Residents unite following Sunnyside murder: many question police investigation

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly

50 Responses to Residents unite following Sunnyside murder: many question police investigation

  1. Webley

    Would you mind posting larger pictures, the pop up pictures is not even larger than the picture included in the article.

    As for this event, I wish we knew about it, there could have been at least 5 more people there. This sucks that police dept is not getting their act straight.. I think someone has to tell police dept that he/she thinks the attackers were radical islamic terrorists and that lou knew something about an attack to an American landmark.. Maybe then they will care. Since they care more about spying on people in NJ where NYPD has no jurisdiction instead of investigating local events where taxpayers actually live.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  2. GB

    Let's hope they catch the killers soon.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  3. Oppressed Masses

    Our job as a community is to make sure the police do not forget this murder until the killers are arrested, tried and convicted.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  4. Patriot

    Now JVB can get back to protecting everyone except real americans

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  5. D Timmerman

    How is it that there is no comment from the NYPD as part of this story. There is not even any information about how you tried to reach Mr. Powers or any other police spokesman for comment. Did you? If Mr. Van Bramer is aware of any police misfeasance in this matter, wouldn't he take the issue to the police or the City Council? If Van Bramer told you how and when he would meet with police to consider this matter, shouldn't that information be a part of this article?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  6. Local Hamburgler

    I feel guilty for not going. Thankfully the turnout was decent.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  7. Sunnyside Post

    D Timmerman,

    Thank you for your analysis. Every point you made was valid.
    a) The police have been contacted and that information has been included in the story. (Although that information was included after the initial story was posted)
    b) As far as Councilman Van Bramer is concerned...he has said that he wants to focus on finding the perpetrators. Then he wants to look more closely at the investigation.

    Thanks.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  8. O'shea

    Probability of the suspects being caught is very low. There is no equilibria between the 108s raging nonchalance/ homophobia and the financial incentive to rat out these suspects. Ratting people out is a business. The payout ratio for this crime is way too low.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  9. Rick Duro

    I think that the odds the killers are caught might not be that low. People cant keep their mouths shut, someone will brag about it to a friend, who will get arrested for X crime and then give the cops a 'bigger fish'.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  10. CM

    While my heart goes out to the Rispoli family and I respect the sentiment surrounding the vigil, I do question Van Bramers motives. While he said he would have held this march regardless of the victim, I find this hard to believe. I know Van Bramer had a very personal connection to this loss, but he needs to address all of the acts of violence in our neighborhood.
    I have lived in Sunnyside for over a decade and there have been a number of unresolved murders. Never in all of my time here have I seen these murders addressed. Several years ago two people were murdered in an apartment building on 47th Ave. No one was ever arrested for these murders, and there was never a march against violence for these victims. Our police precinct needs to be held accountable for all of these unresolved murders, not just the ones that get the most recognition by politicians.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  11. Get a Life

    WAs a vigil held after the man was killed at the New Post diner or was tha man's life unimportant? I do not not think that homophotobia had anything to do with the investgation being "bungled" - and if arrests are made, we will say a "job well done". It sounds like Lou was trying to get away from these hoodlums and asked to get out on 41st Street rather than 51st Street where he lived. The lesson: don't go into a car with people you don't know, and ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CELL PHONE. Also, if you are wandering around at night, text your loved one and let him know where you are. I think one of the criminals will shoot off his mouth but the police need to keep this story in the news.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  12. Rick Duro

    What are the unsolved murders since JVB has gained office?

    Post Diner-during Gioia's term
    2 on 47th Ave that were mentioned above-I can't find any info online abt this. What year?

    Agreed, the 108th needs to do a better job, this case has been fumbled since the beginning.

    RD

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  13. Lucky Lu

    Do we know if the police have found out anything new since the crime? I now see posters up on that block but no new info.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  14. voiceofreason

    What exactly would some of you folks like the NYPD to make public? What details would satisfy you arm- chair investigators? And what makes you believe that you are ENTITLED to such information?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  15. Nick Shadyside

    Webley: Keep checking the sunnysidepost.com. This is the only news outlet that has given this tragic crime the coverage it warrants--including information about this march.
    Same is true of other major crimes and incidents in the neighborhood of late. Nice job, sunnysidepost!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  16. Nick Shadyside

    And as for the criticism against JVB, instead of blaming him for things that didn't happen in the past, why not hold him to his own standards in the future? Anytime there's a major crime in the neighborhood, there should be a public response--I'm sure that Councilman Van Bramer could meet that challenge.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  17. Oppressed Masses

    I don't understand the negative comments directed to Mr. Van Bramer and his role in organizing and leading yesterday's demonstration. Mr. Van Bramer has made clear that he was acting as a private citizen and not as an elected representative and that Mr. Rispoli and his family are personal friends. Mr. Rispoli was a person well known by many in our community. How does the yesterday's public demonstration against the murder which occurred a few weeks ago (and support for the Rispoli family) in any manner reflect on the significance of murders that occurred several years ago?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  18. SC

    The murders that occured on 47th Ave were in 2005. Rose Gilbert and John Dalton were found stabbed to death.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  19. voiceofreason

    Webley: A once fine weapon whose time has passed.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  20. voiceofreason

    I withdraw the esoteric comment.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  21. Rick Duro

    well said, OM.

    RD

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  22. huh?

    The 47th Ave murders in a building across from the park involved a woman who had recently moved to NYC from Texas or somewhere out west to be an actress. Her male roommate apparently had various 'dates' and one of them murdered the roommate and the actress.
    I tried to find the story online but no luck yet. I remember the stories were focused on her moving to NYC to fulfill her dreams. She was in her late 30s I think. I never heard of any arrests in that case.

    There was also a stabbing death in that park that was said to be drug-related.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  23. huh?

    http://projects.nytimes.com/crime/homicides/map - go to 2005 and look at the dots for Sunnyside area (there are a few). You'll see June 21, 2005. It was a triple murder. I forgot the woman had a friend there who was also killed. Sorry can't find the story.
    But the map may provide more unsolved murders in the neighborhood.

    That said, the 108th needs to be held accountable. What did they think had happened to the victim that night that they didn't bother investigating? Did they assume he was just drunk and fell?
    They told a friend who'd been assaulted that the perpetrator probably just thought she was cute.
    Protecting and serving

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  24. Long time sunnysider

    How long s JVB in office??? Stop the negativity against him and focus on the crime that happened in our neigherhood.i can only guess that the people who love to knock him don't even know him. Also I am figuring that none of ye were at the vigil on Sat evening. Ye were probaly too busy sitting on your couches thinking about what comment u can leave on this site to create more negativity about Mr Van Bramer. U people are pathetic. Get out there and b seen and heard at local community meetings instead of venting on this site. All I hope s that the people who committed this horrific crime are caught and made pay for their brutality.god bless Christian Murray and Sunnyside post for keeping us informed on what's happening in our community. Only for Sunnyside post we would not know a lot of the stuff that s happening in the neigherhood.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  25. Ruben

    as I stated before, Mr. Rispoli got treated like so many minorities do. It is a shame you all have to see for yourselves how the police lack any interest unless there's cameras or being pushed by people in power.

