Sunnyside Shines (BID) hires new executive director

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62 Responses to Sunnyside Shines (BID) hires new executive director

  1. 86Mets

    They couldn't find anyone who actually lives in Sunnyside?

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  2. Oppressed Masses

    Best of luck to Ms. Thieme. It's very important to improve the Sunnyside BID's presence on social media (twitter, Facebook, etc) but also by other means to reach all segments of the community. There's no better time than right now as the holiday season moves into full gear.

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  3. 43rd Street Resident

    Thinks are looking up, not Jorsey like her predecessor. New executive director is a resident of Park Slope.

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  4. O'shea

    Typical. Carpetbagging, job stealing hipster....who happens to live in parkslope.

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  5. local

    I'm thrilled to have someone qualified and with relevant experience in this post. Best of luck to Ms. Thieme. Look forward to seeing what she does.

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  6. Ruben

    Come to Sunnyside! where you can enjoy 5 banks in a 5 block radius. You can also enjoy Mexican clubs that front as restaurants during the day like Arriba Arriba! While we're on the subject, if you're in the need of a nail salon or hair threading Sunnyside has got them a plenty. If you're on a tight budget so you and your hipster buddies can enjoy some overpriced Sushi at Ariyoshi then enjoy shopping at our numerous 99cent stores for some fine bargains.

    Please also enjoy our wonderful new benches we installed for you shoppers but are mostly used by our collection of homeless people that frequent our neighborhood.

    There...I just did her job.

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  7. Nick Shadyside

    No, they couldn't find anyone who lives in Sunnyside. And no, she's not from Park Slope, but Greenpoint (about a mile or two from here, if you'd bother to consult a map, rather than 6 miles from here), if it makes a difference to the dunderheaded old-timers who fantasizwe about ONLY irish immigrants or other folk that set down roots 40-60 years ago running this neighborhood, then please wake up.

    Guess what, old timers, this never was your neighborhood in the first place...in 1917, it was a tract of farm land until what's now the 7 train was built.. You had your time, and now your wretched kids whine and moan about the fate of the neighborhood...give me a break. They're a bunch of degenerates.

    The young 'white' people who move in (aka HIPSTERS) are not raising your rents--the immigrants are, and more power to them. Where is the discussion about that? Of the white "arty" people I know in the area, none is making as much money as these cab_drivers or store owners who are recent immigrants.

    And this is New York City, not Oklahoma City, so please stop bitchin' about the incursions on your particular way of life...if you're a "native" of sunnyside, then your parents displaced the previous order, so quit whining.

    There's no such thing as an indigenous neighborhood in this city, anywhere, so please, all, stop decrying and lamenting a foregone time that didn't' exist.

    If you're hung up on being an "original" Sunnysider, fine. Enjoy that; but it's not worth a lick unless you can show how that actuality 'bettered' the area. Your industry is dead; your skills are mute. So update yourself, or die, like the rest of America.

    Too often, I've encountered these heroic neighborhood saviors who've, in the end, had no connection to the 'hoods their trying to save. I suspect that's the case with a lot of you phony s'side saviors. ...

    Old-timers; please step aside, or at least realize your necessary limitations on this matter...........

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  8. Nick Shadyside

    O'shea:
    Get a life, and stop leaching off of others.
    Totally pathetic comment...

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  9. Nick Shadyside

    O'shea--you're the worst....seriously...you suck

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  10. Patriot

    O'Shea has it right. We need a real American from the Neighborhood

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  11. Long time sunnysider

    I would like u to tell me and the world what s a "real" American???

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  12. 86Mets

    @Nick Shadyside

    Nice name-calling tirade there: telling people you don't agree with to die.

    Keep it classy.

    Did it ever occur to you that if your job is promoting a product, in this case Sunnyside, you might be more credible if it's a product you use and are extremely familiar with? One could ask Ms. Thieme if she thinks Sunnyside is so wonderful, why didn't she move there?

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  13. Yuengling

    Counting by the number of Irish bars, the neighborhood is certainly still predominantly Irish. But where are all you Irish dudes opening barber shops, bakeries or yes-they're needed too-nail salons and grocery stores? Wake up people, this is New York!! The definition of cultural and social diversity. None of you "keep-it-as-it-always-was-sayers" can tell me that you don't enjoy the occasional burrito, pizza or gyro.
    I agree that it would be beneficial to have someone living in the neighborhood to do Ms. Thieme's job, I wish her best of luck.

