Comment section undergoes revamp

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60 Responses to Comment section undergoes revamp

  1. Terry

    Good idea!

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  2. Me

    Like!

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  3. BOO

    BOO, so much for a community blog. what next our guns?

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  4. Fernando

    I am sad to hear this. Half the fun of this website was reading all of the comments. Especially from all of the Rubens.

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  5. Sue

    I support this- Sunnyside Post is an excellent source of micro-local news and, frequently, ideas are raised in the comments section that are helpful. Yet in its present format, reading the comments section is like running a gauntlet filled with masked people screaming abuse. Let's try for civility.

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  6. No Name

    I wish we would use Email address required since I have seen letters and someone using the name I have used and I dont want anyone to associate me with those letters!

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  7. Matt C

    Good for you.

    There's a couple options to look into for better commenting — might be worth looking into if you spend too much time raking thru the comments.

    http://disqus.com/

    http://branch.com/learn-more

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  8. local

    Good idea! The comments section used to be colorful and interesting, but lately it's turned into a cesspool of idiocy and hate. Glad changes are on the way!

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  9. you all make me laugh

    Well I guess I won't be visiting this site anymore. The comic banter of the comment section was the highlite by FAR.

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  10. Oppressed Masses

    So does this mean we will no longer read comments about a priest performing miracle cures on dogs?

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  11. Sunnysyde

    Some of you can just go to gothamist where there is only 1 serious comment out of 100, you may be welcomed with your "funny" comments over there. There is no thumbs up or + here, so most people don't care about your clever jokes or puns or near racist comments.

    Something happened the other day at the corner of greenpoint and 46th ave. There was a man lying on the sidewalk and fdny and nypd were both on the scene and there was a police tape in front of the dentist.
    I am very surprised that this blog misses to cover these kind of incidents. Also we rarely hear about the stuff happening until it happens and then we hear about how quiet or busy it was.. Instead of focusing on comments, we need more quality content. Require registration (not facebook) and allow subscription to the blog post we commented, there will be less and less multiple peopleposting with same name over and over.

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  12. TheRealRuben

    I TOLD YA, I called it, I told you that it was a slippery slope to start choosing which comments stay and which comments go. Now the moderator has changed the site into a DICTATORSHIP,

    you just cut your traffic in half

    For the rest of ya, Everytime you see Squirts the Change bum. THINK OF MEEEE!!! MUAHAHHAHAHAHA BYEEEEEEEE

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  13. Mike Novak

    Make everyone accountable for their words.

    Make everyone post with their real, verified names.

    Kick the cowards and racists to the curb!

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  14. TheRealRuben

    Mike is the kinda guy who supports Sopa and Pipa,

    I like my privacy Mike, I don't need some maniac looking me up and coming to my house to have a "word" with me because he disagrees with my right to freedom of speech.

    you want my social security and date of birth while you're at it Mike?

    buncha damn elitists up in Here

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  15. Krissi

    Oh Thank you. I love you for writing this blog and am so happy to listen to different viewpoints about the community, but lately reading this page has been more stressful than it should be with the misplaced anger, racism, and overall nastiness of the comments section.

    I'm not saying that it should all be sunshine and roses, but we should be expressing our viewpoints in a CONSTRUCTIVE way.

    Oh, and I use my real name on this.

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  16. 86Mets

    Free speech - as long as you agree with me and say what I want to hear!

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  17. Krissi

    86Mets

    There's a difference between differing opinions and abuse.

    He's not infringing on your rights of free speech. If you want an outlet for your opinions, you are more than welcome to start your own blog.

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  18. CircleK

    Require login or at least include a thumps up for people to click and sort comments by greatest thumbs up. That way people read a few good comments and once the reach the obnoxious ones they know to stop.

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  19. Sunnysider4Life

    sounds good.

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  20. 86Mets

    Comments criticizing JVB in any way, shape or form will not be tolerated!

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  21. TheRealRuben

    Krissi,

    censoring language...fine, Banning outright racism and hate speech, fine. I'm not talking about not liking the latinos from the north side, I'm talking blatant Nazi stuff, ok I understand

    but that's not whats been going on here in this site, the mod has chosen to be Judge Jury and Executioner. This is no longer a public news media where the mod is exercising his right to release the news to the public, he's controlling his environment.

    so this is no longer a public outlet for Sunnside, it's just some guy running a news site for sunnyside. Good luck with that in all its gloried 'professionalism"

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  22. Disgusted

    FINALLY!

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  23. Roy Doodiehead

    Comments are stupid and a waste of bandwidth. No insight has ever come from a comment nor has anyone ever changed there mind or become enlightened from one. They are just echo chambers where people with no other outlet go to rant and say useless, usually racist things. Just drop the comments section altogether. No news site needs them beyond trying to boost eyes on ads. There isn't any other purpose besides that.

    And yes, this applies to this comment I just made.

    Sincerely,
    R. Doodiehead III. Esq.

