 2015

Lights Back On

Owner of Almac Hardware and Newkirk Plaza Merchants Association President Javier Saez and handyman.

After numerous neighbors voiced concerns about the dimly lit Marlborough Road passageway at Newkirk Plaza, the Flatbush Development Corporation, Community Board 14, Almac Hardware owner Javier Saez and landlord Bill Evans worked together to restore the lights — and they are now back on!

Anthony Finkel, of the FDC told us that the community partnership was launched after concerned community members called and filed complaints with both the FDC and CB 14 about walking through the dark area, particularly at night and in the early morning.

Anthony said Javier spoke to Bill about the recent string of crimes that have occurred in the community and informed him “that the tunnel was down to its last remaining light and that this needed to be fixed.”

“Next time you walk by Newkirk Plaza, be sure to take a look at the brightly lit tunnel, and if you feel like saying thanks to Javier feel free to drop in Almac Hardware, where they are currently running a promotion on LED bulbs,” Anthony wrote.

Read More: The Lights Are Back On! Flatbush Development Corporation,

CB 14 & Business Leaders Work To Fix Dimly Lit Newkirk Plaza Passageway




Ditmas Park Corner

From Ditmas Park, Stories Of Fear, Anger & Hope  In A Changing Neighborhood

Anna Gustafson – November 21, 2014

Town Hall

Left to right: Community Liaison Ed Powell, Assemblymember Mathieu Eugene, Community Leader Anthony J. Finkel, FDC Executive Director Robin Redmond, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Assemblymember Jumaane Williams, Lieutenant Boyd NYPD 70th Precinct, Detective Dominic Scotto NYPD 70th Precinct

From the sea of people who packed the PS 139 auditorium for a town hall hosted by Borough President Eric Adams and the Flatbush Development Corporation Thursday night came a flood of stories: of being robbed at gunpoint, of feeling unsafe and vulnerable, of both wanting and not wanting more police, of gentrification, of affordable housing, of battling to hold onto the apartments in which people have lived for decades, of anger and sadness and frustration and hope.

At the gathering, which Adams and the FDC held in direct response to a series of armed robberies in the community, neighbors spoke of their businesses being targeted, of shootings, of wanting safer streets. They spoke of high incarceration rates and the need to provide opportunities to neighbors when they return home from prison. Of trusting and distrusting the police. Of wanting to believe that, in their home, they would be safe: from robberies and shootings and being displaced.

Read More: From Ditmas Park, Stories Of Fear, Anger & Hope In A Changing Neighborhood


DNA Info

Police Step Up Foot Patrols After String of Armed Robberies in Ditmas Park

Leslie Albrecht and Sybile Penhirin – November 18, 2014

Police Step Up Foot Patrol

Police officers on patrol in the 70th Precinct following a string of armed robberies.

“There is a real concern to get ahead of this before going into the holiday season when patrons and merchants are going to have more money and more merchandise on them,” said Anthony Finkel, economic development coordinator for the Flatbush Development Corporation.

The FDC is working with Community Board 14 and City Councilman Mathieu Eugene to improve the safety with better lighting and security cameras on the streets, Finkel said.

Read More: Police Step Up Foot Patrols After String of Armed Robberies in Ditmas Park


Ditmas Park Corner

Following Armed Robberies, 70th Precinct Increases Police Presence & Councilman Mathieu Eugene Vows To Look Into Funding For Cameras

Anna Gustafson – November 12, 2014

Security Meeting At Lea

Councilman Mathieu Eugene, standing at left, address a crowd of neighbors at a meeting about the string of armed robberies at commercial businesses last fall.

Dozens of neighbors, including business owners and civic leaders, gathered at Lea (1022 Cortelyou Road) yesterday afternoon to urge the 70th Precinct for a greater police presence in the area following the armed robberies at Mimi’s Hummus, Ox Cart Tavern and Church Avenue Deli. Many members at yesterday’s heavily attended meeting, organized by the Flatbush Development Corporation, also told Councilman Mathieu Eugene that they’d like him to allocate funding for additional police cameras along Cortelyou – which the legislator vowed to look into.

Read More: Following Armed Robberies, 70th Precinct Increases Police Presence & Councilman Mathieu Eugene Vows To Look Into Funding Cameras




Hot 97

Put A Chill On Violence Commercial Name Mention

Miss. Info – February 2, 2013




One American Flag: As Many Meanings As There Are Americans

Jean Terepka – March 5, 2012

 Solmenta Group

Artists in diverse fields display the American flag in their exhibits or their performances. One such artist, musician Anthony Finkel, bassist in New York City based band, Solmenta, says that while flags, first one of Native American tribes and then American flags, have always been a part of the band’s performances, his own commitment to the American flag as part of his stage presentation became even more intentional after “the illustrious Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden.”

Solmenta’s music, characterized by interwoven influences including “heavy rock, experimental, folk, funk, hip hop, soul, Latin, house and groove fusion,” represents the rich mix of cultural influences that Muriel Stockdale celebrates in her mixed-media flag paintings. The flag Finkel attaches to the neck of his bass guitar when he performs has personal meaning as well as political symbolism: it is a flag once owned by his grandmother, passed down to an aunt and then to Finkel himself, together with a slip of paper containing the message, “When things get hard, don’t forget to pray.”

Read More: One American Flag: As Many Meanings As There Are Americans


The Home Reporter

Brooklyn Buzz: Music With A Message

Nazia Fyazi – January 19th, 2012

Music With A Message

Members of the Brooklyn band Solmenta give new meaning to the concept music wish a message. Comprised of five young men whose passion for music is paired with a strong desire to create awareness of different issues that are going on in the world, the group – whose name means “bright minds” in Latin – focuses each month on different causes that are in the public eye.

They take their cues from the proclaimed awareness months, with lead guitarist Robert Johnston painting his guitar in such a way as to pay tribute to the cause. In October, the guitar was painted with the symbolic pink ribbon in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month. In December, Johnston decorated his guitar with the words HIV and AIDS in recognition of World AIDS Day.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, brothers Anthony Finkel, the group’s bass player, and drummer Henry Finkel started Solmenta in their basement in 2010. According to Anthony, inspiration for their music comes from where they grew up, their experiences, and most of all, city life.

A few of the members are able to take their musical talents and bring learning and joy to others. Anthony Finkel works in a nursing home where he encourages musical talent shows amongst the seniors. Johnston on the other hand is a guitar teacher, who not only educates his students on how to rock out, bout also teaches them to “pay it forward,” because he thinks that it is important to give back to others. According to Johnston, the band believes, “When there’s a positive message behind the music, people will keep coming back to it again and again for inspiration.”

Since January is National Blood Donor Month, all members of the band plan to donate blood, and Johnston painted his guitar with the words “give blood” and “the gift of life,” along with and image of drops of blood, in observance of this cause. The band plans to display its newly decorated guitar at its upcoming show on January 21st, 2012 at Spike Hill in Williamsburg.

Solmenta’s music encompases different genres like heavy rock, experimental, folk, funk, hip hop and groove fusion. To find more information about the band, including music, video footage and pictures of the painted guitar, visit their Facebook Page.