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  14. O'shea

    @ Nick Shadyside
    Thanks for the complement :)
    For a man who comments at 4am ....you do have a life.
    Btw the young white hipsters are the ones raising the rents. You are just not seeing it.
    Nothing here against success.
    A good graduate degree and a six figure salary gives one the option to pay market rent, especially when you have been priced out of manhattan but need to be closer. The influx of hipsters has created a new demand shift for the neighborhood. We see this in the increase of specialty stores, demand for dog parks, better built schools, more expensive food items, and even our political leaders. This increased demand also creates more economic dead zones as commercial landlords holdout for bigger payouts. Just take a look at green point avenue and the empty stores on skillman.
    You feel these effects when you go shopping or watch landlords try to bully older citizens out of their apartments.
    Change for the better is good. 2 99c store blocks apart.......

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  15. 43rd Street Resident

    Sunnyside Shines BID new executive director qualifications. Actual working time spent in a position from 6 months to less then 1 year since 2007. Priceless

    She won't last !!

    Executive Director
    Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District
    November 2012 – Present (1 month)
    Project Manager

    INIT, Innovations in Transportation, Inc.
    June 2010 – November 2012 (2 years 6 months) New York, NY
    Economic Development Consultant

    DragoBROOKLYN
    April 2010 – June 2010 (3 months) Brooklyn, NY
    Project Manager, Community Development

    Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation
    October 2009 – April 2010 (7 months) Brooklyn, NY
    Graduate Intern/Analyst

    Full Spectrum of NY
    2008 – 2008 (less than a year)
    Graduate Summer Intern

    NYC Dept of Citywide Admin. Services/Division of Real Estate Services
    2008 – 2008 (less than a year)
    Graduate Fellow

    Pratt Center for Community Development
    2007 – 2007 (less than a year)
    Program Manager

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  16. Long time resident

    One could ask Ms. Thieme if she thinks Sunnyside is so wonderful, why didn’t she move there?

    One could, but it's a rather silly question. Living in the neighborhood is not a requirement to perform the job, to understand the neighborhood, to enjoy a neighborhood, to see it's potential, run a BID, etc., and it seems rather foolish, insular, and narrow-minded to believe it is a requirement.

    Based on what I've read here, we have no reason to believe she knows nothing about the neighborhood. And based on what I've read here, it sounds like she's got the right background. So how about reserving negative judgment until there's actually a reason to judge negatively?

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  17. Matt C

    My day gets worse every time I actually read blog comments.

    Bunch of people who do nothing but chime in.

    Go outside and help a neighbor if you're such a model citizen.

    I'm sure this woman is perfectly nice and has every intention of doing her best.

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  18. The Old Oak Tree

    @NickShadyside You are a perfect model for why people who have lived peacefully in this neighborhood for most of their lives are suffering nighmares, migraines and dyspepsia. Your extreme degree of unctious self-satisfaction has been known to induce hives in perfectly healthy people across the globe. Not just this neighborhood, any neighborhood will recoil at having to include you.

    Thank goodness people like you don't last long, you leave in search of "the latest." What's cool this year won't be cool quite soon, and you will disappear from these sidewalks. Goodbye, and God Bless.

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  19. Preschool Teacher

    @43rd St Resident: Are you a Head Hunter or a Human Resources professional?? We don't know the nature of the positions she held. Perhaps these were short term assignments. Internships only last a few months. She is only 32 years old. Rachel may have worked in another field prior to this one. Give her a chance. As someone mentioned, this is NYC, everyone is from somewhere else.

    We are all very lucky in Sunnyside compared to others in our borough. We barely lost a light bulb in this Hurricane. So everybody just relax and examine your priorities in life!

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  20. 86Mets

    I will take the liberty of writing Sunnyside Shines latest press release.

    "We have hired an attractive young lady who has no connections to our cherished neighborhood to shout from the rooftops what a wonderful place Sunnyside is to live, work and shop in.

    She is sooooooooo totally committed to our community that she still prefers to live in another borough.

    But if you should have the audacity to point out that inconvenient fact, we will call you a narrow-minded old-timer or something similar."