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  24. Deniz

    I am encouraged by the cleaning up of the comments section. As the primary source of information in and about the neighborhood, the "fun" bantering that goes on here really does hinder the flow of any sort of meaningful dialogue to take place between neighbors. I also thinking requiring email addresses a good idea - I've had people use my name for example - whether inadvertently or not. Anyway, best of luck to SunnysidePost.com! Thank you for all that you're doing - we'd be in trouble without you -

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  25. 86Mets

    "Kicking" people "to the curb" he doesn't agree with seems to be Mike Novak's idea of civil discourse.

    My comment pointing this out a few minutes ago has already been deleted but Novak's bellicose threat of physical harm remain on the thread.

    Seriously SP, are you really that interested in cleaning things up here or just getting rid of people you don't agree with?

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  26. JuliaJ.

    Censorship. Very nice. Welcome to the brave new world. There is difference between "hate speech" and opinions with which one disagrees. Healthy debate is essential.

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  27. 86Mets

    Moderator,

    Why do you leave up Mike Novak's comment in which he expresses a desire to physically harm other commenters?

    How is that not considered inappropriate under your new commenting policy?

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  28. 86Mets

    @O'Shea

    Sunnyside s'est déja transformé en ville cosmopolitain comme Paris. Comme Paris, il y a les crottes de chien partout sur le trottoir.

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    • Sunnyside Post

      All comments are to be in English.

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  29. Local Hamburgler

    "All comments are to be in English." -- Sunnyside Post

    Whoa, easy there... You're cruisin' for a bruising Christian.

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  30. Heidi

    Thank you!

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  31. 86Mets

    English only?

    Sunnyside is a multicultural community. Spanish is also widely spoken here. Why the hatred an discrimination against non-English speaking residents?

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  32. TheRealRuben

    And the elitist attitude continues, Now we can't even speak another language !

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  33. Nom de Plume

    So much for diversity.

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  34. JuliaJ.

    The French comments are about what the dogs do on the sidewalks. Comment dit-on en francais, "LOL?"

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  35. Nom de Plume

    Yes Julia. Between the outdoor cafe seating and the sidewalk dog poop, Sunnyside is giving the French capital a run for the money. All we need to do is re-name Queen of Angels to Notre Dame and we're on our way. And we already have at least one bitchy waiter.

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  36. Sunnyside Native

    Good idea, Christian! As you are a dog owner, feel free to delete Oppressed Masses crazy ramblings about dogs. :) He needs a dog to make some friends. :) All the people who posted as some form of Ruben pretty much 'hijacked' this forum/blog a couple weeks ago. Although it was entertaining to some extent, it was nonsense. And as a person who is bilnigual to both English and Spanish, thank you for declaring the blog comments to be in English.

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  37. Sunnyside

    Oh quit complaining people, this site is OWNED by SOMEONE, that means they can make whatever rules they see fit. The free speech argument is invalid. There is a clear line that I've seen way too many people cross here and I'm glad the Post put stricter rules in place. If you don't like it make your own Sunnyside website and go post your nonsensical and off-topic crap over there. Either that or get a life

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  38. Pretentious Hipster

    Peace out ladies.

    Enjoy the your censored microblog/Jimmy Longjams mouthpiece.

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  39. Oppressed Masses

    With tamer comments, what will posters like Sunnyside Native have to talk about with her friends at the bar?

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  40. Oppressed Masses

    One suggestion, if I may. Please ban the use of emoticons in the comment section. They really make the comments look childish.

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  41. Marty Concerned

    Thank you very much for providing an internet message board where we can voice our opinions in an educated manner ...Bye Bye Ruben & Good Riddance too ,I'm sure you ,and possibly a couple more clowns 9 Not many really ) are the reason for this.You will find another kids message board where you can join!

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  42. JuliaJ.

    I can't believe that Mr. Rispoli does not show up on any security cameras that evening.

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  43. JuliaJ.

    Wrong comments section! Oops - the excitement got to me!

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  44. EdgarC

    See, this is why we can't have nice things!

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  45. TheRealRuben

    Sunnyside Post has become Pretentious, to house the pretentious hipsters of Sunnyside.

    it has come full circle.

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  46. Pete

    Good work Christian. Btw I for one would be willing to pay a subscription fee for access to the Post.

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  47. Sunnyside Native

    Oppressed Masses needs to take his daily Viagra, get lucky with somebody (anybody) and learn to play nice! HE is emotionally and socially stunted. Where is the crying emoticon? Good for you Christian taking control of your own website! :) :) :) :) :)

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  48. Avery

    Hopefully this is goodbye to all the bigots who write in to this space.

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  49. birdmann

    *yawn* yeah i gotta tell ya. love the long paragraphs about basically nothng interteresting BRING IT ON!!!

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  50. Ministry of truth

    what if I am THINKING racist and hateful thoughts and thinking that I don't want to be part of the Sunnyside Post Party where all people must think alike, will you come up behind me and put a bullet in my head like the dude in 1984?

    Winston Smith lives!!!

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  51. Anonymous

    Good for you. There were some clearly mentally ill folks monopolizing the comments. Difference of opinion can be expressed in a constructive adult way. That was not what was going on here. If people think that means this site is a "dictatorship" then they should move elsewhere for their free speech. We all have the freedom to start our very own hate or love filled blogs devoted to Sunnyside news. No one is stopping us. Stop complaining, or maintain your own news blog.

