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  1. Moneyside

    I expect to see the most vocal person on this forum in attendance.

    Ruben, take all that negative energy you direct toward this site & channel it in a more positive direction by attending the meeting.

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  2. I'm all out of bubble gum.

    Dairz nuttin rong wit piblik edukayshun. Dey tawt me real good.

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  3. TheRealRealRuben

    I don't think my idea of locking Squirts the Change bum in a cage with a sign that says "Do not feed the animal" will pass. It's too risque .

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  4. Anonymous

    Virginia Joe is paying a visit, let's ask him where his family lives and how there schools compare to ours

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  5. TheRealRealRubin

    Come to think of it, when are they going to let me out of my cage?
    Hate.

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  6. Theman

    How about cleaning up the homeless mans junk under the 40 street stop! It's getting out of hand

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  7. JuliaJ.

    Cathy Nolan is a tool of the teachers' union. She could not care less about education in NYC and neither could Virginia Joe Crowley. People should attend to boo them. I will bet Joe's kids go to great schools in the town in VIRGINIA where they live (and so does he for that matater).

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  8. I'm all out of bubble gum.

    @JuliaJ

    The main purpose of the public school system is to churn out the next generation of democrat voters. So in that sense, the politicians do care about it.

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  9. sm

    You cannot send your child to a public school south of the Blvd., i.e. District 24, and expect a good education. It is unfortunate, but if being honest, is true.

    But, with a child's education, there is (for some) an economic choice. You know that the schools are bad, so that means you will have to enroll in private ones in the city or move (some families hop over to the North side of the Blvd. simply because the district is better, not perfect, but better).

    It is math - where and how can you maximize what you have $$ in the best interest of your child's education? Public schools in District 24 should be considered the last resort - not the first.

    Sunnyside, especially south of the Blvd. is cheap re: cost of living (compared to Wechester where property taxes alone in the great public school districts can run anywhere from 10K-20K a year). What you save on housing (700K home and an additional 20K a year in property taxes in Westchester), put towards private education in the city.

    Or move to the North side of the Blvd. (District 30).

    You should not expect any legislator to act in your child's best interest insofar as establishing schools that rival those in the city. They will act for the "greater good" on numerous (sometime competing fronts) as constrained by the resources to do so. With tax revenue decreasing and other fiscal concerns at play, a person ought to truly consider where they live and the educational opportunities that district has for school-aged children.

    I love Sunnyside, but . . . as far as education goes in District 24, its lacking. And I don't expect any governmental agency to "fix it" anytime soon. . .

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  10. Rick Duro

    The question is "why are the schools 'failing'"? I teach in a tough city just north of NYC, where I grew up. This school system was EXCELLENT when I was there (thru 1987), but has now fallen on hard times. Based on my 11 years in education, both in Middle School and now HS, here is why schools 'fail'. My colleagues in NYC schools mention to me that they have it even worse than I do. Here is the TRUE story behind the #'s that the Emperor Bloomberg Administration likes to put out there. Again, if it is this bad outside NYC, it's definitely worse IN NYC:

    -My AVERAGE student was absent 33 times last year. Good luck getting a student to pass a NYS mandated exam, like the Regents, when they are out over 1/6 of the time. That is a TREMENDOUS amount of work to miss.
    The teacher is to blame? Somehow, I still get 60% of my students to pass the exam. Had the rest even showed up more often, they'd @ least have a chance. Attendance cannot be used as an excuse for a child's failure on these new state evaluations. That is absolutely absurd. Who is to blame? Parents/guardians/children.

    -The Avg student does about 33% of the HW and does not study for exams. They routinely stay up until midnight (plus)....first period begins @ 745am. I am an excellent motivator of students, making class very interesting and fun. My goal is to show them how something like the Neolithic Revolution is relevant to their daily lives. I take what matters most to them (music, movies, TV, tech, etc etc) and infuse it into each and every lesson. On 'parent teacher' nights parents of about 20 out of 150 kids show up. So, who is to blame here for the 40% that fail? Not me. Parents/guardians/students.

    -Children routinely come to school w/o a notebook, or anything to write with. Strangely enough they have their $300 phone, ipod with them and sneakers that cost more than a 3rd row Rolling Stones ticket Hmmm....priorities? Again, who is to blame here? I think you see a pattern.

    -Students get wasted before school even begins, in a variety of ways, what happens by the middle of the day? They are wiped out, exhausted and, you guessed it FAIL. My fault? I think not. The valuable lesson of doing drugs/drinking booze should be broached @ home first.

    -A child doesn't show up for their state mandated exam, the family has recieved phone calls, emails, letters reminding them of the date and importance of the test, yet, many are still absent. Guess what? They count AGAINST the teacher/school's stats. This is the fault of the teacher? No, of course not. But, according to NYS Bd of Ed it is....

    -Kids come to school w/o having eaten breakfast, then avoid the lunch (which is gross, if you could only see what gets passed off as 'food'), so, their body starts to shut down and they nod off. That's my fault? No, of course not. Poverty is a HUGE issue. Some of the same people that have helped to create this cycle of poverty with their gov'tal policies are the same clowns that are making our teacher evals.

