Van Bramer and Joe Crowley weigh in on Weiner

WSJ

At a Wednesday night fund-raiser at an Astoria restaurant hosted by Rep. Joe Crowley, who is also the Queens Democratic Party chairman, few local politicians said much, our colleague Pervaiz Shallwani reports on the WSJ’s Metropolis blog.

Rep. Crowley, speaking to reporters, said the decision about Mr. Weiner’s political future was up to the congressman and his constituents. “That’s a decision only Anthony Weiner can make,” he said. “As I said before, we are all subject to evaluation every two years.”

“He’s in a pickle,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “He’s in trouble.”

“Everyone is talking about it,” observed George Arzt, a political consultant and former press secretary for former Mayor Ed Koch.

Some had a bit more to say. Asked if Mr. Weiner should step down, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said: “It’s so hard to say at this point. Obviously that’s a deeply personal decision. He has to decide how much of this he wants to take.”

Fellow City Councilman Mark Weprin, whose name has been mentioned among possible successors should Mr. Weiner leave Congress, said he believes Mr. Weiner, a close friend and neighbor, could withstand the calls for his resignation.

“I think it’s up to him whether he goes,” Mr. Weprin said. “He’s been a good congressman. If this is the worst it’s going to be—what broke today—I don’t see why he doesn’t stay.”

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24 Responses to Van Bramer and Joe Crowley weigh in on Weiner

  1. Veni_Vidi_Vici

    “He’s in a pickle,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.'

    Hahahahahahaha!

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  2. John K. Wilson

    I don't care how he gets his jollies--he looked all of us in the eye (through the camera) and lied. Bold-facedly. Even indignantly--saying that others were to blame. He said his account was "hacked", which is a Federal crime, But, falsely reporting a Federal crime is a Federal crime; so, he ramped down his language--saying it was a "prank", a "joke".
    Not only is a a Liar, doing what he did is simply stupid: this is the kind of intellect we want doing the important business of Congress? Does anyone doubt that he made himself--and through his position--he made US--vulnerable to blackmail of the sort that may have compromised the safety of huge numbers of people?
    And excuse me; but, if any other politician--of either party--makes any public comment that does anything other than condemn this jerk for degrading the integrity of the office of United States Representative--to say nothing of the safety of our Neighborhoods and our Country...then that politician is most probably a political hack coward.
    Our taxes pay his salary. I think he should be "fired". In any private business, he would be fired. If he had any decency, he'd fire himself. His cronies who defend him--or who parse words to avoid condemning him--ought to be fired, too.

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  3. Oppressed Masses

    Well stated Mr. Wilson and I wholeheartedly agree. The Twitter nonsense is one thing, but the lying and the apparent intention to have a porn star lie for him to me show that Mr. Weiner lacks the requisite moral character to represent the people of his district in Congress. Frankly, I'm disappointed that Councilmember Van Bramer lacks the fortitude to state affirmatively his opinion on whether Mr. Weiner should go, but rather takes the easy way "it's up to him" way out.

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  4. pomme

    Requisite moral character? Like giving away middle class peoples' money to banks? Invading Iraq for non-existent weapons of mass destruction?
    Presiding over the biggest income in income inequality in decades? Stealing public funds? Most of those guys are still in government. Why do sexy photos and tweets constitute the worst offense? And lying? hmmm, get rid of liars and there would be no one left in government. What he did was dumb. It wasn't illegal (he did not 'report' hacking to any authority). Working it out is between him and his wife. Let his constituents decide his worth at the next election. On most issues, he has done a great job for his constituents.

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  5. John K. Wilson

    pomme,

    Getting rid of most people in Government might just be a sound idea.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  6. Veni_Vidi_Vici

    I'm convinced that 90% percent of our government officials are narcissistic sociopaths. The other 10% percent are just garden variety idiots. Weiner is a textbook case.

    The way the political game is played, a decent human being with morals simply can't get elected.

    Every one of you elected officials are vile, immoral excrement.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  7. sartke

    Sorta sad and pathetic but not crooked, not illegal. If his constituents don't want him, he'll be voted out. Soon.

    There are serious issues (hey, 9.1% unemployment) that we don't talk about when we spend time on this stuff, the political equivalent of a reality tv show.

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  8. Lonely Man

    Anyone else find the title of this article a little hilarious?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  9. Atom

    Event 1: Bill Clinton gets blown by an intern, lies under oath. Liberal reaction=Defend Him! To hell with those lousy Republicans trying to usurp our electoral process. He made a mistake, he's human!