    Sorry but she is has nothing to do with this neighborhood: just a pretty face with a college degree. A hired gun and probably a personal friend of somebody who had a say in hiring her. That would be my guess.

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  21. Tempus Fugit

    All the silliness aside, it does speak volumes that Sunnyside Shines thinks so little of its own residents that they couldn't find one local person to take this job.

    What the hell, we have a carpetbagger mayor for 3 terms, as well as a history of carpetbagger senators so maybe Sunnyside Shines is just getting with the program.

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  22. Longtime Resident

    @Preschool Teacher: If @43rd St. were a Head Hunter or an HR professional, that individual would probably not see the new head of Sunnyside BID's background as questionable.

    Someone worked in non-profits, came to New York about 5 years ago to earn a Master's degree in city planning and works in that field during a recession, and somehow her resume isn't up to snuff? Give me a break.

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  23. O'shea

    @ Tempus
    I wonder if there " are binders full of women " available for hiring qualified women from sunnyside.

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  24. Longtime Resident

    @86Mets: Is it completely scandalous if the head of the 34th St. Partnership doesn't live on 34th St.? What if whoever is the head of the Times Square Alliance doesn't actually live in Times Square? What if the head of the Chinatown BID actually lives in *gasp* the Lower East Side? What if the head of the Washington Heights Alliance lives in West Harlem?

    Do you actually think people should relocate - give up an apartment they may have been renting for years, decades, or sell a coop/condo or sublet - for a job they'll likely keep for a couple of years? That's pretty silly.

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  25. Longtime Resident

    it does speak volumes that Sunnyside Shines thinks so little of its own residents that they couldn’t find one local person to take this job.

    It does no such thing. You don't think they posted the job and people were able to submit resumes with cover letters? If there were any qualified local applications, why wouldn't they have been given due consideration? It's like you think Sunnyside Shine had a responsibility to find someone in the neighborhood, regardless of competency.

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  26. Tempus Fugit

    @Longtime Resident

    I'll meet you half way and say that perhaps it speaks volumes about Sunnyside itself that even in this economy where even very capable professionals are seeking work, that Sunnyside could not produce one competent individual for this position.

    Maybe I'm cynical but I've been in business enough in my 60 plus years that when I see a young, good looking woman getting a job that possibly should have gone to another that I suspect some hanky-panky somewhere along the line.

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  27. Longtime Resident

    that Sunnyside could not produce one competent individual for this position.

    It does not say that either. Have you never interviewed for a job or been a hiring manager? Do you think employers with open positions only find one possible candidate, interview them, offer that person the job, and are accepted 100 percent of the time? How do know there weren't people in Sunnyside with the skills & qualifications who weren't interested in the position and chose not to apply? How do you know there weren't people who lived in the neighborhood who interviewed, were offered the position and declined? You don't know anything, yet make loads of assumptions and judgments as if you know far more than you possibly could.

    Maybe I’m cynical but I’ve been in business enough in my 60 plus years that when I see a young, good looking woman getting a job that possibly should have gone to another that I suspect some hanky-panky somewhere along the line.

    You're not cynical. You're just a misogynist.

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  28. Tempus Fugit

    @Longtime

    And you're naive if you don't think attractive, young women have a certain advantage in business.

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  29. 43rd Street Resident

    Has anyone seen James Bray lately? Is he back to stocking shelves at Home Dept?

    Screws are needed in aisle 3, hoses in aisle 5 and plants need watering.

    Just an optimist at heart!

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  30. s-side doesn't shine on this blog

    these comments are why I'd never want to be featured on this site. Embarrassing

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  31. Oppressed Masses

    I wonder if after reading these comments Ms. Thorne will still want the job.

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  32. Oppressed Masses

    Err, that would be Ms. Thieme.

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  33. rook

    I'm surprised people are knocking her. There are many BIDs that are led by people that do not live in the designated area. I don't know her, but I know economic development and where she has worked. Her qualifications more than make up for this. Best of luck to her.

    BTW, if I recall, James Bray was in his early 20s, had no economic development experience prior to this position, and commuted from NJ. Not to knock Bray, but she seems like a vast improvement.

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  34. Longtime Resident

    And you’re naive if you don’t think attractive, young women have a certain advantage in business.</em?

