Woman nabbed, facing hate-crime murder charges

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108 Responses to Woman nabbed, facing hate-crime murder charges

  1. Know_where_to_run

    Excellent news. Let's hope they got the right one and get her off the streets and subways.

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  2. Ebones

    I have complete respect for the 108. This is a safe neighborhood because of them.

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  3. king of Queens

    This had nothing to do with great Police work her relatives turned her in!!! so please stop with the false accolades for the NYPD. You Americans are ignorant this would never happen in Britain.

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  4. Gbg

    Then go back to Britain you retard.

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  5. Anonymous

    You are so weird King of Queens...what would not happen in the UK? Your relatives would not turn you in????

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  6. mois

    So, King of Queens, what would not happen in the UK? Your relatives woud not turn you in???

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  7. O'Shea

    Her relatives turned her in. Is this surprising? She must have been hiding with them. If she looks anything like that sketch, then she is one ugly vicious witch. Uglier than a scrumhalf.

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  8. mois

    I'm aware of the irony behind my question...but I just had to, since I would be really surprised if you happen to be talking about the lack of social problems in Britain...

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  9. "THE SUNNYSIDER"

    iT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT THE POLICE CATCH THIS WOMEN SO WE CAN FEEL SAFE RIDING THE TRAINS... IT IS TERIBLE TO TRAVELI IN FEAR AND HAVE TO WORRY WHO IS BEHIND US.. BUT WE NEED TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM OF ANYONE GETTING PUSHED IN FRONT OF TRAINS... WE DO NEED SLDIING DOORS ON THE PLATFORM TO STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING OR STAY BY THE STEPS OR BUILD A HOUSE ON THE PLATFORM SO WE CAN STAY INSIDE AND COME OUT WHEN THE TRAIN COMES... THAT SOUNDS VERY SIMPLE ....

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  10. mois

    I was just wondering; would it be possible for the trains to slow down before they pull into the platform? This way if somebody falls, they would have time to come to a complete stop before hitting anyone? It surely would not be as costly as making any changes to the platforms!

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  11. Kayla

    The world is going to End! Do your research!!!

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  12. Sycamore

    @King of Queens We welcome visitors and immigrants from all over the world in Queens but we do not welcome rude people of any kind. We simply tolerate them and pray they quickly find somewhere else to practice their bad manners.

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  13. Robert

    If they had to slow the trains down before entering the station do you realize how much longer our commute will be? I can not sacrifice any more time with all of the 7 train delays.
    Putting up gates and rails for something that happens once a decade on average is ludicrous. It would be very costly which we would have to ultimately pay for. When a crime happens ppl ask for more cops on patrol but that would mean a lot more taxes too! Just pay attention to your surroundings.
    In case you have not taken the 7 train before and seen the construction workers "work" it would take decades for them to do this on EVERY subway station in the 5 boroughs.

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  14. Sunnysider

    She should have pushed you ya Limey.

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  15. Ruben

    That entire Menendez bloodline family is filled with criminals

    one less waste of society off the street

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  16. Ruben

    please don't post as me, unless your name is Ruben too, then you need to add something to your name cuz I was here first bucko

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  17. Ebones

    You still have a Queen and you have not discovered Dunkin Coffee? Talk about ignorance! http://www.britishairways.com

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  18. Leslie

    What was this beast doing in Sunnyside??

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  19. Rubin

    I am the real Rubin!

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  20. unknown

    she was not from the bronx she lived on 46th street between 48ave & 50ave.

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  21. Leslie

    How do you know??

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  22. unknown

    cause i live 2 blocks away from her and have many friends who know her and her family

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  23. svjo

    It is very sad that cities like Medellin in 3rd world countries like Colombia, have a clean and safe train , and they can afford sliding doors, and , NYC capital of the world , cannot.

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  24. angela

    she lived in the Met apartments in sunnyside

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  25. unknown

    Both her cousins were in prison for burglary from the drugs all three would consume

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  26. doc

    Another bipolar person that should have been in a mental hospital. The legacy of Wilowbrook strikes again. Any person that is a danger to themself or others needs to held in a secure facility.

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  27. Leslie

    This woman is a piece of trash. I'm sure her friends and family are just as trashy as she is-worthless piece of ...

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  28. Lucky Lu

    Earlier reports were that her relatives called the police last night after recognizing her from the video. Now the report is that a passerby recognized her. Either way, sounds like the 108th should not get credit for this arrest. Earlier a poster posted a link to her mug shot from a prior arrest …in the 108th. That means she was known to the 108th. I hope her previous arrest ad conviction records are released.

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  29. Viking

    It is so unfortunate that people believing in religious hate are lurking around Sunnyside. Sunnyside has been a home for people belonging to all cultures and religions. Such incidents are defaming this neighborhood and moreover giving a terrifying sense of insecurity that you are being followed/targeted all the time by someone because of your religion. How would you send your children to school if you think there are people out there who can throw someone onto train track just because you believe in a particular religion. Certainly not a sign of a civilized society and a country which welcomes all irrespective of their faith or religion. Mr Sen was raised as Hindu and no Hindu was involved in that heinous crime that took place in 2001. It is so unfortunate that he lost his life just because someone had crazy, false and baseless ideas in her mind. Something must be done to make this neighborhood safer where everyone can feel safe about himself and his/her family.

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  30. migwar

    This was an appalling crime. The fact, if true, that the perpetrator targeted the victim in the mistaken belief that he was Muslim lends a hint of irony to it. None of this, however, justifies the low level to which some of the comment writers have sunk in reaction to this story. The worst offenders seem to be Gbg, O'Shea and Sunnysider. I doubt that I am alone in wishing that some moderator would purge their offensive comments and, if this represents a pattern, would consider banning them from this site.

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  31. Another Sunnysider

    @ Lesile how are you sure her fam and friends are trashy...Ones actions do not speak for all...judge people much?

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  32. "THE SUNNYSIDER"

    I still favor builing a little house like the lirr has on their stations for weather protection and that will be safe and protect us from this time of siturations..it should be looked at..

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  33. Get a Life

    If the woman is bipolar, how can this be a hate crime? Shouldn't this be a "crazy crime?" I am sick of these showboating district attorneys. The woman was off her gourd and had already served time in prison for drug dealing. She was laughing wildly during her arraignment. She is nuts and should not have been on the streets. She was NOT arrested by the 108th - another precinct arrested her, I think it was the 112th. She had been in Elmhurst Hospital several times for treatment.