    Event 2: Congressman swaps dirty pics with people over the internet. Lies about it to media (NOT court of law), Liberal Reaction: BURN HIM, BURN HIM!!!!!!!!!

    Just want to put some perspective on this for you guys. Anthony Weiner made a mistake that was about 1/10th as bad as Clinton's....yet NO one is coming out to defend him. This is ridiculous.

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  10. Raquel

    Weiner is not a nice guy - he is a real hot dog which is why only a hack like Crowley would defend him. The Hot Dog stated that "to the best of his knowledge, the ladies were not underage". To the best of his knowledge? Oh, gee, Hot dog: never thought you could have been set up for blackmail and extortion? Nope, the Weenie must go - now! He represents us - the taxpayers - GO NOW, WEENIE! And take Schumer with you, your puppet master.

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  11. Raquel

    He's a teenie weenie!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  12. Raquel

    Van Bramer - "It's hard to say". The double entendres don't stop!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  13. Raquel

    Actually, if he was using "office equipment' (another double entendre" a crime was committed.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  14. Neighborhood Observer

    It seems to be politicions have been behaving badly since the dawn of time, but back in the day it took way too much time and energy to spread the scandal around the world. In our transparent world, where everyone knows everything about everybody else because we can't stop taking pictures and sending them into ether-space, bad behavior seems to be happening more often. Mr. Weiner is swinging in the wind right now because of his caustic personality, but it that personality that has served his district so well.

    If our entire society decided to bring back some decorum to public life, perhaps behavior like this would occur less often.

    Why does a 21 year old think it appropriate to show her admiration for a congressman doing his job by using the word "hot?" Because our society sexualizes everything.

    As for the other politicians, they are being politic. That's all.

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  15. Raquel

    What a profile in courage that Weprin is: "Weiner is doing a good job" - yes, as a pornmeister and pervert! Not as a congressman!

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  16. Veni_Vidi_Vici

    Maybe we need a bi-partisan presidential ticked next time:

    Weiner/Bush in 2012

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  17. Aileen Mahmoodi

    every politician is a sleazy in one way or another, that's how they got where they're at.
    yeah, what he did was wrong... for the sole reason that he is married. poor huma... kinda ironic that she hillary's wing(wo)man.
    he let his private life get mixed up with his career, i dont think we have to strip the man of his achievements, over something petty like this.
    the adults (30+) seem really blind to the younger generation's stance on nudity and sex... its very much accepted, along with marijuana
    yes, he lied. do you know how embarrassed he must've felt? he's still human! weiner is what... 46? 47? ...no one wants to see old man penis! you dont think he knew that, and thats why he was lying. if he couldve he probably wouldve taken this to his grave. you cant blame the guy for that. i think this was actually a good thing! most of you dont know and arent apart of the differnt sites where younger girls feel it is okay to take indecently exposed pictures... maybe they can put two and two together and realize that shit can come bite you in the ass.

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  18. Randall

    A 17 year old girl was involved - it is not ok! How did Weiner know that some of these girls weren't really policemen looking for perverts? He has to resign - his judgment is atrocious and some of the acts, if he used federal issued property - were illegal. I can't resist: I will be that Danny Dromm likes weiner!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  19. Aileen Mahmoodi

    why because he is a gay rights activist?

    im going to be straight up and just say, f$$k you for that statement.
    coming from a former student of the man.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  20. Randall

    Aileen, you have my condolences - and you ahve no sense of humor!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  21. Aileen Mahmoodi

    or maybe your sense of humor is just offensive

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  22. Rocky Balboa

    Aileen, what is your problem? Even the people who like Weiner joke about him! The name - and the stuff that he has done - just lend themselves to humor. Feel sorry for his mother though.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  23. Aileen Mahmoodi

    there was something i found offensive said about a former teacher, current council member ...i didnt say anything about any jokes on weiner's weiner. i actually hope he doesnt step down because of this... so i dont know why i was addressed in your previous comment.

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  24. Raquel

    I see that Gloria Allred is now in the picture. The circus continues.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

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Latest News

Artwork under 40th Street Station is removed—to make room for 40th Street/Lowery plaza

artwork 002

Oct. 22, By Christian Murray

The artwork/excise equipment beneath the 40th Street station was removed today to make room for the 40th Street/ Lowery Plaza that will be unveiled this Friday.