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  52. 43rd@43rd

    "Mike Novak January 30, 2013 • 10:55 am
    Make everyone accountable for their words.
    Make everyone post with their real, verified names."

    So Mike, you want us to register for freedom of speech? Imposing restrictions onto the 1st Amendment just like the 2nd, and treating everyone a criminal under these restrictions and "patriot" acts. Name Verification? So come to where I live and demand my ID and maybe issue background checks before we are allowed to type or own a computer or to think? Treat us all as criminals because of the improper actions of the few and take away our freedoms because some misuse them.

    Sorry, I thought this was the country my great-great-etc... helped create and fought for. Guess I was wrong. My family came across in 1632 and I'm sad to say this country has truly gone far astray from its aspirations during my generation.

    There may be no better country in the world to live in terms of Freedom, but that doesn't mean we're as free as we should be by once "inalienable" rights.

    A foreign friend of mine said a couple of decades ago how great America was because we had the freedom to burn own our flags. Sadly a few years after that Congress attempted to pass the Flag Desecration Amendment (that failed by just one vote).

    The more freedoms we allow to be taken away due to fears or closed-mindedness the more enslaved our children and theirs will become.

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  53. Jemma

    Oh thank God! I hope this is the last batch of comments on this site and I just want to come here and read the happenings of the neighborhood. That's what this site should be about to begin with. If anyone feels otherwise than take the time and effort to build a site that is a message board and you people can insult each other all day long on it.

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  54. Slainte

    The blog owner is entitled to manage his comments section however he sees fit. It's true that we have free speech but nobody else is obliged to provide you with a platform for it.

    Having said that, the charm of news blogs like this is the rough and tumble and unpredictability of the comments section - (how many times do people click back to read the main stories again as opposed to checking in on the latest comments?)

    And the diversity of opinions expressed is exciting but it seems that diversity isn't always a good thing, even in a borough that prides itself on it.

    There are also those who only want to hear opinions that coincide with their own, those who only want their own views confirmed. There are those who denigrate people who don't agree with them, call them names and even imply physical threats - then with breathtaking hypocrisy, lament the lack of polite discourse.

    Some commenters like to act as palace guards for favorite local politicians and have a meltdown when someone dares to criticize them. They might even want to take your name down as McCarthyite intimidation tactic.

    Obviously, this site is right up their alley, or soon will be.

    Either way, as far as who gets to say what here, it is indeed the blog owner's call. That much I agree with many of you on. Best of luck.

    Slainte

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  55. Slainte

    P.S.

    I should also add that IMO the Sunnyside Post has been absolutely indispensable for anyone wanting to know what's happening in the Sunnyside/Woodside area.

    The site owner should be proud that it has attracted people of all backgrounds, educational levels and political persuasions; many of whom take the time to comment, even if those comments can sometimes be annoying, politically-incorrect or just plain silly. I'd say the SP fits the definition of "common ground" in that sense.

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  56. Lucky Lou

    I wholeheartedly support this move by Sunnyside Post. I am all for firey disagreement on the issues that arise from the stories posted here, but they should be discussions on topic and not grounded in cliches, stereotypes and conspiracy theories, all things that seem to run rampant among a handful of the commentors. I have never found Ruben's comments funny or englightening. I think this website is a real service and the more I learn about Sunnyside after having moved here over 7 years ago, the more proud I am of this community and the more I want to become involved in its betterment. There are plenty of people who comment who have valid, informative and interesting things to say. Those whose comments fall outside of those parameters are welcome to start their own news(less) site to house all of their vitrol, ignorance and stupidity. The rest of of us with brains, compassion and common sense will stay here. Good work, Christian!

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  57. sully

    ...thank you .....i was deterred by some comments, thinking them inappropriate and at times offensive.....i like the idea of this site being a forum for the community to share diverse ideas in an adult,diplomatic manner.....without the nonsense....thanks again!

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  58. Slainte

    Lucky Lou wrote: "There are plenty of people who comment who have valid, informative and interesting things to say."

    In other words, people who agree with him.

    Lucky Lou also wrote: "Those whose comments fall outside of those parameters are welcome to start their own news(less) site to house all of their vitrol, ignorance and stupidity. "

    In other words, anyone who doesn't agree with him.

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  59. Barbara

    know it's nitpicking (and not for publication) but it is Grand Central Terminal, not Grand Central (statin). Grand Central Station is the Post Office on Lexington and 45th.

    Glad to hear you're keeping a rein on some of the more outrageous comments. It's easy to complain, too much effort into making things better.

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Latest News

City council signs off on Luke Adams Way
Luke Adams (middle)

Luke Adams (middle)

Jan. 24, By Christian Murray

The city council passed legislation this week that included the co-naming of 46th Street in honor of the late Luke Adams.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer submitted Adams’ name Thursday and provided his council colleagues with a brief description of what Adams was like. “[Adams] was affectionately known as the Mayor of Sunnyside and a terrific man who led our Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and did so much. In fact he helped build the Sunnyside Arch.”