    I commend JVB for putting pressure on these people for showing their true hand in matters. Bitch about the dog park all you want, the guys out there getting shit done.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  26. Long time sunnysider

    Btw does anyone know if the vigil was on any news channel sat nite or Sunday?channel 7 and 11 were there but I haven't seen any tv in the last 2 days.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  27. a few facts

    Jimmy Van Bramer was not the City Council rep in 2005. So stop blaming him for stuff that happened or didn't happen at that time.

    NYPD may have had leads on unsolved crimes that they just didn't happen to share with the general public. That happens sometimes. It may appear a case is going unsolved but you can never be certain unless they say "We have no leads," which appears to be the case with Mr. Rispoli.

    As someone else said, hold Jimmy accountable to his own standard, not to something that happened in the past and far beyond his control. Let's hope there won't be a "next time" when it comes to murder in this neighborhood for us to find out.

    Finally, I notice there are a few signs at the intersection of 51st Street and 43rd Avenue, but I think it would be better if there were signs in shops and restaurants throughout the neighborhood. Just 2 blocks away there is no information posted.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  28. JuliaJ.

    There were three perpetrators - I would hope that one of them shoots his mouth off or goes to the police to make a deal. There is no statute of limitations on murder. I would love to see the New Post diner killer arrested as well as the murderer of the couple in the 47th Avenue apartment (facing Mario's restaurant). If the 108th does not have homicide detective who are up to this, let them bring in some real pros. These murders should be SOLVED.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  29. Ridiculous

    well said voice of reason

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  30. JuliaJ.

    There was also a murder committed at the Queensboro train station upstairs where the N connects to the 7. Also, to the best of my knowledge, no arrests. And this one was committed with a gun.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  31. Sunnyside Native

    @ Long time Sunnysider: This segment aired on the 7:00 PM edition of the news on Channel 7 on Saturday evening. I know because I DVR'd the news segment. Channel 7 did not replay this segment on their 11:30 PM news edition. May Lou Rispoli R.I.P. and I hope his murderers are caught and brought to justice!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  32. JuliaJ.

    If the 108th can't do its job, let them bring in detectives who can. One unsolved murder is 10 too many.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  33. sandycat

    I happened upon the vigil just about the time the group reached 41st Street and without a thought I knew exactly what was going on because I had read about it, saw the posters, etc etc. I remained standing in the street while the speeches were made. While standing there I was approached by at least 3 ppl asking, 'what's going on", etc etc. By the 3rd time I simply pointed to the poster letting the uniformed simply update him or herself on what has been happening in their neighborhood...then they simply walked away without interest. In the shop a block away I heard a woman asking the shop keeper what's going on with "all of those ppl and the candles". He tells her. All she wanted to know was the nationality of the victim, which the shopkeeper did not know, and off she went with kids trailing behind her, not interested. RIP sir.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  34. Heartbroken

    @sandycat Thank you. By contrast to your report, there were people who showed a great deal of compassion at this event, including a Muslim woman with two children in tow who went up to the victim's husband and asked if there was anything she could possibly do to abate his pain. That sort of kindness goes a long way, and it will never be forgotten.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  35. Astoria Native

    Sandycat,

    Of course there are people that weren't aware of the vigil or why it was called. You attempt to portray them as cold and selfish. That's unfair.

    Not everybody is as emotionally attached to this tragedy as you and some others are.

    Did it occur to you that those people you judged "not interested" might have their own family tragedies and serious issues they are currently dealing with?

    They could easily ask, why aren't YOU aware of their THEIR personal losses and sharing their grief? The Rispoli murder was a horrific event and should be addressed but - believe it or not - there are other people and families dealing with heartache and loss at any given moment, not just you.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  36. Rajeet

    There is an illegal youth hostel operating out of 47-09 43 Ave....the hostel attracts an unsavory and transient element , along with a group of teenagers unsupervised that continously taunt both woman and gays with foul language and menacing behavior. Google "hostel" Sunnyside....want to stop violence? start there!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  37. JuliaJ.

    I think the victim was trying to get away from the three criminals and asked to let out far from his home. I sure hope the police are showing his photo in other neighborhoods. He returned in a car - he must have gone more than a block from his home. I always disliked 47th Street and 43rd Avenue - now I know why!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  38. sully

    ....thank you sunnyside post for keeping this community informed ...i have lived in this neighborhood for 23years and while i know many of the shop keepers and neighbors from other streets etc.....i was not otherwise aware of the amount of crime that has plagued our comminity....I think JVB is doing a good job of setting out what he intended to do....and that is to work for the betterment of his community.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  39. Sioban

    My heart goes out to Mr. Rispoli and his family. I too avoid 43 ave between 47 street and 48 street. The people in and out of that house 47-09 are ruining the block. It makes sense after reading the previous post "hostel" This seems to be more of a shelter of some sort. JVB needs to look into this. No person should be afraid to walk anywhere in Sunnyside.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  40. Sioban

    Found the website:
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/231933

    Read the "review" of the woman sleeping on a mattress near the front door!

    "You get what you pay for. I slept in the living room right by the front door. Lots of people coming and going on a Friday night, very late at night. Had to pass through another bedroom to get to the bathroom. Friendly host "
    Tiffany.

    "When we booked the apartment, we agreed with Louis to be accomodated in another apartment (47-09 43rd Avenue, Sunnyside, NY 11104) because this one was fully booked, so this review concerns the Sunnyside flat. The apartment was simple but perfect for the three days we stayed there. The reception was very warm and the hosts were at our disposal for anything we needed. "

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  41. Thomas

    Many question the police investigation? I feel deeply saddened when anyone regardless of who they are is a victim of a violent act......but lets put this particular crime in perspective. Mr. Rispoli lived in Woodside on 51 street. He was attacked on 41 street in Sunnyside. The attack took place in the early morning hours. Mr. Rispoli met his attackers two blocks away which would put him on or about 39 place since 43 ave is a one way street. Lets ask a simple question What was a "married" man doing walking in an industrial area at that time of night? He then chose to accept a ride with complete strangers? Is it possible that this was some sort of a sexual encounter gone "bad"? If so he put himself in danger the moment he decided to act upon those impulses and get into that car. Maybe Mr. Rispoli assaulted someone in the car, hit them,stole something out of the vehicle , if they were going to assualt him ...why not do it in the car? Were drugs invovled? Why let him out and then accost him two blocks away? Yes it was a brutal act but one that could have been avoided had Mr. Rispoli not put himself in harms way.....it was his decision. So lets not jump to conclusions there may be extenuating circumstances invovled.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  42. Disgusted

    Thomas you need not speak ill of the dead lest you want them to come after you. Mind your own business. There is NO excuse for murder.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  43. Thomas

    Disgusted.....please re-read what I wrote. I was not casting aspersions toward Mr. Rispoli nor speaking ill of him. I believe this to be a heinous act. That said, people have to be aware that the decisions they make may not only impact themselves but others. One should refrain from drawing conclusions about anything regarding the circumstances until someone is arrested and charged. As far as "minding my own business" it is my right to express my opinion especially when given a forum to do so. You need to practice a little "tolerance" and not be so quick to rush to judgement.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  44. Marilyn

    I am confused. What does the house on 43rd street have to do with Lou's murder? Am I missing something? By the way I live on 48th off of 43rd and I think I know the house everyone is referring to. I am going to walk my dog and check and see if it is the same house. If it is, I am not sure if it is a hostel but I definetely think that there is a lot of shady stuff happening there.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  45. Marilyn

    Okay, the house I am concerned about is not 47-09 it is 47-15.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  46. Heartbroken

    @Thomas Lou Rispoli was a legally married man in the eyes of the law in the state of New York, so your quotes around the term are not appropriate.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  47. JuliaJ.

