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

New commanding officer appointed to 108 precinct
Captain John Trav

Captain John Travaglia

Nov. 20, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

fire51st Street

Nov. 20, By Michael Florio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The FDNY is still investigating what caused the fire.

fire51st Street1

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

Suspect

Nov. 19, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

For previous coverage, click here

Previous photo of suspect

Previous photo of a suspect

 

Previous photo

Previous photo of a suspect

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

Flavor

Nov. 18, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Med

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Two rescue dogs and one cat find homes at Sunnyside adoption event
James Abram with Hercules

James Abram with Hercules

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray

Hercules, Daffodil and Robin all found homes Sunday.

The three animals were adopted by Sunnyside residents who attended an adoption event outside of Wespaw Pets—located at 44-05 Queens Blvd– on Sunday.

The Sean Casey Animal Rescue group in conjunction with the North Shore Animal League parked a large truck filled with dogs and cats that are currently in shelters outside the pet store.

The dogs were of all ages—puppies to seniors—with one particularly disfigured due to a cruel past owner. The dogs varied in breeds– with pit bulls, pit bull terrier mixes, poodles and even a pomeranian. The cats ranged in age too.

The first animal to be adopted was Hercules, a young pit bull, by James Abram. While the dogs had been vaccinated and checked over prior to the event, a volunteer veterinarian was on hand to help the new owners—and current dog owners—with questions.

“People continue to ask about adoption events,” said a Wespaw Pets representative. “While we have had them before this is the biggest one we have had so far.”

The next dog to find a home was Daffodil, an older dog who was adopted by a young couple.

Later in the day, a mother with her young daughter adopted a cat called Robin. Several of the cats were brought to the event by LIC Ferals & Friends.

Some of the other pets might still be adopted, according to a Wespaw representative, since a few couples are thinking it over.

Sam, the owner of Wespaw Pets, was encouraged by the day. “Sometimes you can have events like these and no dogs or cats get adopted,” he said.

adoption1

 

Couple adopts Dafodil

Couple adopts Daffodil

Robin the cat

Robin the cat

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

Alexio Gessa (Photo: Peter Wing)

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray

The third annual Crafts & Arts Show took place in Sunnyside on Sunday, with 35 crafters offering items—from jewelry to illustrations–to hundreds of attendees who showed up over the course of the day.

The event was held at the Queen of Angels Church parish center—from 10 am through 5 pm– and attendees came in waves.

The numbers swelled whenever a church service ended at Queen of Angels Church.

“At 1 pm (when a church service ended) it was so crowded that some people decided to come back later,” said Manny Gomez, the president of Sunnyside Artists.

Gomez said he was happy with the overall turnout—which was similar to previous years. He said the cold weather didn’t dissuade people from coming.

This year’s main organizer Patricia Dorfman, the founder of Sunnyside Artists, was not in attendance due to an illness in her family. Meanwhile, Luke Adams, who had also helped put together the event in the past, passed away last week.

Gomez said that Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer attended the event at about 2 pm and there was a moment of silence in honor of Adams.

Michael Gurrado, who made several items carved from wood, was a particularly popular over the course of the day. So, too, was Kris Czerniachowich who sold handmade Christmas ornaments.

Meanwhile, Alexio Gessa, a comic-book artist & illustrator, also fared well—with Van Bramer buying a poster from him.

Jimmy Van Bramer (source: Peter Wing)

Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo:Peter Wing)

Source Peter Wing

(Photo: Peter Wing)

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DOT likely to reduce speed limit on Queens Blvd to 25 mph by year end

Van BramerFATAL

By Christian Murray

The Department of Transportation plans to reduce the speed limit on Queens Blvd to 25 mph, down from 30 mph, by the end of the year.
The DOT tweeted that Commissioner Polly “Trottenberg anticipates reducing the speed limit to 25 mph by he end of the year.”

Queens Boulevard was not included as part of the 25 mph city wide speed limit that went into effect Nov. 7 since it was deemed a big street designed to accommodate faster speeds.

“Queens Boulevard has been known as the Boulevard of Death for far too long, and our work towards Vision Zero would not be complete without addressing this street that has too often proven fatal,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris in a statement.

“ I am glad DOT plans to make Queens Boulevard safer and I hope that with time this major street will come to be known for its pedestrian plazas and great restaurants, rather than traffic fatalities.”

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Man follows Sunnyside woman home, robs her at knifepoint
Suspect

Suspect

A 40-year old woman was followed into her Sunnyside apartment building last month before a man pulled out a knife and demanded her cell phone.

