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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Mardi Gras bar crawl planned for Skillman Avenue Saturday
Costumes from 2014 event

Costumes from 2014 event

Feb. 27, By Michael Florio

Skillman Ave. will never be confused with Bourbon St. but this Saturday it will be alive with the sights, sounds and tastes of the Big Easy.

Nine Skillman Avenue establishments have organized the third annual Mardi Gras Bar & Restaurant Hop, which starts at 3:00 pm and goes late into the evening.

The event comes well after the official Feb. 17 Mardi Gras date. However, the bars will be sticking to the New Orleans traditions of beads, jazz and Cajun food.

Party goers are being asked to register at the Copper Kettle, located on the corner of Skillman Ave. and 51nd St., between 3:00 and 6pm. By registering, attendees will be able to get half-price beer specials.  The cost to register is $5, which will go to the local food pantries.

.

SkillmanMardiGras1

 

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No. 7 train is down for St. Pats for All parade

St.-Pats-for-All-475x356

Feb. 26, By Michael Florio

Two thousand participants—and countless spectators—are not enough to sway the MTA to keep the No. 7 train running this Sunday for the ‘St Pats for All’ parade.

The MTA is doing track work this weekend and the No. 7 train will not be operating between Times Square-42nd Street and 74th Street, from 12:30 AM Saturday through 4:30 AM Mon.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and parade organizers have been calling on the MTA to postpone the work and to keep to its regular weekend schedule.

The MTA, however, claims that the parade doesn’t draw enough riders for it to postpone its track work.

“We looked at ridership during the parade from the past few years and it does not draw enough to warrant postponing the work,” Kevin Ortiz, an MTA spokesman, said.

Brendan Fay and Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, co-chairs of the parade, were very disappointed with the MTA’s decision since many participants rely on the 7-train to get to the event.

“There are groups from all over the city now trying to figure out how to get to the parade,” Fay said. “People are very frustrated.”

7subway1The pair was hoping the MTA would reschedule service as it had done so for the Lunar New Year parade in Flushing.

Walsh D’Arcy said that it might reduce the number of attendees. Nevertheless, “I think most people will find other ways to the parade,” she said. “But it will be an inconvenience and costly.”

Van Bramer was clearly upset with the MTA.

“I’ve asked the MTA to suspend their work this weekend and allow the thousands who want to participate in this very important event to do so,” Van Bramer told NY1 Wednesday. “And they’ve said ‘No.’”

“They [the MTA] have made exceptions for other parades and culture events–it makes no sense. The MTA consistently fails the people of Western Queens.”

However, Ortiz said the Lunar parade generates ridership that the St. Pat’s for All parade simply cannot match.

“The Lunar parade brings ridership in the thousands and this parade is a couple of hundred,” he said.

Ortiz said parade goers can use alternative routes such as the Q32 and Q60 bus to the start of the parade. They can also take the R-train to 46th Street and jump on the Q104 bus.

Fay said that several participants have told him they plan on taking the LIRR to 61st Street, while others will take shuttle buses.

Walsh D’Arcy said she thinks many people will now drive, taking up a lot of neighborhood parking spaces.

Details

Parade Date: Sunday, March 1

Time: Speeches at 1pm; parade starts at 2pm

Starts: Corner of 43rd Street/Skillman Avenue

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Maggie Mae’s reopens today after extensive upgrade

Maggie-Maes1Feb. 26, By Christian Murray

Maggie Mae’s, the well known bar located at 41-15 Queens Blvd, reopens at 5:00 pm today after being closed for renovations for nearly a month.

The bar closed for construction on Feb. 1, and its owners have rebuilt much of the interior with 1800s reclaimed wood.

New floors have been put down. A new bar has been built, alongside new timber seats and tables.

“I just came in as an owner /partner last month and felt it was time for a revamp and I like the rustic look,” said James Moore, the former manager at Maggie Mae’s who now co-owns it with Sean Sorohan. “The neighborhood is also changing–there are a lot of new people coming to the area.”

The renovation is still not 100 percent complete but Moore said he is ready to reopen.

 

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New CB2 chair to roll out updated website, will provide access to public documents

Community-Board-21

Feb. 25, By Christian Murray

Community Board 2 is in the midst of overhauling its website, as it aims provide residents with greater access to public documents.