    -Kid comes to school and has nothing else in mind but dropping out @ 17 on their own, or, being signed out by their parent @ 16. Thus, they do NOTHING each and every day, refusing to do any work, regardless of how creative we are in trying to encourage them to work. That's the teachers fault? Um, no.

    -Child comes to your class from Yemen in April, or any number of other foreign countries where the educational system for the masses is a mess. What do you think is going to happen when they take their state exam? We are not miracle workers.

    -Many children are eligible for 'special ed' services, but the parent has to sign off on it first. Some do not because they see 'special ed' as being 'mentaly challenged'. 'My child is not spec ed!' (I have heard this many times), it's all about pride. So, you have kids that do not belong in a regular class acting out, disrupting the learning environment. Some kids are given meds to deal with their ADD, ADHD, yet refuse to take them, this causes many problems in the classroom. Add to this the lack of funding for Guidance Counselors (we have 2 for 1100 kids), social workers, truant officers, psych services, etc and you can see the mess that has been created. Yet, this is the teachers fault? Nope.

    -If a kid is absent 24 times or more they are not technically eligible for a credit for that class, YET they DO qualify against a teachers stats when they fail the Regents exam. Hypocrisy, you bet'cha!

    There are MANY more examples I can list....

    I have grown exhausted listening to the 'blame the teacher' game played by Emperor Bloomberg and King Cuomo. Neither has a clue as to what goes on in a school. Or, maybe they do, but fear blaming those that are really to blame: the parents/guardians and students themselves. The media has not helped the situation, only telling one side of the story. One absolute Ahole is the editor of the NY Daily News. The pieces he/she writes are simply anti-teacher, never telling the REAL story. What is the goal of this absurd new teacher evaluation? Is it REALLY to improve our kids scores? Of course not, the hidden agenda is to get rid of high priced, veteran teachers and hire *2* 'wet behind the ears' rookies in their place, then in 2 years replace them once again. Get more people out of the pension system. Kudos to NYC Teachers Union for not agreeing to the teacher evaluation. We are being held accountable for things that we have NO CONTROL of. We get them for 45min a day, and for extra help after school if they decide to show up. We can only do so much, but are the easiest target. I'd say 10-20% of teachers do not belong in the classroom, just like on most jobs, it's not the apocalypse the media makes it out to be. This evaluation should have been targeted @ them, instead it is being used as a way to get rid of veteran teachers. What is to stop an administrator from 'stacking the deck' against a teacher by giving him the absolute worst groups of students? NYC Principals have their own budgets, they'd LOVE to dump 'expensive' teachers to free up dough. Also, take the HS science teacher @ Bronx HS of Science with their 100% Regents exam pass rate and toss them into the 'worst' school in the city....guess what happens...You guessed it, their #'s drop dramatically. There is definitely not a fair and equitable distribution of students. The #'s they preach about DO NOT tell the real story.

    Same goes for the lie behind the 'success' of Charter and Private Schools. They cherry pick their students, do not have the same populations of Special Ed and English Language Learners and can boot kids out for behavior issues, etc. Guess where they end up? You guessed it, the local Public School! Last, but most important, if their parents fought that hard to get them into a Charter School, or are paying for them to go to a Private School, they are ON THEM like white on rice, making sure they do what they are supposed to do, parental involvement equates to success in a child's education. Simple as that.

    Enough blaming the teachers. Let's start to look @ what is going on @ HOME that is preventing children from succeeding. We are not miracle workers.

    Rick

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  11. Rick Duro

    I call that the 'TEACHER EVAL MANIFESTO'.

    Rick

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  12. TheRealRealRuben

    Gotta agree with Rick, now if only we can figure out why Teachers need a whole SUMMER off?

    Year long instruction is the answer. to ALL your problems.

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  13. 123sunny

    So what does a parent who is involved do? I believe Rick's statements. But what do you do???

    If I am going to end up paying private school tuition so that I don't put my child in an environment like that [and I will not put my child in an environment like that] - then I don't want to pay more in taxes to 'support the schools.' Yet, everyone wants to raise taxes "for the schools" and for what?? How is throwing money into the schools going to solve the fundamental/cultural/societal issues that Rick describes? Many of those problems run deeper than money and deeper than the "school" - it is the child's home environment.

    And I AM supporting 'the schools' and society by placing my child in a private or charter school with peers that have an equal appreciation (at home and through the parents) for education. They become value-added members of society, at least the vast majority based on statistics of who continues through to selective high schools (and then onto college). At a minimum, I have given them the opportunity to reach their full potential - my responsibility as a parent.

    But if my taxes become too much (and at the same time I have to scrape by to pay 35K a year for first grade), NYC is not the place to live for the middle class. Its suburbs are not the place to live for the middle class.

    And sadly many Catholic schools are closing. They represented what seemed a semi-solution - reasonable tuition (5-10K a year) with a fairly solid education (depending on the school).

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  14. Origami version of Ruben

    heres an online tip rick - no one reads long posts. you look like you have a miserable meaningless life with nothing else to do... shorten it, couple quick points and be done. People will actually listen to what you say MORE if you write and speak less

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  15. Rick Duro

    sorry for the typos. did it quick.

    RD

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  16. Rick Duro

    Origami,

    Actually, my life is quite rich with friends, family, art, a career in the classroom/on the baseball field, SUDS, exploring the world, etc.
    What people who don't know me think of me is irrelevant.