Workers began disassembling the stainless steel workout equipment and rubber mats at about 11 am this morning, which the workers said was on route to be displayed in North Carolina.

The equipment/artwork, which went up last October, aimed to “bring art and function [to the subway area],” said Darren Goins, the artist, at the time.

Today, as Goins was disassembling his work, he said that his Sunnyside exhibition was well received. He said that it had been replicated in other parts of the city and that it had been written about in an art magazine.

However, many residents were perplexed by the artwork and wanted it removed shortly after it went up.

The 40th Street Lowery Plaza is scheduled to open Friday with a ribbon cutting taking place there at 1pm. It would have opened in summer—but the artist had a contract with the Department of Transportation to have his work displayed there until October.

Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) will be power washing the concrete beneath the 40th Street Station and setting up planters as well as tables & chairs. The plaza will be very similar to the Bliss Plaza that opened at 46th Street on July 29.

The two plazas stem from an application the BID filed with the DOT last summer for the two sites to be included as part of the NYC Plaza Program.

The DOT approved the BID’s proposal and agreed to help design the plazas and provide the funding.

Bliss Plaza

Bliss Plaza

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Police seek men who shot four bystanders outside LIC club

Oct. 22, By Christian Murray

The police are searching for two men who allegedly got into a gun fight outside a Long Island City nightclub Sunday and shot four bystanders.

The incident occurred at about 10:45 pm on Oct. 19 in front of Allure Night Club, located at 33-02 Queens Blvd.

The two individuals shot four people—one man in the chest, while the three others in the leg. The victims were driven to area hospitals by their own means.

The police are asking the public’s assistance in finding the whereabouts of the two shooters.

One of the suspects is described as a black male with short hair who was wearing a gray sweatshirt and bright colored sneakers the night of the shooting.

There was no description for the second suspect.

Anyone with information in asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

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Sunnyside struck by six burglaries in the past week
44

43-40 40th Street

Oct. 20, By Christian Murray

There have been six burglaries in Sunnyside in the past week, with thieves taking items such as iPhones, iPads, laptops and credit cards, police said.

The burglaries started on Tuesday, Oct. 14, when four apartments on 40th Street (btw. 43rd Ave. and 47th Avenues) were targeted.

The perpetrator started at 8 am when he entered 45-48 40th Street and broke into two apartments, before fleeing with several electronic items, police said. Then at 11:45 am, a burglar gained access to an apartment at 43-38 40th Street and stole items such as an iPhone and credit card.

Later that day, a burglar attempted to break into an apartment at 43-34 40th at around 3:30 pm. The victim heard a noise in living room, causing the suspect to flee.

But the thieves were not done. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, a burglar broke into 43-32 40th Street around 4:15pm and fled with several items, police said.

Shortly after the incidents, the police sent in somewhere between 15 and 20 officers to keep tabs on the area and the burglaries ceased. However, while the problem in stopped in the 40s, two burglaries took place in the 50s later in the week.

On Friday, Oct. 17, the police reported burglaries at 41-25 50th Street and 39-72 52 Street.

In addition to the burglaries, two cars in Sunnyside Gardens were tampered with during the week. One had its tires and rims stolen—before being placed on blocks. The other had its window smashed.

Anyone with information on any of these incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. Furthermore, in the case of the burglaries, if anyone sees anyone suspicious on a fire escape or in a court yard they are asked to call the police.

47th Street

autodamage

 

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Sunnyside Restaurant Week kicks off Monday
Salt & Fat

Salt & Fat

Oct. 19, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside’s second annual restaurant week kicks off Monday and 33 restaurants have signed up to participate.

The event, organized by Sunnyside Shines, aims to showcase Sunnyside as a destination for high-quality cuisine. Its goal is tempt residents to try new places and draw foodies from other parts of New York City.

Furthermore, there will also be artwork on display at five participating restaurant—with three of those pieces coming from Sunnyside artists.

On Monday, there will be a reception held at 7pm at Salt and Fat (41-16 Queens Boulevard) to mark restaurant week. The reception will include a guided tour of the five art installations as well as a movie screening at Dazies.

The art is being curated by No Longer Empty, a Manhattan-based contemporary art organization. The work will be on display at Bucharest Restaurant, Los Verdes, PJ Horgan’s, Salt & Fat and Venturo.

However, for many, the main attraction won’t be the art—it will be the food.

Each restaurant will serve a three course dinner menu for $25—from lunchtime Monday through Friday Oct. 24.