The updated website will be much more comprehensive and is expected to be ready by spring. The public will have access to documents that deal with land use matters among others.

Pat O’Brien, the newly elected Community Board chair, said that he intends to upload as many documents as possible so the public is better informed.

“Any document that is public, we aim to put it out there,” O’Brien said. “I want people to know the facts so we can have a more informed discussion.”

He said that he plans to upload older documents in order to build archives. However, he said that will take time and resources are limited.

The board plans to create a Facebook page later this year that will be used to inform people of public meetings and events.

O’Brien said that his first priority, however, is getting the site ready.

 

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Precinct unites lost dog with owner through Twitter

doglost

Feb. 24, By Michael Florio

The 108 Precinct was introduced to Twitter late last year– and today it was the tool that was used to unite a lost dog with its owner.

This morning officers found a dog–named Snowy– near Queens Boulevard and 46th Street and used twitter to track down the owner.
“#lostdog found around QB & 46thst this morning around 7 am help us find the owner,” the tweet said, along with the photo of the dog.

Five hours later the 108 Precinct took to Twitter and noted that it had reunited Snowy with its owner thanks to its Twitter followers.

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Poll: Residents may face hefty toll to use Queensboro Bridge, along with others

QueensboroFeb. 23, By Michael Florio

A proposed plan that would charge commuters a toll for using the Queensboro bridge—and three other New York City bridges–was put forward last week by an advocacy group that includes the former NYC traffic commissioner.

MoveNY, a group comprised of traffic experts, research planners and eco-friendly non-profit firms, claims the tolls would lower traffic congestion and raise funds for the MTA.

Under the proposal, workers who commute to Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge each day would have to pay about $60 a week.

The tolls would also be placed on the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges.

The toll on these four bridges would cost $5.54 each way if paid by E-ZPass and $8 each way for other drivers.

There wouldn’t be a toll booth. Instead there would be a sensor that would charge E-ZPass drivers as they go over the bridge. For those without E-ZPass, a camera would take a photo of people’s license plates and they would receive a bill in the mail, according to Bart Robbett, Communications Advisor with MoveNY.

The tolls on other MTA bridges—such as the Triborough and Whitestone– would be lowered $2.50 each way.

However, there are benefits for having a toll on the Queensboro Bridge for western Queens residents, Robbett said.

For one, there would be fewer vehicles exiting the Grand Central Parkway and driving through residential neighborhoods to get to the bridge.

“There would be fewer people going out of their way to get on the free bridge,” Robbett said. “These people are causing problems for [Western Queens] neighborhoods, by adding to the traffic.”

“There would be less traffic at places such as Queens Plaza,” he said, where people start jockeying for position to get over the bridge.

“They will have to pay, but they will see benefits,” he said.

Samuel Schwartz, a former New York City Traffic Commissioner, developed the proposal after his research found that the streets near the free bridges were congested. The bridges with tolls, he found, had far less congestion.

In addition to easing traffic congestion, MoveNY claims the new plan would generate $1.5 billion in revenue per year, which would go toward maintaining, expanding and modernizing the transit system and improving city bridges and roads.

“I know we can do better — better with traffic flow, reducing traffic crashes and fatalities, and being fairer to drivers [who use other MTA bridges], especially in the outer parts of the city,” Schwartz said.

State legislators would have to pass the proposal, since the state oversees the MTA.

 

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Sunnyside graffiti vandal blankets neighborhood with tag
43rd Avenue, 43rd Street

43rd Avenue, 43rd Street

Feb. 23, By Christian Murray

A graffiti vandal has been targeting the walls of Sunnyside spraying his tag SBR all over stores on 42nd Street, 43rd Street and 44th Street.

The police are following up on it; Sunnyside Shines has been struggling to clean it; and Jimmy Van Bramer’s office has been brought into the loop.

The likely perpetrator of these tags goes under fictitious Facebook handle Esayebeare Bereal, where he showcases some of his work. Despite his false name, he has many friends who follow his posts.

The owner of an establishment on 43rd Street described the graffiti as “childish and ridiculous.”

“I don’t know what people get out of it? Some sort of high,” he said, without giving his name out of concern that his store might get tagged next. “I don’t know whether writing an article about him will encourage him, stop him or even help lead to his arrest,” the owner said.