    One would have to be rather a dunderhead to not recognize that attractive young women have an advantage in certain situation in business and also are at a disadvantage in certain situations in business for the very same reasons which gave them an advantage in another scenario. @Tempus seems incapable of recognizing the later. @Tempus also jumps to the conclusion that a young attractive woman got a job solely based on hanky panky, which makes @Tempus a misogynist who dismisses any possibility of the candidates actually being qualified to perform the job she was hired to do.

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  35. Tempus Fugit

    @Rook

    You do make a good point. Someone from Greenpoint is certainly better than someone from New Jersey.

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  36. Ruben

    See people? There are others FAR worse than me up in these forums. All I bitched about was a dirty bum and hipsters..oh..and terrorists.

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  37. JuliaJ.

    Nobody from the 'hood qualified for this job? Maybe she will tell us we need another nail salon. LOL!

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  38. Moneyside

    Was she here over Thanksgiving or did she go back home to whatever fly over state she's from to tell mommy & daddy all the financial support they gave her to live in Greenpoint paid off! She has a cool urban planning job in NYC, OMG!

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  39. O'shea

    @longtime resident
    Are you Captain save the women folk?
    One can't make a statement without being characterized a mysogynist?
    Enough of this pc crap. People have a right to voice their opinion in a public forum, irrespective of how silly it may be.
    Thieme is a new yorker by now. I am sure she has enough skin to withstand this light roasting.
    @ ruben
    You are by far the worst. A hipster watered down your haterade.

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  40. Tempus Fugit

    Would we be holding a Bix Beiderbecke memorial concert every year if he lived in another neighborhood? I doubt it.

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  41. JuliaJ.

    Moneyside- LOL!

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  42. Bijan

    Judging strictly by the comments section on this site, I can safely surmise that virtually everyone who lives in Sunnyside hates it with a fiery passion. The only thing they hate worse is everywhere else.

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  43. Ruben

    O'shea, its clear if you piss off a hipster or a yuppie they go after your money. You all cast the first stones against someone on a personal level. I'm surprised you all haven't commented if she's single or not, or what religion she is. All because she got a job you haters couldn't get? With all the other REAL issues we have in Sunnside you be worried about where this chick lives?

    and What have my comments been about? Comments on the current state of Sunnyside's North vs South issues which clearly hide some deep seeded racial sentimentality? My comment aimed to expose those feelings and you suckers fell for them. As a Latino myself I know first hand how it feels to be treated like a second class citizen in your own damn neighborhood.

    What other comments have I had? The growing number of homeless people in Sunnyside? You can't tell me you feel safe walking by unstable people or have you forgotten these are some of the SAME people who have pushed others into traffic and thrown acid into faces.

    What's another comment I've given? How You people ( the very same people ready to lynch this woman) are the same damn stuck up people who are too damn snotty to say hello to your neighbors and say thank you when they hold the door for you? You come into MY neighborhood , raise all the prices around me, walk your dogs leaving all your shit all over the block then move away in 6 months like a pack of well dressed nomads.

    You rats jump on an attack on a far greater level than I do...attacking peoples money. Typical passive aggressive elitist d-bags. If you want the job then apply for it. Otherwise sit on it and spin.

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  44. SunnysideUP

    Not cool people, not cool! Let the poor girl do her job which I assume she is qualified for and get over yourselves.You are not the center of the world (no one is)
    and hipsters (as you call them) or any other category (?) of people are not your problem. YOU are creating your own problems. Everybody is welcome in Sunnyside and most of the above comments only embarrass their writers and show how pathetic human beings can be. Really sad.
    Rachel Thleme if you have read the negative comments please don't get discourage. People in Sunnyside are nice and warm hearted who welcome everyone in the community and give equal opportunities to all newcomers. I suspect that the haters above are just a small small minority of this community. Please try to bring a bookstore or two in Sunnyside. Thank you and best of luck!.

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  45. Moneyside

    lol @ruben got trolled

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  46. Longtime Resident

    Are you Captain save the women folk?

    What women do you think are in need of saving? Certainly not the qualified individual with a background in non-profits, with experience as a project manager and in public planning, with a master's degree to boot in that area, who recently landed a job.

    One can’t make a statement without being characterized a mysogynist?

    Well of course one can. It happens all the time. And sometimes people make blatantly misogynistic statements questioning the validity of a woman's accomplishments while ignoring her qualification merely because she has the gall to be a woman, young, and attractive, and get called out on being a misogynist.