The participating restaurants span the globe. There will be Japanese, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Mexican, Peruvian, French, Colombian, Filipino, Paraguayan, Tibetan, Thai, and Seasonal American food on offer.

Restaurants from Skillman Avenue through 47th Avenue have signed up this year. Last November, when Sunnyside Restaurant Week was launched, 17 restaurants took part.

“Last year’s event was a big success for neighborhood restaurants,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director, of Sunnyside Shines. “I am proud that we have doubled the number.”

Participating restaurants will also include newcomers to the Sunnyside scene—such as Tibetan Dumpling Café and Blu Orchid. Venturo and Salt & Fat, which were recently recognized as Michelin “Bib Gourmands,” will be participating again this year.

Sunnyside Shines has listed the 33 restaurants on its website. Most have put together a special menu just for Sunnyside Restaurant Week.

All this for $25.

Takesushi: All this for $25.

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Parking costs might rise in Sunnyside/Woodside, as DOT has preliminary plans to introduce ‘Park Smart’

meters

Oct. 17, By Christian Murray

Representatives from the Department of Transportation attended a Community Board 2 meeting last week and introduced a preliminary plan to introduce “Park Smart”– a program that aims to free up parking spaces–in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

The program attempts to reduce the time it takes for motorists to find parking in business districts– by changing meter rates, extending park hours and modifying commercial parking zones.

The program was first introduced in Queens in 2013, with the implementation of a pilot program in Jackson Heights.

The program typically focuses on changing the meter rates to encourage short-term parking through “progressive” rates.

For instance on certain streets in Jackson Heights, it now costs 50 cents to park for 30 minutes, $1:50 for an hour, $2:50 for 90 minutes and $4 for 2 hours.

However, in some cases, the parking period has been extended on certain streets. For instance, one hour limits have been increased to two.

Park Smart typically aims to change the commercial parking and delivery zones. “Early Morning Delivery Zones” are often established to provide loading space before the meters turn on at 10 a.m., and “Paid Commercial Parking Zones” reserve daytime metered spaces for commercial uses.

The Department of Transportation will not introduce the system unless business owners opt into the program. The DOT representatives told the Community Board 2 that it will reach out to Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, the Long Island City Partnership and Woodside on the Move to get their feedback. Those groups are likely to conduct a survey of local businesses to get their feedback.

Park Smart is not a program that typically goes into effect overnight as the DOT typically evaluates each street to determine whether the parking times and rates need to be modified.

Furthermore it is typically implemented as a pilot program before becoming permanent.

The programs were made permanent in Park Slope and Greenwich Village, after they were deemed effective, according to the DOT.

However, the pilot program on Madison Avenue and East 86th Street was brought to a halt after it was viewed as being ineffective, according to published reports.

For more information on Park Smart click here

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Sunnyside building winds up on ‘Worst Landlord Watch List’
 43-15 46th Street

43-15 46th Street

Oct. 16, By Christian Murray

New York’s annual “Worst Landlord Watch List” was released last week and it included a poorly-run building in Sunnyside and one in Woodside.

The list, released by Public Advocate Letitia James, reported that the third worst building in Queens—in terms of violations—is located at 43-15 46th Street.

The building, which is a 6-story 88-unit complex, has 271 outstanding violations, according to the report. While the building is a coop, it has several renters—although the exact number is not known.

The original landlord, who took the building coop about 25 years ago, rents several units, according to published reports.

The violations, which have been filed with HPD, deal with water leaks, missing smoke detectors, loose bathroom tiles, mold and defective faucets.

The managing agent of the building is Aras Properties, which is located in Cedarhurst. The head officer is Kevin Kane, who could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, the landlord who runs a Woodside building has the fifth worst record in Queens, with 223 violations.

The building, located at 39-30 59th Street, is a 6-story 78 unit complex.

The violations include complaint about roaches, defective plastered surfaces, broken stoves, mold and missing smoke detectors.

The owner of the building is Harry Silverstein. Silverstein could not be reached for comment.

Click here for the Worst Landlord List

Click here to look up the violations in any building

 43-15 46th Street.

43-15 46th Street.

 

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Application period for Hunters Point South has begun

Hunters Point South building

Oct. 15, By Christian Murray

The application period for the apartments at the Hunters Point South Development in Long Island City went live today.

The application forms can be filled out on line at New York Housing Connect, which requires applicants to provide details such as their income and apartment sought.

Those interested have until December 15 to submit an application.