The perpetrator followed the woman into the lobby of her 42nd Street apartment building (near Skillman Ave.) just before midnight on Saturday Oct.25. He then pulled out a knife and demanded her phone. The victim complied. The man then fled.

The police released a photo and video footage of the suspect today.

The suspect is described as a male black, approximately 30 years of age, who had dreadlocks containing yellow beads on the night of the attack. He was also wearing a long black trench coat.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). 

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With 18 restaurants expected, ‘Taste of Woodside’ to take place Nov. 20

Taste-of-Woodside-475x3561

Nov. 13, By Michael Florio

Get ready to sample the diverse food of Woodside.

Woodside on the Move, a local non-profit, will be putting on its third annual “Taste of Woodside” on Nov. 20, with the goal of showcasing about 18 restaurants.

The goal of the event is to provide attendees with the ability to sample each restaurant’s food so they are able to get an appreciation of the quality of Woodside’s cuisine.

This year’s event will be taking place at the St. Sebastian’s School auditorium, located at 39-76 58th Street.

The event will cost $25.

“The restaurants will provide samples of the type of food they offer,” said Adriana Beltran with Woodside on the Move. The list of participating restaurants will be released shortly.

This year’s event is expected to attract about 100 attendees, Beltran said. Last year, 80 people attended.

 

Beltran said a new feature this year will be a photo exhibit called The Woodsider. The exhibit will be hung around the auditorium and will feature Woodside businesses.

Details:

Date: Nov. 20

Time: 6 pm-9pm

Location: St. Sebastian’s School auditorium

Admission price: $25

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

Suspect

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

Source: Pat Dorfman

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

Robin Kawada

Nov. 9, By Kim Brown Reiner Although Takesushi opened in Sunnyside a little more than two years ago, food experts claim its owner established the first sushi restaurant in New York City nearly three decades ago. Woodside resident, chef and owner Robin Kawada--who at one time owned Takesushi restaurants in Manhattan, Washington D.C., Toronto and on Long Island-- is quick to back up that claim. “I have been in the restaurant business for 40 years,” said Kawada, 66. “Takesushi was the first sushi restaurant in Manhattan in 1975.” Food expert and author of “The Secret Life of Sushi,” Trevor Corson, brought up that idea at a food panel in 2010. At the time it caused quite a stir, others claimed the distinction belonged to Hatsuhana or Nippon. Whatever the truth, Takesushi, which means bamboo, was one of the first sushi restaurants in New York City. The current iteration opened in Sunnyside “accidentally” according to Kawada. When the lease on his Woodmere, Long Island restaurant was up, Kawada looked for a place in Manhattan but couldn’t find the proper venue. At the time, Transylvania, at 43-46 42nd Street, had closed its doors so Kawada thought, “Why not Queens?” He soon found out what Queens was like. Business was slow, his restaurant has yet to be reviewed by a major publication and he has had to lower prices by 20%. Omakase, for example, a large variety of chef selected specialty sushi, like sea urchin, scallop and eel, costs $58 as opposed to $100 for a comparable dish in Manhattan. Most dishes are far less expensive. But for Kawada, everything is secondary to the quality of fish, even profit. “I’m open not to make money, but at least not to use up my savings,” he said. Reverence for fish is something he learned growing up in Japan. “In Japan each fish has a shrine,” he said. “Each fisherman prays for their fish. They live with that fish. They don’t want to waste it.” takesushifrontWhen he first moved to the United States in 1968, he worked in import/export and as a restaurant cashier, eventually running his own distribution business at the Fulton Fish Market until 9-11. For more than a decade afterwards, he had a business processing sea urchin in Maspeth and shipping it to Japan. The success of his first distribution venture allowed him to open the original Takesushi and import not only high-quality fish, but a well-established chef from Japan. Working alongside the chef, Kawada received his own training. “There is no school for fish. You cut it, you touch it, you taste it,” he said. Back then, as now, his fish was praised for its excellent quality, but also simplicity. “Each fish has a special taste. So many restaurants put something on the fish, like mayonnaise. It may taste good in your mouth, but it’s not good for this fish.” More than forty-five years after starting to work at the Fulton Fish Market, Kawada stills goes to the New Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx every day to buy and clean fresh fish, not farmed fish, for Takesushi. He also works at the restaurant seven days a week, and has not taken a day off in 500 days, he said. In addition, he owns a 15-seat restaurant in Japan. Decades in the restaurant and fish distribution business have made Kawada more comfortable rattling off details about seasonal fish and his restaurant than his own four children, at least with this reporter. Tuna is best at this time of year. In the summer, after a fish lays eggs, she is not as tasty. The November menu includes blowfish tempura, monkfish liver, and Miyazaki beef, delicacies rarely eaten outside of Japan. His passion for quality food has frustrated him with people who care more about low prices and appearances. “Anytime fish looks nice people think it’s good,” he said. And the desire for cheap prices has led to misunderstandings about the art of sushi. “Some people think they don’t like sea urchin because they have never had good sea urchin,” he said. Occasionally, customers will sit at the sushi bar and spend $300, but it’s rare. Moreover, Kawada is unimpressed with competitors who don’t take the same pride he does in buying, cleaning and storing quality fish. “Maybe they all wear gloves because they don’t know how to prepare fish,” he said. The single-minded drive to serve quality fish has earned him a name among foodies on websites like Urbanspoon and Chowhound, as well as loyal customers throughout Queens. A woman at the sushi bar on Tuesday night said she was a regular for a decade in Manhattan and has been at the new Takesushi every week since it opened in 2012. Another regular said it was important to mention Kawada’s fine character, in addition to his fine fish. But quality fish above all else may be what’s keeping Kawada from mainstream success. He does not care about the decorations in his restaurant--a fish net, some scarecrows, and witches in the window--or even the dishware. “I don’t spend money on decorations because that means less for fish. I use cheap plates. I don’t use extra flowers,” he said. “I’m 66. Maybe the service is no good, but the fish is OK.” The service is just fine. The Michelin Guide may have skipped over Takesushi, however, because it doesn’t offer fine dining service. While that omission is fine by Kawada, the lack of media interest is more confounding. “I know I make the best quality food, I know it,” he said. “But no one comes to review it.” Reviews usually mean more customers, which means more money to buy better quality fish, which is all that matters in the end. “I try to use the best fish to make the best quality sushi,” he said. “That is all.” sushi6
Please note: Takesushi is an advertiser with the SunnysidePost
Capt Brian Hennessy, commanding officer of the 108 police precinct, transferred to another precinct
Captain-Brian-Hennessy1 Nov. 6, By Christian Murray The commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct—which covers Sunnyside, Woodside & Long Island City—has been transferred to head up a larger more crime-ridden Queens precinct. Captain Brian Hennessy, who has spent just 18 months as the commanding officer of the 108, started today as the commanding officer of the 115th Precinct, which covers Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and the north section of Corona. That precinct is larger and has more problems--such as gang activity, prostitution and drugs. The move represents a promotion, since gaining experience in a tougher precinct is often viewed as the way captains climb up the NYPD ladder. While the 108 has had some high-profile crimes recently—such as the robbery of an 81-year old at a Chase ATM and a wave of burglaries in Sunnyside—the precinct is still viewed as a low-crime area. The crime rate—based on the number of reports—is flat so far this year, compared to the same period in 2013. The number of murders and reported rapes are down—although the number of burglaries are up about 7 percent. Hennessy said he enjoyed his time at the 108 Precinct. “I love this community and its leaders,” Hennessy said. “There are so many people who care and want to get involved,” he said. “It was an honor to be there.” The NYPD has yet to appoint a new commanding officer. In the interim, Capt. Richard Hellman, the executive officer of the 108th Precinct, is in command. However, Hennessy’s short stint did disappoint many—since most commanding officers stay at a precinct for two-to-three years. “I am very upset that he is leaving us so soon,” said Diane Ballek, the president of the 108 Community Council. “He is the best captain we have had in a long time,” Ballek said. “If you needed to reach him he was always there,” she said. “He would talk to people [with quality-of-life issues] for an hour some times.” His predecessor Capt. Donald Powers was viewed by many as less responsive and not so much of a people-person, several people said. “I am disappointed [that Capt. Hennessy has been transferred] since I believe he was doing a good job,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “I appreciated working with him and thought he was responsive and a straight shooter who cared about our neighborhood.” Van Bramer said he would be asking NYPD officials whether Hennessy’s short stint represents a new policy or whether what happened was an anomaly. Van Bramer also said he wants a new commanding officer to be named soon. “We cannot have a prolonged absence of leadership,” he said.