    I also wonder why the victim did not carry his cell phone with him late at night. Cell phones save lives and of course, have GPS tracking devices. It sounds like Mr. Rispoli wanted to get away from these characters. For the record, if my sons were missing for two hours, I would go out myself looking for them and I would INSIST they carry their phones and tell me where they are. Something in this story does not add up. I would check the local bars, go into Jackson Heights also and go into the parks. I would think that the same characters hang out there at night and may have seen something.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  48. Thomas

    Dear ..Disgusted....heartbroken...

    Again, let me say that what happened to Mr. Rispoli is an affront to every human being. A crime..... a heinous crime was committed. First, I as an American, a jew, and the grandson of holocaust survivors am appalled when any one group be it white supremicists, gays, conservatives, etc.....deny others the "right" to thier opinion or an objective look at the "facts". This is a public forum...you may want to rush to judgement and convict several people of a crime they may or may not have committed. Maybe? Mr. Rispoli exited the car and was accosted by a different person or group....the people in the car intervened and left when they could'nt assist or maybe they did perpetrate this crime because of Mr. Rispoli"s orientation....or the color of his jacket...who knows? ..we won't know til their caught. I put "married" in quotation marks because being Hetrosexual or homosexual ...the person is assumed to be in a monogamous realtionship. Many hetrosexual married men also frequent prostitutes or solicit sex. That is wrong! By doing that they put themselves in harms way along with thier family.
    Marriage is a union between two monogamous persons. Sorry if you disagree....you have that right but I think your reasoning is flawed. Grow up...accept resonsibility for your decisions.....

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  49. JuliaJ.

    The "people in the car intervened" - if they killed him, I would say so! I have read three different versions of the events. Could somebody please set the record straight?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  50. It's all True

    I hope the police are carefully questioning his husband about where Mr. Rispoli went at night. If the people closest to you don't know you . . .

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest News

Sunnyside farmers market to be open all year round

Sunnyside-market

Dec. 16, By Christian Murray

The Sunnyside Greenmarket, which had been operating from May through December, has been approved to open all year round.

The coordinator of the program received word about 10 days ago–after putting in a request earlier this year to open every Saturday for the entire year.

Greenmarket representatives started a petition drive in August calling for a year-round market. More than 1,000 residents signed it. The community board then sent a letter of support.

The market operates every Saturday from 8 am through 3pm and is located on Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

“I think the neighborhood is ready for it,” said Jessenia Cagle, the coordinator of the market, in September. “There are a lot of people in the area who like fresh, local food—and they don’t want to have to go too far to get it especially in winter.”

The market, which opened in June 2007, has proved to be a success. Presently there are 16 farmers/vendors out each weekend selling vegetables, meat, fish and bread.

Most of the vendors will continue to operate during the ice-cold winter months—with only the wine and fish vendors unlikely to participate.

The move to open a year-round is not unprecedented in Queens. Cagle said the market in Jackson Heights, which was once seasonal, now operates all year round.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly

Center Cinemas likely to close Jan. 4, as owner rejects six-month lease extension

Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x6002

Dec. 15, By Christian Murray

The owner of Sunnyside Center Cinemas has rejected the six-month lease extension that he was offered by the building owner last week —saying the extension is just too short.

Rudy Prashad, the owner of the Center Cinemas, said it was not worth hiring new staff or unpacking his equipment for six extra months. His last day remains January 4.

“My bags are packed and are pretty much sitting at the front door,” he said.

Prashad said that he mulled over the offer over the weekend but decided it didn’t make sense. “I’ve been making preparations, dealing with staff and it just doesn’t work for me to go back for that short of time.”

Prashad said that he had been trying to reach the owner for the past year to work out where he stood with his lease. He said that if he had been offered the extension three months ago then it would have worked out.

However, at this point, he would be only be willing to stay if he was offered at least 12 months.

Prashad said that movie theaters like his tend to make their money in summer and scrape by in winter. A six month lease would end just before the summer peak seasib kicks in.

Several residents are hoping that the property owner John Ciafone will offer Prashad a longer lease.

Many want to know if Ciafone is able to build the apartments above the theater without completely demolishing it.

A rally is scheduled to take place between 12:30 and 1:30 pm in front of the theater this Sunday and is being organized by local residents Ty Sullivan and Jon Storck.

“We hope it might help open up a discussion between the landlord and the theater owner,” Sullivan said, who believes the rally will be worthwhile.

Sullivan said the loss of the theater would hurt low-income families the most– since many would be unable to afford going to the big multiplex cinemas in Astoria or elsewhere.

The rally, Sullivan said, also aims to show that Sunnyside is a community and that people care.

“This is a neighborhood that is made up of independently-owned and family-owned businesses,” he said. “It’s family-friendly and affordable and we don’t want to lose that. We want to tell buildings owners that is who we are and that’s how we would like to remain.”

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said he supports those involved in the rally—such as Sullivan and Storck.

“I want them to know I am behind them and I will be amplifying their voices as their council member,” he said

Van Bramer encourages John Ciafone to come back to the negotiating table to see what can be done.

“I will be reaching out to John Ciafone and his family again,” he said.

save

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Two residents turning Sunnyside into a hub for comedy, with big show planned for Tuesday
Lindsay Goldwert

Lindsay Goldwert

Dec. 14, By Michael Florio

Two Sunnyside comedians are turning the neighborhood into a go-to place for comedy.

Comedians Lindsay Goldwert and Colin Samuel, who have formed Sunnyside Comedy, have already produced two local shows and are about to put on their biggest event yet.

The two will be hosting “The X-mas Comedy Show” at Murphy’s, located at 48-20 Skillman Avenue, this Tuesday (Dec. 16) and are bringing nine comedians to the venue. Tickets will be  $10 and will be sold at the door. The show starts at 8:30 pm.

“We have put a lot of work into the Christmas show and are excited about the comedians who we have performing,” Goldwert said. (see line up below)

The two teamed up and began hosting comedy shows together this fall, after meeting at an open mic night in Manhattan over the summer.

“We both live in Sunnyside and Colin told me he was trying to put together comedy shows in the neighborhood,” Goldwert said. “It is a lot of work for one person and when he asked me to join, I did.”

Samuel hosted one show over the summer prior to teaming up with Goldwert. However, their first show as a duo, took place in October at The Dog and Duck on Skillman Ave.

The two have hosted two shows since– another at The Dog and Duck and one at Marlene Tavern.

Goldwert said that each venue provides attendees with a different experience. The Dog and Duck is a more casual venue, where people can enjoy a drink and the show, while Marlene Tavern has the classic comedy club feel to it.