There are 925 apartments up for grabs, with 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall into the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year.

For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom.

However, the limits are significantly higher for the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio is a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000.

The rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1,965-2,509 for a one bedroom, $2,366-$3,300 for a 2 bedroom and $2,729-$4,346 for a three bedroom.

Preference will be given to applicants who live within the Community Board 2 district, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

affordablerents

affordablehousingmoderate income

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Village Voice declares Salt & Fat Sunnyside’s best restaurant

saltfat-350x263

Oct 15, Staff Report

The Village Voice has just named Salt & Fat as the best restaurant in Sunnyside.

The write up starts as follows:

“Salt & Fat looks like it could be in Brooklyn — reclaimed wood for the storefront sign, artfully arranged small plates that feature New American decadence — but owner Daniel Yi is a local boy. Born in Seoul and raised in Sunnyside, Yi has crafted a nation-hopping menu that reflects the area’s diversity. A meal begins with a complimentary starter — popcorn cooked in bacon fat, as American as can be — and finishes with little bottles of Yakult, a tangy-sweet Japanese yogurt drink.”

For the rest of the Village Voice Article, please click here.

 

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Dumplings & Noodle eatery to open on 46th Street

Noodles

By Christian Murray

A dumplings and noodles eatery will be opening on 46th Street next door to Pio Pio Riko.

The restaurant, which will be located at 45-24 46th Street, is expected to open in late December, according to its owner, who was reluctant to provide too many details at this point.

The eatery will consist of about 30 seats and there will not be table service. The owner described it as “fast casual.”

The menu will consist of soup, baos (steamed buns filled with pork/beef/vegetables), and a wide selection of noodles and dumplings (both steamed and fried). The food will include a mix of Chinese and other Asian flavors. There are also plans to get a liquor license.

The owner has another restaurant—offering the same style of food—in Park Slope.

The business owner was attracted to Sunnyside due to its diverse population.  “I like the mixed neighborhood and there are few [restaurants] like this in the area.”

The restaurant is moving into a portion of the space that was once occupied by Grand 99 Cent Store, which left about 2 years ago. The other portion of the site was leased to  Signature Paint & Home Center, which opened this summer.

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

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More Headlines

Application period for Hunters Point South has begun
Hunters Point South building Oct. 15, By Christian Murray The application period for the apartments at the Hunters Point South Development in Long Island City went live today. The application forms can be filled out on line at New York Housing Connect, which requires applicants to provide details such as their income and apartment sought. Those interested have until December 15 to submit an application. There are 925 apartments up for grabs, with 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall into the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year. For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom. However, the limits are significantly higher for the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio is a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000. The rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1,965-2,509 for a one bedroom, $2,366-$3,300 for a 2 bedroom and $2,729-$4,346 for a three bedroom. Preference will be given to applicants who live within the Community Board 2 district, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. affordablerents affordablehousingmoderate income
Village Voice declares Salt & Fat Sunnyside’s best restaurant
saltfat-350x263 Oct 15, Staff Report The Village Voice has just named Salt & Fat as the best restaurant in Sunnyside. The write up starts as follows: "Salt & Fat looks like it could be in Brooklyn — reclaimed wood for the storefront sign, artfully arranged small plates that feature New American decadence — but owner Daniel Yi is a local boy. Born in Seoul and raised in Sunnyside, Yi has crafted a nation-hopping menu that reflects the area's diversity. A meal begins with a complimentary starter — popcorn cooked in bacon fat, as American as can be — and finishes with little bottles of Yakult, a tangy-sweet Japanese yogurt drink." For the rest of the Village Voice Article, please click here.  
Dumplings & Noodle eatery to open on 46th Street
Noodles By Christian Murray A dumplings and noodles eatery will be opening on 46th Street next door to Pio Pio Riko. The restaurant, which will be located at 45-24 46th Street, is expected to open in late December, according to its owner, who was reluctant to provide too many details at this point. The eatery will consist of about 30 seats and there will not be table service. The owner described it as "fast casual." The menu will consist of soup, baos (steamed buns filled with pork/beef/vegetables), and a wide selection of noodles and dumplings (both steamed and fried). The food will include a mix of Chinese and other Asian flavors. There are also plans to get a liquor license. The owner has another restaurant—offering the same style of food—in Park Slope. The business owner was attracted to Sunnyside due to its diverse population.  “I like the mixed neighborhood and there are few [restaurants] like this in the area.” The restaurant is moving into a portion of the space that was once occupied by Grand 99 Cent Store, which left about 2 years ago. The other portion of the site was leased to  Signature Paint & Home Center, which opened this summer.
Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