    I just needed to blow off some steam re: the absurd issues of 'failing' schools and teacher evals.

    Those who want the truth, from an educator, will read it. If it is too long for the rest of our A.D.D. nation, well, so be it.

    RD

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  17. O'shea

    @123sunny
    A parent who is involved first teaches their kids proper manners. They make sure that their kids are ready for class everyday. Their homework is done and they come to class prepared to learn. Involved parents attend pta meetings and have an open method of contacting instructors if needed.
    Rick is right, the parents and students are the real problem enabled by the current administration.

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  18. O'shea

    Yes there is something terribly wrong with the public school system. I attended one of the "worst" schools in NYC. I had some of the best math teachers in the world. My global studies teacher taught business, checkbook balancing, global markets and the Us stock market during lunch period. I learned how to grow crystals, use of viruses as transport mechanisms in diseases like cystic fibrosis from one teacher. Then there was the use of everyday life to calculate problems during physics. The english teacher always thought i could become a better writer.
    It is the students and parents. It is not the teachers.

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  19. Origami version of Ruben

    Rick you could have copied and pasted the declaratin of independance in the middle and no one would have known!
    just a tad long, but hey I guess youre passionate about it

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  20. Woodside Mom

    Dear 123Sunny:

    Please note that Rick said he works in a school in a city north of NYC (Yonkers?) so don't assume that your zoned public school is not good - check it out! Call the school and set up a tour with the Parent Coordinator. Research the school stats on schools.nyc.org or insideschools.org (remember that there are duplicate school numbers in other boroughs, so have an idea of the school's address).

    You can't take advice from people who post here that certain schools or districts are "bad" and don't say whether they know from first hand knowledge (e.g. had a kid in the school). Even then, in large schools, some kids/parents will have a bad experience and many will have a good experience.

    District 24 has a lot of good schools and programs, including several primary school Gifted&Talented programs (one that's near to southern Sunnyside is at PS 153 - and busing would be provided if your child qualifies) and two middle school G&T programs. The seven traditional middle schools in the district all have Regents prep classes and allow advanced students to take one or two Regents (and IS 125 in Sunnyside offers FOUR Regents exams). I'm not sure this happens in any other district in the city.

    Although D24 has no primary charter schools, there are two middle school charters.

    I recommend that all parents who care about public schools read the following article:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/03/tales-out-of-school/306645/

    P.S. Joe Crowley is my Congressman and I have no problem with the fact that his wife and kids live in Virigina. Congress is in session many, many weeks of the year and young children should not be separated from a parent if at all possible.

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  21. Rick Duro

    How did you miss my take on the Magna Carta in there? :)

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  22. 123sunny

    Dear Woodside mom - thanks. The G&T at 159 it is great (I know a few kids in the program and their parents speak highly of it), but unfortunately it is a 1-hour one-way bus ride from the Sunnyside pick-up, in the morning and in the afternoon, so two hours spent on a bus a day.

    The kids I know are older ages, putting a five year old (as they start G&T in kindergarten) on a one-way one-hour bus ride out to Maspeth seems a tough thing to do . . .

    I'm hoping the new school being built on 43rd incorporates a G&T program - the local leaders said it was entirely possible, but that the community needed to speak out and e-mail/call them (Nolan/Van Bramer) to let them know a local G&T is something the neighborhood wants.

    Unfortunately, given that in the most overcrowded district only about 30 parents showed up for the meeting last week . . . I am realizing more and more that I'm going to be shelling out 35K a year for a five year old to learn their ABCs.

    The local schools that you speak of have wonderful ELL (English Language Learner) programs - but that is not something my child needs. Thus, time spent on it for the majority of their classmates -- would not benefit my child nor be appropriate for them. Even then, P.S. 199 only has a 65% rate for grading a 3 or 4 (proficient) level in English in the third grade. That basically means only a little over half of the kids are proficient in English in third grade at a third grader's level.

    The school gets an "A" rating in progress reports - but progress reports are not the same as a 'quality' assessment reports - the school is making progress, but its qualitative numbers are still disheartening.

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Sunnysiders ask questions following burglary spike and assault of 81-year old

Captain-Brian-Hennessy1

Oct. 29, By Christian Murray

Following a recent spike in burglaries and the assault of an 81-year old, several Sunnyside residents turned out at the 108 Police Precinct meeting Tuesday to ask plenty of questions.

Many residents asked for more cops in Sunnyside, claiming the neighborhood is no longer as safe. Others wanted to know whether more officers could be assigned to the area and whether it made sense to form a neighborhood watch group.

However, Captain Brian Hennessy, commanding officer of the 108 Precinct, started the meeting by providing a rundown of the latest crime figures.

He told the attendees that there had been 9 burglaries in Sunnyside in the past 28 day period—with five occurring on 40th Street (three via fire escapes and two through the front door) and another on 41st Street—between 43rd Avenue and Queens Blvd—via a window.

He said when the police stepped up its presence in the low 40s the burglaries moved farther east, with incidents taking place on 47th Street (btwn 39th and Skillman Avenue); 48th Street (btwn 43rd and Queens Blvd; and 51st Street (btwn 39th and Skillman Ave.). In these cases, the perpetrator(s) broke in through a front window, which included pushing in air conditioning units.