Esayebeare Bereal engaged in a Facebook chat with the Sunnyside Post last week (see full transcript below), where he admitted to doing it and said he does it to be famous. He said that he was raised in Sunnyside and admitted to tagging under the name SBR, which is not affiliated with a street gang or group. He was not prepared to be interviewed over the phone out of fear that he would get “locked up.”

He targets 42nd and 43rd Street, he said, since he knows people who live there.

However, in the messages, he said that he is thinking about easing up on 43rd Street.

“I’m done with 43rd street to many yuppies complaining about sunnyside. But they wasn”t here when it was a bad neighorhood.”

However, his work has annoyed many, including Sunnyside Shines.

“It is frustrating that one individual is so intent on destroying small business property in our neighborhood,” said Rachel Thieme, the director of Sunnyside Shines.

“We’re very much aware of the graffiti situation in Sunnyside right now, and are coordinating closely with Council Member Van Bramer’s office and the 108th Precinct, as well as our graffiti removal vendor to ensure graffiti is removed as soon as possible.”

The freezing weather, however, has slowed down efforts to clean up the graffiti, Thieme said.

Nevertheless, when Sunnyside Shines was able to clean off the graffiti outside Café Bene (42nd and Queens Blvd) recently, Esayebeare Bereal struck back again days later.

Esayebeare Bereal argues that he is capable of doing quality artwork but is fearful of getting caught by the police and said that paint is expensive.

Most don’t appreciate his graffiti in any form– viewing it as nothing more than vandalism.

.

Transcript of Facebook chat by sunnysidepost


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graffiti6

43rd Street and Queens Boulevard. Former Dime Bank

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graffi3

43rd and Queens Blvd (former Dime Bank)

graffiti4

Sunnyside Shines cleaned his tag and then shortly after it reappeared (42nd Queens Blvd)

IMG_0094

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graffi5

42nd Street (near Queens Blvd)

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graffi1

43rd Street and 43rd Avenue

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Barnett Ave., 43rd Street

Barnett Ave., 43rd Street

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44th Street

44th Street (by Queens Blvd)

Possible tagg

Possible tag

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43rd and 43rd

43rd (near Skillman Ave.)

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EuropeanEatMeat

43rd Avenue (between 42nd and 43rd Street)

1234aaa

Facebook Page

 

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NYP: DeBlasio plows ahead with Sunnyside Yards plan

PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHunekeFeb. 21, NY Post

Mayor Bill de Blasio is moving ahead with the plan to develop the Sunnyside rail yards, according to the New York Post.

On Friday — 17 days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the yards were off-limits — the city’s Economic Development Corporation issued a public notice seeking a yearlong feasibility study of the nearly 200-acre site.

De Blasio proposed building 11,250 units of affordable apartments over the rail yards as a major initiative in his State of the City speech — only to be shot down within hours by Cuomo, who insisted the MTA needs the property for other uses.

“It is not available for any other use in the near term,” Cuomo said in a statement immediately after de Blasio’s State of the City Speech.

But the mayor on Friday said it’s full speed ahead.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to deliver on our vision of a more affordable city and smart development that responds to the needs of surrounding neighborhoods,” he said, calling the pending study only a “first step.”

City Hall officials said the study will focus on the 113 acres owned by Amtrak — which is cooperating with the city — and another 44 acres where the land is owned by the MTA but the air rights belong to the city

For the full story, please click here

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Maggie Mae’s is undergoing a big makeover

Maggie-Maes1Feb. 20, By Christian Murray

Maggie Mae’s, a well known bar located at 41-15 Queens Blvd, is undergoing a major revamp.

The interior is being rebuilt from top to bottom with 1800s reclaimed wood from Pennsylvania.

New floors are being put down. A new bar has been built, alongside new timber seats and tables.

The bar closed for construction the day after the Super Bowl (Feb. 1) and its owners are planning on reopening it on Feb. 28.

“I just came in as an owner /partner last month and felt it was time for a revamp and I like the rustic look,” said James Moore, the former manager at Maggie Mae’s who now co-owns it with Sean Sorohan. “The neighborhood is also changing–there are a lot of new people coming to the area.”

One of the walls has been removed and now the red brick that was behind it is exposed. Meanwhile, the popcorn ceiling is gone, and the old timber beams show through.

The pool table and the duke box are gone for good. The games of beer pong will be no longer. And there will be just three TVs.