Cathy Nolan’s opponent for Assembly a long shot
JohnKwilsonThis November’s election for Assembly District 37 is practically a formality. Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D), who has been in office representing a large portion of Western Queens since 1984, faces a contender who has run against her twice before and was thumped each time. Nolan has name recognition, the benefit of incumbency, strong party backing and has raised more than $130,000 in campaign funds since 2010 (Friends of Catherine Nolan and Nolan for Assembly). She has moved up the ranks over the years, where she has chaired the Banking as well as Labor committees. She is currently the chair of the Education Committee. Meanwhile, her challenger John K. Wilson, a Sunnyside barman/actor, has raised $10,000 in campaign funds (Committee to elect John K Wilson) since 2010 and has virtually no name recognition. His best effort against Nolan came in 2010 when he generated 16% of the vote, after he ran a confrontational—and at times—negative campaign (see website). Wilson said he is running in order to introduce term limits and bring an end to the Queens Democratic machine. “There is too much power in too few hands,” he said. “Six years in office should be the limit,” Wilson said. “I want to put an end to career politicians.” “The longer someone is in power the less work they do for the people,” he said. “They take the job for granted and focus on moving up within the party.” Wilson, who ran as a Republican in his past two campaigns, is running for office as a Libertarian this year. He switched parties, he said, so people would listen to his positions. “When I ran as a Republican [in 2010 and 2012], people would shut the door in my face and not even listen to my ideas,” he said. “People associate you as Dick Cheney, which is not the case. This time, some people might tell me they are Cathy [Nolan] supporters but at least they will listen to me.” His platform is based around free market economics. He said businesses are over regulated, over taxed and subject to too much bureaucracy. “New York State is very unfriendly to business and that is why many are leaving to go to other states.” He cited the battle in Long Island City over the use of back yard space as an example of unnecessary bureaucracy. “Local restaurants hire people, want to do what is right by the community and are losing revenue,” he said. “These owners don’t want to be bad neighbors,” he said. “It is not in their interest to have loud noise at night. Why not a compromise?” He said that he opposes the concept of affordable housing, which he views as a “buzzword” to make it appear as though elected officials are “helping the little people.” He said the term “affordable” has never been defined and believes that market forces are the answer. Wilson, who supports gay marriage and is pro-choice, said that he wants the number of charter schools to be expanded. He said charter schools benefit poor and minority students and many parents want to send their children to these schools since they provide the best chance these children have for success. He also said that the state needs to cut spending and focus more on reducing taxes."Lower taxes equal more jobs," he said. Most of all, Wilson said that voters need a choice come Election Day (Nov. 4) and said it is disappointing that many legislators are running unopposed. “Without a choice we enter into Soviet style government,” he said.
Police Precinct 108 takes to the streets
Hennessy Oct. 12, By Christian Murray Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct, aims to forge closer ties with the community. Earlier this month, he started a new initiative called “Community Friday,” where he and a group of officers (many off duty) go to a neighborhood to clean graffiti, pick up garbage and address quality-of-life issues. While the 108 Precinct has been doing cleanups periodically, Hennessy decided recently to turn it into a formal program. “I thought I would start this program because it is important that we do things with the community…to show we care,” Hennessy said. “It is the best part of policing.” On Friday Oct. 3, Hennessy’s team tackled their first job by 43rd Street/Laurel Hill Boulevard—next to the Long Island Expressway. Hennessy had been told at a meeting hosted by the United 40s Civic Association, a group of about 60 Woodside/Sunnyside residents, that there was a homeless problem by the expressway and that the area was filthy and covered with graffiti. Hennessy, accompanied by a group of about 15 officers (some auxiliary officers), went to the neighborhood and brought with him a worker from the Department of Homeless Services to help out the homeless. However, on that afternoon, the homeless were not there. The police, dressed in white overalls, picked up garbage on the sidewalk and grass, and painted over graffiti. The event took place between the 4 pm and 6pm. On Oct. 10, Hennessy and his crew went to Maspeth to clean up the graffiti down by 70th Street and 48th Avenue and to tackle the persistent problem of abandoned vehicles that the community has brought to his attention. Since he took command in May 2013, Hennessy has been an active participant in community events. He has organized basketball games between cops and high school students. In summer, he organized volleyball games at Hunters Point South Park down by LIC Landing. In terms of the new program, Hennessy is hopeful that his crew will get to work with the community throughout the entire Sunnyside/Woodside and Long Island City area. He said he welcomes people’s feedback as to locations where his crew should go.
Rally to find driver responsible for Woodside Hit-and-Run
Van BramerFATAL Oct. 12, By Christian Murray Less than 48 hours after a hit-and-run incident on Queens Blvd, community leaders held a rally calling on the public for tips to find out who was responsible. The rally was held at the intersection of 60th Street and Queens Blvd at the scene where an unidentified Hispanic man in his 30s was struck by a dark-colored Ford SUV around 1:30 a.m. Thursday while crossing the intersection. The driver fled the scene. The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition and—as of Friday afternoon—had yet to be identified. “To leave someone lying in the street and offer no assistance is an outrage,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Someone out there has a guilty conscience and should turn themselves in.” “We are calling on anyone who has information on this case to call the authorities,” he said. A large road sign had been placed on the side of Queens Blvd calling on motorists to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS if they had any information on the incident. The rally, however, was also held to remind people that they must stop after a collision. “You