Despite the uptick, Hennessy stressed that “We are a very safe precinct. Bad things happen but they happen less frequently here than in other precincts.”

He said the incident involving the 81-year-old man “was a disgrace and a cowardly crime.” However, although crime statics are flat for the year, he said: “One crime is too many especially if it happens to you or someone you know.”

Hennessy said that there have been two murders so far this year, compared to four for the same period a year ago—and the number of rapes is flat year-over-year. He said that there have been 130 robberies so far this year (about the same compared to the period a year ago) of which there have been 73 arrests, with the precinct close to making another 52 more.

Residents, however, wanted to know why there aren’t more police in Sunnyside on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, some wanted the crime statistic for Sunnyside as opposed to the precinct as a whole. Those numbers were not readily available on the night.

“You need to beef up patrols,” said William McCarthy, a Sunnyside resident. “We want to see more police on the streets especially on Queens Blvd,” he said. “While the neighborhood might be gentrifying, there seems to be more crime.”

Hennessy said the precinct is working with the resources it has. “Sure, we would like to have a cop on every corner.”

However, the precinct—which covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Maspeth—is stretched with four or five patrol cars to answer 911 calls at its disposal.

It also has what’s known as an “anti-crime unit” that focuses on burglaries and violent crimes. Then there are units that handle schools and resources needed for traffic accidents.

Residents asked Hennessy how the precinct could get more officers. Hennessy said it is a decision made downtown that is dependent on demographics, crime figures and the number of 911 calls.

Some of the veteran attendees urged the first-time meeting goers to make sure they call in every crime.

“If you call it is recorded and the powers that be know and that is how you get more cops in the precinct,” said Carol Terrano, a Maspeth civic leader who is also an active member of Community Board 2. “Getting annoyed does not help, you have to use the system.”

Meanwhile, a group of women, representing Sunnymoms, a Yahoo group with about 1,000 members, came to the meeting and also sought more officers.

The group had compiled a list among their vast membership of the crimes they were aware of based on news reports and incidents that they had collectively gathered. They talked about robberies, burglaries and stolen bicycles–to intoxicated men with shopping carts in Lou Lodati and Corp. Lance Corporal Thomas P. Noonan parks.

The women said after the meeting that they will report back to the group to discuss whether to form a Sunnyside Civic Association or a neighborhood watch program. Other ideas, they said, included a letter writing campaign to the Police Commissioner—backed with data—calling for more officers.

Police-in-Sunnyside-Queens-475x3163

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Police release PHOTOs of suspects wanted for beating and robbing 81-year-old

2229-14 Robbery 108 pct 10-27-14 (1)

Oct. 28, By Christian Murray

The police have release photos of two men suspected of beating and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnysider at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Blvd on Sunday.

The two men allegedly approached the man inside the Chase bank ATM area at around 9:23 am, punched him in the face and removed $100 and debit card from his pocket.

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

2229-14 Robbery 108 pct 10-27-14 (2)

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81-year old Sunnysider beaten and robbed at Chase Bank

chase33_22_13d

Oct. 27, By Christian Murray

An 81-year-old Sunnyside resident was punched in the face and then robbed at the Chase bank branch at 46-10 Queen Blvd Sunday morning.

William Eichhorn, who has lived in the Phipps Houses for the past 50 years, had just finished mass at St. Sebastian’s church and walked up to the Queens Blvd branch to get cash for a newspaper and bagel and get pocket money for the week.

While taking out $100 at about 9:30 am, two men allegedly approached him from behind by the ATM machine and demanded money, the police said. He refused and was punched in the face and thrown to the ground. While on the ground, the men took his cash and riffled through his pockets. They fled with his debit card, the police said.

Eichhorn’s granddaughter Katie Flanagan said that a Good Samaritan came to her grandfather’s aid. She said he picked him up off the ground, called the police and escorted him to the 108 Police Precinct in Long Island City. “We don’t know who the Good Samaritan was but we would like to know and to thank him,” she said.

She also said that the 108 treated her grandfather well by taking him to the station, helping him with his cut check—pierced by knuckles—and by dropping him off at his apartment door.

Nevertheless, Flanagan said that her grandfather is now nervous about going out of the house. She is worried that her grandfather is so shaken that it will stunt his independence.

She said she hopes the police and residents will help her nab the perpetrators.

“I am hoping with enough attention we can find the cowards who beat up and robbed my elderly and nearly blind grandfather,” Flanagan said. “He’s 81 and 130 pounds–who could do such a thing such and elderly tiny man?”

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Sunnyside Gardens turns 90, preservationists unveil historic district markers
Herb Reynolds

Herbert Reynolds

Oct. 26, By Christian Murray

In October 1924, the City Housing Corp unveiled the first section of the Sunnyside Gardens that consisted of houses and coops built on 47th Street between 43rd and Skillman Avenues.

Ninety years later, Herbert Reynolds, president of the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance, held an event to mark the occasion by placing three signs throughout the district that provides a brief history of the area and a map.

Reynolds led a tour around Sunnyside Gardens and stopped off at various locations to unveil the signs. The signs were placed near the corner of 46th Street and Skillman Avenue; on 47th Street (between Queens Blvd and 43rd Avenue); and near Sunnyside [Gardens] Park.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who lives in the historic district,  thanked those who helped make sure Sunnyside Gardens was a landmarked district. “We have the history, the architecture and the urban planning here,” he said.