The strip on 46th Street between Greenpoint Ave. and Queens Blvd (by the Arch) will be co-named Luke Adams Way.

Adams, who was a 40 year resident and local business owner, passed away from cardiac arrest on Nov. 10 at the age of 76. Just days after his death several people called out for a street to be named after him.

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, an award that is now named after him.

The street naming ceremony is expected to take place in spring. However, Van Bramer, Community Board 2 and the Adams’ family will be coordinating the details.

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Two cops receive award for saving LaGuardia professor’s life
Officer Sarro and Officer Caldarera

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

Two officers from the 108th received an award this week after being deemed heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia professor last month.

Police Officers Corey Sarro and William Calderera were on routine patrol on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when they discovered a professor on the pavement outside the college.

The elderly professor had suffered from a heart attack and was not breathing when the officers arrived. He was lying motionless and he did not have a heartbeat.

The two officers went into action.

Officer Sarro began performing chest compressions while Officer Calderea retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts to resuscitate the professor, they were able to revive him. EMS then transported the professor to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio awarded the officers with a Proclamation on behalf of the city council for saving the professor’s life.

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Sunnyside resident organizing fun run, aims to raise funds for the homeless

POSTER

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

A Sunnyside resident is organizing a one mile fun run as part of her quest to raise funds for the Coalition for the Homeless.

Leonor White, who is originally from Spain, is planning to hold the event on May 31st and has already received the permits necessary from the NYPD to use the streets.

The event will start outside Lou Lodati Park on 43rd Street. Runners will then follow Barnett Avenue through to 52nd Street before finishing at Skillman Ave (44th Street). White aims to get 250 runners to participate.

“I think that this is a great way to bring the community together,” White said. “It is also a way to remind everyone of how many adults and children are homeless.”

White plans to make the event a competitive race as well as a fun run.

She said that there will be an adult race as well as one for children (below 16 years of age) .

Meanwhile for most, she said it will be a fun run or walk.

White said that there will be a nominal charge to participate—expecting it to be between $5 and $10.

Those funds will go toward the homeless. She is currently reaching out to local businesses to see whether they will help sponsor the event, which would generate additional funds to go toward the homeless.

She encourages others to get involved in helping put the race together. She can be contacted at leonorwhite@hotmail.com

Race map

Leonor White (second from left

Leonor White (second from left)

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Former Dime Bank often used for TV/Movie shoots

IMG_0011(1)

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

Signage that went up at the former Dime Bank location on Queens Blvd Wednesday indicated that a new bank tenant was moving in.

Exterior signs read: “Fisher Bank,” and inside there were posters advertising retirement accounts and current interest rates.

The bank, however, was fictional. It was decked out as part of a set for the TV show Person of Interest, a sci-fi crime drama series.

Bank Queens Blvd SunnysideThe bank has been used for many TV shoots. Scenes for the crime-series Blue Bloods staring Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg were shot there last year when a robbery was staged there as part of its 100th anniversary episode.

John Ciafone, the owner of the building, said that he gets a lot of interest from TV and film crews looking to use the bank space.

Late last year a small independent movie company also used the bank for it film.

Ciaphone said the bank will be used for movie and TV sets up until the time the building is demolished to make way for apartments. The building is expected to be demolished in the second half of this year.

Tom Selleck in Sunnyside last year (Photo: George Burles)

Tom Selleck in Sunnyside last year (Photo: George Burles)

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Sunnyside: Van Bramer issues report card, focuses on schools, parks and traffic safety

Van Bramer

Jan. 22, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside, NY: When he’s asked the tough questions, he typically doesn’t duck for cover.

What are your thoughts on 5Pointz? Private property, he responds.

What do you think of building on the Sunnyside Yards? Absolutely not.

Do you believe in term limits for community board members? Yes.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who darts from event-to-event, isn’t known for hedging his bets. Instead he is direct, fast on his feet, and very self assured.

It’s this self confidence that leads him to release an annual self assessment—or report card—every January. It is a rare concept, as most council members don’t do it.

“I like people to know what I’ve been doing,” Van Bramer often says, adding that people should know what their council person does. “I don’t want anyone asking: ‘Who is he? What does he do?”

The 15-page report states in large font: “16,554 and counting” referring to the number of constituent cases Van Bramer and his staff have handled over the past five years. Furthermore, it said that in 2014, he served on six committees—including as chair of Cultural Affairs and Libraries-and had a “95.3% attendance record.”

Van Bramer said that he has laid the groundwork for a number of Sunnyside/Woodside projects that will come to fruition this year.

The $1. 3 million revamp of Thomas P. Noonan Park—located at the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and 43rd Street– is expected to be completed by summer; a new elementary school in Woodside will be opening in September; and further traffic safety measures are about to go into effect.

The ribbon cutting at Thomas P. Noonan Park will come at a time when several other park developments are in the works. The Parks Department is currently drafting preliminary plans for a $2.2 million upgrade to Big Bush Park (behind the Big Six Towers) as well as the $500,000 revamp of Hart Playground on 37th Ave. in Woodside.

Furthermore, a $500,000 upgrade to Windmuller park is coming that will cover the cost of building a new skateboard area, as well as fixing the band shell area that has been damaged by skateboarders performing their stunts.