Crime Numbers 2014

Quality of Chase Bank’s video footage following robbery of 81-year old called into question by relatives and Van Bramer
Poster of Suspects in robbery

Poster of Suspects in robbery

Nov. 4, By Christian Murray This morning Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and his staff were handing out posters at the 46th Street station in Sunnyside calling on the public for information concerning the robbery of an 81-year-old man at the Chase Bank ATM at 46-10 Queens Blvd. The photos of the two suspects released by the police were grainy and some residents who reviewed the posters could barely make out their faces. “You really don’t see anything; maybe I can see this guy,” said one woman, who is a former member of the Sunnyside/Woodside Lions Club. Kate Flanagan, whose grandfather William Eichhorn was the victim, said: “I am so upset and horrified by the quality of the images.” “This is an enormous bank—with billions of dollars--and that is the quality of their cameras,” Flanagan said. “We have blurry images of these cowards… now they may get away with it and attack someone else. It’s disgusting.” d26vanbramer1The attack occurred inside the ATM area at about 9:30 am on Sunday Oct. 26. The suspects punched Eichhorn in the face and fled with $100 and his debit card. The footage released by the police—who obtained it from Chase-- just shows photos of the suspects’ backs. There are no photos of the suspects as they came in or out of the bank, which led to questions whether the bank has exterior cameras at all.  Meanwhile, there are just two cameras inside the ATM area. Van Bramer, who told attendees at a press conference this morning how Sunnyside and Woodside are close-knit safe neighborhoods, said afterward that he is looking into legislation that would require banks to regularly review the quality of their cameras to make sure that they are transmitting top-notch images. “I would like to see clearer images and I would expect a bank of this size to regularly monitor the quality of their footage,” Van Bramer said. “We don’t know when their cameras were installed--it could have been 10 years ago for all we know.” Van Bramer said that people are particularly at risk when they are taking out money from the ATM. “When someone follows you in [to the ATM area] with the intent to cause harm, you are extremely vulnerable,” he said. However, at the same time, “there is also this presumption of safety in a bank that there are cameras.” Van Bramer said that his office got funding for the NYPD to put a security camera outside Duane Reade on the corner of Queens Blvd and 48th Street. He said that the footage from that camera is first rate. Therefore, he believes that there must be better technology available to banks. The branch manager at the Chase branch would not comment as to the age of the cameras surrounding the ATMs and how often they are checked. A spokeswoman for JP Morgan Chase’s Consumer Banking division was not immediately available for comment.
Katie, Mary Ann,William

Kate Flanagan (Eichhorn's granddaughter), Mary Ann Gasparro (daughter),William Eichhorn (victim)

Prior coverage: http://sunnysidepost.com/2014/10/27/81-year-old-sunnysider-beaten-and-robbed-at-chase-bank/
Construction starts on Sunnyside/Woodside slow zones
Queens DOT Commission Dalia Hall

Queens DOT Commissioner Dalila Hall

Nov. 3, By Christian Murray The construction of two “new slow zones” that incorporates about 150 residential streets in Sunnyside and Woodside has begun. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer held a press conference outside PS 199 to mark the occasion and said that the two slow zones will reduce the speed limit to 20 mph and will, ultimately, save lives. “We have to make sure that not one young person loses their life on the streets of New York and this is further progress toward that point,” Van Bramer said. The two slow zones cover two designated sections of the neighborhood. One zone covers about 100 blocks south of Queens Blvd, while the other covers 50 blocks on the northern side of Queens Blvd—including Sunnyside Gardens. The slow zones are marked by large blue signs that state the 20 mph speed limit. Within a zone, speed bumps and 20 mph markings are on some of the streets. slowzonesThe two zones were selected by the Department of Transportation after Van Bramer’s office put in a request for them. Van Bramer’s office provided the DOT with details such as the number of crashes in the area—as well as schools and daycare centers. The zone that covers the south side of Queens Blvd—called the “Sunnyside Slow Zone” --is bound by 36th Street to the west; 51st Street to the east; Queens Blvd to the north; and Laurel Hill Blvd to the south. Construction started on that zone a few weeks ago and the DOT is adding 20 speed bumps to the existing eight speed bumps. There will be 32 entry points that will be marked by blue 20 mph gateway signs. The DOT aims to complete the “Sunnyside Slow Zone” before winter sets in. There have been four deaths in the “Sunnyside” zone since 2007, with many serious injuries, according to the DOT. There are also four schools in the zone. Meanwhile, construction on the zone that covers the northern section of Sunnyside/Woodside—called the “Sunnyside Garden-Woodside Slow Zone—will not begin until spring. This zone, which incorporates about 50 blocks, is bound by 43rd Street to the west; Queens Blvd and Roosevelt Avenue to the south; 38th Avenue and Barnett Ave to the north; and 58th Street to the east. The “Sunnyside Garden-Woodside Slow Zone” will include 17 speed bumps in addition to the 13 that are already there. There will also be 19 entrances to the slow zone that would be marked by the blue 20 mph gateway sign. Since 2007, there has been one death in that zone, with many people severely injured. Furthermore, there are six schools/daycare centers in the area. The Department of Transportation claims that the speed zones help reduce injuries and deaths. Its studies indicate that a pedestrian hit at 40 mph only has a 30% chance of surviving, while one hit at 20 mph has a 95% chance of surviving. Community Board 2 unanimously approved the two speed zones at its September month meeting—although two attendees at the meeting said that the slow zones were not needed and that the blue signs were unattractive—particularly in Sunnyside Gardens. However, Van Bramer said, the "Best way to keep everyone safe is to slow traffic,” adding that “Nothing is more important than making our streets safer for children, seniors and residents." The two Sunnyside/Woodside slow zones are the sixth and seventh zones in Queens. Meanwhile, starting this Friday Nov. 7, the speed limit on all New York City streets will become 25 mph, unless posted otherwise.  