Goldwert has been doing standup for a year, while Samuel has been in the business for some time.

They decided to host shows in Sunnyside to help promote local businesses, while also fill a void in the community.

“We love living here and wanted to bring comedy to the community,” she said. “There is a growth of comedy in LIC and Astoria and we wanted to add to that by bringing comedy shows to Sunnyside.”

“We like the idea of bringing something new to the neighborhood,” she added.

The pair aims to promote local businesses by having them sponsor shows. Each show will feature giveaways, with prizes provided by local bars and businesses.

Goldwert said Sunnyside Comedy plans to host three shows a month, with each show being free unless otherwise noted. Two shows a month will be at The Dog and Duck with one at Marlene Tavern.

For more information on Sunnyside Comedy, go to Twitter at @ComedySunnyside or Facebook: https://facebook.com/puttinonthebliss

Photo source: ‘It’s in Queens’

The event was originally planned to take place at Marlene’s Tavern but has been changed to Murphy’s at 48-20 Skillman Avenue.

NOTE: the event is taking place at Murphy's Lobster Grill at 48-20 Skillman Avenue

NOTE: the event is taking place at Murphy’s Lobster Grill at 48-20 Skillman Avenue

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Sunnysiders plan rally and start petition drive to save Center Cinemas– as landlord offers six-month extension

Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x6002

Dec. 11, By Christian Murray

A petition has formed and a rally is being planned as local residents try to save Sunnyside Center Cinemas from the wrecking ball.

An online petition started Wednesday that has already garnered more than 240 signatures. Meanwhile, Ty Sullivan and Jon Stork, two local activists, are already planning to hold a rally outside the theater that is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 21 (details to come).

The petition—called “Save the Sunnyside Theater”– is addressed to the property owner/developer John Ciafone. It reads, in part, “Save the movie theater from demolition and have a new lease extended.”

Meanwhile, Sullivan is reaching out to the media and various community groups as he plans the rally. He is designing posters, fliers and launching a social-media campaign to generate community interest.

This activism comes at a time when Ciafone has just offered the owner of the theater Rudy Prashad a six month extension to his lease. After the six months, he would operate on a month-to month basis.

Prashad, however, seeks a longer lease claiming that he has organized movers and contractors to remove all the seats from the theater as required. Furthermore he has already told his staff about the upcoming closure.

“I don’t want to be in the same position in six months time where I am now,” Prashad said. “Then I’m operating on a month-to-month basis when I can be kicked out any time.”

“I need a 5 year lease–although I would take something in between,” Prashad said. However, he has not dismissed Ciafone’s offer at this point.

Prashad said that he has been surprised by the community’s desire to keep the theater going. “It shows people have a passion for the community and that they are looking out for their children and their neighbor’s children.”

Ciafone said that he decided to offer Prashad an extension since he still has a lot of work to do before he can start construction. Asked if he could do better than offer Prashad a 6 month extension—he said “that’s the best I can do.”

Ciafone plans on building a 5-7 story building with about 60-70 apartments—with about 20 percent of those units being “affordable”. The building will also have ground floor retail and a community center on the second floor.

The building requires new foundations since it was not constructed with 5-7 stories in mind. Therefore, Ciafone said, the theater has to be demolished. Furthermore, there will be a need for underground parking.

“When I finished we could invite him [Prashad] back,” he said.

Ciafone was nonchalant about the “Save the theater” petition. “I could get a petition going with just as many signatures from people wanting affordable housing,” he said.

“The likely closure of the theater is a reflection of changing times,” said Community Board 2 Chair Pat O’Brien. “You want to see small businesses prevail and they are the backbone of the economy but if they don’t have lease then there is not much you can do.”

O’Brien said it is a shame what’s happening since the cinema is one of the last vestiges of old-fashion entertainment in the area. He said there used to be several theaters in the neighborhood at one time and also the Sunnyside Gardens Arena.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Fire rips through four Woodside stores
(google maps)

(google maps)

Dec. 11, By Michael Florio

A massive two-alarm fire erupted inside a Woodside store yesterday morning, requiring more than 100 firefighters to put out the flames, according to an FDNY spokeswoman.

The fire erupted at Don’s Professional Services, located at 38-05 69th Street, near Roosevelt Ave, just before 11 am on Wednesday morning. It then spread to three neighboring stores through a shared attic, according to the FDNY.

The fire was brought under control just before 11:45 am.

There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Lonely Planet names Queens as the best place to visit in US next year
Long Island City waterfront

Long Island City waterfront

Dec. 10, Staff report

The borough of Queens was selected as the best tourism destination in the United States for 2015 by Lonely Planet, a leading news outlet that covers the travel industry.

Queens drew praise for its eating and drinking scene (including the four microbreweries that opened over the last 18 months), amazing diversity, high-quality hotels, exciting events, and unique, enchanting neighborhoods, such as art-filled Long Island City and surfboard-friendly Rockaway.

“Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens. Browse New York’s biggest Chinatown in Flushing, shop for brilliantly colored saris in Jackson Heights, and inhale the heady aromas of coffee and hookahs in Astoria,” reads Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the US list for 2015.

“The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival (conceptionevents.com) in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block arts district (kaufmanartsdistrict.org). If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway.”

Warm-Up_photo1“Don’t miss the prime eating and drinking scene that has popped up around the boardwalk — this is no cruddy carnival food: think succulent fish tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and wine bars.”

Western South Dakota came in second on Lonely Planet’s list. The other members of the top 10 were, in order, New Orleans (LA), the Colorado River, North Conway (NH), Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Oakland (CA), Duluth (MN), and the Mount Shasta Region (CA).

“I have always argued that we have the best hotels, restaurants, cultural organizations, parks, sporting events, and residents in the world and that our prices are very competitive for tourists,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, after the announcement.

“It’s simply wonderful that Lonely Planet agrees, and our hospitality industry is waiting with open arms for all visitors. Come, you’ll like it.”

The annual top 10 destinations list is determined by Lonely Planet’s authors and editorial team to help travelers add to their wish lists for the coming year. Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has the biggest market share for guidebook sales in the world, having published more than 130 million guidebooks in its history. The media company also operates an award-winning website and a suite of mobile and digital travel products.

For the write up on Queens, please click here.


Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Local opposition mounts against building on Sunnyside Yards, petition forms

PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke

Dec. 9, By Christian Murray

Call it a preemptive strike.

A group of residents have put forward a petition voicing their opposition to the development of the Sunnyside Yards.

A 12-person committee—which includes the President of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce—started the petition last week.

The petition, which is both online and on paper, expresses their concern that plans are in motion to deck the yards. The petition, which is addressed to elected officials, has already generated about 100 signatures.

Their petition comes in the wake of former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff’s New York Times op-ed calling for the construction of a 3.1 million square foot convention city to be built over the yards, accompanied by nearly 14,000 resident units—of which 7,000 of them would be ‘affordable.”

Furthermore, in October, the chairman of Amtrak, Anthony Coscia, said that the company was considering developing sections of the Yards. The company said that it might turn to investors as early as spring and that it had been in talks with the mayor’s office over its use.