However, Van Bramer said that there has been one park project that has been delayed; the dog run at Doughboy Park, which is adjacent to PS 11.

Van Bramer, who allocated $250,000 for the dog run in 2012, said that it is behind schedule due to the construction of a school annex at PS 11, which is located at 54-24 Skillman Avenue. He said that the contractor may need that the space where the dog run will go while construction takes place.

Van Bramer takes pride in his quest to bring more classroom space—such as the the PS 11 annex– to the area.

“We have the first new school in 60 years coming to Woodside,” Van Bramer said, referring to PS 339 (located at 39-01 57th Street), which is scheduled to open in September with the capacity to serve 470 students.

Meanwhile in Sunnyside, PS 343 (The Walter McCaffrey Campus) opened at 45-45 42nd St in September, which can cater to 434 students. In addition, construction of a 600-seat building at IS 125 (46-02 47 Ave.) is in the works, which is likely to lead to the removal of the trailers that are currently spread across the school grounds.

“I will continue to build schools…and invest in parks,” Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer secured $4.5 million in funding last year for the renovation and expansion of Thalia Spanish Theatre, which is located at 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue. The funds will double the theater’s seating capacity from 75 to 150.

That section of Greenpoint Avenue in the past few years has been an area filled with vacancies. However, with the upgrade of the supermarket on the strip, the arrival of other businesses and the impending revamp of Thalia that section of Greenpoint Ave. is showing signs of improvement.

Van Bramer said that the Sunnyside business district is on the upsurge in general. “There are very few vacant stores,” he said. He said that the acquisition—and likely development—of several parcels of property on Queens Blvd is largely the result of a booming real estate market coupled with Sunnyside being viewed as a vibrant and safe neighborhood.

Meanwhile, a Woodside street cleaning program that involves two workers cleaning Roosevelt (51st to 61st Streets) and Woodside Avenues will continue.

In addition, the graffiti cleanup program—where streets such as Broadway, Skillman Ave, 43rd Ave., Roosevelt Ave. and Woodside Ave. are cleaned monthly–has also been funded for this year.

Slow zonesVan Bramer said that he has been working on many transportation issues since he has been in office—with the greatest number of constituent cases he and his staff have had to deal with being transportation concerns.

While many of these issues have dealt with the No. 7 train and the MTA (which are overseen by the state), he hears from constituents about stop signs and dangerous driving.

He said that he advocated for the 25 mph speed limit and slow zones within Sunnyside and Woodside. The slow zone in Sunnyside (south of Queens Blvd) is complete—with the Woodside (which includes northern Sunnyside) expected to be completed within the first half of this year.

“People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families,” Van Bramer said, who put in an application with the Department of Transportation for the two slow zones.

Van Bramer takes great pride in his strong support of Vision Zero—including his push for launching arterial slow zones on Northern and Queens Blvd. Furthermore, he received citywide attention for his “Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,” which recently went into effect that imposes a hefty civil penalty on drivers who flee the scene of an accident.

Van Bramer, who was named Majority Leader at the beginning of last year, also said that the position allows him to be a better advocate for the district. For instance, he said, he was in a better position to be able to reach out to the administration to let it be known that the Pepsi sign in Long Island City should not lose its place on the “Landmarks Preservation calendar.”

Van Bramer is politically ambitious and does not hide it. He said that he will definitely run for city council again in 2017.

He would not comment if he has speakership goals in mind—or whether a city-wide office would come after that.

“The council speakership was determined over a period of a few weeks [in December 2013] so it is way too far away to start thinking about that,” Van Bramer said. “And then another four years after that…anything could happen by then.”

For Van Bramer’s report card, please click here:

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LIC: A strange caricature of a religious Muslim draws plenty of hate

anti-muslim

Jan. 21, By Christian Murray

A strange caricature of a religious Muslim accompanied by the words Je Ne suis Pas Charlie—has been placed on Jackson Avenue near the Court Square train station.

The slogan Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie (I am Not Charlie) is a term adopted by some people following the massacre of 12 people at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. These people viewed Charlie Hedbo as a distasteful publication in the way it portrayed Muslims and other groups.

The sign has several anti Muslim messages scribbled on it…such as “Islam stones women to death…” and “Muslims kill homo-sexuals.”

The messages are likely to have been written by a passerby who took exception to the poster.

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muslim

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Two northern Italians open ‘Brick-Oven Pizzeria’ on Greenpoint Avenue
olivilla and samone

Salvatore Olivella and Simone Apollonio

Jan. 18, By Christian Murray

A new pizzeria opened on Greenpoint Avenue Thursday that offers thin-crust stone oven pizzas.

The restaurant, called Nonna Gina Brick Oven Pizzeria is located at 43-24 Greenpoint Avenue, and is owned and operated by two northern Italian natives, who learned to make pizza in their home country.

Salvatore Olivella, who is the chef, makes the pizza Naples style, in accordance with his grandmother Gina’s recipe. The pizzas come in a variety of different toppings.

Olivella, who has worked in Little Italy and other Manhattan locations, makes 18 inch elongated pizzas (called Metro) as well as smaller round personal pies.