The owners are also putting in a kitchen, which will begin serving food this summer. The menu is not expected to be extensive but items such as burgers, fish and chips will be served.

This summer, the outside and front-door entrance will change significantly. There will be floor to ceiling windows and a whole new exterior sign.

In the interim, the sign will change and the outside will be painted a different color.

Moore said that the bar will have 18 beer lines when it reopens, with several craft beer options.

Maggie Mae’s is also upgrading its large downstairs area that is typically used for parties. That space too is being rebuilt with 1800s reclaimed wood.

James Moore and Sean xx

James Moore and Sean Sorohan

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Maggie Mae's inside

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Sunnyside graffiti vandal blankets neighborhood with tag
43rd Avenue, 43rd Street

43rd Avenue, 43rd Street

Feb. 23, By Christian Murray A graffiti vandal has been targeting the walls of Sunnyside spraying his tag SBR all over stores on 42nd Street, 43rd Street and 44th Street. The police are following up on it; Sunnyside Shines has been struggling to clean it; and Jimmy Van Bramer’s office has been brought into the loop. The likely perpetrator of these tags goes under fictitious Facebook handle Esayebeare Bereal, where he showcases some of his work. Despite his false name, he has many friends who follow his posts. The owner of an establishment on 43rd Street described the graffiti as "childish and ridiculous." “I don’t know what people get out of it? Some sort of high,” he said, without giving his name out of concern that his store might get tagged next. “I don’t know whether writing an article about him will encourage him, stop him or even help lead to his arrest,” the owner said. Esayebeare Bereal engaged in a Facebook chat with the Sunnyside Post last week (see full transcript below), where he admitted to doing it and said he does it to be famous. He said that he was raised in Sunnyside and admitted to tagging under the name SBR, which is not affiliated with a street gang or group. He was not prepared to be interviewed over the phone out of fear that he would get "locked up." He targets 42nd and 43rd Street, he said, since he knows people who live there. However, in the messages, he said that he is thinking about easing up on 43rd Street. "I'm done with 43rd street to many yuppies complaining about sunnyside. But they wasn"t here when it was a bad neighorhood." However, his work has annoyed many, including Sunnyside Shines. “It is frustrating that one individual is so intent on destroying small business property in our neighborhood,” said Rachel Thieme, the director of Sunnyside Shines. “We’re very much aware of the graffiti situation in Sunnyside right now, and are coordinating closely with Council Member Van Bramer’s office and the 108th Precinct, as well as our graffiti removal vendor to ensure graffiti is removed as soon as possible.” The freezing weather, however, has slowed down efforts to clean up the graffiti, Thieme said. Nevertheless, when Sunnyside Shines was able to clean off the graffiti outside Café Bene (42nd and Queens Blvd) recently, Esayebeare Bereal struck back again days later. Esayebeare Bereal argues that he is capable of doing quality artwork but is fearful of getting caught by the police and said that paint is expensive. Most don’t appreciate his graffiti in any form-- viewing it as nothing more than vandalism. .

Transcript of Facebook chat by sunnysidepost

. graffiti6

43rd Street and Queens Boulevard. Former Dime Bank

. graffi3

43rd and Queens Blvd (former Dime Bank)

graffiti4

Sunnyside Shines cleaned his tag and then shortly after it reappeared (42nd Queens Blvd)

IMG_0094 . graffi5

42nd Street (near Queens Blvd)

. graffi1

43rd Street and 43rd Avenue

.
Barnett Ave., 43rd Street

Barnett Ave., 43rd Street

. 44th Street

44th Street (by Queens Blvd)

Possible tagg

Possible tag

. 43rd and 43rd

43rd (near Skillman Ave.)

. EuropeanEatMeat

43rd Avenue (between 42nd and 43rd Street)