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  34. Know_where_to_run

    I agree with Get A Life.

    Committing a hate crime would require some rational thought and intent. She is obviously a complete psycho whose thoughts are off the charts irrational.

    Twisting this into a hate crime will only serve those with a political agenda looking to stir up hate and unrest.

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  35. Rick Duro

    She is obviously mentally ill. So much so that she doesn't take her meds. In doing so she is a danger to society. Lock her up forever and make her listen to the Islamic Call for Prayer 5 times a day.

    Canadian rock band Rush, lyrics from 'Witch Hunt':

    "Quick to judge,
    Quick to anger,
    Slow to understand
    Ignorance and prejudice
    And fear walk hand in hand"

    RD

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  36. Sycamore

    When our society decides to treat mental illness as an illness--it would help take it out of the shadows if people stopped using such dark ages terms as "off her gourd" and "nuts"--people will not deny it in themselves, get treatment and--one hopes--get better.

    This hemisphere has a deep history of religious intolerance, from missionaries saving the souls of the "heathens" to the Protestant scorn of "Papists" up until today, where ignorant people continue to have an abiding fear of those raised with a different set of beliefs. Medical treatment, education and a hesitation to judge quickly would help in this miserable situation.

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  37. 86Mets

    Now when is the candle light vigil for the murder victim?

    Has JVB's office expressed any outrage yet?

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  38. 86Mets

    Just checked JVB's website and not a word about this horrific murder.

    I guess since the victim wasn't gay or a personal friend of his, this case doesn't get quite the priority as a certain previous local murder.

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  39. Sunnyside Native

    @ 86 Mets...JVB commented about this incident on his Facebook page. Although he may have had a bit more of an invested interest in Lou Rispolis's murder being he was friends with that victim, from what I know about JVB, he is just as concerned about this incident in his nighborhood / jurisdiction as Lou's murder.

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  40. doc

    Mental illness is treated as an illness. That is the problem. If I have a disease like cancer or heart disease and refuse to take my meds it is unlikely to affect others. However when you are nuttier than squirrel shit and refuse to take your meds you push people in front of trains. This at least the fourth time a person with a history of mental illness has done this. If a person is a danger to society if they refuse or forget to take their meds they should be confined to a secure facility. We should not have to doors and barriers on subway platforms.

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  41. Joey Spagna

    Another bag of shi% locked up and sent to jail. Goodbye senorita!

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  42. Joey Spagna

    ...I mean ADIOS!!!!!!!!!

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  43. 86Mets

    @Sunnyside Native

    That's it, a Facebook comment? Explain to me how that qualifies as "just as concerned" as about Lou's murder. And you are right, you make my point as you stated: "

    "he may have had a bit more of an invested interest in Lou Rispolis’s murder being he was friends with that victim"

    My point exactly.

    As I asked before, when is the candle light vigil and march?

    Let me guess, if it happens at all, it will be when he gets back from Christmas/New Year's vacation.

    It's all about who you know.

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  44. Sycamore

    @Doc I sincerely hope you are not an actual doctor. Society is only forty or fifty years away from locking people up for life. That didn't work too well. The current system of community mental heath facilities is badly hampered by underfunding, understaffing and neighborhoods who's ideas extend all the way to "I don't care what you do, just keep them away from me!" I don't know enough about this case to come to any conclusions, but the suffering of that woman and her family was unalleviated and has now spread to more people. The way we treated her didn't work very well, did it?

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  45. 86Mets

    @Sycamore

    You make some good points but unless the victims of mentally ill people have the foresight to be gay, white men and friends of important politicians, the issue will probably not be addressed.

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  46. doc

    We didn't treat her, an expert did. How did that work out for us. When a person has shown that they are a danger to society and cannot or will not control their behavior they should be put away. Their civil liberties end where public safety begins. I would love for better mental illness treatment but it's not happening. They get arrested, are put on some pill and released back to the public. If they come up with a better system great, until then lock em up. As far as being an actual doc, nope I just play one on the internet.

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  47. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    In light of this terrible tragedy and the many similar ones that have gone before, the REALLY crazy people are the ones who STILL stand at the platform edge when the train comes zooming into the station.

    The REALLY crazy people are the ones who ride the subway more interested in looking at their iPhones rather than seeing what is going on around them.

    The REALLY crazy people are the idiots who can't hear a damn thing except the music from the headphones stuck in their ears.

    Am I wrong?

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  48. doc

    Yes, you are wrong.

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  49. Ppf

    Youre both wrong. Now shut up.

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  50. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    Tell me then why people with zero common sense or self-preservation instincts aren't out of their minds?

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  51. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    @Pfp

    If you want others to shut up, lead by example and shut up.

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  52. Sycamore

    @Doc, The system failed the woman involved, and it also failed the man who was killed. I think we can agree on that much. Better trained mental health pros are only part of the solution.

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  53. doc

    Reading a newspaper, a book or an Ipod on the subway is not unreasonable. Having lunatics roaming the streets is. The reasonable thing to do is not to restrict the actions and abilities of law abiding citizens. If a person has shown that they cannot live within the laws of society whether it is because they are mentally ill, criminal or both it is their liberty that should be restricted.

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  54. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    @Doc

    Yes, mentally ill people who pose a threat should be dealt with but some will always slip through the system. Welcome to reality.

    Burglars, rapists and home invaders should also be restricted but by your logic, people should be able to leave their doors and windows unlocked.

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  55. yuletide carol

    the woman is smiling in the NY Times pic, what we need now is another Jack Ruby

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  56. doc

    I do not believe that people should leave doors and windows open, however I also do not believe people should walk around armed to the teeth wearing body armor and crash helmets.

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  57. Ruben

    Ignorance is bliss says "The REALLY crazy people are the idiots who can’t hear a damn thing except the music from the headphones stuck in their ears."

    So I guess deaf people are idiots too cuz they can't hear a damn thing. those morons need to pay attention !

    dummy.

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  58. O'Shea

    @sycamore
    Quit talking bs please.
    I do not know what you mean by underfunding. Psychology is a very in-exact science. here is a real life situation here in ny:
    Two folks, animal killer and firebug are both classified as bi-polar. Firebug needs to be forcefully taken to the psych ward every few days inorder to take his meds. At $500/trip, firebug cost the tax payer, hundreds of thousands. He was finally admitted for a year.
    Now animal killer is 36 and has never kept a job In his life. Animal killer, has a case worker that drives his meds to him. Animal killer is on welfare with more than enough money to feed a family of 3. Last year, animal killer tried to attack his eight month old nephew and was admitted to the mental hospital. Animal killer is pure evil and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand. He is bipolar?