The pizzeria is owned by Simone Apollonio, who is from Brescia. He has operated pizzerias from Britain to Australia.

The restaurant also offers a variety of pasta dishes as well as salads.

Hours: 11 am – 11 pm seven days.

Phone number: 718-361-5503 (deliveries to start in next week or two)

Pizza2

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Robber hits Chase bank in Woodside Saturday
suspect

Suspect from surveillance camera (NYPD)

Jan. 18, Staff Report Chase Bank Woodside

A man robbed the Woodside Chase branch Saturday and fled with cash, police said.

The suspect walked into Chase Bank, located at 59-26 Woodside Avenue, approached the teller and demanded money at around 11:30 am on Jan. 17, according to police.

The teller handed over an undetermined amount of money and then the robber fled. There were no reported injuries.

The suspect is a white male, 6’2″ tall weighing 200 pounds, according to police.

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

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Police: Man exposed himself to worker at 61st Street station

expose

Jan. 16, Staff Report

A man exposed himself to a 22-year-old woman who was working at a store inside a Woodside subway station, police said.

The employee was working in the mezzanine area of the 61st Street and Woodside Avenue station at about 1 p.m. on Jan. 3 when the suspect entered the business. He then exposed himself to the woman, police said.

The suspect fled when a customer entered the store.

Police have released video footage of the suspect. They describe him as black, 25 to 30 years old and 6 feet tall with a thin build.

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

 

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Two northern Italians open ‘Brick-Oven Pizzeria’ on Greenpoint Avenue
olivilla and samone

Salvatore Olivella and Simone Apollonio

Jan. 18, By Christian Murray A new pizzeria opened on Greenpoint Avenue Thursday that offers thin-crust stone oven pizzas. The restaurant, called Nonna Gina Brick Oven Pizzeria is located at 43-24 Greenpoint Avenue, and is owned and operated by two northern Italian natives, who learned to make pizza in their home country. Salvatore Olivella, who is the chef, makes the pizza Naples style, in accordance with his grandmother Gina’s recipe. The pizzas come in a variety of different toppings. Olivella, who has worked in Little Italy and other Manhattan locations, makes 18 inch elongated pizzas (called Metro) as well as smaller round personal pies. The pizzeria is owned by Simone Apollonio, who is from Brescia. He has operated pizzerias from Britain to Australia. The restaurant also offers a variety of pasta dishes as well as salads. Hours: 11 am - 11 pm seven days. Phone number: 718-361-5503 (deliveries to start in next week or two) Pizza2 brick 005
Robber hits Chase bank in Woodside Saturday
suspect

Suspect from surveillance camera (NYPD)

Jan. 18, Staff Report Chase Bank Woodside A man robbed the Woodside Chase branch Saturday and fled with cash, police said. The suspect walked into Chase Bank, located at 59-26 Woodside Avenue, approached the teller and demanded money at around 11:30 am on Jan. 17, according to police. The teller handed over an undetermined amount of money and then the robber fled. There were no reported injuries. The suspect is a white male, 6'2" tall weighing 200 pounds, according to police. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.
Police: Man exposed himself to worker at 61st Street station
expose Jan. 16, Staff Report A man exposed himself to a 22-year-old woman who was working at a store inside a Woodside subway station, police said. The employee was working in the mezzanine area of the 61st Street and Woodside Avenue station at about 1 p.m. on Jan. 3 when the suspect entered the business. He then exposed himself to the woman, police said. The suspect fled when a customer entered the store. Police have released video footage of the suspect. They describe him as black, 25 to 30 years old and 6 feet tall with a thin build. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477).  
Updated Sunnyside map released, to be distributed to hotels, real estate offices and businesses
Sunnyside shines map Jan. 16, By Christian Murray Sunnyside’s 2015 neighborhood map has been updated and is about to be released. The Sunnyside map, produced by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and LaGuardia Community College, features a full-color illustrated map of the neighborhood and an updated business directory. Fifteen thousand maps have been printed and will be distributed at hotels in western Queens, local real estate offices and businesses, and community events in an effort to draw newcomers and orient new residents to the neighborhood.  The map is updated each year with a new business directory, including businesses that are either members of the Sunnyside Shines BID or the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce. The Sunnyside map was originally designed in 2013, and was the product of a design competition among students from LaGuardia Community College. The original and updated map features the winning artwork from former LaGuardia student Carmen Zhu. Students in the art and humanities department were tasked with creating artwork for a map that highlighted neighborhood landmarks and amenities. The map artwork was combined with a business directory and advertisements from local Sunnyside businesses, which funded the design and printing costs. “The Sunnyside map is a great piece to promote the neighborhood,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District. “I was glad to see how well it was received last year.” Linda Santini-Tripodis, owner of local business Merit Group Realty, said that she provides a copy of the map to all new residents looking to move into the neighborhood. “They love the map because it puts all of Sunnyside’s vendors at your fingertips!” Santini-Tripodis said.