1234aaa

Facebook Page

  .
NYP: DeBlasio plows ahead with Sunnyside Yards plan
PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHunekeFeb. 21, NY Post Mayor Bill de Blasio is moving ahead with the plan to develop the Sunnyside rail yards, according to the New York Post. On Friday — 17 days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the yards were off-limits — the city’s Economic Development Corporation issued a public notice seeking a yearlong feasibility study of the nearly 200-acre site. De Blasio proposed building 11,250 units of affordable apartments over the rail yards as a major initiative in his State of the City speech — only to be shot down within hours by Cuomo, who insisted the MTA needs the property for other uses. “It is not available for any other use in the near term,” Cuomo said in a statement immediately after de Blasio's State of the City Speech. But the mayor on Friday said it’s full speed ahead. “This is a tremendous opportunity to deliver on our vision of a more affordable city and smart development that responds to the needs of surrounding neighborhoods,” he said, calling the pending study only a “first step.” City Hall officials said the study will focus on the 113 acres owned by Amtrak — which is cooperating with the city — and another 44 acres where the land is owned by the MTA but the air rights belong to the city For the full story, please click here
Maggie Mae’s is undergoing a big makeover
Maggie-Maes1Feb. 20, By Christian Murray Maggie Mae’s, a well known bar located at 41-15 Queens Blvd, is undergoing a major revamp. The interior is being rebuilt from top to bottom with 1800s reclaimed wood from Pennsylvania. New floors are being put down. A new bar has been built, alongside new timber seats and tables. The bar closed for construction the day after the Super Bowl (Feb. 1) and its owners are planning on reopening it on Feb. 28. “I just came in as an owner /partner last month and felt it was time for a revamp and I like the rustic look,” said James Moore, the former manager at Maggie Mae's who now co-owns it with Sean Sorohan. “The neighborhood is also changing--there are a lot of new people coming to the area.” One of the walls has been removed and now the red brick that was behind it is exposed. Meanwhile, the popcorn ceiling is gone, and the old timber beams show through. The pool table and the duke box are gone for good. The games of beer pong will be no longer. And there will be just three TVs. The owners are also putting in a kitchen, which will begin serving food this summer. The menu is not expected to be extensive but items such as burgers, fish and chips will be served. This summer, the outside and front-door entrance will change significantly. There will be floor to ceiling windows and a whole new exterior sign. In the interim, the sign will change and the outside will be painted a different color. Moore said that the bar will have 18 beer lines when it reopens, with several craft beer options. Maggie Mae’s is also upgrading its large downstairs area that is typically used for parties. That space too is being rebuilt with 1800s reclaimed wood.
James Moore and Sean xx