But the petitioners say not so fast.

“Sunnyside and Long Island City’s infrastructure cannot stand what we have now,” the petition reads.

“The subways are overcrowded and our school district is one of the most overcrowded in New York City. There are already 5,000-10,000 units coming to LIC/Sunnyside as it is – and residents don ‘t know how the area will be able to absorb these incoming residents. Therefore, the idea of building over the yards – bringing more residents and commercial tenants – will be an extreme burden on all of us.”

Furthermore, the petition reads: Our “biggest concern of all is that we residents seem be shut out of the process and an inner circle is making all these decisions.”

Patricia Dorfman, one of the committee members and the author of the petition, said: “We are residents and taxpayers. This radical change in land use where we live should not happen behind closed doors and affordable housing should not be used as a Trojan Horse.”

Link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/124/232/303/please-do-not-build-over-the-sunnyside-yards/?cid=FB_TAF

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
Sunnyside’s movie theater to close next month

Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x600

Dec. 7, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside Center Cinemas will be closing its doors on January 4 after screening movies in the neighborhood for decades, the theater’s owner said Sunday.

Theater owner, Rudy Prashad, said he was informed last week that John Ciafone, whose wife owns Broadway Stages, was not renewing his lease. His lease ends December 31 but he has been given to Jan. 10 to clear out of the building.

Prashad said that he had been going back and forth with the property manager for months as he wondered what was happening to his lease.

“They strung me along,” Prashad said, “But I guess it’s their building and they are free to do what they want.”

“It is a very sad day,” Prashad said. “I was hoping that the cinema would stay and one day be landmarked.”

Prashad said that he also felt sorry for some of the families in the neighborhood who will have to pay double to go to the movies elsewhere. “We haven’t changed our prices for years– $5.00 for children and seniors, while $7.50 for adults,” he said.

There is also the ‘kid combo,’ he said, which consists of a popcorn, soda, candy and a movie for $10. Before 5 pm each day, adults only pay $5.

Prashad said that he had no ill will toward Ciafone and Broadway Stages. “I was disappointed with Dime Bank [the previous owner],” he said. “I was negotiating a 20-year lease with them and then they suddenly sold it.”

Dime sold the property to Ciafone for $6.65 million in December 2012.

Prashad had owned the theater for nine years and believes there has been a theater at that location since the 1940s.

He said that he had been paying between $13,000 and $14,000 in rent per month and was always on time.

Prashad said the theater is one of the last independent theaters left in Queens.

There is an independent theater in Kew Gardens, which happens to be owned by Prashad.  He thinks that theater might be the only independent theater left in Queens playing American movies. There are one or two others, he said, but they cater to ethnic groups.

pj1Prashad said that he would like to thank the residents of Sunnyside for their patronage over the years and plans on showing a free movie before he leaves.

With Center Cinemas gone, Ciafone is now trying to lease the air rights to a developer to build residential apartments above the ground-floor retail space.

The owner plans to keep the retail space while leasing 52,000 square feet of air rights to a developer. The developer would have to pay a ground lease of $750,000 per year for those rights.

Ciafone plans to keep PJ Horgan’s as an on-going tenant, said Evan Daniel, a broker for Modern Spaces, which has the real estate listing. Daniel said that PJ Horgan’s is the only business with an existing lease and is well regarded by the community.

When Ciafone purchased the building, PJ Horgan’s, Dime Bank, dentist Dr. Arthur Kubikian, and Center Cinemas were all tenants.

PJ Horgan’s, which rents 1,300 square feet of space, has a lease through June 2018. “They are a good tenant that pay market rent,” Daniel said.

The ground-floor retail space is likely to be completely refurbished, Daniel said. However, nothing will change that will impact PJ Horgan’s business.

Correction: The property is owned by John Ciafone whose wife owns Broadway Stages– not Broadway Stages the entity.

Please Note:

Center Cinemas and Modern Spaces advertise with this site

 

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly
New CB2 chairman elected after vigorous debate, as Conley steps aside
Joe Conley and Pat O'Brien (seated)

Joe Conley and Pat O’Brien (seated)

Dec. 5, By Christian Murray

The Chairman of Community Board 2 Joe Conley received a standing ovation at last night’s community board meeting after officially announcing that he was stepping down.

Conley said that after serving two decades as chairman that it was time to move on.

“It’s been a great honor to be the voice of the board,” he said. “I have had a good run…and made life-long friends with the people in this room,” he added, as he began to choke up.

Conley had notified board members two days prior to the meeting that he was resigning.

The timing of the announcement came as a great surprise to many and was the cause of much debate, since last night was the date for the board’s annual elections.

Several members said that they were caught off guard by Conley’s sudden announcement and wanted to delay the elections a month in order for all the board members to evaluate whether they wanted to run.

Lisa Deller, the secretary of the board, however, presented a slate of candidates to take the executive board positions. All but one was on the executive board last year.

The slate was Patrick O’Brien, chair; Stephen Cooper, first vice chairman; Denise Keehan-Smith, secretary; Lisa Deller, second vice chair; and Diane Ballek, treasurer.

Conley said that board members were notified in October that they could put their names on the ballet to run–but no one had expressed interest. Furthermore, he said, people were free to nominate themselves for those spots last night.

“We have looked for nominations and this is a very open process,” Conley said.

However, some members said that the departure of Conley completely changed the course of the election. Others were perplexed why Conley only gave the board two days notice prior to the election.

Sheila Lewandowski said that board members should be given time to decide whether they want to put them themselves on the slate. She, like many, advocated for postponing the vote.

“We have had 2 days and many [board members] are not here to consider this. I think it would be responsible to be thoughtful and wait…this is big.”

O’Brien said he was willing to put off the election a month if it made the board more comfortable. “I don’t want to walk into a situation …where there is a division among people,” he said.

There were, however, several strong advocates who wanted the vote to take place last night. “If you want to run put you name forward now,” said one board member.

The board put it to a vote to determine whether the election should be held last night. The majority won by an unofficial count of 19 for and 15 against.

The election was then held and a slim majority voted in the slate. O’Brien was announced the new chair.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said this morning that he looks forward to working with O’Brien. “He is a good person with strong experience. I worked with him when I was on the board.”

However, he said, he didn’t see the harm in waiting another month for people to think about the vote.

“I m not sure it would have changed the result but the process is important,” he said. “How you come to decision– especially if people are divided –is as important as the decision itself.”

“Normally you would have a unanimous vote for these positions,” Van Bramer said. However, I think the “people who voted no were voting against the process.”