The three signs (see below) noted that the district was built between 1924 and 1928, and was inspired by the English “garden city’ ideal of the late 19th century. Furthermore, it stated that the Phipps Gardens Apartments, which are part of the district, were build between 1931 and 35.

Sunnyside Gardens became a landmarked district in 2007 after a hotly contested debate. In 2011, brown street signs denoting the historic district went up throughout the gardens.

sign

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Sunnyside Shines cuts the ribbon to 40th Street/Lowery Plaza

sunnysideshines 008

Oct. 26, By Christian Murray

The gritty entrance to the 40th Street subway station has been transformed into a tidy plaza complete with tables, chairs and planters.

Sunnyside Shines cut the ribbon Friday to what’s now called “Lowery Plaza,” which features planters, tables and chairs. The opening comes just three months after the successful launch of the “Bliss Plaza” at 46th Street that has been well received since it opened.

“This space has been transformed from an underpass to a beautiful pedestrian oasis,” said Rachel Thieme, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines, which is commonly referred to as the BID. “It has seating, tables and colorful planters—a great place to eat lunch.”

The Lowery Plaza was put together quickly once the artwork that had occupied the space was removed Wednesday. The concrete surface was power washed and the planters, tables and chairs were added.

The planters have been systematically placed alongside Queens Boulevard, as a means to create a green buffer and soften the noise from traffic. While most of the planters were in place Friday, more will be arriving.

“We have received such positive feedback from community members and business owners about the success of the Bliss Plaza,” Thieme said, adding that “I’m delighted to replicate this success at Lowery Plaza.”

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that when people “hop off the 7 train at the 40th and 46th Street stations they will be welcomed by two new beautiful public plazas that have completely transformed the neighborhood’s most underutilized spaces.”

The two plazas stem from an application the BID filed with the DOT last summer for the two sites to be included as part of the NYC Plaza Program. The DOT approved the BID’s proposal and agreed to help design the plazas and provide the funding.

Both plazas will be open from 9 am until dusk. The Neighborhood Plaza Partnership, a non-profit group that is dedicated to maintaining public plazas, is in charge of putting away the tables and chairs each night as well as looking after the planters at both locations.

During the ribbon cutting a fruit vendor was operating on the periphery of the 40th Street/Lowery Plaza area.

Sources say that the vendors will be left alone as long as they abide by city law.

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Halloween dog parade to take place Saturday

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Oct. 24, By Michael Florio

More than 100 dogs—accompanied by their owners– are expected to participate in the third annual “Woofside” Halloween Pet Parade this Saturday.

The event, organized by Woodside on the Move, is likely to attract pooches dressed as cowboys, pirates, ballerinas, ball-room dancers, hot dogs, bumble bees, commandos and even knights.

The event will kick off at Skillman Pets (49th and Skillman Ave.) at 11 am and parade goers will march from there to Windmuller Park.

Last year, 85 pets, mostly dogs, participated in the event.

“We are expecting more pets this year,” said Adriana Beltran, with Woodside on the Move. “Most likely we will break 100,” based on the phone calls we have received.

There will be several contests for the dogs. Prizes will be awarded for the most originally dressed dog—as well as for the funniest and scariest costumes. An award will be given for the best matching owner and dog costume.

Last year’s winner of the most original costume was a dog dressed as the No. 7 train.

“It’s a lot of fun and a good laugh,” said Adrian Bordoni, Executive Director of Woodside on the Move. “And of course all the pets look adorable.”

The ASPCA, Skillman Pets, Traveling Pet Services and the Queens Animal Hospital are among the sponsors.

The sponsors will be providing goody bags for the dogs, training workshops and grooming demonstrations.

Details:

Time: 11 am – 2pm

Date: Oct. 25

Cost: $5

Starts: Skillman Pets (49th and Skillman Ave.)

2012 event

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Capital New York: Amtrak weighing development of Sunnyside Yards

PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke

Oct. 23, Capital New York

Amtrak is considering developing Sunnyside Yards in Queens as part of a nationwide evaluation of its real estate portfolio and could turn to investors as early as next spring to find partners willing to explore potential uses for those properties, the company’s chairman, Anthony Coscia, said Thursday.

Executives have been in talks with the de Blasio and Cuomo administrations about the site, Coscia told reporters at a global real estate conference at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Coscia mentioned the plans during a panel discussion moderated by former deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff.

The Sunnyside Yards is one the largest undeveloped parcels in New York City and holds virtually limitless potential to developers willing to build a platform above the tracks. Planners have long dreamed about what could be built on the property, which remains an active rail yard used by several train companies.

For the full Capital New York story click here.

Previous coverage:

Sunnysidepost: Van Bramer differs with Community Board Chair over development of Sunnyside Yards

 

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Italian restaurant to open at former ‘New Post Coffee’ location

New-Post

Oct. 23, By Christian Murray

An Italian restaurant will be opening in Sunnyside—at the very location where the New Post Coffee Shop was located for 50 years.

One of the two new owners is a Sunnyside resident who lives on the same block as the 40th Street/Queens Blvd restaurant. He is from Milan and has recently sold an Italian restaurant that he owned in Spain in order to focus on this restaurant. His business partner is from Puglia who manages an Italian restaurant in Manhattan.