Sunnyside Map 2014 010615 Crops by sunnysidepost

Sunnyside Directory 2014 010715 Crops by sunnysidepost

Pols. introduce community board term limits bill, aim to bring on new members as neighborhoods change
QNCB1 Jan. 14, By Christian Murray and Michael Florio The Chairman of Astoria’s Community Board 1 Vinicio Donato has held the top job since 1979. Meanwhile, all the leading figures on the Community Board 1 have been there since the 1980s—including those in charge of zoning and overseeing liquor licenses. The first vice chair George Stamatiades was appointed in 1982; second vice chair Norma Nieves-Blas was put on the board in 1987; the head of the Zoning & Variance Committee John Carusone joined in 1988; and the head of the public safety committee Antonio Meloni has been a member since 1988. This scenario of long-serving board members holding key posts is very common throughout the city-- and some legislators are looking to change that. Councilman Daniel Dromm (Jackson Heights) introduced legislation in December that would limit the amount of time a board member could serve to six two-year terms (12 years). The legislation would only apply to board members appointed after April 1, 2016. Existing board members would not be affected by the bill and would be able to stay as long as they desire—as long as their attendance records are in order. “I applaud those board members who have served for 30 or 40 years but I think we need to start thinking about changing things up a bit,” Dromm said. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Sunnyside/Woodside/LIC as well as a section of Astoria, is one of seven other legislators who has co-sponsored the bill. Councilman Costa Constantinides is not a co-sponsor and declined to comment on the legislation for this article. Dromm said that New York has undergone a great deal of change in the past 30 years and that should be reflected in terms of who sits on the community board. He said that when people sit on boards for three and four decades it creates a “huge power structure” that doesn’t always benefit a changing community. The same people stay in charge, he said, since the new members don’t want to challenge the long-serving chair person or executive board members. "While new members do get appointed to the [50 person] boards each year, they rarely get into powerful positions or on the executive board,” Dromm said. “These [chair] people wield a lot of power,” Dromm told the Sunnyside Post last year, since they decide who heads the committees and who is on them (see bylaws below). “They have a significant amount of power over the direction of the community.” Van Bramer, a former Community Board 2 member, said that the “changing of the guard is healthy and it represents good-government and democracy.” He said that council members are term limited and so too is the president of the United States. Therefore he believes that they should apply to community board members too. Van Bramer said that he supports the bill since it isn’t aimed at removing existing board members or punishing them. “We all value their volunteerism and what they have done.” However, Van Bramer said that more people should have an opportunity to serve on the board.
Daniel Dromm

Daniel Dromm

He noted that there are about 30 people looking to get on Community Board 2 yet only a few spots open up each year. Community Board members are appointed by the borough president, with half the nominees coming from the council member from a given district. Each board member has a two year term and then has to be reappointed by the borough president. The members are almost universally reappointed unless they have poor attendance records. The amount of work a member does on the board is not measured, nor is their attendance at committee meetings. Therefore, a member could go to most of the monthly meetings, say or doing little and still be reappointed. However, those opposed to Dromm’s bill argue that the long-serving members have accumulated an enormous amount of knowledge that helps the board tackle complex topics. “I am opposed to term limits because there is value in experience and the history of many issues that come before the board,” said Community Board 1 Chair Vinicio Donato in a statement. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who served on Community Board 7, told the Gotham Gazette in December that developers often present boards with complicated land-use proposals and that it often takes experienced board members to grasp it all. Furthermore, Brewer said that seasoned board members are better able to negotiate with developers when it comes to affordable housing and other public amenities. "Without that kind of expertise, the developers will have a field day," Brewer told the Gazette. She does not support of the bill. Meanwhile, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz also opposes Dromm’s bill and does not believe in the concept of term limits for board members, according to her spokesman. Lisa Deller, who is the land use committee head at Community Board 2, told the SunnysidePost last year that it took her a long time to get up to speed with how the city planning process works as well as other city issues. She said that unless someone is a land-use attorney, it takes years to work out all the nuances. “I think [term limits] would diminish the power of the community board,” Deller said. She said it would increase participation but members would be term limited once they developed a level of expertise.” However, Dromm said that the community board managers have the institutional knowledge and contacts-- and that the board members should be able to confer with them. Furthermore, the senior members can help mentor the new members. Patrick O’Brien, who was recently voted in as the chairman of Community Board 2, said “like anything there are always two sides to every equation.” “Turnover and involvement of new people is always a good thing, whether it is due to term limits or other reasons, but the loss of quality people who have developed relationships over the years with agencies…would be missed.” He said that 12 years is "too long" for those board members who do little. However, “someone who has done a great deal and continues to do so in a really great way, well then 12 years is a hard limit—despite people thinking it is a good thing.” “In some scenarios term limits are a good. In others it would be a real loss to the community and the community board,” O’Brien said. .