 

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
Print Friendly

More Headlines

Local opposition mounts against building on Sunnyside Yards, petition forms
PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke Dec. 9, By Christian Murray Call it a preemptive strike. A group of residents have put forward a petition voicing their opposition to the development of the Sunnyside Yards. A 12-person committee—which includes the President of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce—started the petition last week. The petition, which is both online and on paper, expresses their concern that plans are in motion to deck the yards. The petition, which is addressed to elected officials, has already generated about 100 signatures. Their petition comes in the wake of former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff’s New York Times op-ed calling for the construction of a 3.1 million square foot convention city to be built over the yards, accompanied by nearly 14,000 resident units—of which 7,000 of them would be ‘affordable.” Furthermore, in October, the chairman of Amtrak, Anthony Coscia, said that the company was considering developing sections of the Yards. The company said that it might turn to investors as early as spring and that it had been in talks with the mayor’s office over its use. But the petitioners say not so fast. “Sunnyside and Long Island City's infrastructure cannot stand what we have now,” the petition reads. “The subways are overcrowded and our school district is one of the most overcrowded in New York City. There are already 5,000-10,000 units coming to LIC/Sunnyside as it is – and residents don 't know how the area will be able to absorb these incoming residents. Therefore, the idea of building over the yards - bringing more residents and commercial tenants – will be an extreme burden on all of us.” Furthermore, the petition reads: Our “biggest concern of all is that we residents seem be shut out of the process and an inner circle is making all these decisions.” Patricia Dorfman, one of the committee members and the author of the petition, said: "We are residents and taxpayers. This radical change in land use where we live should not happen behind closed doors and affordable housing should not be used as a Trojan Horse." Link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/124/232/303/please-do-not-build-over-the-sunnyside-yards/?cid=FB_TAF
Sunnyside’s movie theater to close next month
Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x600 Dec. 7, By Christian Murray Sunnyside Center Cinemas will be closing its doors on January 4 after screening movies in the neighborhood for decades, the theater's owner said Sunday. Theater owner, Rudy Prashad, said he was informed last week that John Ciafone, whose wife owns Broadway Stages, was not renewing his lease. His lease ends December 31 but he has been given to Jan. 10 to clear out of the building. Prashad said that he had been going back and forth with the property manager for months as he wondered what was happening to his lease. “They strung me along,” Prashad said, “But I guess it’s their building and they are free to do what they want.” “It is a very sad day,” Prashad said. “I was hoping that the cinema would stay and one day be landmarked.” Prashad said that he also felt sorry for some of the families in the neighborhood who will have to pay double to go to the movies elsewhere. “We haven’t changed our prices for years-- $5.00 for children and seniors, while $7.50 for adults,” he said. There is also the ‘kid combo,’ he said, which consists of a popcorn, soda, candy and a movie for $10. Before 5 pm each day, adults only pay $5. Prashad said that he had no ill will toward Ciafone and Broadway Stages. “I was disappointed with Dime Bank [the previous owner],” he said. “I was negotiating a 20-year lease with them and then they suddenly sold it.” Dime sold the property to Ciafone for $6.65 million in December 2012. Prashad had owned the theater for nine years and believes there has been a theater at that location since the 1940s. He said that he had been paying between $13,000 and $14,000 in rent per month and was always on time. Prashad said the theater is one of the last independent theaters left in Queens. There is an independent theater in Kew Gardens, which happens to be owned by Prashad.  He thinks that theater might be the only independent theater left in Queens playing American movies. There are one or two others, he said, but they cater to ethnic groups. pj1Prashad said that he would like to thank the residents of Sunnyside for their patronage over the years and plans on showing a free movie before he leaves. With Center Cinemas gone, Ciafone is now trying to lease the air rights to a developer to build residential apartments above the ground-floor retail space. The owner plans to keep the retail space while leasing 52,000 square feet of air rights to a developer. The developer would have to pay a ground lease of $750,000 per year for those rights. Ciafone plans to keep PJ Horgan’s as an on-going tenant, said Evan Daniel, a broker for Modern Spaces, which has the real estate listing. Daniel said that PJ Horgan’s is the only business with an existing lease and is well regarded by the community. When Ciafone purchased the building, PJ Horgan’s, Dime Bank, dentist Dr. Arthur Kubikian, and Center Cinemas were all tenants. PJ Horgan’s, which rents 1,300 square feet of space, has a lease through June 2018. “They are a good tenant that pay market rent,” Daniel said. The ground-floor retail space is likely to be completely refurbished, Daniel said. However, nothing will change that will impact PJ Horgan’s business. Correction: The property is owned by John Ciafone whose wife owns Broadway Stages-- not Broadway Stages the entity. Please Note: Center Cinemas and Modern Spaces advertise with this site  
New CB2 chairman elected after vigorous debate, as Conley steps aside
Joe Conley and Pat O'Brien (seated)

Joe Conley and Pat O'Brien (seated)

Dec. 5, By Christian Murray The Chairman of Community Board 2 Joe Conley received a standing ovation at last night’s community board meeting after officially announcing that he was stepping down. Conley said that after serving two decades as chairman that it was time to move on. “It’s been a great honor to be the voice of the board,” he said. “I have had a good run…and made life-long friends with the people in this room,” he added, as he began to choke up. Conley had notified board members two days prior to the meeting that he was resigning. The timing of the announcement came as a great surprise to many and was the cause of much debate, since last night was the date for the board’s annual elections. Several members said that they were caught off guard by Conley’s sudden announcement and wanted to delay the elections a month in order for all the board members to evaluate whether they wanted to run. Lisa Deller, the secretary of the board, however, presented a slate of candidates to take the executive board positions. All but one was on the executive board last year. The slate was Patrick O’Brien, chair; Stephen Cooper, first vice chairman; Denise Keehan-Smith, secretary; Lisa Deller, second vice chair; and Diane Ballek, treasurer. Conley said that board members were notified in October that they could put their names on the ballet to run--but no one had expressed interest. Furthermore, he said, people were free to nominate themselves for those spots last night. “We have looked for nominations and this is a very open process,” Conley said. However, some members said that the departure of Conley completely changed the course of the election. Others were perplexed why Conley only gave the board two days notice prior to the election. Sheila Lewandowski said that board members should be given time to decide whether they want to put them themselves on the slate. She, like many, advocated for postponing the vote. “We have had 2 days and many [board members] are not here to consider this. I think it would be responsible to be thoughtful and wait…this is big.” O’Brien said he was willing to put off the election a month if it made the board more comfortable. “I don’t want to walk into a situation …where there is a division among people,” he said. There were, however, several strong advocates who wanted the vote to take place last night. “If you want to run put you name forward now,” said one board member. The board put it to a vote to determine whether the election should be held last night. The majority won by an unofficial count of 19 for and 15 against. The election was then held and a slim majority voted in the slate. O'Brien was announced the new chair. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said this morning that he looks forward to working with O’Brien. “He is a good person with strong experience. I worked with him when I was on the board.” However, he said, he didn’t see the harm in waiting another month for people to think about the vote. “I m not sure it would have changed the result but the process is important,” he said. “How you come to decision-- especially if people are divided –is as important as the decision itself.” “Normally you would have a unanimous vote for these positions,” Van Bramer said. However, I think the “people who voted no were voting against the process.”  
Police arrest second man wanted for beating and robbing 81-year-old Sunnysider
Willliam Eichhorn

Willliam Eichhorn

Dec. 5, By Christian Murray The second suspect wanted for punching and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnyside resident on Oct. 26 at a Chase ATM has been arrested. Terrel Balanding, a 27-year-old from the Bronx, was arrested Dec. 3 and was charged with two counts of robbery. The arrest comes just one day after Thomas Fullwood, 29, was arrested for the same crime. Balanding and Fullwood approached William Eichhorn, 81, while he was withdrawing funds from the ATM machine at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Boulevard. The men punched him in the face and then stole $100 in cash and his debit card while he was on the ground.
Joe Conley, Community Board 2 Chair, is stepping down
Joe Conley (third from left)