2014 09 02 Slow Zone Sunnyside and Sundside Gardens Woodside(1)

30-year old wins ‘Sunnysider of the Year’ award
Oguzhan Turan

Oguzhan Turan

Nov. 2, By Christian Murray A 30-year-old Turkish immigrant will be receiving the 2015 Sunnysider of the Year award at the Tangra ballroom (39-23 Queens Blvd) Monday evening. Oguzhan Turan, who is the executive director of the Sunnyside-based Turkish Cultural Center Queens, will be receiving the joint award from the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and SunnysideArtists.org. The award is handed out to someone who lives or works in Sunnyside who has contributed to the greater good without regard to faith, fundraising or politics. Turan was nominated by a committee representing both organizations—as well as past winners-- and was voted for the award unanimously, according to Patricia Dorfman, founder of Sunnysideartists.org and former Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce member. The award, officially called the Luke Adams’ Sunnysider of the Year award, was first bestowed on Luke Adams in 2011. The Turkish Cultural Center Queens is best known in this neighborhood for its Ramadan celebration when it feeds hundreds of people under a tent it sets up in Sunnyside for a number of evenings each year. The group also gained attention after Superstorm Sandy when it handed out 5,000 cups of soup and made a $50,000 donation to help repair a damaged Queens Library branch. Turan, as an individual, is known for his personal service to others, wrote Dorfman for the Woodside Herald. “Turan can always be counted on to show up before anyone else, do physical work if required, and make the charitable activities of others come to fruition. He is there in a crisis, including personal,” Dorfman wrote. “He does car runs for the needy, sets up and builds tents for street fair booths, and gives of his own money and time on a daily basis.” Turan will be the fifth winner of the award. It has gone to Luke Adams, Queen of Angles priest Brian Dowd, Francis Schmidt (a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside/Woodside Lions Club) and Donald McCallian (who runs the community organization the United 40s Civic Association.  
‘Bar Rescue’ featuring Jack’s Ale House to air Sunday
JacksBar1-475x360 Oct. 31, By Christian Murray The Spike TV show “Bar Rescue” will be featuring a Sunnyside bar when it airs this Sunday. The show, which stars Jon Taffer, a tough-talking nightlife expert who helps struggling bars come back from the brink, will focus on Jack’s Ale House at 39-46 Skillman Avenue. Taffer and his crew were at Jack’s for a week in August putting the show together. The bar is owned by Sunnyside resident Brian McGowan and his two brothers, Jimmy and John. The three are all firefighters (although John has retired) who have deep roots in Sunnyside. However, the brothers have squabbled over the years and the show hones in on this. In fact, the promo for this Sunday’s show reads: Three loud-mouthed firefighting brothers struggle to keep their Queens bar afloat. Can Taffer calm the sparks before this family implodes? In August, Brian McGowan said the show was well worth doing. “It’s been amazing,” he said. “It’s brought our family back together again. Many family issues have been resolved as a result of the show—from how we run the bar to past money issues.” McGowan said that Taffer is the tough-talking person you see on the show. On the first night “He ripped us all a new A-hole and then walked out of the bar,” he said. However, he added, Taffer has a “heart of gold.” This Sunday, Jacks is holding a party in at 8pm to celebrate the airing of the show. Details: Bar Rescue, Spike TV Sunday, 9pm
Taffer talks to the McGowans

Taffer talks to the McGowans

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