have to stop no matter how serious, whether it's a fender bender or someone is lying in the street injured, you must stop. That is the law. And if you don't you will be brought to justice,” Van Bramer said. Van Bramer said that the recently passed Hit-and-Run Victims Act, which he sponsored, will go into effect December 29. With that law, a perpetrator of a hit and run can be fined up to $10,000--on top of any criminal charges imposed by the state. Van Bramer said the new law is about increasing the public’s awareness that this will not be tolerated. “We want to change the culture. When people see the full weight of the law is coming down they might think twice,” he said. Should the incident prove fatal, it would be the first traffic-related death this year in the 108 Police precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. This time last year, there had been 8 deaths, including five pedestrians. Van Bramer said that the Vision Zero campaign has been a large factor in keeping traffic deaths down, which has included the redesign of dangerous streets to greater enforcement. The 108 Precinct has issued 30% more speeding tickets this year compared to the same period in 2013. The police also doubled the number of drunk drivers arrests, with 112 people arrested so far this year compared to 52 for the same period in 2013.
Brooklyn man arrested in connection to Woodside murder
queenspalace Oct. 10, By Michael Florio A Brooklyn man was arrested Thursday for allegedly killing a man outside a Woodside party hall in July. Jorge Navarro, 20, was arrested in connection to the July 26th death of Eduardo Rojas, who was killed after being struck in the head. The incident occurred outside of Queens Palace, located at 37-27 57th Street, when a fight broke out. In the melee gun shots were also fired. The 108 precinct responded to a 911 call just after 1 am and discovered a 25-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his left leg and back, as well Rojas, who was dead. Navarro is facing charges of murder, manslaughter and gang assault. He has not been charged for the shooting.
Another hit-and-run in Woodside leaves man in critical condition
ambulance Oct. 9, By Michael Florio Another pedestrian has fallen victim to a hit-and-run in Woodside. A 20-to-30 year old male was struck in the early hours today while crossing the intersection at Queens Blvd and 60th Street. A dark colored SUV was traveling westbound along Queens Blvd when it struck the victim at about 1:30 am, according to an NYPD spokesperson. The vehicle did not stop and continued westbound toward the Queensboro Bridge. Upon arrival, officers discovered the victim to be unconscious. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition. The investigation is ongoing.
Sunnyside Gardens planned community turns 90
SGbefore Oct. 9, By Christian Murray Sunnyside Gardens, the planned community designed by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this month. To mark the occasion, the Greater Astoria Historical Society will be presenting “Sunnyside Gardens at 90,” which will feature a series of photographs of the gardens over the decades as well a presentation by local historian Jeffrey Kroessler and architect Laura Heim. The presentation, which will take place tonight at 7pm at 35-20 Broadway in Astoria, will discuss the origins and significance of the community, including its importance in urban planning, design, and history, and the contentious campaign to gain designation as a historic district. (Click for details) Sunnyside Gardens was initially constructed between 1924 and 1928, and consisted of a series of twelve “courts”. The designated area went on to include the Phipps Garden Apartment buildings, which were constructed in the early 1930s. To celebrate the anniversary, the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance will be holding an event marking the occasion on Saturday, Oct. 25, with the unveiling of three historic district signs followed by a reception. The event will kick off at 1 pm at Skillman Avenue and 46th Street. (Click for details) According to the Preservation Alliance's website, the City Housing Corporation organized a “grand opening” for the first group of houses that were developed in Oct 1924. Advocates for affordable housing and New York City officials joined in to applaud the start of a new kind of neighborhood at the time. The very first Sunnyside Gardens owners moved in at the beginning of September 1924, according to the website, with the first house sold located at 41-49 47th (Carolin) Street. House prices ranged from $8500 to $13,500. SGNow sgplay    
Van Bramer differs with Community Board Chair over the development of Sunnyside Yards
Sunnyside_Yard_East_jehOct. 8, By Christian Murray Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said today that he is firmly opposed to building over the Sunnyside Yards. Van Bramer made the statement in response to Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley’s call last Thursday for a study to determine whether it would be feasible to build over a section of the yards, which consists of acres of land covered by railroad tracks. Conley said at the monthly Community Board 2 meeting that the Sunnyside Yards could be used to build more affordable housing. “We should look at it with the possibility of creating a community…with affordable housing, market rate housing and retail,” Conley said. Conley called on the board to give him permission to send a letter to the Queens Borough President’s office requesting a study of the area. The board complied. The letter, however, alarmed several people who fear over development—with some claiming that the infrastructure is overstretched as it is. Van Bramer said the community is not calling for the development of the Sunnyside Yards. He said people are more concerned about school overcrowding, transportation issues and other problems that actually stem from development. “My office is in the business of receiving hundreds of letters and speaking to people about important issues all the time,” Van Bramer said. “Not one person has come to me and said ‘you should deck over the Sunnyside Yards and build housing.” Several Community Board 2 members said after last Thursday’s meeting that they were caught by surprise by Conley’s request. “I’m opposed to the concept of decking [building] over the Sunnyside Yards,” Van Bramer said. “The idea gets floated whenever there is an economic boom…but I think it would be bad for the surrounding community.” Van Bramer, as councilman, has a big role to play in terms of land use decisions such as these. All significant zoning changes go through the city council and it is typically the elected official in a given district that makes the call. Van Bramer was unsure how the idea surfaced in the first place.
Van Bramer