Joe Conley (third from left) at groundbreaking

Dec. 4, Christian Murray Joe Conley, the long-serving Community Board 2 chair, is stepping down. Multiple sources said that Conley, who has been chair for over 25 years, will be making the announcement tonight when Community Board 2 has its full monthly meeting. Conley’s departure from the community board will result in the biggest shake up the board has seen in nearly 30 years. For the past decade, the same leadership structure has been in place: Conley as chairman; Steve Cooper, first vice chairman; Patrick O'Brien, second vice chairman; Lisa Deller, secretary, and Diane Ballek, treasurer Tonight the board will be holding an election for all of these positions and at the very least there will be a new chairperson. At this point, the field is wide open, according to sources. Board members were only alerted to Conley’s departure yesterday. “It will be an interesting transition,” said Lisa Deller, who is the head of the land use committee. “Joe has contributed a lot. He has given his heart and soul to the board, and whether people are for or against what he has done…it should not be forgotten that he has gone above and beyond.” Joe-Conley-250x2501Conley could not be reached for comment. Conley, who has always been the recipient of great praise from his fellow board colleagues, was instrumental in turning the prostitute-ridden Long Island City into the thriving neighborhood it is today. He was also was the chair during the Sunnyside-Woodside rezoning. The chairperson has significant control of the board. He/she decides which members sit on what committees and who chairs them. The chair is also the one who runs the monthly meetings and is the public face of the board. While the community board is deemed advisory, it does have significant influence-- particularly on land use, liquor license and transportation issues. The new chair will take the helm at a time when there are many ongoing issues. There is the ongoing debate about backyard seating in Long Island City, the construction of affordable housing, continued development and the possible construction over the Sunnyside Yards.
Put on your santa suit, Sunnyside Boulevard Bars to host Santathon Bar Crawl
2012 Sanathon

2012 Santathon

Dec. 3, By Christian Murray Hundreds of Santas are going to be lining the streets of Sunnyside this Saturday as they participate in the neighborhood’s third annual Santathon/pub-crawl. Eleven bars along—or near—Queens Blvd are putting on the festive event, where attendees will go from bar-to-bar and will be able to buy $4 beers. Participants will be required to pay $10 for a wristband and wear a Santa costume (or at least a Santa hat) to get the $4 beers. The $10 wrist bands can be bought at any of the bars—from now until the time of event. The proceeds will be donated to children’s charities to buy toys for needy kids this holiday season. The bars are also accepting toys and monetary donations from now until Christmas. The pub crawl will begin at 3:00 pm and go until late.  Participants are able to begin their journey at any of the bars but must then follow the order of Santa’s route (see map). The participating bars are: Arriba Arriba, Bar 43, Maggie Mae's, Bliss Street Station, The Courtyard Ale House, McGuinness's Saloon, Molly Blooms, Sidetracks, Jack's Fire Dept., The Gaslight and PJ Horgan's. Last year’s Santathon raised more than $10,000 in monetary and new toy donations. “We really want this to be a big event, ” said Nick Murphy, the co-owner of Bar 43 & Grill. “We are all coming together to put on a great community event that will help raise money for charity.” The eleven bars are part of what’s known as Sunnyside Boulevard Bars, a group that was formed in 2012 and has held several events, such as the St. Patrick’s Day Music Festival. The organization has raised more than $25,000 for charity since its inception. The beneficiaries have included Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club and the 51st Street Fire Station (Engine 325/Ladder 163). Details Saturday, Dec. 6 Time: 3 pm
Map

Map

Police arrest man for beating and robbing 81-year-old Sunnysider, cops closing in on second suspect
Willliam Eichhorn

Willliam Eichhorn

Dec. 3, By Christian Murray One of the two men wanted for punching and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnyside resident on Oct. 26 at a Chase ATM has been arrested. Thomas Fullwood, a 29-year-old from the Bronx, was arrested Dec. 2 and was charged with two counts of robbery. The police are still searching for the other suspect. Fullwood and his accomplice approached William Eichhorn. 81, while he was withdrawing funds from the ATM machine at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Boulevard. One of the men punched him in the face and then they both stole $100 in cash and his debit card while he was on the ground. According to sources, Fullwood has provided information to the police identifying the second individual involved in the attack.
The police are still searching for this suspect

The police are still searching for this suspect

Demolition permits filed as section of Greenpoint Ave. to be bulldozed
closing1 Dec. 2, By Christian Murray Demolition permits have been filed with the Building Dept. to demolish three Greenpoint Avenue stores and the accompanying upstairs dwelling units. The permits, which were filed and approved Nov. 18, provide the developer with the go-ahead to knock down the buildings that were occupied by King Boulevard, SSS Video and Azteca Restaurant. The filings do not state what the developer has in mind for the site. This strip of real estate (47-16 to 47-24 Greenpoint Ave.) was sold by Greisman Property in October to AB Capstone Development, a development company, for  $4.35 million. Mike Perez, who owned King Boulevard for 31 years, closed down his store at the end of October. closing
Doctoroff, who calls for developing Sunnyside Yards, doesn’t understand Western Queens, Van Bramer and residents say
PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke Dec. 2, By Christian Murray The drum beat to develop the Sunnyside Yards continues with the latest call to build on it coming from the former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff. Doctoroff, in a New York Times op-ed piece that ran Sunday, said that the city needs to build a 3.1 million square foot convention center and that Sunnyside Yards would be the ideal place for it. The center could also be accompanied, he wrote, by nearly 14,000 residential units of which 50 percent would be affordable. The op-ed stated that Long Island City is a great location for this development since it is “one of the most convenient, transit-friendly areas in the city, served by eight subway lines.” The idea is that the new convention center would replace the Javits Center, which he deemed too small. However, residents and local officials argue that the concept just doesn’t make sense and that the neighborhood’s infrastructure in terms of schools, parks and subways are already stretched. Many are unsure how the neighborhood will absorb all the new residents coming to the area, with 5,000-10,000 units coming online in the next few years. “I found some of [Doctoroff’s op-ed] patronizing,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who opposes decking over the yards. “It revealed to me somewhat of a Manhattan elitist view of Queens.” Van Bramer said that Doctoroff might find the neighborhood transit friendly when he looks at the area on a map. However, he said, people who live here know that the No. 7 train is not reliable and there are a lot of delays. During morning rush hour, people often struggle to get on at the Jackson Ave/Vernon Blvd. Station, he said. At the October Community Board 2 meeting, when the idea of studying the yards was raised, several board members wanted to know how the area will cope with all the Court Square/Queens Plaza development coming online—let alone the yards. Meanwhile, a petition has just been formed, calling on the city not to allow the site to be developed. Van Bramer viewed Doctoroff’s push for avoidable housing to be disingenuous—arguing that this an argument used to buttress his case to “plop a mega convention in our neighborhood.” “I am incredibly supportive of affordable housing,” Van Bramer said, but using affordable housing as a tool is “offensive.”
Councilman Van Bramer