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  59. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    @doc

    Nice straw man argument.

    Tell me where I suggested everyone arm themselves to the teeth and wear crash helmets.

    Do you have kids? If they ride the subway, do you tell them to be alert and know what's going on around them, or would you consider that unreasonable as well?

    @Ruben

    Reading your comments can be detrimental to one's IQ. If you can't tell the difference between people who are deaf and those who voluntarily blot out their senses, sacrificing their personal safety for a bit of entertainment, then good luck to you.

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  60. 46

    It has been a while since I have read the comments. You people don't change, yes people should be aware of their environment, but the human brain can really focus on one thing at a time. Don't you guys anything better to do? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Be careful of the dwi tonight! We just had one last week on 48 street and 48 avenue.

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  61. Joey Spagna

    Easy for you to say she's mentally ill. You're brother/uncle/father/friend was not the one thrown on the tracks. This woman needs to burn in HELL.

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  62. Ruben

    hey ignorance, who are you to say who is aware of their surroundings and who is not? Just because someone rocks music? you talk about my comments being idiotic but your comments are FAR more stupid. At least mine make a point whether you agree or not,

    its a stupid point, why? because there's people in la la land regardless if they have music blasting or not. And in the end you're asking people to show what? more common sense right? which is what I initially said in my "stupid" comment.

    because in the end it comes down to personal responsibility. you can't cover every aspect of every area. you hippies always do that, you sit there throwing out ideas of how a system can be blamed, doors that prevent people from falling in. ok, so there's doors there, who's to say she wouldn't just go up and stab the guy and run? We gonna ban knives now?

    idiots, the lot of you. The species would be better off if you guys didn't procreate

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  63. JuliaJ.

    This is not a hate crime. The woman was pacing and mumbling to herself before she shoved this poor man to his death. She would have attacked anybody who was standing too close to the edge. The D.A.'s in this city are full of it. I wonder if Jimmy Van Bramer will have a candle light vigil for this victim. I doubt it very much. This woman was nuts. Something has to be done about involuntarily committing people as she was in Bellvue recently as well as Elmhurst Hospital.

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  64. Pete

    Doc is right - these nut jobs shouldn't be roaming the streets. The family shouldve been more involved in getting this woman the help she needed. They obviously knew she had a criminal record/violent tendancies and was unable to function like a normal human being. Why would they let her step foot outside the house or mental institution.

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  65. Pete

    This could've been prevented. In cases like these are when the family needs to get involved.

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  66. sycamore

    @ o'shea Take your own advice.

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  67. The real Ruben

    Unless the victim was a Gay Male JVB will not do anything because it is out of his secular sect.

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  68. Ruben

    once again, that is not the Real Ruben, get off da nuts son

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  69. Lisa Simpson

    You guys need to quit it with all these gay comments - theyre ridiculous! What could JVB possibly do that would change anything? This was a horrible tragedy - the poor victim is dead. We need to keep him and the family in our prayers - may he rest in peace.

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  70. Rubenesque

    There are a lot of anti-social and cranky people out there- some of them are probably reading this blog right now! We used to lock up miscreants but it was super-expensive and sometimes the wrong person was locked up. So Governor Reagan had them re-classified and it was illegal to lock them up. And here we are now.

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  71. JuliaJ.

    We also need to be more vigilant and file more police reports (and I also wonder if that does any good). If members of her family had police records (and it appears that some of them did) it is not surprising that they did not get the police/mental health people involved sooner. How did this woman pay her rent? Was she receiving welfare? Was a case worker assigned to her? There are still unanswered questions. She also attacked a former fireman a while ago and was arrested for it. She was in and out of jail/hospitals.

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  72. Ruben

    Maybe what you people should do is listen to others when they tell you someone is crazy. For example, the Chaaaaange bum is crazy. he's not well..yet you people keep walking passed him and some even giving him money and food.

    are you going to wait till he throws acid in your babies face? or are you all going to demand that this maniac is taken off the streets and stops shitting under the train.

    but noooo..just another stupid comment from ol' Ruben here.

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  73. Mike

    Ruben- are you talking about the bum who always stands in front of TD Bank and throws up?

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  74. Ruben

    yes Mike, been talking about him for like...EVER

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  75. Rubenesque

    Are you the old Mike? And the Real Ruben? Real Ruben, do you really think the guy on the sidewalk is dangerous and should be taken into custody? You feel that he is maniacal?

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  76. Jemma

    I have to agree with SOME of Ruben's points. Honestly people, you have to be aware of what is going on around you at all times. You can't walk around assuming everyone is normal, decent or honest. As far as bums in this neighborhood go, you never know what their story is and if they can snap. The chaaaaange bum craps underneath the train which is disgusting. Going back to the original issue at hand here, which was this mentally unstable woman who killed someone, honestly people like this are dangerous to have out in society. I think anyone could of ended up her victim. She could of pushed someone into oncoming traffic on queens blvd for all we know. Then what? People who are unstable and evil will find a way to fufill their urges by any means neccessary. Our job is to be aware and alert and try to stay out of situations that put us in danger. We shouldn't be bickering about whose idea is better, who is more right and who is being politically incorrect we need to watch out for ourselves and for each other and try to keep this neighborhood safe.

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  77. Ignorance is Bliss Street

    More than 4 days after this cold-blooded murder and still not a word about this on JVB's website, no press conference, no candle light vigil, nada. Just a lame facebook comment.

    The people who said JVB only cared about the Rispoli murder because he was gay and a personal friend were absolutely correct.

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  78. Rubenesque

    Jemma, this is a forum where women and men gather and exchange ideas that are usually emotional responses to recent stories or events we've all had on our mind. It is in this sort of forum that you will hear a lot of crazy, not-really-thought-out ideas, though. It's a new and sometimes controversial way of interacting and addressing your neighbors- the fact that it's done with anonymity adds to (and subtracts from) the overall authority of the final message, though. Sorry if you've encountered any "bickering" but it's the nature of the beast. Maybe you wandered in here by mistake?

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  79. kanye west

    me n kim iz having a baby! gonna be one of the GREATEST BABIES OF ALL TIME! I dont want crazee people doing harm to my great baby and others so I am all for rounding up the mentally ill and keepin em separate from us normal peeple of society. peace an out.