James Moore and Sean Sorohan

. Maggie Mae's inside
Aluminaire House is wanted: Mayor of Palm Springs plans to bring it there
Aluminaire-HouseFeb. 19, By Christian Murray Sunnyside’s trash is about to become another city’s treasure. The 1931 Aluminaire House, which was going to be erected on the corner of 39th Avenue and 50th Street, is being transported to Palm Springs. The mayor of Palm Springs is a big supporter of relocating it there and has started a fundraising drive in order to do so, according to The Desert Sun. The structure appeared headed to Sunnyside Gardens, where architects in 2013 planned to build eight residential units behind the aluminum house on the former Phipps playground. The house was designed in 1931 and is deemed to be of architectural significance. It was designed to explore how materials like aluminum could be used to build low-cost housing. However, Sunnyside residents rejected the plan—and the house--and believed that the showpiece was out of character with the existing red-brick homes in the landmarked neighborhood. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, at the landmarks hearing that decided whether it could go up in the neighborhood, said that more than 350 people had contacted his office in opposition to the proposal, with only five voicing their support. State Sen. Mike Gianaris, at the same meeting, said: “I’ve been in public service for 13 years and I have seen community boards discuss all sort of things…but I have not seen such uniform opposition as with this project.” The Landmarks Commission rejected the plan in January 2014. However, the aluminum structure is very much wanted in Palm Springs. The Mayor of Palm Springs has raised $200,000 of the $600,000 needed to bring it there in just one month. The funds are needed to be transported the home, which is in a crate, and reassemble it. At a recent $250 per-person fundraiser to bring the structure to Palm Springs, the mayor of that city reportedly said: “If you have a product, that is an incredible product, people want to be a part of it. Hopefully, a year from now, we'll be having one heck of a party in downtown Palm Springs."  
Sunnyside gears up to celebrate ‘St Pat’s for All’
St Pats Feb. 18, By Christian Murray The 16th annual Sunnyside/Woodside 'St. Pat’s for All' parade is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 1—and will feature puppets, stilt walkers and plenty of Irish music. The St. Pat’s For All parade is arguably this neighborhood’s most popular event. When it began 16 years ago, it was largely a gay-pride parade – organized by a number of Irish men and women who were not allowed to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Ave under a gay banner. Today, the Sunnyside/Woodside parade draws plenty of seniors, children, minorities, to even the local dog group--Sunnyside United Dog Society. “We are the opening act for all the parades around the city that celebrate the fun and festivities of Ireland,” said Brendan Fay, a gay Irishman and co-chair of the event. The event, he said, always takes place on the first Sunday in March. Fay said he is expecting more than 2,000 people to participate this year. However, there could be more. He said that there is still time for community groups to sign up and that those interested just need to go to the St Pat’s for All website and register. The event this year will begin at Skillman Avenue and 43rd Street and will end at 56th and Skillman. Music and speeches will begin at 1 pm, with the parade kicking off at 2pm. The parade will feature many of the same groups that have been coming for years—such as the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance, the Shannon Gaels Gaelic Football Club, the girl scouts, Swim Strong, The Red Cross, and Sunnyside Community Services. This year, five marching bands have already signed up as well as several Irish musicians. Several well-known gay groups, such as Dignity NY, Lavender and Green Alliance (an Irish LGBT group), Stonewall Democrats of NYC and the Queens Lesbian & Gay Pride Committee are expected to march. This year’s parade comes at a time when the Fifth Avenue parade is allowing one gay group to march-- under the banner of the gay NBCUniversal employees. However, none of the Irish gay groups are permitted to march and gay activists will be protesting the event again this year. Fay, however, said that the Sunnyside-Woodside event would carry on even if gay groups were allowed to participate in the Fifth Avenue parade. “When it was announced that one gay group was allowed, I was asked what would happen to the our parade if it [the Fifth Avenue parade] were open to all gay groups,” Fay said. He said the Sunnyside/Woodside event would continue. Fay said that the parade is no longer a gay event but a community event, where all sorts of groups participate. “This parade is special,” Fay said. “Sunnyside and Woodside have increasingly embraced the parade as their own– and different groups continue to want to participate.” He said local businesses—such as bars and restaurants--have got behind the event. Ten bars and restaurants known as Sunnyside's Boulevard Bars are hosting a joint Irish music festival, where Irish bands will play at their respective pubs after the parade. Meanwhile, several bars/restaurants on Skillman Avenue are expected to be offering specials. For Kathleen Walsh D'Arcy, the other co-chair of the event, the parade is also about embracing immigrant groups and other cultures. There will be groups representing Turkey, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Romania—and several Jackson-Heights-based Muslim centers, D'Arcy said. This year’s two grand marshals are Kerry Kennedy, who is the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and Brian F. O’Byrne, a well-known Broadway and movie actor. Fay said that the St. Pat’s For All parade has become a model for parades around the country—where various ethnic groups are celebrated and where there is inclusion of LGBT groups. However, the No. 7 train will not be running between Times Square and 74th Street on the weekend of the event. Fay said that they have reached out to the MTA to see whether its construction schedule can change on the day of the event. They have not heard back from the MTA. Details: Date: Sunday, March 1 Time: speeches at 1pm, parade kicks off at 2 pm Begins: Corner of Skillman Ave. and 43rd Street St-Pats    
Car crash on Queens Blvd leaves 9 people injured, 7 seriously
@agraneri (Instagram)

@agraneri (Instagram)

Feb.14, By Christian Murray Nine people were injured following a multiple vehicle crash on the corner of Queens Boulevard and 43rd Street this morning, according to the FDNY. The crash took place at 4:03 am and seven people were taken to area hospitals in serious but stable condition. Two others were take to hospital after sustaining minor injuries, according to the FDNY. Details as to what caused the accident were not available. There were no reports that alcohol played a part in the accident.  The NYPD press office had not been notified about the crash by 10:15 am.
agraneri (Instagram)

agraneri (Instagram)

 
agraneri (Instagram)

agraneri (Instagram)

 
New restaurant ‘Dumplings & Things’ opens Sunday
dumplings1 Feb. 13, By Christian Murray A new restaurant offering Chinese dumplings is opening on 46th Street this Sunday. Dumplings & Things, located near the Sunnyside Arch at 45-26 46th Street, will be offering five types of Chinese dumplings as well as a variety of noodles, soups, baos and rice platters (see menu). The restaurant is owned by siblings Lorraine Li and Sam Li, who have many years of experience. The family has a restaurant in Park Slope and this is their second venture. “We chose Sunnyside for its diversity and we think we can offer something new and different to the neighborhood,” said co-owner Lorraine Li. Dumplings & Things will be open seven days a week: Sundays – Thursdays from 11:30am – 10pm and Fridays – Saturdays from 11:30am – 11pm.