Councilman Van Bramer

Furthermore, Doctoroff in his op-ed, said that the Yards represented a “nasty scar through the heart of Queens.” Van Bramer took exception to this viewpoint. “I have lived in these neighborhoods my entire life and it is not a scar. It’s a patronizing to say we have this awful thing and that they have to come here and make it better.”- However, Doctoroff is not alone in suggesting the Yards should be developed. In October, the chairman of Amtrak, Anthony Coscia, said that the company was considering developing sections of the Yards. The company said it could turn to investors as early as spring and that it had been in talks with the mayor’s office over its use. Representatives for the mayor said at the time that the site could be used to advance the mayor's affordable housing goals. Meanwhile, the Daily News reported that the Department of City Planning Commissioner Carl Weisbrod said at a meeting Monday that the he and the Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen are studying the site. However, nothing is planned at this point, Van Bramer said. However,” I think we need to remain vigilant because it is in the minds of some wealthy and powerful people,” he said. “We need to watch out and be careful.” “What we really need are more schools, green space and better transportation—not a convention center,” Van Bramer said.
Sunnyside’s 104-year old remains active and engaged in neighborhood
Ethel Plimack (Photo: James Brown Reiner)

Ethel Plimack (Photo: James Brown Reiner)

Dec. 1, By Kim Brown At 104, Sunnyside’s oldest resident said she doesn’t know the secret to living so long, but spending decades on Bliss Street certainly played a part. “Being in familiar territory day in and day out is very helpful,” said Ethel Plimack’s son, Henry Plimack. “When she sits on the porch everyone comes to say hello. This is what makes her day.” The day after her 104th birthday she sat on the first floor of her home with her son, knitting and watching NY 1 News. Paintings by her daughter, the artist Sylvia Plimack Mangold, hang on the walls. As usual, Ethel Plimack was impeccably dressed in an outfit that included a necklace, silk scarf, red eyeglasses and lipstick the same bright shade. For the past two years she has had a full-time aide, whose assistance has allowed her to remain at home. Before that, she preferred to cook and clean for herself. The connection to the community has kept her grounded. “I love the tree-lined streets. People are nice and you know your neighbors. You give when you can,” she said. Being active certainly has kept her going, as well. Plimack worked as an administrative assistant until she was 94, taking the subway to Marymount Manhattan College every day. She also swam at Equinox until she was 100. Plimack is part of a longevity study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine that revealed good genes, a wide social network and active lifestyle helped her to age so long and so well. “We can only marvel at her extraordinary memory and continuing good health,” her daughter, Janet Sherman, wrote in an email. “She is certainly a remarkable woman.” Although her husband, an optical supply wholesaler, died 40 years ago, it didn’t stop Plimack from doing things she loved. In fact, his death may have given her the freedom to take up folk dancing, which she did until she was 100. “Men don’t like to dance,” she said. The troupe she performed with, founded by Michael and Mary Ann Herman, was one of the most well known in the United States. Plimack helped spread the art of folk dance around the world by participating in tours to China, Turkey, France, Bulgaria, and many other countries. Now, her hearing and sight are not so good and her love of dance is confined to watching “Dancing with the Stars” on TV. But she has found other ways to spend her time. She knits constantly for charity sales, as well as an organization that donates caps to premature infants. She watches the news. “It’s terrible,” she said about current events. “I try to contribute towards stopping whatever is happening.” She signs petitions when canvassers come to her door. “I hope there are classes for younger people,” she added. “To know how to live in the world and what to correct.” Her three children, all over 70, grandchildren and great grandchildren also keep her going. “When we were kids she encouraged us to do what we wanted to do. To do what felt right,” said Henry Plimack, a retired audio engineer and current adviser to the French presidency with Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers. Ethel Plimack’s daughter, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, is a well-known artist, whose work has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Modern Art, and numerous other venues. Not long ago her mother attended an art opening and there was a special chair reserved for her. “Moments like that give her months of chatting with her friends,” her son, Henry Plimack said. James Mangold, Ethel Plimack’s grandson is a Hollywood director, screenwriter and producer, known for movies like The Wolverine, Walk the Line and Cop Land. Another grandchild is a musician in Vienna. “What inspires her is the success of her family,” Henry Plimack said. “It’s a good, strong family. They all call and write to her and she feasts on that.” Ethel Plimack grew up in the Bronx, where she attended Evander Childs High School. After attending Hebrew Tech in Manhattan, she became a bookkeeper and administrative assistant, working for a dress company in Queens, the New York City Department of Education, Bryant High School and P.S. 150. Plimack has lived in Sunnyside since 1941, when most everyone kept open doors. Although she doesn’t have a Facebook account, she does have her own iPad, which she uses to Skype with family. Until last year, colleagues at Marymount Manhattan College held an annual birthday party for her in the city. This year, they sent letters and messages by email. For the past two years, Sunnyside neighbors have held a flash mob on her birthday, singing to her outside the front door. This year approximately 120 people came at noon, although Plimack was standing by the entrance waiting 10 minutes early. “It was a lot of people and friends from the neighborhood. They all want to show the area is good,” she said. “It was wonderful when they all came.” When asked to reveal the secret for living a long and healthy life, she was modest. “I don’t know what the secret is. All I know is, I’m alive 104 years. That’s a long time.”
Vintage subway rides to leave Queens Plaza every Sunday
vintage-475x323 Dec. 1, By Michael Florio Residents will be able to catch a nostalgia train from Queens Plaza every Sunday this December. The trains are comprised of old subway cars that ran between the 1930s and early 1970s. This year the nostalgia trains will run along the Sixth Avenue M-line on Sundays (November 30th, December 7th, 14, 21, 28) between 10 am and 5 pm. Western Queens residents can catch the train at Queens Plaza. “Holiday shoppers, tourists and those who just remember a bygone era will have the opportunity to experience a ride on a subway train from yesteryear, “said MTA New York City President Carmen Bianco in a statement. Each car will be equipped with ceiling fans, padded seats and incandescent light bulbs. The MTA released information on each of the Nostalgia train cars: Car No. 100 --- Manufactured by American Car and Foundry, this 1932 R1-type car was the first car in the initial order of 300 cars placed in service for the opening of the IND subway. Car No. 484 --- Part of a 500-car order of R4 cars manufactured by American Car & Foundry. In 1946, this car received a retrofit of bulls-eye lighting and a public address system. Car No. 1575 – Originally manufactured as an R7, this car was involved in a wreck in 1946. Sent to the American Car & Foundry factory, the car, which is equipped with fluorescent lighting and smooth sides, was rebuilt as the prototype of the next generation R10 subway car. In addition to the subways, the MTA will be running a nostalgia bus. The crosstown route will run Monday through Friday from December 1st to the 19th. According to the MTA everything on the vintage bus will be original, except the fare. Many of the buses are pre-1959. “These buses are a living, breathing part of the city's history and each has a unique story to tell about the era in which it operated," says Darryl Irick, Senior VP of NYC Transit Department of Buses and President of MTA Bus and a former Bus Operator himself.

Restaurants

  • Random Posts