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  80. Ruben with a Snuggie and hot cocoa

    About 7 yrs ago a new chicken place opened on 46th and the chaaaange bum came in and walked to the back and into the bathroom. He came out a few minutes later with his pants down and diarrhea dripping from his pants and shoes as he walked out leaving a path of mess along the floor. We are still dealing wth this crazy person.

    The other day he banged on the glass bus stop and some scared elderly man opened his wallet and gave him a dollar due to fear.

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  81. Joey Spagna

    Chaaaaange man should be thrown in front of a train...diaaaaaaarrhea and all.

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  82. Joey Spagna

    Chaaaaaage man should be thrown in front of traaaaaain. His diaaaaaaarhea too.

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  83. So disgusted

    The chaaaange bum needs to go. He seems to be an alcoholic - he always looks hung over and stands on corners throwing up. Disgusting. Makes the neighborhood look bad.

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  84. Ruben

    When you see the CHAAAAAANGE bum I want you to think of ME!

    err...wait..

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  85. Get a Life

    Jemma makes good points.

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  86. Jemma

    Thanks- get a life. Somehow someone else thought they needed to educate me on the way a forum is ran. FYI this is a comments section and not technically a forum. No, I didn't accidentally wander onto here. I'm a long time resident as a matter if fact who has been frequenting this site for some time. I usually just read people's comments and don't contribute too often. Which I'm entitled to do, as much as I'm entitled to make a comment. That's why we're all here right? Excuse me for making the suggestion that we should watch out for each other and try not to bicker about EVERYTHING. If your goal was to get me to bicker with YOU. Not gonna happen. So anyhow...

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  87. "Squirts" The Sunnyside Bum

    I don't always poop liquid butt sauce, but when I do, it's on Rubenesque's face. Your comments are retarded, sir. Now gimme some change and zip your lip before I really get upset.

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  88. Ruben

    Remember, Rubenesque is not Ruben. I'm the guy warning you of "Squirts the Chaaaaange Bum"

    which is a hilarious name by the way.

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  89. Solution

    Ruben-if youre do concerned about this dirtyass bum why dont you do something about it? Teach him how to wipe his ass properly.

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  90. SuperWittySmitty

    Quit complaining about the quality of comments, already. This is NT and people like to yell and argue. I think this IS a forum, anyway. A place where people assemble and converse.

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  91. Solution

    Nt?

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  92. Kanye West

    Lets get back to the facts, the woman is a psyko!! but its a new year 2013 and there will be a new baby, the GREATEST BABY OF ALL TIME born later in da year. i aint talkin william and kate, I will bust on da scene when their baby comes out and declare that mine an kims will be the GREATEST OF ALL TIME!!

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  93. Su

    Get out of here with your stupid kim and kanue comments no one cares!!

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  94. Sunnyside promoter

    How bout a cage match between CHAAAANGE bum and the carpetbagger who holds the door at the 46th St Dunking Donuts. Anything goes, you wanna fling feces, urinate on your opponent, go for it....

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  95. I love starbucks

    The DD bum seems friendly

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  96. Jemma

    I'm going to sit with Ruben. I like him better.

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  97. Jemma

    P.S. supernotsowittysmitty i can complain about whatever I want, it's a place to assemble and converse so don't tell me to quit it.

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  98. 5_Foot_Gremlin

    ***Extra! Extra! Sunnyside Bumfights Saturday at 9 p.m. between 45th and 46th streets! Get your tickets at http://www.sunnysidebumfights.com while they last! Refreshments will be served courtesy of Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, YumYum, Pio Pio, Alpha Donuts, Sunnyside Fresh Taco, Mr. Wonton, Pink Icing, Wendy's, and Salt & Fat!

    The winner will get 4 quarters, a bottle of Mylanta, and a fresh pair of brand new Depends adult diapers. [This applies mainly to Squirts the Bum. We are tired of seeing your masterpieces shot onto the pillars of the 7 train viaduct.]

    Come on come all! Bring cameras. Refereed by that homeless dude under the 7 who always has different clothes on every day.***

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  99. SuperWittySmitty

    Jemma, it sounds as if you were born to bicker. Happy New Year, and use public transportation- it's cheaper and much more exciting than owning a car.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  100. Ruben

    In case you forgot or just don't know I would like to show you my work.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/89175843@N07/8122274567

    I wasn't able to get the full HD quality I was looking for, the lighting was off but regardless I think the images really speak to you in a powerful way.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  101. 5_Foot_Gremlin

    Yup! That's Squirts making another one of his masterpieces.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  102. I B Hatin Kenyay

    Kimz baby b mine!!!! not yours sucka.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

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Latest News

Neighborhood wishes 104-year old a Happy Birthday

ethel104

Nov. 27, Staff Report

Ethel Plimack, a Sunnyside Gardens resident, turned 104 today and the neighborhood came to her 46th Street home to wish her well.

At noon, Ethel’s neighbor Patricia Dorfman distributed birthday candles to the well-wishes and knocked on her front door. When Ethel opened her door, about 120 people cheered.

The mob sang Happy Birthday and Ethel expressed her gratitude with a broad smile and a few soft words.

Dorfman, the organizer, said that the occasion was particularly touching. This was the second time she had organized the event– the first time being when Ethel turned 103.

Many people who attended viewed Ethel as an inspiration. “Do you think you will reach 104?” one resident asked a friend. The friend replied: “I will be lucky to make 64.”

Ethel

Ethel

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This year’s ‘Taste of Woodside’ draws plenty of restaurants and good crowd

Taste of woodside

Nov. 25, By Michael Florio

The third annual “Taste of Woodside” was its biggest one yet.

The event, which was hosted by Woodside on the Move, featured 14 restaurants and a crowd  of about 120 attendees.

The goal of the event, which took place last Thursday, was to provide attendees with the ability to sample each restaurant’s food so they would be able to get an appreciation of the quality of Woodside’s cuisine.

“We had people from Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and all over,” said Woodside on the Move Executive Director Adrian Bordoni, who held the event at at St. Sebastian’s School auditorium.

Bordoni said the oysters and clams from Murphy’s Lobster Grill (48-20 Skillman Ave) were once again popular items. A new Woodside restaurant, Casa Del Chef (39-06 64th St), offered pumpkin soup with Parmesan whip cream on top , which Bordoni said was loved by all.