Van Bramer

Conley said that the Sunnyside Yards—which go through Long Island City and Sunnyside--are owned by government agencies. Therefore, this provides the community with an opportunity to negotiate with developers as to the number of affordable units that could be built. “Jackson Avenue and 21st Street would be our jumping off point,” Conley said, adding that the study would then look toward Thomson Avenue and Queens Plaza. Van Bramer said that he too is in favor of affordable housing. However, he said, “Density is appropriate in some places and not others. I, for one, believe Sunnyside and Astoria are great low-density neighborhoods that should remain so.” Conley told the Daily News Tuesday that the Sunnyside Yards also divide the neighborhoods and indicated that the housing would draw them closer. “Right now you have this scar that runs down the community,” he told the News. Van Bramer disagreed with this view. “I wouldn’t characterize these neighborhoods as having a scar running through them…and I don’t believe the neighborhoods are unreachable.”    
Police seek help in locating serial bank robber, suspect allegedly hit Chase bank in Sunnyside in July
Oct. 8, By Christian Murray suspect Call him the 21st Century version of Willie Sutton or John Dillinger. The police are searching for a man who has robbed eight Queens banks—and attempted to rob two others—in the past 2 1/2 years. The banks have been scattered throughout the borough—covering Jackson Heights, Middle Village, Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing, East Elmhurst and Sunnyside. In total, the suspect has taken in about $50,000. One of the robberies occurred at the Chase Bank branch at 47-11 Queens Blvd, where the suspect approached a teller and passed her a note—before fleeing with $5,900 in cash. That incident occurred on July 25, 2014 (see story). The suspect’s modus operandi has been to enter a bank, pass a note and—on four occasions—display a firmarm. He also tends to hold a mobile phone up against his ear. No injuries have resulted from his spree. The suspect (see photo) is believed to be between 30 and 35 years old, approximately 6-feet-tall and weighing about 200 pounds. Police said he was last seen wearing a New York Yankees baseball hat and a button-down short sleeve shirt. He also had a light beard connected to a goatee, tinted eye glasses and a black wrist watch on his left wrist. The first incident occurred on July 17, 2012, when he allegedly entered into an Amalgamated Bank at 78-01 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights and took off with $1,450.suspect1 The latest robbery occurred Saturday, when the suspected entered Chase Bank at 69-55 Grand Avenue, passed a note and left with $5,170. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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