    Enough of this pc crap.
    1994 called. It said it wishes you wouldn't whine about political correctness. Something about how the early to mid-90s feels like it really owns that space.

    People have a right to voice their opinion in a public forum, irrespective of how silly it may be.
    Why is that people who voice this opinion (it's a free country! I can say what ever I want!) fail to recognize that it works both ways. People get to comment on their silly opinions.

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  47. disco mutha

    obviously female hipsters get people riled up. good thing for this carpetbagger the B24 still runs m-f. Sure she'll get off the bus with 'er coffee mug in hand, WORD totebag and all the other hipster dead giveaways. Damn hipsters!!

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  48. Thomas

    Stop the hate! Give this woman a chance. I've read about her qualifications...we are lucky to have her........ in yiddish she would be could a "maven" God bless!

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  49. Bliss & Skillman

    43rd Street Resident said:

    "Sunnyside Shines BID new executive director qualifications. Actual working time spent in a position from 6 months to less then 1 year since 2007."

    ... then shows us these entries from her resume:

    Executive Director
    Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District
    November 2012 – Present (1 month)
    Project Manager

    INIT, Innovations in Transportation, Inc.
    June 2010 – November 2012 (2 years 6 months) New York, NY
    Economic Development Consultant

    It seems math really DOES suck for 43rd Street Resident! :)

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  50. Angray

    @Bliss & Skillman - Reading comprehension not his strong suit either...

    "Thinks are looking up, not Jorsey like her predecessor. New executive director is a resident of Park Slope."

    Article clearly says she is a resident of Greenpoint.

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  51. Krissi

    Well good luck to her!

    I actually think I might be good for this job... something to consider in the future :-)

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  52. 43rd Street Resident

    All the negative blogs have nothing to do with Ms. Thieme, just the fustration that is felt with Sunnyside Shines BID group everytime they bring in another stooge from the outside of our neighborhood.

    President Board of Director Vogt listed James Bray's annual salary was $41, 600 for his 2 1/2 years of work. I would like to see a show of hands if anyone believes he really did work, to go home after his tenure $100,000

    The Woodside/ Sunnyside Thanksgiving food pantry lines were 4 to 5 deep and several blocks long isn't there a better way to spend this money. If the President of BID would actively search he would see 1 Ph.d, masters and college graduates that are out of work.

    I just hope not to see annual Christmas parties at Dazies that home addresses are in majority Long Island, Forest Hills and one in Virginia who all they bring to the table is appetites. It does say something about the exclusivity of the area.

    Remember we all are watching!

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  53. Mike Novak

    Dear Ms. Thieme,

    Ignore the cowards and haters who hide behind false names.

    You have a mighty task ahead of you.

    Your predecessor was not the best of caretakers. I witnessed this firsthand at a meeting that I attended when he was asked is he would commit a small percentage of the revenue the BID collects to remove gaffitti from the storefronts in the BID.

    He said, "Thats the city's job. We are not spending any money on graffitti removal"

    That is only one of the many problems, and overall general bad feelings about the BID that you have inherited.

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you can evolve the BID into a successful one that cares more about the businesses and people of Sunnyside rather than just collecting fees and cashing paychecks.

    Thank you

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  54. Mike Novak

    Krissi,

    As someone who did not have a problem with, and even defended sleazy business owner Maluf, (former owner of the Bliss restaurant on 46th & Skillman) for lying to his landlord and passing bad checks as he screwed her out of nearly a years rent for his storefront space, you would the last person I would want running the BID.

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  55. 86Mets

    Can always count on Mike Novak to whip out the hate card when you don't agree with him.

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  56. Thomas

    Ruben....
    Where does this contempt for others come from? You stereotype people in the same manner by which you accuse them? Your rants seem to be manifestations of emotional or inferiority disorder. Its up to you to decide wether to welcome others and be a part of the Sunnyside community. Hannukah season is upon us along with Kwanzaa and other Holidays...its time to reflect.....good luck and God bless!

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  57. It's all True

    Mike Novak is stuck on Maluf! Again! Let it go, Mike. I predict the current holder of the Bid job will leave within one year.