Meanwhile, Takesushi (43-46 42nd Street) chef Robin Kawada was on site making sushi for those in attendance.

“That was a big, big hit,” Bordoni said referring to Takesushi. “People were really impressed [watching him make it] and it was delicious.”

Red Ribbon Bakeshop (65-02 Roosevelt Ave) and Engeline’s Restaurant & Bakeshop (58-28 Roosevelt Ave) were two Filipino bakeries that helped bring variety to the event.

“We were happy to have Filipino businesses well represented,” Bordoni said.

Bordoni said there were also Irish, Italian, Bolivian, American and Japanese restaurants on site.

“People were definitely happy with the diverse selection,” he said.

Woodside on the Move introduced a new feature this year, a photo exhibit by Rachel Mintz, called The Woodsider. The exhibit was hung around the auditorium and featured photos of a variety of Woodside businesses.

“The exhibit celebrates the hard work and services that businesses supply to the community,” Bordoni said.

The Taste of Woodside continues to grow. Last year about 80 people attended and about 11 restaurants participated. However, that event was held in a much smaller venue at the Big Six Towers.

“The location helped because it was a much bigger space,” he said.

Robin Kawada

Robin Kawada

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Two years prison for hit-and-run driver who struck 5 people sitting in bus shelter

gavel2

Nov. 24, By Christian Murray

A Jackson Height’s man who drove into five people while they were sitting in a bus shelter on Northern Boulevard (by 48th Street) in February was sentenced last week to two years in prison on charges related to leaving the scene of the accident, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Luis Andrade, 32, was sentenced to two years after taking a plea deal in October when he admitted his guilt to assault in the first degree. However, in taking the plea other charges such as “leaving the scene of an incident without reporting serious physical injury” were dropped.

Andrade, who was an unlicensed driver according to the criminal complaint, struck five people—including an 8-year-old girl—at around 7:30 pm on Saturday, February 1. He destroyed the bus shelter and left the 8-year-old girl with a fractured skull and a woman with a broken femur and tibia. The others were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries.

Andrade then fled the scene and ditched his white 2003 Mazda outside 37-59 61st Street. The police found the vehicle with a shattered windshield and partially torn-off bumper..

Andrade was also sentenced to a year and a half of post-release supervision, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Sunnyside Shines to launch holiday gift guide, plans event for Small Business Saturday

BIDfrontcover

Nov. 23, By Christian Murray

Expect a holiday gift guide – promoting Sunnyside’s small businesses – to arrive in the mail any day now.

Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, with the help of LaGuardia Community College students, has produced a 10-page brochure that showcases what 22 local stores have to offer as well as the importance of shopping locally. The promotion also ties into Small Business Saturday, a day when shoppers are expected to buy from smaller stores following the big-box binge on black Friday.

The BID has printed 30,000 guides and will be mailing 18,000 of them to the zip code 11104 and certain sections of Woodside. The remaining guides will be distributed this Saturday when a special event is held at Bliss Plaza (underneath the 46th train station) to kickoff Small Business Saturday and the holiday season.

The event, which will take place on Nov. 29 between 12:00 pm and 1 pm, will feature free giveaways and live music from the Sunnyside Social Club, a local jazz group.

“I am delighted that the BID has produced a holiday gift guide,” said Czarinna Andres, owner of Bing’s Hallmark. “Every bit of publicity helps local businesses.”

Andres is offering a coupon in the guide that offers shoppers a discount. Stores such as Avalon Florist and Red Wing Shoes are also providing discounts.

Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, was in Sunnyside last week and spoke about the importance of residents shopping locally during the holiday season.

Springer said that 20-30 percent of sales for small businesses take place during this period. She said that it is important to have promotions like these to help them compete with the large online retailers and bigger stores. She added that the marketing campaigns conducted by the 70 BIDs across the city are helping smaller businesses– including in this neighborhood.

“Sunnysiders understand the importance of shopping locally, but we wanted to make it even easier by publishing the gift guide and promoting local businesses on Small Business Saturday,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines.

Details:

Event: Small Business Saturday kickoff

Date: Nov. 29

Time: 12 pm – 1pm

Czarrina Andres

Czarrinna Andres

Wespaw Pets

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46th Street–by Sunnyside Arch– likely to be named after Luke Adams
Luke Adams (middle)

Luke Adams (middle)

Nov. 21, By Christian Murray

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Community Board 2 have started the process to name a street after Luke Adams, the long-time Sunnysider who passed away about two weeks ago.

Van Bramer said shortly after Adams’ death several people approached him and wanted a street named after him. Adams, who lived in Sunnyside for nearly 40 years, was known throughout the community for his work with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, Sunnyside/Woodside Lions Club and SunnysideArtists.

“It was no surprise that everyone wanted a street named after him,” Van Bramer said.

“Luke was so involved in the neighborhood—and on a consistent basis—for the better part of 30 years,” Van Bramer said.

The community board is still deciding what street should be named after him. It has narrowed it down to two streets: 46th Street (between Queens Blvd and Greenpoint Avenue) and 43rd Street/47th Avenue where he lived.

The street would be named “Luke Adams Way,” an apt named for someone who was known as having strong opinions.

“I think there is more support for 46th Street,” Van Bramer said, who has to get the city council to sign off on it. However, “I am going to defer that decision to the community and those people closest to him.”

Patricia Dorfman, who was a very close friend of Adams, said that she was initially an advocate for 43rd Street but now views 46th Street by the arch to be more appropriate.

“His business was located on 46th street,” Dorfman said. She said that he was very involved in maintaining the arch in its early years and his name should be more prominently placed.

Van Bramer said if a decision is made quickly he would be able to get it through the city council shortly. If that is the case, we could have an unveiling in spring.”

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New commanding officer appointed to 108 precinct
Captain John Trav

Captain John Travaglia

Nov. 20, By Christian Murray

A new commanding officer has been appointed to the 108 Police Precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

Captain John Travaglia, who has spent most of his career in Queens, will be taking over the command following the departure of Capt. Brian Hennessy.

This will be Travaglia’s first time as a commanding officer. He was most recently the executive officer at the 114th Precinct in Astoria. Prior to that, he was an executive officer at the 104th Precinct that covers Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood.

Travaglia takes the top job at a time when Sunnyside has been experiencing an uptick in burglaries and other property-related crime.  However, Astoria too has seen a jump in burglaries recently.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he has scheduled a meeting with Travaglia and has heard good things about him. “We look forward to meeting him as we all work to keep the neighborhood safe.”