ByLaws CB1 by sunnysidepost

Public art goes up in Sunnyside, on vacant Greenpoint Ave. billboard
Keep Calm Sunnyside

Greenpoint Avenue

Jan. 13, By Christian Murray A piece of public art went up today on a large billboard on Greenpoint Avenue—between 45th and 46th Streets. The artwork has been installed by “14X48,” a non-profit organization that takes vacant billboards and then brightens them up through public art. The Greenpoint Avenue billboard is now covered with a collage of 80-plus posters that all start with the slogan “Keep Calm.” Each poster has a separate message, such as: “Keep Calm and Kiss Me,” or “Keep Calm and play basketball.” The slogan originated in Britain during WWII, with “Keep Calm and Carry On.” While the British did not use it, the slogan has since been used for marketing purposes. The artist, Margeaux Walter of Brooklyn, said that that she chose the slogan since it addressed the “overlap between individuality and commerce as well as the various guises of advertising and propaganda.” The artwork will be up for at least four weeks. The artist also invites people to tweet messages using the hashtag #keepcalm14x48. These tweets will be made into postcards and distributed along Greenpoint Avenue and at Ave. Coffee House. For more information, please click here.  
OT to reopen this week, with focus on Mediterranean food and sports
otlounge-250x250 Jan. 12, By Christian Murray This Sunnyside bar/restaurant got off to a tough start. Over Time, located at 39-31 Queens Blvd, opened in August and promised that it would offer live music, DJs and dancing. The owner, however, quickly received word from officials that these activities were not sanctioned in accordance to its liquor license and it was forced to close. Today, nearly five months later, the establishment is about to open and will operate as a Mediterranean restaurant and a sports bar. "We used the time to focus on our restaurant and our menu," said Sean Verderber, the assistant manager, who claimed the time was not wasted. The venue is expected to open this Thursday, with its hours from 11 am to 1 am seven days per week. The bar is going to be offering a range of exotic drinks—such as strawberry mojitos, water melon martinis and cucumber gin. Beer will be sold by the bottle. The menu will include a wide range of Greek items from Souvlaki to lamb Shish Kabob. It will include fried calamari to a number of seafood dishes—as well as steak, lamb chops, burgers to Greek-rice pudding. “The food is upscale but at a reasonable price,” Verderber said. “Many people will be impressed.” Verderber said that there will be a comment box inside the restaurant allowing diners to make suggestions or provide their opinion. The establishment will also be making sure that sports fans are well served. There will be a bar menu that includes wings and mozzarella sticks. “We will be showing all the games – whether it be football, hockey or soccer,” he said. “I want this to be a place where everyone feels comfortable.”
OT Inside

OT Inside

Car flips over after crash at 43rd Street/43rd Avenue Friday night
accident1 Jan. 10, Staff Report Two cars collided at the corner of 43rd Street and 43rd Avenue Friday night, with one vehicle flipping over, according to witnesses. The incident reportedly took place about 11:45 pm. The NYPD and FDNY's press office had no information on the incident. It is not known the extent of any injuries. accident
Another Queens Blvd property hits the market
43-19 Queens Blvd

43-19 Queens Blvd

Jan. 10, By Christian Murray Another slice of Queens Blvd real estate has just hit the market. The owner of 43-19 Queens Blvd has just listed the property for $4.5 million. The building is currently occupied by Subway, Lucky’s Salon and Realty Depot. There are also four 2-bedroom apartments and 2 parking spaces in the rear of the lot. The 3-story structure—built in the 1930s-- is currently utilizing 5,865 square feet of building space. Zoning permits a building of up to 9,200 square feet (4 x the lot size). To view the Sunnyside listing, click here:
Google map of site

Google map of corner lot

Seven story building to go up on Queens Blvd., next to Boston Market
developmentQB Jan. 7, By Christian Murray Another big building is coming to Sunnyside/Woodside. A 7-story building is likely to go up on 50th Street and Queens Blvd—next to Boston Market, according to Department of Building records. The owner of the property, Ronald Ji, has filed plans with the Building Department to erect a seven story 31 unit building. The property had been occupied by N.E.M. Electronics. The development represents further change to that stretch of Queens Blvd. A 7-story 29-unit buildings is being developed at 51-27 Queens Blvd, where the VFM Post 2813 was located until January 2014. Furthermore, in February 2014, a 66-unit building located at 52-05 Queens Boulevard was completed. Apartments at that building-- called Icon 52-- start at $1,500 per month. The units range in size from 403 square feet to 806 square feet.
Icon 52

Icon 52

New development site, former location of VFW Post

New development site, former location of VFW Post

Queens Blvd building in contract to be sold for $7.75 million
property shark Jan. 6, By Christian Murray A large piece of Queens Blvd property is likely to be changing hands for a whopping $7.8 million, according to the real estate data provider Property Shark. The 43-24 Queens Blvd property—which incorporates stores such as Dave's Bagels to Amazon Pharmacy—is 9,500 square feet and represents about half the block on the south side of the boulevard between 43rd and 44th Streets. The property also goes deep into 44th Street incorporating stores on that block. The owner of the building Geoffrey Henderson is currently in contract to sell it for $7,750,000. The likely buyer has not been listed. This transaction would most likely close before the Center Cinemas and King Boulevard properties (both sold for redevelopment purposes) face the wrecking ball. With zoning, a developer could construct a building with 38,000 square feet of floor space. Currently, the building is one story, utilizing 8,500 square feet of floor space. The property generated about $370,000 in rental income in 2013, according to Property Shark. property
Property Shark

Property Shark

   

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