The owners signed the lease Tuesday and plan to spend in excess of $200,000 on gutting the premises—from floor to ceiling—and rebuilding it. The establishment will have a new kitchen, floors, walls and bathroom. It will also come with a coffee station, pastry counter as well as a bar.

Construction is expected to take 3 months. The owners, who have yet to come up with a name for the establishment, are hoping to open the restaurant by February.

The owners also plan to provide outdoor seating on the 40th Street side of the property. The goal is to have it ready by summer 2015.

The Sunnyside owner, Valerio, who elected not to provide his last name since he is working at an Italian restaurant at present, said he wants to change people’s mentality of the location.”People know this place as dirty and I want to change that,” he said.

New Post had been closed by the Health Department several times in recent years.

The Italian restaurant will primarily be a café in the morning, offering coffee and pastries. It will sell items such as paninis, pastas and salads for lunch.

The dinner menu will be comprised of traditional meat, fish and pasta dishes, Valerio said. However, he said he is working on the finer details.

Valerio has lived in Sunnyside with his wife for the past 10 years—although he has spent most of his summers at his former restaurant in Spain. The 34-year-old has been in the US for 12 years.

Valerio said he wants to focus on Sunnyside. He has a 7-year-daughter who attends PS 150 and a 3-year-old daughter who will be going there soon.

“I love Sunnyside, the people make this such a great neighborhood,” he said.

He said the restaurant will be good for neighborhood. “It will improve how the corner looks and will offer great food.”

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Police seek man who touched woman’s chest at Marshalls

The-Shops-at-Northern-Boulevard

suspect

suspect

Oct. 22, Staff Report

The police are looking for a man who allegedly grabbed a woman’s chest at Marshalls on Saturday.

The police said suspect approached a 55-year-old woman at the 48-18 Northern Boulevard store at about 6:40pm on October 18 and touched her with both hands—and then fled.

The victim was not hurt as a result of this incident.

The suspect has been described as a black male in his 20s, approximately 5’8″ and 160lbs. He was last seen wearing red pants, black t-shirt, black book bag and tan boots.

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

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Capital New York: Amtrak weighing development of Sunnyside Yards
PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke Oct. 23, Capital New York Amtrak is considering developing Sunnyside Yards in Queens as part of a nationwide evaluation of its real estate portfolio and could turn to investors as early as next spring to find partners willing to explore potential uses for those properties, the company’s chairman, Anthony Coscia, said Thursday. Executives have been in talks with the de Blasio and Cuomo administrations about the site, Coscia told reporters at a global real estate conference at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Coscia mentioned the plans during a panel discussion moderated by former deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff. The Sunnyside Yards is one the largest undeveloped parcels in New York City and holds virtually limitless potential to developers willing to build a platform above the tracks. Planners have long dreamed about what could be built on the property, which remains an active rail yard used by several train companies. For the full Capital New York story click here. Previous coverage: Sunnysidepost: Van Bramer differs with Community Board Chair over development of Sunnyside Yards  
Italian restaurant to open at former ‘New Post Coffee’ location
New-Post Oct. 23, By Christian Murray An Italian restaurant will be opening in Sunnyside—at the very location where the New Post Coffee Shop was located for 50 years. One of the two new owners is a Sunnyside resident who lives on the same block as the 40th Street/Queens Blvd restaurant. He is from Milan and has recently sold an Italian restaurant that he owned in Spain in order to focus on this restaurant. His business partner is from Puglia who manages an Italian restaurant in Manhattan. The owners signed the lease Tuesday and plan to spend in excess of $200,000 on gutting the premises—from floor to ceiling—and rebuilding it. The establishment will have a new kitchen, floors, walls and bathroom. It will also come with a coffee station, pastry counter as well as a bar. Construction is expected to take 3 months. The owners, who have yet to come up with a name for the establishment, are hoping to open the restaurant by February. The owners also plan to provide outdoor seating on the 40th Street side of the property. The goal is to have it ready by summer 2015. The Sunnyside owner, Valerio, who elected not to provide his last name since he is working at an Italian restaurant at present, said he wants to change people’s mentality of the location.”People know this place as dirty and I want to change that,” he said. New Post had been closed by the Health Department several times in recent years. The Italian restaurant will primarily be a café in the morning, offering coffee and pastries. It will sell items such as paninis, pastas and salads for lunch. The dinner menu will be comprised of traditional meat, fish and pasta dishes, Valerio said. However, he said he is working on the finer details. Valerio has lived in Sunnyside with his wife for the past 10 years—although he has spent most of his summers at his former restaurant in Spain. The 34-year-old has been in the US for 12 years. Valerio said he wants to focus on Sunnyside. He has a 7-year-daughter who attends PS 150 and a 3-year-old daughter who will be going there soon. “I love Sunnyside, the people make this such a great neighborhood,” he said. He said the restaurant will be good for neighborhood. “It will improve how the corner looks and will offer great food.”
Police seek man who touched woman’s chest at Marshalls
The-Shops-at-Northern-Boulevard
suspect