Dumplings Things Sunnyside Menu by sunnysidepost

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Church on Skillman Avenue sells for $4 million
Source: MLS

Source: MLS

Feb. 12, 2014 A Sunnyside Church located at 40-05 Skillman Avenue has sold for $4 million, according to public records. Moak Yang Presbyterian Church, which moved to the location in 1992, sold the property to Elmhurst-based Eunhasu Corp. on Jan. 29 for $4 million. The property is zoned M1, which is for light industry—although offices, hotels and retail uses are permitted. Eunhasu Corp. has been very active in the real estate market in the past six months. The company bought a four story residential building in Hunters Point for $12 million in January. In October, the company sold a warehouse in Long Island City for $37 million.
De Blasio’s Sunnyside Yards plan might result in 70,000 units being built on top of tracks
sunnysideyard1 Feb. 12, By Christian Murray Seventy thousand units might need to be constructed over Sunnyside Yards if the Mayor’s plan to build 11,250 affordable units over the tracks is to be realized. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told members of the Hunters Point Civic Association on Tuesday that 70,000 to 80,000 units might need to be built in order to attract developers to construct the affordable units. “To get to the 11,200-odd…the number of units could be as high as 70,000 to 80,000 on Sunnyside Yards,” Van Bramer said, since developers typically require market rate apartments to offset the cost of constructing affordable units. This would result in “a massive, massive development on the scale we have never seen before in western Queens that will affect Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside,” he said. However, he said no plan should move forward that doesn’t address the needs of the existing residents. “We can’t fit people on the 7 train today, we don’t have enough school seats for our children today, we don’t have enough green space in western Queens today [excluding Astoria Park and the waterfront in Hunters Point],” he said. “Adding 100,000 more people to our community is staggering,” he said.”The No. 7 train will not be able to house them all,” he added. “That is crazy.” In addition to the proposed Sunnyside Yards development, the city is also proposing a rezoning of the Queens Plaza, Jackson Avenue and Northern Blvd corridor. The potential up zoning would result in a significant increase in population-- as the zoning change would most likely make way for bigger buildings since the city will be mandating affordable units. Van Bramer, who represents 160,000 constituents, told the group: “I won’t go along with any plan that hurts our community. You know me I was born and raised here. I have your back and nothing is going to happen without involving everyone in this room.” Brent O’Leary, the president of the Hunters Point Civic Association who is also legal compliance counsel at Bloomberg LP, said after the meeting that he was not surprised by Van Bramer’s 70,000-unit projection for Sunnyside Yards. “The city will get a developer to build them and manage them [the affordable units]—and in return the developer will want to build as many market rate units as possible.” He said his group is opposed building on the Yards, calling for more green space. “We don’t have the infrastructure we need as it is.”
Winners of Hunters Point South lottery are starting to be notified
Hunters Point South building Feb. 11, By Christian Murray Some of the winners of the Hunters Point South affordable housing lottery have been notified and have been called in for an interview, according to the New York Housing Preservation & Development. HPD said that the tenant selection process is well on its way and that interview letters will be distributed in rounds until all the units are filled. More than 92,000 people applied for the 924 affordable affordable apartments on offer. The units are in two buildings--one at 1-50 50th Ave.; and the other at 1-55 Borden Ave. The building located at 1-50 50th Avenue will be a 37-story complex comprised of 619 permanently affordable units, 13,750 square feet of retail space, and a parking garage with approximately 220 spaces. The 1-55 Borden Ave. building will be 32-stories high comprised of 306 permanently affordable units and approximately 3,000 square feet of retail space. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told members of the Hunters Point Civic Association last night that some of the Hunters Point South lottery winners had been notified. He said that he had received a call from a lottery winner earlier this week who said that she had been called in for an interview. The notification period is expected to last for a number of months.
Modell’s to open Sunnyside/LIC store Thursday
modells Feb. 11, Staff Report Modell’s Sporting Goods is opening a new store on the border of Sunnyside and Long Island City. The official address is 3500 48th Street, located in the same mall area as Petland Discounts and National Wholesale Liquidators. Employees will be holding a grand opening event at the store Thursday.

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