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Fire broke out on 51st Street last night, no serious injuries

fire51st Street

Nov. 20, By Michael Florio

A fire broke out in a Sunnyside apartment building last night.

The blaze took place on the fifth floor at 41-36 51st Street. The FDNY received a call just before 7 pm and the fire was brought under control by 7:30 pm, according to the FDNY.

The fire was contained to one apartment and one person, believed to be the tenant, was taken to a local hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The victim was believed to have been unconscious when he was removed from his apartment.

A neighboring tenant, who didn’t want to be named, showed up during the fire. She said the fire was first noticed by a passerby, who saw flames shooting out the window.

“This was traumatizing for everyone,” the neighboring tenant said. “Everyone here was freaked out.”

The apartment that caught fire is completely destroyed. The apartment above may have been damaged as well, and the apartment below suffered severe water damage.

The apartment that caught fire was rented by a younger man, according to a neighboring tenant, who moved into the building earlier this year. He was known for having parties.

“We [the occupants] were worried something like this would happen,” the neighbor said.

The FDNY is still investigating what caused the fire.

fire51st Street1

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Police release PHOTO of one of the suspects wanted for beating and robbing 81-year-old
Suspect

Suspect

Nov. 19, By Christian Murray

The police have released another photo of one of the two men suspected of beating and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnysider at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Blvd last month.

The two men allegedly approached the victim inside the Chase bank ATM area at about 9:30 am on Sunday, October 26, before punching him in the face and removing $100 and his debit card from his pocket. The victim was William Eichhorn, who has lived in the Phipps Houses for the past 50 years.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477)

For previous coverage, click here

Previous photo of suspect

Previous photo of a suspect

 

Previous photo

Previous photo of a suspect

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UPDATE: 4 Squared Flavors to be closed for winter, to reopen March 1

Flavor

Nov. 18, By Christian Murray

The frozen yogurt store 4 Squared Flavors has closed for winter and will reopen March 1, according to co-owner Khalil Nayl,

Nayl said that landlord is supportive of the store and is by providing discounted rent during the winter months.

Nayl’s announcement came less than an hour after he was asked why the store had been closed all month.

“We are exploring our options,” Nayl said at about 3:30 pm, when asked whether the 45-12 Greenpoint Avenue store had closed for good. “I will get back to you when we have made a final decision.”

Nayl had been asked the question several times during the month and provided the same response.

The store has had a tough go of it from the get-go. It was supposed to open in October 2013 but the owners had issues with the contractor and it opened in March.

Nevertheless, Nayl is hoping to get the support of Sunnysiders when he reopens. He still plans to open other 4 Squared Flavors in other locations.

The Sunnyside store is spacious—with a lounge area that has couches. There is also a special area where iPads are provided, so people can surf the web while they eat their yogurt.

Meanwhile, in other news, Mediterraneo, the popular pizzeria located at 46-21 Queens Blvd, closed at the end of last month. The owner closed for personal reasons, according to sources.

In other news, Safra Bistro, a Turkish restaurant located on the corner of 43rd Avenue and 43rd Street, is up for sale. The restaurant, which opened a year ago, is on the market for $139,000. The owner is seeking a quick sale.

Med

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More Headlines

Fire broke out on 51st Street last night, no serious injuries
fire51st Street Nov. 20, By Michael Florio A fire broke out in a Sunnyside apartment building last night. The blaze took place on the fifth floor at 41-36 51st Street. The FDNY received a call just before 7 pm and the fire was brought under control by 7:30 pm, according to the FDNY. The fire was contained to one apartment and one person, believed to be the tenant, was taken to a local hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The victim was believed to have been unconscious when he was removed from his apartment. A neighboring tenant, who didn’t want to be named, showed up during the fire. She said the fire was first noticed by a passerby, who saw flames shooting out the window. “This was traumatizing for everyone,” the neighboring tenant said. “Everyone here was freaked out.” The apartment that caught fire is completely destroyed. The apartment above may have been damaged as well, and the apartment below suffered severe water damage. The apartment that caught fire was rented by a younger man, according to a neighboring tenant, who moved into the building earlier this year. He was known for having parties. “We [the occupants] were worried something like this would happen,” the neighbor said. The FDNY is still investigating what caused the fire. fire51st Street1
Police release PHOTO of one of the suspects wanted for beating and robbing 81-year-old
Suspect

Suspect

Nov. 19, By Christian Murray The police have released another photo of one of the two men suspected of beating and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnysider at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Blvd last month. The two men allegedly approached the victim inside the Chase bank ATM area at about 9:30 am on Sunday, October 26, before punching him in the face and removing $100 and his debit card from his pocket. The victim was William Eichhorn, who has lived in the Phipps Houses for the past 50 years. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) For previous coverage, click here
Previous photo of suspect

Previous photo of a suspect

 
Previous photo

Previous photo of a suspect

UPDATE: 4 Squared Flavors to be closed for winter, to reopen March 1
Flavor Nov. 18, By Christian Murray The frozen yogurt store 4 Squared Flavors has closed for winter and will reopen March 1, according to co-owner Khalil Nayl, Nayl said that landlord is supportive of the store and is by providing discounted rent during the winter months. Nayl's announcement came less than an hour after he was asked why the store had been closed all month. “We are exploring our options,” Nayl said at about 3:30 pm, when asked whether the 45-12 Greenpoint Avenue store had closed for good. "I will get back to you when we have made a final decision.” Nayl had been asked the question several times during the month and provided the same response. The store has had a tough go of it from the get-go. It was supposed to open in October 2013 but the owners had issues with the contractor and it opened in March. Nevertheless, Nayl is hoping to get the support of Sunnysiders when he reopens. He still plans to open other 4 Squared Flavors in other locations. The Sunnyside store is spacious—with a lounge area that has couches. There is also a special area where iPads are provided, so people can surf the web while they eat their yogurt. Meanwhile, in other news, Mediterraneo, the popular pizzeria located at 46-21 Queens Blvd, closed at the end of last month. The owner closed for personal reasons, according to sources. In other news, Safra Bistro, a Turkish restaurant located on the corner of 43rd Avenue and 43rd Street, is up for sale. The restaurant, which opened a year ago, is on the market for $139,000. The owner is seeking a quick sale. Med
Two rescue dogs and one cat find homes at Sunnyside adoption event
James Abram with Hercules