suspect

Oct. 22, Staff Report The police are looking for a man who allegedly grabbed a woman’s chest at Marshalls on Saturday. The police said suspect approached a 55-year-old woman at the 48-18 Northern Boulevard store at about 6:40pm on October 18 and touched her with both hands—and then fled. The victim was not hurt as a result of this incident. The suspect has been described as a black male in his 20s, approximately 5'8" and 160lbs. He was last seen wearing red pants, black t-shirt, black book bag and tan boots. Anyone with information in regards to this assault is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
Artwork under 40th Street Station is removed—to make room for 40th Street/Lowery plaza
artwork 002 Oct. 22, By Christian Murray The artwork/excise equipment beneath the 40th Street station was removed today to make room for the 40th Street/ Lowery Plaza that will be unveiled this Friday. Workers began disassembling the stainless steel workout equipment and rubber mats at about 11 am this morning, which the workers said was on route to be displayed in North Carolina. The equipment/artwork, which went up last October, aimed to “bring art and function [to the subway area],” said Darren Goins, the artist, at the time. Today, as Goins was disassembling his work, he said that his Sunnyside exhibition was well received. He said that it had been replicated in other parts of the city and that it had been written about in an art magazine. However, many residents were perplexed by the artwork and wanted it removed shortly after it went up. The 40th Street Lowery Plaza is scheduled to open Friday with a ribbon cutting taking place there at 1pm. It would have opened in summer—but the artist had a contract with the Department of Transportation to have his work displayed there until October. Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) will be power washing the concrete beneath the 40th Street Station and setting up planters as well as tables & chairs. The plaza will be very similar to the Bliss Plaza that opened at 46th Street on July 29. The two plazas stem from an application the BID filed with the DOT last summer for the two sites to be included as part of the NYC Plaza Program. The DOT approved the BID’s proposal and agreed to help design the plazas and provide the funding.
Bliss Plaza

Bliss Plaza

Police seek men who shot four bystanders outside LIC club
Oct. 22, By Christian Murray The police are searching for two men who allegedly got into a gun fight outside a Long Island City nightclub Sunday and shot four bystanders. The incident occurred at about 10:45 pm on Oct. 19 in front of Allure Night Club, located at 33-02 Queens Blvd. The two individuals shot four people—one man in the chest, while the three others in the leg. The victims were driven to area hospitals by their own means. The police are asking the public's assistance in finding the whereabouts of the two shooters. One of the suspects is described as a black male with short hair who was wearing a gray sweatshirt and bright colored sneakers the night of the shooting. There was no description for the second suspect. Anyone with information in asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
Sunnyside struck by six burglaries in the past week
44

43-40 40th Street

Oct. 20, By Christian Murray There have been six burglaries in Sunnyside in the past week, with thieves taking items such as iPhones, iPads, laptops and credit cards, police said. The burglaries started on Tuesday, Oct. 14, when four apartments on 40th Street (btw. 43rd Ave. and 47th Avenues) were targeted. The perpetrator started at 8 am when he entered 45-48 40th Street and broke into two apartments, before fleeing with several electronic items, police said. Then at 11:45 am, a burglar gained access to an apartment at 43-38 40th Street and stole items such as an iPhone and credit card. Later that day, a burglar attempted to break into an apartment at 43-34 40th at around 3:30 pm. The victim heard a noise in living room, causing the suspect to flee. But the thieves were not done. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, a burglar broke into 43-32 40th Street around 4:15pm and fled with several items, police said. Shortly after the incidents, the police sent in somewhere between 15 and 20 officers to keep tabs on the area and the burglaries ceased. However, while the problem in stopped in the 40s, two burglaries took place in the 50s later in the week. On Friday, Oct. 17, the police reported burglaries at 41-25 50th Street and 39-72 52 Street. In addition to the burglaries, two cars in Sunnyside Gardens were tampered with during the week. One had its tires and rims stolen—before being placed on blocks. The other had its window smashed. Anyone with information on any of these incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. Furthermore, in the case of the burglaries, if anyone sees anyone suspicious on a fire escape or in a court yard they are asked to call the police. 47th Street autodamage  
Sunnyside Restaurant Week kicks off Monday
Salt & Fat

Salt & Fat

Oct. 19, By Christian Murray Sunnyside’s second annual restaurant week kicks off Monday and 33 restaurants have signed up to participate. The event, organized by Sunnyside Shines, aims to showcase Sunnyside as a destination for high-quality cuisine. Its goal is tempt residents to try new places and draw foodies from other parts of New York City. Furthermore, there will also be artwork on display at five participating restaurant—with three of those pieces coming from Sunnyside artists. On Monday, there will be a reception held at 7pm at Salt and Fat (41-16 Queens Boulevard) to mark restaurant week. The reception will include a guided tour of the five art installations as well as a movie screening at Dazies. The art is being curated by No Longer Empty, a Manhattan-based contemporary art organization. The work will be on display at Bucharest Restaurant, Los Verdes, PJ Horgan’s, Salt & Fat and Venturo. However, for many, the main attraction won’t be the art—it will be the food. Each restaurant will serve a three course dinner menu for $25—from lunchtime Monday through Friday Oct. 24. The participating restaurants span the globe. There will be Japanese, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Mexican, Peruvian, French, Colombian, Filipino, Paraguayan, Tibetan, Thai, and Seasonal American food on offer. Restaurants from Skillman Avenue through 47th Avenue have signed up this year. Last November, when Sunnyside Restaurant Week was launched, 17 restaurants took part. “Last year’s event was a big success for neighborhood restaurants,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director, of Sunnyside Shines. “I am proud that we have doubled the number.” Participating restaurants will also include newcomers to the Sunnyside scene—such as Tibetan Dumpling Café and Blu Orchid. Venturo and Salt & Fat, which were recently recognized as Michelin “Bib Gourmands,” will be participating again this year. Sunnyside Shines has listed the 33 restaurants on its website. Most have put together a special menu just for Sunnyside Restaurant Week.
All this for $25.