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  58. Thomas

    Mr. Novak....
    Unless you were a party to the lease between Mr. Maluf and the "landlord" how can you cast aspersions on the reputation of someone based upon hearsay or one side of the story. A lease is a contract maybe both parties were at fault or Mr. Maluf simply could not afford to pay. Lets wish the new BID represetative the best of luck....maybe she will surprise you! Think and educate yourself on the issues!

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  59. Angray

    Things people get worked up about.

    Novak - Maluf & dog crap
    Oppressed - Dogs
    Duro - MTA & Dogs
    Ruben - Hipster/hippies, Latinos

    What I can remember off the bat.

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  60. Mike Novak

    Thomas "Last name unknown",

    I have been good friends with Dorothy Moorehead for thirty years. I know the facts of the case, its obvious that you do not.

    Have a nice day.

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  61. Thomas

    I assume 'Dorothy Moorehead" is the owner of the property? Therefore you prove my point that your biased in her favor. Maybe she made a bad deal or did'nt follow thru on her end of the bargain. Before I slander this "Maluf" I would like to hear his version.

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  62. thomas

    Mr. Novack
    why are you so compelled to interfere in a dispute of which you are not invovled? Are you a shill for the owner.....if she has a legitimate grievance let her addres it before the court. I feel sory for you that your life is so devoid of any pursuit that you must attach yourself to this futile slander.......

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Latest News

Manhattan man robs 97-year-old Sunnyside woman in her home, sentenced to 11 years prison

prison

Dec. 18, By Christian Murray

A 59-year Manhattan man pleaded guilty today in connection with two home invasions—including one that involved a 97-year-old Sunnyside woman.

Salvador Morales, from 158th Street,  would follow older women home, gain access to their apartment and then rob them.

“One’s home is their castle and should be a place of refuge and safety, not a crime scene,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown. “In robbing his victims inside their homes, the defendant stole more than just money and personal property, he stole his victims’ security.”

Morales will be sentenced to 11-years prison, Brown said.

The 97-year old Sunnyside woman was targeted by Morales on April 19, 2014, when he followed her into her apartment building.

Morales, who was wearing a surgical mask, rode up the elevator with the woman and then a short time later knocked on her door claiming he had been sent by the landlord to check for leaks.

Morales then ran the water in her kitchen.

He then asked the victim for change for $100 and the 97-year-old produced an envelope containing cash.

Morales then splashed water on the woman’s hands and convinced her to remove her rings in order not to damage them.

He then fled the apartment with the woman’s rings and the envelope containing more than $700 in cash.

In Flushing, Morales followed two senior citizens home after they left a nearby bank on April 5. As the two women were entering their apartment, he pushed both of them to the floor. He then fled with one woman’s pocketbook contained more than $1000.

The other woman sustained a fractured leg as a result of the push and was taken to hospital.

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Residents produces video: ‘Christmas in Sunnyside’

Christmas in Sunnyside, Queens, NYC from George on Vimeo.

A Sunnyside resident has put together a video titled “Christmas in Sunnyside”.

George Burles, who provides frequent videos to this site, shot it in the past week.

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12 weekends of No. 7 train service cuts through May: Nine to impact Sunnyside

weekendoutages

Dec. 17, By Christian Murray

Get ready for the latest round of No. 7 train weekend service cuts.

The MTA released its schedule for the first five months of 2015 and the No. 7 train will be out of service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for nine weekends. Five of those weekend will see cuts between Queensboro Plaza and 74th Street.

In addition, there will be weekend service cuts between Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street on three other weekends.

The first weekend of the Times Square/Queensboro Plaza cuts is scheduled to take place January 17-19, which will be the first of four weekends in a row that it will be down.

The MTA says that the cuts are in order for it to install a new Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signal system; replace elevated tracks; and for the reconstruction and fortification of the Steinway Tubes (which connects Queens to Manhattan).

The MTA, which is a state-run agency, claims that majority of this work has been scheduled over weekends when ridership is lower than normal.

Van Bramer said that it was unacceptable that the MTA would close service for several weekends in a row in January and February—during the coldest month of the year.

He said that residents might be a little more forgiving about the closures if they had seen improved service as promised. However, “the truth is that over the past few months No. 7 train regular service has been poor and there have been lots of delays.”

He said that on December 11 the delays were so bad that the overcrowded subway platforms put commuters at risk.

 

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.


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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.
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.  
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.
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

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