James Abram with Hercules

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray Hercules, Daffodil and Robin all found homes Sunday. The three animals were adopted by Sunnyside residents who attended an adoption event outside of Wespaw Pets—located at 44-05 Queens Blvd-- on Sunday. The Sean Casey Animal Rescue group in conjunction with the North Shore Animal League parked a large truck filled with dogs and cats that are currently in shelters outside the pet store. The dogs were of all ages—puppies to seniors—with one particularly disfigured due to a cruel past owner. The dogs varied in breeds-- with pit bulls, pit bull terrier mixes, poodles and even a pomeranian. The cats ranged in age too. The first animal to be adopted was Hercules, a young pit bull, by James Abram. While the dogs had been vaccinated and checked over prior to the event, a volunteer veterinarian was on hand to help the new owners—and current dog owners—with questions. “People continue to ask about adoption events,” said a Wespaw Pets representative. “While we have had them before this is the biggest one we have had so far.” The next dog to find a home was Daffodil, an older dog who was adopted by a young couple. Later in the day, a mother with her young daughter adopted a cat called Robin. Several of the cats were brought to the event by LIC Ferals & Friends. Some of the other pets might still be adopted, according to a Wespaw representative, since a few couples are thinking it over. Sam, the owner of Wespaw Pets, was encouraged by the day. “Sometimes you can have events like these and no dogs or cats get adopted,” he said. adoption1  
Couple adopts Dafodil

Couple adopts Daffodil

Robin the cat

Robin the cat

Strong turnout for Sunnyside Artists’ craft show
Alexio Gessa (Peter Wing)

Alexio Gessa (Photo: Peter Wing)

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray The third annual Crafts & Arts Show took place in Sunnyside on Sunday, with 35 crafters offering items—from jewelry to illustrations--to hundreds of attendees who showed up over the course of the day. The event was held at the Queen of Angels Church parish center—from 10 am through 5 pm-- and attendees came in waves. The numbers swelled whenever a church service ended at Queen of Angels Church. “At 1 pm (when a church service ended) it was so crowded that some people decided to come back later,” said Manny Gomez, the president of Sunnyside Artists. Gomez said he was happy with the overall turnout—which was similar to previous years. He said the cold weather didn’t dissuade people from coming. This year’s main organizer Patricia Dorfman, the founder of Sunnyside Artists, was not in attendance due to an illness in her family. Meanwhile, Luke Adams, who had also helped put together the event in the past, passed away last week. Gomez said that Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer attended the event at about 2 pm and there was a moment of silence in honor of Adams. Michael Gurrado, who made several items carved from wood, was a particularly popular over the course of the day. So, too, was Kris Czerniachowich who sold handmade Christmas ornaments. Meanwhile, Alexio Gessa, a comic-book artist & illustrator, also fared well—with Van Bramer buying a poster from him.
Jimmy Van Bramer (source: Peter Wing)

Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo:Peter Wing)

Source Peter Wing

(Photo: Peter Wing)

DOT likely to reduce speed limit on Queens Blvd to 25 mph by year end
Van BramerFATAL By Christian Murray The Department of Transportation plans to reduce the speed limit on Queens Blvd to 25 mph, down from 30 mph, by the end of the year. The DOT tweeted that Commissioner Polly “Trottenberg anticipates reducing the speed limit to 25 mph by he end of the year.” Queens Boulevard was not included as part of the 25 mph city wide speed limit that went into effect Nov. 7 since it was deemed a big street designed to accommodate faster speeds. “Queens Boulevard has been known as the Boulevard of Death for far too long, and our work towards Vision Zero would not be complete without addressing this street that has too often proven fatal,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris in a statement. “ I am glad DOT plans to make Queens Boulevard safer and I hope that with time this major street will come to be known for its pedestrian plazas and great restaurants, rather than traffic fatalities."
Man follows Sunnyside woman home, robs her at knifepoint
Suspect

Suspect

A 40-year old woman was followed into her Sunnyside apartment building last month before a man pulled out a knife and demanded her cell phone. The perpetrator followed the woman into the lobby of her 42nd Street apartment building (near Skillman Ave.) just before midnight on Saturday Oct.25. He then pulled out a knife and demanded her phone. The victim complied. The man then fled. The police released a photo and video footage of the suspect today. The suspect is described as a male black, approximately 30 years of age, who had dreadlocks containing yellow beads on the night of the attack. He was also wearing a long black trench coat. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). 
With 18 restaurants expected, ‘Taste of Woodside’ to take place Nov. 20
Taste-of-Woodside-475x3561 Nov. 13, By Michael Florio Get ready to sample the diverse food of Woodside. Woodside on the Move, a local non-profit, will be putting on its third annual “Taste of Woodside” on Nov. 20, with the goal of showcasing about 18 restaurants. The goal of the event is to provide attendees with the ability to sample each restaurant’s food so they are able to get an appreciation of the quality of Woodside’s cuisine. This year’s event will be taking place at the St. Sebastian’s School auditorium, located at 39-76 58th Street. The event will cost $25. “The restaurants will provide samples of the type of food they offer,” said Adriana Beltran with Woodside on the Move. The list of participating restaurants will be released shortly. This year’s event is expected to attract about 100 attendees, Beltran said. Last year, 80 people attended.   Beltran said a new feature this year will be a photo exhibit called The Woodsider. The exhibit will be hung around the auditorium and will feature Woodside businesses. Details: Date: Nov. 20 Time: 6 pm-9pm Location: St. Sebastian's School auditorium Admission price: $25
Sunnyside Artists to hold craft fair at Queen of Angels Church Sunday
craftsfair2013 Nov. 12, By Michael Florio The third annual Crafts & Arts Show takes place in Sunnyside on Sunday, with 34 crafters offering items as varied as leather goods, handmade jewelry and pottery. The event, which is being held at the Queen of Angels Church parish center, opens at 10 am. Food will be sold throughout the day that includes meatball sliders, vodka penne and various desserts. “We hope everyone will stop by and perhaps buy their holiday gifts at good prices which supports our local artists,” said Manny Gomez, the president of Sunnyside Artists whose group organizes the annual event. Several participants from last year’s craft fair are back—including photographer Don Soules and Emily Dunne, an artist who does witty photo assemblages. There will also be some new faces this year that include Michael Gurrado, who works with wood, and Kris Czerniachowich who makes handmade Christmas ornaments. “Batman” is expected to appear in costume, accompanying comic strip artwork. Luke Adams, VP of Sunnyside Artists, will be absent for the first time. He passed away on Monday. There will be a moment of silence in his honor. DETAILS: Date/Time: Sunday, Nov. 16 (10 am- 5 pm) Location: Queen of Angels Church parish center (corner of 44th Street and Skillman Ave.) Admission is free
Luke Adams, long-time Sunnysider, died last night
Source: Pat Dorfman