Takesushi: All this for $25.

Parking costs might rise in Sunnyside/Woodside, as DOT has preliminary plans to introduce ‘Park Smart’
meters Oct. 17, By Christian Murray Representatives from the Department of Transportation attended a Community Board 2 meeting last week and introduced a preliminary plan to introduce “Park Smart”-- a program that aims to free up parking spaces--in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. The program attempts to reduce the time it takes for motorists to find parking in business districts-- by changing meter rates, extending park hours and modifying commercial parking zones. The program was first introduced in Queens in 2013, with the implementation of a pilot program in Jackson Heights. The program typically focuses on changing the meter rates to encourage short-term parking through “progressive” rates. For instance on certain streets in Jackson Heights, it now costs 50 cents to park for 30 minutes, $1:50 for an hour, $2:50 for 90 minutes and $4 for 2 hours. However, in some cases, the parking period has been extended on certain streets. For instance, one hour limits have been increased to two. Park Smart typically aims to change the commercial parking and delivery zones. “Early Morning Delivery Zones” are often established to provide loading space before the meters turn on at 10 a.m., and “Paid Commercial Parking Zones” reserve daytime metered spaces for commercial uses. The Department of Transportation will not introduce the system unless business owners opt into the program. The DOT representatives told the Community Board 2 that it will reach out to Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, the Long Island City Partnership and Woodside on the Move to get their feedback. Those groups are likely to conduct a survey of local businesses to get their feedback. Park Smart is not a program that typically goes into effect overnight as the DOT typically evaluates each street to determine whether the parking times and rates need to be modified. Furthermore it is typically implemented as a pilot program before becoming permanent. The programs were made permanent in Park Slope and Greenwich Village, after they were deemed effective, according to the DOT. However, the pilot program on Madison Avenue and East 86th Street was brought to a halt after it was viewed as being ineffective, according to published reports. For more information on Park Smart click here https://www.scribd.com/doc/243356677/Jackson-Heights-PARK-Smart
Sunnyside building winds up on ‘Worst Landlord Watch List’
 43-15 46th Street

43-15 46th Street

Oct. 16, By Christian Murray New York’s annual "Worst Landlord Watch List" was released last week and it included a poorly-run building in Sunnyside and one in Woodside. The list, released by Public Advocate Letitia James, reported that the third worst building in Queens—in terms of violations—is located at 43-15 46th Street. The building, which is a 6-story 88-unit complex, has 271 outstanding violations, according to the report. While the building is a coop, it has several renters—although the exact number is not known. The original landlord, who took the building coop about 25 years ago, rents several units, according to published reports. The violations, which have been filed with HPD, deal with water leaks, missing smoke detectors, loose bathroom tiles, mold and defective faucets. The managing agent of the building is Aras Properties, which is located in Cedarhurst. The head officer is Kevin Kane, who could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, the landlord who runs a Woodside building has the fifth worst record in Queens, with 223 violations. The building, located at 39-30 59th Street, is a 6-story 78 unit complex. The violations include complaint about roaches, defective plastered surfaces, broken stoves, mold and missing smoke detectors. The owner of the building is Harry Silverstein. Silverstein could not be reached for comment. Click here for the Worst Landlord List Click here to look up the violations in any building
 43-15 46th Street.

43-15 46th Street.

 
Application period for Hunters Point South has begun
Hunters Point South building Oct. 15, By Christian Murray The application period for the apartments at the Hunters Point South Development in Long Island City went live today. The application forms can be filled out on line at New York Housing Connect, which requires applicants to provide details such as their income and apartment sought. Those interested have until December 15 to submit an application. There are 925 apartments up for grabs, with 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall into the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year. For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom. However, the limits are significantly higher for the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio is a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000. The rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1,965-2,509 for a one bedroom, $2,366-$3,300 for a 2 bedroom and $2,729-$4,346 for a three bedroom. Preference will be given to applicants who live within the Community Board 2 district, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. affordablerents affordablehousingmoderate income
Village Voice declares Salt & Fat Sunnyside’s best restaurant
saltfat-350x263 Oct 15, Staff Report The Village Voice has just named Salt & Fat as the best restaurant in Sunnyside. The write up starts as follows: "Salt & Fat looks like it could be in Brooklyn — reclaimed wood for the storefront sign, artfully arranged small plates that feature New American decadence — but owner Daniel Yi is a local boy. Born in Seoul and raised in Sunnyside, Yi has crafted a nation-hopping menu that reflects the area's diversity. A meal begins with a complimentary starter — popcorn cooked in bacon fat, as American as can be — and finishes with little bottles of Yakult, a tangy-sweet Japanese yogurt drink." For the rest of the Village Voice Article, please click here.  

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