Source: Pat Dorfman

lukesp-259x425Nov. 11, By Christian Murray Luke Adams, a long-serving volunteer and former Sunnyside business owner, passed away from cardiac arrest last night at 8 pm. He was 76. Adams, who was at one time the president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, was well known by the community for his work with the Sunnyside Woodside Lions Club and SunnysideArtists.org. Furthermore, he was the first recipient of the Sunnysider of the Year award, which is named after him. “Luke Adams is a local treasure,” said Pat Dorfman, at a fundraiser in honor of him earlier this year. “He is the best promoter in Queens and loyal to a fault,” she said at the time. Adams had lived in Sunnyside for more than 40 years. He owned a travel agency on 43rd Street for many years. He also had a vast collection of photographs that showcased Sunnyside and its history. "We are all saddened by the news that Luke Adams has passed away, said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer in a statement. "Luke loved Sunnyside like no other person could." State Sen. Mike Gianaris echoed these sentiments. "Luke Adams was a Sunnyside icon who dedicated his life to making his neighborhood a better place, and he will be deeply missed," he said in a statement. There will be a wake at Lynch Funeral Home on Thursday and a funeral mass at St Raphaels on Friday at 11am. (click for details)
Sushi pioneer brings top-quality fish to neighborhood
Robin Kawada

Robin Kawada

Nov. 9, By Kim Brown Reiner Although Takesushi opened in Sunnyside a little more than two years ago, food experts claim its owner established the first sushi restaurant in New York City nearly three decades ago. Woodside resident, chef and owner Robin Kawada--who at one time owned Takesushi restaurants in Manhattan, Washington D.C., Toronto and on Long Island-- is quick to back up that claim. “I have been in the restaurant business for 40 years,” said Kawada, 66. “Takesushi was the first sushi restaurant in Manhattan in 1975.” Food expert and author of “The Secret Life of Sushi,” Trevor Corson, brought up that idea at a food panel in 2010. At the time it caused quite a stir, others claimed the distinction belonged to Hatsuhana or Nippon. Whatever the truth, Takesushi, which means bamboo, was one of the first sushi restaurants in New York City. The current iteration opened in Sunnyside “accidentally” according to Kawada. When the lease on his Woodmere, Long Island restaurant was up, Kawada looked for a place in Manhattan but couldn’t find the proper venue. At the time, Transylvania, at 43-46 42nd Street, had closed its doors so Kawada thought, “Why not Queens?” He soon found out what Queens was like. Business was slow, his restaurant has yet to be reviewed by a major publication and he has had to lower prices by 20%. Omakase, for example, a large variety of chef selected specialty sushi, like sea urchin, scallop and eel, costs $58 as opposed to $100 for a comparable dish in Manhattan. Most dishes are far less expensive. But for Kawada, everything is secondary to the quality of fish, even profit. “I’m open not to make money, but at least not to use up my savings,” he said. Reverence for fish is something he learned growing up in Japan. “In Japan each fish has a shrine,” he said. “Each fisherman prays for their fish. They live with that fish. They don’t want to waste it.” takesushifrontWhen he first moved to the United States in 1968, he worked in import/export and as a restaurant cashier, eventually running his own distribution business at the Fulton Fish Market until 9-11. For more than a decade afterwards, he had a business processing sea urchin in Maspeth and shipping it to Japan. The success of his first distribution venture allowed him to open the original Takesushi and import not only high-quality fish, but a well-established chef from Japan. Working alongside the chef, Kawada received his own training. “There is no school for fish. You cut it, you touch it, you taste it,” he said. Back then, as now, his fish was praised for its excellent quality, but also simplicity. “Each fish has a special taste. So many restaurants put something on the fish, like mayonnaise. It may taste good in your mouth, but it’s not good for this fish.” More than forty-five years after starting to work at the Fulton Fish Market, Kawada stills goes to the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx every day to buy and clean fresh fish, not farmed fish, for Takesushi. He also works at the restaurant seven days a week, and has not taken a day off in 500 days, he said. In addition, he owns a 15-seat restaurant in Japan. Decades in the restaurant and fish distribution business have made Kawada more comfortable rattling off details about seasonal fish and his restaurant than his own four children, at least with this reporter. Tuna is best at this time of year. In the summer, after a fish lays eggs, she is not as tasty. The November menu includes blowfish tempura, monkfish liver, and Miyazaki beef, delicacies rarely eaten outside of Japan. His passion for quality food has frustrated him with people who care more about low prices and appearances. “Anytime fish looks nice people think it’s good,” he said. And the desire for cheap prices has led to misunderstandings about the art of sushi. “Some people think they don’t like sea urchin because they have never had good sea urchin,” he said. Occasionally, customers will sit at the sushi bar and spend $300, but it’s rare. Moreover, Kawada is unimpressed with competitors who don’t take the same pride he does in buying, cleaning and storing quality fish. “Maybe they all wear gloves because they don’t know how to prepare fish,” he said. The single-minded drive to serve quality fish has earned him a name among foodies on websites like Urbanspoon and Chowhound, as well as loyal customers throughout Queens. A woman at the sushi bar on Tuesday night said she was a regular for a decade in Manhattan and has been at the new Takesushi every week since it opened in 2012. Another regular said it was important to mention Kawada’s fine character, in addition to his fine fish. But quality fish above all else may be what’s keeping Kawada from mainstream success. He does not care about the decorations in his restaurant--a fish net, some scarecrows, and witches in the window--or even the dishware. “I don’t spend money on decorations because that means less for fish. I use cheap plates. I don’t use extra flowers,” he said. “I’m 66. Maybe the service is no good, but the fish is OK.” The service is just fine. The Michelin Guide may have skipped over Takesushi, however, because it doesn’t offer fine dining service. While that omission is fine by Kawada, the lack of media interest is more confounding. “I know I make the best quality food, I know it,” he said. “But no one comes to review it.” Reviews usually mean more customers, which means more money to buy better quality fish, which is all that matters in the end. “I try to use the best fish to make the best quality sushi,” he said. “That is all.” sushi6
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